Switała


Hopefully everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is recovering from turkey and pie overload. While working on the photographs I had for Calvary Cemetery, I’ve found a stone that just makes no sense. I cannot for the life of me, using Ancestry, Family Search, looking through my own family data, scouring obituaries, etc. identify this person. Perhaps someone can identify. See photo below, the grave is located in Section 40, I believe in range/lot 18. I’m wondering whether the name is misspelled and should be Rochowiak? You can click the photo to enlarge.

France Rahowiak

Frances Rahowiak

Since the stone is clearly labeled “Mother,” I’m working with the assumption Frances was married. Unfortunately, I have no maiden name in which to use for a clue.

Within my family, there are two Frances Rochowiaks: one is my great-grandmother, Frances Rochowiak Przybylski. The other is the daughter of Martin Rochowiak and Catherine Switała, who by my calculations would be my first cousin, twice removed. Martin was a half-sibling of my great-grandmother. Martin’s daughter was born in Góra Kalwaria, Mazowieckie, Poland in 1880. She married Felix Tafelski and died in 1961. So there is no possible way this grave could be either my great-grandmother or this particular cousin.

If you have any clues, drop a line here or email me.

I’ve returned. Didn’t think I’d be gone too long? Summer was busy, hopefully fall won’t be so busy (meaning, I won’t be goofing off as much!).

Been meaning to follow up with more Rochowiak data I’ve been collecting. Worked to trace the Martin Rochowiak family, my great-grandmother’s half-brother. As noted previously, I do have the marriage record for Martin and his wife, Catherine. However, the data I have been able to locate has been incomplete so far. Here’s what I’ve found so for that I can at least verify.

Martin and Katherine were married 3 November 1877 in Góra Żnin, Poland. I cannot locate any ship manifests that could be considered at least close to either Martin or Katherine.  The 1910 and 1930 census records provides an immigration year of 1885; the 1920 census provides an immigration year of 1889. Per the 1920 census, Martin was naturalized in 1897. So that is an area for some research in the future–to review immigration records in the Toledo Lucas County Library to locate the naturalization records.

Martin and Katherine had seven children:

  1. Frances, b. 1880, d. 1961, m. Felix Tafelski. Frances likely was born in Poland.
  2. Agnes, b. 1882, d. 1928, m. Anthony Dutkeiwicz. Agnes was likely born in Poland.
  3. Teresa, b. 1883, d. unknown, m. George Suchala. Teresa was likely born in Poland..
  4. Joseph, b. 1880, d. unknown, m. Justina ?? — Joseph did not seem to marry until after the death of his parents. The 1930 census places Joseph living with his parents and the 1940 census shows him living at the same address with a wife named Justina. The address on the 1930 census indicates 406 Detroit; however, his father’s death certificate reflects an address of 408 (which is the same address as the 1940 census).
  5. Jadwiga, b. possibly December 1891, d. p0ssibly December 1953, m. possibly twice: once to a Buckowski and secondly to Frank K. Sieja. Her parents’ death notices list her as Hattie Buckowski. Her death certificate notes her husband as Frank K. Sieja and her name as Pauline and as Jadwiga.
  6. Rose, b 1893, d. 1931, m. Anthony Luczak.
  7. Martha, b. 1899, d. 1982, m. Benedict Idzikowski.

Martin died 12 February 1931. His death notice was published in the Toledo News Bee on 13 February 1931 and is transcribed below:

ROCHOWIAK, MARTIN–Age 80 years, beloved husband of Catherine, Thursday at 7 p.m. Father of Joseph, Mrs. Frances Tuselski, Mrs. Theresa Suchala, Mrs. Rose Luczak, Mrs. Hattie Buckowski, Mrs. Martha Idzikowski, 25 grand-children and six great-grandchildren. Funeral Monday, Feb. 16 at 7:45 a.m. from the residence, 408 Detroit Ave., and 8 a.m. at St. Stanislaus church. Interment family lot Calvary cemetery. W.K. Sujkowski

Katherine died just a few weeks later on 5 March. Her death notice was published on 6 March in the Toledo News Bee and is transcribed below:

ROCHOWIAK, KATHERINE–Aged 73, ???, widow of the late Martin Rochowiak, beloved mother of Joseph, Mrs. Frances Tafelski, Mrs. Theresa Suchala, Mrs. Rose Luczak, Mrs. Hattie Buckowski, Mrs. Martha Idzikowski, 26 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren; Thursday at 10 a.m. Funeral Monday March 9, 8:45 a.m. from the residence, 408 Detroit Ave., 9 a.m. at St. Stanislaus church. Interment Calvary Cemetery, family lot. Friends invited.

A few days ago, Lukasz Bialecki of the Poznan Project emailed me the civil marriage record for Martinus (Martin) Rochowiak and Catherine (Katarzyna) Switala. Martin was a half-brother to my great-grandmother, Frances Rochowiak Przybylski. The civil marriage record provides us with a bit more detail about the family. The thumbnail below is difficult to read, but click it to enlarge to see the detail.

Civil marriage record for Martin Rochowiak and Catherine Switala November 1877

Civil marriage record for Martin Rochowiak and Catherine Switala, November 1877

Lukasz kindly sent along a translation of the record to me since it is written in German:

Farm worker Martin Rochowiak, born 3 Nov 1850 in Zendowo, resident in Murczyn, son of the farmer Adalbert Rochowiak (died in Zendowo) and his wife Marianna (married name missing, died in Zendowo).

Maid Catharina Switala, born 24 Sep 1857 in Murczyn, resident in Murczyn, daughter of the farmer Matheus Switala (resident in Murczyn) and his wife Marianna Zablocka (resident in Murczyn).

Witnesses Johann Wesolek, age 33 from Jaroszewo, Johann Zablocki, age 52 from Murczyn.

Now, from this translation we cannot ascertain for sure that Martin was a son of Marianna Chlebowska or Marianna Marzana. I’ve “assigned” him within my tree as the son of Marianna Chlebowska, based on the fact that per the this civil marriage record, he was born 3 November 1850 and Aldabertus married Marianna Mazana on 27 October 1851. So, not quite a year after Martinus was born, Aldabert married his third wife.

We also have the location where the Rochowiaks, Switalas, and Zablockis were living in 1850: Murczyn. Additionally, we now know that Adalbert was a farmer. We also now know that Adalbert and Marianna Mazana (using deductive logic for which Marianna) died in Zendowo.

If you note the signatures, as Lukasz pointed out to me, the groom was illiterate–he signed the record with three Xs but the bride was able to write and signed her own name.

While obtaining the marriage record for Adalbertus Rochowiak and Marianna Chlebowska, I had also asked Lukasz for the marriage record for their son, Martin, and Catherine Switała from November, 1877. The image isn’t near as clear as the one for Adalbertus and Marianna, and it’s a much larger image. So here are snippets showing just the record for Martin and Catherine. The top is the left side of the book, the bottom image is the right side of the book. I have to apologize for the size of the snippets. The original image was large and lower resolution, and it needed to be cropped and reduced quite a bit to fit on the screen here. You can click the snippets to enlarge. If you want a full copy, feel free to ask. I’m happy to send it on and can email it.

Left side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

Left side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

Right side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

Right side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

At the time of the marriage, Martin was 28 and Catherine 20. I cannot ascertain the exact date of the marriage; however, marriage banns were published on 20 October, 28 October, and 4 November. That should tell us that the marriage likely took place within the following week of the final publishing of banns. Catherine’s parents were Mathias and Marianna Zablocka. The couple was married in Góra Żnin.

Per the 1900 census, Martin and Catherine emigrated to the US in 1889. The children per that census were:

  1. Frances, b. 1880 (Poland)
  2. Agnes, b. 1882 (Poland)
  3. Teresa, b. 1883 (Poland)
  4. Joseph, b. 1890 (Toledo, Ohio)
  5. Jadwiga (Hattie), b. 1895 (Toledo, Ohio)
  6. Martha, b. 1899 (Toledo, Ohio)

I can’t say why, but I’m happy that I’m learning Frances had siblings and nieces and nephews in Toledo. This also makes me wonder if entire villages in Poznan emigrated to Toledo! (I am only half joking–the Plenzler family seemed to have emptied a few small villages themselves so far.) This also makes me wonder too if my great-great grandchildren would be able to find my family for their genealogy efforts. My family is now so very spread out over the United States–how difficult will that be in 90 or 100 years for my progeny to locate our whereabouts? Connecting the dots with my great-grandparents’ family who lived within a small radius together both in Poland and in Toledo continues to challenge me.

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