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Archive for the ‘Buffalo’ Category

“Cabbage” Patch Kids: Kapusta/Kapuściński DNA Cousins

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

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

name Kapus

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

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

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

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

Agnieszka

Ancestors of Agnieszka Kapuścińska

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

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

1930 Kapuszcinski census cropped

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

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

1940 Kapusta census cropped

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

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

1928 marriage Kapusta cropped

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

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

1920 Kapuscinski census cropped

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

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

1944 Staron naturalization children

1944 Naturalization Petition, Walenty Staron, Cleveland, Ohio

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

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

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

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

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

1918 Kapusta WWI draft cropped

WWI Draft Registration Form, Kazimierz Kapusta, Cleveland, Ohio

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

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

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

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

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

Further research on Geneteka showed that

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

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

 

1913 Obora cropped

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further research on Geneteka showed that

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

Ancestors of Genevieve/Jean Kapuscinski

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

Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Tale of Two Families

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) .

 

1947 Letter from Family in Poland

I have wondered about the circumstances in which my great-grandmother Maryanna Kasprzyk Skrok Kwiatek and her family left Buffalo and returned to Poland in 1920. Was it the Second Polish Republic, as after World War I the country of Poland was legally recreated? Was it the opportunity to move to formerly Prussian lands as ethnic Germans departed? How did the baby Zofia fit into the situation?

Not only did the Kwiateks leave for Silesia, so did Maryanna’s children, Jan Skrok and Stanisława Skrok Kiec and their families. Although the Kiec, Skrok, and Rzepka families returned to the United States with their American and Polish born children, the Kwiateks apparently did not.

Among my grandmother’s papers, my mother found a letter written in 1947 by her aunt Aniela Kwiatek Jankowska, asking at Corpus Christi Parish in Buffalo, New York, about family members in Buffalo after my grandfather Jan Skrok‘s death in 1936 and his sister Stanisława Skrok Kiec‘s death in 1938. This translation was kindly provided by Dolores Ferguson of the Polish Genealogical Society of New York State.

Corpus Christi Parish

in Buffalo NY

Request

I the below signed Aniela Jankowska of Kwiatkow once belonged to this Parish and attended the school under the guardianship of the honourable Franciscan Sisters am returning to kindly request fulfillment of my below request.

So in the year 1939 I received the last letter from my niece Helen Gon of Kiecow who lived at that time on Howard Street (#210) in Buffalo NY and after the war I wish to communicate.  I have already sent 3 letters which were returned from NY.  I wrote to the Police Station #8 in Buffalo from which I have not had any response to date.  Because of this I am coming to you the Revered Franciscans if you could be so kind to comply with my request for this matter if it can be done to announce in church possibly from the pulpit please request in the name of the Parish Priest St. Stanislaus because I cannot affirm to which Parish they belong.

I am very sorry for my boldness in coming to you with this matter which I know is not your responsibility but only to your kindness, but in God I put my trust and hope for results.  I also have another family Skrokow – their names are Czeslaw, Tadeusz, Helena and Agnieszka.  Home address I do not have but they have lived in Buffalo NY since the year 1923 and the Family Kiecow – names are Adam, Jan, Stanislaw, Waclaw, Helena Gon and Stefania.  Again, if possible, please locate them and provide me their addresses finding hopefully at least one member of the family to send to me.

In addition, I cordially ask for a photograph of the church so I can keep it close to my heart as a remembrance as 25 years have past since I left my beloved Parish with a broken heart.  I end this now and send kindest memories as well as send well wishes to the venerable Father and Priests, as well as the Sisters.  Praise be Jesus Christ.

Aniela Jankowska, daughter of Mary & Andrzej Kwiatek

Belonged to Parish 1921 and last lived at 895 William Street

Bedzin 1947

Aniela Jankowska

ul Folwarczna 4

Bedzin

woj St Dabrow

Poland

At the bottom of the letter is written “Agnieszka Skrok 209 Stanton” my grandmother’s name and address. I do not know if the families were able to re-establish a connection. I know that 1947 was a hard year for my grandmother. In 1943, she had married Adam Kiec, and after a difficult marriage, he died 22 May 1947. Although their older children were grown and back from the war, his youngest, Eugene Kiec, and her youngest, my mother, Stella Skrok, were still teenagers.

Several of their children were married.

Kiec Skrok marriages

Marriages of Kiec and Skrok children before 1947

Several of their children had enlisted in the military during World War II.

WWII enlistments

Skrok and Kiec WWII enlistments

St. Stanislaus RC Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York

The final resting place for many of our relatives is  St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Cemetery, Cheektowaga, just outside of Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States.

Our parents John and Estelle Skrok Maciejewski are buried there, as is our sister who was stillborn. All four of our grandparents are buried there: Antoni and Marya Szczepanski Maciejewski and Jan Skrok and Agnes Kapuscinski Skrok Kiec. Originally buried  separately, our grandmother’s second husband Adam Kiec is now interred with his first wife,  Stella Skrok Kiec. Our great grandparents, Jan Maciejewski and Veronica Lewandowski Maciejewski are also buried there, as are many aunts and uncles and cousins and other family.

This list is not complete, but if you want to pay your respects to those who came before us, please check the names and cemetery maps below.

2 May 1896 Jan Maciejewski
14 Nov 1907 Władysław Szczepański
Jun 1917 Alojzy Maciejewski
1918 Joanna Beresniewicz
Mar 1928 Józefina Skrok
18 Jul 1929 Józef Malinowski Sect A, Line 22, Grave 14 (9)
bef 1930 Stanisław Luczak
Aug 1930 Ryta Maciejewska Section I, Line 30, Grave 39
Apr 1931 Lukasz Jankowski Section AA
1931 Maryanna Derenda Malyszka
Oct 1935 Anastazya Matecka Jankowski Section AA
18 May 1936 Jan Skrok
28 Nov 1936 Antoni G. Maciejewski Section FF, Line 7, Grave 38
22 Nov 1938 Stanisława Skrok Kiec daughter Helena moved her parents’ remains together to Mausoleum
Aug 1939 Franciszek W. Szczepański Circle 3
Nov 1939 Barbara Zalewska Kiec
7 Apr 1941 Eugeniusz Maciejewski Section FF, Line 22, Grave 70
24 Nov 1942 Stefania Ryta Szczepański Ignasiak Circle 3, Line 30, Grave 6
Nov 1942 Martyna Ignasiak Circle 3, Line 30, with her mother
Dec 1943 Weronika E. Lewandowska Maciejewski Section BB, Lot 171, Grave 1
18 Mar 1947 Anna Stephania Szczepański Stanton
22 May 1947 Adam Kiec daughter Helena moved her parents’ remains together to Mausoleum
Apr 1948 Wiktorya Dorota Maciejewska Section BB, Lot 171, Grave 2
Dec 1948 Marya Gabryelewicz Szczepanski Circle 3
1948 Zofia Kalinska Beresniewicz Nowa II Plot
Jul 1950 Michał Szalkiewicz
1951 Jan Beresniewicz
10 Apr 1951 Maryanna Szczepańska Maciejewski Section FF, Line 7, Grave 38
10 Nov 1952 Telesfor Teodor Malinowski Sect II, Line 329, Grave 2
26 Nov 1957 Stanisław Józef Szczepański
13 Mar 1958 Ryta Wnęk Section K, Line 143, Grave 6
Nov 1959 Stanisław Kiec
14 Nov 1959 Salomea Zieliński Rzepka
9 May 1964 Józef Edward Wnęk Circle 3, Line 30, Grave 4
4 Sep 1968 Władysław Kiec
Sep 1968 Baby Girl Maciejewski Section W, Line 3, Grave 62
Mar 1969 Apolonia Kwasniewcki Łuczak
9 Apr 1969 Jan Rzepka
1 Oct 1970 Marya Magdalena Maciejewska Section BB, Lot 171, Grave 3
26 Apr 1971 Maryanna Witoń Solowski
17 Dec 1973 Michael Bernard Maciejewski Crucifixion, No. 1, Lot 10, Line 7, Grave 2
Feb 1975 Anna Bonaventura Maciejewska
Feb 1976 Katarzyna Gajewska Skrok
Jan 1977 John J. Feduski
23 Jul 1977 Helena Agnieszka Skrok Szalkiewicz/ Stewart
15 Oct 1977 Agnieszka Kapuścińska Skrok Kiec
1977 Antoinette Karkowski Feduski
3 Apr 1978 Bronisław Bicio
Feb 1979 Stanisław J. Kiec
Nov 1980 Stanisława Solowska Wronski
13 Oct 1981 Jan H. Szalkiewicz Stewart
6 May 1985 Antoni Jan Maciejewski St. Casimir, Lot 1312, Grave 1
17 Oct 1985 Bernard Jan Maciejewski Crucifixion No. 1, Lot 10, Line 7, Grave 4
4 Nov 1988 Wladyslaw Beresniewicz Sect. Mt Kolbe, Lot 315, Grave 4
26 Jan 1991 Agnieszka D. Szczepański Wnek Circle 3, Line 30, Grave 5
Jul 1992 Szczepan Wilhelm Kiec
28 Nov 1992 Stanisław Kiec
Dec 1992 Czesław Jan Skrok
Apr 1994 Tadeusz Wincenty Skrok
Jan 1995 Józef Mruk
1 Sep 1995 Jan Marcin Maciejewski St. Casimer, Lot 1159, Grave 4
4 Feb 1997 Łucja J. Szczepański Mruk Marian Mausoleum, Crypt #68E
26 May 1999 Władysława A. Łuczak Maciejewski Crucifixion, No. 1, Lot 10, Grave 3
26 Feb 2000 Marya Szczepański
8 Feb 2001 Helena E. Kiec Goń Mausoleum
20 Jul 2002 Cecylia Anna Maciejewski Malinowski Sect II, Line 329, Grave
26 Sep 2002 Joyce Carol Manka Darlak
24 Oct 2003 Helena Elżbieta Malczewski Maciejewski St. Casimir, Lot 1312, Grave 2
6 Dec 2005 Imelda Teresa Maciejewski Lewandowski Sect II, Line 329, Grave
20 Apr 2006 Stanisława Zuzanna Skrok Maciejewski St. Casimir, Lot 1159, Grave 3
24 Apr 2006 Józef A. Goń Mausoleum
8 Nov 2008 Józefa M. Solowska Bicio
6 Feb 2016 Adele A. Winiarczyk Kiec
unknown Arthur J. Feduski

 

The “old” cemetery was east of Pine Ridge Road, while the new sections of the cemetery and the cemetery office are west of Pine Ridge Road.

St. Stan Cemetery - new

“New”  St. Stanislaus RC Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York

St. Stan Buffalo Cemetery - old area_0002

“Old”  St. Stanislaus RC Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York

Who are our Immigrant Ancestors?

Polsh Immigrants

IMMIGRANTS FROM PRUSSIA (GERMAN POLAND) 1881-1884

Our father’s mother’s parents Marcin and Anna Szczepański came to the United States in 1881, and our father’s father’s parents Jan and Weronika Maciejewski arrived in 1884 with their infant son Antoni Maciejewski (our grandfather). These immigrants, although Polish, arrived from the German occupied part of Poland, called Prussia. One of the reasons many Polish immigrants came to America from Prussia in the 1880s was to escape Germanization. After the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, Germany retaliated with economic, political, and cultural deprivations in the policies of Kulturkampf culture struggle), particularly against the Poles.

IMMIGRANTS FROM RUSSIAN POLAND 1908-1913

Russia had a similar policy toward Polish people in their occupied lands, mandating the Russian language and education, and conscripting Polish men into the Russian Army. Russia’s economy declined after the Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 Russian Revolution. Many early immigrants to the United States had sent money and letters to their poor families in the old country, and most later immigrants went to join relatives and friends in America. The peak emigration from the Russian occupied part of Poland was in 1912-1913. That’s when our mother’s parents, Agnieszka Kapuściński and Jan Skrok, came to America, along with several of their siblings and cousins. Even our great-grandmother, Maryanna Kaspryk Skrok Kwiatek, came to the United States with her second husband and their children.

IMMIGRANTS FROM GALICIA (AUSTRIAN POLAND) 1902-1913

Galicia was the northernmost province of the Austrian Empire, and one of the poorest provinces in Europe. Many poorly educated Polish Za Chlebem (For Bread) immigrants were primarily peasants facing starvation and poverty in occupied Poland. Grzegosz Mastykarz and Jozef Solowski, as well as Michał Feduski, had immigrated from Galicia. They were hard to research because their names were spelled multiple ways in public records.

Our direct ancestors, their siblings, cousins, and the people that they married are all family. These are the names I am researching. Their records give clues to our families’ origins–where we come from, how we got here. It’s up to us to continue the journey.

The Wrong Kapuścińska Sister?

Both Maryanna and Agnieszka Kapuścińska came to America and settled in Buffalo, New York.

Maryanna came first, on the S. S. Chemnitz sailing from Bremen, Germany, on January 13th, 1912 and arriving in New York on January 27, 1912.

1912 Ellis Island Marya KapuscinskaIn the ship’s passenger manifest from Ellis Island, Marya Kapuscianska is described as 22 years old, female, single, maid or servant, 4 feet 10 inches tall, with fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. She can read and write, is a “Russian citizen or subject” of “Polish race or people”, last residing in Nieszowice, Russia. The place of her birth is spelled Gnieszowice, Russia.

1912 Ellis Island Marya Kapuscinska1Her mother Marya Kapuscinska is listed as her nearest relative in Gnieszowice, Radom, and her final destination is Buffalo, New York.

She has a ticket to her final destination, $18, and paid for her passage herself. She was not in the United States before and is going to her brother-in-law, Jozef Prus, at 482 Fillmore Street in Buffalo, New York.

The following year, Marya paid for passage for her sister Józefa Kapuścińska 1913 Ellis Island Jozefa Kapuscinskaon the S. S. Kroonland, which sailed from Antwerp, Belgium, April 26th, 1913, and arrived in New York on May 7th, 1913.

In the ship’s manifest, Jozefa Kapuscinska is described as a 19 year old single female servant 5 feet tall, with fair skin, light hair, and blue eyes. She  is a “Russian citizen or subject” of “Polish race or people”, last residing in Nieszowice, Russia. It is also the place of her birth.

1913 Ellis Island Jozefa Kapuscinska1Her mother Maryanna Kapuscinska is listed as her nearest relative in Nieszowice, and her final destination is Buffalo, New York.

She has a ticket to her final destination, $27, and her passage was paid by her sister. She is going to join her sister, Maryanna Kapuscinska at (unreadable, perhaps Seneca st) 817 in Buffalo, New York.

But Józefa never joined her sister. Family lore is that she decided not to go, and rather than waste the ticket, their mother decided to send Marya’s younger sister Agnieszka in her stead. The story is that Marya was not pleased to see Agnieszka instead of Józefa, and it was a continuing source of friction for the sisters in America.

Why Buffalo?

The city of Buffalo bustled at the turn of the twentieth century. It was a major manufacturing and transportation hub. It had electricity from Niagara Falls, shipping from the great lakes, and was a day’s journey by rail for 40 million people.

It was the nation’s eighth largest city, and it had more millionaires per capita than any other city at that time. In 1901, it hosted the Pan-Am Exposition, the world’s fair at which President William McKinley was shot. Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as president in Buffalo. Manufacturers such as the Larkin Company sold mail order and various manufacturers, including Pierce-Arrow, built railroad cars and automobiles.

As it grew, Buffalo manufacturers recruited Europeans to work in the factories. In addition to general laborers, skilled artisans and technicians were in demand. The different ethnicities formed enclaves generally grouped around churches. The major church for Polish people on the east side of Buffalo was the Roman Catholic St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr. It is where our parents were married and I was baptized. That’s where I found the records for several of our grandparents’ siblings, and the 1896 death record for our great-grandfather.’

St. Stanislaus Cemetery, in Cheektowaga, right outside the city limits of Buffalo, is the place where many of our relatives were buried. Some of the old tombstones were laid flat to stop vandalism. I never found Jan Maciejewski’s stone, but our Aunt Imelda remembers her father personally carrying it from the mason’s to the cemetery to mark his grave. The old cemetery records were bare bones, but the more recent ones had information provided by funeral homes. Two of our great-grandparents and all four of our grandparents are buried there, as are our parents.

Both of our grandfathers died in Buffalo in 1936. I don’t know the circumstances, but I suspect the economy of the Great Depression had something to do with it. It was devastating. Thousands lost jobs as manufacturers went out of business.

Our grandfather Anthony Maciejewski worked as a custodian to keep his family afloat. Our grandmother Marie turned the housefront on Strauss Street into a local grocery store. It looks like Anthony’s brothers Konstanty and Ludwik used the names August Warner and Louis Warner to find work. Their sisters Marie and Anna used the name Mack. Anthony & Marie’s oldest daughter Sophia used the name Lou Mack.

John, Veronica, and Anthony Maciejewski came from the area of Poland known as West Prussia. I had mistakenly thought they had come from  Lower Silesia. In the 1880s, both areas were part of Germany. Thus, while ethnically Polish, our Maciejewski ancestors were technically German. And the difference seemed to matter to them, since both American born younger brothers opted to use a Germanic name in the trade as mechanics and manufacturing inspectors.