Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

Posts tagged ‘Apostołowicz’

Swobodziński DNA Match: Finding a Common Location in West Prussia

In 2017 I was contacted by an Ancestry DNA match looking for information. JS explained that his father died when he was seven years old, so he did not know much about his father’s family. We shared 28 centiMorgans across 2 segments and did not have any shared DNA matches, so there were no clues.

I replied that my ancestors had came to the United States from two places. My father’s families were from West Prussia in the 1880s. My mother’s families were from the Russian occupied area near Sandomierz, Poland. As we did not show any DNA matches in common, I could not tell which family side we matched. I had posted trees of my ancestors. I explained that some of them were his relatives, some may even be his ancestors generations back, or may identify a place where his ancestors also lived.

Standard family history advice is to start with what you know, and fill in the blanks as you go along. Sometimes people find close matches who can share information on immediate family, but our connection goes back multiple generations. We might be related through one of his 16 great-great-grandparents, his 32 g-g-g-grandparents, or even further back! I wished him luck with his search.

In 2018, JS wrote that he had posted what he had found on his tree, and noted that our ethnicity estimates showed we both were Polish. Although our paternal families had immigrated earlier, we each had Polish maternal grandparents who were born in the old country. The family tree he shared showed that his father’s family came from the part of Poland that was occupied by Germany in the 19th century, while his mother’s family came from Galicia, the southern part of Poland that was occupied by the Austrian Empire until WWI. It seemed likely we would match through our father’s families.

In 1900, William, Hattie, Eva, Milliara, and Stacie Swobodzinski lived at 66F North 7th Street in Brooklyn, Kings, New York.

1900 Federal Census, Swobodinski family, 66F North 7th Street, Brooklyn, Kings, New York

In 1910, Walter, Agnes, Lottie, Statia, Tessie, Wanda, and John Swobodzinski lived at 66F North 7th Street in Brooklyn, Kings, New York.

1910 Federal Census, Swobodinski family, 66F North 7th Street, Brooklyn, Kings, New York

I shared my thoughts on Swobodziński Polish names:

  • William/Walter was probably Władysław
  • Hattie/Agnes was possibly Jadwiga (Hedwig in German)
  • Eva would be Ewa in Polish
  • Lottie was probably Władysława (often Lottie or Charlotte)
  • Stacie/Statia was probably Stanisława (or Stella)
  • Tessie was possibly Teresa
  • Wanda is a Polish name 🙂
  • John was probably Jan

In New York City records, I found death information for Jadwiga Swobodzinska, who died 14 May 1924 and Wladyslaw Swobodzinski, who died 4 May 1925. They were buried in Saint John Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens County, New York.

Name:Jadwiga Swobodzinska
[Jadwiga Jankowski] 
Gender:Female
Race:White
Marital status:Married
Age:50
Birth Date:abt 1874
Birth Place:Poland
Years in US:30 Years
Death Date:11 May 1924
Death Street Address:94 Wythe Ave
Death Place:New York City, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Cause of Death:Chronic Endocarditis, Diabetes
Burial Date:14 May 1924
Burial Place:St Johns Cemetery
Occupation:Housewife
Father’s Birth Place:Poland
Mother’s Birth Place:Poland
Father:Szymon Jankowski
Mother:Rozalia Jankowski
Executor:Wladyslaw Swobod??
Executor Relationship:Husband
Certificate Number:10002
Jadwiga Swobodzinska, 1924 New York City death record, ancestry.com

Name:Wladyslaw Swobodzinski
Gender:Male
Race:White
Marital status:Widowed
Age:59
Birth Date:abt 1866
Birth Place:Ireland
Residence Street Address:94 North 8th St
Years in US:33 Years
Death Date:1 May 1925
Hospital:Beth Moses Hospital
Death Place:New York City, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Cause of Death:Cerebral Headdiseas Fracture Auto Accident Dentition
Burial Date:4 May 1925
Burial Place:St Johns Cemetery
Occupation:Shaker
Father’s Birth Place:Ireland
Mother’s Birth Place:Ireland
Father:Allan Swobodzinski
Mother:Mary Anne Swobodzinski
Executor:John Swobodeinski
Executor Relationship:Son
Certificate Number:9213
Wladyslaw Swobodzinski, 1925 New York City death record, ancestry.com

In 1925, the three youngest children– Tessie, Wanda, and John Swobodzinski–were together at 94 North 8th Street in Brooklyn, Kings, New York.

1925 New York State Census, Tessie, Wanda, and John Swobodzinski, 94 North 8th Street, Brooklyn, Kings, New York

I had some questions.

  • Did Ewa die or get married?
  • Did Stella marry Charles A Bollmann in 1917?
  • Did Władysława marry Joseph Jadek in 1920?
  • Did Wanda marry Dominic Cilli?
  • What happened to John after 1925?
  • When and where were John and Anna married?
  • Do you have any family records that have other clues?

I recommend checking out brothers and sisters, because sometimes their records have clues, and sometimes they confirm other sources. If you have any idea about the church they attended, those records can be VERY informative. I was able to trace my ancestors back to the old country that way.

JS replied that Wanda did marry Dominick Cilli. JS worked on his Uncle Dominick‘s dairy farm from the time he was 10 until he was 18. I shared Dominick Cilli‘s 1979 obituary from the East Hampton Star, which listed his wife Wanda Swobodzinski. Jan/John Swobodzinski had married Anna Grab in New Jersey in 1943 and they also lived on Long Island, New York.

From Russia or Prussia?

There was a discrepancy between the place of origin for the Swobodzinski family census records. In 1900, it says they’re from Russian Poland, and in 1910, they are from German Poland. I thought the latter may be correct, because I was looking for my ancestors, and saw the Swobodziński name in the “Roman Catholic parish registers of baptisms, marriages and deaths for Niezywienc (Kr. Strasburg), Westpreußen, Germany; now Nieżywięć (Brodnica), Bydgoszcz, Poland. Includes Seeheim (Kr. Briesen), now Osieczek (Wąbrzeźno), Bydgoszcz, Poland. Text in Latin and Polish with some German.”

I found arrival records for Władysław through the Castle Garden website. Castle Garden was the entry point for immigrants to New York before Ellis Island was established in 1892.

WLADISL SWOBODZIEWSKI
LABORER
26
Male
Ship FULDA
Arr. 5 Apr 1890
GERMANY
Port of Departure BREMEN & SOUTHAMPTON
Last Residence BRIESEN

Castlegarden.org

1890 Fulda ship manifest, Wladsl Swobozinski, from Briesen, Germany to U.S.A.

Briesen was the German name for Wąbrzeźno, Poland.

Jadwiga and Ewa Swobodzinska arrived in New York 29 Dec 1890 on the ship Aller from Bremen and Southampton.

1890 Aller ship manifest, Jadwiga and Ewa Swobozinska, arrived in New York 29 Dec 1890

Because of the proximity, I suggested JS might want to check the records of Nieżywięć and Wąbrzeźno, although they may have come from other nearby villages.

In 2020, I wrote about another of my DNA relatives’ families, the Faltynowski family who immigrated to Jersey City, New Jersey, in Faltynowski Family: From Russia or Prussia? and Faltynowski Family Came From Prussia! There were some similarities with the Swobodziński family. Both families listed their place of origin in American records as both Russia and Prussia. The places listed in their passenger lists–Wąbrzeźno, Pluskowęsy, and Golub–are near Nieżywięć, where my paternal great-grandparents were married in 1869.

Polish Names in America

I was intrigued by our DNA connection and wanted to follow up with Polish names in JS‘ family tree, and it worked! Both Władysława (Lottie)’s birth record in New Jersey and Teresa‘s social security record say that their mother’s birth name was Jadwiga Jankowska. Teresa married Józef Serpenski and they were buried in Saint John Cemetery in Queens, the same place as Władysław and Jadwiga.

Here are the children of Władysław Swobodziński and Jadwiga Jankowska.

  • Ewa Swobodzińska, born 20 Apr 1889, Prussia; married Franciszek Piekarski, 3 May 1908, Kings, New York; she died 14 Mar 1926.
  • Antoni Swobodziński was born in 1894 in United States, died 17 Jul 1895, Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey.
  • Władysława Swobodzińska, born 9 Oct 1897, Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; married Józef Jadach, 5 Feb 1920, Brooklyn, Kings, New York; she died September 1992.
  • Stanisława Swobodzińska, born 22 Feb 1900, Brooklyn, Kings, New York; married Charles Bollman, 23 Oct 1917, Brooklyn, Kings, New York; married Cornelius Cosgrove 22 Feb 1943; she died 1 Jan 1997.
  • Teresa Swobodzińska, born 9 Jan 1902, Brooklyn, Kings, New York; married Józef Serpinski, 7 Jan 1926, Brooklyn, Kings, New York; she died 23 Nov 1988.
  • Wanda Swobodzińska, born 23 Oct 1904, Brooklyn, Kings, New York; married Dominick Cilli, 16 Feb 1946, Southampton, Suffolk, New York; she died 21 Apr 2005.
  • Jan Swobodziński, born 15 Jan 1906, Brooklyn, Kings, New York; married Anna Grab, 1943, New Jersey; he died 22 Oct 1952, Southampton, Suffolk, New York.

So from American records, we knew that the Swobodziński family came from Briesen/Wąbrzeźno, that they were married about 1887, and their daughter Ewa was born about 1889 in the old country.

Władysław Swobodziński and Jadwiga Jankowska

Władysław Swobodziński and Jadwiga Jankowska were married on 25 November 1887 in Groß Radowisk, Briesen, Westpreußen, Preußen. Today it is Wielkie Radowiska, a village in the administrative district of Gmina Dębowa Łąka, within Wąbrzeźno County, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, in north-central Poland. He was 24 years old, and she was 18 years old. Both Władysław and Jadwiga lived in Małe Pułkowo, a nearby village.

1887 marriage, Władysław Swobodziński and Jadwiga Jankowska, Groß Radowisk, Briesen / Wielkie Radowiska, Wąbrzeźno

The German word groß means greater or large, as does the Polish word wielkie. Both the German word klein and the Polish word małe mean small. Of course, the exact form of the word depends on the gender, number, and case of the word it is modifying.

Władysław Swobodziński and Jadwiga Jankowska‘s civil marriage record from the Toruń Archives was even more informative.

#14

Klein Pulkowo on November 23, 1887

Today appeared at the signed registrar for the purpose of marriage

1. day laborer Wladislaus Swobodzinski, catholic, born on October 14, 1863 in Sloszewo district Strasburg residing in Klein Pulkowo previous Danzig/Weichselmündung , son of farmhand Ignatz Swobodzinski and Julianna nee Apostołowicz residing in Klein Pulkowo

2. the unmarried day laborer Hedwig Jankowska, catholic, born on September 2, 1869 in Piontkowo residing in Klein Pulkowo, daughter of night watchman Marjan Jankowski and Rosalie nee Zawadzka residing in Klein Pulkowo

page 2 witnesses:

3. farmhand Ignatz Swobodzinski 51 ys. old, residing in Klein Pulkowo father of the groom

4. grocer Lorenz Walter 43 ys. old, residing in Klein Pulkowo

Signatures: the bride and her father signed with +++

1887 marriage, Władysław Swobodziński and Jadwiga Jankowska, Klein Pulkowo

Lorenz was Wawrzyniec in Polish, which is how he signed his name. Wawrzyniec Walter was born in Piątkowo in 1845, the son of Józef Walter and Agnieszka Jankiewicz/Jankowska (records differ).

The Swobodziński family lived in Małe Pułkowo and that is where their daughter Ewa was born 20 April 1889. She was baptized in Groß Radowisk, Briesen / Wielkie Radowiska, Wąbrzeźno.

1889 baptism Ewa Swobodzińska, Groß Radowisk, Briesen / Wielkie Radowiska, Wąbrzeźno

Ewa Swobodzińska‘s birth was registered in Lobdowo. Małe Pułkowo was called Klein Pulkowo in the German record.

1889 birth Ewa Swobodzińska, Klein Pulkowo

Ignacy Swobodziński and Julianna Apostołowicz

Władysław‘s parents Ignacy Swobodziński and Julianna Apostołowicz were married in 1862 in Wrotzk, Strasburg, Westpreußen, Preußen. Today it is Wrocki, Golub-Dobrzyń, Golub-Dobrzyń, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland. He was 26 and she was 22 years old. The witnesses were Jan Betlejewski and Marcin Wiśniewski.

Władysław Swobodziński was born 14 October 1863 in Słoszewo and baptized 18 October 1863 in Wrocki.

Ignacy Swobodziński and Julianna Apostołowicz were the parents of several children–Władisław, Franciszka, Franciszek Antoni, Bronisława, and Pelagia–who were indexed in the Polish Genealogy Society database Geneteka.

Marian Jankowski and Rozalia Zawadzka

Jadwiga‘s parents Marian Jankowski and Rozalia Zawadzka were married in early 1858 in Pluskowenz, Briesen, Marienwerder, Westpreußen, Preußen. It is now Pluskowęsy, Kowalewo Pomorskie, Golub-Dobrzyń, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland. He was 31 and she was 25 years old, and they lived in the nearby village of Piątkowo.

1858 marriage, Marian Jankowski and Rozalia Zawadzka, Pluskowenz, Briesen / Pluskowęsy, Kowalewo Pomorskie

Jadwiga Jankowska was born September 1869 in Piątkowo and baptized in Pluskowęsy.

1869 baptism, Jadwiga Jankowska, Pluskowenz, Briesen / Pluskowęsy, Kowalewo Pomorskie

Marian Jankowski and Rozalia Zawadzka were the parents of several children–Józef, Szymon, Jan, Józefina, Jadwiga, and Stanisław–who were indexed in the Polish Genealogy Society database Geneteka.

Ancestors of Jan Swobodziński

Ancestors of Jan Swobodziński

The places of the Swobodziński and Jankowski families were near Niezywienc, Strasburg, Marienwerder, Westpreußen, Preußen, where my great-grandparents Jan Maciejewski and Weronika Lewandowska were married in 1869. It is now Nieżywięć. Bobrowo, Brodnica, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland.

Marienwerder, Westpreußen, PreußenKujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland
BriesenWąbrzeźno
Groß Radowisk, BriesenWielkie Radowiska, Dębowa Łąka, Wąbrzeźno
Klein Pulkowo, BriesenMałe Pułkowo, Dębowa Łąka, Wąbrzeźno
Lobedau, BriesenŁobdowo, Dębowa Łąka, Wąbrzeźno
Wrotz, StrasburgWrocki, Golub-Dobrzyń, Golub-Dobrzyń
Schlossau, StrasburgSłoszewy, Bobrowo, Brodnica
Pusta Dombrowken, StrasburgPusta Dąbrówka, Golub-Dobrzyń, Golub-Dobrzyń
Pluskowenz, BriesenPluskowęsy, Kowalewo Pomorskie, Golub-Dobrzyń
Piontkowo, BriesenPiątkowo, Kowalewo Pomorskie, Golub-Dobrzyń
German and Polish Names of Places in West Prussia and Poland

Places of the Swobodziński and Jankowski families in Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland (Google map)

Final Resting Place

Saint John Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens, New York was the final resting place for many members of the Swobodziński family.

Serpenski/Swobodzinski/Yadah monument, Saint John Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens, New York, FindaGrave photograph courtesy of Dave Alma

Jadwiga and Władisław Swobodziński were buried in 1924 and 1925 and Ewa Swobodzińska Pickarska was buried in 1926. Muriel (Bollman?) was buried in 1928. Joseph Serpenski was buried in 1953. Theresa Serpenski‘s name is on the stone, but not the year of her death, 1988.

The Jadach family phonetically Americanized their name to Yadah, and Władisława Swobodzińska Jadach adopted the name Ida in America. This family is also buried here:

  • Joseph Yadah, 11 Mar 1986
  • Ida Yadah, 1 Oct 1992
  • Edward Yadah, 1 May 1997
  • Helen Mary Yadah, 13 May 2009
  • Thomas Yadah, 27 Nov 2018

While JS and I found his immigrant grandparents and his great-grandparents in the old country, we would have to go back several more generations to find common ancestors. However, we discovered that our families came from the same area of West Prussia!

Sources

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