I’ve been continuing on a quest to locate more data on my father’s family. As I’ve pointed out earlier when attempting to find all of the different variations of the surname, it becomes difficult locating these individuals because of the many variant name spellings.
Knowing that some of dad’s family did come through Pennsylvania, I had been scouring the records on FamilySearch.com in order to see if perchance I could find any hint of my family in Cambria and Blair counties or the regions surrounding Altoona. I knew to look at these areas because a few death certificates indicated that a few cousins were born in that region. This was a search similar to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack because of the name. But persistence paid off, and I’ve found more variants in the name spelling. I think this time the errors were literally due to clerical errors.
A huge question I’ve had is how, or if, Konstanty Mierzejewski is related to the family. (Note that while I have linked to a previous post that states I think Konstanty was a sibling of my grandfather, I have since had information that leads me to disregard that idea. But there is some good identifying material in that post in case anyone stumbles upon this website.) My guess is that Konstanty may well be related, but I can’t prove it yet. The parents I have for him are not those of either my grandmother OR my grandfather. I have only been able to ascertain through a 1912 Philadelphia Passenger list that Konstanty had been born somewhere near Brwilno Gone, a considerable distance from my grandparents’ ancestral villages of Gerwaty and Borowce. All three villages surround Warsaw, and all were considered part of the Russian Partition of Poland. It is very possible Konstanty is no relation. Still, Konstanty’s life patterns were all too parallel to my grandparents’ family, he was in the Cambria County and Altoona, Pennsylvania regions shortly after his immigration here; my grandmother’s brother Wladyslaw Mierzejewski (not to be confused with her HUSBAND Wladyslaw Mierzejewski–can you understand my constant confusion?) had settled for a period in the Altoona, Pennsylvania region–his eldest daughter, Sophia was born in Altoona. Additionally, another of my grandmother’s brothers, Jan, had settled near Altoona for a time and his first daughter, Helen, was born in Altoona. The last in a trifecta of coincidences that leads me to believe Konstanty might very well be related through one of my grandparents is that upon my grandparents’ arrival here, they were living at 1763 Buckingham. They arrived in February, 1923 and this address is reflected on my father’s birth certificated dated December 23, 1924. Konstanty had used this address on his 1918 World War I draft registration. Unfortunately, I have not been able to trace the ownership of this home at the time (it was likely rented though) and by 1920, Konstanty had moved to Detroit Avenue, just a few blocks away. Coincidence or relationship? That is the question I am still trying to solve.
I digressed, considerably. Some digging through the few records for Pennsylvania on FamilySearch.com did bring two marriage records for the Mierzejewski clan! And were those names mangled.
I did locate the marriage record for Konstanty and Stephania. And this record provides a hint as to where the permutation spelling MIEZEJEWSKI may have arisen. It is how the name is spelled on the official county marriage record. However, in Konstanty’s situation, all other records that I’ve located use the spelling MIERZEJEWSKI. This marriage record doesn’t provide much information that I did not have prior, I knew the parents (Julian and Anna); however, the name of the priest marrying the couple is provided. That is a clue, and with that name may be able to trace the parish they were married in sometime! Also note that the bride’s name is incorrect. She is listed as Suffie, and we know her name was Stephania. Additionally, the bride’s surname is provided as Decosky, which also is incorrect, the name on other records for Stephania is DYKOWSKI. However, knowing these spellings may be helpful in the future. Click the image to view it full size.
Cambria County, Pennsylvania, Marriage Record for Konstanty Mierzejewski and Stephania Dykowski, 18 June 1907
The second Mierzejewski marriage record I’ve located was that for my grandmother’s brother, Wladyslaw (Walter) and his wife, Bronisława (Bernice). This marriage occurred November 6, 1912. And (the themes continue…do I hear the violins yet?) the names are misspelled and indicates that Mierzejewskis married other Mierzejewskis. I knew Bernice was a Mierzejewski prior to marriage; however, it is misspelled for both of the groom and the bride. For the groom, the name is spelled MIERZEYSKI and for the bride the name is spelled MERSEJEWSKA. I did learn one new interesting fact about my grand uncle. I did not know he was previously married. According to this marriage record, Wladyslaw was widowed September 2, 1910. So, another hint to follow. It may be possible his first wife died in Pennsylvania. I also did not know Bernice’s parents prior; their names are given as Peter and Emily–so some good possibilities to chase down with first names would be Piotr and Anelia or Emilia. Click to enlarge the record and view it full size.
Wladyslaw and Bronisława Mierzejewski marriage record, Blair County, Pennsylania 6 November 1912
I think another theme with my locating my grandparents’ family will be patience! Given that I know that at least several of my ancestors married others with the same surname and give how many ways the surname has been spelled, I think I’m just going to need a lot of patience. Lord, give me patience and give it to me now? Old joke, I know. But I know so much about my mother’s side of the family and so little of my dad’s that I wonder if they are playing tricks on me by revealing themselves to me ever so slowly. Mom’s family was wham bam thank you m’am, here we are! They were relatively easy to find and connect unlike my dad’s family. While I continue to learn about mom’s family, I also want that history in Russian Poland that forced my grandfather here in 1923!