Leier Family Chart
Leier Family History
Children of Charles
& Louise Nowasky
Children of Lawrence
& Amelia Leier
Causes of Death
Kazalski Family History
According to several sources on Ancestry.com, for which no documented evidence is provided to back it up, a Valentinus Kazalski was born around 1793 in Tillitz, a village in what was then West Prussia. Today, it is in north-central Poland and is called Tylice. Tylice is located about 70 miles east of Cekcyn where the Nowasky's were from. On January 17, 1858, Valentinus married Anna Goknewska. Anna was born in Tillitz around 1799. Map of Poland.
Again, according to these same undocumented sources, Valentinus and Anna had several children and their first-born was a son named Anton Kazalski, born in Tillitz on November 3, 1825. On January 18, 1852, Anton married Magdalena Kopiczynska. She was born in Tillitz in 1827.
Three children were born to Anton and Magdalena in Tillitz between 1851 and 1855: Anton Kazalski (1851), Antonina Kazalski (1853) and Catharyna Kazalski (1855). It was in 1855 that Valentinus died in Tillitz, on January 20th. There is no documentation of Anna's death.
Either during or shortly after giving birth in 1857 to their fourth child, named Marianna Kazalski, Magdalena died on December 20, 1857. She was just 30 years old.
Anton did not wait long to remarry, barely one month, to Antonina Cieszinski who was born in Tillitz in 1833. Anton and Antonina were married in Tillitz on January 17, 1858. A year later Johann James Kazalski was born on February 10, 1859 in Tillitz.
In addition to Johann, Anton and Antonina had three more children: Franz "Frank" Kazalski (1862), Magdalena Kazalski (1865) and Michael Kazalski (1869). While we have not been able to follow the lives of Anton's children with Magdalena, Johann and all his siblings made their way to America and established families of their own.
After the Kazalski's emigrated from Poland to America, some of the documents say they came from Poznan, Poland, a town that is 150 miles southwest of Tylice. It is possible that this is where some of them moved to before leaving for America. Map of Poland.
JOHANN JAMES KAZALSKI and KATIE DEMBINSKI
Katarzyna Dembinski was born September of 1868 in Gwiezdny, Poland, located nearly 300 miles southwest of Tylice but only 130 miles southwest of Poznan. Map of Poland.
Katarzyna became known as "Katie." Around 1887, Johann married Katie. They had two children, Bernard and John James Kazalski, Jr. before leaving Poland and arriving in America in 1890 or 1891. Although Johann and Katie could read and write (in Polish), they could not speak English, but they eventually learned to do so. They settled in Brooklyn, New York and had eight more children.
The family lived at several locations in the South Slope section of Brooklyn, very close to Greenwood Cemetery. They finally settled in an apartment above a grocery store at 129 23rd Street around 1910. Johann worked for many years as a day laborer before becoming a longshoreman at the nearby docks.
While we have found no record of Anton Kazalski's death in Tillitz, we do know that his second wife and Johann's mother, Antonina Kazalski, came to America around 1911, listed as a widow. Johann's younger brother Michael Kazalski arrived two years before and Antonina appears to have been living with him and his family in an apartment above a funeral home at 707 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. She was living there when she died on December 15, 1918 from what may very well have been the so-called Spanish Influenza during a pandemic that broke out near the end of World War I and wiped out possibly as many as 100 million people world-wide in less than two years. 675,000 died in the United States, long considered the record until far surpassed by the Covid Pandemic.
Antonina was 85 years old when she died. She was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
1. BERNARD "BEN" KAZALSKI
Johann and Katie's first child was Bernard "Ben" Thomas Kazalski, born in Tillitz, West Prussia on January 26, 1888. Today, Tillitz is the village of Tylice in Poland. According to his Petition For Naturalization record, he was born and emigrated from Libbo, Germany. No record of Libbo can be found in either Germany or Poland. It may refer to the Lobau district of West Prussia that existed from 1818 to 1920 when it was claimed by Poland after World War I. This area corresponds to where Tylice now exists.
Ben arrived in America on May 7, 1890 aboard the S.S. Apel. At the time, he would have been processed for entry into the United States at Castle Garden, the predecessor of Ellis Island, located at the southern tip of Manhattan.
Around 1912, Ben married Marianna "May" Kieturkiewicz. May was born in Suwalki, Poland on April 7, 1887. Suwalki is over 200 miles east of Tylice near the border with Lithuania, an area once ruled by Russia. Check the Map of Poland, again. May's parents were ethnic Poles from Russia named Stanilaus Kieturkiewicz and Felicity Mirska.
By 1915, Ben and May were living with May's brother and his wife Helen at 908 Avenue C in Brooklyn. May's brother Stan was a police officer. Ben was a pipe fitter at the ship yard. He was 5' 8" tall, weighed 160 pounds with a light complexion, and brown hair and gray eyes.
Eventually, Ben and May moved to 811 East 8th Street where they lived for many years. Although Ben continued working as a pipe fitter, he eventually went to work at a paper company. He and May had three children.
The first child born to Ben and May was Chester "Chetty" S. Kazalski, born in Brooklyn on August 3, 1913. Although he dropped out of high school after his sophomore year, Chetty eventually went to work for a Wall Street bank, and he was an exceptional pianist. He was 5' 11" tall, weighed 155 pounds, with blue eyes, blonde hair and a light complexion.
On August 25, 1941, Chetty enlisted in the U. S. Army. In April of 1942, Private Kazalski married Grace Hodnett. They had a son named Thomas C. Kazalski, who was born in Georgia on December 17, 1943. Nothing more is known about his wife. On the 1950 Federal Census, Chetty and Thomas are living with Ben and May at 811 East 8th Street. Chetty's marital status is listed as "separated."
Chetty was 82 years old when he died on May 8, 1996. He was buried with his parents in Saint Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.
Ben and May's second child was Bernard "Brother Austin" Kazalski, born in Brooklyn on May 28, 1919. By the age of 17, he was motivated by his religious faith to dedicate himself to teaching. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University and attended the Institute of Spiritual Theology before taking his vows as Brother Austin on August 15, 1939. He was a teacher at the Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the 1940's. He was one of the tallest of the Kazalski men, standing at 6 feet and weighing about 170 pounds. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion.
Later, Brother Austin taught at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in the East Elmhurst section of Queens, New York from 1969 to 1984 in the Religion and Foreign Language Departments. He was also a guidance counselor and a "nurse" at a boarding school. At times, he would help put on shows and get out school newspapers. As a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, he served as its treasurer.
Brother Austin was 70 years old when he died April 14, 2010. He was buried at the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Metuchen, New Jersey.
Click here for larger photo
Felicity Theresa Kazalski was the third and last child born to Ben and May. She arrived in Brooklyn on March 22, 1924. After graduating from the Academy of Saint Francis Xavier, she served during World War II in the Hospital Corps of the Women's Naval Reserve. After the war, she was working as a typist when she married John Vincent Moran, Jr., the son of John Vincent Moran, Sr. and Delia O'Brien. The marriage took place at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church on September 6, 1947.
John was born in Brooklyn on October 1, 1922. The Moran's lived at 926 Newkirk Avenue in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, just a few houses down from where Amelia Leier lived at 941 Newkirk Avenue. After graduating from Erasmus Hall High School, John served with the Navy Submarine Force of the Pacific Fleet. Afterwards, he attended Miami University and the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.
John worked for the Robins Dry Dock and Repair Company, located at the Erie Basin in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. He had blonde hair, blue eyes and a light complexion. He stood 5' 8" tall and weighed about 150 pounds.
At first the couple lived with Felicity's parents at 811 East 8th Avenue. John was now a secretary for a mining and nickel refinery. Later, they moved to East Setauket on Long Island where they raised two sons and three daughters. In 1989, they moved to Melbourne, Florida where they attended Saint Joseph Catholic Church. Felicity was an avid reader and Bridge player.
Felicity and John had been married 57 years when she died a few days before Thanksgiving in Palm Bay, Florida on November 20, 2004. She was 80 years old. Per her request, she was cremated. John was suffering from a long illness when he went to live with his son in Randolph, New Jersey. He died there exactly two months after Felicity on January 20, 2005. He was 82 years old.
Ben and May were still living at 811 East 8th Street in Brooklyn when he died at the age of 67 on December 6, 1953. He was buried at Saint Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, Long Island, New York. Several years later, May died, on May 7, 1960. She was 73 years old. She was buried with Ben at Saint Charles Cemetery. When their son Chetty died in 1996, he was buried with Ben and May.
2. JOHN "JACK" JAMES KAZALSKI, JR.
Johann and Katie's second child was John James Kazalski, Jr. He was born in Tillitz, West Prussia on November 17, 1889. As mentioned before, Tillitz is today the village of Tylice in Poland. According to his Petition For Naturalization record, he was born and emigrated from Posen, Poland. This is probably the city of Poznan, located about 160 miles southwest of Tylice.
John arrived in America on February 17, 1890 aboard the S.S. Bremen and was processed for immigration at Castle Garden, the predecessor of Ellis Island. Compare this with his brother Bernard who arrived May 7, 1890 aboard the S.S. Apel. Once he settled in the Brooklyn area of New York City, John became known as "Jack."
On November 18, 1909, Jack married Amelia Leier at Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, a day after he turned 20 years of age. Amelia was known as "Mettie." She was born in March of 1889 in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, the daughter of Longinus "Lawrence" Leier and Amelia Nowasky.
Initially, the couple lived at 267 46th Street in Brooklyn, where Jack worked as a sporting goods dealer. He was nearly six feet tall with blonde hair, blue eyes and weighed about 170 pounds. He had a light complexion and a noticeable scar and mole on his right arm.
Mettie and Jack had five children: John C. Kazalski born in Brooklyn on February 14, 1910, Bertha W. Kazalski May 17, 1912, Gladys Amelia Kazalski February 1, 1914, Dorothy F. Kazalski March 23, 1916, and Florence L. Kazalski January 9, 1919.
By 1920, the family was living at 277 West Street in Brooklyn (by 1940, this location no longer existed). Jack was now working as a foreman for the American Can Company in Brooklyn. Living with them was Mettie's sister Bertha, known to the family as Birdie, and her baby daughter, Ruth. Birdie's husband, Lawrence Hunter, was serving in the Navy.
By 1930, they were living at 1574 East 51st Street in Brooklyn, a home that they owned and valued at $6000. Jack was still working as a foreman for the American Can Company, while 20-year-old John (also called Jack) was a clerk for the electric company. Bertha was 18, Gladys 16, Dorothy 14, and Florence 11. Bertha, who was called "Birdie" like her aunt, died on March 20, 1931 during a series of tuberculosis epidemics that would also kill her 17-year-old sister Dorothy two years later on June 30, 1933.
Tuberculosis was responsible for claiming the young lives of Mettie's sisters, Minnie (1919) and Louisa (1920), her brother Charles (1926), and her daughters Birdie (1931) and Dorothy (1933).
Sometime between 1930 and 1935, the family moved to Queens. They owned a house at 216-15 111 Avenue, valued at $5000. Jack's occupation was now "machinist". Gladys worked as a policy writer for an insurance company, while Florence worked there as a typist. On the 1940 Census, Jack's annual income was listed as $1800; Gladys $884; and Florence, $780.
At some point the family changed their surname from Kazalski to Berry. On his World War II Draft Registration Card, dated April 1942, Jack was now calling himself John James Berry. He and Mettie were still residing at the same Queens address, but they were actually living, perhaps temporarily, in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania. This was way out in the western portion of the state, about 50 miles south-east of Pittsburgh. Jack was working for the Anchor Hocking Company, a manufacturer of glass products, at their new plant in nearby Connellsville. Why was Jack the machinist working way out there for a glass company? For one thing, the company also had a plant in New Jersey. For another, the company was now using sophisticated (for the time) machinery to make various glass products, primarily bottles with metal tops, and would need machinists to maintain them.
The Draft Registration Card had a few puzzling anomalies on it. Polish-born Jack's birthplace is listed as "Brooklyn, New York". While he had grey eyes and brown hair in 1917, he now has blue eyes and blonde hair. The 1917 card lists his date of birth as November 17, 1890 while the 1942 card shows November 17, 1889. In 1942, he was 52 years old. His height is listed as 5' 11 1/2" and weight 175 pounds. The document also states he had a scar and a mole on his right arm. To see these differences for yourself, click on "Documents" in the panel on the left, scroll down to John J. Kazalski (Berry), and click on "Military".
Jack and Mettie's son, John C. Berry, served in the Army, prior to WWII (1940-1941), then again when he re-enlisted in 1943 and served until the end of the war. He was 5' 10" tall, weighed 200 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes and a ruddy complexion. He also had a noticeable scar over his right eye. He later became employed as a bookkeeper for Con Edison in New York, retiring from them in 1955. At some point he moved to Manasquan, New Jersey, and was living there when he died on June 25, 1991, at the age of 81. He is buried at Saint Catherine's Cemetery in Sea Girt, New Jersey.
At some point, the family bought a house in the town of Newton, in the northwest section of New Jersey, near the Delaware Water Gap. Mettie's favorite holiday was Christmas. She continued the German tradition of having real lit candles on the tree and the tree was never put up until after the children went to bed Christmas Eve. She also did wonderful needle work, especially quilting, producing many "masterpieces." Every Christmas she would make new doll clothes for the girls' old dolls.
Gladys, who was born in Brooklyn, lived in Queens and Florham Park most of her life until she retired to Newton, New Jersey in 1976. My father once told me that Gladys dated Victor Wenzel (1911-1996), the son of Leona Blanck Wenzel (1890-1974). Leona's second husband, after Victor's father died, was Joe LaMura (1888-1962). This is of interest to me because Gladys and the LaMura's were my cousins.
On September 1, 1940, Gladys married William Henry Schmidt at Saints Joachim and Anne Roman Catholic Church in Queens, New York. The family called him Harry. He was born in Brooklyn on February 10, 1911, the son of Conrad Schmidt and Anna Frey.
Harry served as a Corporal in the Army during World War II. He was 6' 2" tall and weighed 150 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes and a light complexion. He worked for the Maryland Casualty Insurance Company in Manhattan.
At first, Gladys and Harry lived at 9310 92nd Street in Woodhaven, Queens, and later moved a mile west to 9309 Eldert Lane. They had two children: William Schmidt and Dorothy Schmidt. Harry was only 39 years old when he died in Hempstead, Long Island on August 20, 1950. He was buried at the Long Island National Veterans Cemetery.
Gladys was an administrative assistant for the American Automobile Association in Florham Park for 20 years, retiring in 1976 and moving to Newton. She was living with her daughter Dorothy Van Gordon in Newton when she died, 43 years after William, on May 10, 1993, at the age of 79. She is buried at Saint Catherine's Cemetery in Sea Girt.
Florence was employed as a statistical typist at the American Iron and Steel Institute in New York City, before her retirement. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she married John (Jack) Gittens on June 17, 1951. They lived in Queens Village, Florham Park, and Atlanta, Georgia before moving to Manasquan, New Jersey in 1990. In 2003, they moved to Sea Girt, New Jersey. They were living in Sea Girt when Florence died at home on June 4, 2005. She was 86. Like her sister and brother, she is buried at St. Catherine's Cemetery in Sea Girt.
Mettie died in Newton on October 3, 1969 at the age of 81. Her husband Jack died on August 10, 1981 in Asheville, North Carolina. They are both buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover, New Jersey.
3. WALTER KAZALSKI
Wladyslaw Eugene Kazalski was the third child born to Johann and Katie. He was born in Brooklyn on Christmas Day in 1891 and became known as "Walter." He lived with his parents at 129 23rd Street in Brooklyn, working as a cutter at a paper factory and then as a longshoreman.
In 1915, Walter turns up in New Jersey where he marries Jane C. Brennan, who was born in New Jersey around 1892. Shortly after, the couple moved to New Haven in Connecticut where Walter became employed as a salesman for the H. M. Hodges Company, a paint and wallpaper distributor. He was tall and slender, with blue eyes and brown hair. He wore eyeglasses for reading. Walter could ride a horse and drive a team of horses, but in 1917 he could not yet drive a car.
Like many other members of the Kazalski family, Walter decided early on to change his surname to the more pedestrian "Smith." Thus, he and Jane had two sons named Roger E. Smith and Kenneth R. Smith. Since Smith is a difficult surname to research, nothing more has been found about Walter and Jane Smith.
4. MARTHA KAZALSKI
Almost exactly two years after Walter was born, his sister Martha Kazalski arrived on December 19, 1893. The birth took place at 133 20th Street, presumably where Johann and Katie were living at the time. Martha had the distinction of being the only female among the ten siblings.
On August 7, 1917, at Saint Ann's Catholic Church in Brooklyn, Martha married James Adam Christian who was born in Riga, Lithuania on November 17, 1887. His parents were Russian Jews named William Christian and Mary Kiel. At the time of his birth, that portion of Lithuania was controlled by the Russian Empire. James arrived in America in 1889 where he established himself as a tool maker. He was 5' 6" tall, weighed about 160 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was missing a portion of the little finger on his right hand.
Although we may surmise that Christian was not their original surname, it must be noted that Martha's name on their marriage certificate is Martha Berry, conforming to the name change by several of the members of the Kazalski family to that of Berry.
On May 12, 1918, James and Martha's only child, James Adam Christian, Jr. was born. By 1920, they were living with Martha's brother Jack and his wife Mettie (Leier) in Brooklyn, at 277 West Street. In just a few years, West Street was changed to Dahill Road. Here is a photo of 277 Dahill Road taken in 1940.
From 1930 to October of 1940, they were living at 6607 19th Avenue and James was now calling himself a mechanical engineer. The son, James Jr., was living with them. He was much taller than his father, standing at 6' 2", but still weighing about the same as James Sr. at 165 pounds. And like his father, he had blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion.
Sometime between October of 1940 and 1950, James died. The 1950 Federal Census shows 56-year-old widow Martha living alone in a small apartment at 4015 99th Street in Queens, where she worked as a bookkeeper and cashier for a retail department store. Her son, James Jr., was 200 miles north of Queens in Saratoga Springs where he was the manager of the Worden Hotel. He never married. He was only 39 years old when he died on September 9, 1957. He was buried at Saint Peter's Cemetery in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Like James Sr., we can find no record of Martha's death.
5. FRANK KAZALSKI
Johann and Katie's fifth child was Francis "Frank" Kazalski. He was born in Brooklyn on January 15, 1896. He became a longshoreman, like his father. He was tall with a medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair.
On May 1, 1918, Frank married a pregnant Charlotte Pius, the daughter of Stanislaus Pius and Catherine Kruszewicz. Charlotte was born around 1898 in Plock, a riverside town in Poland, 140 miles east of Poznan. She and Frank were married at Saint Michael's Catholic Church in Bay Ridge, Queens. Four months later, Charlotte gave birth to a daughter named Frances Kazalski on September 15, 1918.
Three days after her 19th birthday, Frances married Michael J. Golinski on September 18, 1937. Michael was born in Brooklyn on September 4, 1910, one of 14 children born to Stanlislaus Golinski and Pelagea "Caroline" Dombrowsha. Michael was a "furniture carver" for a wholesale furniture factory in Brooklyn. He was 5' 8" in height, weighed about 160 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a ruddy complexion.
Frances and Michael lived at 644 6th Avenue in Brooklyn where they raised three children: Matthew Golinski, Carol Ann Golinski and Dorothy Golinski. Son Matthew was born in Brooklyn on July 15, 1938. He married Mary Christine McCloud and they had a son and a daughter. Matthew died in Wilmington, North Carolina on April 8, 2016. He was 70 years old.
Carol Ann Golinski 1961
Daughter Carol Ann was born in Brooklyn on October 31, 1943. She graduated Saint Joseph's High School in Brooklyn in 1961. She was an administrative assistant for the Ruth Taylor Institute of Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York. In 1969, she married James McGuinness in Manhattan. They had two sons. Carol Ann was 71 year sold when she died in Valley Cottage, New York just before Christmas on December 23, 2014. She was buried at Saint Joaquim Cemetery in Beacon, New York.
A year after they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Michael died two weeks before his 78th birthday, on August 22, 1988. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Fifteen years later, Frances died on November 22, 2003.
Frank and Charlotte's marriage did not last. On June 7, 1922, Frank married Eleanor Rita Murphy at Saint John the Evangelist Church in Brooklyn. Eleanor was born in Brooklyn on January 12, 1903, the daughter of John Murphy and Alice Ryan. For the next several years, Frank and Eleanor raised four children and lived at different addresses in Brooklyn before settling at 240 67th Street in 1941. In 1942, they changed their surname to Kazmac.
Frank and Eleanor had five children.
The first was Mary Ann Kazalski, born in Brooklyn on November 6, 1922. By 1950 and now known as Mary Ann Kazmac, she was employed as a secretary for a steamship company. She does not appear to have ever married. In 1968, she and her younger brother Frank moved to Matawan, New Jersey. That is all we know about her.
The second child born to Frank and Eleanor was Francis "Frank" John Kazalski. He was born in Brooklyn on October 17, 1924. As Frank Kazmac, he served in the U. S. Army during World War II, and later worked as a color mixer for the Federal Paint Company in Newark, New Jersey. After moving to Matawan, New Jersey with his sister Mary Ann in 1968, Frank became a parishioner at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in nearby Keyport. He continued working for the paint company until his retirement in 1976. On July 5, 1985, Frank died at the age of 60. Like his sister Mary Ann, he does not appear to have married. Mary Ann was still alive and living in Matawan when her brother died.
Sometime around April of 1927, Eleanor gave birth to John Kazalski. This was their third child. He was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect in which there is incomplete closing of the spine and the membranes around the spinal cord during early development in pregnancy. Poor baby John lived for just six months before dying from Hydrocephalus and Meningitis (swelling and inflammation of the brain) on Halloween, October 31, 1927. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Joseph Francis Kazalski was born January 16, 1929 in Brooklyn. He was Frank and Eleanor's fourth child. When he was known as Joseph Kazmac, he attended the Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades. He was tall and slender at 6' 2", weighing 160 pounds. He had hazel eyes, brown hair and a sallow complexion. He also had a noticeable scar on his left leg.
In 1958, Joseph married Lorraine A. Pepia. She was born in New York in September of 1934. Her parents were John Pepia and Ann J. Bonder. Joseph and Lorraine appear to have had at least two sons. In 1968, they moved to Aberdeen, New Jersey when Joseph's sister Mary Ann and brother Frank moved to nearby Matawan.
James Thomas Kazmac 1987
The fifth and final child born to Frank and Eleanor was James Thomas Kazalski, on July 8, 1935. He was a communications technician for AT&T. As James Kazmac he married Eileen Elizabeth Weatherall in 1961. Her parents were Scottish immigrants Andrew Weatherall and Bernice Joan Busby. Eileen was born in Brooklyn on October 16, 1942. She and James had two daughters Jeanne Kazmac and Eileen Kazmac. They lived in North Babylon on Long Island.
After retiring from AT&T, James and Eileen moved to Port Richey, Florida in 1992. Three years later at the age of 60, James died on October 7, 1995.
Frank and Eleanor were still living at 240 67th Street when, in 1944, Eleanor was diagnosed with liver cancer. She lasted more than two years before dying on September 2, 1946. She was only 43 years old. She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Frank retired as a steamfitter from the Sullivan Shipyards. Sixteen years after Eleanor's passing, Frank was still living at 240 67th Street when he died on December 19, 1960 in Methodist Hospital after a long illness. He was 64 years old.
6. JOSEPH KAZALSKI
Child number six for Johann and Katie was Joseph "Joe" Kazalski, born in Brooklyn on February 2, 1898. When he was 17 years old, the youthful Joe was arrested and fined $1 in 1915 for his involvement in a teenaged "crap shooters" gang. "Crap shooting" is a form of gambling, or chance, where the players throw dice to make scores and avoid "crap" (a losing throw of 2, 3, or 12 on the dice). At the time, he was living with his parents at 129 twenty-third Street in Brooklyn.
Eventually, Joe followed his father to the shipyard where he worked as a riveter and a steamfitter. Steamfitters are construction workers who assemble, install, maintain and repair pipes. Some of the pipes carry steam, but they can also carry chemicals, compressed air, liquids or fuel. Joe had blue eyes, blonde hair and a light complexion. He stood 5' 6" tall and weighed about 145 pounds.
Between 1930 and 1935, Joe married a woman named Margaret. While we do not know her maiden name or her parents, we do know that she was born in New York on February 12, 1904. By 1935, they were living with his father and brother Wesley at 467 42nd Street in Brooklyn. In 1942, they changed their surname to Kazmac.
At some point, Joe and Margaret Kazmac moved to 1420 18th Street in San Pedro, California, a suburb of Los Angeles where Joe was employed as a supervisor at the Todd Shipyards Corporation. They were still living there when Margaret died on July 9, 1964 at the age of 60. She was buried at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verde, California. Joe died twenty years later in April of 1984. He was 84 years old. He was buried with Margaret in an unmarked grave at Green Hills Memorial Park. They do not appear to have had any children.
7. STANLEY KAZALSKI
Johann and Katie's seventh child was Stanislaus "Stanley" Kazalski, born in Brooklyn on May 5, 1900. Unlike some of the other members of his Kazalski generation, Stanley did not change his surname. He was living with his parents at 129 23rd Street in Brooklyn when he married Emily Agatha Cunningham on October 11, 1924. Emily was born aboard the S. S. Etruria on August 11, 1900 on her way from Ireland to America. She was the daughter of Ephram Cunningham and Sarah Jane Murphy.
Stan was a machinist for a while, then he found work as a "Houseman" for a hotel. A hotel houseman is a male counterpart to a maid, also referred to as a butler, housekeeper or janitor. He and Emily lived with her parents at 227 Park Avenue in Brooklyn. It was there that their three children were born.
The first was Evelyn Kazalski. She was born in Brooklyn on April 6, 1926. She was 31 years old when she married 28-year-old Daniel Francis Reiter, Jr. in 1957. Daniel was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania on February 19, 1929. His parents were Daniel Francis Reiter, Sr. and Gladys Stark. He was 5' 10" tall, weighed about 140 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes and a light complexion.
Daniel died in Flushing, Queens on June 15, 1999. He was 70 years old. Several years later, Evelyn, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, died at the age of 88 on November 19, 2014.
The second child born to Stan and Emily was Edward Kazalski. He was born in Brooklyn on July 12, 1931. When he reached the age of 17, he enlisted with the U. S. Marine Corps on September 14, 1948. He served for four years, some of it in Korea, and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. A year later in 1953, he married Marie LoPiccolo, the daughter of Salvatore LoPiccolo and Rosalie Maresca. Marie was born in New York on April 30, 1935.
Edward and Marie lived for many years at 78 Morris Street in the town of Brentwood, out on Long Island. They appear to have a son and a daughter. Edward was only 51 years old when he died on May 24, 1983. He was buried at Calverton National Cemetery. Sometime after Edward died, Marie moved to Port Orange, Florida. Three weeks before her 81st birthday, she died on April 6, 2016. She was buried with Edward at Calverton Cemetery.
Stan and Emily's third child was Jordan "Joe" Kazalski, born in Brooklyn on November 30, 1935. He attended school in the town of Deposit, up in the Catskill region of New York. Deposit is within a few miles of Masonville, New York where Joe met and married Myrna Jean Bartlett on July 23, 1955. Joe and Myrna shared the same birthdate, but one year apart. She was born a few miles north of Masonville in Sidney, New York on November 30, 1936. Her parents were James Truman Bartlett and Hazel Cole.
Joe and Myrna stayed in the area of Masonville and Sidney, along the Susquehanna River. Joe worked at the Keith Clark Business Calendar Company in Sidney. Myrna worked as Production Planning Supervisor for the Borden Company in nearby Bainbridge. After retiring from Borden she worked in the office of the Afton Central School. She and Joe belonged to the East Guilford United Presbyterian Church. They had three sons. They were avid fans of the Bainbridge-Guilford Girls High School Basketball Team. In 1978, they sponsored the Kazalski Invitational Girls Basketball Tournament which is held every year.
Myrna was living in nearby Afton, New York when she died a few weeks before her 67th birthday, on November 12, 2003. She and Joe had been married for 48 years. She was buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Sidney. Years later, when he was 81 years old, Joe died on August 22, 2017. He was buried with Myrna at Prospect Hill Cemetery.
In 1942, when she was 41 years old, Emily was suffering from kidney and heart disease and died on March 10, 1942. She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. The children ranged in age from 6 to 15.
But, by 1950, Stan and his daughter Evelyn were living with Emily's brother, a boilermaker named Edward Cunningham, in Brooklyn. Although Edward was listed on the 1950 Census, he was actually 160 miles northwest of Brooklyn in Deposit, New York where he ran a farm. His "farm hands" were his two teenage sons and 14-year-old Jordan "Joe" Kazalski. Stan's other son Edward Kazalski, who would be have been nearly 19 years old, was in Korea serving with the Marines.
On May 6, 1958, one day after his 58th birthday, Stan died. He was buried with Emily at Holy Cross Cemetery.
8. ANTHONY KAZALSKI
When Johann and Katie welcomed child number 8 on March 7, 1902, they were living at 137 23rd Street in Brooklyn. Anthony "Tony" Kazalski started out as an apprentice in a printing shop and later as a glazier for a glass shop. In 1923, he married Russian-born May Stepinsky and they had a daughter named Dorothy "Dory" Kazalski on March 29, 1924. Tony and May lived together for a while before the marriage ended. By 1930, Tony and Dory were living with his parents at 129 23rd Street. There is no trace of May.
Dory was a telephone operator for the phone company and on November 25, 1944 she married a soldier named Joseph Agustus Dunne, the son of Henry Dunne and Harriet Kelly. Joseph was born in Brooklyn on May 11, 1920. Following his World War II military service, he worked for the New York City Transportation Department as a railroad clerk. Later, he was a member of the New York City Fire Department and a member of the Breezy Point Catholic Club. He and Dory had 4 children.
The first of those children was Gerard Joseph Dunne, born on Christmas Eve of 1946. In the 1960's Gerard enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. In March of 1968 he became engaged to Elizabeth Bilz. A few months later, he left the United States to begin his tour in Vietnam. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant but lasted just three months before being killed in action at Quang Ngai, South Vietnam on August 25, 1968. He was 21 years old. His body was recovered and transported back to America and buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Photos posted on Findagrave.com by Karen Hopkins
Joseph was 76 years old when he died on August 20, 1996. He was buried with Gerard at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Tuberculosis claimed the lives of several members of the Leier and Kazalski families and Tony became one of them. He died from the disease on April 19, 1941. He was only 39 years old. He was buried at Saint John Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens where his cousins Bertha and Dorothy Kazalski, who died of tuberculosis in 1931 and 1933, were buried.
9. THOMAS KAZALSKI
Johann and Katie were still living at 137 23rd Street when their ninth child was born. This was Andrew Tami Kazalski. He was born on November 11, 1904. His name was changed to Thomas at an early age but he remained a Kazalski all his life. Like his brother Tony, he initially found work as a "glass man" (glazier) and sometimes as a handyman.
Thomas was 5' 6" tall, weighed about 170 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. On October 30, 1937 he married Helen Florence Wesolowski, the daughter of Wladyslaw "Walter" Wesolowski and Blanche Wasalska. Helen was born in Brooklyn July 14, 1913. She and Thomas lived with her widowed father at 728 Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. Thomas worked for the Hempstead Glass Company out on Long Island. Their son Robert Kazalski was born in 1943.
Thomas was only 52 years old when he died on June 23, 1957. He was buried in the Wesolowski-Kazalski family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Helen was living in San Francisco, possibly with her son Robert, when she died at the age of 65 on December 2, 1978. She was buried with Thomas at Holy Cross Cemetery.
10. WESLEY KAZALSKI
On January 21, 1908, Johann and Katie's tenth and final child was born. This was Wachlaw Peter Kazalski, otherwise known as Wesley Kazmac. Like other members of the Kazalski clan, Wesley worked at the docks, eventually as a pipefitter and a mechanic. He was 5' 10" tall, weighing about 165 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and a light brown complexion.
On April 2, 1944, Wesley married a Jewish immigrant named Claire Blecher, who was born April 15, 1907 in the city of Kishinoff, which at the time of her birth was in Russia. After World War I, Kishinoff became part of Romania and is now part of the Republic of Moldova and known as Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Other sources show her birthplace as Bessarabia, another town in Moldova now known as Bessarabskaya Vozvyshennost. Claire's parents were Moses "Morris" Blecher and Pauline Pievin. The marriage was performed by Rabbi Sydney S. Tedesche at 41 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.
Claire was a stenographer and bookkeeper for a diamond merchant before the marriage. They had at least one child, a son named Mark Kazmac in 1946.
Wesley died in August of 1972 when he was 64 years old. Claire followed 25 years later on July 12, 1997. She was 90 years old.
PASSINGS OF JOHANN AND KATIE
Photo of Katie circa 1914
posted on Ancestry.com by kazgold22
Although Johann and Katie were still living at 129 23rd Street in 1932, Katie died on New Year's Eve at the home of their son Ben and his wife May, 811 East 8th Street. She was 62 years old. She had been suffering for three years from arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), but she died due to a cerebral hemorrhage. The viewing was conducted in the home and a mass followed at Lady of Czentochowa Roman Catholic Church and she was laid to rest at Saint John's Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens.
Following Katie's death, Johann went to live with his son Joseph at 467 Forty-Second Street in Brooklyn. He was also suffering from arteriosclerosis and was sent to Kings County Hospital where he died of pneumonia after eleven days on July 29, 1943. He was 83 years old. He was buried with Katie at Saint John's Cemetery.
FRANZ KAZALSKI and LUDWICKA GALEDEK
As noted at the beginning of this narrative, Anton and Antonina Kazalski had four children born in Tillitz, West Prussia. After their first, Johann James Kazalski, they had Franz Kazalski, born on September 11, 1862. Franz married Ludwicka Galedek in Tillitz in 1886. Ludwicka was born in Poland in July of 1866, the daughter of Michael Galadek and Barbara Zakrewska.
Franz and Ludwicka had several children, two born in Poland: Ladislau Kazalski (1887) and Wanda Kazalski (1889). Franz, Ludwick and Wanda came to America in 1890, with no mention of Ladislau. He may have died in Poland.
They settled in a tenement located at 193 21st Street in Brooklyn. On January 25, 1894, a son named Frank Anton Kazalski was born. Franz was working as a simple laborer. Another son, John Zenon Kazalski, arrived on July 13, 1896. Ludwicka became known as Lucille or Lucy, and when a daughter was born in December of 1898, they named her Lucy Kazalski.
Frank found work as a "lumber handler" and carpenter for a "car shop." By 1900, they had saved up enough money to purchase a property at 132 19th Street in Brooklyn where they would stay for many years. They lived in one apartment and rented out the other two. Two more daughters followed, Josephine Kazalski on June 14, 1901, and Irene Kazalski on December 27, 1905. There may have been another daughter named Florence Kazalski but no more can be found about her.
A series of tragedies began to overtake them. Their little daughter Lucy was barely one year old when she developed pertussis (whooping cough). This quickly extended to bronchial pneumonia and Lucy died at home on January 25, 1900. She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
On July 25, 1904, eight-year-old John Zenon died at home from dysentery (Inflammation of the intestines accompanied by bloody diarrhea) and convulsions. He was buried with his sister at Holy Cross Cemetery.
At the very beginning of the year 1909, their son Frank became very ill from "bilious intermittent fever" which may have been caused by excessive bile in the bloodstream and tissues. Symptoms included periodic risings in temperature, nausea, vomiting and severe diarrhea. Young Frank wasted away for three weeks before dying on January 20, 1909, five days before his sixteenth birthday. He was buried with his brother and sister at Holy Cross Cemetery.
By now, only the three daughters, Wanda, Josephine and Irene were left. There are no records to indicate that another daughter named Florence ever existed, although she is cited on several family trees on Ancestry.com. Wanda appears to have changed her name to Viola Kazalski and is working as a "valve examiner" for a motor valve company. By 1915, Viola disappears from the records. Josephine does the same after 1920.
That leaves Irene Kazalski. Turns out she married Marty Fisher in Manhattan on September 30, 1929. Marty was born in New York around 1902. His parents were William Fisher and Lena Schwartz. But like her sisters, Irene's trail ends here.
Ludwicka was suffering from heart disease when she was taken to Holy Family Hospital in Brooklyn in 1941. She died three days later on May 24, 1941 at the age of 74. She was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery. Franz also suffered from heart disease and he died four years later at home on April 18, 1945. He was 82 years old. He was buried with Ludwicka at Holy Cross Cemetery.
MAGDALENA KAZALSKI and ALEXANDER DEMBINSKI
Now we come to the third child born to Anton and Antonina Kazalski. this was Magdalena Kazalski. She was born in Tillitz, West Prussia on March 25, 1865. She married Alexander Dembinski in Tillitz on June 11, 1888. Alexander was born in Gwiezdny, West Prussia on September 30, 1864, the son of Mattheus Dembinski and Anna Dudulska. Gwiezdny is located nearly 300 miles southwest of Tillitz, both of which are now located in Poland where Tillitz is now called Tylice. Here again is the Map of Poland.
You may recall that Katie Dembinski, the wife of Johan James Kazalski, came from Gwiezdny. While Alexander was one of 14 children born to Mattheus and Anna, Katie is not one of them. But they must certainly be related.
Maggie and Alexander had a son named John James Dembinski, born in Tillitz in 1889. She was pregnant with her second child when Alexander left to make his way to America in 1892. He settled in Brooklyn where he worked as a simple laborer until he saved up enough money to send for Maggie and the children. A second son, Joseph Dembinski was born in Tillitz in 1893. By 1894, Alexander was able to send Maggie enough money to join him in Brooklyn where they had more children for a total of seven.
1. JOHN J. DEMBINSKI
As stated above, Maggie and Alexander's first child was John James Dembinski, born in Tillitz on April 20, 1889. He was just in his teens when he found work in a print shop. Later, he was a "bag cutter" for a clothing manufacturer. He was 30 years old when he married 24-year-old Wladyslava "Lottie" A. Kosmider at Our Lady of Czenstochowa Roman Catholic Church on June 4, 1919. Lottie was born in Brooklyn on June 4, 1894. John was now a receiving clerk for a paper manufacturer. He was 5' 9" tall, weighed about 190 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and a dark brown complexion.
At first, they lived with Lottie's widowed mother and siblings at 207 27th Street in Brooklyn, but would shortly move to 360 61st Street where they shared an apartment with John's younger brother Joseph and his wife Antoinette. By this time, John and Lottie had a son named John James Dembinski, Jr., born in Brooklyn on June 26, 1920.
John Jr. graduated from Holy Family School and attended Alexander Hamilton High School. He was a member of the drum corps of Frank J. Dombrowski Post 965 American Legion. He was 5' 11" tall, weighed about 185 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. He also had a noticeable scar on his right hand. He was working as a stock clerk for the Arma Corporation in Brooklyn when he enlisted in the Army on February 5, 1942. He served overseas with the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment Company B 3rd Armored Division. He had attained the rank of Staff Sergeant when he was killed in action in Germany on September 19, 1944. He was just 24 years old. Although his family was notified of his death, his remains were not recovered until 1948. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn on September 4, 1948.
John and Lottie had a second child, a daughter born on March 10, 1927 named Eleanor Dembinski. When she was 18 years old, she enlisted in United States Nurse Corps on June 27, 1945 and began her training at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. Two years later, she was still serving when she married Emilio Dino Bonzani, a shipping clerk who worked for a paper distribution Company, on November 1, 1947. Emilio was born in Brooklyn on July 10, 1924. His parents were Pietro Bolzani and Albina Morini. The marriage took place at Our Lady of Czenstochowa Roman Catholic Church where Eleanor's parents were married 28 years earlier.
Emilio served in the U. S. Army during World War II, enlisting on March 18, 1943 when he was 20 years old. Towards the end of the war, he developed infectious hepatitis and was hospitalized for two months. He was 6 foot tall, weighed about 195 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and a ruddy complexion.
Eleanor and Emilio had four sons. The first was John Joseph Bonzani, born on April 14, 1949. While we have found no record of a marriage, he ends up in Phoenix, Arizona with a daughter and a son. He was working there as a chef when he died on September 5, 1994. He was only 45 years old.
Eleanor and Emilio's second son was Lawrence Peter Bonzani, born in Brooklyn on December 7, 1951. He also ends up in Arizona married to Helen Maria Pickard. The had one daughter. Two months after his brother John died, Lawrence died on November 15, 1994. He was only 42 years old. He was buried somewhere in South Carolina.
Besides John and Lawrence, Eleanor and Emilio had two more sons. Eventually, Eleanor and Emilio retired to Murrell's Inlet in South Carolina. They were living there when Emilio died on April 19, 2010. He was 85 years old. He was interred at Precious Blood of Christ Columbarium in Pawley's Island, South Carolina. Eleanor was a few weeks beyond her 92nd birthday when she died on March 28, 2019. She was placed with Emilio at the Columbarium.
2. JOSEPH DEMBINSKI
A stated above, Alexander Dembinski left his pregnant wife and their small son John in West Prussia and made his way to America where he worked for two years before bringing them to America. Before that happened, Maggie gave birth to their second son, Joseph Dembinski, in Tillitz on March 15, 1893.
By the time Joseph was 17 years old, he was providing income to the family as a truck driver. On February 19, 1922, he married Antoinette Winiarski at Our Lady of Czenstochowa Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, the same church where his brother John married in 1919. Antoinette was born in Galicia, Poland in 1896, the daughter of Alexander Winiarski and Helene Pieciadecka.
At first, they lived with Joseph's brother John and his wife Lottie at 360 61st Street in Brooklyn. Joseph was a skinnier version of his brother John. He was 5' 10" tall and weighed about 145 pounds. He had brown hair and eyes and a ruddy complexion.
Joseph and Antoinette had one child, a son named Eugene Alexander Dembinski, born in Brooklyn on January 19, 1923. Eugene was a veteran of World War II, enlisting in the U. S. Army on January 6, 1943 and was honorably discharged three years later on January 7, 1946. He graduated from Newark College of Engineering and was employed by Aeronautical Instrument and Radio Corporation in Lodi, New Jersey.
In 1950, Eugene married Gloria Patricia Barry, the daughter of John M. Barry and Antonia A. LaTaste. Gloria was born in New York City on March 17, 1929. She was working for a life insurance company she and Eugene married. They had three sons and three daughters.
Eugene was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and financial secretary of the Ridgewood Council 1736. Around 1968, he and Gloria moved from Allendale, New Jersey to nearby Glen Rock. He was just 57 years old when he died at home a week before his 58th birthday, on January 10, 1981. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Thirty years later, Gloria died at the age of 82 on August 26, 2011.
Antoinette was about 72 years old when she died on June 21, 1968. She was buried in the Winiarski family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Joseph went to live, possibly with his son Eugene, in Glen Rock. Four months after Eugene died on January 10, 1981, Joseph died on May 22, 1981. He was 88 years old. He was buried with Antoinette at Holy Cross Cemetery.
3. MAKS "MAX" DEMBINSKI
Maggie and Alexander's fourth child was Maks Dembinski, otherwise known as "Max." He was the first of the children born in Brooklyn. This was on March 23, 1894. He was a veteran of World War I. He enlisted on July 28, 1917 in the Army Aviation Section of the U. S. Army Signal Corps, the forerunner of the Air Force. He served two years overseas and was honorably discharged on May 25, 1919. And that is all we know about him.
4. LEON "LEO" DEMBINSKI
On March 9, 1898, Maggie and Alexander welcomed their fourth child, Leon Dembinski, better known as "Leo." He was a machinist in a machine shop when he married Anastasia Grupinski at Our Lady of Czenstochowa Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn on November 24, 1920. Anastasia was born in Brooklyn in 1898. Her parents were Frank Grupinski and Cecelia Palkowska. The family called Anastasia "Elsie." At the time of her marriage to Leo, she was working as a "folder" for the Quartermaster for one of the military installations in Brooklyn.
Leo and Elsie lived with her family at 408 Third Street in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. They had two daughters. Leo was still a machinist, primarily working as a mechanic for a "pitometer" company. A pitometer was a gadget that regulated the distribution of the flow of water through the city's water system.
Leo and Elsie's first daughter was Genevieve "Jenny" Dembinski, born in Brooklyn on December 17, 1927. She married Edward Francis Wildes in 1960. Edward was born in Brooklyn on August 15, 1925, the son of John Joseph Wildes and Anna Jane Kane.
Jenny and Edward did not have children. Edward was just 56 years old when he died in Brooklyn in December of 1981. Thirty years later, Jenny died in Brooklyn a few weeks short of her 84th birthday on December 1, 2011.
Photos of Jenny posted on
Ancestry.com by CJesinkey
Leo and Elsie's second daughter was Dorothy Dembinski. She was born in Brooklyn on June 7, 1935. She married a year before her sister in 1959 to William James Patrick Jesinkey. William was born in Brooklyn on February 1, 1934. His parents were William Jasinsky and Elizabeth Lowery. William was a graduate of Saint Francis Prep High School and Manhattan College. He went from being a teacher of special education children to the director of the New York City Board of Education's citywide special education programs.
William was 80 years old when he died on Christmas Day in 2014. His cremains were placed in Crematory Atrium II at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. When Dorothy died two years later on September 25, 2016 at the age of 81, her cremains were placed next to William.
Photos of Dorothy posted on
Ancestry.com by CJesinkey
Elsie was 75 years old when she died in Brooklyn on July 16, 1973. She was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. When 83-year-old Leo died on April 28, 1981, he was buried with Elsie.
5. HELEN DEMBINSKI
Maggie and Alexander's fifth child was Helen Dembinski, born in Brooklyn on April 14, 1901. She married George Mattern on December 14, 1922 at City Hall in Brooklyn. George was born in Manhattan on August 18, 1892. His parents were Jacob Mattern and Janet Scobie. He worked for a printing company. George was a short 5' 3" tall, weighing about 130 pounds, with blue eyes, black hair and a light complexion. He was a veteran of World War I, serving as a cook in the U. S. Navy.
Maggie and Alexander were able to purchase a small tenement house located at 831 52nd Street in Brooklyn, valued in 1930 at $17,000. Alexander died there in 1928. Maggie, George and Helen, and Helen's brother Paul and his family continued to live there, and Maggie was still able to rent out a few more apartments in the building. Helen and George had two children.
Their first child was George Wade Mattern, born in Brooklyn on November 8, 1923. The family called him by his middle name when he was young. He was a veteran of World War II, entering the U. S. Army on February 9, 1943 and serving for three years. He was of medium height and skinny, standing at 5' 7" tall and weighing a mere 120 pounds. He was honorably discharged on January 18, 1946.
Photos posted on Ancestry.com in the Mattern Family Tree
On Valentine's Day of 1949, Wade and Dorothy Anna Mason applied for a marriage license. Dorothy was born in Brooklyn on November 14, 1927 and eventually graduated from Fort Hamilton High School. Her parents were George Mason and Madeline Miller.
Wade worked in the service department of a paper machine manufacturer, while Dorothy was a secretary for a petroleum engineering firm. On October 30, 1955, their son Keith George Mattern was born. There may have been two more sons. In 1974, Wade and Dorothy divorced. Dorothy married again on December 23, 1977 to William Calvin Bledsoe, a mechanical engineer who was born in Chicago on November 4, 1924, the son of William Jasper Bledsoe and Anna Beyer.
Wade also remarried, in February of 1982, to Marion Steenburgh, who was born Marion Claire Clayton in February of 1982 in Lakewood, New Jersey. It was Marion's third marriage.
Wade and Dorothy's son Keith Mattern graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in mechanical engineering and worked at the PPL Susquehanna Steam Electric Station Nuclear Power Plant. He married Rebecca "Becky" Blake and they had one son.
Keith was an avid fisherman, hunter, gardener and general hobbyist. He was always trying new things and coming up with new projects and adventures. One of those adventures involved creating a private drone company with his son called Looking Glass Drone Services, and another where he learned to make his own shoes. He coached Little League baseball, youth hockey, and the helped develop the Wyoming Valley West Club hockey program. Throughout the years, he was affectionately called "Co-Key" (Coach Keith) by the young players he coached. He was also active as a player for various adult hockey teams in and around Pittston. He had several nieces and nephews who referred to him as the crazy and fun uncle.
Photo posted on Ancestry.com in the Mattern Family Tree
Keith worked at the PPL Susquehanna Steam Electric Station Nuclear Power Plant for 38 years until he retired in 2015. He and Becky were living along the Susquehanna River in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania when he died on May 12, 2019. He was 63 years old. He was buried at Maple Hill Cemetery in nearby Hanover Township.
Wade was 61 years old when he died in Lakewood, New Jersey on January 15, 1985. Dorothy died in Kingston, Pennsylvania on May 1, 2010 at the age of 82. She was interred in the Maple Hill Cemetery Columbarium Her second husband, William Bledsoe, died in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on December 16, 1996 at the age of 72. Wade's second wife, Marion Clayton Mattern, was 96 years old when she died in Bordentown, New Jersey on June 4, 2022.
Helen and George's second child was Madelyn Janet Mattern. She was born in Brooklyn on February 8, 1927. She married Edward Francis Power on May 6, 1945. The marriage took place on Shelter Island, located at the extreme eastern end of Long Island. Edward was born in Greenport, New York on July 25, 1924, the son of Edward Aloysius Power and Augusta "Gussie" Ketcham. Edward was a veteran of World War II. He enlisted in the U. S. Army at the age of 18 on November 9, 1942 and eventually ended up in the U. S. Army Air Force. He was honorably discharged on February 27, 1946. He and Madelyn were married while he was still actively serving our country. He was a tall, slim man, standing at nearly 6 foot and weighing about 155 pounds. He had grey eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. Madelyn and Edward had one son.
Edward died in Ruskin, Florida on January 18, 1988 at the age of 63. Madelyn died many years later in Bedford, Texas on Valentine's Day of 2011, when she was 84 years old. They are buried together at Our Lady Of The Isle Cemetery in Dering Harbor, New York.
George was just 56 years of age when he died in the Bronx, New York on April 15, 1949. He was interred at Fresh Pond Crematory in Middle Village, Queens. Helen lived on for many more years before succumbing at the age of 91 in Sun city, Florida on December 5, 1992. She was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Ruskin, Florida.
6. JOSEPHINE DEMBINSKI
Child number six for Maggie and Alexander was Josephine Dembinski, born in Brooklyn on March 15, 1904. She married Frank Garczynski, the son of Antone Garczynski and Teofila "Fannie" Kopezynski. Frank was born in Brooklyn on December 3, 1903. The marriage took place on June 15, 1924 at Our Lady of Czenstochowa Roman Catholic Church.
Frank was an industrious individual. Starting out as a proprietor of his own grocery store, he decided to use his unique talents as a "sand hog" for the construction of the Queens-Midtown Tunnel that connected Manhattan with Queens under the East River. He was a strong, heavyset man, carrying 230 pounds on a 5' 7" frame, with blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He had a noticeable scar under his chin.
Josephine and Frank did not have children. Frank was just 55 years of age when he died in October of 1959. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Many years later, Josephine was living in Florida when she died on August 28, 1987. She was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Ruskin, Florida. Five years later, her sister Helen was buried next to her.
7. BOLESTAW "PAUL" DEMBINSKI
And finally, we come to the last child born to Maggie and Alexander. This is Bolestaw Dembinski, otherwise known as "Paul", born in Brooklyn on July 23, 1906. Like his cousins, Anthony and Thomas Kazalski, Paul was a glazier. He was 5' 11" tall, weighed about 150 pounds, with grey eyes, blonde hair and a light complexion. On September 2, 1928, Paul married Marie Younker, the daughter of John Younker and Mary Kowalski. Marie was born in Brooklyn on June 10, 1907. The marriage took place at Our Lady of Czenstochowa Roman Catholic Church.
On August 15, 1929, their son Paul Dembinsky, Jr. was born in Brooklyn on August 15, 1929. He followed in his father's footsteps and became a glazier. In 1954, he married Anna Scully. Not much more is known about them except that Paul Jr. died February 7, 2003 at the age of 73. He was buried in Saint Charles Cemetery, located in East Farmingdale on Long Island.
Paul and Marie also had a daughter. Her name was Joan Mary Dembinski. She was born in Brooklyn on August 15, 1933. As you will recall, her brother Paul Jr. was born exactly three years earlier on August 15, 1929. Joan married Robert Smith in 1955. Nothing more is known about them, either, except that Joan died on June 15, 1993 at the age of 59. She was buried in Saint Charles Cemetery. When her brother died in 2003, he was buried next to her.
Paul Sr. was 68 years old when he died on November 26, 1974. One month before daughter Joan died, Marie died on May 4, 1993 at the age of 85. She and Paul, and Paul Jr. and Joan, are all buried next to one another in Saint Charles Cemetery.
By the late 1920's, Maggie and Alexander owned a small tenement building at 831 52nd Street in Brooklyn. Living with them were daughter Helen and her family, and son Paul and his family. Alexander was working as a porter when he died at home of pneumonia on April 14, 1928. He was 63 years old. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Maggie was suffering from heart disease and living with her son Paul and his family at 722 45th Street in Brooklyn. Just before Christmas of 1943, she had an attack. She suffered for a few weeks before dying on January 10, 1944. She was 74 years old. She was buried with Alexander at Holy Cross Cemetery.
MICHAEL KAZALSKI and FRANCES SHULTZ
Now we come to the fourth and final child born to Anton and Antonina Kazalski. This was Michael Kazalski. He was born in Tillitz, West Prussia on May 12, 1869. Sailing aboard the immigration vessel S. S. Albany, he arrived at Ellis Island on June 12, 1895. In 1899, he married Frances "Francy" Shultz. She was born in Poland around 1878 and arrived in America in 1896.
Michael was a carpenter by trade, specializing in making cabinets. He and Francy had six children. They lived for several years in Brooklyn before moving to Jersey City, New Jersey around 1912. They eventually settled at 4 Duncan Court in Jersey City, where they resided for many years.
1. WLADYSLAW "WALTER" KAZALSKI
Michael and Francy's first child was Wladyslaw Francis Kazalski. They called him Walter. He was born in Brooklyn on June 1, 1900. After the family moved to Jersey City, Walter found work as a pipe fitter assistant, then as a stock clerk. He was tall and slender, with blue eyes and brown hair. By 1925, he was living with his parents at 4 Duncan Court. And that is the last we know about him.
2. MICHAEL KAZALSKI
The second child was named after his father. Michael Kazalski was born in Brooklyn on March 14, 1902. This remarkable photo of an 18-year-old Michael was attached to his application for work as a "coal passer" aboard a coal-powered ship owned by the International Mercantile Marine Company. A coal passer was someone who brings coal from a ship's bunkers to the furnaces and removes the ashes.
Michael had blue eyes, light brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed about 160 pounds. On his right arm he sported a tattoo of a horseshoe and three hearts. Following his shipping experience, he became a brakeman for the railroad and a painter for a construction company. He never married and was still living with his family at 4 Duncan Court when he died on April 10, 1941 after a short illness. He was only 38 years old. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
3. CAROLINE "CARRIE" KAZALSKI
Caroline Kazalski was the third child born to Michael and Francy. She was born in Brooklyn on November 5, 1903. They called her "Carrie." She married Anthony Nikiperowicz in Jersey City in June of 1922. Anthony was born on December 1, 1894 in the Russian town of Wilno, which today is located in Lithuania and is called Vilnius. His parents were ethnic Poles. Prior to the marriage, he served as a veteran of World War I from July 8, 1918 through June 6, 1919. He was a member of the Sons of Poland. Carrie was recording secretary for the Ladies Polish Democratic Club of Hudson County.
Anthony was a railroad mechanic. He was 5' 7" tall, weighing a hefty 200 pounds, with brown eyes, light brown hair and a light complexion. He and Carrie lived with her parents at 4 Duncan Court. Around 1949, along with other members of his family, Anthony changed his surname to Nikiper. He and Carrie did not have children.
There is some evidence that Anthony and Carrie separated or divorced. In 1966, he moved from Jersey City to Toms River, New Jersey. He died there on September 13, 1974 at the age of 79 in the Garden State Rehabilitation Center. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington. After Anthony moved to Toms River in 1966, Carrie stayed in Jersey City before moving to Bloomfield, New Jersey in 1977. She was a patient at the Mountainside Hospital in Glen Ridge, New Jersey when she died on September 21, 1982. She was 78 years old. She was buried at the same cemetery as Anthony.
4. ANASTASIA and 5. ANNA KAZALSKI
After Carrie was born in 1903, the next two children did not live long. Anastasia Kazalski was born in Brooklyn on August 5, 1906. The family called her Nettie. Less than two months after her first birthday, she became ill and died on October 1, 1907. Cause of death was listed as Ileocolitis, or Chron's Disease, and Broncho-Pneumonia. She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
A year after Nettie's death, Anna Kazalski was born on August 12, 1908. Little Annie lived a little longer than Nettie. She was 2 and a half years old when she developed Scarlet Fever and Meningitis, but like her sister, the immediate cause of death on February 12, 1911 was Broncho-Pneumonia. She was buried with Nettie at Holy Cross Cemetery.
6. MARTHA KAZALSKI
More than three years after the death of little Annie, another daughter arrived. By this time the family had made their move to Jersey City where Martha Marie Kazalski was born in on October 10, 1914. In 1939, she married Eduard Felix Garzarek, better known as Edward. He was born on January 12, 1909 in Bremen, Germany. The marriage took place at Saint Anne's Roman Catholic Church in Jersey City. The newlyweds had a honeymoon tour of the South before returning to Jersey City where Edward worked as an insurance agent. He was 5' 11" tall, weighed 165 pounds, with gray eyes, blonde hair and a light complexion.
Martha and Edward lived with her parents at 4 Duncan Court. Four months after Martha's brother Michael died on April 10, 1941, her father died on August 17, 1941. He was a few weeks short of his 72nd birthday. He was buried with his son Michael at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
Martha and Edward had one child, a daughter named Barbara Garzarek. She was born on her father's 38th birthday, January 12, 1947. Martha and her mother Francy were still living at 4 Duncan Court when Francy died at the age of 85 on March 14, 1964. She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
In 1968, Barbara married Carmine L. Colandra. He was born in Newark on February 22, 1944. They lived in Bloomfield, New Jersey, located about 15 miles west of Jersey City. Carmine worked for the Bloomfield Township Department of Public Works. He and Barbara did not have children.
Edward was a member of the Tenth Ward Polish-American Democaratic Club and the Amvets Boyd McGuinness Post No. 35, in Jersey City. He was 67 years old when he died on January 30, 1976. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
After Edward, Martha moved to Bloomfield to be near Barbara and Carmine. She was a volunteer for Mountainside Hospital in nearby Glen Ridge, and served as treasurer of the hospital's alcohol treatment unit. 21 years after Edward's death, Martha died at Cedar Grove Manor Nursing Home. She was 82 years old. She was buried with Edward at Holy Cross Cemetery.
After living most of their lives in Bloomfield, Barbara and Carmine moved to nearby Clifton around 2001. Carmine retired in 2011 after 20 years of service with the Bloomfield Public Works Department. He was 78 years old when he died on November 30, 2022. He joined all the other family members at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
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