Over the years, my genealogy research has ebbed and flowed.
One area where I made a lot of progress, but also was stymied, was with my Grandma Becker’s parents, Antoni Horosiewicz and Stefania Klekotka.
Both were immigrants from Poland who met and married in St. Louis, before later moving to Granite City, Illinois.
One of my early finds was their church marriage record from Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in St. Louis. This included the names of their parents. Antoni’s were listed as Stanisław Horosiewicz and Marianna Mościska.
My last spurt of discoveries came in 2018, when I obtained Antoni’s citizenship-related documents and Social Security application, all from 1937-1940. Those new documents, together with a passenger manifest I had obtained previously, made it seem likely that Antoni was born in the village of Kossaki, Poland, close to the Bug River and near the town of Nur.
I took a break from research for a bit, and began picking up the threads again this week.
With help from a genealogist from Poland named Lidia Zawrot, I obtained Antoni’s birth record in the Nur parish civil register. He was indeed born in Kossaki, and the document includes the names of his parents, as well as some witnesses who were surely family friends.
It’s hard to overstate how excited I am about this discovery. It’s the first time I have found vital records from overseas that I am certain belong to members of the Horosiewicz or Becker branches of my family.
Church records at that time were written in Cyrillic, since that part of Poland was under Russian control. Here is an English translation of the text of the document:
It happened in the settlement of Nur on the fifteenth / twenty-second of March one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four at two in the afternoon. Stanisław Chorosiewicz, twenty-five years old, a farmer living in Kossaki, in the presence of Justyn Mościcki, thirty-eight from Tworkowice in the Grodno Gubernia, and Józef Chorosiewicz, fifty-four, living in Kossaki, farmers, showed us a male infant and they stated that he was born in Kossaki yesterday, at eight in the morning, by his legal wife Marcyanna née Bartnikowska, twenty-three years old. This child was baptized today by us with the name: Antoni and his godparents were Justyn Mościcki and Paulina Bocian. This deed was read to the illiterate father and witnesses and only signed by us.”
Fr. Jan Szostakiewicz
Vicar responsible for keeping civil status records