Monday, December 3, 2007

Kathy Atwood's Baranowski Families

The Baranowski Families
Kathy is looking for the Baranowski ancestral village

Stephan Baranowski was born in Poznan, Poland on 2 September 1855. His father's name may have been 'Andrzy' or 'Andrej', or in German as 'Andreas' Baranowski. Among the marriage records of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Calumet, Michigan is one for Stephan and on it, his father's name was noted as 'Andraeas', the Latin version of the name "Andrew". His mother's name was Mariana (possibly Mariana-Rozethe) Michalska, who was born on 9 December 1827. She had at least one sister, Agnieszka.

Stephan had a younger brother named Wojceich, aka Adalbert [as the name was known in German]. He was a son of Mariana, but he may have been only a half-brother or possibly step-brother to Stephan. In America, Wojceich was known as "George". On his marriage record, also located among St. Anthony's records, he gave the name of his father as "Laurentii" (Latin for "Laurence") Baranowski.

Stephan apparently worked as a farmer or gardener in Poland. At some point he left his home village to make his way to America. He may have accepted work as an migrant agricultural laborer to pay his way. His last residence in Poland was listed as Beestland, Pomerania according to his entry on the passenger list of the ship on which he booked passage. Located in the Beestland area are several 'schnitterkaserne', or communal residences for workers in various industries, including farming.

These 'schnitterkaserne' were usually two-story houses, in which the seasonal work forces were accommodated. Very simple conditions existed there: beds and lockers for the workers, external toilets, and a common kitchen.

After residing in Beestland for a while, he continued on to Hamburg, Germany, which is located on the Baltic Sea. There he booked passage aboard the steamship WESTPHALIA and set sail aboard her to New York, arriving at Castle Garden in Hoboken, New Jersey, which was the processing center for immigrants who arrived in New York harbor from 1855 until they began to be processed at Ellis Island.

It seems likely that he traveled by railroad to Chicago, which was a very common way for immigrants to get to the American interior. From Chicago, he probably headed north either by train, or ship, or both, and finally settled in Calumet, Houghton Co., Michigan where he took on work as as a miner and a timberman in the mine.

There is a family story that for a time he was known as "Steven Gardiner", because whoever filled out his papers used his former occupation instead of his surname. Confirmation of that story was found on one of his Calumet & Hecla Mining Company employment records where the name "Steven Gardiner" is entered. A different 'hand' crossed it out some time later, and wrote the name "Stephen Baranowski" above it. Also noted on the form was that someone else filled it out for him. He spoke English, but could not write it.

The "Other" Baranowskis

There was another Baranowski family who came to settle in the Calumet area during the late 1800s. It is not known whether or not there was a family connection, although their names often appear in each other's records. For example, Stephan and Apolonia were listed as sponsors on the christening records of two different children of this family. There also seems to be a strong physical resemblance between Stephan Baranowski and John Baranowski.