CategoriesMilitaryZalewski

Revisiting the Connection

The other day I happened to run across the Digital Collections of the Milwaukee Public Library. As any genealogist does, I got lost in it for an hour or so. I then found their WWI Military Portrait collection and searched for “Zalewski.”

I found entries for my great-grandfather, Joseph Frank Zalewski. While it did not have an actual portrait for him, it did have a war service document from the “War Mothers of America.” Most of the information on his document wasn’t new, though it did mention that he participated in no major battles during the war.

There was another Joseph Zalewski listed, which I correctly assumed was my great-grandfather’s cousin, son of Jacob Zalewski. His information was also pretty familiar. He did participate in a battle, the ChĂąteau-Thierry Vesle Offensive. The part of his document that caught my eye was under the field titled Next of kin. He listed Joseph Goralski. I have been trying to figure out the connection between the Zalewski, Goralski, and Gwiazdowski families for years now.

Joseph Zalewski, Next of Kin

There are many instances of these families crossing into each other, but I just can’t confirm anything. My hope is that connecting them may finally allow me to break down this old Zalewski brick wall. Though, this is the first time that Joseph Goralski is specifically mentioned as “kin” even though that may not really mean blood relation. More mysteries, indeed.

CategoriesGenetic GenealogyZalewski

The Zalewski Connection

ancestrydna-zalewskiOne of those days I was waiting for finally happened. A DNA match contacted me that is from the Jacob Zalewski line that I had always assumed was the brother of my great-great grandfather, Frank Zalewski. This proves that Jacob and Frank are definitely related. They are probably brothers (as all other evidence points to) but not proven 100%.

Unfortunately, the match comes to me from AncestryDNA. While AncestryDNA is one of the most popular, it also gives the least amount of advanced tools. I cannot see where we match on our DNA as there is no Chromosome Browser like every other site has. I have contacted my match and asked if they would upload their data to GEDMatch so we can do the more advanced matching. I’d really love to see which part of my chromosome comes from my Zalewski line. That could point me towards more Zalewski relations and possibly finally breaking down more of that monstrous Zalewski line brick wall.

The possible Jacob-Frank connection all started back in July 2009 when I noticed a Jacob Zalewski family living with and quite near Frank and his family in Milwaukee in multiple city directories. After many years and finding more and more cross-family connections, I just assumed they were brothers as the pile of evidence was getting quite large. Though, I was always waiting and hoping for a DNA connection. I was planning on trying to convince a few distant cousins from that line that I had found to do a DNA test (I would probably even have paid for it.)

I’m excited. We’ll see where we go from here.

CategoriesPolishSlownik Geograficzny TranslationZalewski

Slownik Geograficzny Translation – Gocza?ki

I decided to update one of the first Slownik Geograficzny translations that I did for the town that my great-great-grandfather, Frank J Zalewski, resided in when he was married in 1882Gocza?ki.

Gocza?ki is currently located in Gmina Ɓasin, Grudziądz County, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, in north-central Poland.

The translation is a work-in-progress and is obviously not completely perfect. I am grateful for some help from Al at Al’s Polish-American Genealogy, who has translated many entries himself. I will mark the words or phrases that I am confident are wrong or are not even translated as I could not find any information on them, with italics. The rest, while they may not flow very well, are mostly right and just need some small tweaking. Some of the diacritics on the letters may not have copied over correctly, I will fix those if  I see them. Any errors in the translations are completely my own.

A few terms that may be confusing are: morg: a unit of land measurement; in this area 1 morg = 0.631 acres - wlĂłk: a unit of land measurement used in Poland, was generally about 30 morgs, but this can vary, depending on what part of Poland and what time-frame one is concerned with. Generally 30 morgs was considered a full-sized farm, big enough to support a family. There are others, though you can find most definitions here if you get confused. Other unique words will be defined in the translation.

Goczalkowo, also called Gocza?ki, in German: Gottschalk, a knightly estate, Grudziadz district, on the road from Grudziadz to Biskupiec, approximately 1 mile from the township Ɓasin and 1 mile from Biskupiec, where the ToruƄsko-Wystruckiej iron railway station is located. It covers 3100 morgs of land, 23 buildings, 9 inhabitants’ homes, 90 catholics, 96 evangelicals. Parish in ƚwięte, the school site, mail at Ɓasin.

Gocza?ki was previously located in Pomezania, at the the border of Che?mno. Probably took the name of the holder of the German mayor Gotschalk or rather, a deviation of the German “Gotschalksdorf”. Belonged to the older Riesenburg Prussian ducal district. In the sixteenth century, this village was owned by a CzarliƄscy.

In the year 1543, Duke Albrecht of Prussia issued a new charter for Gocza?ki to the three CzarliƄskim (German Scherlinski) sisters Annie, Urszuli and Elzbiecie, which their deceased father Tomasz (Thomassen) possessed, but during the last war he went missing. Gocza?ki (Gottschalksdorff) was then 30 wlok and immediately next to it a second estate, that is called in German “Wrozelsdorff”, which consisted of 12 wlok and also belonged to them.

Although Gocza?ki in Pomezania lay within the limits zlutrza?ego(?) Prussian Prince, the people around here remained Polish for a long time. In fact, in 1601 there is a Pawel Stucki of Gocza?ki who in 1619 with Jan Goczalkowski waives his section in Gocza?ki to Rafalowi Goczalkowskiemu.

Around 1629, the place holders of the local gentry: Maciej and Rafal Goczalkowski and Bartosz Jaromierski.

In 1667 there were 5 separate shares in Gocza?ki, which had minor nobility.

In 1720, there were still a few of the shares from earlier. Then a wealthy German, Fryderyk Aleksander Backer, started using the unfortunate times and buying the smaller particles. In 1721. he bought the 14 wlok which were attached to Tymawy from Ernesta von Taube, in 1722 7 wlok from Adama Kosickiego, and in 1740 acquired the right to the mortgage of 21 wlok and a farm from Gotlibkowo and Worzelsdorf (which belonged to Gocza?ki) for 6000 gold for 40 years. Doing this, he had a total 42 wlok.

After the death of Aleksander Fryderyk Becker, his married daughter, Major Buchholz’s wife, inherited the estate. In 1770, it was acquired by the son of a Prussian lieutenant, Rafel Bucliholz “‹”‹for 10666 talar.

In 1780, Captain Jan Karol Borek is the owner, in 1786 Captain Ferdynand von PfĂłrtner, in 1794 a royal courtier and adviser Otto Graf von Keyserling, in 1797 von Hippel owned the estate and Lisowski.

Gocza?ki was acquired in 1836 by subhasty(?) August Teodcr von Peterson, and from him Gocza?ki and Dohnastiidt was purchased in 1841 for 53,300 talars by Baron Hugo Maksymilian Fryderyk von Blumenthal. Refer to Frolich, “Geschichte des Graudenzer Kreises” 82

S?ownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego – Warsaw [1895, vol. 2, p.755-756]. Retrieved from http://dir.icm.edu.pl/pl/Slownik_geograficzny/Tom_II/755 on 5 Nov 2014.

CategoriesFeaturedZalewski

Zalewski Surname Group

I’m not entirely sure why I waited so long to start up a Facebook group for the “Zalewski” surname. I’ve long been a member of other genealogy-related groups like one for the Corrigan surname, and a few for locations where my families resided, but I never made one myself. So, on a whim earlier this week, I created the “Zalewski Family” Facebook group and invited all of the distant Zalewski cousins I knew about that were on Facebook.

Early on, I just posted some generic “Welcome” posts, a bit of info about my Y-DNA, and links to some Zalewski-related stuff I did on my lines. I asked the other members to send over the information that they had on their own Zalewski lines so we could put all of that information in one place and maybe find connections, or map it.

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Categories52 Ancestors in 52 WeeksZalewski

Brother Jacob

The thirty-fourth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is another non-direct relation, but a line that I do spend a considerable amount of time on. It is Jacob ZALEWSKI, the (almost certain) brother of my great-great-grandfather, Frank J Zalewski whom I’ve written about a lot. I do a lot of research on Jacob and his line to possibly figure out the parents of Frank and Jacob, and in turn, my Zalewski line.

Zalewski stone
Jacob & Pauline Zalewski, with daughter Anna. Edward and his wife Kathryn are on the other side.

I ran across Jacob’s name by looking through the Milwaukee City Directories and noticing a Jacob that lived with and nearby Frank for many years. After some more research and a surprise email from a descendant of Jacob who knew my great-grandfather, I’m 99% certain that Jacob is Frank’s brother.

All I know is that Jacob was born around December 1863, but his birthplace, like Frank’s, is unknown except for it being listed as “German Poland.” He immigrated to the US a few years after Frank and his family arrived in 1889. Jacob’s information was found within the New York Passenger Lists from 1891. He arrived on 17 September 1891 aboard the Rhynland. His place of residence of Gottschalk (now Goczalki) matched up with Frank’s. He arrived as a single man and sometime between arriving and November 1892, he married Pauline Wondkowska. Their marriage record is one of those documents I want to get my hands on as it may list Jacob’s parents, but I cannot find it. I’ve searched through just about every Polish church in Milwaukee for the record, but no luck. It’s possible that they were married somewhere else, but I have no idea where. I’ve also had some issues tracking Pauline’s family.

I did a good chunk of what they call “descendancy research” on Jacob’s line, working my way down the tree, to find possible living descendants. I found a bunch whom I still have contact with, but not much luck getting more detailed information. Jacob did pass away in April 1918 at only age 54, so I imagine not a lot of information is remembered about him.

Jacob’s family also intertwines with the Gwiazdowski family that I found. I know they were also involved with Frank’s family according to some documentation. The fact that I found them also involved with Jacob’s family solidifies the connection between Jacob and Frank some more.

This post is 34 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge“ begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

CategoriesGenetic GenealogyGermanIrishMoranZalewski

23andMe Follow-up

I mentioned in a recent post that I was able to get 23andMe tests for my father and my father-in-law that would hopefully help narrow down DNA matches and also find out more about ourselves. Those tests have been taken, sent in, and now finally analyzed. There were no surprising results, but it does help make a clearer picture of certain things.

With my father’s tests, I was also able to get his mtDNA (or Maternal) Line passed down from his mother’s line. The surnames that it follows would be CORRIGAN > BRAATZ > STEARNS > SCHUMACHER > HEINZ > HETTLER and that’s as far as I have right now. It’s basically a deep German line (minus the obvious Irish one in the beginning.) His mtDNA haplogroup is U4, but the subgroup is U4a3. 23andMe says:

Haplogroup U4 is found in western Eurasia, from Mongolia to central Europe. It arose about 25,000 years ago and subsequently spread with the migrations that followed the end of the Ice Age about 14,000 years ago.

[U4a] diverged from its U4 sister lineages about 21,000 years ago in the region surrounding the Baltic Sea. Today it is most common among the people of the Volga River and Ural Mountains of Russia, such as the Chuvash, Kets and Mari. It is also common among the Baltic and Finnish people of northern Europe who speak languages related to the Finno-Ugric tongues of the Volga-Ural region in western Russia.

That didn’t really surprise me. As for the YDNA line, which I also share, what is interesting is that my haplogroup is R1a1a* which usually means they know you’re R1a1a, but more than likely part of a subgroup. My father’s YDNA haplogroup is found to be just R1a1a, technically putting us in separate groups on the site. More than likely their tests are now more accurate and figured out that we’re directly from the R1a1a haplogroup.

My father-in-law’s tests were doubly useful as both the YDNA and mtDNA info was new to us as my wife doesn’t get either of those passed down from him. His mtDNA line, which follows the surnames: COLLINS > HUIZEL > REINDL > BOHM. The research on this line ends in the South Bohemian section the Czech Republic, which I assume was Czechoslovakia at the time. His mtDNA haplogroup is found to be H5.

H5 appears to have originated during the Ice Age, as the human population of Europe retreated to the few relatively mild pockets of the otherwise frozen continent. The haplogroup appears to have sprung up somewhere near the Caucasus Mountains, or in forests near the Black Sea. H5 is particularly common today in Georgia and in other populations from the Caucasus region. Not long after it originated, a few migrants carried H5 along the southern fringes of Europe into the Balkans and as far west as France, where the haplogroup can still be found today.

It seems to line up with the little amount of data we have on that line. His YDNA line, which we assumed was pretty deep Irish as the surname is MORAN, was pretty close to our assumptions. The YDNA haplogroup was found to be (besides the longest one ever) R1b1b2a1a2f*. There is that little asterisk again.

R1b1b2a1a2f2 reaches its peak in Ireland, where the vast majority of men carry Y-chromosomes belonging to the haplogroup. Researchers have recently discovered that a large subset of men assigned to the haplogroup may be direct male descendants of an Irish king who ruled during the 4th and early 5th centuries. According to Irish history, a king named Niall of the Nine Hostages established the Ui Neill dynasty that ruled the island country for the next millennium.

Northwestern Ireland is said to have been the core of Niall’s kingdom; and that is exactly where men bearing the genetic signature associated with him are most common. Genetic analysis suggests that all these men share a common ancestor who lived about 1,700 years ago. Among men living in northwestern Ireland today that date is closer to 1,000 years ago. Those dates neatly bracket the era when Niall is supposed to have reigned.

Image copyright The New York Times.
Image copyright The New York Times.

Besides matching our assumptions, that is a cool fact about men from that haplogroup. It’s the first haplogroup I’ve dealt with that names an actual (possible) ancestor. It also gives a highly-probable area of where to look for the origin of his MORAN ancestors.

Outside of the haplogroup testing, we’re still using this new info to break down DNA matches. Having at least one parent allows you to know which side a match comes from, narrowing down the research. I’m still working on that. The tests also gave us some interesting data on our Ancestry Composition which I will post about soon.

Anyone test their parents or other close relations and get some useful information?

CategoriesTechnologyTips & TricksZalewski

Frank’s Interactive Timeline

TimelineI’ve been playing with an open source tool called Timeline JS that builds a visually-rich, interactive timeline based on whatever data I tell it to use.

One of the options it has is to use data from a Google Docs spreadsheet. Add that ability along with their option to embed one right from their site and almost anyone can set one up. I personally like to host the scripts on my own site and do more advanced things, so I did it differently, but I am still using a Google Docs  spreadsheet.

It’s very cool. Take a look at how I transformed my Everything I Know About Frank Zalewski information using it. Feel free to contact me if you want to use it and need help with it.

CategoriesFamily TreeFunZalewski

The 5th Middle

Middle ChildI didn’t actively think about this. It just popped into my head one day and after I looked into it I was pleasantly surprised.

If my wife and I have one more child, making our newest son, Xander, the middle child. He will then be (at least) the 5th generation of the male middle child going back to his great-great-grandfather.

I have only traced my ZALEWSKI line back to Frank Zalewski, but I only know of one of his siblings and nothing about the rest of his family. It is completely possible that he is also a middle child, but I don’t know, yet.

Frank’s son Joseph was the 5th child out of nine, born in 1893, making him the middle child. Frank’s 3rd child, Elsa, died within a year, so Joseph didn’t really grow up a true middle child.

Joseph and his wife Emily technically had four children, though one died stillborn, making three living children. Joseph’s son Richard was then the middle child, born in 1921.

My father, Richard’s son, was born a middle child between his brother and sister.

I was born a middle child surrounded by two brothers.

There are always neat things hiding in your family tree if you look for it.

CategoriesThe Zalewski Project

The Zalewski Project is Live

Since I do have some data collected for my The Zalewski Project website, I decided to launch it in a “beta test” state.

It’s very basic looking and it only has data from the 1880 and 1900 US Census records, but it all can be browsed by city. I am currently working on the 1910 US Census and will also add other data as I get it. The Census was tough to get working at first, but I found a way to allow me to use all of the data and only pull what I need when you ask for it.

Take a look at the site now and let me know if there are any issues with the data, not the site, I know the site isn’t perfect, yet.

CategoriesThe Zalewski Project

Zalewski Project Update

Here is another update on the previously-mentioned Zalewski Project I’ve been slowly working on.

I have collected the data from the 1880 US Census and the 1900 US Census and have created systems for it to allow you to view the data. I’m just working on making it “pretty” so it’s somewhat easy to view. Hopefully, this small phase won’t take long and you’ll be able to browse it in a basic format very soon.