Updated family tree information for the Mierzejewski families in Toledo can be found here: Related Information
February 21, 2011
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September 5, 2010
I’m still around and still researching, I just haven’t had time to write up posts! In the meantime, here’s a video of a World War II ball turret gunner in a B17. Made me appreciate my father all the more. This is about a 2 minute video courtesy of WTHI in Terre Haute, Indiana and the 2nd Bombardment Group.
August 16, 2010
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I have a photo of my father while he was in training at MacDill in 1944. What makes this photo special is that my father actually wrote the names of the men in his crew on the back.
Here is the photo, taken June 10, 1944.
Here is a scan of the legend. The legend is transcribed below the image.
MacDill Field, June 10, 1944
June 10, 1944
Left to Right
Pilot Flight Officer Ramsey, California
Co-Pilot Flight Officer Vaughn, New York
Navigator Flight Officer Peck, Pennsylvania
Commander Flight Officer Strickland, Virginia
Engineer Sgt. Tague, Chicago, Ill.
Bottom Row, Kneeling
Assit. Engineer Cpl. Reynolds, Waist Gunner, Oklahom
Radio Operator Sgt. Barth, Pennsylvania
Me (Edward Mierzejewski), Ball Turret Gunner, Ohio
Armourer Sgt Casey, Waist Gunner, New York
Assit. Armourer Sgt. Ratje, Tail Gunner, California
Perhaps a family member or friend of these men may find this picture of interest to them.
My father was a member of the 49th and 96th Bomb Squadrons. For more information: http://www.2ndbombgroup.org/
August 5, 2010
Note that that I originally posted the wrong burial information for Wladymir. I confused him with another Walter in the family! The burial record now reflects the correct link to the Calvary Cemetery record. Original post otherwise remains as it was written.
Wladymir (Walter) was the elder brother to my grandmother, Helena Mierzejewska. He was born June 20, 1881 in Borowcze, Poland to Stanislaw Mierzejewski and Anna Keijewska. Wladymir arrived in the US sometime about 1907 or 1908, settling first near Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was married at this time to a woman likely named Bertha and had two daughter while living in Pennsylvania named Sophia (Zofia) and Cezslawa (Charlotte). It was through Zofia’s passport application that I located him first in Pennsylvania. It appears as if Zofia and Wladymir’s second wife (Zofia refers to her as her stepmother on the passport application) traveled to Poland together in 1921 and were leaving Poland in 1924. The passport application provides Zofia’s birth date as April 10, 1909 and states she was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
The 1920 census places Wladymir in Toledo, Ohio at 1060 Hamilton with his wife listed as Bernice. Additionally, Wladimir is living with daughters Sophia and Charlotte as well as with brothers Kalixity and Edward. I am unsure of who Edward really is. He may be a brother to Wladmir who returned to Poland or another relative in the family. Another area for research in the future.
I located a manifest for Wladymir returning to the US from Europe via the Saxonia dated March 1, 1924. Wladimir appeared to be traveling alone to visit a friend, Jozef Mozolewski Eichendorfer in Berlin, Germany. His last permanent residence was provided as Berlin, Germany with his stated intention of returning to Toledo, Ohio. His brother, John, is listed as a relative with John’s address as 1763 Buckingham. Oddly, the manifest states that Wladimir is Estonian and Hebrew! See line 2 of the manifest.
The 1930 census places Wladymir back in Toledo, but living at 1060 Hamilton. His wife is listed as Bernice and they are living with daughters Sophie, Charlotte, and Hedwig (Hattie). Hattie was born in December 22, 1918 in Ohio per her state of Ohio death record. Interestingly (as goes the theme for my family), Hattie’s death record lists her mother as a Mierzejewski.
Wladymir died June 24, 1975 per a death record through St. Hyacinth’s parish. The death record through the parish is transcribed below:
Name: Mierzejewski, Walter
Age: Date of birth: 93
Nearest Kin: Daughter, Harriet Wadas
Died: June 24, 1975
Buried: June 27, 1975
Officiating Priest: Rev. Bede J. Slominski
Adm. by: Rev. Frank Slupski
His obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on June 25, 1975 and is transcribed below:
Walter Mierzejewski, 93, of 4605 May St., died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital. He was employed by the former Kaiser Jeep Corp. as a machine operator 25 years, retiring in 1953. Surviving are his daughters, Mrs. Sophie Owczarzak, Mrs. Charlotte Okurowski, and Mrs. Harriet Wadas. Services will be Friday at 9:30 a.m. in St. Hyacinth’s Church. The Rosary will be recited Thursday at 7 and 7:30 p.m. in the Sujkowski Mortuary.
Wladymir was buried in Calvary Cemetery. The burial record is transcribed below:
Name: Walter Mierzejewski
Residence: 4605 S. May St.
Cause of death: Prov. Death. Cert.
Date of Interment: 6/27
Grave: N-1/2, E-1/2
Range or Lot: 215
Funeral Director: Sujkowski
I have little information on Wladymir’s daughters other than some scant marriage information and death information about two of his daughters.
Sophie married Walter Owczarak and she passed away on March 21, 1982. Her obituary is transcribed below:
Mrs. Sophie Owczarzak, 72, of Imperial Drive, died Sunday in the Lake Park Nursing Care Center, Sylvania. She worked at the former Electric Autolite Co., Surviving are her husband, Walter, and sister, Mrs. Harriet Wadas. Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Christ the King Church. Scripture services will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Ansberg-West Mortuary, where the body will be after 2 p.m. Tuesday. The family requests that any tributes be in the form of contributions to charity of the donor’s choice.
Hattie married Leo Wadas and she passed away on June 4, 2002. Her obituary from the Toledo Blade is transcribed below (I do not have a scanned or electronic copy of the original obit, but it was posted here):
Published: Jun 06, 2002 THE TOLEDO BLADE
Wadas Harriet R. Harriet R. Wadas, age 83 of Toledo, passed away on Tuesday, June 4, 2002 at Swan Creek Health Care Center. Harriet was born in Toledo on December 22, 1918 to Walter and Bernice MIERZEJEWSKI Harriet retired from Champion Spark Plug where she worked for over 30 years. She was a member of St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Parish. Circle 8-Alliance of Poles, Wroblewski Post 18 Auxiliary, and the Logsdon-Walla Post 639 Auxiliary. Harriet was a kind and loving person who will be greatly missed by all that knew her. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Leo Wadas. Surviving are 3 nieces and 3 nephews.
Friends may call at the Sujkowski & Son Funeral Home, 3838 Airport Hwy. on Friday from 4 to 8:00 p.m. where funeral services will be held on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. followed with Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery. A Scripture Service will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the mortuary.
August 1, 2010
Finally! I’ve confirmed that John Mierzejewski is a sibling to my grandmother, Helena. Thanks to a piece of information I could not locate–an obituary from the Toledo Blade via Garret–I have a piece of the puzzle.
Here is a transcription of the obituary (it can’t be scanned, poor quality and Google archives does NOT have this):
J. M. Mierzejewski
John M. Mierzejewski, dietitian’s helper in Riverside Hospital, died yesterday in the hospital after a short illness. He was 52.
Survivors are his wife, Theofila, sons, Corporal Milton, Romulus Field, Mich., and Leonard, Toledo; daughters, Mrs. Helen Abrass, Mrs. Frances Lubinski, Mrs. Lillian Gawronski, and Virginia; brother, Wladyslaw; sister, Mrs. Helen Mierzejewski and five grandchildren, all Toledo.
Services will be 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Sujkowski Funeral Home and at 9 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
John died December 30, 1945.
Some trivia: Milton was nicknamed “Mackie.” I remember my father talking about him, but did not know how they were related. Dad simply called him “his cousin.”
John and his wife, Theofila, had seven children, one of whom is still living:
- Helen (1913-2004) (m. Joseph Abrass)
- Frances (1916-2009) (m. Joseph Lubinski)
- Lillian (1918-2005) (m. Thadeusz Gawronski)
- John (1921-1920)
- Milton (1923-1987) (m. Stephanie Nowak)
- Virginia (1927- ) (m. Donald Jezak)
- Leonard (1929-1994) (m. Jeanne Trudell)
More updates later.
July 25, 2010
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Helena was my grandmother. She was born in Borowcze, Poland about 1889. All I know about Helena is her life here in the States and that her maiden name was Mierzejewska, although she was most likely unrelated to her husband, Wladyslaw.
Helena was the third child of the four known children of Stanislaw Mierzejewski and Anna Keijewska. Her siblings were:
Helena immigrated here with her husband, Wladyslaw (Walter) and two children: Wlaclaw (Walter, Jr.) and Czeslawa (Celia) in 1923. A third child, my father, Edward, was born in Toledo after their immigration.
Wladyslaw and Helena traveled back to Poland in 1927 in order to visit one of their parents in Kaczyny, Poland. This is a fact to be followed up in the future to see if it relates to a date of death or other event in the family. Unfortunately, I do not know yet whose father they went to visit. However, they were in Poland for quite sometime. The manifest indicates that the ship sailed from Havre, France September 14, 1927 and arrived in New York on September 21, 1927. Looking closely at the manifest, it indicates that Wladyslaw’s immigration visa #NQ311 was issued at Warsaw on July 6, 1927 but Helena’s (her name is noted at Bronislawa–the Polish name) immigration visa #NQ726 was issued at Warsaw on August 23, 1927. So, there was about eight weeks between the time they each obtained their visas to return to the US and this doesn’t consider when they arrived in Poland. Oddly, the children did not travel with them to Poland.
I have very little knowledge of my grandmother’s life other than this. She passed away on May 7, 1959, about two months after her son, Walter, Jr. passed away. I have not located an obituary for Helena yet. I do have her burial record from St. Hyacinth Parish and Calvary Cemetery. If you read the entire St. Hyacinth document, you’ll note that record #2 is her son, Walter. This branch of the family shortened their name to Myers.
The burial record from St. Hyacinth is transcribed below:
Name: Mierzejewski, Helen
Officiatingi Priest: W. A. Czajkowski
Age: 69 Sacraments: All
Nearest kin: Cecelia Starzynski
Adm.: Z. Pitula
The Calvary Cemetery record is transcribed below:
Name: Helen Mierzejewski
Residence: St. Vincent’s Hosp.
Cause of death: Cerebral hemorrhage
Date of interment: 5/11
Range or Lot: 17
Funeral Director: Sujkowski & Son
July 25, 2010
Celia was my father’s sister, the second child born to Wladyslaw and Helena Mierzejewski. Her mother, Helena was an unrelated Mierzejewska when she married Wladyslaw (Walter). Celia was born December 13, 1913 in Gerwaty, Poland.
Celia immigrated to the US with her parents in 1923, at the age of 9, on the S. S. Frederick VIII sailing from Copehagen on February 8 and arriving in New York on February 20. The manifest notes that Wladyslaw (Walter) and Helena are traveling to Toledo to meet a brother, Jan. Jan is a brother to Helena.The address noted is on Boeckingham; however, this is a misspelling or mistranslation. The street is Buckingham, as there are other documents such as my father’s birth certificate that note this address.
The 1930 census shows Celia living with her parents and siblings at 622 Woodstock. She and Joe married sometime after 1930.
Joe was born March 13, 1910 and was baptized the same day in St. Hedwig’s parish as Adam Joseph Starzynski. Joe’s baptismal record is transcribed below:
Name of Person Baptized: Adam Joseph Starzynski
Date and Place of Birth: March 13, 1910
Date of Baptism: March 13, 1910
Father’s Name, Mother’s Maiden Name: Marianus Starzynski, Maria Lewandowski
Sponsors: Ignatius Kiszal, Stanislava Gorska
Priest: L. A. Kuzius (sp?)
His parents were Marion (Maryjan) Starzynski and Mary Lewandowski. Joe was the second of four sons born to Marion and Mary. Somewhere along the way as a child, Joe’s name changed from Adam to Joseph. I always simply knew him as Uncle Joe. The Starzynski family lived on Pearl Street as indicated in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census records.
Joe and Celia’s marriage produced one child, a daughter named Marcia. They lived at 813 Evesham. My sisters and I knew Celia as “Ciocia.” (Polish for “aunt” or “auntie.”)
Celia worked at Champion Spark Plugs, as did my father, for many years. Joe worked at Kaiser Jeep, the predecessor to Chrysler Jeep.
Celia died suddenly at home on December 21, 1978. Her obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on December 23, 1978 and is transcribed below:
Mrs. Celia Starzynski, 65, of 813 Evesham Ave., died Thursday in her home. She was an employee of the Champion Spark Plug Co., 35 years, retiring in 1970. Surviving are her husband, Joseph, daughter, Mrs. Marcia Zielinski, and brother Edward Mierzejewski Services will be at 1 p.m. today in St. Hyacinth Church (link takes you to the St. Hyacinth death register record). She was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Her burial record is transcribed below:
Name: Celia Starzynski
Address: 813 Evesham
Cause of Death: Bureau Vital Statistics
Date of Interment: 12/23/1978
Range or Lot 130
Funeral Director: Sujkowski
Remarks: Police Sta.
(Note: The Police Station remark is made because Celia died just as the Christmas holidays were occurring. The night she passed away, Thursday December 21st, meant there was a difficult decision to be made–either hold the funeral and bury her on the 23rd of December or wait until after the holidays. While her death was due to natural causes, the report of death was held at the local police station until the death certificate could be issued at the Bureau of Vital Statistics. I wanted to make that clear lest anyone think something criminal happened–if you look closely at the burial records, there are a number of burials listed that way. It was simply due to the timing and government bureaucracy closing down for the holidays.)
Joe passed away April 15, 1989. His obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on April 17, 1989 and is transcribed below:
Joseph A. Starzynski
Joseph A. Starzynski, 79, formerly of Evesham Avenue, died Saturday in Oaks Care Center, Lima, O., where he was a patient four days. He worked 40 years in the trim shop at the former Jeep Corp, retiring in 1969. He was the widower of Celia Starzynski. Surviving are his daughter, Mrs. Marcia Zielinski and three grandchildren. Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in St. Hyacinth Church. The body will be in the Sujkowski Mortuary, Airport Highway, after 2 today, with recitation of the Rosary at 8:30 tonight.
Name: Joseph A. Starzynski
Residence: Form. 813 Evesham
Cause of death: Prov. Death Cert.
Date of interment: 4/18
Grave: E Pt.
Range or Lot: 130
Funeral director: Sujkowski PP
July 13, 2010
Kalixty was a brother to my grandmother, Helena Mierzejewski. Born December 12, 1886 in Borowce to Stanislaw Mierzejewski and Anna Keijewski, he was the third of four children born to Stanislaw and Anna. Children born to Stanislaw and Anna were Wladimir (Walter), Jan (John M.), Kaliksty, and Helena.
It seems as if Kalixty was never married and records that document his life are scarce. I have not yet located his immigration records nor have I found any World War I draft records. However, I did locate Kalixty on the 1920 census living with his brother Walter (Wladimir) and his wife, Bertha, at 1060 Hamilton in Toledo. This is less than one mile from Jan/John who was living at 1763 Buckingham.
The 1920 census reflects Walter (Wladimir) and Bertha were living at 1060 Hamilton with their daughters Sophia, Ceslawa (Charlotte), and Hattie (Hedwig) as well as Kalixty and another brother, Edward.
Per the 1920 census, Kalixty arrived in the US about 1911.
Kalixty’s death record at St. Hyacinth is transcribed below:
Name: Calixtus Mierzejewski
Died: Sept. 27 ’41
Buried: Oct. 1 ’41
Officiating Priest: J.F.L.
Kalixty’s burial record through Calvary is transcribed below:
Name: Calixtus Mierzejewski
Cause of death: Heart disease
Date of Interment: Oct. 1
Range or lot: 1
Undertaker: F. L. Gasiorowski
July 4, 2010
June 27, 2010
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For some reason, I had an itch to see the Air Force Museum this weekend. So I drove out to Dayton, snapped some pictures, and used the time to start thinking about my father. My dad served as a ball turret gunner for the 42nd Bomb Squad, 2nd Bomb Group in 1944 over Europe. Gave me some time to think about attacking and organizing the Mierzejewski information I have.
Found some information about the 49th Bomb Squad, 2nd Bomb Group and remembered an article that Dad had from Yank Magazine. On the website for the 49th Bomb Squad, there is a searchable database for service members and their missions.
A few pics from the National Air Force Museum.