Friday, January 5, 2007

The Grala Children


Bronislaw "Benny" Jozef Grala, Jr. was born on January 20, 1913 in Lorain, OH and died July 21, 1975 in Newington, CT. He married first to Boleslawa "Pauline" M. Gadomski, daughter of Karol Gadomski and Marjanna "Mary" Ceberek on June 18, 1935. Pauline was born April 14, 1914 in New Haven, CT and died July 16, 1987. He married second to Lucille "Lucy" A. Rudnick in June 1954. Lucy was borm September 25, 1919 in New Britain, CT and died December 28, 2007 in Lebanon, CT. Children (1): Dorothy J., Elaine & Bronislaw "Broni" E. Grala; Children (2): Elizabeth A. Grala & David B. Grala.

Helena "Helen" C. Grala was born Mar 2, 1914 in Lorain, OH and died 26 August 1964 in New Britain, CT. She married Stanley T. Cisz, son of Frank Cisz and Helen (Unknown) on  Sepember 1, 1937. Stanley was born December 28, 1914 in CT and died January 29, 2001 in New Britain, CT. Children: Carol T. & Stanley T. Cisz Jr.

Bronislawa "Bernice" Francesca Grala was born September 29, 1916 in Lorain, OH and died January 27, 1998 in New Britain, CT. At the time she married Franciszek "Frank" Niedbala in 1935, they were both living in Baba, Poland. Child: Eugenia "Jean" A. Niedbala.

Stanislaw Grala was born November 21, 1918 in Lorain, OH and died there on May 18, 1919.


Antonium "Tony" Czeslaus Grala was born 25 Oct 1919 in New Britain, CT and died there May 25, 2010. He married first to Pauline A. Olszowy on February 23, 1946. Pauline was born October 28, 1919 in New Britain, CT and died June 24, 1981 in Wethersfield, CT. He married second to Virginia Gawek on February 14, 1983. No children.

Jadwiga "Hedy" Rose Grala was born February 3, 1921 in New Britain, CT and died November 15, 1999 in Naugatuck, CT. She married Stanley M. Rozycki, son of Samuel William Rozycki/Ruzzy and Stanislawa "Stella" Karwacki, on November 22, 1941. Stanley was born November 1920 in Bridgeport, CT and died April 14, 2008 in Titusville, FL. Child: Joseph J. Rozycki.

Stanislaw "Stanley" Edward Grala was born July 11, 1923 in Baba, Poland and died November 1, 1991 in Port Charlotte, FL. He married Claudia Florence Morin, daughter of Claude Morin and Bertha Marcinczyk, on May 12, 1945. Children: Judith A., Diane L. & Stanley E. Grala Jr. [See also]

Eugenjusz "Eugene" Stanislaw Grala was born in Baba, Poland and died April 16, 2016 in New Britain, CT. He married Catherine "Kitty" Gregory Asvestas, daughter of Gregory Asvestas and Mary Kirigis, on January 16, 1949. Kitty was born March 17, 1929 in Boston, MA and died Jun 16, 2007 in New Britain, CT. Children: Kathleen A., Cynthia J. and Eugene S. Grala Jr.

Joanna "Joan" Ann Grala was born in New Britain, CT. She married Erwin John Cepek Jr., son of Erwin J. Cepek and Mary R. Horanzy, on June 15, 1956. Erwin was born July 8, 1934 in New Britain, CT and died October 12, 2001 in Kittery, ME. Children: Valarie M., Pamela J., Lorraine H. and Erwin J. Cepek III.

Grand Central Gathering

"I have ever had pleasure in obtaining any little anecdotes of my ancestors." --Benjamin Franklin

3rd Row: Elaine, Carol, Pauline (Gadomski), Stanley (Rozycki),
Thadeus Boguslawski (Maryanna's brother), Frank (Niedbala), Tony,
Bronislaw Sr., Eugene, Bronislaw Jr., Stanley (Cisz) & Stanley
2nd Row: Pauline (Olszowy), Hedy, Lucy (Boguslawski), Bernice,
Stanley Jr., Maryanna, Mrs. & Helen Asvestas
(Kitty's mother & sister) & Kitty with daughter Kathy
1st Row: Dorothy, Claudia, unknown, Joan, Broni, Helen & Jean

Bronislaw (Benny) Jozef Grala Jr.

Helena (Helen) C. Grala

Bronislawa (Bernice) Francesca Grala

Antonium (Tony) Czeslaus Grala

Jadwiga (Hedy) Rose Grala

Stanislaw (Stanley) Edward Grala

Eugenjusz (Eugene" Stanislaw Grala

Joanna (Joan) Ann Grala














D=Divorced; (living)=Dates unpublished for security purposes. Unless otherwise indicated all events took place in Connecticut

Uncle Tony Grala

Anthony C. Grala was born on October 25, 1919 in New Britain, CT to Bronislaw Grala and Maryanna Boguslawska.

Believing a more comfortable living could be made back in his homeland, Bronislaw moved his wife and children to the family farm in Baba, Poland in 1921. They returned to the U.S. on May 15, 1934 aboard the S.S. Kosciuszko.

On November 21, 1942, Tony enlisted in the Army Air Force. After his discharge, he went to work for the Fafnir Bearing Company. He married Pauline A. Olszowy on February 23, 1946. Tony and Pauline eventually built a home in Wethersfield, CT and were married for over 35 years when she died in 1981. On February 14, 1983 he remarried to Mrs. Virginia "Irene" Gawek [pictured above with Tony and his sister, Joan].

Uncle Tony lost his battle with Alzheimer's on May 25, 2010. He enjoyed the outdoors, dancing and children. Though he never had children of his own, his nieces and nephews were blessed with one of the greatest uncles any child could ever have. All of us "kids" who grew up with him have fond memories.

Without a doubt, Uncle Tony spent his "Dash" well. We are sure he was greeted in Heaven by the family he so loved and envy all the Angels who are standing in line to polka with him!

by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough,
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Uncle Tony's photo gallery & guest book will be on
New Britain Memorial's web site until May 25, 2011.
Click HERE to see it or leave a note.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Uncle Tadek Boguslawski

Tadeusz S. Boguslawski (Marianna’s brother) was born on November 5, 1918 … most likely in Grzebsk, Mazowieckie, Poland. It appears he was the only sibling to join her in America, arriving here about 1949. So far, we have been unable to find a record of his immigration.

Aunt Joan remembers her mother and Uncle Tadek as being very close. He lived with them at 40 Gold Street when he first arrived and then in the third floor apartment after Stanley and his family moved to Wells Street. He appears at that address in the 1950 New Britain City Directory and is shown as being employed at 45 Grove Street as a sausage maker.

He and Lucy Nadolny married between 1950-1952 and had two children: Irene and Thaddeus, Jr. Around 1955 he went to work for Fafnir Bearing where he retired in 1980.

Uncle Tadek died on October 17, 2002 in Unionville, CT. His obituary noted that he was a WWI Polish Army Veteran who had been a German POW for 10 years.

Uncle Stanley Rozycki

It was with great sadness that we bid farewell to Uncle Stanley Rozycki, who died in Titusville, FL on April 14, 2008.

Uncle Stanley was born in Bridgeport, CT on November 22, 1920 to Chester P. Rozycki (aka Samuel Ruzzy) and Stanislawa "Stella" Karwacki and lived most of his life in Naugatuck. He married Hedy Rose Grala on November 22, 1941. Their son Joey was born in West Hartford, CT on July 6, 1951. [Pictured below is Hedy, Godchild Judi Grala, Stanley and Joey. Aunt Hedy passed away November 15, 1999.]

After graduating mechanical school in Wichita Falls, TX and Aircraft Instrument School at Chanute AFB in Illinois, he joined the Army Air Corp [which later became the Air Force] and served in the 15th Air Force European Theater, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant and crew chief on B24 Liberators [see for more information about this bomber]. For his service he received many citations including a Bronze Star Medal.

After retiring from Uniroyal, Uncle Stanley owned and operated Walt's Liquor Store and was actively involved in his church and community: he was a member of the VFW, DAV, Catholic War Veterans and Polish Heritage Society; he was honored as Polish Mayor for the Day; he organized Cub Scout Pack 115; and was elected Bailiff under C. J. Waskowicz's term as Mayor. In addition to being a communicant of St. Hedwig Church, he was president of the Holy Name Society, past president of the Parish Council, past chairman of St. Hedwig Bingo, a former member of the Senior Choir and established St. Hedwig's "Theresa Soliwocki Award".

You've Got Mail!

Using my guide to Polish letter writing back in May 1996, I sent a letter off to the Archiwow Panstwowych in Warsaw, Poland requesting birth information for Bronislaw and Maryanna.

One year and a move to North Carolina passed before I received a reply – IN POLISH! So it sat in a desk drawer until the following summer when I met my friend’s brother, Fred Ruland. Fred, who teaches at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, isn’t Polish but speaks, reads and writes the language and (bless his heart) wishes he was Polish.

In essence, the letter advised that a certificate of birth had been found for Marianna Boguslawska as well as the certificate of marriage for her parents Antoniego and Walerii Grosinskich. If I’d be interested in receiving a copy of the documents there would be a $50 fee. As Fred was planning a trip to Warsaw he offered to take my money and go after the documents. Needless to say, we waited in excited anticipation until Fred’s package arrived – inside were certified photocopies of marginal quality and written IN RUSSIAN! It seemed there was little hope of getting them translated.

Fast forward to the summer of 2000 when I was introduced to Helen Barseghan, a young lady visiting from Russia. Helen’s major at university was Russian languages and she kindly offered to translate the documents as best she could. Here goes:

Took place in the village Grzebsk in January 29/February the day 10th, 1892 year at 5 o’clock noon. Announced in presence of Ludovik Endjersky and Tomaliya Karsjewska 40 years old, the land owners in Movsivsi as well as residents over there. On this date has been announced a religious marriage union between Anton Bogoslovsky, single, 23 years old, son of Yan and Eva Bogoslovsky. Eva has known by her maiden name Yankovskaya before she got married. Both were born in Grzebsk . Valeria Grinskaya being 17 years old, daughter of Andrei and Ekaterina, landowners that were born in Movsivsi and whose marriage has been registered and announced in Grzebsk/periodic on Sunday, January 5th, then Sunday 12th and Sunday 18th of current year. Bride’s father was present on the ceremony and has announced his agreement in loud voice. Couple has said that the marriage contract didn’t take place between them. The ceremony performed by K. Dionis Morjevsky, official in Grjebsk. Act has been read in loud voice for illiterate ones and has been signed. The keeper and administrator or civil committee of Grzebsk : K. Dionis Morjevsky.

Took place in the village Grzebsk in October 30th/October 30th day, 1834 year at 5 o’clock noon. Anton Bogoslovsky was present, blacksmith and resident in Grzebsk , 24 years old. In presence of Mihail Kachmarchik 16 years old, Peter Matusyak 12 years old, land owners and residents in Grjebsk. The new born baby was introduced, girl was born in Grzebsk in October 27th/November 8th day of current year at 7 o’clock. The mother of the baby his official wife Valeria by maiden name Grosinsvska 21 years old. During the holy baptism the baby was named Mariana. The ceremony was ruled by K. Dionis Morjevsky. Yan and Katerjinna Grosinvskie. This act has been read in a loud voice for illiterate ones and announced by me (signature). The keeper and administrator of civil Committee in Grzebsk : K. Dionis Morjevsky.


It's driving me crazy!

We've finally figured out who Philadelphia Stella is ... we've even been in contact with her great grandaughter, Bernice (Stasik) Bowman ... but we still don't know HOW, exactly, Stella Muchorski is related to Maryanna Boguslawski!

Stella was born in Poland about 1897 and immigrated to the US in 1913. She married Jan Pawlowski in Philadelphia, PA in 1914. Jan was born in Mlawa, Poland on June 24, 1889.

They had five children: Leonard, Sophia, Joseph, Helen and Edward ... all born in Philadelphia between 1915-1925. Their daughter Helen married Bronislaw (Bennie) Stasik who operated a grocery store in Philadelphia. Helen and Bennie had two children: Bernice and George.

From family pictures and snippets of information, we know Helen and Bennie paid a number of visits to New Britain and are shown in this picture with Benny (back row), Bernice & Frank (standing right) and Hedy (kneeling front).
Based on the similar settings of the photos below, the woman sitting to the right of Maryanna may well be (her cousin) Stella, as they appear to be close in age.
I heard this week from someone who found this Grala family blog. Grala (yes, that's her first name!) is the granddaughter of Paul Grala & Mary Ozeryk of Easthampton, MA ... her mother, Anastasia (aka Stasia) was their daughter.
Because Bronislaw started out in that area when he first arrived in the U.S., I've kept an eye on the Easthampton & Northampton Grala families, thinking there might someday be a connection to us. The name "Stacia" peaked my interest because of this photo of my dad and a young lady by that name.
The Stacia in this picture is not Grala's mother and, as it turns out, we're not related in any way. In the meantime, Aunt Joan thinks THIS Stacia accompanied our "Philadelphia People" when they came to visit ... perhaps thinking she and my dad would be a good match. Fortunately for me, they didn't hit it off or I wouldn't be writing this now!!!