Starzynski


Have been corresponding with a few via email recently. A comment made was “such tragic stories sometimes.” Yes, I’m sure many of our ancestors experienced hardships and tragedies, but I’m not certain that was the theme of their lives. I thought about this the past week or so–I know there were many joys in my ancestor’s lives–marriages, births, celebrations, satisfaction gained from a job well done, hobbies, and achievements. I also know there were times they just let their hair down and laughed themselves silly.

While investigating our ancestor’s lives, it seemed to me that we do so primarily through documents that provide us facts such as birthdates and death dates. Sometimes those documents or pieces of information — for example, death certificates — provide us a glimpse into information that must not be easy to know or makes us sad. I know I’ve seen examples where a mother died in childbirth or in the case the St. Anthony’s train wreck, my heart seemed to break to learn that information. It occurred to me that other than marriage records or baptismal records, many of the records we find about our ancestors often brings sad news.

So, my question: Have you any stories of joy or happiness in your ancestor’s lives? Are there any times in their lives where you can see them smile or laugh?

Here’s a photo of my aunt, Celia with her sister-in-law, Helen, playing like children with a tricycle and baby doll carriage. I don’t have a date, but I do recognize that yard!

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski and Helen Ceglarska Mierzejewski

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski and Helen Ceglarska Mierzejewski — being playful

Two obituaries today. One I was actually seeking, the other happened to be, quite coincidentally, published the same day and of some interest to my family tree. I often go back through the archived newspapers on Google to backfill my data with obituaries. So I purposefully went to seek Victoria Przybylski Sieja’s obit, I hadn’t located it before. However, published on the same day as hers — October 21, 1937 — was the obituary of my aunt’s (Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski) husband’s brother, John Starzynski.

Both obits are below and are transcribed.

Obituary, Toledo News Bee, Victoria Sieja, 21 October 1937

Obituary, Toledo News Bee, Victoria Sieja, 21 October 1937

Mrs. Victoria Sieja

Mrs. Victoria Sieja died Wednesday in her home at 1451 Avondale Avenue of a stroke suffered while working in the yard of her home. She was 53.

Mrs. Sieja was a member of St. Anthony’s Church. She leaves her husband, Frank Sieja; three daughters, Mrs. Clem Plenzler, Mrs. Casper Roman, and Miss Alice Sieja; six sons, Roman, Chester, Andrew, Daniel, Edmund and Norman, two sisters, Mrs. Anastazia Plenzler and Mrs. Eva Hejnicki, two brothers, Frank and John Przybylski, and seven grandchildren.

Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the residence and at 10 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary. The body is in the residence.

John Starzynski, Obituary, Toledo News Bee, 21 October 1937

John Starzynski, Obituary, Toledo News Bee, 21 October 1937

STARZYNSKI SERVICES FRIDAY

Services for John (Starr) Starzynski, 27 E. Pearl Street, who died Wednesday, will be at 6:45 a.m. Friday in Stanley Urbanski Mortuary and at 7 a.m. in St. Adalbert’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary.

Mr. Starzynski, who was 29, had been ill a month. He was employed by Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. He leaves his wife, Mrs. Helen Starzynski; his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Marion Starzysnki, and three bothers, Walter, Joseph, and Edward, all of Toledo.

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:

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski

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: 

No. 50
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:  

Celia Starzynski  

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:  

No. 83452
Name: Celia Starzynski
Address: 813 Evesham
Age: 65
Cause of Death: Bureau Vital Statistics
Date of Interment: 12/23/1978
Grave E-Pt
Range or Lot 130
Section 33
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: 

Joe Starzynski

Joe Starzynski

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. 

Joe was buried through St. Hyacinth Parish. (Link takes you to the death record of the parish.) Burial was at Calvary Cemetery and the burial record is transcribed below: 

No. 93224
Name: Joseph A. Starzynski
Residence: Form. 813 Evesham
Age: 79
Cause of death: Prov. Death Cert.
Date of interment: 4/18
Grave: E Pt.
Range or Lot: 130
Section: 33
Funeral director: Sujkowski PP

Wladyslaw and Helena Mierzejewski

Wladyslaw and Helena Mierzejewski (grandparents)

Joe and Celia Starzynski

Joe and Celia Starzynski--Ciocia and Uncle Joe

Anastasia Plenzler

Anastasia Plenzler--grandmother

John Plenzler

John Plenzler--grandfather

Joseph and Josephine Plenzler

Joseph and Josephine Plenzler--great-uncle/great-aunt

Martin and Minnie Plenzler

Martin and Minnie Plenzler--great-uncle/great-aunt

John and Theofila Mierzejewski

John and Theofila Mierzejewski--great-uncle/great-aunt

Konstanty and Stefania Mierzejewski

Konstanty and Stefania Mierzejewski (have not yet determined relationship)

.

Stanislaus Przybylski

Stanislaus Przybylski--great-uncle

Frank and Victoria Sieja--great-aunt/great-uncle

Frank and Victoria Sieja

Edna Plenzler (m. Daniel Sieja, m. Stanley Jankowski)

Edna Plenzler (m. Daniel Sieja, m. Stanley Jankowski), daughter Martin K. Plenzler

Daughters of Daniel and Edna (Plenzler) Sieja--Susan, Kathleen, Nancy

Daughters of Daniel and Edna (Plenzler) Sieja--Susan, Kathleen, Nancy

Daniel Sieja, first husband of Edna Plenzler, father of Kathleen, Susan, Nancy

Daniel Sieja, first husband of Edna Plenzler, father of Kathleen, Susan, Nancy

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