Mierzejewski


I promised myself today that I would not sit behind my computer all day doing genealogy. Promises were made to be broken. I intended only to write about the Zielinski family and a make a quick post about gleaning as much information from Google News Archives as possible before we lost that valuable and free resource.

Well because it was a dreary, grey, dismal Sunday here, I hunkered down instead to poke through more of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo’s baptismal records, in an effort to see if I could locate Amelia Zielinski and a few others there to establish a date of birth.

Needless to say, poking through those records is relatively dangerous for an adult fueled on coffee. I was scanning through the collection from St. Stanislaus’s parish and a name popped up that I had never seen before, but really feel compelled to research soon.

This surprise came to me via the baptism for a Paulina Klimczak. A copy of the record is located here, and I’ve transcribed it below:

1918
Nomen Infantis et Residentia: Paulina
Dies Mensis Annus
Nativitatis: Mar. 31
Baptismi: Apr. 7
Nomen Parentum: Stephanus Baranski, Stana. Klimczak
Locus Nativitatis: Toledo
Nomen Patrinorum: Wenceslaus Mierzejewski, Sophia Poniatowska
Nomen Ministri: A. Pietrykowski

Now, I have more strong evidence that there were Mierzejewskis residing in Toledo prior to my grandparents’ arrival in 1923.  However more research will be needed as I do not know who this Wenceslaus may be.  To the best of my knowledge, neither of my grandparents had a sibling whose name was Wenceslaus. Earlier, I had found a Constantia Mierzejewska just by strolling through Calvary Cemetery and photographing graves. It seems as if a number of Mierzejewskis had arrived in Toledo prior to my grandparents.

I had to make a quick post about this because this is a very intriguing discovery for me. I’ve often wondered why in the world my grandparents would have settled in Toledo, Ohio–face it, the only thing Toledo had going for it back then was the many, many industrial jobs connected to the auto industry in Detroit. It had no better weather than the east coast–Lake Erie winters are no picnic, the job market was not exactly kind (Toledo and Detroit were the epicenter of violent strikes in the 1920s through the 1940s, and there were a number of industrial accidents), and the area was riddled with quite a bit of crime during the heydays of Prohibition. The only things Toledo had going for it is that it was a fairly inexpensive place to live and that it had a need for much backbreaking unskilled labor.  So my curiosity is aroused once more. If anyone knows of a Wenceslaus Mierzejewski, please drop me a line her or an email and I’ll follow up. As I can find further information, I will post it as well.

I’ve been quietly working on gathering the immigration data for Mierzejewskis, using as many permutations of the name as I could. This has kept me extremely busy. I’ve gathered what I believe is fairly reliable data for all of the Mierzejewskis as I possibly could locate through Ellis Island only and have posted here in an Excel spreadsheet (2003)–set so that the data could be filtered. It’s probably best to filter the data by date so that you can locate groups who had traveled together.

I have also located some Mierzejewskis who have emigrated through Boston and possibly other ports; however, I have not recorded the data yet. As time goes on, I’ll add that data to this collection.

Two things have struck me while doing this exercise: 1) I previously assumed that women generally did not travel alone from Europe during the period. I was wrong! I found a number of women who were quite young and traveled alone or with small children without companionship. 2) I did not think any Mierzejewskis had emigrated to the US prior to about 1905-1910. Wrong again. Already, I’ve located a few who emigrated in the 1890s. I do not know if these persons had stayed or if they followed a pattern I detected in my family that they came and went a few times before deciding to remain here or in Poland.

I haven’t analyzed this information much besides these two observations. But it will be an interesting exercise I believe to see how my family (if I can sift through them from this already substantial set of data!) moved from Poland to the US and through New England westward.

A word about this data: Where possible, I have corrected given names and geographic places. (That is, if I could transcribe the name.) The exception to this is the LAST name is provided as it was entered into the database from Ellis or the service used (such as the National Archives). The reason I did NOT correct the names is there are various ways of spelling the surname and if you wish to pursue obtaining the record, you would need that particular transcription. I haven’t submitted any suggested edits or changes to Ellis Island or the National Archives (that in itself may be an overwhelming task AND there are likely other records that use many of the different versions of the name.)

The spreadsheet is located here if you want to download it.

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. In honor of my father the veteran, I have a scanned a handwritten document my father created during his World War II experiences. This is a list of his missions from July 13 through November 11, 1944. It will be 67 years ago tomorrow that the he had completed these missions with the rest of his Bomb Squad. What brave men! Click an image to enlarge it or download it. Give a vet some love tomorrow while you’re at it.

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

49th Bomb Squad Missions

I have about 90+ records that I’ve been able to complete data entry for. See here. Updates as I can get to them.

Ok, I’ll admit. I went into stealth mode. Been quiet, but working on gathering all of the Mierzejewski immigration records I could find. Many permutations and I’m up to over 100 distinct and different Mierzejewski Ellis island manifest records. Slow going to query, transcribe, and record each.

Along the way (and I’m still not done), I came across an interesting discovery.

I found nothing that knocked my socks off until this afternoon–well, at least no one that I could immediately recognize outside my grandparents’ records. Earlier, I had noted that my grandmother’s brother, Kalixty, had emigrated to the US in 1911 per the 1920 census. But I came across an earlier immigration record for my grandmother’s brother, Kalixty. I located a manifest from Ellis that indicated he emigrated into the US on November 12, 1908 and was meeting his brother, Wladyslaw (Wladimir or Walter) in Branford, Conecticut. It clearly is Helena’s brother. Kalxity’s name is hard to interpret on this manifest–the Ellis Island transcribers had transcribed the name as Halikstin. However, upon careful inspection of the document, it is noted that he was born in Borowce, and his contact his his mother, Anna Mirzejewski in Borowce. The age fits perfectly. We have his birthdate documented as December 12, 1886 per his death certificate. His age on the manifest is listed as 22. Kalixty would have been 22 in 1908. Note that the surname is spelled MIRZEJEWSKI.

I have not yet located a manifest that indicates that Kalixty may have returned to Poland and returned to the US in 1911. But it’s still entirely possible–am still working through all the name permutations.

We can now trace that my grandmother’s family was in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I think I have a lot of work ahead of me!

Today’s theme over at Geneabloggers is Funny Friday. I mentioned earlier how my father answered the phone a few times when I was a teenager and boys would call for dates.

“County morgue. You stab ’em, we slab ’em.”

Yes, my dad was wickedly funny and I’m certain he did this because he just got tired of the phone ringing–after all the poor guy had three daughters and the phone was in constant use. I don’t know how many possible dates my dad scared off, but I’m too old to care any longer. Of course, I didn’t like it too much then but he thought it funny when the other person hung up without explanation. (If it were anyone who knew my dad, of course they already knew better and would carry on a conversation with him.)

Another story my sister related to me was when my dad was younger. He and his cousin Mackie would spend hours building model airplanes together and fly them off them of a viaduct over Brown Avenue–of course the planes crashed, probably onto cars below. One other story I remember my aunt telling me was my dad was a bit of a mischief maker in elementary school. He got caught smoking a few times and always had those old-fashioned matches in his pocket, the type you could strike anywhere to get a flame. He was in a bit of trouble with one of nuns, and as the nun stood there correcting him, dad was fiddling in his pocket. Well, needless to say, he rubbed the matches together and burned a hole in his pants. I wish I knew what the nun did after that!

Here’s a picture of my dad in his younger days, being completely silly with his pal, Dukie. My dad is to the right.

Dad in a light hearted moment

Dad in a light hearted moment

Dad was a character. There are probably hundreds more stories like these as well. The family was a hoot and I so miss the laughter sometimes!

Just a quick post today because I’m going batty with the latest exercise to attempt to build a database of the Mierzejewskis that I can locate through ship manifests to locate and track my family’s movements, I’ve compiled quite a list of the different variations of how the name has been spelled. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

  1. Mierzejewski
  2. Mizejewski
  3. Mirzejewski
  4. Nierzejewski
  5. Nierzejewsky (I think this and #4 are probably transcription errors on ancestry.com and ellisisland.org)
  6. Mierzyewski (This may too be a transcription error)
  7. Mierzijewski
  8. Miezjewski
  9. Mezejewski
  10. Mierzeski
  11. Mierezyewska
  12. Meitzejewski
  13. Mieszyjewska

Thirteen permutations to date! Arghgh!! Now I know why I can’t find ’em! Memo to self: create a table of all possible permutations. Am working on a lookup for all of the Mskis I can locate via ship manifests. Will post when I have an update available.

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