Monday, December 17, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter U is for USA (Wojtkowski/a, Jagodzinski, Ostryski,Schmitz, Gauquie, Larsen)!

In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. 

I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter U is for USA (Wojtkowski/a, Jagodzinski, Ostryski,Schmitz, Gauquie, Larsen)!

The United States is a melting pot and I'm a perfect example of it. 

I have Polish, Russian, German, Belgium, French, Danish and more. The ones I've listed are the places I've traced each of my 2x great grandparents, great grandparents or even grandparents back to. 


My DNA says the same things but actually shows more Finland which I wasn't expecting. 

My DNA Map from FTDNA.

Each of these ancestors of mine have come through Ellis Island after week's long sea voyages. Some manifests I've been able to find and others I haven't. This doesn't mean I've stopped looking for them. 
My great grandfather's page 1 of arrival in NY USA. Credit Ellis Island
My great grandmother and grandmother's cropped page 1 of arrival in NY USA. Credit: Ellis Island
My 2x great grandfather page 1 of arrival in NY USA. Credit Ellis Island
My 2x once removed great aunt of arrival in NY USA. Credit Ellis Island.

All these ancestors came for different reasons I think can be categorized as:
  • Safety
  • Health and Food
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Land of Opportunity
Most of my ancestors came for the first two reasons, due to what little information I have gathered in their home countries due to war and famine. The last two reasons I think only a few of my ancestors came for which is because they felt in their home countries their religion and opportunities in the USA outweighed staying, so they left. 

Can we ever be sure of these reasons? No. Not unless someone recorded someone asking that question. However, by were they came from, I get the feeling they were basically forced to run or else it would have meant their lives. 

The 2 I felt were different were the Gauquie's and Schmitz. I think in the Gauquie's defense King Leopold II was in charge and things were not looking good due to the fighting there among people. 

With my grandfather, which is the Schmitz, I think it was economic due to the inflation of the German mark and the rise of Hitler and employment. My gut tells me its also he had a falling out with his father which was the last straw and took off to the US to be with his Aunt and Uncle. 

My grandfather's page 1 of arrival in NY USA. Credit: Ellis Island
However, each had their own reasons why they gave up their home country. 

It makes me think of today's refugees. Could it be they are feeling the same way my ancestors did and had to give up their home country? 

I'm in immigrant in Australia. However, for the most part, I wasn't fleeing from any of the stuff I've listed. I fell in love with someone in another country and one of us had to give up their home country. We looked at it from a logical standpoint and found we would get more if we live in Australia with more time off and easier to get and pay for a house than anywhere else. This and my husband's family was much closer than my own. 

However, since the current political attitude, I've been bullied harassed and called names. I have even been told I should give up my American citizenship because I was out of touch. 

Those of you who have called me names including liar can kiss this. Credit
Well, they can kiss my big butt I'm not giving anything up. I'm more American than most. Just because some people use phrases which mean one thing but to someone else another. This was after someone using the phrase snowflake which I hate especially after finding someone in my extended family died in the Nazi death camps. My generation don't understand history and using phrases like that are just WRONG. 

Again, they can kiss my big butt. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter T is for Timberger!

In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. 

I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter T is for Timberger!

My sister married into the Timberger family. Yep, all 3 of my nieces were born Timberger's. 

Their father, Jack, was married to my oldest sister for about ten years. Then my sister got custody of them. 
Jack in a family photo in the 1970s

Jack comes from a big family. His mother Dorothy, or Dot, and father, Percy, or Doc, were his parents. They are both passed away now.

From my research, Doc was employed by the railways. From what I was told he fought in World War 2, but I can't be sure. However, when he got back from there, he went back to the railways but drank heavily. Eventually, he retired and was home all the time. 

I only knew him the last handful of years before he passed away, but he was not a nice person and I felt sorry for Dot. 

Dot at her home in the 1980s. Credit J. Fitzgerald
Dot was a hard worker. She raised all her kids and then went off to work in the butchers part of a 
supermarket called Shoprite. She was there until she was able to retire. However, the years of smoking caught up with her and she passed away. This was a sad time for many of us because her house always had an open door policy about it. However, now she's long gone and no one lives in the house any longer. 

The house is where my sister and Jack were married.  Also, after my youngest niece, April, was 2, we had to hold most my nieces' birthday parties there until they were married. 

This is the area in 2016. Credit Google Earth. All pictures I had taken and could find were too blurry.
I have started some small research into their past but the thought I'd better stop only because its not really my line. 
My niece's 2x great grandfather. Credit: Marlborough NY Southern Ulster Pioneer 1963 Jun-mar 1964  
This is for my niece's and that side of the family to check into if they want. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter S is for South Carolina, USA (James, Wojtkowski) or St Mary’s Church!

In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. 

I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…
The letter S is for South Carolina, USA (James, Wojtkowski) or St Mary’s Church!

Current Generation
South Carolina has recently been in the headlines because of Hurricane Florence. We have family there with my second oldest sister, Jean, moving down there around 1998 or so. Her husband, at that point, Tommy, wanted to be around his mother as she was getting up in age. 

Copyright J. Fitzgerald of picture. Jean with Steven on lap, Midgie (the dog), Jean's husband Tommy, with TJ on his lap. Taken at Jean's father, Matthew's, house in Newburgh, NY in 1980.

Currently my sister, now my ex-brother in law Tommy and two nephews, TJ and Steven, all live down there. I know Tommy and both nephews are fine after the storm. My sister and I don't talk so I don't know how she is. I believe she got remarried but I cannot confirm this either. 

Few Generations back
I have found when I was doing research on the Ostryzki's, one of them, Adam, and his wife moved to South Carolina
Google Map of the area.

1940s WW2 register with a VA address. I do have others which are in the late 1930s as well. Credit
They settled in and had a daughter named Victoria. She grew up, was educated as a nurse, got married and moved to the United Kingdom with her husband. However, within a handful of years, she died still in her prime. 

Victoria's March 1964 Report of death in England. Credit

Unfortunately, the paperwork I found says it was a drug overdose. 

You never know what you're going to find. 

St Mary's Church
You are probably thinking what does St. Mary's Church have to do with my family? 

Well, the Gauquie's have gone to this church for years. In fact, the main immigrants to the US, Jules and Annie, along with most of their children, are all buried here. 

Jules and Anne's daughter. Credit

Jules and Annie who were the first to come to the US. Credit
Charles & Kathryn and their children. Credit
James and Anne Gauquie. Credit

I know there are more, but these are samples and they are all buried at St. Mary's Church and Cemetary!

Credit
During my great grandparent's lifetimes they were big supporters of St. Mary's Church. They did many fundraisers for them and attended most Sunday's. 



My one cousin, Teri, still goes sometimes today. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter R is for Rahway, NJ (Wojtkowski/Holley)!

In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. 

I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter R is for Rahway, NJ (Wojtkowski/Holley)!

My Great Uncle Stanley, who was born in New Jersey and died in New Jersey, had a son called Slash, who lived in Rahway, New Jersey


Great Uncle Stanley Wojtkowski or Slash (above). Taken from obituary Credit: The Monitor Newspaper July 23, 2012


From Google Earth. Rahway, NJ is highlighted in yellow above.


He was a husband to Susan Lazar, a father to two sons, a police officer and looked up to in the community and church. 

Credit: The Monitor Newspaper July 23, 2012

I never knew about him until I started to research my Great Uncle's life. This is when I learned about him. My father, nor my uncle, ever said anything about him to me, so I never got to know him. 

What I found was he had 2 sons and was divorced. The ex-wife and sons left him and moved away. As you can read by the obituary above.

Within a few years, Slash had an accident and ended up dead. He was still pretty young, 47, when he passed away. 

I haven't been in contact with his children or ex-wife, but from what I've seen on Facebook, he would now be a grandfather and his two children are successful in jobs. I think he would have loved knowing that.

If you are Slash's children, one of the many cousins they/we have, and are reading this, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.