Plenzler


As promised, here’s a write up the last located sibling for Joseph Plenzler, Kunegunda. I tried to look up the name Kunegunda because it’s a pretty unusual name–at least for me. Never heard of it until I encountered Joseph’s sister. All I could find was this from catholic.org.  So it’s pretty obvious Kunegunda didn’t get the name from being born on July 24, all records I could locate place her birth as March 22, 1872. I then posted a question to Ask Sister Mary Martha. She seems to be knowledgeable about such things, so maybe she’ll be able to provide some insight. (Now back to our regularly scheduled post. I tend to be interested in some of the odder trivia of genealogy such as answering questions like “Why in the world would a parent give their child THAT name?”)

Kunegunda arrived in the US in Baltimore on June 15, 1892. The manifest seems to indicate that she traveled alone, there are no other Plenzlers or other related family names that I can recognized on this manifest. She was 22 and single and her final destination is listed as Indiana. So she was heading to be with her sisters in South Bend.

Kungunda married Stanislaw (Stanley)  Zalas on January 16, 1892 in St. Hedwig’s Parish in South Bend, Indiana per the South Bend Area Genealogical Society. (Contact the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library.) The 1900 census shows that Kunegunda and Stephen had four children:

  1. Piotr (age 6)
  2. Stanislaw (age 5)
  3. Zofia (age 4)
  4. Jadwiga (age 8 months)

By the 1920 census, the family added five more children:

  1. Hattie (age 19)
  2. George (age 17)
  3. Jacob (age 13)
  4. Verna (age 9)
  5. Klara (age 4 or 5, the census noted the age as 4 12/12 months)

I have little further data on this family. Per Kunegunda’s obituary, Stanislaw died in 1950. Kunegunda died in 1953. Her obituary was published in the South Bend Tribune on November 19, 1953 and  is obtainable through the South Bend Library and I’ve transcribed it below:

Mrs. Kunegunda Zalas, 714 South Brookfield St. Died at 7:30 PM Saturday in St. Joseph Hospital after four weeks illness. She was born in Poland March 22, 1872, and came here 65 years ago from that country. She was married here 62 years ago to Stanley Zalas, who died in 1950. Surviving are four sons; Peter, Stanley Jr., Albert and James; and three daughters, Mrs. Sophia Jaronik, Mrs. Verna Caplin and Mrs. Clara Gapinski, all of South Bend; 24 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. Friends may call in the Kaniewski Chapel after 6 PM today and the funderal at 9 am Tuesday in St. Adalbert’s Church, with Rev. Ignatius J. Capczynski, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery.

This post continues on with the siblings of Joseph Plenzler.

Elizabeth was born in Poznan in March 1866. A passenger manifest from Philadelphia places her date of immigration as April 27, 1888 at the age of 22. About a month later, she married Joseph Zalas in South Bend, Indiana on May 30, 1888–making me think the marriage was already planned when she left Poland.

By 1900, Elizabeth and Joseph were living nearby in St. Joe’s, Indiana and had six children per the census:

  1. Stanislaus (b. October 1889)
  2. Joseph (b. November 1890)
  3. Tekla (b. August 1893)
  4. Agnes (b. January 1895)
  5. Martin (b. September 1896)
  6. Wiktor (b. November 1899)

What’s interesting about the 1900 census data for the Zalas family is that it shows that a Kazmier Mruk is living with the family as a border. Elizabeth’s sister, Margaretha had married a Michal Mruk. There very likely is a connection, that perhaps this Kazmier is a brother to Michal Mruk and is an area for future research. Also note that one of the daughters of Margaretha Plenzler and Michael Mruk, Tekla, married John Przybylski. I have not yet found whether there is a link from this John Przybylski to my branch of the Przybylski family; however, my instinct tells me there is some link. These families all came from villages surrounding Gluszyna and Wiorek, Poland. Again, it’s another area for research.

By 1910, the census shows three more children born to the family:

  1. Clara (b. 1902)
  2. Lucia (b. 1904)
  3. Hermonin (Harry) (b. 1907)

Joseph was naturalized in 1924. He passed away July 1, 1927. His obituary was published July 2, 1927 in the South Bend Tribune and is transcribed below:

Joseph Zalas, age 60, died in his home, 1052 West Ford Street at 9 o’clock Friday morning, following an illness of four months. He was a resident of South Bend for 40 years. He was born in Poland March 1, 1867, and is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Zalas; three daughters, Mrs. Agnes Kluk, Mrs. Lucille Cwidak, and Miss Clarice Zalas, and five sons, Stanley, Joseph, Martin, Victor, and Henry, and two sisters, Mrs. Mary Janiszczak and Mrs. Hattie Plencner. Funeral services will be held Monday morning in St. Casimir’s Roman Catholic Church, the Rev. S. J. Gorka, C. S. C. officiating. Burial will take place in St. Joseph’s cemetery.

There is a name in this obituary that leads to another Plenzler connection: Mrs. Hattie Plencner. Remember that Plencner is a variation on the Plenzler name and it was used interchangeably within this family. This may mean one of Joseph’s siblings married a Plenzler sibling. However, The only sons that I am aware of within this generation are John (who lived in Middle River, Minnesota) and Joseph (who lived in Toledo, Ohio). So we have another clue to another Plenzler who may have immigrated to the US–another area for research!

Elizabeth passed away December 19, 1950. Her obituary was published in the South Bend Tribune the same day and is transcribed below:

Mrs. Elizabeth Zalas, aged 79, of 1502 West Ford street, died at 4:25 a.m. today in her residence after an illness of three days. She was born in Poznan Poland, March 6, 1871, and came here 65 years ago. Surviving are four sons; Stanley, Joseph, Martin and Harry; two daughters, Mrs. Agnes Jackson and Mrs. Lucille Cwidak; 19 grandchildren; sixteen great grandchildren and a sister; Mrs. Constance (Kunegunda) Zalas, all of South Bend. Friends may call in the St. Joseph funeral home after 5 PM Wednesday until funeral services at 9 am Saturday in St. Casimir’s Catholic church. Burial will be St. Joseph cemetery. She was a member of St. Anne’s Society.

I do not have an original of this obituary as it was shared with me via email as a transcribed copy.

Family oral history tells that Elizabeth, Catherine, and Kunegunda  communicated with the family in Toledo via written letters and that there were personal visits between the families; however, I have no direct evidence of this although find it a credible story. South Bend, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio are only about 160 miles apart. By the 1890s and early 1900s, there were several railroad lines in Toledo that would have made this possible.

As usual, if you have insights, comments, corrections, etc., let me know.

As promised earlier, I’m going to focus on the siblings of my great-grandfather, Joseph Plenzler. So far, I’ve found two Plenzler siblings who settled in Toledo after emigration to the US: Joseph and Margaretha.

A brother, John is discussed in an earlier post. Catherine, Elizabeth, and Kunegunda are all documented by Lucky Ladlewski. Each of the sisters had settled in the South Bend/St. Joseph area of Indiana.

Catherine married Jacob Niemier in Głuszyna,  Poland in 1881. (I do not have the marriage record.) Thanks to Judy Stewart, we have a photo of Catherine.

Katarzyna (Catherine) Plenzler Niemier

Katarzyna (Catherine) Plenzler Niemier

Catherine and Jacob arrived in the United States 1887 per the 1900 US census. At the time of the 1900 census (see here and here, the data spanned over two pages), the family was living in South Bend, Indiana. Children were listed as

  • Mary, age 17. Mary was noted as having been born in Poland and was employed as a cigar maker.
  • Wojciech (Albert), age 14. Albert was also noted as having been born in Poland.
  • Lucya, age 11.
  • Piotr (Peter), age 9.
  • Melchoir, age 6.
  • Joseph, age 4.

By the 1920 census, twp more children were added to  the family:

  • Anna, age 16
  • Alec, age 13

And a grandchild was also noted on the 1920 census: Irene, age 1-1/2. Peter is noted as living with the family still in 1920 and the census notes that he was widowed.

The 1910 census also showed a child, Aloizy (Aloysius), age 3, this most likely is the child listed as Alec in the 1920 census.

Catherine passed away January 15, 1944 in South Bend. I have a copy of Catherine’s obituary (unfortunately, I do not know where it was published) and it is transcribed below:

Mrs. Catherine Niemer, aged 75, died at 1:55 p.m. Saturday in her home, 1503 West Poland street, after an illness of six weeks. She was born in Poznan, Poland, March 28, 1868, coming to South Bend 56 years ago. Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Mary Kazmierczak, Mrs. Lucille Hes, and Mrs. Anna Vargo, all of South Bend; five sons, Albert, Peter, Melchiar, Joseph, and Aloysius, all of South Bend; two sisters, Elizabeth Zalas and Gwendolyn Zalas, both of South Bend; 33 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted at 9 a.m. Wednesday in St. Casmier’s Roman Catholic church and burial will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

As always, if you have more information, please do share! Send me an email or leave a comment here and I’ll follow up.

Today, one of the themes over at GeneaBloggers is Wedding Wednesday. Today we have a wedding photo for Joseph (Joe Pie) Plenzler and Josephine Grzechowiak. They were married in 1913 in Toledo, Ohio.

Individuals in the photo, from left to right: Bessie Krolkie (friend of the bride), Robert Plenzler, Joseph Plenzler, Josephine Grezchowiak, Joseph Grzechowiak, Mary Plenzler.

Joseph Plenzler and Josephine Grzechowiak wedding, Toledo, Ohio, 1913

Joseph Plenzler and Josephine Grzechowiak wedding, Toledo, Ohio, 1913 (click for larger size high resolution photo)

Because one of the themes today over at GeneaBloggers is Tombstone Tuesday and I’ve mentioned a couple of times that my great-great grandmother was an Aumiller (Maria Aumiller), I thought I’d post a gravestone I located in Calvary.

Now I haven’t connected any dots with any Aumillers that I’ve located in Toledo to my family yet. But the proof that I’m related to Aumillers comes from baptismal records of two of Eva Dauer’s and Joseph Plenzler’s children–Bob and Mary. In their baptismal records from St. Anthony’s parish of Toledo, the grandparents are noted as well as as the parents.  In Bob’s baptismal record, it appears as if the name were recorded in German: Ömiller. But in Mary’s baptismal record, it is recorded as Aumiller.

I haven’t really pursued any Aumiller connections yet; but when I do photo Calvary, I will take photos of graves with names that sound familiar to me. So while going through the photos for today’s theme, I noticed I took a picture of a grave of someone named Maryanna Aumiller.

Maryanna Aumiller, 1856 - 1918, Calvary Cemetery grave

Maryanna Aumiller, 1856 - 1918, Calvary Cemetery grave

I had done some initial investigation with Maryanna, but nothing leads me to link her to Eva. However, I did locate a 1900 census record that reflects Maryanna, her husband George, and family living at 1555 Avondale in the Kuschwantz neighborhood. Joe and Eva Plenzler were living at 1544 Avondale. They most certainly knew each other–they were neighbors and many Catholic families on that street attended St. Anthony’s parish.

Maryanna and George had nine children per the 1900 census:

  • Anthony (age 18)
  • Agnes (age 16)
  • Kate (age 14)
  • Wiktorya (Victoria) (age 12)
  • Anna (age 11)
  • Joseph (age 11)
  • Stanislawa (age 9)
  • Ignace (age 7)
  • Konstancya (age 5)

I have also obtained Maryanna’s death certificate, church burial/death record through St. Anthony’s parish and burial record through Calvary. What is unusual about this is when comparing these records with the gravestone, it’s obvious that someone guesstimated her birth year. Her grave stone states she was born in 1856, which would have made Maryanna 62 years old at the time of death. However, her death certificate states her birthdate is unknown. Her burial record from Calvary Cemetery, is transcribed below, provides the grave location:

No.: 20200
Name of Deceased: Mary Aumiller
Place of Nativity:
Late Residence: 1217 Lucas
Age: 59
Color: W
Sex: F
Disease: Heart Disease
Date of Decease: Oct. 31
Date of Interment: Nov. 2
Married, Single, or Widowed: M
Place of Death: Toledo
No. of Grave:  425
No. of Lot: 4
No. of Section: 30
Name of Physician: Watts
Name of Undertaker: W. J. Sujkowski
Name of Parents or Kindred:
Remarks:

Maybe this will provide a start to making links with Aumillers. Maryanna would be linked to Eva through her husband. If anyone has any information on this family, leave a comment here or drop me an email. I’ll follow up.

Some time ago, I had received a hand-drawn family tree for the Plenzlers with a cover letter dated 1991 that mentioned a John Plenzler who had settled in Minnesota. This family tree and the letter were created by Theresa Plenzler Helminiak, a cousin.

While tracing my great-grandfather, Joseph Plenzler, I realized he had several siblings because of this information yet I hadn’t followed up with any of Joseph’s siblings here. A good prod came from Judy again, because truthfully, I was asleep at the wheel this summer with any genealogy efforts. Let’s just say it’s been a busy summer and I’m trying to make sure I find at least a few hours each week to get more research and writing done.

Per the information Theresa (Tessie) recorded, Joseph had at least five siblings that I could verify and locate:

  • Margaretha and then see here and here. Margaretha and Joseph were the only siblings who settled in Ohio.
  • John settled in Minnesota with his wife Marianna (Mary). He’s the subject of this post.
  • Catharine married Jacob Niemier and settled in South Bend, Indiana.
  • Elizabeth married Joseph Zalas and settled in South Bend, Indiana.
  • Kunegunda married Stephen Zalas and settled in South Bend, Indiana.

The sisters, Catharine, Elizabeth, and Kunegunda will be topics in the near future.

Per census records and a marriage record I located via the Poznan Project, Johannes (John) was born about 1857. The record I found on the Poznan Project indicated that Johannes and Marianna married in 1877 in Głuszyna–a common fact in my branch of the Plenzler family. She was 19, he was 20. Marianna’s maiden name was Krych. I will have to write to obtain the actual marriage record(s)–and see if there are both civil and church marriage records to review.

After this point, things get a little murky with John and Mary. While Tessie documented John and Mary as having lived in Minnesota, there are a few immigration records that do not make their arrival quite clear.

A Hamburg manifest heading into New York was located for John, indicates that he left Europe on 4 April 1883. A corresponding record at Castle Garden for his arrival also exists that provides his date of arrival to the US as 20 April 1883 and his occupation as a mason. However, this manifest indicates that his final destination is Wisconsin.

Digging into this further, I had to look at census sheets and to also look at Mary’s immigration records. A passenger manifest for the ship, Weser, arriving into Baltimore from Bremen documents her arrival on 20 April 1884. On this manifest is some interesting information. Marianna arrives with two daughters: Veronica, age 6 and Barbara, age 11 months. Immigrant mothers arriving with infants or small children isn’t unusual although it’s always noteworthy. However, viewing the passenger record just above Marianna’s name is a record for a Cecelia Aumiller. That notation nearly knocked my socks off. My great-great-grandmother was Maria Aumiller before her marriage to Andreas Dauer. Their child, Eva, married Joseph Plenzler. My guess is that Cecelia was either a sister to Andreas (her age is listed as 63) or she was a wife to a brother of Andreas! I have not yet definitively located any of my Aumiller relatives in the US although I have had clues. This is going to be an area of future research–I am so hoping to eventually find if there are Aumillers to whom I am related to in the US.

While researching John and Mary, I have located some indirect evidence that they had remained together in Wisconsin for a while prior to settling in Minnesota. Thanks to Judy, we have the 1900 Federal Census that shows John and Mary living in Middle River, Minnesota. Note that on this record, the surname is spelled as Plenzer. Here the census provides information on the family as it was in 1900:

  • John is listed as Charles. I do believe this to be an error on the part of the census taker. His birth is listed as March 1857, age 43.  However, his immigration is recorded as 1881. It is possible the John had come to the US earlier and had returned. Remember that Marianna had traveled to the US with a small child of 11 months in 1884, so that would have placed Barbara’s birth in 1883.
  • Mary’s birth is indicated as August 1859 and her age is 41. Note that she has had 10 children, but six are still alive in 1900.
  • Daughter Barbara is then noted, with her birthdate given of September 1883. (This is difficult to ascertain because it appears as if the census taker had made a mistake and tried to write over the original answer, however, Barbara’s age seems to be provided as 17.) This would make sense if she were not quite a year old upon immigration in 1884.
  • Son, Mike, is then listed. He, and two of his following siblings, are noted as having been born in Wisconsin. Mike is noted as 11 and born in September 1888.
  • Son, Frank, is then listed. His birthdate is provided as February 1890 and is noted as 10 years old.
  • Son, John, is then listed. His birthdate is provided as April 1893 and is noted as 7 years old.
  • Son, Nicholas, is then listed. His birthdate is provided as April 1896. The census taker noted his age as 3, but if he were born in 1896, his age should have been noted as 4 at the time of this census (June 1900).

The 1905 Minnesota state census reflects the same information for the family. Note on this record, the surname is spelled as Plencner or Plencener. (Begin with record #37.)

Realizing that Mary had traveled to the US in 1884 with two daughters, Barbara and Veronica, I noticed that neither the 1900 census or the 1905 state census reflected any information for Veronica and that the 1900 census stated she had six children living, it was apparent that Veronica had already left home. I located Veronica, noted as Verona, on an 1895 Minnesota state census where she was living in Argyle, Minnesota at the age of 17. If she were six at the time of arrival in the US, she would have been born about 1878, making her 17 at the time of this census. So this census data likely reflects that this is indeed John and Mary’s daughter, Veronica.

I have not been able to locate a 1910 US census with this family’s data; however, the 1920 and 1930 census data is available. This is data too indicates that it’s possible the John had come to the US in 1881 but did not stay.

The 1920 census shows us that Mary and John are still living in Middle River, Minnesota. Note that on this census, the surname is given as Plencner. Here, John’s immigration date is provided as 1881 and Mary’s as 1882.  Also note that John was naturalized in 1900, and Mary is also indicated as having been naturalized. (I believe that spouses whose husbands were naturalized at this time were automatically granted naturalization, but this would need some verification.) John and Mary are listed as no longer having an occupation; however, two sons reside with them: Mike and Frank who appear to be running the family farm.

The 1930 census is even more interesting. See page 1 here and page 2 here–data for the family spans two pages.

On page 1, John and Mary are listed as records 49 and 50. They are on the same farm that they own, ages 73 and 71, respectively. The same immigration dates of 1881 for John and 1882 for Mary are provided.

On page 2, son Frank, is still living on the same farm with John and Mary, single, age 38, and seems to be also running the farm (record#51, second page). What is even more interesting is daughter, Barbara has re-appeared. (See record #52, page 2.) Here we learn she is widowed, age 48, and is living with Frank, John, and Mary with a daughter, Gwendolyn, age 14. Even more interesting, it is noted that Gwendolyn was born in New York. Barbara’s name is given as Barbara Ervin.

Moving down on the second page of the 1930 census data for the Plenzler family, records #54 through #58, it appears as John Jr. had purchased the farm next door (or perhaps his father had subdivided the farm and sold half to his younger son). John is married in 1930 to a woman named Josephine and there are three children: Mary Anne, Adeline, and Raymond. These children were all born in Minnesota.

I have not found any death records for John; however, I did locate an abstract of Mary’s death. Mary passed away on 18 October 1938 in Middle River, Minnesota at the age of 79.

Recently, I found a record for a Plenzler marriage from Poznan sitting on my computer. I forgot how I got it or where it came from, not having written to the Poznan project to obtain it. So I asked a likely source, Judy, what it was. She forwarded to me awhile back and I promptly forgot about it. Can anyone really not get overloaded getting their ancestor’s historical information? It seemed possible to me not too long ago. But Judy informed me that she sent it on to me because of the Plenzler connection. On this marriage register, there are two important records: one for a Niemier (one of Joseph Plenzler’s sisters, Catherine, had married Jacob Niemier) and one for a Martinus Plenzler.

I took a stab at transcribing these marriage records. The language used for each was basically the same. (See records 18 and 20 here.) I’ll place the transcription for #20 (Martinus and Catharine Jaskulanka) below. What this indicates is a record of Martinus Plenzler’s first marriage. (See the post regarding a record located in 1851 for a second marriage here.)

The marriage for Martinus and Catherine Jaskunlanka is transcribed below with a very rough translation included:

1841

Martinus Plenzler, juvenis cum
Martin Plenzler, an unmarried young man with

Catharina Janskunlanka, virgine
Catharina Janskunlanka, an unmarried maiden

Ambo de Pietrowo
Each from the town of Pietrowo

Interrogavi en ecclesia mutu.o
Come to the church to exchange vows

Et elaro consensu ab?? ii recepto per ven?? Vet?
And join together in the commitment of marriage

De presenti juata ratificata
And before those present ratify

Cum consensu parentum
With the consensus of their parents

Age of the groom: 26, age of the bride: 22.

Banns: published 17, 24, and 31 October

Witnesses: Szymanowski, Simon; Szymanowski, Michael, ??? Pankoski (?); Michael Jako~la.

I cannot determine an exact date of marriage from this scanned record. However, since banns (the intent of marriage announcement) were published as late as the 31st of October, it’s reasonable to assume that the marriage took place the first week or two of November, 1841.

Given that this marriage took place in 1841 and Joseph Plenzler (my grandfather) was born in 1855, it is also reasonable to ponder a few possibilities:

  • That Joseph and Martinus were not brothers. The age difference is too great. While it is theoretically possible, it’s unlikely the two are brothers.
  • That Martinus is likely an uncle to Joseph. (Joseph’s father was also named Joseph).

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