Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Poverty in Galicia definitely influenced my ancestors...

21st October 2015

For centuries my ancestors lived in South- East of Poland. In the past after partition of Poland this part belonged to Austria.This part of my homeland was fantastic but definitely very poor and underdeveloped. My ancestors had a lot of children - families were big at that time because children had to help their parents on the farm to survive. At that time the weather was changeable and the farming underdeveloped so they experienced famine. I believe  living in that harsh conditions they decided to travel to US. So they sold part of their farm to buy ship tickets to the dream land,.
From Vikipedia
Poverty in Galicia was extreme, particularly in the late 19th century. Galicia in that period has been described as not only the poorest province of the Austro-Hungary, but the poorest province of Europe. Reasons for this poverty included little interest in reform from the major landholders and the Austrian government, population growth resulting in small peasant plots, lack of education and primitive agricultural techniques, and a vicious circle of chronic malnutrition, famine, and disease, reducing productivity. Poverty in the province was so widespread that the term "Galician misery" or "Galician poverty" has become proverbial.


But it turned out that dream land was not so friendly for them. Why?
Firstly they didn't know language. Secondly they didn't have any jobs. Thirdly they were Roman Catholic which was not acceptable by most people in the new land. My great grandfather who emigrated to Pennsylvania and worked as  a steel worker working in a very bad condition caught pneumonia and died at the age of 36 leaving his family without bread winner... After 20 year of searching I have his gave on this cemetery in Coatesville -PA.










BE CONTINUE


12 comments:

  1. It is so young to die. Very good that you have the death certificate. I wonder why it was called the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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    1. Andrew you are right. But I check why it is called Commonwealth of PA

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  2. That was sad for the family dying so very young...hard times and i suppose they wondered why they went to America..even though it was extremely hard in Poland..

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    1. Margaret you are right it was hard time but definitely better was in US

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  3. I suspect that making it in the promised land could have been dependent on where the immigrants settled. One set of my great grandparents, the Schipp family, went to St. Paul, Minnesota and did fairly well. In the 1880s the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis were going through a "golden age" - rail, lumber, and grain milling were rapidly growing industries. Another set of my great grandparents, the Dachtera family, went first to Pennsylvania - probably to work in coal mines. They stayed three years before moving to Minnesota to take advantage of the jobs available there. Pensylvania's steel and mining industries both had brutal working conditions.

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    1. Mart so it means my ancestors didn't choose the right place but as I know they had a distant family there. But death of John really devasted my grandfather's life..

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  4. So sad and not uncommon for people to have traveled to other countries for better opportunities only to suffer hardships in their new homes.

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    1. Mitchel it is sad but death was waiting for him there.

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  5. I think it was a struggle for most immigrants to survive in America and still is today. It's not easy to learn a new language well enough to support a family and most have to work jobs well beneath their status in their country of origin. It's the succeeding generations of the family that have a chance at a far better life.
    I hope one day you are able to visit your great grandfather's grave.

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    1. Cynthia you are right be an immigrant is not easy in the past and now,And the first generation in new country is lost but the second can achieve success...

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  6. Gosia, thanks so much for sharing our story and for linking in to my blog. Great job with this one.

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    1. Linda , UI am glad I can share my post with others

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