Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

Archive for the ‘Poland’ Category

Kajdasz Family Came from Posen

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

1900 Kaidas census cropped

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

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

1890 Magdalina Kajdasz birth cropped

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

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

Kajdasz Poznan Project

Andrzej Kajdasz and Jadwiga Wojcieszek, 1876 Poznan Project results

Mądre - Wikipedia

Mądre, Środa Wielkopolska

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

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

Kajdasz Jakub Poznan Project

Jakub Kajdasz and Marianna Walkowiak, Poznan Project results, 1844

Collegiate church and marketplace

Środa Wielkopolska Collegiate church and marketplace

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

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

Wojcieszak Poznan Project

Marcin Woycieszak and Dorota Wawrzynkiewicz, Poznan Project results, 1849

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

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

DanielSources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Researching Polish/German/Prussian Ancestors from Posen

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Poznań powiat (county) in present day Poland

 

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

Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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).

Finding my Maciejewski Family’s Ancestral Origins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy ancestor hunting!

Maciejewski Family Resilience

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

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

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

Deutsch-Eylau_27 Maciejewski

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Maciejewski civil birth record, Torun Archives

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

1882 Maciejewski deaths marked

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

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

1882 Maciejewski deaths

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

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

1882 cause of death

1882 Cause of Death for Maciejewski Children

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

braune

Bräune Example

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

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

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

1900 Veronica Maciejewski census

1900 Census, Veronica Maciejewski, Buffalo, New York

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

Maciejewski children

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

Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kalinowska from Szembruk, West Prussia: Looking for Common Ancestors

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

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

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

1885 marriage record Niewirowski Kiersznowski.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

1864 Baptism Record, Katarzyna Kierznowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

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

1868 Baptism Record, Marianna Kierznowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

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

1869 Death Record, Ludwik Kierznowski, Szembruk, West Prussia

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

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

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

1876 Baptism Record, Rozalia Konracka, Szembruk, West Prussia

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

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

1858 Anna Kalinowska birth cropped

1858 Baptism Record, Anna Kalinowska, Szembruk, West Prussia

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

1853 Kalinowski Nowakowska marriage

1853 Kalinowski-Nowakowska Marriage Record, Szembruk, West Prussia

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

1819-1824 Kalinowski births

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

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

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

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

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

Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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