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.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Featured Profile #20 - Leonne (Jankowski) Wozinski and Thanksgivng

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Before I give my thanks, I would first like to discuss the next Featured Profile.

Leone (Jankowski) Wozinski (1900 - 1991) -

(As published in the Milwaukee Journal)
 Stephen M. Leahy, the biographer of Clement Zablocki, credits Leone  (spelled "Leonne on her death notice) with affecting the start his political career.  Leone was the younger sister of Clement's mother.  Even though a generation ahead of Clement, she was only twelve years his senior.  By the late 1930's, when Clement was a young man considering a run in politics, Leonne was already a leader in many of the community organizations.  Through Leone's connections, Clement was able to socialize with many diverse members of the community in small settings.  It was these types of gatherings in which Clement was at his best, and many voters left those meetings with a favorable impression of the young Clement.  After his election to Congress, Clement made Leone his Milwaukee secretary.  It is not clear whether this was a reward to her help in the election, or because he recognized her talents.

However, it is not for her connection to Clement Zablocki that Leone is recognized here.  Rather, it is for her voluntary service in many of the community organizations.  Her death noticed listed the various groups in which she was involved.  They included:

St. Francis Hospital, Board of Trustees, St. Francis Hospital Foundation and St. Francis Hospital Guild, Catholic Social Services Board of Directors, Past President and Treasurer of the former St. Joseph's Home for Children, Alverno College President's Committee, International Institute and Holiday Folk Fair, national Director and Secretary of the Polish Roman Catholic Union, Wisconsin Poland's  Millennium Committee, Xaverian Father's Lay Advisors Board, Polish National Alliance Council No. 8 and Womens Division of Circuit XIV, Polish Veteran of WWII, Polish American Congress, Milwaukee Society Group 2159 PNA Ladies Auxiliary, Polish Womens Cultural Club-Polanki, Pierre Marquette Auxiliary No. 524 KC, Ethnic Advisory Council, Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and St. Cecilia Society of St. Vincent DePaul Church.

For all this work, Leone was recognized as a Polish American of the Year by the Milwaukee Society of the Polish National Alliance.  She was the first woman to receive that award.  From the Polish government, she received the Order of Polonia Restituta, 1976 Honorary.

Leone was born in the province of Poznan in German-controlled Poland in about 1900. (This is based on the 1910 and 1920 census records.  The source cited below states she was born in Milwaukee.)  She was the youngest child of John and Josephine Jankowski. Her parents brought her, and most of the rest of the family, including Josephine's mother, Suzanna Haddak, to Milwaukee when Leone was nine years old.  She attended St. Vincent de Paul grade school and graduated from Our Lady of Mercy Academy (later known as Mercy High School).  She married Leon Wozinski on June 20, 1923.  She died in Milwaukee on October, 16, 1991.

Relation to Nearest Featured Profile (Clement J. Zablocki, Featured Profile #19):  Aunt

Path From Nearest Featured Profile:  Clement J. Zablocki  > mother, Mary (Jankowski) Zablocki > sister, Leonne (Jankowski) Wozinski


See also, "Polish Alliance to Hail Aide to Zablocki," Milwaukee Journal, October 13, 1976, p.73 (on Google News.)

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all those individuals who have helped the Milwaukee Poloinia Project since it official start:

Eugene Bielinski – for his research on the Descendants of John Klafka

Joachim Cyran - for providing baptism, marriage and death records for Gromadno, Blugowo and Wirsitz, and to his daughter for indexing some of those records

Sharyl Fischback - for her information and photographs of the Kowalkowski family

Chuck Hardt – for his information and photos of the Joseph Domachowski family 

Holly Kobza - for her information on the Kobza family

David Komassa – for his information on the Komassa family

Mary Krier – for her information on the Orlikowski family and the picture of the Polish Falcons, #725 in 1934 (which can be found on the Project Facebook page.)

Diane Olson – for her information on the Orlikowski, Kitzke and Wojciechowski families and her memories of  growing up on the South Side

Pat Kuhar - for her information on the Jagodzinski family and all her time spent in the LDS library poring over photos of old Polish church records

Julie Machnik - for her information on the Machnik and Wenta families

Mary Schlem - for her information on the Jagodzinski and Ratajski families

Cindy Schultz – for her photograph of the 1942 graduating class of St. Hedwig's School (also posted on the Project Facebook page)

John M. Smallshaw -  for allowing a republication of portions of his book, Faith Cast in Stone: The Polish Churches of Milwaukee 1866 - 2000

Brian Struzik – for his photos of the tombstone of Katherine Wenta, for which he had to make a special trip

Lynn Szudrowitz – for retrieving requested pages from We, the Milwaukee Poles, and for her information on the Maternowski family

Lynn Thrasher –  for a copy of Poles in Wisconsin, her Sikora family tree, and for retrieving requested copies of death notices from Kuryer Polski

Paul Wasilewski – for providing photos and information on the descendants of Frank Wasilewski

Bill Weisrock – for his extensive research into the Descendants of Joseph Budzisz

Finally, I would like to say that I have gotten many more contacts and offers of information.  I have always tried to follow up on these offers and I sent responsive e-mail within several days.  However,  in many cases, I never hear from the individuals again.  I don't know why this is the case.  It may be that the people making the offers have forgotten, or lost interest.  However, if it was because my initial response was never received, then to those individuals I say,  PLEASE TRY AGAIN!  I would love to get the information that you are offering.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Honoring Our Heroes

In observance of Veteran's Day, I would like to honor some members of our community who gave their lives in service of their country.  Included with their names, are whatever facts I have been able to discover regarding the circumstance of their death:

Arthur Beckman (1913 - 1944) - Husband of Eleanor (Waszak) Beckman - died in Normandy, France, on December 8, 1944.

Joseph Kapczynski (1917 - 1945) - Son of Joseph Kapczynski and Anna (Domachowski) Kapczynski - died in the European Theater of Operations on April 4, 1945.

LeRoy Kitzke
LeRoy Kitzke (1925 - 1944) - Son of Bernard Kitzke and Irene (Jagodzinski) Kitzke - a Marine, he was killed in action on Saipan, June 28, 1944.

Ronald Kitzke (1947 - 1967) - Son of Ralph Kitzke and PRIVATE (Pichotte) Kitzke - a lance corporal in the Marines, he was killed in action in Vietnam, December 27, 1967.

John Machnik  (1920 - 1944) -  Son of Peter Machnik and Martha (Sniegowski) Machnik. 

John was a member of a unit designated to clear mines. On July 20, 1944, John,  his friend, Ben Kaiser, and fellow soldiers Kenneth Helseth and Roy Franze, were clearing a beach one-half mile south of Vada, Italy. One of them accidentally triggered an S-mine (known to the Americans as a Bouncing Betty because it would "jump" up to the height of a man's crotch before exploding.) It was one of the most feared weapons of World War II. John and Ben were killed. Kenneth and Roy survived, but were wounded.  (Source:  Blog of the 109th Combat Engineers)

Reginald Riviere (1930 - 1951) - Son of  Frank Riviere and Victoria (Kowalkowski) Riviere

Died of wounds received in combat on April 12, 1951. Before his death, he wrote to his parents that his squad had been attacked on a hill in North Korea. He had been hit by fragments from an exploding mortar shell which had torn through his stomach.
Source: Milwaukee Journal, June 20, 1951

George F. Rogalska (???? - 1918) - Son of Fred Rogalska and Lydia (Lemmons) Rogalska.  A PFC in the Headquarters Company, 128th Infantry Division.  He was killed in action in France on August 2, 1918.

Robert Tutaj (1926 - 1945) - Son of Joseph Tutaj and Clara (Fennig) Tutaj - a Marine, he was killed in action on Okinawa on May 10, 1945, two days after the war in Europe had ended. 

John Wask (1914 - 1945) - Son of Andrew Wask and Marianna (Smolterowicz) Wask - John was a Sergeant in 28th Infantry Division. He was killed in action in the European Theater of Operations on February 5, 1945.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Status Update - November, 2012

Family Names Added Since Last Update:


Number of Profiles Added Since Last Update:  252

New Intra-Connections (Lucht to Fons):

  93)  .... Anton Grosz > brother, Bernhard Grosz > daughter, Sylvia (Grosz) Szymek > husband, Ralph Szymek > mother, Angeline (Ureda) [Szymek] Przybyl > brother, Casper [Casimir] Ureda > wife, Martha (Skonieczny) Ureda > brother, John Skonieczny > wife, Tekla (Wloszczynski) Skonieczny > sister, Rose (Wloszczynski) [Rechlicz] Mazurkiewicz > husband, Michael Mazurkiewicz > son, Henry [Harry] Mazurkiewicz ....

94)  ....Angeline (Ureda) [Szymek] Przybyl > brother, Paul Ureda > wife, Alice (Michalski) Ureda > half-brother, John L. Michalski > wife, Hattie (Rosinski) Michalski > mother, Hedwig (Ruszkiewicz) Rosinski > brother, Frank Ruszkiewicz (I) .... 

95)  .... Arthur Michalski > father, Joseph Michalski > mother, Anastazja (Brzezinska) Michalski ....

96)  ....Frances (Domachowski) [Grosz] Jagodzinski > brother, Frank Domachowski > wife, Agnes (Nowakowski) (Gorski) Domachowski > sister, Mary (Nowakowski) Martynski > husband, Anton Martynski > sister, Apolonia (Martynski) Polewczynski > son, Henry Polewczynski ....

97)  ....Frances (Domachowski) [Grosz] Jagodzinski > brother, Frank Domachowski > wife, Agnes (Nowakowski) (Gorski) Domachowski > sister, Stella (Nowakowski) Martynski > husband, Valentine Martynski > sister, Apolonia (Martynski) Polewczynski > son, Henry Polewczynski ....

PCN:  6.0

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 Alternate Spellings:

Bulski Baluski
Ruszkiewicz Roskiewicz Puskiewicz
Skonieczny Skomeczny
Wienert Wajner
Walsh Walsch
Wenta Went Wendt