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Nowasky Family Chart

Leier Family History
Nowasky Family History
Children of Charles
& Louise Nowasky

Children of Lawrence
& Amelia Leier

Louisa & Ciro
Louisa's Letters
Causes of Death
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Last update 5/30/2019


In October of 1836, in Cekzin, Germany, a girl named Louise Pubanz was born. Her parents were Louis and Louise Pubanz. Cekzin was actually a small village in West Prussia, which at the time was part of the vast German Empire. Today, that same village is in Poland, and is known by the Polish name of Cekcyn. According to Tom Peters, the Pubanz and Nowasky families were almost certainly Ethnic Germans living in that area. He points out that the birth records he found for Louise's children came from a German church in Cekzin, and when they got to America, they attended a German church in Brooklyn.

To see a map of Poland showing the location of Cekcyn, click here.

On February 18, 1865, 28-year-old Louise gave birth to Emilie Pubanz. The birth record, provided by Tom Peters, does not mention the name of the father. On September 13, 1867, Louise gives birth to another daughter. This time Louise lists her name as Krzyan instead of Pubanz. The birth record, therefore, names the child Bertha Krzyan. Again, no father is listed on the record.

When the next child is born on July 25, 1870, Louise still uses the name Krzyan, but this time a father is listed on the birth record. His name is Carl Nowatzke and the child is named Friedrich Nowatzke. Carl was born in Cekzin in December of 1835. Baby Friedrich lived only a few months and died on May 28, 1871. On March 27, 1872, Hulda Nowatzke is born to Carl and Louise. This time the birth record shows Louise using Pubanz as her maiden name. This baby also dies within a few months, on July 6, 1872. A year later, this trend continues with the birth of Jacob Nowatzke on July 24, 1873, and his death within a few days on July 27, 1873. For whatever reason, Jacob's record shows Louise using the Krzyan name.

The only other child that I am aware of is Carl Nowatzke Jr., named after his father. Unlike the others, I have not been able to find a birth record. He came to America with his parents and sisters Emilie and Bertha. I have several documents from his life in America, but they all disagree on his age and date of birth. For now, I am going to use the date inferred by his marriage certificate, plus the month on the 1900 Federal Census, to come up with February of 1874.

In 1879, when he was 43 years of age, Carl somehow made his way from Cekcyn to Hamburg, Germany to make his way by steamship to America. He left behind his wife Louise and the remaining children, Emilie (14), Bertha (11) and Carl, Jr. (5). The distance from Cekcyn to Hamburg is nearly 700 miles. Presumably, he could have done most of this by train, but there is no way to know for certain. In any case, on June 25, 1879, he boarded the S.S. Cimbria at the port of the German city of Hamburg. The Cimbria sailed up the Elbe River to the North Sea, then headed west through the English Channel to stop at the French port of Le Havre, before continuing on to New York. Fifteen days later, on July 10, 1879 Carl arrived at the Castle Garden immigration center in New York City. He found work as a simple laborer and saved up enough money to send for his family.

Three years later, on October 18, 1882, 46-year-old Louise and her children, Emilie (17), Bertha (15) and young Carl (8), made the long trip to Hamburg and boarded the S.S. Frisia. Ironically, the Frisia was the sister ship to the S.S. Cimbria, the ship that brought Carl Sr. to America in 1879. Rigged for both sail and steam power, the Frisia could normally make the Atlantic crossing in about 12 days. For whatever reason, it took the family nearly twice that. They departed Hamburg on October 18, and arrived in New York three weeks later on November 8, 1882.

It may have been just a matter of timing or fate, but two months after the Frisia brought Louisa and the children to join Carl in New York, her sister ship, the Cimbria, collided with another ship near the island of Borkum, off the northern coast of Germany. The Cimbria rapidly sank with the loss of 389 lives and although seven lifeboats got away, only 133 people were saved. Nearly all of the 72 women and 87 children on board were lost.

Carl, Louise and the children settled in the Gravesend and Parkville sections of Long Island, NY, which would eventually be incorporated into the city of Brooklyn. Carl Sr. and Jr. eventually changed their names to Charles, and Emilie changed hers to Amelia. By the time Charles Jr. married Barbara Kellner on June 7, 1896, everyone was spelling the surname as Nowasky.

Charles Sr. became an American citizen on October 20, 1890. He and Louise were living at 29 East Second Street with Charles Jr. and Barbara when Louise died on February 20, 1903, from kidney disease. She was 67 years old. They buried her in an unmarked grave in The Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn.

The following year, Charles Sr. tried to end his own life by shooting himself with a gun. He managed to inflict a serious wound to his abdomen and died two days later on May 24, 1904 at Seney Hospital (now the New York Methodist Hospital) from a pistol shot wound of the abdomen. He was 74 years old. The following is an article that appeared in the May 23, 1904 issue of the Utica Herald-Dispatch.



So Aged New Yorker, in Bitter Disappointment, Shot Himself in the Abdomen

New York, May 23 – For lack of money to take his three grandchildren to see the sights at Coney Island yesterday, Charles Nowasky, 74 years old, who lived with his son at No. 29 East Second Street, Brooklyn, shot himself in the abdomen. He was removed to Seney Hospital and the physicians there say he will die.

He promised the children several days ago that he would give them an outing at Coney Island yesterday. With his son and daughter-in-law and the grandchildren he started from the house at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The children were in great glee over the treat, and the grandfather appeared to be as happy as they were. The party had gone but a few blocks when the old man declared that he would have to return home as he had forgotten his money. The son offered to go instead, but was told that he did not know where the money was. The family waited nearly and hour for the return of the old man then hastened home. They found him lying on his bed in a dying condition. A pistol was clutched in his right hand.

A search was made, but no trace of the money that the old man spoke of was found. His son believes that because he was unable to provide the treat that he had promised he became despondent and attempted to kill himself.

Charles was buried with Louise in Evergreens Cemetery.

For more information about the children of Charles Sr. and Louise, click on "Children of Charles and Louise Nowasky" in the panel on the left.

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