It’s been quite a while since I’ve paid attention to this blog. There really is no reason for that, other than I simply haven’t taken the time to write much lately. I got involved in other activities and somewhere along the way, this website gathered dust. Funny how my priorities work–in my 30s and 40s, I was a whirling dervish. I hardly slept. Now in my 50s, I’m noticing that I am not so much into all of that “busy-ness” and prefer to take my time to get around to things, after I’ve slept.

Some of the genealogy activities I’ve participated in this year so far have been quite interesting. The Toledo Polish Genealogical Society conducted a field trip to Calvary Cemetery and honored many of the early Polish immigrants to Toledo this past May. I was honored to be invited to make a small presentation on Lawrence Rochowiak. Unfortunately, I was hit with an awful sinus infection that week due to allergies and in between sneezes and hacks, I was hardly intelligible. Despite the seasonal discomfort, it was a wonderful day, I learned so much by attending and was able to chat with members of the TPGS, catch up a cousin and learn more about many of the first Polish settlers in Toledo, including the idea that Calvary Cemetery land may have been donated by some of the early Polish settlers. I hope to learn more about that in the future.

While there (and as usual, when I make the occasional trip up to Toledo), I take as many photos of Polish graves as possible–as long as there is light outdoors and my camera batteries remain alive. (I actually carry three cameras: a Canon, a Samsung, and the cell phone–I will take photos until there is no more battery power left in all three.) So, this past spring and summer, quite a bit of my spare time at home was spent researching the headstones and uploading the photos to the Ohio Gravestone Photo Project. There now are about 1,600 records for Calvary on that website. Perhaps I’ve managed to dig up one of your relatives? Link is here: Lucas County, Ohio Gravestone Photo Project, Calvary Cemetery. If I’ve made any errors transcribing the stone or the data doesn’t seem right, let me know. (There is a link under the photo to email the contributor.)

I’ve also obtained some interesting military documents for my grandfather, John Plenzler and for my dad, Edward Mierzejewski. I have to scan the Marine records for my grandfather, but have uploaded an accident report that I’ve located for my father. I found it interesting–for a few months in early 1944, dad was stationed at Las Vegas Army Air Field (now Nellis AFB in Nevada) for training. While he was there, there was a crash of a B-17 where he was a crew member and was involved in the crash. I knew his discharge papers indicated he had attended a service school — Sperry Gun — for aerial gunnery but never followed up on that detail until this summer. I wrote to accident-report.com after querying for my father on the site. Lo and behold, dad’s name popped up and I order the report. The incident occurred 4 February 1944, and was due to landing gear that malfunctioned. Orders were for the pilots to locked down anything moveable on the plane and to fly until their fuel load was lightened so they could crash land.

Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in this accident, but the report has photos of the B-17G that was damaged in the flight and has names of the crew involved. If interested, a PDF of the report document is here. I haven’t transcribed it (too tired and lazy!), but it is interesting. I’ve been reading quite a bit about the role of the Army Air Forces in World War II lately, including a book title “Fortress Ploetsi: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler’s Oil Supply” by Jay Stout–which got my attention after studying my father’s July 1944 – November 1944 mission log, which did include Ploetsi. Simply astounding that my dad lived through that and helped put an end to the Nazis by destroying their critical fuel supplies.

I’ve been continuing on a quest to locate more data on my father’s family. As I’ve pointed out earlier when attempting to find all of the different variations of the surname, it becomes difficult locating these individuals because of the many variant name spellings.

Knowing that some of dad’s family did come through Pennsylvania, I had been scouring the records on FamilySearch.com in order to see if perchance I could find any hint of my family in Cambria and Blair counties or the regions surrounding Altoona. I knew to look at these areas because a few death certificates indicated that a few cousins were born in that region. This was a search similar to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack because of the name. But persistence paid off, and I’ve found more variants in the name spelling. I think this time the errors were literally due to clerical errors.

A huge question I’ve had is how, or if, Konstanty Mierzejewski is related to the family. (Note that while I have linked to a previous post that states I think Konstanty was a sibling of my grandfather, I have since had information that leads me to disregard that idea. But there is some good identifying material in that post in case anyone stumbles upon this website.) My guess is that Konstanty may well be related, but I can’t prove it yet. The parents I have for him are not those of either my grandmother OR my grandfather.  I have only been able to ascertain through a 1912 Philadelphia Passenger list that Konstanty had been born somewhere near Brwilno Gone, a considerable distance from my grandparents’ ancestral villages of Gerwaty and Borowce. All three villages surround Warsaw, and all were considered part of the Russian Partition of Poland. It is very possible Konstanty is no relation. Still, Konstanty’s life patterns were all too parallel to my grandparents’ family, he was in the Cambria County and Altoona, Pennsylvania regions shortly after his immigration here; my grandmother’s brother Wladyslaw Mierzejewski (not to be confused with her HUSBAND Wladyslaw Mierzejewski–can you understand my constant confusion?) had settled for a period in the Altoona, Pennsylvania region–his eldest daughter, Sophia was born in Altoona. Additionally, another of my grandmother’s brothers, Jan, had settled near Altoona for a time and his first daughter, Helen, was born in Altoona. The last in a trifecta of coincidences that leads me to believe Konstanty might very well be related through one of my grandparents is that upon my grandparents’ arrival here, they were living at 1763 Buckingham. They arrived in February, 1923 and this address is reflected on my father’s birth certificated dated December 23, 1924. Konstanty had used this address on his 1918 World War I draft registration. Unfortunately, I have not been able to trace the ownership of this home at the time (it was likely rented though) and by 1920, Konstanty had moved to Detroit Avenue, just a few blocks away. Coincidence or relationship? That is the question I am still trying to solve.

I digressed, considerably. Some digging through the few records for Pennsylvania on FamilySearch.com did bring two marriage records for the Mierzejewski clan! And were those names mangled.

I did locate the marriage record for Konstanty and Stephania. And this record provides a hint as to where the permutation spelling MIEZEJEWSKI may have arisen. It is how the name is spelled on the official county marriage record. However, in Konstanty’s situation, all other records that I’ve located use the spelling MIERZEJEWSKI. This marriage record doesn’t provide much information that I did not have prior, I knew the parents (Julian and Anna); however, the name of the priest marrying the couple is provided. That is a clue, and with that name may be able to trace the parish they were married in sometime! Also note that the bride’s name is incorrect. She is listed as Suffie, and we know her name was Stephania. Additionally, the bride’s surname is provided as Decosky, which also is incorrect, the name on other records for Stephania is DYKOWSKI. However, knowing these spellings may be helpful in the future. Click the image to view it full size.

Cambria County, Pennsylvania, Marriage Record for Konstanty Mierzejewski and Stephania Dykowski, 18 June 1907

The second Mierzejewski marriage record I’ve located was that for my grandmother’s brother, Wladyslaw (Walter) and his wife, Bronisława (Bernice). This marriage occurred November 6, 1912. And (the themes continue…do I hear the violins yet?) the names are misspelled and indicates that Mierzejewskis married other Mierzejewskis. I knew Bernice was a Mierzejewski prior to marriage; however, it is misspelled for both of the groom and the bride. For the groom, the name is spelled MIERZEYSKI and for the bride the name is spelled MERSEJEWSKA. I did learn one new interesting fact about my grand uncle. I did not know he was previously married. According to this marriage record, Wladyslaw was widowed September 2, 1910. So, another hint to follow. It may be possible his first wife died in Pennsylvania. I also did not know Bernice’s parents prior; their names are given as Peter and Emily–so some good possibilities to chase down with first names would be Piotr and Anelia or Emilia. Click to enlarge the record and view it full size.

Wladyslaw and Bronisława Mierzejewski marriage record, Blair County, Pennsylania 6 November 1912

I think another theme with my locating my grandparents’ family will be patience! Given that I know that at least several of my ancestors married others with the same surname and give how many ways the surname has been spelled, I think I’m just going to need a lot of patience. Lord, give me patience and give it to me now? Old joke, I know. But I know so much about my mother’s side of the family and so little of my dad’s that I wonder if they are playing tricks on me by revealing themselves to me ever so slowly. Mom’s family was wham bam thank you m’am, here we are! They were relatively easy to find and connect unlike my dad’s family. While I continue to learn about mom’s family, I also want that history in Russian Poland that forced my grandfather here in 1923!

I’ve been trying to dig more into my father’s side of the family in the past few weeks, but I have little to show for it right now, still working to write up what I find. But have found something rather interesting.

Sometime ago, I had stumbled upon the grave of a Stanley Mizejewski. While doing some research on this permutation of the name, I did manage to find a bit of history on this family.

Stanley was married to a woman name Frances Pierog. They had a child named Pawel who was born September 3, 1914 and died September 4, 1914. Burial occurred through St. Hedwig Parish and the child was buried September 5 in Calvary. The family was residing on Elm Street.

I am working to follow up on this family, but because it seems they moved into Temperance, the work has been going a bit more slowly. I cannot find any trace of a Frances Pierog and there are several families in the Toledo and southeastern Michigan region who use the Mizejewski spelling. I have some data on another family who spelled the surname this way, and hope to get a post written up about them soon. It’s slow going! These Mierzejewskis (or however you spell that name) are numerous, and it’s difficult finding some of the most basic of their data such as parents’ name or verifying their relationships. No wonder family history keeps telling me my grandmother and grandfather weren’t related. I sometimes empathize with those whose surname is Jones or Smith! According to this map, it appears as if the name is widely distributed throughout Poland, and seems concentrated near the area of origin for my grandparents (Gerwaty and Borowce, Ostrołeka).

I have to apologize for my absence. What I intended to be a quick break over the holiday season turned into an almost two-month absence here. I have been literally swamped with my for-pay-job and trying to process all of the photos I had of Calvary Cemetery. I think that’s been my stress-buster as Congress and President Obama have been tossing the political football known as sequestration! It’s been relaxing to be able to have something interesting and productive to dig into while those of us who work for the Department of Defense sit and wonder!

I will be back and posting regularly within a week or two. In the meantime, there are well over 900 photos that I’ve processed and posted to the Ohio Gravestone Project:

http://www.ohiogravestones.org/cemetery.php?cemID=1417

Happy hunting! (Or digging, as the case may be…)

I know it’s late, but I do hope you all have had thus far a very good and productive New Year!

Modified 12.18.2012, fixed typo in clipping caption (wrong date).

Reverend Andrew Suplicki was pastor of St. Anthony’s parish and baptized, married, and buried many of our ancestors. Fr. Suplicki died December 28, 1921 and his obituary was published on the front page of the Toledo News-Bee the same day.

Father Andrew J. Suplicki, Obituary, Toledo News-Bee December 28, 1921

Father Andrew J. Suplicki, Obituary, Toledo News-Bee December 28, 1921

Father Suplicki Dies, Bell Tolls; Ill Three Weeks

The Rev. Andrew J. Suplicki, 52, pastor of St. Anthony’s Church, Nebraska and Junction avenues, died in Mercy Hospital at 10:35 a.m. on Wednesday, after an illness of three weeks. Pneumonia, that led to complications, caused his death.

The bell on St. Anthony’s Church, tolling solemnly, carried the message of death to hundreds of parishioners who on Christmas day said prayers of hope for the stricken pastor.

Born in Poland

Father Suplicki had been the regular pastor of St. Anthony’s Church since 1901. In his early career he served for a short time as curate of the parish and his later return at the head of the church was joyfully welcomed by the congregation.

Born in Poland, in 1869, Father Suplicki came to America with his parents when 11. His father was Joseph and his mother Katherine Suplicki. The family moved to Cleveland and he attended the parochial schools in that city.

He later attended Resurrection College, in Berlin, Ont. In 1888 he entered St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland to study for the priesthood. He was ordained on Dec. 21, 1893. He came to Toledo as curate of St. Anthony’s Church and established lasting friendships in the parish.

Here Since 1901

Afterward he was assigned as pastor to St. Adelbert’s Church in Berea, where he remained six years, coming to Toledo as pastor of St. Anthony’s in 1901. He served in that position uninterruptedly since that time.

He leaves four sisters, Mrs. Frank Westfall, of Toledo, Mrs. Joseph Lange and Mrs. Taflmar Tlowacki, both of Cleveland, and Mrs. Frances Dendowski of Swnton.

The remains of the Rev. Suplicki will be brought to his home on Nebraska av. on Wednesday evening. At 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, the remains will be taken to St. Anthony’s Church and will lie in state until the services on Monday morning.

Bishop Samuel Stritch will officiate at the services on Monday morning. The burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

Rev. A. J. Suplicki, gravesite

Rev. A. J. Suplicki, gravesite, located in Section 9, Crucifixion Group

Crucifixion Group, Calvary Cemetery, Section 9

Crucifixion Group, Calvary Cemetery, Section 9

Edmund Erdman was a son of Marianna Przybylski and Joseph Erdman. I don’t believe he ever married.

Edmund J. Erdman, Obituary, Toledo Blade, December 18, 1951

Edmund J. Erdman, Obituary, Toledo Blade, December 18, 1951

Edmund J. Erdman

Edmund J. Erdman, 1610 Vance St., died Sunday in his home after a 3-month illness. Mr. Erdman, born in Toledo 49 years ago, was employed 17 years by the city forestry division.

Surviving are his mother, Mrs. Mary Erdman, brothers, Casper, Louis, Leo and Daniel, all of Toledo; sisters, Mrs. Cora Nases, Detroit, and Mrs. Virginia Dembowski, Mrs. Martha Podiak, Mrs. Eleanor Jaroszewski, Mrs. Angela Zielinski and Mrs. Dorothy Adamski.

The body is in the Sujkowski Mortuary. Services will be Thursday at 9 a.m. in St. Stanislaus Church, with burial in Calvary Cemetery.

A clip I’d come across from the Toledo Blade doing other research. Clip is dated November 5, 1940.

Pair to Observe Golden Wedding

Martin Majchszaks Will Attend Anniversary Mass Saturday.

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Majchszak, 2341 Kemper Ave., will observe their 50th wedding anniversary with a mass at 9 a.m. Saturday in St. Anthony’s Church. Msgr. Francis S. Legowski, pastor, will officiate.

The couple came to this country shortly after they had been married in Witkowo, Poland. Mr. Majchszak retired as a Toledo gardener 10 years ago. He is 74 and his wife, 72.

Mr. and Mrs. Majchszak are parents of Mrs. Mary Golembiewski, Sylvania, O.; Mrs. Lucy Olejniczak, Mrs. Pearl Voorhees, Mrs. Cora Jackson, Mrs. Nora Flanigan, Mrs. Helen Parnett, Mrs. Dorothy Stevens and Sister Mary Stanislaus of the Mercy Order. Sons include Anthony, a city policeman; Charles and Michael Majchszak, Toledo. There are 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Martin Majchszaks Golden Wedding Anniversary

Martin Majchszaks Golden Wedding Anniversary

Recently, I processed a large group of photos from Calvary that had a concentration of those who died from influenza. Noting that they had all died in 1918, I thought perhaps I had stumbled on an epidemic, and I did. I heard prior that there was a Spanish flu epidemic in Toledo in 1918, but hadn’t bothered to learn much about it until confronted with it. When looking up the deaths, many of the causes were listed as “La Grippe”–the term for the influenza that was epidemic in Toledo during the latter part of 1918.

While trying to verify some of these deaths, I’d come across the story below, published in the Toledo News-Bee November 7, 1918 that discussed what seems to be a city-wide quarantine imposed on citizens. As usual, I’ve transcribed the story and included the scan. There may be some genealogical tidbits for someone here. There is a mention of a person named Rose Koralewski. I am unsure of who this lady may be (she is not my grand aunt–that Rose died in 1916). I thought to include it here because I’ve noticed some queries hitting this blog for Koralewski and was thinking perhaps it might be useful to someone.

Here is the transcription, image of scan below.

Toledo News-Bee, November 7, 1918

Influenza Ban is Lifted

All Business Is Resumed; Schools Open Monday

The resumption of all business on Thursday thru the lifting of the influenza quarantine ban, was marked by more than usual activity. Moving picture houses and saloons did especially well, tho the happiness of the saloonists was marred a bit by the news that the state has “gone dry.”

All over the city patrons were able to get their “eyeopeners” in saloons before the sun came up. Street cars carried thousands to work before 8:00. Movie houses were filled before noon.

Theatres Crowded.

The Empire and Keith’s had big houses Thursday afternoon.

The closing order will be entirely lifted on Monday when public, private, and parochial schools will re-open.

On Thursday, 69 additional influenza cases, making a total of 5476, were reported. There were 11 deaths from influenza, making a total of 238, one from pneumonia, making a total of 125.

The Death List.

These were the influenza deaths on Thursday:

La Doria D. Thornburgh, 27, 2324 Fulton; Florence Maltman, 32, 2219 Michigan, Municipal Hospital; Heromin Reznerowicz, 4, 1762 Tecumseh; Jozef Baginski, 1, 40 Pearl, Edward A. Bolton, 36, 707 Western, St. Vincent’s Hospital; Irene Szymanski, 5, 1676 Vance; Rose Koralewski, 48, 526 Pulaski; Audrey M. Ragen, 2, 1323 Utah, Ora Bishop, 22, 1743 Huron, Mercy Hospital, Agatha Canton, 42, 3353 Maplewood, St. Vincent’s Hospital; Joseph Katafiasz, 39, 1110 Tecumseh.

From pneumonia: Ralph Baither, 10, 529 Wabash.

Influenza Ban is Lifted, Toledo News-Bee, November 7, 1918

Influenza Ban is Lifted, Toledo News-Bee, November 7, 1918

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