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Sroka Family Papers

1842-1980s
1 box (0.25 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 216

Polish family who emigrated to the United States in 1912-13 and settled in Chicopee, Massachusetts, working in meat packing firms and textile factories, and also as seamstresses and farmers. Includes birth and wedding certificates, military and employment documentation, residential and passport applications, photographs, and lists of baptisms, weddings, and deaths. Also contains a family history written by Gary Sroka, correspondence, payment book for the Society of St. Joseph (Chicopee, Massachusetts), and a news clipping. All materials exist as photocopies and are written primarily in Polish, German, and Hungarian, though some are in English, Ukranian, and Russian.

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Background on Creator:

Jan Sroka was born in Poland on July 14, 1882, the eldest child of Szczepan Sroka. Jan lived and worked on the shifting border between Austria and Hungary mainly as a cheese maker from 1902-1912, although in 1905 and 1912 he was active in the military. On June 10, 1909 Jan was married to Anna Babiec, born January 21, 1892. Matilda, the first daughter of Jan and Anna, was born in 1910 and soon afterward the young couple decided to emigrate to the United States. Jan arrived on Thanksgiving Day in 1912, and Anna and Matilda arrived in March of 1913. Upon arriving, Jan worked at Hunts meat packing firm in Springfield, Massachusetts, and soon bought a house in nearby Chicopee. Four children were born in the United States, Filomena in 1915, Mieczyslaw in 1916, Alice in 1918 and Irene in 1922. Anna was a seamstress, and during the Great Depression both she and her daughters worked in textile factories in Chicopee and Springfield. To support the family, Jan and Anna farmed as well.

Scope of collection

Documents and photographs carried by Jan and Anna Stroka from Poland to the United States in 1912 and 1913, respectively, as well as family papers from 1913 to 198?. Most of the papers are in Polish, German and Hungarian, although some are in English, Ukrainian and Russian. Documents include birth and wedding certificates, military and employment documentation, residential and passport applications, an affidavit confirming age and residence, photographs, and lists of baptisms, weddings and deaths. Family papers include a family history written by Gary Sroka, grandson of Jan, which traces five generations of the Sroka family; correspondence, photographs, payment book for the Society of St. Joseph (Chicopee, Massachusetts), pay stub from Walt Manufacturing Company, and a news clipping. All materials exist as photocopies.

Inventory

The Sroka Family of Chicopee, Massachusetts, by Gary Sroka (English)
n.d.
Box 1: 1
Sroka family weddings, baptisms and deaths (Polish)
1842-1898
Box 1: 2
Birth certificate for Anna Babiec, b. 1892 (Polish)
1892
Box 1: 3
Wedding certificate for Jozef and Anna
1909
Box 1: 4
Application for travel passport for Jozef (Polish)
1912
Box 1: 5
Affidavit confirming age, residence, etc. for Anna (Polish)
1913
Box 1: 6
Employment documentation (Work Book) for Jan Sroka (German, Polish, Russian, Ukranian, Hungarian)
1899-1910
Box 1: 7
Employment documentation in various cheese factories
1905-1910
Box 1: 8
Military documentation (Infantry Log Book) card #37
1905-1912
Box 1: 9
Photo (photocopy) of Jozef Sroka in military uniform of Austro-Hungarian Empire
n.d.
Box 1: 10
Application for permanent residential status in town of Toporz for Jozef Sroka, age 30 (Hungarian)
1911
Box 1: 11
Payment book, Society of St. Joseph, Chicopee
1913-1960
Box 1: 12
Letter from Janos Dvorzsak in Hungary to Jozef (Hungarian and Polish)
1926
Box 1: 13
Letter from Jan Sroka, Kosice Slovenia to ?
1932
Box 1: 14
Pay stub, Walt Manufacturing Company, Springfield
1943
Box 1: 15
Letter from Aniela to John J. Sroka
1947
Box 1: 16
Photographs
1912, n.d.
Box 1: 17
Newsclipping re Ann Sroka, and her real estate card
n.d.
Box 1: 18

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Acquired from Gary Sroka, 1988, via Stanley Radosh as photocopies. Family retains originals.

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Seidman, 1988.

Languages:

English, German, Polish

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Sroka Family Papers (MS 216). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Polish-Americans--Massachusetts.

Contributors

  • Sroka Family [main entry]
  • Sroka, Gary.

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