Sylvester and Anna Arasimowicz immigrated from Lithuania to the United States in 1903, and married in 1913.
According to his granddaughter, Elizabeth Clemente, he was raised in an orphanage, and possibly had a twin brother. He left the orphanage at age 14. He immigrated to the United States in 1903 at age 17, eventually settling on Fishers Island.
He was a carpenter for the civil service on the island, as well as the groundskeeper for the Fishers Island and Hays Harbor Golf Clubs. He was a life member of the Fishers Island Fire Department. Sylvester died on June 25, 1959 on Fishers Island, New York, and is buried at St. John's Cemetery on the island.
The Arasimowicz family was known on Fishers Island as The Chestnuts. Whether the name Chestnut was given to Sylvester upon immigration to the US, or just a surname that he adopted is unsure.
According to a family story, his son, Ted Chestnut ran for the office of Fire Commissioner on Fishers Island. The ballot listed his official name, Ted Arasimowicz. There was much confusion, and many write-in ballots voted for "Ted Chestnut". It is unsure if he won that election, but he eventually was selected to the post. An even more amazing feat, considering Ted was legally blind most of his life.
The Arasimowicz family lived on Fishers Island, New York, just south of the Connecticut coastal towns of Mystic and New London. Many descendants still live in the vicinity. Links to the island are provided below.