Ignatz Ganas was my maternal grandfather. He was born in 1870 at Chorzalki – a tiny village near Iwno, Poland. He died in 1940 – before I was born – in St. Paul, Minnesota.
His life before he came to the US is a bit of a mystery because it is mostly hearsay. I have copies of the church documents for his baptism and his marriage. I have a copy of the passenger list showing his arrival in the US. I have stories my mother told me.
Apparently his mother’s family owned a tavern and he told stories about working behind the bar as a child. His father, Joseph, died when Ignatz was 3 years old. His mother, Marianna Jaskowiak Ganas, remarried when Ignatz was 6 years old.
The rest of my “knowledge” of him is family lore – none of which I have been able to verify.
He was sent to live with his mother’s twin brother in Berlin. His uncle was a tailor who taught Ignatz the trade.
Ignatz left Prussia/Germany just before his 16th birthday in order to avoid conscription into the army.
I do know that he was back in Germany in 1893 because he sailed from Hamburg and arrived in the US in Baltimore that year. He was 23 then.
I would love to know where he traveled and how he lived for those 7 years. My guess is that he made a living tailoring. But where???
This is one mystery that most likely will never be solved. Back to my wish for a time machine.