Photographic Family History – Kucharik of Passaic, NJ

Stephen and Mary (Kacsenyak) Kucharik emigrated to America from what is today Vysna Sebastova, Slovakia in the late 1880’s. They first settled in Delano, Pennsylvania, where Stephen worked for the railroad. Sometime between February 1897, when their last child was born, and the 1900 census, they moved to Passaic, New Jersey, where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Stefan Kucharik was born on 17 February 1855 in Vysna Sebastova, Slovakia. He died on 4 June 1933 in Wallington, Passaic, NJ. He married Mary Kacsenyak on 28 August 1877. She was born in June 1859 (date not noted on her baptismal record), also in Vysna Sebastova. Mary died on 5 March 1926 in Passaic, NJ. I’ve shared the photos of Stephen and Mary before. Stephen, by reputation, was a drinker and not a very kind man. That certainly fits the glare on his face in the only photo I have of him. Mary is described as a kind, wonderful woman and she gives that appearance in her photo.

Stefan Kucharik and Maria Kacsenyak, 1920’s

Stephen and Mary, as they came to spell their names, had seven children, although one is only known through the census report that Mary gave concerning the number of children to which she had given birth.

1. John, born 25 August 1877; he died about 1915, unmarried.

Young man on left is thought to be John Kucharik.
Brother George is on the right.
Photo is likely circa 1905.

2. Maria, or Mary, born 15 January 1881. She died 29 October 1973 in Garfield, Passaic, NJ. Mary married (1) Andrew Palasko on 3 February 1902 in Schuylkill County, PA and (2) Ladislav Bubbly in 1906, probably in Passaic, NJ. Andrew Palasko was born about 1867 in Slovakia and died on 12 May 1902 in Delano, Schuylkill, PA, only three months after he and Mary married. They had one daughter, Edna. Ladislav, or Lawrence as he was called, was born about 1884 in Passaic, NJ and died in 1916, in New Jersey. Lawrence and Mary had five children: Mary, who died in infancy, Marcella, Norma, Emil and Julia, who was called Judy.

Mary Kucharik

3. Anna, born 4 February 1885, Slovakia and died soon.

4. Anna, born 18 April 1889, Schuylkill Co., PA. She died 7 June 1959 in Garfield, Bergen, NJ. She married (1) Nicholas Pezont and (2) George Janicko. He was born 27 November 1882 in Rudlov, Slovakia and died 14 September 1944, Garfield, Bergen, NJ. Nicholas and Anna had no children.

Anna Kucharik

Nick & Anna Pezont with George & Julia Kucharik

5. George, born 24 May 1893, Delano, Schuylkill Co., PA. He died 27 November 1936 in Passaic,NJ. He married Helena Anna (Julia) Scerbak on 6 September 1915 in Passaic. Julia was born 17 August 1893 in Passaic and died on 29 May 1985 in South Hackensack, Bergen, NJ. They had one son, George.

George Kucharik

6. Stephen, born 18 February 1897, Mahanoy City, Schuylkill Co., PA. He died 20 May 1976 in Garfield, NJ. He married Mary Mikulik about 1924. She was born 20 October 1903 in NJ and died 18 April 1988 in Garfield.

Stephen Kucharik

This photo collection is unusual because I doubt the family ever had a photo taken in Vysna Sebastova. The two of parents Stephen and Mary were obviously taken in the neighborhood where they lived in the 1920’s. Yet, the photos of their children are almost all from a professional photographer taken in a studio and the children are roughly teenagers or early 20’s. I wonder if mom and dad also had their pictures taken and they haven’t survived or if they could only afford to have pictures of the children.

Also, while stories about families Americanizing their surnames are common, Stephen Kucharik never legally changed his, but socially dropped his Slovak name, Kucharik, and adopted Sabo, which is Hungarian. By the 1930’s, the family exclusively used “Sabo” and I never even knew that was the family name until I searched for my grandparents’ 1915 marriage record about 1980. That is when my grandmother told me no record was found for the Sabo marriage because our surname was actually Kucharik!

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