Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

Marya was not a name usually given to Polish girls in the nineteenth century because it was considered special and unique to Mary the mother of Jesus. Girls were sometimes baptized Maryanna as an alternative. The custom was to baptize children with a single name, and that is what is found in almost all of the baptism records at St. Stanislaus Church in Buffalo, New York, in the 1880s.

Marya Magdalena Maciejewska, born and baptized 10 August 1888, was an exception.1888 Marya Magdalena baptism1 Instead of being named after Mary the mother of God, she was given the name of a disciple of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, or Mary Magdalene. William F. Hoffman and George W. Helon, in their book First Names of the Polish Commonwealth: Origins & Meanings, explain “Supposedly seven demons were driven out of her (Luke 8:2); she was one of Christ’s most faithful followers; she was the one who found the grave empty after the Resurrection; she’s the one to whom he appeared and spoke, giving her words to relay to the Apostles (John 20:11-18).” 1888 Marya Magdalena baptism2In her baptism record, her godmother’s name was Magdalena.

1911 Maria Maciejewski 10-21 CourierHer father died in 1896, leaving her mother with six children to raise. In 1911, Marya’s younger brother, Louis Maciejewski, got into trouble with the law for fighting, and, along with a neighbor, Bronisław Jankowski, was sent to reformatory school in Elmira, New York. The newspaper account said that Louis’ older sister, Maria, did not take it well, with the headline “Sister Falls in Swoon When Brother Receives Sentence.”

1920 Frank Szczepanski Vera Maciejewski census croppedIn the 1920 census, Mary Maciejewski lived with her mother Vera Maciejewski on 393 Peckham Street (they rented from Frank Szczepanski, Anthony Maciejewski‘s brother-in-law) and both she and her sister Anna Maciejewski worked as salesladies in a department store. Her niece, Sophie Maciejewski, age 11, is listed with them on the following page of the census.

In 1930, Marie Maciejewski was a housekeeper in the household of 1930 Marie Maciejewski census croppedRev. Leonard F Dykal, a clergyman in Medina, Orleans, New York. In 1940, the priest was in California, but I could not find a record of Marie in the 1940 census.

In the 1950s and 1960s Marie lived with her sister Ann on Briscoe Street in Buffalo, New York. She had changed her name, because her Social Security record identified her as Marie Mack upon her death September 28, 1970.

1970 Mack Marie O obit 9-30 Courier ExpressHer obituary in the Buffalo Courier Express had her birth name Maciejewski as well as Marie O. Mack. She was buried alongside her mother and sister in St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Cheektowaga, New York.

Comments on: "Great Aunt Marya Magdalena Maciejewska, AKA Marie Mack" (7)

  1. […] Maciejewski lived only five years after her mother’s death, dying in 1948 at age 61, Marie (Mack) Maciejewski died in 1970 at age 82, and Anne B. Maciejewski died in 1975 at age 83. They were buried alongside […]


  2. […] I was asked “What about the Maciejewski side of the family, especially Great-Aunts Vicky, Marie, and Ann?” Well, there was not much to tell from a family history point of view, because they […]


  3. […] Konstanty and Ludwik used the names August Warner and Louis Warner to find work. Their sisters Marie and Anna used the name Mack. Anthony & Marie’s oldest daughter Sophia used the name Lou […]


  4. […] and was baptized at St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church. She was named by her godmother, Marya Maciejewska, and given the name of a nun. Because her name was unusual, she was called Emily, although close […]


  5. […] their infant Antoni. The family grew with the arrival of Konstanty (August), Wiktorya (Dorota), Marya, Anna, and Ludwik. Jan and Weronika had been married in 1869 in Kościół św. Jana Chrzciciela, […]


  6. […] Wiktoria, Victoria was called first Dorota and then Dorothy. Marya Magdalena was Maria, Mary, and Marie in the records. The Polish name Anna was recorded both as Ann, as it was in her Social Security […]


  7. […] and her never married daughters Victoria, Marie, and Ann were close to Sophia all her life, so it really was not surprising that after their […]


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