For over 150 years, Milwaukee has been home to a large community of people of Polish descent. The Milwaukee Polonia Project hopes to show the interweaving, intertwining family trees that resulted in this community. It is hoped that, eventually, all the families can be connected to one another. The Milwaukee Polonia Project is also a means to explore our common history and celebrate our shared heritage.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Status Update - April, 2015


1)  Family Search:  Janusz Tomaszewski is looking for descendants of the following Dolata brothers that immigrated to Milwaukee:

Ignatz Dolata married Martha Mielke
Stanley Dolata married Marry Zielinski
Joseph Dolata married Marrica Katherine Novak
Andrew J. Dolata married Agnes Nowak
Leon Dolata married Hedwig Frankowski
Constantin Dolata

Janusz Tomaszewski is a descendant of a sister Catherine of these brothers. If you would like to contact him, you can reach him at

2)  We've finally put some substance to our "Points of Origin" tab on this blog.  Check it out, if you haven't already.   From now on, the Status Updates will have a new category, that will look like this:

New Points of Origin:

Brzyskorzystew, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland
a.k.a. Birkenfelde, Bryskoristew, Brzyskorzyszew
Co-Ordinates: 52.9° N, 17.65° E
Family Names: Luczak, Suchala

So far, I've only gotten through the "F's".  I will continue adding the localities that I have, alphabetically.  I will not announce those on the Status Updates.  However, if I come across a new locality in a part of the alphabet that I have already added to the Points of Origin, then I will announce it in the Status Updates.

New Family Names Added Since Last Update:


Profiles Added Since Last Update: 361

New Intra-Connections  (Lucht to Fons):

315)  ….Phil (Theophil) Rozga > wife, Julia (Karnowski) Rozga > brother, Anthony [Karnowski] Karn > wife, Lula (Stasky) [Worzala] Karn > first husband, Valentine Worzala > brother, Joseph J. Worzalla > wife, Agnes (Czajkowski)Worzalla > mother, Elizabeth (Prill) Czajkowski > sister, Catherine (Prill) Lukaszewski....

316)  ….Phil (Theophil) Rozga > father, Michael Rozga > brother, Stephen Rozga > daughter, Frances (Rozga) Karnowski > husband, Paul Karnowski > brother, Anthony [Karnowski] Karn....

317)  ....Jan Brzezinski > daughter, Cecelia (Brzezinski) Michalski > son, John L Michalski (1)....

318)  ....Agnes (Brezinski) Stanczyk > brother, Martin Brzezinski > son, Joseph Brzezinski > wife, Helen (Michalski) Brzezinski > sister, Alice (Michalski) Ureda....

319)  ….Antionette (Jagodzinski) Kobza > mother, Rosalia (Waloch) Jagodzinski > brother, Valentine Waloch > wife, Marianna (Kaczmarowski) Waloch > brother, Joseph Kaczmarowski > daughter, Angeline (Kaczmarowski) Piszczek....

320)  ….Leo Stocki > sister, Stella (Stocki) [Adamczyk] Brykczynski > second husband > Frank Alvin Brykczynski > mother, Franziska (Pliszka) Brykczynski > sister, Johanna (Pliszka) Mazurkiewicz > husband, Michael Mazurkiewicz...

321)  ….Rosalie (Tatera) Jendrzejek > brother, Frank Tatera > wife, Rosalie (Koniec) Tatera > father, Adalbertus Koniec > brother, Michael Koniec > wife, Francizska (Ziarnik) Koniec > sister, Marianna (Ziarnik) Wisniewski > son, John Wisniewski > wife, Catherine (Brzezinski) Wisniewski > sister, Anastazja (Brzezinski) Michalski ….

322)  ….Adalbertus Koniec > wife, Eva (Ozga) Koniec > sister, Jadwiga (Ozga) Meller > son, Joseph Meller, > wife, Rosalia (Brzezinski) Meller > sister, Anastazja (Brzezinski) Michalski....

323)  ….Anna (Kobza) Kwiatkowski > son, Eugene Kwiatkowski > wife, Mary (Frontczak) Kwiatkowski > brother, Walter Frontczak > wife, Stella (Hapka) Kwiatkowski > half-sister, Rose (Hapka) Moczynski > daughter, Private (Moczynski) Rosploch ….

324)  ….Mary (Frontczak) Kwiatkowski > brother, Walter Frontczak > wife, PRIVATE (Talkowski) Frontczak > father, Stanley Talkowski > first wife, Constance (Michalski) Talkowski > brother John L. Michalski (1)....

PCN:  3.80
(For an explanation of the PCN - "Project Completeness Number") see Status Update - February, 2012 and Status Update - March, 2012)
Historical PCN Data:
April, 2015:  3.80
February, 2015:  8.33
December, 2014: 1.08
November, 2014:  2.58
October, 2014:  2.58
September, 2014: 3.00
August. 2014:  2.29
July, 2014:  3.00
June, 2014:  2.44
May, 2014: 4.5
April, 2014:  4.67
March, 2014:  3.0
February, 2014:  10.5
January, 2014:  2.9
December, 2013:  4.11
November, 2013:  3.89
October, 2013:  2.14
September 2013:  2.9
August, 2013: 2.71           
July, 2013: 4.28
June, 2013:  3.01
May, 2013: 6.33
April, 2013: 3.33
March, 2013:  8.2
February, 2013: 2.1
January, 2013:  8.0
December, 2012: 3.29
November, 2012: 6.0
October, 2012:  12.25
September, 2012:  6.4
August, 2012: 3.89
July, 2012:  4.57
June, 2012:  7.75
May, 2012:  9.33
April, 2012:  16.67
March, 2012:  16
February, 2012:  12.8
January, 2012:  19
Newly Discovered Changed Names:

Karnowski to Karn (Karns)
Luczak to Ryterski, Ryddner
Ryterski to Rydner, Ryddner, Ryder

Corrected Names:

Burcianna to Bureta
Ziamek to Ziarnik

New Alternate Spellings:

Brzezinski Brzizinski
Brykczynski Brykezynski
Chart Hast
Danielski Danelski
Drycht Drychta Dricht
Grochowski, Grochow, Groczonka, Grozanka, and Grozowa.
Jach Jachowski
Jazdzewski Jazdziewski Jazkzewski
Ozga Ośga
Peksa Pecksa
Ratajczyk Ralojoyzak
Stamioch Stazairoch
Suchala Sachala
Wielgosz Wielgosch
Wojtas, Woitas
Ziarnik Zianik Ziarmek Ziornek Ziarnek

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ready for Dyngus Day?

OK, I have to admit, Dyngus Day is a new one on me.  I don't think I've ever heard of it before, and we certainly never celebrated it in our family. (I'd love to hear from anyone who did celebrate this in Milwaukee.)  According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal on April 6, 1936, Dingus Day was gradually dying out in the Polish neighborhoods of American cities, including Milwaukee.

 Dyngus Day celebrates the Polish tradition, whereby on the Monday after Easter, the boys try to douse the girls with water and hit them about the legs with switches.  What fun!  I never would've known of this Polish tradition, if I hadn't run across the following photograph which appeared in the Milwaukee Journal on April 7, 1942:

[Pictured: Marion Czarnecki, Joan Kazmierczak, Sylvia Mussa and Leonard Raszkiewicz]

Despite that 1936 Milwaukee Journal article,  Dyngus Day is apparently still big in Buffalo although it looks more like a Polish St. Patrick's Day:

Apparently, it is also celebrated in South Bend, as well.  You can learn more about the tradition, here.

Here is another old article as to how Easter was celebrated by the Milwaukee Poles:

"Old Polish Easter Customs," by Edward Kerstein, Milwaukee Journal, April 1, 1934, p. 28

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Featured Profile #44 - John Pliszka

John Pliszka (1853 - 1936)

The following is the forth in our series on the Polish Pioneers.  (Many thanks for Chris Stolz for providing all the materials on this Featured Profile.)

The following appeared in the Kuryer Polski on August 12, 1917:

Mr. John Pliszka, who presently lives on the corner of Tenth Avenue and Grant Street, is one of a long line of old settlers of the southern side of the city of Milwaukee.  Mr. John Pliszka settled on the southern side of Milwaukee at a time when this terrain was covered with woods or grazing lands and when only here and there a small house was to be seen.  Mr. John Pliszka was born in on 20 January 1853 in Gostoczyn, [JD1] which, at the time,[JD2] was part of West Prussia.  He attended elementary school until he was fourteen, and then he worked on his parents’ farm until he was twenty years old. He then left on his own for America, landing in New York.  He stayed a few months in Chicago before finally settling down in Milwaukee on the south side of the city.  On the 29 September 1875 he married Miss Julianne Halman. The wedding took place in Saint Stanislaus Church and was officiated by Father Gulski.  Twenty- nine years ago he established a saloon and a grocery store[JD3] , of which he was the proprietor, on the southern corner of Tenth Avenue and Grant Street where he presently lives. After two years in this business he established a dairy on the same location.  He was in this business for twelve years and he had nine cows.  In those days things were not done as systematically as they are done now, when the milk is delivered to the residences by car or by horse-drawn carriages.  It was mostly his children who helped him deliver the milk by foot to the neighborhood.  After ending his association with the dairy business, he worked for a few years at the Forest Home Cemetery and finally, during the last six years he worked at the Harsh & Edmonds factory near Hanover Street.  He has not worked for the past year, but is still fit and healthy.  Five daughters and one son live and reside in the south side of the city. Their names are: Anna Mazurkiewicz, the spouse of Michael Mazurkiewicz, a policeman, 925 Tenth Avenue; Maryanna Jasinski, 819 Lincoln Avenue; Francis Brykcinski, 693 Grant Street; Julianna Pliszka, who lives with her parents; Helen Stolz, 789 Arthur Avenue; and the son Joseph Pliszka who manages a saloon near Fourteenth Avenue and Burnham Street.  In addition to the above family, Mr. John Pliszka has a brother Joseph Pliszka who lives at 775 Ninth Avenue, as well as a brother and three sisters who still reside in Poland.

[JD1]In the Polish language, not only nouns but names are declined – the declinations are ignored in translation

[JD2] “at the time” is not in the original text, but I have added it to make it clearer for the uninformed reader.

[JD3] “grocernia” is not a polish word – is suspect it is a “polonized” version of “grocery store”. 
Relation to Nearest Featured Profile: Charles Stachowiak (Featured Profile #22)No near relationship.

Path From Nearest Featured Profile:   Charles Stachowiak > brother, Joseph Stachowiak> daughter, Esther (Stachowiak) Kapczynski > husband, John Kapczynski > brother, Joseph Kapczynski> daughter, Agrypine (Kapczynski) Mazurkiewicz > husband, Chester Mazurkiewicz > mother, Johanna (Pliszka) Mazurkewicz > father John Pliszka

Here is the article in Polish:

Do rzędu starych osadników południowej strony miasta w Milwaukee zaliczyć można ob. Jana Pliszkę, obecnie zamieszkałego na rogu Dziesiątej avenue i Grant ulicy. Ob. Jan Pliszka osiedlił się w Milwaukee na południowej stronie, gdy jeszcze była ona pokryta lasem lub przedstawiała pastwisko, a zaledwie tu i owdzie stał jakiś domeczek.Ob. Jan Pliszka urodził się w Gostoczynie w Prusach Zachodnich dn. 20. stycznia, 1853. roku. Do czternastego roku życia chodził do szkoły elementarnej, poczem pracował na roli u rodziców aż do dwudziestego roku. Wyjechał następnie sam do Ameryka wylądowawszy w New Yorku. Bawił przez kilka miesięcy w Chicago poczem przyjechał do Milwaukee i osiedił się na stale na południewej stronie miasta.W roku 1875. dn. 29. września poślubił pannę Juliannę Halman. Ślub odbył się w kościele św. Stanisława, a udzielił go ks. Gulski.Dwadzie ścia dziewięć lat temu wybudował salun i grosernię na południowo-żachodnim narożniku Dziesiątej avenue i Grant ulicy, (gdzie obecnie mieszka). Interes ten prowadził przez dwa lała, poczem założył interes mleczarski w tem samem miejscu. Przedsiębiorstwo to prowadził pryzez dwanaście lat i miał dziewięc krów. Interesa wówczas nie były prowadzone tak systematycznie jak obecnie, gdy mleko rozwożone jest automobilem, lub końmi do mieszkań. Dzieci pomagały mu najwięcej roznosząc pieszo mleko po okolicy.Po usunięclu się z interesu mleczarskiego pracował przez kilka lat na cmentarzu Forest Home, a przez ostatnie sześć lat pracował w fabryce Harsh & Edmonds przy Hanover ulicy. Przeszł o rok juz nie pracuje lecz czuje się jeszcze zdrów i czerstwo.Pięć córek i jeden syn żyją i mieszkają na południowej stronie miasta. Nazwiska ich są: Anna Mazurkiewicz, żona policyanta Michała Mazurkiewicza, 925 Dziesiąta ave., Maryanna Jasinska, 819 Lincoln av., Franciszka Brykcinska, 693 Grant ulica, Julianna Pliszka, mieszka u rodzicow, Helena Stolz, 789 Arthur ave, Syn zaś Józef Pliszka, prowadzi salun przy Czternastej ave., i Burnham nlicy.Opró cz powyższej rodziny, ob. Jan Pliszka ma brata, Józefa Pliszkę, zamieszkałego pnr. 775 Dziewiąta avenue, jednego brata w kraju i trzy slostry także tam zamieszkałe.
And here is the original article: