Wednesday, February 20, 2013


            John Braciszewski and Josephine Gruszka are my Great Grandparents.  They are one of two sets of Polish great grandparents. John Braciszewski was born in Poland on 16 October 1865.  According to our family bible, he was born in Warsaw, Poland (but not too sure how accurate that is).  Josephine "Jozefa" Gruszka was born in Poland on 17 Nov 1870.  The family bible lists her birthplace as Krakow, Poland.

          According to the Poznan Marriage Project, John and Josephine were married in 1892 in Kuszewo, Poland. Now, if I were to believe all these locations given, it would mean that Warsaw is in Eastern Poland, Krakow in the south and Poznan in the West.  It seems like a lot of traveling to me!  I do know that the information seems to be correct in the Poznan Marriage Project, so I will go with that.  John's (or Johann or even some times referred to as Jan) parents are Franz B Braciszewski and Michalina Jakubowska.  Josephine's parents are Antonina Zuchowska and Jacob Gruszka.

        John and Josephine are Little Grannie's parents (just to give a reference point).  In fact, the above photo is of Little Grannie when she was a little girl with her father John and older brother Michael.  John and Josephine's three oldest sons were all born in Poland.  Stanislaus (or Stanley) was born on 9 Apr 1894, Michael on 6 Sept 1895 and Francis in Sept 1897.

       John and Josephine immigrated to the US in 1900 with their 3 small boys on a ship called the Nederland.  I can't imagine traveling with 3 little ones (ages 2, 3, and 4 years old) from Poland to the US on a ship.  According to the Philadelphia Passenger List (April 20, 1900), their last residence was Ruda (which according to Wikipedia could be almost anywhere in Poland!) and their final destination was Milwaukee.  The ticket price for John (Jan) was $6 and an additional $7 for the rest of the family.  They obviously traveled in the steerage section.  His reference for the trip was Ignatz Reszel, who was already living in the US and was married to Josephine's sister Marianna.  This was the 3rd time that John has been to the US and according to this travel document it had been 4 years since his last trip.  John had heard from Ignatz 2 months ago and Ignatz had promised John work in the US.  Well, at least that is the story he told the immigration people.

       A year after they arrived in the US, John and Josephine welcomed a new baby boy Edward, who was born on 6 Oct 1901 in Milwaukee.  Then the story gets really interesting ...

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