Immigrant – Jędruś – Jendrusch

Jędruś – Jendrusch
Anton Jendrusch
by John and Kathy Korus Beard

In the spring of 1856, Anton Jendrusch made arrangements to emigrate to the United States with his young wife Marianna Brysch and their baby Victor. A contract was made with the agency of Julius Schüler to provide transportation from Upper Silesia, Poland, to the State of Texas. For Anton, the agency listed the village of Osiecko as his home. This village is part of the parish of Wniebowziecia NMP (Assumption of the BVM), and it is located halfway between Olesno and Dobrodzień, just west of the highway between the two towns. The occupation indicated for Anton is einlieger, or free agricultural laborer. Since he is described as 30 years of age and his wife 22 years, Anton would have been born in the year 1825 and Marianna in the year 1833. The sacramental records of their parish were among those destroyed when the Red Army passed through the area in World War II, so all of the European information about the Jendrusch family came from the Schüler Agency.1

After crossing the Atlantic, the Jendrusch family arrived in Galveston, Texas, in mid-1856. Just over a year later on August 26, 1857, a son Louis was born and baptized the same day in the Immaculate Conception of the BVM Catholic Church at Panna Maria.2 Records do not provide the answer to the question of when Anton and baby Louis lost their wife and mother, nor have any additional records of young Victor Jendrusch been found.

Two years after his wife died, Anton remarried. On November 22, 1859, Anton Jendrusch was united in matrimony with nineteen-year-old Catharina Kowalik, daughter of Melchior and Anna Kowalik, at the Immaculate Conception of the BVM church in Panna Maria. Church records list the parents of Anton as John and Catalina Jendrś.3 Interestingly, the Kowalik family was registered on the Schüler list right after Anton and his first family. Kadłub Wolny is the home village listed for the Kowaliks, and it is immediately to the south of Osiecko, the village listed for Anton.

Anton and Catharina had eleven children, and their births4 and marriages,5 including two sets of twins, are listed below:

Child Birth Spouse Marriage Date
Cecilia 1860 Frank Niemietz 28 October 1884
Frank circa 1861 Victoria Anderwald 23 January 1895
Elisabeth 5 November 1863 Peter Kotara 23 January 1888
Stanislaus 5 November 1863 Julia Wiatrek 10 November 1885
Anton 1 January 1866 Mary Urbanczyk 25 November 1889
Peter6 4 October 1868 – lived 7 days and was buried in Panna Maria
Julia Albina 14 December 1872 Alex Moczygemba 31 January 1893
Adam 8 September 1874 Rosalia Sekula 15 June 1897
Maria Joanna 19 August 1877 Julian Moczygemba 6 January 1900
Helena 24 February 1880 Charles Polok 17 June 1902
Alexander 24 February 1880 Florentina Kyrish 24 January 1905

Like in Poland, agriculture was the primary endeavor of the Jendrusch family in Texas. In 1866 Anton registered a “JA” cattle brand at the courthouse (see left).7 Four years later, Anton appeared in the 1870 census of agriculture with 8 improved acres of land, 14 woodland acres, 1 horse, 4 milk cows, 3 working oxen, 21 other cattle, 8 swine, and 14 bushels of corn.8

On November 26, 1869, Anton appeared at the courthouse in Helena with fellow Silesians in order to declare his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States.9 Citizenship was granted on November 20, 1876.10 Just over a year later, Anton spent a day performing jury duty for the February term in Karnes County and was compensated $1.75.11

In 1883 Anton acquired 500 acres of land that is part of the F. Carillo Survey and is situated on the east side of Cibolo Creek, just west of the present-day road between Cestohowa and Pawelekville. The land was purchased from Jan Pawlik, Jr., for $675. Eighteen years later, Anton and Catharina sold their property in equal parts to five of their children. The four surviving sons, Frank, Anton, Adam, and Alexander, each paid $250, and the only daughter unmarried at the time, Helena, paid $10.12

By 1890 Anton was taxed $18.14 for a wagon worth $40, five horses and mules valued at $55, forty head of cattle at $5 a head, twelve hogs worth $12, miscellaneous property worth $5, and 700 acres of land valued at $2235,13 a substantial increase in twenty years time. The federal census of 1900 indicated that Anton and Catharina owned their farm free of mortgage.

Catharina Kowalik Jendrusch is called Kate in the 1880 and 1900 federal censuses14 and in deed records, but she signed her name in those deeds with the Polish spelling “Katarzyna.” Both Anton and Catharina enjoyed long lives. Ten of their children reached adulthood and appear to have remained in the area, although their half-brother Louis moved to Laredo to work with baker Emanuel Rzeppa. Louis married Emanuel’s daughter Mathilde on June 6, 1880;15 they owned and operated the Lion Bakery16 many years.

Anton Jendrusch lived to the age of 78 and passed away on January 23, 1903. He was laid to rest the following day.17 In the period after Anton’s death, the 1910 federal census reveals that Catharina lived with her youngest son Alex and his family.18 Catharina Jendrusch, Anton’s companion for 43 years, died twelve years later on December 29, 1915, and was buried the next day in the Cestohowa parish cemetery not far from their homestead.19 The joint tombstone reflects their heritage; the marker is engraved in the Polish language, as is the family’s name in their sacramental records, “Jędruś.”20

All Panna Maria church records are from Immaculate Conception of the BVM Catholic Church, LDS Microfilm #0025335, and all Cestohowa church records are from Nativity of the BVM Catholic Church, LDS Microfilm #0024960. All references except the first are from the State of Texas.

  1. Silesian Profiles Committee. Silesian Profiles II: Polish Immigration to Texas 1850s – 1870s. Panna Maria, Texas: Panna Maria Historical Society, 2004, pp. 239 – 240. The Schüler Agency List was made available by the late Professor Karol Jonca of Wrocław University.
  2. Panna Maria Baptism Records, entry #26
  3. Panna Maria Marriage Records, pp. 7 – 8, entry #16
  4. Panna Maria Baptism Records provide birthdates for Cecilia (#132), Stanislaus (# 238), Elisabeth (#239), Anton (#278), Peter (#332), Julia (#442), Adam (unnumbered page, first entry), and Maria (p. 21, third entry). Cestohowa Baptism Records provide the birthdate for Helena and Alexander (p. 9, entry #38).
  5. Karnes County Marriage Records, Volume 1, contains documentation for Cecilia (p. 120), Stanislaus (p. 134), Elisabeth (p. 164), Anton (p. 189), Julia (p. 255), Frank (p. 332), and Adam (p. 434). Marriage Records, Volume 2, contains documentation for Maria (p. 56) and Alexander (p. 387). Cestohowa Church Marriages Records provide information for Helena (p. 301, second entry) and a different marriage date, 10 February 1897, for Adam (p. 290, second entry).
  6. Panna Maria Church Burial Records, p. 3, entry #12
  7. Karnes County Marks and Brands, Volume 1, p. 1, #130, April 28, 1866
  8. U.S. Agriculture Census of Karnes County, 1870, p. 5, line 5
  9. Karnes County Commissioner’s Court Minutes, Volume A, p. 70, entry #220
  10. Karnes County County Court Minutes, Volume 1, p. 15
  11. Ibid, p. 62
  12. Karnes County Deed Records, Volume I, pp. 32 – 33; Volume Z, pp. 176 – 179, 572 – 574; Volume 28, pp. 345 – 346; Volume 47, p. 211
  13. Karnes County Tax Assessments, 1890
  14. U.S. Population Census of Karnes County, 1880, p. 12; 1900, p. 239B
  15. Brown, Angel Sepulveda and Gloria Villa Cadena. Sacramental Records of the Catholic Church of San Agustin at Laredo, Texas, Volume II, p. 320
  16. Laredo City Directory, 1900, p. 56
  17. Cestohowa Church Burial Records, p. 368, second entry
  18. U.S. Population Census of Karnes County, 1910, p. 227B
  19. Cestohowa Church Burial Records, p. 10, fifth entry
  20. Nativity of the BVM Parish Cemetery, Cestohowa

Additional references available:

  1. U.S. Population Census of Karnes County, 1870, p. 13
  2. Karnes County Tax Assessments, 1862, Polander Poll No. 1
  3. Karnes County Marks and Brands, Volume 1, p. 236, #2071, January 16, 1878, hog mark

The in-law families of Anton Jendrusch who have been profiled in the Silesian Profiles books are: Anderwald (Vol. I), Kotara (Vol. II), Kyrish (Vol. I), Moczygemba (Vol. I), Polok (Vol. II), Rzeppa (Vol. I), Sekula (Vol. I), and Wiatrek (Vol. II).