Sunday, May 25, 2008

Call for Calumet Polish Miner Memorabilia

A team of researchers is documenting the Polish Pioneers of Calumet, Michigan. We are looking for families who would like to be included in this blog.

Do you have family stories,photos, parish booklets, or documents to share? Ceil Jensen will met with collection owners to scan or photograph items in the metro Detroit and Houghton Co. area.

Please call or email to arrange an appointment. See what we have so far: Can't meet to scan? Contact Ceil for further information on how to scan and send the files via email or the free website

Friday, May 16, 2008

Genealogy Double Header

MTU Archives Press Announcement
For Immediate Release 5/13/08

Genealogy Double Header:
The Peasant and the Palace: Manor Records in Poland
Early Polish Immigrants in Houghton County

Tracing family histories has become wildly popular with the advent of the Internet, but genealogical research encompasses so much more than simply searching for names online. In June, the Michigan Tech Archives hosts two visiting researchers who specialize in tracing Polish relatives on both sides of the Atlantic. They will talk about their experiences and share information about researching ancestors who immigrated to the Copper Country and other regions of the United States from the manors and estates of Poland.

Ceil Jensen, of Michigan Polonia, and Brother Joseph Martin, of Lewis University, joint winners of a 2008 MTU Archives Travel Grant Award, will give a genealogy presentation on Tuesday, June 10, at 7 p.m., in Room 139 of Fisher Hall, on the Tech campus. Set against the background of the 18th century Palace of Rogalin, in the city of Poznan, Jensen will explore manorial records and the personal papers of the palace’s nobility and show how to locate and use European genealogical resources. Jensen’s research work focuses on the Kalumet Projecta, which documents the migration patterns of Polish families who came to Calumet during 1870 to 1900. Brother Joseph Martin of Lewis University, Illinois, is an educator, researcher, and contributor to Kalumet Projecta and many other genealogical programs. Martin is currently researching Polish fraternal orders, and also will talk about his work to identify the earliest Polish immigrants to Calumet.

Jensen and Martin’s presentation and research visit are supported by an MTU Archives Research Travel Award provided by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. The MTU Archives, a department of the J. Robert Van Pelt Library, hosts a wide variety of researchers and research topics -- everything from genealogical investigations to book and magazine publications -- engaging students, staff, and faculty, as well as local citizens and other off-campus researchers. The Michigan Tech “Archival Speaker Series,” highlights current research in the Archives’ collections. The presentation is free and open to the public.

For further information or directions to the event, contact the MTU Archives at (906) 487-2505 or via e-mail at

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Homestead Q&A - Joe Adamski

December , 1900
Joe Adamski's answers to the questions on the December, 1900 Deposition and the standard Q&A Homestead Proof- Testimony of Claimant form offer insight into the life of an 1890s settler.

1) Most of the time my family resided in Calumet, and part of the time with me at the homestead.

2) Where and how were you employed when absent from the land?
Worked for Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, to get money to support my family and improve my homestead. It cost me a good deal to hire a team to take provisions and stuff to work with to the homestead, the roads were so poor, and when I was at work at Calumet I lived with my family; and once we lost a good horse drawing stuff to the homestead.

3) Whether or not the dwelling is habitable during all seasons, and what goods are kept there?
My house was habitable during all the seasons of the years, and it had a good roof to shed rain, it never leaked, and between the logs it was well chinked up with timber and moss.
A good cooking-stove, good bed, table, pail, chairs, benches, dishes, cooking utensils, everything necessary to keep house. A buck-saw, axe and two guns. Had a good log house well fixed up, and six acres of clearing and chopping, and I helped to make the roads to get into the homestead.

4) What portion, if any, of the timber have you sold?
I have not contracted to see one stick of timber, nor have I ever sold any timber at all, and do not want to sell any only where I want to clear the land.

5) The kind, and approx. quantity of crops raised?
After the first two years about 25.00 to 30.00 a year, of crops and the reason I did not raise more, because there was no market for it out there and it cost more to get it hauled to market than it was worth, and the roads so rough and poor, at that time.

Homestead Proof- Testimony of Claimant
1) What is your name, age and address?
Joe Adamski, age 29 years , P.O.address Calumet

4) My house was built on the land in April , 1894 and I established my residence on the land June 5, 1894. House 14ft x 14ft, 1 room, 1 door, 1 window, roof house, fence, well 6ft deep, 1 acre cleared, road, etc, etc, worth about 700.00.

5) Whom does you family consist? Wife and four children. I have resided on the land since June 5, 1894 but my wife refused to live there because it was so far from school and town. (* 40 miles)

6) For what period of time have you been absent from the land?
I have been absent from the land only three times each year for 2 or 3 months at a time, mostly in winter time, to work and earn money to support my family. My family did not live on the land.

Land Barons

Joseph Martin wrote to Ceil: In my spare time I went through the GLO records for all of Houghton County by Townships and by Sections to locate all the Polish names I could find. I did both the north and south parts of the county based on the maps you sent me. (note- the GLO website holds Surveys, Plats, and Field Notes begin your search after you have picked up the necessary information from the Land Patent- Ceil). Descendants of the Pioneer Poles are encouraged to order the packets and share them with the blog.

51-N, 35-W
Michal Nowak
Jacob Rinta ( Zienta)

Martin Ignasinski
Anton Kowalski
John Pitasky
Mihal Coujdrak (Cwoidrak)
Michal Nowak

George Bomblinski
Anton Jozwiak
Lawrence Klinowiecki
Stephen Klinowiecki
Victoria Monczynski
Stef Petasky
John Stelmarseski
Annie Waikelwiz ( Wojkiewicz)
John Zwierzchowski

John Butkiewicz

Homesteader Joe Adamski

Like many Poles, Joe Adamski wanted to own property. His Federal Land Patent is indexed on the website maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records:

After reviewing the online document his packet was ordered from the National Archives. The current cost to receive copies is $40.00. The packet arrived within two weeks.
The packet includes newspaper notices as required by law listing the settler Joe Adamski and his witnesses: Gus Fromholz, Paul Kratt, Anton Kowalski (Joe's brother in law) and John Piaskey, all of Calumet.
The packet has been scanned and put online. Please see:

Five Catholic Parishes

1868-1968 Sacred Heart Centennial
p. 26
transcribed by Ceil Wendt Jensen

Essential to the general picture of most of the decades is the spirit of friendliness that existed between the parishes of Calumet from ''way back". There were St. Joseph's. St. Mary's, St. Anne's, St. John's, and St. Anthony's. Perhaps there were times when this friendliness was demonstrated by "mining town"gruffness, but underneath there remained a genuine catholicity (in the sense of total, basic unity). Sacred Heart is grateful for the associations with the people and priests of these parishes thought the years.
The names of those parishes have passes into history, and the congregations are now members of either of our parish or of our fiend and co-parish St. Paul the Apostle in Calumet. In Keweenaw there are two more friends, the parishes of Mohawk and Ahmeek.

Any ghosts hovering about the old Hecla Cemetery....

The 1868-1968 Sacred Heart Centennial
transcribed by Ceil Wendt Jensen

Any ghosts hovering about the old "Hecla Cemetery" in the spring of 1958 scurried to new habitats when they saw a strange delegation approaching their domain. This awesome band equipped with digging , chopping and raking implements, and led by Father Jerome had one purpose in mind- Clean the old cemetery! Since its origin in 1880, this resting place had experienced little or no improvement. Tombstones had been toppled and broken, brushed and undergrowth completely covered numerous graves, portions of the fence were down and the entire ground were in a state of near obliteration.

Heavy equipment , such as bulldozers and payloaders, plus drivers for same were offered by the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company to assist the workers. The offer was gratefully accepted. The stronger sex was not alone in the restoration project. The woman assisted in the raking of the debris after the men had chopped and pulled it loose. When the project was completed, there we any aching backs and muscles but he aches were not in vain. A tremendous job had been done and restoring the old burial grounds was a great accomplishment.

Link to:
Cemetery St, Laurium, Houghton County, Michigan
Photos (some with year photo was taken) by Greg Skoviak and Peg Nieldhold donated to the Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogy Society

1964-65 Card Indexing of Baptismal, Confirmation entries

The 1868-1968 Sacred Heart Church Centennial
transcribed by Ceil Wendt Jensen

During the century of its existence, our parish has lived a Century of Faith. The records of baptism, which date back to 1868, have 8348 entries. Confirmation administered by the Bishops of the Diocese 4761- Marriages contracted 1880- Burials 3319. There are many requests for certification o f baptism. A gigantic work done in 1964-65 with the assistance of the young people and members of the Altar Society was the card -indexing of the Baptismal and Confirmation entries. The index makes it possible to find names which were recorded at times with sort of "ad lib"spelling.

The 1868-1968 Sacred Heart Church Centennial

The 1868-1968 Sacred Heart Church Centennial

Calumet, Michigan

The forty four page booklet includes:
List of Pastors 1868-1890
Franciscan Fathers- Pastors 1890-1968
Assistants 1893-1968
Parish Men Ordained for Diocese or Religious Order
A Century of Faith and the Works of the Faith
Girls From Parish to Convent
Members of Sacred Heart Parish

Groups active in the parish:
Parish Council
Ladies Altar Society
Confraternity of Christine Doctrine
Third Order of Saint Francis
Mass Leaders
School Board and Home and School Committees
Pre-School Program
Liturgical Committee

Friday, May 2, 2008

1895-1896 Houghton County Polk Directory

Transcribed by Joseph F. Martin
note: there are spaces in the chart to allow for cropping-
the data is not missing

Given that the 1890 U.S. census was destroyed by a fire which has resulted in a gap of twenty years between the 1880 and 1900 U.S. census records, I have transcribed the names that "appear to be" Polish from the 1895-1896 Houghton County Polk Directory for Calumet and Laurium. Perhaps this will provide important information for those who are researching their Polish ancestors in the Calumet area. The spelling of the surnames is taken exactly from the directory, although some are obviously misspelled.

Surnames listed in the city directory include: Adamski, Antkowiak,
Barawensky, Baroneski, Batcovack, Bednareki, Boblinsky, Bolinski,
Breska, Byczynski, Chekoski, Coveck, Dronskowski, Dlubola,Duckinski,
Flenz, Franckowiak, Gablonsky, Garbarak, Garhoski, Gorwiniak,
Gradzeleski,Greskowiak,Gundelaski, Gwizlala, Himanck, Ignasinski,
Jablonski, Kaptur, Kazmierczak, Kazyjaka, Klimowiecki, Kloflinski,
KobiskyKoski, Kovarski, Kovarski, Kowaleski, Krusska, Kubiak,
Lakoski, Latoski, Lawniozark, Leiviska, Lisiecki, Madigeski,
Mahofski, Malinzak, Mazynski, Novack, Nowak, Nowakowski,
Oreckovsky, Pawlick, Pawlicki, Pawtowski, Petlesky, Pytlenski,
Rosinski, Ryback, Salaski, Sarkuski, Schotkoski, Shotkosky,
Sibilsky, Sieniewicz, Sinowski, Skwivez, Slominski, Smigi, Solminskie,
Stefaniak, Stempinak, Strykowski, Stubenski, Swadrak, Sybilskey,
Tobianski,Tobinski , Tobola, Tomczak, Tonczak, Topleski, Urbanski,
Wolski, Wroblewski, Zenopski, Zwirzchowski