I learned that the Family History Library possessed microfilmed copies of church records from Zalozce, the town where my grandmother Katarzyna Bosakowska was born. So I visited their branch here in Manhattan, located at the Church of Latter Day Saints on West 65th Street, and arranged to have some of the microfilms sent here for viewing. They came last week and, after a few hours poring over the records, I have already come across some amazing finds – including the 1883 marriage record for my great-grandparents Jozef and Maria Bosakowski.
The marriage was recorded in a ledger book kept at the Zalozce parish church. From the ever-helpful Halgal – Genealogy of Halychnya/Eastern Galicia website, I learned that Catholic churches in the Austro-Hungarian Empire were required to maintain separate sets of registers for births, marriages and deaths. The priests acted as civil registrars for the parish, collecting information for all Christian denominations and for Jews too. They recorded the information in a ledger format, written in Latin – which makes them surprisingly easy to read.
My great-grandparents’ wedding was recorded in the register of marriages for the year 1883. The ledger page looks like this:
And here’s a close up of the actual entry, dated August 27, 1883:
Once again, Halgal provided a really terrific guide to understanding and interpreting the records. I also relied on the Words by William Whitaker website to translate Latin terms and an excellent glossary of Latin terms found in Polish genealogical records from the Genealogica Polska website. (What can’t you find on the Internet?)
So here’s what the record tells us in Latin:
|Sponsus Nomen:||Josephus Bosakowski sutor viduus post p.d. Honorathiam Masłowska oriundus et habitans in Założce filius Basilii et p.d. Rosaliae Kwaśnicka|
|Sponsa Nomen:||Maria Buczna oriunda et habitans in Założce filia p.d. Josephi et p.d. Theresiae Dubrowska oppidanorum|
|Testes Nomen:||Franciscus Kwaśnicki + Joannes Szarzynski (?)|
And here’s the English translation:
|Groom’s Name:||Jozef Bosakowski shoemaker widower of the deceased Honorata Masłowska originating from and resident of Założce son of Bazyli and the deceased Rozalia Kwaśnicka|
|Bride’s Name:||Maria Buczna originating from and resident of Założce daughter of the deceased Jozef and deceased Teresa Dubrowska townspeople|
|Witnesses’ Names:||Franciszek Kwaśnicki and Jan Szarzynski|
The longer text on the bottom is harder to translate but it refers to the bride’s status as an orphan and notes that the ceremony was performed by Father Mikolaj Glinski.
So from this one record I learned a number of important things.
I know my great-grandfather Jozef was a 36 year old widower when he married Maria Buczna. His former wife, Honorata Masłowska, had died. Maria was only 20 years old at the time of the marriage and already an orphan.
I know that Jozef worked and lived in Zalozce as a shoemaker. In fact, it appears that all the Bosakowskis were oppidani – townspeople – rather than farmers.
And, best of all, I now know the names of four great-great-grandparents (out of sixteen in total) who lived in Zalozce during the mid-1800s: Bazyli Bosakowski, Rozalia Kwaśnicka Bosakowska, Jozef Buczny and Teresa Dubrowska Buczna. Only one of them – Bazyli – was still alive in 1883. Hopefully the microfilmed records will reveal more about their lives.
Another record, from the 1883 register of deaths, adds a poignant dimension to the story. There you find the death record for Honorata Masłowska Bosakowska. She died of tuberculosis on March 27, 1883, at the age of 25.
Jozef remarried five months to the day after this devastating loss.
There have been so many other discoveries in these records and it will require time to sort them out. But I did want to post the birth records of Jan and Michal Bosakowski since I wrote about their journeys to America in a recent post. These records confirm my theory that the three Bosakowski clans that made the journey across the ocean – the children of Piotr, Karol and Jozef Bosakowski – were all indeed cousins.
The birth record for Jan Bosakowski, dated May 12, 1883, shows that he was the son of Piotr who was in turn the son of Bazyli and Rozalia:
And the birth record for Michal Bosakowski, dated September 27, 1881, shows that he was the son of Karol who was in turn the son of Bazyli and Rozalia:
So all the Bosakowski descendants in the States share the same common ancestors, Bazyli and Rozalia Bosakowski.
Finally, I wondered in an earlier post if Maria and Katarzyna Bosakowska, the wives of Piotr and Karol respectively, were sisters since the maiden name for both was Czechowicz. The records show that they were not. Maria was the daughter of Walenty and Brygida Buczna Czechowicz and Katarzyna was the daughter of Jakub and Tekla Kojdaniuk Czehowicz.