Mary and I took a short road trip to visit her son Brandon and his wife Markie in Chicago and to see my brother David and his wife Julie in Bloomington. The trip was great with a couple of days seeing the sights in Chicago followed by a few days visiting David and Julie.
The first day included an architecture river boat cruise. This was a spectacular way to see the architecture of Chicago. Hopefully the pictures can do it some justice.
The next day included a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo and a photo op at the “Bean” as they call it (if you look closely, you can see Mary and I reflected in the Bean). Also, as you can see, we had to entertain Flat Stanley on our day at the zoo, but he was pretty well behaved.
We ended our journey at David and Julie’s palatial residence (tongue in cheek) in Bloomington. We had a great time visiting and learning some new board games and I finally was able to cash in on my dinner voucher just before it expired with a sumptuous meal at Baxter’s.
Max and Agatha (or Agnes) Laskowski are the parents of Louis Francis Laskowski and the grand parents of the Mary Laskowski clan (my wife). I have uncovered some good stuff on Max and have only a little on Agatha at this time.
For starters, I have found a birth registry record for Max as shown below. It appears he was born in an area called “Rathstube, WestPrussia, Prussia, Germany” on March 1, 1879. This information agrees as best it can with census records and the birth date noted in his obituary. Rathstube is now known today as Radostowo in Poland, a city about 80 miles east of Danzig (German), or Gandsk as it is known in Poland. I also have a passenger list that lists him at the age of 5 with his parents coming over in 1884. The children on that list as well as the parents name for the most part agree with the census information and the birth registry information, so my confidence level is high on this information.
Unfortunately, the 1890 census records in the United States were destroyed in a fire in January of 1921, so I do not have that record available. Notice that his middle name is shown as Franz, the same as his dads first name. Franz appears on the US information as Francis. I have also seen Max’s name appear as Max J Laskie on his Railroad Retirement board card and as Max J Laskowski in his obituary and Max John Laskowski on his WWI registration card.
Perhaps the most interesting information is a passenger list from the ship “Fulda” that arrived at Ellis Island on April 19, 1884. On that list are the following names (with ages): Frz Laskowski (46), Elise (41), Anna (20), Maria (18), Johann (15), Sophia (4??), Conrad (7), Helene (6) and Max (5). We know that Franz Laskowski married Elizabeth Nitkowski, so those names match up. I also have a list of names from a family reunion back in 1971 that for the most part agrees as follows (in descending order by date I presume from the family reunion doc): Anna (vs. Anna), Mary (vs. Maria), Josephine (maybe Sophia??), John (vs. Johann), Cora (vs??), Helen (vs. Helen), Max (vs. Max) and Barbara who was born later in 1884 in the United States. To me the match is too close not to be the correct one. On the census records it was noted they immigrated in 1884, which also agrees. Here are the passenger list documents and the family reunion document.
Maybe, at some point, I can get more information to corroborate. I am not sure yet about Cora and Conrad. It is possible the person recording the passenger list just made a mistake. If only I had the 1890 census record.
More updates on Agatha (Schneble, born in Dayton, Ohio), and also on the Stanchak side in the future.
Time now to add some genealogy research about the Laskowski family line. This will be about Mary’s family which appears to almost exclusively trace back to Poland and Germany.
For starters I have a great wedding picture of Mary’s parents.
Anna Stanchak (no middle name) was born November 9th, 1918 in Piney Fork, Pennsylvania and passed away on September 3, 2007 in Bay City. Piney Fork is now mostly just a memory located in South Park Township in Allegheny County a little south of Pittsburgh. Mary and I actually made a stop there but all we could find was a road named Piney Fork. Her father was Peter Daniel Stanchak (Stanczak?) born February 6, 1886 in Austria/Poland and her mother was Mildred (Millie or Mylana) Gabuza born January 6, 1888 in Austria/Poland.
Louis Francis Laskowski was born September 14, 1911 in Bay City and passed away on June 2, 1990. His father was Maximillian or Max J. Laskowski (still need the middle name) born March 1, 1879 in Poland. His mother was Agatha Cecilia Schneble born September 15, 1880 in Dayton, Ohio. More about them all in the future and their family tree as I can get verifiable information about them. Below are a couple more pictures of Mary’s parents.
I am in the process now of scanning all the pictures that mom had in a photo album with the intention of putting them all on a memory stick for whoever in the family would like them. There are about 30 pages with 4-5 pictures per page, so I have a ways to go. The good news is, it is the winter months in Michigan, and I don’t ice fish, snowmobile or ski, so I have some time on my hands.
On page twelve today I scanned this picture which includes an adorable picture of me (cough!) along with various older people who are all related to me (including my mom who looks beautiful) and also a picture of Thomas (probably 1 year old). I would say this is the summer of 1954 or thereabouts.
Just a short post for now because I like the picture. Byron is Esther’s brother and Eva is his wife.
This would be our last day on the boat and it was spent at sea. When we get up the next morning we will be arriving in Vancouver. So we had a good last day just enjoying our time together and exploring the ship a little bit more. A few fun pictures for the last day.
In Vancouver we had a few hours before the plane left for home, so we purchased a hop on hop off ticket for their public transportation and we were able to see a bit of Vancouver. As you can see Vancouver is a very large city with a beautiful park (Stanley Park) and a working steam powered clock.
And that concludes the honeymoon road trip, the first of many hopefully that Mary and I will be able to take. I apologize for taking so long for the pictures, but getting married in our sixties has taken us a while to unpack.
Last stop before heading to Vancouver is Ketchikan. Another thriving metropolis of 8,195 people which makes it the 12th largest city in Alaska. Like Juneau, it is basically an island area along the coast and the only way to get to these cities is by boat or plane. The cruise ship had to park in the bay and we took a taxi to shore. Along the way we were able to see a shipment of goods coming to the area.
The day was highlighted by an excursion to the Misty Fjords National Monument and Wilderness Area. The views were spectacular and the weather was sunny which is a rare occurrence.
And we were able to see a few seals lazing about on the shore line and even were allowed to take a picture of the captain of the excursion boat (I think?!?)
Day 8 was spent in Juneau, Alaska, the capital of Alaska with a population of 32,434. This makes it the second largest city in Alaska, after Anchorage at 298,225 and within a few hundred people of the population of Bay City, Michigan, which is approximately the 35th largest city in Michigan.
The first thing we noticed when docking was the large number of bald eagles all over the place. Must be a good hunting ground for them here. In the picture below you can see two of them perched on the structure.
We saw a big National Geographic boat docked as well as some beautiful mountains as a back drop as we headed out to see some whales. Oh yeah, and I am finally getting a little better at doing selfies. 🙂
We did get to see some whales, but not too close. I think they were humpback whales and they only occasionally surfaced. Here are a couple of the pictures I could get.
And finally, just another look from our cabin as we depart Juneau for our next stop.
Day 5 and 6 were on the ocean with a visit to two different glacier locations. Here is our itinerary for the whole voyage and some pics of the glaciers.
The first glacier we visited after sailing all night was the Hubbard Glacier, located in Yakutat Bay. Simply amazing to see. Also amazing to watch the glacier break up and to hear the noise it made when a chunk would break off.
Leaving for the evening gave us a beautiful view of the sunset out over the ocean.
Next day was a visit to Glacier Bay National Park which is home to many glaciers. The two we got up close to were Margerie and Lamplugh Glaciers.
This also happened to be our one week anniversary!
First road trip of the year, leaving on New Years Eve and getting home 10 days later. Lots of stops starting with a night in Ripley, West Virginia, then visits with Stephanie and Steven, Steven’s parents in Virginia, Brian, Amy and Sammy and Chris, Lia and Emma and then back home.
So here is our route, over two thousand miles all told. The trip included a quick side trip to Gettysburg and Piney Fork (Mary’s mom’s birthplace) in Pennsylvania.
Was able to visit and see the piece of land that Stephanie and Steven have purchased for their new home in Van Wyck, SC:
A quick stop in Gettysburg, which was open to the public (with limited service) despite the government shutdown. Will need to go back some day and spend a whole day there.
Then on to Lebanon to visit Brian, Amy and Sammy. We were able to see Sammy in a wrestling invitational in the morning and then with his all star choir group at the Hershey Bears minor league hockey game that night. Go Sammy!
Then back through Ohio to visit Lia, Chris and Emma. Had a nice warm day on Tuesday in which we took a nice walk at the Battelle Darby Metro Park, with Buffalos!
So it was a very good trip with lots of miles. The only children we didn’t get to see over the holidays was Stephen, Heidi and Noah who now live near Denver CO. That is a much longer hike and will require a separate trip sometime this year.