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)

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 St. Hedwig's [...]

The Bachelor

The Bachelor

Serafin Zielinski, according to my grandmother, was quite the catch. He was born in 1909 in Dunkirk, New York to John Michael Zielinski and Pauline Louise Gostomski, two Polish immigrants who arrived in America at the turn-of-the-century and purchased land in nearby Springville, New York. John worked as a machinist at Brooks Locomotive Works--a profession [...]

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 [...]

DNA Connections to Pomerania

DNA Connections to Pomerania

With surnames like Marczynski, Zielinski, Gostomski and Kuznicki in my family tree, I'm undeniably Polish. My great-great-grandparents, Mikołaj Kuznicki and Wiktorya Drag, left Galicia for Dunkirk, New York in their early twenties, and the Zielinski's, Gostomski's and Marczynski's all arrived at Ellis Island in 1900. Some of my ancestors started working in the coal mines [...]