#52Ancestors: Week 18 – Deconstructing Brick Walls with a “Studzinski” masonry tool

This is week 18 of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

The Budny family tree includes the second most popular Polish surname, Kowalski.  Doing genealogy search on a name that is equivalent to the English word, Smith; is loathe at best. Armed with a few documents, I set about chipping away the mortar in the  Kowalski brick wall.

One of the documents listed #52Ancestors – No. 1 – Frank Kowalski – Starting Over, Coming Home, listed his mother’s name, Mary Pouloska or Pauloska.  From Frank’s border crossing card into Detroit from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, I learned he intended to go to his aunt’s residence.  Her married name is Stanislawa Studzinski.  Stanislawa is Mary Pauloska’s sister.  I am using the Studzinski line as a tool to learn more about the Pouloska’s so I can connect the dots to the Kowalski’s.

The reason the Kowalski line is a brick wall, is that the family went back to Poland.  Wladylsaw Kowalski may have arrived about 1910 and left around 1920.  He didn’t like this new world. It has been difficult to find them on the 1910 or 1920 census. I don’t know if Wladyslaw and Mary married in New Jersey or in Poland.

Using the 1940 census and working backwards, I was able to gleaned additional information.  Such as, Stanislawa’s husband’s name, Antoni Studzinski and their children’s names.  Antoni came from the same Polish town of Glinik, as the Kowalski’s.

Antoni (Tony) came over in 1907 with a friend or possible relative, Antoni Sobiecki. Both are going to Jersey City, NJ.  Sobiecki is going to his cousin with a last name that looks like, Stanislaw Pickowsky.  Tony is meeting up with his brother-in-law, Joseph Polkowski.  These two families live next door to each other, respectively at 602 Henderson St and 597 Henderson St.  It took me over a year to decipher the street as the image isn’t clear.  I used various city directories to determine the street name. However, the directories where inclusive on finding a Pouloska name or other variant spelling.

Illegible handwriting on a manifest record.

Illegible handwriting on a manifest record

The last names appear to be the same on the manifest.  Were they a match to Pauloska, Pouloska or Poulowska? It has been difficult for me to find verifiable records using the Pauloska, Kowalski, Studzinski and Sobiecki names. I focused my using the Studzinski name.

Records that would be useful are either New Jersey or New York marriage record for Antoni Studzinski and Stanislawa Pouloska. I can’t confirm possible records of Tony in the 1910 or 1920 census. The 1930 census has Tony and Stella (Stanislawa) in Detroit, Michigan.  Their two daughters are, Sabrina, born in New Jersey, (1916) and Helen, born in Detroit, in 1921.

Antoni Studzinski died in 1939. Stella is enumerated on the 1940 census, with Betty, (a/k/a Sabrina), Helen, and Frank Kowalski, nephew. At age 33, Elizabeth Studzinski, marries John H. Marchewska.  Her 1950 marriage record lists her mother’s name as, Stella Powlowski.  I had to wait until Michigan released marriage records up to 1952 earlier this year to get that information.  Those Studzinski ladies took their time settling down.  Still have not found a marriage record for Helen.

I recently discovered a 1941 Detroit marriage record for Stella Studzinski to Stephen Andrews.  The index record lists her father as Joseph Pawloski, her mother as Valeria Witkowski.  Antoni Studzinski mother was Antonia Wizckowska, according to his death certificate. That may be dot that explains why Joseph Pouloska is Antoni’s brother-in-law. As Witkowski may be a phonetic pronunciation of Wizckowska.

Stephen Andrews remarries in 1949.  I don’t know if Stella has passed away or if they divorced.  Hopefully I will locate records on Helen to see how she spelled Pouloska, Powloski, Pauloska.  Then it is on to www.geneteka.genealodzy.pl to see if I can find the family in Poland.

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