March 2011

Thanks to my sister for her persistence in locating information while moving my mom. Wedding photos for my parents I believed were long lost were found! My parents were married November 15, 1947 in St. Stanislaus Church, Toledo.

Edward Mierzejewski and Virginia Plenzler wedding photo

Edward Mierzejewski and Virginia Plenzler wedding photo

Virginia Plenzler Mierzejewski wedding photo

Virginia Plenzler Mierzejewski wedding photo

Found a funeral memory book from my grandmother’s funeral. Not all pages were scanned–there were a few pages for “sermon notes” and a few with just scripture passages. I simply scanned those pages that had relevant genealogical information–names of those who called during visitation, sent flowers, offered masses, etc. Download booklet here.

Recently received a few photos of my grandmother, Anastasia Przybylski Plenzler.

Anastasia Przybylski Plenzler (date of photo unknown)

Anastasia Przybylski Plenzler (date of photo unknown)

Anasatasia Przybylski Plenzler (date unknown)

Anastasia Przybylski Plenzler (date unknown)

Emerentia is my first cousin, once removed through Rose Przybylski and her husband, Casper Koralewski. She was the youngest of eight children born to Rose and Casper.

Born June 17, 1914 per her baptismal record from St. Anthony’s parish, she was just two years old when her mother, Rose, passed away. The 1930 census places her living with her father, Casper, at 1531 Vance Street. Emerentia married Edmund Filipski on July 25, 1942 per a notation on her baptismal record. Edmund was the son of John Filipski and Mary Kajtaniak.

A Toledo News-Bee article dated February 9, 1938 mentions Edmund, who was a welterweight boxer. The article is transcribed below:

Crown 8 Champs Tonight 30 Still In ‘Gloves’ Classic

22 Bouts Listed in Field House
3-Night Windup

By Raleigh Hoover

The ring–called the lonesomest place in the world–will pay off tonight for eight young men who will have earned their reward through sweat, weariness and bruises.

Under the arc-lights in the University of Toledo Field House, champions of the The News-Bee Golden Gloves city amateur boxing tournament will be crowned.

They will be the eight who, of 30 eligibles, survive the semi-finals and finals. Before the last toga is handed out, 22 gruelling battles will have been fought.

All favorites have come through the eliminations and will face their supreme tests tonight.


Heinie Weiss, the heavyweight; Chuck Lyskawa, the middleweight; Ed Filipski, the welterweight; Ambrose Easter, the lightweight; Johnny Walker, the featherweight; and Mose Magdaleno, the bantamweight–each was returned victor in the second elimination series Tuesday night. Each has proved he is the man to beat in his division.

The choice for champions in the light-weight and flyweight divisions is a toss-up.

To the title-winners go the right to represent Toledo in the northestern Ohio district tournament, starting 10 days hence, against champions from six other districts–Lima, Findlay, Fremont, Defiance, Sandusky, and Bellevue. Out of that meet will come eight who go to Chicago to compete in the Tournament of Champions.

About 2750 saw last night’s elimination–25 bouts that produced six knockouts and 15 knockdowns, an evening’s cavalcade of thrills and comedy, slugfest, and boxing skill.


Weiss, the big blond German from the German-American A.C., earned his chance to meet August Schurfeld, Y.M.C.A. red-haired slugger, for the heavyweight title by knocking out Larry Crippen, C.Y.O. southpaw, in the first round.

Heinie lost a close decision to Schurfeld in the finals of the recent Y.M.C.A. tourney, and will be after revenge as well as the championship. he blamed poor condition for his defeat by Schufeld, asserting he had not had an opportunity to train properly.

The fams didn’t have much chance to see if Heinie was in shape last night, for early in the first round the German sank a terrific punch into Crippen’s mid-section and the Central Catholic High School boy dove to the fool and remained there for the full count.


Charles Lyskawa, C.Y.O. middleweight king, once more gave the fans their evening’s spine-chill in his bout with John Morris, C.Y.O. Negro. Chuck, who got off the floor twice in in first elimination bout to come on and win, repeated his specialty of how to win by sheer courage.

After a torrid opening heat, Lyskawa dropped Morris for no count in the second. Chuck is easy to hit with a right hand, however, and the Negro soon had him groggy with several punches of this variety. Early in the third, Morris had Chuck close to a knockdown, but the blond rallied and turned on his punching machine, which operates like and eight-day clock. The final bell wasn’t the only music ringing in Morris’ ears at the end.

George Kerekes’ unorthodox style proved a puzzle to Johnny Walker, but the little C.Y.O. featherweight champion solved it sufficiently to win a clean-cut decision. Johnny boxed with his usual neatness, but the fans gave Kerekes a big hand for his showin.

The veteran Don Landowski, Walker’s chief rival who lost a close match to the blond in the C.Y.O. meet, went into the semi-finals by was of a close decision over spidery Clem Speights, Douglass Center Negro.

Ed Filipski, Athletic Center welterweight, had anything but an easy time of it in his bought with smiling Mickey Horvath, May Coal Club. Filipski, a voracious puncher, took the first two rounds, but the handsome Horvath, the crowd’s favorite, blasted Ed around the ring in the third.

Ambrose Easter’s Sunday punch failed to score a direct hit against Joe Reid, and the knocker-out had to be content with a decision. Ambrose looked sluggish and was unable to comply with his second’s exhortation to “come on and mess it up in there.” Both boys, lightweights, are from Douglass Center.

Alvin Drosdowicz, pale and skinny Newsboys’ flyweight, and Harold Cunningham, Douglass Center Negro, put on a row between Snow White and one of the Seven Dwarfs. Cunningham, tagged as “Paleozoic pete” by the ring-siders, St. Vitus danced and Big Appled his way to the decision.


In a reckless slugging extravaganza, George Graff, DeSales College, and Melvin Mohr, C.Y.O., took turns pounding each other close to a knockout. Each boy came back from the mists several times to batter his opponent to the edge of the black-and-blue horizon. Graff outlasted and won the decision. The are middles.

Harold Knaggs, C.Y.O. middleweight, started out to rush Alex Cerveny, Newsboys, out of the arena, suddenly rushed into a terrific left hook and spent 10 unhurried seconds on the floor.

In the final bout, Paul Bennet, T. U. welterweight, knocked Emergy Horvath, May Coal Club, clear out of the ring and into the ringside spectators’ row in the third round, but the game Horvath climbed right back in and battled toe-to-to with the college boy to the finish. Bennett won by a narrow margin.

Emerentia and Edmund had one child: James, who passed away in 2007. James’ obituary was posted on the Sujkowski Funeral Home website and is transcribed below. A copy of it is located here.

James E. Filipski

James E. “Flipper” Filipski, age 55, of Toledo, passed away suddenly on Monday, November 5, 2007 in the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. James was born on February 14, 1952 in Toledo to Edmund and Emerence (Koralewski) Filipski. He worked in the body shop for the Jeep Corporation, Willys Parkway for 30 years, retiring in 2006. James was also co-owner of JJ Hulls Incredible Edibles with partner John Hullibarger. A longtime parishioner of Regina Coelia Catholic Church, James was a member of the Sylvania Moose Lodge 1579. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, he was a devoted family man and a fantastic cook, known for his pickles and hot peppers. James and his wife Helen were also Hog members and proud owners of a 2002 Harley Davidson Road King.

In addition to his loving wife, Helen (Nonnenmacher-Hiller) Filipski, James is survived by his daughter, Kimberly Hiller; sons, William Hiller Jr. and Keith Hiller; and granddaughter, Kaela Hiller. His parents, Edmund and Emerence preceded him in death.

Family and friends may visit on Friday from 2-8 p.m. in the Sujkowski Funeral Home Northpointe, 114-128 East Alexis Rd. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the funeral home with Rev. James E. Auth presiding.

Memorial donations may be given to the American Heart Association, Ohio Valley Affiliate, PO Box 163549, Columbus, Oh 43216-3546.

Emerentia passed away on December 6, 1988 and her obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on December 8, 1988. The obituary is transcribed below:

Emerence Filipski

Mrs. Emerence A. Filipski, 74, of Linda Drive, died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital. She was employed at the former Heinl’s Green Thumb for five years, retiring in 1976. Prior to that, she worked at the former Craft Master Corp., and Electric Autolite Co., where she was an inspector. Surviving are her huband, Edmund; son, James, and sisters, Mrs. Clara Konczal, Mrs. Florence Kulczak, Mrs. Helen Jeziorski, and Mrs. Perl Birr. Services will be at 10 a.m. in the Regina Coeli Church. The body will be in the Sujkowski Mortuary, Alexis Road, after 4 today. Services by the auxiliary of Przybylski Post, American Legion, will be at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, followed by recitation of the Rosary by the St. Francis Guild and the Altar and Rosary Society of the parish at 7.

Edmund passed away June 23, 1990 and his obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on June 24, 1990. The obituary is transcribed below:

Edmund J. Filipski

Edmund J. Filipski, age 75, of Linda Dr., passed away Saturday, June 23 in the St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Edmund was an inspector for the Electric Autolite Co. for 28 years, during which time he was also a salesman for George L. Folk Appliance. He most recently was a maintenance man for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber co. (Lexington and Delaware) for 20 years, retiring in 1982. A Veteran of WWII, Mr. Filipski was the first command for the American Legion Przybylski Post #642 in 1946 and a member of their burial squad. He also was an active member of the Catholic War Veterans Logsdon-Walla Post #639. Edmund was an amateur boxer between 1930-1938. In 1937 he won the Golden Glove Welterweight Championship in Toledo. he also raced pigeons and was a member of the Greater Toledo Pigeon Club, the Sports man Flying Association and the Elm Pigeon Club.

Preceded in death by his beloved wife, Emerence A. Filipski in December of 1988. Edmund is survived by his son, James E. Filipski and sisters, Mrs. Irene J. Binkowski and Mrs. Dorothy Beakas. Visitation will begin Sunday t 6 PM in the Sujkowski Funeral Home, Northpointe, 114-128 E. Alexis Rd., where the C.W.V. Logsdon-Walla Post #639 will be held Monday at 7 PM followed by Parish Scripture Service at 7:30 PM and American Legion Przybylski Post #642 Services at 8 PM. Funeral Service will begin Tuesday 9:30 AM in the mortuary continuing with the Mass of Christian Burial in Regina Coeli Church at 10 AM. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Graveside military services will be conducted by the Przybylski Post #642 burial squad.

Thanks to my sister who uncovered this photo of our grandparents, Walter and Helena while going through my mom’s stuff.

Date of photo is unknown, but would have been taken prior to May 1, 1946 (date that Walter passed away).

Walter and Helena Mierzejewski (date unknown)

Water and Helena Mierzejewski (date unknown)

John Przybylski, son of Andrew Przybylski and Frances Rochowiak, proved to be elusive. Through correspondence with a few distant cousins, some details on his life became uncovered. I had stories about John, but found no evidence of his existence until locating his brother, Joseph’s, obituary published in the Toledo News-Bee on July 9, 1937.

Family stories state that John had been running from gangs in Toledo and had been involved in obtaining liquor from Canada in the 1920s. I could not find any records of border crossings from Canada; however the 1910 census and the 1920 census indicates that he was living in Detroit during that period. Additionally, these census records indicate that he was married to a woman named Hattie. John’s occupation was listed as a molder; Hattie’s as a dressmaker. The 1920 census indicates the name change.

I then located a marraige index from St. Hedwig’s parish in Toledo that states John had married a Hedwig Krzyzaniak on June 20, 1906. Hattie appears to be an Anglecized version of her name.

While the 1920 census data reflects that John was born in Ohio, it’s likely this data is incorrect. His birthdate of May 7, 1878 was noted on his World War I draft registration card places him as the third child to Frances and Andrew, born before the fourth child, Rose, who was born in 1880. Through census data, I’ve noticed that the family emigrated to the US about 1880 0r 1881, and Rose was born in Poznan according to the 1900 census data that shows her with her husband, Casper Koralewski. So it is reasonable to assume that John also was born in Poznan. Family oral history also places John in Miami as a boat captain and states that he changed his surname from Przybylski to Seblaski to elude the gangs. It’s reasonable to assume that by the 1920 census, he was hiding his identity.  At the time of 1917-1918 draft effort, John was already using the last name of Seblaski and has an address in Detroit. His World War I draft registation places him in Detroit and notes wife, Hattie, as his nearest relative. What is interesting to note here is that his birthplace is listed as “Austria?”. This is an angle to research later–we know the family was from Poznan and that Poland during that period was divided between Germany, Austria, and Russia. It is also possible that John hid his true birth place in order to avoid being traced. Also by the 1917-1918 draft effort, John was already using the last name of Seblaski.

By 1927, there is evidence that John was living in Miami. An article in the Miami Daily News on June 12, 1927 mentions a John Seblasky. The article is located here and is transcribed below:

Man Saved from Death by Train By Police Dog

“King” Proves He Has More Than Ordinary Canine Sense in Heroic Feat

“King” may be a dog, but he is no ordinary dog. He has more than common dog sense. He saved a man’s life Friday night.

The man had gone out on a “party,” where a “good time was had by all.” It grew late and slowly and unsteadily he staggered homeward.

A taxicable driver let the man out at Biscayne blvd., between N. E. Sixth and Seventh sts., and he started–a bit wobbly, to be sure, toward the bayfront, apparently intending to “make” one of the boats.

But things sudenly became dark and the man fell across the railroad tracks. He didn’t seem to mind. He really didn’t know his precarious position. So he just slept. In the meantime, a freight train was slowly rumbling nearer and nearer.

“King,” who was being taken out for a walk by his owner, John Seblasky, of the yacht “Hedwig,” moored at Pier 4, broke loose. He apparently sensed something wrong. later, the dog came back and by barking and jumping on Seblasky’s shoulder indicated something was wrong.

Guided by the dog, Seblasky and an F. E. C. railroad watchman found the sleeping man. A few minutes after they dragged the body off the rails the freight train rumbled by.

“King” is a Doverman Pincher German shepherd, commonly known as “police dog.” And he came to the United States in company with a dog which Senator James Couzens of Michigan, its owner, has insured for $8,000.

The 1945 State Population Census of Florida places John in Miami as a boat captain but notes his birthplace as Michigan. Thanks to John Plenzler, a copy of his Captain of Port identification is available here and was issued also in 1945. Note that this identification provides his birthplace at Toledo, Ohio. John Seblaski passed away in 1950. John Plenzler related a story to me that his parents drove to Florida to visit John. When they arrived there, they learned John had passed away just days prior to their arrival.

A Florida state death abstract for John Leo Seblaski states the year but no specific date. No further data is available yet for Hattie and no children have yet been identified.

Below are a few photos of John Przybylski Seblaski, thanks to John Plenzler.

Joseph, Frank, and John Przybylski (left to right)

Joseph, Frank, and John Przybylski (left to right)

John Przybylski Seblaski (date unknown)

John Przybylski Seblaski (date unknown)

Updated family tree information for the Antoni Merzejewski descendants in Toledo can be found here: Related Information.

Replaces the one posted in February–erroneously posted the Stanislaw Mierzejewski descendants twice.

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