Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jakob and Anna Bieda

Most of the information I have on these two came from a marriage certificate from Poland. Almost everything was handwritten in latin. Needless to say, my spellings may not be accurate. Another interesting thing... a weird name appeared on a ship manifest...I'll get to that a little later.

I'll start with Anna. I don't have as much information on her. She was the daughter of Thomas Klaus and Barbara Kucharzyk.

Jakob Bieda was the son of Paul Bieda and Marianna Jedryka. Paul's parents were B. Bieda (really hard to read on the record... plus latin) and Sophia Kaczmar. Marianna's parents were Martin Jedryka and Magdalena Duda.

I'm not sure about any siblings, but I would assume there were. Jakob was born around 1867 and Anna was born a few years earlier.

Ok now onto the detective work. The Ellis Island record I found has several catagories... who paid, country of origin, final destination etc. Theres also a space for the name and address of a friend or relative they would stay with once they arrived in America. Another record from the same ship had a list of relative in Poland. Anyway. The Ellis Island record listed Wojciech Niemiec as a brother in law in Shamokin. Now, brother in law can mean several things...either Jakob's sister's husband or Anna's sister's husband. Remember, I have no proof about siblings for Jakob or Anna.

So here is where the detective work comes into play. How do I find this Wojciech Niemiec person? How do I even figure out thats his name? Handwritten records remember. Ellis Island does have a typed version, but its very vague. You can get more information from the original manifest struggling with handwriting. Well after several tries I figured out the last name was Niemiec.
 I knew the cemetery where Jakob and Anna were buried. You figure, well, if they're buried there the church would have the same name. And if your going to a new country and only know your family, you're most likely going to attend the same church. They wouldn't have gone to another church. So I searched for the cemetary and the last name Niemiec. I found a Wojciech and Petronella Niemiec.

I later found a ship manifest with a Wojciech and Petronella Niemiec from Galicia. They had 3 children and came to America in 1909. Thats before the Bieda's (1913) so it's possible. Listed as the relative was Anna Niemiec.

Well, thats a bit of a problem. Anna's maiden name was Klaus not Niemiec. Obviously Wojciech is not Anna's sister because of the different last name, but what if she was Petronella's sister? The guy taking down the information could say "What is the name of your relative in your native country?" Wojciech or Petronella could have simply said "She is my sister". If they didn't specificly give a last name, the guy could have just assume Anna had the same last name.

Something to think about.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ludwik's Brothers

Ludwik/ Louis had three older brothers: Walter,  Alexandor, and Jozef.

I do not have a birthdate for Walter. As of 1913, he was married and had a child, which is why he stayed in Poland rather than comming to America. The names associated with this branch are a little iffy. On one ship manifest for the rest of the Biedas, there was a space for relative in native country. It looked like Wloded Bieda. I don't know if such a name exists, but thats what happens when you look at handwritting from the early 1900s.

Walter married "Anna" , unknown last name. They had a daughter who's name was either Anna or Wanda. She married and had a son named "Jerry". My aunt told me the Polish version was "Yeshie" but I'm not sure how to spell that. Thats what it sounded like. He was in an aerospace program that was top secret. Apparently he wanted to visit America, but he couldn't. (Which makes sense, this was probably during the Cold War). "Yeshie" married Barbara, unknown last name. They had a son Adam. He is probably in his 40s now. My great grandmother Mildred, went to Poland in either 1970 or 1971 and Adam was young, perhaps 2 or 3 years old.

Walter Bieda + "Anna"
-Anna/Wanda + ?
--Jerry ("Yeshie") + Barbara

Alex married a woman named Mary and they moved to Philadelphia*. They had three daughters (Angie, Eleanor, and Marie) and a son (Joe). Angie never married. Eleanor married twice and had a daughter. Marie married Dennis Acker, but I'm not sure if they had any children. Joe married a woman named Marie but never had children. I found a draft card for Alex when he was 48. The address listed was in Shamokin and it said he was married. His name was spelled Aleksander Bieda.

Alex Bieda + Mary
-Eleanor +?
-- ?
-Marie Bieda + Dennis Acker
-Joe Bieda + Marie

Jozef married but never had children. I believe he stayed in the Shamokin area.

Thats all for now. Next time information from Jakob and Anna's Polish records. Also, a strange name from an Ellis Island ship record.

*At some point the Bieda's (except for Louis) changed their name to Biedzinskie. The reasoning behind it? I was told it sounded "more Polish".

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bieda- Poland to Pennsylvania

First, I'm going to try and break down the surnames in my family. Obviously the main ones are Persing and Bieda but theres more in there. On the Polish side theres also Lapinsky (+ other spelling variations), Jedryka, Klaus, and a few others. Some major ones from my Persing side include: Pitner, Hauck, Kase, Hungerford, and many many others. (It is literally insane how many people are on that side of my tree).

Now we get to the good stuff. First I'm going to tell a little about the Biedas.

In Polish Bieda means 'poverty'. Doesn't sound to pretty when looking back, but hey.

My grandmother's dad was Louis/ Ludwik Bieda. He arrived in Ellis Island in March 1913 when he was 91/2 years old.

He came over with two older brothers, Alexandor (18) and Jozef (11), and his parents Jakob and Anna. (There was another boy "Walter" but he was already married and he stayed in Poland) They settled in Shamokin, Pa and the boys became coal miners. At some point, they all changed their names to Biedzinski(e), except for Louis. Louis later married Mildred Lapinsky and they remained in Shamokin. Jozef and Alex both married. Jozef did not have any children. Alex and his wife moved to Philadelphia

The Bieda's came from Galicia, or what is now Malopolski, Poland. The last recorded place before boarding a ship in Bremen, Germany was Okocim.
They probably resided in Tarnow at some point.

I have baptismal records for Jakob and Louis. I also have a marriage certificate for Jakob and Anna. All the records are in latin and have bad handwriting. I think I have all the names sorted out, except for one. The good think about these Polish church records? They list the parents name, AND the names of the grandparents. So boom. Two generations.

I'll get to those later. What else will I blog about if I post everything now? If anyone decides to read this why not leave them in suspense?

After Louis died in 1968/9, Mildred went to Poland to visit "Walter" in Krakow. I'm still gathering details on that.

Unfortunately we had one family member that decided to throw out a bunch of things when Mildred passed away, so that makes it very hard to find anything on my Polish roots. Gotta love family! *sarcasm*

Jakob Bieda + Anna Klaus
-Ludwik + Mildred Lapinsky
--My grandmother + my grandpa Persing
---My mom

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Where to begin... Well, I'm working on my family tree and I need help. So I've decided to share everything I have with random strangers over the internet. I'm not sure how often I will post (my professors have this nasty habit of assigning homework and tests), but I will at least have a few updates a month. I have so much information written down in a notebook and it's driving me insane. So I'll try and organize everything in here. Hopefully I'll find some long lost third cousin seven times removed or something. Who knows. If all else fails, maybe I can help out people just starting out with their genealogy research.

My family is mostly in Northumberland county in Pennsylvania. We're Polish, German, English,... pretty much everything if you go back far enough.

Ah, well it looks like my homework procrastination is at an end. Until next time then.