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:

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!

Another mystery wedding photograph. This is a wedding photograph for my first cousin, John Mierzejewski through my grand uncle, Ignacy Mierzejewski (my grandfather’s branch of the Mierzejewski family). Confusing isn’t it?

I’ve posted this photo previously, but it bears repeating because I’d like to identify the others in the photo eventually. That would provide me with possible Mierzejewski links and give a further indication of the family’s movements west from the east coast/New England areas into Ohio and possibly Michigan.

John Mierzejewski and Anna Mizlinska wedding photo

John Mierzejewski and Anna Mizlinska wedding photo

John married Anna Mizlinksa before 1919 (I do not have an exact date). The marriage likely took place in Connecticut as their first daughter, Josephine was recorded as having been born there per the 1930 census. By 1930, the family was living in Toledo, Ohio. Since the Mierzejewskis are rather scattered and a rather large clan, I do not know who may be in this photo other than John and Anna and have no knowledge (yet!) of other Mierzejewskis who may have been living in Connecticut about 1919. Many in the family seemed to have lived on the east coast or New England areas and then migrated west into Ohio and Michigan. If anyone has any insight or knowledge, please leave a comment here or email me.

John and Anna eventually divorced. John then married Jennie Bojarska-Weclawska and Anna then married Albin Obarski. John died in Toledo in 1970; Anna died in Toledo in 1992.

can be as exciting as reading the owner’s manual of your latest technology purchase. Shame on me for poking fun at the source of my paycheck, but I do understand–I only read those manuals myself if and only if something isn’t working. I prefer a good mystery or biography. But I entertained myself by reading more burial records this weekend with the latest bluster of fall weather we’ve had–cold, rain, and dreary. After all, isn’t genealogy both a bit of a mystery and part of the process of writing one’s family’s biography?

I had reason to eyeball those old records again while trying to conjure up any data about Stanley Mizejewski and Konstancja Mierzejewska. I’ve had a bit of luck as far as Konstacja goes. I did locate her burial record by reviewing burials from 1913 onward. Here is what I’ve located in the 1913 burial log:

Name of Deceased: Constantia Mezejewska
Place of Nativity
Late Residence: 3250 Maple
Age: 20
Color: W
Sex: F
Disease: Nephritis
Date of Decease: Dec. 18 (1913)
Date of Interment: Dec. 20
Married, Single or Widowed: S
Place of Death: Toledo
No. of Grave: 1600
No. of Lot: 11
No. of Section: 3
Name of Physician: O. W. Kimbell
Name of Undertaker: J. W. Paulowski
Name of Parents or Kindred:

I do believe the record keeper misspelled the last name and this location is where I took the photo–Section 3 of the cemetery.

Constantia’s address is given as a residence on Maple Street, which would place her within a block or so of St. Adalbert’s parish in the Lagrinka neighborhood.  I had hoped this clue would give me a hint about her, but it didn’t. Sometimes the parish records noted the survivors or nearest relatives; however, not so in the case. Here is the record of Constantia’s burial through St. Adalbert:

Date of Death/Burial: Dec. 20/Dec. 23
Name of Person Interred: Constantia Mierzejewski
Place of Birth: R. Poland
Age: 20 yr.
Priest: J. P. Wachowiak
Cemetery: Calvary
Remarks: Pen. and Ext. Unct.

The remarks indicate that she received the sacraments of penance and extreme unction (last rites) prior to passing away. This indicates to me she did not die alone and someone would have had to call the priest for this function. This is the very earliest Mierzejewski death I’ve located so far in Toledo. Her age, 20, indicates she was born during the time span my grandfather, grandmother, and their siblings were born–1883. So my guess is that she would not have immigrated alone to the US–it was highly unusual for women at this time to come alone while traveling from Europe. (I’ve only noted this twice and each time I cannot ascertain for sure the women traveled alone.) It appears as if there were Mierzejewskis settling in Toledo as early as sometime after 1910. This point may become more important later as more of my grandparent’s and their siblings’ movements are discovered–remember my grandfather and his brother, Marzel, were located in Massachusetts and Cleveland around 1909. So someone had to tip Wladyslaw off about how great life was on the great north coast. A possible theory would be that Constantia is a relative of my grandmother, Helena. It was Helena’s brother, Jan, with whom Wladyslaw and Helena would live at 1763 Buckingham when they arrived in Toledo in 1923. And Buckingham is perhaps only 4 miles or so from the Maple Street address.


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