Dateline 06-April-2014 — Stanczyk has found many of my great-grandfather’s grandsons came to the USA. Tomasz Leszczynski was good for this country. More of his children (sons & daughters) came to the USA and more grandsons came to the USA than I had previously known. You see my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski had 16 children by two wives from the years 1857 … 1902, across 45 years his two wives bore him 16 children. Even more amazing, only three of my great-grandfather’s children had perished before my grandmother herself was born (the eldest child of the second wife). It should be noted that routinely 25%-50% of the children in that locale, in those years died before puberty. Sometimes the ratio was higher still such as in times epidemics (i.e. cholera). Even more amazing, all of my great-grandfather’s children with his second wife, Aniela Major Leszczynska, survived including my grandmother – whose grandson pens these family stories and recalls these times from before the US Civil War until the present. God had certainly blessed Tomasz Leszczynski and Tomasz’s years were numbered to 104 years of age. All agree in the USA as to the length of his lifespan across the many families descended from this one man. Alas, the great lifespan has been a hinderance to me (his great-grandson) who tries to write the family history and I have not yet found the year of his birth, the year/place of his first marriage (to Julianna Kordos Leszczynska) and I have not found his death date/place either. The 104 year span covered from about 1832-1945 — yes, yes, I know that span is 113 years. But you see I do not know which 104 year span in that range is the life span of Tomasz Leszczynski. I hope to visit Poland and gather his death certificate and put certainty to the end of his lifespan and put an anchor in the estimate of the year of his birth. I now have a very good timeline of info about my great-grandfather’s life and the whereabouts of his children and most of his grandchildren too.
That over long pre-amble is to note that GenBaza with their online database: metryki.genbaza.pl that I have written so often of in 2014 has been a great source for my family heritage and I owe a debt of gratitude to genebaza.pl and genealodzy.pl too. It is from this database that I have located many of my great-grandfather’s children getting married and having children of their own! It is from this and my meticulous recording of these facts in my family tree on Ancestry.com that I have located new records in the USA of my great-grandfather’s descendants. I had no idea. I assume that my Polish-American heritage is similar to the vast majority of Polish-Americans. My family arrived, mostly at Ellis Island, and they originally put down roots for their American families in the Great-Lake States of the USA: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan dominate, although I have seen bits and pieces in Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota too! Now a days the family has migrated further in the USA and I will not attempt to enumerate all of the states — suffice it to say that we stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Now we approach the point of this blog article. I have been busy with the Immigration records in Ancestry.com after recording the new finds from GenBaza.pl and was surprised by how many of my great-grandfather’s line had left Poland. This surprise led to a lot of scanning ship manifests for the the somewhat common name: Leszczynski.
Well I landed on a ship manifest of a French Ship landing in New York City. The year was 1919 and I did not giver any particular credence to the year other than I could expect more details in the ship manifests (than say those ship manifests from 1906 and earlier). So as I was reading for a possible ancestor, I noted that a good many men had fought in the Polish Army (or the French Army) and that the majority were Polish names. So it is my assertion that I have discovered a new ship with only a scattering of returning Haller’s Army personnel (listed as both Polish Army and/or French Army). Only a handful of pages, although I am sure there were a good bit more manifests with only one or two soldiers listed among the 30 passengers per page. But below you will find four pages that were almost all or mostly all returning soldiers from WWI.
The late date is not unusual for Polish veterans as many in Haller’s Army stayed past the end of WWI and continued the fight against the Bolsheviks of Russia in the aftermath of WWI. I also learned something new. I had known that the Polish-Americans who signed up to fight in French-Army under General Jozef Haller had trained in Canada. But I had never considered that a good many French-Canadians had trained in Canada too to fight in the French Army. There are a sprinkling of these French-Canadians mixed in too. These French-Canadian soldiers are “In Transit” as they are continuing on to Canada.
Here are the brief details of this new ship delivering Haller’s Army and possibly a few just French Army who may or may not have served under Jozef Haller:
SS: La Tourane Port: La Havre Arrival Date: 25-APRIL-1919
URLS [require Ancestry.com access]:
Previously Blogs, I Have Written About Haller’s Army:
25 Apr 2013 – The Last Pandemic … 1918 — #Genealogy, #Polish, #War
13, 14, 17 Aug 2011 – [3 parts series on Haller's Army & the Transport Ships] – Returning Soldiers
NOTE: In the three part series, I have posted the link to middle article which had the other transport ships previously known. You can go forward/backward from the middle article to see the other two articles in series.