After reading the Creative Gene's post on Monday regarding her Polish ancestor it got me thinking about my G grandfather Ludwik Sawicki. I really do not have a lot of information about my Polish relatives. With the help of a cousin and one aunt I have a few names of ancestors, and I have made a little progress with some family history. Once I found out my G grandfather's name, I discovered through census records that he lived in Chicago, Illinois or the south suburbs since he immigrated here sometime around 1885. Visiting the Polish Genealogical Society of America's website, I searched the Dziennik newspaper death notice index. I found Ludwik Sawicki's name and requested the obituary not really thinking about it being in Polish. Here is Ludwik's obituary as it appeared in the July 3, 1937 edition of the Dziennik newspaper.
What did I learn from the obituary? Well, once I had it translated, I discovered that Ludwik "was elderly and died of old age". He was about sixty-nine years old (not really OLD nowadays, kind of like late middle age, especially since I am over 50 years old now!). I knew Ludwik and his wife Stella (Stanislawa) married in 1889 here in Chicago. The obituary indicated that they lived at 8714 Manistee Avenue. Six of Ludwik and Stella's children were listed in the obituary; Wladyslawa, Kazimierz, Regina, Marianna, Cecylia, and Weronika. New information (at least from the translations I received) included the name of his brother-in-law and his wife Jan and Antonia Wierczorek. Ludwik had one daughter-in-law named Anna (that would be Kazimierz's wife) and five son-in-laws: Stanley Czechanski, Frank Krauza, Jan Czechanski, and Stephen Wozniak and Edward Sikorski. Wladyslawa (Lottie) married Jan (John) Czechanski and Marianna married Jan's brother Stanley Czechanski. Ludwik and Stella had twenty-one grandchildren and one great granddaughter. The priest officiating the funeral service was Pastor Joseph Czechanski (I am wondering if he was a relative of Ludwik's son-in-laws). Ludwik was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Illinois.
Having discovered that Ludwik was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery lead me of course to a short road trip. The employees in the office were extremely helpful and provided me with directions to the grave. It really didn't take me long to find not only my G grandfather's grave but my G grandmother Stella's grave as well. There were also some other relatives graves close by.
This published obituary provided me with some great information that I wouldn't have otherwise had. It opened the door for more questions and more exploration into my Polish ancestry!