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Carla Galletti's

Genealogy

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Polish ancestors and their descendants

OPALEWSKI-GROCHOWSKA LINE

POLISH ancestors originated from the area just 10 miles east of Grudziadz (particularly the towns of Gruta, Okonin, Orle, Rogozno, Sarnowsko) in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie region.  They settled in Detroit, Michigan circa 1890. Surnames include: BRYKALSKI, HERMINAU, FIGURSKI, GILAKOWSKA,  GROCHOWSKA, JARECKI, JELAKOWSKI, KAPITSKY, KOWALSKI, LUDWICKI,  LYCZYNSKI, NAWROCKI, OPALEWSKI, RAJEWSKI, STEFANSKY, WISNIEWSKI,  WOJCIAK, ZLOCKA.

Generation No. 1

Johann Opalewski was born abt. 1830 near Rogozno in Grudziadz district. He married Cunegunde Grochowska on November 26, 1854. They had the following children:

In late 1880, Johann Opalewski, age 20, and his cousin Michael Opalewski, age 17, left Poland for America on the ship Leipzig. They arrived in Baltmore, Maryland on December 7, 1880.

Six months later, Kunegunda Opalewska and her 3 younger children: Michael, Thomas, and Boleslaus, departed from Bremen on the ship Braunschweig. They arrived in Baltimore on June 1, 1881.

On December 21, 1881, a Michael Opalewski and his wife Anna, and a child John Opalewski arrived on the ship Ohio. I suspect these individuals are cousins of my ancestors.

Frank, the eldest son of Johann Opalewski and Cunegunda Grochowska, immigrated circa 1885.

Generation No. 2

Frank Opalewski was born December 12, 1857 in Okonin, Grudziadz district; immigrated to America circa 1885; died September 16, 1924. He married Anna Wisniewska on May 7, 1882. They had the following children:

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Johann Opalewski was born October 1, 1860 in Rogozno, Grudziadz district; immigrated to America in 1880; died March 24, 1935. He married Anna Jelakowska (daughter of Andreas Jelakowski & Frances Gilakowska) on July 15, 1889. They had the following children:

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Michael Opalewski was born July 20, 1866 in Sarnowko, Grudziadz district; immigrated to America in 1881. He married Josefa Miller on November 9, 1890 in Sweetest Heart of Mary Church, Detroit. They had the following children:

Michael Opalewski, his wife Josephine, and children Clara, Anna, Leo, Edward, and Theodore. Detroit circa 1910. Photo courtesy of James Jarecki.

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Thomas Opalewski was born February 8, 1870 in Rogozno in Grudziadz district; immigrated to America in 1881; and died February 22, 1951 in Detroit, Michigan. He married Flora Veronika Wisniewska (birthplace: Gruta; daughter of Johann Wisniewski and Dorothea Herminau) in Sweetest Heart of Mary Church, Detroit on May 13, 1890.  

Wedding photo of Thomas Opalewski & Flora Wisniewska, Detroit, May 1890

    The following children were all born in Detroit::

Thomas Opalewski, his wife Flora, children Frank, Mary, John, and Theodore. Taken in  Joseph Sowinski Studio, 376 Canfield, Detroit, 1902

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Boleslaus (William) Opalewski was born on July 3, 1873 in Orle, Grudziadz district. He immigrated to America in 1881; died June 15, 1941.  He married Leokadya abt. 1901. They had the following children:

Generation No. 3

Michael Opalewski (son of Frank Opalewski  and Anna Wisniewska) was born in March 1890. He marrried Anna circa 1912 and they had the following children:

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Anastasia Opalewski (daughter of Frank Opalewski and Anna Wisniewska) was born in Detroit on July 10, 1893 and died February 8, 1977. She married Joseph Rajewski on April 12, 1910. They had the following children:

Anastasia Opalewska and husband Joseph Rajewski with children standing left to right: Leonard, Clarence, Helen, Walter. Children seated left to right: Wanda (on chair), George (in mother's lap), Arthur (on stool). Detroit circa 1922. Photo courtesy of Frances Payne.

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Valeria Opalewska (daughter of Frank Opalewski & Anna Wisniewska) was born in Detroit in 1900 and died in 1939. At the age of 18, she married William Henry Payne. They had the following children:

Valeria Opalewska, Detroit, circa 1916. Photo courtesy of Frances Payne.

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Anna Opalewski (daughter of Michael Opalewski and Josepha Miller) was born in Detroit on August 22, 1891. She married Michael Jarecki (son of John Jarecki and Anna Wojciak on August 19, 1913. They had the following children:

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Leo Opalewski (son of Michael Opalewski and Josefa Miller) was born February 17, 1893. With his first wife he had the following children:

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Marie Opalewski (daughter of Thomas Opalewski and Flora Veronica Wisniewska) was born on August 16, 1895 in Detroit, Michigan. She is said to have died of cancer in the early 1930s. However,  I cannot find her death record and cannot find where she is buried.. Her last known address (in April 1930) was 8325 Van Dyke Avenue in Detroit. Probably died under the name of Clark. 

Communion photo of Marie Opalewski (on right) and unindentified girl. Taken in Joseph Sowinski studio, Detroit, circa 1904.

Marie Opalewski circa 1912

Marie Opalewski married Ferdinand Johan Drewes (son of Dietrich Drewes and Catherine Prigge) on August 18, 1913 in First Free Methodist Church in Detroit. They later divorced. Marie married  Harold D. Clark circa 1925.

Marie Opalewski and Ferdinand Drewes had one child:

Marie Opalewski & Irene Dravis/Drewes 1914

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Anna Opalewski (daugher of Thomas Opalewski and Flora Veronica Wisniewska) was born March 15, 1904 in Detroit, Michigan. She married John Ludwicki (son of Alexander Ludwicki and Catherine Zlocka) in 1921 in Detroit. They later divorced.  Anna married Henry Brykalski circa 1948. Anna died April 4, 1992 in Detroit. 

Anna Opalewski and John Ludwicki had one child:

   
 

Anna Opalewski; daughter Virginia; husband John Ludwicki in Detroit, circa 1924.

 

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Frank Opalewski (son of Boleslaus Opalewski and Leokadya) was born abt. 1903. He married Agnes abt. 1920 and they had the following children:

Generations Nos. 4, 5 & 6

Numerous descendants of Johann Opalewski & Cunegunde Grochowska can be found throughout the U.S. particularly in California, Colorado, and Michigan, under the surnames Bissoux, Darling, Figurski, Galletti, Headley, Jarecki, Kowalski, Long, Lopez, Nettath, Payne, Obry, Opal, Opalewski, Rajewski, Stapels, Stefansky, Ward, Weiler. 

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 cgenweb@yahoo.com or gen_nut9@hotmail.com

This page was last edited on February 20, 2008 .