With some of the breakthroughs I’ve had with my great-grandmother Franciszka Rochowiak’s family, I was able to positively identify her mother as Marianna Mazana. Because some of the records for parishes in Gorzyce, Gora Znin, and Chometowo are now available on Family Search, I pored over these records to see how far back I could take Franciszka’s family.  Because Franciszka’s father, Adalbert seemed to move around a bit, it was helpful to peruse all areas to see what I could find.  Adalbert married his third wife, Marianna Mazana, Franciszka’s mother, in 1851 in Gora Znin. I have located in him Gora Znin, Chometowo, and Zydowo. It appears Adalbert was a servant who would work for an estate or at a large farm, settle down, marry, have children, and then become widowed. He’d then migrate to a new area, find a new wife, and then re-settle.

Marianna Mazana was born 25 March 1822 in Białozewin, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland to Lucas Mazany and Marianna Brzykcy.1 Baptism occurred March 30. Lucas is indicated as a farmer, it seems some type of livestock farmer by the notation of “plebus colonus.” A snippet of this document that shows Marianna’s baptism/birth record is below.  The full record can be located in the Archive of the Archdiocese of Gneizno Parish, Baptismal Records for 1817-1826.

Marianna Mazana birth 1822

Marianna Mazana birth 1822

Godparents were Stanislaus Bauza and Anna Mazana. Stanislaus is indicated as a farmer,  Anna is indicated as a plebus uxor coloni, wife of a farmer. I am unsure of how Anna is related to Lucas, I’m pretty certain though time will reveal that.

Marianna died in 1856, shortly after her daughter, Marianna died. The child died 12 November 1856 and her mother died 13 December 1856. The death record for each, mother and daughter, are contained on the same page, below. The death record notes “1 liber.” The priest is indicating the mother left behind one minor child, who would be Franciszka. This record can be obtained from the Archive Archdiocese of Gniezno, Chometowo Parish, LDS Project #POL GNI-1, Roll #211, Mortuorum.

Marianna Rochowiak death 1856

Marianna Rochowiak (daughter) and Marianna Mazana Rochowiak (mother) death records 1856

I was then able to locate Lucas Mazany’s birth and death records. Lucas was born 12 October 1774 in Januszkowo, Kujawasko-Pomorskie, Poland and died 2 February 1839 in Białozewin, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland. His birth record can be located in the Archive of the Archdiocese of Gniezno, Gora Znin parish, Baptisms 1762 – 1782. His death record can be located in the Archdiocese of Gniezno, Gora Znin parish, Mortuorum 1828 – 1838.

Lucas Mazany birth 1774

Lucas Mazany birth 1774

Lucas Mazany death 1830

Lucas Mazany and Francisca Mazana death records 1830. Lucas’ death is recorded to the left, daughter Francisca’s to the right. 

Additionally, I was able to locate three siblings so far for Lucas:

  • Marianna, b. 1771
  • Anastasia, b. 1776
  • Apolonia, b. 1779

We know that his wife, Marianna Brzycka died in 1825. Lucas married Marianna Pierdoła on 22 October 1826 in Szczepanowo, Kujawasko-Pomoroskie, Poland.

Each of the birth records for the four children all indicate parents were Paul Mazany and Regina. However, Lucas’ death record does provide his mother’s maiden name: Domiczanka.

On the same death record that records Lucas’ death, we have a bit of additional information. His daughter, Francisca, died shortly after Lucas. Francisca was born in 1812 and died not quite three weeks after her father on 20 February 1830.

All in all, I am elated I have not only been able to trace quite a bit of information about a 3X great-grandfather, I have been able to identify two 4X great-grandparents!

1There is a twist to this as well that needs to be investigated later: Adalbert’s mother, per his birth record from Gorzyce, was also named Marianna Brzykcy. It’s obvious that the two Marianna Brzykcys are not the same when analyzing records for the births and deaths of both Marianna Mazana and Adalbert.

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Since the last I posted, I did some more research on Andreas Dauer, my 2nd great-grandfather. I knew he was married three times: to Marianna Hirsch, Marianna Remlein, and Maria Aumiller. His third wife was my 2nd great-grandmother. Andreas had children with each wife, and the best I can determine his children with each wife are listed below:

Marianna Hirsch (b. about 1810, m. Andreas 14 January 1839 in Gluszyna, and d. 8 December 1840 in Czapury).

  1. Jan Dauer, b. 2 December 1839 in Czapury and died 29 December 1839 in Czapury.
  2. Barbara Dauer, b. 25 November 1840 in Czapury. Death and marriages unknown.

Marianna Remlein (b. about 1814 in Czapury, m. Andreas on 13 October 1841, d. in Czapury 19 December 1841).

  1. Margaretha, b. about 1842 in Czapury, m. Andreas Torz 1864 in Gluszyna, m. Valentine Olejniczak 1881 in Wiry, d. 15 December 1884 in Wiry.
  2. Katharina, b. 18 November 1843 in Czapury, m. Michael Kajser 25 October 1863, d. unknown. (So, this is the son-in-law who reported Andreas’ death!)
  3. Marianna, b. 30 July 1845 in Czapury, d. 17 May 1846 in Czapury.
  4. Peter, b. 15 February 1847 in Czapury, m. Auguste Franke in Glatz, Preußen 9 November 1875, d. unknown.
  5. Eva, b. 15 December 1848, m. and d. unknown. (This Eva is not my great-grandmother.)

Maria Aumiller, b. about 1826 in Czapury, m. Andreas 29 November 1856 in Gluszyna, d. 16 July 1866 in Wiorek.

  1. Martin, b. 9 November 1856 in Czapury, d. 20 November 1859 in Czapury.
  2. Eva b. 21 December 1857 ¹ in Czapury, m. Joseph Plenzler 8 November 1879 in Gluszyna, d. 20 October 1914 in Toledo, Ohio. (This Eva is my great-grandmother.)
  3. Andreas, b. 13 November 1859 in Czapury, d. 27 December 1859 in Wiorek.
  4. Michael, b. 3 September 1861 in Wiorek, m. Marie Wojciechowska in November 1866, d. unknown.
  5. Katharina, b. 12 October 1864, m. Casimir Borowicz February 1884, d. unknown, found residing in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1917.

Reviewing all the data I had located through the Gluszyna parish to establish Andreas’ death and marriages helped to identify all of his children. I was unaware of nearly all of his children with Marianna Remlein. I was able to locate a son, Peter, and find Katharina Dauer Kajser’s marriage to identify who reported Andreas’ death.

Again, the recurrent theme in my ancestry: repeated names. Much of my confusion when trying to identify members of Andreas’ family was the fact he had two Katharinas and two Evas. I do know there are mentions of another Eva Dauer in the Gluszyna parish records, but I had ignored them all of this time thinking this Eva was likely the daughter of another family. I now know I need to re-review those records.

Except for Eva Dauer Plenzler, a good number of Andreas’ children just “fall off the radar” for me and I cannot locate deaths, although I can locate marriages and some children in a number of instances. So I have some work ahead of me to try to trace the children I know were living when Andreas died. I know one other child besides Eva Dauer Plenzler came to the US, but not to Toledo. Katharina Dauer Borowicz was found with her husband Casimir in the 1920 census in Erie, Pennsylvania. I had also noted Casimir was listed in an Erie, Pennsylvania City Directory as early as 1913. So I believe Katharina and Casimir came to the US much later than her sister Eva Dauer Plenzler and her husband, Joseph. Eva would have died shortly after their arrival (20 October 1914), so it’s possible the sisters would not have been able to reunite and visit each other. I would like to think they had, but there likely is no record of such a visit.

¹ A small added bonus to all of this was locating my great-grandmother’s birth record by re-reviewing all of the records I was able to locate from the Gluszyna parish and being able to review her birth record. Eva Dauer Plenzler’s death certificate states her date of birth was 24 December 1857. But her birth record from the Gluszyna parish indicates she was born 23 December–so her death certificate was a day off on her birth date.

Been a long time, eh? Yes, I am still researching, but not much time to write or publish this blog. Part of what’s kept me busy on the research end has been the brickwall of my 2x great-grandparents, Maria Aumiller and Andreas Dauer.

Sometime ago, I had been contacted by the great-granddaughter of Adalbert Aumiller. We had exchanged a number of emails where she had provided me considerable detail about Adalbert, who was married in the same Catholic parish in Gluszyna as my great-grandmother and great-grandfather, Eva Dauer and Joseph Plenzler.  The Adalbert in question was a theoretical possibility being tossed about that he was somehow related to Eva Dauer, whose mother was Maria Aumiller.

Well, I haven’t proved that yet. We discussed a possibility that Adalbert and Eva were connected as first cousins–the theory was that Adalbert and Eva shared a grandfather named Bartholomeus and a grandmother named Barbara Schneider. Research on this angle has not yet proved fruitful, but I believe I need to pursue this line of thinking further.

Fortunately, persistence did pay off and I did manage to find a death record for Maria that provided her parents’ names. Maria died 16 July 1866 in Wiorek. See entry #45 in the image below.

Maria Aumiller Dauer death 16 July 1866

Maria Aumiller Dauer death 16 July 1866

Maria’s parents were Michael Aumiller and Maria Remlein. So it appears I may need to trace Michael to determine whether his parents were Bartholomeus and Maria Remlein. (Remlein is a repeated name within my lines, there is a small handful of marriages within my mother’s lines that involved Remleins. Which, to add confusion to this issue, the second wife of Andreas was a Marianna Remlein. I’m certain anyone who has researched small villages in Poland will feel the pain with the names and untangling the relationships!)

Maria died of cholera at the age 40. When she died, there was a cholera epidemic that spread through Poland due to the Austrian-Prussian war in 1866. This epidemic was part of a worldwide pandemic of cholera that occurred from approximately 1863 through 1875 and began in the Middle East and then was spread throughout Russia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas via travelers. It seems the region around the Gluszyna parish where this death record is from had been particularly hit hard in summer of 1866. Each death except for one this page was caused by cholera.

While searching for further information on Maria, I found a death record for Andreas as well within the death records for the parish in Gluszyna. Andreas died 17 April 1871 of “febris nervosa,” probably typhoid fever.

Andreas Dauer death 17 April 1871

Andreas Dauer death 17 April 1871

What is particularly interesting in Andreas’ death record is the fact his death was reported by a Michael Kajser, indicated as his son-in-law (zięć). Andreas is noted to have seven children, three of whom are of minor age. I have not yet determined which of his daughters married a Michael Kajser. (I do have twelve children overall for Andreas, however, I do not know all of which had died before 1871–another area for research. I can easily rule out daughter Eva, who was born in 1857 and died in Toledo, Ohio in 1914.)

After many years of guesswork and frustration, I am happy to say I finally have an exact date of birth for my great-grandmother, Franciszka Rochowiak. She was born 1 September, 1852 in Zydowo, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland. The document, a birth/baptismal record from the Catholic parish in Chomętowo, is below. The record is the very first in the document.

franciszka_rochowiak_birth_1852

Franciszka Rochowiak birth record, Archdiocese of Gniezno, Chomętowo Parish, LDS Project #POL GNI-1, Roll #210, Film Unit Serial #657

This was a challenge to find–because her father, Adalbert, was married three times, I had to establish his dates of marriage as well as find as many of his children as possible. This effort was a patchwork of obtaining marriage records from the Poznan Project, some actual film scans for the parishes in Chometowo, as well as scanning through Family Search — believe it or not there are actually some scanned records that can be viewed on line. Be aware, currently it is only a handful of records that can be accessed online. The others you will need to obtain the microfilm and view them at the LDS genealogy center. (You will need to determine the parish and the village your ancestors came from!)

Adalbert married Marianna Mazana in Góra Żnin on 27 October 1851. Franciszka was born the following September. Another child, Marianna, was born to the marriage on 29 June 1855 in Zydowo. Marianna died 12 November 1856. (This record can be obtained from the same set of records indicated in the caption for Franciszka’s birth.)

As a bonus, I was able to determine Marianna Mazana’s and Adalbert’s death records. Marianna died 13 December 1856 in Zydowo. (This record can be located through the Archive Archdiocese of Gniezno, Chometowo Parish, LDS Project #POL GNI-1, Roll #211, Mortuorum.)

Adalbert died 29 March 1865 in Zydowo. There was a mention in his son, Martin’s marriage record (1877) that he died in Zydowo prior to the marriage. (This record can be located through the same set of records as indicated for Marianna Mazana’s death.)

Locating my great-grandmother’s birth record was frustrating to say the least! It appears that Adalbert had moved around a bit: he was born in Gorzyce. His first marriage to Eva Malak occurred in Gorzyce and his first three children with Eva were born in Gorzyce. He then seemed to move on to Chomętowo after Eva’s death. Here, he married Marianna Chleboewski. He had seven children with Marianna Chlebowska, all of whom were been born in Gorzyce. After Marianna Chlebowska’s death, he married Marianna Mazana in Góra Żnin. His two daughters with Marianna Chlebowska, Franciszka and Marianna, were born in Zydowo.

Adalbert’s family is, using modern parlance, “complicated.” I am finally piecing together his life — three marriages, all ending in the death of his wife, a total of 12 children (3 with first wife, 7 with second wife, and 2 with the last wife).

My great-grandmother was orphaned at a young age, she was five when her mother died and 14 when her father died. With this background, it’s likely she had to live with an older sibling. My guesses would be either brothers Lawrence or Martin. Lawrence did not arrive in the United States until 1875 (a marriage record was located for him in Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church in 1875 and his first child was born in Toledo in 1876). Martin married in 1877 and settled in Zydowo for a time. Several of Franciszka’s older siblings died in childhood and several I have not yet been able to trace beyond birth and a marriage for a few of them.
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Happy Holidays! I’ve spent part of my holiday season searching for my Mierzejewski ancestors.

Finding Mierzejewskis is easy. What’s not so easy is finding those in my family tree. Been difficult proving relationships. But a minor breakthrough over the weekend.

My dad and his siblings had a father named Wladyslaw and a maternal uncle named Wladyslaw. I had known for sometime that my grandmother’s family had come through the western Pennsylvania and had settled there for sometime. A few cousins were born in the Altoona region or Blair County and I had found some hints that some had lived in or near Cambria or Berks Counties.

One such cousin, Sophia Mierzejewski Owczarak, left some very good clues in her passport application in 1924. In that passport, she stated that her step-mother took her to Poland, so I assumed her mother at the point had died. So at that point, I had searched for any records for her father’s marriage to Bernice. It took awhile but I did come up back then with an Application for a Marriage license in 1912. That was rather hard to find because of the name misspellings, but that marriage license application actually provided the date of death for Wladyslaw’s first wife as September 12, 1910.

Some digging into newspapers.com and Pennsylvania Death Certificates brought me a few more answers.

Ancestry.com does have a collection for Pennsylvania death certificates, but none are indexed. So I took an evening (from say 6 pm until the wee hours of the morning) and poked through a large group for 1912 (there is no real order to these certificates on Ancestry; they seem to be grouped by the serial number, not by county or date). Several hours later, I did indeed find the death certificate. And with some additional luck, I was able to locate an obituary from the Altoona Tribune, dated September 13, 1910.

While the death certificate and obituary provide Apolonia’s first name differently (the obituary states her first name was Cathalina and the death certificate states her first name was Mary), all of the other data lines up–addresses I had and her husband’s name. Sophia was only an infant when her mother had died.

apolonia_mierzejewski_death_cert_09121910

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Death Certificate for Apolonia (Mary) Mierzejewski, 12 September 1910

The death certificate is exciting for me because it does provide a birth date for Apolonia (February 15, 1890) and her parents’ names: Alonzo Waldislawski and Mary Kerzniski. I’m going to not rely on these names literally because Alonzo is not a Polish name but will search for some similar names in the future (Aloysius comes to mind). I also am unsure of the surname spellings, but it is a start. Daughter, Sophia, was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, I have evidence that Wladyslaw was in the US as early as 1907 per the 1920 census so perhaps I can dig into more Pennsylvania records such as marriage licenses to see if he and Apolonia married in the US and if so, verify her parents’ names.

The obituary is interesting in that it is probably the very earliest obituary I have found in my family (seriously–I haven’t found obituaries in my family before about 1920ish) and the fact it gave a physical description of Apolonia (Cathalina). She is described as an “exceptionally beautiful” woman.

cathalina_mierzejewski_obit_altoona_tribune_tue__sep_13__1910_

Apolonia (Cathalina) Mierzejewski Obituary from the Altoona Tribune 13 September 1910.

I’ve transcribed the obituary below because the scan is rather poor quality.

Mrs. Cathalina Mierzejewski

Mrs. Cathalina Mierzejewski After an illness of three weeks duration, Mrs. Cathalina Mierzejewski, wife of Waldys Mierzejewski, a Polish resident of the Fifth ward, died at the Altoona hospital yesterday morning at 4:05 o’clock of typhoid fever. The deceased, who was admitted to the hospital on August 23, was 20 years of age and was exceptionally beautiful. She was a member of St. Mary’s German Roman Catholic Church and resided at 1812 Twelfth avenue with her husband and infant child who survive. The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at 8:30 o’clock. Interment will be made in St. Mary’s cemetery.

Late last week, I had the pleasure of hearing from Fr. John Extejt. His family history relates back to Kuschantz and he very kindly shared a historic photo of Nicholas J. Walinski, Sr. (1889 – 1948), who residents may remember, was the father of the famed Polish-American legal family. Nicholas, Sr.  was born in Berea, Ohio and after obtaining his law degree at the Cleveland Law School, moved to Toledo in 1908. He spoke Polish when he set up his law practice. Nicholas had two sons: Thaddeus (Ted) who became vice mayor of Toledo (serving under John Potter) and became a Toledo Municipal Court judge and Nicholas, Jr. who became an assistant Toledo city law director and a judge in the Toledo Municipal Court, Lucas County Common Pleas Court, and US District Court.

Nicholas, Sr. was given a dinner in his honor on 5 January 1939. Fr. Extejt shared the photo below.

walinski.jpg

Dinner in honor of Nicholas J. Walinski, Assistant Attorney General, January 5, 1939

The dinner was given by the Junction Civic Club, and took place above the J&K Drug Store at the corner of Junction and Nebraska Avenues. The club likely was made up of neighborhood Republicans. Fr. Extejt’s mother, Gertrude Rejent Extet, recorded the names of the attendees:

Seated, from left to right: Phil Malikowski, Ed Wawrzyniak, unknown, John Sabin (Sabiniewicz), Ollie Orzchechowski, Charlie Czolgosz, Leo Czarnecki, Nick Walinski Sr., Dr. John Pietrykowski Sr., C.S. Rejent, Siegried Putz, Frank Czolgosz, and Ignatius (Jim) Regent.

Standing, from left to right: Bob Slomowicz, ? Kazczmarek, John Osmialowski, Anthony Prybyla, Steve Putz, Dr. Leo Rejent, Dr. ? Jagdozinski, Frank Klap, Dr. A. J. Rejent, Louis Czajkowski, Leo Figmaka, John Davis, Robert Konwin, Dr. ? Beasecker.

The photo was taking by Zygila Studios. This photography studio was well-known in Toledo during the 1930s and had two locations: one in Kuschwantz on Nebraska Ave. and another in Lagrinka on Lagrange Ave. The business and operated by Katherine (Perzynski) and Edward Zygila and was in demand for portraits and large group shots.

Roch Rochowiak was the eldest child of Alexi Rochowiak and Marianna Brzykca, born 17 August 1788 in Gorzyce, Kujawsko-Pomorskie. Because I’ve never located a marriage record yet for Alexi and Marianna, this gives at least a clue that they were likely married sometime during 1887.

Roch had married Catherina Piastunowicz 2 February 1817. Of the this marriage, three children can be found:

No other information has been found on these children yet.

Roch died 26 April 1832.

Records are from from the Archdiocese of Gniezno, Catholic Parish in Gorzyce. LDS film #5478GS2, Project #POL2-009.