February 2011


William Marsh was the grandson of Ignacy Mierzejewski, the son of John Mierzejewski. William was born William S. Mierzejewski in Toledo on January 21, 1922 to John Mierzejewski and Anna Myzlinski and baptized in St. Anthony’s parish on January 28, 1922. Baptized Boleslaw, it seemed his family provided him with the Anglecized name of William.

Per the 1930 census, the family was residing at 1021 Hamilton and William was 8 years old.

William entered the military and volunteered for the Office of Strategic Service, a predecessor to the modern CIA. While in the OSS , he was assigned to operations in Yugoslavia. Thanks to his son, Bill, there are photos of him while in the service.

William S. Mierzejewski (Marsh)

William S. Miezejewski (Marsh)

William S. Mierzejewski (Marsh), OSS, possibly in Bari, Italy

William S. Mierzejewski (Marsh), OSS, possibly in Bari, Italy

An undated article was found that mentioned William’s service in the OSS. The date of the UP wire service is noted as 10/1, but the year is unknown. It is likely that this clipping came from the Toledo Blade and the date that the article was published was likely after World War 2. The article is transcribed below:

3 FROM TOLEDO ON HERO LIST

Soldiers Hit Behind Lines of Enemies

Washington, Oct. 1 (UP)—Super-commandos of the Office of Strategic services did heroic work behind the enemy lines in France, Italy, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia and China.

OSS revealed here today the names of the 800 highly trained volunteers from the army, including three Toledo men, who parachuted into enemy territory and worked with underground Allies to create chaos in German and Japanese occupied areas.

Listed among men who operated in Yugoslavia were Staff Sergt. W. S. Mierzejewski, 1021 Hamilton St.; T/5 F. G. Smolinski, 218 Detroit Ave., and W. J. Spiropoulus, 530 Nesslewood Ave., all of Toledo, and Staff Sergt. Steve T. Randolph, Bowling Green, O.

T/5 William Klingensmith, Bowling Green, was assigned to Norway and Lieut. Mills C. Grandes, Sandusky, O., to France.

The OSS men all spoke the languages of the country in which they were to operate. They functioned in parties of eight to 30 men, landing at night and contacting “partisans” in occupied territory, with whom they joined to strike the enemy in vital and vulnerable spots.

Of the 805 members of the OSS groups, 335 have already been decorated individually, by the U. S. or Allied governments.

After leaving the military, William lived in the Sidney, Ohio region. Here he met and married Dorothy Fronsoe.

William and Dorothy Marsh

William and Dorothy Marsh

William also joined the Ohio State Highway patrol in 1947; upon joining the OSHP he changed his last name to Marsh. He was assigned to the Troy Post 55 in 1948.

William S. Marsh, OSHP uniform

William S. Marsh, OSHP

Troy OSHP Post 55

Troy OSHP Post 55

William passed away October 4, 1962 at the age of 40. Dorothy, his son Bill, and his siblings then moved to Miami, Florida in 1970.

Bill Marsh is seeking information on his father’s history, particularly with the OSS. If you can provide any data, please leave a message here and I will follow up.

Let’s talk Mierzejewski. Lots of confusion on this family, remember my grandfather married a Mierzejewska. So, it takes some time and patience untangling names and relationships. Earlier, I had identified a John (Jan) M. Mierzejewski as my grandmother’s brother. See this post updated on July 13, 2010 and this post from August 1, 2010.

However, I’m going to focus on my grandfather’s family here. And these relationships are confusing because my grandmother and grandfather each had siblings who were named alike. The John or Jan Mierzejewski who is today’s subject is descended through my great-grandfather, Antoni Mierzejewski. Antoni had a son named Ignacy. John is the son of Ignacy Mierzejewski and Marianna Goclowska Dabkowska. My grandfather, Wladyslaw (Walter) is the son of Ignacy and another wife, Budziszewska. So Walter and John were half-brothers.

This post will set the stage for a following post on John’s son, William. William, or Bill, was an OSS officer who served in Yugoslavia in WWII. Bill had changed his last name to Marsh after leaving the OSS to serve with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Much of the information presented here was provided by Bill’s son, William (Bill) S. Marsh (Mierzejewski).

John was born in Tomasze, Poland on November 15, 1894 per his Word War II draft registration card.

Interestingly, John provided his residence for the World War II draft registration on Vance Street. A number of my mother’s relatives had resided on Vance.

Per the 1930 census, John was residing at 1021 Hamilton. This census indicates that John is living with his first wife, Anna (Joanna) (Mizlinska or Myslinska) and his children:

  • Josephine
  • William
  • Adelaide

Also noted on this census is a roomer, Edward. Edward is likely John’s brother.

John served in WWI and because of his service, became a naturalized citizen.

Thanks to Bill Marsh, there are several photos of John:

John Mierzejewski in uniform

John Mierzejewski

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John and Anna (Joanna) marriage

John Mierzejewski, far left, uniform

John Mierzejewski, far left, uniform

If you can identify anyone in these photos, please leave a message here and I will follow up.

John passed away on August 17, 1970. His obituary as published in the Toledo Blade the same day and is transcribed below:

John Mierzejewski

John Mierzejewski, 74, of 1435 Nebraska Ave., owner of John’s Carry-out for 20 years, died Monday in Howard’s Convalescent Home, Swanton, O., after a long illness.

Born in Poland, Mr. Mierzejewski lived in Toledo 46 years. He worked at the Mather Spring Co. 30 years, retiring nine years ago, and also ran the carry-out with his wife.

Mr. Mierzejewski was an army veteran of World War I, a member of the Wroblewski Post, American Legion, and of the Toledo Health and Retiree Center.

Surviving are his wife, Jennie, daughters, Mrs. Adelaide McCartney, of Berkey, and Mrs. Josephine Galliers, of Toledo, and nine grandchildren.

Services will be Thursday at 1 p.m. in Sujkowski Mortuary, with burial in Toledo Memorial Park. The body will be in the mortuary after 7 tonight.

A few weeks ago, I had met with some of my Erdman relatives. While I never knew this while I as residing in the Dayton, Ohio area, they were always living just a few files from me down I675 in a nearby suburb. It was a wonderful lunch. My sister came over with me on the drive to Dayton and we met cousins we never knew before and had a lovely afternoon! How cool can that be?

The conversation at one point turned to funeral cards, and someone had brought a number of cards along. One of these cards was for my grandmother, Anastasia Plenzler. I’ve always found this to be a rather sweet tradition. I’m not sure if this is a particularly Catholic tradition or if it is practiced in other religions, but it seems Poles always made sure there were plenty of these cards available at the visitation or memorial service. I always thought of it as a sweet tradition because not only did these cards provide the name and basic information about the deceased, they also provided as special or poignant prayer for the dead. Some may find this a morbid tradition but to me it is a nice reminder of the deceased. Usually for my family, these were provided by the funeral home although I understand these can be done individually or through other means. I am unsure if this is a tradition begun in the 20th century after it was common to view the deceased in a funeral parlor or if this was a tradition started prior to that–if the family had these cards made even during times that the deceased was “laid out” at home or a the home of a close relative. Their purpose seemed to be to provide a small reminder of the deceased  and a prayer.

This discussion led me to remember my mom had her own collection of these cards. Here are a few of these that I’ve scanned:

I’ve had the marriage record for Andreas Dauer and Maria Aumiller from Gluszyna, Czapury, Wielkopolskie, Poland (Poznan) for sometime, and realized I had never posted it here.

Andreas Dauer and Maria Aumiller were my great-great grandparents and I learned of their existence through the baptismal records of their grandchildren, Robert and Mary Plenzler. I was surprised to see that the priest noted the lineage of two of the children of Joseph Plenzler and Eva Dauer to include grandparents. I was then able to locate the marriage record for Andreas and Maria through the Poznan Project.

Here is the record, transcribed as best as  possible.

1857
No. 9
Annus et dies benedictiones sacerdotalis: 29 Februarii — The marriage took place November 27, 1857.
Nomen sacerdotis benedictionmen sacerdotalem administrantis: J. Tomaszewski — The priest who officiated the marriage was J. Tomaszewski.

Nomen, praenomen et cognomen sacro ritu coniunctorum. Sedes conditio et professio, et nomen benedictio sacerdotalis en ecclesia vel domi peracta sit. The names/personal names and family names of those who wish to be joined in the sacred right of marriage before this church.
Andreas Dauer, vid., (widower)
et and
Marianna Aumiller, virgo (maiden)

Utrum iam prius conjugum iniverint, nec non utrum ad hue sub potestate parentum vel tutorum sint.
Liberi (they are free to marry)

Aetas ages
Sponsi: 44 Groom, 44
Sponsae: 30 Bride, 30

Religio sponsi, sponsae Religion of the bridge and groom is Catholic

Consensus parentum et tutorum cum concentio parentum sponsi et patri sponsae: Cum cons. jur. IIIB 1099 D. 636

Dies proclamationes: Marraige banns (announcements of the intent of marriage were made)
24, 25, et 25 post Pentec. (liturgical 24, 25, and 26 weeks, after Pentecost)

Dies dispensationum, si qua forent: nulla Were proper dispensations made in case of annullment due to form (Null–widower, maiden)

Nomen, conditio et professio testium qui benedictioni sacerdotali adfuerunt: Name and identification of witnesses: Mathias Olejiniazak (sp?) de (of) Babki et (and) Joannes Neihaus (sp?) de (of) Czpury

So we know that Andreas was married previously. I am unsure of any Dauers or Aumillers who have emigrated to the Toledo, Ohio area; although I have stumbled upon records of some in the region, I have not been able to make any direct link to them. There is no mention of heritage or lineage in this record although two names were mentioned for witnesses.

Updated family tree information for the Mierzejewski families in Toledo can be found here: Related Information

Updated family trees for the Plenzlers and Przybylskis can be found on the Related Information page.

I cannot transcribe this record well. It is a photo of the original record from the Catholic parish in Góra Żnin. What I can read from the record and can verify through the Poznan project website is this:

Date of marriage: October 27, 1851

Groom: Aldabertus Rochowiak, age 50. (I mistranscribed the original age!)
Parents of the groom: Alexander Rochowiak and Marianna Brzycka.
Within the data for the groom, I noticed that the description of viduus, indicating that Adalbertus was widowed and it also seems to indicate that he was from Chomętowo, which where Frances and Andrew were married.

Bride: Marianna Mazana, age 27
Parents of the bride: Lucas Mazany and Marianna Brzycka

So, how does this add up? I don’t know. It’s surprising to me to see the mothers names were the same! Is Brzycka a common name in the Poznan region?

Also, I found another marriage record for Adalbertus Rochowiak dated 1831. The first marriage was Marianna Chlebowska. Because of the time that Frances was born (1859), I am going to assume that she was a child of Adalbertus’ second marriage.

Unfortunately, I am finding it very difficult to find any relatives for Frances! If there are any Toledo Rochowiaks out there and can trace Frances Rochowiak Przybylski to your tree, I would love to hear from you!

I know I’ve been away too long! My email box is littered and I’ve been traveling again for work.

During the holidays, I had received yet another marriage record, this time for my Rochowiak great-great grandparents! I so far haven’t gathered too much data on the Rochowiaks; however, I did find a marriage record for Frances’ parents on the Poznan project (http://bindweed.man.poznan.pl/posen/search.php) and Lukasz was kind enough to send it to me over the Christmas holidays.

Here is a PDF scan of the record sent to me.

I have not transcribed this record yet but it does verify the names of my great-great grandparents: Aldabertus Rochowiak and Marianna Marazana. The date of marriage was October 27, 1851. That places the birthdate of Aldabertus at about 1821 and the birthdate for Marianna at about 1824. Hopefully, this information will eventually provide hints on other Rochowiaks and it also introduces me into one more surname in my family history: Marzana. My next goal: transcribe this record for new clues and hints!

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