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 [...]

Sorting My Ancestors into Hogwarts Houses

Sorting My Ancestors into Hogwarts Houses

You can tell a lot about a person by the house they’re sorted into at Hogwarts, or so I've been told. Back in December, I sorted my family members--Gramps, Grandma, Mom and Aunt Holly--into Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, respectively, and I've decided to sort the previous generation of Kuznicki's and Zielinski's this month. There's [...]

A Very Marczynski Christmas

A Very Marczynski Christmas

Edward John Marczynski--or Uncle Eddie, as I know him--was the only son in a family of eight children. He was born on November 5, 1915 in Dunkirk, New York to Casimir and Mary (Witkowski) Marczynski, and he was always close to his sister Hattie, my great-grandmother. My grandmother remembers Eddie as a warm and kind [...]

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 [...]