Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

Researching Family History

I have been researching my ancestors–the people without whom my sisters and I would not be here.Our father’s grandparents and father came to America from the German partition of Poland in the 1880s.

  • I recently connected with our second cousin on the Maciejewski side. Her grandfather, who used the name Louis Warner, and our grandfather Anthony Maciejewski were brothers. I will post about our great grandfather, Jan Maciejewski, and the place I think he came from. It has not been proven, but it’s an interesting story.
  • In 1997 I self-published a book about the Descendants of Martin and Anna Szczepanski.
  • Not much is known about the families of Veronica Lewandowski and Anna Kalinowski, our paternal great-grandmothers.

Our mother’s parents and grandmother, their siblings and cousins came through Ellis Island from the Russian partition of Poland in the 1910s. Some went back to Poland and returned to the United States in the 1920s and later. I am inspired by our grandmother, who traveled to a strange country not knowing the language at the age of 18, and made the journey again across the Atlantic as a young mother with three little ones.

  • The Skrok, Rzepka, and Szczepanski families were closely allied, both here and in the old country. So much so, that when our mom’s cousin John Kiec fell in love with their second cousin Pelagia (Pearl) Rzepka, she said it caused a family rift. The couple wanted to marry, but could not do so in the Roman Catholic Church. He was not listed with his siblings in his mother’s obituary in 1938! The couple was married in the Polish National Church in 1940. Our mom said that it was considered a sin to go near the Polish National Church or to have anything to do with “them.” Oh, the stories!
  • I was skeptical when Mom told me about her Szczepanski cousins from Russian Poland. However, I found multiple Rzepka marriages with these names in the parish in Wojciechowice in the late nineteenth century.
  • In the United States, the Mastykarz family is related to Kapuscinski, and the Solowski family is related to Witon.

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