Leier Family Chart
Leier Family History
Children of Charles
& Louise Nowasky
Children of Lawrence
& Amelia Leier
Causes of Death
Children of Charles & Louise Nowasky
Emilie (Amelia), Bertha, Friedrich, Hulda, Jacob, and Carl (Charles) Jr.
Friedrich, Hulda and Jacob died as infants in Germany.
Amelia Nowasky was born as Emilie Bertha Pubanz in Cekzin, Germany on February 18, 1865 and immigrated to New York City with her family on November 8, 1882. At the time of her birth, Amelia's mother, Louise Pubanz, appears to have been unwed. That is, there is no name for the father on the birth record. Eventually, Louise married Carl Nowatzke in Cekzin and he would be Amelia's father from then on.
The earliest American document that I have is the certificate of Amelia's marriage to Longinus Leier , dated September 9, 1883. They were married in St. John’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church, located on Prospect Avenue in Brooklyn. Her name on the certificate is Emilie Nowacka and her father’s name is Carl Nowatzki. I'm not sure why Nowatzke is now Nowatzki, but, based on information I received from several sources, Nowatzki is the German spelling of the Polish Nowacki. I have been told by those same informed sources that Nowacki is a very common surname in present-day Poland and it was the custom for an unmarried female with that surname to spell her name with an (a) at the end (Nowacka).
In any case, Emilie’s place of birth on the certificate is entered as “Germany." She and Longinus were living in Gravesend, Long Island at the time and one of the witnesses to the marriage was her 16-year-old sister, Bertha Nowacka.
Eventually, Emilie changed her name to Amelia and Longinus changed his to Lawrence. Carl Nowatzke/Nowatzki changed his name to Charles Nowasky.
For more information on Amelia and Lawrence, click on the "Leier Family History" in the panel on the left.
Bertha Rosalie Nowasky was born as Bertha Rosalie Krzyan in Cekzin, Germany on September 8, 1867. The reason for her unusual surname is still unclear. Her birth record lists her mother as Louise Krzyan, whose maiden name should be Pubanz. Like her sister Emilie's record, there is no father listed, but Louise would eventually marry Carl Nowatzke and he would become Bertha's father.
On November 8, 1882, Bertha arrived in New York City with her family. The second-oldest American document that I have is Bertha’s marriage certificate. She was barely 17 years old when she married 24-year-old Albert Kuntze on February 15, 1885, in the same church as her sister, St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brooklyn. Curiously, her name is spelled Nowazky on the certificate and the name of her father is written as Carl Nowazky. Furthermore, one of the witnesses is Carl Nowazky, which could be Bertha’s father or her 15-year-old brother. The other witness is Longinus Leier.
The most important piece of information on the certificate, however, is the entry for Bertha’s place of birth, which is “Ceckin Germany”. Although the spelling is a little different, this matches the records that I received from Tom Peters showing the Nowaskys came from Cekzin. As I stated previously, Cekzin was actually a small village in West Prussia, which at the time was part of the vast German Empire. Today, that same village is in Poland, and is known by the Polish name of Cekcyn. All of the documents I have for the Nowaskys indicate they considered themselves, German, not Polish.
Bertha and Albert Kuntze had 5 children that I know of. The first was a female whose name I have yet to learn. She was born April 29, 1886 and died before the second child was born in September 1887. The other children were William, Albert, Edwin, and Ada.
William Kuntze was born on September 25, 1887, in the South Greenfield section of Gravesend. According to his birth certificate, William was Bertha and Albert's second child and the first child was no longer living. Ten months later on July 28, 1888, Bertha prematurely gave birth to their third child, Albert Kuntze Jr., who died within hours. Cause of death is listed as asthenia due to premature birth. Asthenia generally means "weakness" but may have been a euphemism for pulmonary tuberculosis.
While Bertha and Albert were trying to deal with the heartbreaking loss of their second child within two years, 10-month-old William died barely 2 days after Albert Jr., on July 31,1888, from dysentery convulsions. Dysentary is an infection of the digestive system that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and blood in the feces and is typically the result of unsanitary water and food. He was buried in Gravesend Cemetery.
Less than a year later, on May 20, 1889, their fourth child was born. His name was Edwin Kuntze. On September 8, 1890, their fifth child, Ada Kuntze was born. Although I have been unable to find any other documents for Edwin, Ada's birth certificate indicates that she was the only living child. By the time Ada was born, Bertha was only 22 years old, and she and Albert had already lost 4 babies.
Somehow, against all odds, Ada was able to survive into adulthood, barely. On the 1910 census, she is listed as living with her Aunt Amelia Leier and her children. In February 1912, she was 21 years old and single when she prematurely gave birth to a baby girl named Katherine. Ada had contracted Erysipelas Fasciitis, a flesh-eating skin infection, while she was pregnant. Mother and daughter lingered several weeks in Kings County Hospital until Katherine died from malnutrition on March 23. Ada died the next day on March 24. They were buried together in the same plot at Evergreens Cemetery with Ada's mother Bertha and her grandmother Louise Pubanz Nowasky.
Albert Kuntze died on January 22, 1897 at Newkirk Avenue near Coney Island Road. He was 35 years old. According to his death certificate, he was born in Germany, he came to the U.S. around 1882, and his occupation is listed as a laborer. Cause of death: Pleura Pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs and lining of the thorax). He was buried in Gravesend Cemetery on January 24, 1897.
Exactly 26 years to the day after Albert's death, Bertha died, on January 22, 1923 at her home at 239 Central Avenue in Brooklyn. She was 55 years old. She was suffering from Chronic Interstitial Nephritis, an inflammation of her kidneys, for a year and a half before she succumbed. She was buried at Evergreens Cemetery on January 24, 1923, in the same unmarked plot as her mother Louise and daughter Ada. Her name listed on the death certificate is Bertha Wilson. I can only guess that she remarried after Albert’s death in 1897, but I have no evidence of that.
Charles Nowasky Jr. was born as Carl Nowatzke in Cekzin, Germany in February of 1874, and immigrated to New York City with his family on November 8, 1882. They were living in the Parkville section of Flatbush, Brooklyn when Charles, who was working as a laborer in a lumberyard, married Barbara Kellner on June 7, 1896. They had three children that I know of: Charles, Frederick and Marie.
Charles and Barbara's first child, the third Charles Nowasky, was born on January 13, 1897. On September 12, 1918, he registered for the draft, as he was required to do by law. He was 20 years old at the time and living at Avenue L & 17th Street with his mother and brother, Frederick. He worked for the Bush Company running a freight elevator. He described himself as short and slender, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was working as a handyman at Kings County Hospital when he died there on March 12, 1954 at the age of 57 of natural causes. He was living with his brother Frederick at 683 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn at the time. His death certificate indicates he was a widower, but I have no record of any marriage. He is buried at Evergreens Cemetery.
Frederick Nowasky was born October 27, 1900. On September 12, 1918, he registered for the draft, as he was required to do by law. He was 18 years old and living with his mother at Avenue L & 17th Street in Brooklyn, and worked as a machinist helper at the Eisenmann Magnets Company. He described himself as being short and slender with gray eyes and light brown hair. He served one year in the military from April 1920 to April 1921. He was nearly 25 years old in August of 1925 when he married 18-year-old Alberta Klinger. I know nothing more about Frederick and Alberta until his death in 1955. He was working as a butcher and living at 683 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn when he died at home on January 9, 1955, of natural causes. He was 54 years old. This was only ten months after the death of his brother Charles. His death certificate states he was divorced. He is buried with his brother at Evergreens.
Marie Nowasky was born on December 10, 1904. Thanks to cousins Barbara Crowell and Josie Cook, I know a lot more about Marie than I did before. Barbara and Josie are Marie's granddaughters.
Marie was only 13 years old when her father died March 26, 1918 from bronchial pneumonia and the year-long chronic effects of arterio sclerosis (hardening of the arteries). He was only 44 years old. He was buried at Evergreens Cemetery with his father. This left his wife Barbara a relatively young (41) widow with three children, Charles (20), Frederick (17) and Marie (13).
In 1924, Marie and her mother Barbara were living in a small apartment at 1043 Crawford Street in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, just east of Gravesend. During this time, Marie met Elisha Snow Crowell. He courted her for several weeks, telling her and Barbara that his father was connected with a bank in Manhattan. Marie and her mother importuned him to present Marie to his relatives, or to have them call at Marie's house, but he declined, giving the explanation, it is alleged, that his father was a member of the Ku-Klux Klan and opposed to Catholics. Marie and Barbara were Catholic.
On May 14, 1924, Marie and Elisha were married. He had convinced them that he was 21 years old and was employed as an "operator". He also somehow convinced Barbara to pay for the marriage license and wedding ring. In fact, he was only 16 years old, unemployed, and attended the prestigious Boys High School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Less than a week after the wedding, Elisha's parents found him and forcibly took him back to their home. By then, however, Marie was already pregnant. Elisha's father had him committed to a sanitarium, suffering from alcoholism and mental derangement.
According to Elisha's parents, James L. Crowell and Mabel (Meade) Crowell, Marie's mother operated a "drinking place" in their apartment, and it was there that young Elisha became an alcoholic. His father, who declared he was not a member of the Klan, had the marriage annulled. As it turns out, he was indeed connected to a bank, as a teller.
Elisha eventually found his way to California where he married another Marie, this one Marie Magdalena Schaffer, a native of Mexico. He died in Stockton, California on October 2, 1969 at the age of 62. He was buried at Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi, California.
On January 12, 1925, Marie gave birth to a daughter named Marie Crowell. By 1930, Marie, baby Marie, and Barbara were all still living in Sheepshead Bay but at 1304 Avenue U. Marie's brother Charles was living there as well. Marie worked as a machine operator in a pencil factory.
According to Barbara and Josie, little Marie was raised by her grandmother, Barbara Nowasky. Marie would later adopt the name Barbara because of her close relationship with her grandmother. She told her daughters that Barbara spoke English with a heavy accent, reflecting her Hungarian birth.
A few days before Christmas of 1931, when little Marie was seven years old, she was standing with her grandmother Barbara on the train platform at the Newkirk Avenue Station when the arriving train crashed into the platform injuring several people including Barbara and little Marie. They both recovered from their injuries.
One day, little Marie was taken to Coney Island by her uncles, Charlie and Freddy Nowasky, and they rode on the Cyclone roller coaster. She related to her daughters years later that she was terrified and hated the experience.
Sometime prior to 1935, Marie the mother married Richard Bolton, an elevator operator at Kings County Hospital. They lived at 608 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. On December 26, 1936, Elizabeth Marie Crowell was born. She lived for only two months, dying March 4, 1937 from bronchial pneumonia. Her death certificate states her mother was Marie Nowasky and her father Richard Crowell. Richard and Marie had another child, a son, Richard Bolton, Jr., born May of 1940.
In 1940, Barbara and her son Charles were living at 683 Coney Island Avenue, barely one block away from Richard and Marie. By this time, daughter Marie was 15 years old.
By 1942, daughter Marie somehow ended up in Alabama. On June 6, 1942, when she was 17 years old, she married Charles Kaplan. Charles was born in New York on February 11, 1919, the son of Theodore Kaplan and Rena Levine. At the time of the marriage, Charles was a soldier based at Fort Benning in Georgia, which is just a few miles across the border (the Chattahoochee River) from the location of the marriage in Phenix City, Alabama. Although she was only 17 years old at the time, the marriage certificate says she was 19. Perhaps she needed to be older than 18 to get married in Alabama without her parents' consent.
During her marriage to Charles, Marie gave birth to two sons, Norman Kaplan in 1943 and Robert Honore Kaplan in 1948. At some point, Marie and Charles divorced. Eventually, Marie moved back with her grandmother Barbara at 683 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. On September 12, 1955 Marie, who was now going by the name Barbara, married Joseph Guarino. Although they both lived and worked in New York, the marriage took place at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Arlington, Virginia.
Marie's mother, Marie Bolton, was now living at 8119 Glenwood Road in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. On September 4, 1955, Barbara Nowasky suffered an attack of some undefined illness. She went to live with Marie in Canarsie and died there several months later on January 24, 1956. She was 79 years old. She died a year after her son Frederick. She is buried in Evergreens with her two sons. Their grave has the only headstone for the Leiers and Nowaskys in the cemetery. Although her name was Marie Bolton when her mother died, by 1985 she had reverted back to Crowell when she died, in Buffalo, New York, in February of that year.
Daughter Marie, now married to Joe Guarino and going by the name Barbara, was an opera singer for the New Jersey State Opera Company. She and Joe had two children, Barbara Guarino born in 1956, and Josephine (Josie) Guarino in 1962.
Marie (Barbara) Guarino died on June 24, 2016, at the age of 91.