Sunday, February 20, 2022

Frasers Of Fife: More Trees! Four, Five and Six

It happened again!! Another tree! (and another, then another)

This time it was kismet. Remember "P.H." the suspected owner of a Family Tree who was so active on RootsWeb back in the last century?

Well, "P.H." found me! She does have a tree and she is NOT in the States as I suspected, but at the epicenter, if you will, in Fife, Scotland! The heart of the family, the birthplace of all the descendants of Duncan Fraser and Isobel Burness. She had been trying to find living descendants of the people on the tree. It was a long, slow process; she was doing it at a time when the internet was in it's infancy. She managed to find someone in Canada and they had kept up a dialog for a time. Canada, you say? Well, howdy neighbor!

P.H. gave me her name, I started looking. Gotta love Google! I found her easily on Facebook (the clue was in her middle name, but I will withhold that for privacy's sake) A quick message and we were on our way. Turns out she was not in possession of the Tree, her cousin who lives in France is the proud owner of Number Five. He was awarded the prize when the family sold the Great Aunt's home in Arbroath, Scotland. Descendants from the Gilbert Fraser/Mary Cargill union. I was able to get a photo of P.H's tree, but not of Tree number Five.

Here is Tree Four: 

Probably the best of the bunch! It looks new!

So, now we have FIVE! Five trees that have survived for more than 140 years. One in the US, two in Scotland, one in England and now one in France. This is getting exciting!

A year or so went by. I was busy working on other things genealogy related (and not) when I got a message - in my SPAM - that I didn't see right away - from Blogger Contact Form.

 "Frasers of Fife. I too have a copy of the Tree which supposedly cost 500 
GBP to compile in 1880. My grandfather and his brother were descendants of 
Duncan Fraser and Mary Buckley."

Whoop! Whoop! Now we have SIX! 

I replied immediately, apologizing for my tardiness in responding, explaining the note had landed in my Spam originally. You'll never guess where number Six is... Australia! Seems the current owner of number Six inherited it from his father. They are descendants of the James Fraser and Mary Buckley union. James immigrated to Australia in 1858 as a young man of 22 and met and married Mary Buckley, whose family had emigrated from England, in 1879. 

Here's the tree: 

Same one! A little rough, but it has traveled, like mine, across the ocean from it's original home.

So, to date, the Tree count is:

  • First Tree - Chicago, USA  - Alexander Fraser/Elizabeth Chalmers branch
  • Second Tree - England - Gilbert Fraser/Mary Cargill branch
  • Third Tree - Scotland - Margaret Fraser/George Mackie branch
  • Fourth Tree - Scotland - Hugh Fraser/Isabella Gibb branch
  • Fifth Tree - France - Jessie Fraser/David Wightman Cargill branch
  • Sixth Tree - Australia - James Fraser/Mary Buckley branch

Each branch shows up on the blue/green colored portion of the tree, with heavy representation (currently) on the right hand side. Let's hope there are more trees out there waiting to be discovered!

Origin location of known trees

Until next time .......

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©2022 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Czachorowskys | From Prussia to Chicago, in Summary


The Czachorowskys are a conundrum. They seem to simply 'appear' in Chicago around 1868. Claiming to be from Prussia I have yet to determine their actual origins. Or their point of entry into the United States. Or why they chose Chicago. As I set out to research one family I discovered others. Curiosity getting the best of me, this turned into the study of five Czachorowsky families living in Chicago c. 1870.  It is my hope with this series to make some discoveries to either link these families together, or prove they are not related. This is a real-time research project, I have not worked on this cluster before. I plan to share my discoveries and my frustrations in hopes that more eyes on the evidence will result in some sound conclusions. Join me as I explore these families, maybe we'll make some discoveries together!

What a ride. What started out as simply a hand drawn family tree and some scribbled notes from an almost forgotten conversation decades ago, we have come to discover the identity of our original subject and prove the suspected relationship between most of the other subjects of our study. DNA doesn't always work out this well. I'm still hoping for a breakthrough like this one on my own Paternal line.

Knowing our family came from Poland will help in uncovering additional records, if they exist. 

We learned the sad fate of Leo. Perhaps you can now understand the reason I took some time to process that before I shared it with you. I still wish I knew why. 

Since my original posts on Bernard, Anton and Pauline I have found a few additional bits of information. And one more thing on Leo. My fifth subject, Frank, I am almost certain turned out to be Anton's eldest son. Working for a few years as a clerk and living with his half uncle (is that a thing?). Since learning of the Zaremba family I was able to look up 'Uncle Frank' in the city directory, he was living at the same address as our mystery Frank. 

So to bring this research up to date, and close the chapter, for now, let me fill you in on what else I have learned.

First up Bernard. I was unsure as to the actual identity of "Mena". Well, I did manage to find the pair again in the 1880 census under the last name "Shofroski". I learned he was married and that Mena was his wife. 

While I have yet to discover the full identity of his wife or the actual marriage date, I did find her death date and the location of her burial. She died April 16, 1893 at the age of 48 and is buried in St Marys Cemetery in Evergreen Park. No maiden name was given on the death certificate, unfortunately.

A little more on Anton. In digging deeper into the actual location he said he was from before emigrating, Neu Szwederowo. The Wikipedia page on Szwederowo District explains a lot. Scrolling down to the Prussian Period information I learned that where he was from was more of a neighborhood, a very specific place near what was then Bromberg. It is approximately 82 kilometers from Nowe, an easy half day's travel by horse, and many people of the time were locating there for the promise of jobs. I also found the record of his marriage on FamilySearch. He married in Neuenburg on March 18th 1859. Hardly enough time for him to travel to America in the Summer of 1858 and back again in time to wed. (Which leads me to believe it was Leo that came over with his mother, not Anton)

Dziennik Chicagoski 29 Mar 1898
The one more thing on Leo was this report of his death. It's pretty descriptive. I will let you translate it, if you choose. It was in the Polish-American paper Dziennik Chicagoski the day after he died.

A few more odds and ends. I found a brother for Julianna Pior Ciachorowski Zaremba, Andreas. I have not researched him, but did find a mention of our Bernard in one Carl Pior's will in Chicago. A wee bit of sideways research - by no means complete - led me to conclude that Carl is most likely Andreas' son, Julianna was his aunt and Bernard, his cousin. Bonus, I have a DNA match to that family with our own Ciachorowski clan.

Always more to research! 

 I have put this all together in a Public Tree on Ancestry, search for Czachorowscy from Poland to America. I have a few more Ciachorowski marriages there and hope to expand the Polish research from that tree. Also, you can see where Carl Pior fits into the whole thing. 

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey of discovery. It's been fun; exciting, sad, exhilarating. We've learned so much yet there is always more to learn. As I uncover more I will pop in from time to time and update you on my new findings. Until then .....

Happy hunting!

catch up with all the posts here: 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

The Czachorowskys | From Prussia to Chicago: Fortune Smiled


The Czachorowskys are a conundrum. They seem to simply 'appear' in Chicago around 1868. Claiming to be from Prussia I have yet to determine their actual origins. Or their point of entry into the United States. Or why they chose Chicago. As I set out to research one family I discovered others. Curiosity getting the best of me, this turned into the study of five Czachorowsky families living in Chicago c. 1870.  It is my hope with this series to make some discoveries to either link these families together, or prove they are not related. This is a real-time research project, I have not worked on this cluster before. I plan to share my discoveries and my frustrations in hopes that more eyes on the evidence will result in some sound conclusions. Join me as I explore these families, maybe we'll make some discoveries together!

It was January 26, 2020 and I had a date with destiny but I didn't know it quite yet. I opened my email to find a subject line titled "DNA test common ancestors". OK. I'll bite. These type of inquiries almost never pan out, but I always follow up, one never knows. It read: 

 "Hello, my name is (redacted) Ciachorowski. I have just carried out (redacted) DNA tests and the results showed that we had common ancestors relatively recently.  My family comes from the north of Poland, which was under German occupation in the 19th century. The same blood flows within us. Regards."

Chills ran through me as I read the message. 

Of course I logged into the DNA test site the author was referring to - immediately, looked up matches to my Czachorowsky and ... THERE. IT. WAS.

Genetic Distance: EXACT MATCH

Exact match?! That NEVER happens! Not like this! Not from half way around the world. So may questions; so, so many questions. I wrote back to my new best friend begging for any scraps that might be thrown my way. Starving for the common knowledge so long lost as the generations migrated far from their homeland. A homeland I might soon discover!

The wait was long. I checked my email every day, sometimes every hour.

Finally, May 20th 2020 I got a response. And an introduction to a professor who does Czachorowsky research at a University in Poland. He did some digging for me, didn't turn up much, but I received an extensive history on the origins of the surname Czachorowsky. Very interesting! (A separate post at a later date, perhaps) My new friend and actual blood relative was however very, very helpful. I shared what I had, and where my trail went cold back in 1867 when my original immigrant (and now DNA match) L. F. Czachorowsky had showed up in Chicago Illinois. Didn't take long for my friend to uncover some gold. Within a week I had a full given name, a place of birth, a homeland, parents, grandparents - and, oh my gosh, they were all related! Leo, Bernhard, Anton and Pauline! Siblings! And there were more! I was also enlightened as to the long held confusion in the family on the town and country of origin. So much to process! Where to begin?

`Begin at the beginning,' the King said gravely,
 `and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'

Well. Okay. How about first things first? How did our man Leo supposedly come from Germany (Nurnburg by family lore) but the direct DNA match has deep roots in Poland? Simple answer. Smack your forehead answer. The town today is known as Nowe. But in the 1850's it had a different name - Neuenburg! (Did you smack your forehead?) 
Here is the wiki article:
In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, the town, as Neuenburg, was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia and was subject to Germanisation policies, however, in the late 19th century it was still mainly populated by Poles.

Okay, now just wait a minute here. That looks real similar to the map of where Anton said he lived before emigrating. Real similar. (Hiding in plain sight, man oh man) I have said on more than one occasion that I really, really need one of those giant boards you see on detective shows. You know the ones. Where all the facts are pasted up and there is string running here and there. ...And a time machine. Always a time machine. Well ....

Things just might be coming together! Fortune is indeed smiling on this!

Now, about those parents. Yes indeed. My friend found a document listing the underage children in the death record of the father. They were all there - Bernhard, Anton, Pauline, Leo. How did he know he had the correct family? Remember he was working his end to put the DNA match together too. He had everyone accounted for in his line except for one man. Yep. The man in the death record! I'm sure he was as excited as I was to link it all together. 

This is what he wrote: I promised that I would translate the document which is a death certificate of Jan (German: Johann, Eng. John ) Ciachorowski who died on April 3 and was buried on April 7, 1845. He lived in Nowe on the Vistula River (German: Neuenburg). The profession was probably written under the name, but it is unreadable. It is known that he died at 2 hours, but I can not read whether at night or during the day. At the time of death he was 46 years old. The cause of death is illegible to me as well. The deceased left his wife Julianna Pioro and 5 children: Bernhard 12 years old, Anton 10 years old, Pauline 7 years old, Caroline 6 years old and Felix Leo (age is not given). That's all I could read from this document.

First. OMG! Second .... FELIX Leo?! Third .... Aloysius. Comparing the written number after Aloysius to others on the page it appears to be a 2. Could Felix Leo and Aloysius be the same boy? The age is right. Digging in the database of the Polish Genealogy Society (link thanks to my new bff) I was able to find an indexed entry for a child born to Johann and Julianna in 1843 with no first name given. Bernhard, Anton and Paulina were all there, as well as other siblings, but this child had no name. Curious.

Leo's (and Bernhard and Anton and Paulina's) father had died when they were very young. Their mother had remarried the following year to a boy from Neuenburg several years younger than herself named Jacob Saremba. Most of the children, sadly, appear to have died young, but the four that came to Chicago came as soon as they were old enough to leave home. 

Now this is where I thought the trail had run cold. I had been butting heads with the Polish records looking for clues to no avail. Then, for some unexplained reason I decided to do my very favorite thing - - sideways research! I decided to try to look for Julianna.  

WARNING!! Rabbit Hole Approaching!

I jumped over to FamilySearch and entered "Julianna Pior, Neuenburg, Prussia" into the search box. The Heavens opened up and I heard Angels sing .... well maybe not, but I did find the puzzle piece I was searching for. Thank you FamilySearch! I can't tell you exactly how it happened, it seems it was fast and frenzied. The second entry that popped up was a death listing for a child named Theodor Zaremba. "Z" not "S". Promising to return to FamilySearch to look at the rest of the gold I had uncovered, I headed over to Ancestry, changed the spelling of Jacob's surname and just guess what happened? Guess! A hint! And not any old hint, mind you. A will! Guess where it was? Chicago! Guess who the executor was? Anton! That lead me to the Hamburg Passenger Lists -
it listed Jacob, Julianna, Caroline (I wondered what had happened to her) A Franz, Johann and ..... Anton???? Where's Leo? (see, fast and frenzied)

More questions! 

Anton married in Prussia the following year and didn't emigrate until 1868 with his family and sister Pauline. I suppose he could have come and gone, but I feel like this might be Leo. What do you think?

I have yet to find the corresponding New York port record, it's got to exist - somewhere! Maybe?

Anyway, back to the will. Julianna and Jacob made their way to Chicago, Jacob established a grocery on 18th street, they must have been involved in their children's lives. And this is what tied the whole thing together - Jacob leaves money to his step granddaughter Lena Ballmann (daughter of Pauline), he names Anton his executor, but curiously he also leaves all his real estate to grandsons Leon and John Zaremba! Who?

Back to FamilySearch. Jacob and Julianna had at least three children, Theodor, Johann, and Franz. Theodor died at one year of age, but Johann and Franz came to America with their parents. I could find Franz, going by Frank, who married and had one son by 1880. Frank, his wife and son all died prior to Jacob. I could find no trace of Johann in Chicago. The grandsons remain a mystery, for now.

Turns out, none of the Czachorowskys were alone in a new world. All came to Chicago within a decade of one another. Bernard in 1856, Their mother and her new family (and Caroline and maybe Leo) in 1858, Anton and Pauline in 1868. Still so much to learn. Still so much to discover!

Jacob and Julianna are buried in St Boniface cemetery (of course) where most of the family lay at rest.


Andrzej Ciachorowski b. abt 1757 Poland
                                  d. 1 Jul 1813 Wlosienica, Pomerania, West Prussia
                                        m. 3 Feb 1783 Lalkowy, Pomerania, West Prussia to
Franciszka Szermaszewska b. abt 1759 Poland
                                          d. 3 Aug 1807 Wlosienica, Pomerania, West Prussia

Children include: (all born Wlosienica)
  • Thomas b. 15 Mar 1784 d. UNK
  • Marjanna b. 10 Dec 1785 d. UNK
  • Michal b. 21 Sep 1787 d. 25 Jan 1847
  • Franciscus b. 2 Apr 1790 d. 13 May 1851
  • Anna b. 15 Jul 1793 d. UNK
  • Johannes (see below)

Johann Ciachorowski b. 6 Jun 1796 Wlosienica, Pomerania, West Prussia
                                    d. 3 Apr 1845 Neuenburg, Pomerania, West Prussia
                               m. Julianna Pior say 1826 West Prussia

children include: (all born/died Neuenburg, West Prussia unless specified)
  • Augustina Theresia b. 26 Dec 1826  d. 1833
  • Lidovica b. 1828  d. 1828
  • Barbara b. 1832 d. bef 1845
  • Bernhard d. Aug 1832 d. 16 Dec 1915 Oak Forest IL
  • Anton b. 1835 d. 9 Mar 1908 Chicago IL
  • Paulina b. 7 Sep 1837 d. 7 Aug 1921 Chicago IL
  • Carolina b. 1838 d. UNK
  • Agnes b. 1840 d. bef 1845
  • Felix Leo b. 14 Nov 1843 d. 28 Mar 1898 Chicago IL
  • Liberta Barbara b. 22 Aug 1845 d. 25 Aug 1845

More to follow ......

until next time .............

catch up with all the posts here: