Wednesday, May 22, 2013
My 2nd great grandfather Pawel "Paul" Szukalski died at the age of 63 after suffering a fall over an embankment on 11 Mar 1900. Paul and his wife Constance (Budzbanowski) were on their way home from church at St. Casimer's and were on a bridge that goes over Pine Creek. They were in a cutter (which is I guess some sort of sleigh) that was pulled by horses. There was no snow on the ground which understandably made it harder for the horses to pull the cutter with the Szukalski s The bridge had no rails and for some reason the horses went over the embankment into the 20 feet ravine.
Paul Szukalski broke his neck as a result of the fall. Constance was unhurt in the accident, as were the horses. Paul was taken to a neighboring farm house and a doctor was summoned. According to the Manitowoc Daily Herald (March 12, 1900 edition), "A doctor ... did all in his power to alleviate the sufferings of the patient; but the spark of life soon left the body and the uncertainty of human existence had again been sadly and forcibly illustrated".
The newspaper also said that Paul Szukalski was "one of the most prosperous farmers of the community and enjoyed a wide acquaintance in the county. He had many friends in the city to whom the news of his death will come as a shock." I am sure that it was heartbreaking for his wife Constance and their 7 children.
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Stachowiak Sisters (Rose, Helen and Clementine) had only been in Van Nuys (Los Angeles City) for a few months and they were already in demand for their entertainment talent at meetings, banquets and other gatherings. On this occasion, they were performing readings and songs for the Van Nuys Realty Board banquet.
This article was posted in the Van Nuys News -- 25 January 1928 edition.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
It's amazing what you can find! So, I am researching on Findmypast.ie yesterday and after awhile I get bored with the "historical records" section so I decide to research the "newspaper" section. After finding some leads on my Sherlock side (yes, I am getting to how this relates to my Polish roots), I think perhaps that I can find some information on my Polish "Stachowiak" line even though this is an Irish site.
Lo and behold, I find a lot of news articles on Stachowiaks. Who knew it was such a popular name? My Stachowiaks are from Milwaukee so I did save the articles on Stachowiaks from Racine and Stevens Point, Wisconsin although I haven't yet figured out if they are truly related to my Stachowiaks and where the link is. Another project for another day!
But I did find some information on my Grandpa Leonard's sisters. That is the great thing about newspaper articles -- yes, sometimes it will give you exact dates of events (like birth and death) but often times they talk about the person's hobbies, passions or every day events. I just love those types of details.
I never knew exactly when my Great Grandparents (Charles Stachowiak and Anna Szukalski Stachowiak) moved to Los Angeles (Van Nuys to be exact) from Milwaukee, but knew it was after 1920 and before 1930. Thanks to the above article and another article I found, I think that they probably moved in the year 1927.
I was curious when I read that the Stachowiak ladies "came from Milwaukee with their mother". What about their father? I know that he moved to Van Nuys too, but perhaps he had to stay behind to sell his tin business before moving out west. The article does mention that the Stachowiak misses "are talented in dramatics and have appeared in a good many productions". Who knew we had dramatic talent on both sides of my family tree? There will be more about those Stachowiak sisters in future posts ...
** Article is from the Van Nuys News, August 24, 1928 edition
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
My second great grandfather Pawel "Paul" Szukalski was born 2 Feb 1837 in Swiekatowo Kuyawsko-Pomorskie, Poland (a village in north central Poland). His parents were Michael Szukalski and Elizabeth Kielpikowska. According to the Poznan Project documents, his father Michael was 70 at the time of his birth while his mother Elizabeth was 35. I definitely need to send for their marriage certificate to check this out!
Pawel married Constantia Budzbanowski on 16 Mar 1862 in the same town as Pawel's birth. Pawel and Constantia had 3 children -- John, Theophilus and Thomas (in 1863, 1864 and 1868) and then immigrated to the US in 1869. They brought Constantia's widowed father John Budzbanowski with them to the US. They settled in Newton, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. In the 1870 census, Pawel's occupation was listed as "laborer" and then in the 1880 census, it was listed as "farmer".
Constantia had 4 more children in the US -- Damazy, my great grandmother Anna and her twin sister Katherine and the baby of the family Marian.
Monday, April 29, 2013
In researching my ancestors, I just don't want to find out their birth date and death date, but I want to find out about the dash (the life they lived between their birth and death). While knowing their occupation is nice, I really want to know what were their hobbies, their interests and their passions. Yes, I know this might be a pipe dream (what exactly does that mean?) but I won't give up trying.
Sometimes it may be easier than you think. If you have an ancestor who was newspaper "friendly", you may be in luck. As I peruse the Van Nuys News, the same names pop up from time to time. Now, I don't know if this means they know the editor or they are someone that the newspaper deems "newsworthy" but when it is one of your relatives, who really cares why?
Chester Stachowiak, referred to in this article (16 Jul 1943 of the Van Nuys News) and others as "Chet", was my grandpa Leonard Stachowiak's baby brother. So besides his birth and death date, what do I know about him? All I can recall is that he never married and lived for a long time with his parents' home on Van Nuys Boulevard. But as I am reading the Van Nuys News from 1943, I learn that he is a talented singer, whether or not that was his occupation. Chet singing is mentioned in various Van Nuys News articles.
In another article from 1943, I learned that his sister Theresa Stachowiak Schultz was a former opera singer. Wow, we have the singing gene in our family! I don't ever remember hearing my Grandpa Leonard, their brother, singing, although his wife, Little Grannie (Lillian Braciszewski) did love to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Park".
Sunday, April 21, 2013
When I was in the 8th grade, we were given an assignment to write a report about one of the countries of our ancestry. It seemed to me that Ireland or Germany would be popular choices and rather easy, so I chose Poland. I wrote off to some place in the US (can't remember where 40 some years later) but they sent me three booklets. I wrote a 50 page report (yes, in those days there were no computers and in fact I hand wrote the report) and was very proud to receive an "A" for my efforts. For some reason (maybe it was that budding genealogist in me), I kept those 3 booklets and still have them to this day.
One of the booklets was about Our Lady of Czestochowa. I was always fascinated by this picture and the story behind it. According to the legend, the picture of Our Blessed Mother was painted by St. Luke on a piece of wood that a part of a table used by the Holy Family. This picture was lost in 72 AD but then found by the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine in 326. The mother, St. Helen, gave it to her son (Constantine) and he put it in a church in Constantinople, where it stayed for almost 500 years.
In 803 it was given to a Greek princess who carried it to Kiev, where it remained for 500 some years. In 1382 it was transported to Silesia for safety purposes, however, the horses carrying the painting stopped near the town of Czestochowa and refused to go any further. The Prince transporting the photo took this as a sign that the painting belonged in Czestochowa, so he built a monastery on a hill to house it.
The hill gleamed in the sunlight and so the Prince named it "Jasna Gora" or "Mount of Light". In 1430, Czech Hussites tried to steal the painting and take it away, but again "the horses wouldn't move". Outraged, they decided to burn the painting but the painting just remained a "charred version of itself". One of the soldiers struck the painting with its sword, causing two slash marks on the cheek of Our Lady. On the soldier's third try of slashing the painting, the soldier died.
To read a more in-depth history of Our Lady of Czestochowa, visit www.catholictradition.org/Mary/czesto. htm.