JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen A *most* interesting essay/bio #general

Cindy Taylor <knife-princess@...>

As a bit of intro.......I've been absolutely "driven" to find out about my
roots (aren't we all?) and not being able to find a manifest in regard to
what the surname was "way back when" I would like to offer this information
that a cousin did for a social studies assignment some 50 years ago.

Information >from Naturalization papers (which took eons to find!)........Jacob
POTTER born January 18,1885 at Pinsk. Emigrated to the USA >from Bremen on the
Kaiser Wilhelm (which one??) arriving in NY on or about August 25, 1904. I
believe he first went to Bangor, Maine, then migrated down to Lewiston/Auburn
and finally to Portland, Maine. If anyone could offer some comment or aid in any
way, shape or manner, it would be greatly appreciated. After you've read the
essay, think about these things...

1. Does one suppose that he took the surname of the landlord? I've plugged
in every combination I can think of to find him on both Morse and Ellis
Island many times I even left name portions, both first and surname blank.
2. Does anyone know of an inhabited island on a river between Pinsk and
Minsk (come on you geography mavens, I really need you) Would it have had a
name? Was it just as he noted, a plantation??
3. All of the information is exactly as it was taken down........many moons
ago. Apologies for any typos, but they're original.
4. How long did one have to wait before declaring intent to become a
citizen of the USA.......5 years??

"My grandfather was the advisor to a landowner, who owned the island on
which he lived. This island was three and one half American miles >from
Minsk, a city in Lithuania. At the time of this era this was very unusual,
because this country was ruled by the Czar. The Jews lives in Ghettos and
were not allowed among Gentiles. Grandpa and his family were the only Jews
on the island among thirty-five other families. My grandfather had three
sons; they, too, lived on the island or plantation as it was often referred
to us. This is the end of all I can remember about my relatives but would
you like to know anything about me?" ( I answered, of course "yes".)

"I was , too, born on the plantation. We were a family of seven
children. My twin sister and I were the youngest. We lived on what the
land owner left for us. A small farm where we raised crops and a few
animals was our living. It was very little since most of our produce was
taken by our land-owner; something like the serf system in America. After
the landowner took his share, if we had anything left, it was taken to the
big village of Pinsk where we were able to see it and get a little extra
"I went to a religious school of my religion in Minsk until I was
thirteen and then went to a school of higher learning in Pinsk.This
completes my story".
I ( in my papers write) will complete his story since he is too modest
to do so. At the age of eighteen, Gramp came to America. He was about the
only one in his family who hadn't come to America at this time. He joined
his brother in Lewiston, Maine, not knowing the English Language at all.
Grandpa began night school in Lewiston, but was only able to attend a short
time. Since Lewiston was a French town he needed to learn French which he
did, fluently.

Cindy POTTER Taylor
Boynton Beach, FLORIDA

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