Anton and Susie (circa 1910)

The Family Surname

As was the case with many immigrants to the United States, the surname spelling has several variations because of alphabet and pronunciation differences.  The actual spelling that exists on Anton's birth record in the Slovakian church his parents attended is Virec.  This spelling also appears on his immigrant index card created on his arrival in New York.  However, this likely presented problems thereafter, because in Slovakia, the letter c is pronounced like the ts at the end of "cats" or "oats."  It appears that sometime after his arrival, Anton adopted an Anglo-phonetic version, Virecz, as reflected in his signature below.

 

Because the name was penned this way by Anton himself, it was selected as the most appropriate version for use in the title of this web page.  The signature was copied from his Petition for Naturalization which he signed on March 4, 1913, and appears in similar form on subsequent naturalization documents. 

Descendants currently use two alternative spellings, Weritz and Veritz.  Both spelling are contained on his death certificate issued in 1938.  The two spellings have been attributed to a priest when the when fraternal twins, Peter and Paul, were baptized.  Although they were born and subsequently baptized on the same days, as incredible as it seems, the priest entered a different surname spelling on the baptismal certificate of each.    

 

Biography

Anton was born in Divina, Slovakia on June 3, 1880 to Joannes and Eva [Bogan] Virec.  At the time, what is now Slovakia was part of the Austria-Hungry Empire.  On his naturalization papers, Anton listed his place of birth as Gross Divind, Hungary, which was the name used by Hungarian authorities.  Susie (Susanna) Kozik was born N. Divina on April 18, 1886.  It is likely that both references are to the same town.  She and Anton apparently married before emigrating.  The records indicate that Anton arrived at the Port of New York on April 27, 1905 aboard the Barbarossa.  During that period, it was customary for the husband to first emigrate, and once settled, the wife would follow. 


The Barbarossa

Anton first settled in Blairsville, Pennsylvania and Susie joined him there in 1907.  Ellis Island records indicate Susie arrived on January 16th aboard the Kronprinz Wilhelm.  This was the same ship taken later that year by Peter Chubon, a family friend.  Her residence prior to departure listed on the ship manifest was Turzovka, Hungary.   It is speculated that she took up residence with other family or friends living in Turzovka when Anton departed for America.


For more about the Kronprinz, click here.

The Barbarossa ship manifest also indicates that at the time Anton arrived, he was going to a brother-in-law, Frank Greno, who was living in Blairsville.  That suggests that Anton had a sister in this country.  A daughter Veronika [Verna] was born while they were living in Blairsville.  Anton's naturalization records indicate that by 1909 they were living in James City, PA.   Two more daughters were born while they resided in James City: Ann in 1911 and Mary in 1913.  In 1915, they were living on a farm at Lamont, PA, which is a few miles from James City.  

Anton's immigration preceded that of his close friend, Peter Chubon [Čuboņ] by approximately two years.  In Slovakia, they resided in nearby towns (Divina and Turzovka) and both were drotars (tinsmiths).  Anton's and Peter's paths frequently crossed while peddling their wares in Slovakia, which is how the friendship started.  It is noted, however, that on the ship manifest, "farmer" was the recorded occupation of Anton.

The close proximity of their homes, perhaps 12 miles, can been seen on the above map.  Eventually they came together again in James City, where both worked in a glass factory.  Around 1915, Anton bought a small farm at Lamont, and about four years later, Peter bought a farm across the road from Anton's.  The two families were close-knit, helping one another with the farm work and socializing.   Anton's daughter Amelia married Peter's son Peter in 1935, establishing a formal tie.  Information about James City and Lamont are contained on a Chubon Family Page, which can be reached by clicking here.  

Anton's farm was a complete dairy operation wherein he bottled and distributed the milk from his cows house-to-house in Lamont and James City in a horse-drawn buggy.  Probably because of the need to have running water for the bottle washing operation in the milk house, the farm was among the most progressive in the area.  One truly unique facility was a round brooder house where hundreds of baby chicks were reared each year.  The round building had no corners into which the chicks could crowd and smother, as they were prone to do.  To supplement the farm income, Anton and Susie  took in as many as 18 borders, who were housed in a barracks-like building near the barn.  Susie and the children did the cooking for all!  One other notable source of income was from the sale of moonshine which Anton made, as did most of the area farmers.  He has the dubious distinction of being the only one known to have been caught and arrested by the revenuers.  The story handed down by their children is that when he was raided by the federal agents, some of the children raced throughout the area on horseback, warning others in the moonshine business so they could hide their stills.  Anton reportedly was tried and convicted in federal court in Pittsburgh.  He was placed on probation in lieu of incarceration because of the hardship it would have imposed on the family with so many children.   Some family members reported that by the time he returned from the trial, the neighbors had built him a new still out of gratitude for the warning given by the children.  The farm remains in the family.  It is now owned and maintained by Allen and Anita Johnson.  Allen is the son of Anton's and Susie's daughter Elizabeth.  

Grandmother Susie was an outstanding cook and gardener.  Whether preparing a holiday feast or a meal for the threshing crews,  she went all out.  She regularly picked and served delectable wild mushrooms when in season, and made a memorable Christmas sauerkraut soup that included some she had preserved by drying them.  Her holiday breads and other baked goods were outstanding.  Both her vegetable and flower gardens were the envy of the neighborhood.  She even was able to grow beautiful head lettuce, which was an unrivaled feat in the area because of the relatively poor soil and short growing season.  Huge peonies, lilies, begonias, and hollyhocks adorned the front yard.  Because small clusters of hollyhocks stood out in the yard and because of their old world origin, they have been chosen as the adornment for this page.  They were often planted next to buildings which would lend support for their tall stems, often reaching a height of six feet or more.  Little girls made dolls from the hollyhocks by pinning an unopened bud to the base of an inverted bloom, which resembled a skirt.  To pass the cold winter days, Susie made feather ticks  (thick comforters) and pillows from the down she plucked from her flock of geese that roamed the yard.  (Photo - Susie cutting a birthday cake in the late 1950s or early 60s.) 

Christmas Eve at the farm was a tradition, with all the families attending.  The tree was usually set up in the living room, with presents far exceeding the amount of space available under the tree.  

In addition to Anton's  relatively early death, other family tragedies include son John's suicide as a spurned lover in 1939.  Also, while Steve was serving as a Seabee during World War II, the bulldozer which he was operating on a South Pacific island was overturned by a bomb blast.   He sustained both physical and psychological injuries which resulted in him living out the remainder of his life in Veterans Administration hospitals.  

Anton died on October 31, 1938.   The cause of death listed on his official Pennsylvania death certificate was cancer of the cecum (upper part of the large intestine).  Two days prior to his death, he had undergone a laparotomy (surgical opening of the abdomen) in the Kane Summit Hospital.  Susie died on October 23, 1972.  Death was attributed to complications following a stroke. 

Somewhat of a mystery emerged during the search for information about Anton's friend and neighbor, Peter Chubon.  Among the passengers on the ship that brought Peter's wife Rosa to the United States on August 3, 1910, the Barbarossa, was a passenger named Maria Virecz, with a final destination given as Kane, PA.  Thirty-two year old Maria was accompanied by her 4 1/2 year old son, Rudolf.  Her husband's name was listed as Peter Virecz and her place of origin was Turzovka.  Because of the same area of origin and surname of Anton, as well as the destination of Kane, PA., this was likely a relative coming to visit or stay.  However, they were unknown to surviving family members.  Additional research revealed that Peter arrived in New York on August 1, 1907 aboard the Pannonia.  It is likely that this is the Peter listed as Maria's husband and was Anton's brother and the father of Peter Weritz who eventually married Anton's daughter Mary.    

Because the history of Anton and Susie Virecz and Peter and Rosa Chubon have been interleaved, the two family web pages are cross-linked.  Many details about the about their lives in James City and Lamont are similar.  To reach the Chubon pages, click here.  

Other facts being explored: 

According to Pete Chubon, husband of Amelia, Susie's father's name was Ignatius Kozik.  He also wrote in a letter to granddaughter Linda, that Anton's and his father Peter's wives joined them in 1906.  However, we have established that Rose Chubon did not arrive until 1910.  It is probable that only Susie arrived in 1906 and time clouded his memory.  To date, the name of the ship that Susie came to the U.S. on and other immigration specifics have not been found.  

According to a published history of Turzovka, in the 1940s, there were 11 joiners (interior carpenters) in the town.  One was named Anton Virec and another, Frantisek Cubon [Chubon]!

Church records indicate that Grandfather Anton had at least one brother, Adam, who was born on January 9, 1870.  There probably were others including Peter, discussed above.  It was customary to give the first born son the father's given name, so he likely had a brother, Joannes.  

 

Descendants of Anton and Susie

Verna [Veronika] Veritz (10-13-1907 - 4-17-93) + Edward Johnson (2-22-1906 - 5-14-1968) Married 2-1-1936

Ann Weritz (5-14-1911 - 10-03-1986) + John Mattis (6-3-1913 - 9-2-2004) Married: 11-28-1936

John Joel (b. 9-16-1938) + ?

Joel Howard (b. 9-20-1964)

Marsha (4-3-1952  - 2012) + Mike Flowers

Mark (b. 6-19-1950)

Mary  Weritz (6-29-1913 - 10-30-1987) + Peter Weritz (5-17-1911 - 8-?-1970) Married August, 1936 or 1937

Mary Ann (b. 4-5-1950) +  Gary Hintz (b. 7-19-1946) Married 12-24-1980

John Paul (b. 3-5-1952)

Amelia Weritz  (7-8-1915 - 8-13-1998) + Peter Chubon (6-12-1912 - 12-17-93)

Richard Peter (b. 12-3-1935) + Donna L. Bennet

Richard Scott  (b. 4-31-1959) + Jeannine Soucy (b. 7-15-1962)

Natalie Rose (b. 9-20-1999)
Matthew Peter (b. 2003)

Linda Sue +(b. 11-21- 1962) Dale Larkee Marrried: 10-22-1988

Jacob Robert (b.10-18-1990)
Melissa Ann (b.9-19-1997) 

Karen Lee (b.  1-13-1963) + Dave Dodaro

Matthew James (b. 2003)
Kaitlyn Lee (b. 2007)


James Robert  (b. 10-25-1968) + Marion Kuropatkin

Owen Kuropatkin (b.8-16-1994)
Elliot Isaac  (b. 2002)

Robert Anthony (b. 11-22-1937) + Sandra Hildebran (b. 10-14-1940)
Joyce Amelia (b. 10-4-1940)

Jeffrey (b. 1965) + Karen Ann Carter

Peter Louis (b. 2009)

Travis J.J. (b. 2012)

Sandra Lee (b. 1-8-1942) + Bruce Tompkins (1944 - 1999)

Steven Tompkins
Kenneth Tompkins (b. 2-23-1974) + Elizabeth Galderisi

Reagan Elizabeth (b.2010)

John Weritz (?-?-1916 - 12-27-1939)

Peter* Lawrence Veritz (7-26-1918 - 2-6-1997 ) + Pauline Trulik (5-4-1923 - 4-14-2010)

Anthony (Butch) (b. 5-29-50) + Karen ? (b. 1961)

    Nichole Nowicki-Veritz (b. 7-4-1983)

Paula + Paul Johnson (b. 1949) Married: 8-20-1977

Kate (b. 10-26-1981)

Nancy  (b. 5-10-1954) + Bruce Cowan (b. 9-15-1951) Married 10-28-1972

Paul* John Weritz (7-26-1918 - 6-?-1983)
*Fraternal twins: Note that despite the fact that Peter and Paul were fraternal twins, the surname spellings are different.  Apparently they were recorded differently in the church baptismal records.  Even more confusion resulted from the army listing Paul John as John Paul in their records!

Steve Veritz (12-7-1919 - 12-4-1991)

Eva Agnes Veritz (3-3-1922 - 6-27-2007) + Edward Thomas Udovich (11-9-1917 - 2-17-1996)
Married: 11-29-1947

Sally Ann (12-15-1950 - 4-21-1960)

Judith Marie (5-4-1961 -) + Darren Matthew Weber (9-1-68 -)

Matthew Christopher (9-11-2000 -)
 

Frank J. Veritz (10-21-24 - 7-13-2003 ) + Barbara Brechtel (6-10-1924 - 8-26-1998) Married: 9-16-44

Diane Louise (12-22-1947 -) + Vincent A. Hinkle (4-10-1948) Married: 6-22-1968

Kelly D. (3-2-1974 -) + Tim Gresh (6-23-1975 -) Married: 6-19-99

Korey V. (7-6-1978 -)

Barbara Sue + Jack Mosier marriedd: 9-28-1973

Melissa Marie (b. 9-7-1975)

Jared Scott (b. 4-16-1979)

Elizabeth Weritz (2-27-1929 - 9-19-2011) + Everett Johnson (3-6-1923 - 5-7-1991)

Jennifer Jean (b. 12-3-1950) + Robert Maykowski (b. 3-21-1955) Married 10-15-1994

Hilary Peterson (b. 9-25-1984) + Jason Robert Payne Married June 3, 2006

    Sydney Elizabeth (12-13-2006)

Allen Everett (b. 2-24-1955) + Anita Marie Lundgren (b. 3-27-1955) Married 6-26-1976)

Chad Everett (b. 12-15-1979)

Paul Edward (b. 7-15-1983)

Kevin Paul (2-24-58 - 5-13-81)

 

 

Send your comments about this page to Bob Chubon, the webmaster: irachubon@sc.rr.comiii

Last updated: May 12, 2012