Koshko family lineage home page
Koshko family lineage home page

Koshko lineage home page

The odyssey begins
Andrew Koszkowski & Julia Radiak

Name index
  • Anna
  • Koshko
  • Andrew
  • Anna
  • Elizabeth
  • George
  • John
  • Joseph
  • Julia
  • Mary
  • Michael
  • Paul
  • Steve
  • Kossik
  • Anna
  • Koszkowski
  • Andrew
  • Michael
  • Suzanne
  • Matash
  • Andrew
  • Petrak
  • George
  • Poltis
  • Mary
  • Radiak
  • Julia
  • Michael
  • Rusnak
  • Anna
  • Sapula
  • Katherine
  • Soltis
  • Mary
  • Staley
  • Evelyn
  • Surovey
  • Michael
  • Sutika
  • Margaret

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    Andrew Koszkowski and Julia Radiak were married Friday, February 12, 1892 in Trenton, New Jersey. Both had emigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the period when dual monarchs ruled it. Slovak studies experts say the wave of Slovak immigration to America during the late 1800's was fueled by terrible economic conditions in the "Old Country".

    Julia and Andrew Koszkowski

    Andrew and Julia were married according to the Roman Catholic Church's rite by a Reverend Valentine Swiniarski with witnesses John Hatrak and Michael Nagy. Thanks to Dennis Koshko for providing images of the marriage certificate he obtained from the Church of the Holy Cross in Trenton, New Jersey in 1991. The images are online: certificate front (60 KB) & certificate back (51 KB).

    Their marriage certificate lists hometowns named Hankowie for Andrew and Regmek for Julia. Regrettably, these cities or villages cannot be found on modern maps. For history researchers, one of Eastern Europe's more troubling features is the frequency of border shifts and name changes.

    The back of the marriage certificate shows Julia's father's last name was "Radziak" instead of "Radiak". The former seems to be a transcription error. The other two references to the name spell it without the z. Nevertheless, the reader may find it worth noting. Perhaps "Radziak" was an alternate spelling.

    Andrew and Julia probably entered the United States in Manhattan. They would have seen the Statue of Liberty when it was just four or five years old. The first immigrant processing center at Ellis Island didn't open until 1892. For about a year and a half prior, immigrants were admitted through the "Old Barge Building" near a U.S. Customs House on Manhattan. Before that, they were admitted at the Castle Garden processing center operated by the state of New York.

    Eventually, Andrew and Julia settled in Clarence, Pennsylvania where Andrew died in 1916 and Julia died in 1943. It's interesting to note that when each died, major world conflicts were ravaging their former homeland. It would be more interesting to know how news of these events influenced their lives. According to the "Koshko family tree" being circulated, the first five of Andrew's and Julia's 11 children were born in Jessup, Pennsylvania from 1892 to 1899. The sixth was born in Footedale, Pennsylvania in 1901. Number seven was born in Clarence in 1903. In 1907, the eighth child was born in Footedale. Numbers nine through eleven were born in Clarence from 1911 to 1914. The children's names were Andrew, Michael, John, Joseph, Anna, George, Mary, Steve, Paul, Julia, and Elizabeth.

    Andrew and Julia spoke Hungarian but had learned English by 1910 according to that year's federal Census. Andrew could also read and write at that time, but Julia could not. A decade later, Julia had acquired these abilities and a difficult-to-read 1920 U.S. Census entry seems to indicate that she had received some kind of formal schooling in the last four months of 1919.

    Koszkowski became Koshko after Andrew and Julia moved to Pennsylvania. Their children and the children's teacher were having trouble spelling it. Josephine Schall recalls the story that Andrew "took a pencil and crossed off some letters and with the remaining said, 'Here's our new name'". It's now known why an h replaced the z, but evidently Andrew Koszkowski's edit was satisfactory. Andrew and Julia were already using the name "Koshko" by the time of the 1910 U.S. Census.

    Online photographs of Andrew & Julia Koshko and family:
    Andrew, Julia, & first seven kids, with caption, circa 1904 60 kb.
    Same as above, less caption, higher quality (requires more RAM) 313 kb.
    Surviving adult kids of Julia & Andrew Koshko, with caption, 1943 75 kb
    Same as above, less caption, higher quality (needs more RAM) 862 kb

    • How did Andrew and Julia end up in central Pennsylvania? Slovak immigrants were also settling in northeast Ohio and northern Illinois.
    • Why did they speak Hungarian? Were they Hungarian-Slovaks, an ethnic group recognized in modern day Slovakia? Or was Hungarian the required tongue in the Old Country?
    • How did they meet? Were they in love or was marriage a practical arrangement?
    • Did they have any recollections of the Statue of Liberty?
    • What were conditions like on their voyage to America?
    • Who were John Hatrak and Michael Nagy? Why were they witnesses in the marriage ceremony?

    Record created: March 13, 2002
    Record updated: October 4, 2002