April 2012

Because Saturdays are traditional days for marriages, thought I’d take a break from my Rochowiak obsession today and post the following photo. Per John Plenzler, this photo my be “William Grzechowiak and Helen Lakes, William is Josepine Grzechowiak (Plenzler)’s brother.” There is no other identifying information. My guess is that this photo was taken sometime in the 1920s. The style of the dresses seem to be from that period and a quick bit of research on William Grezechowiak found him and Helen on the 1930 census, living at 922 Marmion. Per the census, they were married when William was 24, Helen was 16. (Age at the time of census: William 32 and Helen 24.) They had two sons: Edward, 6 and Alphonse, 5 when the census was taken. So they may have been married sometime in 1922.

This is a remarkably well preserved photo and the detail is incredible. The bride is wearing full length gloves–her watch and new wedding ring are worn outside of the glove. Her veil has beautiful embroidery and she and her female attendants have beautiful, large bouquets of roses. This was definitely a studio photo–study the background a bit and you’ll notice a large painting in the center and perhaps a faux window or moveable partition to the left. Click the photo to enlarge.

Unknown wedding photo--perhaps the marriage of William Grzechowiak and Helen Lakes

Unknown wedding photo--perhaps the marriage of William Grzechowiak and Helen Lakes

If you have any information or can identify anyone in this photo, please leave a comment here or drop me an email.


While obtaining the marriage record for Adalbertus Rochowiak and Marianna Chlebowska, I had also asked Lukasz for the marriage record for their son, Martin, and Catherine Switała from November, 1877. The image isn’t near as clear as the one for Adalbertus and Marianna, and it’s a much larger image. So here are snippets showing just the record for Martin and Catherine. The top is the left side of the book, the bottom image is the right side of the book. I have to apologize for the size of the snippets. The original image was large and lower resolution, and it needed to be cropped and reduced quite a bit to fit on the screen here. You can click the snippets to enlarge. If you want a full copy, feel free to ask. I’m happy to send it on and can email it.

Left side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

Left side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

Right side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

Right side: marriage record November 1877 for Martinus Rochowiak and Catherine Switała

At the time of the marriage, Martin was 28 and Catherine 20. I cannot ascertain the exact date of the marriage; however, marriage banns were published on 20 October, 28 October, and 4 November. That should tell us that the marriage likely took place within the following week of the final publishing of banns. Catherine’s parents were Mathias and Marianna Zablocka. The couple was married in Góra Żnin.

Per the 1900 census, Martin and Catherine emigrated to the US in 1889. The children per that census were:

  1. Frances, b. 1880 (Poland)
  2. Agnes, b. 1882 (Poland)
  3. Teresa, b. 1883 (Poland)
  4. Joseph, b. 1890 (Toledo, Ohio)
  5. Jadwiga (Hattie), b. 1895 (Toledo, Ohio)
  6. Martha, b. 1899 (Toledo, Ohio)

I can’t say why, but I’m happy that I’m learning Frances had siblings and nieces and nephews in Toledo. This also makes me wonder if entire villages in Poznan emigrated to Toledo! (I am only half joking–the Plenzler family seemed to have emptied a few small villages themselves so far.) This also makes me wonder too if my great-great grandchildren would be able to find my family for their genealogy efforts. My family is now so very spread out over the United States–how difficult will that be in 90 or 100 years for my progeny to locate our whereabouts? Connecting the dots with my great-grandparents’ family who lived within a small radius together both in Poland and in Toledo continues to challenge me.

Again, I am posting a bit early for Geneablogger’s Wednesday theme, but I was excited to get a huge surprise today.

I had written to the Poznan Project over the weekend to obtain what I believed was Adalbertus Rochowiak’s (my 2nd great-grandfather) first marriage. I’m now thinking he was married three times–based on what I received today. The record I received would be the second marriage for Adalbertus. Lukasz kindly sent me the marriage record today. Here it is.

Aldalbertus Rochowiak and Marianna Chlebowski, marriage record 2 November 1832, Chomętowo, Poznan, Poland

Aldalbertus Rochowiak and Marianna Chlebowski, marriage record 2 November 1832, Chomętowo, Poznan, Poland

Roughly transcribed:

Specificato Copulatorum 1832
Nomina Vallarum: Zedowo

1832 die ii Novembris
Ego Andrea Kowalski Curatus
Stupensis, Benediti matrimonium inter
laboriosum Adalbertum Rochowiak vidius
de Gorzyce anno 34 et
Mariannam Chlebowska virginem de
Zedowo  ann0 24 filiam Valentine Chlebowski
vidui — Premipis bannis en utr???
Parochia nullo Impedimento detecto —
Benedicto Pietras
Paulo Bryzycky
Petro Bryzycky
et Mathias Białecki

Now, here too Adalbertus was indicated to be a widower (vidius), as he was in the marriage record to Marianna Mazana dated 27 October 1851. This record tells us he is living in Gorczyce, is 34 years old, and widowed. Marianna has not been married previously, is 24 years old, and her father, Valentine, is a widower. They were married in a village parish of Zedowo on 2 November 1832.

And a familiar names is popping up: Bryzykcy.

With these clues, I did notice there is one more record of a marriage for Adalbertus within the Poznan Project. This is to an Eva Malak in Gorzyce in 1825. It is possible this marriage produced children as well.

I was recently emailing with the Toledo Polish Genealogical Society. The person I was conversing with kindly sent me the marriage record for my grandmother’s, Anastasia Przybylski, first marriage to Stanley Lawecki.

I’ve transcribed it below:

Stanislaw Lawecki filius
Joannes et Mariae Szuchininska (sp?)
natus in Toledo, O. Sept. 21. 1886


Anastasia Przybylska
Andreas et Franciscae Rochowiak
nata et bapt. in Toledo, O.
d. 23 February 1889

Testes: Antoni Lawecki, Joseph Rochowiak
Jos. Kuta
Sept. 20 – ’09

I cannot quite transcribe Stanley’s mother’s name so I may have it wrong.

Sadly, Stanley passed away a bit over a year from the marriage on October 9, 1910 of typhoid fever. Anastasia and Stanley had a child, Daniel. Daniel passed away on November 2, 1910 of cholera. I’m not sure I can comprehend how difficult it must have been for her to have lost a spouse and a child within weeks of each other.

I apologize for my spottiness, but between work and ahem, basketball, I’ve been distracted. I am an obsessed Kentucky basketball fan. I apologize for the inconvenience that may cause, but we all have a few guilty pleasures, no?

Back on topic!

I have been following up on the hints left on this post: Rochowiaks in Toledo and have gotten as many of the records as possible. I also reviewed the data I’ve had on Frances. That said, this isn’t as easy of a puzzle as it appears on the surface.

The hints left here were absolutely great and they do link Frances to Martin and Lawrence. Time and again, I’ve been shown the generosity of the genealogy community, even if I’m slow on the uptake or slow to respond.

Unfortunately for us, the dots aren’t very easy to connect. Aldabertus Rochowiak was married more than once. I have located two marriages, the first to Marianna Chlebowska and the second to Marianna Mazana. You’d think old Adalbert would at least have married women with different names in order to keep his descendants from being confused! But sadly, that is not the case. I do have the church marriage record for Adalbert’s marriage to Marianna Mazana here. The marriage took place on 27 October 1852 in Góra Znin, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland. Adlabert was 50, Marianna was 24.

I do not have the marriage record for Adalbert and Marianna Chlebowska, but I have contacted Lukasz Bielecki of the Poznan project to obtain. It may take awhile to obtain it. I also have come across potential siblings or half-siblings of Frances via a query of the Poznan Project as well: Jacobus (Jacob), Vincent, and Catherine. Catherine may have emigrated to Toledo as well. I will need to follow up on these possible siblings in the future.

That said, I’ve “assigned” Frances as the daughter of Marianna Mazana. This is because of Frances’ date of birth, based on the birth date provided on her death certificate.

However, I’ve been able to confirm that at minimum, Martin and Lawrence were at least half-siblings to Frances via St. Anthony baptismal records.

Martin was married first to Rosalia Skolmowska and secondly to Anna Ziemkiewicz. As pointed out in the original post looking for information on the Rochowiaks by Jan and Judy, there do exist a few baptismal records for a few of Martin’s and Marianna’s children that provide clear information.

Daughter, Anna’s, baptism occurred on 31 July 1892 and the record is here and transcribed below:

Datum Nativ./Bapt. 1892: 24 Julii nativ., 31 Julii Bapt.
Nomen: Anna
Genus: Foem.
Thori: Leg.
Parentes: Laurentis fil Adalberti et Marianna; Skolmowska, Rosalia fil Adalberti et Marianna n. Grabowska
Patrini: Aldabertus Streg (?) et Anthonina Kukla

Note that this record does NOT reflect whether Laurence is a child of Marianna Chlebowska or Marianna Mazana. Also note that the marriage record for Frances Rochowiak and Andrew Przybylski (see here) does NOT indicate which Marianna is her mother, either!

Martin was married to Katarzyna (Catherine) Świątek (if I am indeed transcribing this name correctly). Per the baptismal record for their son, Joseph, dated 12 February 1890:

No. 18
Datum Nativa Bapt. 1890: 8a Febr. nat., 12 a Febr. Bapt.
Nomen: Josephus
Genus: Mas.
Thori: Leg.
Parentes: Rochowiak, Martinus, fil Adalberti et. Marianne; Świątek, Catherina, fil. Math. et Mariannae.
Patrini: Andreas Przybylski et Rosalia Rochowiak.

More to come–I will attempt to knit at least Martin’s and Lawrence’s families together here within the next week or so. I’m slowly making headway with my great-grandmother’s family.

In the meantime (and no offense to all of my Ohio friends): Go Kentucky! Let’s see championship #8!

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