Thursday, July 28, 2016

Stephen A. Gabuzda 1885-1966 Part 2

My grandparents’ Wedding Day

My grandfather, Stephen A. GABUZDA, with his brother, George GABUZDA, decided the coal mining business was not for them. They left Mahanoy City to the small town of Freeland, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles northeast. They apprenticed for their cousin’s husband, George E. PALYA, in his meat market business. See previous post.

Mary SARNA, was a regular customer at this time. She lived with her older sister, Anna Sarna REMAK in Freeland, Luzerne, Pennsylvania. The Remaks had their own business running a hotel and bar. Mary would watch her nieces and nephews as their parents minded the business. Mary had her eye on the older brother, George, and at the same time Stephen, the younger, had his eye on this special costumer. 

Stephen Gabuzda finally got the courage to ask Mary Sarna out on a date. He was so nice to her that she soon forgot about George. Their dates included going on walks, dancing and an occasional movie, when Steve had the 20 cents to pay for their admission. They were both good dancers and enjoyed it even into the early years of their marriage. They did more than polkas, mostly ballroom dancing, the waltz and fox trot. They often won prizes like a box of chocolates, for being the "best couple on the dance floor." One Sunday, with box lunches, Stephen and Mary joined five other couples for a fun afternoon. Here is a photo of them, third couple from the left, playing a relay game. Mary wrote the date on the photo and kept this in her Bible. It was found here after Mary died. That must have been a very special day when Stephen captured her heart.

They were married on 25 June, 1912. Mary (18) would not marry Stephen (27) until he was Naturalized as an American citizen. He was naturalized 24 days before on 1 June. During this time, if a female American born citizen of the United States married an alien from another country she would lose her citizenship.

I am fortunate to have all three copies of the three steps Stephen took to become an United States citizen. 

Naturalization Petitions and Declarations , 1901-1931, from court held in Scranton, Index 1906-1991. Petitions Vol. 7, No. 1503-1752. 1912. NARA Series M626 Roll 24.  LDS Microfilm#1,666,914. Accessed online Image 522-523 of 1124 from on 28 Jul 2016.
Step 1: Declaration of Intention

On the 12th day of June 1908, Stephen went to the Common Pleas Court of Schuylkill County to begin his first step of American Citizenship. The application reads
“I, Steve Gabuzdza, aged 22 years, occupation Fireman, do declare on oath that my personal description is: Color White, complexion Light, height 5 feet 6 inches, weight 164 pounds, color of hair very light brown, color of eyes blue, other visible distinctive marks none.
I was born in Razlavicza, Austria, on the 12th day of November; anno Domini 1885; I now reside at Mahanoy City, Penna. I emigrated to the United States of America from Hamburg, Germany, on the vessel Pennsylvania; my last foreign residence was Razlavicza, Austria.

It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, and particularity to Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria, of which of now I am a subject: I arrived at the port of New York, in the state of New York on or about the 2nd day of March, anno Domini 1906; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein: SO HELP ME GOD.
Steven Gabuzdza"

Step 2 : Petition for Naturalization

Four years later, on 21 February 1912, Steven traveled to the District Court of Scranton, Pennsylvania to apply for his Petition for Naturalization. 

“To the Honorable the District Court of the United States for the Middle District of Pennsylvania: The petition of Stephen Gabuzdza, herby filed, respectfully shows:
First: My place of residence is 72 S. Center St, Freeland
Second: My occupation is Butcher
Third: I was born on the 12th of November, anno Domini, 1885, at Razlavicza, Austria.
Fourth: I immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Germany, on or about the 16th day of February anno Domini, 1906 and arrived in the United States, and arrived in the United States at the port of New York, N. Y., on the 2nd day of March anno Domini, 1906 on the vessel “Pennsylvania.” 
Fifth: I declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States on the 12th day of June, anno Domini, 1908 Pottsville, Pa. to the Common Pleas Court of Schuylkill County.
Sixth: I am not married. This section is crossed out. 
Seventh:I am not a disbeliver in or opposed to organized government or a member of or affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching disbelief in or opposed to organized government. I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy. I am attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and it is my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign princes, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularity to [stamped] FRANCIS JOSEPH EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA AND APOSTOLIC KING OF HUNGARY of whom at this time I am a subject,  and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States. 
Eighth: I am able to speak the English language. 
Ninth: I have resided continually in the United States of America for the term of five years at least, immediately proceeding the date of this petition, to wit, since the 2nd day of March, anno Domini, 1906, and in the state of Pennsylvania, continuously since preceding the date of this petition, on the 3rd day of March, anno Domini, 1906, being a residence within this state of at least one year next preceding the date of this petition.
Tenth: I have not heretofore made petition for citizenship to any court. 
Attched hereto and made apart of this petition is my declareation of intention to become a citizen of the United States, together with my affidavit and the affidavits of the two verifying witnesses thereto, required by law. Wherefore your petitioner prays that he may be admitted a citizen of the United States of America.
Signed Stephen Gabuzdza
Declaration of Intention filed this 21st February 1912.
Witnesses included: Dominic A. O’Donnell, occupation Clerk, residing at Foster, Luz.[erne] Co., Pennsylvania. and Patrick Moehan, occupation Contractor, residing at Freeland, Pennsylvania. 

Step 3: Certificate of Naturalization

Stephen was granted his U. S. Citizenship on 1 June 1912 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It is interesting to read that this document is later dated on 4 January 1929 with the embossed seal.

U.S. Certificate of Naturalization of Stephen Gabuzdza in possession of the author.
I noticed the spelling of GABUZDZA on all three documents. The second Z at the end of his name was eventually removed.

Mary SARNA was born in 1894 in Sandy Run, Foster Township, Luzurne County, Pennsylvania. Her parents came to the United States in 1880. Her father, George SARNA, worked in the local coal mines as a miner.

"Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 June 2016), Stephen Gabuzdza and Mary Sarna, 1912.
After their marriage in the local church of St. John’s Nepomucene Church of 420 Vine St., Freeland, Pennsylvania, by Father Andrew Jurica, they took a rented “surrey with a fringe on top” with their wedding attendants, Anna and Julius Demshick, to the local Ice Lake Hotel in White Haven for the wedding luncheon. The hotel was owned by Tim REILLY, and managed by an on-site couple, brother-in-law, Anthony O’DONNELL and Mary Reilly O'DONNELL.  On the way back to town, the surrey broke in two, leaving the bride and groom stranded as Anna and Julius left for help in the two wheel-one seat buggy. I wish I was a bird nearby to hear what the newlyweds discussed as they waited for their rescue with the returning vehicle.

Stanhope Surrey in the Seeley Yard Museum, San Diego, CA. Used with permission.
Later in family history, Stephen and Mary’s daughter, Irene GABUZDA, married the son of Anthony and Mary, Donald O’DONNELL. 

No comments:

Post a Comment