Edward A. Danisavich, Jr., Collection Lithuanian immigrant recordings from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

Edward A. Danisavich, Jr.

These early recordings of Lithuanian immigrants’ orchestras from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania are from the collection of Edward A. Danisavich, Jr. The records belonged to his grandparents, and Ed, fiercely proud of his heritage, took a keen interest in maintaining and preserving these unique pieces of Lithuanian immigrant culture in America.

Ed was born in Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania in 1938, the oldest child of Edward A., Sr., and Veronica (Stanionytė) Danisavich (Danisevičiūs). The Danisavich family was well-known in Mahanoy City.

Danisevičius Store circa 1899

Antanas Danisevičiūs and his wife, Magdalena (Lukytė) operated a grocery and bar on Centre Street. Antanas was also a founder and Director of the first Lithuanian bank in the U.S., MerchantsBanking Trust. The Stanonis family lived in New Philadelphia, where Frank worked in the coal mines and his wife, Josephine (Pilsudskytė) cared for their homestead and seven children.

Danisavich Children during Christmas circa 1950

Ed and his siblings, Anthony, Dorothy and Paul David spoke Lithuanian in the home, and attended Lithuanian school at St. Joseph‘s Church in Mahanoy City. As a young boy, Ed took an interest in collecting, tinkering and woodworking. After serving in the U.S. Army, he later worked as a senior lab technician at DuPont Co. for 35 years.

Ed was a member of the Delaware Orchid Society, Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder in Newark, and a life member of the VFW.

Veronica Danisavich and Kids

He served in the Delaware National Guard for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, woodworking and making boilo, a Schuylkill County variation of krupnikas. Ed’s boilo would be served at the Danisavich-Stanonis family picnics, an ongoing tradition from the early 1900s, as well as at the family’s table at Lithuanian Days in Lakewood Park.

Up until his death in August 2020, Ed resided in Newark, Delaware. His wife of 37 years, Mary Ruth (nee McCoog), from the Irish section of Mahanoy City, passed in 2003. Their daughter, Beth, lives in New Orleans.