Frank J Zalewski, Sr. Find out Everything I Know About Frank Zalewski

Arnold & Shannon

The thirty-third ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s maternal 3rd-great-grandmother, Rosina Winslow (Arnold) Shannon.

Multiple census sources note that she was born about 1824 in New York State (info says Three Mile bay in Jefferson County.) Her obituary in the Stevens Point (Wisconsin) Journal says that she was born in “West Canada” which is more than likely “Canada West” in terms of the 1851/52 Canada Census. Both of those locations are quite close physically as Jefferson County is very close to the Canadian border. Her parents are unknown to me, but they are both noted to have been born in New York State.

Sometime in 1838, she married Nathaniel SHANNON in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which is right across the border from New York. In the 1852 Canada Census, the family lived on Wolfe Island in Ontario which is right on the border within the Saint Lawrence River. According to her obituary, the family left Canada and arrived in Wisconsin in about 1856, settling in the Portage County area. Nathaniel and Rosina had 10 children, including my wife’s ancestor, George Washington Shannon, whom I wrote about earlier in this series.

Nathaniel passed away in October 1878. Rosina passed away many years later on December 20th, 1899. An interesting note is that her son, Rudolph, died on this same day. I first thought maybe it was some sort of accident that took their lives together, but it seemed to be unrelated sickness. Rosina died from dropsy (now known as edema) and heart failure, while Rudolph died of pneumonia. She is buried with Rudolph at McDill Cemetery in Whiting, Portage, Wisconsin, near Plover and Stevens Point.

This post is 33 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Living on in Chromosome 6

The thirty-second ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my paternal 3rd-great grandfather, Michael TROKA. Michael is one of the few ancestors that I have confirmed as an ancestor with my DNA matches on chromosomes 1, 6, 9, and 11 as I talked about in my last post.

I don’t know when Michael Troka was born. The first documented information I have found for him is his marriage to (as it says in this document) Justyna GRABOWSKA in Lipusz, which today is located in Kościerzyna County, Pomeranian Voivodeship in northwestern Poland.

Michael and his wife has 12 children in Lipusz from about 1860 to 1881, including my great-great-grandfather, Joseph Troka, who was one of the previous ancestors I wrote about.

Many of their children later left Poland and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin including Joseph, his brothers Mathias and Thomas, and his younger sister Maryanna. There are probably more, but I have yet to dig deep into that line of research.

This post is 32 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Chromosome Mapping

After getting my DNA tests completed and for the past few years pouring over that data using tools like GEDMatch, and most recently, Genome Mate, I’ve started to accumulate Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCA) with some of my DNA matches. How to figure those out is another post entirely.

Granted, I don’t have a lot of confirmed MRCAs, yet, but I do have a few. You can use this data to make a chromosome mapping. Genome Mate does this for you in the software, but there is also a web version (seen below) that will do it for you. This will paint all of the segments on your chromosome that match those ancestors. Once you get a lot of confirmed MRCAs, the mapping looks really cool. Mine is getting started.

Click for full version.Do your own here: http://kittymunson.com/dna/ChromosomeMapper.php

Click for full version. Do your own here.

As you can see, I only have 2 MRCAs confirmed, one on each side. My paternal 3rd-great-grandparents, Michael Troka and Josylna Grabowska and my maternal great-great-grandparents, Carl Last & Augusta Luedtke.

The Troka connection is not yet fully confirmed, but the information we have is pretty solid. The Last connection is confirmed as I’ve matched up family trees with a 3rd cousin I found via a 23andMe match. I have a few more matches in progress that are close to finding information on our MRCA. It can be tough work sometimes, but there is hope of finding all new ancestors.

The Zalewski Wall

The thirty-first ancestor in my 52-week challenge is the ancestor that I’ve probably written about more than any other, my paternal great-great-grandfather, Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr. Unfortunately, this is probably the shortest line I have. He was the inspiration for me to start a lot of my research, this blog, and my Everything I Know About websites as his was the first.

Frank Zalewski - 1909

Frank Zalewski – 1909

Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr was more than likely born around 4 September 1858, though I also have February 1860 as listed in the 1900 Census and 1905 Wisconsin State Census records. All other records indicate 1858. Obviously, there are many different entries for birth place as that area of the world went through many changes. I’ve mainly seen Germany and Prussia listed, so it’s possible that it was in a more German area.

He married Ms. Anna LINDNER (b 27 Nov 1854) on 2 November 1884 in, what was at the time, Schwenten, West Prussia. Today, it is located at Święte, Gmina Łasin, Grudziądz County, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland. My notes always had it listed as January 1885 in Poznan, Poland. While Poznan is sort of nearby, it’s not really that close to Święte. I imagine someone just picked the largest city in the area. The record notes that Frank was from nearby Gottschalk, which is now called Goczałki.

After looking through all of the records in the Schwenten parish, I found no other mentions of the Zalewski surname. My gut tells me that Frank (and his brother Jacob) are not from the area originally. Family stories indicate that Frank may possibly be from the Russian side of Poland.

Another Zalewski researcher (and semi-distant cousin) put together a Zalewski booklet a few years ago. In this booklet, these notes are listed (though they are from research prior to me finding their marriage record, so some info does not line up):

There is, however, a conflicting story as to the area of Poland from which Frank and Anna originated.  During a 1993 telephone interview with another granddaughter, Irene (Zalewski) Lutzenberger, she indicated that her late father [Editor's Note: my great-grandfather, Joseph Zalewski] had always said his parents came from eastern Poland — an area then under Russian rule.  Irene’s father also stated that when his parents entered the United States, their surname was spelled “Salefsky,” thereby reflecting the Russian influence.  Although no official documents can be found to verify this, it is interesting to note that in the 1934 obituary of another grandchild, Norbert Cybela, the maiden name of Norbert’s mother is spelled “Zalesky.”

It is hypothetically possible that Frank Zalewski, Sr is, indeed, born and raised in Russian Poland and, at some later point in his life, moved to the German section in which Poznan Province was located.  Although traveling across political borders was difficult in 19th-century Europe, to say the least, it was not impossible.  In Russian Poland, for example, all debts to the government, including military service in the czar’s army, had to be fulfilled before travel documents would be issued and borders would be crossed.  Two years of active military service followed by two years in the reserve forces was required of all males when they reached their twentieth birthday.  In Frank’s case, that would have accounted for the years 1878 through 1882.  We know he married Anna Lindner (a German) in January 1885, which means he probably relocated from Russian-held, eastern Poland to the German-held, western area sometime between 1882 and 1884. This, of course, is only speculation but would explain the Russian “sky” ending on the surname.

I’ve taken some of this into account when researching, but to no avail yet. It turns out that finding a Zalewski in Poland is almost as fun as finding a Smith in America.

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Jean Baptiste

The thirtieth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my maternal 3rd-great-grandfather, Jean [John] Baptiste LAURENT. He was born in 1825 on January 18th. A birthday he shares with another famous person. Me. He was born at the small town of Biez in the Chaumont-Gistoux municipality in Walloon Brabant, Belgium. Chaumont-Gistoux is located on the KW-line, which […]

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The Siege of Yorktown

Surrender_of_Lord_Cornwallis

The twenty-ninth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s paternal 5th-great-grandfather, Carey TONEY. There are a few birth dates listed, but most are usually either in October 1757 or 1763 in Buckingham County, Virginia. According to a newspaper article about Mr. Toney: He joined the American army in the revolution; passed through several campaigns; was […]

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The Last Thielke

Peter Thielke Headstone

The twenty-eighth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my maternal 3rd-great-grandfather, Henry Peter THIELKE. He is the last ancestor that I have information for in my Thielke line. I am hoping to find more information about him back in Germany to expand my Thielke line. The most documented date of birth for Peter, as he […]

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Boston to the West Indies

The twenty-seventh ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s maternal 8th-great-grandfather, Nathaniel SHANNON. Nathaniel is one of seven Nathaniel Shannon’s in a row in my wife’s ancestry, starting with this Nathaniel’s father, born in Ireland in circa 1655 all the way through to her 3rd-great-grandfather, born in New Hampshire in 1816. He also had […]

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