Juozas Račius (bef1854-1928)

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Juozas Račius (bef1854-1928)
Juozas Račius
Josehp Rice (bef1854-1928)
Sex: Male
Birth: before March, 1854 in Lithuania
Death: January 8, 1928 in New Jersey
Father: Mykolas Račius (c1822-c1860)
Mother: Eva Schmitt (bef1830-aft1896)
Spouse/Partner: Maria Wilkowska (c1852-1915)
Marriage: before 1876 in Lithuania
Children: Joseph M. Račius (1876-1914)
Peter Račius (1879-1944)
Antonius Račius (1883-bef1900)
Anastasia Račius (1885-bef1900)
Mary Račiūtė (1887-1969)
Annie Račiūtė (c1888-aft1910)
Helen Račiūtė (c1893-aft1910)
(also 3 additional children who
were born and died prior to 1900)

Juozas Račius (bef1854-1928), a.k.a. Joseph Rice


Joseph was born before March, 1854 in Lithuania to parents Mykolas Račius and Eva Schmitt.

Marriage to Maria WilkowskaEdit

Joseph married Maria Wilkowska prior to 1876 in Lithuania.

Children by Maria WilkowskaEdit

Immigration in 1876Edit

Joseph came to the United States September 6, 1876, with his wife Maria, his son Joseph, his mother Eva, and several of his siblings' families. He first settled in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, where he obtained employment in the coal mines.

1880 Federal CensusEdit

Joseph appeared as head of household in the 1880 census of Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The household was listed as follows:[1]

1900 Federal CensusEdit

Joseph appeared in the household of George Peotalis in the 1900 census of Hazel, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The household was listed as follows:[2]

  • George Peotalis 30
  • Martha Peotalis 30
  • Marey Peotalis 2
  • Joseph Peotalis 1
  • Joseph Rice 44
  • John Gevenis 35

1910 Federal CensusEdit

By 1910, Joseph resided with his wife once again, next door to his son Peter on Wayne Street in Jersey City, New Jersey. The household was listed as follows:[3]

Joseph reported his occupation as a carpenter for the railroad. Son Joseph was repoted as a core maker at the iron foundry, while daughters Annie and Helen were feeders at the tobacco works. Daughter Mary is noticably missing from this census. While she did not marry until January of 1911, she had a child in 1905 by an unknown father in Syracuse, New York, so perhaps she was already residing with her child elsewhere.

Inconsistent Age of son JosephEdit

The age of son Joseph seems incorrect in this 1910 census, as Joseph was already 22 years old in the last census, living with his mother 10 years prior.

Appearance of two new daughtersEdit

In 1910, daughters Annie and Helen appear out of nowhere, after living with neither their mother nor father in 1900. In fact, Mary (Joseph's wife) reported that she only had three living children in 1900, whereas in 1910, she reported these additional two girls in 1910 as two of her five living children. Perhaps these two children were adopted, or fathered by Joseph Rice with a different woman. A more likely scenario is that since Mary was left alone prior to 1900 to take care of the children, she had help from a family member raising Annie and Helen. It is expected that Annie and Hellen will eventually be located in the 1900 census in the household of a family member.

Inconsistent Immigration YearsEdit

In this 1910 census, Joseph reported his immigration year as 1872, while Mary reported hers as 1879. This is confusing since their first known child together was Joseph, who was born in 1876.

Number of years marriedEdit

Joseph and Mary reported that they were married for 30 years, which would make their marriage date sometime around 1880. Joseph and Mary's oldest children, Joseph and Peter, were both born before 1880.

Death of wife Maria in 1915Edit

Joseph's wife Maria died April 8, 1915 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

1915 New Jersey CensusEdit

1915 NJ Rice Douse Census

Peter Rice household in the 1915 NJ Census

By 1915, Joseph resided with his son Peter Rice 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. In addition to Peter and Joseph, the household in 1915 consisted of Peter's wife Eva, as well as Peter's children Peter II, Elizabeth, Eva and Katherine. Joseph's wife and son Joseph had both died. His daughter Mary had married in 1911. What became of Joseph's daughters Annie and Helen is unknown.

1920 Federal CensusEdit

In 1920, as in 1915, Joseph resided with his son Peter Rice, although the family had moved to 133 Morgan Street in Jersey City. This address is approximately 1 block west of their previous home on Washington Street. In addition to Peter and Joseph, the household in 1930 consisted of Peter's wife Eva, as well as Peter's children Eva, Peter II, Katherine and Edward.

Death in 1928Edit

According to Edward DeFalcon, Joseph Rice and his son Peter argued while playing cards. Peter raised his hand like he was going to hit his father. Joseph said when that happens, it is time to move out, so he slept that night in the stables down the street. That night, January 8, 1928, he caught pneumonia and died.[4]

Memoirs of Joseph's grand-daughter Margaret SzczesnyEdit

The following excerpt was taken from the memoirs of Joseph's granddaughter Margaret (Rice) Szczesny:

I remember my grandpa living with us, he was 90 years old. He was my father’s father. I don’t remember what kind of bilding was next door, but my grandpa was watchman for it. He used to sit outside in an armchair in the evening. This was in the summer. I remember sitting on his lap. He had a long white beard & white hair like Santa. We would watch the lamp lighters light the street lamps across the street. One by one, they lit them with a long pole-they were gas lights with an open globe on them.


  1. ^ Joseph Rice in the 1880 census of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
  2. ^ Joseph Rice in the 1900 census of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
  3. ^ Joseph Rice in the 1910 census of Hudson County, New Jersey
  4. ^ E-mail from William Mitchell

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