Mystery Finally Solved: Mary Mulick’s Family

Several years ago, I shared this photo of Mary Mulick and John Theus likely taken in Passaic, New Jersey about 1915,  lamenting the fact that I hadn’t been able to positively identify either of these people and send the photo home to a descendant.

After trolling the digitized Passaic newspapers available on a subscription website, I think I’ve confirmed my suspicions as to who Mary Mulick was. I’ve also decided that spelling wasn’t Mary’s strong point – see the note she wrote on the back of their photo – and she may well have misspelled John’s surname.

Mery Mulick – John Theus(?) saej deer I woont your pekture good boiej

Before I delve into Mary’s life, let’s return to my tentative conclusion based on my earlier post. Two years ago, I found one Mary Mulick living in Passaic who could be the young lady in this photo of her and John.

I’d found Mary Mulik, living in Passaic, New Jersey in the 1900 census. As I suspected, she was a contemporary of my grandparents, born in 1893, like each of them. She also lived in “the neighborhood,” the First Ward of Passaic (128 First Street), and, without a doubt, would have attended St. Michael’s Church, which is at 96 First Street.

Recently, newspapers dot com had a few days of free access for everyone and I decided to tackle my Mulick mystery once again. I searched for Mary Mulick in Passaic in the first half of the 20th century.

Two hits came up, one on 19 February 1916 and then one month later another on 25 March 1916. Since I am unsure about posting images from that website online, I will just summarize the articles.

Mary Mulick of 55 Second Street was seeking government help for the release and return of her 18 year old brother Stephen, born in Passaic, from the Austrian-Hungarian army.

The backstory was that their uncle from Pennsylvania planned a trip  to Hoczew, today in Poland, to visit relatives and Stephen indicated that he would like to visit, too. It turned out to be a fateful decision because they reached Europe just before World War I broke out and then were unable to leave.

The family received one letter, presumably early in 1916, from Stephen. Mary, in the article, said the letter had been censored, but her uncle had been forced to join the army and was currently a Russian prisoner in Siberia and her brother, hinting between the lines, said that he, too, would be entering (unwillingly) into army service.

Since Stephen was an American citizen, Mary asked Passaic authorities and Congressman Dow Drukker if the U.S. government could intercede and help him return to the U.S. The government said they couldn’t interfere because Mary’s and Stephen’s father was not a U.S. citizen when Stephen was born. Austrian law likely saw him as a citizen, according to the Congressman.

Sadly, family information online shows Stephen dying in Minsk, Russia in 1917.

Besides providing Mary’s address, it also said Stephen Mulick was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Mulick (which wasn’t correct, but I doubt her command of English was strong and we know newspapers never get anything wrong, don’t we?? Hah!)

I have not been able to find the Mulick family in the 1910 Passaic census, although it appears that they lived there for decades. However, New Jersey took state censuses in 1905 and 1915 and I found Mary’s family in both years.

Stanley Mulick and family lived at 55 Second Street, Passaic, in 1915. However, when I jumped back to 1905, Constant Mulick was head of the same household. (Just an aside – I have to wonder if Constantyn was called “Stan” and the census taker recorded him as Stanley? This family likely spoke limited English.) However, further research (wedding announcements and obituaries) has convinced me that this is the correct family.

Therefore, I would like to introduce you to Mary Mulick and her family:

Constantyn Mulick was born in February 1864 and arrived in the U.S. about 1895/96. He married Annie Sefcsik or Schickzyk in Europe and several of their children were born there. He died at home at 96 Mercer Street, Wallington, Bergen, New Jersey on 23 July 1950, aged 87, according to his obituary.

Anna was born in March between 1860-1866 and died in 1937.

The obituary also confirmed what I had already been sure of if they were friends of Nana – they were parishioners of St. Michael’s Church and they are buried in the church cemetery, just as my grandparents and father are.

In 1900, Annie reported that she had given birth to seven children with five still living. At that time, Constantyn’s brother Andrew, born April 1870 and his wife, Etela, born May 1872, also lived with them. In the same multi-family building, but not in their apartment, there was a Mitro Mulik, born March 1872. He may be another sibling of Constantyn.

Although Constantyn arrived in America c1896, Annie and the three oldest children reportedly arrived in 1897. (I haven’t been able to find any of the family on any passenger lists.)

Their eldest son, John Stanley, isn’t mentioned in Constantyn’s obituary even though he lived until 1984. The 1950 obituary mentioned four surviving children – Michael, Andrew, Mary and Julia, so for whatever reason, John didn’t keep in touch with his family.

Children:

1. John Stanley, born 19 March 1890, reportedly in New York, New York, but more likely in Galicia, Poland; died 17 February 1984, Sacramento, California; married (1) Murl Keller, 1912, Kern County, California. John’s WWI draft registration card indicated he had a wife and one child by 5 June 1917. Neither John nor Murl nor daughter Mary L, born 16 November 1916 in Sacramento can be found in 1920. (2) Emma Weden, by 1924 (when both are registered voters) and lived in Sacramento, He was a tailor and they had five children at that time.
2. Michael Mullic, born May 1892, Przemysl, Galicia, Poland; died 16 December 1970; married Anna Gotch (1896-1966), between 1930 and 1940, as her second husband. He may have had a first marriage as there is an 18 year old son and 18 year old stepdaughter in his home in 1940. They had five children.
3. Olga Mary, born April 1893, Galicia, Poland: died 3 February 1955, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; married Hugo W. Vollack (1886-1939), 1913, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey. They were parents of one son and one daughter, William Constantine and Beatrice J.
4. Stephen, born April 1897, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; reportedly died Minsk, Russia, 1917; unmarried.
5. Katherine (Katy/Kattie), born April 1899, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; died between the 1900 U.S. census and the 1905 New Jersey state census. There is a Kathie Mullik who died in 1901 in Passaic County that is likely her.
6. Andrew Stephen, born October 1900 or 9/11 December 1901, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; died 13 October 1984; married Mary Blasko (1904-1963). They were the parents of two sons and a daughter.
7. Julia, born December 1904; married Robert Gorecki, January 1927, Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey; died 6 December 1986, Elmwood Park, Passaic, New Jersey. They had no children.

To continue with (Olga) Mary Mulick Vollack, her daughter Beatrice was born on 24 December 1913 in New Jersey and died on 3 December 2003 in Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada. She married (1) John Weiler, 28 June 1932, Suffern, Rockland, New York (2) Joseph Reilly, 30 October 1934, Suffern, Rockland, New York and (3) Mr. Ford.

Mary’s son, William Constantine , was born 13 September 1917 in Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey and died on 21 December 1996, New Smyrna Beach, Volusia, Florida. William married Olga Gibba,  and they had one son and one daughter.

I am happy to say that Mary Mulick’s photo with the mysterious John Theus has gone home to her family. 🙂

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Mystery Finally Solved: Mary Mulick’s Family”

  1. What a saga! The timing of that trip to Europe was unfortunate. You solved the mystery and it’s great that now the photo is in the hands of descendants, along with the story. Congrats on this good deed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.