The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Home / Genealogy  % width posts: 30

Valentine Stolarz, Anna Banas, Jacob Mastej, Francis Bil

EsotericForest 3 | 44
6 Sep 2009 #1
I've been researching my fathers side of the family off and on for a couple years now. Anytime I do, I pretty much run into a dead end. As far back as I can get is my great grandfather Valentine Stolarz, and his wife Anna Banas (Banash). On my grandmas side I can get the most information about Jacob Mastej and his wife Francis Bil (Bill), but haven't been able to find any information about their parents. It seems that immediately after my searching takes me to Poland, all records fall off the planet. I'm just at a loss as to what to look up now and a little bit of push in the right direction would be helpful.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
6 Sep 2009 #2
Stolarz is very common

Anna Banas (Banash)

Banaś or Banach ?
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
6 Sep 2009 #3
Well I sure have trouble finding much for Stolarz if it's really common. Half the time when I look at different surname lists, it never shows up.

My grandma told me it was spelled "Banash", but anything I've found for her was spelled very well could've been Banach at some point, I wouldn't know.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
6 Sep 2009 #4

You will need to register to use their search facility.
You'll get over 1000 results and then you can take it from there.
Some knowledge of Polish will be useful for the search. Don't look for the names without limitiung the search by some additional criteria such as locality, gender or age.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
6 Sep 2009 #5
Alright I'll see what I can come up with, thanks for the link. Somehow I'll just have to bride the language barrier haha. What is the best way to use the website? Being that it looks like a social networking site...not exactly somewhere I would find anything about old relatives.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
6 Sep 2009 #6
Old relatives may be not there, but their descendants are likely the members of the site. If you know the area where your great grand parents came from that would be a start. I'm not saying you'll have the family history in a day or a week, but you gotta start somewhere.

I'd say contacting people older than teenagers would give you better chances to get meaningful responses.

Good luck.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
6 Sep 2009 #7
Alright I see where you're coming from, thanks for the help :)

Thread attached on merging:
Four Dead Ends?

I posted here awhile back with some of my information, and asking for some assistance. I have slightly more information now, but it's mostly things I've found out through other family members and such. The internet really hasn't been very good to me when it comes to helping me find additional information on my genealogy.

From my fathers side of the family, I basically have information on all four of my great grandparents, all of which came from Poland.

Walenty Stolarz born 1879 in Biadoliny Poland. Died in 1939 in Hammond Indiana
Married to:
Anna Banash (Banach/Banas?) born 1879 in Biadoliny Poland. Died 1967 in Hammond Indiana

Jacob Mastej born 1888 in Zawadka Poland. Died 1936 in Hammond Indiana
Married to:
Franciska Bil born in 1893 in Zarzecze Poland. Died 1979 in Hammond Indiana

I've had pretty much no luck finding any information on Franciska, or Anna...and can't figure out anything regarding their maiden names. I have a feeling there is a spelling variation that I'm missing. I admit I've devoted the most time to trying to find out information on Walenty, as well as spending some time trying to find out information on Jacob. Everybody listed above immigrated from Poland, and I can't seem to get any generations further into Poland. The closest lead I have in Poland is that Walenty had a cousin named Jozef Stolarz who also came to the United States (He died without being married or having any children). Jozef and Walenty's fathers would be brothers, and I found Jozef's fathers name in Jozef's work book...and his fathers name was Wawrzyniec Stolarz. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find out any information on him either. My hope was that since he would be Walenty's father's brother, that I could find out some more direct information through that route...unfortunately it's proven to be another brick wall. People in my family seem to not come up in most online searches no matter what website I try.

Since I've been trying to work on this for a couple years now, I have to admit I'm getting kind of frustrated and a little desperate for any ounce of information. I've drilled my poor grandmother (My last living grandparent) for information so many times, I'm sure she's sick of hearing about it haha. So by this point, any information would be helpful, and I'm really open to suggestions. I should also point out that I don't know any Polish, which probably also isn't helping my situation.

Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
30 Jul 2010 #8
have u checked Ship's Records.

in one line it sometimes gives next of kin... and possibly a location.

part of your problem is that there are many places with the same name in Poland and u have to find the correct location before u contact the local archive or church.

you may find some records in Berlin, Germany. This would be for those in 'Prussia'

some Ship's Records are located in Hamburg, Germany.

useful sites: jewishgen, family search,,
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
30 Jul 2010 #9
So far I've mainly been using family search, rootsweb, and little results. At least nothing (As I said before) that that takes me further back than my great grandparents. I did find the ship records for Jacob Mastej, and I'm pretty confident I found the ship records for Walenty. Unfortunately I didn't get a lot of information from it.

What do you mean there are many places with the same name in Poland? As far as Biadoliny, Zawadka, or Zarzecze is concerned? I've mainly concentrated on Biadoliny since it relates to the Stolarz side.

Alright, now that I've taken a look at the documents I do have copies of, it looks like I haven't in fact found Walenty Stolarz on a passenger list. I have Jozef Stolarz, and Jacob Mastej both coming from Hamburg. Not much information provided by Jacob Mastej other than saying that he's from Zawadka, and on Jozef Stolarz's immigration papers, he again lists Wawrzyniec Stolarz as his father. As well as his last residence being Hamburg, his race being Polish, and his nationality/country he's from as being Austria.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
30 Jul 2010 #10
check the place names at wikipedia. u'll find many places called Zawadka. This is your problem.

Austria = south/south-east poland

use the history of poland against the place names. that way u will narrow down the exact place.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
30 Jul 2010 #11
What about a town like Biadoliny? It seems to be listed at times as "Biadoliny, Galicia". What exactly is Galicia? Is it like a county, or province?

Alright so I have confirmed records of Walenty Stolarz in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census

In 1910 he's listed as Walenty Stolarz

In 1920 he's listed as Walter Stolarz

In 1930 he's listed as Valentine Stolarz

It doesn't give the names of his parents, but in the 1910, and 1920 census he has their nationality as Austrian, race as Polish.

I also have a digital copy of "Walter Stolarz" draft card. Unfortunately it's a bit difficult to read.

In spite of the little first name changes, I can confirm it's the same person because the dates line well as his occupation, and he his spouse is always named Anna.
plk123 8 | 4,148
30 Jul 2010 #12
What exactly is Galicia?
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
31 Jul 2010 #13
Alright so it looks like Galicia was a region that was part of Austria during the time period of my great grandparents, but no longer exists? So now the real question is, should I be trying to find records in Austria instead of the area around Biadoliny and Tarnow Poland? It seems like a lot of Polish records ended up in Berlin, but it seems my family came from a region of Poland that was controlled by Austria, not Germany.
plk123 8 | 4,148
31 Jul 2010 #14
either Austrial or Russia.. the records may be in "galicia" or possibly in vienna although i highly doubt the last.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
31 Jul 2010 #15
If "Galicia" no longer exists then where would I find records for it? Where in Austria should I try looking if Vienna is unlikely?
maksym 2 | 47
1 Aug 2010 #16
I read your posts and thought I might be of some help. The Ellis Island website is a great starting point. I know on some manifests there isn't much information, especially on those from 1906 and before. They only had 1 page. However, starting in 1907 the manifests had 2 pages, and when you view the manifest page, you are only viewing 1 page.

You'll know when you find these because the image will show information, but won't have the persons name on it. The way to view the other page is to click previous or next on the winow which says "click to enlarge manifest" This page has more information such as nearest living relative in the country the person immigrated from.

I did a search for Stolarz & found an Anna Stolarz arriving in 1913. I clicked to view the manifest, and since it's from 1913, it only showed the 2nd page. Information stated she was going to her husband Walenty Stolarz, Chicago. I closed that window & clicked previous, now it showed the page which has her name on the list as well as 3 children Boleslaw, Boleslawa, and Gustav. It states that the children where born in USA. Also lists the nearest living relative in Europe for Anna as her father, Jan Banasz, in Lukanowice.

It looks like Anna was visiting family in Poland (Galicia)and was on a return trip to USA.

I did a search on google for Lukanowice, and on a map it is very close to Biadoliny Szlacheckie & Biadoliny Radlowskie, which are in southern Poland.

Hope this helps
Peter 3 | 247
1 Aug 2010 #17
I don't think you will find any Polish records online as you would for US or UK records on ancestry. Once you have located your ancestors home town in Poland or Galicia you will probably have to use a genealogy researcher in Poland or Ukraine to go through the relevant parish archives.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
1 Aug 2010 #18
I read your posts and thought I might be of some help.

Oh wow, that is so much help I can't even tell you. I didn't even realize there was a second page to that. I remember finding this in years past, but blew it off because I know she originally immigrated before 1913, so I didn't even enlarge it to see that she was married to Walenty and such. Wow, thanks so much for pointing that out...not to mention teaching me a lesson haha.
maksym 2 | 47
2 Aug 2010 #19
You're Welcome

Here's a link to a web page which lists both villages(Biadoliny Radlowskie & Biadoliny Szlacheckie) as well as what province, district, and sub district they belonged to when the area was Galicia/Galicja/Galizien
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
2 Aug 2010 #20
Also very helpful. I'll be bookmarking that link. Thanks once again!
markskibniewski 3 | 200
21 Aug 2010 #21

Did your family eventually become citizens. If so there is an abundance of information on forms they had to fill out. The Petition for Naturalization and Declaration of intent are 2 documents that helped me a lot. Also I am not sure if your family is religious but if they were Catholic ...marriage certificates are also huge as most people didn't lie to thier priests and marriage certificates often included where both husband and wife were baptised (where they were born). My final bit of advice if you want to speed things up a bit you can hire a proffesional to do the work for you. This was invaluable to me because I don't speak Polish and most of the records are in Russian or German or others which a pro will translate for you with ease. If you need a reccomendation let me know.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
16 Oct 2010 #22
I did find the naturalization document, but it seemed to have minimal information filled out. It seems when it came to Walenty, that's the common trend haha.
caprice49 4 | 224
26 Oct 2010 #23
great grandfather Valentine Stolarz, and his wife Anna Banas

Try to find their marriage certificate or even the names of the children they had, as the names of their parents and grandparents will be on it. Much depends which part of Poland you are searching.

The Gmina in a given area also keeps records.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
27 Oct 2010 #24
I've been trying to go through the three census records that I've found the two of them on to try and determine at what point they immigrated, and what year they got married so as to see if I should be looking in the United States or Poland. Unfortunately each census basically gives me different results when it comes to that question. Being that I've been unable to find anything so far looking in the United States, I assume they were probably married in Poland. I know they came from somewhere near Tarnow.
caprice49 4 | 224
27 Oct 2010 #25
I know they came from somewhere near Tarnow.

If they were born in Biadoliny there is a good chance they were married there. But certainly details of their birth parents and grandparents names will be in the archives in the church in Biadoliny.

My father was born in "Austria" quite close to Biadoliny. I have been researching my family and it was the church and council records that has enabled me to trace back 4 x great grandparents. The priest from the church was not particularly helpful, but nevertheless the information was found within 10 minutes of my looking through the records. The Gmina for the area (which I'm looking for) could also hold archives (much depends on whether the church gave access to its records)

The church there is but it looks to new so it may not be the one.

Parafia NSPJ w Biadolinach
Biadoliny Radłowskie 283, 32-828 Biadoliny
tel. (0-14) 679-15-25,

There is another church there

Sw. Józefa Rzemieślnika
Maszkienice 1, 32-828 Biadoliny Szlacheckie,
telefon (0-14) 66-38-072


I will try and find out which church was there in the 19th century.

I have emailed you on this site so do check.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
17 Nov 2010 #26
Excellent, thank you again for the information, I really do appreciate it. Would it be best to email them at first, or write them a proper letter? I suppose I should contact them in Polish as well?

henryson - | 17
20 Nov 2010 #27
Yes, e-mail in polish first.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
20 Nov 2010 #28
Could I get some suggestions on what I should be asking, and how?
caprice49 4 | 224
24 Nov 2010 #29
I've emailed you. You will need to demonstrate you are related before you get a response. Much depends on the person the other end. In my case, the person lived 7 doors away from the people I was researching.
OP EsotericForest 3 | 44
2 Dec 2010 #30
What would be the best way to demonstrate I'm related to Walenty? A copy of my family tree and maybe a scan of my drivers license to prove my identity?

Alright so I'm prepared to write an email to the parishes in Biadoliny. I now have my own birth certificate, my father's, and my grandfathers. So I now have documents that prove I'm the great grandson of Walenty Stolarz. Now what I need to some assistance in composing a letter to them, as well as suggestions on what I should be asking them for. I would appreciate any help I can get.

Through microfilms of birth and marriage records, and tracking down family stories, I've pieced together at the very least that Valentine (Walenty) Stolarz, and Laurence (Wawrzniec) Stolarz, were the sons of Andrew (Andrzej) Stolarz, and Marianna Chrapusta. I know that Laurence had a son named Joseph Stolarz, who was born 15 Mar. 1889 in Biadoliny Radlowskie. I also know he had a daughter by the name of Karolina Stolarz. I found out about her due to a letter I found in an old cigar box, that she wrote to Joseph Stolarz. It was written in 1924, and explained that she would more than likely be getting married after the harvest, and that she needed money for a dowry. She also mentioned that her fiance had been away, due to him being in the army. Unfortunately no name is mentioned, and so far I haven't been able to find out who she married.

As far as the Chrapusta's go, it showed that Marianna was the mother of Valentine Stolarz. When I brought the maiden name to my grandmother, she also remembered a John Krapusta, who used to pick mushrooms across the street from her house. She couldn't remember exactly how he was related to Marianna, but she remembered that he was. It appears his parents names were Joseph and Mary, and they lived on Dearborn Ave. Hammond Indiana, according to the 1920 census.

I'm posting this information mainly in the hope that something will jog another researchers memory. Possibly being a descendant of Karolina Stolarz. Or somehow being related to John Chrapusta, and knowing more about his ancestry.

Another reason I'm posting this is that I've attached a scanned copy of the workbook I found for Joseph Stolarz. it shows is father as Laurence on the lower right side of the page. However something that was also pointed out to me was that on the lower left part of the page, it is signed by a Chrapusta. What may the significance of that be?

Home / Genealogy / Valentine Stolarz, Anna Banas, Jacob Mastej, Francis Bil
BoldItalic [quote]
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.