Saturday, November 3, 2007

Where in the World did John Go?

About everyone I have talked to doing family research has run into this; just when you think you have a part of your family line figured out you're talking with the last person of a generation and out pops a name you have never heard of before. Who is this person and why has nobody ever mentioned them before? The inevitable answer is, "Well, no one ever asked about him before."

This happened to us, that is all of my cousins and I, at a family wedding about 12 years ago. I was showing my father's last surviving brother what I have documented on the family with this brand new software along with some old photographs I discovered and asking him if I had everything correct. Then while looking at one of the photos he says out of the blue, "Oh my, my uncle John used to take us there all the time."

Time out! Who is this 'Uncle John'? The only sibling of our grandparents we knew about was Andrew's sister Antonia and her husband Joseph Basiorka. So I asked, "Who was this John?"

"John was my father's brother. He had a son about my age also named Mike. I remember he was hit by a car about 1939 and hospitalized. I wonder what happened to him." That was it! I went around asking my cousins about this and this was news to them also. That's all I had to go on until late last year with the release of more documents on the Internet.

First, I finally found the 1910 census page for Andrew Piszczor Sr. It was blind luck following a hunch of where my uncle John was born in 1909 (East Huntington Twp, PA) and scanning pages until I noticed an Andrew and Anna together with a infant John. Of course the name was not correct (Pisczur!), I also noticed something I wasn't expecting; his father Jakob (who I never knew was in this country) and a brother John living with him! So now I knew for certain it wasn't the whisky talking that night, but what else about him?

Only other information I had to work with now was that he arrived in the U.S. in 1907. A few months later I was nosing about in the Ellis Island web site trying 'sounds like' searches and came across a Jan Piscur in 1907 from Ciche/Czar. Dunajec, Poland born about 1884. More than enough to to make me look into the manifest and saw his mother was a Kati Pisczur and he was going to Tarr, PA... where I knew Andrew lived at the time... to see his father Jakob Piscur! (Our last name was so messed with through the years)

So he was established and verified, but what happened to John after 1910? One rumor was he lived near his sister Antonia Basiorka near Greensburg, PA and searching there for him now. If anyone has any clues or information please pass it on to me.

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