After poring through church records going back to the early 1800s, I can trace my grandmother’s family back five generations to my third great-grandparents Jan Bosakowski and Anna Baran. They were farmers in the town of Milno, about five miles from Założce, where my grandmother Katarzyna Bosakowska was born.
It may be that Milno, not Założce, was the ancestral home of the Bosakowski family.
Both towns were in the Austrian province of Galicia, only a few miles from the border of Russia. Borders in that region kept moving throughout the 20th century so the two towns would find themselves in the southeast corner of Poland after World War I and in the northeast corner of Soviet Ukraine after World War II.
Założce (now known by its Ukrainian name Zaliztsi) was the largest town in the region. In the mid-1800s it had about 7,000 inhabitants, a mix of Roman Catholic Poles, Greek Catholic Ukrainians and Jews. It was also the seat of the local Roman Catholic parish, which kept the vital records for Założce, Milno and about twenty other towns and villages in the area.
Milno (now Myl’ne) had a population of about 2,000, evenly divided between Poles and Ukrainians with a small minority of Jews. It had a small Roman Catholic chapel but no resident priest.
The Family History Library has church records for Założce only going back to 1816, so I don’t have birth or marriage records for Jan and Anna Bosakowski. They were most likely born in the 1780s or 1790s and they got married some time before 1815.
I did find a death record for Jan Bosakowski, a farmer from Milno, who died of a cough (tussis) on November 27, 1859. Was this my ancestor? According to the record, he was 71 years old, which would place his year of birth around 1788. That is squarely in the zone. The only wrinkle is that his wife is noted as Maria, maiden name unknown (de domo ignota) – not Anna Baran. But I have not come across anyone else named Jan Bosakowski living in Milno, so it is very likely to be him. Perhaps Jan married Maria after Anna’s death. Or perhaps the reference to Maria was in error.
I could not find a death record for Anna Baran Bosakowska, alas, but some years are missing from the records. There were many other people named Baran living in Milno. I assume many of them are related to Anna but it’s impossible to say how.
Jan Bosakowski and Anna Baran appear frequently in the birth and marriage records of their six children, three girls and three boys. Three Bosakowski offspring lived their entire lives in Milno. The other three, including my second great-grandfather Bazyli, left the farm and moved to Założce.
Helena Bosakowska (1815-1838)
Helena appears in a marriage record dated November 1833. She married Wasyl Osadczuk, the son Jan and Maria Osadczuk, in Założce. The bride’s and groom’s parents were all peasants (laboriosi). Helena’s was recorded as 18. If accurate, she was born in 1815 or thereabouts but there is no birth record to confirm this. Wasyl was 27 – and already a widower (viduus).
Just over four years later, in January 1838, Helena died. The record indicates she was a 24 year old widow of a peasant (vidua laboriosi), but it’s not clear what happened to Wasyl except that he had a sad, short life. The cause of death is recorded in German, not the customary Latin. I can’t make it out but I think it refers to some sort of lung ailment.
Tekla Bosakowska (1818-1875)
Tekla appears in a marriage record dated November 1836. She married Marcin Glinski, the son of Jan and Katarzyna, in a ceremony in Milno. The Glinskis were peasants from Milno. According to the record, both parties to the marriage were 18 years old. But Marcin’s birth record, dated November 1819, suggests he was only 17.
The couple had at least seven children: Jozef (born 1838), Karol (1839), Piotr (1842), Ludwik (1844), Ewa (1845), Franciszek (1849) and Rozalia (1864). Piotr and Rozalia died in infancy.
Marcin died of gangrene in November 1874. The record gives his age as 60 but, based on his birth record, he would have only been 55. Tekla died of cancer in May 1875. She was 58 years old, give or take a year.
Maria Bosakowska (1820-1877)
As with her two older sisters, there is no birth record for Maria. I also didn’t find a marriage record for her first marriage to a man named Jan Baran. She first appears in the birth records for her children.
There are discrepancies in the metrical books regarding her year of birth. A marriage record places her year of birth around 1820. Her death record suggests she was born in 1815. I think 1820 is more likely.
Jan and Maria Baran married sometime before 1842. They lived in Założce and are described in the records as townspeople (oppidani) rather than farmers (agricolae). I have found birth records for four daughters: Katarzyna (born 1842), Anna (1845), Franciszka (1853) and Rozalia (1863). Rozalia died in infancy.
Not long after Rozalia’s death, Jan passed away. I didn’t find a death record for Jan. And in May 1865 Maria married Ignacy Tymczyszyn, who was also widowed, in a ceremony in Założce
At the time of their second marriage, Ignacy was 55 and Maria was 45 years old. Ignacy was a farmer (agricola), the son of Jakub Tymczyszyn and Marcella Josefowicz. His deceased wife was named Paraskewia.
The record made clear that Maria was born in Milno but lived in Założce .
There is no evidence that Ignacy and Maria had any other children. Maria passed away in September 1877 at the age of 62. The cause of death was edema (hydrops), an excessive swelling caused by fluids in tissues and body cavities. Ignacy seems to have outlived Maria, since he is listed as the bereaved husband (derelicto mariti). I don’t know when he died.
In the next installment, I will document the lives of the three sons of Jan and Anna Bosakowski: Bazyli (my great-great-grandfather and the ancestor of all the Bosakowski family members who emigrated to the United States), Piotr and Jakub.