I remember family gatherings with the Solowski and Mastykarz families as a child. They were friendly and fun, and they encouraged my perhaps overly cautious parents to relax a bit and let kids play. Everyone was a cousin somehow and we were all family! When I grew up and tried to identify our exact relationships, my mother knew that Mary Mastykarz was her mother’s sister, and Mary Solowski was their cousin, and they had all come from Poland years ago.
From American records I was able to find that Mary Solowski‘s birth name was Maryanna Witoń, and that she was the daughter of Michał Witoń and Jadwiga Duma. Mary Mastykarz and my grandmother Agnieszka were the daughters of Maryanna Witoń and Wincenty Kapuściński.
In October 1888, Michał Witoń married Jadwiga Duma at Kościół św. Floriana, the Church of St. Florian, in Koprzywnica, near Sandomierz. While in 2019 Koprzywnica is in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, in south-central Poland, in the time period before World War I this area was occupied by Russia, so the record is written in Cyrillic.
#37 Gnieszowice, Michał Witoń, Jadwiga Duma
It happened in the town of Koprzywnica on 12/24 October 1888 at 10 o’clock in the morning. We declare that —in the presence of the witnesses Antoni Wilk, 50 years old, and Jakób Rozwadeski, 44 years old, peasants from Gnieszowice— a religious marital union was contracted between Michał Witoń, a peasant, 25 years old, bachelor, son of Kacper and the late Theresa née Kaczmar, born in Gnieszowice, and Jadwiga Duma, a maiden, 17 years old, daughter of the late Wawrzyniec and Wiktoria née Siudak, born in Gnieszowice.
This wedding was preceded by three announcements [of the banns] on 18/30 November[should be September], 25 November [should be September], 7 October, and 2/14 October of the current year. The religious ceremony of the wedding was performed by the clergyman Teodor Pajązckowski. This document was read aloud to the declaring witnesses and signed by Us.
[signed: pr(iest) Pajączkowski]
Michał and Jadwiga were the parents of these children that I found in the Koprzywnica records:
- Jan WITOŃ (1891-)
- Maryanna WITOŃ (1893-1971)
- Roch WITOŃ (1896-)
- Michał WITOŃ (1899-)
- Zofia WITOŃ (1902-)
- Piotr WITOŃ (1905-)
- Józef WITOŃ (1909-)
Maryanna Witoń was born 1893 in Gnieszowice, a small village near Koprzywnica, Sandomierz. Her godmother was her father’s sister Maryanna Witoń Kapuścińska .
#194 Gnieszowice, Marianna Witoń
It happened in Koprzywnica on the 19th September/ 1st of October, 1893. He appeared Michał Witon, age 31 from Gnieszowice , witnesses:abstract, 1893 birth record, Marianna Witoń, Gnieszowice, Koprzywnica
Franciszek Lis, age 32 & Jan Furtiak 28 of Gnieszowice
and presented a baby girl, born in Gnieszowice the 17th/29th of September to his wife, Jadwiga née Duma, age 22
baptized baby Marianna whose godparents were:
Franciszek Lis & Marianna Kapuscinska
Maryanna Witoń immigrated to Buffalo, New York, in 1912 and married Józef Solowski at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, New York, on 26 Jan 1915. The witnesses were John Witon and Josepha Brodzia.
Józef SOLOWSKI and Maryanna WITOŃ had the following children:
- Jan SOLOWSKI was born on 22 Oct 1915 in Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States. Jan died of injuries suffered in a January 18 auto accident on 11 Feb 1939 at the age of 23 at Emergency Hospital in Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States. In English, his name was John.
- Stanisława SOLOWSKA, born 27 Aug 1917, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; married Edmund E. WROŃSKI, 23 Jun 1947, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; died Nov 1980, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States. Stanisława used the name Stella.
- Józefa M. SOLOWSKA, born 29 Feb 1920, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; married Bronisław P. BICIO, Jul 1948, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; died 6 Nov 2008, Sloan, Erie, New York, United States. Józefa used the name Josephine and was called Josie.
- Władysław P. SOLOWSKI, born 10 Mar 1922, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; married Gertruda B. RATKA, 17 Jun 1950; died 25 Nov 2009. Władysław used the name Ladislaus as a child and Walter as an adult.
- Bolesław SOLOWSKI, born 7 Feb 1924, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States; married Delfina BROCIEK, 21 Jun 1947; died 24 Jun 1973 at age 49. Bolesław was called Bill, and used the name William.
In the 1920, 1930, and 1940 censuses, Józef and Maryanna Solowski and their family lived at 25 Jones Street in Buffalo, New York. When Josef registered for the World War II old man’s draft in 1942, his address was the restaurant at 104 Fillmore Street, Buffalo, New York.
Sadly, Józef Solowski died 17 July 1942 and was buried at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Cemetery in Cheektowaga. After the death of her husband, Mary Solowski owned and managed the Top Hill Grill at Fillmore and South Division Street in Buffalo, New York.
Walter and William Solowski both served in the military in World War II. Walter enlisted 23 Dec 1942 in the Army Air Corps. William enlisted 18 Jan 1943 in the United States Marine Corps.
In 1950, the Solowski, Wronski, Solowski, and Bicio families lived at 102 and 104 Fillmore Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York.
Maryanna Witoń Solowska died 22 Apr 1971, and was also laid to rest in St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Top Hill Grill, the family business begun in 1940, was continued by Walter and Trudy Solowski, and lasted almost 70 years.
Update June, 2019: Our genetic connection was verified with Ancestry DNA evidence, when two descendants of Maryanna Witoń Solowski matched three descendants of Agnieszka Kapuścińska Skrok Kiec, as well as a woman in Poland who had tested her DNA about 2016.
Update April 2022: Added 1950 census.
- Wikipedia contributors, “Koprzywnica,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Koprzywnica&oldid=817589875 (accessed June 4, 2019).
- Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Koprzywnica Kościół św Floriana 01.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Koprzywnica_Ko%C5%9Bci%C3%B3%C5%82_%C5%9Bw_Floriana_01.jpg&oldid=216143396 (accessed June 4, 2019).
- Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Polski, Marriage, 1888 37 Koprzywnica, Michał Witoń Jadwiga Duma; digital images, Towarzystwa Genealogicznego Centralnej Polski ( http://metryki.genealodzy.pl/metryka.php?ar=7&zs=0158d&sy=1888&kt=2&plik=34-37.jpg : accessed 28 May 2019).
- Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne, “Geneteka, Metryki,” database, Polish Genealogical Society, Genealodzy (http://metryki.genealodzy.pl/metryka.php?ar=7&zs=0158d&sy=1893&kt=1&plik=194-197.jpg : accessed 29 May 2019), 1893 194 Marianna Witoń Koprzywnica; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).
- Ellis Island website, online http://www.ellisisland.org, Maryanna Witon.
- Szolowski-Witon, (26 January 1915), Marriage Record: ; Erie County Courthouse, Buffalo, New York.
- 1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 8, Erie, New York, ED 68, sheet 10-B, 138, Joseph & Mary Solewski.
- 1930 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, Erie, New York, ED 0071, 12B, , Joseph & Mary Solavoski.
- New York State, Department of Health, Vital Records Index, Death, Certificate Number: 1507, Stanley Solowski, 1 January 1946 Albany, New York.
- New York State, Department of Health, Vital Records Index, Cert. No. 38196? Buffalo, Jozef Solowski, 17 July 1942 Albany, New York.
- Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Death Master File (: accessed July 2016), Mary Solowski, 134-07-8679.
- Top Hill Grill, Forgotten Buffalo, http://www.forgottenbuffalo.com/classictavernsbuffalo/tophillgrill.html : accessed 2018.
- Ancestry DNA autosomal DNA results, accessed 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019