In Marcella’s Words

In Marcella’s Words

Marcella (Mintkiewicz) Witkowski is my great-great-great-grandmother, and we're related solely on my maternal line; if you trace back from my mother to my grandmother to Grandma Hattie to Grandma Mary, you'll find Marcella at the top. She was born on January 2, 1855 in Poland, the daughter of Joseph and Maryanna (Mielcarski) Mintkiewicz. Marcella married [...]

The Mystery Brother

The Mystery Brother

In July of 1907, Maryanna Louisa Witkowski, the daughter of Nicholas and Marcella (Mintkiewicz) Witkowski, left Poland for the small town of Dunkirk, New York to marry a man she had never met. She and Casimir Marczynski, a widower with six young children, were wed on August 26, 1907 at St. Hedwig's Catholic Church. At [...]

On Trains & Tolstoy

On Trains & Tolstoy

This past week, I've been re-reading Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina--one of my favorite novels. Anna's and Vronsky's ill-fated affair is framed by the coming-and-going of trains: they're a symbol of their love, of ties to the "West" and, ultimately, of the tragedy at the novel's conclusion. Trains were, in many ways, at the center of [...]