March 2010


Walter was my uncle, my father’s older brother. Walter was born in 1910; however, I do not have an exact date of birth. He was born in Poland; although his obituary states he was a Toledo native.

Walter arrived in the US with his parents, Walter and Helen, in 1923 at the age of about 13. I do not have much information about Walter’s early life in the US other than he married Helen Ceglarski. When the family first arrived here, they lived at 1763 Buckingham with Jan Mierzejewski (whom I believe to be my great-uncle). Walter Sr. and his family (Helen, Walter Jr., Celia, and Edward) eventually moved to Woodstock and then to Evesham (right behind St. Hyacinth’s parish).

Helen and Walter  had three children: Thomas, Richard, and Eugenia.  After their marriage, they had moved to Waverly Avenue and had change their last name to Myers. Helen’s and Walter’s daughter, Eugenia (Jeannie) lived and raised their family in the house on Waverly, so I grew up with their children and remember the residence on Waverly quite well. We lived within walking or biking distance of each other.

Helen Ceglarski’s parents were Anthony and Maggie. Anthony and Maggie owned the home on Waverly and seemed to have passed the house on through the generations to Helen and then to Jeannie. Per the 1920 census, Anthony and Maggie arrived in the US with their first daughter, Stella, in 1906. Helen was born in the US about 1911.

I have no pictures of Walter Jr.; however, I do have a few photos of his wife, Helen. Both pictures are taken with my dad’s sister, Celia. It seems as if they were great pals.

Helen and Celia #1. Helen is seated on the tricycle and Celia is pushing the baby carriage. (I guess they were rather playful!)

Helen and Celia #2. Helen and Celia are at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Helen is in the floral print dress, Celia is in the dark suit.

Walter Myers passed away on February 6, 1959. His obituary reads:

Walter Myers

Walter Myers, 49, of 605 Waverly Ave., died of a heart attack yesterday at his home.

A Toledo native, Mr. Myers was a painter. He had been employed at Champion Spark Plug Co. 33 years.

Surviving are his wife, Helen; daughter, Mrs. Eugenia Mruzek; sons, Richard and Thomas; mother, Mrs. Helen Mierzejewski; brother, Edward; sister, Mrs. Celia Starzynski, and three grandchildren, all of Toledo.

The body is in the Sujkowski Mortuary. Services will be Tuesday at 9 a.m. in St. Hyacinth’s Church with burial at Calvary Cemetery.

Helen Myers passed away August 19, 1983. Helen’s obituary reads:

Helen Myers

Mrs. Helen Myers, 72, of Waverly Avenue, died Friday in St. Luke’s Hospital. She worked 20 years as a machine operator at Champion Spark Plug Co., retiring in 1965. She was the widow of Walter Myers. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Jean Mruzek, and sons, Richard and Thomas. Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Hyacinth Church. The Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Sujkowski Mortuary, where the body will be after 7 tonight.

Martin Plenzler was my my mother’s paternal uncle–he was a brother to her father, John Plenzler. Martin was born October 30, 1880 in Poznan. He, his brother Joseph (Jr), and mother Eva arrived on the ship, Moravia, in the port of New York on May 6, 1884. She departed from Hamburg with her two eldest sons: Marczin (Martin) and Josef (Joseph). Martin was 3 at the time of arrival, his younger brother was just 6 months. (Lines 11, 12, and 13 in the manifest.)

Here is a screen snap of this branch of the family tree.

By the 1900 census, the family settled at 1544 Avondale and Martin is indicated as living with his parents and working as a day laborer.

On October 16, 1905, Martin married Michaelina (Minnie) Machowiak in St. Anthony’s church.

Below is a transcription of the marriage record:

Record 7, left page.

Oct. 16, 1905
Plencner, Martin
Machowiak, Michalina
A.J. Suplicki

Note that the last name is misspelled for Martin. Plencner is a common misspelling for Plenzler.

Also note that Record #8 lists Martin’s younger brother, Joseph Plenzler, marrying Stanislawa Machowiak. I have not researched this yet. It is possible that Stanislawa died early and widowed Joseph.

By the 1910 census, Martin and Minnie had moved to 1465 Avondale and had two children: Alphonse and Clemence. By 1920, the family added three more children: Edna, Florence, and Daniel.

Martin and his brother, Casper, were musicians and played in a popular band in the Toledo region. This band, Woodsmen of the World, was captured in a 1920s-era photo in Toledo’s Polonia written by Rev. Richard Philiposki of the Toledo Polish Genealogical Society through Arcadia Publishing, 2009. Excepts of the book can be viewed online, and the photo is located on page 66.

Martin passed away at the age of 66 on April 6, 1947. His obituary published in the Toledo Blade on April 8, 1947 can be viewed through Google News Archives. Below is a transcription of the obituary:

Martin Plenzler

Born In Poland; Toledoan 64 Years

Services for Martin K. Plenzler, 66, of 1465 Avondale Ave., who died Sunday in St. Vincent’s Hospital, will be Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the Sujkowski & Son Funeral Home and at 9 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

Born in Posen, Poland, he had lived in Toledo 64 years. For 25 years, Mr. Plenzler had been a metal polisher at the DeVilbiss Co. He was affiliated with Woodmen of the World, Pulaski Camp 176, Polish National Alliance, and the Fourteenth Ward Oldtimers Baseball Association.

Surviving are his wife, Michaeline (Minnie); sons, Alphonse, Clement and Daniel; daughter, Mrs. Edna Sieja; brothers, Joseph, Casper, Robert, Frank, and Leo; sisters, Mary Plenzler and Mrs. Sophia Szymanowski, and 10 grandchildren.

Martin was buried in Calvary Cemetery on April 10, 1947. Below is a transcription of the burial record:

No. 47043
Name: Martin K. Plenzler
Residence: Toledo
Age: 66
Cause of death: Coronary Thrombosis
Date of interment: April 10, 1947
Grave:  S 1/2
Range or lot: 48
Section: 38
Undertaker: Sujkowski & Son

Konstanty for me was a real find and a bit of a mystery because I am not quite sure how he is related to my family. I never remember hearing my dad or his sister mention him as I was growing up. All dad and his sister, Celia, ever mentioned as best as I can recall was their dad, Walter. I learned about Jan (or John) when first beginning my research and locating the 1923 Ellis Island manifest that showed Walter coming here with his wife Helen and two children, Walter Jr. and Celia. When I reviewed my father’s birth certificate and noted the address of 1763 Buckingham, a few things began to fall into place.

I located Konstanty’s World War I draft registration card. This registration had the 1763 Buckingham address. This piece of evidence leads me to believe that Walter and John had a brother. The draft registration card is dated 1918; and he provides his wife, Stephania, as his next of kin.

I am assuming that Konstanty is a brother to Walter and Jan (my great-uncle) based on the evidence of the address at 1763 Buckingham and the fact that each of these three men had lived within a close distance to each other and the fact that there are some similarities in data on the death certificates for Konstanty and Walter. However, I cannot yet prove this to be the case. I do believe there is some type of blood relationship. This is a screen snap of the family tree as I know it.

Per Konstanty’s death certificate, he was born in Poland on March 15, 1886. His parents are named on his death certificate as Julian Mierzejewski and Anna Borkowski. Walter’s death certificate indicates his parents names are John and Anna. I have evidence that Anna’s name may have been Brzozwska per information obtained from R. Stark on ancestry.com.

This is an area of future research for me, particularly to verify Anna’s family name. I have located a manifest for SS Prinz Oskar arriving in Philadelphia on March 23, 1912 that lists a Konstanty Mierzejewski. He was traveling from Brwilno, Poland and was to meet Boleslaw Rogalski. The notation on the manifest is that Boleslaw was here 5 years and that Konstanty heard from him last 3 months ago. The name of the relative is provided as Jan Mierzejewski in Brwilno.

Still, there are questions concerning the manifests and birthplaces or village locations that I’ve noted with John, Walter, and Konstanty.

Manifests that I’ve located for Walter and John indicate that they’ve originated from near Tomasze, Poland. Konstanty’s indicate Brwilno. And R Stark has indicated Podlanski as Konstanty’s birthplace. I’ve mapped these regions.

Konstanty married Stephania Dykowski. Stephania was born in Pennsylvania, and it seems as if Konstanty had settled there for about seven or eight years. Per the 1920 census, Konstanty arrived here in 1903 and first four children were born in Pennsylvania per the 1920 census:

Edward, born 1908
Bertha, born 1911
Stanislaus, born 1912
Sigismund, born 1915

I am wondering whether Jan and Konstanty both migrated to Pennsylvania together for a time as John’s first child, Helen, was also born in Pennsylvania, although I have not yet found Helen’s birth location.

The 1920 census lists their address as 410 Detroit Avenue.  This put the three Mierzejewski brothers in the same neighborhood, within walking distance of each other.

Konstanty’s wife, Stephania, was born in Gallitzen, Pennsylvania per the 1920 census data I located on ancestry.com. It was likely Konstanty married after his arrival to the US in 1903. The 1920 census shows Konstanty’s address as 410 N. Detroit Ave.;  however, when his  fifth child, Jerome, was born on November 3, 1920, the family was living at 1652 Indiana Street, approximately a mile away. Jerome was born prematurely and died November 4, 1920 and was baptized and interred through St. Stanislaus parish.

The Indiana Street address is about a mile away from his previous Detroit Ave. address.

Per the 1930 census, Konstanty had moved to the east side of Toledo, to 1305 Camp Street. By 1930, he and Stephania had three more children:

Raymond, born about 1923
Violet, born about 1925
Pauline, born about 1927

Additionally, the 1930 census shows that his eldest daughter, was married to George Smith. Bertha and her husband as well as their grandson, George Smith Jr. were living with Konstanty and Stephania. The 1930 census states that Konstanty owns the home on Camp Street and it is valued at $2,000.

By 1942, Konstanty shows an address of 545 Earl Street as indicated on his World War II draft registration card.

Konstanty passed away on February 26, 1945 and I’ve located his obituary from the Toledo Blade dated February 27, 1945. Below is a transcription of the obituary:

K. Mierzejewski

Konstanti Mierzejewski died yesterday in his home, 545 Earl St. He was 58.

Surviving are his wife, Stefanie; sons, Edward, Stanley, Zygmund, Pvt. Roman, in France, and Robert; daughters, Mrs. Bertha Smith, Frances and Pauline; sisters, Mrs. Adela Morowski and Mrs. Eleanor Peczynski, and 12 grandchildren.

He was a member of the Polish National Alliance, 1139. Services will be Saturday at 8:15 a.m. in the F. L. Gasiorowski Funeral Home, and at 9 a.m. in Good Shepherd Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

What surprises me is that if Walter and John were brothers of Konstanty, that they were not mentioned in the obituary. Walter died a year later in 1946 and John died at the end of 1945. I had not heard that Walter and John had sisters or a brother; but I was not born until 1959. However, I do believe there is some type of blood relationship given the fact that Konstanty had resided with John for some time and remained in the Kuschwantz neighborhood for a period of time, within a mile of both Walter and John. Would there have been a rift that caused some separation between the brothers? Or was there another type of blood relationship (cousin)?

Konstanty was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Below is a transcription of the burial record from Calvary:

No. 45052
Name: Konstanty Mierzejewski
Residence: Toledo
Age: 58
Cause of Death: Bronchial Asthma
Date of Interment: March 3
Grave N 1/2, Range or Lot 404, Section 33
Undertaker: F.L. Gaswiorwski

**Update 07.13.2010**

Jan is the son of Stanislaw Mierzejewski and Anna Keijewska, and is a brother to my grandmother, Helena Mierzejewski. Jan is not a brother to Walter Mierzejewski. Rather, he is a brother-in-law to Walter.

The rest of this post continues unedited, as it was when originally published.

****

When researching the Mierzejewski family in Toledo, I discovered Jan. For sake of convenience here, I am assuming that Jan is a brother to Wladyslaw (Walter, Sr.). However, it could be he belongs to another branch of the family. (I’ve had confirmation since first writing this post about Jan that my grandmother, Helena, was also a Mierzejewska.)

It was through this address: 1763 Buckingham, Toledo, Ohio that I discovered both John and another relative, Konstanty. Additionally, John (Jan) was the person named on the 1923 Ellis Island manifest that shows my grandfather, Walter, bringing his wife and family to Toledo.

Here is a screen snap of this branch of the family tree.

Per John’s death certificate,  he was born June 18, 1893 in Poland.  His death certificate indicates that his parents are unknown; however, it is likely that his wife may not have known their names or could not remember their names.

John was married to Theophila (Thelma) Klimkiewicz.

John’s address on Buckingham is the same address as the one on my father’s birth certificate in 1924. However, John — like Walter — seems to have traveled between Poland and the US several times before settling in the Toledo, Ohio area.

According to the 1920 census (the first census I located that enumerated John and his family), there is an indication that John had lived in Pennsylvania prior to coming to Ohio. According to the 1920 census, John and Theophila’s first child, Helen, was born in Pennsylvania about 1913. Also per the 1920 census, John arrived in the US in 1906 — he would have been about 13 years of age. I cannot find any manifests yet that indicate his arrival in 1906. Would a 13 year old boy travel trans-Atlantic by himself?

However, I did find a manifest for the SS Finland, sailing from Antwerp to New York with an arrival date of June 18, 1913 — John’s 20th birthday. His age is provided as 19 and I assume that was the age given upon boarding ship. It’s not clearly indicated whether he is married or single on this manifest; however, while the copy is somewhat illegible, it seems to state that he came from Tomsze, Poland. He was traveling alone, so I would assume he was returning from Poland to the US for the birth of his first child.

John and Theophila moved to Ohio sometime around or prior to 1916 as their second child, Frances, was born in Toledo, Ohio on July 11, 1916.

John served in the US Army during World War I, enlisting on September 18, 1917 and was honorably discharged September 25, 1919. Below is the transcription of the Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, World War, 1917-1918:

Co B 322 Machine Gun Battalion to 19 Dec 1917; Co D 308 Ammunition Train to 12 June 1918; Battery C 5 Field Artillery to Discharge Corporal 26 Feb 1918; Private 9 Sept 1918. St Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne; Defensive Sector. American Expeditionary Forces 7 July

Per the 1920 census, John and Theophila were living at 1063 Hamilton Street. However, I do know they had moved to 1763 Buckingham by 1922 as I had stumbled on a death record for their son, John, while trying to locate one of my mother’s relatives! By 1922, John and Theophila had four children:

Helen, born in 1913 in Pennsylvania; Francis, born in 1916 in Toledo, Ohio (link takes you to her baptismal record from St. Anthony’s parish); Lillian, born in 1918 in Toledo, Ohio (link takes you to her baptismal record from St. Stanislaus parish) and John (Jr), born in 1921 in Toledo, Ohio.

John (Jr) died at the age of a year on September 12, 1922. His interment record for Calvary Cemetery shows the Buckingham address. The transcription for John Mierzejewski (Jr) for the Calvary Cemetery record is below:

Page 25, right side, line 30.

John Mierzejewski, 1763 Buckingham. Age: 1 year. Cause of death: broncho pneumonia. Date of interment: 9/13. Grave 2319, Lot 19, Section 30.

The 1930 census reflects the Buckingham address for John and Theophila and their family. By 1930, the family had grown to include three more children: Milton (born 1923), Virginia (born 1927), and Leonard (born 1929). The 1930 census indicates that John had become a naturalized citizen; however, I have not yet located his naturalization records.

John passed away on December 30, 1945 at the age of 52. His address at his death was 1233 Hamilton Avenue. His burial is recorded through St. Anthony’s parish record of interments and through Calvary Cemetery’s interment records.

Transcription of the St. Anthony interment record:

Record 13:

Date of death: December 30, 1945. Date of burial: January 2, 1946. Mierzejewski, John. Place of birth: Poland. Age 52.

Transcription of the Calvary Cemetery burial record:

Right-hand page, record #32:

Name: John M. Mierzejewski, Residence: Toledo, Age: 52, Cause of death: Broncho Pneumonia, Date of interment: Jan 2, 1946. Grave 268, Range or Lot: 15, Section 41. Undertaker: Sujkowski & Son

Walter was my paternal grandfather. He was married to Helen, but I have not yet verified her family name. I have evidence that her name was likely  Brzozwska. Walter’s parents, as noted on his death certificate were John and Anna–however, I also have some reason to think his father’s name may have been Julian. This is an area of future research. Walter had two siblings that I’ve located: Jan (or John) and Konstanty. Walter was the eldest.

Here is a screen snap of this branch of the family tree.

Walter was born November 27, 1883 in Tomsze, Poland. He and his wife Helen, had three children: Wlaclaw (Walter, Jr.), and Czezlawa (Celia), and my father, Edward. I grew up to know Celia, whom we referred to as Ciocia.

Walter appears to have come back and forth to the states several times. I’ve located a manifest for a ship departing Hamburg, Germany dated 1903 that had destinations for Boulogne, France; Plymouth, Massachusetts, and New York. Walter’s age on this manifest is 19.

I do not know what Walter’s actual destination was with the 1903 manifest, but I have a few clues. I believe there is a possibility he was heading to Pennsylvania to work the coal mines, which is part of the surprise I had in store in connection with Konstanty. I came to learn that Konstanty immigrated here in 1903 when reviewing 1920 census data — but I’ll continue on with that story when I detail Konstanty and John. The 1903 Hamburg manifest also provides Walter’s ethnicity as Russian; however, this makes some sense — he was born in the Russian partition of Poland. According to the manifest, he traveled under zwischendecke accommodations–steerage.

It seems that Walter had left the US and returned again in 1909. Walter returned to the US on November 26, 1909, as indicated on the ship manifest for the Prinz Frederich Wilhelm, sailing from Bremen to New York. What’s particularly interesting about this manifest is that it also shows a Warzel or Marzel Mierzejewski. This will need to be an area of research for me in the future as there is some confusion and some fact involved in this manifest. This manifest clearly indicates the name of the nearest friend or relative in the country from whence alien came is Helena Mierzejewski of Borowicz and that his person is Walter’s wife, indicating that Walter had married while in Poland. The final destination indicated for both Walter and Warzel is Pittsfield, Massachusetts. What is confusing however is that Walter’s birth place is listed as Borowicz and that he was born in 1879 and that Warzel was born in 1883. It is possible there is a fourth sibling, and this would be an area of future research.

Again, sometime between 1909 and 1923, Walter returned to Poland. An Ellis Island manifest for the Frederick VIII dated February 20, 1923 shows Walter traveling to the US with his wife, Helena, and two children: Wlaclaw (Walter, Jr.), age 13, and Cseslawa (Celia), age 9. Their final destination was Toledo, Ohio and the relative they were to meet was indicated as Jan Mierzejewski at 1763 Bockeham. On this manifest, Walter’s last permanent residence is listed as Gerwaty.

Having grown up in Toledo and remembering my parents mention Buckingham Street a few times as a kid, I had this hunch that the street name was probably misspelled on the manifest. I also did a Google map check to see if a Bockeham Street even existed in Toledo–it didn’t. After all, these guys had pretty thick accents and it’s quite likely the street name was misinterpreted. So I double checked my dad’s birth certificate, and sure enough, 1763 Buckingham was the address there. This address was to be important once again when discovering Walter’s brother, Konstanty.

Walter moved on to live at 622 Woodstock per the 1930 census and went to Poland again in 1927 with Helen. This time, they went to Kaczyny, Poland to visit either Walter’s or Helena’s father.  I’ve located the return manifest to New York dated September 21, 1927. This manifest indicates that Walter was in the US previously in 1908 and in 1925 and that he and Helen were heading towards home in Toledo at 620 Woodstock. Helen is listed as Bronislawa on the manifest — this must be a Polish version of Helena. They were issued immigration visas in Warsaw: Walter on July 6, 1927 and Helen on August 23, 1927. Amazingly, considering this was 1927 and they were traveling a considerable distance, was the fact they had $200 in their possession. $200 in 1927 was a substantial amount of cash. A single dollar in 1927 had the same purchasing power as $32.35 in 1998! Of course then, there was no FICA, city, or state income taxes and the federal tax rate was about 1%. See http://www.jitterbuzz.com/costs.html.

It seems as if Walter and Helen had been in Poland a considerable time given that Walter waited for Helen’s visa to come through for about six weeks. Perhaps one or the other picked up work there during the stay to help finance their return home. However, the 1930 census also indicates that Walter owned the home at 622 Woodstock and that its approximate value was $5,300. They were hardworking, industrious, and financially shrewd!

Walter and Helen then moved to 813 Evesham sometime in the early 1940s. (This is the address provided on my father’s discharge from the Army.) This also was the address that Celia lived at with her husband, Joe, until her death in 1978.

Walter passed away May 1, 1946. This is his death and burial record from St. Hyacinth’s.

Transcription of the St. Hyacinth Death Register:

Name: Ladislaus Mierzejewski
Died: May 1, ’46
Buried May 4 ’46
Cemetery: Calvary
Officiating Priest: JFL
Age: 62
Date of birth:
Sacraments: Extr. Unc. (Extreme Unction or Last Rites)
Nearest Kin: Wife
Adm. By: Rev. Swiatecki

It would seem as if there is some uncertainty regarding Walter’s date of birth.

I do not yet have his burial location at Calvary Cemetery; however, I will post it here when I locate it.

Anastasia was my maternal grandmother. She was born February 23, 1889 to Andrew Przybylski and Frances Rochowiak. There were seven siblings that I could locate, and Anastasia was the sixth in line. The last two siblings were twins, Eva and Adam. Adam had died in infancy.

Here is a screen snap of her branch of the family tree.

She married twice. First marriage was to Stanley Lawecki. They had a son, Daniel, born July 21, 1910 and baptized July 24, 1910 in St. Stanislaus parish.

Daniel’s baptismal record is transcribed below:

Nomen Infantis Et Residentia: Daniel
Dies Mensis Annus Navitatis: 21a Julii Baptismi: 24a Julii
Nomen Parentum: Stanislaus Lawecki, Anastasia Przybylski
Nomen Patrinorum: ?? Lawecki, Eva Przybylska

Stanley passed away in October 1910 due to typhoid, and Daniel passed away a month later due to cholera.

Stanley and Daniel are both buried in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo.

Stanley’s burial record is transcribed below:

No. 12404
Name of deceased: Stanley Lawecki
Late residence: 1637 Vance
Age: 25 years, 0 months, 18 days
Color: W
Sex: M
Disease: Typhoid Fever
Date of interment: 12 Oct.
Married, Single, Widowed: M
Place of death: Toledo
No. of Grave: 269
No. of Lot: 26
No. of Sect.: 27
Name of Physician: E. Story
Name of undertaker: WJ Gasiorowski

Daniel’s burial record is transcribed below:

No. 12461
Name of deceased: Daniel Lawecki
Place of Nativity:
Late Residence: 1637 Vance
Color: W
Sex: M
Age: 3 months, 11 days
Disease: Cholera Infantum
Date of deceased: 11/2
Date of interment: 11/5
Place of death: Toledo
Name of physician: A. Kreiger
Grave 3, Lot 180, Section 29

Anastasia married John Plenzler on November 2, 1912. They resided at 722 Brown Street and had three children: Raymond, Florence, and Virginia.

Marriage record from St. Anthony’s Parish for Anastasia Lawecka Przybylska and John Plenzler.

Anastasia caused me a bit of confusion while researching her. The first record I was able to locate for her was her death certificate, which states her birth as February 23, 1891. As I went further, looking into St. Anthony’s and St. Stanislaus parish records, I stumbled upon the marriage record for Anastasia and John Plenzler. The marriage record indicated that she was baptized on February 20, 1889.

Baptismal record for Anastasia Przybylski

Anastasia was widowed again when John died in 1936. Two of their children were grown adults by then; however, my mother was only 10 years old when her father passed away of stomach cancer. Anastasia herself passed away in March, 1946 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Death certificate Anastasia Przybylski

She was buried in Calvary Cemetery.  Here is the transcription of the Calvary burial record:

Name: Anastasia Plenzler
Residence: Toledo
Age: 55
Cause of death: cerebral hemorrhage
Date of interment: 3/16/1946
Grave: 3740, Range or lot: 8, Section: 32
Undertaker: Sujkowski & Son

Stanley Lawecki was the first husband of my maternal grandmother, Anastasia Przybylski. Stanley was born to John and Maryanna Lawecki who resided at 1432 Hamilton Street per the 1900 census.

Here is a screen snap of this branch of the family tree.

While I am unable to locate their marriage record, a possible date for their marriage would have been sometime in 1909. The 1910 census reflects that Anastasia and Stanley were living at 1637 Vance Street with Anastasia’s mother, Frances (Rochowiak-Przybylski) and her sister, Eva.

Stanley and Anastasia had one son, Daniel, born in July 1910. There is some discrepancy with Daniel’s birthdate. The baptismal record for Daniel Lawecki from St. Stanislaus reflects that he was born July 21, 1910 and was baptized on July 24, 1910. However, Daniel’s death certificate indicates that he was born on July 10, 1910.

Daniel Lawecki St. Stanislaus Parish Baptismal Record

Here is the transcription of the baptismal record:

Nomen Infantis Et Residentia: Daniel
Dies Mensis Annus Navitatis: 21a Julii Baptismi: 24a Julii
Nomen Parentum: Stanislaus Lawecki, Anastasia Przybylski
Nomen Patrinorum: ?? Lawecki, Eva Przybylska

Anastasia’s sister, Eva, was  Daniel’s godmother.

Stanley died on October 9, 1910 of typhoid. Daniel died less than a month later of cholera on November 2, 1910. Both are buried at Calvary Cemetery, Toledo.

Stanley Lawecki death certificate

Stanley Lawecki burial record, Calvary Cemetery

Transcription of Stanley’s burial record:

No. 12404
Name of deceased: Stanley Lawecki
Late residence: 1637 Vance
Age: 25 years, 0 months, 18 days
Color: W
Sex: M
Disease: Typhoid Fever
Date of interment: 12 Oct.
Married, Single, Widowed: M
Place of death: Toledo
No. of Grave: 269
No. of Lot: 26
No. of Sect.: 27
Name of Physician: E. Story
Name of undertaker: WJ Gasiorowski

Daniel Lawecki death certificate

Daniel Lawecki burial record, Calvary Cemetery

Transcription of Daniel’s burial record:

Fifth record:

Daniel Lawecki, 1637 Vance, Age 3 months, 11 days. Cholera Infantum. Died 11/2. Date of interment 11/5. Place of death: Toledo. Grave 3, Lot 180, Section 29.

John Plenzler was my maternal grandfather. Born February 20, 1885 in Toledo, Ohio to Joseph Plenzler and Eva Dauer, he was the third of nine children. There were seven boys and two girls.

Here is a screen snap of John Plenzler’s family tree.

John was baptized February 22, 1885.

John Plenzler baptism record, St. Anthony’s Parish, Toledo, Ohio

Here is the transcription of the baptismal record:

Nom. Inf.: Jannes
Parentis: Joseph Pencner, Eva Dawor
Patrini: Michael Mruk, Catharina Falkensztajn
Dies Natal: 20 February Bapt. 22 February
Nomen Sacradolis: Rev. M. F. Orzechowski

Most Roman Catholic records during this time were recorded in Latin, and Jannes is the Latin version of John.

The last name, Plencner, is also a common misspelling of the name.

Eva’s name is probably misspelled; however, there are a number of variations of Dauer and I am unsure of which is the correct version. John’s death certificate reflects that his mother’s name is spelled Dauer.

Ohio Death Certificate John Plenzler

John joined the US Marines in 1908 and served until about June 1912. John was stationed at a number of bases throughout the US.

John Plenzler Marine enlistment record, August 8, 1908

John Plenzler 1910 Hawaii census (border while in Honolulu)

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call December 1910

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call July 1911

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call August 1911

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call June 1912

After discharge from the Marines, John married Anastasia Przybylski (Lawecki) in St. Anthony’s parish, Toledo, Ohio on November 4, 1912.  Anastasia was widowed in October 1910 after a brief marriage to Stanley Lawecki. She then lost their only son in November 1910.

Marriage record from St. Anthony’s parish, Toledo, Ohio for John Plenzler and Anastasia Przybylski (Lawecki).

John and Anastasia resided at 722 Brown Street, Toledo, Ohio and had three children: Raymond, Florence, and Virginia. John passed away on August 2, 1936 at home of stomach cancer. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery. Below is the transcription of the burial record.

No. 36887 – Right hand page
Name: John Plenzler
Residence: 722 Brown
Age: 51
Cause of Death: Cancer of Stomach
Date of Interment: Aug. 5
Grave 3741 Range or Lot: 8 Section: 32
Undertaker: Sujkowski & Son

My mother’s name is Virginia Plenzler. Mom was born September 12, 1926 to John and Anastasia Plenzler.

Here is a screen snap of my mother’s family tree on ancestry.com.

Like my father, she is the youngest of three children and was considerably younger than her siblings: Raymond and Florence. Raymond was born in 1914 and Florence was born in 1916. Raymond never married. Florence had a son named David and was married to someone with the last name of Soborowski.

I have little in the way of documentation regarding my mother. While searching online records for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo at familysearch.org, it seems as if mom was born a bit too late to have had her records scanned currently — there is a 70 year limit placed on most records — however I was fortunate enough to find a record of her confirmation at St. Stanislaus. There are also are a few photographs of mom while she was dating dad and I literally found an overwhelming amount of information on her parents and their siblings, which provided me quite a bit of background.

Mom’s confirmation at St. Stanislaus May 6, 1937

The woman named as my mother’s confirmation sponsor I believe to be Cora or Constance Plenzler — Konstacja would likely be the Polish version of her name. Cora was her aunt by marriage, she married my mother’s uncle, Casper. Mom made her confirmation May 6, 1937, about eight months after her father, John, had passed away from stomach cancer.

Young mom and dad

This is a photo of my parents, presumably just before or just after they were married. By the time mom and dad were married, mom had lost both of her parents. Her mother, Anastasia had passed away on March 13, 1946 when mom was just 19 years old. Sometime shortly before or after mom and dad had married, they took in her nephew, David (“Davey”) and raised him for several  years. Davey was Florence’s son and he passed away in 1994. Mom’s brother, Raymond, never married and passed away in 1960.

Florence passed away in 1999 in Detroit, Michigan. She had married a man by the name of Soborowski.

New Years Day 1953: Dad, Mom, Davey, and Karen (about 15 months of age)

Mom went on to raise three daughters, work at the Woolworth’s in downtown Toledo as a buyer/sales clerk, and be a parishioner at St. Hyacinth’s until moving to central Ohio. She has six grandchildren who are all adults and living all across the country in Dayton and Columbus Ohio;  Carmel, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago, Illinois;  and Erie, Pennsylvania.

Mom today

Edward Mierzejewski was my father — the guy in the center of the photograph as the header of this blog. A fun-loving guy, he was shooting craps and drinking beer in the middle of winter in that photo.

Here is the full photo.

There is no date on this photo, and no identification for the other two fellows playing with my dad.

Edward Mierzejewski was born December 23, 1924 at home at 1763 Buckingham Street to Walter (Wladyslaw) and Helen Mierzejewski.

Here is a screen snap of the ancestry.com family tree showing my dad’s family.

The Buckingham address was quite important when researching my father’s family. Through that address, I could trace a number of the Mierzejewski family. Several of my father’s relatives used this address on either ship manifests, draft registration cards, or other documents. So far, it is the first address I can locate for my father’s family in the Toledo, Ohio area.

I have not yet located my grandmother’s maiden name. But it is also important to realize and understand that Walter Sr. and Helen also had a son and daughter-in-law known as Walter (Wlclaw) and Helen. However, Walter Jr. had eventually changed his last name to Myers.

Dad was the youngest of three children — Walter, Celia (Cseslawa), and Edward. Walter and Celia both were born in Poland and were considerably older than my father. My father also was the only child born in the US, just shy of two years after his parents, Walter and Helen, landed in the Toledo area. Celia was born December 13, 1913 and Walter was born in 1910. These facts do lead me to wonder whether there were other siblings, possibly older siblings who may have been left behind in Poland. I cannot find so far any record of other siblings in Toledo and I do not remember my father ever mentioning siblings other than Celia and Walter however.

Because my dad was born in 1923, just as the time St. Hyacinth Parish was forming, it seems I cannot locate his baptismal certificate. However, I did locate records of both his First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

First Holy Communion Record

Confirmation Record

Dad seems to have used his confirmation name, Bernard, as his middle name. Most of his records are signed Edward B. Mierzejewski. Most likely, this was an attempt to distinguish himself from a number of other Edwards Mierzejewskis and dad was not given a middle name at birth. My assumption is that dad’s older brother, Walter Jr., was his confirmation sponsor. Ladislaus is the Latin form of Walter. Many Catholic records that I’ve located and found during the time of the Kuschwantz neighborhood settlement and development were maintained in Latin or Polish. Earlier records were in Latin, later in Polish or English.

Goodbye, Toledo...dad shipping out

Dad enlisted into the Army Air Corps in 1943 and was honorably discharged in 1945, having an interesting and dangerous assignment as a ball turret gunner. He kept a log of his missions in 1944, after attending training at MacDill. Additionally, we have a photo of dad with his crew at MacDill along with a legend of the members of the crew.

MacDill crew photo June 10, 1944 (My dad is front row, center.)

Handwritten legend on back of photo identifying crew

Log of 1944 missions of the 49th Bomb Squad 2nd Bomber Group page 1

Log of 1944 missions of the 49th Bomb Squad 2nd Bomber Group page 2

Log of 1944 missions of the 49th Bomb Squad 2nd Bomber Group page 3

Log of 1944 missions of the 49th Bomb Squad 2nd Bomber Group page 4

Log of 1944 missions of the 49th Bomb Squad 2nd Bomber Group page 5

It appears as if the squad had missions to destroy enemy supply lines. The Finito! at the end of the log indicates my father’s probable relief at having completed the missions.  I do not know what the numbers indicate in the log; a guess is that the numbers indicate the number of the mission and the number of successful hits they had made.

A poem, in dad’s handwriting, was found in his personal papers after he passed away.  The poem is the lyrics to Taps.  (Thanks to my sister for recognizing that — I never thought there were lyrics.)  But knowing my father, it was probably written as a release after witnessing what he did during the war.

Dad did have furlough to come home for his 20th birthday. A newsclip from the Toledo Blade indicates that he was a veteran of 40 combat raids and earned an Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.

Vet of 40 Combat Raids Home for 20th Birthday

Dad returned home after an honorable discharge.

Discharge page 1

Discharge page 2

He met and and then married my mother, Virginia Plenzler, in November 1946. Settling down in the neighborhood surrounding the St. Hyacinth parish, near his sister Celia and brother Walter and their families, he raised a family of three daughters. He was a member of the St. Hyacinth Holy Name Society and a 30+ year production worker at Champion Spark Plug.

Dad passed away on September 7, 1985 at the age of 60 after a stroke and surgery and being hospitalized for about three months. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Ohio.

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