Andrew and Frances are my mother’s maternal grandparents, my great-grandparents.

Andrew and Frances were married about 1873, in a Catholic parish in Chometowo; and I’m going to work with a contact in the near future in order to obtain a copy of their marriage record. There is some discrepancy with Frances’ maiden name. A record abstract that I  located for Andrew’s and Frances’ marriage lists Frances’ last name as Prochowiak.

The marriage abstract information that I was able to locate indicates that Andrew’s father was Valentinus and his mother was Josepha. Frances’ father was listed as Adalbertus and her mother listed as Marianna.

Chometowo is in northwestern Poland and was previously part of Germany prior to 1945.

Andrew and Frances arrived in the US sometime about 1880 and seemed to have settled directly into the St. Anthony parish neighborhood. Their first child, Frank, was born in Germany on May 17, 1876.

Their second child was likely Rose. Her death certificate states her birth as June 16, 1883; however, her marriage record to Kasper Koralewski from St. Anthony’s parish in 1900 indicates she was was born about 1880.

A 1892 city directory for Toledo lists Andrew as living on Vance Street. (I do not know who the other Andrew Przybylski on Blum Street is.)

Five more children were born to Andrew and Frances:

Adam died at about six months of age on October 9, 1893 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery on October 10. His death record through St. Anthony’s is transcribed below:

Date of death 9 Oct 1893, date of burial 10 Oc 1893, Adam Przybylski, fil. leg. Andrew Przybylski et Franscae Przybylski, 5 mos. nescitur, Calvary

I’ve transcribed his burial record below:

Adam Przybylski
1637 Vance Street
Age 5 months
White male
Disease: Intestinal Derangement
Date of decease: 8 Oct.
Date of Burial: 10 Oct.
Buried Grave 6, Lot 133, Section 30.

About six months after Adam passed away, Andrew died. His death was also recorded through St. Anthony’s death registry and is transcribed below:

Andreas Przybylski, maritus Fransicae Pryzbylski, 51 amorium, sepultus in Calvaria.

Andrew also was buried at Calvary Cemetery. His burial record is transcribed below:

Andrew Przybylski
1637 Vance St.
Age 50 years, 10 months.
Disease: Jaundice.
Died 26 January 1894.
Buried 28 January 1894.
Buried Grave 4, Lot 176, Section 30

Frances does not seem to have remarried and remained in the home at 1637 Vance Street for a number of years per an 1897 Toledo city directory, the 1910 census (which also indicates that Anastasia and her first husband, Stanley Lawecki, were living here as well), and the 1920 census (which also indicates that she was living with her daughter, Eva and her husband, Stanley Hejnicki and their son, Leonard).

Frances also lost two other children before she had passed away:

  • Rose, who passed away in 1916 from tuberculosis.
  • Stanislaw, who passed away in 1919 after an accidental amputation in an industrial incident.

Frances passed away on May 12, 1922 in Toledo. Her residence on the death certificate is listed as Frank Seija’s (husband of her daughter, Victoria). She is buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Frances Przybylski
1451 Avondale
Age 62
Cause of death: Cirrhosis of Liver
Date of Interment May 15, 1922.
Grave 2602, Range or Lot 17, Grave 3.
Undertaker: Czolgosz.

Anastasia was my maternal grandmother. She was born February 23, 1889 to Andrew Przybylski and Frances Rochowiak. There were seven siblings that I could locate, and Anastasia was the sixth in line. The last two siblings were twins, Eva and Adam. Adam had died in infancy.

Here is a screen snap of her branch of the family tree.

She married twice. First marriage was to Stanley Lawecki. They had a son, Daniel, born July 21, 1910 and baptized July 24, 1910 in St. Stanislaus parish.

Daniel’s baptismal record is transcribed below:

Nomen Infantis Et Residentia: Daniel
Dies Mensis Annus Navitatis: 21a Julii Baptismi: 24a Julii
Nomen Parentum: Stanislaus Lawecki, Anastasia Przybylski
Nomen Patrinorum: ?? Lawecki, Eva Przybylska

Stanley passed away in October 1910 due to typhoid, and Daniel passed away a month later due to cholera.

Stanley and Daniel are both buried in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo.

Stanley’s burial record is transcribed below:

No. 12404
Name of deceased: Stanley Lawecki
Late residence: 1637 Vance
Age: 25 years, 0 months, 18 days
Color: W
Sex: M
Disease: Typhoid Fever
Date of interment: 12 Oct.
Married, Single, Widowed: M
Place of death: Toledo
No. of Grave: 269
No. of Lot: 26
No. of Sect.: 27
Name of Physician: E. Story
Name of undertaker: WJ Gasiorowski

Daniel’s burial record is transcribed below:

No. 12461
Name of deceased: Daniel Lawecki
Place of Nativity:
Late Residence: 1637 Vance
Color: W
Sex: M
Age: 3 months, 11 days
Disease: Cholera Infantum
Date of deceased: 11/2
Date of interment: 11/5
Place of death: Toledo
Name of physician: A. Kreiger
Grave 3, Lot 180, Section 29

Anastasia married John Plenzler on November 2, 1912. They resided at 722 Brown Street and had three children: Raymond, Florence, and Virginia.

Marriage record from St. Anthony’s Parish for Anastasia Lawecka Przybylska and John Plenzler.

Anastasia caused me a bit of confusion while researching her. The first record I was able to locate for her was her death certificate, which states her birth as February 23, 1891. As I went further, looking into St. Anthony’s and St. Stanislaus parish records, I stumbled upon the marriage record for Anastasia and John Plenzler. The marriage record indicated that she was baptized on February 20, 1889.

Baptismal record for Anastasia Przybylski

Anastasia was widowed again when John died in 1936. Two of their children were grown adults by then; however, my mother was only 10 years old when her father passed away of stomach cancer. Anastasia herself passed away in March, 1946 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Death certificate Anastasia Przybylski

She was buried in Calvary Cemetery.  Here is the transcription of the Calvary burial record:

Name: Anastasia Plenzler
Residence: Toledo
Age: 55
Cause of death: cerebral hemorrhage
Date of interment: 3/16/1946
Grave: 3740, Range or lot: 8, Section: 32
Undertaker: Sujkowski & Son

Stanley Lawecki was the first husband of my maternal grandmother, Anastasia Przybylski. Stanley was born to John and Maryanna Lawecki who resided at 1432 Hamilton Street per the 1900 census.

Here is a screen snap of this branch of the family tree.

While I am unable to locate their marriage record, a possible date for their marriage would have been sometime in 1909. The 1910 census reflects that Anastasia and Stanley were living at 1637 Vance Street with Anastasia’s mother, Frances (Rochowiak-Przybylski) and her sister, Eva.

Stanley and Anastasia had one son, Daniel, born in July 1910. There is some discrepancy with Daniel’s birthdate. The baptismal record for Daniel Lawecki from St. Stanislaus reflects that he was born July 21, 1910 and was baptized on July 24, 1910. However, Daniel’s death certificate indicates that he was born on July 10, 1910.

Daniel Lawecki St. Stanislaus Parish Baptismal Record

Here is the transcription of the baptismal record:

Nomen Infantis Et Residentia: Daniel
Dies Mensis Annus Navitatis: 21a Julii Baptismi: 24a Julii
Nomen Parentum: Stanislaus Lawecki, Anastasia Przybylski
Nomen Patrinorum: ?? Lawecki, Eva Przybylska

Anastasia’s sister, Eva, was  Daniel’s godmother.

Stanley died on October 9, 1910 of typhoid. Daniel died less than a month later of cholera on November 2, 1910. Both are buried at Calvary Cemetery, Toledo.

Stanley Lawecki death certificate

Stanley Lawecki burial record, Calvary Cemetery

Transcription of Stanley’s burial record:

No. 12404
Name of deceased: Stanley Lawecki
Late residence: 1637 Vance
Age: 25 years, 0 months, 18 days
Color: W
Sex: M
Disease: Typhoid Fever
Date of interment: 12 Oct.
Married, Single, Widowed: M
Place of death: Toledo
No. of Grave: 269
No. of Lot: 26
No. of Sect.: 27
Name of Physician: E. Story
Name of undertaker: WJ Gasiorowski

Daniel Lawecki death certificate

Daniel Lawecki burial record, Calvary Cemetery

Transcription of Daniel’s burial record:

Fifth record:

Daniel Lawecki, 1637 Vance, Age 3 months, 11 days. Cholera Infantum. Died 11/2. Date of interment 11/5. Place of death: Toledo. Grave 3, Lot 180, Section 29.

John Plenzler was my maternal grandfather. Born February 20, 1885 in Toledo, Ohio to Joseph Plenzler and Eva Dauer, he was the third of nine children. There were seven boys and two girls.

Here is a screen snap of John Plenzler’s family tree.

John was baptized February 22, 1885.

John Plenzler baptism record, St. Anthony’s Parish, Toledo, Ohio

Here is the transcription of the baptismal record:

Nom. Inf.: Jannes
Parentis: Joseph Pencner, Eva Dawor
Patrini: Michael Mruk, Catharina Falkensztajn
Dies Natal: 20 February Bapt. 22 February
Nomen Sacradolis: Rev. M. F. Orzechowski

Most Roman Catholic records during this time were recorded in Latin, and Jannes is the Latin version of John.

The last name, Plencner, is also a common misspelling of the name.

Eva’s name is probably misspelled; however, there are a number of variations of Dauer and I am unsure of which is the correct version. John’s death certificate reflects that his mother’s name is spelled Dauer.

Ohio Death Certificate John Plenzler

John joined the US Marines in 1908 and served until about June 1912. John was stationed at a number of bases throughout the US.

John Plenzler Marine enlistment record, August 8, 1908

John Plenzler 1910 Hawaii census (border while in Honolulu)

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call December 1910

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call July 1911

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call August 1911

John Plenzler Marine Muster Call June 1912

After discharge from the Marines, John married Anastasia Przybylski (Lawecki) in St. Anthony’s parish, Toledo, Ohio on November 4, 1912.  Anastasia was widowed in October 1910 after a brief marriage to Stanley Lawecki. She then lost their only son in November 1910.

Marriage record from St. Anthony’s parish, Toledo, Ohio for John Plenzler and Anastasia Przybylski (Lawecki).

John and Anastasia resided at 722 Brown Street, Toledo, Ohio and had three children: Raymond, Florence, and Virginia. John passed away on August 2, 1936 at home of stomach cancer. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery. Below is the transcription of the burial record.

No. 36887 – Right hand page
Name: John Plenzler
Residence: 722 Brown
Age: 51
Cause of Death: Cancer of Stomach
Date of Interment: Aug. 5
Grave 3741 Range or Lot: 8 Section: 32
Undertaker: Sujkowski & Son

After researching my family genealogy off and on — really in spurts and stops — for a few years, I think I finally have some reliable, solid, and great data. For me, it’s been somewhat difficult because I had sketchy data about my father. I knew about his military service and I did grow up to know his sister and sister-in-law and several cousins on my father’s side. Unfortunately, I never bothered to really sit down with him and talk about his history before he died.

My mother’s side of the family is something else! I’ve learned she had a very large family, with some marriages that really surprised me — one sister had married her sister’s widower, there also were a few intermarriages between the families! But starting out, I had sketchy about her family. She did tell my sisters and me about her mother and father and she knew her grandparents’ names as we were growing up. Of course, we got the lines about how she had to live through the Great Depression and how awful it would be to be wasteful. As a kid, I’d roll my eyes and tune out the discussion but overtime I realized the wisdom of her words and tried to understand the experience. I’m not sure if I ever can fully understand.

I had few photographs to work from. The photographs I was able to locate were primarily of my father’s time in the Army Air Corps and he never talked much about his time in the military — although he loved airplanes and would read history books about the Air Force and different types of aircraft hours on end when he wasn’t reading true crime stories. Additionally, he loved building airplane models in the basement. Never knew what would happen if you walked in on him because the smell of airplane glue rapidly took effect until you reminded him to open a window.

I did not have many photos of my mother save a few of her with my father during their dating, engagement, and early years of marriage. They made quite the attractive and happy couple!

Still, I did not grow up knowing my grandparents as they had passed away before I was born. My mom and dad I suppose were so busy raising a family and working that we never really talked much about how they lived, how their families got here, and who they really were. Truthfully, I don’t think I thought much of it either until my children were grown and had asked me questions for school assignments — my youngest once asked me (she’s the psychologist of the family) about any known mental illnesses or alcoholism in the family as part of her professional studies. I wanted to laugh. Instead, I jokingly reminded her that she’s of Polish and Irish extraction (on her dad’s side) and Catholic. How did that add up? (Yes, we can be a sarcastic bunch.)

So my search was probably different than most — I had to really dig, and digging I still am. While mom’s still alive, I decided to get her involved in some short informal conversation while we would be out having lunch or grocery shopping. Every little snippet of information I could glean, I would squirrel away. Mom tires easily these days but does love to chit chat about family and what she can remember.

Using these snippets, and some original photos and documentation I had gathered from my dad’s mementos, I was able to come up with just enough intelligence — addresses, correct spellings of names, parishes family and friends belonged to — in order to start a search.

While this may sound rather macabre, the single biggest help to me in this search was a series of online, scanned documents for Ohio Deaths, the Toledo Diocese Death, Baptisms, and Marriages, and Calvary Cemetery records. Imagine reading death certificates as part of your historically-inclined hobbies. Honestly, it did make for some fascinating reading and brought much light and background to me about how many Polish immigrants in the Toledo region lived in the late 1800s through the 1950s. The LDS church sponsors this collection free of charge at http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start. It is a pilot program, many of the records are just images with no index. But the information available here can be worthwhile, particularly to any researcher with Polish family in the Toledo area.

I have not yet gone “off shore” yet with my research. However, I found the lives of my family so fascinating in Toledo that I felt I had to stop and write about them while I am doing research. Hopefully some day, I will be able to research and locate records from Poland, perhaps even travel there some day.

I’m researching these families: Mierzejewski, Plenzler, Przybylski, Dauer, and Rochowiak. I have confusing information regarding the Mierzejewski family and working to straighten that out. There is some basic information about my grandfather, Wladyslaw (Walter) and his family. I’ve found what I assumed were two brothers to Walter (Jan and Konstanty); however, we all know what assumptions are made of and I may find that assumption is wrong as I’ve just heard a confirmation of a rumor I’d heard as a child and something my mom recently told me: that my paternal grandmother also was a Mierzejewski and it seems that family was quite large. So…it’s off to digging and asking more before I can really assume anything. I’ll update the bios as I learn and confirm.

I have some very good information on the Plenzler and Przybylski families in Toledo and am following up with leads and contacts with cousins I’ve recently “re-found!” My mother’s father was John Plenzler and her mother was Anastasia Przybylski.

I am also working towards locating the Dauer and Rochowiak families. My maternal great-grandparents were Eva Dauer and Joseph Plenzler and Andrew Przybylski and Frances Rochowiak.

But for now, it’s March madness and basketball is interrupting me. (Go UK!)  I will be posting bios of family members as I can complete them. So remember this is a work in progress and if anything is inaccurate, please please let me know.

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