UPDATE: More info has been found…see my October 25th post, A Sweeter “Sweet Sixteen”
Whether we know their names or not, we all have sixteen great-great grandparents. Randy Seaver’s latest edition of Saturday Night Genealogical Fun has challenged us to list them all with their birth and death dates and locations, as well as figure out our nationality percentages as a result. While I did some rough math last night and commented back to Randy on Facebook, I decided to put this into a blog post today. For one, it readily shows something I already knew – while certain “branches” on my family tree are quite full and sprout quite high – back ten generations from me at its highest point – the sad fact is that part of my family tree remains a bare twig. As a genealogist, I hate that! As you will see below, it’s the far left part of my tree – my patrilineal line. Some might even argue that’s the most important, at least for the Y-DNA line of my brother and his sons. Another fun part of this exercise was to see all of the surnames I have uncovered so far. Here are my sixteen great-great grandparents:
1. Unknown PIONTKOWSKI, father of Jan Bołesław Piontkowski. Birth and death unknown, presumably from Warsaw, Poland where Jan was born. Nationality: Polish
2. Unknown wife of #1, mother of Jan Bołesław Piontkowski. Birth and death unknown, presumably from Warsaw, Poland where Jan was born. Nationality: Polish
3. Leopold KIESWETTER, father of Róza Kieswetter. Birth and death unknown. Presumed nationality: Polish
4. Unknown wife of #3, mother of Róza Kieswetter. Birth and death unknown. Presumed nationality: Polish
5. Josef BERGMEISTER, father of Josef Bergmeister. Born 09 February 1843 in Puch, Bavaria, son of Jakob Bergmeister and Anna Maria Daniel. Died before 1884, unknown place. Nationality: German (Bavarian)
6. Ursula DALLMEIER, mother of Josef Bergmeister. Born 17 March 1847 in Aichach, Bavaria, daughter of Joseph Dallmeier and Ursula Eulinger. Died between 1897 and 1919, presumably in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany. Nationality: German (Bavarian)
7. Karl ECHERER, father of Maria Echerer. Born 31 May 1846 in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, Bavaria, son of Ignaz Echerer and Magdalena Nigg. Died after 1882 in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, Bavaria. Nationality: German (Bavarian)
8. Margarethe FISCHER, mother of Maria Echerer. Born 21 January 1845 in Langenbruck, Bavaria, daughter of Franz Xaver Fischer and Barbara Gürtner. Died 04 October 1895 in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, Bavaria, Germany. Nationality: German (Bavarian)
9. Jozef PATER, father of Ludwig Pater. Born on 21 September 1864 in Ruda Guzowska, Poland, son of Jan Pater and Teofilia Zakrzewska. Died on 11 August 1945 in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Nationality: Polish
10. Antonina Rozalia PLUTA, mother of Ludwig Pater. Born on 21 June 1863 in Mszczonów, Poland, daughter of Ludwik Pluta and Franciszka Anna Wojciechowska. Died on 12 December 1938 in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Nationality: Polish
11. Jan MÜLLER, father of Elżbieta Müller. Birth and death unknown. Presumed nationality: Bohemian
12. Elizabeth SMETANA, mother of Elżbieta Müller. Birth and death unknown. Presumed nationality: Bohemian
13. Wawrzyniec ZAWODNY, father of Jozef Zawodny. Born around 1853 in unknown location to Szymon Zawodny and Katarzyna Ratajewska. Died 13 December 1917 in Dobrosołowo, Poland. Nationality: Polish
14. Katarzyna MARIANSKA, mother of Jozef Zawodny. Born around 1853, presumably in Komorowo, Poland, to Stanisław Marianski and Marianna Radomska. Died 29 July 1923 in Dobrosołowo, Poland. Nationality: Polish
15. Wincenty SLESINSKI, father of Wacława Slesinska. Born around 1851, presumably in Wilczyn, Poland, to Jozef Slesinski and Elżbieta Michalowska. Died 01 January 1919 in Dobrosołowo, Poland. Nationality: Polish
16. Stanisława DROGOWSKA, mother of Wacława Slesinski. Born around 1860, presumably in Wilczyn, Poland, to Jan Drogowski and Konstancja Kubicka. Died 30 December 1918 in Dobrosołowo, Poland. Nationality: Polish
Of 16 great-great grandparents, 13 can be named. As for the facts, I have definite birth and death dates for only 3, definite birth and unknown death dates for 3, unknown birth and definite death dates for 4, and all dates unknown for 6. Do you know what that means? It means I have a lot of genealogical research to do! In the early days of my research, I got so excited at the ability to go back and back and back on certain lines that I forgot about following up the more “recent” folks with all of the necessary and pertinent data.
Nationality-wise, this makes me:
- 62.5% Polish – 10 great-greats (6 definite, 4 assumed to be Polish)
- 25% German – 4 great-greats
- 12.5% Bohemian – 2 great-greats that are presumed Bohemian based on info I have so far
I have identified strongly with my Bavarian roots, yet it only comprises 25% of my genes. Perhaps that identification comes from the fact that this side was so much easier to search so far!
Some random facts about my sweet sixteen –
- #9 and 10 are my only 2nd great grandparents to immigrate to the United States, making my paternal grandfather the only grandparent to know his own grandparents.
- #15 and 16 died two days apart from each other
- I have photographs of none of my sixteen 2nd great grandparents and I have photographs of only six of their children, my great-grandparents.
- My maternal grandmother’s grandparents all died between 1917 and 1923, long after their children came to the U.S. They lived close to the border of German-occupied Poland and Russian-occupied Poland, but I do not yet know if their deaths were related to World War I. My grandmother never met her grandparents, but had they also immigrated she would have known them since she was born in 1907.
Thanks for more genealogical fun, Randy! It is embarrassing that my tree is a bit barren in spots, but I’m glad I can name as many and I can. Many people today can not name their 8 great-grandparents…yet they don’t seem bothered by it at all. Ask a genealogist to name their 16 great-greats, and now you’ve got some angry folks who realize they have to work harder!