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Thursday, November 21, 2013

34 years through Martha's eyes

  Like other families in early 1900s the Dunn's experienced more than their fair share of sadness and grief.   This a small sampling of how the world looked through the eyes of Martha Dunn, my husband's great grand aunt:

-1896 her brother Edward is killed in a hunting accident.
-1900 her first child to dies.  Elizabeth only lived for just under 7 months and died from heat prostration. 
-1903 her father dies, 3 months later her 3 year old niece dies.
-1906 her 3 year old nephew dies.
-1907 her daughter Ruth Elizabeth dies at around 6 months old, from malnutrition. 
-1912 her 4 month old son Frederick dies of pneumonia.  6 months later, her nephew dies.
-1913 her sister-in-law dies.
-1916 her grandmother dies.
-1918 her son John Thomas also dies of pneumonia.  Born in 1891, John was a teamster like his uncles and was attested for WWI in 1915.  He and his brother Charles are mentioned in the 1916 obit of their grandmother Charlotte Woods, which I wrote about in a previous blog.  He survived the war and went on to marry in Aug 1918.  Sadly, he died less than three months later in Oct.  His widow remarried 11 months later. 
-1921 her sister Rosy dies of TB.
-1924, 1925 & 1936 four grandchildren die.  Her son Charles also married after returning from the war.  He and his wife Mary Emily had at least 7 children and own their tragedies.  Their first daughter Marion died when she was almost 7 1/2 months old on 4 Oct 1925, also falling victim to pneumonia.  Just over 6 months later Mary delivered premature twins.  Their daughter was stillborn and their son, lived one day.  They had at least one more child in 1936 but unfortunately, the boy was also stillborn.
1930 - her mom dies.

Friday, November 8, 2013

September in Jamy

I may finally have a breakthrough on my grandfather's maternal line!  The family has always maintained that my grandfather's mom (Agnes Wąż) was born in Suchy Grunt.  I was able to find her marriage record but no baptism record.  When I visited my relatives in Poland they said the same thing, she was born raised, and died in Suchy Grunt.  I explained that I could not find any trace of her or her parents.  My relatives then mentioned that her parent's farm was on the boarder of Małec and Suchy Grunt.  While the family was able to confirm the names of Agnes parents for me, they didn't really know anything about her grandparents.  After some research, I discovered that the parish in Małec did not start until after Agnes was born and I was struggling to figure out where people in born in Małec prior to the 1890s would have been baptized. 

I then decided to see if I could find relatives in my indirect lines.  My Polish relatives were able to provide me with the names of all of Agnes' siblings, so I had another look at the Suchy Grunt baptism records. Sure enough I found them.  I'm a bit stumped though.  In two records Agnes' maternal grandmother is Anna Grzesiak and in three others Anna had a different last name which I had a hard time deciphering the letters.  Check this image out for example, which was for me the most difficult one to read. 
I spent several hours studying the priest's handwriting on multiple pages and checked out the marriage records too but I couldn't come up with the name that I thought was correct.  No one else even shared this last name in Suchy Grunt  as far as I could tell. I contacted my cousin Piotrek in Poland to see if he could help.  I'm so glad that I did. After looking at it,  he said it looks like the last name was Wrzesień (I was pretty close, I thought it was Wrzesiecu).  He also let me know that there are people currently living in a neighbouring village called Jamy that share this last name.   Family search has indexed some of the Tarnow dioceses church records so I did a couple of searches for Agnes, Maria and Anna.  While I still can't find a baptism for Agnes or her mom Maria, I was able to find what looks like baptism entries for Maria's siblings, in Jamy!  I've order the microfilm reels for Jamy and my next step is to go through them and see if I can find entries for my ancestors that may have been transcribed incorrectly or are very difficult to read. I'm also wondering if Anna remarried at some point which might explain the different last names.  I may finally crack this line!
BTW,  Wrzesień translated to English is September :)