Velky LipnikA stack of photos and somehow you wish they could speak. You look at the pictures, compare faces, look for clues and still there's not much to add. 20 years ago I would look through large maps of Slovakia trying to find the tiny town. Today it's easy to locate Velky Lipnik, but still the old photos don't speak and you look for little clues to give you the rest of the story.
My grandmother, Maria Nagrant was born August 24, Velky Lipnik, Slovakia 1907. Her parents, Anna Kuzmiak Nagrant (1888) and Vasilij Nagrant (1879) had immigrated to Chicago Illinois before she was born but Vasilij had to return to Velky Lipnik to settle an estate or deal with family business. He got sick and Anna followed him back to Slovakia. The birth certificate gives us so little information. Maria was baptized in the Greek Catholic Church.
The only photo of Vasilij is in the wedding photo of Anna's brother. (He's third from the left)
This is the first picture of Maria Nagrant.
Maria and her mother Anna returned to Chicago about 1909. Gram thought she arrived in the US on July 12, 1909 at the port of New York. She never found proof of that and eventually officially became a citizen in the 1960's.
Anna Nagrant and little Maria were photographed with her little cousin.
There were several cousins from Indiana. This is Maria Nagrant with her cousin Marg.
Her mother remarried when Maria was about 4. We don't know more. We think his last name was Peshke.
There is one photo of her baby sister with her step-father and his family. The baby sister died shortly after this.
When Maria was 12 she attended the wedding of her cousin Mary.
1919, this is the last photo we have of Anna. She died in 1920 leaving my grandmother, Maria, mostly alone in Chicago at the age of 13. She married my grandfather, Joseph Boksa, in January of 1928. (that will have to be another chapter!)
1921 Maria with Cousin Bill