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Meet the Turk Family Lines
History of the Turk Family Lines
The surname TURK appears to be both locational and characteristic in origin, which is believed to be associated with the English and Yugoslavian peoples, meaning, "one who came from Trukman (now a Soviet Socialist Republic), one who came from Turkey, a TURK, and the TURK, a Mohammedian ." Different spellings of the same original surname are a common occurrence. Dictionaries of surnames indicate probable spelling variations of TURK to be TURCH, TURCUS, TURCHE, TURKUS, TORKE, TURC, TURE, TRUK, TRUKMAN, TRUKE, TURKE, TURKS, and TURKES.
Preliminary information suggests that my TURK Family Lines (Anthony TURK, great- grandfather) were part of the Austrian immigration from the Yugoslavian area of today during the 1880's. The Anthony TURK family first settled in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania and then moved to Clifton, New Jersey, and Waukegan, Illinois. His children and descendants have settled in many parts of the U.S.A. (Alaska, Hawaii, Indianapolis, Washington, California, Illinois, New Jersey, etc.). Ann FLETCHER of Indianapolis is a descendant of Anton Turk's brother, Joseph. Many of her descendants settled in Indianapolis and are still there today.
History of Our Oldest TURK Relatives
About 27 years ago, I was fortunate to make contact with the village clerk of Novo Mesto in Yugoslavia. She provided me with information about the TURK homestead there. Apparently, many generations of TURKS resided in the homestead. Consequently, it was easy to trace ancestors back to the early 1800's. Our oldest TURK ancestor is Martin TURK who was born in 1790. He married Mary STANGEL. They had at least one son, Joseph who was born in 1813. Joseph married Mary HROVATIC in 1836. They had six children: Joseph, Mary, Margaret, Cecilia, John and Florian. Mary HROVATIC passed away in Novo Mesto August 30, 1855. Joseph then married Mary GAZVODA in Novo Mesto on November 14, 1855. She bore 10 children: Joseph (1856 birth), Mary, John, Frank, Matthew, Anton (1965 birth), Matthew, Frank, Ana and Teresa (1877 birth). Mary GAZVODA passed away August 11, 1916 in Novo Mesto. Unfortunately, many of Joseph's children by his two wives passed away in childhood because of illness.
1996 Family Trip to Slovenia
In the summer of 1996, I took my entire family Poland and Slovenia to do family history.
It was a fantastic experience to not only validate that my Slovenia ancestors came from
Novo Mesto, Slovenia, but to also see where they lived. In one instance, we found the home
of where our oldest TURK was born in 1790. To our amazement, there was still a TURK family
living there. Because of this trip, I was able to research three generations beyond my
great-father, Anton TURK.
Martin Turk is our oldest identified TURK ancestor. He married Marija SEVEROVLJA and they had six children. Martin was probably born in the 1760's.
The next generation of TURK's in my director family is that of Martin TURK (born 1790) who had six children with his wife Mary TURK.
- Gertrvda was born on February 9, 1788.
- Mihael was born on August 25, 1786.
- Marija was born on October 27, 1785.
- Martin was born on April 28, 1790 in Novo Mesto. He married Mary TURK in 1812.
- Bartolomej was born on August 5, 1793.
- Margareta was born on July 3, 1797.
The next generation of TURK's in my direct family line is that of Joseph TURK who was born on January 7, 1813. Below is an account of his eight children including my great- grandfather, Anton TURK.
- Joseph TURK who was born on January 7, 1813. He married Mary GAZVODA on November 14, 1855 in Novo Mesto. Joseph passed away on December 13, 1885 in Novo Mesto. He had at least eight children born: Anton, Joseph, Mary, John, Frank, Matthew, Matthew, and Frank.
- Anna TURK was born on November 30, 1811.
- Frank was born on September 29, 1813.
- Maria was born on May 9, 1814.
- Gertrude was born on February 12, 1815.
- Gertrude was born on March 8, 1817.
- Anton, my great-grandfather, was born on August 12, 1865. He immigrated to the U.S.A. in the mid 1880's. More about him is listed in the next heading below.
Early TURK Immigration to the U.S.A.
- Joseph was born on August 25, 1856. He married Mary UMEK on February 22, 1881 and died on February 7, 1899.
- Mary was born on January 6, 1859. She married Joseph BERKOPEC on February 18, 1879. She died on march 22, 1884.
- John was born on March 16, 1861. He married Mary MAROLT on February 23, 1886.
- Matthew was born on January 7, 1864 and died on April 24, 1864.
- Anton was born on August 12, 1865 in Novo Mesto. He maried Barbara Kuchta or Pelagia WOLOSHYNOVICH in about 1886-87 and Elizabeth KASCSAK in about 1902 in Passaic, New Jersey. Between both wives, he bore at least fifteen children. Anton is my great grandfather.
- Matthew was born on February 27, 1868. He died on January 9, 1869.
- Frank was born on January 1, 1870. He died on February 18, 1871.
- Ana TURK was born April 11, 1873 in Novo Mesto. She marries Joseph GOLOBIC on February 5, 1895 in Novo Mesto. She died on June 14, `948 in Novo Mesto, Yugoslavia (Slovenia).
- Teresa TURK was born on October 7, 1877 in Novo Mesto. She married Joseph ZUPANCIC in 1898. They born immigrated to the U.S.A. Teresa died in Elgin, Illinois on July 9, 1946.
Two of Joseph TURK's (1813 birth) and Mary GAZVODA's children immigrated to the United States: Anton and Teresa. Anton TURK is my great-grandfather. Teresa married Joseph ZUPANCIC in 1898 and passed away in Elgin, Illinois on July 9, 1946. She had a family of seven children: Rose, Mary, Luddie, John, Joseph, Frank and Louis. They resided in Waukegan, Illinois. Earlier, they had lived in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Anton Turk lived with his sister in Ambridge, Pennsylvania around 1905 for a year or two before he moved to Waukegan, Illinois.
There are other TURKs from the Martin TURK (1790 birth) line that immigrated to this country through Ana and Josephine TURK. Ana is the daughter of Joseph TURK (1856 birth), Anton TURK's brother. Joseph was born in Novo Mesto on August 25, 1856. He married Mary UMEK on February 22, 1881. They had nine children: Joseph, Mary, Ana (1886 birth), Frances, Josephine (1891 birth), Agnes, Janez, and Frank. Ana and Josephine were the only children of this family that immigrated to Indianapolis from Novo Mesto. Josephine (1891 birth) married John Sebance and died in Indianapolis in 1926. Ana was born in Novo Mesto on September 16, 1886. She married Frank KLOBUCAR in Indianapolis on April 26, 1909. Ana bore six children with her first husband, Frank KLOBUCAR): Frank, Mary, Anna (1911 birth), Stanislaus, Joseph and Francis. Her first husband passed away in 1919. She married John BACAR in 1921. They bore three children: John, Justine and Louis. This summer, I met with a descendant of Frank KLOBUCAR and Ana TURK (1886 birth), Mrs. Ann TURK FLETCHER (1911 birth), in Indianapolis with many of her immediate family. Ann TURK FLETCHER was born in 1911 and married Art FLETCHER in Indianapolis, date unknown. They had two children: Arlene and John. Arlene married Don Christie and Donald W. BATES. She had three children by her first husband: Arlene, Jon and Paul. She had two children by her second husband: Pat and Amy. All of her children live in Indianapolis.
History of the Anthony TURK Family Line
The oldest identified member of my direct ancestors of the TURK Family Line who immigrated to this country are Anthony TURK and his two wives, Barbara KUCHTA or Pelagia WOLOSHYNOVICH and Elizabeth KASCASK, who are my maternal great-grandparents. I would estimate dates of birth to be in the 1860's in the region of Untrichstreich, Austria. I have been to find the exact geographical location of this village to be Novo Mesto and even the homestead address which was lived in by many previous generations of TURKs. Anthony TURK married Barbara KUCHTA (Pelagia WOLOSHYNOVICH) either in Austria before immigrating to America in the 1880's or was married in America shortly after her original nationality. Anthony TURK immigrated to America in New York City, arriving July 2, 1887. He applied for citizenship on December 2, 1893 and admitted to citizenship on September 18, 1897. Their first known residence was in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, where Anthony was employed as a miner. Their religion was Roman Catholic.
His wife, Barbara, died suddenly in 1901 of an unknown illness. At that time six children had been born: Michael, Anthony, John, Mary, Sue, and Joseph. In 1902, Anthony and Elizabeth Kascask were married in Passaic, New Jersey. In about 1905 the family moved to Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The reason for leaving Clifton was because their house burned down completely. In Ambridge, Anton's sister Teresa ZUPANCIC, was living. The remained in Ambridge for about a year and a half and finally settled in Waukegan, Illinois in 1907. The following children were born to Elizabeth and Anthony: Jack, Ann, Francis, Rose, and Frank. Anthony TURK passed away in Waukegan at the age of 88 in 1952 and Elizabeth in 1945 at the age of 75. Anthony had been a coal miner in Pennsylvania, a butcher in New Jersey, and a teamster in Illinois. As of now Anthony TURK is known to be oldest direct male progenitor of all of my maternal and paternal ancestors in the United States. He also had the most children, fifteen, in this country.
First wife is Pelagia WOLOSHYNOVICH or Barbara KUCHTA:
There is speculation that Michael TURK KOVAC and John TURK had a different father. To date, I have never been able to obtain a birth record for either person. However, I have been able to find a birth record for a Michael KUCHTA in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on the same day of Michael TURK KOVAC's birth, December 22, 1889. The parents were Theodore KUCHTA and Pelagia (no maiden name given). Until I can verify further information about this matter, it is only a rumor.
- John TURK was born sometime between 1885 and 1888. He apparently died during the time of the first World War of influenza. It is not known if he ever married or had children. Rumor is that he married a Russian girl and died in Clifton, New Jersey. It is believed that he was older than Michael by two years. My Aunt Sue TURK POIRIER wished that she had started looking for John before he passed away.
- Michael W. KOVAC (TURK) is perhaps the oldest child. However, it is rumored that he had an older brother names John who was married in a Russian church in Clifton, New Jersey. I have never been able to substantiates this. Michael was born in December, 1889 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. He is my grandfather on my mother's side. When the Turk family was moving from Clifton to Ambridge, Michael was about 16. At that time, he apparently wanted to go on his own as the family was quite large and felt this was a good opportunity. So Michael became separated from the family by not coming home when the family left town. He then assumed the name of Michael KOVAC for the remainder of his life. He married my grandmother, Elizabeth GALINAK, in 1910 in Passaic, New Jersey. They then resided in Clifton together for 50 years. It was my Aunt Sue TURK POIRIER and Aunt Mary TURK ALWARDT who found my grandfather, Michael W. KOVAC (TURK) many years after my mother was born. Michael retired from Manhattan Rubber Company after more than 25 years of service. He was a member of Saint Cyril Slovak Catholic Sokol Society 162 of Clifton. He suffered a heart attack and passed away on December 3, 1962. They had two children born to them: Helen (my mother) and Mary. Michael was very athletic and particularly a fine gymnast in his youth.
Second wife is Elizabeth KASCSAK:
- Anna TURK was born in 1891 in Pennsylvania. She died on April 23, 1900 in Smoke Run, Pennsylvania.
- Carl Anthony TURK was born on October 4, 1893 in Houtzdale, Pennsylvania. He married Bertha Beatrice BOHL on July 16, 1913 in Waukegan, Illinois. Carl Anthony TURK passed away on June, 1981 in California at the age of 88.
- Mary TURK ALWARDT was born in 1895. She married Irving Louis ALWARDT on July 28, 1912 in Waukegan, Illinois. She divorced her husband and raised her only son, Irving Xavier ALWARDT, by herself. She has the distinction of being the cook for the president of the Quaker Oats Cereal Company, Robert S. MacDonald. Mary passed away on June 15, 1989 in Waukegan, Illinois.
- Susan TURK POIRIER was born on August 24, 1987 in Blacks, Pennsylvania. She married Alfred POIRIER on December 4, 1917 in Waukegan, Illinois during World War I. They resided in Union City, New Jersey. Sue passed away on March 20, 1981 in Waukegan, Illinois. Alfred passed away on December 13, 1974 in New York City, New York.
- Joseph TURK was born on August 20, 1899 in Ramey, Pennsylvania. He was very young looking for his age. He married Estelle KNUTSEN on December 22, 1929 in Vancouver, Washington. Estelle brought four children to this marriage from a previous husband. Estelle passed away on July 14, 1969 in Paradise, California. He married Edna KIRKPATRICK on August 9, 1970. He passed away in Paradise, California on January 1, 1988 at the age of 88. Edna presently lives in Coos Bay, Oregon with her daughter.
- Anna TURK was born April 14, 1900 in Smoke Run Pennsylvania. She passed away on July 26, 1900. Her mother, Pelagia passed along shortly after bearing her.
- Still born twins in 1903 in Clifton, New Jersey.
- Jack TURK was born in Clifton, New Jersey on March 18, 1904 in Clifton,
New Jersey. He married Millie TOUGAW on April 18, 1928 in Tacoma, Washington.
Jack passed away in San Marcos California on March 28, 1978. Millie passed
away about four or five years ago in San Marcos. A twin sister was on March
18, 1904, but she passed away in 1906.
- Rose TURK DOVER was born June 9, 1906 in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. She married
William J. MURPHY on December 13, 1922 in Waukegan, Illinois. On December
17, 1948 in Fairbanks, Alaska, she married Oran Wesley DOVER. Rose is very
proud that has lived in so many places, including vacations to Australia and
New Zealand. She lived in Fairbanks, Alaska between 1936 and 1960. They had
a dry cleaning business there. In 1955 they purchased land in Hawaii. Oran
passed away on September 23, 1966 in Kailua, Hawaii. Then Rose lived in Palm
Springs, California for a year and a half. She then resided in San Marcos,
California since 1969.
- Francis TURK MacDOWELL was born on January 3, 1908 in Waukegan, Illinois.
She resided and passed away with sister Rose in San Marcos, California on
July 1, 1977 in Lynnwood, Washington. She married Cloyd Samuel McDOWELL on
February 9, 1926 in Waukegan, Illinois. Cloyd Samuel McDOWELL passed away
on December 16, 1964 in San Diego, California.
- Frank TURK died on February 5, 1910 in Waukegan, Illinois. I do not know
- Anne TURK TURNER was born April 4, 1911 in Waukegan, Illinois. She married
Robert W. Nelson who passed away on October 16, 1952 in North Chicago. Anne
married Charles TURNER on December 9, 1967 in Waukegan, Illinois who passed
away on December 9, 1967. Anne is presently living in Waukegan, Illinois.
- Frank TURK was born October 5, 1913 in Waukegan, Illinois. He married Florence
BRANDT on November 2, 1936 in Waukegan, Illinois. He passed away in Waukegan,
Illinois in 1967.
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