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Re: [S-R] KALNAS quandry

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  • Robert Shive
    Phillipsburg, NJ, is in west central New Jersey in Warren County along the Delaware River. It is directly across from Easton, PA, a moderately sized
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 11 6:09 PM
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      Phillipsburg, NJ, is in west central New Jersey in Warren County along the Delaware River. It is directly across from Easton, PA, a moderately sized industrial city. Catasauqua is about 15 miles or so to the west on the Lehigh River between Lehigh and Northampton counties in PA. The whole area of the Lehigh Valley was a popular destination for Slovak workers because of the presence of Bethlehem Steel and numerous cement plants.

      I am attaching the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census pages that have John and Mary on them (*.pdf format). Though I am primarily interested at present in this family tale, tracking it has led me to several other questions that must be answered.

      I think the 1920 census sheet, which shows John alone as a lodger and no Mary, tends to give credence to at least part of the family tale.

      There actually were residents with the name Kalmar in the Phillipsburg area in the 1910, 1920 censuses. There are still people with the name Kalnas, though I'm not sure whether they are related to John's family.

      "Dr. Joe Q" <doctor_jq@...> wrote:
      The "alien" or "citizen" designation was made by the
      enumerator (these were reasonably educated people, but
      sometimes lacking in knowledge of Europe [and looking
      at their work they were not acquainted with any part
      of Europe east of the Rhine River]). These
      enumerators had the job of visiting each household and
      filling in the various blocks of the census forms. I
      swear that some of these public employees avoided
      particular parts of their districts. I know fo
      certain that some of my relatives lived in the same
      house for 35 years but only showed up on one census.

      Well, put away the soap box.

      You have provided a couple of spellings of the names -
      Kalnas, Kolnacz, Kalmar and several locations
      Phillipsburg, Catasauqua, New York City. I cannot
      find these names in the 1930 census.

      Where were they in 1930 and how were the names

      Regarding the alien classification, my great
      grandparents were listed a aliens and citizens in the
      1900, 1910, and 1920 cens(i)us depending who was
      filling out the form. Remember my relatives were new
      comers, they had accents and did not understand
      English and the enumerator was in a hurry - - - there
      were blocks and blocks of foreigners to be questioned,
      so why should there be a special investigation
      regarding answers? just write down what was thought
      to be heard.

      The story about returning to “the old country” is not
      unusual. My grandmother and her sister were born in
      the US in the 1890’s and her parents returned to
      Slovakia about 1897. My grandmother returned to the
      US I 1912; her sister and a brother born in Slovakia
      returned to the US in 1923. Being “trapped” during
      WW1 is understandable.

      Until you have the concrete data, everything has to be
      kept as a maybe. Do not add a point of data that
      feels good to you or seems to fit the picture. You
      must have the evidence.

      The passport information is interesting and is
      probably a very useful bit of data. I cannot help you
      understand the meaning of the number, it is certainly

      Best wishes.

      Dr. “Q”

      --- robert_shive <robert_shive@...> wrote:

      > My great aunt Mary Beganyi came to the US in late
      > 1904. She married
      > John Kalnas (Kolnacz per his marriage license
      > application) in 1908 in
      > Catasauqua, PA. Shortly afterward, they moved to
      > Phillipsburg, NJ.
      > According to family lore, Mary made a return visit
      > to Slovakland
      > sometime after the start of World War I. Supposedly
      > she was "trapped"
      > over there by the War and couldn't get back until
      > well after its end.
      > According to the story, she might not have been
      > allowed back into the
      > US at all except that her husband was a citizen. In
      > trying to figure
      > how much belief to put in this story, my main piece
      > of information has
      > been the 1930 census. In it, John and Mary are both
      > listed as aliens,
      > not even having filed a declaration of intention.
      > On the Ellis Island website, I have found a manifest
      > for the vessel
      > Aquitania, which arrived at NYC from Cherbourg on 20
      > JUL 1923. Three
      > of the passengers are Mary Kalmar (30), Marguerit
      > Kalmar (13), and
      > Arpad Kalmar (9). Their destination is Alpha, NJ,
      > immediately next to
      > Phillipsburg. Mary Kalmar's age makes her born in
      > 1893; "my" Mary was
      > born in late 1889. There is also a typed entry on
      > Mary's line in the
      > manifest that says Passport 110149.
      > I can believe that it would be possible for someone
      > typing a manifest
      > from a handwritten list to mistake Kalnas for
      > Kalmar. Based on what I
      > know, the rest of the information is
      > inconclusive--in the "maybe" realm.
      > Anyone have any thoughts on the best way to proceed
      > from here? What
      > does "Passport 110149" mean? Is it a US number and
      > if so can I get a
      > copy of the application? Can a US passport even be
      > issued to someone
      > who is not a citizen? Questions upon questions.

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