Michael Marks

(aka) Mike Marks

(aka) Mikel Marks


Born: Sep 1852 in Russia

Died: 1941 in ?

Father: ?

Mother: ?

Family #1

Spouse/Partner: Lottie Schmetgall (1851 – 1924)

Married: Bet 1876 and 1881 in ?

Child: John Marks ( – )

Child: Ferdinand Marks ( – )

Child: Edward K. Marks (1882 – 1963)

Child: Maria Marks (1886 – )

Child: Leopold Marks (1891 – )


Michael and Lote immigrated to the United States in 1883, 1885 or 1887. (The U.S. Census records differ.) This may have included both Edward and Maria, though different sources have different dates. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1901.

They probably lived in New York for a time before 1900 (Leopold was born there) but I haven't found any record of this yet beyond family lore of son Edward selling newspapers in New York City.

By 1898, they were living in Dora (Otter Tail County, Minnesota). At this time, three children, Edward, Maria, and Leopold, were still living at home. In 1905 and 1910, only Leopold was at home.

The 1900 U.S. Census states that Michael and his parents were Russian, while the 1910 U.S. Census indicates they were Russian-Polish.

He was unable to read or write according to the 1910 U.S. census, but this is probably just a reference to English. By 1920 he was able to able to read and write.

Change Date

This data was last changed on 13 Apr 2009, and is stored in datafile B.

Primary and Secondary Sources

(see About Sources)

1900 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule)
National Archives and Records Administration. [applies to name, birth, marriage, notes]
1905 Minnesota State Census
[applies to name, birth, notes]
1910 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule)
National Archives and Records Administration. [applies to alias, marriage, notes]
1920 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule)
National Archives and Records Administration. [applies to alias, marriage, notes]
Interview (<private> Johnson)
Inteview, letter, notes, etc. [applies to death, notes]

Research Notes (source comments, unreliable information)

He was probably naturalized about 1900, based on his son Edward's draft registration for WWI, and Edward's naturalization certificate. The draft registration indicates Edward became a citizen by his father's naturalization, which occurred before Edward became an adult ("Before Registrant's Majority").

Family lore indicates Mikel was born on 3 Jan 1856. This is in line with the 1905 Minnesota State census, which gives his age as 49.

The 1900 U.S. Census shows that Michael's son-in-law Rudolph Galkowski (born Jun 1875 in Russia, married 1 year) was also living with them. However, it is unclear who his wife was, as Maria was only 14. Rudolph's wife may have been another (unknown) child of Mikel.

The 1900, 1910, and 1920 U.S. Census records are in disagreement over certain details. Specifically:

  • In 1900 his name was given as Michael, in 1910, he was Mikel, in 1920 he was just Mike. However, this is a minor change and could easily be personal choice or mistakes by the census taker.
  • In 1900 Michael and both parents were Russian, in 1910 and 1920 they were Russian-Polish. This may just be "more information" in 1910 and 1920.
  • The 1900 census give a birth date of Sep 1852, for an age of 47 at the time of the census. The 1910 census is barely intelligible, but seems to indicate an age of 55 or 56, a difference of one or two years. However, it could also be 58, which is still a bit off as the census was taken in April. In 1920 it was 68, also off as the census was taken in January.
  • The 1900 census give a marriage length of 23 years, putting the date sometime in 1876 or 1877. The 1910 census reports it as 29 years, for a date in 1880 or 1881.

There is a passenger record for a Michael Marks of the right age (given as 34), having left Hamburg on 26 Feb 1887 to New York (via Glasgow). His residence was given as Lossati, Russland, and his occupation was simply "worker." The ship name was the "Prague". His only listed "household member" on the trip was Ferdinand Marks (brother?) born about two years earlier.