Welcome to my Polish blog! My Polish great grandpa was orphaned during the Chicago flu epidemic of 1918 & spent his life looking for all of his siblings. Some family stayed in Chicago & some returned to Poland. Some family was Catholic, & some are believed to be Jewish. I post the things I learn in efforts it may help someone else in their research. I also hope this blog helps me connect with others that know about the people I'm learning about. Digital images of records or links are put inside most postings so you can view records full screen. I encourage comments. Feel free to sign the guestbook, stating who you're looking for. Maybe we can all help each other out this way, because there are many challenges with Polish research. I hope you enjoy learning with me. And I hope to be taught more about my Polish heritage.
I have added a few languages to this blog through Google translate. I hope that it may be accurate enough with the communication of ideas.
Thanks! -Julie

Witam! (Polish translation of Welcome)

Witam w moim polskim blogu! Mój pradziadek został osierocony w czasie epidemii grypy w 1918 roku i spędził wiele lat poszukując swojego rodzeństwa. Część rodziny pozostała w Chicago a część wróciła do Polski. Część rodziny była katolikami a część, jak przypuszczam, wyznania mojżeszowego. Piszę w moim blogu o rzeczach które odkrywam i o których dowiaduję się mając nadzieję, że pomogą one wszystkim zainteresowanym w ich własnych poszukiwaniach. Wierzę, że ten blog pomoże mi w skontaktowaniu się z ludźmi którzy wiedzą coś na temat osób ktorych poszukuję. Zdjęcia cyfrowe lub linki umieszczone są w większości moich komentarzy i artykułów, można więc otworzyć je na cały ekran. Gorąco zachęcam do komentarzy. Proszę wpisać się do księgi gości i podać kogo Państwo szukacie. Może będziemy mogli pomóc sobie nawzajem, ponieważ nie jest łatwo znaleźć dane których szukamy. Mam nadzieję, że zainteresuje Państwa odkrywanie ze mną tajemnic przeszłości. Mam rówież nadzieję poznać lepiej moje polskie dziedzictwo.

Dodałam do mojego blogu automatyczne tłumaczenia poprzez Google. Ufam, że będą wystarczające w zrozumieniu o czym jest mowa w artykułach i komentarzach.

Dziękuję! - Julie

Kliknij na flagę, aby zobaczyć w języku polskim

Google Translate

28 December 2009

More info on our Karol Janik

I went back for my weekly check on the Chicago naturalization site, & finally Karol was there! Recently Ignatz Baranowski showed up there. So I plan to order the naturalization records for both men (brother in-laws), living at 1058 Marshfield. In 1923, Karl was living at this address & Adam Sanetra came to stay with him, & said Karol was his brother-in-law. It is very helpful, when having similiar names, to know you can ID someone by their address. Here is the link again, to search for naturalizations. New records are regularly added.  http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/NR/default.aspx
Here's the info on this page for Karol Janik. Note, this record gives his birth year as 1870, & his death certificate gives his birth year as 1878.
Record Details for Volume 355

Page Number: 276
Declaration Number: 175476




ANTWERP, BELGIUM 5/16/1906 7/6/1926

21 December 2009

Frank Sanetra, born in Poland, died in Chicago

I got the death certificate for Frank Sanetra today. He was born abt 1866, & died 4 Mar 1935. He was buried in a paupers grave at St. Gabriel cemetery in Bremen, Cook County, Illinois. One thing I noticed that could be very helpful on Chicago death certificates (if it was filled in), was if a person wasn't born in the US, how long had they lived here? So Frank Sanetra lived in the US for 15 years. But he lived in Bremen 2 years, 4 months & 16 days, according to the death certificate. So he probably immigrated to Chicago about 1920 & then moved to Bremen area about Nov 16, 1932. The death certificate also says he was a widower. So we know he was married, but not much else. I have exhausted every search possibility & name variations I can think of. And this record is all I can find. I can't find immigration or census info & he should at least be on the 1930 Census. I would look him up by census maps, but I can't find his address on current maps. In 1935 at his time of death, the address was "1533 Tell Place" in Bremen. But Frank wasn't in Bremen until 1932 which was after the 1930 Census, of course. I called St. Gabriel cemetery and they did confirm he was buried there, in a paupers grave, no tombstone. And no further info on him. A family letter said Adam Sanetra had an uncle Frank Sanetra that lived in Chicago, so I  expected this to be the uncle. And I had hoped to  find out how he was related. This is the only Frank Sanetra I've seen. So attached is my only proof a Frank Sanetra lived in this country. I hope someone recognizes this info.

13 December 2009

Ignatz Baranowski, records, family connections and addresses

I went to the Chicago Naturalization page to see if any new names were added. I found Ignatz had been added since my last search! Thankfully his information is very consistent so it's easy to match up his records. Here's the naturalization link: http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org
To see his full info, type in "Ignacy Baranowski". He is listed at 1858 N. Marshfield Ave (should say 1058). He's a cabinet maker; immigrated, arriving 16 Aug 1913, departed from Bremen, Germany; declaration date 17 Jun 1918; born Karasica, Poland-Russia, on 19 Apr 1881.

So then I looked on Ellis Island, not seeing him on indexes, so just searched for any Baranowski in 1913. I found him in 31 Mar 1913. He is single though. When Anna came in 31 Jan 1914, she was married to Ignatz. So I guess Ignatz was married 10 months after arriving. Maybe he went back to Poland to marry Anna & then came back in August?  The writing on this record is very hard to read, & a big black line is run through his entire record. Only one other record is that way on this page. And the word "admitted" is not next to his name. Only 4 people have the stamp "admitted" next to their name.
Here is a link to Ignatz at Ellis Island manifest, on my annotations page. You can view the original manifest from this page: http://www.ellisisland.org/search/ca_viewAnnotations2.asp?MID=16227133940260322368&LNM=BARANOWSKI&PLNM=BARANOWSKI&CGD=M&SYR=1913&EYR=1913&last_kind=0&town_kind=0&ship_kind=0&RF=51&PID=100588160206&ANNID=279510
Attached is also Ignatz WWI draft card. See also postings: 9/15/09, 10/1/09, 10/23/09, or it is easier to click on the Baranowski tag that will show all these postings together.

I have two addresses for Ignatz in the USA, both in Chicago. First, 518 Osborn, and he is there from at least Jan 1914 when his wife Anna arrived, to 1916 on Chicago city directories. Then on June 1918 (naturalization filed) & Sep 1918 on WWI draft card he's at 1058 Marshfield. Then on the 1920 Census Karol & Julia Janik are at this address, and Karol is listed as Adam Sanetra's brother-in-law. On the 1923 city directory I cannot find Ignatz, but Kasimierz Bazarnik is listed at this Marshfield address. So I do think Julia Alfreda & Anna are sisters. So this WWI draft card is the last record I can find for Ignatz Baranowski. And so far I'm not seeing him on death indexes, but I estimate he died between Sep 1918-1920.

30 November 2009

Adam Sanetra on UK Ship registry-Adam's various travels between US & Poland

Click on images to view full screen. If you click on the plus it will magnify one more setting. If you still can't read it, send me an email & I'll send you the PEG image. I got an email from Ancestry.com, saying they had a possible match for Alfreda Mazurkiewicz in my tree on Ancestry.com. So I thought I'd check it out. And I was amazed at what I saw! These two records are a good example of immigrants returning home. I read in the database description that in later years, a "t" was put next to a person's name for "tourism".

So Adam traveled around a lot in the 1920's.  Adam Sanetra came from Poland to the US with his wife Rosalie Wandzel and arrived at Ellis Island 5 Feb 1904. Alfreda Mazurkiewicz immigrated with her sister Anna Baranowski & nephew Kasimir Bazarnik. They arrived at Ellis Island 31 Jan 1914. They all went to Chicago. Adam filed for citizenship 25 Jun 1918. Rosalie Wandzel died 13 Oct 1918. Then Adam married Alfreda Mazurkiewicz 28 Dec 1920. Paul, Stanley & Ervin Sanetra got lost from the orphanage. Bennie & Joe were still there, and were pulled out by Adam. Adam looked for his children, couldn't find them, so took his family back to Poland. We knew it was abt 1922, now we know they arrived back in England en-route to Poland on 6 Jun 1922. Alfreda had Jadwiga Mar 1923. On 13 Jul 1923, Adam arrived back at Ellis Island, and went to live with Julia & Karl Janik at 1058 Marshfield Ave. Adam says Karl was his brother-in-law. Adam worked to send money home, look for the boys, and tried to continue getting US citizenship. I guess Adam thought he wasn't going to get citizenship so he went back home and arrived in Southampton England, en-route to Poland 7 Sep 1925. He was denied citizenship 9 Apr 1926. Adam died 27 Apr 1927, in Zywiec.

The image with the brown looking paper edge, is the one in 1922, of Adam, Alfreda & Bennie & Joe going back to Poland. They are line 77-80. The other image is Adam returning home for the last time, in 1925. That image is line 133. This is from the UK incoming passenger lists 1878-1960. It is only available on Ancestry with the world records subscription. I think this is going to be a great resource for trying to find immigrant ancestors! I was pretty excited to find these records, so wanted to share.

26 November 2009

More info on Janik and Kwiatkowski family in Chicago

Karol Janik was buried in St. Adalbert's cemetery. I called to see if his wife Julia was buried beside him. She is. So then I saw (on death cert) Julia's first husband Wladyslaw Kwiatkowski was also buried in St. Adalbert's. So I called to ask for the lot number for that. When I heard the lot number, I commented out loud that both of Julia's husband's are in the same family plot. I was told there wasn't a Mrs. Kwiatkowski with him. I said Julia Janik was Wladyslaw's wife. I was then told there's two Julia Janik's in the plot. One died in 1928, and the other was buried 11 Jun 1947. This family is in Lot 349, sect 19. Karl is in plot 1 & Julia plot 3. I asked if Wladyslaw was plot 2 & I was told no, he was #4. Julia was originally in a term grave (renters) and then moved to this plot when the family could afford a plot. No other info given due to the cemetery's privacy policy.
I think the Julia married to Wladyslaw & Karol is the one that died in 1928. Because I can't find her in the 1930 Census, but yet her son's family lives at that Marshfield address. At first I thought the other Julia Janik was Julia's daughter-in-law, but then I remembered her daughter-in-law would've been Julia Kwiatkowski, not Janik.

I showed a friend Karol & Julia's marriage certificate. She tried to look up something on the church name & found this marriage record resource. We know Julia has a second marriage, because she's listed as Mrs.-But from this other index, we now know both Karol Janik & Julia were widowed. I can't get a direct link to work. So go to this link. Type in Janik, then go to pg 3. He's after the "K"'s because of the widower notation. http://pgsa.org/CzuchMar.php So now I wonder if Karl was Adam Sanetra's brother-in-law from his first marriage or second marriage? And did Karl have children from his first marriage? I cannot find any Julia Janik of any spelling on the IL state death index except one, and she died in Aug 1948. But yet there's two Julia Janik's in this family plot with Karl in 1928 & 1947. I am trying to find something. I really want to know if this Julia married to Wladyslaw & Karl had the maiden name of Mazurkiewicz. Attached is the WWI draft card for John Kwiatkowski. It lists the 1058 Marshfield address and that his mother was Julia Janik. This John also married a Julia & I haven't figured our her maiden name yet either. Here's a link to the posting I did on findagrave:
Julia is linked to both husbands.

20 November 2009

Missing 1920 Chicago Census records

I discovered something I thought was a pretty big deal, so wanted to share in case it might help you too. I was viewing the Census maps to look for someone by their address. I found that the address I was looking for was Ward 14, and the district my address was in, comparing the census map to a Google map was district 834. So then I went to Ancestry.com, and tried to look it up manually, selecting the state, county, then ward...And I couldn't find my district! The number just wasn't there to click on. I thought that was really odd. So I went back to the Census map page to double check, and saw there was an asterisk next to the number 834 district. I read the note by the asterisk and it said in Ward 14, enumeration districts 819-839 were missing. They are not included in the NARA film descriptions or on Ancestry.com. These records were later discovered and an addendum microfilm was made. They are included on NARA roll T 625-323 (part 11).

I did some searching, to see if it was possible to find these records without special ordering the microfilm. A friend of mine has Heritage Quest. She checked for me, and the Census images were in the Heritage Quest database. Also, on the pilot familysearch page, the 1920 Census is partially up. If you haven't checked the site, I highly recommend it. Many Chicago records are there, with amazing search engine power, and you can download the images. All totally free. New records are posted daily. (Including 1920 Census images.) Here is the link to the free familysearch pilot page:

I would also like to point out the site that I learned about where these Census images are. I posted about this site before, and I am truly grateful for the people who created this site. It has been an immensely helpful resource for helping me find my Chicago Polish families. This specific link takes you to ward #14 so you can see the microfilm footnote:

06 November 2009

Rosalie Wandzel-found through death permits

I found a website that did Chicago lookups for small fees. http://www.genlighten.com/profiles/chicagogenealogy Cynthia (chicagogenealogy) looked up several records for me through the web service Genlighten. I liked that I could use paypal, and post messages. Cynthia was very helpful & very quick. I will continue to request records from her. She had a great resource I hadn't heard about, the Chicago death permits. A great grandmother of mine, Rosalie Wandzel died in the flu epidemic in Oct 1918. She was Catholic & we heard she was buried in a Catholic cemetery. For years our family looked for her death certificate or which Catholic cemetery she was in. I asked Cynthia to look Rosalie up in the burial permits. She found a name very similar & had the right month & year. So then I asked Cynthia to look up the death certificate to see if it was our Rosalie. It was the right one!! For years we were told death certificates weren't issued during the epidemic, people were told to stay home to not spread the disease. But I heard recently that was true, but delayed death certificates were filed. And if all else fails, now I know, you had to file a burial permit in 1918. A really nice resource. So attached is the record we found. It really isn't too far off from Sanetra. But just enough off that all the various record requests over the years did not think this record was ours. But we know it is, because her husband was Adam Sanetra. I called the Bohemian Cemetery to confirm Rosalie was buried there and she was. They said she was buried in a renters grave. The Bohemian Cemetery had this large area, where people were buried several layers deep. And you had several years to pay for a plot to move the body somewhere else. If you did not pay, then someone else was buried over the relative. Rosalie's son Paul searched for years for her grave and wanted to make sure she had a tombstone. By the deadline to pay, Adam was already back in Poland, denied citizenship, and passed away in Poland. So if you can't find a relative during the flu epidemic, try the burial permits, done alphabetically, and also check the Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago (many ethnicities and various religions buried here) to see if they're buried in the renters graves. Attached is Rosalie's record. I named my oldest child after this Rosalie.  This is the link to the Bohemian Cemetery Rosalie is buried at:

25 October 2009

Sanetra addresses marked on Google map

I started taking addresses I found (regarding Sanetras), and started marking them on a Google map. I have posted that map I marked & created, near the bottom of this blog page. You can scroll the map, zoom in, and even view it full page through Google maps. So several of the recent postings with addresses discussed are marked on this map. The map is a work in progress & will get frequent updates.I have a few more addresses to plot. I try to list the address, person there, and what year they had this address. If I have all that info, it is posted with the tag.

I also added a guest book. Even if you aren't related, you are still welcome to sign the guest book & tell about your Polish/Slavic ancestors. Maybe it'll help all of us with questions about our roots, since we're all looking for similar info. I believe this way, more of us can see who we're each looking for.
Comments on message postings and questions you may have are also welcome.
Thanks! Julie

23 October 2009

Kazimierz Bazarnik-Poland, Chicago, and Indiana

Kazimierz has been very hard to find, because it's a challenge to guess how his name was spelled. Kazimierz was born in Krakow, Poland, 16 Feb 1897. He immigrated to the United States, leaving from Hamburg Germany on 21 Jan 1914, and arriving at Ellis Island 31 Jan 1914. He traveled with his mother Anna & her sister Alfreda Mazurkiewicz. His passage was paid for by his step father Ignatz Baranowski (or Baranovski) living at 518 Osborne, in Chicago. He left behind his brother Anton Bazarnik, living in Krakow. In 1915 & 1916 on the Chicago city directories, both Ignatz & Kazimierz were listed as living at 518 Osborne. In 1923 there was a Kazemia Bazerrnick, laundryman, living at 1054 Marshfield Ave. On the WWI draft registration in 1918, Kazimir's step-father Ignatz was living at 1058 Marshfield, and on the 1920 & 1930 Census, Kazimierz' aunt Julia Janik's family (Kwiatkowski) is living at that address.

I found Kazimierz' WWI & WWII draft registration cards, which I've attached. I also found Kazimierz on the SSDI (Social Security Death Index) which said he died Sep 1972 in Gary, Lake, Indiana. The WWII draft registration card says his wife is Matilda.

I am wondering if Alfreda Mazurkiewicz & her family may have been Jewish. (Including Kazimierz) There are multiple reasons why I think this. Adam Sanetra was Catholic. I have been looking for records to prove or disprove the idea that they may be Jewish, but have not yet found them in Jewish records. But I also have no experience with Jewish genealogy. I do know that the surnames Mazurkiewicz, Bazarnik & Baranovski do show up in Jewish voter & concentration camp records. But I don't know about my relatives. I am not prejudice at all, and love people of all race and all religion. So if you know something of these families, please let me know. Through comments or email.

On Kazimierz WWI record, it states he is using the alias Kazimir Paulik to keep his job. I have asked several people why he'd have to change his name in 1918, and the answer I got was "If he was Jewish and his boss was prejudice." So that is a theory. This is all I know of Kazimierz but wish to know more. Here are links to Kazimierz on Ellis Island Manifest, and his footnote page that was created by Footnote.com:

Here is the link to the annotations I made to Kazimierz record. Near where the blue background stops and the cream color begins, you can view the original manifest.

Here is a link to his Footnote Page:

17 October 2009

The Karl Janik that's our family

Finally found some things to show which Karl Janik was our relative. The address 1058 Marshfield helped. On Ellis Island, in 1923, Adam Sanetra said he was going to live with his brother-in-law Karl Janik, at 1058 Marshfield Ave. The Karl at this address was married to Julia. I believe this Julia is a Mazurkiewicz for Karl to be a brother-in-law. Also, Anna & her husband lived at this 1058 Marshfield address in 1918, and Anna is a Mazurkiewicz.

So Julia was first married to Wladyslaw Kwiatkowski. He died in March 1910. Julia then married Karol (Karl) Janik. Attached is the 1920 Census, Karl & Julia's marriage cert & Karl's death certificate. You can click on each image to view it full screen. Note: Karol was born in Zywiec, where Adam Sanetra was from.

12 October 2009

Ellis Island video clips

Here's a great website, to really give you a feel for Ellis Island. This is History.com's website. There's a video clip called arrival at Ellis Island, where you feel like you're on the boat, seeing things as the new immigrants would. There's video clips of the inside of Ellis Island, old pictures, old video footage, and stories from immigrants in the 6 different video clips. I've never been able to visit NY or Ellis Island. So if you haven't either, I recommend checking out these video clips. It is amazing what some of our ancestors went through to be US Citizens & to try to start a new and better life!

Here is another link on this site with more Ellis Island history information.

01 October 2009

Great Chicago resource website:Census maps & Anna Mazurkiewicz

Correction 17 Oct 2009: Anna did not marry Karl Janik. They had the same address, & I believe that Anna & Julia were Mazukiewicz sisters. Trying to get Julia's death certificate to show her maiden name. See updates to info on Karl & Julia on posting dated 17 Oct 2009.

I find it very challenging to guess how census takers would spell our family names & then how someone would index that name. Adam Sanetra said on Ellis Island, in 1923, that he was going to live with his brother-in-law Karl Janick, at 1058 Marshfield Ave. Adam's wife, Alfreda Mazurkiewicz, had a sister Anna Mazurkiewics that married Ignatz Baranowski. His WWI draft registration card gave his address as 1058 Marshfield Ave. So this would appear Ignatz died, and then Anna married Karl Jannick. So we have Anna living at 1058 Marshfield Ave from at least 1918-1923, which includes the 1920 Census. I wished there was a way to look up the address and see who was there. And I didn't know how old Karl was or what spelling variation was used. I found a way to look people up by addresses that isn't too hard or tedious.

I found this immensely helpful website. (link below) It has Census maps for all the Chicago Census from 1870-1930. So take your address, then look at a Google street map for what streets are closest to your address. Keep the Google street map setting handy to compare with the map on this site. Then find nearby streets, and you can see your ward and enumeration district. I know on Ancestry.com you can go to the census, then go straight to the ward, then district, and search manually. Not sure about other sites. When you can get these numbers it's only abt 15-20 pages to search through. Here's an example:

I was looking for 1058 N. Marshfield Ave in the 1920 Census. So I went to this site (link below), then selected the 1920 Census map. Looking at the major roads, I saw that ward 15 looked like it covered my address. So I clicked on the number "15" which had a hyperlink to open ward 15's map. Then I clicked "zoom" icon, and could see the streets in ward 15, and see which district my address was at, which was district #894.

Then I went to Ancestry.com, selected the 1920 Census, selected ward #15, then selected district #894, and a few pages later I saw Marshfield Ave in the far left column, in the margins. Then I looked for house #1058, in the first Census column. There was Carol Janik & his wife Julia. Karl was spelled Carol, which I could see with Karol being a common spelling. But I was expecting to see Karl & Anna. Maybe she's Julianna? Julia is the same age as Anna. I'll have to investigate more. But this is definitely the right Karl Janick because he is at the specific address. I have not been able to find Karl Jannik of many spelling variations on the 1923 Chicago City Directory at Footnote.com. And I manually went through starting at "Jan___". So glad to see proof of Karl at this address. Attached is this Census page I'm referencing. I'm not sure who the other people are, but I'm happy to finally find this page. And now I have some more things to work on and think about.

Also on this site is info about the street changes of 1909 & 1911. Branislawa Sanetra immigrated the year of the second street change names. The address she gave for her father Adam was at least 30 blocks away from where Adam actually lived, and they never found each other. I wonder how many other people that happened to, because of changes and not able to get word to the family member immigrating in time?

Another really great resource on this site is the 1928-1929 Polk criss-cross directory. So you can look up an address, organized alphabetically by the street names, then look to your house number. I am really grateful to the people who worked on the resources for this site. I just discovered this site yesterday and already have found a few things I'd been looking for. These resources help make it easier if you have an address, and don't know how the Census taker spelled the names. Posting in case it can help others in their searches.

15 September 2009

Alfreda Mazurkiewicz and the Baranowski family-Hamburg & Ellis Island

Correction 17 Oct 2009: I have found out Kasimir did keep the Bazarnik name in the US (didn't use the name Baranowski) & spelled his first name Kasmierz.

Note: 24 Sep 2009: Correction to this posting. The marriage record for Kasimir Baranowski & Regina Gordon is a different Kasimer, the same age as ours. The Kasimir that married Regina Gordon was the son of Kazimierz Baranowski and Stanislava (Stella) Mieczkowski. A relative of Regina Gordon's told me this, and I agree with their records.
I finally found Alfreda's immigration record! I went to the Humburg ship registry on Ancestry.com, and just typed in the first name "Alfreda". Only 16 Alfreda's in the whole database, and only one started with the letter "M". I'm not sure why it wouldn't pull up before, because I did search the way it was spelled. I saw she left Hamburg, Germany 21 Jan 1914. So then I went to Ellis Island and searched for all Alfreda's in the year 1914, and found her! Alfreda arrived at Ellis Island 31 Jan 1914, just 10 days after leaving Hamburg. They left of the "r" in Mazurkewiecz, on the index.

Alfreda is listed as: Alfreda Mazurkiwicz, age 28, single, female, servant, able to read & write, Austrian, language Polish, from Galicia, born in Krakow, came from friend (nephew) Anton Bazarnick living in Krakow Galicia. Going to Chicago, IL. Single, paid her own passage, never been in US before, going to brother-in-law Ignace Baranowsky at 518 Osborn Ave, Chicago IL. 5' 6", blong, gr eyes, no ID marks, born in Krakow, Galicia.

Alfreda also travels with her sister: Anna Baranowska, age 38, married, wife, leaving son Anton Bazarnik in Krakow, Galicia. Going to Chicago, IL, passage paid for by husband, has 50$ (for her and son), 5'2", blond, gr. eyes. Going to husband Ignace Baranowsky at 518 Osborne Ave, Chicago, IL.

Alfreda also traveled with her nephew Kasimir Baranowski, the son of Anna. He was listed as: Kasimir Bazarnick, son of Anna, age 16, laborer, brother of Anton Bazarnick in Krakow Galicia. Going to Chicago, IL. Passage paid for by step-father, 5'2" blond, gr eyes. Going to see step father Ignace Baranowsky at 518 Osborne Ave.

I found Ignatz Baranovski on the city directory listed as living at 518 Osborne, in the rear of that house. (See note correction) Kasimir married Regina Gordon 24 Feb 1919, at St. Hedwig's church, in Chicago. He was only 20, so his mother gave her consent. (Men needed to be 21 then without consent.) Which suggests Ignatz may have died by then. I have the WWI draft card for Ignatz, written in 1918. I cannot find him in city directories after 1918. He may have died in the flu epidemic or WWI. The address Ignatz gives on his WWI draft car is 1058 Marshfield, Chicago. When Adam came back to the states in 1923, he states he's going to his brother-in-law's house, Karl Jannick. And Karl's address is 1058 Marshfield, the same address Ignatz gives in 1918. So I believe that Ignatz died, and Anna then married Karl Jannick between 1918-1923. I haven't found a marriage record yet. Or a death record for Ignatz yet. I did a search on the surname "Baranovski" and found several databases with the surname and the men were from Minsk, which is where the Mazurkiwiecz are supposed to be from. I also found & Stephen Carynski- Frank Mazurkiwicz lawyer team, just a few blocks from Roman Karolewski's saloon. So I'm thinking they may be related and will keep looking into that. Attached are Ignatz WWI draft card (from Ancestry.com) and Kasimir's wedding certificate. (from LDS pilot familysearch records page) You can click on the image to view full screen.

12 September 2009

Adam Sanetra's Naturalization record

I got Adam Sanetra's Naturalization record this week. Adam's signature on the Declaration of Intent (1918) & the Petition for Naturalization (1925) are at the top of this blog in the title. It took a month from the time I mailed the letter requesting the record, until I received the record. In 1918, Adam was listed as age 39, race white, complexion light, height 5' 6", 165 pounds, gray hair, brown eyes. Adam filed his Declaration of Intention, in Chicago, on 25 Jun 1918. There is a waiting time to file the Petition For Naturalization. I believe 1 year to 18 months. Well, by that time, Adam's wife Rosalie Wandzel had died (4 months after filing), three children were lost while in the temporary care of the orphanage, (Stanley, Paul & Ervin) and he had married a second time to Alfreda Mazukiewicz. Adam took his new bride Alfreda, & his children Bennie & Jozef to Poland. Alfreda soon after had Jadwiga. Then a few months later Adam Sanetra went back to the States 13 Jul 1923 through Ellis Island. That record said Adam planned to stay indefinitely. That's when Adam filed his Petition For Naturalization. During the Chicago flu epidemic, you could put your children in a temporary part of the orphanage, and you had 6 months to come back for them. Single parent immigrants often couldn't care for their children, so they often put their children in an orphanage (the temporary part) while they tried to remarry. Adam did come back in time, but only two of his 5 boys remained. Stanley, Paul & Ervin had been farmed out and could not be found.

Jozef explained in a family letter that Adam was so upset about 3 of his children getting lost, that he took Alfreda and the two boys left in the orphanage, (Bennie & Jozef) and put them where he felt safe, in Poland. Then Adam went back to the States to (1) look for his three boys, (2) see if he could find Bronislawa "Bessie" (She got lost in immigration) (3) Send money home, and (4) get US Citizenship. Then he would send for Alfreda & the children in Poland. For 18 months Adam looked for Stanley, Paul & Ervin & never found them. Then he was denied citizenship, so he went back to Poland for the remainder of his life, which was only 2 years later. Adam died in 1927. From the time Adam filed to the time he was denied was 7 years time.

One big thing I learned from this record was that Alfreda was born in Poland. So I expect she was born in Kolbuszowa as Jozef stated that's where she was from. So there should be an immigration record for her, but I have not been able to find it yet. So neither Adam nor Alfreda were US citizens, but were married at the Chicago courthouse and there is a US marriage record for that. In 1916, I could not find Alfreda in the Chicago City Directory. She was 34 when she married Adam in 1920, and had not been married before, so I expected to see her in the City Directory. I have not yet been able to find Alfreda on a US record except for her marriage record to Adam Sanetra.

06 September 2009

Two Chicago research links-free searches

I have been searching and finding very helpful info on two Internet resource pages. I wanted to write about them case it might help others in their searches. There is the IL state archives page. It is still a work in progress, not complete. So keep checking back. The link I provided is to the database page featuring the links to close to 60 databases through the state archives website, including many court and military info. Here are a few specific databases I found helpful searching for my Polish relatives:
1) Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763–1900
2) Illinois Statewide Death Index, Pre–1916
3) Illinois Statewide Death Index (1916–1950)
You can search any of these databases by just surname. You can search by the whole state or just Cook County for Chicago. You can do a global search with just the surname and it will tell you what databases that surname is in. If you have a more common surname, you can enter a first name too. I did searches 6 months ago on this site and did not see any Sanetras. Now I have found several Sanetras in these databases. I found that it was easier for the Slavic names to just search by surname, because you don't know if the first name on the record went by Micheal or Mikel, etc. It's also good to see who else has the surname. And it's already hard enough to guess how the surname was spelled, so to have to guess at the spelling of a first name and a last name can be daunting!

The other helpful site I found is the Cook County clerk page regarding naturalization/citizenship.
You can do free searches and see the index listing. Then if you wish, you can purchase the records on-line. Records are down loadable immediately in a zipped file. (vital records) I never knew Adam Sanetra became a citizen until I saw this database last month. He left and went back to Poland within a few years of becoming a citizen. I did have to send in a request by mail for that record though. I highly recommend reading the info on this site. One piece of info I found helpful on this page was that pre-Sept 1922, women didn't usually file for citizenship. Unless widowed or unmarried (spinster). The man, who was head of household filed, and then his wife and children became citizens through his citizenship. To see more about that and other helpful citizenship & naturalization info, check out the Cook County link. I should be getting Adam Sanetra's citizenship records any day now and am really looking forward to that! I hope you may find something helpful about one of your ancestors on on either of these links.

22 August 2009

book: The Trumpeter of Krakow, by Eric Kelly

Today I just finished reading "The Trumpeter of Krakow". I really enjoyed it. I was in my public library looking for a good book to read, and saw this book on display. I saw the Newbery Medal picture on the cover. I wondered if it was Krakow, the place in Poland, so I picked up the book to see. It was! It was written in 1929 and received the Newbery Medal that year. I remember one family letter where Jozef Sanetra mentioned there was a childrens book about Krakow written in the 1920's, so it must've been this book. I love historical fiction books. There is a forward in the copy I borrowed, explaining Eric Kelly's love of Poland, his experiences with learning and teaching about the Polish culture in the US & in Poland. It was also neat to read in the forward that the Polish government loaned the author a trumpet to show people in the US about the Krakow trumpeters. This book uses real things in Polish history. Explaining some legends, mentioning a real king, and real places in the 1400's. The trumpeters watched for fires and invaders. Even the complex relationships between the Ukraine & Poland were explained some. This book was written while Adam Sanetra was still alive in Poland. I'd like to think I read a story that he might have read too. I really enjoyed the book, and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a little about Krakow in a fun, adventurous story.

Here is a wiki link about the book, so you can see pictures of places described in the book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trumpeter_of_Krakow

14 August 2009

Roman & Emil Karolewski - the Godfather of Stanley Sanetra

I am looking for anyone who can tell me about Roman Karolewski. He was born 5 Aug 1871 in Sulmiorzyec, Poland, and died 26 Jun 1952, in Chicago. Or if anyone knows any Karolewski family in Chicago.

We can not find Stanley Sanetra on paper after his admission to St. Hedwig's orphanage in either Jan or Feb 1919, in Chicago. A family letter said "Stanley's Godparents ran a saloon or tavern and were good friends with Adam & Rosalie Sanetra." So I wondered if maybe Stanley's godparents got him out of the orphanage? At that time, (flu epidemic) if you needed a farm hand or helper, you could just get an orphan pretty easily from the orphanage. Paul Sanetra was taken & raised by a family this way. He was sent to a farm from St. Hedwigs. So we wondered if maybe Stanley's Godparents might have needed a hand in the saloon, and knew where Stanley was. We wondered if maybe Stanley changed his name, or if a Stanley would show up in the household. So far I haven't seen Stanley with Roman.

So I did searches to find Stanley's Godparents. I could not find the name as transcribed on the parish record (attached), "Emil Karulewski & Hedwig Monska." I looked for anyone with either of these surnames on the Census, especially on the 1910 Census, because that was the first census Stanley was alive on. I started trying fuzzy searches, and I could not find these surnames anywhere. I tried to do a Google search on just "Karulewsi", and no search results appeared at all. But the question was asked "Did you mean Karolewski?" I thought I'd try it. I found only one person with that surname, born before 1904, the year Stanley was born. And that person was Roman Karolewski. He showed up on the Chicago City directories on Footnote.com for the years: 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1911, as a saloon owner at 156 W. Chicago Ave.

So I typed in the address on my Adam Sanetra addresses map. Well, this saloon is 3 blocks from Louis Sanetra, and about 2 miles exactly from where Adam Sanetra listed his address when coming back to the States in 1923. No Emil anywhere that I can find, but Roman is on city directories and the Census, right near our family. And Roman ran a saloon as my family remembered. So, I think Emil & Roman are the same person. I believe that Roman is Stanley's Godfather. Maybe Emil is the first name and Roman the middle name? I feel pretty sure Emil & Roman must be the same person but wish to have more evidence.

I have attached the following images in case it help's anyone to recognize Roman: 1910, 1920, & 1930 Census, & the passport page for Roman. It says Roman's father was Joseph. I wonder if this picture of Roman was his mother? These images were from Ancestry.com for which I have a subscription. You may click on the small picture to view them full screen. I also believe that Hedwig Monska was not married to Emil Karolewski, but instead was another friend of the Sanetra family. So far I cannot find the surname Monska in record searches. But it appears to be a part of a name and we're missing a prefix. Roman Karolewski was married to Martha Walkowiak, 24 Aug 1896 in Chicago. If you know of either of these godparents, please let me know. They are the last people that we know of who knew of Stanley Sanetra and his father Adam Sanetra.

02 August 2009

A Franciszka Sanetra married Karol Nasluchacz in Chicago, IL

I found that there are two Franciszka Sanetra's from Zywiec, Poland, close in age. One is the daughter of Anna, and the sister of Branislawa Sanetra who married Rudolph Sanetra. This Francis arrived at Ellis Island 11 Jun 1912.

The other Franciszka Sanetra states she immigrated in 1909. And she married Karol Nasluchacz in Chicago, IL 25 Jan 1910. They had 3 children:
1) Daughter: Antoinia Nasluchacz lived 5 Jun 1910 to Jul 1982
2) Son: Frederick F. Nasluchacz lived from 14 Sep 1911 to Jun 1966
3) Daughter: Aloisa Patricia Nasluchacz lived from 17 Mar 1914 to 4 Jan 2003.

Antoinia & Aloisa are listed by their maiden names on Social Security Death Index, so assuming that means they did not marry. But some Polish women kept their maiden names even in the United States.
Note the marriage record spells the name: "Naslukaz", but on my sources for this family the name is always spelled Nasluchacz. My sources for this family include: Karol's Ellis Island info; Karol, Franciszka and Aloisa's obits; the 1930 Census; Chicago birth and death record indexes, and Karol & Franciszka's marriage record. It is attached. You may click on the picture to view full screen. Downloaded from: http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=0
This family is all listed as buried in Christ the King Cemetery, in Wonder Lake, Illinois, United States.

Karol Nasluchacz arrived at Ellis Island 5 Aug 1907. The Ellis Island Manifest states he was from Zywiec, Galacia (Poland's name at that time). He was age 23, single, laborer, going to Chicago to see friend Karl Durej that lived on Lincoln St in Chicago. Karol was 5'5", fair skinned, blond, gray eyes, good health, port of departure Breman. He also states his father was Wojciech Nasluchacz living in Zywiec.

26 July 2009

Louis Joseph and Caroline Sanetra in Chicago-from Zywiec

 See posting 20 Aug 2010 for updates and further information.

Attached are the WWI and WWII draft card for Louis/Lewis/Ludwig Sanetra. You may click on them to view full screen. I have a note from my grandma, that she called this family in about 1970. She wrote that Caroline's maiden name was Strzawi. Also that this family still corresponded with their family still in Poland. I'm wondering if that name is missing a vowel? I found the following sources for this family: WWI draft card, WWII draft card, 1920 and 1930 Census, Chicago birth and death indexes. On the 1930 Census, it says Ludwig can't speak English but his wife Caroline can. From these records, I see 5 children for Ludwig and Caroline, but will not list their ages, in case they are still living: Francis (female), John, Carl, Anna, and Mary. The WWII draft card states that Ludwig was born in Zywiec, Galatia, which was the name for Poland at the time. I took a Google map and plotted on it all the addresses Adam Sanetra lived. Then I plotted addresses of Ludwig Sanetra, and another man named Michael Sanetra, who was married to Stella Mathuszewska. All three men are Sanetras, from Zywiec, (sometimes stated Zablocie) all close in age. I only know Adam Sanetra's siblings. I don't know any uncles or cousins. Could these men be cousins? I just don't know enough about these other two Sanetra families. But to have the same name, and be from the same town, and in 1910 Adam lived a half a block from one family and then in 1923 he lived 3 blocks away from the other family, I am convinced they had to know each other! My grandma Catherine Stowe Sanetra talked to children in both families and they didn't know. But I'll bet the previous generation knew each other. They at least had to attend church together. I know life was tough and much of the time was spent working long hours to pay the bills, but I'll bet they still knew each other. I don't see how they couldn't know each other! I just have this circumstantial evidence and wish I had some real proof to show they were related and how. If you know of this family, please email me and/or post comments here.

17 July 2009

A Bronislawa Sanetra marries Rudolph Cender

I did some searches on ellisisland.org for "Sanetra". I noticed a Franciszek Sanetra immigrated 11 Jun 1912. It said her brother-in-law Rudolph Cender paid her passage. So then I was curious who Rudolph's wife was. So I went to the familysearch pilot record search page (see my favorite links) which has the full index of Ellis Island records. I did a search on Cender & Cinder. I found Rudolph's wife was named Branislawa listed as age 25, and his son was Raymond, age 3 1/2. The record stated that Branislawa Cender's husband was Rudolph Cender, and that her mother was Anna Sanetra, in Zablocie. That's where our Sanetra's and Cenders are from, but I don't know how they're connected to our family yet. So I am really curious what the connection is, and figure there must be a connection.

Rudolph Cender's WWI draft card stated he as born 18 Apr 1883 in Austria (Poland). They lived on John St, in Richmond, New York, -which was what the Ellis Island, WWI draft card & 1920 Census all said was their address. In 1920, on the Census, it says Rudolph immigrated in 1906, and that they are all Polish. It also said Rudolph was age 33, a laborer in the ship yard, owned a home (mortgaged), Branislawa was 31, and they had 5 children: Raymond 12, Rudolph 5, Wilhelm 3, & Rozalia 1 5/12. Not seeing them on the 1930 Census yet.

Maria Sanetra (my gr..grandpa Adam Sanetra's sister), the daughter of Jozef Sanetra & Franciszka Gowin, married Maciej Caputa in 1888. Their daughter Katarzyna Caputa married Juliusz Cender, the son of Jozef Cender & Regina Urbanska. The curious part for me here, is that on Ellis Island records, our Branislawa Sanetra (Adam Sanetra & Rosalie's daughter) traveled to the US in 19 Feb 1911 (a year before Branislawa Sanetra Cender). Ellis Island records said that our Branislawa left her grandmother which looked like "Regina Urbanska", and was going to see her father Adam Sanetra in Chicago. But our Branislawa's maternal grandmother was Regina Zulawska & paternal grandmother was Franciszka Gowin. I don't yet see a relationship between our Branislawa & Regina Urbanska who was Juliusz Cender's mother. Juliusz Cender's relationship to our Branislawa Sanetra would be first cousin's husband. (Husband of Katarzyna Caputa) I just don't know very much about the Cenders yet, but would like too. One thing I do know from family letters, is that Maria Sanetra's family (including the Cenders) stayed close to Adam Sanetra. Maria Sanetra & her daughter Katarzyna (Caputa) Cender were with Adam Sanetra when he died. And we do know Adam and Rosalie had to leave Branislawa behind with family. So maybe she did stay with the Cenders. I wish I knew how to learn more about these Cenders.

12 July 2009

Anita Lobel: No Pretty Pictures- A Child of War

I read a book this week, called: No Pretty Pictures, A Child Of War. By: Anita Lobel. I really wanted to write about it on my blog, in the hopes maybe a few others will be interested in reading it. Anita Lobel is an artist, who immigrated to the United States after WWII. Her family was Jewish, and she lived a comfortable life in Krakow, Poland, before the Nazi's invaded Poland. I found a copy at my public library. You can see the story, and where you can purchase copies, at Google books. (Most copies are under 7$).

I thought this was a truly amazing story! And very well written. Anita was about 10 years old when the invasion started. Her parents separated for safety. The Nannie who was not Jewish, kept Anita and her brother safe and hidden for about 5 years. Then they were discovered, and the children spent time in multiple concentration camps. It is absolutely amazing how she and her brother were able to stay together through all of it. It is amazing how her mother was able to stay safe through the war. And even more amazing that after the war her mother and father were reunited together and then reunited with their children. And it is also truly amazing that they survived in a camp without children. (Only adults were aloud to live in those camps, children were killed.)

I really like this story, because it is told from a child's perspective. It isn't sugar coated, but it isn't so scary and awful that you won't be able to sleep at night. Instead you're left to ponder this amazing story with a good ending. Stories that were sometimes hard, but then stories of people trying to be helpful and caring. Like the Nuns, all the people trying to help Jews restore their health, people helping the Jews search for family and try to help reunite families after the war. I think Anita does an excellent job explaining the situation, how she felt, and how others around her felt. She really explains and helps you get a good feel for how it felt to live in Poland during that time period. Various social classes, various types of people and backgrounds are explained. From life in peasant areas, to the cities, to the ghetto, and to the quiet countryside. I loved the story of how they kept the matzo balls safe!

On a personal note, thinking about what little I know about my family in that time period...Anita's father and some other Jewish men left early to try to escape. Because at that time, men were rounded up and killed first. During their escape, the men were captured by Russians. Anita's father was in a camp for about a year, then just released and able to work on his own and live (it sounded like) pretty independent with some freedoms. He was aloud to sell things. (He was a merchant in Poland before the war.) He probably lived better and safer than he could at that time in Poland. After the war, the Russians just let him go home. I was amazed because of what I've heard about the Gulag camps in Russia, where so many did not survive. And I was surprised because for a long time Jews in Russia were so persecuted they sought refuge in Poland. So it was almost the reverse for Anita's father. We were told our relative Stanley Sanetra (a US Citizen) was captured by Russians on a visit to see the relatives in Poland. He was captured because he was a bridge engineer. No one in our family ever heard from him again. We hsven't yet been able to find anything to prove or disprove this story. Also Bronislaw Sanetra (Known as "Bennie" by our family) went to Russia about the same time Anita's father went as a Jewish refugee. So I am amazed that Anita's father was just allowed to go home, but I am very happy that her family was able to be reunited together.

After Anita was in concentration camps and away from her parents for over a year, she was rescued from the concentration camp and taken to recover in Sweden. It was wonderful to read how well they cared for her and her brother. She was content to never leave Sweden and their hospitality to her. She learned the language well. She went to school. And an art teacher introduced her to watercolor which she was very good at, right from her first try. I was so impressed with how much Anita learned. -Not just life lessons, but multiple religious ways, multiple languages, customs, etc. She was a hard working student, truly appreciating her chance for a formal education. I know I say "amazing" a lot here, but I can't think of how else to describe my feelings about it. I highly recommend reading this amazing and miraculous story!

05 July 2009

How Jozef searched for family post WWII

Jozef Sanetra tried to find his siblings and Alfreda Mazurkiewicz after WWII. He told us his source for information: He wrote letters to the Red Cross and the "Warsaw Board of Inquiry".
I wonder if anyone has preserved these letter requests, like Jozef sent? I also wonder if this information still exists: The information that the Red Cross and Warsaw Board of Inquiry had to share with families in the 1950's to 1960's that helped reunite families? I'd never heard of the Warsaw board of Inquiry until I read Jozef's letter. Have any of you ever heard about it?

27 June 2009

Jozef Sanetra kept rebuilding-literally and figuretively

revised 31 Mar 2010
(Note: Click on pictures to view pictures full screen)
Jozef returned to Zywiec, Poland with part of his family in about 1922. Soon after, in about 1924, there was a "money change" where their money became worthless. His father Adam died in 1927. Then in 1939, the Nazi's invaded and literally took everything people owned including pictures and records. During and after the war, it was hard for most people to find work. Then about 1960 there was a major flood that filled Jozef's house with water waist high, and the house collapsed. So Jozef rebuilt his house. Jozef found his brother Paul while rebuilding his house. And then Paul told Jozef where Ervin was. They were so happy to find family after being separated for about 40 years! Jozef couldn't just go to the hardware store. If he wanted to make a door, he often had to find scrap wood to put together to create a door. He made his own doors, his own windows, everything. I believe the only thing he ordered was glass to go in the windows. Paul loved to get these letters, because he was a builder and he too had built his house from the ground up, after a difficult financial time for himself. I had a major fire last year from an electrical short. I had insurance and it was still exhausting and a lot of work to get back into my house. I can't imagine having to do all we did plus actually have to rebuild our house without a hardware store! I'm grateful we had insurance and people to rebuild for us. It gives me that much more appreciation for Jozef's sacrifice and hard work.

16 June 2009

Alfreda Mazurkiewicz was from Kolbuszowa, Poland - and Karol Janik

Original posting in June 2009, Revised 30 Mar 2010:
I read in a family letter from Jozef Sanetra (dated 1961), that Alfreda Mazurkiewicz was from Kolbuszowa, Poland. From what little I have seen about Kolbuszowa, it was a Jewish settlement, and heavily destroyed during Nazi occupation. After the war, in abt 1956 (as a widow), Alfreda left Zywiec, and moved back to Kolbuszowa, then later to northern Poland. I do not know if Alfreda was Catholic or Jewish. I only know that the Sanetra's were Catholic.
I have struggled to find anything on Alfreda's family. Her marriage certificate to Adam is the only proof I have that she was in the United States. (Have since found her immigration into and out of the country)  And then in 1922, Alfreda and Adam went back to Poland, and bought a house in Zywiec. Adam opened a joinery shop and was a finish carpenter. But they lost all they had when there was a money change about 1924-1925.
On the Ellis Island manifest, in 1923, Adam states he is going to live with his Brother-in-law Karol Janik 1058N. Marshfield Ave, Chicago, IL. None of Adam's sisters married a Janik, so I figured Julia is probably the sister of Alfreda.

14 June 2009

Sanetra wedding and unknown pictures

See posting 20 Aug 2010 for updates and further information. Picture is of Caroline Strzawi & Ludwig Sanetra
I found a PDF file of this wedding picture and family picture. The front and back were scanned. I copied the pictures into Adobe and separated them into separate JPEGS so they'd be viewable on the blog and in a message. I do not know anything about these pictures, other than what you see in these pictures. And I don't really know what any of the writing means other than the pictures were taken in Zywiec. I will re-post when I find out more about these pictures. If you click on these pictures inside this message, they will be visible full screen.

12 June 2009

Mazurkiewicz website

Dolores and Ken have created a Mazurkiewicz website, searching for people related to Ignatz Mazurkiewicz and Moses Mazurkiewicz. The page is available in English, Polish and Russian. I do not currently see a connection between Alfreda Mazurkiewicz that married Adam Sanetra, and this family. But there is still so much unknown that I will keep this site in mind. The Ignatz Mazukiewicz family is from a place called Minsk, which is in present day Belarus. This site has a wiki link to Minsk to tell more about it. A family tree is also viewable on this page. This Mazurkiewicz web site also gives these variations on the name: Mazurkiewitz, Mazurkewicz, Mazurkewitz, Mazurkevich. Other surnames included on this website are: Stefanowicz, Sajkowska, Kazakewicz, Bogdanowicz, Twerian, Rybacka, Kowalewski, Krivit, Sawicki and Grusha.
The time period is the typical time period of many Slavic immigrants: 1890 to 1915. So check out this site and see if you recognize any one. Here is the link to the site:


Here is a link to the Wiki page about Minsk:

06 June 2009

Polish genealogy book and obituaries

I just bought a copy of the book: "Polish Roots", by: Rosemary A. Chorzempa. I have felt so encouraged reading this! I felt so limited in what I could find because I do not know much about Poland, it's customs, it's language or how to find records in Poland. Most of my experience with genealogy has been with Virginia and North Carolina records in the United States. And Polish records are very different! I'm only on chapter 2 and I can't believe how many resources I've already read about that I'd never heard of before.
Here are two specific resources I wanted to pass along. On pg 6, the book tells about :
1) The Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622. The book states there is a large collection of Polish American newspapers from various cities there, which may help you find obituaries.
2) The Polish Genealogical Society has published books with obituary indexes. One of which is titled "Index to the Obituaries and Death Notices Appearing in the Dziennik Chicagoski. By: Thomas L. Hollowak and William F. Hoffman" (A Polish daily newspaper.) Dates range from 1890-1929.

20 April 2009

A newer resource for Polish genealogy

A friend showed me a great site. It is the familysearch wiki. The Poznan marriage project is included and linked to this page. Poznan is in Poland today, but it is in an area where boundaries changed a lot. You can search through 388,000 marriage names. You can search by groom, by bride, or just by surname to see what search results there are. Here is the Poznan project link:

Here is the page for Poland on the familysearch Wiki. There is contact information for people working on archiving projects in Poland. This is an amazing resource I highly recommend searching, for any one with Polish roots. There is information on history, boundary changes, cemetery information, social life and customs, educational articles....I wish you much success in finding some resources that will help you find out more about your Polish roots!

14 March 2009

Genowefa Sroka, Parkinsons without medicine

 Genia Sroka married Joseph Sanetra, in Zablocie. Joseph and Genia wrote Paul and his wife Catherine Sanetra for the rest of their lives.
Later in life, doctors discovered Genia suffered from Parkinson's disease. The part that amazes me, is they couldn't even get medicine! I understand it was in Eastern Europe after years of war, but I didn't realize supplies were still so scarce in the 1960's.

22 February 2009

Good Polish genealogy resource

Here is a site I found, that I find amazingly helpful. Just wanted to spread the word in case it can help someone else.
There are a few translation helps, information on names, newspaper resources, information on specific Polish people (like a lady who helped hundreds of Jews escape), handwriting helps, how to write to Poland,...I have spent hours on this site and not even seen all the many wonderful resources it offers. A truly wonderful resource!

Ellis Island immigration

Note: 7 Feb 2010-changed spelling of surname from Loch to Lach

I discovered while searching the familysearch pilot program web site, that there were more Sanetra's in that database than the ellisisland.com database. The LDS church did the indexing for the Ellis Island records, but the Ellis Island site doesn't have the complete index posted yet.
Here is a link/address to the pilot record search page, which has the complete database. You can search by just the immigration records, and there are some amazing search features on this page. This database will remain free. If you have not accessed the Ellis Island page before, it will ask you to register to see the images, and it is free to register. The pilot record search page will link you to the images on Ellis Island's web page. :

I have started to create a chart following the Sanetra's and who they married, from Zablocie, Poland. And whether they settled in Chicago, Minneapolis or elsewhere. I will see if there's a way to post that chart. In the meantime, some names I have been charting are: Sanetra, Klosak, Wojtas, Keller, Wandzel, Biel, and Lach. My goal was to see when people came, who they were going to see, and who they left behind. I thought Adam Sanetra was the first in his family to immigrate, but I see from these records he actually came to see relatives I haven't heard of yet. So now we know others paved the way for him to come to America. By creating this chart, I saw a lot of people I'd never heard of who were listed as relatives. Now if only I could figure out how the clerks and census takers decided to spell my relatives names, so I could find the records!

Marianna Klosak married Jozef Wojtas

Note added: 4 Aug 2010- see posting 4 Aug 2010 for updates and commentary to this post. 

Marianna is listed as the daughter of Joseph Klosak and Regina Waloszek. Marianna died relatively young, at age 31 from TB (Tuberculosis). Her death certificate says just Mary, but immigration says Marianna. I found what appears to be her on the 1910 Census. This is the only Mary or Marianna Klosak I could find, plus the dates are pretty close, and her father's name matched. I did a search on just Klosak's in Minneapolis, and this is the only entry close to a Mary. Here's my notes there:
Marianna is listed as Mary, single, age 23, immigrating in 1909, not able to read and write, from Austria Poland. She's living with her widowed father Joseph, who's 51, immigrated in 1890, and his occupation is a sewer. It's faded but it looks like he might work as a sewer in the paper factory, listed as part of the logging industry. His house is listed as owned free and that it's a house, not a farm. They live in Minneapolis, the district name is faded and illegible.
In 1911, Marianna immigrated and was listed as married, and age 21. I started asking around and it appears, some younger people in this time period, while they were single, went back and forth taking family members across. So someone with knowledge of the area, and the family, could help other family members on their journey. Marianna could have married just after this Census, the immigration record where she was listed as married was almost a year after this census page. Ages weren't always written on records correctly with language barriers.
I'm still not sure how this Marianna is an aunt of Branislawa Sanetra. But it seems she was here in The States, and then went back to get Bronislawa to bring her to her family.

19 February 2009

Helen Sanetra

Helen Sanetra
A Helen Sanetra wrote my grandmother Catherine Stowe Sanetra a few times in the mid 1960's. Helen's family was from Zablocie, then settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Helen was the daughter of Thomas Sanetra and Jadwiga Biel. (from Zablocie) Thomas, Jadwiga, her widowed mother Regina, and (Jadwiga and Thomas' children): Aneila, Stanislaus, Anna, and Antoni immigrated in 22 Dec 1913. Then Jadwiga and Thomas had Helen and Joseph, who were born in Minneapolis. I just reread their letters, and unfortunately neither Helen nor my grandmother were ever able to find out how they were related. But here's some things that stand out for me: Branisalwa Sanetra, (called "Bessie" by my family) Adam Sanetra's oldest child, had to immigrate separately. When Bessie did immigrate, she traveled with Maryanna Wojtas, listed as her aunt. Maryanna and Bessie could not find their family in Chicago, so they (probably) went to Minneapolis, to live with Maryanna's husband, Jozef Wojtas. The address on Helen's letter was only about 3 blocks away from where Maryanna's address was on Maryanna's death certificate in 1923. Maryanna, Bessie and Helen's families were all from Zyweic-Zablocie. And they all lived in the area called St. Anthony's Parish, in Minneapolis. I hear that today, mass is still given in Polish at St. Anthony's church. Also, Marianna Wojtas maiden name was Klosak, and we have several Klosak and Biel relatives. We just don't know how they're related yet. I'm hoping one day someone will recognize some info I'm posting and help me figure things out.


Our Polish relatives were separated by war & it's tragedies. It took over 50 years of writing and working with genealogists, for Paul Sanetra to find his youngest brother. Other siblings he never saw for the rest of his life. So trying to use some newer technology to find more relatives, and to preserve what little history we know. So we can remember what our ancestors lived for and loved.