Julie’s 100 year old mystery

I actually have two mysteries that are over 100 years old, both regarding Paul Sanetra’s siblings.

The first mystery is about Bronisława Sanetra. The family story is that while Rosalie Wandzel and her husband Adam Sanetra were boarding the ship to come to America, they were told they could not bring their two and a half year old daughter Bronisława with them. Rosalie’s mother was there to say good-bye. Rosalie handed her baby to her mother (Regina Żuławska) in February 1904, with the promise that someone in the family would bring Bronisława in about 3 months time. Yet it was seven years later that Bronisława finally came! Money was not the issue. Adam Sanetra was middle class. His wife did not have to work. His children did not have to work, they were able to go to school. We theorize the delay was from a health problem, but that remains a mystery too.

The big day finally came. The family knew Bronisława was coming. Ellis Island got confirmation from Adam Sanetra that he would be there to pick up his daughter. The family went to the train station. But when the Ellis Island train arrived, Bronisława had disappeared. We’ve never been able to learn anything more about Bronisława.

The second mystery is about Paul’s brother Stanisław Sanetra. Their mother Rosalie died in the flu epidemic, in October 1918. Adam Sanetra put his children in an orphanage (Chicago), telling them he would remarry and come back for them. He did, but only the youngest two children remained in the orphanage. The orphanages were so overcrowded there was not room for teenagers. Stanley was only fourteen years old yet he was turned away. I cannot imagine how a fourteen year old survived the streets of Chicago. This was the last our family knows anything about Stanley. There is another Stanley who was a distant cousin. He lived in Minneapolis then moved to the Chicago area. He was born two months after our Stanley. Their information is very close. I have only seen this Stanley, not Paul’s brother. We assume that Stanley (son of Adam and Rosalie) left the country and that is why his brothers never found him.

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