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.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Big Collar at the Cock Fight

The following appeared in the Milwaukee Journal on December 15, 1913:

Names Mentioned:

Jacob Litza
Chris Miller
H. Hartkoff
Thomas Reunet
John Stein
J.W. Doven
George Jesson
H. Niedman
Peter De Graf
Samuel Ryan
S. Ewald
J. Miller
O. Ewald
B. Zimmers
John Hahn
F. Schneider
E. Schultz
E. Patzer
A. Lehers
F. Selin
G. Lineup
Charles Rathke
Charles Cutler
Louis Purzer
Thomas Wahlen
A. Meyer
Matthew Strow
John Walters
Joseph Banaszka
Ernest Vogt
John Bikulek
Max Czarnata
Joseph Fons
Joseph Hillo
Tony Ertman
J.M. Kunkel
Charles Barth
Edward Szczpanowski
Joseph Heiden
John Sczyski
John Kunkel
John Sabaniash
Frank Klapinski
Phillip Tewed
Thomas Melz
Julius Lutz
John Farrell
Bert Shay
Louise Jeske
Jack Jones
William Benz
Albert Bartel
Edward Hann
John Kleczka
Leo Sapinash
C. Gumpert
Robert Hiller
Robert Epcke
R. Bishop
George Kammerling
Anton Nowak
J.S. Koenig
Frank Klein

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Featured Profile #40 - Jacob J. Litza, Sr.

Jacob J. Litza, Sr. (1851-1919)

Happy Father's Day!  Today, we remember Jacob J. Litza, Sr., whom the Milwaukee Journal dubbed "Father of Milwaukee's Largest Family."*

The following article appeared in the Milwaukee Journal on December 26, 1912:


Some of you may remember that Gilda Gray (Featured Profile #32) had her professional debut at "Jack Litza's Polish Saloon."  That was probably either the establishment run by Jacob, Sr., or the one run by Jacob, Jr., who also had a bar on Mitchell, two blocks down from that of his father's.

When Jacob, Sr. died on February 24, 1919, Milwaukee's Kuryer Polski ran an obituary (the original of which appears at the end of this article).  The following is a translation.  [Many thanks to Chris Stolz for providing the original obit. and the majority of the translation.]

Sp = in holy memory Funeral Mr.J. Litza is going to be on Saturday morning from Saint Josephat's church. Three sons of the deceased that are serving in military are coming to honor their deceased father.

On Saturday morning from Saint Josephat's church is going to be Mr. Litza funeral, who died at the age of 67 at his home 1089 1st Ave. at 1:45 pm. The deceased left a large family and was known by many people in Milwaukee as the one from the older polish pioneers in Milwaukee.

The deceased was a father to 21 children, from which five sons were, or are serving in American military.

Mr. J. Litza belonged to polish pioneers, after 54 years of living in America.

He was born near Gdansk. He did not attend school because he did not have the opportunity. When he approached military age, he traveled to America because he did not want to serve his eternal enemy, the Prussian military.

Upon arrival to America, Mr. J Litza was living in Geneva, Illinois working on a farm. Later he came to Milwaukee and set a property title claim on Jones Island.

He worked 21 years for Illinois Steel Co., until he lost his leg in a work accident. He was in the hospital for some time. After gaining strength, he filed a law suit against the company. The court awarded him a settlement totaling $6000.

Next, Mr. J. Litza opened a saloon on 1089 1st Avenue that was operating until the last day of his life. He was in this business for over 25 years.

Mr. J. Litza was married twice. His first wife Julia Cyskowska from the Cyskowski family who died about 24 years ago. Second wife was from the Mudlaff family, Anna Mudlaff.

He was a father of 21 children. The marriages were sealed with many children, 21 welcomed the world, 13 of them are still living.

Living children from his first wife are: Jacob, Joseph, Bernard, and Julius.

Living children from his second wife are: Alex, Michael, Felix, Roman, Jacob, Cecilia, Maria, Agnes, and Clara.

Characteristically, although the late Jacob Litza fled from Germany so as to avoid military service, he brought up his sons to be brave soldiers. Indeed, five of his sons served or are currently serving in the American military.

The eldest son, Jacob Litza, was a soldier during the Spanish-American War. He was also a deputy sheriff at the time of the sheriff's office Franke'go [?], and later an assemblyman for the 8th District in 1913, and now runs one of the nicest buffets in town at 481 Mitchell Street. Son Jacob Litza was also a delegate to the last Democratic convention in St. Louis and voted for President Wilson, and was also at the inauguration ceremony in Washington when President Wilson took the oath to begin a second term in office.

Mr. Bernard Litza served in the army during the war of the Japanese [?] - Aleks – served in an engineers unit in France with the troops of General Pershing; Michael is in a company of heavy artillery, and Julius was a sailor that toured around the world on the ship "Connecticut" during [Theodore] Roosevelt's time in office.

Relation to Nearest Featured Profile: (Stanley Maternowski, Featured Profile #30):  No near relationship.

Path From Nearest Featured Profile:  Stanley Maternowski > wife, Frances (Markowski) Maternowski > sister, Elizabeth (Markowski) Kitzki > husband, Stanley Kitzki > brother, Gustaf Kitzke > wife, Victoria (Rosploch) Kitzke > sister, Angeline (Rospoch) Napientek > daughter, Clara (Napientek) Gigowski > husband, John Gigowski > brother, Edward Gigowski > wife, Angeline (Mazurkiewicz) Gigowski > brother, Harry Mazurkiewicz > wife, Eleanor (Brefka) Mazurkiewicz > mother, Appolonia (Gazinski) Brefka > sister, Mary (Gazinski) Knapinski > husband, Anton Knapinski > brother, Jacob Knapinski > wife, Anna (Mudlaff) [Knapinski] Litza > second husband, Jacob Litza, Sr.

*"Jacob J. Litza, Politician Dies,"  Milwaukee Journal, November 22, 1922, p. 8

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Status Update - June, 2014

Family Search Announcement:

Michael Grudzielanek is looking to contact a descendant of Joseph Laskowski and Antonina Drozewska.  Michael is a descendant of Joseph's half-brother, John Laskowski and Michael is looking for help identifying individuals in the family photos from the 1800's.  If you fall within this category, please contact him at

New Family Names Added Since Last Update:

Profiles Added Since Last Update:  247

New Intra-Connections  (Lucht to Fons):

246)  ….Arthur Michalski > mother, Suzanna (Cyberowsk) Michalski > August J. Cyberowski > second wife, Dorothy (Zmudzinski) [Brzonkala] Cyberowski > first husband, Frank Brzonkala > father, Michael Brzonkala > sister, Michalina (Brzonkala) Czerwinski > husband, John Czerwinski...

247)  ….Joseph Brodaczynski (I) > brother, Walter Brodaczynski > daughter, Helen H. (Brodaczynski) Brzakala > husband, Walter Brzakala > sister, Martha (Brzonkala) Woida > husband, Joseph Woida ….

248)  ….Walter Brzakala > daughter, Sylvia (Brzakala) Janocik > husband, Joseph Janocik > brother, Harry Janocik > wife, Genevieve (Moczynski) Janocik > brother, Paul Moczynski ….

249)  ….Walter Brzakala > sister, Wanda (Brzakala) Lukaszewski > husband, Ignatz Lukaszewski > Anthony Lukaszewski > first wife, Sophie (Bieganski) Lukaszewski > sister, Johanna (Bieganski) Kaczmarowski > husband, John Kaczmarowski > sister, Angeline (Kaczmarowski) Piszczek....

250)  ...Joseph Janocik > father, Ignatius Janocik > sister, Theresa (Janocik) Gawronski > son, Joseph F. Gawronski > son, Richard Gawronski > wife, Shirley (Konieczka) Gawronski > mother, Clara (Michalek) Konieczka > brother, Henry Michalek....

251)  ….Anton Pluta > sister, Celia (Pluta) Rakowski > husband, Stanley Rakowski > mother, Mary (Schultz) [Jarentowski] Rakowski > son (by first husband) August Jarentowski > daughter, Mary (Jarentowski) Adamski > husband, John W. Adamski > mother, Josephine (Ciezki) Adamski....

252)  ….Stanley Rakowski > brother, Joseph Rakowski > first wife, Anna (Schubert) Rakowski > sister, Paulina (Schubert) Ryczek > husband, Josep Ryczek....

253)  ….Andrew Kapczynski > daughter, Phyllis (Kapczynski) Lesniewski > husband, Florian Lesniewski > brother, Edwin Lesniewski > wife, Blanche (Zimny) [Janicki] Lesniewski > first husband, Joseph Janicki > brother, Albert Stanley Janicki > son PRIVATE Janicki > wife, PRIVATE (Moczynski) Janicki > mother, Irene (Przybyla) Moczynski > mother, Mary (Kucharski) Przybyla > sister, Martha (Kucharski) Janicki....

254)  ....Blanche (Zimny) [Janicki] Lesniewski > brother, Casimir Zimny > first wife, Stella (Kuchta) Zimny > sister, Anna (Kuchta) Rutkowski > Louis [Ludwig] Rutkowski....

PCN:  2.44
(For an explanation of the PCN - "Project Completeness Number") see Status Update - February, 2012 and Status Update - March, 2012)

Historical PCN Data:
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:
Harwazynski to Deja
Szymkowiak to Symko
New Alternate Spellings:
Brzonkala Brząkała Brzgkata Brzoukale Brzakala Brunkalla
Ciezki Czezek
Galdynski Gałdynski Gaerdynski
Glysz Gliz Gluz Gliszewski
Harwazynski Harwazenski
Ignaszak Ignaczak
Jarentowski Jaremtowski Jerytowski
Katczynski Petornski
Kulasek Kulasck Kutassek Keclossek Pulaser
Meca Nitza Nica
Novasadko Nowosiatka Nowsotke
Rechlicz Rechlisz
Sabinasz Sabinash
Schubert Szuhert
Schultz Szulc Szuk Schalz
Sobocinski Solocinski
Zmudzinski Zmudzynski