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What Was Happening in Poland around 1905?



literaturecat 5 | 10    
16 Oct 2009  #1

Hi Everyone--

I've recently started researching my Polish roots, and I've discovered that my great-grandfather emmigrated to the U.S. in 1905 and my great-grandmother did likewise (alone, at the tender age of 15!). The little research I've done seemed to suggest that A LOT of Polish people emmigrated to the U.S. Between 1890 or so and 1905. I was just curious about the conditions in Poland at that time that might have prompted so many people to leave. World War I didn't occur until quite a bit later, and to my knowledge (which, granted, is limited) there were no other wars at that time. I figured if anyone would know, you folks would. :-) Thanks so much for any information that you can provide.

Also, my family name is Kupiec. Is that name more prevalent in certain parts of Poland than others, and if so, where is it most prevalent? Thanks so much.

Melissa


TheOther 5 | 2,921    
16 Oct 2009  #2

I was just curious about the conditions in Poland at that time that might have prompted so many people to leave

Before you start your research make sure you understand that Poland didn't exist during the time frame you've mentioned. You'll get a completely wrong impression and also rely on false data if you ignore this fact. To quickly answer your question: the main reason why so many people came over to the US at the time is economic. Most families were very poor and usually had five or more children. Diseases like tuberculosis and diphteria were widespread and child mortality was very high where the families came from.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland
cheehaw 2 | 264    
16 Oct 2009  #3

mine too, 1904-1906

austrian hungarian empire. did your family settle near Buffalo, steel workers? the steel mills were recruiting slavs. Bolsheviks were ripping through eastern europe creating mayhem. thus poles hate jews and our fathers died of emphysema.

my dad is actually still alive, the only one of his brothers who did not die of emphysema from the steel mill.. he is drinking himself to death at age 82.
Polonius3 996 | 12,038    
16 Oct 2009  #4

KUPIEC - this originated as an occupational nick (merchant, trader) and is most common in SE Poland (former Austrian partition), esp, in the Tarnów and neighbouring Kraków areas. There is another prominent concentration in the Katowice area to the west of there (former Prussian partition).
MareGaea 29 | 2,770    
16 Oct 2009  #5

there were no other wars at that time

Russian - Japanese war of 1904-1905. The defeat of the Russians seriously damaged Russia's image in the world.

Poland didn't re-appear again as a country until 1918. Where did your anchestors emigrate from? Germany, Austria-Hungary or Russia? Maybe you could sift through the archives of those respective countries?

Bolsheviks were ripping through eastern europe creating mayhem. thus poles hate jews and our fathers died of emphysema.

Hm, I don't understand that sentence. Bolsheviks didn't become a force majeure until WW1 and I don't see the connection between them wreaking havoc and Poles hating the Jews and your forefathers dying of emphysema. Or are you one of those who seem to think that you have to involve the Jews in about just every mishap that happened to the Poles? If you do, stop thinking like that. Time for some refreshing thoughts.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
sjam 2 | 542    
16 Oct 2009  #6

A LOT of Polish people emmigrated to the U.S. Between 1890 or so and 1905.

Also a large number of Germans emmigrated during this time to Texas. Mainly land-less tenant farmers who responded to adverts posted by Texas offering large tracts of free farm-land to German farmers as they knew them to be industrious and skilled farm workers just the sort that Texas needed to help with nation-building. Maybe other parts of US were encouraging ethnic Poles for similar reasons at the time? Texas still has a thriving German-American population
MareGaea 29 | 2,770    
16 Oct 2009  #7

sjam

Did you know that in fact Germans are the largest ethnic group in the US? I was astounded by this discovery too, thought it were the Irish or Italians, but no, it seems like the Germans are the biggest group...By largest group I mean the ppl of European anchestry.

Link:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maps_of_American_ancestries
Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #8

Did you know that in fact Germans are the largest ethnic group in the US?

You have to take those statistics with a grain of salt. Strictly speaking from my own family history, all of my great grandparents emigrated to US around 1890’s as teenagers. Looking through the US immigration records they were listed as either Austrian or German even though they were Polish. They met and married in the US and they had kids in US. My grandparents were born in US and were US citizens, they came back in 1920’s. My parents and I were born in Poland. Strictly speaking I wonder how many Poles were considered German, Austrian or Russian by the US statistics on immigrants despite the fact they were of pure Polish origin.
Ironside 42 | 7,793    
16 Oct 2009  #9

Did you know that in fact Germans are the largest ethnic group in the US? I was astounded by this discovery too, thought it were the Irish or Italians, but no, it seems like the Germans are the biggest group...By largest group I mean the ppl of European anchestry.

I knew:)
it suppose to be one vote that decided that 13 states of America will communicate in English instead of German.

There two reason for emigration from Poland under Russian rule in 1905 - conscription due to war between Russia and Japan and social and national upheaval.

There was strikes, battle with army on the streets, and killing of policemen and official by various organization!
Hard and turbulent times!
TheOther 5 | 2,921    
16 Oct 2009  #10

Looking through the US immigration records they were listed as either Austrian or German even though they were Polish

Of course, because they were Austrian-Hungarian, Russian or German citizens.

There two reason for emigration from Poland under Russian rule in 1905

Sorry to be picky here, but there was NO Poland in 1905. In genealogy you have to base your research on facts and not on wishful thinking... ;)
Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #11

Of course, because they were Austrian-Hungarian, Russian or German citizens.

You are a Yank; I guess you missed the part where he talks about the ethnic group not citizenship. Am I missing something or you just wanted to put your two cents in where it does not belong.
TheOther 5 | 2,921    
16 Oct 2009  #12

You are a Yank

No, I'm not.

where he talks about the ethnic group not citizenship

Ethnic group equaled citizenship. There were also no Basks (Basques) for example, just Spanish.

Am I missing something

Yes... ;)
Is was speaking from a strictly genealogical perspective.
Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #13

It might come as a shock to you but you can be a US citizen yet still be an American Indian by ethnicity.

Is was speaking from a strictly genealogical perspective.

Then perhaps you should re learn the definitions again.
TheOther 5 | 2,921    
16 Oct 2009  #14

Piorun

Gheez, Piorun ... we are talking about 1890 to 1905. They didn't care if you were an ethnic Pole, because the country of Poland didn't exist. You came from Russia, so you were a Russian. You came from the German Empire, so you were a German. You came from Austria-Hungary, so you were an Austrian-Hungarian. What's so difficult to understand? Citizenship equaled ethnicity, as I said before.

It might come as a shock...

Not really, as they told me I'm Caucasian although I'm not from that region... :)
Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #15

They didn't care if you were an ethnic Pole, because the country of Poland didn't exist. You came from Russia, so you were an ethnic Russian. You came from the German Empire, so you were a German. What's so difficult to understand?

That’s exactly my point, the results are false, they were Polish by ethnicity yet counted as German even though they were not.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 7,944    
16 Oct 2009  #16

Well, that may be but the census we are talking about (where the german heritage group is the biggest in the US) was recent. People where asked about their heritage, I doubt that any Pole was forced to say "German"....

So the numbers should quite correct!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American

German Americans

50,764,352
17.1% of the US population (2006) [6]

Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #17

I doubt that any Pole was forced to say "German"....

Perhaps but it still makes you wonder how many of them really know their roots. They look at the records it said German therefore I’m German.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 7,944    
16 Oct 2009  #18

They look at the records it said German therefore I’m German.

Oh please....then why didn't they became Germans, Austrians or Russians during the partitions??? Even today after centuries in Polonia they didn't forgot their roots (nor did the Germans)!
Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #19

Even today after centuries in Polonia they didn't forgot their roots

Mind you we are talking about Americans, they claim a lot of things. The mixture is high among them.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 7,944    
16 Oct 2009  #20

I've thought so too but there are more people than one would think who are not mixed and if then only in their cultural group...

This census asked about this too...more people than not claimed both sides one heritage only!

PS: Did you know that even Obama has german roots???

...Genealogists at the No.1 family history Web site revealed that President Obama's German ancestor was born Johann Conrad Wolflin on January 29, 1729. He immigrated in 1750, sailing to America on the ship Patience. Johann Conrad changed his last name to Wolfley once he settled among other German immigrants in Pennsylvania. His son, Ludwig Wolfley, President Obama's 5th great-grandfather, was born in 1766 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This research confirms that President Obama is one of the 17 percent of Americans with German ancestry.*

TheOther 5 | 2,921    
16 Oct 2009  #21

the results are false

Not really, because you cannot prove whether those immigrants considered themselves Germans or Poles for example. You are questioning the definition of 'ethnicity' that the American authorities used, I don't. That's all.

Well, that may be but the census we are talking about (where the german heritage group is the biggest in the US) was recent. People where asked about their heritage

But this heritage is not recent. The knowledge of it is in part based on the documentation of the American immigration authorities.
Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #22

Well, on my travels through US I met a lot of people. One of them claimed to be Irish, when I asked how you can be so sure. The answer was because we cook Irish food in my household. Now if you base your ethnicity on the food you eat then sometimes I must be Chinese. That’s Americans for you.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 7,944    
16 Oct 2009  #23

That’s Americans for you.

Well...I esteem the Poles all around very conscious of their heritage...
Piorun - | 660    
16 Oct 2009  #24

So are the Germans. Even the Germans in US considered me to be German, I wonder what give them that Idea.
cheehaw 2 | 264    
17 Oct 2009  #25

Hm, I don't understand that sentence. Bolsheviks didn't become a force majeure until WW1 and I don't see the connection between them wreaking havoc and Poles hating the Jews and your forefathers dying of emphysema.

no no, that is not true. Bolsheviks were working mayhem in Russia and east europe (poland, esotonia etc) since 1880's or so. Bolsheviks had russia fully in their grasp by 1905.

you need to read up on russian history and who were the bolsheviks. get a few different points of view.

and you may not understand but anyone who had a parent or relative who worked in the steel mills a couple decades knows about emphysema. the cars they drove home had an 1/8 inch of soot on them a lot of the time.
Borrka 37 | 594    
17 Oct 2009  #26

Bolsheviks had russia fully in their grasp by 1905.

Nonsense.
First ww1 proved the czarist Russia unable to survive in her unreformed shape .
But even then Bolsheviks were only one of many options.
Successful because of German support.
Ziemowit 8 | 2,281    
17 Oct 2009  #27

An interesting case of Polish heritage in Texas is the village of Pana Maria (the name after Panna Maria, the Virgin Mary). It is thought to be the oldest Polish settlement in the US, dating back to 1854. Though Polish, the settlers came from ... the Prussian Upper Silesian, more precisely from an area near Oppeln (Opole). The area ceased to be part of Poland as early as in 1327 when these lands were made tributary by John of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia, so it is definitely not the question of people inhabiting the territory of the partitioned Poland? According to the views of TheOther they should undoubtedly be seen as Germans by the census. Yet the reportage of 1996 on the Polish TV showed a significant proportion of them speaking surprisingly fluent Polish with strong American accent to this very day (the rest lost their Polish through mixed marriages with Americans).

I couldn't have believed it, had I not seen those typical American farmers or breeders with my own eyes on TV talking about themselves as Polish Americans either in a little old-fashioned Polish or in Amercan English. Not a word of German language in their talk, and the letters of their 19th century ancestors written in Polish. Who were they for the Americans: Polish or German?
Lukasz K - | 103    
17 Oct 2009  #28

I wonder why nobody had mentioned the revolution of 1905 in Russia that spread around Polish territory as well. It is even sometimes called 4th uprising (after 1794, 1830, 1863) because in "Poland" together with social claims people were fighting for autonomy and freedom of using Polish in schools etc. It's been the first time since 1864 that Polish start shooting at Russian army.

And the repressions were severe - all 5 older brothers of my grand-grandfather who were involved in strikes were send to Siberia from where they haven't come back (I have one letter from one of them from 30's) and the same time the family (parents and sisters) of my grand-grandmother emigrated from northern Mazovia to US - they left her with uncles because she was too young to survive the trip and told that they'll come back for her which never happened (otherwise would be a Yankee today ;-))

Regards

Lukasz
MareGaea 29 | 2,770    
17 Oct 2009  #29

Lukasz K

You forget the the 1848 revolution. The 1905 revolution in Russia after the lost war, was the first revolution since 1848. The 1848 revolution was one of the more important ones, because it gave many countries their constitution.

>^..^<

M-G (coffee)
sjam 2 | 542    
17 Oct 2009  #30

Did you know that in fact Germans are the largest ethnic group in the US

I did, a friend of mine is writing a book about the German immigration into USA, in particular the origins of the German farming community in Texas.




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