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!

Konstanty for me was a real find and a bit of a mystery because I am not quite sure how he is related to my family. I never remember hearing my dad or his sister mention him as I was growing up. All dad and his sister, Celia, ever mentioned as best as I can recall was their dad, Walter. I learned about Jan (or John) when first beginning my research and locating the 1923 Ellis Island manifest that showed Walter coming here with his wife Helen and two children, Walter Jr. and Celia. When I reviewed my father’s birth certificate and noted the address of 1763 Buckingham, a few things began to fall into place.

I located Konstanty’s World War I draft registration card. This registration had the 1763 Buckingham address. This piece of evidence leads me to believe that Walter and John had a brother. The draft registration card is dated 1918; and he provides his wife, Stephania, as his next of kin.

I am assuming that Konstanty is a brother to Walter and Jan (my great-uncle) based on the evidence of the address at 1763 Buckingham and the fact that each of these three men had lived within a close distance to each other and the fact that there are some similarities in data on the death certificates for Konstanty and Walter. However, I cannot yet prove this to be the case. I do believe there is some type of blood relationship. This is a screen snap of the family tree as I know it.

Per Konstanty’s death certificate, he was born in Poland on March 15, 1886. His parents are named on his death certificate as Julian Mierzejewski and Anna Borkowski. Walter’s death certificate indicates his parents names are John and Anna. I have evidence that Anna’s name may have been Brzozwska per information obtained from R. Stark on ancestry.com.

This is an area of future research for me, particularly to verify Anna’s family name. I have located a manifest for SS Prinz Oskar arriving in Philadelphia on March 23, 1912 that lists a Konstanty Mierzejewski. He was traveling from Brwilno, Poland and was to meet Boleslaw Rogalski. The notation on the manifest is that Boleslaw was here 5 years and that Konstanty heard from him last 3 months ago. The name of the relative is provided as Jan Mierzejewski in Brwilno.

Still, there are questions concerning the manifests and birthplaces or village locations that I’ve noted with John, Walter, and Konstanty.

Manifests that I’ve located for Walter and John indicate that they’ve originated from near Tomasze, Poland. Konstanty’s indicate Brwilno. And R Stark has indicated Podlanski as Konstanty’s birthplace. I’ve mapped these regions.

Konstanty married Stephania Dykowski. Stephania was born in Pennsylvania, and it seems as if Konstanty had settled there for about seven or eight years. Per the 1920 census, Konstanty arrived here in 1903 and first four children were born in Pennsylvania per the 1920 census:

Edward, born 1908
Bertha, born 1911
Stanislaus, born 1912
Sigismund, born 1915

I am wondering whether Jan and Konstanty both migrated to Pennsylvania together for a time as John’s first child, Helen, was also born in Pennsylvania, although I have not yet found Helen’s birth location.

The 1920 census lists their address as 410 Detroit Avenue.  This put the three Mierzejewski brothers in the same neighborhood, within walking distance of each other.

Konstanty’s wife, Stephania, was born in Gallitzen, Pennsylvania per the 1920 census data I located on ancestry.com. It was likely Konstanty married after his arrival to the US in 1903. The 1920 census shows Konstanty’s address as 410 N. Detroit Ave.;  however, when his  fifth child, Jerome, was born on November 3, 1920, the family was living at 1652 Indiana Street, approximately a mile away. Jerome was born prematurely and died November 4, 1920 and was baptized and interred through St. Stanislaus parish.

The Indiana Street address is about a mile away from his previous Detroit Ave. address.

Per the 1930 census, Konstanty had moved to the east side of Toledo, to 1305 Camp Street. By 1930, he and Stephania had three more children:

Raymond, born about 1923
Violet, born about 1925
Pauline, born about 1927

Additionally, the 1930 census shows that his eldest daughter, was married to George Smith. Bertha and her husband as well as their grandson, George Smith Jr. were living with Konstanty and Stephania. The 1930 census states that Konstanty owns the home on Camp Street and it is valued at $2,000.

By 1942, Konstanty shows an address of 545 Earl Street as indicated on his World War II draft registration card.

Konstanty passed away on February 26, 1945 and I’ve located his obituary from the Toledo Blade dated February 27, 1945. Below is a transcription of the obituary:

K. Mierzejewski

Konstanti Mierzejewski died yesterday in his home, 545 Earl St. He was 58.

Surviving are his wife, Stefanie; sons, Edward, Stanley, Zygmund, Pvt. Roman, in France, and Robert; daughters, Mrs. Bertha Smith, Frances and Pauline; sisters, Mrs. Adela Morowski and Mrs. Eleanor Peczynski, and 12 grandchildren.

He was a member of the Polish National Alliance, 1139. Services will be Saturday at 8:15 a.m. in the F. L. Gasiorowski Funeral Home, and at 9 a.m. in Good Shepherd Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

What surprises me is that if Walter and John were brothers of Konstanty, that they were not mentioned in the obituary. Walter died a year later in 1946 and John died at the end of 1945. I had not heard that Walter and John had sisters or a brother; but I was not born until 1959. However, I do believe there is some type of blood relationship given the fact that Konstanty had resided with John for some time and remained in the Kuschwantz neighborhood for a period of time, within a mile of both Walter and John. Would there have been a rift that caused some separation between the brothers? Or was there another type of blood relationship (cousin)?

Konstanty was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Below is a transcription of the burial record from Calvary:

No. 45052
Name: Konstanty Mierzejewski
Residence: Toledo
Age: 58
Cause of Death: Bronchial Asthma
Date of Interment: March 3
Grave N 1/2, Range or Lot 404, Section 33
Undertaker: F.L. Gaswiorwski

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