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davidckane



Joined: 11 Jun 2021
Replies: 40

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:48 pm      Post subject: Finding Father When Mother Unwed in 1860s German Poland
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Hi. A few months ago, I posted about confusion as to my great-great grandmother's (Marianna Niebojewski) maiden surname (https://forum.polishorigins.com/viewtopic.php?p=56279#56279). After pulling records, it appears Marianna's maiden surname was Nowak, which also is her mother Agnes' surname because Agnes was unwed at the time of Marianna's birth. Marianna's 1863 baptism record lists no father and her 1883 marriage record describes her mother Agnes as unwed at the time of the birth. Agnes subsequently married a man with the last name Balinski, but it appears Marianna never took that surname as her own (as she continued to use Nowak throughout her life).

I suspect it will be nearly impossible to find out Marianna's biological father, but thought I first would check to see if those with much more knowledge or experience have any suggestions or have dealt with this before. I believe the civil registry did not exist until years after her birth, so I assume there is no potential second birth record to pull. Thanks!

David
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dnowicki
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Replies: 2466
Location: Michigan City, Indiana

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 11:11 am      Post subject: Re: Finding Father When Mother Unwed in 1860s German Poland
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davidckane wrote:
Hi. A few months ago, I posted about confusion as to my great-great grandmother's (Marianna Niebojewski) maiden surname (https://forum.polishorigins.com/viewtopic.php?p=56279#56279). After pulling records, it appears Marianna's maiden surname was Nowak, which also is her mother Agnes' surname because Agnes was unwed at the time of Marianna's birth. Marianna's 1863 baptism record lists no father and her 1883 marriage record describes her mother Agnes as unwed at the time of the birth. Agnes subsequently married a man with the last name Balinski, but it appears Marianna never took that surname as her own (as she continued to use Nowak throughout her life).

I suspect it will be nearly impossible to find out Marianna's biological father, but thought I first would check to see if those with much more knowledge or experience have any suggestions or have dealt with this before. I believe the civil registry did not exist until years after her birth, so I assume there is no potential second birth record to pull. Thanks!

David


Hi David,

In the German Partition prior to 1874 civil registration consisted in copies of parish registers, Catholic usually in Latin and Lutheran (Protestant) usually in German which were submitted to the civil authorities to serve as vital stats. From 1874 until post WWI free-standing civil registry offices which were not connected to a religious denomination were responsible for vital records. These records were kept in German on forms created by the civil government. The registry offices often were situated in a village or town separate from the parish to which the individual belonged. In the case of Agnieszka Nowak her marriage to Michał Balinski took place in 1872 and was recorded in the parish marriage register of Kościelec. From 1874 on the civil registry office for Kościelec was located in Inowrocław.

Although the official civil records after 1874 were created by the civil registry office parishes also continued to keep sacramental registers which then were a purely religious obligation and no longer a combo religious and civil obligation. The Poznan Project indexed two records for the marriage of Marianna Nowak & Józef Niebojewski, one civil (registry office in Inowrocław) and the other religious (parish of Kościelec). The religious index gives Marianna’s father as the late Michał Nowak and the civil registry only gives the name of her mother. It is extremely doubtful that Michał Nowak was her father or grandfather but it is possible that he was her maternal uncle, which may be useful in researching the Nowak line or which may be a throw away bit of info. According to her mother’s 1872 marriage Marianna’s maternal grandfather would be Jan Nowak. I suppose the best path forward would be to try to locate Agnieszka’s birth record which would have taken place c. 1832. Here is the link to a possible record https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSMM-PWWK-C?cat=1046097 . The time frame and the father are right and the location is possible and makes sense but it still needs to be confirmed that this is the correct record.

You are correct that there is no other record to use. The bottom line is that that the identity of Marianna’s father has not hit a proverbial brick wall but is at a total dead end.

Wishing you continued success,

Dave
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davidckane



Joined: 11 Jun 2021
Replies: 40

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 8:35 pm      Post subject: Re: Finding Father When Mother Unwed in 1860s German Poland
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dnowicki wrote:
davidckane wrote:
Hi. A few months ago, I posted about confusion as to my great-great grandmother's (Marianna Niebojewski) maiden surname (https://forum.polishorigins.com/viewtopic.php?p=56279#56279). After pulling records, it appears Marianna's maiden surname was Nowak, which also is her mother Agnes' surname because Agnes was unwed at the time of Marianna's birth. Marianna's 1863 baptism record lists no father and her 1883 marriage record describes her mother Agnes as unwed at the time of the birth. Agnes subsequently married a man with the last name Balinski, but it appears Marianna never took that surname as her own (as she continued to use Nowak throughout her life).

I suspect it will be nearly impossible to find out Marianna's biological father, but thought I first would check to see if those with much more knowledge or experience have any suggestions or have dealt with this before. I believe the civil registry did not exist until years after her birth, so I assume there is no potential second birth record to pull. Thanks!

David


Hi David,

In the German Partition prior to 1874 civil registration consisted in copies of parish registers, Catholic usually in Latin and Lutheran (Protestant) usually in German which were submitted to the civil authorities to serve as vital stats. From 1874 until post WWI free-standing civil registry offices which were not connected to a religious denomination were responsible for vital records. These records were kept in German on forms created by the civil government. The registry offices often were situated in a village or town separate from the parish to which the individual belonged. In the case of Agnieszka Nowak her marriage to Michał Balinski took place in 1872 and was recorded in the parish marriage register of Kościelec. From 1874 on the civil registry office for Kościelec was located in Inowrocław.

Although the official civil records after 1874 were created by the civil registry office parishes also continued to keep sacramental registers which then were a purely religious obligation and no longer a combo religious and civil obligation. The Poznan Project indexed two records for the marriage of Marianna Nowak & Józef Niebojewski, one civil (registry office in Inowrocław) and the other religious (parish of Kościelec). The religious index gives Marianna’s father as the late Michał Nowak and the civil registry only gives the name of her mother. It is extremely doubtful that Michał Nowak was her father or grandfather but it is possible that he was her maternal uncle, which may be useful in researching the Nowak line or which may be a throw away bit of info. According to her mother’s 1872 marriage Marianna’s maternal grandfather would be Jan Nowak. I suppose the best path forward would be to try to locate Agnieszka’s birth record which would have taken place c. 1832. Here is the link to a possible record https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSMM-PWWK-C?cat=1046097 . The time frame and the father are right and the location is possible and makes sense but it still needs to be confirmed that this is the correct record.

You are correct that there is no other record to use. The bottom line is that that the identity of Marianna’s father has not hit a proverbial brick wall but is at a total dead end.

Wishing you continued success,

Dave



Thank you so much. I appreciate this wealth of information. I definitely will review that record and see if I can confirm whether it is the correct Agnes. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
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