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Archive for the ‘Szczepanski’ Category

Klein Family Came from West Prussia

In Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, author William “Fred” Hoffman lists the variations of the Polish Klajn surname. It comes from the German word klein meaning small or young, and the German form Klein is found most often in Poland.

Klein name

Klajn entry from Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, 2001

In the late 1800s, Michał, Józef, Jan, Roman, and Benedykt Klein lived in Buffalo, Erie, New York. Church and other records indicated that they were related. They were witnesses at each other’s weddings. They were godparents at Klein children’s christenings. They even named their children after one another. They had come from Prussia, the part of Poland that was occupied by Germany at that time. They were likely to have spoken both Polish and some German. From about 1878 to 1888, they had each immigrated to Buffalo, New York, from Kościelna Jania, which was called Kirchenjahn, in the Prussian province of Marienwerder, West Prussia. [1]

Today, the village of Kościelna Jania is not very large, with only 220 people. Wikipedia saysKoscielna Jania

Kościelna Jania (German: Kirchenjahn) is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Smętowo Graniczne, within Starogard County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. It lies approximately 6 kilometres (4 mi) west of Smętowo Graniczne, 25 km (16 mi) south of Starogard Gdański, and 69 km (43 mi) south of the regional capital Gdańsk.

Michał and Jan‘s marriage records at the Polish St. Stanislaus Church in Buffalo, Erie, New York, listed their parents as Jan Klein and Barbara Kotowska. The Klein babies’ baptismal records at St. Stanislaus Church said that their fathers had been born in Kościelna Jania, in Borussia, the Latin name for Prussia. The old records are available on FamilySearch for the Roman Catholic parish register of baptisms, marriages and deaths for Kirchenjahn (Kr. Marienwerder), West Prussia, Germany; now Kościelna Jania (Starogard Gdańsk), Gdańsk, Poland. Text in Latin, Polish and German.

1200px-SM_Kościelna_Jania_Kościół_Świętej_Trójcy_(1)_ID_637746

Kościół Świętej Trójcy w Koscielnej Jani

Kościół is the Polish word for church, while Kirche is the German word. It is not surprising that the Jania/Jahn village with the Roman Catholic church was called Kościelna Jania in Polish and Kirchenjahn in German.

I was able to find the marriage of Jan Klein and Barbara Kotowska at Kościół Trójcy Świętej w Kościelnej Jani, Church of the Holy Trinity in Kościelna Jania, on 4 Nov 1845.

1845 Klein Kotowska marriage marked

1845 Marriage, Johan Klein and Barbara Kotowska, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

Jan Klein was born about 1812. Barbara Kotowska was born to Antoni Kotowski and Julianna G. in Kościelna Jania in 27 May 1827. She was baptized 29 May 1827.

1827 Barbara Kotowska birth marked

1827 Baptism Record, Barbara Kotowska, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

 Johann Klein and Barbara Kotowska‘s son Michael Klein was born in Kirchen Jahn on 12 Sep 1846 and baptized at Kościół Trójcy Świętej w Kościelnej Jani on 14 Sep 1846.

1846 Michael Klein birth marked

1846 Baptism Record, Michael Klein, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

Joseph Klein was born to Johann Klein and Barbara Kotowska in Kirchen Jahn on 2 Dec 1848 and baptized 5 Dec 1848.

1848 Joseph Klein Birth marked

1848 Baptism Record, Joseph Klein, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

Johann Klein was born to Johann Klein and Barbara Kotowska in Kirchen Jahn on 9 Sep 1851 and baptized 5 Dec 1851.

1851 Johann Klein marked

1851 Baptism Record, Johann Klein, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

Roman Klein was born to Johann Klein and Barbara Kotowska in Kirchen Jahn on 2 Aug 1857 and baptized 10 Aug 1857.

1857 Roman Klein marked

1857 Baptism Record, Roman Klein, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

Benedykt Klein was born to Johann Klein and Barbara Kotowska in Kirchen Jahn on 5 Jul 1861 and baptized 5 Jul 1861.

1861 Benedict Klein marked

1861 Baptism Record, Benedict Klein, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

In each of these baptism records, Johann Klein was identified as “Schneider,” the German word for “tailor.” It literally means “someone who cuts,” from the German verb schneiden “to cut”. He was identified as Catholisch, not Evangelisch, indicating that he was Roman Catholic. In general, the Polish people in this region were Roman Catholic, and the Germans were Protestant, but there were exceptions. A few people with Polish names were German, while others with German names were Polish.

While Michał and Jan Klein were each married at St. Stanislaus RC Church in Buffalo in 1874 and 1884, Józef Klein (of Kirchenjahn) married Elizabeth Ośmiła in early 1877 in Barloschno, Marienwerder, West Prussia, about 2 miles from Kościelna Jania. It is now Barłożno, Skórcz, Starogard, Pomorskie, in Poland. The Roman Catholic Church in Barłożno is Kościół św. Marcina, St. Martin. The records were found  at Family Search as Roman Catholic parish register and transcripts of births, marriages and deaths for Barloschno, Westpreußen, Germany; now Barłożno (Starogard Gdański), Gdańsk, Poland. Text in Latin, Polish and German.

1877 Klein Osmila marriage marked

1877 Marriage, Józef Klein and Elizabeth Ośmiła, Barloschno, West Prussia (Barłożno, Poland)

Unfortunately, Elisabeth Ośmiła Klein must have died, because widower Józef Klein (age 38) married again in 16 Feb 1885 to Maryanna Chrzanowska (age 23) at Kościół Trójcy Świętej in Kirchen Jahn. This family immigrated to the United States in 1888.

1885 Klein Chrzanowska marriage marked

1885 Marriage, Józef Klein and Maryanna Chrzanowska, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

In Buffalo, Józef‘ and Marya became the parents of Feliks Maryan Klein. In Feliks‘ 1890 baptism record from St. Stanislaus  Church in Buffalo, New York, Józef‘s place of birth was identified as Kościelna Jania and Marya‘s was listed as Leśna Jania.

Leśna is the Polish word for Forestry. The village of Leśna Jania is approximately 3 kilometers (<2 miles) south of Kościelna Jania.

Maryanna Chrzanowska was born to Peter Chrzanowski and Antonia Laskowska in Lesnijahn in 24 Oct 1862. She was baptized at Kościół Trójcy Świętej w Kościelnej Jani, Church of the Holy Trinity in Kościelna Jania on 28 Oct 1862.

1862 Marianna Chrzanowska birth marked

1862 Baptism Record, Maryanna Chrzanowska, Kirchen Jahn, West Prussia (Kościelna Jania, Poland)

Piotr/Peter Chrzanowski and Antonia Laskowska were married in Barłożno on 15 Nov 1858. Piotr Chrzanowski had been baptized in Kościelna Jania in 1832. Antonia Laskowska, the daughter of Jakub Laskowski and Wiktoria Guz, was baptized in Barłożno in 1840.

1858 Chrzanowski Laskowska marriage marked

1858 Marriage, Peter Chrzanowski and Antonia Laskowska, Barloschno, West Prussia (Barłożno, Poland)

The villages of Kościelna Jania and Leśna Jania are about 20 miles away from the village of Szembruczek, where Martin and Anna Szczepański had lived in West Prussia before coming to the United States. In 1913, Felix Klein married Marta Szczepańska, Martin and Anna‘s daughter, in Bennington, Wyoming, New York. These were their ancestors.

Feliks & Marta chart

Ancestors of Feliks Klein and Marta Szczepanska

[1] There may have been other Klein children, even other children who immigrated to Buffalo or elsewhere. I started looking for Feliks Klein’s ancestors, and could not help but find other Klein relatives in Buffalo, New York.

Sources

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

“Kościelna Jania.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 Jul. 2017. Web. 10 Oct. 2018.

By Sławomir Milejski – Praca własna, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48604836

Parafia pod wezwaniem Trójcy Świętej w Kościelnej Jani, Holy Trinity, Kościelna Jania, http://www.koscielnajaniaparafia.pl/

“Leśna Jania.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 Jul. 2017. Web. 10 Oct. 2018.

“Barłożno.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 Jul. 2017. Web. 11 Nov. 2018.

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

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Jan Klein and Barbara Kotowska, marriage 1845/16; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9FK-7?i=328&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Barłożno (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Piotr Chrzanowski and Antonia Laskowska, marriage 1858/16; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Barloschno – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS2Y-8SXB-T?i=500&cat=244497

LDS Family History Library, “Barłożno (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Josef Klein and Elizabeth Ośmiła, marriage 1877/2; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Barloschno – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS2Y-8S6R-1?i=27&cat=244497

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Joseph Klein and               Marianna Chrzanowska, marriage 1858/16; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records;  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9FK-D?i=390&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Barbara Kotowska, birth 1827; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZY-4W6H?i=282&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Piotr Chrzanowski, birth 1832; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZY-4WZQ?i=291&cat=369158

Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne, “Geneteka, Metryki,” database, Polish Genealogical Society, Genealodzy (genealodzy.pl: accessed November 2018), Antonia Laskowska, 1840; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Michał Klein, birth 1846/43; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9NS-K?i=183&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Józef Klein, birth 1848/51; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9N9-7?i=194&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Jan Klein, birth 1851/58; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records; https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9F1-Z?i=209&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Roman Klein, birth 1857/46; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records;  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9NM-W?i=237&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Benedykt Klein, birth 1861/50; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records;  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9FB-R?i=259&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Marianna Chrzanowska, birth 1862/64; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records;  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9FR-T?i=267&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Bronisława Klein, birth 1878/4; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records;  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9FH-C?i=58&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Benedykt Klein, birth 1879/30; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records;  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9F4-4?i=65&cat=369158

LDS Family History Library, “Kościelna Jania (Starogard),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search (familysearch.com: accessed November 2018), Teodosia Klein, birth 1880/52; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Kirchenjahn – Church records;  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVW-H9F9-R?i=74&cat=369158

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Klein Family in Western New York

On 27 Oct 1913, Marta Szczepańska the daughter of Martin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska married Feliks Klein, son of Joseph Klein and Marianna Chrzanowska, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Bennington, Wyoming, New York.

Both sets of parents had immigrated to the United States from West Prussia. The bride and groom were each born in Buffalo and baptized at Saint Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, Erie, New York.

Martin and Anna Szczepański had come from Szembruczek, Grudziądz in 1881. In German, it was Klein Schönbruck (Kr. Graudenz), Westpreußen. Now, Szembruczek is in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, or in Polish, województwo kujawsko-pomorskie. Marta was born in Buffalo and baptized on 15 April 1895.

Josef and Marianne Klein and three children Brunisław, Bronisława, and Martha arrived in New York, New York on the ship Eider from Bremen and Southampton on 18 Apr 1888.

1888 Klein CastleGarden

1888 Klein Family, Castle Garden Search Result

1888 Klein ship manifest marked

1888 ship manifest, ship Eider from Bremen and Southampton to New York

Feliks Maryan Klein was born in Buffalo 21 Nov 1890 and baptized at St. Stanislaus  Church in Buffalo, New York. Józef Klein‘s place of birth was identified as Kościelna Jania and Marya Chrzanowska‘s was listed as Leśna Jania. They were mistakenly identified as places in the Prussian province of Posen.

1890 Feliks Klein 1

1890 Feliks Klein 2

1890 Feliks Maryan Klein Baptism, St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York

Feliks‘ godparents were Benedykt Klein and Konstancya Klein. Benedykt was a tailor who had immigrated to the United States in 1880. Konstancya was the wife of Roman Klein, a shoemaker who had arrived in 1880.

Joseph and Maria Klein appeared in Buffalo, New York, in the 1892 New York State census with their children. Bronisławka, Anna, and Felix. Their daughter Martha was not listed with them.

1892 Klein census

1892 New York state census, Felix and Martha Klein, Buffalo, Erie, New York

On 23 Apr 1893, Helena Marta Klein was baptized at St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York.

1893 Klein Helena 1

1893 Klein Helena 2

1893 Helena Marta Klein Baptism, St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York

Helena Marta‘s godfather was listed as Michał Klein. In the first page of the marriage register of the newly founded St. Stanislaus Church in Buffalo, Michael Klein, son of Joannes Klein and Barbara Kotowska, married Marcjanna Ciężska, daughter of Adalbert and Agnes. Joannes is the Latin form for the Polish name Jan. Adalbert is the Latin form for the Polish name Wojciech.

1874 Klein Ciężska marriage

1874 marriage register, St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York

In 1884, Jan Klein, son of Jan Klein and Barbara Kotowska, married Katarzyna Ƶyngier, daughter of Józef Ƶyngier and Katarzyna Mazurowska at St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York. Katarzyna was the godmother of Helena Klein in 1893.

1884 Klein Zyngier marriage

1884 marriage register, St. Stanislaus RC Church, Buffalo, New York

I found a page in the St. Stanislaus baptism registers with twins Marta Aniela and Roman Benedykt born Sept. 16, 1887, to Michał Klein of Kościelna Jania and Martyna Cięzka. Martyna is Latin for the Polish name Marcianna/Marcjanna.

Michał, Jan, Roman, and Benedykt were Józef Klein‘s brothers.

Although the Szczepański  family had already moved to Bennington, Wyoming, New York, for the 1900 census, the Joseph and Mary Klein family was at 74 Reed Street in Buffalo. The correction in the record suggests that Mary was Joseph‘s second wife, married in 1885. Felix’s half-sister Bronisława/Anna was listed as Agnes in the 1900 census, and she may have been Anna Klein who married Bolesław Kapanek about 1904. John Klein, age 48, was listed as a boarder with Joseph and Mary in 1900.

1900 Klein cropped

1900 census, Joseph and Mary Klein, Buffalo, Erie, New York

By 1910, the Joseph Klein family had moved to Bennington, New York. In the census, Felix Klein was listed as a farm hand with his sister Helen and her husband Arthur Fox on Harlow Road in Darien, New York.

1910 Klein census cropped

1910 census, Joseph and Mary Klein, Bennington, Wyoming, New York

Joseph Klein died 26 Nov 1912. He was buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Bennington, Wyoming, New York. With her younger sons, Mary Chrzanowska Klein moved to 47 Rich Street in Buffalo, New York, before her death in the 1930s.

After their 1913 marriage, Felix and Martha Klein lived on Town Line Road in Bennington, Wyoming, New York for the 1915 census.

1915 Kline cropped

1915 New York state census, Felix and Martha Klein, Bennington, Wyoming, New York

But when Felix registered for the World War I draft in 1917, the couple lived at 219 Loepere Street in Buffalo, New York, with their two children. The family was at the same address for the census in 1920.

1917 Felix Klein 005262574_02252

World War I draft registration, Felix Klein, Buffalo, New York

By the 1925 New York census, Felix F. and Martha Klein had moved to Allegany Road in Bennington Center, New York. Felix also used the middle name Florian, because it was the name listed in 1942 when he signed up for the World War II draft.

1942 Felix Klein 44544_03_00013-01591

WWII Draft Registration, Felix Florian Klein, Bennington, NY

Felix and Martha farmed for many years in Bennington before they retired to 1910 Sharrick Road, in Darien, Genesee, New York. They both died in 1964, and were laid to rest in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Bennington, Wyoming, New York.

The children of Feliks Klein and Marta Szczepańska were:

  • Franciszka KLEIN (1914-1993)
  • Teresa KLEIN (1916-2005)
  • Leo Albert KLEIN (1920-1977)
  • Clara KLEIN (1923-2011)
  • Richard Joseph KLEIN (1925-1985)
  • Norman J. KLEIN (1930-1985)
  • Barbara Ann KLEIN (1936-2016)
Klein family

Felix and Martha Klein and Family (1963)

Sources

“Passenger Lists,” database, The Battery Conservancy, Castle Garden (castlegarden.org: accessed ‎27 October 2018), Klein; citing ship manifests

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. Year: 1888; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 517; Line: 37; List Number: 472

St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church (Buffalo, New York), Baptism 1890, page 26, Feliks Maryan Klein; FHL microfilm, entry 932

1892 New York State Census, New York State; Buffalo, Erie, population schedule, Ward 14, Joseph Klein, Family Search, FHL Microfilm.

St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church (Buffalo, New York), Baptism 1893, page 344, Helena Marta Klein; FHL microfilm, entry 387

St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church (Buffalo, New York), Marriage 1874, page 2, Michael Klein, Marcjanna Ciężska; FHL microfilm, entry 6

St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr RC Church (Buffalo, New York), Marriage 1884, Jan Klein, Katarzyna Ƶyngier; FHL microfilm, entry 53

1900 U. S. Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 14, Erie, New York, Felix Klein; digital images, HeritageQuest Online (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 5 October 2018).

1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Darien, Genesee, New York, Joseph Klein; digital images, Heritage Quest Online (www.heritagequestonline.com : accessed 10 October 2018).

1910 Federal Census, New York State, population schedule, Bennington, Wyoming, New York, Joseph Klein; digital images, Heritage Quest Online (www.heritagequestonline.com : accessed 6 October 2018).

Sacred Heart of Jesus RC Cemetery (Bennington, New York), gravestones and record cards.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 11 October 2018), memorial page for Joseph Klein (5 Dec 1848–26 Nov 1912), Find A Grave Memorial no. 60436404, citing Sacred Heart Cemetery, Bennington, Wyoming County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Jim and Elizabeth (contributor 47230507) .

1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 15, Erie, New York, , Mary Klein.

1915 New York State Census, New York State, population schedule, Bennington, Wyoming, , Felix Kline.

“World War I Draft Registration Cards,” database, Ancestry.com (: accessed 5 October 2018), Felix Klein; citing World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 15, Erie, New York, Feliks Klein; digital images, HeritageQuest (heritagequestonline.com : accessed 11 October 2018).

National Archives, “World War II Draft Registration Cards,” database, Ancestry.com (: accessed 5 October 2018), Felix Florian Klein; citing World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration).

New York State, Death Index Beginning 1957, Martha Klein, 5 June 1964; digital images,  (https://health.data.ny.gov/Health/Genealogical-Research-Death-Index-Beginning-1957 : accessed November 2017).

KLEIN-Martha, Buffalo Courier Express, Buffalo, New York, 10 June 1964, page 10.

KLEIN-Felix, Buffalo Courier Express, Buffalo, New York, 26 July 1964, page 8B.

Personal letters to author from Clara Klein Rembas, 1990s.

Szczepański, Maciejewski, Klein, Sczepanski, and Graff Cousins

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

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

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

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

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

Szennato, Szynnato? Szynwałd, Groß Schönwalde! Deciphering Polish/Prussian Place Names

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

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

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

1885 marriage record Niewirowski Kiersznowski.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

Deutsch-Eylau_27 cropped

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

Szombruk Szynwald map

Contemporary Polish map (Google.com)

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

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

1862 Niewirowski birth

1862 Birth Record, Franz Niewirowski, Szynwałd, West Prussia

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

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

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

1885 Szennato

Szenwałd

Notes

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

Sources

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

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

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

Martin and Anna Szczepański left Germany 1 March 1881

Martin Szczepański‘s naturalization application and certificate, and Martin and Anna‘s census records and other documents consistently said they had come to the United States in 1881. Looking at a Hamburg passenger manifest for Martin and Anna Szczepański from that time, I found another example of chain migration, in which people living in a place tended to move away together.

1881 Szczepanski Hamburg Passenger

 

The Dampfschiff (steamship) Dresden took passengers on route to Amerika via Glasgow with Captain Reay under an English flag. The port of arrival was Leith, Scotland, and the departure date was 1 Mrz 1881 (1 Mar 1881) from the port of Hamburg, Germany. The destination was listed in the index as New York, but I have not yet found any arrival documents.

Although their name is spelled as Szepanowski, name misspellings and variations are not uncommon in ship manifests. Martin is 27 and Anna is 23, which matches their known ages in 1881. In the ship manifest, Martin’s present status or occupation (Bisheriger Stand oder Beruf) is listed as as Landmann or Landsarbiter, a farm worker. While Martin and Anna list their previous residence (Bisheriger Wohnort) as Marienwerder, Westpreußen, further down the page,  Michael Schnitzki and Nicolaus and Rosalie Doblonski and their children Theophil and Eva more specifically list the small village of Kl. Schönbrück as their previous residence.

Marienwerder was both a government region (Regierungsbezirk) of the province of Westpreußen from 1815 until 1945, as well as the German name for the town of Kwidzyn.

Klein Schönbrück (in Polish Szembruczek) was in Graudenz Landkreis in the Marienwerder Regierungsbezirk, as is illustrated in this graphic of the older German history of Klein Schönbrück,  from the German Genealogical GenWiki website.

Klein Schombruck

For a modern analogy, I live in the town of North Kingstown, in Washington County, state of Rhode Island (officially, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations), in the United States of America. Although not on official maps, the southern half of the state is referred to as “South County.” The region is called “New England,” and I am likely to reply with any of these names when I am asked where I am from.

Assuming that these are our ancestors, did Martin and Anna actually live in the town Marienwerder/Kwidzen before they boarded the ship or were they referencing the region from which they had come? I will keep looking for any records of the ship’s arrival in New York or any other references to Martin and Anna Szczepański.

Update Apr 2018:  TheShipsList®™ – ( S. Swiggum) identifies the ship Dresden, built in 1865, was 807 tons and part of the fleet of the Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co., in service until 1916, when it was “sunk by U.Boat off Nab Light Vessel.” It appears that this ship took passengers bound for America to Scotland. This may be why I could not find a record of the ship’s arrival in North America.

Sources

https://gov.genealogy.net/item/show/SCHUC2JO93MN

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/finding-szembruczek/

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/the-other-szczepanski-children/

https://myfamilyhistoryresearch.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/chain-migration/

Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008.
Original data: Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Bestand: 373-7 I, VIII (Auswanderungsamt I). Mikrofilmrollen K 1701 – K 2008, S 17363 – S 17383, 13116 – 13183.

TheShipsList®™ – ( S. Swiggum),  http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/leith.shtml.

Toruń Gingerbread

When I visited Poland in 2004, I toured Copernicus House in Toruń. It was where Nicolaus Copernicus, the famous 16th century astronomer, had lived, and it is now a museum. I remember we visited on a rainy day, because we were asked to put booties over our shoes before walking on the old wooden floors. The Old Town felt medieval, and there were still Gothic buildings and Teutonic walls. The city center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I did not know at the time that our father John Maciejewski‘s grandparents (and perhaps his father) had been born in that area. Nieżywięć, where Jan Maciejewski and Weronika Lewandowska were married in 1869, is fewer than thirty miles from Toruń. Szembruczek, the village of Marcin Szczepanski and Anna Kalinowska, is about twenty miles from Nieżywięć.

near Torun

Torun in Poland

 

Toruń is famous for its Gingerbread, called piernik, and it was sold in almost every souvenir shop and bakery. I brought some home to share. This Christmas I made gingerbread, and shared some that was purchased with my family in the spirit of John Maciejewski’s ancestors.

 

Wikipedia has an article about Toruń Gingerbread. One section is

Toruń Gingerbread in Polish Culture

Pierniki Toruńskie, as they are known in Polish, are an icon of Poland’s national cuisine. They have traditionally been presented as a gift by the city of Toruń to Polish leaders, artists and others who have distinguished themselves in Polish society, and to Polish kings. Baking molds survive with likenesses of king Sigismund III of Poland, king Władysław IV Vasa and Queen Cecilia Renata as well as the royal seal with the Polish eagle and crests of several provinces. Other notables who have received gift gingerbread from the city include Marie Casimire Louise (French princess and widow of King John III Sobieski), Napoléon Bonaparte (during whose visit the whole city was illuminated and bells were rung all over the city), Zygmunt Krasiński (one of Poland’s Three Bards), painter Jan Matejko, actress Helena Modjeska, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, pianist Artur Rubinstein, poet Czesław MiłoszLech Wałęsa and Pope John Paul II.

Since at least the Middle Ages, pierniki have been connected with Toruń in Polish proverbs and legends. One legend claims that gingerbread was a gift from the Queen of the Bees to the apprentice Bogumił. A 17th‑century epigram by poet Fryderyk Hoffman speaks of the four best things in Poland: “The vodka of Gdańsk, Toruń gingerbread, the ladies of Kraków, and the Warsaw shoes”.

…When the precocious 15-year-old composer Frédéric Chopin visited Szafarnia, a small village near the river Drwęca, he stopped over in Toruń, where he was a guest of his godfather, the penologist Fryderyk Florian Skarbek. Chopin sampled the city’s famous confection and grew so fond of it that he wrote a letter about it to his friends and colleagues. He even sent some to Warsaw. In honor of this, Poland’s largest producer of Toruń gingerbread, the Kopernik Confectionery Company, has created a special heart-shaped gingerbread called Scherzo, bearing Chopin’s likeness on the wrapper.

Toruń holds an annual celebration of gingerbread called Święto Piernika (the Gingerbread Festival).