Immigrant – Joschko – Yosko

Joschko – Yosko
Jacob Joschko – Yosko Family from Radawie, Silesia
by Janet Dawson Ebrom

Jacob Joschko [Yosko] was born over 200 years ago in 1808, yet his name lives on in Texas.  He was from the village of  Radawie in Upper Silesia.  Radawie was then part of the Zębowice parish where sacramental records of the 1800s including those of the Yosko family were destroyed during World War II.

Stamp commemorates 500th Anniversary of the church in Radawie. Courtesy of Michael Kurtin.

Around 1827, Jacob was wed to his first wife Mary, but without their marriage record, her maiden name remains unknown.  Mary was the mother of five known Yosko children born in Silesia: Franz (ca.1828), Joseph (ca.1832), Jozefa (ca.1838), Marianna (ca.1841), and Agnes (ca.1848). After the loss of his beloved wife Mary, Jacob married again; his second wife was Marianna Scholz. Jacob fathered three more Yosko children:  Christianna (ca.1851), Matilda (ca.1854), and Gregor (1855) before leaving his motherland.  In 1856, the German travel agent, Julius Schüler, documented  this large family bound for Galveston, Texas:  Jacob Joschko, age 48, a gärtner [gardener] from Radawie followed by his wife who was 18 years younger,  Marianna Scholz, age 30, and Jacob’s eight children:  Franz [no age given], Joseph, age 24, Josepha, age 18, Maria, age 15, Agnes, age 7, Christianna, age 5, Mathilde, age 2, and Gregor, an infant.

When Jacob’s family arrived in Texas, they settled in Karnes County where three more Yosko children were born to him and Marianna:  Peter (1858), Franciska (1860), and Tecla (1863). The two girls were baptized at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Panna Maria (entries #126 and #234).

Jacob began paying taxes in 1859, and the family was included in the 1860 census of Karnes County as: J. “Joskee” age 55, Mary, age 36, “Jos” age 24, Mary, age 20, Agnes, age 13, “M” [Matilda] age 8, “Greger” age 5, and Peter, age 2.  By 1863, Jacob realized his dream of owning land in Texas when he bought acreage 2 ½ miles east of Helena on the east bank of the Ecleto Creek from Joseph Kutzka (Karnes County Deeds, Vol. A, pp. 80-81). On March 8, 1866, Jacob registered his cattle brand at the Karnes County Courthouse (Marks and Brands, p.11, #91) where he made his Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen on November 22, 1869 (County Court Minutes, Vol. A, p. 67).

The father of eleven known children, Jacob Yosko died on September 30, 1876.  His second wife, Mary Scholz Yosko, died on May 6, 1891.  Their funeral Masses were offered in Panna Maria (p. 9, entry #44 and p. 20), and they were buried in the parish cemetery with tombstones inscribed in Polish—Jakob and Mary Josko.

Reference Notes:

  • Jacob Joschko [Yosko] family is listed in the “Ravaged by War” section (p. 241) of Silesian Profiles II:  Polish Immigration to Texas 1850s-1870s.
  • The in-law families of Jacob Joschko who have been fully profiled in the Silesian Profiles books are: Keller (Vol. II), Moczygemba (Vol. I), and Richter (Vol. I).