Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

While I knew my grandparents Jan and Agnieszka Kapuścińska Skrok had lost a baby in Poland in the early 1920s, I had thought his name was Edward. I was surprised to discover that he was identified as Vincent in my grandmother’s death notice in the Buffalo Courier-Express in 1977.

KIEC – Agnes Skrok (nee Kapuscinski); Oct 12, 1977, beloved wife of the late John Skrok and the late Adam Kiec; devoted mother of Chester J. Skrok, Thaddeus V. (Angeline) Skrok, Jane (Alexander) Beeman, Estelle (John) Maciejewski and the late Helen (John) Stewart, Vincent Skrok and Josephine Skrok; sister of the late Mary (the late Joseph) Mastykarz; also survived by seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Funeral from the Buszka Funeral Home Inc., 2005 Clinton, cor South Ogden, Saturday at 9 a. m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Bernard Church at 9:30 a. m. Interment in St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Relatives and friends invited to attend. Visiting hours 1-10 p.m. Family will be present 2-4 and 7-10 p.m.

Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, New York, 13 October 1977, page 24, column 2

Wincenty is the Polish form for the English name Vincent. The mix-up may have occurred when my mother and Uncle Ted told me about their older brother. They may have said something like the diminutive “Witek” for his name and I misunderstood them to have said “Edek,” the diminutive form for the Polish name Edward. Or I may have simpIy gotten it wrong. I remember they told me that their sister who had died in infancy was “Józia,” pronounced “Yooshia.” It was only by researching Buffalo birth and death records from 1926 and 1927 that I was able to determine that their sister had been named Józefina, Josephine in English.

It makes sense that my grandparents would have named their first Polish born son Wincenty, because both of the baby’s grandfathers were named Wincenty.

  • Wincenty Skrok (1861-1898) was the father of Jan Skrok.
  • Wincenty Kapuściński (1861-1911) was the father of Agnieszka Kapuścińska.

My grandparents Jan and Agnieszka immigrated to the United States in 1913. They married in 1915 in Buffalo, Erie, New York and returned to Poland in 1920. Two American born children–Helena and Czesław–were with my grandparents when they traveled from New York, arriving in Liverpool on the ship Kaiserin Auguste Victoria on 20 September 1920 on their way to the free city of Danzig/Gdansk on the Baltic Sea.

Jan, Agnieszka, Helena and Czesław Skrok traveled from New York in 1920 on the ship Kaiserin Auguste Victoria

My grandfather Jan Skrok returned to the United States 2 Feb 1923. My Uncle TedTadeusz Wincenty Skrok–was born in Sosnowiec, Kieleckie, Polska on 11 February 1923. Three children–Helena, Czesław, and Tadeusz–were with my grandmother Agnieszka Skrok when she returned to the United States on the S. S. Lituania from Danzig to New York, arriving on 1 August 1923.

Agnieszka, Helena, Czesław, and Tadeusz Skrok left Danzig on the SS Lituania 18 July 1923
Agnieszka, Helena, Czesław, and Tadeusz Skrok arrived in New York on the SS Lituania 1 August 1923

My grandparents’ baby, my mother’s brother, was born in Poland between September 1920 and April 1922. He died before July 1923, possibly in Sosnowiec, Kieleckie, Polska.

His name was Wincenty.


  •  KIEC – Agnes Skrok (nee Kapuscinski), Buffalo Courier Express, Buffalo, New York, 13 October 1977, page 24, column 2.
  • “Passenger Lists,” database, The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Ellis Island ( accessed 2010), Jan Skrok; citing ship manifests.
  • United States, Selective Service System, “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database, National Archives and Records Administration (online : accessed 6 November 2014).
  • Local Boards Preparing for Second Draft, Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, New York, 27 November 1917, Page 7. Discharged or Exempted… John Skrok, 228 Lovejoy.
  • “UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960,” digital images, ( : accessed 14 December 2015), Agnieszka Skrok.
  • “Ancestry Passenger Lists,” database, Ancestry ( accessed 22 December 2021), Jan Skrok; citing Passenger Lists.
  • 1930 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, New York, enumeration district (ED) 65, Household ID: 358, ; digital images,  (online : accessed ); Fifteenth Census of the United States.
  • John Skrok, Affiliate Publication Number: M1677, Affiliate Film Number: 16, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York; 1907-1966; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C.
  • Sandra Maciejewski Porter, My Family History Research ( : created 4 March 2016), John Skrok’s Path to Citizenship.
  • Buffalo, New York, marriage record (17 January 1917), John Skrok Agnieszka Kapuscinska; City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, Buffalo, New York.
  • Erie County, New York; Erie County Courthouse, Buffalo, New York.
  • John Skrok, 223 Metcalfe street — Agnieszka Kapuscinska, 34 William street, Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, New York, 11 January 1917, Page 6.
  • “Ancestry Passenger Lists,” database, Ancestry ( accessed 8 December 2019), Agnieszka Skrok; citing Passenger Lists.
  • Skrok girl birth announcement, Buffalo News, Buffalo, New York, 26 March 1927.
  • New York State Vital Records Index, 18030, Josephine P. Skrok.
  • New York State Vital Records Index, 14233, Josephine Skrok.

Comments on: "One Hundred Years Ago: Uncle Wincenty Skrok in Poland" (1)

  1. […] One Hundred Years Ago: Uncle Wincenty Skrok in Poland […]


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