Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

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!

Advertisements

As I learn more about our ancestors, I am amazed and inspired by their resilience. I knew that my great-grandmother, Weronika Lewandowska Maciejewska, went on to raise their six children–Antoni, Konstanty, Wiktorya, Marya, Anna, and Ludwik–in Buffalo, New York, after the death of her husband Jan Maciejewski in 1896. My father, born in 1928, remembered her before her death in 1943 at age 95. He told me that his grandmother was a very kind woman. I previously chronicled some of the events in her life. But there was much I did not know about her.

Jan and Weronika were married in Nieżywięć, West Prussia, in 1869 and immigrated to the United States with their infant son in 1883. I had wondered what had happened in the fourteen intervening years, and what may have motivated them to emigrate when they did.

I found at least part of the answer in the 1882 church records of Kościół pw. św. Jakuba, Parish Church of Saint James the Apostle in Bobrau (Bobrowo). It was in the Kries (district) of Strasburg (Polish Brodnica), in the Regierungsbezirk (administrative region) Marienwerder of Westpreußen (West Prussia). Today it is Bobrowo, Brodnica, Kujawsko-Pomorskie in Poland.

Deutsch-Eylau_27 Maciejewski

Excerpt, “Deutsch Eylau – 27,” old German Map (Kartenmeister.com)

I found the Maciejewski family in the records of three of the Roman Catholic churches in the area. [1]

  • Kościół Świętego Jana Chrzciciela (St. John the Baptist) in Niezywienc, where they were married  in 1869 and their first son was baptized in 1870,
  • Kościół Świętego Mikołaja Biskupa (St. Nicholas, Bishop) in Groß Kruschin, where they lived for a time, and where another son was baptized in 1872, and
  • Kościół Świętego Jakuba Apostoła Starszego, (Saint James the Apostle the Elder) in Bobrau, the parish church for the small village of Zgniłobłoty, where they lived from 1875 to Antoni Maciejewski’s birth in 1883.

Here are Jan and Weronika‘s children who were born and died in the old country, and whose records I was able to find:

  • Władysław (Ladislaus) (1870-1870)
  • Franciszek (Franz) (1872-1882)
  • Franciszka (Francisca) (1875-1875)
  • Jan (Johann) (1876-1878)
  • Marian (1878-1882)
  • Tomasz (Thomas) Julian (1880-1882)
1870 Ladislaus birth marked

Ladislaus Maciejewski birth/baptism record, Kościół pw. św. Jana Chrzciciela, Nieżywięć (Niezywienc)

  • Their first son, Władysław, was born 8 Oct 1870 in Dombrowken (Dąbrówka) and was baptized at Kościół Świętego Jana Chrzciciela (St. John the Baptist) in Niezywienc (Nieżywięć). Sadly, he died 14 Nov 1870, when he was only a month old. His name was recorded as Ladislaus in the church records.
1872 Franz Maciejewski birth marked

Franz Maciejewski birth/baptism record, Kościół pw. św. Mikołaja Biskupa, Kruszyny (Groß Kruschin)

  • Franciszek (Franz) was born 4 Jul 1872 and baptized at Kościół Świętego Mikołaja Biskupa (St. Nicholas) in Groß Kruschin (Kruszyny). His place of birth was listed as “Forstamt,” which is German for Forestry Office.
1875 Franciszka Maciejewski birth marked

Francisca Maciejewska birth/baptism record, Kościół pw. św. Jakuba, Bobrowo (Bobrau)

  • Franciszka (Francisca) was born 3 Apr 1875 in Zgnilloblott (Königsmoor/Zgniłobłoty) and baptized at Kościół pw. św. Jakuba (Saint James the Apostle) in Bobrau (Bobrowo). She died 30 Apr 1875, twenty seven days later.
1876 Jan Maciejewski birth marked

Johann Maciejewski birth/baptism record, Kościół pw. św. Jakuba, Bobrowo (Bobrau)

  • Jan (Johann) was born 16 Feb 1876 in Zgnilloblott (Königsmoor/Zgniłobłoty) and baptized at Kościół pw. św. Jakuba (Saint James the Apostle) in Bobrau (Bobrowo). He lived only two years, and died 7 Feb 1878.
1878 Marian Maciejewski birth marked

Marian Maciejewski birth/baptism record, Kościół pw. św. Jakuba, Bobrowo (Bobrau)

  • Marian was born in Zgnilloblott (Königsmoor/Zgniłobłoty) and baptized 18 Aug 1878 at Kościół pw. św. Jakuba (Saint James the Apostle) in Bobrau (Bobrowo).
1880 Julian Maciejewski birth

Julian Maciejewski birth/baptism record, Kościół pw. św. Jakuba, Bobrowo (Bobrau)

  • Julian was born 14 Dec 1880 in Zgnilloblott (Königsmoor/Zgniłobłoty) and baptized 26 Dec 1880 at Kościół pw. św. Jakuba (Saint James the Apostle) in Bobrau (Bobrowo). In his baptism record the baby is listed as Julian and and his civil birth record lists him as Thomas. His grandfather was named Tomasz Maciejewski.
1880 Thomas Maciejewski 69_1246_0_2_1_1019

Thomas Maciejewski civil birth record, Torun Archives

Of the six babies born, only three boys were alive in Zgniłobłoty in early 1882: Franciszek was nine, Marian was three, and Tomasz Julian was one year old.

1882 Maciejewski deaths marked

Death Records, Kościół Św Jakuba Apostoła, Bobrau, Strasburg, West Prussia

The May of 1882 was very hard for Jan and Weronika, as they lost all three of their children.

1882 Maciejewski deaths

Maciejewski Children Death Records, Kościół Św Jakuba, Bobrowo, (Bobrau)

Franz died May 16th, Thomas Julian on May 19th, and Marian on May 29th of 1882. Since the same cause was listed for all three deaths, I thought it must have been an infection. I asked several people for help deciphering it, and a researcher online identified “Bräune.” In English, it was known as quinsy, a peritonsillar abscess, a known complication of tonsillitis.

1882 cause of death

1882 Cause of Death for Maciejewski Children

I did not see it, but she referred me to  the German Glossary of Causes of Death and other Archaic Medical Terms, from Rudy’s List of Archaic Medical Terms at http://antiquusmorbus.com.

braune

Bräune Example

It listed an example from a church record from Mecklenburg, Germany, and I could see the similarity.

The children’s  deaths were recorded with the German authorities, and were listed in the Torin Archives.

Still Jan and Weronika persevered. She became pregnant again, and nine months later, in February of 1883, they had my grandfather Antoni. Later that same year they immigrated to America, where they added five more children to their family, who all grew to adulthood.

1900 Veronica Maciejewski census

1900 Census, Veronica Maciejewski, Buffalo, New York

Although in the 1900 census, Weronika reported that she had given birth to fourteen children, I was only able to find records for twelve. So, at a minimum, Weronika had a baby approximately every 2.2 years–from her first, Władysław, in 1870, to her last, Ludwik, in 1894.

Maciejewski children

Here is a summary of the known Maciejewski children.Jan Weronika kids[1]  Kościół Świętego Andrzeja Apostoła  (St. Andrew the Apostle) in Groß Brudzaw (Brudzawy), although dating from the 14th century, was identified as a branch of Groß Kruschin.

Sources

Władysław birth, LDS Family History Library, “Nieżywiȩć (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed June 2018), Ladislaus Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Niezywienc – Church records. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZR-ZKWQ?i=295&cat=237019

Władysław death, LDS Family History Library, “Nieżywiȩć (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed June 2018), Ladislaus Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Niezywienc – Church records. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSV7-YSFW-N?i=180&cat=237019

Franciszek birth, LDS Family History Library, “Kruszyny (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed June 2018), Franz Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Groß Kruschin (Kr. Strasburg) – Church records. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZ5-K9M6-2?i=164&cat=15201

Franciszka birth, LDS Family History Library, “Bobrowo (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed February 2018), Franciszka Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Bobrau – Church records. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZ5-5N9F?i=261&cat=217507

Franciszka death, LDS Family History Library, “Bobrowo (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed February 2018), Franciszka Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Bobrau – Church records. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZ5-BCM2?i=136&cat=217507

Johann birth, LDS Family History Library, “Bobrowo (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed February 2018), Johann Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Bobrau – Church records.
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZ5-5N9H?i=269&cat=217507

Johann death, LDS Family History Library, “Bobrowo (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed February 2018), Johann Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Bobrau – Church records.
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZ5-5N9H?i=269&cat=217507

“Archiwum Państwowe w Toruniu,” database, Genealogia w Archiwach (www.genealogiawarchiwach.pl: accessed January 2018), Johann Maciejewski; citing Urząd Stanu Cywilnego.

Marian birth, LDS Family History Library, “Bobrowo (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed February 2018), Marian Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Bobrau – Church records.
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSXN-P9V3-5?i=335&cat=217507

“Archiwum Państwowe w Toruniu,” database, Genealogia w Archiwach (www.genealogiawarchiwach.pl: accessed January 2018), Thomas Maciejewski; citing Urząd Stanu Cywilnego.

Julian birth, LDS Family History Library, “Bobrowo (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed February 2018), Julian Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Bobrau – Church records.
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSXN-P9V3-5?i=335&cat=217507

“Archiwum Państwowe w Toruniu,” database, Genealogia w Archiwach (www.genealogiawarchiwach.pl: accessed January 2018), Franz, Julius, and Marian Maciejewski deaths; citing Urząd Stanu Cywilnego.

1900 Federal Census, United States, population schedule, Buffalo (city), New York, enumeration district (ED) 70, Veronica Maciejewski; digital images, HeritageQuest Online (heritagequestonline.com : accessed December 2014).

In A Tale of Two Families, I wrote about some AncestryDNA matches and the records I found while trying to discover our common ancestor(s). Briefly,

  • A baby boy was born to a young woman in Buffalo, New York, in 1906. One hundred eleven years later his great-grandson tested with AncestryDNA and matched several Maciejewski family members. I was surprised to find the connection, and researched it.
  • The first section looks at Tadeusz/Theodore Jurek‘s grandparents and great-grandparents back in Prussia. We do not appear to have a genetic connection there, so our relatively close DNA connection appears to be with Tadeusz‘ parents. Who were they?
  • The second section shows the Maciejewski and Jurek fathers died in 1890 and 1896.
  • In 1900 and 1905, the widows raised their kids, who were about the same ages, and the families moved to the same street. They knew one another. Proximity was important for baby-making.
  • In the 1910 census, Tadeusz Jurek appeared. Who was his mother? Not Władysława (Lottie), for sure. She had had four kids in seven years. Was it Marianna or Stanisława?
  • Multiple events show Marianna Jurek was Tadeusz‘ mother.
  • Interrelationships show that this Tadeusz/Theodore Jurek is the same person seen in Buffalo and Rochester, and links to the family in Long Island.
  • In early 2018, Tadeusz/Theodore Jurek‘s grandson also did a DNA test. AncestryDNA estimates that he is my second cousin.

Since we know I am not closely related to Marianna Jurek, F. would only be a half cousin, on Tadeusz‘ father’s side. Given our genetic connection, the two mostly likely candidates for the father of Marianna‘s son are Antoni Maciejewski or his brother Konstanty/Gust, since Ludwik was only eleven in 1905.

Maciejewski Jurek

Maciejewski and Jurek children in Buffalo, New York

  • If Antoni were the father, then
    • Tadeusz/Theodore and my father would be half-brothers,
    • F.‘s mother and I would be half first cousins, and
    • F. would be my half first-cousin one generation removed (half 1C1R).
  • If Konstanty/Gust were the father, then
    • Tadeusz/Theodore and my father would be half first cousins,
    • F.‘s mother and I would be half second cousins, and
    • F. would be my half second cousin one generation removed (half 2C1R).

AncestryDNA says that F. and I share “208 centimorgans across 8 DNA segments” and estimates we are second cousins. Statistically,

  • second cousins share about 233 centimorgans (range 46-515)
  • half 1C1R share about 226 centimorgans (range 57-530)
  • half 2C1R share about 73 centimorgans (range 0-341)

From analysis so far, it appears more likely that Antoni Maciejewski was Tadeusz/Theodore Jurek‘s father, but it could also have been his brother Konstanty/Gust.

Sources

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/a-tale-of-two-families/

Bettinger, Blaine, Shared cM Project, International Society of Genetic Genealogy, https://isogg.org/wiki/File:Shared_cM_version_3.jpg, accessed 3 Jun 2018

 

Some of the more popular reasons people test DNA are to learn more about their heritage and perhaps, find some new relatives. After my own DNA test in late 2015, I was able to connect with the previously unknown daughter of a second cousin, and confirmed dozens of other known relatives.

In the fall of 2017, a new match appeared on AncestryDNA, estimated to be my fourth cousin, with 75 centimorgans shared across 3 DNA segments. We had multiple shared matches–3 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-great-granddaughter of Jan and Veronica Lewandowska Maciejewski–so we obviously have Maciejewski and/or Lewandowski ancestors in common. I wanted to learn more about our connection.

His family was from Long Island, New York. From the family tree he posted online, I could see that his mother’s family was not Polish. His father’s ancestors were Polish, so that was our likely connection. The census records for his father’s father’s parents consistently said they had come from Russian-Poland. The Maciejewski family had come from West Prussia, so that was not a link to our shared heritage. I started looking for information about his father’s mother’s family.

I found a link to his grandparents’ 1950 wedding announcement in a Long Island paper. The article titled “Nassau Summer Brides” identified the bride’s parents as Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Jurek. When I searched for Theodore Jurek in census records, I was surprised to learn that in his early years, he had lived on the same street in Buffalo, New York, as my great-grandmother Veronica Maciejewska and her family!

So here is the tale of two families…

In December 1883, Jan and Weronika Lewandowska Maciejewski immigrated to Buffalo, New York, with their infant Antoni. The family grew with the arrival of Konstanty (August), Wiktorya (Dorota), Marya, Anna, and Ludwik. Jan and Weronika had been married in 1869 in Kościół św. Jana Chrzciciela, Nieżywięć, West Prussia.

In 1888, Jan and Teofila Rossa Jurek also immigrated to Buffalo, New York, with their daughters Władysława and Marianna. In Buffalo, they had Franciszek and Stanisława. I was able to find a baptism entry for Stanisława at St. Adalbert’s Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo in 1890, which showed that her parents had been born in Posen (Poznań in Polish).

1890 Stanislawa Jurek birth cropped

1890 Baptism Record, St. Adalbert’s RC Church, Buffalo, New York

The Poznan Project has indexed the marriages from the parishes of this region, and a search for Jan Jurek and Teofila found their marriage in Kościół pw. św. Wita (St. Vitus), the Catholic parish in Słupy, entry 8 / 1884:

  • Joannes Jurek (24 years old)
    father: Joseph Jurek , mother: Marianna Świtalska
  • Theophila Rossa (26 years old)
    father: Jacobus Rossa , mother: Anna Domagała

Słupy, Schubin, Posen, was approximately 66 miles from Nieżywięć, West Prussia. Both locations are currently in Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland.

Death of the Fathers

Sadly, the fathers of both these families met with untimely ends. Jan Jurek died in 1890. An article on the front page of the March 6, 1890 Buffalo Evening News has the entry “Killed by the Cars” saying that “Jan Jurek, a Polish laborer, tried to board a passing Central engine at the William street crossing at 7:30 this morning. He slipped and was killed. Coroner Tucker.”

1890 Jan Jurek death

1890 Buffalo Evening News

Jan Maciejewski died 30 Apr 1896, of endocarditis, and was buried at St. Stanislaus Cemetery, in Cheektowaga, New York.

1896 Jan Maciejewski Death Certificate

1896 Death Certificate, Buffalo, New York

Widows and Their Families

In the 1900 federal census, both women were listed as widows. Veronica Maciejewski was living at 242 Detroit Street, with her children Anthony (17), Constanty (15), Victoria (12), Mary (11), Ann (8), and Louis (5).

1900 Veronica Maciejewski census

1900 Maciejewski Census, Buffalo, New York

In 1900, Teofila Jurek was at 169 Rother Avenue with Wladislawa (14), Mary (13), Frank (11), Stanislawa (9), and Teofila’s mother, Anna Rosa (78).

1900-jurek-census-e1523386901598.jpg

1900 Jurek census, Buffalo, New York

Further research in church and civil records in Bobrowo and Słupy, Prussia, as well as Buffalo, New York, showed the birth dates for the children of these families.

Maciejewski Jurek

Children of Maciejewski and Jurek Families in Buffalo, New York

In 1905, the Jurek family lived at 160 Stanislaus Street: Teofila (41), Mary (18), Frank (16), Stella (14), and Anna (84).

1905 Jurek Rosa NYS census cropped

1905 New York State Census, Jurek Family, Buffalo, New York

The Maciejewski family lived at 303 Detroit Street in 1905: Veronica (55), Anthony (22), Konstanty (20), Victoria (18), Mary (16), Anna (13), and Louis (10).

1905 Veronica Maciejewski census

1905 New York State Census, Maciejewski Family, Buffalo, New York

Both women purchased homes on Goodyear Avenue. In the Buffalo Courier on August 21, 1905, under DEEDS—CITY was “Martin Hauck to Veronica Maciejewska, Goodyear Avenue, west side, 520 feet north Empire Street, 30 feet front, $1.”  On June 15, 1907, under MORTGAGES—CITY was the entryTeofila Jurek to Grace H. Selkirk, Goodyear Avenue. 385.69 feet south Sycamore Street. $2,000.”

1910 Census Records

There were more changes to the families. In the 1910 census, Thaddeus Jurek (2) had joined the Telofila Jurek family at 212 Goodyear Avenue, along with Frank (21), Maryanna (22), and Stella (19).

1910-jurek-census.jpg

1910 Jurek Census, Buffalo, New York

Władysława Jurek had married Szczepan Kubiak about 1903 and the couple were living with their four children Edward, Mary, Louisa, and Irene at 97 Koons Avenue for the 1910 census.

1910-kubiak-census-cropped-e1525812086918.jpg

1910 Kubiak Census, Buffalo, New York

On 5 Aug 1907, Antoni Maciejewski had married Marya Szczepańska in Bennington, New York. In the 1910 census, they and their daughters Sophia and Celia were living with his mother and his siblings Victoria (28), Mary (21), Anna (18), and Ludwik (15) at 127 Goodyear Avenue.

1910 Maciejewski census 4450075_00386

1910 Maciejewski Census, Buffalo, New York

On 5 Apr 1910, Konstanty Maciejewski had married Marya Kajdasz in Buffalo, New York, and the couple was living at 301 Mills Street. Konstanty was called Gust, and used the name August Warner in later years, as documented in How Did Maciejewski Become Warner?

1910 GustavMary Maciejewski census cropped

1910 Maciejewski Census, Buffalo, New York

Marianna Jurek Married Szczepan Kozłowski

In America, Telofila was called Tillie Jurek. She and her cat were featured in a story in the Buffalo Courier on 27 February 1915, “Destroys Two of Cat’s Lives and Draws Fine of $10 in City Court.”

1915 Tilli Jurek cat

1915 Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, New York

Tillie Rosa was listed as the bride’s mother when Mary Anna Jurek married Szczepan Kozłowski in the Polish National Catholic Church in Rochester, New York, on 18 Oct 1919.

1919 Kozlowski Jurek marriage

1919 Kozlowski-Jurek Marriage Record, Rochester, New York

In the 1920 census, Tadeusz Jurek, 12 years old, is listed as the nephew of Frank (31), living with his grandmother, Teofila (60), and Stanisława (28), at 212 Goodyear Avenue in Buffalo.

1920 Jurek census

1920 Jurek Census, Buffalo, New York

In the 1925 New York census, the Stephen and Mary Kozłowski family at 19 Pulaski Street in Rochester includes Theodore Jurek, age 18 and Frank Kozłowski, age 3.

1925 Kozlowski Jurek census

1925 Kozlowski-Jurek Census, Rochester, New York

Still at 19 Pulaski Street in Rochester in 1940, Stephen and Mary Kozłowski’s family included Frank (18), Richard (13), and Norma (10).

1940 Kozlowski census m-t0627-02848-00417

1940 Kozlowski Census, Rochester, New York

Mary (Jurek) Kozłowski died 1 Mar 1947 at her home, 19 Pulaski St. The account in the Rochester NY Democrat Chronicle of 4 March 1947 said she was survived by her husband, “one daughter Norma Kozlowski; three sons, Theodore of Hicksvllle, N. Y., Frank, and Cpl. Richard Kozlowski, U. S. Marine Corp.; one sister, Mrs. Lottie Kubiak; one brother, Frank Jurek, two granddaughters and one grandson; several nieces and nephews.”

When Frank Kozłowski died in 1961, his obituary in the Rochester NY Democrat Chronicle on 26 July 1961 stated “Survivors include his wife, two brothers, Theodore Jurek of Bethpage, L.I., and Deputy Sheriff Richard Kozlowski of Churchville; a sister, Norma Kozlowski of Brockport, and several nieces and nephews.”

Tadeusz/Theodore Jurek

Theodore Jurek joined the United States Army 29 Sep 1927. He married Helen Skszyba, daughter of Stanisław Skszyba and Marya Pliszka, who was born 23 Jan 1910 in Duryea, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, United States. The couple lived with their three children on Nassau Road in Hempstead, Nassau, New York in the 1940 federal census.

1940-theodore-jurek-census-m-t0627-02688-00584-e1527219384253.jpg

1940 Jurek Census, Hempstead, New York

Theodore Jurek’s military and Social Security records said he was born 21 Mar 1906 and died 2 Oct 1977. His last residence was listed as Bethpage, New York. He and his wife Helen were buried at Long Island National Cemetery.

Because in former generations, physical proximity was needed to create a baby, I have looked for common places where our known ancestors lived. Based on my “extremely high” AncestryDNA connections with his great-grandson and another Jurek descendant (208 centimorgans shared across 8 DNA segments, an estimated second cousin), and even more Maciejewski family descendants in common, we know the families are related. Perhaps additional research in Buffalo records and further analysis of DNA relationships will give more information about the identity of Tadeusz‘ father, but meanwhile, we remain DNA cousins.

Notes About Names

Polish names - Jurek

Because Polish people would speak the Polish language and give their children Polish names, they are the first names I have listed here. Other names listed in church and official records from Prussia may be in Latin or German, and names in American records may be either an English version of the same name (Ludwik/Louis), or an Americanized nickname (Władysława/Lottie).

 

 

 

Sources

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/finding-new-cousins-with-dna-evidence/

“Nassau Summer Brides,” Nassau Review-Star, Freeport, New York, 3 July 1950, Page 5, col 1.

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/maciejewski-family-arrived-in-new-york-21-december-1883/

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/1883-birth-of-antoni-maciejewski-in-zgnilobloty-west-prussia/

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/constantine-maciejewski-aka-august-warner-and-his-son-daniel-warner/

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/marriage-of-johann-maciejewski-and-veronica-lewandowska-in-niezywiec-prussia/

St. Adalbert RC Church, Buffalo, New York, Church records, FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanisława Jurek.

Łukasz Bielecki, “Poznan Project,” database, Poznan Project (http://poznan-project.psnc.pl: accessed March 2018), Jurek – Rossa; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).

“Killed by the Cars”, Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, New York, 6 March 1890, page 1.

Buffalo, New York, death certificate no. 231 (1 May 1896), Jan Madjewski; City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, Buffalo, New York.

St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church (Buffalo, New York), , Death Register, 1896, Jan Maciejewski; FHL microfilm .

1900 Federal Census, United States, population schedule, Buffalo (city), New York, enumeration district (ED) 70, Veronica Maciejewski

1900 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 14, Erie, New York, Anna Rosa

LDS Family History Library, “Bobrowo (Brodnica),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed February 2018), Anton Maciejewski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Bobrau – Church records.

LDS Family History Library, “Słupy (Szubin),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed 11 May 2018), Władysława and Marianna Jurek; citing Germany, Preußen, Posen, Slupy – Church records.

1905 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 14, Erie, New York, USA, Anna Rosa

1905 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, New York, , Veronica Maciejewski

DEEDS Veronica Maciejewska, Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, New York, 21 August 1905, Page 8, column 4.

MORTGAGES Teofila Jurek, Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, New York, 15 June 1907.

1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 12, Erie, New York, Stephen Kubiak

1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Buffalo, New York, Veronica Maciejewski

Konstantyn Maciejewski and Mary Kajdasz, (5 April 1910), Marriage Record; Erie County Courthouse, Buffalo, New York.

1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Buffalo, New York, enumeration district (ED) 104, sheet 18, Gustav Maciejewski

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/how-did-maciejewski-become-warner/

1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 12, Erie, New York, Teofila Jurek

“Destroys Two of Cat’s Lives and Draws Fine of $10 in City Court” Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, New York, 27 February 1915, page 6, column 2-3

New York, County Marriage Records, 1847-1849, 1907-1936 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 16, Erie, New York, Teofila Jurek

1925 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Rochester Ward 17, Monroe, Stephen Kozlowski

1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Rochester, Monroe, New York, 19 Pulaski Street, Stephen Kozlowski

1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Hempstead, Nassau, New York, Theodore Jurek

Mary Kozlowski, Democrat Chronicle, Rochester, New York, 4 March 1947, page 6.

Frank Kozlowski, Democrat Chronicle, Rochester, New York, 26 July 1961.

Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Social Security Applications and Claims (: accessed December 2017), Helen Jurek, 053546980.

Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Death Master File (: accessed February 2018), Theodore Jurek, 111-01-8499, before 1951.

US VA, National Cemetery Administration, “Nationwide Gravesite Locator,” database, US Department of Veteran Affairs (http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/ : accessed January 2018), Theodore S Sr Jurek.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 11 May 2018), memorial page for Theodore S Jurek, Sr (21 Mar 1906–2 Oct 1977), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2718164, citing Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York, USA ; Maintained by US Veterans Affairs Office (contributor 5) .

 

Church records were very helpful in researching the ancestors of two of my fourth cousin DNA matches from Ancestry.com. Their great-grandmother, Katarzyna Kiersznowska Niewirowska was born in Groß Schönbrück/ Szembruk, the same place that my great grandparents Marcin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska were from!

It took awhile longer to find the records for their great-grandfather Franciszek Niewirowski mostly because there is no place called Szennato.

The St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church marriage record for Katarzyna Kiersznowska and Franciszek Niewirowski in Chicago, Illinois, on 27 November 1885 was listed on FamilySearch.

1885 marriage record Niewirowski Kiersznowski.jpg

1885 Marriage Record, St. Stanislaus Kostka RC Church, Chicago, Illinois

Franciszek Niewirowski, young man (Polish młodzian), 22 years old, has been in Chicago 1.5 years, and lives Blackhawk Street No. 78. He is the son (Polish syn) of Józef and Maryanna Brzozowska. He was born (Polish urodzony) at what reads like Szennato. (Czytać is the Polish verb “to read.”)

Katarzyna Kierznowska, young woman (Polish panna), 19 years old, has been in Chicago (illegible) No. 199. She is the daughter (Polish córka) of Ludwik and Ludwika. Her place of birth is listed as duży Szömbrug.

Aware of chain migration, I was looking for information about Franciszek Niewirowski while researching Katarzyna Kierznowska and her mother Ludwika Kalinowska in the Szembruk church records.

In the Szembruk records, I found an 1875 entry for the death of Elżbieta Trever, a daughter of Franz and Marianna Niewirowski, which indicated there were Niewirowski family in the area. Elżbieta is Polish for Elizabeth. She died in Garnseedorf, which had a Lutheran, but no Catholic Church. (It was across the nearby border, which remained German after WWI, according to Wikipedia.) I researched Kartenmeister.com, and saw that the Polish name was listed as Szlemno, which might have been very loosely recorded as Szennato. I also saw the associated Catholic parish was Groß Schönwalde in Kreis Graudenz. The border is visible in the old and new maps below.

Deutsch-Eylau_27 cropped

Part of Deutsch Eylau – 27 old German Map (Kartenmeister.com)

Szombruk Szynwald map

Contemporary Polish map (Google.com)

In Polish, Groß Schönwalde is called Szynwałd. In a straight line, it is about four miles from Szembruk. The Szynwałd church is Kościół Narodzenia Najświętszej Maryi Panny (Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

The Szynwałd records were filmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints and are posted online at FamilySearch at Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Groß Schönwalde (Kr. Graudenz) – Church records / Poland, Bydgoszcz, Szynwałd (Grudziądz) – Church records.[1]  I found Franciszek Niewirowski‘s baptism record for 26 Nov 1862.

1862 Niewirowski birth

1862 Birth Record, Franz Niewirowski, Szynwałd, West Prussia

However, while looking through the pages, I saw several entries that looked like Szynnato, so I thought that there might be a village with that spelling nearby.

After looking in vain for a nearby village called Szynnato, I went back to the original record and saw that what I was reading as Szynnato was actually “nw,” not “nn,” (the W sounds like a V) the letter “ł” (L with a line across it, pronounced like a W sound), not “t,” and “d” with the squiggle over the letter going back to make a line over the “l”, not “o.” In short, it’s Szynwałd in cursive.

Going back to the Chicago marriage record, I could now read Szenwałd. It is not exactly Szynwałd, but it is close.

1885 Szennato

Szenwałd

Notes

[1] When the church records were filmed in 1954, Szynwałd (Grudziądz) was in the Bydgoszcz province of Poland. During the German Occupation of the 19th century, it was Provinz Westpreußen (West Prussia), or Prusy Zachodnie in Polish. After Poland was reunited in 1920, it was in the Pomeranian Province, and between 1975 and 1998, it was in the Toruń Province. Currently, Szynwałd is in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, or in Polish, województwo kujawsko-pomorskie.

Sources

St. Stanislaus Kostka RC Church, Chicago, Illinois, Franciszek NIEWIEROWSKI and Katarzyna KIERZNOWSKA (Marriage), https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DR53-QPL?i=414&cc=1452409&cat=411138

Szynwałd, Poland, Franciszek NIEWIEROWSKI (Birth), https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZL-S95R-3?i=525&cat=295396

Before finding my great grandparents’ ancestral village of Szembruczek, and confused by variations of Szombrug, Szömbrug, Szenbruk, Szenburg, Szönbruk, Szymbruczek, etc., in the baptism records of the children of my great grandparents Marcin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska, I saw that two sisters who were my fourth cousin estimated DNA matches on Ancestry.com and GEDmatch also had an ancestor whose birth name was Kalinowska.

I exchanged messages with one of the sisters, and she said that according to American records, their great-great-grandmother was born Ludwika Kalinowska about 1844 and died in Chicago in 1926. Ludwika’s death certificate listed her place of birth only as Poland and her father’s name as Walter. She had been married twice. Ludwika’s first husband, the sisters’ great-great-grandfather, was Ludwik Kierznowski and her second husband was Franciszek Konracki. They thought Ludwika was a widow by the time she settled in Chicago with her three daughters. Another clue was that the sisters’ great-grandmother Katarzyna Kiersznowska Niewirowska spoke both German and Polish, an indication that she had come from Prussia, the German occupied part of Poland in the nineteenth century.

After Ludwika immigrated with her daughters to Chicago, her daughter Katarzyna Kiersznowska married Franciszek Niewirowski at St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois, on 27 November 1885. The church records, filmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints, are available online at FamilySearch, and the marriage record was very informative.

1885 marriage record Niewirowski Kiersznowski.jpg

1885 Marriage Record, St. Stanislaus Kostka RC Church, Chicago, Illinois

Franciszek Niewirowski, young man (Polish młodzian), 22 years old, has been in Chicago 1.5 years, and lives Blackhawk Street No. 78. He is the son (Polish syn) of Józef and Maryanna Brzozowska. He was born (Polish urodzony) at what reads like Szennato. (Czytać is the Polish verb “to read.”)

Katarzyna Kierznowska, young woman (Polish panna), 19 years old, has been in Chicago (illegible) No. 199. She is the daughter (Polish córka) of Ludwik and Ludwika. Her place of birth is listed as duży Szömbrug.

Katarzyna Kierznowska came from duży Szömbrug, also known as Groß Schönbrück or Szembruk in Polish, the same place as my great grandparents Marcin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska!

In the scanned records from the LDS Church Family History Center on FamilySearch for  Sw. Bartłomieja (St. Bartholomew) parish in Szembruk, West Prussia, we were able to find:

  • Katarzyna Kierznowska‘s birth record 26 Nov 1864
1864 Kalinowski Kierznowska births

1864 Baptism Record, Katarzyna Kierznowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

  • her sister Marianna Kierznowska‘s birth record Jan 1868
1868 Kierznowska birth

1868 Baptism Record, Marianna Kierznowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

  • their father Ludwik Kierznowski‘s death record 17 Feb 1869
1869 Kierznowski death

1869 Death Record, Ludwik Kierznowski, Szembruk, West Prussia

  • Ludwika Kalinowska Kierznowska‘s marriage to Franciszek Konracki 9 Jan 1876
1876 marriage Konracki

1876 Marriage Record, Franz Konracki and Ludwika Kierznowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

  • the birth record for Rozalia Konracka 29 Sep 1876
1876 Rozalia Konracki birth

1876 Baptism Record, Rozalia Konracka, Szembruk, West Prussia

Unfortunately, we were not able to find birth records or the marriage record for Ludwik Kierznowski and Ludwika Kalinowska in earlier years, or any records for anyone named Władysław or Wacław Kalinowski.

My great-grandmother Anna Kalinowska was born in 1858 to Jan Kalinowski (b. 1824) and Marianna Nowakowska (b. 1835)

1858 Anna Kalinowska birth cropped

1858 Baptism Record, Anna Kalinowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

Jan Kalinowski and Marianna Nowakowska were married 31 Oct 1853. It was his second marriage, and he was 30 years old.

1853 Kalinowski Nowakowska marriage

1853 Kalinowski-Nowakowska Marriage Record, Szembruk, West Prussia

Going back thirty years, Jan Kalinowski‘s parents were Wojciech (Adalbert) Kalinowski and Anna Szynkowska

1819-1824 Kalinowski births

1819-1824 Children of Adalbert Kalinowski and Anna Szynkowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

The early register appears to be a catching up. Jan‘s sisters Marianna and Katarzyna are recorded on the same page.

In going through the Szembruk records, I found other members of this family either in birth, death, or marriage records. Although not complete or proven yet, here is what I have found of this family so far:

1-Wojciech KALINOWSKI (ca 1796-1 Oct 1852)
+Anna SZYNKOWSKA (-)
. . . . 2-Ewa KALINOWSKA (abt 1816-7 Sep 1826)
. . . . 2-Marianna KALINOWSKA (15 Aug 1819-2 Feb 1850)
. . . . +Frederick WERTHER (1817-)
. . . . . . . . 3-Agata WERTHER (abt 1840-5 Oct 1848)
. . . . . . . . 3-Eva WERTHER (Nov 1841-21 Nov 1841)
. . . . . . . . 3-Jan WERTHER (1847-15 Oct 1849)
. . . . 2-Justyna KALINOWSKA (1823-22 Feb 1833)
. . . . 2-Katarzyna KALINOWSKA (20 Dec 1823-)
. . . . +Józef KLUGIEWICZ (1821-)
. . . . 2-Jan KALINOWSKI (6 Jan 1824-)
. . . . +first wife  (-bef 1853)
. . . . +Marianna NOWAKOWSKA (21 Jan 1835-)
. . . . . . . . 3-Jan KALINOWSKI (11 Jan 1855-)
. . . . . . . . 3-Anna KALINOWSKA (27 Mar 1858-10 Sep 1938)
. . . . . . . . 3-Fabian KALINOWSKI (7 Dec 1862-)
. . . . . . . . 3-Marcin KALINOWSKI (9 Nov 1864-)
. . . . . . . . 3-Fabian KALINOWSKI (7 Dec 1867-)
. . . . . . . . 3-Józef KALINOWSKI (-20 Sep 1871)
. . . . 2-Dorota KALINOWSKA (1826-10 Feb 1853)
. . . . +MANIEWICZ (abt 1820-)
. . . . 2-Franciszek KALINOWSKI (abt Dec 1836-2 Apr 1837)
. . . . 2-Marcin KALINOWSKI (18 Oct 1838-10 Apr 1841)

To recap: We have DNA in common. We have ancestors that came from Szembruk, West Prussia. We have the same name in our family trees. It is possible, if unlikely, that Władysław or Wacław was a child of Wojciech and Anna. It is also possible that the name of her father on Ludwika‘s death certificate was incorrect, or that our mutual ancestor was even further back, or not a result of a documented union. Although the Kalinowski surname is suggestive of a connection, some of the 31 centimorgans shared across 2 DNA segments or 20.8 centimorgans shared across 1 DNA segment that we have in common could be shared from earlier as yet unknown ancestors in the Kierznowski, Niewirowski, or Brzozowski lines.

Sources

St. Stanislaus Kostka RC Church, Chicago, Illinois, Franciszek NIEWIEROWSKI and Katarzyna KIERZNOWSKA (Marriage), https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DR53-QPL?i=414&cc=1452409&cat=411138

Szembruk, Poland, Katarzyna KIERZNOWSKA (Birth) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-3CNP?i=186&cat=295340

Szembruk, Poland, Marianna KIERZNOWSKA (Birth) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-3CNS?i=197&cat=295340

Szembruk, Poland, Ludwik KIERZNOWSKI (Death) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-3ZZC?i=469&cat=295340

Szembruk, Poland, Franciszek KONRACKI and Ludwika KALINOWSKA (Marriage) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-3HY7?i=311&cat=295340

Szembruk, Poland, Rozalia KONRACKI (Birth), https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-38PT?i=228&cat=295340

Szembruk, Poland, Anna KALINOWSKA (Birth), https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-3CLK?cat=295340

Szembruk, Poland, Jan KALINOWSKI and Marianna NOWAKOWSKA (Marriage) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-3H1S?i=293&cat=295340

Szembruk, Poland, Jan KALINOWSKI (Birth) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8M-3DQM?i=15&cat=295340

It required a certain degree of impulsivity to leave the land of one’s birth and travel to another country. Our grandfather Jan Skrok did it in 1913. He was followed by his sister Stanisława Skrok and their mother Maryanna Kasprzyk Skrok Kwiatek and her two children from her second marriage, Julianna and Aniela Kwiatek. They were all documented at Ellis Island through the Port of New York. Maryanna’s husband Andrzej Kwiatek arrived in Niagara Falls, New York, from Toronto, Canada, in May 1913.

1913 Andrzej Kwiatek from Canada

1913 United States Border Crossing from Canada to United States

Maryanna and Andrzej’s son, Leon, was born in the United States. The New York State census records for 1915 show the family living at 19 Gibson Street in Buffalo, New York.

1915 Kwiatek NY census cropped

1915 New York State Census, 19 Gibson Street, Buffalo, New York

Like most couples, the Kwiateks did not always see eye to eye. On at least two occasions their disagreements escalated to involve the police and were reported in the newspaper.

1915 Kwiatek assault Buffalo Courier

Buffalo Courier, 6 April 1915

Andrew Kwiatek was taken to the Police station for assaulting his wife with a stove poker, as reported in the Buffalo Courier on 6 April 2015.

In 1917, the Buffalo Courier reported that “Mrs. Mary Kwiatk, forty-six years old, of No. 223 Metcalfe street, was arrested last night by police of the Fillmore avenue station on charge of assault, second degree, on complaint of her husband, Andrew Kwiatk. It is alleged Mrs. Kwiatk hit her husband on the head with a poker.”

1917 Kwiatek assault Buffalo Courier

Buffalo Evening News, 1 May 1917

The judge suspended the sentence the following day, and the newspaper reported that “The couple left the courtroom together.”

They were still together living at their house on 223 Metcalfe Street in the 1920 census.

1920 Kwiatek family Buffalo

1920 Census, 223 Metcalfe Street, Buffalo, New York

Life did not go smoothly for the Kwiatek family. There is evidence that Julia Kwiatek married John Kasprowicz in Pennsylvania. In 1921, the Kwiatek family returned to Poland with a new baby, Zofia.

Although Jan Skrok and Stanisława Skrok Kiec also went back to Poland with their families, they returned to America later that decade. The American siblings died in the 1930s and the remaining families grew out of touch. In 1947, Maryanna and Andrzej‘s daughter Aniela Kwiatek Jankowska wrote to Corpus Christi Church asking for information about her half-siblings’ families in Buffalo.

Sources

Neighbors Call Police to House, Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, New York, 6 April 1915, page 6, column 3.

SAYS SHE WIELDED POKER, Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, New York, 30 April 1917, page 5, column 1.

Woman Uses Poker on Husband Who Calls Her Names, Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, New York, 1 May 1917, page 6, column 1.