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!

Yep, I’m trying to catch up! A second post in one night. My apologies to you who get updates via email, I have a love/hate relationship with email and can sympathize.

But again, due to the generosity of the genealogical community, I have a copy of a Mierzejewski marriage record from St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Perrysburg, Ohio. I had clues via Garret Mierzejewski that there were Mierzejewskis who settled in Wood County; however, I could never connect the dots with my family.

The record reflects the marriage of a Constantine Mierzejewski and Geraldine DeWitt:

  • Constantine was born 18 December 1913, son of John and Constance Sikorska
  • Geraldine was born 22 April 1917, daughter of Grey and Ethel Roach
  • Marriage witnessed by William Baginski and Rose? Mierzejewska (I cannot transcribe the first name, rough guess)
  • The civil marriage occurred 29 July 1937 in Angola, Indiana and dispensation procured 21 September  1937

If you have any more knowledge of this family, please contact me. I’d be interested in learning if there is any connection between my family.

Have been corresponding with a few via email recently. A comment made was “such tragic stories sometimes.” Yes, I’m sure many of our ancestors experienced hardships and tragedies, but I’m not certain that was the theme of their lives. I thought about this the past week or so–I know there were many joys in my ancestor’s lives–marriages, births, celebrations, satisfaction gained from a job well done, hobbies, and achievements. I also know there were times they just let their hair down and laughed themselves silly.

While investigating our ancestor’s lives, it seemed to me that we do so primarily through documents that provide us facts such as birthdates and death dates. Sometimes those documents or pieces of information — for example, death certificates — provide us a glimpse into information that must not be easy to know or makes us sad. I know I’ve seen examples where a mother died in childbirth or in the case the St. Anthony’s train wreck, my heart seemed to break to learn that information. It occurred to me that other than marriage records or baptismal records, many of the records we find about our ancestors often brings sad news.

So, my question: Have you any stories of joy or happiness in your ancestor’s lives? Are there any times in their lives where you can see them smile or laugh?

Here’s a photo of my aunt, Celia with her sister-in-law, Helen, playing like children with a tricycle and baby doll carriage. I don’t have a date, but I do recognize that yard!

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski and Helen Ceglarska Mierzejewski

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski and Helen Ceglarska Mierzejewski — being playful

While going through the clippings and information my parents left, I found a newspaper clipping for someone named Anthony Ceglarski a while back. I did not connect the name for a while then realized my uncle Walter’s wife was Helen Ceglarski. (Walter and his wife, Helen, used the surname of Myers.) So, long story short: this would have been my uncle Walter’s father-in-law.

It took a bit, but I traced this clipping and its date. The clipping would likely have been published on 15 May of 1945 in the Toledo Blade. It tells of Anthony’s accident by walking into a train. Here is the clip.

Anthony Ceglarski, train accident

Anthony Ceglarski, train accident

Unfortunately, Anthony did not survive his accident. He passed away on 16 May, and his obituary was published 17 May 1945 in the Toledo Blade. Below is an obituary I was able to pull from Google archives. I’ve transcribed the obituary below because the scan isn’t very good.

Anthony Ceglarski, obituary, Toledo Blade, 17 May 1945

Anthony Ceglarski, obituary, Toledo Blade, 17 May 1945

Anthony Ceglarski

Services will be at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Valenty Sujkowski Funeral Home for Anthony Ceglarski of 605 Waverly Ave. who died yesterday in Mercy Hospital of injuries suffered Thursday when he walked into the side of a train.

Other services will be at 9 a.m. in St. Hyacinth’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

Lesson learned: few things your parents or grandparents saved are meaningless! Just because it took me a while to connect the dots with this means little. My father would not have saved this clipping. It’s likely he obtained it from his mother. Why would I say this? My father was still overseas with the Army Air Corps at the time Anthony died. He was not discharged until October 1945.

While going through my mom’s things, my sister found our grandparents’ and uncle’s obituaries.

John Plenzler (Published in The Blade, 03 August 1936)

John Plenzler died Sunday in his home at 722 Brown Ave. He was 51.

He leaves his wife, Mrs. Anastasia Plenzler, a son, Raymond, two daughters, Florence and Virginia, two sisters, Miss Mary Plenzler and Mrs. Sophia Szymanowski, and six brothers, Martin, Joseph, Robert, Frank, and Leo, all of Toledo, and Charles, Lambertville, Mich.

Services will be at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the residence, and at 9 a.m. in St. Stanislaus Church. [Burial] will be in Calvary.

John Plenzler, Obituary

John Plenzler, Obituary

Raymond  D. Plenzler (published in The Blade, 15 April 1960)

Raymond D. Plenzler, 46, of 1765 Buckingham St., died yesterday in Mercy Hospital.

Mr. Plenzler was a lifelong Toledo resident. He was a punch press operator at the Sheridan Manufacturing Co., 13 years.

Surviving are sisters, Mrs. Florence Soborowski and Mrs. Virginia Mierzejewski, both of Toledo.

Services will be Monday at 9 a.m. in St. Stanislaus Church, with burial in Calvary Cemetery. The body is in the Sujkowski Mortuary.

Raymond D. Plenzler Obituary

Raymond D. Plenzler Obituary

Anastasia Plenzler (Published in The Blade 15 March 1946)

Mrs. Anastasia (Nettie) Plenzler died Wednesday in her home, 722 Brown Ave. She was 55. She was a member of the St. Rita Society, St. Stanislaus Church and the Polish Roman Catholic Union, Group 14.

Surviving are her daughters, Florence and Virginia; son, Raymond; sisters, Mrs. Mary Erdman and Mrs. Eva Hejnick; brothers, Frank and John Przybylski, and one grandchild.

Services will be at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow in the Sujkowski & Sons’ Funeral Home and at 9 a.m. in St. Stanislaus Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

Anastasia Plenzler, Obituary

Anastasia Plenzler, Obituary

I have to apologize for my absence.New Year Resolutions are always made with the best of intentions, right? Unfortunately, I slacked and let a few other things take precedence. I had been meaning to post this photo given to me by my cousin, Milt. We had met early in December and I hadn’t gotten around to scanning this until now. I was truly surprised and grateful that Milt shared this. This is a photo of my dad. I do not have a date when it was taken. My dad had shared this with Milt–they had spoken about my dad’s war experiences together. Knowing that my father had curled up inside of that ball is a disquieting feeling.

Edward Mierzejewski, ball turret gunner

Edward Mierzejewski, ball turret gunner

A while back, Stanczyk the internet muse and Polish genealogy wizard with a few roots in Toledo, emailed me because he’d located an interesting Mierzejewski tidbit.

Seems there was a John and Stephanie Mierzejewski who had been the godparents for a Tadeus Ladas. See here. The date of the record is 27 July 1919.

I’ve transcribed the record below:

Datum Baptisimi: July 27 1919
Nomen et Residentia: Tadeus Joannes, 1318 Hamilton St.
Dataum Nativiatis: 18a Julii
Nomina: Adolphus Lada, Stanislava Myslinska
Locus Nativitatis: Toledo, Ohio
Patrini: Joannes Mierzejewski, Stephania Mierzejewska
Minister: Joannes A. Urbanski

I cannot yet understand the significance of this record. I am aware of a Stephania Dykowska Mierzejewski–she married Konstanty Mierzejewski. However, I have not yet established any firm connection to either of my grandparents. John Mierzejewski can be one of several with that name; however, because the mother’s name is Myslinska, I would venture to guess it is this John–he had married a Joanna (Anna) Myslinsksa.

Thanks, Mike!


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