Posts Tagged polish genealogy

#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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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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#52Ancestors – No. 48 – Wladyslawa Borucki

This post is number 48 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.

A life story told by the records left behind

Wladyslawa Borucki is the daughter of Ignacy Francis Borucki and Aleksandra Lipinska.  To me, she is my first cousin, two times removed. What I know of her is gleaned from the records of her life.  Personal details of her life are based on conjecture as there are no family stories of her passed down on my side of the tree.

If Wladyslawa had a nickname to Americanized her Slavic name, it was not written in any formal record.  Census records, her marriage and divorce record,  list Wladyslawa as her first name.  The name is a feminine form of Wladyslaw.  A Polish name with no real English equivalent. Though some use Edward or Walter as an equivalent for a man.  Lottie or Lorraine may  have been used for females.

The records tell us she lived to be 33 years old.  Most likely born in the house at 3030 North Phelan Street in Pittsburgh, PA where her parents are enumerated on the 1900 census.  Wladyslawa, born on 23 April 1900, was just a few weeks old. She was the third child of eight born to her parents. One year old brother John gets a new playmate.  I discover later that John is mentally disabled.

Her uncle, Adam Budny, my great grandfather, lives with them.  He has just arrived himself from Poland in March 1900. There are two other boarders, possibly relatives of unknwon relationship based on their last names.  Her home is a boarding house as there are four other families living at that address.

Based on her siblings birthplaces, her family moves back in forth from Chicago, IL to Pittsburgh before settling in Hamtramck, MI.   Currently no 1910 Census record has been located for the family.  Her father used either Ignacy or Frank as his first name and would use Borke or Borkey as his last name throughout his life.  The spelling of Borucki in records is so convoluted, I amazed that I can find a record at all.  Handwriting and transcriptions are also difficult to interpret.

The next record of Wladyslawa is her 1917 marriage record to Waclaw Burzynski.  The record indicates that she is 18 years old (actually she is 17) on her wedding day, December 3, 1917.  Her last name is transcribed as Barucka.  She is employed as a saleslady. She states her father’s name is Frank and her mother is named Alexandria.  Her new husband, Waclaw, is 23 and a cabinet maker. He was born in Russia to Joseph and Josephine Burzynski.  They were married in Detroit, MI, by Justice J. W. Hatrex.  The witnesses were not family members.

1917 Detroit Marriage Record

1917 Detroit Marriage Record

1920 finds Waclaw and Wladyslawa Burzynski renting a place at 862 Holbrook Ave in Hamtramck. Her parents and siblings live about a mile away on Evaline Street. No children are listed on the 1920 Census.  The last name is also spelled with a “G” in the beginning.  Another variant spelling of the name.

Ten years later the 1930 census lists the couple living with Wladyslawa’s brother, Edward Borucki and his young family.  The house is probably a duplex or multiplex based viewing Google Maps of the addresses.  Edward is at 11467 Moran Ave.  Next door at 11465 Moran is the widowed Aleksandra Borucki and her surviving children.  Ignacy passed away in 1929.

The 1930 census reveals that Waclaw and Wladyslawa have no living children. Birth records for Michigan are still private for this time period.  There may be clues if she did give birth and the child or children did not survive.

Searching divorce records for Wladyslawa’s brother, Stanley Borucki, I found a record by typing in her  married name just in case.  Why, because you never know what you may find.  Plus I was trying to find her in the 1940 census with no luck. Stanley Boruki was listed as divorced on the 1930 census, that’s why I was looking at SeekingMichigan to see if I could find his divorce record.

Wladyslawa filed for divorce on June 12, 1931.  The cause was extreme cruelty and non-support. The divorce was not contested and was granted on September 1, 1931.  No children were listed on the record. No alimony was provided to Wladyslawa.

Borucki & Burzynski

Borucki & Burzynski

Regrettably the last record I have found for Wladyslawa is a record of her death certificate.  She passed away on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1933.  Her last name is the genitive ending of Burzynska on the record instead of Burzynski. The cause of death is not known and should be listed on the digital or original copy. Plus a clue to where she was buried.

I wondered what life you had Wladyslawa during your short time that records cannot convey.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 13, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1359; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0161; FHL microfilm: 1241359. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

“Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Dec 2014), Waclaw Burzynski and Wadyslawa Barucka, 03 Dec 1917; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, v 1 p 458 rn 156555, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2342725.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Hamtramck, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T625_820; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 753; Image: 877.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Hamtramck, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: 1073; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0975; Image: 745.0; FHL microfilm: 2340808.

Death record listing from

Wladyslawa Burzynska
Michigan, Death Certificates
Name:     Wladyslawa Burzynska
Event Type:     Death
Event Date:     24 Dec 1933
Event Place:     Hamtramck, Wayne, Michigan, United States
Gender:     Female
Age:     33
Marital Status:     Married
Birth Date:     23 Apr 1900
Birthplace:     Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Birth Year (Estimated):     1900
Father’s Name:     Ignac F Borucki
Mother’s Name:     Alexandra Lepinska
GS Film number: 001973157 , Digital Folder Number: 005363523 , Image Number: 00088

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#52Ancestors – No. 46 – Aleksandra Lipińska

This post is number 46 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.

Aleksandra Lipinska, is the wife of Ignacy Borucki, post No. 5 in this series.  She was born in 1877 and immigrated shortly after her marriage in 1896. The couple moved back in forth from Chicago and Pittsburgh.  Eventually, the settled in Hamtramck, Michigan about 1911.  She and Ignacy had eight children in all. Two died in childhood.

I was curious about her second child John.  Born in Pittsburgh in 1897, he never seemed to have a job listed in the census.  I also did not find a WWI Registration for him either.  I was theorizing that he may have a disability.  Recently I found a WWII Registration card that confirmed my suspicions. Under obvious physical characteristics…is lists;  mentally deficient.  He could not even sign his name on the form.

Aleksandra became a widow when Ignacy passed away in 1929.  She had three sons of age who could help her out financially.  A great benefit at the time of the depression.  There was John and two younger children that needed a stable household.

I found a scan of their marriage record at  They were married in 1895 in Krasnosielc-Sielce.  Krasnosielc is a small village in Maków County, on the river Orzyc, in east-central Poland. It is the seat of the administrative district called Gmina Krasnosielc. It lies approximately 18 kilometres north of Maków Mazowiecki and 90 km north of Warsaw.* *[Wikipedia]

The marriage record provided the names of the bride parents, Jan Lipinski and Anna Czaplinska.   The groom’s parents are listed as Franciszek Borucki and Antonina Zabielska.   The groom’s parents names match what Aleksandra provided for Ignacy’s death certificate.

The Geneteka database also has a marriage index listing for Jan Lipinski and Anna Czaplinska.  The year of their marriage was 1860, which also took place in Krasnosielc-Sielce.  Currently no scan is listed for this record.

Aleksandra passed away in 1952.

Borucki & Lipinska Polish/Russian Marriage Record 1896

Borucki & Lipinska Polish/Russian Marriage Record 1896

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