Author: 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.

I recently picked up the The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger. As you can tell from posts on my site, I’ve been working with my DNA for genealogy for a few years now. I took my first genetic genealogy test back in 2006 using National Geographic’s Genographic Project. Since then I’ve also tested at 23andMe and AncestryDNA and have transferred my results to both GedMatch and FamilyTreeDNA. Also at FTDNA, I’ve tested my Y-DNA and mtDNA.

If a lot of that sounds like gibberish to you, this book will definitely help. It has a good introduction to DNA and the different DNA tests. Even though I’m fairly well-versed in a lot of the DNA stuff, I still found a lot of helpful information.

Three Sections

The book is broken down into three main sections. “Getting Started” is the first section and it goes over the genetic genealogy basics, misconceptions and ethical considerations. It is a good info for anyone getting into genetic genealogy.


The second section is “Selecting A Test” which goes over each of the main types of DNA and the tests related to them: Mitochondrial-DNA, Y-DNA, Autosomal-DNA, and X-DNA. It’s a great read-through, especially if you’re trying to figure out a specific genealogical mystery in your tree since it will help you decide which test is best for solving it.

The third section is “Analyzing and Applying Test Results” which gets into more advanced tools for analyzing your DNA. This includes an overview of the most popular third-party tools, like GedMatch, and things like the often-marketed Ethnicity Estimates. This section also delves into using DNA testing for adoptees, which isn’t something I’m personally familiar with, but I imagine is a very powerful tool.

Constant Reference

I personally like having all of the information in one place rather that bookmarking multiple websites and random notes. If I’m looking for where my X-Chromosome may come from in my ancestry, I can just pull up the X-DNA chart. How is a third-cousin twice-removed related to me? I can check the handy reference chart.

The author, Blaine T. Bettinger, has long been known as one of the best genetic genealogy resources in the community. His blog, The Genetic Genealogist, has always been one that I read often. He’s very knowledgeable in the subject and his writing is very easy to follow. I was able to get through the book in only a few days and it still sits actively on my desk as a constant reference. I’d recommend it to everyone involved in DNA testing, from those new to DNA testing to those who have tested but want to learn more.

Since finding their marriage record that I talked about in my last post, I’ve done my best to transcribe and translate it to the best of my ability (and Google Translate.) Here is what I was able to translate, with some notes within and more notes after.

Nr. 8

Schwenten on the 2nd of November one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four

Before the undersigned registrar released today for the purpose of marriage

  1. Tagloehner(?) (day-laborer) known as Franz Zalewski, Catholic religion, born the fourth of October the year on thousand eight hundred fifty-eight in Krotoschin in Loebau, resident of Gottschalk in Graduenz.

    Son of (?) Michael Zalewski and (?) (?) Anna born Muschowska(?), residing in Gottschalk

  2. Known as Anna Lindner, catholic religion, born the fifteenth October (incorrect? baptism record is in Sept 1865) of the year one thousand eight hundred sixty-five in Schwenten in Graudenz, residing in Schwenten in Graudenz.

    Daughter of (?) Johann Lindner and (?) (?) Eva born Sonnenfeld residing at Schwenten.

Witnesses were drawn and published:

  1. The (?) known as Johann Lindner, 48 (?) years old, residing in Schwenten
  2. The (?) known as Franz Gurski, 36 (?) years old, residing in Schwenten

In the presence of the witnesses, the clerk of the court addressed to the betrothed the question individually and one after the other:

Whether they know they want marriage with each other. The fiancée replied to this question in the affirmative, and made the statement of the civil servant that he was now giving it up to the law of the law

Presented, approved and (?)

XXX (?) Franz Zalewski
XXX (?) Anna Zalewski born Lindner
XXX (?) Johann Lindner
XXX (?) Franz Gurski

A few notes here. It describes Frank’s birthday as 4 October 1858, which is probably correct. I’ve always had 4 Sep 1858, but I honestly don’t know the source of that specific date. I’ve never seen it myself, though the year is probably correct as that has been found in multiple places. I also now have Frank’s place of birth, which is a nearby town named Krotoschin in 1884. Today it is Krotoszyny, Biskupiec, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Poland, just northeast of their marriage location. I don’t know if Frank’s mother’s last name is Muschowska. It’s a bit tough to read.

All of the question marks (?) in the transcription are words I could not make out. Lowercase letters like e, n, and r look very similar in German Gothic script especially when the writer is a bit sloppy. They all look like one squiggly line with a few peaks and valleys. Most of the missing words are the occupations of the individuals. The three X’s at the bottom near the four names is probably similar to “his mark” in other documents stating that the person could not write their name.

For whatever reason, it looks like Anna’s birth date is wrong. I’ve previously found her baptism record in the church records and it was from September 1865. This states she was born in October.

The only other new item is the name of one of the witnesses, Franz Gurski. Not sure who that is, so I’ve been looking for the Gurski name in the rest of the civil records. I found a few birth records for Franz and his wife. I’ve also found a few more Zalewski/Salewski records and I’ve made note of them. They’re probably, or possibly, related to Frank Zalewski. Unfortunately, the civil records only go back to 1874, so I will need to track down the church records to see if I can find Frank’s baptism record in Krotoschin.

One of the most solid, longest standing brick walls in my personal genealogy research has come down this week. This wall has stood since I started researching my family in 1999, though I didn’t heavily pursue it until a bit later. I now have the names of my paternal 3rd-great-grandparents on my Zalewski line. Meet Michael & Anna (Muschowska) Zalewski.

The path to breaking down this wall started as a lot of them do, just doing random searching and browsing. I occasionally visit most of the sites on my “Genealogy Community” link list on the sidebar. I almost always visit Al’s site at Al’s Polish-American Genealogy. I know Al personally since we used to attend a local Polish research group for a few years. Al works very deep in Polish records and blogs in detail about what he found and how he found it. He had a post recently talking about the records he has on a specific individual and in it he mentioned a few sites he used. One of these sites was one he called the Genealogy in Archives website. I googled it and visited the only Polish one I saw.

I haven’t been able to find a good description of the site, but it looks to be a program dedicated to getting Polish Civil records online from the various archives. Fortunately for me, it also includes records from the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship including the community of Łasin where my Zalewski ancestors resided. I already had the Schwenten church marriage record of my great-great-grandparents, Frank & Anna, in 1884, along with the birth records of their first three children.

I wasn’t able to find the town of Święte/Schwenten in the list, so I first browsed the records for Goczałki/Gottschalk, which is where Frank resided in 1884. I searched through the year 1884 and also all of the birth record up to 1891 and found nothing for this family. I did find a few other Zalewski families (or Salewski.) I also found the marriage record for Joseph Goralski and Marianna Gwiazdowski. Previous research points to them being somehow related to the Zalewski family, but that connection is unknown. One record says Marianna’s parents are Frank’s aunt and uncle and another record says that Marianna is Frank’s sister. I decided to ignore the brother/sister record for now and focus on the nephew one. This would make Marianna’s mother, Anna, Frank’s mom’s sister.

These civil records compared to the church records also include the individuals parents, mother’s maiden name, and residence locations, so it’s a nice gold mine. It not only confirmed Marianna was August & Anna Gwiazdowski’s daughter, it gave me Anna’s maiden name as Muschewski. This may be Frank’s mother’s maiden name.

I had no more luck in Gottschalk besides a few possible side relations and common surnames. I started going through nearby town records just in case when I decided to browse the whole list of towns in the Łasin community. There, right in plain view, was Święte. It didn’t show in my searches because the beginning Ś is not the standard S. I opened up the records and browsed to the 1884 Marriage records. I was literally shaking as I looked through the dozen or so in 1884 in Schwenten. Then I saw it, the husband’s name listed first, Franz Zalewski. Before even confirming the wife’s name (it was correct) my eyes shot down to the parent’s names and there they were, Michael and Anna. And Anna’s last name was Muschowska (or something similar.) Ignore the fuzzy Instagram photo I used, still processing the full versions.

You may have noticed that Frank’s mother Anna Muschowska and Marianna’s mother Anna Muschewski may not be sisters since they have the same name. A few quick possibilities is that they both go by Anna but have different names or Anna remarried to Marianna’s father August after Frank’s father Michael died. This would confirm the brother/sister connection, but then it would invalidate the nephew one. Those two don’t ever really go together, one question solved, many more added.

I’m still a little excited today. This was, so to speak, the Holy Grail of brick walls in my research. I may research other lines a lot of the time, but I always prioritize this line since it is both my surname line and (probably still) my shortest line. It’s also a line that no one else seems to be actively researching, so I feel like an explorer visiting uncharted territory unlike some of my other lines. As it goes in genealogy, one brick wall down and many more in the distance, but at least they’re new and untouched.

Photo by Rhys Aspludh@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

NOTE: This post was originally from 2011. I have since updated it as of April 2017. Some of the previous ones are now no longer streaming, but I did find some decent replacements.

I’ve been a customer of Netflix for many years now. Back when I first signed up, it was only DVDs by mail. Now you get instantly streaming shows and movies into your living room through a PC or an Xbox or a smart phone and it’s glorious.

I’ve run across a bunch of different history and genealogy related instant streaming options and I thought I’d share them with you. Though, these are not all specifically genealogy-related, some may be about the areas your ancestors once lived. Also, these videos are obviously more related to my ancestry than just general ancestry. If you have a Netflix account, these links should link you right to the video info page. If you don’t have a Netflix account, I will try to find another informational page for you to view. There are a lot more if you also count DVD versions, though you’ll need to wait for those. Instant ones you can watch right now. (more…)

Yesterday, the big news across the Genetic Genealogy community was the release of Ancestry DNA’s Genetic Communities. According to Ancestry, these communities are built like this:

We find Genetic Communities™ by looking at a network of DNA connections we build using millions of AncestryDNA members in our database. When we build a network like this using millions of AncestryDNA members with billions of DNA relationships between them, we find groups of people in the network that have more DNA matches to each other than to people in other parts of the network. We call these groups Genetic Communities. We use a popular network analysis method called community detection to discover them.

So, it’s sort of a mix of DNA matches along with information from the millions of family trees built on the site. Together they can find a community in the more recent past. Previously, we only had ethnicity estimates to work with, but those were usually more broad and much deeper in the past. For example, here are my ethnicity results.

That Scandinavia one still confuses me a bit. but who knows where my deep ancestry came from. Those Scandinavians were known to travel.

My Communities

I have two active Genetic Communities, as do most people it seems. My first one is Germans in Brandenburg & Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (very likely >95%) which matches up very well with my known ancestry. The other one is Poles in Pomerania, which also matches up very well though their confidence is only at 20% for this one at the moment.

The German community points to this area, which is the original location of a lot of my German ancestry. The Pomeranian community points to a majority of northern Poland, which also has a lot of my ancestry. As always, click the images for a larger view.

Timelines

You can also break down the communities into time periods to find out more information about what happened in that area during those years. If I open up the time period when most of my ancestors migrated, it talks about that exact thing and also talk about how they came to the Wisconsin area.

So far these communities have been helpful and surprisingly specific and on the right track. Based on a lot of the messy, incorrect trees I see on the site I’d expect some skew, but I imagine those are not the majority. If you’re looking for much more insight on these communities, check out the great post over at The Genetic GenealogistAncestry has also put together a short video introducing the feature.

The ninth ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2017 project is Major William VAUGHAN. He is my wife’s maternal 9th-great-grandfather. I was interested in this line since supposedly up within William’s ancestry is a connection to the royal lines of England. I’ve spent some time recently trying to confirm my wife’s connection to Mr. Vaughan. I’m pretty confident that he is her ancestor, it’s confirming everything beyond him to the royal lines that is getting difficult.

She is related to William through her mother → her mother → her mother (Marie R SHANNON) → her father (George Washington SHANNON) → his father (Nathanial SHANNON [1]) → his father (Nathaniel SHANNON [2]) → his father (Nathaniel SHANNON [3]) → his father (Nathanial SHANNON [4]) → his father (Nathaniel SHANNON [5]) → his mother (Abigail VAUGHAN) → her father (Major William VAUGHAN). You’re not going crazy, there are a lot of Nathaniels in a row. There are actually two more, Abigail’s husband was Nathaniel and his father is also a Nathaniel, making eight in a row.

Major Vaughan seemed like a pretty prominent man in the New England area in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Information says he was born in around 1640. Some info says he was born in Wales and some says he was born in Sussex in England, son of George and Mary (Boxall) Vaughan. His grandfather was Sir Roger Vaughan. He was in London to be educated in the mercantile profession by a man named Sir Josiah Child. He came to the new world from London in about 1664 settling in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

William was named one of the Royal Councillors of New Hampshire in 1681 and a Major, commanding the militia of the province. Soon after, he was imprisoned for nine months by what looks to be the (some say oppressive) new Governor of New Hampshire. It seems he had different views than the previous leader of the province. Under the new Lieutenant-Governor, he again commanded the Militia in 1690 and was reappointed to the Council in 1692. It looks like he also held the positions of Treasurer of the Province (1696-1698) and Register of Deeds (1697-1702). He was President of the Council from 1706-1715.

He married my wife’s ancestor, Margaret CUTT(S), in December 1668. Her grandfather was Hon. Richard Cutt of Bath in Essex County, England. He was a member of Cromwell’s Parliament.

Major Vaughan passed away at Portsmouth on 12 November 1719, at the age of 78. His large stone is located at Old Point Cemetery in Portsmouth.

In terms of DNA, I have yet to find Shannon matches in my wife’s DNA match lists. Though, I know there are some there as she has a lot of maternal matches.

Heads up. This is going to be a non-genealogy post, but it may an interesting read to some. Fair warning though, it may get technical and geeky at times. People sometimes ask me how I set up the system in my house to track how often my sump pump is running, so instead of trying to remember everything, I wanted to post about it. This is the best place for me to do that.

A little backstory first. The house I live in, which was first purchased by my paternal grandparents in 1955, seems to have been built on a natural spring (actually, probably swampland like the a lot of this area.) Any time it rains, it seems the water from a large radius from here all flows to my basement. I have two sump pumps installed, the primary and a more powerful backup. I’ve only ever seen both run at one time, in 2008, when we had a ton of rain. I did not sleep well for those few days. To help keep my sanity when I was away from home, I set up a system that tracks when the sump pump fires off. This information is then fed to a personal website of mine that shows the information in a few nice charts (how often it runs per day and how long in between runs.) The whole process is somewhat cheap, there is only one step that costs money (besides the sump pump/appliance)

The basic workflow of this process is this: water pours into my basement → sump pump fires off → information is put in a spreadsheet. Then, when my website is viewed, this happens: Brian visits website → spreadsheet info is pulled into website → data is parsed → data is shown in pretty charts.

Here is a more detailed workflow and some basics on each part.

Capturing the Data

  1. First you need at least one sump pump. Though, this would technically work on any appliance that plugs into a normal 120V outlet.
  2. Between my sump pump and the outlet, I have installed a Belkin WeMo Insight Switch Smart Plug. This device allows you to control the appliance plugged into it remotely from a smart phone. It can also interact with a website called IFTTT, which we will get to next. I did do this a few years back, Belkin may have come out with more powerful devices.
  3. The Belkin device is built to interact directly with a neat, powerful website called IFTTT (If This, Then That). It’s basically a site that does at least one thing when another thing happens, but it interacts with a ton of websites and apps you may already use. You can read a nice overview here. So, I built a “recipe” in IFTTT that when my pump fires off, the Belkin device sends the date and the status (On/Off) to a Google Spreadsheet. Took me two seconds on the site.

Viewing the Data

Now my device is constantly saving little bits of data on when it goes on and off (though, “off” isn’t as important to me.) That part is relatively simple and non-technical thanks to some powerful devices and web services. The viewing part is more geeky.

  1. I built the website to view this data by myself, mainly to see if I could. So, the first part required a web host (which I already have) that supports at least PHP, which I wrote it in. Technically, you could just run this on a locally installed web server for free, like Apache or use something like WAMP. I’d like to move some of this information to a MySQL database (for better historical archiving) instead of Google Spreadsheets, but I haven’t had the time.
  2. When I visit the site, the first part of the process goes to the Google Spreadsheet and grabs the current data in JSON format (just an easier format for the code to process.) You need to share your spreadsheet publicly for this to work (or use a more complicated authorization option.) Someone needs the exact URL to see it, so I’m not worried. There seems to be a max size for Google Spreadsheets of 2000 rows, so occasionally a new spreadsheet gets made and I need to re-point my code to the new sheet.
  3. The data is pulled in and parsed using mainly JavaScript to convert date formats and all that fun stuff and determine time between runs.
  4. The newly parsed data is then fed into a free library called chart.js that allows you to create powerful charts in JavaScript. I may try another charting script soon that I found, but chart.js is nice. I create two charts with the data.
    •  One chart that shows me how many times the pump ran per day.
    • The other chart shows me how much time passes between runs. The lower the number, the more often it is running, and vice versa. The light gray lines are the actual minutes in between. The blue line is a moving average of the last ten runs, which helps to determine the trend, better or worse.
  5. The other part of the page is a table showing the data for each time the pump ran. This just allows me to look through them all for anything out of the ordinary. For that, I just use an HTML table, but then I use a free script called DataTables that allows me to add some nifty features to it like sorting and pagination.

That’s about it. For only about $50, I’m able to have some peace of mind. There is a lot you can do with free applications and scripts out there. Next step regarding my sump pump is to get it attached the the city’s storm sewer so I don’t have to pump it down my driveway anymore. That will be more than $50. Next steps for the site are to hopefully get that information into a database so I can better look at the old data (which month does it run most, etc.)

Here are the items I used again in a nifty list:

The eighth ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project for 2017 is my maternal 4th-great-grandfather, Jacobus Bernardus VAN PARIJS. I am related to him through my mother → her mother (Marjorie DeBROUX) → her mother (Mildred VAN PRICE) → her father (Peter VAN PRICE/VAN PARIJS) → his father (Charles VAN PARIJS) → his father (Jacobus VAN PARIJS).

The Van Parijs line was one that was difficult to find until I found it, if that makes sense. I started with my great-grandmother’s maiden name of Van Price and that’s all I had for years. I could never find more information. Then one day I ran across a forum posting somewhere that stated that Price and Parijs are interchangeable since they have the same sound. Once I starting searching for Van Parijs, everything fell into place. Van Parijs roughly translates to “of Paris” which makes me assume the line originates somewhere in France, which makes sense since the the line is found in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Jacobus Bernardus Van Parijs was born circa 1810 in Watervliet, East Flanders, Belgium which is adjacent to the Dutch border. His parents were Phillipus and Anna (JUNIS) VAN PARIJS. On 21 May 1835, he married Janneke DEES in the IJzendijke, Zeeland, Netherlands which is on the southern side of the province. Their son, my 3rd-great-grandfather, Charles, was born in July 1846, the last of their 5 children.

Jacobus died not too longer after Charles’ birth on 1 January 1848 at the age of 38. I have no specifics on his death besides the record of it, so I don’t know what took him that young. In 1848, there were many diseases or accidents that could have happened. His son Charles is my main Dutch connection and my immigrant ancestor who took his family to America in around 1874.

In terms of DNA, I have not found any direct connections that descend from this line specifically, so it is unknown.

Photo: IJzendijke, central square. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 by Michielverbeek.

The seventh ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is my wife’s maternal great-great-grandfather, George Henry CLEVELAND. The relationship line is my wife →  her mother → her father (Lloyd GYRION) → his mother (Luella May CLEVELAND) → her father (George Henry CLEVELAND).

George was born on 12 July 1871 in Berlin, Waupaca, Wisconsin to Edward CLEVELAND and Nancy WHIPPLE. In 1880, the family was located in West DePere in Brown County. It seems George’s father may left the family or his parents separated sometime between 1871 and 1880 as his mother is now married to a Daniel MOON. In George’s obituary in 1924, it mentions his father, Edmund Cleveland, residing in California.

On the 4th of July in 1891, George married Harriet Adeline LANT (also known as Nettie) in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Between 1892 and 1914, they had a total of 7 children. My wife’s great-grandmother, Luella, was the second born in 1892. The family lived in Waupaca throughout George’s life until he passed away there on 3 December 1924.

He is buried with his wife at Lakeside Cemetery in Waupaca.

 

The sixth ancestor is my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2017 is my paternal 3rd-great-grandmother, Eva SOŃEFELD. I am related to her via my father → his father (Richard ZALEWSKI) → his father (Joseph ZALEWSKI) → his mother (Anna LINDNER) → her mother (Eva SOŃEFELD).

Early in my research, I met another Zalewski researcher/cousin who was also researching the Frank & Anna (Lindner) Zalewski family. He had done some leg work and had guessed that Anna’s parents were John Lindner and Eva Zemfeld. He also mentioned that her surname may possibly be Jewish. Two things I found during my research on these lines, her surname was close to what he had and she’s probably not Jewish (at least my DNA thinks that.) Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get in contact with him in many years. He was having some issues with his sight and I thought some other health issues, so I’m assuming the worst (but I can’t confirm that, either.)

I found Eva’s name when I found the baptism record for their daughter, my great-great-grandmother, Anna Lindner in the church records of Schwenten, West Prussia in 1865.

Johan Lindner & Eva Sońefeld, 15 Sep 1865. Click for larger.
Katholische Kirche Schwenten (Święte, Grudziądz County, Poland), Taufen, Hieraten, Baptisms, 1865, Anna Lindner, 24 Aug 1865; FHL microfilm 72741.

Moving my way back from there, I also ran across Johann and Eva’s marriage record on 2 Mar 1862, also in Schwenten. From there I was able to get their ages and I worked my way back to around that time and found her baptism record in December 1842. This record, as with Anna’s, listed Eva’s parents as August Sońefeld and Catharina Zielinska.

There wasn’t much in the Eva news up until very recently when doing research of Anna’s siblings I ran across a passenger list for her brother, John and posted about it. Listed along with John and his family was an Eva Lindner close to the same age as Eva would have been in 1908. So, now I know she probably arrived in New York in 1908, but that’s where the trail ends. She’s not listed in any 1910 Census Record that I can find and I’ve seen no death record. I’m not sure if she ever made it to Milwaukee with her family.

As for DNA results related to Eva, I’m not sure. I have a lot of paternal matches, but nothing yet solidly linked to the Lindner line. There is probably one in there somewhere, but I need to track it down. The Lindner line is pretty deep which may only show up in distant matches.

Troka Family

The fifth ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is my 3rd-great-grandmother, Nepomucena (Ne-po-moo-see-nah) Susanna (SYLDATK) SZULTA. I am related to her via my father → his father (Richard ZALEWSKI) → his mother (Emily TROKA) → her mother (Clara SZULTA) → her mother (Nepomucena SYLDATK).

Nepomuk

Based on records, she was normally known as “Annie.” According to a few name definition websites, her name is derived from the name Nepomuk. It was usually given in honor of the medieval saint John of Nepomuk (c. 1345-1393). There is some confusion as to what exactly the name means outside of the saint. All in all, there is some uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding the etymology of Nepomuk. The only thing that we can truly say for certain, is that the name is of Czech (and therefore Slavic) origin.

Some sources claim that Nepomuk literally means “from Pomuk” or “born in Pomuk” in Czech, but this is probably incorrect, as “from” is z in Czech and “born” is narozený in Czech. Instead, Nepomuk probably literally means “not Pomuk” in Czech, derived from ne meaning “not” or “no” and Pomuk meaning “Pomuk”.

Source

The SYLDATK surname roughly translates to “woman soldier” in Russian.

Poland

Ignatz & Nepomucena Szulta, unknown date

According to the church records of the area, she was born on 7 August 1853 in what is now Gowidlino, Sierakowice, Kartuzy County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Kashubia, Poland. She was baptized a week later on 14 August 1853. Not much is known about her early life in the area, but on 3 February 1875, she married Ignatz Peter SZULTA (Shool-tuh) in nearby Sulęczyno Parish.

Their first three children, including my great-great-grandmother, Clara, were born in the Sulęczyno area. It seems Ignatz emigrated first, spending some time in the Milwaukee area before the rest of the family, Nepomucena and her three children, arrived in November 1881. It looks like they lived on Sobieski Avenue in the highly-Polish Riverwest area of Milwaukee for the first few years.

Milwaukee

There are few details about Nepomucena’s life besides that standard records like the census. They had at least six more children born in Milwaukee for a total of nine. It notes that in 1910, at the age of 57, she was doing housework for another family. The photo above (on the post) is of Nepomucena and some of her descendants. She is on the bottom row, 2nd from the left. Clara, her daughter and my 2nd-great-grandmother is to the left of her and my great-grandmother and her her granddaughter, Emily TROKA, is above Clara. The only other one I know off of the top of my head is her son John, in the middle back.

Three days before Christmas in 1925, Nepomucena passes away. She is buried next to her husband at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.