Tag: Poland


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)

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.

 

© 2011 Photos - Kaja Gwincińska
St. Barbara Parish in Święte – © 2011 Photos – Kaja Gwincińska

The thirty-ninth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my paternal 3rd great-grandmother, Eva (SOŃEFELD) LINDNER.

She was born on 20 December 1842 in Schwenten, Graudenz, Westpreussen, Germany, which today is Święte, Grudziądz County,  Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland. According to her baptismal record, her parents are August SOŃEFELD and Catharina ZIELINSKA. In March 1862, she married Johann LINDNER in Schwenten. Together they had about 9 children, including my ancestor, Anna. Most of the children ended up migrating to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.

Early in my research, another Zalewski researcher had found some information that her name was Eva Zemfeld. He also mentioned that there was rumor of her being of Jewish descent, though according my DNA tests, there is no trace of Jewish ancestry. When I found the baptismal record for their daugther, Anna Lindner, I found Eva’s correct surname of Sońefeld, though it was very close.

I don’t know when Eva or Johann passed away or where they are buried, though I assume it’s in Święte. I don’t think they migrated to Milwaukee with the rest of their children, but it’s completely possible. I just have not found any clues related to that.

This post is 39 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

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 1882Goczałki.

Goczałki is currently located in Gmina Łasin, 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 – wlók: 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 Goczałki, in German: Gottschalk, a knightly estate, Grudziadz district, on the road from Grudziadz to Biskupiec, approximately 1 mile from the township Łasin and 1 mile from Biskupiec, where the Toruńsko-Wystruckiej iron railway station is located. It covers 3100 morgs of land, 23 buildings, 9 inhabitants’ homes, 90 catholics, 96 evangelicals. Parish in Święte, the school site, mail at Łasin.

Goczałki was previously located in Pomezania, at the the border of Chełmno. 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 Czarlińscy.

In the year 1543, Duke Albrecht of Prussia issued a new charter for Goczałki to the three Czarlińskim (German Scherlinski) sisters Annie, Urszuli and Elzbiecie, which their deceased father Tomasz (Thomassen) possessed, but during the last war he went missing. Goczałki (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 Goczałki in Pomezania lay within the limits zlutrzałego(?) Prussian Prince, the people around here remained Polish for a long time. In fact, in 1601 there is a Pawel Stucki of Goczałki who in 1619 with Jan Goczalkowski waives his section in Goczałki 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 Goczałki, 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 Goczałki) 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 Pfórtner, in 1794 a royal courtier and adviser Otto Graf von Keyserling, in 1797 von Hippel owned the estate and Lisowski.

Goczałki was acquired in 1836 by subhasty(?) August Teodcr von Peterson, and from him Goczałki 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

Słownik 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.

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.

I’ve been on a roll this week finding information in unexpected places. Earlier it was the cemetery website and newspaper archives.

Tonight, I went to the FamilySearch website to see what records they may have on Goczałki or Gottschalk, the area of Poland that I’m targeting in my latest research according to a recent post. I actually never got to finding the records since I was sidetracked by a link they had labeled “Free Classes.” I assumed these were classes at the local Family History Library and thought that they may be interesting. It would both get me to one of the libraries and also maybe learn more about how to use them. Instead, these are online classes. The one I picked was Introduction to Polish Research, which was about 53 minutes long. I paid attention for about 23 minutes when she was talking about ship manifests and origin locations. She recommended searching the passenger lists by origin location instead of by name. This way you could find other families that came from the same area. She also mentioned the amazing genealogy search website setup by Steve Morse at stevemorse.org.

I’ve used his site previously to find updated streets and addresses for Milwaukee and also converting the 1930 Census occupation codes. It’s not the prettiest site, but neither is Google. I never really got into the other search tools that he created, so I just started going down each of his passenger list tools pasting Gottschalk into the “Place of Origin” box. Not much luck. I did find Orlowski and Sobieski families, but I don’t have those names in my family tree. Then I got towards the bottom, beyond the Ancestry.com tools, and into a very basic looking one called Germans to America (1850-1897). It sounded too broad, but let’s try it. It came back with four people from Gottschalk, but one caught my eye, Jakob Salewski. The information didn’t give a port of arrival, but it did give an arrival date of 17 Sep 1891 and a ship name, the Rhynland. 1891 was the year of immigration listed on most of Jacob ZALEWSKI’s records. His age is also listed as 28, which calculates to about 1863, which also matches my Jacob.

I searched Ancestry’s immigration database for the keyword “Rhynland” and found one arriving in New York on 17 Sep 1891. Fortunately for me, Ancestry has a lot of New York passenger lists. What is interesting is that I’ve searched over and over for Zalewski, Salewski, and all other variations. I also tried all forms of Jacob and 1891 trying to find him. So, next, I browsed the New York records manually, picking 1891, then September, and then 17. As I had hoped, there was a “Rhynland” entry. I started browsing it manually page-by-page and found Jakob Salewski on page 16 of 19 and it did say he was from Gottschalk. This matches all of the other information I’ve been leaning towards. Interestingly, he is also traveling with two other men from Gottschalk, but they don’t ring a bell and who knows if they went to Milwaukee, also.

Jakob Salewski
17 Sep 1891, Rhynland - Click for larger.

So, my next step (out of many other steps) is to see what records I can get for Goczałki and start digging. What a week.