Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Where Were Your Ancestors on 16 Sept 1917

My favorite genealogy activity of the week is here again – Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

This week’s topic is locating where each of our ancestral families were exactly 100 years ago today on 16 September 1917.

Neither of my parents were yet born, so I’ll begin with my grandparents:

My paternal grandparents, George Sabo (24 May 1893 – 24 November 1936) and Julia Scerbak (17 August 1893 – 29 May 1985, had recently married (6 September 1915), but had not had any children by 1917 and hadn’t bought a home by then either. They lived in Garfield, Bergen, New Jersey and rented a house at 10 Cedar Street, which is still standing today.

10 Cedar Street

My maternal grandparents hadn’t yet married. My grandfather was at Harvard University in Massachusetts, but not as a student. Vernon Tarbox Adams turned 18 in 1917 (3 May 1899 – 7 December 1968) and had entered the U.S. Navy right at the end of World War I. He was in boot camp as the armistice agreement was signed.

My maternal grandmother, Hazel Ethel Adams  (7 February 1901 – 21 April 1995) was living at home on River Road in Calais, Washington, Maine with her father, Hartwell Thomas Coleman. Her mother, Anna Elisabeth Jensen, had died the year before on 4 March 1916 and her father didn’t remarry until 1918. Her older brother, Hazen, was already out of the house and married. Hartwell’s mother, Sarah Moriah Crouse, was also living with the family. (See her details below.)

River Road Home Today

Paternal great grandparents Stephen Kucharik (aka Sabo) (6 February 1855 – 4 June 1933) and Maria Kacsenyak (June 1859 – 5 March 1926) were renting rooms at 77 Hope Avenue, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey.

Hope Avenue Tenement Today

My other paternal great grandparents had returned to Europe years before and were living in the village of Udol, in today’s Slovakia. Michael Scerbak (17 February 1868 – 16 March 1932) and Anna Murcko (23 May 1872 – 28 June 1967) had one child still at home – son Michael, born 7 June 1906, but Anna was expecting their last child, Stephen, who was born on 28 October 1917.

My maternal great grandparents, Charles Edwin Adams (11 January 1877 – 24 January 1922) and Annie Maude Stuart (24 June 1874 – 10 September 1940) were living at 22 Calais Avenue, Calais, Washington, Maine. My grandfather, Vernon, was their only child, but he was at boot camp.

22 Calais Avenue

However, Charles’s parents, my 2X great grandparents – Calvin Segee Adams (16 March 1843 – 15 January 1921) and Nellie F. Tarbox (28 June 1856 – 23 December 1927) were living with them.

Both of Annie’s parents, Charles Stewart/Stuart and Elida Ann Hicks, had died before 1917.

Very few of my 2X great grandparents were still living in 1917. On my paternal side, only Anna Murcko’s mother, Maria Szova (23 march 1845 – 6 January 1925) was still living in Hajtovka, in today’s Slovakia. Hajtovka is the village next to Udol, about one mile away. I have no pictures of Maria or of the family home in Hajtovka.

I’ve already mentioned that, on the maternal side, Calvin and Nellie Adams were living with my great grandparents.

On grandmother Hazel Coleman’s side of the family, my 2X great grandmother, Sarah Moriah Crouse (7 May 1833 – 18 October 1930), who married William Coleman was still living. She lived in the Coleman family home with Hartwell and Hazel.

Hazel’s maternal grandfather, Frits Wille Oscar Emil Jensen/Johnson (12 May 1845 – 24 November 1920) rented rooms on Union Street in Calais, Washington, Maine. He lived alone, as both his daughter and son, Henry Robert, died in 1916 and his wife, Margrethe Bruun, had passed away many years earlier in 1890.

I have no picture of Frits and that block of Union Street has been razed with a business building and parking lot erected there.

My family certainly represented the American melting pot, with the Adams, Tarbox, Coleman, Stewart/Stuart and Crouse lines being colonial America, the Jensens from Denmark and the Scerbak, Kucharik/Sabo, Murcko, Kacsenyak and Szova families from today’s Slovakia.


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