Immigrant – Zigmond

Carl and Maria Zigmond:  From Silesia to St. Hedwig
by John and Kathy Korus Beard

The twenty-first century Texan name Zigmond was written as “Siegmund” in 1856 when Carl, a 30- year-old free agricultural laborer, arranged with the Schüler Agency to immigrate to Texas with Maria Walura, his 27-year-old wife, and Agnes, their one-year-old daughter.  They were one of seven families bound for Galveston that departed from the village of Pruskow, Upper Silesia, Poland, near Zębowice, in the parish of Wniebowzięcia NMP.  Some sacramental records were destroyed during World War II, so the birth dates and marriage date of Carl and Maria have not been verified with primary sources.

According to family tradition, a child Mary was born as the ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean.  The scheduled sailing date of April 1, 1856, supports that tradition, even though U.S. census records list her birthplace as Poland.  In the 1860 federal census of Panna Maria, Karnes County, Texas, the family was enumerated as Chas Segeman, a 35-year-old laborer with a personal estate value of $400; Mary, age 30; a daughter “M,” age 5; and a son Simon, age 2 (family #1029).  No mention was made of daughter Antonia Agnes and son Peter, but church records show that she was born January 18, 1858, and he was born January 31, 1859, making it likely that he is the same child as Simon (Immaculate Conception of the BVM Baptism Records, entries 46 and 80).  The baby Agnes mentioned by Schüler may have died.  The Zigmond family was blessed on Christmas day, 1860, with the birth of a daughter Eva (entry 151).

Karnes County tax records from 1862 indicate that Carl owned a horse valued at $25, 10 head of cattle valued at $60, and miscellaneous property worth $55; Carl owed $3.56 for state, county, and poll taxes.  The last known record of the Zigmond family in Karnes County is the baptism of son Policarp on February 22, 1863 (entry 221).

Three years later, on June 4, 1866, two-week-old twins John and Constantina Catarzyna were baptized in St. Hedwig (Annunciation of the BVM Baptism Records, entries 25 and 26).  A son Alexander was baptized in March of 1868 (entry 47).  Now a resident of Bexar County, Carl Zigmond purchased 166 acres of land 14 miles east of San Antonio for $500 on August 10, 1868 (Bexar County Deed Records, Book U2, p. 444).  Additional acreage was purchased in 1875 (Book 4, p. 101) and 1883 (Book 25, p. 420 and Book 29, p. 372).

008Although a record of the Zigmond family has not been found in the 1870 federal census, the baptism record of their daughter Martha on April 30, 1870, lists her birth date as February 17, 1870, and her birthplace as Martinez (entry 68).  Carl had his cattle brand (see left) recorded at the Bexar County Courthouse on September 2, 1870, in Brand Book D on page 359.  An unnamed Zigmond child was baptized on May 9, 1872 in St. Hedwig (3rd entry).

In San Antonio on September 23, 1871, Carl declared his intention to become a citizen (Bexar County District 23 Civil Minutes, Book G, p. 526, Box D, #546).  It wasn’t until 23 years later, on October 22, 1894, that Carl Zigmond became a citizen of the United States (37th District Court Civil Minutes, Volume R, p. 19); he had already lived in Texas for 38 years.

When the census was taken at the Zigmond household in St. Hedwig in June of 1880, five children were enumerated with Carl and Maria:  Peter, age 21; John, age 13; Tena, age 13; Alexander, age 12; and Anna, age 5 (family #162).  The 1880 census of agriculture documented financial growth for the Zigmonds.  They owned 50 tilled acres, 70 other improved acres, and 360 acres of woodlands, with a value of $3250 for their farm, as well as $225 worth of farming implements and machinery and $650 worth of livestock.  They spent $100 building and repairing fences and $95 for wages in 1879.  The estimated value of all of their farm production in 1879 was $375.  On hand June 1, 1880, were 15 horses, a mule, 4 working oxen, 15 milch cows, 20 other cattle, 10 swine, and 24 barnyard poultry.  There were 15 calves born, 9 head of cattle sold, 5 slaughtered, and 15 died or were lost and not recovered in 1879.  The family made 280 pounds of butter and produced 500 dozen eggs.  They harvested 70 bushels of corn from 40 acres, 4 bales of cotton from 10 acres, 10 bushels of sweet potatoes from an acre, and 40 cords of wood (p. 11).

Bexar County tax records from 1896 reveal that Carl Zigmond owned a total of 556 acres of land, 4 horses and mules, 15 cattle, and a horse-drawn vehicle with a total value of $3230.  Carl owed $29.07 for school, county, and state taxes (p. 299).

The mother of seven living children, Maria Zigmond had lived in Texas for 41 years when cancer ended her life on November 5, 1897, and she was buried in St. Hedwig two days later (Annunciation of the BVM Burial Records, p. 27, 4th entry).  Carl lived almost ten years longer, succumbing to pneumonia at the home of his youngest daughter, Annie Schubach, in San Antonio on January 24, 1907 (Zizik-Kearns Funeral Home, 1906 – 1907, p. 256).  His funeral was held from the family residence in St. Hedwig two days later (Burial Records, p. 5, 2nd entry and San Antonio Express, January 25, 1907, p. 7).  Their joint tombstone was inscribed in Polish with Karol’s birth as November 1, 1827, and Marya’s birth as August 15, 1829, both in Silesia.

Carl and Maria’s names also appear as Cigmond, Sigmond, Zigmund, Zygmont, Zygmunt, Valura, Carlos, Carol, Charles, Karl, Karol, and Marya in various references.

This chart lists the Zigmond children and their spouses with documentation in the following paragraph.

Child    Birth  Spouse Marriage Date Death Date
Agnes circa 1855      
Mary circa 1856 Anton Stanuś 15 Jul 1873 31-Jan-35
Antonia Agnes 18 Jan 1858      
Peter 31 Jan 1859 Mary Rakowicz 20 Nov 1888 12-Jan-24
Eva 25 Dec 1860 John Gawlik Jr. 21 May 1878 15-Aug-21
Policarp 16 Feb 1863      
John 18 May 1866 Christina Rakowicz 8 Sep 1891 30-Aug-09
Constantina 18 May 1866 Anton Krawiec 25 Jan 1887 26-May-41
Alexander March 1868 Paulina Ciomperlik 19 Oct 1897 13-Oct-37
Martha 17 Feb 1870      
Unnamed child 16 Apr 1872      
Annie (Anna) circa 1875 Alex Schubach 11 Sep 1894 7-Sep-49

Marriage documentation was found in the following sources:  Annunciation of the BVM Marriage Records for Mary (13th page, 1st entry), Peter (p. 21, 1st entry), Eva (p. 5, 1st entry), and Constantina (p. 19, 4th entry) and Bexar County Marriage Records for Mary (Book E, p. 525), Peter (Book J, p. 218), Eva (Book F, p. 460), John (Book K, p. 450), Alex (Book N, p. 611), and Annie (Book M, p. 145). Documentation of the dates of death was found in the following sources:  Annunciation of the BVM Burial Record for John (p. 12, 1st entry) and Texas Certificates of Death for Mary Stanush (Bexar County #356), Peter (Bexar County #190), Eva Gawlik (Karnes County #23033), Constantina Krawietz (Karnes County #23601), Alex (Bexar County #48622), and Annie Schubach (Bexar County #41911).

Reference:  The family of Carl Zigmond is listed in the “Ravaged by War” section (p. 241) of Silesian Profiles II:  Polish Immigration to Texas 1850s – 1870s.

Note:  The in-law families of Carl Zigmond who have been profiled in Silesian Profiles (red book) are Krawiec and Stanuś and in Silesian Profiles II (blue book) is Gawlik.

Family of Peter Zigmond and Mary Rakowicz. Photo from Patricia S. Sibley (1948 – 2003)