Toledo Polonia Birth Records

Church / Location Time Period Number of Records
St. Boniface, Baptisms
Oak Harbor, OH
1872 — 1885 112
St. Boniface, Marriages
Oak Harbor, OH
1874 — 1883 23
St. Boniface, Deaths
Oak Harbor, OH
1881 — 1885 7
St. Hedwig, Baptisms
Toledo, OH
1875 — 1877 126
St. Hedwig, Marriages
Toledo, OH
1875 — 1880 31
St. Mary, Baptisms
Toledo, OH
1866 — 1875 95
St. Mary, Marriages
Toledo, OH
1869 — 1875 23
St. Mary, Deaths
Toledo, OH
1867 — 1876 34
St. Mary, Parish Census
Toledo, OH
1866 — 1885 5
Sts. Peter and Paul, Baptisms
Toledo, OH
1871 — 1875 60
Sts. Peter and Paul, Marriages
Toledo, OH
1874 — 1875 8
Sts. Peter and Paul, Deaths
Toledo, OH
1872 — 1877 45
Lucas County Death Records
Toledo, OH
1871 — Feb. 1886 287
First Families of Toledo
Toledo, OH
1866 — 1877 291
Total Records: 1147

St. Boniface Parish

Some families moved back and forth from St. Boniface to/from Toledo. About 35% of the baptisms in these years were infants whose parents were Polish. St. Boniface Parish was organized in 1845, and the first church was built in 1872.

St. Hedwig Parish

October 16, 1875 marked the official beginning of St. Hedwig Parish with the celebration of the first Mass in the basement of St. Mary Church. Construction was begun shortly after, and the red brick church was built on the north side of Dexter Street, between Locust (now Warsaw) and Lagrange Streets. The church was blessed on May 7, 1876. Father Vincent Lewandowski was the first pastor. Once St. Hedwig was established, almost all of the Polish families went to St. Hedwig for the sacraments. Records of Polish sacraments at St. Mary and SS. Peter and Paul Parishes became almost non-existent after 1875. There was a fire in St. Hedwig Church in 1886, during which time the first book of death records disappeared.

St. Mary Parish

St. Mary Church was located on the west side of Cherry Street at Michigan, on the southern edge of the Wabash and Erie canal bed. St. Mary was founded as a German Catholic Church in 1854. St. Mary Cemetery was located at the northwest corner of Lagrange Street and Manhattan Blvd., which was customarily outside the city limits (until 1868 when the city annexed the area). St. Francis de Sales Church, organized in 1841 and located just three blocks to the south of St. Mary Church, also had its cemetery in the same location. Eventually the two side-by-side cemeteries merged into Mount Carmel Cemetery. One can still find gravestones that date from the 1840s.

SS. Peter and Paul Church

SS. Peter and Paul Church was founded in 1866 as a German parish and located on St. Clair Street near Harrison, near the canal locks and south of Swan Creek. There are not many records of Poles in this parish until early 1873, when there were 15 baptisms of Polish infants that year. The Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery was at the intersection of Western and Wayne Streets, and served from 1867 to 1923. Later that decade bodies were reinterred at Calvary Cemetery. The old Foodtown store at Western and Airport sits on this former cemetery property.

Toledo – Lucas County Death Records

These records are an extraction of the Polish names from the original handwritten death records of Lucas County, Ohio (1871 – Feb. 1886). February 1886 is the cutoff date because that is when the St. Hedwig death register begins (due to the first book, 1875–Feb 1886, which is missing, probably destroyed in the church fire in February 1886). Not all Poles who died during this time period, 1871–1886, were recorded in the Lucas County records.

First Families of Toledo

First Families of Toledo is an alphabetical list of almost 300 families who immigrated to Toledo between 1866 and 1877, many of whom were considered the pioneers who founded St. Hedwig parish, the first Polish Catholic Church in Toledo, in 1875. The information given has been documented by contemporary sources, parish records from Poland and Toledo, Toledo City Directories, Lucas County death records, and immigration passenger records. Some information has been provided by genealogists whose ancestors are listed. Census records were used to find names, ages, addresses, but are not a reliable source for dates of immigration, as this information was given many years after the immigration, and often not remembered correctly. Common sense dictates that the census taker came when the husbands were at work, and the wives may not have known the answers and took their best guess.

First Families of Toledo Polonia Project

The goal of this project was to find the earliest Polish immigrants and their families who came to Toledo. The years covered are approximately 1866 to 1877. The list of almost 300 families includes only those people for whom there is documentation that they actually lived in Toledo during this time period. These Poles are the founders, the pioneers, of St. Hedwig Parish, the first ethnic Polish Roman Catholic Parish in Toledo, Ohio. An increasing number of Polish immigrants brought about the creation of more Polish ethnic parishes through the years.

Many people know their ancestors were here in Toledo early on, but may have problems finding these ancestors’ records, since St. Hedwig was formed in 1875. Where can one find ancestors’ records before then? This project should answer that question. Another goal was to transform the original records, which were written in a language and handwriting hard to decipher, into a form that would be easy to read.

Toledo, Ohio Church Records and Lucas County, Ohio Records

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Copyright © 2011 Rosemary A. Chorzempa. All rights reserved. Used by PGSA with permission of the copyright owner.



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