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J E S S I S

In the following notes, place-names are given in their modern Russian forms, and personal names, as closely as possible, in their original Polish forms. The transliterated Russian č and š (these characters may not display correctly in older web-browsers) are pronounced like English ch and sh respectively, and j as in English (not, for example, as in German). The Polish c is pronounced ts, j like English y, ł (a crossed l, which also may not display correctly in older web-browsers) roughly like our w, and w roughly like our v. The sz sound is like a French j produced with the underside of the tip of the tongue touching the hard palate, and the cz is pronounced the same as the foregoing, preceeded by a t sound. Other sounds are approximately as in English. At least this is our understanding, although we are ready to be corrected.

Where the spelling of Polish names is in doubt, we have attempted to ascertain the most standard form from such sources as the International Genealogical Index (IGI). It is hoped that this will not cause confusion, or give offense to any of the persons concerned; and of course any errors pointed out to us will be gladly fixed.

I should like to thank my mother, Kathleen Ellen (Blythe) (Dawshka) Dobson, of Winnipeg; and my late aunts, Marie Nellie (Dawshka) Sigurdson, and Sophie (Dawshka) Yager, both of Winnipeg. Camille Yesis sent information on her husband’s family. Mr. G. Ortell, of Astoria, New York, a professional genealogist, furnished valuable advice regarding place-names. None of these persons, however, should be held accountable for any errors of fact or interpretation which may appear herein.


Jan Jessis, of Sieniawka or Siniawka, died ca. 1915. He married before 1897, Anna ____, died ca. 1913. Sieniawka or Siniawka (now Sinyavka [Сінявка]) is a village near Baranovichi in Belarus. The powiat of Słuck (now better known as Słucak or Slutsk) was part of the old Polish Commonwealth, and in the 1880s about 18% of its population was Polish.[1] Known issue:

  1. Andrzej Jessis (Andrew Yessis), who immigrated to North America and worked in Canada and the United States as a miner for two years prior to his death in 19__ at the age of 23 years, from influenza.
  2. Anna Jessis, who died at the age of about 8 years from influenza.
  3. Marya Jessis (Mary Yessis), born 28 July 1897 at Siniawka, died 14 July 1974 at St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and buried beside her husband in Carberry Plains Cemetery.[2] She married before 1922, in Poland, Mikolaj Doczka (Nicholas Dawshka), born 4 November 1897 at Naruszewicz (now Nareshevichi [Нарешевичи]), near Baranovichi, Belarus, died 17 November 1969, at Fox Memorial Hospital, Carberry, Manitoba, Canada, aged 72 years, of heart failure, and buried 19 November following in Carberry Plains Cemetery.[3] For their issue see the account of him. They were the grandparents of the present writer.
  4. Jan Jessis (Jr.), who married and had two children, whose names are not known. He is said to have been “shot by Communists during the war” (? which war). His son escaped to England after the war, but the whereabouts of his wife and daughter are not known.

Other Jessis immigrants from Sieniawka and nearby places

The following entries were found on the Ellis Island Passenger Arrivals website; a few obvious transcription errors have been corrected:

                   name: Anton Jesis[4]
            description: height 5'6"
         marital status: single
             occupation: labourer
              ethnicity: Russian
            nationality: Russian
         place of birth: Jinawka [sic], Russia
            next of kin: Michael Yesis, Sinawka, father
last place of residence: Sinawka, Russia
      final destination: Buffalo, New York
joining relative/friend: Anton Ilikiewicz [?],
                         Syracuse Street, Buffalo, acquaintance
        date of arrival: 11 March 1913
         age at arrival: 18 years [thus born in 1894-95]
         ship of travel: Caronia
      port of departure: Fiume
   manifest line number: 0027

                   name: Stepan Jesitsch [? reading of surname unclear][5]
            description: height 6', hair dark, eyes chestnut
         marital status: single
             occupation: agricultural laborer
              ethnicity: Russian
            nationality: Russian
         place of birth: Sieniawka, Russia
            next of kin: Grygor Jesitsch, Panacze, father
last place of residence: Sienawka, Russia
joining relative/friend: Sylvester Maslow,
                         186 Oak Street, New Haven, Conn., acquaintance
        date of arrival: 23 June 1913
         age at arrival: 22 years [thus born in 1890-91]
         ship of travel: Carpathia
      port of departure: Trieste
   manifest line number: 0014

                   name: Peter Esis[6]
            description: height 5'6", complexion light, hair fair, eyes blue
         marital status: single
             occupation: laborer
              ethnicity: Russian
            nationality: Russian
            next of kin: Philip Esis, Sinjawka ... Minsk
         place of birth: Sinjawka, Russia
last place of residence: Sinjawka, Russia
      final destination: Bridgeport, Connecticut
joining relative/friend: brother Semen Esis, 1 Cape Breton, Bridgeport
        date of arrival: 12 October 1913 
         age at arrival: 18 years [thus born in 1894-95]
         ship of travel: Kursk
      port of departure: Libau 
   manifest line number: 0007

                   name: Konstantin Esis[7]
            description: height 5'5½", complexion light, hair dark, eyes brown
         marital status: single
             occupation: labourer
              ethnicity: Russian
            nationality: Russian
         place of birth: Nerestewizy [sic], Russia
            next of kin: Semen Esis, Nerestewizy, father
last place of residence: Nerestewizy
      final destination: Buffalo, New York
joining relative/friend: M. Mar....kewicz,
                         316 Ceddar Street, Buffalo, New York
        date of arrival: 3 November 1913 
         age at arrival: 20 years [thus born in 1892-93]
         ship of travel: Columbia 
      port of departure: Glasgow 
   manifest line number: 0005 

Stephen Yesis, born in Jan 1892 in Russia (per draft registration card). Although he was then 50 years of age, he enlisted for military service on 27 April 1942 at Fairfield, Connecticut, giving his address as 63 Summer Street, Bridgeport, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, his employer Hoffman Fuel, of 156 East Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, and the name of his next-of-kin as “Mrs. Stephen Yesis.” He is described as 5'8", 175 pounds, ruddy complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. This description, allowing for some possible loss of height, agrees pretty well with that of the 1913 immigrant Stepan Jesitsch above.

Joe Yesis, born 2 June 1894 at “Piniake, Minsk” (doubtless an error for Siniawka). He enlisted for military service on 5 June 1917 at Buffalo, New York, being of 870 Broadway, Buffalo, single, an alien, and a machinist with the Winchester Arms Company, New Haven, Connecticut; he is described as short, of medium complexion, dark brown hair, and brown eyes.[8]

Anton Yessis, born 20 April 1895,[9] in “Russia” (per 1930 census), died in July 1969 at Escondido, San Diego Co., California, having been issued a Social Security card in the state of New York before 1951.[10] He was almost certainly identical with the Anton Jesis above, as their ages are compatible. Despite the fact that their stated dates of birth are in slight disagreement, it is difficult to doubt that he was the Anton Yesis (sic), of 870 Broadway, Buffalo (the same residence as for Joe Yesis above), born 7 April 1895 at “Simavka, Minsk,” who enlisted for military service on 5 June 1917 at Buffalo, New York (the same day as Joe Yesis, above), giving his marital status as single, and his occupation as a press hand at Fedders Manufacturing Company, Tonawanda Street, Buffalo; he is described as tall, of medium complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes.[11] By 1927 he had removed to New York City, and as Anton Yessis, of 525 E. 6th Street, New York, aged 32 years, unmarried man, of Polish/Russian origin, was naturalized by the U.S. District Court of the State of New York on 11 August 1927.[12] Two years later the same Anton Yessis, then aged 34 years, re-entered the U.S. on the S.S. Ile de France, sailing from Le Havre, France on 14 August 1929 and arriving at the Port of New York on 20 August following; we know they are the same man because the record makes explicit reference to his earlier grant of citizenship, even stating the date.[13] He married some time in 1927-30, Mary Honcharick,[14] born 16 October 1907 in “Russia” (per 1930 census), died 28 Mar 2002 at Escondido, who was likewise issued a Social Security card in the state of New York before 1951.[15] They were living on Sackman Street, Brooklyn, New York, at the taking of the 1930 census, in which he is called a mill hand in a silk mill, and she a painter in a paint shop; he is said to have become a U.S. citizen in 1915, and she in 1930.[16] It will be noted that the date of citizenship ascribed to him here does not agree with that previously established. According to an entry in Ancestry World Tree they had one child, but the name is suppressed as belonging to a living person.

Fred Yesis, born 28 March 1896 at Panacze (per his World War I draft registration card), died in June 1973 at Buffalo, Erie Co., New York.[17] As Fred Yesis of 870 Broadway, Buffalo (the same residence as for Joe Yesis and Anton Yessis above), he enlisted for military service on 19 April 1918, giving his citizenship as Russian, his marital status as single, his occupation as laborer, the name of his employer as the American Oil Company, Buffalo.[18] As Fred Yesis, aged 33 years, born in Poland, he is found as a lodger, living with an unrelated family, at Buffalo.[19] He was issued a Social Security card in the state of New York before 1951. Camille Yesis writes, “Fred Yesis is my father-in-law’s uncle. He did live on Broadway, moved to Kohns Street in Buffalo, and then moved in with my in-laws to Keever Street in Lackawanna, NY where he passed away…. There was an Uncle Joe too, and an Uncle Phillip. According to my father-in-law, he does not know of an Anton Yessis…. My father-in-law’s parents also came over … John (Jan) and Ann or Olga Yesis.”

Other persons named Jessis
found in places in the U.S. previously settled by
immigrants from Sieniawka and nearby places

Sam Yessis, born 10 January 1907 outside of the United States,[20] died 16 April 1994 at Escondido aforesaid, or at San Diego, who was issued a Social Security card in the state of California before 1951.[21] His death record reveals that his mother’s maiden surname was Kunsevich. We list him here because he lived in the same city as Anton Yessis above. Perhaps he was a younger brother?

Tina W. Yessis, born 5 October 1903, died 28 November 2002 at Escondido, who was issued a Social Security card in the state of California in 1955.[22] We do not know whether Yessis was this woman’s maiden surname or a married surname.

Anna Yesis, born 1918-19, died unmarried 10 February 1967 at Bridgeport aforesaid, aged 48 years.[23]

John Yesis, born 11 January 1921, died unmarried 20 May 1974 at Bridgeport, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, aged 53 years.[24] He was issued a Social Security card in the state of Connecticut in 1966.

Anna Yesis, born 1918-19, died unmarried 10 February 1967 at Bridgeport aforesaid, aged 48 years.[25]


Notes

1Information from Mr. G. Ortell.
2Death notice, from an unidentified newspaper.
3Death notice, from an unidentified newspaper.
4http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passRecord.asp?pID=100573080328
5http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passRecord.asp?pID=100672050055
6http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passRecord.asp?pID=100768040427
7http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passRecord.asp?pID=100786090035
8World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
9Per Social Security Death Index, in perfect agreement with the age of 34 years reported for him in the 1930 census.
10Social Security Death Index.
11World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
12New York Petitions for Naturalization, petition no. 103332, certificate no. 2538048.
13New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, National Archives microfilm no. T715_4561, p. 66, reproduced photographically at Ancestry.com.
14We take her maiden surname, which we have not personally verified, from an entry in Ancestry World Tree.
15Social Security Death Index.
161930 U.S. Federal Census, New York, Kings County, Brooklyn, enumeration district 560; roll 1543, sheet 4A. The entry reads:
                                                    citizenship
                           b.p.    father  mother  language /    
Anton Yessis  head  m  34  Russia  Russia  Russia  Russian  1915
  mill hand [in] silk mill
Mary Yessis   wife  f  22  Russia  Russia  Russia  Russian  1930
  painter [in] paint shop
17Social Security Death Index.
18World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
191930 U.S. Federal Census, New York, Erie Co., Buffalo, enumeration district 77, sheet 12A, roll 1423.
20California Death Index.
21Social Security Death Index (which shows his last place of residence as Escondido); California Death Index (which shows his place of death as San Diego).
22Social Security Death Index.
23Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2001.
24Social Security Death Index; Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2001.
25Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2001.

From the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson
URL = johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/ff/Jessis.cfm
This page written 15 June 1999
Last revised 21 February 2016