Ellis Island Database Notes

I've found lots of probable and for-sure relatives in the Ellis Island Database. I put the information in a table because I wanted to organize them for myself and I put the table on the Web because I thought they might help others too, although I'm not sure how. When searching I paid special attention to clues that might help me to establish relationships between people. My focus was on my hard-to-track Rusyn relatives and to a lesser degree on my Galizien Deutsche kin.

Many of the immigrants coming through Ellis Island were marked as illiterate. You might want to read Steven Jay Gould's interesting book Mismeasure of Man to provide some context for this designation. In short, illiterate should have been followed by in English.

Are you an anarchist or a polygamist?

There is other critical information on the Ellis Island manifests. For instance, I can proudly that say that all of my relatives checked "no" for these questions. Really now, were any immigrants foolish enough to state that they were anarchists?

Dr. Steven Morse and JewishGen have combined to provide an excellent interface to the Ellis Island Database; it is much better than the standard one offered by the American Family Immigration History Center.

The M? column in the table contains an X if the subject was listed as married. I recorded names as they appear in the database even if I think they're misspellings.

Date Name Age M? Nationality From To Notes
Feb 14, 1896 Ivan Semancik 47   Austria   Pottsville, PA Going to Pottsville, PA for "protracted sojourn". =) Travelling with Mikalay Trukan and (same first name) Tederinec also going to Pottsville.
July 1897 Julia Bonczak 18     Wolica Chicago, IL Going to meet uncle Jan Bonczak 75 W. Division St.
March 1898 Stefan Bonczak 16   Galacian Zboiska Minersville, PA Going to meet unnamed brother. Travelling with Michal ?eczysky, Stefan Makara who had scabies and was held, Andrzej Bilas, and W??, all from Belchowka
Oct 8, 1898 Stefan Semancik 25   Galacian Wolica Minersville, PA Going to meet brother Ivan Semancik. Religion is Greek Catholic, native tongue is Polish.
March 189? Marya Boncsak 20   Galacian Zboiska Minersville, PA Going to meet cousin Stefan Semanczik.
June 1899 Antoni Bonczak 38 X Austro - Hungarian Zboiska Buffalo, NY Going to cousin Mike Dyminski, Rector of St. ??? church on Cable St. There is a Mike Dyminski (clergyman) twice in the EIDB. The 1900 Census for NY state (look under name WAWRZYNSKI) contains a reference to an Anthony Bonczak, age 40 who immigrated 1899, born 5/1860. He is listed as UNCLE, I presume it is his daughter Catherine (imm. 1890) that is married to J. WAWRZYNSKI. See also this page about Dyminski.
July 1899 Feczko Bonczak 33 X Galacian Wolica Hoboken, NJ Going to meet wife at 66 Washington St. Travelling with Franciszka Zydka from Bukowsko to Jersey City, NJ.
December 1899 Stefan Bonczak 35 X Galacian Wolica Minersville, PA Going to meet "acquaintance". Blind in right eye.
December 1900? Prekop Bonczak 43 X Galacian Zboiska Bellefonte, PA Going to meet unnamed cousin. Travelling with Michael Be???za from Mokre also going to Bellefonte to meet brother.
January? 1901 Thomas Semanczyk 30 X Galacian Wolica Perth Amboy, NJ Going to meet an unnamed brother-in-law.
April 5 1901 Petro Boncsak 27   Galicy Boisk? Minersville, PA Going to meet meet brother Stefan. "Boisk" is hard to read in the middle, but the leading B is very clear. Travelling with Josefa Tarchola (Radlow/New Britain, CN)
April 1902 Peter Bryta 25   Ruthenian Wolica Egypt, PA Going to meet brother Andr. Bryta.
May 22, 1902 Stefan Bronczak 28 X Polish Zboiska Perth Amboy, NJ Going to meet brother in law ?? Tanyo?. Travelling with Anna Nowak (Prusiek/New Britain, CN)
February 24, 1903 Tekla Boncsak 21   Ruthenian Zboiska Minersville, PA Going to meet father Piotr Boncsak. Travelling with Maryanna Fernawczyk (9, Zboiska/Minersville to meet father Michael.)
June 1903 Jakob and Marie Petry 52 / 51 X German Dolina Philadelphia, PA Going to meet cousin Josef Schmidt 325 Houston St. Note in parens says "Two sons in Grand Haven, Mich"?. Travelling with a number of other people from Dolina.
June 30, 1903 Julia Bomczak 20   Ruthenian Wolica Fors. City Going to meet cousin Anna Bonczak. There is an X next to her name, not sure what that implies.
March 1904 Teodor Bonczak 36 X Ruthenian Wolica   EIDB has bolixed the record, no further info available.
May 17, 1904 Anna Bonczak 19 ? Ruthenian ? ? Manifest wrong. Traveling with Katarzyna Bilas.
August 30, 1904 Katarzyna Szymanczak 17 X Ruthenian Wolica Minersville, PA Going to meet brother Stefan.
Oct 9, 1904 Valenti Jadwisinczak 40 X Polish Bukowsko Minersville, PA Going to meet brother Josef (?) Jadwisinczak, maybe the one listed in August 1905.
November 25, 1904 Stefan Banczak 30 X Ruthenian Bojiska Minersville, PA Going to meet uncle Andrej Starcoky?. Been in USA before 1902-1904 in Egypt PA. Travelling with Kala Kulozyska or Kata Kulczycka (Zbojsk/Minersville to meet same uncle).
January 9, 1905 Jorko Banczak 42 X Russian Wolica Hashronek? Heights, NY Going to meet to sister Anna Bonczak. Travelling with Maryanna Padicska? (Wolica/Maynardsville, PA).
March 7, 1905 Arfry Semanczyk 32 X Polish Wolica Pottsville, PA Going to meet brother Stefan, but his name is crossed out and he is listed as "Not on board". Supposed to be travelling with two others from Wolica to Pottsville incl. one Hurtak and a laundry list of people from Bukowsko (Bednarz, Bochanck, Piluch, Hnat).
March 28, 1905 Michal Bonczak 41 X Ruthenian Wolica Philadelphia, PA Going to meet brother Jan Bonczak in Philly. Address(?) is Addison Cart Bak Lombard something (ends in 6). ??? Travelling with Ilko Macek from Zboiska going to Minersville, and the following people going from Prusiek to New Britain, CN: Katarznya Kuzma, two people named Eva Marko (!) and Josef Seleman?.
March 21, 1905 Josef Jadwisinczak 24   Polish Bukovsky Carnegie, PA Travelling with Tomas Pituch (Bukowvsky to Carnegie; brother Stanislaw Pituch), Paul Sokol (Buk. to NYC), Jan Majdecki (Buk. to Carnegie; brother in law Stanislaw Pituch), Katha Majdecka, child of Jan. Is this a case of passport borrowing? (See Josef Jadwysinczak from August of 1905)
May 29, 1905 Maria Petri 20   Polish Dolina Chester, PA Going to meet Josef Kaufold on Wilson(?) St. There is more writing -- perhaps brother-in-law? -- next to Josef's name but I can't read it.
August 3, 1905 Josef Jadwysinczak 24 X Polish Bukowska Minersville, PA Had been in USA from 1903-1905. Going to meet brother-in-law Stefan Semanczyk. Travelling with one friend with exact same details and an indecipherable name.
July 1906 Iwan Bonczak 18   Russniak Zboiska   Image missing, no further information available.
July 1906 Ivan Bonczak 18   Ruthenian Iboiske   Manifest buggered, no further information available.
December 1906 Iwan Bonczak 16   Ruthenian Ratnawice New Britain, CN Born in Zawadka. Meeting cousin Zofia Kara???. Travelling with Wanio? Czelak? and J??? Fawil? (Zawadka/Jersey City).
Dec 16 1906 Stefan Semanczyk 33 X Ruthenian Wolica Minersville, PA Meeting brother Iwan Semanczyk. Stefan is a "non-immigrant" at this point, has been in Minersville 8 years from 1899 to 1906. Travelling with Maria Tarnawczyk? from Wolica to Minersville.
May 1907 Josef and Wiktor Drozd 17 / 25 X   Nagorzany Jersey City NJ Meeting cousin Franciszek Piszczyniski? at 16 Ellery? St. Travelling with 3 from Bukowsko.
June 1907 Anderej Bonczak 18   Polish Ulica? Minersville, PA Meeting brother Jan. Has conjunctivitus. Travelling with 4 from Bukowsko to Perth Amboy, NJ, Jersey City,NJ and somewhere in PA.
July 1907 Prohop Bryla 42 X Ruthenian Wolica Minersville, PA Meeting daughter Kasha Bryla. Been in USA before in Shamokin. travelling with Stefan Kramar (Ratnawica/Minersville), Katarznya Starzecka (Zboiska/Minersville), Kristyna Petynka (Zboiska/Minersville), also a couple of Ratnawicans going to New Britain, CN.
November 1907 Michal Bonczak 14   Ruthenian Zboiska Minersville, PA Meeting father Petro Bonczak. European relative is cousin(?) Katarzyna Wotowiak in Zboiska.
November 24, 1907 Sofia Bomczak 22 X Polish Zarsyzn Egypt, PA Meeting husband Tomasz. Closest European relative is mother Magdalena Mendofig. Travelling with a married Polish female named Kozlowska nee Godek from Friszlak? to New Britain, CN.
December 21, 1907 Senko Boncsak 17   Ruthenian Zawadka Bellefonte, PA Meeting brother Jan Bonczak. Closest European relative is father Prokop Boncsak in Zawadka (same as Prekop Bonczak in 1900?). There is a line drawn through Senko's entry so I assume he did not arrive in NYC.
May 31 1908 Michal Semanczyk 17   Russian Wolica Minersville PA Meeting Stefan Semanczyk. This is my grandfather. It is ironic that he's the only person in this list listed as Russian because he was emphatic about the fact that he was Ukrainian, not Russian. Maybe they did it just to annoy him.
July 1909 Katarzyna Bonczak 19   Ruthenian Zawadka New Britain, CN European relative is father Lesko Bonczak in Zawadka. Travelling with Ewa Necrysl/a and Ewa Makyrur, same start/destination.
August 29, 1909 Jan Bouczak 48   Ruthenian Zboiska Egypt PA Going to meet b.i.l. ??? Zawada. Closest European relative is cousin Iwan Bonczak in Zboiska. Jan is a widower.
Dec 21, 1909 Antoni Bonczak 18   Ruthenian   Minersville, PA European relative is stepfather Michal Piechowicz, Wolica. Going to visit brother in law Piotr Szawajka?
Feb 1910 Stefan Bonczak 18   Ruthenian Zboiska Minersville, PA Going to meet uncle Michael Tarnowczyk. European relative father Nykolaj Bonczak, Zboiska. Travelling with Stefan Kolyk (Ratnawice/New Britain, CN to meet brother), Iwan Kohut (Ratnawice/Minersville to meet brother), Andrzej? Pendior (Polebovka?/Minersville to meet son (ilaw?) Andrzej Makara), Antoni Malyk (Zboiska/Minersville to meet uncle Andrej Bryla), Andrzej Tarnawczak (Zboiska/Minersville with flat feet! to meet br.inlaw Andrij Kola???) and Michal Pendior (Zboiska/Minersville to friend Michal Tarnawczyk).
March 1910 Maryanna Bonczak 18   Ruthenian Zboiska Egypt, PA European relative is mother Antonina Bonczak in Zboiska. Travelling with Michal Bonczak from Prusiek to Egypt, PA. European relative is cousin Josef Ruve?, Prusiek.
April 5, 1910 Josef Bouczak 20   Polish Zbojska Minersville, PA Going to meet brother Stefan. Closest European relative is wife Maria. Travelling with two Makaras and one Bardan (all Ratnovicz/Minersville).
May 25, 1910 Jan Bouczak 20   Ruthenian Zbojko Cementon, PA Going to meet sister Anna Torba. Closest European relative is wife Katarzyna Bonczak Zbojska. Travelling with Lenard (Wuchilka/Cementon&Minersville, originally from Buchowka), Chrzaszcz (Zbojko&Wolica to Gilberton, PA), Jakobowski (Zbojko/Cementon) and Koscik (Zboiska/Cementon) orginally from Zboysky.
June 1910 Antonina Bonczak 16   Ruthenian Zboiska   Manifest missing.
October 24 1910 Andrzej Bomczak 18   Ruthenian Wolica Minersville PA Going to meet "brother in law Michal Karabui"? Closest European relative father Josef Bonczak. Travelling with Antonima Pielich (16, Wolica/Minersville to meet sister M. Tarnawczyk?)
October 24 1910 Antoni Bouczak 33   Polish Wolica Jersey City, NJ Going to meet b.i.l. Jan Szklarz? Closest European relative father Jedrzej Bonczak in Wolica. Been in USA 1903-05 in Mawerville? PA.
March 9 1912 Iwan Semanczyk 16   Ruthenian Wolica Minersville, PA Going to meet brother Piotra Semanczyka. Closest European relative is father Amfry Semanczyk in Wolica. Travelling with Antoni Starzecki from Zboiska to Minersville? and Michael Kotow from Wolica to NJ.
March 14, 1912 Wilhelm and Margarethe Petri 31 / 25 X German Dolina Chicago Going to meet brother in law Johann S????. Closest European relative is mother Barbara Petri.
Aug 5, 1912 Michal Plesniarski 34 X Polish Bukowsko Jersey City, NJ Going to visit brother in law Jan ???. Nearest European relative wife Marya Plesniarski, Bukowsko. Has been in USA 1907 - 1911, Minersville PA. There are other people on this manifest also going to Jersey City.
September 11, 1912 Three(!) Katarznya Bonczaks 17 / 18 / 18   Ruthenian Zboiska / Zboiska / Ratnawice Minersville PA Going to meet a) uncle Michal Semanczyk, b) brother in law Szaranczak?, c) stepbrother Michal Lenaw?. Relatives in Europe: a) father Wiktor Bonczak (Zboiska), b) father Iwan Bonczak (Zboiska), c) mother Anna Bonczak (Ratnawice). Travelling with Krystyna Starzecka? (Zboiska to Minersville), Jan Kuskewski (Ratnawice to Minersville) and Marya Dzintyk? (Ratnawice to New Britain, CN)
September 12, 1912 Nicholas, Esther and Nicholas Jr. Petry 42 / 41 / 6   U.S. Philadelphia Germantown PA All born in Philly and returning to McKean Ave. in Germantown.
September 30, 1912 Antoni Jadwisinczak 16   Austrian Bukowsk Minersville PA Going to meet brother Fra??? Jadwis????. Nearest relative in Europe is father Walenty Jadwisinczak.
October 10, 1912 Antoni Semanczyk 17   Ruthenian Wolica Minersville PA Going to visit brother Piotr Semanczyk in Minersville. Nearest European relative mother Christina Semanczyk in Wolica. He is passenger 6 on this page of the manifest; 3 lines above is Polish woman Anna Cinpa (sp?) from Bachowka also going to Minersville.
November 1912 Tamasz Semanczyk 41 X Ruthenian Zboiska Perth Amboy, NJ Nearest European relative is wife Anna in Zboiska. Travelling with nephew Franciszek Cap (age 7) and niece Stanislawa Cap (age 3). All 3 have a line drawn through the entire entry with no explanation given. I assume they weren't on the boat or got sent back.
January 1913 Antonina Bryla 21   Ruthenian Wolica Blackwood, PA Going to meet br.inlaw John Min???. European relative mother Ewa.
February 1913 Stanislaw Drozd 36 X Polish Wolica Philadelphia PA Going to meet brother Josef Drozd at 4242 Oresson(?) St. in Philly. European relative wife Stanislawa in "Wolica Luyowa" Galacia. I can't find any references to Luyowa on Google.
March 4, 1913 Julia Banczak 17     Wolica   Manifest missing. Travelling with Jedrzej Tornawcsyk (Tarnawczyk, I'll bet) from Minersville.
December 1913 Teofil Bonczak 18   Ruthenian Zboiska Minersville PA Going to meet brother Stefan. European relative father Jan Bonczak (Zboiska). Travelling with a Zawadkaian also going to PA.
July 1920 Jozef Bonczak 29   Polish New Britain CN Malusn? NB? Been in USA 7 1/2 years already. Intends to become a citizen. Red hair?!? Born in Radolina, Poland.
June 1923 Teodor Semanczyk 36 X US Homestead PA   Naturalized June 27 1921 in Pittsburgh. Home address is Homestead, PA. Is this guy a relative?
June 30, 1928 Andrzej Bonczak 33 X US Wolica Minersville PA Going to brother Antoni Bonczak. Nearest European relative is wife Antonina Bonczak, Wolica. Andrzej has been in the USA from 1912-1922 in "Miersville", PA. Travelling with Michal Plesniarski, age 46, married, from Bukowska, traveling to brother Pawel Plesniarski Minersville, PA. Michal has been in the USA from 1911-1920. Nearest European relative is wife Maria Plesniarska, Bukowsko. If this is the same Michal Plesniarski who travelled in 1912, he has lost 4 years in age somewhere.
June 30, 1928 Andrzej Bonczak 33 X US Wolica Minersville PA Going to brother Antoni Bonczak. Nearest European relative is wife Antonina Bonczak, Wolica. Andrzej has been in the USA from 1912-1922 in "Miersville", PA.

Names I've Already Searched

Hermann and Else Symanczyk from Hamburg look like actual Germans. No image available for Maria Szemanczyk.

bonczak bouczak boncsak banczak bonczek bonszek bonshak bonchak bonschek

semanc samanc simanc somanc sumanc symanc senanc sananc sinanc sonanc sunanc synanc seinanc sainanc siinanc soinanc suinanc syinanc senianc sanianc sinianc sonianc sunianc synianc szymanc scz szemanc sziman zym

petry petri