Welcome!

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

13 April 2017

Finding Rosalie's brother: Michal Wandzel


Michal Wandzel WWI draft records
Yesterday I found one record (WWI draft record) which tied 4 groups of people together! Six years ago, I found a death record I thought might be Rosalie's brother Michal. But there wasn't enough information to know for sure. After my latest find, I see that: 1) This Michal was Rosalie's brother, 2) That Adam Sanetra used Michal's address for his sons' school records, so they probably knew each other in Chicago, 3) That Frank Sanetra was living at this same address on the 1920 Census, widowed, with two single brothers: Walter and Anthony Sanetra. 4) That the Frank at this house was the same Frank that immigrated in 13 Jul 1893 with his wife Anna. This is the earliest Sanetra immigrant I can find. 5) Frank had a second wife Agneiska Visek that married him in 1909, and she immigrated (while married to Frank) to Chicago in 22 Jul 1909. Agnes died in 1911. On the 1910 Census it says this was the second marriage for both Agnes and Frank and that Agnes has no children. I'm not aware of any children for Frank. (Note all records can be viewed full screen by clicking on the picture icons.)

Michal Wandzel death certificate
My families in Chicago can be really challenging to find by surname. I have much better success when I know an address and can follow the address. I had gathered several records over the last few years, but needed more resources, to connect the information. Finding the WWI draft record for Michal Wandzel was my missing link. I searched Ancestry.com, FamilySearch and Fold 3 without any luck. But when I did "sounds like" on Fold3, this time, a record turned up for a Mike Wannzel.

The first thing that I noticed was that Michal's wife Rozalia was still living in Poland. Michal Wandzel and Rozalia Klosak married 5 Feb 1907 at Żywiec-Zabłocie, Bielsko, Poland.  Michal immigrated, arriving in the United States 20 Oct 1908, one year and 8 months after his marriage. It appears he remained in the United States the rest of his life and died in Chicago. It also appears that his wife Rozalia never came to America. I wonder if he had any children or visited his family in Poland?  I'm thinking that is not very likely, but it is possible, I just don't know enough about Michal yet. The birth date on this draft record is an exact match to the church marriage record we have for Michal in Poland.

1612 Centennial: Frank, Walter and Anthony Sanetra-year 1920

Michal's immigration record states the family member he left behind was his wife Rozalia. He was going to his cousin in Vivian, WV. I have seen a few relatives from Zywiec start out in Vivian, West Virginia. First name looks like Tomasz, but I can't figure out the last name yet. I wondered if this was Rosalie's brother, why he would go to West Virginia, when she had lived in Chicago since Feb 1904? I also wondered why he didn't bring Rosalie's daughter Bronislawa Sanetra with him. Maybe he needed more time to work and send money home, before making his way to Chicago.

The next thing I noticed about this WWI record was the date. This was dated in Sep 1918, one month before Rosalie died. Then I noticed the most important thing for me, the address: 1612 Centennial. I remembered seeing this address before. So I started looking back at records I had for Wandzel's and what addresses were listed. The WWI record and death certificate matched. Also, one school year, Adam Sanetra gave his address as 1612 Centennial on his boys school records. There are several schools and several addresses listed on a record sent to Paul Sanetra in about the 1950's when he requested a copy of his school records. Mulligan School in 1913, Avondale School in 1916, Monroe School in 1917, and Otis School in 1918. All the children were enrolled in Otis School, until they were sent to the orphanage in October 1918. Stanley, Paul, Ervin, Bronislaw, and Jozef Sanetra were all enrolled in Otis school using the address 1737 Austin. Not sure which school or which year they used the address 1612 Centennial, but it should be between 1913 to 1918.

On the WWI draft record, it says Michal worked at Precision Metal Works with the address of 1443 Carroll Avenue. On Michal's death record it says he worked at a Brass Foundry. I assume that means Michal worked with brass at the Precision Metal Works Company. I have not been able to find Adam Sanetra, his soon to be bride Alfreda Mazurkiewicz (married Dec 1920) or some of his children on the 1920 Census. I went to try to manually look up 1612 Centennial on the 1920 census. I couldn't find that address on a map. But I found where Michal worked (Carroll Ave) and figured that he lived close to work. I recognized some street names and wondered how close 1058 Marshfield Ave was, the address associated with Adam and Alfreda's family from 1918 to 1923. It was very close, only about a mile. (Map attached in the post.) I found the ward and enumeration district for Precision Metal works and as I was loading a census page, I saw that some street avenues were indexed on Ancestry.com. So I went back to type in just the street name in Chicago, (1920 Census), all other fields blank. Only about 25 names came up, for a long street, with a lot of people. I picked the first person listed as living on Centennial Ave and started scrolling through the batch. My 3rd page with the street address of Centennial, I found 1612 Centennial. Michal was not listed as living in the house, although he should have been. The Census was taken in January, and Michal died in November, using the Centennial address. Interestingly the informant for Michal's death certificate, Paul Cymonsky, gave his address as this same address of 1612 Centennial, and he is not on the 1920 Census at this address either. I'm not sure where Paul Cymonsky or Michal Wandzel went, or if they were accidentally omitted. But I was surprised to see there were 3 Sanetra brothers living at this address, not showing up on indexes. I only knew about this Frank Sanetra. I'm not sure of this Sanetra connection yet.

I called and confirmed Michal Wandzel was buried in St Adalbert's Catholic Cemetery in Chicago as his death certificate states. I asked, if Michal was buried in this cemetery that should mean he was Catholic right? I was told in this time period yes, Michal would have been Catholic to be buried there. This puzzles me a little, why Rosalie wasn't buried there too. There are other family members buried at this cemetery. She was married in the same Catholic church as her brother Michal. Rosalie was buried in the Bohemian Cemetery in Chicago, several miles from any of the Sanetra addresses I'm aware of. The only thing I can think of, is that I'm not really sure that Rosalie was born a Catholic.  Michal also dropped the "D", which I believe was intentional. I am told that the DZ letter combination was German and there was a lot of anti-German sentiments during WWI, the time period of these records.

Michal Wandzel's sister Rosalie was spelled the German way. His wife Rozalia Klosak was spelled with the Polish spelling. For now, I can say Rosalie's brother lived near her in Chicago and that both Sanetra's and Wandzel's used the address 1612 Centennial. Did Michal have any children? I don't know. Did he go back to visit family? I have no idea. Did Rosalie's children know their uncle? I've never heard him mentioned before. But it is possible; the boys were very young young when their mother and uncle Michal died. It's a little bit more puzzling to me that Stanley and Bronislawa went missing with another family member living close by though.

I printed and have been studying family group sheets for Rosalie Wandzel and Adam Sanetra's siblings, to see if I can find any other close family in the United States. Adam Sanetra was the only male in his family that lived to be an adult. Adam's sister Maria remained in Poland. Her family wrote our family a few letters in the 1960's. Adam's other sisters were Apolonia, Katarzyna, and Helena. Helena we only know her baptismal date. But I haven't seen Apolonia or Katarzna with their married names coming to America yet. My guess is they remained in Poland as well. Regarding Rosalie's family, Michal was the only male that lived to be an adult. Sisters Anna or Helena could possibly have immigrated. But I don't know anything past their birth dates, or which surname they would have used. I do know of a few other Wandzel and Sanetra's, close in age, from the same place, living near our families. It's highly likely they are cousins. We have found one Ancestry.com DNA match of my grandfather to another Wandzel family living in the United States. I am hoping to see more DNA matches in the future to help us find more records and connect our families a little easier.

Michal Wandzel line 4, page 1 of 2

Michal Wandzel line 4, page 2 of 2