Residents of Kolonia Florentynow, 1866

“Księga ludności stałej wsi: Gertrudów, Koniecbór, Florentynów, Konradów (Book of the Population of the Villages: Gertrudów, Koniecbór, Florentynów, Konradów)” from Archiwum Państwowe w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim (Piotrkowie Trybunalskim State Archives), accessed through Archiwa Państwowe on 25 Oct 2020.

Inspired by the blog post “The importance of exploring other repositories” at Writing My Past, I typed “Florentynow” into the Polish State Archives database. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t even sure where I was except that many of the digitized records I had found through Geneteka and FamilySearch, for example, can be traced back to repositories accessed through this website. My understanding is that the website is an aggregate of State Archives branches in Poland, the record pictured above being from the Piotrkowie Trybunalskim State Archives. I will have to revisit how I cite sources now that I’m learning how to use Polish resources more!

My “let’s see what happens” search brought up a “population book” for the villages of Gertrudow, Koniecbor, Florentynow, and Konradow. The book, kept between 1866 and 1884, is a record of residents in the aforementioned villages–and each record has helpful tags (see below). I recognized the surnames–Kubsch, Kirsch (Wisniewski), Wurful– and knew the record would be helpful.

The book alternates between Polish and Russian. Fortunately, I recognized the names of Samuel Kirsch and Karolina Wurfel, parents of my great-grandmother, Martha Kirsch. The page (see below), which is mostly in Polish and looks like a census record, shows Samuel, Karolina, and their young children living in Florentynow in 1866. According to the birthdates of Samuel’s children in my post “Finding 19 Kirsch Children,” the Kirsch family migrated to Volhynia, Russia, between 1865, when his daughter Julianna was born in Florentynow, and 1868, when his son Ferdinand was born and died in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia.

“Księga ludności stałej wsi: Gertrudów, Koniecbór, Florentynów, Konradów (Book of the Population of the Villages: Gertrudów, Koniecbór, Florentynów, Konradów)” from Archiwum Państwowe w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim (Piotrkowie Trybunalskim State Archives), accessed through Archiwa Państwowe on 25 Oct 2020.

The page includes the following information about each individual: home number (number 15), name, names of parents, date of birth, place of birth, religion (Lutheran, specifically Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession), previous residence (none), and notes about death or resettlement (these comments I need help translating because they are in Russian). Here are the names and birthdates as translated:

  1. Samuel Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 10 Oct 1835 in Florentynow)
  2. Karolina Wisniewski nee Wurfel (b. 07 Sep 1836 in Florentynow)
  3. Krystyan Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 21 Dec 1860 in Florentynow)
  4. Bogumil Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 09 Jan 1863 in Florentynow)
  5. Julianna Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 13 Aug 1865 in Florentynow) – her official birthdate would be August 25, 1865
  6. Anna …r…na [unknown] (b. 21 Nov 1852 in …) – I don’t know who this is, but it appears to be a 13-year-old girl whose name begins with Anna. The entry is in Russian and I am not sure when the entry was added or if she lived in the same household

Extracting this information is exciting because I was missing a birthdate for Samuel and specific dates for his children born in Florentynow. There is another page in the book for Samuel’s mother, Karolina Kubsch Semper (formerly Kirsch), and her three daughters, or Samuel’s younger sisters and only living siblings at the time (as well as other Kirsch families living in Florentynow). Karolina remarried after her husband, Krzysztof Kirsch, died.

Ed and Lena Kelm in “Footsteps through the Years”

The University of Manitoba Digital Collections is a good resource for digitized Manitoba history. Among their local history books is Footsteps through the Years, which mentions Edward and Lena Kelm (Edward is the son of Julius and Martha Kelm). Click the URL in the citation after the transcription below if you would like to view the original.

“Kelms 1938-1958

Ed bought a farm in Marquette in 1938. During the summers of 1938-38 and 40 acres of land was broken [sic], crops sowed and harvested with the Becker brothers. Ed’s winters were spent working in the mine at Creighton, Ontario.

January 31, 1942 Ed married Lena Drailick of Camper. The newlyweds arrived in Marquette on the night train Feb. 6 1942. After having dinner at Charlie Ursels they were driven to their farm.

Ed and Lea have four children, all born during their years at Marquette.

Joyce married Maurice Hamonie in 1969. They reside in Headingly and Joyce teaches school in Winnipeg.

Ernie married Yvette Beaudin of Montreal in 1969. Ernie works for the External Affairs Dept. in Ottawa and he and his family have resided mainly in Switzerland and Israel. They have two sons born in Tel Aviv, Israel. They returned to Ottawa, Ontario in 1975.

Kenneth resides in Winnipeg doing construction work.

Bettyann graduated from the U. of M. in Home Economics and is presently enrolled in the Education Dep. of the University of Edmonton, Alberta.

The Kelm family moved from Marquette with the help of Douglas Strachan and Chas. Slocombe, on September 14, 1958. They have many memories of the little “white” school, Ed’s Sayer Creck fishing days with Bill Maltby and Bill Kulezycki and the winter spent in the bush (1946-47) at the Lakehead with Mike Wallace, also of Marquette.

Ed retired on Feb. 12, 1976 but kept busy. Presently he is planning to build a cabin at Waterhen this summer. Fishing still takes up many summer weekends.

Lena continues to work at Canada Packers. Traveling to see her grandchildren has been her hobby for the last five years.”

Marquette and District Historical Guild. Footsteps through the Years: Ossowa, Reaburn, Marquette, Meadow Lea, Poplar Heights. Marquette: Marquette and District Historical Guild, [late 1970s]. Retrieved 18 Apr 2019 from University of Manitoba Digital Collections,