Jonathan C. Rappaport <jonrappi1@...>
I am reply to this message:
Subject: Re: Nagrocki >from Vilkija and question about immigration
From: Andrea Nicki <email@example.com>
Hi I have another question related to my grandfather John Nagrocki who came
to the US in 1913 >from Vilkija at the age of 15. His parents never visit
ed him in the US Was this common in Lithuania at this time, that the
children immigrated to the US while the parents stayed behind?
My grandparents and their siblings mostly came over in the 1880s and 1890s.
My grandmother had four brothers, and the fear was that they would be
drafted into the Russian army where you would be required to serve for
decades and couldn't observe Kashrut or Shabbat. It was a death sentence
for Jews. If there was only one son in the family, he wouldn't be drafted. Bu=
if there was more than one, several could be drafted. So most of these boys=
came over in their teens alone. One allegedly was already drafted, went AWOL
and escaped over the border (and changed his last name >from Erez to
Cederbaum so censors wouldn't know it was him when he wrote the family).
One of my great uncles was 15 when he came to the US also.
After most of the family emigrated to the US (NY), they couldn't get their
parents to come over. My great grandmother was afraid of making the journey
across the ocean. She died around the time of the break-out of W.W.1.
Following the war, my great uncle went back and brought his father to the US
in 1920. My g-gf was over 90 years old at the time and they falsified his
age to be younger, fearing there would be an issue of getting into the US.
So if your ancestor was Jewish, this probably explains why he came alone
when he was only 15, and one reason why his parents may have not wanted to