Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More About Auntie Josie

I had some time to look up more about Auntie Josie today and I discovered that at the time of the 1930 Census, she was still living with her husband. The census form indicates that by 1930 they had not 1 but 2 daughters, Frances aged 10 and Florence aged 8. I'm still amazed that I never heard of Josie's husband Bronislaw or her children Frances and Florence.

I wish the 1940 Census information was available. I'd sure like to know if Auntie Josie had any more children. She would still have been of childbearing age in 1940. I'll have to check the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press to see if there are obituaries for Bronislaw and Josie. Those could give me more information about the husband and children situation.

So here's what I've come up with on Auntie Josie who supposedly never married or had kids...

Auntie Josie was born in 1896 in Detroit and was baptized at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church. Her mother died when she was 16, her father when she was 20. Seven months after her father died she married Bronislaw Ronowski at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church. Bronislaw was employed as a printer for the Polish Daily Newspaper. Three years after they were married Josie gave birth to a daughter (Frances) and two years later she gave birth to another daughter (Florence). The family lived on Promenade Street just 4 houses down from Bronislaw's parents, Theophil and Joanna. Bronislaw died in 1979, Josie in 1992. They were not buried at Sweetest Heart of Mary's Sacred Heart Cemetery. Josie and or Bronislaw may be buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery as that was just a stone's throw from the house they lived in at least through the 1920s and into the 1930s.

On a hunch, I looked up the things my mom saved from my dad's funeral (in 1974) including the sympathy cards and memorial book to see if Auntie Josie attended the funeral. Several of my dad's other aunts attended but I'm not sure about Auntie Josie. There was an entry for a "B. Ronowski" (Bronislaw Ronowski?) in the memorial book but it was written in my mother's handwriting with the amount of money given for Mass but no address. I'm not sure what that means. It could be that Auntie Josie's husband Bronislaw attended and handed mom money for Mass but didn't sign the book. I don't think it means mom received a sympathy card from them because she would have saved it along with all the rest. So then did my mom know about Auntie Josie's husband? If so, why was she one of the three people who told me that Auntie Josie never married or had kids? So many unanswered questions...

My next steps will be to look up Josie's and Bronislaw's obituaries and to call Mt. Olivet Cemetery to see if they are buried there. I'll keep ya posted!


  1. This is very interesting, Jasia, and I know it is rewarding to put together all these pieces. One would wonder that IF your aunt and her husband separated (or even divorced), what happened to their daughters? You would think that the family would have included the daughters in family events. I wish you success in tracking this down. Are there any other relatives remaining that could shed light on this for you?

  2. You need to go to Labs. FamilySearch.

    The marriage record is listed there for Bronislaw Ronowski & Josephine Lipa:

  3. I am a Dziennik Polski (Polish Daily News) afficionado.

    From the 11/8/1913 Dziennik Polski we see a girl being born to:
    J. (Josephine??) Ronowska .
    The source of this was from PGSCTNE web site (only transcription no image).

    I would definitely plan on searching Dziennik Polski, as wellas Detroit News, since Bronislaw worked for them. It is probable that they put birth/marriage/death listings in there.

    See my Dziennik Polski website for locations of where you can find Dziennik Polski microfilm:

    [no blanks in the above url]

  4. Wowie-Zowie! Thanks for the great info Michael!!! I'll take your suggestions and follow up :-)

    I have a question maybe you can help me with. I have a photocopy of an article that appeared in the Dziennik Polski in April 1930. It's about my grandfather's bakery in Detroit and it includes a photograph. I'd love to get my hands on the original of that photo to make a copy (as you know a newspaper is low resolution and the microfilm is no better). Do you have any idea if the folks at the Dziennik Polski have an archive of their photos?

  5. The answers certainly have led to more questions. I would try tracking down the daughters.

  6. what a mystery! can't wait to read more.

  7. Well, Michael, the "J. Ronowska" who gave birth to a daughter in 1913 isn't my Auntie Josie. She didn't marry Bronislaw Ronowski until 1917 so would still have been Josephine Lipa back in 1913.

    I did find one of my other aunts in the PGSCTNE index though (she married in 1924). I don't often think to look at the Dziennik Polski index. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Wow..how interesting. I love when the family secrets begin to unravel..