Archive for category Polish Genealogy

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2018 Edition Challenge

This is post 1 of the 2018 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge

To blog more consistently in 2018, I am undertaking the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge again. The #52Ancestors Challenge is where a group of us can blog about our ancestors, collateral relatives, discoveries, etc., for each week of the year.  To learn more about the challenge or if you are interesting in joining, visit Amy Johnson Crow’s site at Amy’s website.

Revisiting the Lipinski Family

During the 2014 Edition of the 52 Ancestors Challenge, I wrote about Aleksandra Lipinska.  Aleksandra is the wife of my second Great Uncle Ignacy Borucki.  Over the New Year’s weekend, I went squirreling through the Polish genealogy website, Geneteka, to look a little closer at the Lipinski family.

Prior research of Ignacy and Aleksandra’s marriage record provided the names of Aleksandra’s parents, Jan Lipinski and Anna Czaplinska.  My search in 2014 using the parent’s names in the Maków County, marriage records identified three siblings of Aleksandra. My recent foray led to the discovery of additional records of birth, marriages, deaths related to the Lipinski’s. I also found another sibling to Aleksandra, a brother named Antoni Lipinski, not previously known.

In 1920, Antoni Lipinski married Marianna Budna in Krasnosielc-Sielc, Poland.  Most likely, this is a second marriage from Antoni as he was born in 1865 and presumably had an earlier marriage. I will have to give this Marianna Budna, a nickname to distinguish her from my Great Grandmother, Marianna (Borucki) Budny (Budna).

There are additional Geneteka records that provide clues to Jan Lipinski’s and Anna Czaplinska’s , siblings, parents and grandparents. Some Geneteka records are indexed only with no scan of the record to view.  Gratefully, has microfilmed the parish records for Krasnosielc-Sielc.  An image of Jan and Anna’s marriage record available at FamilySearch, lists their parents’ names. With Jan’s parents’ names, I located siblings, and his grandparents names, Gotlib/Gotleb Lipinski and Katarzyna Tomaszewska. It appears that I will be able to take at least one of my Polish collateral line back to the late 1700’s.  Quite a feat for me, as my own direct Budny line only goes back to 1898.

Next week’s #52Ancestors prompt is “favorite photo.” Can I pick out a favorite photo to blog about?  I do have an proclamation I want to share about preserving photos.

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#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 to see if I can find the family in Poland.

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#52Ancestors – No. 1 – Frank Kowalski – Starting Over, Coming Home

52ancestors-2015 Image

Image courtesy of No Story Too Small (Amy Johnson Crow)

This is the first post of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us 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.

To spice up the writing challenge, optional themes were added to give participants inspiration on how we look at our ancestors.  The theme this week is “Fresh Start.”  I jumped the collateral tree limbs and chose Frank Kowalski.  Born in the US, raised in Poland, emigrated back to US prior to WWII.

Frank was born (1916) in New Jersey to immigrant Polish parents.  The story goes his father didn’t care much for the new country and went back to Poland.  Because of Frank’s common surname being the equivalent of “Smith,” I have not been able to find definitive records for him or his family.  His parents names are generic too.

According to his son, Frank never talked about his family, his siblings, relatives, his life in Poland.  The usual clues one would use are just not there.  Frank wanted a new start when he returned to the US and he left his family stories behind.

It is  not known when the Kowalski’s went back to Poland. I am hoping to find them on the 1920 Census or city directories.  No luck so far.  Though Frank had an accent, his English was good.  He may have went to school here as young child.  I am not certain if his parents stayed in New Jersey or made a migration to Detroit before going back to Poland.  Frank himself came to Detroit in October 1938.

A ship passenger list is the first record I can confirm for Frank. The Ascania sailed from La Havre, France, on the 7th of October 1938.  The ship arrives at its destination, the Port of Quebec, on 18 October 1938.  The manifest is a list of US citizens.  Frank is listed as Fransicek S. Kowalski.  It includes his birth date and lists, Jersey City, NJ as his birth place.

He was naturalized at a district court in Warsaw, Poland, on October 3, 1938.  Entered on the line is, PP 6112, which could be a possible record ID for his naturalization paperwork.  Also included in his address in the US.  Bingo!  Frank lists his aunt, Stanislawa Studzinski, in Detroit, MI. Finally a direction to take my research.  From Quebec, Frank made passage to Windsor, Ontario and crossed over to Detroit.

Frank lives with Stanislawa and his two cousins in 1940.  The Studzinski research is also an enigma as I can find very few records on them.  The Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, provides clues to Frank’s military service.  It lists the dates of his military service.  Frank avoided persecution by Germans or Soviets in WWII if he had stayed in Poland.

One story Frank did share, is that he tried to visit his mother while station in Poland.  It was toward the end, but his commanding officer refused to let him go.  I wondered if that information would be in his military file?

Frank married Wladria (Wanda) Uroda in 1946 and they reared two children.  There were no family tales, histories were provided.  As if Frank’s childhood didn’t exist. Frank put his past behind for reasons not known to start over.

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Triple In-Laws – Herman’s and Langner’s – Keep It In The Family

So the story is, two brothers and a sister from the Herman family, married two sisters and a brother from the Langner family. What?  Who married who?

Hey, it is not my line.  I was squirreling up collateral line of my Great Aunt first husbands tree.  Why, because I get distracted on my line when I cannot find any records.

Now I am not the first person to discover this ultra close knit family.  I was content just to stop at my aunt’s in-laws.  However, the surnames kept popping up and I had to write out a mind map to see if they were part of the same family group.

There are a few branches in my tree where I have double in-laws, where siblings of one family marry siblings of another family.  So, I was a little taken back to see a three-some.

Triple In-Laws

Triple In-Laws

The Herman and Langner families were immigrants from Prussia. The Langner family arrived in 1870, the Herman’s in 1887.  They settled near Avon and Holdingford in Sterns Co, Minnesota. Very small farming communities near St. Cloud, MN.  They are still sparsely populated today.

The towns claim to fame is that they are most like the fictional town of “Lake Wobegon” created by Garrison Keillor.  The local All Saints  Catholic church serves both towns.   A church that most likely brought the two families together.

Maybe the world was just a little too small to find a subtle mate at the turn of the century for these families.  One pair, Peter and Victoria Herman left Minnesota for work at the auto factories in Detroit.  No one else followed them that I can see. Even after Peter died in 1917, Victoria remained in Detroit until her death in 1970.

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#52Ancestors – No. 51 – Victoria Langner – Outlived most of her children

This post is number 51 in the series of the #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us 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.

Victoria Langner is the the mother-in-law of my great-aunt Phyllis Budny, subject of #13.  When I started getting the material for the blog post yesterday, my curiosity peeked into the family lines.  Yes, I have been researching for about 16 hours on just these two collateral lines. I had to mind map the sibling marriages between her and her husband’s family. I will write about the two families in a follow-up post.

Victoria Langner was born near Avon, in Sterns County, Minnesota. She and her parents, Joseph Langner and Christina Gallus immigrated from Silesia, Prussia (now Poland).  Victoria is one of nine children out of 12 who survived infancy.

She married Peter Herman (Hermanza) in 1899.  Eight of their 10 children were born near Holding, MN.  Two were born after the family moved to Detroit after 1910. Peter is not listed with Victoria on the 1910 Minnesota Census.  He may have went first to Detroit to secure a job and new home for the family.

Victoria Langner Herman and Mary Budny in 1947, Dearborn, MI.

Victoria Langner Herman and Mary Budny in 1947, Dearborn, MI.

Peter died of pneumonia during the 1917 Influenza Epidemic. There is a family story that Victoria had a man around to help with the finances in exchange for “benefits” after Peter died. When her boys were old enough and could support the family they chased him off.

However, I found a 1921 marriage record for Victoria and one, John Urbaniec.  The marriage did not last long.  Victoria cited, extreme cruelty, non-support, and desertion as cause in her divorce petition.  A decree was granted to her on October 26, 1925.

Victoria died at the age of 90 in 1970.  She is laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery in Detroit.  Eight Seven of her children died before 1940.  Her sons, Julius, died in 1966, Anthony in 1968. (Updated 12/23/2014.)  Her son, Francis, passed away in 1986.


Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Mar 2014), John K. Urbaniec and Victoria Langner Herman, 25 Jan 1921; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, v 7 rn 208057. Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Original data: Michigan. Divorce records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan.

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