The Papermaker

The twelfth ancestor on my 52 week challenge is my wife’s great-great-grandfather on her maternal side, Alexander Felix BANACH (or sometimes BANNACH.)

He was born on 26 August 1869 in, what is today, Śliwice, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in north-central Poland. His baptism is listed on the wonderful Pomeranian Genealogical Association’s PomGenBase website. In April 1891, he left his home in Poland and set out on a ship from Hamburg, Germany as mentioned in the Hamburger Passagierlisten database. We’re not exactly sure when or where he arrived, but in 1894, he married Mary WOYAK (or sometimes WOJAK) in Polonia, Portage County, Wisconsin. Portage County, along with Milwaukee, was a major hub for Polish immigrants in Wisconsin.

According to census and other documentation, Felix, as he was usually called, and Mary had 12 children altogether from 1895 to 1921. The second child born was my wife’s great-grandfather, Julius, in 1897. Sometime between 1920 and 1930, the family moved to Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois, possibly due to Felix’s jobs, as he was a papermaker. Paper companies were a big industry in central Wisconsin along the Wisconsin River.

On Halloween 1943, Felix passed away. He is buried with his family at Ascension Cemetery in Libertyville, Illinois.

This post is 12 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

About Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.

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Comments

  1. I’m impressed with what you found in Poland. I struggle with ancestors from that country, but you’ve given me new hope.

  2. Brian Zalewski says:

    Glad I could help. Most of the time it’s just getting lucky and finding a mention of a birth town or home town in another unrelated record and going from there. That happened with my Zalewski ancestors which allowed me to finally track down their origin location in Poland, though still not the birth place of that specific Zalewski ancestor. You can read about that here.

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