Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

After Andrzej and Jadwiga Kajdasz arrived in Buffalo in 1888, the family grew. In 1900, the census showed the family was living at 51 Sobieski Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York. Marcin/Martin had married and was living nearby with his wife Rozalia. The older children were listed with English names, and Marya was listed with the name Julia. In later years, her name was usually listed as Mary J., so Julia is likely her middle name. Another boy, Franciszek, was born 1 August 1900.

1900 Kaidas census cropped

1900 census, Andrew and Jadwiga Kajasz and family, Buffalo, Erie, New York

Andrzej and Jadwiga‘s daughter Magdalena had been baptized in 1890 at St. Adalbert Basilica at 212 Stanislaus Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York. Her parents were listed as Andrea Kajdasz and Hedwig Wojcieczak. Later, Andrzej and Jadwiga joined the Polish National Church. When they died in 1917 and 1934, they were interred in the Holy Mother of the Rosary Polish National Parish Cemetery in Cheektowaga, Erie, New York.

1890 Magdalina Kajdasz birth cropped

1890 Magdalena Kadisz, baptism, St.Adalbert Basilica, Buffalo, New York

Magdalena‘s baptism record said that Andrzej and Jadwiga were from Poznań. A search at the Poznań Project found their 1876 marriage in both church and civil records. These matched their immigration records, which reported that they had come from Schroda.

Kajdasz Poznan Project

Andrzej Kajdasz and Jadwiga Wojcieszek, 1876 Poznan Project results

Mądre - Wikipedia

Mądre, Środa Wielkopolska

Wikipedia says that “Mądre is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Zaniemyśl, within Środa Wielkopolska County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, in west-central Poland. It lies approximately 7 kilometres (4 mi) east of Zaniemyśl, 8 km (5 mi) south of Środa Wielkopolska, and 36 km (22 mi) south-east of the regional capital Poznań.” The church in Mądre is Kościół Rzymskokatolicki Pw. św. Jadwigi Śląskiej, St. Hedwig of Silesia. Mądre is the Polish word for “wise.”

A search for Andrzej‘s parents, Jakub Kajdasz and Marianna Walkowiak, shows that they were married in 1844 in Środa Wielkopolska, and his father’s name was Tomasz.

Kajdasz Jakub Poznan Project

Jakub Kajdasz and Marianna Walkowiak, Poznan Project results, 1844

Collegiate church and marketplace

Środa Wielkopolska Collegiate church and marketplace

Jakub and Marianna‘s marriage was indexed in Geneteka, which said they were married 10 November 1844. The old church in Środa is Parafia Kolegiacka Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Marii Panny, Collegiate parish church Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The word Środa means “Wednesday” in Polish.

Jadwiga‘s parents were also found at the Poznań Project. Marcin Wojcieszek and Dorota Wawrzynkiewicz were married in Koźmin in 1849.

Wojcieszak Poznan Project

Marcin Woycieszak and Dorota Wawrzynkiewicz, Poznan Project results, 1849

Wikipedia says “Koźmin Wielkopolski German: Koschmin) is a town in Krotoszyn County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland, with 6,678 inhabitants according to the 2010 census.” The Roman Catholic church in Koźmin is Kościół pw. św. Wawrzyńca, St. Lawrence. Described as dating from 999, it has undergone many changes through the centuries.

While I have not yet located the original records, this indexed information fills in some names in the ancestry tree of Marya‘s son Daniel with Konstanty Maciejewski Konstanty was also known as August Warner.

DanielSources

1900 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Election District 5 Buffalo city Ward 14, Erie, New York, United States, enumeration district (ED) District: 112, Jadwiga Kaidas; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed May 2017).

St. Adalbert RC Church, Buffalo, New York, Church records, FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, birth 1890, Magdalena Kadasz.

St. Adalbert’s Basilica Complex, Buffalo, NY, Polonia Trail, Western New York, Polish-American Congress WNY, http://poloniatrail.com/location/st-adalberts-basilica-complex/

Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral Polish National Catholic Church Complex, Polish-American Congress WNY, http://poloniatrail.com/location/holy-mother-of-the-rosary-cathedral-polish-national-catholic-church/

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 October 2018), memorial page for Andrzej Kajdasz (30 Nov 1859–23 Aug 1917), Find A Grave Memorial no. 115361906, citing Holy Mother of the Rosary Parish Cemetery, Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Dakota (contributor 48202698)

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 October 2018), memorial page for Jadwiga Kajdasz (1856–1934), Find A Grave Memorial no. 115361905, citing Holy Mother of the Rosary Parish Cemetery, Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Dakota (contributor 48202698) .

Łukasz Bielecki, “Poznan Project,” database, Poznan Project (http://poznan-project.psnc.pl: accessed 11 October 2018), Andreas Kajdasz , Hedwig Wojcieszak; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).

“Mądre.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 Oct. 2017. Web. 12 Oct. 2018.

Kościół Rzymskokatolicki Pw. św. Jadwigi Śląskiej, St. Hedwig of Silesia. Mądre, Środa Wielkopolska. http://parafiamadre.pl/

Łukasz Bielecki, “Poznan Project,” database, Poznan Project (http://poznan-project.psnc.pl: accessed 12 October 2018), Jakub Kajdasz and Marianna Walkowiak; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).

“Środa Wielkopolska.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Jun. 2018. Web. 13 Oct. 2018.

Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne, “Geneteka, Metryki,” database, Polish Genealogical Society, Genealodzy (genealodzy.pl: accessed 12 October 2018), Marriage of Jakub Kajdasz and Marianna Walkowiak; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).

Parafia Kolegiacka Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Marii Panny, Collegiate parish church Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Środa Wielkopolska. http://kolegiata.sroda.wlkp.pl/historia.php

Łukasz Bielecki, “Poznan Project,” database, Poznan Project (http://poznan-project.psnc.pl: accessed 12 October 2018), Martinus Woycieszak, Dorothea Wawrzynkiewicz; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).

“Koźmin Wielkopolski.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Jan. 2018. Web. 12 Oct. 2018.

Kościół pw. św. Wawrzyńca, St. Lawrence. Koźmin Wielkopolski. http://www.fara-kozmin.kalisz.opoka.org.pl

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Marya Kajdasz, the future wife of Konstanty Maciejewski/August Warner, was just one month old when she made the overseas journey with her parents Andrzej and Jadwiga Kajdasz and her brothers Marcin and Ludwik on the S.S. Elbe from Bremen and Southampton to New York, with a final destination of Buffalo, Erie, New York.

Castle Garden had a record of the family’s landing in New York on 2 May 1888.

1888 Kaidas NY

Castle Garden search results for Kaidas (Kajdasz) Family

Marie Kaidas Castle Garden

Marie Kaidas (Marya Kaydasz), Castle Garden, 1888

The Kaidas (Kajdasz) family were on the ship’s passenger list.

1888 ship manifest Kaidas marked

1888, ship passenger list, S.S. Elbe from Bremen and Southampton to New York, New York

1888 ship manifest Kaidas cropped

Kaidas (Kajdasz) Family on S.S. Elba ship’s passenger list, 1888

Although the Kajdasz family were Polish, they came from Prussia, the part of Poland that was occupied by Germany at that time. They were likely to have spoken both Polish and some German. Because they left from Germany, their names were listed in German in the ship’s manifest. Andrzej was Andreas, Jadwiga was Hedwig, Marcin was Martin, Ludwik was Ludwig, and Marya was Marie.

SS_Elbe_1881

SS Elbe (1881), postcard

The manifest said the family had come from Schroda, which was a kreis (district) of the Prussian province of Posen in the 19th Century.

Sources

“Passenger Lists,” database, The Battery Conservancy, Castle Garden (castlegarden.org: accessed 11 October 2018), Kaidas; citing ship manifests.

“Ancestry,” database, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed 11 October 2018), Kaidas family; citing Passenger Lists. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957, M237, 1820-1897, Roll 518

“SS Elbe (1881).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 Jun. 2018. Web. 12 Oct. 2018.

I was surprised to learn my great-grandfather renounced his allegiance to the Emperor of Germany when he became a citizen of the United States in 1887. I knew he was Polish! This is where the history part of family history becomes important.

The country of Poland did not officially exist when many of our ancestors immigrated to the United States. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth had been partitioned by the Kingdom of Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Habsburg Austria in 1772, 1793, and 1795. Ethnically Polish immigrants were listed with German, Russian, or Austrian nationalities in the records, and their places of origin were given with Polish, German, or Russian names. The Latin versions of the place names were listed in Roman Catholic church records. These are research challenges.

Here is a Prussian map from the late 1800s, with the areas that with a few boundary changes, became officially part of Poland after World War I and World War II:

  • 2 East Prussia
  • 13 West Prussia
  • 7 Stettin
  • 8 Posen
  • 12 Silesia

 

While my father’s ancestors came from West Prussia, allied families identified as German came from East Prussia, Silesia, and Posen.

Posen was the German name of the provincial city as well as the Prussian province. The province of Posen was divided into two government regions (Regierungsbezirke), named Posen (Poznań) and Bromberg (Bydgoszcz). These regions were again subdivided into districts called Kreise, similar to counties.

Kreise of the Prussian Province of Posen in the 19th Century

Of course, these districts had both German and Polish names. The following is a list, with links, from Wikipedia.

Kreis (“County”) Polish spelling Origin
City of Posen Poznań
Adelnau Odolanów
Birnbaum Miedzychód
Bomst Babimost
Fraustadt Wschowa
Gostyn Gostyn Kröben
Grätz Grodzisk Buk
Jarotschin Jarocin Pleschen
Kempen Kępno Schildberg
Koschmin Koźmin Krotoschin
Kosten Kościan
Krotoschin Krotoszyn
Lissa Leszno Fraustadt
Meseritz Międzyrzecz
Neutomischel Nowy Tomyśl Buk
Obornik Oborniki
Ostrowo Ostrów ?Adelnau?
Pleschen Pleszew
Posen Ost Poznań, Wsch. Posen
Posen West Poznań, Zach. Posen
Rawitsch Rawicz Kröben
Samter Szamotuły
Schildberg Ostrzeszów
Schmiegel Śmigiel Kosten
Schrimm Śrem
Schroda Środa
Schwerin Skwierzyna Birnbaum – 1877
Wreschen Września
City of Bromberg Bydgoszcz
Bromberg Bydgoszcz
Czarnikau Czarników
Filehne Wieleń Czarnikau
Gnesen Gniezno
Hohensalza Inowrocław
Kolmar Chodzież
Mogilno Mogilno
Schubin Szubin
Strelno Strzelno ??
Wirsitz Wyrzysk
Witkowo Witkowo ?Gnesen?
Wongrowitz Wągrowiec
Znin Żnin ??

 

A search for places of the old German Posen province at Kartenmeister.com lists 12,936 entries, including duplicate and alternative spellings for villages, cities, and towns.

This region was historically known as Wielkopolska, or Greater Poland (Großpolen in German). The major city is Poznań. There is considerable overlap with the present-day Greater Poland Voivodeship, województwo wielkopolskie in Polish.

Historical boundaries of Wielkopolska, or Greater Poland, in the boundaries of current Poland

 

In the twenty first century, Poznań is both a city and a powiat (county) in the Greater Poland Voivodeship. Powiat Poznań  contains the towns Swarzędz, Luboń, Mosina, Murowana Goślina, PuszczykowoKostrzyn, Pobiedziska, Kórnik, Buk, and Stęszew. Each of the towns is associated with about a dozen villages, some which are identified on the map below.

Poznań powiat (county) in present day Poland

 

Immigrants who said that they came from Posen may have been referring to the city, the nearby villages or towns, or the German province. Although the Poznan Project has been very helpful in indexing marriage records from the German province of Posen/Poznań from 1800 to 1899, it is not complete. Other German and Polish place names can be found on Kartenmeister.com, as well as on old and contemporary maps.

Sources

File:Prussiamap.gif. (2014, November 25). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 17:15, September 27, 2018 from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Prussiamap.gif&oldid=140555672.

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 20). Districts of Prussia. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:17, September 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Districts_of_Prussia&oldid=860414056

File:Prowincja Poznańska de.svg. (2018, January 9). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 17:18, September 27, 2018 from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Prowincja_Pozna%C5%84ska_de.svg&oldid=278217654.

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 26). Poznań. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:19, September 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pozna%C5%84&oldid=861254372

File:Poznańskie kaliskie.png. (2018, June 8). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 17:20, September 27, 2018 from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Pozna%C5%84skie_kaliskie.png&oldid=305225584.

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 21). Poznań County. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:23, September 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pozna%C5%84_County&oldid=860512701

By Poznaniak [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The primary reason I started recording family history was to document what my parents knew. Several of their older siblings and cousins had died, and I knew that much family knowledge was in danger of being lost.

I also wanted to make sense of who was who! My dad had six living brothers and sisters, and some of their children were his age, and had offspring who were the same ages as my sisters and myself. My mother’s family had first and second cousins of various ages. As children, we called all the adults aunt and uncle. It was not until I was older that I realized that not all of them were my parents’ siblings. How were we related?

In 1991, I tried to make sense of family relationships with a program called Brother’s Keeper on a personal computer. My parents and aunts told me about their aunts, uncles, and cousins. There were a lot of cousins! I began calling and writing, and found that each branch of the Szczepański family had someone who was interested in their family’s history and was willing to share the information with me. Corresponding back and forth filled in many blanks in the family tree.

My father was one of the thirty five grandchildren of Marcin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska.  He died in 1995, and in going through his papers, I was astonished to find his grandfather’s original naturalization certificate from 1887. What were the odds that over a hundred years later, the certificate would come into the hands of the great-grandchild (of 106) most interested in family history? In 1997, I included a copy of Martin Szczepanski’s naturalization certificate in the book I wrote about the Descendants of Martin and Anna Szczepański. Because I had been blessed to learn so much, I felt an obligation to honor my father and our immigrant ancestors and to share the story of their descendants in America.

Born between 1907 and 1939, here is a timeline of the grandchildren of Marcin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska.Szczepanski cousins

My Mother the Feminist

No one who ever met my mother would consider her a radical thinker. However, she encouraged thinking in her three daughters and she loved each of us dearly.

When her fourth pregnancy did not go well, she did not want to go to a Catholic hospital. Years later, she explained that in extreme cases, doctors and nurses in Catholic hospitals were required to prioritize the life of an infant over the life of the mother. She thought it was because Catholic clergy valued the potential of a male child more than they valued the life of a female.

For my mother, this decision was not motivated by fear for her own life. She already had three daughters whom she loved, and the thought of them having to grow up without their mother scared her. She wanted to live to raise her daughters.

In spite of the best efforts of the medical staff, my parents lost their last baby girl 6 Sep 1968. I was twelve years old, and my sisters were ten and four. I was considered old enough to see the doll-sized baby in her little coffin, and I accompanied my father on the funeral trip to St. Stanislaus Cemetery, where she was buried. It was a solemn occasion, and it had a lasting impact on my family.

1968 Baby Girl Maciejewski

St. Stanislaus RC Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York

That’s why “Baby Girl Maciejewski” is included in our family history, and why, fifty years later, I continue to tell the stories of our family members who might otherwise be overlooked or forgotten.

I find genetic connections fascinating. They are clues, like anything else, and need research and documentation. I recently reached out to a DNA match on Ancestry.com. Although we were only distantly related, with 9.6 centimorgans shared across 1 DNA segment, we both had the Kapuscinski name in our family trees and ties to Buffalo, New York. I wanted to learn if we shared common ancestors, or could identify a place where our common ancestors had been.

His ancestors were also identified as Kapusta. Although I knew that Kapusta and Kapuściński had the same root word, this was the first family I had seen using both versions of the name.

name Kapus

Entry from William F. “Fred” Hoffman’s Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, 2001

It was not surprising that there could be different versions of the same Polish name. The Polish language changes words to indicate gender, number, and case. For example,

  • the -ski ending indicates an adjective, for possession or affiliation
  • -ska is the feminine form of the adjective
  • -owski/-owska indicates the place of
  • -owa is the ending used for a wife’s name
  • -ówna is an unmarried daughter, etc.

So the same root name can have various endings, depending how it is used by a Polish speaker. For more about Polish names, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_name.

Agnieszka

Ancestors of Agnieszka Kapuścińska

My grandmother Agnieszka Kapuścińska was born in February 1895 in Gnieszowice, Koprzywnica, near Sandomierz in Russian Poland. Now it is in the Świętokrzyskie province of Poland. Her sister Maryanna had come to the United States in 1912, and paid for her sister’s ticket the following year. Maryanna married Grzegosz Matyka in 1915, and Agnieszka married Jan Skrok in 1917. While I had previously identified my grandmother’s ancestors, and had been able to trace the sisters, I did not know of any other relatives named Kapuściński in Buffalo, New York.

However, I found Casimir and Mary Kapuszcinski in Buffalo, New York, in the 1930 United States Federal Census, at 73 Gibson Street.

1930 Kapuszcinski census cropped

1930 census record, Casimir and Mary Kapuszcinski, Buffalo, New York

In 1940, Casimir and Mary Kapusta were at 37 Lombard Street, in Buffalo, New York.

1940 Kapusta census cropped

1940 census record, Casimer and Mary Kapusta, Buffalo, New York

The older children had been born in Ohio, which made me look for information there. I found the 15 Oct 1928 marriage record for Kazimir Kapusta and Mary Staron, born Obora. Both had been previously married, and had been divorced, in Cleveland, Ohio.

1928 marriage Kapusta cropped

1928 Marriage Record, Kazimir Kapusta and Mary Staron, Warrensville, Ohio

In the 1920 census record, Casimer Kapusta was a lodger in the home of Walenty and Mary Starol [sic] at 3472 East 76th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

1920 Kapuscinski census cropped

1920 census, Walenty and Mary Starol and Casimer Kapusta, Cleveland, Ohio

Walenty Staron married Victoria Falkowska in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on 23 Oct 1928. His naturalization record in 1944 identified his children and previous residence in Sandomierz, Poland.

1944 Staron naturalization children

1944 Naturalization Petition, Walenty Staron, Cleveland, Ohio

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Maryanna Obora‘s children with Walenty Staron were

  • Szczepan (1915)
  • Marta  (1917)
  • Kazimiera  (1919)
  • Czesław  (1921)

The children of Kazimierz Kapusta and Maryanna Obora born in Buffalo, New York, were

  • Edward Jerome  (1927-2007)
  • Alfred  (1929-1932)
  • Richard J.  (1931-    )
  • Genevieve/Jean  (1933-2017)

Genevieve/Jean‘s grandson was my DNA match, so I wanted to see if we could find where in Poland his great-grandparents had been born, and if there were any links to my identified ancestors. We exchanged information on his other grandparents, but I was most interested in his Kapusta and Obora lines from Russian Poland.

1918 Kapusta WWI draft cropped

WWI Draft Registration Form, Kazimierz Kapusta, Cleveland, Ohio

Kazimierz‘ 1918 draft registration identified him as a “frendley alien” born in 1894 in “Bialobozie, Kelecska, Russia.” (Already, spelling is suspect.) Because I knew where my Kapuściński ancestors were from in the former Kielce province, it helped me to find Białoborze.

Wikipedia says “Białoborze is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Stopnica, within Busko County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, in south-central Poland. It lies approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) north-east of Stopnica, 18 km (11 mi) east of Busko-Zdrój, and 55 km (34 mi) south-east of the regional capital Kielce.”

A search on the Geneteka database for Kazimierz Kapusta in the Świętokrzyskie province showed that Kazimierz Kapusta  was born in 1894 in Białoborze to Jan Kapusta and Katarzyna Sikora, which matched the information on his marriage record. He was baptized (entry #66, according to the Geneteka index) at Kościół św. Apostołów Piotra i Pawła in Stopnica, not far from the area near Sandomierz where my Kapuściński ancestors were found. The Polish records were indexed, but I did not find the records themselves online.

From Geneteka, I could see Jan Kapusta and Katarzyna Sikora had these children in Białoborze. Unfortunately, the first boy, named Jan, died in 1891.

1891       41         Jan Kapusta
1892       53         Apolonia Kapusta
1894       66         Kazimierz Kapusta
1896       121       Jan Kapusta

Further research on Geneteka showed that

  • Jan Kapusta and Katarzyna Sikora were married in Stopnica (Skrobaczów) 1889.08.14.
  • Jan Kapusta was the son of Walenty Kapusta and Apolonia Lech.
  • Katarzyna Sikora was the daughter of Wojciech Sikora and Agnieszka Pawłowska.

Jan Kapusta, son of Walenty Kapusta and Apolonia Lech, died in 1897 (Stopnica entry 63) in Białoborze. On 1899.08.24, Katarzyna Kapusta (born Sikora) married Andrzej Jaros (Jarosz), the son of Ignacy Jaros and Antonina Włoch.

 

1913 Obora cropped

1913 Manifest for the ship Campania from Liverpool, England, to New York, New York

Maryanna Obora immigrated on 17 Feb 1913 to New York, New York, United States, on the ship Campania from Liverpool, England, with a final destination of Cleveland, Ohio. Her place of birth was listed as Dzieslawice in Russian Poland.

Wikipedia says “Dziesławice is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Stopnica, within Busko County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, in south-central Poland.” Often immigrants who were married in the new country had previously known each other or each other’s families in the old country, as was the case here. Again, Geneteka was useful.

Marianna Obora was born in 1896 in Dziesławice to Wojciech Obora and Marianna Pyrz. Again, this was very close to the information on her marriage record. She was baptized (entry #256, according to the Geneteka index) at Kościół św. Apostołów Piotra i Pawła in Stopnica. As before, the Polish records were indexed, but I did not find the records themselves online.

From Geneteka, I could see Wojciech Obora and Marianna Pyrz had these children in Dziesławice. Sadly, the records say that Stanisław [sic] died in 1900 and Antoni in 1905.

1896       256         Marianna
1899       121         Stanisława
1904       11           Antoni
1906       102         Stanisława
1908       60           Józefa

Further research on Geneteka showed that

  • Wojciech Obora and Marianna Pyrz were married in Stopnica (Falęcin – Dziesławice) 1895.05.15.
  • Wojciech Obora was the son of Jan Obora and Marianna Wróbel.
  • Marianna Pyrz was the daughter of Kacper Pyrz and Franciszka Kania.
Jean

Ancestors of Genevieve/Jean Kapuscinski

Our DNA connection is very small, and we do not have any common matches, so I was not surprised my DNA match and I did not find common ancestors in a few generations. But our forebears came from the same region, and I was able to put my prior experience with Geneteka to good use in identifying the ancestors of one of the grandmothers of my DNA match. Even genetically distant cousins can collaborate and share information to help one another find out more about their ancestors!

Sources

Hoffman, William F. Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings. Chicago, Illinois : Polish Genealogical Society of America. 1993, Second Edition, Revised 2001.

“Polish name.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Aug. 2018. Web. 16 Aug. 2018.

1930 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA, Casimir Kapuszcinski; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 13 August 2018).

1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, Erie, New York, Casimir Kapusta; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 13 August 2018).

Ancestry.com. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

1920 Federal Census, Ohio, population schedule, Cleveland Ward 14, Cuyahoga, Ohio, Casimer Kapusta; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 13 August 2018).

Ohio, State Marriage Registers, Marriage, Walenty Staron, Victoria Falkowska, 23 October 1928.

Ancestry.com. Ohio, Naturalization Petition and Record Books, 1888-1946 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

“World War I Draft Registration Cards,” database, Ancestry.com (: accessed 13 August 2018), Kazimirz Kapusta; citing Ohio; Registration County: Cuyahoga; Roll: 1831773.

“Passenger Lists,” database, The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Ellis Island (www.libertyellisfoundation.org: accessed 13 August 2018), Kazimierz Kapusta; citing ship manifests.

Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne, “Geneteka, Metryki,” database, Polish Genealogical Society, Genealodzy (genealodzy.pl: accessed 13 August 2018); citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).

I was recently contacted by someone researching Maciejewski ancestors who had the same first names as mine did. Although we did not appear to be related (Maciejewski is not a rare Polish name), I was able to commiserate about how difficult it can be to find places in the old country where our families originated, and demonstrate how, over years, I found and confirmed my Maciejewski family who came from West Prussia in 1883.

My great grandfather Jan Maciejewski‘s church death record said he was born in Tylice, and there are four places with that name in Poland. I picked one, and I guessed wrong. I wrote about it, though…  https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/maciejewski-from-tylice/

I researched Jan and Weronika Maciejewski‘s children’s baptism records in the United States… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/st-stanislaus-baptism-records/

And saw that the parents were from Nieżywięć and Tylice in West Prussia… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/maciejewski-family-from-tylice-near-niezywiec/

I finally found Jan and Weronika‘s marriage record… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/marriage-of-johann-maciejewski-and-veronica-lewandowska-in-niezywiec-prussia/

But their son, my grandfather Antoni Maciejewski, was not born/baptized in Nieżywięć! I searched civil records from the Torun archives and found my grandfather’s birth record in 1883 in Zgniłobłotyhttps://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/1883-birth-of-antoni-maciejewski-in-zgnilobloty-west-prussia/

Which helped me recognize the family’s arrival record at Castle Garden in New York City later that year… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/maciejewski-family-arrived-in-new-york-21-december-1883/

And identify other children of this family who were born and died in West Prussia… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/maciejewski-family-resilience

I recommend checking all the records, including siblings, cousins, and other relatives and friends. This is sometimes called “cluster genealogy.” When you seem to be stuck, genealogy author Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends checking the “FAN club”  of your ancestor’s friends, associates, and neighbors. Even for ancestors who were married in America, I have found that couples often knew of each other’s families in the old country.

I wrote about how my grandparents grew up and were married in the US, but their parents’ places of origin were only twenty miles apart half a world away… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/torun-gingerbread/

That’s how chain migration works… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/chain-migration/

Because of the interrelationships of our ancestors, I helped some DNA cousins find their grandparents’ places of origin… https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/kalinowska-from-szembruk-west-prussia-looking-for-common-ancestors/  and https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/szennato-szynnato-szynwald-gros-schonwalde-deciphering-polish-prussian-place-names/

I often share information about other families I find along the way. Others have helped me. It is always rewarding to help others find primary or contemporaneous sources, and I like to hear from researchers of related families.

Happy ancestor hunting!