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My Mother’s Szczepański Cousins

My paternal grandmother’s family name was Szczepański, so my father had Szczepański cousins. But so did my mother! I remember she sent Christmas cards to people named Szczepański. They were her cousins, and came from a different part of Poland. Although their families had the Szczepański name in common, my parents assured me that they themselves were not related to each other. This was later confirmed with DNA testing.

The Szczepański name is found in many places. William F. Hoffman writes in Polish Surnames: Origins & Meanings that it is a topical name, derived from a place such as Szczepanów or Szczepanowo. The Polish given name Szczepan is a variant form of the Polish Stefan, equivalent to the English names “Stephen” or “Steven.” I have both the names Szczepański and Stefański in my ancestry.

Szczepan entries, Polish Surnames: Origins & Meanings, Third Edition

Who were my mother’s Szczepański cousins?

Józef Szczepański and Maryanna Rzepka were the parents of:

  • Feliks Szczepański (1905-1905)
  • Anna Stefania Szczepańska (1907-1947)
  • Katarzyna Szczepańska (1910-1963)
  • Stanisław Józef Szczepański (1913-1957)
  • Ruth Szczepańska (1924-1944)

The Old Country

My maternal grandfather Jan Skrok‘s cousin Maryanna Rzepka, daughter of Ignacy Rzepka and Malgorzata Skrok, married Józef Szczepański, son of Michał Szczepański and Józefa Stȩpniow, on 12 October 1903 at Kościół św. Wojciecha Biskupa i Męczennika in Wojciechowice, Opatów, in the Radom gubernia of Congress Poland occupied by Russia. The records were written in Cyrillic because it was required by the Russian Empire.

Marriage, Józef Szczepański and Maryanna Rzepka, 12 Oct 1903, Wojciechowice, Opatów, Radom, Congress Poland, Russia

Józef was 26, born in Mydłów, Opatów, Radom, Congress Poland, Russia, and Maryanna was 18 years old, born in Kaliszany, Opatów, Radom, Congress Poland, Russia. They both lived in Kaliszany when they married in 1903.

Mydłów to Wojciechowice in Opatów, currently Świętokrzyskie, Poland (Google map)

Józef Szczepański and Maryanna Rzepka had a son, Feliks Szczepański, born on 13 February 1905 in Kaliszany, Wojciechowice, Opatów.

Feliks Szczepański born 13 Feb 1905 in Kaliszany, Wojciechowice, Opatów, Radom, Congress Poland, Russia

Sadly, Feliks Szczepański died 22 September 1905.

Feliks Szczepański died 22 Sept 1905 in Kaliszany, Wojciechowice, Opatów, Radom, Congress Poland, Russia

American records indicate Józef Szczepański immigrated about 1906. Józef and Maryanna‘s daughter Anna Stefania Szczepańska was born on 7 Jun 1907 in Kaliszany, Wojciechowice, Opatów, in Russian Poland.

Anna Stefania Szczepańska born 7 Jun 1907 in Kaliszany, Wojciechowice, Opatów, Radom, Congress Poland, Russia

American records indicate Maryanna and her daughter Anna Stefania came to the United States in 1909 or 1910.

Western New York

Anna StefaniaStella” Szczepańska Stanton (1907-1947)

In America, Anna Stefania used the name Stella Szczepańska. She married Stefan Stanton about 1923. Stefania “StellaAnna Stanton died on 14 Mar 1947 at the age of 39 in Buffalo, Erie, New York. She was buried on 18 Mar 1947 at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cheektowaga, Erie, New York.

Dziennik dla Wszystkich, 15 March 1947

STANTON–Stella Ann Stanton (nee Szczepanska), in this city, March 14, 1947, beloved wife of Stephen; mother of Dorothy, Robert and Thomas; daughter of Maryanna Szczepanska (nee Rzepka); sister of K. Balbina Manka and Stanley Szczepanski. Funeral Tuesday morning at 9:30 A. M. from the family residence, 839 Eagle, and from St. Stanislaus Church at 10 o’clock. Interment at St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Friends Invited.

Buffalo Evening News, 17 March 1947.
Stella Stanton, Saint Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York, FindaGrave photograph courtesy of FDP

Stefan Stanton and Stefania Anna Szczepańska had the following children:

  • Dorota Stanton, born 6 May 1924, West Batavia, Genesee, New York; married Leo Kasprzyk, 1 Nov 1941; she died 9 Dec 1984.
  • Robert Stefan Stanton, born 31 May 1929, Buffalo, Erie, New York; married Lorraine Joan Skoniecki; he died 7 Apr 1979.
  • Józef Tomasz Stanton, born 22 Apr 1933; married Sally Ann Green, 10 Aug 1957, West Seneca, Erie, New York; he died 24 Jul 2002.

Stephen Stanton was born in the old country on 24 Dec 1902. Ethnically Polish, he immigrated about 1914 and was naturalized. His original name is not known. He died on 30 Jan 1988. He was buried on 2 Feb 1988 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna, Erie, New York.

Katarzyna “Katherine” Szczepańska Mańka (1910-1963)

Katarzyna Szczepańska was born about 9 Nov 1911 in New York. Katarzyna Szczepańska and Kazimierz A. Mańka were married on 27 Jun 1930 before a judge in Erie County New York. They lived at 28 Townsend Street, 671 Eagle Street, Watson Street, 34 Young Street, and 56 Guilford Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York. Katarzyna was also known as Katherine Mańka and K. Balbina Manka. She died on 10 Nov 1963 in Buffalo, Erie, New York. She was buried on 14 Nov 1963 at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cheektowaga, Erie, New York.

Kazimierz Mańka and Katarzyna Szczepańska had the following children:

  • Dolores Anne Manka, born 30 Jun 1931; married Harold M. Lipka, 23 Jun 1951.
  • Joyce Carol Manka, born 19 Apr 1935, Buffalo, Erie, New York; married Robert Darlak; she died 23 Sep 2002.
  • David Manka, born 7 Feb 1940, Buffalo, Erie, New York; married Frances K. Miller; he died 18 May 2017, Little Valley, Cattaraugus, New York.
  • Christine Kathleen Manka, born 23 Aug 1941, Buffalo, Erie, New York; she died 12 Nov 1997, Buffalo, Erie, New York.

After my grandfather Jan Skrok‘s death in 1936, Katherine and Casimer Mańka were the witnesses to the wedding of my grandmother Agnieszka Kapuścińska Skrok to Adam Kiec on 6 Feb 1943.

Kazimierz A. Mańka, son of Antoni Mańka and Gertruda Patyna, was born on 20 Dec 1909. Casimer Manka died 26 Feb 1989 and was buried at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cheektowaga, Erie, New York.

Katherine and Casimer Manka, Saint Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York, FindaGrave photograph courtesy of Buffalo Tim

Kazimierz Mańka and Regina Sobieraj were married in May 1967 in Buffalo, Erie, New York. Regina J. Sobieraj was born on 11 Jul 1920. She was also known as Regina Jajkowska or Jakubowska. Regina Manka died on 13 Dec 2010 in Buffalo, Erie, New York.

Stanisław Józef “Stanley” Szczepański (1913-1957)

Stanisław Józef Szczepański was born 9 Sep 1913, New York. Stanisław, also called Stanley Szczepanski, was a machine shop foreman. He died 22 Nov 1957 and was buried on 26 Nov 1957 at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cheektowaga, Erie, New York.

Stanley J. Szczepanski, Nov. 22, 1957, of 131 Krupp St.. beloved husband of Josephine (nee Wronskl); dearest father of Stanley Jr., Margaret and James Szczepanski: son of the late Maryann and Joseph; dear brother of Katherine Manka and of the late Stella Stanton and Ruth Szczepanski. Funeral from Stanley Zielinsky Funeral Home, 1439 Broadway, Tuesday morning at 9:30 and and from St. John Kanty Church at 10 o’clock. Interment in St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Friends invited.

Buffalo Courier Express, 24 November 1957

Stanisław Józef Szczepański and Józefa Wrońska had the following children:

  • Stanley Joseph Szczepanski, born 12 Apr 1941, Buffalo, Erie, New York; married Christine Waiss, 16 Jun 1962, Lancaster, Erie, New York.
  • Margaret Ellen Szczepanski, born 6 Jun 1947; married Michael P. Wierzbicki, 19 Oct 1968, Buffalo, Erie, New York; married Charles A. Morlock.
  • James Robert Szczepanski, born 17 Oct 1948, Buffalo, Erie, New York; he died 26 Dec 2004, Erie, New York.

Stanisław Józef Szczepański and Józefa Wrońska were married on 21 Nov 1936 in Buffalo, Erie, New York. Józefa Wrońska, daughter of Tomasz Stanisław Wroński and Julianna Mielczarska, was born on 29 Feb 1916 in Buffalo, Erie, New York. She was also known as Josephine Szczepanska. She lived at 131 Krupp Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York. Josephine Szczepanski died on 11 Jan 2013 at the age of 96 in Hamburg, Erie, New York.

SZCZEPANSKI – Josephine (nee Wronski) Of Hamburg, NY, peacefully on January 11, 2013, beloved wife of the late Stanley J. Szczepanski; loving mother of Stanley J. (Christine), Peggy Wierzbicki-Morlock (late Charles) and the late James R.; cherished grandmother of Peter G. (Kathi), Ted M. (Deborah), John-Paul (Christine) Szczepanski, Michael (Michele) and Mark Wierzbicki, Renee (Michael) Monteith, Dawn (Michael) Reigle, and nine loving great-grandchildren along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. Josephine was predeceased by seven sisters, a brother and would have been 97 years old next month. Josephine donated her body to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine Anatomical Gift Program for research and teaching. Donations may be made to University at Buffalo Foundation, Box 900, Buffalo, NY 14226-0900. A memorial will be held at the convenience of the family.

Buffalo News, 20 January 2013.
Ruth Szczepańska (1924-1944)

Ruth Szczepańska was born on 1 Nov 1924 in New York. She died after being ill for some time on 17 Jul 1944 at the age of 19 in Alabama, Genesee, New York. Ruth was buried on 19 Jul 1944 at Cary Cemetery in Oakfield, Genesee, New York.

Miss Ruth A. Szczepanski
Oakfield, July 17. Miss Ruth Ann Szczepanski, 19, died at 3:15 o’clock this morning (July 17, 1944) at her home in the town of Alabama. She had been ill for some time. She was born on November 1, 1924, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Rzepka Szczepanski. Besides her parents, a brother, Stanley, and two sisters, Mrs. Stella Stanton and Mrs. Catherine Manka of Buffalo, survive, together with several nieces and nephews. The funeral will be held at 2:30 o’clock Wednesday afternoon from the Szczepanski home. Interment will be in Cary Cemetery.

Batavia Daily News, 17 July 1944.

Józef and Maryanna Rzepka Szczepański

In 1920, Joseph and Mary Szczepanski lived on Amherst Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York, but they moved to Batavia, Genesee, New York, in 1921. In 1930 they lived at 80 Lyman Street in Buffalo, Erie, New York. In 1940 they lived at 225 Lewiston Road in Alabama, Genesee, New York.

Joseph Szczepanski was a farmer and a railroad worker. There is not much information in this death notice, so I am not certain this is Maryanna‘s husband.

SZCZEPANSKI -Joseph Szczepanski, In this city, Dec. 6. 1945. Funeral from E. L. Kazmierczak’s Funeral Home, 347 Peckham St. Monday morning at 9 o’clock. Interment at St. Stanislaus Cemetery.

Buffalo Evening News, 7 December 1945.

Mary Ann Rzepka Szczepanski died 9 March 1955. Her death notice was in the Buffalo Evening News, Obituaries Section III, page 35.

SZCZEPANSKI -Mary Ann (nee Rzepka), March 9, 1955, of 34 Young Ave., wife of the late Joseph: beloved mother of Katherine Manka and Stanley, the late Stella Stanton and Ruth; mother-in-law of Josephine Szczepanski and Casimer Manka, sister of John and Walter Rzepka; grandmother of ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Funeral from the Ernest Wedekindt Funeral Home Inc., 5 Walden Ave. at Genesee, Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock. Friends invited. Flowers gratefully declined. Contributions may be made to the Heart Fund.

Buffalo Evening News, 10 March 1955.

Rzepka Siblings

Mary Ann Rzepka Szczepanski‘s death notice said she was the sister of John and Walter Rzepka. She was predeceased by two brothers–Franciszek (Frank) in 1930 and Stanisław (Stanley) in 1955.

Records in Wojciechowice, Opatów, show that Ignacy Rzepka and Malgorzata Skrok were the parents of two daughters in Kaliszany who did not immigrate to the United States and probably died before 1955.

  • Józefa Rzepka, born 3 February 1889.
  • Julianna Rzepka, born 18 Jan 1900; she married Władysław Niestatek.

Edward Niestatek, son of Julianna Rzepka and Władysław Niestatek, immigrated to the United States in 1949.

Sources

  • Hoffman, William F. Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings. Chicago, Illinois : Polish Genealogical Society of America. 1993, Second Edition, Revised 2001. Third Edition, Revised 2012.
  • Genbaza, “Genbaza,” database, Polish Genealogical Society, Genealodzy (Metryki.GenBaza.pl: accessed 19 November 2019), Jozef Szczepanski Maryanna Rzepka; citing Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).
  • “Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne,” database, Polish Genealogical Society, Geneteka (geneteka.genealodzy.pl: accessed 2 May 2020), 1903 33 Józef Szczepański Michał, Józefa Stępień Marianna Rzepka Ignacy, Małgorzata Skrok Wojciechowice; citing church records or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Civil Registry Office).
  • 1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo City, enumeration district (ED) ED 196, sheet 14B, 305, Joseph Szczepanski; digital images, National Archives (online : accessed 5 December 2014); Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. Records of the Bureau of the Census,.
  • Deeds Filed, The Times, Batavia, New York, 17 September 1921, page 3 column 4.
  • 1925 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Batavia, A.D. 01, E.D. 02, Genesee, New York, United States, Joseph Sczepanski; FHL microfilm .
  • 1930 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, Erie, New York, enumeration district (ED) 0068, Page: 12A, Mary Szczepanski; digital images,  (online : accessed 6 February 2021); Fifteenth Census of the United States.
  • 1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Alabama town, Genesee, enumeration district (ED) 19-1, Joseph Szczepanski; digital images,  (online : accessed 17 May 2015); Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940.
  • New York State, Department of Health, Vital Records Index, Death, Certificate Number: 68387, Joseph Szczepanski, 6 December 1945, Albany, New York.
  • SZCZEPANSKI -Mary Ann (nee Rzepka), Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, New York, 10 March 1955, Obituaries Section III — 35.
  • Buffalo Evening News, 7 December 1945.
  • St. Stanislaus RC Cemetery (Cheektowaga, New York), https://gravefinderatststans.com, Jozef Szczepanski.
  • Geneteka, 1905 30 Feliks Szczepański Józef Marianna Rzepka Wojciechowice Wojciechowice [Uwagi: Kaliszany 1905.02.13 Data urodzenia: 13.02.1905 r.].
  • Genealodzy, Feliks Szczepanski.
  • 1925 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Batavia, A.D. 01, E.D. 02, Genesee, New York, United States, Joseph Sczepanski.
  • 1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Alabama town, Genesee, ED 19-1, , Joseph Szczepanski.
  • New York State Vital Records Index, Birth, Certificate Number: 40565, Ruth M Szczepanski.
  • Miss Ruth A. Szczepanski, Batavia Daily News, Batavia, New York, 17 July 1944, page 3 column 3.
  • Geneteka, 1907 101 Anna Stefania Szczepańska Józef Marianna Rzepka Wojciechowice.
  • 1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo City, ED ED 196, sheet 14B, 305, Joseph Szczepanski.
  • A. Stella Stanton, Buffalo Courier Express, Buffalo, New York, 20 March 1947, page 21.
  • Stefanja Anna Stanton, Dziennik dla Wszystkich [Everybody’s Daily], Buffalo, New York, 15 March 47, page 11.
  • Buffalo Evening News, 17 March 1947.
  • “Find a Grave,” database, Find a Grave (findagrave.com: accessed 17 May 2015), Stella Stanton; citing cemetery records.
  • 1925 New York State Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo Ward 08, A.D. 04, E.D. 05, Erie, New York, United States, , Stella Stanton.
  • 1930 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, , ED 0005, 5A, 83, Stella Stanton.
  • 1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, Erie, ED 64-57, 2A, family 22, Stephen Stanton. wife Anna (original name in Poland records), not Stella.
  • Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Death Master File (online : accessed April 2017), Stephen Stanton, .
  • 1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo City, ED ED 196, sheet 14B, 305, Joseph Szczepanski.
  • Buffalo Evening News, 17 March 1947.
  • St. John Kanty RC Church (Buffalo, New York), , Deaths, page 144, Julianna Wronska, Katherine Manka; FHL microfilm .
  • Casimer Mankey, Casimers Szczepanski, (27 June 1930), Marriage Record: ; Erie County Courthouse, Buffalo, New York.
  • New York State Vital Records Index, Marriage, Certificate Number: 15372, Casimer Mankey, Casimira Szczpanska.
  • 1940 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo city, ED 64-58, sheet 2B, 671, Katherine Manka.
  • Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Social Security Applications and Claims (online : accessed December 2015), Casimer Manka, 126031034.
  • “Find a Grave,” database, Find a Grave (findagrave.com: accessed 18 April 2021), Casimer Manka; citing cemetery records.
  • “Find a Grave,” database, Find a Grave (findagrave.com: accessed 18 April 2021), Katherine Manka; citing cemetery records.
  • 1920 Federal Census, New York, population schedule, Buffalo City, ED ED 196, sheet 14B, 305, Joseph Szczepanski.
  • Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index”, database, Death Master File, Stanley J Szczepanski, 71054374, 1957.
  • Buffalo Evening News, 16 October 1936.
  • New York State Vital Records Index, Birth, Certificate Number: 11374, Jozefa Wronska.
  • Josephine (Wronski) SZCZEPANSKI, Buffalo News, Buffalo, New York, 20 January 2013.

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