Thomasz J. Zukowsky
(Cir 1805-Cir 1865)


Family Links

1. Cynthia J. Earl

Thomasz J. Zukowsky

  • Born: Cir 1805, Siedlce, Dolnoslaskie, Poland
  • Marriage (1): Cynthia J. Earl
  • Died: Cir 1865, Watervliet, Albany County, New York about age 60
  • Buried: Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York

   Other names for Thomasz were Thomas Zukoski and Thomas Zukowski.

  General Notes:

Thomasz Zukoski

"His original name was Tomasz J Zukowsky. It changed to Thomas Zukowski and then to Thomas Zukoski. I was told that the Jewish poles had to spell their names with a "y" at the end and all the other [Christian] Poles spelled theirs with an "i" at the end so they would know who the Jews were. I have read this in some Polish history. Once they arrived in this country most changed the y to i so no one would know they were Jewish for fear of persecution." [ - Research of yafaexpress [descendent]] "
Thomas arrived in the year 1831 or 1834 [there are three entries for him and again the transcriber may have read the year incorrectly] at Port of New York at age 29. [Passenger List gives name as Thomasz Zukowski arv 1831 NY, NY. Annotation: Date and Port of arrival, Polish exiles [Is he an exile for religious reason?] who came from Triest to New York on the frigates GUERRIERA and HEBE; on the corvettes LIPSIA and ADRIA
The other two enteries are both for 1834 as follows [transcriber error?]
Tomasz Zukowski age 29 and Thomasz Zukowsky age 29 with same sources.
Bibliography: Mocha, Frank editor "Poles in America: Bicentennial Essays. Stevens Point, Wis; Worzalla Pub Co 1978 [page 181]
He was born in Siedlce, Poland. Siedlce is a town in Dolnoslaskie , a region of Poland a country on the continent of Europe The population of Siedlce now is 420 people. [This information online at <> and provided by several researchers as well as Wikipedia]
History of Siedlec
During the Second World War like many other cities in Europe, Siedlce had a significant Jewish population. At some times, indeed, Jews were the majority of its population. The presence of Jews at Siedlce is attested from the mid-16th century - inn keepers, merchants and artisans. A Jewish hospital existed in the town since the early 18th century. In 1794, a Beit Midrash (study hall) was founded in the town and 1798 the Jewish cemetery was extended, testifying to the increase of the community. These changes coincided with the town coming under Austrian rule with the Third Partition of Poland Austrian rule lasted until 1809. It was passed to Russian rule in 1815 formally (in 1813 de facto), that lasted for over a hundred years. Until 1819 the Jewish community of Warsaw, 90 kilometers [55 miles] to the west, was formally subject to the authority of the Siedlce rabbis. Jews were the majority of Siedlce's population: 3,727 (71.5%) in 1839 [Thomas left Poland c1834… - could he have been an exiled Polish Jew? Or were the varied spellings of his name just sloppy book keeping?]
Arriving at the Port of New York he came up the Hudson River [as did many immigrants seeking work; some arrived further north simply because their ship did not or would not dock at the Port of NY…it was often a whim of the ship's captain as to where he would end his voyage.] and settled in what we now call Watervliet, a city in the County of Albany, New York.
Apparently he enlisted in the military and was employed as such at the Arsenal that was situated on the banks of the Hudson River. This may also be what drew him further north out of New York City.
1813-1823 - History of Watervliet Arsenal [Wikipedia] The arsenal was chosen to be built at the edge of the village of Gibbonsville, directly opposite Troy, New York. It was chosen to be built there due to its key location on the Hudson River, only 60 miles (97 km) from Lake Champlain, 140 miles (230 km) from New York City, and a short distance via the Mohawk River to Lake Ontario. During the early stages of the War of 1812, attacks could be expected from many key ports and other locations. At the time, the Colonel of Ordnance was Decius Wadsworth ; he originally designated the arsenal to produce fixed ammunition and small articles of equipment including gun carriages, drag ropes, ladles, wormers, sponges, and shot. The original plot of land acquired by the Department of Ordnance was 12 acres (49,000 m2). Construction began in the summer of 1813 on fourteen buildings: south and north gun houses, a brick arsenal, two stables, a guard house, commanding officer's quarters, a woodshed, two enlisted men's quarters, a hospital and one office. The cost for the land was US$2,585.
In 1918 Old Gibbonsville Cemetery in Watervliet lands were purchased and remains were exhumed to make way for the expansion of the Arsenal.
The Iron Building is a historic building at the Watervliet Arsenal in Watervliet, New York . It currently serves as the Watervliet Arsenal Museum.
The Iron Building was built in 1859 [Architectural Iron Works of New York constructed the prefabricated cast iron structure] and is "an outstanding example" of pre-fabricated cast iron construction. It is also the only building at the Arsenal to have a strong degree of Italianate styling
nearly 200 years, the 143-acre Watervliet Arsenal has served as a U.S. Army manufacturing facility. On site, there is a total of 72 buildings and over 2.2 million square feet of space. The Arsenal's reputation as "America's Cannon Factory" is a testament to the vital role the facility has played in America's defense since 1813. The Arsenal is also home to Benet Laboratories, the Army's principal research and engineering facility for assigned weapon systems. Benet has a staff of 300 scientists, engineers and support personnel.

History of Watervliet
The location of the future city was taken by the village of Gibbonsville (1824) and its successor West Troy, and the hamlet of Washington (later Port Schuyler). The farm owned by John Bleeker, stretching north from Buffalo Street (Broadway and 15th Street) to the farm owned by the Oothout family near 25th Street was purchased by Philip Schuyler, Isais Warren, Richard P. Hart, Nathan Warren, and others in 1823; they named it West Troy. Gibbonsville was the farm of James Gibbons (which he purchased in 1805), which stretched from North Street (8th Street) to Buffalo Street (15th Street). Washington was settled sometime before 1814 and was the area south of Gibbonsville and today the area of Watervliet south of the Arsenal; it became known as Port Schuyler in 1827. Although Gibbonsville and West Troy sat side by side (West Troy laying on Gibbonsville's northern boundary), there was a rivalry between the two and each named and laid out their streets with no regard to the street names and grids of the other. In 1824 Gibbonsville became incorporated as a village, and in 1836 this was repealed when West Troy became incorporated as a village including Gibbonsville and Port Schuyler; and in 1847 the Watervliet post office changed its name to West Troy. In 1830 Gibbonsville had 559 people, West Troy 510, and Port Schuyler 450.
MILITARY HISTORY of T.Zukowsky/Zukowski/Zukoski:
US ARMY Register of enlistments
17 Nov 1834 Thomasz Zukowsky enlisted for 3 yrs [place wrongly entered as Watertown and should read Watervliet] and discharged Oct 1837 for Expiration of Enlistment. [1837] Remarks: At Arsenal, Watervliet, NY; blue eyes, brown hair, light complexion
[Re-enlisted] 1837 Thomas Zukowski age 31 is 5 feet 8 inches born Poland, Leidled (sic) Left service 1 Oct 1840 for Expiration of Service
1 Oct 1840 Re-enlisted and worked as a "carriage maker' [gun carriage maker?]- enlisted for 5 yrs and title was "laboratorian"...discharged 1 Oct 1840 for Expiration of Service at Watervliet as a [gun?]Carriage maker.
I could not locate him in 1840 in the census but since he was working in the Arsenal he must have lived close by, perhaps Gibbonsville as that is where he was initially buried [c1865] He was married by 1840 as his first child, a daughter, Josephine was born in 1839. Perhaps he was living in another household as a boarder? The 1840 census only gives the name of the "head of the household." It does not give the names of everyone who lived in that household, only their gender and approximate age. Thomas married a Cynthia J. Earl(e)and I did find a Robert Earle living in Ward 2 in Watervliet in 1840 (Thomas lived in Ward 2 in 1850) who may have been the father of Thomas' wife Cynthia Earl(e)].
Thomas Zukowski first appeared in the census in 1850 as a head of household. He was married and owned his home and had two children.
The census was taken 22 July 1850 for the Village of West Troy, town of Watervliet, Albany County, New York. The entries appear as follows:
Thomas Zukoski age 49 born. Circa 1801 Poland; laborer [value of real estate owned = $800 so must have owned his home] Cynthia a presumed wife was age 32 born 1818 NS [Nova Scotia is an error for transcriber meant to write NY] Josephine age 11 [NS] George W. age 8 NS Also living in the home was Eugenie Earl age 55 NS [this must have been Cynthia's mother now widowed]
Census taken 29 June 1860 2nd ward of Village [West Troy or Watervliet], Albany County NY with entries as follows:
Thos Zucoski age 52 born 1808 Poland; employed as an ammunition worker; Cynthia age 42 b. 1818 NY Josephine age 21 b. 1829 NY; George W age 18 b. 1842 NY - works as an ammunition worker Robert H. age 10 born 1850 NY Thomas T. age 6 b. 1854 NY and again the widowed Earl female who was probably the mother of Cynthia and entered as : Jane Earl age 66 b. 1794 NY
In 1861 through 1864 according to the Troy City Directory of West Troy, NY, there is an entry for Thomas Zukoski - sup. Arsenal; [living at] house on Albany [street?] near Schenectady [Street?]
[As a superintendent he obviously had a position of importance.]
1865 Troy City Directory - West Troy and Green Island Thomas Zukoski - sp't Arsenal; house Albany near Schenectady
Died sometime between 1865 and 1866 as wife is alone in 1866.
1866, 1867 - Troy City Directory - West Troy Mrs. Thomas Zukoski - house Albany near Schenectady
We know Thomasz was initially buried in what is now known as the Old Gibbonsville Cemetery in Watervliet. [see history of Watervliet Arsenal]. In 1918 all remains were exhumed to make way for the expansion of the Arsenal and his remains were transferred to Lot 432 in section 105 in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands which lies to the south of present day Watervliet. He had two sons who died young and were buried in *Gibbonsville Cemetery and they were also transferred in 1918. The Lot in Albany Rural Cemetery had been purchased by Robert, another of his sons prior to 1918.
*(Referred to as the Arsenal Burial Ground on records at Albany Rural Cemetery)

Thomasz married Cynthia J. Earl, daughter of Earl and Eugenia Jane. (Cynthia J. Earl was born in Mar 1820 in New York, died on 27 Dec 1902 in West Troy [Watervliet], Albany County, New York and was buried in Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York.)

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