Hojnowski Family History

Franziz Choinowski traveled to the United States onboard the Ship "Taormina" leaving from Hamburg, Germany, on 16 March 1898 and arriving in New York City on 1 April 1898. His nationality is listed as Russian/Polish and his residence is listed as Lomza. He was 23 years old and not married. His final destination was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is going to live with his brother-in-law at 903 East Girard Avenue, which is located about the intersection of Girard Avenue and Norris Street in the Fishtown Section of Philadelphia. He had $4.00 on his person. Click HERE to view actual ships manifest.


He is also listed on the Ship "Russia" leaving from Libau, Posen, Prussia, Germany, on March 24 and arriving in New York on 11 April 1909. He was 35 years old and married. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall (the manifest states that he was 6 feet 11 inches tall, but this must be an error), with light complexion, black hair, and gray eyes. His 30 year old wife, Adolfina, and 11 month old son Jusef are listed as travelling with him. Adolfina is 5 feet 6 inches tall, with light complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. Again, he and his family are listed as Russian/Polish, and their residence is listed as Lomsha, Lomsha, Russia. Jusef is listed as being born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which means that the family left the United States and returned. They are on their way to Wilmington, Delaware, to stay with Zygmont Mierzejewski, Josephine's brother, at 1111 Sycamore Street. He had $35.00 on his person. Click HERE to view page 1 of the actual ships manifest, lines 28 - 30. Click HERE to view page 2 of the actual ships manifest, lines 28 - 30.


Both immigration records list Lomza/Lamsha as the residence of Franz. The actual location is the City of Lomzha, in the Province of Lomzha, in what was then Russia. The city is now called Lomza and is in Podlaskie Province, Poland.


In the 16th century, Lomza, which lies on the shore of the Narew River, was the third largest city - behind Warsaw and Plock - in the Mazovia region. Its importance was the result of its location at the intersection of two important trade routes that cut through Europe at the time. Today, the city is still an important junction for international road transportation. Through it runs the shortest route from central Poland to the Baltic States and Finland. Its location caused the history of Lomza, marked by significant periods of economic development as well as destruction during wars, to reflect the history of Poland. After World War II, three-fourths of the city lay in ruins, and the number of inhabitants was reduced by 60%. Visible growth was not noted until the 1970's and 1980's, when large cotton, furniture, and food-processing plants were built here. Economic transformation in the 1990's, however, resulted in the collapse of the local industry, which was not able to adapt to market conditions.


The "Taormina" was built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Glasgow, for Robert M. Sloman's Australia Sloman Linie AG, and launched on 12 March 1884. 2,528 tons; 97.55 x 11,82 x 7,82 meters (length x breadth x depth of hold); straight stem; 1 funnel, 3 masts; iron construction, screw propulsion, double-expansion engines, service speed 11 knots; accommodation for 600 passengers in steerage.


Although built for Sloman's Australia service, the "Taormina" made only two voyages to Australia in 1884. In 1886, Norddeutscher Lloyd, with a substantial subsidy from the German government, introduced an express mail service between Bremen and Australia, and Sloman, feeling that there was room for only one German line on the route, withdrew his ships. To keep his vessels, including the "Taormina", employed, Sloman entered into an arrangement with his nephew, Edward Carr (who since 1880 had run a freight and steerage passenger service between Hamburg and New York), to form the "Union Line", in which each man had a 50 per cent interest. The Union Line was a holding company, and never owned any vessels. 14 July 1886, first voyage, Hamburg-New York. 28 December 1888, from the Australia Sloman Linie AG to the firm of Rob. M. Sloman & Co. 18 January 1901, after the death of Sloman, to the new firm of Rob. M. Sloman jr. 13 March 1901, last voyage, Hamburg-New York; freight service only. 17 January 1911, sold to L. E. Conti in Genoa; renamed "Taormin". 18 January 1917, torpedoed and sunk 60 miles from Fowey, Cornwall, by German submarine U16.

Ship Russia

The "Russia" was built by Barclay, Curle & Co.Ltd, Glasgow in 1908 for the Russian American line. She was a 8,596 gross ton vessel, length 475ft x beam 57.7ft, two funnels, four masts, twin screw and a speed of 15 knots. Accommodation for 40-1st, 56-2nd and 1,626-3rd class passengers. She was launched on 19/3/1908 and after running for this company between Libau and New York, was laid up at Kronstadt in Aug.1914. In 1917 she was renamed "Rossija" and later "Russ". In 1921 she went to the Baltic American line and was renamed "Latvia". She commenced her first voyage for this company on 11/7/1921 when she left Libau for Danzig, Halifax and New York. In Aug.1921 she was rebuilt to carry cabin class and 3rd class passengers only and on 7/2/1923 commenced her last voyage from Libau to Danzig, Copenhagen and New York after making a total of nine round voyages on the North Atlantic run. She was sold to Osaka Shosen Kaisha of Japan in 1924 and renamed "Fuso Maru" and rebuilt with two masts. In 1938 her name was respelt as "Huso Maru" and on 31/7/1944 she was torpedoed and sunk off Luzon, Philippines by the US submarine "Steelhead". [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol 4, p.1512] .There is a photograph of this ship as the "Russia" in North Atlantic Seaway, vol.3.

Click here to view photographs to the Frank and Josephine Hojnowski  family.
For more information on these and other Hojnowski Family members, check the database on my homepage.