Saturday, May 12, 2007

Antonia Januzik's place of birth in Poland

May 12, 2007

I am not sure it was divine intervention or what, but our cousin Kathy was successful in tracking down the birth record of our great grandmother (Antonia) her parents and siblings and of course place of birth recently. She was asked to put together an article for the Polish Genealogical Society which we both belong to for their quarterly publication. It is attached below for your reading pleasure. Kathy and her family have also contributed to the headstone fund. Many thanks to Kathy and her diligent efforts. I'm hopeful she can find great grampa "Frank's" family and birth record in the Poznan area soon also.

Poznan Project: Search the Marriages Database
A Success Story for the Wilebski/Januzik Family

“I had success today finding the birth records of Antonia and Gertrude Januzik (Januzyk)…” was the opening line of an e-mail I sent out to family members the evening of Tuesday, April 24, 2007. Finally, after 15 years of serious searching by myself and two second cousins, Fred and Frank Wilebski, the pieces fell into place and the mystery of where our family came from in Poland was solved. Though I was the cousin that found the record on the LDS film that Tuesday morning each of the three of us contributed a necessary piece toward the success story. And Lukasz Bielecki’s Poznan Project website finally brought it about.

Our family ancestors who left Poland to come to America the spring of 1880 were Franceszek Wilebski and Antonia Januzik Wilebski. They were newly married, ages 26 and 21; Port of Embarkation: Bremen, Germany; Name of Vessel: S.S. Herman; Date of Arrival: May 7, 1880 arriving at the Port of Baltimore, Maryland (from information given

to me by Frank Wilebski). From Baltimore they went to LaSalle, Illinois (St. Hyacinth Catholic Church records), then to Wilno, Minnesota (St. John Cantius Catholic Church records), and finally to Kittson County in Northwest Minnesota homesteading near Orleans/Lancaster where Franceszek is buried in Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetary. This is where each of our Wilebski fathers was born and raised in Orleans, rural Lancaster.

But none of this migration was known to us through our family nor was the home village from whence Franceszek and Antonia came passed down through the generations. It has been a gradual process of discovery by the cousins over the past 15 years or more of searching.

In September of 1994, Cousin Fred Wilebski discovered the names of Antonia Januzik Wilebski’s parents on her death record in Marshall County Courthouse, Warren, MN. Her gravesite is located in the Assumption Catholic Church Cemetary/Florian of rural Stephen, Minnesota. Thomas and Mary Januzik are the father and mother listed--Clue #1.

On Oct. 19, 2004, with the first help of computer technology through

I came upon Clue #2. Putting in the surname Januzik, two different ship records with dates 1886 and 1891 came up for Gertrude Januzik, a single sister of Antonia’s who came to America (Wilno, MN) in 1891 (information from 1900 Census Record), and married Peter Spinner after her arrival. Listed as the place of haling on the 1891 record was Wirsitz/Wyrzysk, Poland. The second record for 1886 listed the place of haling as Jeziorki. At this time I contacted Paul Kulas from PGS-MN asking advice, however, he told me there were two Jeziorki’s near Wyrzysk and a third some distance farther so he felt ordering LDS films was premature at the time. We needed to narrow down to a closer proximity. At this point I would have had to check all Catholic parishes within a 30 mile radius or so, and they would be many.

Then Clue #3—the all important clue—came in March, 2007. Cousin Frank Wilebski sent an e-mail to me concerning a planned trip to Poland this summer. He also sent information on the Poznan Project website. After accessing the site, I put in the surname Januzik. Three exact matches came up—one being the marriage of a Catharina Januzik to Joannes Grabowski in 1872 in Glesno parish. Parents for Catharina listed were Thomas Januzik and Marianna Budnik. So I went on -- Glesno was only 3 miles from Wyrzysk!!

On the Poznan Project site I clicked on Glesno and the LDS Film numbers for the Glesno Parish came up. So I ordered one LDS film from this parish and two from Wyrzysk then a fourth from Kosztowo, (a village about halfway in between Jeziorki Kosztowskie and Wyrzysk) since Jeziorki was listed as one of the villages covered on this film (I didn’t rule out that the 1886 ship record was for the same Gertrude or at least possibly a cousin).

At this time in Northwest Minnesota, Leroy and Karen Mattson from Warroad are setting up an LDS Center through their Latter-day Saints Chapel near Swift, MN. The Roseau County Museum curator gave me their telephone number. I was able to order and view the LDS films in my own county through them.

The first three films mentioned above only revealed the initial marriage record of Catharina and John Grabowski and Budnik family members in Glesno parish but no Thomas Januzik family. When the fourth film arrived I thought it would be just as futile, but when I looked for the birth date of Antonia Januzik there was her baptismal record on January 17, 1860, in Kosztowo parish (not Jeziorki parish) and parents listed were Thomas Januzik and Marianna Budnik! I found other siblings of Antonia’s as well, baptized in Kosztowo including her sister, Gertrude Januzik Spinner. Again, parents listed were Thomas Januzik and Marianna Budnik. The other siblings found were Joannes, (who we knew about from earlier research), Michael, Catharina, Anna, Elizabetha, Josepha, Victor, and Josephus (these siblings are not listed in order of birth).

So finally, we now have a village to return to in Poland—Kosztowo in the Wyrzysk district--and just in time for Cousins Frank and Fred’s June trip to Poland. The next challenge will be to locate Franceszek Wilebski’s home village as well.

By Kathryn Wilebski Schafer


Kathy Wilebski Schafer said...

I will make an addition to let the family know on Sept.5, I also found Franceszek's baptismal certificate on LDS film #0544834 for Sadki (Sadke) Wyrzysk, the parish is Zelazno (dot over the first Z in the Polish). Wyrzysk is half way between Kosztowo and Zelazno. From Kosztowo to Zelazno it is maybe a distance of 6+ miles but I am estimating.

Helmut & Lark said...

Hi, I enjoyed reading for research
story. I have been working for years on the genealogy for my father's Polish line. We have line of the Januzik family through
marraige that I have had quite a
bit of success with in the last couple of years. Our family is also from the Kosztowo area. We will be taking our 4th trip to Poland in September and have been to Kosztow. I wonder if we could
be related way back when.......
Lark Przybyla Bambl