Do you have a Story

Calling all Petlewski/Pytlewski descendants.  Do you have a Petlewski/Pytlewski memory or a photo to share?  We’re looking for a few guest bloggers to help add to the Pytlewski history.  Please contact us at if you would like to contribute.


VWP in the WPA

Vincent Petlewski’s C&H application has a notation under work history that indicates he worked for the “WPA.”  I assumed that this meant the Works Progress Administration.  I didn’t know until recently that the U.S. National Archives Personnel Center has employment records for the WPA.  So I took a chance by requesting a record for Vincent and look at this! They confirmed they have a record for him.  I’ll share more once I receive the record.

Vincent Petlewski First Part of National Archives WPA confirmation letter. (2)


……….And We’re Back

PETLEWSKI, WALTER IN OVERALLS EditAnd we’re back with a new look, Facebook PageUpdated Twitter Account, and even new bloggers.  So follow along.  We’ll get to work and try to make it interesting.

Two Years and Another Kid Later

It’s been quite a while since I wrote my last post and changes did indeed come.  We had another Pytlewski descendant.  But I have been up to some Pytlewski genealogy things.   In the Fall of 2012, I wrote a blog column for the Capital Area District Libraries called Beyond the Stacks: Finding Family.  I chronicled the most interesting stories of the Pytlewski family while giving advice for budding genealogist.   Be sure to check it out!

Full disclosure: I’m employed by Capital Area District Libraries.  My comment on Pytlewski Family Findings are mine alone and in no way reflect the opinions of Capital Area District Libraries.

Some Changes Are Coming

I’m trying to revive life into this blog.  I haven’t had as much time in recent years to practice genealogy, but I’ll take another stab at this blog.  Well, at least I’ll try to be better responding to comments.  Thanks for your patience if I’m just now responding to your comment.  I’m on twitter now.  Follow me @antayalibrarian.

Walter Petlewski and the 107th Engineers

Be sure to look out for Walter Petlewski on the May 23 issue of Waco Tribute-Herald at His photograph will be featured. The reporter who is working on the feature also sent me this link giving some great contextual background of what Walter may have gone through before he was discharged in Waco, TX.

Could it Really Be Pytlewskis From Across the Pond?!?!?! Part II

After a quick trip to the FHC to follow up on the Pytlewski-Jozwiak marriage index listing that I found about a couple of years ago on the Poznan Project, I came back more confused than when I went in.

I found the marriage record of Joannes Pytleski and Catharina Jozwiak.  It was pretty much what I was expecting.  The record indicated that they married on November 1849 in Czerljno, Poznan, Poland.  As far as I could tell, the record did not list any parents, but being in a hurry and knowing limited latin is not good for accurately deciphering records from the 19th century.  

However, I could not rely on two names to determine whether these two people were my John Pytlewski and Catherine Yoziviak.  I had to find the baptismal records of the 3 Pytlewski immigrants; Stanislaus, John, and Joseph.   First, I found what I thought was Stanislaus record.  I had determined before from various records that Stanislaus was probably born in 1852. The record that I found today for a Stanislaus Pytlewski indicated this Stanislaus Pytlewski was born (or baptised) May 8, 1851 in Węgierskie, Poznan, Poland.  His parents were Joannes (John) and Catherina  That was mostly what I was expecting.  Next, I found a record for Joannes Pytleski.  My previous research indicated that John Joseph was born May 4, 1854.  The record for Joannes Pytleski indicated  that he was born/baptised May 4, 1854 in Węgierskie, Poznan, Poland.  The parents were listed as Joannes and Catharina.  Joseph’s birth date was a little more up in the air as I had found two different dates for his birth.  The first was Mar 3, 1859.  The second was Feb 2, 1868.  The record I found for a Josephus Pytleski in the Polish records indicated that Josephus was born/baptised Feb 2, 1858; essentially a combination of the two birth dates that I had.  The parents again were Joannes and Catherina.  

Here’s the twist…. On all three birth records, Catherina’s last name was listed as Szatamaksa.  I will need to review the records again to determine the correct spelling.  This fact threw me off as I couldn’t figure how this could be possible to have the dates for the three Pytlewski boys line up with the church records and then have the mother’s last name be different.  

Well, as my wife and I were driving home we discussed the situation.  She brilliantly suggested that it was possible that Catherina was a widow when she married John Pytleski in 1849 and she used her married name (Jozwiak) on her marriage record.  The Szatamaska name may be Catherina’s real maiden name and they may have used this as opposed to her married name on the baptismal records.  This is highly plausible as Catherina was 30 when she married the 36 John Pytleski.  

So now I am left with another puzzle to figure out until I can really confirm that I have indeed found Pytlewskis across the pond.

Moonshine Anyone?

Well, well, well…. it looks like I may have some aditional research material for my trip to Calumet.  

The following was posted by Alicia Marshall on the MIHOUGHT Listserv.

I found this on the Ironwood newspaper that I subscribe to
and thought that it was kind of funny and an interesting part of the local lore 1930
25 Violators must serve jail time
Judge sessions hands jolt to booze makers and toters
.. 23 men sentenced , 14 from the Copper Country
Ismoele Giuzette of Negaunee and Amillo Valli of Hurley Wis. 6 months and a fine of $500.
Frank Miller and Henry Larson, prominent Hancock soft drink manufacturers, each given 6 months
 and Mr Miller will have a fine of $100.
 Larson’s fine was made $500.
Patrick Buckley of Munising, 6 months and $500.
Fred Toupin of Lake Linden will serve 4 months in Detroit and pat $100.
Joseph Petlewski of Calumet drew a term of 4 months at Detroit with a fine of $300
William Fisher of Laurium , 5 months in the house of correction
Adolphus LaFland 4 months
Dominic Peano of Mohawk, 60 days and a fine of $100.
Secundio DeLaBrand aof Caspian 60 days in Detroit house of corrections and $100.
William Moore Foster city 30 in Marquette
John Korrvinen, Deerton , 30 days in Marquette and $100
Paul Schultz, Lanse , 30 days in Marquette and $100
Anton Markie Lanse, 30 days and $100
LaVerne Richmond , Chatham , ninety days .
Peter Sutinen , Hancock, 60 days
John Richards, Laurim , ninety days and $300
Joseph Sustarich, Laurium , 60 day in Marquette and $200
John Nowaski Calumet, ninety days
John Messner, Laurium, ninety days in Detroit, $200.
Paul Kobetich, Calumet, thirty days in Marquette and $100.
Joseph Rheame, Torch Lake, 60 days in Marquette.

This isn’t the first time that Joseph was in trouble with the law.  In 1917, a little over a year after his brother, Stanislaus, died from pneumonia, Joseph was charged with opening his Saloon on Sunday.  Here’s a little courtroom action from that case.

Date of Examination October 25, 1917.

William Heikkila, after being duly sworn, on his oath, testified as follows:

Direct Examination by Anthony Lucas, Procesecuting Attorney.

Q. Mr. Heikkila, you the undersheriff of this county?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you know the defendant Mr. PetlewskI?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you know where is place of business is?

A. Yes.

Q. Where?

A. On Oak Street.

Q. Where?

A. Just forgot the number now.

Q. What town?

A. In Red Jacket.

Q. Were you in his place of  business on the 21st of October, 1917?

A. I was.

Q. What time of the day dd you go there last Sunday?

A. I went there between twelve and one.

Cross Examination by E. A. McNally, Defendant’s Attorney

Q. Do you know the exact time that you went into his saloon?

A. Why, I don’t know.  It was between twelve and one.  Somewheresin the neighborhood of twelve thirty.

Q. You say you were standing on the corner of 6th and Oak and you saw people going in and out of Petlewski’s place?

A. They didn’t go in the saloon way.  They went in the resident part of the building.

Q. That is where they were going in and our [sic] of this building?

A. The resident part is in the rear of the building and saloon is in the front part.

Q. Is the entrance in the rear of the building or side?

A. On the rear and side.

Q. The side and rear, along through the alley?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Could you see that entrance from the corner of Oak and 6th St.?

A. Yes, from where I stood.

Q. You could see them going ina and out of that door?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you standing by the fruit store corner there?

A. No.

Q. You were standing on the corner of Oak and 6th street? 

A. Yes.  I was standing on Oak street more.  I was in that block on the corner of Oak and 6th Street.  I was just about where the Ticket office is.

Q.  You could see people coming in and out of this door?

A. From this entrance, yes.  I made it a business to see this door.  

Q. Do you know whether this man that was drink the beer, paid for the drink or not?

A. I don’t know.  I know that they were int his saloon.

Q. This man was the only one there besides Mr. Petlewski himself?

A. Mr. Petlewski’s son was there.  I think its his son.

Q. You say he was in the saloon?

A. He was.

Q. What was he doing in the saloon?

A. I don’t know what he was doing there.


Date of Examination October 30, 1917.

Harry Bettings, after being duly sworn, on his oath, testified as follows on behalf of the Defendant.

Direct Examination by Athony Lucas, Prosecuting Attorney.

Q.  Mr. Bettings what your business with the government?

A. I am an authorized agent of the Secretary of the Treasurer.  Comissioned by the Hon.  Secretary of the Treasury as a special Revenue officer in the internal revenue department.

Q.  What is your territory?

A. The whole state of Michigan.

Q. You were working as such revenue officer on October 21st?

A. Three Hundred Sixty-five, Three Hundred Sixty-six days a year.  Am working everyday.  Sundays and every other day.

Q.  Do you remember having a talk with Mr. Petlewski on the Saturday night before Sunday, October 21st?  

A. On Saturday night?  I talked with him over the ‘phone Saturday.  

Mr. Lucas; I make an objection that any talk with Mr. Petlewski on Saturday any time is incompetent, immaterial in this case.  

Mr. McNally: Absolute bearing.

Court: let’s hear what you got to say.

Q. You had a talk over the telephone the Saturday before?

A. Saturday night, it was somebody called me over the ‘phone among other things and I think its this Petlewski, and he asked me when I could take his inventory.  I told him I don’t know but I would call around Sunday after I got around the other places I was schedule.  I told him that I would call shortly after dinner.  He said he would have his place of business open and we could get in the back way.  I told him thatwwas [sic] all right  I told him we had a right to come in.

Q. You assued him that it was all right?

A. I told him that we could go in his place, and I told him the goverment reserves the right to go in any place any time where there is taxable articles.

Q. On Sunday?

A. On any other time.  As far as that is concerned they can brake [sic] in if they have any reason to believe there is taxible.  That can be found in the Internal Revneu [sic] Laws.  Compiled in 1900 is the latest.  I don’t remember exactly what section it is. 

Q. Did you go over the Petlewski’s place on Sunday, October 21?

A. Finished up at a place taking inventory about half-past twelve and half-past twelve went for dinner and went there about two o’clcok and tried the back door in the alley, and found the door was closed and we can’t wait, when we get to a place.  If they are not ready for us why, just pass them on.

Q. You didn’t get in?

A. No.

Q. You tried the door?

A. Yes, I tried the door.

Mr. Lucas:  I move again that all this evidence be struck out as incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial to this case.  

Mr. McNally: I move that the evidence is the contrary.  

Q.  What time did you say you would be over?

A. Shortly after dinner.

Cross Examination by Anthony Lucas, Prosecuting Attorney.

Q. What time did you say you were supposed to be there?

A. I told him I would be there around about noon.  Shortly after noon, I started to take inventories early in the morning and you never can tell just what stock a man’s got you know.  You don’t know what stock a man’s got and you must figure ahead of time and I figured we would get there about twelve or possibly one o’clock.  Have kept them waiting for four, five hours and some kept waiting all day.

Q. So you don’t know exactly when you get through?

A. As I figured that I took four inventories.

Q. How many inventories did you take before you went to his place?

A. Three inventories.

Q. What time did you start working?

A. Oh, I guess about eight o’clock it was.

Q. Take any that afternoon?

A. Yes.

Q. How many?

A. I could say twenty-six or I could say one.

Q. You are under oath here?

A. I don’t have to answer that question.

Q. You don’t have to answer that question then.

A. I refuse to answer how many I took.

Direct Examination by E. A. McNally, Defendant’s Attorney

Q. What is your occupation?

A. I am Revenue Officer of the United States Government.

Q. What is your territory?

A. Michigan.

Q. On the 21st day of October, on Sunday, did you go over to Mr. Petlewski’s saloon?

A. I did.

Q. Did you find the door locked?

A. We did.

Q. Did you hear any conversation between Mr. Petlewski and Mr. Bettings on that.

Mr. Lucas: I make an objection to that, of telling what he heard as incompetent, irrelevant and inmaterial, not bearing on this case at all.

Court: Objection overruled.

Q. Did you know that Mr. Bettings had a dad [sic] with Joseph Petlewski?

Mr. Lucas: I object to that.

Court: Objection sustained.

Q. Did you know that there were arrangements made to go there on the afternoon of October 21st?

A. Yes, he planned to go there.

Q. You know that Mr. Petlewski had been notifed to keep his place open?

A. That is my understanding.

Q. What did you want to go to Mr. Petlewski’s for?

A. He said he wanted us to take his inventory.

Cross Examination by Anthony Lucas, Prosecuting Attorney.

Q. What day did you take it?

A. I think the next day.

Q. It isn’t absolutely necessary for you take take inventories on Sunday?

A. Why, I guess it is.

Q. You didn’t brake [sic] into his place?

A. No.

Q. You went there the next day?

A. We went on the general run of our business to get through on orders from the government.  Get all our work in on a certain day.

Q. What is your date?

A. That is changed at times.

Q. What day have you got?

A. I don’t really know.  They give us a certain time and we get through as soon as we can.

Q. Have you any orders from your department that you can go in the saloons on Sundays?

A. We have orders to proceed as rapid as we can.  There is no specified time, or day to do the work.  Get it cleaned up.  We can use our own judgement.

Q. You [sic] department doesn’t authorized you to tell a man to open his saloon so that he can violate the state law?

A. They simply authorize us to get the work done in the shortest time we can.

Mr. McNally: I object to that as an improper question.

Mr. Lucas: I want to bring out that the state law is before the government.

Re-direct Examination by E. A. McNally, Defendant’s Attorney

Q. You intended to go to Petlewski’s saloon on Sunday, the 21st?

A. Yes.

Q. Shortly after dinner on October 21st, Sunday?

A. Yes.  Called there when we finished our other work.

Re-cross Examination by Anthony Lucas, Procesecuting Attorney

Q. Did you know what time you would get through?

A. We figured ahead and we thought we would get through about twelve.

Q. You didn’t know what time you would get through?

A. We figure out according to our judgement and thought we would be through by noon.

Q. You figured that out?

A. Figured that we would get through somewheres about noon.

Q. Did you notify you that they have a big stock, I suppose?

A. Yes, they had large and small.

Q. So before you wentout to take inventories that morning, you figured to get through about what time?

A. Figured that we would be through by noon.

Q. That is about the time you went to dinner?

A. Yes sir.

Re-direct Examination, by E. A. McNally, Defendant’s Atty.

Q. You are working under Mr. Bettings jurisdiction?

A. I do what he tells me.

Q. You are under Mr. Bettings directions?

A. Yes sir.


Going to the Homeland

Poland….. no.  Calumet, yes.  I’ll be there at the end of May.  Until then, the plog will probably be more active than it has been for the last year and half with new prep research for the big trip.  Things are starting to settle down here in lower MI which means more time for research, genealogy, blogging.  Maybe there  may even be some time to finish the pytlewski website.

Past Petlewskis Featured in St. Anthony Presentation

Our friends at PPCM have posted a picture of an exhibit entitled FROM FOREIGN TO FAMILIAR – Congregational histories.  It features photographs of the headstone of John Joseph Petlewski, the gravestone of Stanislaw Petlewski, and the “Petlewski Boys.” Here’s the direct link.