Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

My great-grandmother Anna Kalinowska Szczepańska was born 27 Mar 1858 in West Prussia. With her husband Marcin Szczepański, she immigrated to Buffalo, New York in 1881.

So I recognized the Kalinowski name in the family trees of some of my Ancestry DNA matches. Wojciech Siuda and Katarzyna Kalinowska Siuda immigrated to Lemont, Cook. Illinois, about 1869 with their daughter Marianna. The family grew, and they moved to Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska, in the early 1880s. The sound for the Polish letter combination “si” is a “soft sh,” so the Polish name Siuda sounds like Shuda. In some records, the family name was written as Sjuda, Szuda, Schuda, or Suda.

Since the family was Polish and spoke the Polish language, their original names were Polish. They gave their children Polish names. They used English versions in America and Latin was used in church records. The Polish name Wojciech is sometimes rendered as Albert, Adalbert, or even George. Katarzyna is Katherine, Catherine, or Kate. Marya was not often used in Poland (it was considered special to the Mother of God), so the name Marianna was more often given to baby girls born in Poland in the 1800s. The Polish name Mikołaj is Nicholas, but the bearer of that name was sometimes called Mike or even Michael in America. Other names were Józef (Joseph), Franciszka (Frances), Józefa (Josephine), and Andrzej (Andrew). Although not an exact equivalent, boys named Stanisław would often use the name Stanley in America. Pelagia called herself Polly.

Lemont, Cook, Illinois

There were some errors in the 1880 census from Lemont, Cook. Illinois.

1880 census, Schuda family, Lemont, Cook. Illinois

Wojciech was misidentified as John, and the youngest was listed as Simon instead of Stanisław. The parents and Mary‘s place of birth was identified as Prussia, while the other children were born in Illinois.

I found the younger children’s baptisms recorded in the registers of Saint Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook. Illinois.

Józef was born on 5 Dec 1872 and baptized on 8 Dec 1872.

1872 baptism, St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook, Illinois

Franciszka was born on 27 Sep 1874 and baptized on 28 Sep 1874.

1874 baptism, St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook, Illinois

Józefa was born on 15 Mar 1876 and baptized on 18 Mar 1876.

1876 baptism, St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook, Illinois

Agnieszka was born on 13 Oct 1877 and baptized 14 Oct 1877 at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook, Illinois. She died before 1880 and was not listed with her parents in the Illinois census.

1877 baptism, St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook, Illinois

Stanisław Kostka was born on 10 Nov 1878 and baptized on 12 Nov 1878 at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook, Illinois.

1878 baptism, St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Lemont, Cook, Illinois

When naming a child after a saint, Roman Catholics were often specific. Stanisław Kostka (1550 – 1568), a Jesuit novice who died as a teenager, was the younger of the Polish saints named Stanisław. The earlier saint was Stanisław Szczepanowski (1030 – 1079), Bishop and Martyr.

Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska

American records indicated that Wojciech Siuda was born in Apr 1836 and Katarzyna Kalinowska Siuda was born in Oct 1841 in Prussia. They were married about 1862 in Prussia. Their younger children, Andrzej (1880) and Pelagia (1883), were born in Nebraska.

1900 census, Grieck, Kowalski, and Shuda families in Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska

Their older daughters married men named Greenwald, Grajek, and Kowalski. The 1900 census and this 1905 Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska map show they were neighbors.

1905 Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska map

On 26 Nov 1885, Marianna Siuda and Mikołaj Greenwald were married at New Posen Catholic Church in Howard, Nebraska. Since 1889, this community has been called Farwell. Sadly, Marianna died in 1888 after bearing two daughters, Tekla (1886) and Krystyna (1888).

Franciszka Siuda and Franciszek Grajek were married on 26 Jan 1891 at the Posen Roman Catholic Church in Farwell, Howard, Nebraska.

Józef Siuda and Marianna Sonnenfeld were married about 1894. Her family lived in Oak Creek, Sherman, Nebraska, so that is likely where they were wed. Some family researchers suggest that the Sonnenfeld family may have originated from Nogath, Graudenz, in West Prussia. In Polish, it is Nogat, and fewer than 4 miles from Szembruk, where my Szczepanski/ Kalinowski ancestors were from. (See update below.)

Józefa Siuda and Grzegorz Kowalski were married on 16 Nov 1897 in St. Libory, Howard, Nebraska.

Pelagia Siuda and Franciszek Sonnenfeld were married on 24 Nov 1903 at Saint Libory Church in Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska.

On 7 Feb 1905, Andrzej Siuda and Cecylia Graczyk were married at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Paplin, (Choynice), Howard, Nebraska. Chojnice is the Polish spelling.

Stanisław Siuda married Helena Grabowska about 1909. In 1910, the siblings Andrew, Stanley, and Josephine were neighbors in Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska. Albert was living with Andrew and Celia.

1910 census, Schuba [sic] and Kowalski families, Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska

Katarzyna died in 1901 and was buried in the Saint Libory Catholic Cemetery in Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska. Wojciech died in 1918 and was buried beside his wife. Over time their gravestones were buried. In 2013, their descendant Leonard J. Shorty Grudzinski Jr. photographed the excavation, cleaning, and re-installation of the grave markers on

Known children of Wojciech Siuda and Katarzyna Kalinowska were:

  • Marianna Siuda (1864-1888)
    • married Mikołaj Greenwald (1856-1935)
  • Józef Siuda (1872-1956)
    • married Marianna Sonnenfeld (1871-1934)
  • Franciszka Siuda (1874-1937)
    • married Franciszek Grajek (1862-1951)
  • Józefa Siuda (1876-1957)
    • married Grzegorz Kowalski (1875-1957)
  • Agnieszka Siuda (1877-1880)
  • Stanisław Siuda (1878-1944)
    • married Helena Grabowska (1883-1978)
  • Andrzej Siuda (1880-1963)
    • married Cecylia Graczyk (1879-1960)
  • Pelagia Siuda (1883-1967)
    • married Franciszek Sonnenfeld (1879-1957)


Although suggestive, the common name Kalinowski may not be our connection. More research in the old country would be needed. What we know now is that I and some of my Maciejewski/ Szczepański/ Kalinowski cousins match several of the descendants of Wojciech Siuda and Katarzyna Kalinowska with Ancestry DNA.

  • JI and LO are descendants of Józef Siuda and Marianna Sonnenfeld.
  • LG is a descendant of Franciszka Siuda and Franciszek Grajek.
  • LM is a descendant of Józefa Siuda and Grzegorz Kowalski.

A few other descendants–including NM and BCS–are also related, but we are not yet sure how.

Update Jan 2021: I found the 1849 birth/baptism record for Marcianna Lorczyk, mother of Marianna and Franciszek Sonnenfeld in the village of Wydrzno in the “Roman Catholic parish register of baptisms, marriages and deaths for Groß Schönwalde (Kr. Graudenz), West Prussia, Germany; now Szynwałd (Grudziądz), Bydgoszcz, Poland.” Today Szynwałd (Grudziądz) is in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland.

1849 birth/baptism, Marcianna Lorczyk, Wydrzno, Szynwałd (Grudziądz), West Prussia

My sister was baptized Marcianna, so I recognized the name. Szynwałd is very near Szembruk, the parish of my Kalinowski ancestors. It appears that several families came to Nebraska from the same area of West Prussia.


  • “Find a Grave,” database, Find a Grave ( accessed 23 February 2020), Albert (Wajciech) Siuda; citing cemetery records.
  • 1880 Federal Census, Illinois, population schedule, Lemont, Cook, Illinois, USA, enumeration district (ED) 205, Page: 510D, Catherine Schuda; digital images,  (online : accessed 27 November 2020); Tenth Census of the United States.
  • 1900 Federal Census, Wisconsin, population schedule, Saint Libory, Howard, Nebraska, enumeration district (ED) 0128, Page: 3, Albert Shuda; digital images, online (National Archives and Records Administration : accessed 29 November 2020); Twelfth Census of the United States.
  • Find a Grave, Katarzyna Kalonowski Siuda.
  • LDS Family History Library, “Lemont, Illinois – St Alphonsus Parish,” database, Family Search ( accessed 29 November 2020), Agnetem Szuda; citing United States, Illinois, Cook, Lemont – Church records.
  • Nebraska, State Marriage Records, Mary Schuda, Nicolai Greenwald, 26 November 1885; State Library and Archives, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • Find a Grave, Michael Nicolai Grenwalt.
  • Library, Family Search, Josephum Schudam.
  • Find a Grave, Joseph A. Shuda.
  • Find a Grave, Mary Ann Sonnenfeld Shuda.
  • Find a Grave, Tekla L Grenwalt Golka.
  • Find a Grave, Christina H. Grenwalt Derezinski.
  • Library, Family Search, Francisca Szuda.
  • Find a Grave, Frances A. Shuda Grayek.
  • Nebraska State Marriage Records, Marriage, Frances Sjuda, Frank Grajek.
  • Library, Family Search, Josepha Szuda.
  • Find a Grave, Josephine “Josie” Shuda Kowalski.
  • Nebraska State Marriage Records, Marriage County Office: Howard, Josephine Suda, Gregory Kowalski.
  • Library, Family Search, Stanislaus Kostka Szuda.
  • Find a Grave, Stanley Schuda.
  • Find a Grave, Helen H. Grabowski Schuda.
  • Find a Grave, Andrew Siuda Sr.
  • Nebraska State Marriage Records, Marriage, Andrew Siuda, Cecylya Graczyk.
  • Find a Grave, Pelagia “Polly” Siuda Sonnenfeld.
  • Find a Grave, Cecelia Graczyk Siuda.
  • Nebraska State Marriage Records, Marriage, Pelagia Siuda, Frank Sonnenfeld.
  • LDS Family History Library, “Szynwałd (Grudziądz),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search ( accessed 25 January 2021), Marcyanna Lorczyk; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Groß Schönwalde – Church records.

Comments on: "Siuda Family in Lemont, Illinois, and Saint Libory, Nebraska" (2)

  1. […] Wojciech Siuda and Katarzyna Kalinowska Siuda immigrated from Prussia to Lemont, Cook. Illinois, and… In some records, the family name was written as Szuda, Schuda, Shuda, or Suda, and their daughters married people named Greenwald, Grajek, Kowalski, and Sonnenfeld. […]


  2. I wish *we* were related! This is such a boon to your extended family!


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