Eva Daukšaitė (1883-1971)

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Eva Daukšaitė (1883-1971)
Ieva Daukšaitė
Eva Douse0002
Sex: Female
Birth: October 31, 1883 in Lithuania
Death: January 15, 1971 in New Jersey
Father: Jonas Daukša (1859-aft1920)
Mother: unknown
Spouse/Partner: Peter Račius (1879-1944)
Marriage: August 14, 1900 in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania
Children: Elizabeth Tresa Rice (1901-1985)
Eva Marie Rice (1903-1994)
John Rice (c1908-bef1915)
Peter Rice II (1908-1962)
Katherine Rice (1914-1987)
Edward Rice (1916-1920)
Margaret Rice (1924-2007)

Ieva Daukšaitė (1883-1971), a.k.a. Eva Douse (married name Ieva Račienė, a.k.a. Eva Rice) was a Lithuanian immigrant to the United States, and the mother of seven children, five of whom survived to maturity.

Birth in 1883Edit

Eva was born October 31, 1883 in Lithuania. Her father, Jonas Daukša, came to America with Eva when she was a child, and her descendants do not recall any mention of her mother's name. Eva's mother likely died in Lithuania, possibly in childbirth. In America, Eva's father adopted the name John for himself, and the surname Douse for his family, (although a more direct transliteration of Dauksha was also used in early family records). Note that Eva's Lithuanian surname Daukšaitė is the feminine version of Daukša.

Childhood (1884-1899)Edit

Life in LithuaniaEdit

Almost nothing is known regarding Eva's early childhood in Lithuania. It is suspected that her mother died in childbirth, or at some other time prior to Eva's arrival to the United States.

Immigration in 1889Edit

Eva and her father (along with Eva's only full-sibling Marijona, a.k.a. Maryanna) are believed to have arrived in the United States from Lithuania in 1889, when Eva was 5 or 6 years old. They entered through Ellis Island in New York. John took his two daughters to Centralia, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, where he joined his younger brother Michael who had already come to America and found employment in the coal mines of Pennsylvania around seven or eight years prior. In 1889, Eva's uncle Michael Dauksha resided in Centralia with his wife Helen and their first son Joseph James Douse (then 1 year old) and their newborn daughter Anna Douse. Eva's uncle Michael and aunt Helen would eventually have approximately 9 more children over the coming years.

Arrival of Eva's uncle Peter in 1891Edit

Peter, another brother of Eva's father John, arrived in Pennsylvania from Lithuania in 1891. Peter had a wife named Anne who arrived a year later from Lithuania. Peter and Anne did not have any children.

Second Marriage of Eva's father around 1895Edit

Around 1895, Eva's father allegedly married for a second time in Pennsylvania. Like his first wife, his second wife's name is presently unknown, and there is some speculation that this second marriage did not occur, dispite John's fathering of two sons by some unknown woman in the late 1890s.

Birth of Eva's two half-brothers between 1896 and 1898Edit

Eva's father had the first of his two sons by his second wife in 1896. The first boy's name was Joseph Jacob Douse. A second son was born to John in 1897, who he named Charles Douse.

Marriage of Eva's sister Maryanna in 1898Edit

On January 3, 1898, Eva's only full sibling, her older sister Marijona, a.k.a. Maryanna, married a man by the name of Jonas Szates in Columbia County, Pennsylvania. At the age of 14, Eva became the oldest unmarried member of the Douse family in America.

Turn of the CenturyEdit

The year 1900 was a turning point in the life of Eva Douse. In 1900, she had a near death experience, she got married, and she moved away from the Pennsylvania coal-mines to New Jersey with her new husband.

1900 Federal CensusEdit


Eva resided in the household of Simon Bernetas in Girardsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, in the 1900 census. She was a domestic servant. As her father John was busy attempting to start a new family in America, he had left Eva to care for herself.


Meanwhile, Eva's father John was residing with his two sons in the household of Mary (Wilkowska) Rice in nearby Conyngham Township, Columbia County, Pennsylvania. Mary took boarders to supplement her husband Joseph Rice's meager coal-mining income (or in lieu of Joseph's income when he was not providing for the family). Interestingly, in the 1900 census, neither Mary Rice's husband Joseph, nor John Douse's alleged second wife resided in this household. In fact, Mary reported herself as a widow, although her husband Joseph Rice was alive, as he returned to the family by 1920. The unknown mother of the Douse children probably died around the same time that Joseph Rice had deserted his wife Mary. After John's disappearance, Eva's childless uncle Peter Douse took in Eva's two young half-brothers prior to 1910.

Scarlet feverEdit

During the early part of 1900, Eva nearly died from scarlet fever. She was sick for a prolonged period of time, and yet unmarried, she was left to care for herself. According to her grand-daughter Kathleen (Szczesny) Borland, Eva lost her hair from the fever (although it did, of course, grow back).

Marriage to Peter RiceEdit

Peter Rice Eva Douse Wedding Photo

Eva Dauksha & Peter Rice Wedding Photograph

On August 14, 1900 in Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, Eva married Peter Rice, a son of the above mentioned Joseph Rice and Mary (Wilkowska) Rice. The marriage was arranged by Peter's mother Mary and Eva's father John. John Douse told Eva she had to get married as soon as possible, as he was about to leave the family, and he wasn't taking her with him. Eva was under-age, so John authorized the marriage to occur. Eva did not love Peter, but she married him anyway. Their marriage license was obtained on July 28th, 1900, and the marriage ceremony took place at Holy Cross Church. Eva's uncle Michael Dauksha was listed as a witness on the certificate of marriage provided by the church.

Holy Cross church was constructed in 1892 in Mount Carmel as a Roman Catholic church for the Lithuanian and other immigrants who had come to the area to work in the coal mines.

Move to Jersey CityEdit

In late 1900, or possibly early 1901, Peter and Eva moved away from the coal mines of Pennsylvania to Jersey City, in Hudson County, New Jersey. During this time period, the portion of downtown Jersey City near the Hudson River waterfront, was home to a large community of eastern European immigrants such as Eva. Most of these immigrants were Polish. Peter Rice's mother Mary appears to have made the move to Jersey City around the same time, or shortly after Peter and Eva.

Debate as to the identity of Eva's step-motherEdit

It had been suggested that perhaps Mary Rice was in fact Eva's stepmother. However, Mary Rice already had a son named Joseph M. Rice, so it had seemed unlikely that she would have named another child Joseph J. Douse (especially considering the fact that her husband, named Joseph, had just deserted her). Information obtained from the Social Security Administration revealed that Eva's stepmother's name was Amelia, debunking this theory.

Child-Bearing Years (1901-1924)Edit

Throughout the first twenty-five years following their marriage, Eva would come to bear Peter the following seven children, all of whom were born in Jersey City, New Jersey:

This list of children is believed to be complete. During these years, Eva's sister Maryanna moved west to Illinois in the early 1900s and then further west to Detroit, Michigan, just prior to 1920. Maryanna's married name was transformed from Szates to Shotis somewhere along the way as well. Eva's two half-brothers Joseph and Charles moved west to Raleigh County, West Virginia, with Eva's uncle Peter and worked in the coal mines there. Eva's uncle Michael remained in Pennsylvania, where by 1910, he became the proprietor of a saloon in Centralia. Michael died prior to 1920. Eva's father John disappeared until the 1920 census, where he resided once again with Eva in Jersey City.

1910 Federal CensusEdit

In 1910, Eva resided in the household of her husband Peter on Wayne Street in Jersey City, New Jersey. The household in 1910 consisted of Peter and wife Eva, as well as well as their four young children Elizabeth, Peter II, Eva and John. Peter's mother Mary also lived nearby on Wayne Street.

1915 New Jersey Census and the death of Eva's son JohnEdit

1915 NJ Rice Douse Census

Peter Rice household in the 1915 NJ Census

By 1915, the family resided at 197 Washington Street in Jersey City. This residence was an apartment building located either at or next to where the Lighthorse Tavern restaurant presently stands. The household in 1915 consisted of Peter and wife Eva, as well as children Elizabeth, Peter II, Eva and a new daughter Katherine. By 1915, Peter's father Joseph Rice also resided with the family. Peter's occupation was listed as saloon keeper. Peter's mother Mary had already died, and apparently so had Peter and Eva's son John Rice.

Marriage of Eva's daughter Elizabeth in 1918Edit

On September 13, 1818, Eva's daughter Elizabeth Tresa Rice, known by family as Lizzie, was the first of the children to marry. Lizzie married a Portuguese immigrant by the name of Anthony De Falcon. The couple remained in Jersey City, and on June 19, 1919, Eva's first grandson, Anthony De Falcon, Jr., was born.

1920 Federal CensusEdit

Peter Rice Family (c1930)

Peter & Eva Rice Family (probably taken around 1920)

In 1920, the family resided at 133 Morgan Street in Jersey City. This address is approximately 1 block west of their previous home on Washington Street. The household in 1930 consisted of Peter and wife Eva, as well as children Eva, Peter II, Katherine and a new son Edward. Peter's father Joseph also still resided with the family, and in addition, Eva's father John Douse appears in the household. Peter's occupation was listed as cook. Daughter Eva was working as a packer in a cigar mill. Both Joseph Rice and John Douse were not employed.

Death of Eva's son Edward in 1920Edit

Eva's son Edward Rice died February 2, 1920. Edward was only about 4 years old.

Marriage of Eva's daughter Eva Marie in 1922Edit

Eva Siney Dorothy Siney Katherine Rice Eva Douse

Eva (Rice) Siney, Elizabeth Dorothy Siney, Katherine Rice & Eva (Douse) Rice

Damaged Rice Photo 01

Eva (Douse) Rice & Eva (Rice) Siney families

On December 30, 1922, another of Eva's daughters, Eva Marie Rice left the home to marry. Her husband was John J. Siney, a truck driver. Like Lizzy, Eva remained in Jersey City, and nine months later, on August 28, 1923, a second grandchild was born, Elizabeth Dorothy Siney. Unfortunately, this grand-daughter died at the age of 2 years in 1925. The Sineys would later open a cleaning business together.

Move to 232 10th Street around 1922Edit

Around 1922, the family moved to 232 10th Street, also in Jersey City. This would be Eva's home for the next 22 years, until the death of her husband.

Birth of Eva's last daughter MargaretEdit

At around the age of 41, Eva had her last child Margaret Rice on June 16, 1924. At birth, Margaret was already an aunt to her sisters Lizzie and Eva Marie's first-born children.

Peter and Eva's Last Two Decades Together (1925-1944)Edit

Peter Rice & Eva Douse

Peter & Eva

As the census records subsequent to 1930 are yet unavailable to the public, much of the information in this section and the next has been provided by Eva's daughter Margaret, the only daughter which lived in the Peter Rice - Eva Douse household throughout the entire period of 1925 through 1944, or by Margaret's daughter Kathleen, to whom Margaret relayed many of the events from this time period. Some of the information also comes from historical records, and from essays and funeral mass cards found in Margaret Rice's home after her death in 2007.

The Great DepressionEdit

When the stock market crashed in 1929, living conditions for the already financially struggling Rice family worsened. Peter and Eva waited on lines for government food, and they took their youngest children with them to ensure the receipt of adequate amount of rations to feed the family. Eva's daughter Margaret reported that during the time period, the Peter drank heavily and constantly asked Eva to give him all of the family's money. Peter gambled as well, and at different points of time he had both won and lost the title to a saloon in Jersey City at card games. Eva would often hide with Margaret in movie theaters in the day time so that Peter couldn't ask for more money. Peter would be missing for periods of time, and he would be drunk at nights, making Eva feed him, and subsequently complaining that he hadn't been fed. During this time period, Eva worked as a janitor in the building where the family lived, and in a few of the surrounding buildings.

1930 CensusEdit

Eva Douse (1938 Daughter Margaret's 8th Grade Grad)

Eva in 1938

Eva (Douse) Rice (unknown year)

Eva (unknown year)

In 1930, the family resided on 10th Street in Jersey City. The household in 1930 consisted of Peter and wife Eva, as well as children Peter II, Katherine and Margaret. As discussed in the previous secion, Eva's daughters Elizabeth and Eva were already married by 1930, and sons John and Edward had died.

Life events of Eva's childrenEdit

Anthony Defalcon Obit

Obituary of Eva's son-in-law Anthony DeFalcon

The following is a list of the major life events of Eva's children which occurred between the mid 1920s and the mid 1940s:

Marriage of Eva's daughter Katherine in 1931Edit

Eva's daughter Katherine married and left home in 1931. Katherine's first husband was Paul Olson, and they married in Port Jefferson, Suffolk County, New York on December 26, 1931.

Marriage of Eva's son Peter in 1936Edit

Eva's son Peter II married and left home in 1936. Peter's wife was Sally Checkman, and they were married in Harrison, Westchester, New York on July 18, 1936.

Death of Eva's son-in-law Anthony DeFalconEdit

In 1937, Eva's daughter Lizzie was widowed, as her husband Anthony DeFalcon died after falling down the stairs to his employer's apartment on November 7, 1937. Anthony was believed to have been drinking, and his fall was not noticed until approximately an hour after he had already died. Lizzie remained a widow until the mid 1940s.

Second marriage of Eva's daughter KatherineEdit

Around 1940, Eva's daughter Katherine took Robert F. Walsh as her second husband, after Katherine was either widowed by, or divorced from, her first husband Paul Olson. Robert owned a bar called Walsh's Tavern in Hoboken.

Death of Eva's husband Peter in 1944Edit

Peter Racius Obituary

Peter Rice Obituary

Eva's husband Peter died November 30, 1944 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Peter's funeral was held at Saint Mary's church, on Second Street in Jersey City. As of Peter's death, Eva's oldest daughter Lizzie and youngest daughter Margaret were both without husband. Although Lizzie would soon remarry, and Margaret would soon take her husband, the mother Eva did not remarry. Instead, she assumed the role of the family grandmother on her own.

Eva's Final Years as a Widow and Grandmother (1945-1970)Edit

Eva Douse (July 7 1946)

Eva (Douse) Rice in Jersey City (July 7, 1946)

Eva Douse0001

Eva (Douse) Rice at the beach in Rockaway in the late 1940s or early 1950s

Eva spent the final years of her life as a widow, and largely focused her energy on being a grandmother to the children of her son and daughters' families (perhaps compensating for the fact that she herself grew up without even a mother, let alone a grandmother).

Second marriage of Eva's daughter Lizzie in 1945Edit

Lizzie took as her second husband Edward "Alaska" Zdrojewski. They were married February 11, 1945 in Jersey City.

Marriage of Eva's daughter Margaret in 1948Edit

On May 29, 1948, Eva's youngest daughter Margaret became the last to wed, marrying Joseph John Szczesny in Hoboken, New Jersey. Joseph was employed as longshoreman on the Jersey City docks after returning from active duty in England and France during World War II. Eva resided with the Szczesny family for some time in the late 1940s, after Margaret's marriage to Joseph.

Eva's 75th birthday party in 1959Edit

Eva's family threw her a large 75th birthday party in 1959 (although it seems that it was actually her 76th birthday).

Death of Eva's son Peter II in 1962Edit

Grandma Rice (1966)

Eva (Douse) Rice in 1966

On March 6, 1962, Eva's son Peter died of complications to a heart defect in Union City, New Jersey. Peter was said to have had a hole in his heart.

Memories of Eva's grandchildrenEdit

  • Kathleen (Szczesny) Borland recalls that by the mid 1950s, Eva had extreme difficulty walking, and she bandaged her legs which would swell due to a bad heart.
  • Kathleen (Szczesny) Borland recalls that Eva spent the final years of her life in Jersey City, residing in a portion of her daughter Katherine's home.
  • Barbara (Szczesny) Czorniewy recalls that Eva's final residence was on her daughter Katherine's property, behind her house on 4th Street.
  • Feel free to add your contributions to this list, and add your name as a contributor below.

Eva's Death in 1971Edit

Eva died January 15, 1971 in New Jersey. She was survived by daughters Lizzie, Eva, Katherine and Margaret, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Eva's only known ancestor is her father Jonas Daukša.


For a list of Eva's known descendants, click here.


Suggestions for Further ResearchEdit

The following avenues of research have not yet been exploited with regard to learning more about Eva's genealogy:

DNA testing to trace Eva's ancestry further back into LithuaniaEdit

As Eva's birthplace within Lithuania is unknown, and there were many Daukša families residing in Lithuania in the late nineteenth century, the only likely way Eva's ancestry will be traced back any further will be via DNA testing of her descendants. In particular, more information on Eva's mother could be obtained by taking a mt-DNA sample from a volunteer descendant of either Eva or her sister Marijona who has a direct maternal line to Eva's mother. Of the living contributors to this article, three are candidates for testing:

Since the initial publication of this article, Kevin Borland has underwent mt-DNA testing, the results of which suggest that Eva was of haplogroup T2, and that her direct maternal ancestral line migrated from Poland or the Ukraine to Lithuania within the past 1500-2000 years.

With regard to connecting Eva's father Jonas to the many other Daukša families, a Y-DNA donor would have to be a descendant of Eva's half-brother Charles, or Jonas' brother Mykolas, who both have a direct paternal line to the common father of Jonas and Mykolas. No potential candidates have been identified as of the writing of this article.

Compiling descendant chartsEdit

While Eva's descendants are fairly well documented, and a nearly complete descendant chart is now attached to this article, the chart need to be updated and verified by living family members, and individual articles for her descendants need to be created. Also, descendant charts of Eva's siblings, half-siblings and uncles need to be compiled. This will require further research in Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It does not appear that any of the descendants of these collateral family lines are actively pursuing genealogical research at this point in time, so the task may be difficult.

Locating Eva's death certificateEdit

Eva's death certificate has not yet been located. There must certainly a copy available in the New Jersey archives. It would probably be indexed as Eva Rice.

Contacting the descendants of Eva's sister MarijonaEdit

Since Marijona was slightly older than Eva, it is possible that she may have remembered some information about her youth in Lithuania, and that she may have passed some of that information down to her descendants. Therefore, searching for elderly Shotis descendants may be useful. There is a possibility that this branch of the family might even know what became of Jonas between 1900 and 1920.

Since the initial publication of this article, Marijona's descendant Paula Shotis was located and has joined efforts with Kevin Borland in compiling family information. No new information regarding the birthplace of Eva or the missing years of John Douse has yet been discovered.

Contacting the descendants of Eva's half-brothersEdit

Since Jonas only had two boys with his second wife, mtDNA testing to determine their mother is not possible. However, it is possible that a living descendant of Charles Douse might have some information that could be useful.

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