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Olitsky vs Oblitsky - is this my great grandfather on ship list? #names #records


Michele Lock
 

I’d like some expert opinions on the ship passenger list for a person who has been indexed two separate ways on Ancestry, and who may be my great grandfather Harry/Harris Olitsky/Olitzky of Trenton, NJ.

 

Here are the basic facts for my great grandfather – born Avram Girsh Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Lithuania in 1870, to Itsko Ber and Beila. Died 1918 in Trenton NJ, name on gravestone is Abraham Tvi, son of Yitzhok Dov.

 

From US census records, he describes himself as either a grocer or butcher, and if he gives a town of origin, he always said Suwalk. On his 1902 county naturalization record, he says he arrived in New York City on July 1, 1892, coming from Russia/Poland, though no ship name was given:

https://www.jewishgen.org/viewmate/viewmateview.asp?key=VM91418

 

On his 1908 US passport application, he says he was born in Suwalk/Russia-Poland, and that he emigrated from Hamburg on May 10th 1893 on the ship Kaiser Wilhelm, though no port of arrival is given:

https://www.jewishgen.org/viewmate/viewmateview.asp?key=VM91419

 

So, here’s what ship passenger lists I have found for him or someone possibly him. From the Hamburg lists, I found that on June 3 of 1893, a Hirsch Ablitzki boarded the SS Russia in Hamburg, coming from Suwalki. On Ancestry.com there are two arrival records. On June 19 in Baltimore Hirsch Oblitsky arrived, described as a butcher from Suwalki. There is also a separate arrival record, indexed as Hirsch Ollitski, butcher from Suwalki, arriving June 19 and going to his brother P. Ollitski in Philadelphia. Here is the ship passenger list for this second record:

https://www.jewishgen.org/viewmate/viewmateview.asp?key=VM91417

 

My question is – is this person Hirsch Ablitzki/Oblitsky/Ollitski likely to be my great grandfather Harry Olitsky? Is this a case where a shipping clerk mis-heard the surname Olitsky as Oblitsky? I have never found a brother P. Olltiski or Oblitsky in Philadelphia or in Trenton, 20 miles north. Then again, I have only been able to identify one sibling (a sister) of Harry Olitsky, though I’m sure he had numerous ones. I have searched Jewishgen to see if there are any entries for an Oblitsky (or similar spellings) and found exactly one in all the databases, for a woman with the last name Oblitska, on JRI-Poland. The surname Oblitsky does exist, but it appears to be a Polish Catholic one. I take it that a person with the given name Hirsch would most likely be Jewish. The ship list doesn’t show him as Hebrew, just as being of Russian nationality.

 

I have seen before for other family members that they often don’t remember the exact year of arrival or ship name, but they generally do have the time of year correct. And I’ve seen where they have given the  wrong port of arrival.

 

So, I’m interested in others’ opinions on this matter.
--
Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lewin/Levin in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


pathetiq1@...
 

Hi Michele, 

Although i am not an expert (just an amateur genealogist) here are some observations regarding your post:

A) the Hirsch Ablitzki,  who sailed from Hamburg on June 3rd, 1893 arrived in NYC on June 19, 1893,  is definitely  the same man who,  apparently,  continued his trip to Baltimore. That was his final destination. I have encountered  this situation (two passenger lists for same person) again. 

B) the two documents you have uploaded contain contradicting information . Birth year according to the naturalization papers was 1871. According to the passport application 1870.  Kaiser Wilhelm, the ship that he claimed he arrived on, was sailing from Bremen and not Hamburg. That means that, either the name of the ship was wrong , or the name of the  port  was wrong (or both). The same problem applies for the arrival year. It could have been 1893, 1892 or neither of them (although unlikely). 1893 appeared also in the 1905 and 1910 censuses while in the 1900 census he gave 1890(!).

Interesting(?)  detail;  when Harry Olitsky arrived from his trip in Europe in 1908,  he sailed from Bremen, on the s/s Kaiser Wilhelm. Perhaps he had in mind this specific ship when he applied for his passport, and gave that ship as the one that brought him to America. 

Unfortunately, i don't believe there is a definite yes or no to your question (at least I cannot give one). The Hirsch Oblitsky that arrived in 1893, although he had a different birth year (1872) and his destination was Philadelphia, could have been your great grandfather. In his passport application he claimed that he had lived in New Jersey since his arrival in 1893 but this proves nothing.
To show you how tricky this can be, I will give you an example :
There is an Abram Litzki, born in 1870 in Poland /Russia (not in Suwalki) who sailed from Hamburg on May 10th, 1890. As you probably have noticed the date (May 10) is the one that appears in Harris's passport application. If this man was also from Suwalki or an unidentified place,  it would not have been easy to completely  reject the possibility,  that this was your great grandfather. 

Hope I helped you somehow. 
--
Giannis Daropoulos 

Greece


Howard Lewis
 

Michele - Thank you for your interesting post. As it happens, my great grandfather Louis Bernard Ulitsky arrived in London c 1875 from Kalisch, subsequently assuming the name of Bernard Lewis. His birth certificate stated that he was actually born Leib Herschvowicz Ulicki, albeit I need to confirm precise details. As Kalisch and Suwalk are about six hours apart, it is unlikely we have a connection but your reference to Hirsch/Harry Olitsky does raise a slim possibility. On a separate note, the derivation of his surname is ulice which is Polish for street. Ulicki and its phonetic variants means “of the street” so I suspect he was originally a pedlar selling wares off the back of a cart before graduating to a shop front. If you would like to communicate with me privately concerning the origin of the name, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

With all good wishes - Howard Lewis 


Michele Lock
 

Thanks for all the feedback.

I hadn't thought to look and see if Harry Olitsky actually used his passport to travel to Europe, and then back to the US, so I didn't know that he traveled on the SS Kaiser Wilhelm in 1908. He must have already booked his passage prior to applying for the passport. I had previously checked out this ship before, and found on SteveMorse that it never sailed out of Hamburg, but only out of Bremen. 

Someone privately wrote me that they found a B. Olitz living in Philadelphia in the early 1900s, so that may possibly be the brother of Harry Olitsky, so I'll follow up on that.

As for the surname Ulitsky vs. Olitsky - I have seen the spelling Ulitsky used, and I believe on Jewishgen it comes up when you enter the 'Sounds Like' search option for Olitsky. In US records, I have seen the same family with the spellings Olitsky, Ulitsky, Eletsky, Olatsky, and others. Of course, these early immigrants were having their names written down by others, and they would not have known how often different spellings were being used. Interestingly, my great grandfather only used Olitsky or Olitzky. 

The surname means from Olita (now Alytus, Lithuania). 
--
Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lewin/Levin in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus