John Jasaitis Sites

(April 15, 1858 - November 21, 1929)

 

John Jesaitis was born in Lithuania and depending on which public record I believe he was either born in 1852 (1920 Coal County, Oklahoma federal census and death certificate of 1929), April 15, 1858 (Declaration of Intention Ė Naturalization record of 1908), or 1865 (1900 Hartshorne, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory federal census). Thatís a discrepancy of thirteen years so Iím using the one in the middle, April 15, 1858.

 

A 1963 letter from Elizabeth Sites said that John and Agata (Stepanitis) were born in Kona Gubania in Lithuania and the original Sites name was Yasaites Ė this information came to me via Ileen, who was married to a gr-grandson of John. Kona Gubania could be interpreted as Kowno/Kovno/Kaunas gubernia (Russian for province).

 

John immigrated to the United States in either 1888 or 1889 and lived almost a decade in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, near his brother Adam. Around 1898 he and his wife Agnes (Agota Stefonowicz) Sites and three children, William Stanley, Joseph John, and Maggie, moved to Indian Territory in Oklahoma where John worked in the coal mines.

 

The 1910 federal census finds the John Sites (Sykes) family in Colgate, Oklahoma in May, with four-year-old Benjamin the newest addition to the family.

 

Agnes died in 1918 of the Spanish flu epidemic sweeping the nation. In the 1920 federal census John is widowed and living with his children Frank and Benjamin with married son William a couple of doors down. Most of the family stayed in Oklahoma for several generations.