Friday, February 14, 2014
My 2nd great grandfather was Walenty or Valentine Stachowiak. Until I started researching my family tree, I never knew that any of my ancestors had "Valentine" for their first name. According to a Polish dictionary, the Polish word for "valentine" is walentynka. Since I know no Polish words at all, I will have to take their word for it. I am currently learning German and perhaps some day can also learn to speak some Polish words.
Walenty Stachowiak was born on 4 Feb 1833 (fairly close to February 14th) in Poland and died on 11 April 1904 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Walenty was married to Josephine Kowalczyk and they had nine children together -- Mary Anne, Petronella, Lawrence, Albert, Agnes, Joseph, Charles, Casimir and Stanislaus. Charles Stachowiak was my great grandfather.
There was also another Polish "Valentine" in my ancestry -- Valentin Reszel, who was my 2nd cousin once removed. Valentin Reszel was born on 10 Feb 1915 in Wisconsin and died on 26 Jan 1995 in Milwaukee. Valentin was the son of Walter and Magdaln Reszel. He was from the Braciszewski branch of my family tree.
Officially, there is one more Polish "Valentine" in my family tree. Joseph William Stachowiak and Martha Ulezelski had a son named Valentine William Stachowiak, who lived from 1907 to 1969. However, according to records it seems like for most of his adult life he went by the name William instead of Valentine. Since today is Valentine's Day, we will count him as one of my Polish Valentine -- well, at least for today!