Sometimes, knowing a town in which an ancestor lived is deceiving if the street address is not known.
Such is the case with my great grandfather, Stephen Kucharik aka Tomko (in Slovakia) aka Sabo (in America.)
Stephen Kucharik, wife Maria, and children John and Maria, emigrated to the United States in the mid-1880s. They first settled in Delano, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania where three more children were born to them – Anna, George and Stephen Jr.
About 1899, the family moved to Passaic, where they lived out their lives. Stephen died in 1933, wife Maria in 1926 and son John, between 1900-1910. The other children married and lived in the Passaic County area.
Knowing that Stephen and Maria lived in Passaic for decades would seem to imply some stability in their lives. However, census records, city directories and newspaper articles (Stephen was an alcoholic who garnered multiple mentions in the newspapers because of his drinking issues) indicate that the family moved from one rental apartment to another through all those years.
Almost every place they lived was in the neighborhood around St. Michael’s Church on First Street, as they were Greek Catholics and the mills where the Rusyn immigrants worked were close by.
Remember that data was gathered for city directories in the summer and fall preceding the year.
1891 City Directory – Delano, Pennsylvania, no address listed
1899 City Directory – 82 Third Street
1900 City Directory – 157 Third Street
1900 Census – 70 First Street
1901 City Directory – 204 Second Street/177 Third Street
1902 City Directory – 204 Second Street
1903 City Directory – 110 Second Street
1907 City Directory – 232 Fourth Street
1908 City Directory – 172/180 Second Street/197 Third Street
1908 School Certificate (son George) – 111 Third Street
1909 City Directory – 180 Third Street
1910 Census – 2 Third Street
1911 City Directory – 2 Second Street
1914 City Directory – 228 Fourth Street
1916 Newspaper Article – “of Mercer Street”
1920 Census – 77 Hope Avenue
1924 Newspaper Article – 77 Hope Avenue
There are several years when a Stephen Sabo was living at 290 Hope Avenue. That is a man born c1880 who died in 1918 in Passaic, unrelated to my family.
Stephen Sr. hasn’t been found in the 1930. My grandmother said he was more than a handful to deal with and the kids moved him from one house to another. Stephen Sr. died on 4 June 1933 in Wallington, probably while living with Stephen Jr. and his family.
As seen from all these addresses for Stephen Sabo, living in one city for years didn’t necessarily indicate a stable living situation. Stephen was a millhand and laundry worker who struggled to make enough to support the family.
Some of the above addresses no longer exist because the buildings have been knocked down, but all were small multi-family apartment buildings.