The Grinkevich Family

The Grinkevich Family
For years this family with the many varied name spellings has been a source of fascination. I never knew my great grandparents-- we visited when I was very young, but I have no memory of this momentous occasion. Pictures show them as two tiny, wizened people aglow with love for each other. Perhaps therein lies the source of my interest. Though they went through many trials in their lives, from living in poverty in a Russian ruled country with no hope of a happy future, to burying several children in the spring of their young lives. Their tenacity carried them through. That, and their devotion, and faith in God.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Joseph and Sarah York Family

-birth date for Connie York is approximate

Born on December 20, 1887, Joe York was 29 years old when he registered for WWI in 1917. He was still living in Steger and was a cabinetmaker at Steger & Sons Piano Factory.  Joe is described as being of medium height and stout build, with blue eyes and dark hair. At the time he had a wife (Sarah) and two dependent children (John and Anna).

Joseph York was a naturalized citizen as of December 8, 1919.

The 1920 US Census

Joseph, age 31, Sarah, 30, their son John, 10, and daughter Anna York, 6, lived at 3426 Union Ave. , in Crete Township, Will County, Illinois with Sarah’s widowed mother Barbara Svetal, age 60. 

They were renting the home. The three adults listed Russia/Lithuania as their place of birth as well as the place of birth of their parents before them.      John and Anna were both born in Illinois.  

Joseph & Sarah, are naturalized citizens, Barbara Svetal is an alien. Sarah and her mother are both listed as being unable to read and write. Joe is the only member of his household employed. He works as a varnisher at the piano factory. Both children are going to school. Barbara is the only one of the family listed as not speaking English.

The family is enumerated beginning on line 93.
census images from on image to enlarge, right click to save
 The 1930 US Census
In 1930 Joseph and Sarah York resided at 2424 West 45th Street in Chicago with their 20 year old son, John, and 16 year old daughter, Anna.  They owned their home which was valued at $18,000.  Luckily they had several renters that gave them a bit of income since Joseph wasn’t working.  Their son, John was working as a messenger boy for French Line Steam Boat.

Coincidentally the family is enumerated once again beginning on line 93.

Social Security
Notice that Joseph entered Vincent York and Helen Kubilas as the names of his parents.  Other sources show William as the father's name.  This is likely another case of the names "William" and "Vincent" being used interchangeably.--click on the image to enlarge, or right click to save it.
In 1935 people began filling out applications for Social Security.  Joseph York applied for his account number on November 28, 1936 when he was working for the Sherman Klove Company in Chicago.  At this time farmers, housewives, doctors, lawyers, and self employed workers generally did not apply for Social Security. These forms are a great source of information as the person filled in the information himself, unlike a census or death certificate. It also asks for the applicants’ parents names, including the mother’s maiden name.  

Joseph York registers for WWII

~May They Rest In Peace~
From the Chicago Tribune—1974-04-21
Joseph York, April 19, beloved husband of three; great-grandfather of nine. 
Funeral Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m., from the Marquette Funeral Home,
2533 W. 71st St. to Nativity B.V.M. Church Interment St. Casimir. 

Sarah York, Oct. 27, dearest mother of John (Bernice) York and Anna Martinkus; fond grandmother of Stanley Martinkus, Marian (Robert) Brooks, and Connie (Charles) Lisauskas; great-grandmother of nine.  Funeral services Tuesday, 10 a.m. from the from the Marquette Funeral Home,

2533 W. 71st St. to Nativity B.V.M. Church Interment St. Casimir. 

Also interred in St. Casimir Cemetery are Stanley and Anna Martinkus.

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