Plenzler


Happy New Year!

I did spend my holiday weekend binge-reading and researching to learn more about Mary Lisiecka’s possible remarriage and I have since come to the conclusion that she hadn’t remarried. Almost three years ago, there were long, involved email conversations with several individuals and had obtained more than a handful of LDS film scans through the Sobieskis.

In one of these conversations, we were discussing the death of Joseph Plenzler, my great-great grandfather (born 1823 in Wiorek and died in 1873 in Wiorek). I had started working back in 2012 or early 2013 to read all of that documentation sent and “connect some of the dots” and I had dropped the issue and never updated my tree. I realized that I hadn’t updated Joseph’s death date and started to work some more on his life this weekend when I realized there was a record of Mary’s death in the same email. Mary, who was born in Wiorek in 1825, died in Wiorek in 1875.

Records for Joseph’s death are here and here (two pages to document).

Records for Mary’s death are here and here (two pages to document).

Mary’s record is quite clear in identifying who she is–the daughter of Aldabertus Lisiecki and Barbara Nachengast. So, there goes my theory Mary was re-married after Joseph’s death but not for naught. From reviewing this marriage record of a Mary to Joannes Olejniczak, I realized that this Mary is the daughter of Joseph and Anna Maria Bajerlein, who would be my 3rd-great-grandparents (the record does state this); however, her age is given as 45 years old and the marriage occurred in 1884, placing her birth as 1839. The eldest sibling that I can locate of the family is Martin, born 1815. This marriage was witnessed by Bartholomeus Plenzler and Martin Lisiecki. So this does give some implied knowledge: Joseph Plenzler (father of Joseph Plenzler born in 1832) and his wife, Anna Maria Bajerlein, were alive through at least 1839. I have had difficulty locating data on my 3rd great-grandparents so far beyond dates and names.  There are two pages to this record: here and here. (I neglected to include both pages on the previous post.)

Regarding Martin Lisiecki, with that email exchange that I had reviewed more in-depth this weekend, he is a brother to Mary. There was a marriage record of Martin to an Antonia Melingier contained in that discussion that indicates he is the son of Adalbertus and Barbara. That record is here and here (two pages).

As a follow up to the mention I had made in the last post regarding Bartholomeus Plenzler (brother to the Joseph born in Wiorek in 1823), here’s the data that I’ve found. He was originally discovered while research my great-great grandmother, Mary Lisiecka. See these posts from July 12, 2012 and September 30, 2012.

Bartholomeus was an interesting character to trace because like Martin Lisiecki, I had come across references to him earlier as witnesses to events such as marriages or deaths. I knew that Bartholomeus had married a Barbara Hirsch in 1850, but I had not located any children from this marriage until I started mining the Basia database. Barbara and Bartholomeus had two children that I have been able to locate: Kunegunda, born in 1853 and died in 1883. I located this child through her death record. Interestingly, she married a man named Felix Lesiecki. Also note that this record indicates that the death was reported by an Adam Plenzler. I have not identified who Adam is yet.

(Note: I have noticed Lesiecki surname spelled as Lisiecki in many documents, many sources. I’m not sure if this is due to transcription issues, whether there are two separate surnames, or other matters that I don’t understand or know yet. I realized that I have used both versions. I do not have any connection of Felix to my great-grandmother’s (Mary) family. It’s possible but I have not found one yet. I also have never standardized on the spelling of the surname as I have with my Plenzler family’s surname.)

The second child I’ve located from the marriage of Bartholomeus and Barbara Hirsch was Eva, born in 1862. I’ve identified Eva via a marriage record to Johann Teszner. Record is located here and here (two pages to document).

I was completely stunned to see that he as well married a Lisiecki family member: Cunegunda, who was also a daughter of Adalbertus Lisiecki and Barbara Nachengast. She was a sister to my great-great grandmother, Mary Lisiecki. I have not located the marriage record yet for Bartholomeus and Cunegunda, but have found a birth record for a daughter from the marriage, Barbara, who was born 9 September 1878. Cunegunda died 5 June 1882.

Bartholomeus married a third time, to Antonie Kolinska in 1882. The marriage record is here and here (again, two pages to the document).

I realize I haven’t been posting for quite some time. Life has just been incredibly busy. Genealogical events have happened: a marriage in the family, graduations, and an engagement. My family continues to evolve, change, and progress and provide infinite sources of contentment as well as challenges. A huge career change happened for me as well the past few months and I’ve never denied my workaholic tendencies. (I get “lost” in what I am involved in–it’s a trait many introverts have–I just get involved in what I am doing and lose track of time and it’s the reason my genealogy is worked on in spurts. I seem to lack the ability to work steadily an hour here, and hour there on anything. I HAVE to do ALL that I can NOW! I often wonder what ancestor of mine was like that.) I guess this blog will need to suffer whenever I lack the time or ability to pay attention to it.

During the past several months, I did manage to get some research done as well as prowl both Calvary and Mount Carmel cemeteries. Nothing exciting came out of my cemetery prowls (yet, I haven’t worked on all of the photos) but I’ve found a database that I completely fell in love with: Basia. This database is an effort to transcribe and digitize the vital and civil records in the Polish National Archives based on an effort called the Asia project which is making these archived documents accessible. You can search either the Basia or Asia — but it is the Basia website that will provide you with scanned documents. (To use Asia, which will at least provide you with a list of all documents that reference the name or terms you are using, go here: http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/.) All documents and records available through Basia or Asia are from the Poznan area (I can’t tell if the effort will expand beyond Poznan). More historical documentation, from before the early 1900s is available in Basia it seems.

Basia can be read in English if you use the Chrome browser. I’ve tried it also with Firefox and IE–it works fine with any browser, but Chrome has an add-in that will translate non-English text on the fly. Asia, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to translate for me in Chrome. I am not sure why that is–the text does not seem to be coming via graphics but from the database. So if you are unable to read Polish, it would be handy to have Google translate open in another browser window. I love both of these websites, and because Basia has provided me very easily with a number of key documents I can’t sing its praises enough!

A while back, I had a theory that my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Lesiecka, had remarried. I had found a reference to a marriage of Mary Lesiecka to a Joannes Olejniczak on the Poznan Project database but had never written to obtain the record. So upon discovering the Basia database, I had thought to check if my theory was true: that Mary had indeed remarried. That would have given me a timeframe for when my 2nd great-grandfather, Jozef Plenzler, had died. I hit the genealogical jackpot–I was probably more excited with what I had found than when I had won $200 in Las Vegas. The marriage occurred in 1884 in Głuszyna and both Mary and Joannes were indicated as being widowed. The original record is held in the Piotrowo Registry Office, Poznan State Archives. It is too large of a record to show but it does specifically state that Marie (Mary) is a widow of Jozef Plenzler of Wiorek who was the son of Anna Maria Bajerlein. A copy of the record is here.

Searching further for any Lesieckis, I hit more jackpots. I had Mary’s birth record thanks to an exchange I had with the Sobeckis a few years ago (Mary was born 11 September 1825, the parish record from Wiorek is here if you would like it — LDS film #1191623). And because of this exchange, I had known her parents were Adalbertus Lesiecki and Barbara Nachengast (this surname seems to have some debate, whether it is Nachengast or Norhengast, but I am tending to Nachengast with how it has been indexed with Basia–I have not been able to transcribe the name well through Mary’s birth/baptismal record).

Because of this information, I was able to locate two siblings for Mary: Johann and Cunegunda, as well as have found strong evidence for a third sibling, Martin.

Johann was located through his death record which mentions his parents, Adalbertus and Barbara. He died 8 October 1883 in Wiorek. And here’s another kicker: his wife was a Marie Plenzler. I have not yet identified who this Marie Plenzler is. Going out on a limb, I’m going to throw out a theory that it’s very possible she is a sister to my 2nd g-grandfather, Jozef. Johann’s death was reported by a Marcin or Martin Lesiecki. Because Martin was the person who has reported the deaths of Barbara, and Johann, I am theorizing that he indeed is a brother to Mary. Johann’s death record is located here. Martin is someone that will need to be researched later. (The research never fails to provide more puzzles to solve!)

Cunegunda was a complete surprise. She also married a Plenzler. Cunegunda was married to a Bartholomeus Plenzler, whom I had previously identified as a brother to my 2nd great-grandfather. It seems as Batholomeus was married a total of three times! (He actually warrants another separate post on this.) I was able to identify through the Basia database that Cunegunda and Bartholomeus had at least one child together, Barbara. Barbara’s civil birth record is here. Cunegunda’s death record is here.

Finally, I was able to locate a death record for Barbara Nachengast Lesiecki. Barbara died 8 January 1879. The record is located here.

It seems that, while very slowly, Polish genealogical records are becoming more available for the cost of an internet connection. Add the Basia and Asia websites to your bookmarks if you’ve identified relatives from the Poznan region of Poland. I have located much more than what I’ve indicated here with just the Lesieckis–I was able to find more information on my Plenzler family, so maybe if I find more free time, I’ll be able to post on it. (Well, New Year is coming up and I don’t care to go out for New Year’s Eve…)

I hope you all have had a peaceful and beautiful Christmas and wish you a wonderful New Year!

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.)

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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

I’d never met any of my grandparents, I was born well after all four had died. I have a faint, out of focus, and oddly-angled picture of my dad’s parents, and some lovely photos of my mom’s mother. So I had an idea of how they looked. But for everywhere I’ve looked and asked, no picture ever seemed to exist of my mom’s father, John Plenzler. I imagined he looked like his mother or father, and I have my great-grandparents’ wedding photo. But you can never be too sure if one does favor one parent or the other. I have a daughter who does not look like me or her sisters, she favors her father’s side of the family greatly. She definitely resembles her father’s sister in a striking manner in my eyes. On first look, she does not seem to be my daughter. But she is (and she inherited much of my personality). Sometimes, genes mix in unique ways to present a new version within the family.

I had always been curious about John’s appearance, so imagine my surprise when I received, thanks to the efforts of a cousin and his son, John Plenzler’s “Descriptive Book” that records elements of his enlistment in the Marines. I was mildly surprised and also began to see that it was possible that my mother resembled him much more than her mother.

According to a description based upon a physical examination of John dated August 4, 1909, he was described as having a ruddy complexion, dark brown hair, light brown eyes, about 5′ 7″ tall, and it seemed slender–he was described as having a mean circumference of 35″, with a 3″ expansion and a weight of only 139 pounds. I suspect he may have been a fairly muscular man–he was a street paver prior to enlisting in the Marines, that would have meant hours of physical labor. Based on this, he may have resembled his father–who in his wedding picture seemed to have met these descriptions as well. My mother was not a tall person, perhaps 5′-2″. I would not have described her complexion as ruddy, but fair and she had dark hair. But she had blue eyes. So I’m going to guess my grandmother Anastasia had blue eyes.

John also had some minor physical marks or distinctions noted on his record–a deformed small toe on his left foot, a scar on his hand, and a few moles. He also had 20/20 vision.

Seems as if I got few Plenzler genes reading this! I have poor vision (have had since I was a small child), light hair, blue eyes, and about as tall as my grandfather. I know in reality, I have half Plenzler and half Mierzjewski genes. But it just looks as if the Mierzejewski genes are dominant. Still, I wanted to find a way to “connect” with my grandfather, and this was an interesting document to read to do so–he died when my mom was quite young, so she didn’t have many memories of him and didn’t seem to have any photos of him when asked.

I think what I did find more interesting about John was his history in the Marines. There was no bravado, no battles he participated in that I know of, but within his history of good conduct one incident stood out. He was court marshaled for being AWOL for a day after liberty and returning to duty drunk. By virtue of a plea, he was sentenced to loss of 18 days’ pay and to perform extra police duties for the period of a month. The loss of pay equaled $10.62. I haven’t calculated what that would be worth 100 years later, but I suspect it to be considerable.

John Plenzler Duty List

John Plenzler Duty List

John was discharged with a notation of “very good” character and had made up the loss of one day to AWOL status. Upon his discharge, his commanding officer noted “character very good instead of excellent because of two trials by court marshal and not recommended for good conduct medal.”

The document is scanned and posted here if anyone is interested in reviewing it.

Happy New Year! May your year be blessed, peaceful, and filled with contentment.

So…today, I make up for lost time with an additional post. I apologize, but I just haven’t had the time to keep up with the genealogy work this year. I don’t foresee the next year providing me with much time, either. But I intend to make the most of the time I do have available!

While visiting Calvary Cemetery this past July, I did some row mowing with the camera. I had found a Jankowski grave that I cannot identify. I am related to some Jankowskis through my mother–two daughters of Martin Plenzler, Edna and Florence,  had married Stanley Jankowski. Florence had married Stanley first, they had three daughters. Then after Florence had passed away and Edna was widowed (Edna’s first husband was Danny Sieja), Edna and Stanley had married. So when I encountered this stone in Calvary, I was intrigued. However, no matter how hard I tried, I could not identify the persons buried there. It seems the stone sunk enough to cover the names of those it is memorializing.

The grave is located in Section 25. If you can identify these persons, please feel free to contact me here.

unknown_jankowski

Unknown Jankowski grave, Calvary Cemetery Toledo, Section 25

For quite sometime, we had been waiting for my parents’ gravestones to be placed. For quite some time, my father never had a gravestone–his original military stone had been broken and removed and when mom passed, we had planned to put matching stones on their graves. Well, time passed and the family had ordered the stones and we had never followed up with the cemetery. The stones had been delayed being placed, bad weather, warehouse mix ups, and a few other things occurred. So, this summer, when I had gone up to Toledo for a quick visit, I thought I would stop and check whether the stones had been placed and they had. I had taken photos but somehow neglected placing the photos here. Communication with a possible Mierzejewski contact this afternoon had reminded me that I had never placed the photos here.

Here are the photos of the stones. For me, it’s a sense of peace knowing my parents have a small reminder of their presence in this world.

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Edward B. Mierzejewski

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Virginia Plenzler Mierzejewski

Going through my Calvary photos has been at times tedious (verify the location, name and maiden name), tiresome (crop, color balance, re-size), and irksome (get the photo loaded in my editor, get halfway through the edits, I get distracted, cat walks over computer, crash).

But sometimes, it produces some interesting information that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

My 2nd great-grandmother’s name was Mary Lesiecki, who married Joseph Plenzler. There is no small amount of information available on the Plenzlers–but never yet have I found a Lesiecki. As near as I can tell, from her marriage record to Joseph, she was very likely born around 1825 or 1826.

I’ll admit, I haven’t spent much effort yet attempting to trace the Lesiecki name. But a very curious thing occurred today while I was going through my photos. Whenever possible, I verify the burial by trying to locate a death record and then cross-referencing Calvary’s burial records. So, I had a photo for a John Jagodzinski’s grave. My due diligence provides me a bit of interesting information from John’s death certificate: His mother’s name was Veronica Lesiecki!

Another connection? I don’t know. A clue, and perhaps a valuable one! I may not be remembering correctly, but it seems to me that when I was much younger, there was a Jagodzinski Funeral Home? Does anyone remember such?

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