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of Lena
Descendant contact: Caryl

Using censuses and old vital record documents, an interesting summary can be made of the Sucharsky family journey from Europe to their lives in Lena, Oconto County, Wisconsin. As with many surnames, a little imagination and a lot of trial and error are used in gathering the general information, because the surname was found with many spelling variations. Birth dates, location of residence, sibling's names and other facts are used to confirm family connections. The 1890 Federal Census was destroyed early in the last century and is not available. The first census to include the family was in 1900. By this time, only the three youngest children remained in the original Lena homestead household.

By 1900, Jacob and his wife Flora Sucharski had lived in the United States for 20 years, having immigrated from an area of what was traditionally, and is now, Poland. Poland was a foreign occupied nation for most of the time since the mid 1600s. Depending on the time frame, it was dominated by France, Bohemia, Prussia, Russia, Germany and Austria; often being split between foreign governments. Throughout these centuries of turmoil, the Polish people maintained their proud identity through language, culture and tradition.

The Sucharsky family came from a part of Poland dominated by Bohemian in 1880. Jacob and Flora had been married there almost certainly in the year 1865. The first 7 of their 10 children were born in Poland, with the three following brothers being born in Wisconsin starting in 1882. It was common place for members of large families to pool their money, saving it for years, in order to pay for passage to America. Most were agricultural tenant farmers and came here with very little but their strong work ethic. Often older children were sent ahead, using precious family funds. Once in America, these young adult family members were more able to find jobs than in Poland, and worked to sent money home so the rest of the family could immigrate.

Not having it's own government, Poland's people lived spartan existence with much of the national and personal incomes going directly to occupying nations. Little, if anything, was invested in Poland and it's population to improve lives. Coming to America meant the first opportunity for generations of Poles to own land, attain material property and build an independent existence of any kind. Facing years of hard work and sacrifice was seen as a small price to pay for this freedom with the first opportunity of education for their children.

Over the years, the family structure was as follows:

1900 Census
Lena, Oconto, Wisconsin

Jacob Sucharsky - Head of Household - born April 1835 in Bohemia (& both parents also) - immigrated in 1880 - petitioned for citizenship - Farmer (died 1923)
Flora (Florence, Florianna)- wife - born Aug 1847 - married 35 years - born in Bohemia (& both parents also)- immigrated in 1880 - (women did not have citizenship in the USA until 1920) - gave birth to 10 children, with 10 living in 1900. (died 1909)
Frank - born May 1882 in Wisconsin - Son (died 1936)
Joseph - born June 1883 in Wisconsin - Son (died 1954)
Lewis (Leopold, Louis) - born Dec 1886 in Wisconsin - Son (died 1922)

The passenger list for the for Steam Ship "Kroonland", which departed Antwerp, Belgium,  April 26, 1907 and arrived at the Port of New York on June 9, included the names of Joseph Sucharsky, son of Jacob Sucharsky of Wisconsin, and his wife Mary. They had made a visit to "Wash" (abbreviation of city name used on ship's manifest), Polish Russia. Both are listed as being born in the US and living in Wisconsin. This would have been early in their marriage. Mary Sucharsky is listed as having been in the Hospital and was using a wheelchair to board.  The trip had been paid for by Joseph's uncle living in Milwaukee.

By 1910, Flora had passed away and Jacob Sucharsky had turned over head of household to son Joseph. Their homeland of origin was now called Polish Germany. Joseph was age 26 years and had married Mary Dembrosky, age 22 years, from Lena, Wisconsin, four years earlier. The couple had one daughter, Matilda age 6 months living, and had lost another child before 1910. Jacob's youngest son, Lewis (Leopold), age 23 and single, was also living in the farm household.

1910 Census
Lena, Oconto, WI

Joseph Sucharsky -  Head of Household - born in WI 1883 - both parents born in Polish Germany - farmer
Mary G Sucharsky - Wife  - born 1888 Pennsylvania - parents born in Polish Russia - 2 children born, one living.
Matilda I Sucharsky  abt 1910 Wisconsin - Daughter

Jacob Sucharsky- Father of Head - widowed - born 1835 in Polish Germany
Leopold (Lewis) Sucharsky - Brother - single - born 1886 in Wisconsin

By 1920 Joseph and Mary Sucharsky continued to farm near Lena with their family growing rapidly. There were now 4 daughters and two sons. Joseph's single brothers Frank and Lewis were also in the household along with their 75 year old father Jacob Sucharsky.  Florianna (Florence) Sucharsky, wife of Jacob, had died September 10, 1909 and was buied in Sacred Heart Cemetery..

1920 Census
Lena, Oconto, Wisconsin

Joseph Sucharsky - Head - born 1883 in Wisconsin -
Mary  - Wife - born in Pennsylvania 1888
Matilda - Daughter - Wisconsin abt 1910
Cecelia   - Daughter - Wisconsin abt 1913
Clarence  J. - Son - born in Wisconsin Jan. 7, 1914 - died in Brookfield, WI November 27, 2006
Mary  - Daughter - Wisconsin abt 1915
Walter   - Son - Wisconsin July 3,1918
Frances - Daughter - Wisconsin  1919 (6 months old)

Frank  - Brother - single - born Wisconsin  1882 - died 1936 buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Louis (Lewis, Leopold) -  Brother - single - born Wisconsin 1886 - died 1922 buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Jacob - Father - widowed - born Poland 1835 - died 1923 buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery.

Family patriarch Jacob Sucharsky had passed away in 1923 and was buried with his wife in Sacred Heart Cemetery. His son Joseph, now age 45, and Joseph's wife Mary age 42, continued farming and had added another son to the family, bringing the number of children to 7. They had lost an infant son named Steven in 1908, who was buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery. The two oldest, daughters, were no longer living in the household.  Brothers Frank had also moved away and Louis had died in 1922.

1930 Census
Lena, Oconto, WI
Joseph D Sucharsky  Head - died in 1954 buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery
Mary G Sucharsky    Wife - died 1957 buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery. -
Clarence J Sucharsky  WI abt 1914     Son
Mary F Sucharsky  WI abt 1916     Daughter
Walter W Sucharsky WI  July 3,1918     Son
Francis S Sucharsky  WI  1919     Daughter
Chester A Sucharsky - born in WI August 24, 1922 - died in West Plains, MO Jan. 7, 1997   Son