Mruk


Updated 04.19.2015 to correct a misstatement. See strikeout red text below.

I had been seeking connections to my great-grandfather, Andrew Przybylski, for quite awhile. The only clue I had to finding any connection to others in his family that may have arrived in Toledo, Ohio was John Przybylski, who married Tecla Mruk, daughter of Michał Mruk and Margaretha Plenzler (sibling of another great-grandfather, Joseph Plenzler). My gut told me there had to be a connection between them; and yet, I came up empty-handed for years.

Then, as it sometimes does, fate intervened. I had been corresponding with a distant cousin in Florida every now and again who was a descendant of a Michael Przybylski, who resided in Holland, Ohio. I could not provide him any information other than to confirm that this Michael was the son of Tecla and Michał John, and tell him perhaps there was no connection between John and Andrew. Przybylski is a rather common Polish surname. We knew that John’s parents were Michael and Rosalia per the marriage record from St. Anthony’s for Tecla and John and John’s death certificate.

What I hadn’t done in all that time, and what my cousin did think to do, was to search the Poznan Project for a marriage record for a Michael Przybylski and Rosalia. That opened the door. The marriage record was located. And it made a number of connections as well as reinforced the idea that it is so important to keep a keen eye out for names and their variants.

The Poznan Project provided a marriage record for a Michael Przybł and a Rosalia Bocian, 30 August 1868 and took place in Znin, Kujawsko-Pomorskie. It had never dawned on me to search on alternative forms to the name, Przybylski (Przybył, Przybyła)! The marriage record for Michael and Rosalia is here and here (two pages to the record). What a surprise! Michael was the son of Valentine and Josepha Kurczminska. With those two names, it is possible to establish a very high likelihood that this Michael is a brother to my great-grandfather, Andrew. This means that Andrew was John’s uncle. Andrew’s marriage record to Franciszka Rochowiak only indicates that his parents are Valentine and Josepha. However, the dates do line up: Andrew was born in 1843 given the age provided on the marriage record to Franciszka (age 30 in 1873) and Josepha and Valentine were married in 1835. Michael was born in 1839 per the age of 29 stated on his marriage record to Rosalia.

Taking it one step further, I then wrote to the Poznan Project to obtain the marriage record for Valentine and Josepha. And it existed! The marriage took place 23 February 1835 in Juncewo, Kujawsko-Pomorskie. The marriage was recorded for Valentine using the form of the surname as Przybył. The record also confirms a hunch I had that Valentine was widowed at the time of his marriage to Josepha.

What is funny, sad, and true is that some of this evidence had been sitting under my nose for quite a while. A long time ago, I had been researching the Mruk line. I knew full well that one of Tecla’s and John’s sons, Jacob (also known as John) had married Hattie Karamol. I had Hattie’s death information: her parents were given as Frank Karamol and Antonina Przybylski. Guess who Antonina’s parents were? Michael Przybylski and Rose Bocian. I never once followed up on that clue.

It sometimes takes another person to wake me up. I think I got too numb to the clues sitting in front of my nose! It reinforces something I’ve always believed in–there is a Buddhist saying that goes something like this: “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I think my teacher was the cousin in Florida, whom I’ve never met in person. It was time for me to learn to look at existing data with new eyes.

I have found no evidence that Michael and Rosalia ever came to the US nor I have I obtained any data beyond the marriage record. But my very strong hunch is: Michael and Andrew were brothers. John and Antonina were Andrew’s nephew and niece.

I was recently working on the backlog of Calvary Cemetery photos that I snapped last summer and fall. Sometimes while at the cemetery, I get so intent on making sure I get a decent shot (is the sun too high and casting shadows? are my batteries dying? how can I get the best contrast?) that I sometimes do not recognize that I’ve found someone I am related to. I then go through the photos weeks and months later after downloading them from my cameras and say to myself “holy Toledo–I think I’m related.”

So, here are my latest discoveries. I found a “new” child of Michał Mruk and Margaretha Plenzler as well as a daughter of Joseph Erdman and Marianna Przybylski. Margaretha was a a sibling to my great-grandfather, Joseph Plenzler. She and Michał had emigrated to the US 1884. Marianna was a daughter of my great-grandparents, Andrezj and Francziska Rochowiak, and I had located her daughter Eleanor Jaroszewski.

When I did the original research on the Mruk family, I had located a manifest for the ship Rhaetia sailing from Hamburg that listed the Mruk family: Michał and Margaretha and children Tekla, Stanislaus, Kazmierz, Marianne, and a name written as Kath.a. I was unsure who this last child listed on the manifest was. I searched for a Katarzyna, Katherina, and other variants of the name Catherine or Katarzyna but had no luck. In the back of my mind, I thought the child died during or after the voyage as the 1900 census that enumerates the Mruk family indicates that of the marriage, 16 children were born and 9 were surviving. Below are the manifest and the 1900 census. (Click to open in a new browser window and enlarge.)

Image

1884 Manifest from Hamburg Mruk Family

Mruk Family 1900 Census

Mruk Family 1900 Census

Looking at the scanned manifest, it appears as if “Kath.a.” is struck off the manifest but it’s difficult to tell if it was a deliberate edit or damage due to folding and age of the sheet. While that first indicated to me the possibility that the child did not survive the voyage, the data on the 1900 census really did not provide me with confirmation either way–if the child survived or died.  She was not listed in the 1900 census for the Mruk family and I was unable to locate her in any census data that I reviewed within the Toledo area. “Kath.a.” is indicated as having been born about 1880, so she was four years old at the time of the voyage per the manifest. In 1900, she was about 20 years old and of age to marry or perhaps obtain work as a domestic somewhere else.

The eldest Mruk child that I can verify is Tekla, born in 1873. Her parents were married in November 1866, so there is a span of about seven years without children. More on Tekla is here. But the 1900 census data is interesting to note that Margaretha reported that she had a total of 16 children with 9 surviving. This means that several children were born to the Mruks died in Poland prior to the Mruk family’s emigration. I have been able to verify that two children, Joseph and Michael had died prior to the 1900 census. Michael had been born in Wiorek on 30 September 1881, baptized 02 October 1881. We also have a death date for him, note that the baptismal record from Wiorek has a cross in front of the record, this is a common indication used by priests that the child had died. Go to the second page of the record and notice that there is a note that says “obit. 12/7/82.” So Michael died at about the age of 3 months. Joseph was born in Toledo on 3 March 1896 and died on 13 September 1896.

I had little else to work with for “Kath.a.” until I had come across the gravestones for a Kathryn and George Staniszewski.

George Staniszewski, Calvary gravestone photo

George Staniszewski, Calvary Cemetery gravestone photo

Kathryn Staniszewski, Calvary gravestone photo

Kathryn Staniszewski, Calvary Cemetery gravestone photo

I looked at the dates of death on the stones and knew it would be a bit troublesome to verify the exact date of death because Ohio death certificates are only available from about 1903 through 1953 and past experience had told me that locating data within the Social Security death index has been spotty during the 1950s decade–often due to the fact that many elderly who died during that period likely had not obtained a Social Security Number. Additionally, I’ve noticed quite a few transcription errors with the Ohio death index on familysearch.org. So, I got lucky and found birth and marriage records for a Stanley Staniszewski whose parents were George Staniszewski and Kate Mruk. I thought immediately “Voila!” Stanley was born in 1903. I then located another child whose parents were George Staniszewski and Kate Mruk–this child was named John and he was born in 1902. So, digging into George a bit further, I learned via the 1910 census that he did not emigrate to the US until 1900. I suspect it would have been in the second half of the year 1900 because the census for 1900 was taken in June of that year and I was unable to locate a 1900 census that mentioned George.

I have not yet found a marriage record of George and Kate, but logic tells us that they would have married sometime between late 1900 to about early 1902.

Further investigation (all of about 10 minutes!) led me to Kate (Kathryn’s) obituary and it confirms she was indeed a child of Michał and Margaretha as it provides names of her surviving brothers (Martin and Jack, also known as John Jacob) and sister (Praxeda, also known as Priscilla) Gurzynski. See the obituary below, published 12 October 1965.

Kathryn Staniszewski Toledo Blade Obituary 12 October 1965

Kathryn Staniszewski Toledo Blade Obituary 12 October 1965

Obituary transcription below:

Kathryn Staniszewski

Mrs. Kathryn Staniszewski, 86, of 2626 Midwood Ave., died yesterday in her home.

Born in Poland, Mrs. Staniszewski lived in Toledo most of her life. She was a member of the Polish National Alliance.

Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Charlotte Clark; sons, John and Stanley, all of Toledo, and Walter, of Clackamas, Ore.; sister, Mrs. Priscilla Gurzynski, and brothers, Martin and Jack Mruk, all of Toledo, and one granddaughter.

Services will be Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in Gesu Church, with burial in Calvary Cemetery. The Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Sujkowski Mortuary.

The second discovery I made within my photo backlog was for Eleanor Erdman Jaroszewski. I knew she had married Conrad Jaroszewski but I did not realize I had found their grave until going through my photos. Conrad had been married prior to Eleanor, to a woman named Helen Sabiniewicz. Conrad and Helen had a son named Thadeus. The photo of the family grave plot is below.

Jaroszewski Family Calvary gravestone photo

Jaroszewski Family Calvary Cemetery gravestone photo

Helen’s parents, Jozef and Josephine, are on the opposite side of the stone. See below.

Jozef and Josephine Sabiniewicz, Calvary gravestone photo

Jozef and Josephine Sabiniewicz, Calvary Cemetery gravestone photo

Still working on that backlog of Calvary photos that I have. Today’s photos are names within my family tree but I have not made any connections.

George and Lucy Mielcarek, Calvary Cemetery

George and Lucy Mielcarek, Calvary Cemetery

Mielcarek
Father George
1865 – 1945
Mother Lucy
1868 – 1962
Grave: 337, Range or Lot: 13, Section: 41

Magdalena Koralewski, Calvary Cemetery

Magdalena Koralewski, Calvary Cemetery

Droga Matka
Magdalena Koralewski
1872 – 1919
Grave: 117, Lot: 4, Section: 43

Aloizy Lawecki, Calvary Cemetery

Aloizy Lawecki, Calvary Cemetery

Aloizy Lawecki
1914 – 1921
Grave: 17, Range or Lot: 1, Section: 32

Teofila Kempski Mruk, Calvary Cemetery

Teofila Kempski Mruk, Calvary Cemetery

Mother
Teofila Kempski Mruk
Grave: 2841, Range or Lot: 23, Section: 32

Per death certificate, Teofila’s father’s name was PRUCHNIAK.

A blog reader named Jan provided this information. I did not find this news article until being notified here.

Tekla Mruk and John Przybylski’s first child, Frank, died at the age of 13 due to an auto accident. I knew the cause–I had his death certificate. However, I was unaware of a newspaper article published on 17 May 1909 about the incident. Jan kindly tipped me off to this article and I was able to pull it. Below is a scan of the article and a transcription. Note that the surname is misspelled.

Newspaper article from the Toledo News Bee 18 May 1909, death of Frank Przybylski due to auto accident

Newspaper article from the Toledo News Bee 18 May 1909, death of Frank Przybylski due to auto accident

BOY PLUNGES TO DEATH UNDER CAR

Dives Beneath Wheels as He Flees From Rain

Running headfirst into a Big Ton car at the corner of Detroit Avenue and Dorr Street, Saturday afternoon, Frank Prezybelski, 13, of 1415 Vance street, fell beneath the wheels and was almost instanly killed.

The boy was hurrying to get out of a rainstorm. He ran down Junction Avenue on to Dorr street, just as a car was backing from the barn. Prezybelski plunged into the car and was dazed. He was hurled beneath the car, and the wheels of the rear trucks passed over his body. One leg was nearly severed, and the boy’s head was crushed.

Tuesday’s theme over at Geneabloggers is always an easy one for me. At least it pushes me to do something with the photos I have of Calvary and is a nudge to get me to post here. (I’m trying to post here when I can!)

Today’s photos are the graves for Tekla (Mruk) and her husband, John (Jan) Przybylski. Tekla is the daughter of Michal and Margaretha Plenzler, sister of Mary Mruk Zielinski.

Tekla (Mruk) Przybylski Calvary

Teckla (Mruk) Przybylski Calvary

Jan Przybylski Calvary

Jan Przybylski Calvary

Tekla was born in Poland (likely in Wiorek, Wielkopolskie, Poland–based on her parents’ marriage record) and arrived in Toledo at the age of 13 based on census data.  She and Jan had married 19 November 1894 in St. Anthony’s parish.

Jan was born in Poland, and I haven’t connected his family to that of my grandmother, Anastasia Przybylski Plenzler. He was the son of Michael and Rosalie Przybylski and have little information on Jan other than this.

The grave is located here: Grave 1498, Range or Lot 32, Section 2.

I was able to locate a death notice for Tekla, published in the Toledo News Bee on 7 September 1932, transcribed below:

PRZYBYLSKI, TECKLA–Age 58 years, Tuesday, at 5 p.m. at Mercy hospital, beloved wife of John, mother of Michael, Aloysius, Stephen and Clement. Funeral Saturday, Sept. 10, 8:30 a.m. from the residence, 1461 Vance street; 9 a.m. at St. Anthony’s church. Interment family lot Calvary cemetery. Friends invited. W.K. Sujkowski.

Jan’s (John) obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on 29 October 1947 and is transcribed below:

John Przybylski

John Przybylski, 78, died yesterday at home, 1461 Vance St., after a brief illness.

Mr. Przybylski was born in Poland and had lived in Toledo 55 years. He was employed at the Toledo Machine & Tool Co. until he retired 11 years ago. He was a member of the Union of Poles in America and the Firemen and Oilers Union.

Survivors are sons, Michael, Holland, O. and Aloysius, Stephen, and Clement, all of Toledo; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Services will be at 8:30 Friday in the Sujkowski & Son Mortuary and at 9 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

Since today’s theme over at Geneabloggers is Tombstone Tuesday, I thought I’d post a few more of the grave photos I have from Calvary.

Rozalia Rochowiak, d. 15 July 1895

Rozalia Rochowiak, d. 15 July 1895

I stumbled upon this grave. I have not tied it to my family tree (who knows?) but it gives me hope that I’ll someday trace the Rochowiak line. It is located here:Grave: 4, Lot: 182, Section: 30. All I am able to transcribe off the stone is the name and the date of death which was 15 July 1895, date and location both verified through the Calvary Cemetery burial records.

This is another Rochowiak grave I stumbled upon.

Marta Marya Rochowiak

Marta Marya Rochowiak

Marta, baptized Martha, was the daughter of Frank and Kat Oskonski Rochowiak. I have not placed these persons in my tree (yet at least). Martha’s death certificate is also located here. The grave location is: Grave: 68, Lot: 2, Section: 32. The dates on the gravestone are birth 1915, death 1923.

Andrew and Mary Sieja

Andrew and Mary Sieja

Andrew and Mary Zielinski Sieja. Andrew was the son of Frank and Victoria Przybylski Sieja. Mary was the daughter of John and Mary Mruk Zielinski. Also see here for John and Mary’s grave photo. Andrew and Mary’s grave is located here: Grave: W 1/2, Range or Lot: 419, Section: 37.

A quick post — this geek girl has to get some beauty sleep. Work duty calls.

The theme over at GeneaBloggers today is Tombstone Tuesday. Today’s tombstone is that for the Zielinski family. While in Toledo a few weeks ago to get my great-grandfather’s naturalization information, I did manage to drive through Calvary. While it was a rainy, soggy day, I did find a few graves using the windshield method. Luckily these were easy to see. The front of the stone marks the graves for Mary (Mruk) Zielinski, John, and daughter, Amelia. Note that here Amelia’s name is spelled differently. I’ve found her name recorded as Emilia and Amelia.

Gravestone for John, Mary and Amelia Zielinski

Gravestone for John, Mary and Amelia Zielinski

The reverse side of the stone marks the graves of Mary and John’s sons, Gabriel and Bernard and for Gabriel’s wife, Helen.

Gravestone for Gabriel, Bernard, and Helen Zielinski

Gravestone for Gabriel, Bernard, and Helen Zielinski

The grave can be located in Section 34 near the mausoleum, lot 30.

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