Fearless Female – Zofia Szczerba Mirota (1879-1953)

Bapcia at home on the farm in New Jersey

Bapcia at home on the farm in New Jersey

This picture is of my Polish grandmother, called Bapcia by my family. She’s working the fields of the family farm in Readington Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. I think the young man helping could be neighbor Edward DelCarlo. The photo is undated, but most likely was taken in the 1930s. I love this photo of Bapcia, because it is a scene of a vanishing time across the world, when farming was still done mostly by hand. Her hair would have been almost the color of the field, a lovely soft yellow blonde, that she kept looking beautiful by using a chamomile flower rinse and rain water collected in barrels.

Here’s the information from her immigration record: “June 22, 1906. Arrives in Port of Baltimore, MD on SS Rhein. Occupation: Servant. Traveled alone. Country from Galicia, Austria. Race or People: Polish. City or Town (from): Berdechow.  Destination: Carnegie, PA. Currency on hand: $12.00.  Age: 26. Able to read & write: No. Marital Status: Single. Name of person traveling to: Teresa Motyka (cousin), No. 212 Okelf Street, Carnegie, PA.” Sounds pretty fearless to me, for Bapcia to travel alone across Europe, and then on a ship across the Atlantic Ocean to find a better life!

This month Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist is back again with blogging prompts for Fearless Females in honor of Women’s History Month. Take a look!


About Maryann Barnes

I live in Virginia and enjoy meandering walks back into the past. I also enjoy old photographs and sharing family research.
This entry was posted in Berdechow au Bobowa, Blogger, Family Names, Fearless Females, Grandparents, Hunterdon County, Maryann, Mirota, New Jersey, Poland, Readington Township, Research, Sczcerba and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fearless Female – Zofia Szczerba Mirota (1879-1953)

  1. Amy says:

    Great photo and story. It is remarkable how brave all those young (and not so young) immigrants were.

    • Maryann Barnes says:

      Thanks, Amy! I’m also in awe of the bravery of people that pick up and start over in a new place. Quite often they only speak a few words of the language of their new home. No guts – no glory. I heard that often.

  2. I love this photo and story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Maryann Barnes says:

    Thanks, Amberly! So nice to know you enjoyed stopping by!

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