It took a while, but I was able to locate the Ellis Island record of my great-grandmother, Susanna (VARGA) BICHREST. Again, I used the excellent search engine provided at stevemorse.org. A lot of things were hampering my search. For one, Susanna and VARGA are seemingly very common names in Eastern Slovakia at the time of my great-grandmother’s birth. In the end, my main roadblock ended up being the translation of her name. The record I located spells her name Zsuzsanna VARGA. Zsuzsanna is a Hungarian variant of Susanna.
Here is a break down of the record:
- She left out of Fiume, Austria on December 18th, 1909 aboard the S.S. Caronia. She arrived at Ellis Island January 2, 1910.
- She was 17 years old at the time of entry.
- She was single at the time of entry, as was my great-grandfather. It is possible they did not meet until coming to the United States. I have not located marriage records for them as of yet.
- Her job at the time of emigration from Hungary was “laborer”.
- She was able to read and write.
- It is indicated that she is a Slovak from Gataly, Hungary.
- Her nearest relative is listed as her father, an “Andres Varga” of Gataly. This is the first piece of tangible data I have located identifying a parent of hers. Hopefully there are census records covering Gataly.
- It lists her final destination as Bridgeport, Connecticut. I have learned from other research that Bridgeport was a common location for Slovak immigrants. She did not have a ticket to this destination upon her arrival.
- She had about $30 in her possession.
- She had never been inside the United States before.
- It indicates she is en route to meet her brother-in-law, George MITRO in Bridgeport. She was possibly also reuniting with her sister. I have learned from Susanna’s obituary that her sister, Anna, married a George MITRO.
- She is listed as in good health, with dark complexion, brown hair and grey eyes.
- Her place of birth is listed as Gataly, Hungary.
Gataly is modern day Hatalov. It is interesting to note that Gataly is very close to Parno (my great-grandfathers village), only a 14 mile difference. However, I have no information that they knew each other prior to coming to the United States.