Showing posts with label Charles Krolicki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charles Krolicki. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Happy birthday Granpap

1945  Teofil
While doing some of the never ending work on I noticed that today is my maternal grandfather's 129th birthday.  Teofil Kochanowski, whom I called Pap because my Mom & aunt did and Granpap, was born in Zarsyn Austria, now Poland in 1887.  Yes, he was a character who spent most all his life as a coal miner after immigrating to this country in 1904.  I remember some of his stories about stealing a cow from a farmer to sell to get passage to this country. He told me many times how he regretted that he never repaid that farmer for his cow and "so never steal no matter what, Paruhka."  He always called me the Polish for Patricia, Paruhka, I am unsure of the spelling. I would tell him after I received my first holy communion and learned about confession that if he would just go to confession he would feel better about it.  He would laugh and tell me, "yes, I did that years ago.  I did my penance, but I still regret.  That man worked for his farm and it was not right of me to steal that cow."

 I look over his naturalization papers, and notice the statements he signed, "I am not an anarchist."  But I suppose he might have been considered a criminal, a thief back in the old country.  So today when we have yet more concerns, rightfully so, about immigrants and who should come into our country, who should not, on and on, I think of my own Granpap.  He was so very proud of his citizenship.  Mom told me how they as kids teased Granpap while he would be practicing for his citizenship test and he would get very angry with them. He told them it was so very important and they did not know how lucky they were to be born here.  "Don't you never laugh about me."  Three of my grandparents were immigrants and the fourth, my maternal grandmother born to immigrant parents.  In a way this makes me ever sympathetic to those who wish o migrate here.  But yet, do it the right way and for heaven's sake, do not get charity the moment you enter the country.  It was a different time,  workers, laborers were needed in the mines, the factories.  Yet today, many of the immigrants provide labor for jobs that Americans will not do.  Maybe things are not so very different as they seem.  What worked then doesn't now?  Why

Teofil told me how he rode the rails as a young guy, hobo style, looking for work.  All his life he kept that soft spot for hobos and  I remember my grandparents would give them a meal.  I have written some  stories about Granpap elsewhere on this blog, I wish I had someone today to talk to about the missing links in that family. 
1954 Charles Krolicki visits Rose & Teofil

 He had a half or step  brother, Charles,  who lived near Chicago, but the brother's last name was Krolicki. It could have been through a series of misspellings and immigration and census takers, who knows why the names  differed.   I do not remember him at all and yet I have a photo of when he visited my grandparents sitting in their living room.  Because I spent more of my time with them than at my own home, I am surprised I did not know about Charles' visit.  Some research on Ancestry has been helpful but so many unanswered questions.  Then again, what difference does it make, the line stops here with me and so will the stories.  I guess that is why I take them to the blog, someday, somewhere out  and off this cyberspace, someone might be researching years from now.  Who knows.  

For today, though, Happy birthday, Granpap. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sepia Saturday Week 17 (Click here to find others Sepia postings)

Mystery Boy

Last week I introduced my granpap, Teofil Kochanowski. When I refiled his photos, I found three photos of the same little boy (at least I think it is) whom I believe was Teofil’s nephew and likely lived in Illinois where Teofil’s brother Charles Krolicki lived. Remember I said how my Polish ancestors changed the spelling of their names, well there we have it again, Krolicki from Kochanowski.

 No identification, name or date was written on the back of these photos. My aunt Virginia, who had the photos in her album had written, “I don’t know who this boy is.” I kept the photos when I cleared her house last year because of their age, which I am guessing to be early 1900 to about 1920. He looks like such a precious little boy and I can see my granpap’s blue eyes in this boy’s face. Someday I might solve this riddle but meantime, here is the mystery boy. This photo as you see, is inscribed to “Uncle Teofil” and says “Charles E 2 years old.” Look at him with hands in pockets of the over skirt bib type covering over his pants.

I suspect he may be the child of one of Charles Krolicki’s children. Among Granpap’s funeral memorials, was a memorial from H.M.Seagle in West Frankfort, Illinois. My attempts to trace this on Google located a Hubert Marion Seagle who married a Mary Louise Krolicki in December 1940 in Perryville, MO and died in W Frankfort, IL February 2008 at age 90. I can assume that Mary was Grandpap's niece,  Charles’ daughter.

There were two children of that marriage, Charles Edward and Patricia M. Somewhere on Ancestry or other records there may be a tie to this. Hmm, Charles Edward sounds like it might be this boy, but if they married in 1940 and Charles was born later, the photo would not be as old as I’d assumed. As happens with this genealogy, a possible answer often produces more questions. H M Seagle’s obituary reports that his son Charles Edward died April 1985.

Well if this is Charles, here are two more photos.

 If not Charles, then it is another mystery boy. I am speculating that this is the same little boy perhaps at four or five years of age. These two photos are postcards made by Flett in Atlantic City NJ as indicated on the back.

The boy is dressed up in what appears to be a sailor suit made big enough to allow room to grow, or perhaps a hand me down into which he has not yet grown. The high button shoes that show in the standing pose make me think this photo is way before 1940 as I first suspected. Iis it the same boy or not?

I have gone full circle, lapping myself, and come back to not knowing anymore about this little boy. Unless some unknown relative pops up, the mystery is all mine.   Here he is