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

Yes, I’m hanging low and quiet. Nothing earth shattering or new being found on the journey right now, and life is keeping me busy outside of genealogy. But I had to log into ancestry.com tonight to reply to a message. Noticed there is a specific resource available on Ancestry that may be of interest to anyone researching the northwest Ohio region.

The lists of crews arriving at the port of Toledo from 1929 through November 1958 are now available through Ancestry. If you have a relative who worked the shipping industry along the St. Lawrence Seaway or on the Great Lakes, you may find your ancestor had a port of call in Toledo.

Link is here: http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2139

The list shows the name of vessel, foreign port of embarkation, the crew names and their position, name of shipping company owning the vessel, and crew member’s nationality.

Recently I’ve been working on some Calvary photos I’d had. Not all I have are related to me or persons I may be researching. Sometimes I will take photos of Polish graves in Calvary because either the name seems familiar or the stone just looks interesting. This is today’s case. I came across the grave of a man named Boleslaw Dalkowski. With the epithet “He lived for service to his people,” I had to learn a bit more about the man.

Boleslaw J. Dalkowski

Boleslaw J. Dalkowski

Seems as if Boleslaw was very much a part of Toledo history as well as prominent within the Polish community of Toledo. A lengthy obit article was published in the Toledo Blade on December 18, 1941. I’ve extracted the majority of the article below.

B. J. Dalkowski Taken by Death

A leader among Toledo Poles and a member of city’s publicity and efficiency commission. Was elected to City Council in 1917 and represented the Fourth Ward until 1923.

Devoted many years in the interest of his countrymen, especially the nearly 20,000 native of Polish descent of the Fourth Ward.

Born in Toledo July 14, 1874, he was associated with the first Polish newspaper published in Toledo, The Ameryka. He remained with that paper only a short time when he began to publish his own newspaper, a weekly Polish publication. He then accepted an offer to become city editor of the Polish Daily Courier in Milwaukee. Mr. Dalkowski held this post for several month when home duties required he return to Toledo.

Mr. Dalkowski then became a member of the staff of the old Toledo News and left to join the Toledo Democrat which remained in existence about 30 days. Mr. Dalkowski then became superintendent of postal sub-station F and held that position for 21 years.

He then joined the Ohio Savings Bank & Trust Co. where he remained 16 years until the bank ceased operations.

During World War I, Mr. Dalkowski participated in and headed many Liberty Loan drives and was president of the Polish Citizens League. He was in charge of a recruiting station in Toledo where Polish youths, rejected from service in the United States Army, enlisted for the Polish Army serving in France.

After the death of his brother, Frank, Mr. Dalkowski managed the Dalkowski Agency of the Miller Insurance Co.

Full story located here.

Quick post today with some more Calvary Cemetery photos.

Piotr Zielinski

Piotr Zielinski

Piotr Zielinski
1876 – 1957
Grave: 736, Range or Lot: 5, Section: 3

Anna Zielinski

Anna Zielinski

Anna Zielinska
1876 – 1925
Grave: 737, Range or Lot: 5, Section: 3
Note: Anna’s maiden name was Olszewski

Antonina Zielinski

Antonina Zielinski

Antonina Zielinska
1866 – 1925
Proze O Modlit We
Grave: 1591, Range or Lot: 11, Section: 3

Frank F. Jankowski

Frank F. Jankowski

Beloved Husband
Frank F. Jankowski
1899 – 1932
Grave: 725, Range or Lot: 5, Section: 3

Have been slowly following up with locating and placing the Rochowiak family. Making some great headway. Found some good data for the Lawrence Rochowiak family.

While I had been given the tip that Lawrence married Rosalia Sklomokowska in Sts. Peter and Paul Church in 1875, I haven’t been able to really confirm that fact directly with an accurate marriage record. What I have found was a marriage record from Sts. Peter and Paul, dated 4 May 1875 that clearly reflects the name Laurentium Rochowiak. However, this record indicates a marriage to Rosalia Jaseizewski (sp?).

My thinking is that perhaps the priest made an error with the recording of the bride’s name. The marriage was witnessed by Ratka (sp?) and Josepha Janiski. The reason I do think this is very likely an error is that the first son to this marriage, Joseph, was born and baptized 26 November 1876. The parish baptismal records from Sts. Peter and Paul reflect this. It may be possible to find the Ohio marriage record through microfilm; however, my experience with some of the Lucas County records prior to about 1880 or so is that they are spotty if they exist at all. While many counties in Ohio may have records from this period, it seems that Lucas County was one of the last counties to be truly settled and governed in an organized manner — records just don’t seem to be available as easily prior to about 1880. (The city of Toledo seemed to be pretty much unwanted swampland until somewhere during the 1840s-1850s when the canals came in to support commerce; population doesn’t seem to have had much growth until the late 1870s. So it’s likely there was no or little formal civil recording of births, marriages, or deaths until a few years after Rose and Lawrence were married.)

Rose and Lawrence did have eight children that I can verify through church baptism records:

  1. Joseph, b. 1876. I have not been able to find any record for his death. An interesting thing to note with Joseph’s baptismal record is that his godparents or sponsors were Joseph Lisiakowski and Vincent Rochowiak. I am unsure if there were two men, perhaps the priest again made an error with name recording and the godmother may have been Josepha. But the more interesting thing to note is yet another Rochowiak. Martin, Lawerence, and Frances may have had yet another male relation (possibly brother or uncle) that had immigrated to Toledo. I have not yet located any records for a Vincent Rochowiak whose age range would align here; but it is something to keep an eye out for!
  2. Agnes, b. 1878 (St. Hedwig Parish), m. John Drzewiecki 1878 (St. Anthony’s parish). I have not be able to find any record for her death. But another interesting note: Her marriage was witnessed by Frank Przybylski.
  3. Frank, b. 1879, m. Katharine Okonska 1901 (St. Anthony’s parish), d. 1953. Another interesting note: marriage was witnessed by Victoria Przybylski.
  4. Mary, b. 1882, d. 1895 (St. Anthony’s parish). Mary’s burial record from Calvary indicates that she died of typhoid fever, two weeks after her mother died of the same.
  5. Anthony, b. 1882 (St. Anthony’s parish baptism record, Anthony’s godmother was Frances Rochowiak), d. 1929 (St. Anthony’s parish death record).
  6. Constansia, b. 1889 (St. Anthony’s parish baptism record, Martin Rochowiak was godfather). I have not been able to find any record for her death.
  7. Eva, b. 1891, d. 1891. It appears as if Eva was either stillborn or died shortly after birth.
  8. Anna, b. 1892. Per brother Frank’s obituary (Toledo Blade, 8 January 1953), it indicates she married a man named Flowers. I have not been able to find any record for her death.

Rosalia died 15 July 1895 per the death records from St. Anthony’s parish. She was buried in grave 4, lot 182, section 30 in Calvary Cemetery on the 16th of July. Per the burial record, cause of death was typhoid fever.

After Rose’s death, Lawerence married Anna Ziemkiewicz on 7 June 1897 per St. Anthony’s parish marriage records. This record indicates that Anna was born in Prussia. Additionally, this marriage was witnessed by Frank Przybylski and also by a Frank (Franciszek) Rochowiak. This cannot be an error on behalf of the priest because this is a signature indicating this person witnessed the marriage. So, it’s likely again that Frances, Martin, and Lawrence had another close male relative, possibly a brother or uncle, who was also living in the Toledo area.

Lawrence and Anna had two children that I could locate:

  1. Clara, b. 1898, m. Leo Szykowny, d. 1985 (obituary from the Toledo Blade, dated 8 November 1985).
  2. Joseph Wladyslaw, b. 1901 (St. Anthony’s parish baptismal record). I have not been able to locate a death record for this Joseph; however, through census records that indicated his occupation, we do know he was alive at least until 1930. A newspaper clipping mentions his work as a city of Toledo police officer.

Lawrence died 4 June 1930 per a Toledo News Bee death notice. The death notice does not indicate survivors other than his wife, Anna.

Anna died 22 April 1955, per the St. Anthony’s parish death records. I have not been able to obtain an obituary or death notice for Anna to locate survivors.

My apologies for being absent. Spring and summer tend to get really busy for me — I love to travel and was away over the holiday weekend.  Need to get more information organized and some more posts written up. In the meantime, I’ll post a few more of the Calvary photos that I have.

Michalina Osinska
July 30, 1859 – Nov. 8, 1931
Grave: 602, Range or Lot: 30, Section: 27

Michalina Osinska

Michalina Osinska

Jozef Zielinski
UM. 5 GRUD. 1913 (Died 5 December 1913)
HIAL LAT 50 (50 years)
Miasto Zorowag Marya

Grave 1590 Lot 11 Section 3

Jozef Zielinski

Jozef Zielinski

Wiktorya (Victoria) Okonska
Grud 21 1863 (b Dec. 21, 1863)
Grud 21 1914 (d Dec 21, 1914)
Grave 253, Lot 3, Section 30

Wiktorya Okonska

Wiktorya Okonska

Jan Okonski
Sier. 20, 1858 (b Aug. 20, 1858)
Sier. 30, 1915 (d Aug. 30, 1915)
Grave: 258, Lot: 3, Section: 30

Jan Okonski

Jan Okonski

Again, via the generosity of John Plenzler, we have another mystery wedding photo.

Mystery Wedding Photo

Mystery Wedding Photo

Click the photo to get a larger version. There is no ID whatsoever for this photo, there is not even a studio identification on the photo. However, I think the best man looks quite a bit like Raymond Przybylski. Compare and see if you agree! As usual, if you have any idea who these people may be, let me know. Drop a comment here or drop me an email and I’ll follow up. Also, if anyone knows the answer to these questions, I’d like to know: Was there a period when wedding photos were taken in studios? If so, were the photos actually taken the day of the marriage or were they taken before? It seems many of the wedding photos I’ve seen from my parents’ generation and prior have been studio settings. This was not a practice when I was married 30+ years ago–wedding photos and portraits were usually taken at church or at the reception afterwards.


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