Family belief was that my cousin’s wife’s grandfather, John Colesie, had changed his name. That would have proved a challenge in tracing him. John’s 1903 naturalization Declaration of Intention stated he was twenty-seven years old, a sausage maker; he was white, light complexion, 5 ft. 6 in. with hazel eyes. He was born 16 Feb. 1887 in Bliesansbach, Germany. He arrived at Buffalo, New York by rail from Toronto, Canada. We did not know whether or not he changed his name until we found a document of Marriages in Boston for April 8, 1912, which states his parents were Michael Colesie and Maria Shmidt.
At this point we don’t know when he arrived in Canada and whether or not his parents immigrated as well. A project for another day. But at least we cleared up one misconception in the oral history.