Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

Jan, Rozalia, and Anna Kaniecki emigrated on 9 Apr 1882 from Hamburg, Germany, on the German ship Rhenania of the Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) Hamburg America Line. The German record listed Jan‘s occupation as arbeiter (worker), and his age as 30. His wife Rosalie was 33, and their daughter Anna was 10 months old.

1882 Hamburg passenger list, ship Rhenania left Hamburg 9 Apr 1882

The Hamburg passenger list indicates they came from Roggenhausen, which was was a village in Graudenz, Marienwerder, Westpreußen, Preußen, 5 kilometers (3.2 miles) from Klein Schönbrück/Szembruczek, the village where Martin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska originated.

1882 ship Rhenania arrived in New York 27 Apr 1882

The Kaniecki family arrived in the Port of New York 27 Apr 1882. They were listed alongside the Szczepański family in the 1892 New York State census in Buffalo, Erie, New York.

Wikipedia says:



Rogóźno (German: Roggenhausen) is a village in Grudziądz County, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, in north-central Poland. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Rogóźno.

The settlement lies in the historic Chełmno Land, approximately 12 kilometres (7 mi) north-east of Grudziądz and 60 km (37 mi) north of Toruń. In 2011 the village had a population of 946.

St. Adalbert Church, Rogóźno

The church in Rogóźno is Kościół Świętego Wojciecha Biskupa i Męczennika w Rogóźnie, St Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr. The church registers were filmed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as Roman Catholic parish register of baptisms, marriages and deaths for Roggenhausen, West Prussia, Germany; now Rogóźno (Grudziądz), Bydgoszcz, Poland. Text in Polish, Latin and German and are available online and at a Family History Center.

1874 Marriage of Johann Kaniecki and Rozalia Krause, Roggenhausen/Rogóźno, West Prussia

Jan Kaniecki and Rozalia Krause were married on 23 Aug 1874 in Roggenhausen/Rogóźno. His age was listed as 25 and hers as 26. Martin Kalinowski and M. Ziburtowicz were witnesses.

1846 birth record, Rozalia Krause, Roggenhausen/Rogóźno, West Prussia

Rozalia Krause was born in Roggenhausen/Rogóźno on 17 Jan 1846 to Marianne Krause and baptized 29 Mar 1846.

1950 birth record, Jan Kaniecki, Groß Schönbrück/Szembruk, West Prussia

Jan Kaniecki was born 16 Aug 1850 and baptized 16 Aug 1850 in Groß Schönbrück/Szembruk. His parents were Wojciech Kaniecki and Marianna Kalynowska.   

1949 marriage record, Wojciech Kaniecki and Marianna Kałynowska, Groß Schönbrück/Szembruk, West Prussia

Wojciech Kaniecki and Marianna Kałynowska were married 11 November 1849 in Groß Schönbrück/Szembruk, West Prussia. Wojciech was 25 years old, so he would have been born about 1824. Marianna was 24 years old, so she would have been born about 1825. Witnesses were Wojciech Kałynowski and Andreas (Andrzej in Polish) Kaniecki.

Ancestors of Anna Kaniecka

Jan Kaniecki‘s mother was born Marianna Kalinowska, so she was probably related to Anna Kalinowska Szczepanska‘s father Jan Kalinowski in the old country, but we do not yet know how.

Sources

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When I first started documenting family history in the 1990s, I mistakenly thought that my great-grandmother Anna Kalinowska Szczepańska‘s family name was Kaniecki. My Aunt Imelda said that her mother Marya was close to her cousin Joanna Kaniecka, who had married Jan Beresniewicz. Even after Marya‘s death in 1951, my father and his siblings would pick up “Aunt Jennie” to take her with us to visit the Szczepański family in Bennington, New York.

My aunts Cele and Imelda told me that Joanna/Jennie‘s father Jan Kaniecki was an “uncle” on their mother Marya‘s side of the family. Because of their certainty, I included the Kaniecki family in Buffalo on pages 156-157 of the Descendants of Martin and Anna Szczepański book, although we were not sure how we were related.

Jan and Rozalia Kaniecki and their three children Anna (14), Johanna (7), and Władysław (2) were listed immediately after Martin, Anna, Frank (7), and Mary (5) Szczepański in Buffalo in the 1892 New York State census.

1892 New York State Census, Buffalo, Erie, New York

1900

In 1900, John, Rozalia, Władysław, and Johanna Kaniecki lived at 259 Detroit Street in Buffalo. Their daughter Anna had married Walenty Domalski 8 Oct 1895 at St. Stanislaus Church in Buffalo, New York, and lived at 289 Detroit Street. The census record indicates that the couple had immigrated in 1882 and that three of Rozalia‘s eight children were living in 1900. In the St. Stanislaus church registers I found two Kaniecki children who were born and died in Buffalo, Józef (28 Nov 1882-4 Dec 1882) and Rozalia (11 Jul 1887-9 Oct 1890).

1900 federal census, John and Rosalie Kaniecki, Buffalo, Erie, New York

On 20 July 1909, the Buffalo Courier, under Marriage Licenses on page 6, column 6, listed “John Beresniwicz, 30, No. 404 Sweet Avenue—Jennie Kaniecka, 25, No. 34 Woltz Avenue.”

1910

The Kaniecki and Beresniewicz families were together at 242 Clark Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York, in the 1910 federal census, including three month old Władysław Beresniewicz, who was listed as Vladislaus.

1910 federal census, Kaniecki and Beresniewicz families, Buffalo, Erie, New York

Władysław/Walter Kaniecki had enlisted in the military in 1908 and in 1910 he was a private in the U.S. Coast Artillery at Fort Howard in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Beresniewicz family lived at 66 Gates Street in Sloan, Erie, New York, in 1918 when Jan Beresniewicz, a veteran of the Spanish American War, registered for the World War I draft.

1920

Rozalia died between 1910 and 1920, because widowed John Kaniecki was listed in the 1920 census with his daughter Anna and granddaughters Sophia and Clara on 376 Gibson Street in Buffalo, New York.

1920 federal census, Anna, Sophia, Clara Domalska and John Kaniecki, 376 Gibson Street, Buffalo, Erie, New York

Walter Kaniecki served in the United States Army in World War I. He had married Louise Mentzer in Maryland and in 1920 they were at 107 Sturtevant Street, Greenfield, Highland Park, Wayne, Michigan, United States, with their daughter Regina.

1920 federal census, Walter, Louise, and Regina Kaniecki, Greenfield, Wayne, Michigan

In 1922, Walter and Louise‘s son Walter Kaniecki was born across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. A dual citizen, he joined the Canadian Army in 1941 and was killed in action in Italy in 1944. His widow and son, also named Walter Kaniecki, lived in North Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Jan Kaniecki died in 1928. His death notice was published in Dziennik dla Wszystkich,“Everybody’s Daily,” the Buffalo, New York, Polish daily newspaper from 1911 to 1957.


Dziennik dla Wszystkich, 1955-Jan-24

On Wednesday, August 15th 1928, at 1:50 PM he departed this earth after having received the Sacraments.

In holy remembrance of

John Kaniecki

The late John Kaniecki was born in Poznań. He came to America 45 years ago.

Funeral services will be on Saturday, August 18th, at 8:30 AM at the house of mourning on 138 Rolland Street, Sloan, N, Y., to St. Andrew Church at 9 AM and afterwards to St Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Cemetery.

For this sad ritual family and friends are invited in mourning.

FAMILY

John J. Buszka, mortuary.

1930

In 1930, John and Jennie Beresniewicz lived at 138 Rolland Street, Sloan, New York, with their children Walter, Frank, and Irene.

1930 federal census, John and Jennie Beresniewicz, 138 Rolland Street, Sloan, Erie, New York

Louise Mentzer Kaniecki died in Canada in 1934, and in 1936 widower Walter Kaniecki married a Canadian woman, Corena Marquette Parent. As Corinne Kaniecki, she became an American citizen in 1943.

1950

Władysław/Walter Kaniecki died 20 August 1953.


1953, “US Headstone Application for Military Veteran,” Walter Kaniecki.

His widow’s “United States Headstone Application for Military Veterans” indicated that Walter Kaniecki had been a Captain and his final resting place was Windsor Grove Cemetery in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.


DOMALSKI—Anna Kaniecki, Buffalo Evening News, 25 January 1955

Anna Kaniecki Domalski‘s death notice in the Buffalo Evening News, read

DOMALSKI—Anna Kaniecki Domalski, Jan. 23, 1955, of 31 Hempstead Ave., wife of the late William Domalski; mother of Mrs. Mary James, Mrs. Sylvia Richards and Mrs. Charles Coons; sister of Mrs. Jennie Beresniewicz and the late Capt. Walter Kaniecki; grandmother of Frank Anders, Mrs. Frank Heigl, Marie and Charles Coons; also survived bv 3 great-grandchildren. Funeral service from Carlton A. Ullrich Funeral Home. 3373 Bailey Ave., Wednesday at 8:15 and from St. James Church at 9 o’clock. Friends are invited.


DOMALSKI—Anna Kaniecki, Buffalo Evening News, 25 January 1955

Joanna/Jennie Kaniecka Beresniewicz died 2 Feb 1976 and was buried 5 Feb 1976 at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Lancaster, Erie, New York.

Here is a summary of Jan and Rozalia‘s known children and grandchildren.

1-Jan KANIECKI (1850-1928)
+Rozalia KRAUSE (1846- abt 1914)
. . . 2-Anna KANIECKA (1877-1955)
. . . +Walenty DOMALSKI (1873-1924)
. . . . . . 3-Bernard DOMALSKI (1896-1897)
. . . . . . 3-Marya DOMALSKA (1898-1967)
. . . . . . 3-Zofia DOMALSKA (1902-1974)
. . . . . . 3-Clara DOMALSKA (1905-1982)
. . . 2-Józef KANIECKI (1882-1882)
. . . 2-Joanna KANIECKA (1884-1976)
. . . +Jan BEREŚNIEWICZ (1876-1951)
. . . . . . 3-Władysław BEREŚNIEWICZ (1909-1988)
. . . . . . 3-Franciszek BEREŚNIEWICZ (1912-1985)
. . . . . . 3-Irena Teresa BEREŚNIEWICZ (1919-2004)
. . . 2-Rozalia KANIECKA (1887-1890)
. . . 2-Władysław KANIECKI (1890-1953)
. . . +Louise Hannah MENTZER (1890-1934)
. . . . . . 3-Regina KANIECKI (1915-1982)
. . . . . . 3-Walter KANIECKI (1922-1944)
. . . +Corena Marquette PARENT (1908-1986)

In 2018, our Szczepański/Kalinowski genetic connection to the Kaniecki family was confirmed when the son of Władysław (Walter) Beresniewicz tested his DNA with Ancestry.com. We share a 10.4 centimorgan DNA segment. Two of our four shared matches had Kalinowska ancestors going back to Szembruk, West Prussia. Anna‘s birth name was Kalinowska and she and Marcin Szczepański also came from Szembruk, West Prussia, so that is likely our link in the old country.

Sources

  • 1900 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 9, Erie, New York, John Kaniecki; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed November 2017).
  • 1900 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 9, Erie, New York, , Anna Domalski.
  • 1900 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Election District 3 Buffalo city Ward 14, Erie, New York, United States, , Josef Beresniewiez.
  • 1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 8, Erie, New York, John Kaniecki; digital images, Heritage Quest Online (www.heritagequestonline.com : accessed November 2017).
  • 1910 Federal Census, Maryland, population schedule, Election District 15, Baltimore, Maryland, Walter Kaniecki; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 9 February 2019).
  • 1915 New York State Census, New York State, population schedule, Cheektowaga, A.D. 07, E.D. 03, Erie, New York, United States, , John Beresniewicz; FHL microfilm .
  • 1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 10, Erie, New York, Anna Domalska; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed December 2017).
  • 1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 10, Erie, New York, , Anna Domalska.
  • 1920 Federal Census, Michigan, population schedule, Greenfield, Wayne, Michigan, Walter Kaniecki; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed February 2019).
  • 1925 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 10, Erie, , Anna Domalski; FHL microfilm .
  • 1930 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA, Sophia Damalski; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed January 2018).
  • 1930 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Cheektowaga, Erie, New York, USA, John Beresniwicz.
  • 1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Sloan, Cheektowaga Town, Erie, New York, United States, John Beresniewicz.
  • 1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Cheektowaga, Erie, New York, , Jenny Banniewicz.
  • 1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Cheektowaga, Erie, New York, Sophie Anderzyak; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed February 2018).
  • 1940 Federal Census, Michigan, population schedule, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, Walter Kenecki; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed November 2017).
  • New York State, Department of Health, Vital Records Index, Certificate Number: 50230, John Kaniecki, 15 August 1928, Albany, New York.
  • Jan Kaniecki, Dziennik dla Wszystkich [Everybody’s Daily], Buffalo, New York, 1928-Aug-16.
  • Buffalo, New York, death no. Volume 200, Certificate Number: 160 (Death Date: 1909-1914), Rose Kanicka; City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, Reclaim the Records, archive.org.
  • St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church,  Buffalo, New York, Church records, FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church (Buffalo, New York), , Deaths, page 110, Jozef Kaniecki; FHL microfilm .
  • St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York, Deaths, page 152.
  • Ancestry, Jan Kanicki.
  • Dziennik dla Wszystkich, 1955-Jan-24.
  • DOMALSKI—Anna Kaniecki, Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, New York, 25 January 1955, Vital Statistics 21.
  • New York State Vital Records Index, 1955, Certificate Number: 1833, Anna K Domalski.
  • “Find a Grave,” database, Find a Grave (findagrave.com: accessed February 2018), Anna Domalski.
  • “United States Public Records Index,” database, “United States Public Records, “United States Public Records” (ancestry.com: accessed January 2018), Valentine Domalski; citing Original Data: Voter Registration Lists, Public Record Filings, Historical Residential Records, and Other Household Database Listings.
  • Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Death Master File (: accessed 17 February 2019), Jennie Beresniewicz, 053-52-9477.
  • St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York, Births, page 64.
  • St. Adalbert RC Cemetery (Lancaster, New York), gravestones and record cards, Jennie Beresniewicz.
  • Beresniewicz-Kaniecka, Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, New York, 20 July 1909, page 6, column 6.
  • New York State Vital Records Index, Marriage, Certificate Number: 11292, Jennie Kaniecka, John Beresniwicz.
  • “World War I Draft Registration Cards,” database, Ancestry.com (: accessed 14 February 2019), John Joseph Beresniwicz.
  • “Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914,” https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJDR-HVJ9, United States, FHL microfilm 1,465,935., National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
  • New York State Vital Records Index: cause 420, Cert No. 23327, John Beresniewicz.
  • Find a Grave, John Beresniewicz.
  • “US Headstone Applications for Military Veterans,” digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 February 2019), Walter Kaniecki.
  • “Kaniecki, Walter.” Pension applications for service in the US Army between 1861 and 1900.
  • National Archives, “World War II Draft Registration Cards,” database, Ancestry.com ( ancestry.com : accessed November 2017), Walter Kaniecki.
  • Ontario, Canada Vital and Church Records, “Drouin Collection 1621-1968,” Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 14 February 2019), Walter Leo Kaniecki.
  • “Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas,” database, Ancestry.com (: accessed 13 February 2019), Walter Mentzer Kaniecki; Archives of Ontario; Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • “Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947,” database, Ancestry.com (: accessed 13 February 2019), Walter Mentzer Kaniecki; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
  • “Find a Grave,” database, Find a Grave (findagrave.com: accessed 13 February 2019), Trpr Walter Mentzer Kaniecki. Veterans Affairs Canada, “Canadian Virtual War Memorial,” database, Government of Canada, Canadian Virtual War Memorial (canada.ca : accessed 13 February 2019), Trooper Walter Mentzer Kaniecki, Service Number: B/62278, Montecchio War Cemetery , Italy, Grave I. F. 10; citing Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Michigan Marriage Records, Ancestry, (ancestry.com : accessed November 2017), Mr Walter W Keniecki-Corrinne Parant.
  • “Ancestry,” database, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed 13 February 2019), Corrine Margeret Kaniecki; citing Passenger Lists.
  • “U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes,” database, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.,  (ancestry.com : accessed 13 February 2019), Corena Marquette Parent Kaniecki.
  • Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index”, database, Death Master File, Corinne M Mann.

Zofia Maciejewska was the oldest daughter of Antoni Maciejewski and Marya Szczepańska Maciejewska. She was born 13 May 1908 and baptized at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, Erie, New York. In 1910, she was listed with her parents in her grandmother Veronica Maciejewska‘s house on 127 Goodyear Avenue in Buffalo.

1910 federal census, Maciejewski family, 127 Goodyear, Buffalo, New York

In the 1920 census, Sophia was listed twice. Once she was with her parents at 184 Detroit Street in Buffalo, and a second time with her grandmother and aunts at 393 Peckham Street in Buffalo.

Although she was listed with her parents at 71 Fleming Street in the 1930 census, in 1940, Sophia A. Mack was at 74 Briscoe Avenue, listed as a 28 year old lodger working as a medical technologist in a doctor’s office. Her aunt Ann Maciejewska was listed as the head of household, and Veronica lived with them. It said that all three women had been in the same house in 1935.

1940 Anna Veronica Maciejewska and Sophia Mack
1940 Federal Census, 74 Briscoe, Buffalo, Erie, New York

Veronica and her never married daughters Victoria, Marie, and Ann were close to Sophia all her life, so it really was not surprising that after their brother Anthony‘s death in 1936 and Veronica‘s death in 1943, the aunts took an interest in supporting their niece.

In the fall of 1945, Victoria, who used the name Dorothy Mack, announced her niece’s engagement in the Olean Times Herald.


Olean Times Herald, 2 November 1945

Announce Betrothal

Miss V. Dorothy Mack, Briscoe Avenue, Buffalo, announces the engagement of her niece, Miss Lou F. Mack, to Jack Raymond, son of Mr. and Mrs. August Raymond, North Seventh Street. Mr. Raymond has received an honorable discharge after serving three and a half years in the Army. He had been in India thirty months.
The wedding will be solemnized this month.

An account of the wedding was in the Olean Times Herald, 20 November 1945.


Olean Times Herald, Olean, New York, 20 November 1945, page six

Miss Lou S. Mack Weds Jack Raymond

Miss Lou Sophia Mack, daughter of Mrs. Anthony Mack and niece of Miss V. Dorothy Mack, 74 Briscoe Avenue, Buffalo, became the bride of Jack A. Raymond, son of Mr. and Mrs. August Raymond, 501 North Seventh Street, Monday morning.

The double ring ceremony was performed at nine o’clock at St. John’s Church by the Rev. William B. Quinlan, pastor. Chrysanthemums, gladioli and palms were used in church decorations. Traditional wedding music was played by the organist.

The bride who was given in marriage by August Raymond was attired in a white satin floor length gown with net overskirt. Her fingertip veil was held in place by a coronet head dress. Her only ornament was a string of pearls, a gift of the groom. She carried a shower bouquet of brides’ roses centered with am orchid.

The maid of honor, Miss Ann B. Mack, Buffalo, selected a floor length gown of American beauty crepe with matching headdress and silver necklace. Mr. Raymond acted as best man for his son. The mother of the bride wore a black dress with matching hat and accessories. Her corsage was of white roses. The groom’s mother chose a gown of fuchsia shade with matching hat and white accessories. Her corsage was also of roses.

Following the ceremony a wedding breakfast was served for sixty guests at the Stratton Hotel. The tables were attractively decorated with bouquets of roses and pompons.

The couple left for a trip to Florida and points west. On their return they will reside in Buffalo. The bride’s going away costume was a gray suit with black accessories and orchid corsage. The bride is a graduate of Mt. Mercy Academy and Buffalo City Laboratory.

The groom is a graduate of Olean High School and Buffalo State Hospital of Nursing. He was honorably discharged as sergeant, October 1945, at Indiantown Gap, Pa. Entering service May S, 1942, he was sent overseas and served for thirty months in India with the Eighteenth Malaria Control Unit.

Prenuptial parties included: china and crystal shower, Mrs. William Van Hagen, Hamilton. Ohio; variety, Mrs. F. Enser, Buffalo; personal, Miss Alice Meek, Buffalo; variety, Mrs. August Raymond, Olean,; linen, Miss Ann Mack, Buffalo; linen. Mrs. D. J. Cleary, Medina.
Out of town guests were present from Cleveland, Ohio; Warren, Pa.; Buffalo, Medina, Batavia, New York City, Attica; Detroit, Mich.

Olean Times Herald, Olean, New York, 20 November 1945, page six.

Sources

St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church, Buffalo, New York, Church records, FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Baptism Register, Book V, page 308.

Announce Betrothal, Olean Times Herald, Olean, New York, 2 November 1945, page 8, column 3. http://www.fultonhistory.com\Newspaper 24\Olean NY Times Herald\Olean NY Times Herald 1945\.01612.pdf

Miss Lou S. Mack Weds Jack Raymond, Olean Times Herald, Olean, New York, 20 November 1945, page six. http://www.fultonhistory.com\Newspaper 24\Olean NY Times Herald\Olean NY Times Herald 1945\.01716.pdf

I never had an ear for languages. Polish was my parents’ first language, so they regularly spoke Polish to each other while I was growing up. I could make out some of what they were saying about me and my sisters, but I never learned to speak it. As a child, I thought that all parents had a language that only adults used. They spoke English with us when they wanted us to understand.

I studied Latin in high school. Since no one living spoke Latin, I was able to approach it as a coding problem, with noun declensions and verb conjugations. I took several semesters of French in high school and college, and I studied some German in college. As an adult, I took extension courses in Polish before taking a tour of the country in 2004. I never became fluent in any of them.

Although I did not appreciate it at the time, this language exposure has helped a lot with my family history research. My ancestors were Roman Catholic, so many church records are in Latin. They spoke Polish, so knowing about declensions and cases has been very helpful in deciphering names of people and places.

My father’s ancestors were from the West Prussian part of Poland that was occupied by the Germans in the 1800s, so many official records were written in Latin, German, and Polish. Not only were they written in different languages, they were often written in different languages at the same time! The equivalent of the English name John could be written as Jan (Polish), Johann (German), Joannes or Johannes (Latin) in different places on the same page. Column headings and forms were often in the Fraktur font.

My mother’s family were from the Russian occupied area of Poland near Sandomierz. The nineteenth century records there were in the wordy Napoleonic format. Some records were written entirely in Polish, while others were in Russian (Cyrillic), often with the names repeated with Roman letters.

Since all the records were handwritten, there were variations in the legibility and even the quality of the ink that was used.

One day my grandson sat with me as I was perusing old records, and he asked me how I could read them. I was taken aback, until I realized that his is a generation of devices. While he learned his letters in preschool and he learned to print in kindergarten, his reading is often on a screen and his writing is mostly on a keypad. Cursive writing was only a small part of his third grade curriculum. While he can make out the words in script, it does not come naturally to him. While it has never been easy, deciphering old records may be becoming more of an arcane art.

I first submitted my DNA for testing in 2015, and only had a few matches. But more people tested and by late 2018, I was able to identify more than two dozen of my known relatives who had tested with Ancestry DNA. That is, I knew who they were, and how we were related. All were descendants of known immigrant ancestors to Buffalo and western New York.

I had explored our lineage with several other DNA cousins. In some cases we successfully identified their ancestors’ places of origin near Sandomierz in Russian Poland or Szembruk, West Prussia, even if we could not identify our most recent common ancestor(s).

So it was exciting when a fourth cousin and I were able to confirm our common ancestors across the pond! AncestryDNA reported that we shared 38 centiMorgans across 3 segments of DNA, and predicted our relationship would be fourth cousins. However, her ancestors had immigrated to Chicago, Illinois, and mine to Buffalo, New York. Our shared matches indicated we were related through my paternal grandmother’s Szczepanski and/or Kalinowski ancestors.

Although my DNA match’s Ancestry family tree was sparse with only four people, I recognized the Klugiewicz surname. In Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, author William “Fred” Hoffman explains that the Polish name Klugiewicz is derived from the German word klug meaning clever. The suffix -iewicz is a Polish patronymic/metronymic, indicating the offspring of, so according to their name, these are the descendants of a clever person.

My great-great-grandfather’s sister Katarzyna Kalinowska, born 20 Dec 1823 in Schönbrück, had married Józef Klugiewicz on 26 Oct 1846 in Groß Schönbrück, Graudenz, Marienwerder, Westpreußen, Preußen. Today it is Szembruk, Rogóźno, Grudziądz, in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland.

1846 Klugiewicz Kalinowska marriage marked

1846 marriage register, Sw. Bartłomieja, Groß Schönbruck, Graudenz, Westpreußen
1846 Klugiewicz Kalinowska marriage cropped

1846 Marriage, Joseph Klugiewicz and Catharina Kalinowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

Was my DNA match a descendant?

Her father’s Social Security application record offered the first clue, identifying his father as John Klusiewicz, probably a transcription error for John Klugiewicz.

Name: Paul John Klugiewicz
[Paul Klugiewicz]
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birth Date: 19 Dec 1926
Birth Place: Chicago Cook, Illinois
Death Date: May 1981
Father: John Klusiewicz
Mother: Marie Sikorski
SSN: 353129254
Notes: 08 Dec 1983: Name listed as PAUL JOHN KLUGIEWICZ; 30 Dec 1987: Name listed as PAUL KLUGIEWICZ

Born in 1926, Paul lived at 2929 Springfield Avenue, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, with his parents John and Marie Klugiewicz in 1930, and with his parents and siblings at 185 South Whipple Street, Chicago, in the 1940 census.

1940 Klugiewicz cropped

1940 federal census, John and Marie Klugiewicz, Chicago, Cook, Illinois

John Klugewicz married Marianna Sikorska 18 Nov 1925. According to her 13 Feb 1929 naturalization petition as Marie Evelyn Klugiewicz, she was born 22 Jul 1905 in Gobin, Poland, and arrived in the United States 18 Nov 1908.

John Klugiewicz‘s entry in the Social Security Death Index identified his date of birth as 24 Jun 1902, which matched the census records. He died in May 1980.

Name: John Klugiewicz
SSN: 323-10-2615
Last Residence:
60030 Grayslake, Lake, Illinois, USA
BORN: 24 Jun 1902
Last Benefit: 60030, Grayslake, Lake, Illinois, United States of America
Died: May 1980
State (Year) SSN issued: Illinois (Before 1951)

John was in the 1910 census at 2229 Ridgeway Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, with his parents Frank and Jennie Klugiewicz. Frank is an Americanized version of the Polish name Franciszek. Jennie is an American name for the Polish name Johanna.

1910 Klugiewicz cropped

1910 federal census, Frank and Jennie Klugiewicz, Chicago, Cook, Illinois

Franciszek Klugiewicz married Johanna Sztral on 17 Sep 1889 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago, Illinois. The church record said that Franciszek was 24 years old, a resident for 2 years, living at 665 Noble, the son (syn) of Józef and Katarzyna K[a]linowska, born (urodzony) in Szembruk. [1]

Johanna Sztral was 19 years old, a resident for 8 years, living at 261 Walenic (sp?), the daughter (córka) of Jędrzej Sztral and Marjanna Zaremba. Joanna‘s place of birth was near Szembruk in West Prussia. In the Roggenhausen/ records, her father’s name was Johann Strahl, and he and Marianna Zaremba were married in  on 10 Feb 1861.

1889 Klugiewicz Sztral marriage close

1889 Marriage record, Franciszek Klugiewicz and Joanna Sztral, St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Chicago, Illinois

Frank Klugiewicz died 16 Oct 1943 in Chicago. Illinois death records also show Frank‘s parents were Joseph Klugiewicz and Catherine Kalinowski.

Name: Frank Klugiewicz
Birth Date: abt 1872
Death Date: 16 Oct 1943
Death Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Death Age: 71
Gender: Male
Father Name: Joseph Klugiewiez
Mother Name: Catherine Kalinowski
Spouse Name: Johanna
FHL Film Number: 1953889

The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) filmed the early Parish registers of births, marriages, and deaths of the Catholic church, Sw. Bartłomieja (St. Bartholomew) in “Groß Schönbruck (Kr. Graudenz), Westpreußen, Germany; now Szembruk (Grudziądz), Bydgoszcz, Poland. Text in Latin, Polish and German.

Franz Klugiewicz was born 6 Oct 1864 to Joseph Klugiewicz and Catharina Kalinowska. He was baptized 16 Oct 1864 at Kościół św. Bartłomieja in Szembruk/Groß Schönbruck. Franz is the German form for the Polish name Franciszek. Catholic churches in Prussia listed Latin, German, and Polish names in their records.

1864 Franz Klugiewicz birth marked

1964 baptism record, Franz Klugiewicz, Sw. Bartłomieja, Groß Schönbruck, Graudenz, Westpreußen

In some of the earliest entries of the parish, three of the children of Adalbert Kalinowski and Anna Szynkowska were listed sequentially. Marianna was born in 1819, Catharina in 1823, and Joannes in 1824.

1819-1824 Kalinowski births

1819-1824 baptism records, Marianna, Catharina, and Joannes, children of  Adalbert (Wojciech) Kalinowski and Anna Szynkowska, Sw. Bartłomieja, Groß Schönbruck, Graudenz, Westpreußen

Adalbert is the Latin form for the Polish name Wojciech. Catharina is the Latin form for the Polish name Katarzyna. Joannes is Latin for the German name Johann and the Polish name Jan, or John in English. Since our ancestors were Polish and spoke the Polish language, I use their Polish names as primary, and list other names they used in my records.

Here is a graphical representation of our relationship, going back to our great-great-great-grandparents Wojciech Kalinowski and Anna Szynkowska, through the siblings Katarzyna and Jan Kalinowski, whose children Franciszek Klugiewicz and Anna Kalinowska Szczepańska immigrated to America in the 1880s.

klugiewicz

As predicted by the Ancestry DNA estimate, we really are fourth cousins!

[1] Other DNA matches’ great-grandparents, Katarzyna Kiersznowska and Franciszek Niewirowski, married at St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois, on 27 November 1885. Although Katarzyna‘s mother had been born Ludwika Kalinowska about 1844, we could not find her birth record or a common ancestor, although we did find other family records in Szembruk and nearby Szynwałd. See Kalinowska from Szembruk, West Prussia: Looking for Common Ancestors and Szennato, Szynnato? Szynwałd, Groß Schönwalde! Deciphering Polish/Prussian Place Names.

Sources

“LDS Family History Library, “Szembruk (Grudziądz),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed 2018), Joseph Klugiewicz and Catharina Kalinowska; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Groß Schönbrück – Church records.

Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Social Security Applications and Claims (: accessed 25 December 2018), Paul John Klugiewicz, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

1930 Federal Census, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA, Paul J Klugewicz; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 25 December 2018). Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 1345; FHL microfilm: 2340208.

1940 Federal Census, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, Paul Klugiewicz; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 25 December 2018). Year: 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00966; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 103-1450

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 20 July 2018), memorial page for Paul J. Klugiewicz (1926–1981), Find A Grave Memorial no. 130212066, citing Highland Memorial Park, Libertyville, Lake County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Joseph Slak (contributor 47751241) .

Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Death Master File (: accessed 25 December 2018), John Klugiewicz, 323-10-2615, before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.

“Ancestry,” database, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed 26 December 2018), Marianna Sikorski; citing Passenger Lists. Year: 1908; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 1169; Line: 23; Page Number: 78

“Bremen Passenger Lists,” database, Bremen Chamber of Commerce and the Bremen Staatsarchiv, Gesellschaft für Familienforschung e.V. Bremen (http://www.public-juling.de: accessed 26 December 2018), Marianna Sikorski; citing Passenger Lists. Staats Archiv Bremen; Bremen, Germany; Bremen Passenger Lists; Archive Number: STAB_4,57/5-65_M

Bremen Passenger Lists (the Original). Staats Archiv Bremen. http://www.passengerlists.de/: accessed 3 March 2014.

Mrs Marie Evelyn Klugiewicz, Petition Number: 71208, , Illinois; 1907-1966; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C. National Archives at Chicago; Chicago, Illinois; ARC Title: Illinois, Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991; NAI Number: 593882; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21 Naturalization Records. National Archives at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Illinois, State Deaths and Stillbirths, Deaths, File Number: 45421, Marie Evelyn Klugiewicz, 15 August 1979; Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois. Cook County Clerk. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.

“PGSA Database,” database, Polish Genealogical Society of America, (pgsa.org: accessed 26 December 2018), Frank Klugiewicz, Joanna Sztral; citing Polish church records.

Illinois State Deaths and Stillbirths, Death, Frank Klugiewicz. “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original records.

LDS Family History Library, “Szembruk (Grudziądz),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed 28 December 2018), Franz Klugiewicz; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Groß Schönbrück – Church records.

“PGSA Database,” database, Polish Genealogical Society of America,  (pgsa.org: accessed 26 December 2018), Dziennik Chicagoski  Franciszek Klugiewicz; citing Polish church records. Death Records – Dziennik Chicagoski Death Notices 1930-1971

“PGSA Database,” database, Polish Genealogical Society of America,  (pgsa.org: accessed 26 December 2018), PRCUA Insurance Franciszek Klugiewicz. Claim Date 16 Oct 1943, Claim Number 41849, Data Records – Polish Roman Catholic Union of America Insurance Claim Records (PRCUAInsurance)

Illinois Cook County Marriages 1871-1920, Marriage, Frank Klugewicz, Johanna Stia. Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Illinois Department of Public Health records. “Marriage Records, 1871–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.

“PGSA Database,” database, Polish Genealogical Society of America,  (pgsa.org: accessed 26 December 2018), Frank Klugiewicz, Joanna Sztral. St. Stanislaus Kostka

1910 Federal Census, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago Ward 27, Cook, Illinois, Johny Klugiawicz; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 25 December 2018). Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 27, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_270; Page: 40A; Enumeration District: 1190; FHL microfilm: 1374283

1930 Federal Census, Illinois, population schedule, Frank Klugiewicz Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 26A; Enumeration District: 1344; FHL microfilm: 2340208

1940 Federal Census, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, , Frank Klugiewicz. Year: 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00991; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 103-2175

LDS Family History Library, “Roggenhausen (Graudenz),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed 30 December 2018), Joanna Strahl; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Roggenhausen – Church records.

“PGSA Database,” database, Polish Genealogical Society of America,  (pgsa.org: accessed 26 December 2018), Dziennik Chicagoski  Joanna Klugiewicz  (Strahl). Death Records – Dziennik Chicagoski Death Notices 1930-1971

LDS Family History Library, “Roggenhausen (Graudenz),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed 30 December 2018), https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZL-891G-N?i=294&cat=307697, Johann Strahl and Marianna Zarembka.

Illinois State Deaths and Stillbirths, Death, John Strahl. Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Illinois, Cook County Deaths 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health. “Birth and Death Records, 1916–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.

“LDS Family History Library, “Szembruk (Grudziądz),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed 2018), Marianna, Catharina, and Joannes, children of  Adalbert Kalinowski and Anna Szynkowska; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Groß Schönbrück – Church records.

Our maternal grandmother, Agnieszka Kapuscinska Skrok Kiec, was the only grandparent my younger sisters and I ever knew. Our grandfathers Jan Skrok and Antoni Maciejewski had both died in 1936, when our parents were only five and eight years old. Our father’s mother Marya Szczepańska Maciejewska died in 1951, four years before I was born.

Gnieszowice-Wikipedia
Gnieszowice, Koprzywnica, Sandomierz, Świętokrzyskie, Poland

I was curious about my grandmother’s origins, and the land of my ancestors. In 2004, I joined a group tour of Poland, then rented a car to visit Gnieszowice, the small village near Koprzywnica, Sandomierz, where documents indicated my maternal grandmother had been born in 1895. Although I was able to verify my grandmother’s birth in the former synagogue that had become the Archives in Sandomierz, I did not think I would be able to do much research in the Polish records.

That changed in March 2015, when I attended the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts presentation by Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz at the Chicopee Public Library on Locating Vital Records in Poland Using Online Resources, or, I Found My Village! Now What? She answered questions I did not know I had, and her detailed examples clearly illustrated her points. I was inspired.

Following her example, I used the Geneteka database of the Polish Genealogical Society (in Poland!) to find the birth records of my mother’s parents, their siblings, and their parents’ marriage records, indexed with their parents’ names. I learned how I was related to people I knew were cousins, but I was not sure how. Our ancestors came to Buffalo in the early part of the twentieth century from an area near Sandomierz, in the Russian occupied area of Poland, in what is now the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) province. To the family names I knew from western New York–Kapuściński, Kasprzyk, Kiec, Kwiatek, Rzepka, Skrok, Szczepański, and Witoń–I was able to add my great-great grandparents and the names Kołek, Bartkiewicz, Zybała, and Kaczmarz to my family tree. Needless to say, I was pleased to make a donation to contribute to the volunteer site.

When I learned that Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz was to give a presentation on Polish Genealogy Research to the Polish Genealogical Society of New York State at their April 2016 meeting in Buffalo, I encouraged PGSNYS members to attend. I also reached out to several of my DNA matches in western New York and nearby Canada.

Although one of my DNA matches from southern Ontario was unable to attend the presentation, we exchanged information. She had been adopted, but she knew the names of her birth parents. coin that Grandma Drach sewed to her hemHer birth father had even given her a tangible piece of her heritage, one of the coins that had been sewn into the interior hem of her ancestor’s dress when she left the country telling her that it was ‘not allowed’ to take monies out and that they ‘escaped’. 

My DNA match had found the ship manifests from her father’s parents’ arrivals in Canada, but she was not sure from where they had come. But I did! I had been down this road and I knew some of the signposts. And we’re family!

loniow
Suchowola, Osiek, and Świniary, Łoniów, near Gnieszowice, Koprzywnica; Google map

Her grandfather Józef Drach‘s ship record said he was born in Świniary, Sandomierz. There are 2 very small villages named Stare Świniary and Nowe Świniary approximately 3 kilometers south of Łoniów. In Polish, Stare means old, Nowe means new. Both villages are in the administrative district of Gmina Łoniów, within Sandomierz County, Świętokrzyskie, about seven kilometers from Gnieszowice, where my grandmother Agnieszka was born.

Drach
Józef Drach, ship Lituania from Danzig to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1930

Józef‘s parents were identified as Jan and Katarzyna Drach. Jan is the Polish version of the English name John. Katarzyna is the Polish name for Katherine.

Geneteka had an indexed record that indicated that Jan Drach and Katarzyna Borycka married in  Łoniów in 1895 (entry #23), as well as listing the baptism of Józef Drach in Łoniów in 1905 (entry #27). The church in Łoniów is Kościół św. Mikołaja, St. Nicholas. While the record indices have been posted online, I did not find the original records.

My DNA match’s grandmother was Aniela Wieczorek. Her ship record said she was born in Suchowola, and her sister Katarzyna lived in Suchowola, Sandomierz. Today, Suchowola is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Osiek, within Staszów County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. It is not far from Sandomierz.

The nearest church is Kościół św. Stanisława Biskupa i Męczennika, St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr, in Osiek. Since ship and Canadian records said that Aniela Wieczorek was born in 1900 or 1901, the most likely record is in 1900, entry 143.

1900 Aniela Wieczorek birth
Aniela Wieczorek birth record, 1900, Osiek, Urząd Stanu Cywilnego, Św. Stanisława

Aniela‘s nearest relative was listed as her sister Katarzyna Janoś (sp?).

aniela
Aniela Wieczorek, ship Melita from Warsaw, Poland, to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1924

 Katarzyna Wieczorek was a popular name, with baptisms of girls with that name occurring regularly in Osiek.

  • 1891  35
  • 1893  134
  • 1895  71
  • 1896  78
  • 1897  100
  • 1901  83

Although these records were available online, they were written in the Napoleonic format in Cyrillic, because this area was occupied by Russia in the 19th and early 20th century. I was not able to read the records myself, but my DNA match was able to use this information to extend her family tree to Michał Wieczorek and Franciszka Czech and beyond.

GEDmatch estimated the number of generations to our most recent common ancestor (MRCA) is 4.8, since we share a 19.1 centiMorgan DNA segment on chromosome 3. While we have not found our common ancestors, we found the common location where our ancestors lived.

loniow2
Zamek Krzyżtopór, Baranów Sandomierski, and Sandomierz, Świętokrzyskie, Poland, Google map

When traveling in Poland, I stayed at the hotel at Baranów Sandomierski Castle, across the Wisła (Vistula) River from our grandparents’ birth places. I also visited the towns of Sandomierz and Opatów, and Krzyżtopór Castle in Ujazd,  Iwaniska, Opatów, about 22 kilometers from Łoniów. I had read about these places in James Michener’s novel, Poland, and I was glad to make the connection to our family history in what is now Świętokrzyskie province.

Sources

Wikipedia contributors, “Gnieszowice,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gnieszowice&oldid=771022160 (accessed December 18, 2018).

“Ancestry,” database, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed 12 December 2018), Jozef Drach; citing Passenger Lists. Jozef Drach, Male, 25, abt 1905, Poland, Departure Port: Danzig, Poland, Arrival date: 8 Apr 1930, Arrival Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Vessel: Lituania; Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Series: RG 76-C; Roll: T-14825; Ancestry.com. Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Library and Archives Canada, n.d. RG 76-C. Department of Employment and Immigration fonds. Library and Archives Canada Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne, “Geneteka, Metryki,” database, Polish Genealogical Society, Genealodzy (genealodzy.pl: accessed 2016), Józef Drach; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office). 1905 27 Józef Drach Łoniów Łoniów [Indeks dodał: Wojciech_Liśkiewicz] .

Genealogiczne, Genealodzy, Jan Drach, Katarzyna Borycka. 1895 23 Jan Drach Katarzyna Borycka Łoniów [ Miejscowość: Łoniów] [Indeks dodał: Wojciech_Liśkiewicz] .

“Ancestry,” database, Ancestry, Aniela Wieczorek, Female, abt 1900, Birth Place: Suchowola, Age: 24, Date of Arrival: 12 Apr 1924, Port of Arrival: Saint John, New Brunswick, Port of Departure: Warsaw, Poland, Ship Name: Melita, Library and Archives Canada; Form 30A Ocean Arrivals (Individual Manifests), 1919-1924; Rolls: T-14939 – T-15248; Ancestry.com. Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Library and Archives Canada. Form 30A, 1919-1924 (Ocean Arrivals). Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, n.d.. RG 76. Department of Employment and Immigration .

Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski, Birth, Aniela Wieczorek; digital images, Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski (http://metryki.genealodzy.pl : accessed December 2018). 1900 143 Aniela Wieczorek Osiek Osiek [Indeks dodał: Jabłoński_Edward]

Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski, Marriage, Jan Czosnek, Franciszka Cech; digital images, Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski (http://metryki.genealodzy.pl : accessed December 2018). 1880 3 Jan Czosnek Franciszka Cech Osiek [ Miejscowość: Osiek] [Indeks dodał: Jabłoński_Edward]

Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski, Marriage, 1890 4, Michał Wieczorek Franciszka Czosnek; digital images, Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski (http://metryki.genealodzy.pl : accessed December 2018). 1890 4 Michał Wieczorek, Franciszka Czosnek Osiek [ Miejscowość: Osiek] [Indeks dodał: Jabłoński_Edward]

Michener, James A. Poland. Random House, 1983

My maternal grandmother’s sister Maryanna Kapuścińska married Grzegorz Mastykarz in Lackawanna, Erie, New York, in 1915. Their children were my mother’s first cousins, and we all saw each other most often at weddings and funerals.

In researching this family, I encountered the Mastykarz name spelled various ways: Masteka, Mastyka, Mastykas, Mastykaj, etc., which made me wonder about the actual spelling of the name, and from where the family had come. American records indicated they were from Galicia, or the Austria-Hungary occupied part of Poland before the first World War. Galicia was the poorest province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and because people from here often had little formal education, their names were often recorded phonetically.

The Słownik nazwisk współcześnie w Polsce używanych, or Dictionary of Surnames Currently Used in Poland, by Professor Kazimierz Rymut, shows these names starting with Masty-  that were listed in Poland in 1990:

NazwiskoOgólna liczbaRozmieszczenie
Masty1Rz:1
Mastyga53Go:5, Ka:8, Ks:3, Op:20, Sz:4, Wr:13
Mastyj63BB:2, Cz:5, Ka:17, Kr:4, Ks:9, Rz:16, Ta:10
Mastyjan14Ko:14
Mastyk21Ka:1, Ks:4, Pr:1, Tb:2, Wb:3, Wr:10
Mastyka42Wa:6, Cz:1, Gd:4, JG:5, Kr:2, Ks:17, Pr:1, Ta:1, Wr:5
Mastykarz56BB:1, By:1, Gd:17, Ka:6, Kr:4, Ol:1, Op:2, Pl:5, Su:10, Sz:7, Wb:1, Za:1
Mastyla11Kr:11
Mastylak24Ol:14, Sz:10
Mastylarek00
Mastylarz1Ka:1
Mastyła48Ko:42, Ks:4, Sł:2
Mastyło37Ko:15, Ol:9, Po:2, Sz:4, Tb:3, Za:4
Mastyna107Wa:4, Bs:13, Ka:8, Ki:66, Kr:5, Ol:11
Mastyniuk00
Mastynow00
Mastyń00
Mastyński3Po:2, Wr:1

 

Poland_administrative_division_1975_literki

Polish Provinces, 1975-1999

Mastykarz looks like the Polish spelling used most often. While Mastykarz was found in many places in Poland, in 1990 it was found more often in these former provinces:

  • Gd: Gdańsk: 17
  • Ka: Katowice: 6
  • Pł: Płock: 5
  • Su: Suwałki: 10
  • Sz: Szczecin: 7

Both Michał and Grzegorz lived in Lackawanna, Erie, New York. Grzegorz‘ descendants shared these pictures of the Mastykarz brothers, reporting that Grzegorz is on the left and Michał is on the right in each picture. The third man may be Józef Solowski, who married Maryanna Kapuścińska Mastykarz‘s cousin Maryanna Witoń in Buffalo in 1915.

Mastykarz men

Photographs of Grzegorz and Michał Mastykarz  (possibly Józef Solowski), circa 1915

Records indicate that Michał Mastykarz traveled between Europe and the United States several times. I was able to find ship manifests for travel to America in 1908 and 1911 as a “non immigrant alien.”  He did not intend to stay in the United States, but came for a  limited time as a visitor (tourist) or a temporary worker.

Michał Mastykas came to the United States on 4 Nov 1908 to New York, New York, United States on the ship Blücher from Hamburg, Germany. The record said that Michał had been in the United States before, in 1902 1906, in Buffalo, New York, but I did not find the records.

1908 Michael Mostykas marked

1908 Ship Blücher from Hamburg, Germany 23 October

1908 Michael Mostykas 2 marked

1908 Ship Blücher arrived in New York 4 November

His entry in the ship manifest was stamped as a “non immigrant alien” traveling to Buffalo with Adolf Niedziela to his father Jan Niedziela, who was described as an acquaintance of Michał. The US ship manifest listed Michał‘s wife Victoria, and show Michał came from Skidziń and Adolf Niedziela from Przecieszyn in Austria.

1908 Michal Mastykas Hamburg marked

1908 Hamburg, Germany, ship manifest

Skidziń and Przecieszyn correlate with the Hamburg record that said they were from Oświęcim (Auschwitz in German). From the First Partition of Poland in 1772 to after World War I, this area was in the Austrian Kingdom of Galicia. From 1975 to 1998, this area was administratively part of the Katowice province. Today both villages are in the administrative district of Gmina Brzeszcze, within Oświęcim County, województwo małopolskie (Lesser Poland Voivodeship) in southern Poland.

Michał appeared in the census in 1910 as a boarder at 431 Center Street in Lackawanna, Erie, New York, United States. He was 35 years old, married for 8 years, from Austrian Poland. The record said he was an alien who had arrived in the United States in 1902. He spoke Polish, and was a furnace helper, probably in a foundry, a factory that produces metal castings. It was reported he could neither read nor write.

1910 Michael Mastyksz cropped

1910 census, Lackawanna, New York

In 1911, Michał was a “non immigrant alien” going to Buffalo on the ship Main, which sailed from Bremen, Germany on 31 August and arrived in New York on 12 Sep 1911. He left behind his wife, Wiktorya Mastykarz, in Skidziń, which was also listed as his place of birth. He had been in the United States 1909 1911, and was going to meet a friend, John Bier***a in Buffalo, New York.

1911 Michal Mastyharz ship1

1911 Ship Main from Bremen, Germany 31 August

1911 Michal Mastyharz ship2

1911 Ship Main arrived in New York 12 September

Although Michał was with Gregory and Mary Mateka in the January 1920 census, it appears that he returned to the old country. His name was found on a manifest of the ship Cedric of the White Star Dominion Line, traveling from New York, New York, arriving 6 Feb 1920 in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.

1920 Michal Mastykan marked

1920 Ship Cedric from New York, arriving 6 Feb 1920 in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.

While the Polish name Michał is Michael in other languages, Grzegosz often used the name George in America, although there was much variation in spelling of both of his names in many records. First Names of the Polish Commonwealth: Origins & Meanings, by George W. Helon and William “Fred” Hoffman, had this entry for Grzegorz.

grzegorz-name.jpg
Grzegorz. First Names of the Polish Commonwealth: Origins & Meanings,
by George W. Helon and William “Fred” Hoffman (1998)

Grzegorz Mastykarz came to United States on the ship Hannover, which set sail from Bremen, Germany, on on 25 July and arrived 7 Aug 1912 at the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The ship manifest said he was a farm laborer who had come from Germany, and was going to his brother Michał at 110 Lee Street in Buffalo. His ticket had been paid for by his brother.

1912-gregorz-mastykarz-ship-manifest-marked

1912 Ship Hannover from Bremen, Germany, 25 July

1912 Gregorz Mastykarz ship manifest marked2

1912 Ship Hannover arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7 August

Wikipedia says that Landwehr, or Landeswehr, is “a German language term used in referring to certain national armies, or militias found in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe. In different context it refers to large-scale, low-strength fortifications.”

Although Grzegorz‘ last residence was Germany, his nationality was listed as Ruthenian. His place of birth in the ship manifest looks something like Borswa Hora (?) in Galicia. Some of his descendants think that his place of birth may have been Cieszanów, Galicia (Austria Poland), or somewhere in what is now the Ukraine. It is more likely Borowa Góra, which in Ukrainian is pronounced Borova Hora, a village in the administrative district of Gmina Lubaczów, near the Ukrainian border. Borowa Góra is approximately 11 kilometers southeast of Cieszanów, which was the county seat. Both are currently in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship (województwo podkarpackie) of Poland.

Grzegorz married Marya Kapuscinska in Lackawanna, New York, on 3 February 1915. I found the record in the Erie County Courthouse, in Buffalo, New York, in the 1990s. Allowing for possible errors in transcription, the marriage record for Gzegor Mastyka and Mary Kapuscinska listed his mother as “Hajia Oguodnit.” I believe he may have said something like “Helcia Ogrodnik.” Helcia is the Polish diminutive for Helena, Ogrodnik means gardener in Polish.

His father’s name looked like “Bascel” on their marriage certificate, which could be Bazyli or Bazyl in Polish, the equivalent of the English name Basil or Basel. Hoffman and Helon had this entry for Bazyli in First Names of the Polish Commonwealth: Origins & Meanings.

Bazyli

Bazyli. First Names of the Polish Commonwealth: Origins & Meanings,
by George W. Helon and William “Fred” Hoffman (1998)

George and Mary Masstacz were in the New York State census on 529 Ingham Avenue in Lackawanna, Erie, New York, in June 1915.

1915 Masstacz marked

1915 New York State census, George and Mary Masstacz, Lackawanna, New York (full page)

Their American born daughter Mary, one year old, was with them.

1915 Masstacz cropped

1915 New York State census, George and Mary Masstacz, Lackawanna, New York

In 1918, Grzegorz registered for the World War I draft as George Mustek, making his mark with an X. His date of birth was listed only as 1880. He was living with his wife Mary at 116 Rich St. in Lackawanna, was medium height and build, and he had blue eyes and brown hair.

1918 George Mustek 005262607_04461

George Mustek World War I draft registration, 1918

In the 1920 census, Gregory and Mary Mateka were at 116 Rich Street in Lackawanna, Erie, New York, with their children Mary, Joseph, and Stanley. Michael was listed as a 46 year old boarder, an alien who had arrived in 1914.

1920 Gregory and Mary Mateka census.jpg

1920 census record, Gregory and Mary Mateka, Lackawanna, New York

This 1925 census record from their farm in Evans, Erie, New York, was a bit mixed up:

1925 Mastykarz census cropped

1925 New York State census record, Mastykarz and Mary Grzegorz [sic], Evans, Erie, New York

Grzegorz Mastykarz and Maryanna Kapuścińska had the following children:

  • Maryanna, born 1914, New York, United States; married Bronisław Harzynski; died 8 Nov 1968.
  • Józef was born on 16 Feb 1916 in New York, United States. Józef died in an accidental drowning after falling from a raft on 18 Jun 1926 at the age of 10 at Blackwell Canal on Tifft Farm in Lackawanna, Erie, New York, United States. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna, Erie, New York, United States.
  • Stanisław Józef, born 5 Nov 1918, New York, United States; married Justina Covino, 21 Nov 1940; died 3 Jan 2004, Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, United States. This couple changed their name to Masters in the 1940s.
  • Jan Edward, born 11 Aug 1922, New York, United States; married Josephine Marie Bosco, 22 Jun 1946; died 16 Nov 2000, Lake View, Erie, New York, United States.

Maryanna Kapuścińska had arrived in the United States on 27 Jan 1912. She filed first papers (declared her intention to become a citizen) in 1928, and was naturalized as an American citizen in Buffalo, Erie, New York, on 12 Sep 1932.

1932 Mary Mastykarz naturalization cropped

Mary Mastykarz Naturalization Card, Buffalo, New York

1976 mary mastykarz obit

Front Page, Hamburg, New York, 19 August 1976

Maryanna‘s actual birth date is uncertain. A December 1888 birth record from Poland may be hers or possibly an older sister named Maryanna who died before her birth. Her age was listed as twenty-two on the ship manifest in January 1912. She filed for Social Security in 1963 and 1966 with different birth dates.

  • Mary Ann Mastykarz [Mary Ann Kapusczynski] Birth Date: 5 Dec 1890 Birth Place: Poland Father: Wincenty Kapusczynski Mother: Mary Witan SSN: 086383718 May 1963
  • Mary Mastykarz SSN: 067-42-6618 Last Residence: 14218 Buffalo, Erie, New York  BORN: 8 Dec 1891 Died: Aug 1976 SSN issued: New York (1966)

 

On 29 October 1941, Grzegorz Mastykarz‘ death notice was published in Dziennik dla Wszystkich, “Everybody’s Daily,” the Buffalo, New York, Polish daily newspaper from 1911 to 1957.

1941 Grzegorz Mastykarz 29 Oct Dniennik

Dziennik dla Wszystkich, 29 Oct 1941

  On Tuesday, October 28th 1941 at 7:45 in the morning, he departed this earth.

In holy remembrance of
Grzegorz Mastykarz.

  The late Grzegorz was born in Poland. He lived at 161 Ingham Avenue in Lackawanna, New York.

  Funeral services will be on Thursday, October 30th, 1941, at 9:00 a.m. at the chapel of Piotr Pasiecznik, at 303 Ridge Road at the corner of Ingham Avenue, Lackawanna, New York, to St. Hyacinth Church at 9:30 a.m. and then on to Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna, New York.

  For this sad ritual family and friends are invited in mourning.

Marja (born Kapuścińska), wife; Stanisław and Jan sons; Marjanna, daughter; Bronisław Harzynski, son-in-law; Justina (Covina) daughter-in-law, grandson and granddaughter.

 

 

https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2014/38/124803867_1391863996.jpg

Mastykarz gravestone, Holy Cross Cemetery, FindaGrave photograph

Sources

By Halibutt, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3154253

Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

“Ancestry,” database, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed 24 October 2018), Michael Mostykas; citing Passenger Lists. Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008. Citing Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Bestand: 373-7 I, VIII (Auswanderungsamt I). Mikrofilmrollen K 1701 – K 2008, S 17363 – S 17383, 13116 – 13183.

1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Lackawanna Ward 2, Erie, New York, Michael Mostyksz; digital images, Heritage Quest Online (www.heritagequestonline.com : accessed August 2016). Year: 1910; Census Place: Lackawanna Ward 2, Erie, New York; Roll: T624_939; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 0280; FHL microfilm: 1374952

Ancestry, Michal Mastyharz. Year: 1911; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 1737; Line: 29; Page Number: 211. Citing: Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

 “UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 28 November 2018), Michael Mostykan. The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists.; Class: BT26; Piece: 668

Pennsylvania Philadelphia, “Passenger Lists,” database, FamilySearch, National Archives and Records Administration (familysearch.org: accessed August 2016), Gregorz Mastykarz, 1912; citing ship manifests.

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger List Index Cards, 1883-1948,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KFDX-JHW : 12 December 2014), Gregorz Mastykarz, 1912; citing Immigration, NARA microfilm publication T526 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,380,289.

New York State, Marriage Index, 1881-1967. Gzeyner Masztyka, Mary Kapuscienska, Certificate Number: 1951, New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA.

New York State Vital Records Index, Cert. No. 1951, Mastyka-Kapuscinska.  Gzegor Masztyka, Mary Kapuscinska, (3 February 1915), Marriage Record: ; Erie County Courthouse, Buffalo, New York.

1915 New York State Census, New York State, population schedule, Lackawanna Ward 01, A.D. 07, E.D. 01, Erie, New York, United States, , George Mastykarz; FHL microfilm “New York State Census, 1915,” database, FamilySearch  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9NB-PHZ : 8 November 2014), Mary Miasstacz, Lackawanna Ward 01, A.D. 07, E.D. 01, Erie, New York, United States; from “New York, State Census, 1915,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2012); citing p. 51, line 45, state population census schedules, 1915, New York State Archives, Albany.

“World War I Draft Registration Cards,” database, Ancestry.com (: accessed November 2018), George Mustek; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls.

1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Lackawanna Ward 2, Erie, New York, Gregory Mateka; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed November 2018).

1925 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Evans, Erie, , Mastykoz Grzegorsz; FHL microfilm. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 02; Assembly District: 08; City: Evans; County: Erie; Page: 28 Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Playmates Silent as Parents search for Boy Who Drowned, Buffalo Courier Express, Buffalo, New York, 21 June 1926, page 1.

New York State Vital Records Index, Death Cert. No. 38660, Joseph Mastykaz.

Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski, 158/D- Akta stanu cywilnego parafii rzymskokatolickiej w Koprzywnicy, 1888 #239, Maryanna Kapuscinska birth record; digital images, Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski (http://metryki.genealodzy.pl : accessed 22 March 2015).

Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Social Security Applications and Claims (: accessed 7 August 2015), Mary Ann Mastykarz, , 1963. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Death Master File (: accessed 2 October 2018), Mary Mastykarz, 067-42-6618, 1966. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.

Mary Mastykarz, , U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York; 1907-1966; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C. “New York, Western District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1966,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XPH2-ZPK : 6 December 2014), Mary Mastykarz, 1932; from “Alphabetical Index to Petitions for Naturalizations of the US District Court for the Western District of New York, 1907-1966,” database, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : n.d.); citing U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, NARA microfilm publication M1677 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 11.

MASTYKARZ-Mary [nee Kapuscienski], Front Page, Hamburg, New York, 19 August 1976.

MASTYKARZ RITES HELD THURSDAY, Lackawanna Leader, Lackawanna, New York, 6 November 1941, page 1, column 8.

DEATHS Oct 28 George Mastykarz, 58, 161 Ingham.  Grzegorz Mastykarz, Dziennik dla Wszystkich [Everybody’s Daily], Buffalo, New York, 29 October 1941.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 November 2018), memorial page for Gezegus Mastykarz (unknown–28 Oct 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 124803867, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna, Erie County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8).