Wojciech Lasica’s immigration to the U.S.
Immigration ship records for Wojciech ‘George’ Lasica
By JD Lasica
Around 1998, in response to my query, the National Archives sent several photocopies of records related to my grandparents. Here are the details for Wojciech “George” Lasica — including some real surprises:
S.S. Zeeland: Part of the fleet of immigrant ships
The S.S. Zeeland made her first voyage on April 13, 1901, from Antwerp, Belgium, to New York. She was registered under the British flag for the Red Star Line.
The Zeeland was 562 feet long by 60 wide with two funnels and four masts. There were accommodations for 342 First Class, 194 Second Class, and 626 Steerage class passengers. (Wojciech was almost certainly in steerage.) She was powered by 2 propellers, could travel up to 15 knots and weighed 11,905 gross tons.
The Zeeland changed owners and service a lot. On Oct. 21, 1911, she started Antwerp to Dover, England, to New York sailings for Red Star Line. She arrived with my grandfather, Wojciech Lasica, at Ellis Island on Feb. 13, 1912. For historical context, that was two months before the Titanic sank. The Zeeland continued sailings and immigration runs through 1929.
Manifest of Alien Passengers for the S.S. Zeeland
The National Archives provided this document, dated 1912: The List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the S.S. Zeeland.
Here is Page 1 and a href=”https://lasica.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/manifest2-wojciech.png”>Page 2 of this large document, with passenger names, ages, occupations, etc. The name of my grandfather appears on line 23 (in the handwriting of the ship captain or another officer).
The handwriting is difficult to read —and we’ve transcribed the details on this page. It appears to say:
• Wojciech was 5-foot-6 inches tall with blond hair and blue eyes.
• He could read and write.
• He lived in Nowy Nart, a village about 12 kilometers east of Spie/Wilcza Wola.
• He had $18 in his pocket when he arrived.
• Shockingly, he listed his father as Kasper Lasica, not Jakub Lasica, but perhaps Jakub went by his middle name, or perhaps George was estranged from his father.
Page 2: Here is Page 2 of the document, with additional information:
• New arrivals had to list the address of the household where they’d be staying in the U.S.; he listed Wojciech Jandienszki in Passaic, NJ — his sister Sophie’s husband.
• Place of birth: Gwozdziec, Austria (now Poland). We’re checking on this, given that we assumed he was born in Spie, which is 130 kilometers away. But perhaps the family moved from Gwozdziec to Nowy Nart when George was young.
• He was accompanied by a friend, Jakob Kasica, who was also born in Gwozdziec.
Transcription of the ship manifest
Here is my attempt at a transcription of the ship manifest’s entries for Wojciech Lasica and his traveling partner and friend, Jakob Kasica. You’ll notice some interesting tidbits from the immigration laws of the time, including each immigrant needing to declare than he or she is not a polygamist or an anarchist.
• Our transcription of Katarzyna Delenta’s entries on the Manifest of the S.S. Koln