Sunday, February 1, 2009

Taking a Second Look at Things

I have found over the years that it is a good idea to take a second look at what I already have. Sometimes it can lead to major discoveries, and sometimes just to interesting details. One example comes from my research on my Skrobul family.

My grandpa was Anton Skrobul (Antanas Skrabulis.) He and his 3 brothers, William, Stanley and Joseph, all came to the United States.

Discovering their parents' names, and the many spellings of them, has been a challenge. On Anton's marriage certificate, his parents are given as Wm Skrobul and Ella Rinch[?]. On Anton's death certificate, his father's name is given as John, mother's name unknown.

I expanded my search to Anton's siblings. On the death certificate of Anton's brother William, the deceased brother's name is given as Vincent and the parents' names are Vincent Skrobulis and Elizebeth Sorokowa. (The Lithuanian name Vincas is translated as either William or Vincent in English.) I've also seen the mother's name given as Syrak or Soroka on other documents.

So, I was a bit confused about Anton's mother's surname. None of the possible surnames I'd seen sounded Lithuanian to me. In Lithuanian, a married woman's name generally ends in -iene and an unmarried woman's name ends in -aite or -yte. So I felt I still hadn't found the Lithuanian version of the mother's surname. In fact, I thought Sorokowa sounded more Japanese than Lithuanian. (I admit, I'm not knowledgeable about Eastern European or Japanese names.)

My confusion was solved by a visit from a Lithuanian cousin. He told me that Sorokowa was a Polish version of Soroka, and that the Lithuanian version for a single woman was Sorokaite. Both he and another Lithuanian cousin mentioned that the Soroka name was common in the area that our Skrobul ancestors were from, and that the Sorokas were cousins (somehow) of the Skrobuls.

So now, I come to my second look. I have found passenger lists for some of my Lithuanian relatives, including grandpa's brother William (indexed on as Vizenty Scro??.) William traveled from Bremen, Germany to Baltimore aboard the Hannover. He arrived in June, 1905. According to the passenger list, William was going to Munson, PA to join his brother Josef Skrobul. This made sense to me. I had been told that grandpa and his brothers lived in Pennsylvania for a few years. And grandpa's passenger list from 1904 indicated he was going to join Josef in Munson Station.

When I looked at William's passenger list again recently, I noticed that listed on the line above him was Thomas Soroka, from the same town (possibly Maceviciai)in the Suwalki region of Lithuania. Thomas is going to join his brother, Josef Soroka, in Munson, PA.

So, this isn't a major discovery that will take me back 3 generations or add 1000 more names to my database. But I find it kind of neat to know that my great uncle William Skrobul traveled to America with a Soroka cousin, and that they were going to Pennsylvania together to join their brothers. It is always good to have family and not to be alone.


Patti said...

Very interesting, Kathy. And not only was it nice that he wasn't alone, those details give an added dimension to what was going on.

Marny Malin said...

My great-grandfather's name was Stanley Skrobul, 1863-1923. He was originally from Philadelphia. His birthl name was Skrobulis.

Kathy Brady-Blake said...

Hi Marny.
Stanley is a common first name among my Skrobul relatives. I'd like to hear more about your Skrobulis family.

Marny Malin said...

Not much more is known of my great-grandfather Stanley Skrobul except they shop keepers in Philadelphia. Left for Milwaukee where he worked in construction of houses. My grandfather Alex Scrobell (his son)used to visit an aunt Anna who was in Philadelphia, we also had relatives located in Chicago.
The original name is said to have been Skrabulis or Skrobulis.