Index to the Obituaries and Death Notices Appearing in the Jednosc-Polonia: 1926-1946

Compiled by Thomas L. Hollowak

Originally published as a book, the following preface is by William F. Hoffman:

One of the most important questions to arise during the preparation of a book of this type is how faithful to be to the original obituaries. Variant spellings, outright misspellings, and inconsistencies of names and facts showed up in the original as is inevitable in obituaries but should they be corrected? Some obvious errors cry out, begging to be corrected: there is little doubt, for instance, that “KITOWSKA, Apoolnja Anna” should read “KITOWSKA, Apolonja Anna,” and certainly no great harm would result from changing that entry. But what about “ZAKES, Katarazyna”? Is “Katarazyna” (like “Barbara” and “Barbra” in English)? And why is Marjanna Zablocka’s granddaughter named “Debska,” but the name of Jakob Zablocki’s granddaughter is given as “Dembska”? Should a compiler choose one form as correct and use it under both entries?

Any researcher would probably agree that the best policy for the compiler of a book like this is to change the original data as little as possible; a researcher can deal with errors taken intact from the original far more easily than he can with errors introduced into the data by a well-meaning compiler. For that matter, retaining variant spellings and facts can sometimes give a researcher valuable clues. Since, in the example given above, both “Debska” and “Dembska” occur, and since both are actually pronounced about the same in Polish, it is entirely possible that the woman in question spelled her name both ways; so someone trying to find out about her and coming to a dead end looking under “Debska” could conceivably find more under the name “Dembska” somewhere else. That all may sound far-fetched, but I think any experienced researcher would agree that it provides a good reason for altering the original text as little as possible.

That is why the procedure throughout this book has been to make only those changes necessary to list names alphabetically in what would be their standard form in English. Thus various spellings like “Jozefy” and “Jozefe” have been standardized as “Jozefa,” because those different endings are due to declensional change in Polish, which is almost impossible to render intelligibly in English; but “ZAKES, Katarazyna” has been allowed to retain her unusual first name because that spelling just might be correct and in any event a researching relative of Mrs. Zakes would be in a better position to ascertain the correct spelling.

The contents of the book were retyped for purposes of the online database. In keeping with Mr. Hoffman’s remarks, I tried to be faithful to what was actually written in the book. While I hope they are few, I apologize for any typographical errors I may have introduced. –James J. Czuchra

The following introduction to the book is by Thomas L. Hollowak:

This work is designed principally as a finding-aid to deaths that have appeared in Jednosc-Polonia between 1926 and 1946. The index is arranged alphabetically by surname of the subject. However, other surnames mentioned incidentally in the obituaries have been cross-referenced throughout.

The running column on the right-hand side of each page gives the day, month, and year the notice appeared in the newspaper. If the obituary was run in more than one issue the entry will be repeated with the new issue date.

The information given in the main entry is an abstract of the obituary. It is important, therefore, that the researcher go and look at the original obituary. The actual obituary may contain innumerable clues to further the genealogist in his research. Often information is given in the obituary which is not found anywhere else, i. e., names of clubs or organizations the deceased belonged to, place and /or date of birth, as well as surviving family members.

Obituaries which were listed under the headings: Kronika Zalobna (Chronicles of Obituareis) or Karty Zalobna (Obituary Cards), are not the only type of death notice that have been included in this index. Beginning with the July 31, 1942 issue and continuing to 1946 occasionally there would appear running columns of deaths. They were often headed by the following titles: Pogrzeby (Funerals) or Zmarli (Deaths). The information contained in these notices were usually a less full obituary: name, age, and date death. These notices have been included because they give the researcher a date that can be used at the Vital Records Office in order to obtain a Death Certificate which will include more detailed information.

Jednosc-Polonia, a weekly, was the successor of Polonia (1891-1898) andJednosc (1902-1915) both papers were edited by Adam F. Bautro who is credited with merging the titles in 1915. This index covers the period of the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s holdings: January 2, 1926 to January 25, 1946. The Library lacks the following issues:

  August 7, 1926
October 11, 1929
Entire year 1932
January-July 21, 1933
June 7, 14, 21, 1935
September 27, 1935
December 3, 1937
February 26, 1943

The Polish Museum of America Library (Chicago) is the only other Library who have holdings of Jednosc-Polonia. Rev. Donald Bilinski, O.F.M., the Curator in 1983, informed me that the Library only had issues for the year 1937. (I looked at the December 3, 1937 issue and found it did not contain any obituaries.)

There are many people that I must thank for making this book possible: Edward A. Peckwas, President of the Polish Genealogical Society, who suggested the book, John Burgan, Chief of Central, Enoch Pratt Free Library; Eva Slezak and the entire staff of the Maryland Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library for the many kindnesses extended to me during the compilation, (Mrs.) Josephine Piegzik, for translation of several terms found in the Obituaries, (Mrs.) Patti S. Matulonis, who typed the manuscript, (Mrs.) Lyn Hart, who provided editorial suggestions, William F. Hoffman, who proofread and corrected the manuscript, and finally but most importantly my family for their patience and perseverance during the compilation and preparation of this book.

Return to the Jednosc-Polonia Death Notice Index Search page.