Andrew and Michael Zagorsky (AKA Zagorszky)
From the Banat (Anina – Caras-Severin County, Romania) to Lorain, Ohio
By Linda Jean Limes Ellis
April 14, 2020
Undated photograph of Andrew Zagorsky – restored and colorized version
My maternal grandfather was Andrew Zagorsky (born Andreas Zagorszky). He was born Decenber 15, 1880 in Anina, Caras-Severin, Romania. Reșița is the capitol and listed as his last residence on his Ship’s Manifest when he left for America in 1904.
Reșița is the Romanian spelling. It is also known as Resicabánya, Resicza and Oláh Resicza depending on the language. :
Per my Aunt Irene Zagorsky Ferner, as a young lad living in the 1880’s and 1890’s, Andrew Zagorsky roamed Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and France as an orphan. He learned to speak several languages and, along the way, taught himself to play the button box.
After Andrew matured into a young adult, he became a miner by trade to earn a living.
1910 partial map – Caras-Severin County Romania
Resiczabanaya (Resicza or Reșița in Romanian)
To the south is Stajerlakanina (Anina).
1880 born 15, bapt. 16 Dec[embris] [=of December]
Joan̄es [=Joannes (Latin) =Johann(es)] Zagorszky operarius [=worker/worksman] et [=and] Maria Motzicz
both Rk = Roman Catholic
Source typed from Ancestry.com
Description of the Baptismal record for Andreas Zagorszky (Andrew Zagorsky)
Under the second column on the right side of the document.:
“Theresienthal is a valley in the Western part of the former cole-mining region near Steierdorf. It seems the place has become a street in Steierdorf later on.”
So it was when Andrew Zagorsky was 23 years old that America beckoned him to its shores, and specifically, to Lorain, Ohio, where (per the ship’s manifest list) that his brother-in-law, Andreas Juris (Andrew Jurisch), was already living.
It was almost the end of the year – December 14, 1904, and the day before Andreas Sagorski (Andrew Zagorsky) would turn 24 years old that he landed in America with the sum of $18.00 in his pants pocket.
The next leg of his long-distance journey would be to board a westbound train and head for his final stop – Lorain, Ohio, where as it turned out, where he would spend the rest of his life.
There he would meet and marry a young (17 or 18 year old and also born illegitimate – father unknown) Polish immigrant girl named Jozefa (Josephine) Szczepankiewicz who was living with her uncle, Antoni (Anthony) Szczepankiewiz. It is said that she could speak only her native tongue, but she could understand Slovak which is one of the languages that Andrew spoke.
Together Andrew and Josephine’s married life moved forward. Through the years, their family ultimately grew to include 11 children.
By the 1930s, the family did what was necessary when it came time to enduring one of the darkest decades in American history – a time forever defined by its name – “The Great Depression.”
During those years, Andrew was able to keep working at least 3 days a week. Also, some of the older children left school early and went to work; some even temporarily moving out of state to West Virginia. As younger adults, they found work in such places as glass factory or a tobacco factory where there was still employment to be had. They sent what income they could spare back home to help their parents and the younger siblings.
Below is the Passenger Record for Andrew Zagorsky
His name is shown as Andreas Sagorski
Hand stamped as “Admitted” – Listed on Line 22:
Sagorski, Andreas; age 25 years; Gender: M for Male; Marital Status: Not sure if “M” for Married or “S” for Single;
Calling or Occupation: Miner;
Able to Read or Write: No for both;
Nationality (Country of Last Permanent Residence): Hungary;
Race of People: German;
Last Residence (Province, City or Town): Resica;
Final Destination (State, City or Town): Lorain, Ohio;
Whether having a ticket to such destination: No;
By Whom was such passage paid: Self;
Whether in Possession of $50, and if less how much?: $18.00;
Whether ever before in the United States,
and if so when and where?: No.;
Whether going to join a relative or friend; and if so, what relative or friend, and his name and complete address:
Brother-in-Law, Juris, Andreas (Andrew Jurisch) State Street 506, Lorain, Ohio.
(July 24, 1909, State Street was renamed West 25th Street in Lorain.)
Line 23 lists Josef Bender, Male, age 3.
Andreas Sagorski is listed as his uncle.
All of the same information as Andreas Sagorski except listed as Single with no occupation. Noting the “Admitted” stamp for both Andreas Sagorski (Zagorsky) and Josef Bender.
After Andrew matured into a young adult while still living in Romania he became a miner by trade to earn a living.
The record of citizenship intention and application documents for Andrew Zagorsky more than hint at his ambition to renounce his allegiance to Franz Joseph I, (later Charles – 1916 – 1918), Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary and become a naturalized American citizen. We can imagine that his mind may have swirled with such long-term goals when he disembarked from the ship, S. S. Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse, after it docked in New York from sailing its final voyage of the year from Bremen, Germany.
Michael Zagorsky and Andrew Zagorsky were brothers; and their grave sites, and that of their wives, are next to each other at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio.
Michael, whose name is often seen as “Mike” in the many “Elyria-Chronicle Telegram” Society News columns of the 1930s and 1940s, mentions his brother, Andrew Zagorsky, of Lorain, who survived him in his published obituary.
Yet, and somewhat surprisingly, their baptism records from Anina, Caras-Severin, Romania tell us that there may be more to the story of their true relationship as brothers. Perhaps they were really half-brothers? At this point, personally I am not able to state for certainty either way, but one thing I do know is that I have a high DNA match with a descendant of Michael Zagorsky leading me to believe there had to be a strong family connection between Andrew and Michael Zagorsky.
Mihály Zagorszky’s ship manifest shows that he was born in Stajer…something.
This is possibly Stájerlakanina, now Anina in Romania, 20 miles from Reșița. Mihály was joining his brother Andreas in Lorain, Ohio:
Name: Mihaly Zagorszky
Arrival Date: 10 Apr 1907
Port of Departure: Bremen, Germany
Below are a trio of newspaper clippings from the “Elyria Chronicle Telegram”
They each relate to Michael Zagorsky.
Two are ‘tidbit’ type announcements; and one is his obituary.:
NEWS NOTES mentioning Mr. and Mrs. Charles Voykofka and their son visiting the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Zagorsky that was published July 26, 1938.
Michael Zagorsky’s obituary published September 3, 1941. His brother, Andrew Zagorsky, and their sister were mentioned. His sister’s surname was misspelled, however. The surname was Voykofka. The family’s surname was later changed to Wykof.
Also, the third one is dated September 21, 1937 under the heading of “BRIEFS” and it is a short yet highly informative one sentence that tells of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Zagorsky entertaining the former’s son and family from Cleveland, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Sherwood.