Texas adoption of Polish orphan in late 1800s / early 1900s. Help?

+3 votes
125 views
I'm trying to help a friend find some information on a possible adoptee in their family.

The family lore says that Lennie (Ludosky / Ludowsky) was orphaned as her family was coming to America from Poland. She was then adopted by Andrew and Harriet (Bigham) Johnson in Eastland County, Texas. Lennie was b. ca. 1887.

Also, it is said that Lennie was Jewish, and that was controversial for the time.

I have no experience researching Polish records, and I find that Texas is a closed-adoption state, although I'm not sure that applies as far back as this adoption would have taken place.

Can anyone point me in a helpful direction? :-D

Thanks!
WikiTree profile: Lennie Ivey
in Genealogy Help by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (401k points)

father's name indecipherable, mother Elisabeth, has brother and sister Franz and Marie

New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Name: Ruzena Lutowski
Arrival Date: 19 May 1888
Birth Date: 1886
Age: 2
Gender: Female
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Austrian
Place of Origin: Austria
Port of Departure: Hamburg, Germany
Destination: Chicago, Illinois
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Marsala
Search Ship Database: Marsala
: Ruzena Lutowski - May 1888 - New York, New York Hamburg, Germany Hamburg, Germany - Female - Marsala
Source Citation: Year: 1888; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 520; Line: 1; List Number: 651

father indecipherable mother Dowascha? brother Issac and Peretz?, sister Mende?

Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964

Name: Schendle Wlodowski
Gender: Female
Race: Russian
Birthdate: 1886
Age: 6
Arrival Date: Aug 1892
Ship Name: Venitia
Port of Arrival: Baltimore, Maryland
Destination: Arkansas
Last Residence: Kiew
Page: 127
Source Citation: The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Records of the US Customs Service, RG36; NAI Number: 2655153; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85

mother and sister- mother Pesse, sister Chaike

New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Name: Elie Wlodowski
Arrival Date: 28 Aug 1891
Birth Date: 1886
Age: 5
Gender: Female
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Russian
Place of Origin: Russia
Port of Departure: Hamburg, Germany
Destination: New York
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: California
Search Ship Database: California
: Elie Wlodowski - Aug 1891 - New York, New York Hamburg, Germany Hamburg, Germany - Female - California
Source Citation: Year: 1891; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 574; Line: 4; List Number: 1314
if you can narrow down possibles via absence in 1900 censuses, I can search Jewishgen for Polish connections

looks like mother Maryanna and brother Issac

New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Name: Josefa Ladowska
Arrival Date: 23 Oct 1891
Birth Date: 1889
Age: 2
Gender: Female
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Russian
Place of Origin: Russia
Port of Departure: Glasgow, Scotland and Londonderry, Ireland
Destination: New York
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: State of Nevada
Search Ship Database: State of Nevada
: Josefa Ladowska - Oct 1891 - New York, New York Glasgow, Scotland and Londonderry, Ireland Glasgow, Scotland and Londonderry, Ireland - Female - State of Nevada
Source Citation: Year: 1891; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 578; Line: 28; List Number: 1641
Source Information:
within the parameters above, in 319 records, the above names are the only ones that comport with the parameters and profile information

can research further if you can narrow possibilities through census eliminations
Thanks, Eddie!

It's going to take me some time to digest and document these in a way that I can go through them systematically.

Thanks for your help! I may be back. ;-)
you might start with the family that went to Arkansas - pretty close to Texas

also Jewish families took care of each other

if she was adopted out, likely there were no Jewish relatives to take her in

if she was from New York and came to Texas by orphan train, maybe try connecting

http://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/National_Orphan_Train_Complex

Just now coming back to this.

Family learned that her parents may have died on the way over. So, Lennie may have been orphaned by the time she got here.

I'm going to start looking into the Orphan Train info. Thanks!

1 Answer

+2 votes
 
Best answer
I checked and it looks like Texas is locked down regardless of time period. There may be no formal adoption in this case anyway. I hope Eddie can help you get answers. But also, as a Genetic Genealogist, I always recommend Ancestry DNA as well. This isn't too far back in time, so a DNA test could identify the correct parents. Best of luck!
by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (802k points)
selected by Eddie King
Thanks, Emma!

I'll suggest a DNA test. The person in question is the paternal grandmother of my friend's father. So, I would suggest autosomal and mitochondrial, correct?
Just autosomal. Mitochondrial won't give you the kind of information you need for this kind of search. I also recommend Ancestry DNA as the test of choice for many many reasons. I can find answers in a couple of hours at Ancestry whereas it might take me months elsewhere.

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