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Late Autumn, Time to Wrap Up Research

Hello All,

Whew!  For the last six months, even with weird weather to fight on the farm, I have found a lot of information on all of my lost families.  But now that the cold calm of winter sets in, I think I better start writing again.  I am amazed how much information is on-line, and in old books, but I need to pause, and write up what I have.  I am starting to understand this “information overload” that is the modern malady.

I haven’t found all the connections.  My great-grandmother, Mary Vasicko’s (sp. ?) story still is in limbo, waiting for my aging brain to put the puzzle together.  Just like with the Cumashot (sp.?) family I find four main roadblocks:

1) My Eastern European  immigrant ancestors were probably illiterate, and their languages were not clear to overworked American immigration authorities, so correct translation and spelling went out the window, which often makes a computer search quite futile,

2)I have a feeling that these ancestors were quite glad to have gotten to America, and were glad to drop the “Hunkie names”, as well as their memories ofthe chaotic and brutal histories of their native lands.   This first generation worked their way up in the mines and mills, and probably did not pass on too much of their culture and family history.  I know that in my youth, the surviving members of this first and second generations, and their children in the third generation (my mother’s) did not pass along much of the past, and

3) Even when their families got here, I have a feeling they were not always counted by local authorities and Census takers.  I wrote to Luzerne Co., Pa., requesting a records search for the Cumashots (and various spellings), and received a letter that no records were on file.  The Cumashots lived in this are from perhaps the 1880’s to the early years of the 20th Century, and had at least half of their eight children there.  {I do have a Catholic church record, from Kingston, Pa., of my grandmother’s baptism, so I guess I’ll try there next.}

4) And then there is the fact that in the early 20th Century, even immigrant families were mobile.  My mother told me that her grandparents packed up the family, left the anthacite coal mines of NE Pa., and walked, pushing a cart with their belongings and babies, down to the West Virginia coal fields.  They had more children in WV, and then ‘followed the coal’  up to Redstone Twp., Fayette Co., Pa.  where my youngest grand aunt, Rose was born.  After that they went to Ambridge, to work in the mills.  That is  the one stage of their wanderings that I have fairly well documented, and even have  a few family anecdotes to fill out that chapter of their story.

So, I can only hope that one of the surviving sons and daughters of this immigrant family will Google up their family’s name, variously  spelled as “Hamasak, Homasack, Chomasak,Comashot, Comashat, and Cumashot”.

If you find yourself attracted to my “E-Beacon”, feel free to look up our phone number on this website, and call.  I’d enjoy swapping family lore with you.

Thom Dunn Marti

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