Matryoshkas & Matriarchs

Matryoshkas & Matriarchs

Matryoshka dolls--more commonly known as Russian nesting dolls--are sets of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. Matryoshka means "little maiden" or "mother," and the dolls have become a symbol of the babushka, a strong female matriarch and central figure in the family. My grandparents are Polish--not Russian--but my grandmother always had Russian [...]

City Clerk Sprains an Ankle & Other News

City Clerk Sprains an Ankle & Other News

I have a number of ancestors who featured in their local newspaper quite a lot: there's my great-grandmother, who announced every game of pinochle she ever played in the weekly-updates column, and Amy (Merrill) Horey, who chronicled every letter and visit from her children so much that the town began to refer to her sons [...]

The Seven Marczynski Sisters (& Eddie)

The Seven Marczynski Sisters (& Eddie)

SS Patricia Casimir and Marianna (Fabich) Marczynski left Poland for the Fourth Ward of Dunkirk, New York on January 17, 1900 with their four young children--Apolonia (b. 1895), Franz (b. 1897), Katha (b. 1897) and Stefan (b. 1899) in tow. Casimir worked as a boilermaker at Brooks Locomotive Works and opened a penny-candy store on [...]

From Poland to New York

From Poland to New York

On July 20, 1907, Maryanna Witkowska departed from Hamburg, Germany on the SS Lutterworth, listing her destination as "Dunkirk, NY." She was making the journey from Czarnowo, Poland to marry a man she had never met and to become a stepmother to his seven children. Casimir Marczynski's wife, Mary, had contracted typhoid fever and died at [...]