Exposing the Wójtowicz Brick Walls

Exposing the Wójtowicz Brick Walls

2020 has been a tough year for so many, for so many reasons but there have been good things too. While I watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, I decided to look through photos from 2018 that I took when I visited the Archdiocesan Archive in Przemyśl. I’m guessing some ancestors were looking down, as I broke through two brick walls!

Determining the surname of my 6th great-grandmother, Franciszka.

My 6th great-grandmother married Maciej Wójtowicz in 1789 in Huta Komorowska. In the image below, the marriage record states Maciej Wójtowicz from Huta, is a widow, age 40. The bride is Franciszka [Hoykowna, Roykowna, Moykowna] from Brzo (short for Brzostowa Góra) and she’s single, age 30.

[Note: The -owna ending on the surname indicates she was a single female.]

25 July 1789 marriage record in Huta Komorowska

Franciszka’s surname has stumped me; I’ve posted on Facebook and asked the genealogist at the Archive, and he wasn’t sure. Now, I am well acquainted with the village of Brzostowa Góra because of my Wąsik line. The closest surname to this in Brzostowa Góra was Rojek but if this was true, how would she fit in?

The other piece to this puzzle: I needed information on who’s living in the village in the mid- to late 1700s, which is difficult as the vital records prior to 1785 were destroyed. The Austrian government took an inventory in 1773, after the first partition, which listed not only the heads of the household in the village, but their children and ages. There was a good chance Franciszka would be on the 1773 inventory, as she should be about 14 years old.

Lo and behold, the Rojek family lives at house number 43 in Brzostowa Góra and there is a daughter named Franciszka, age 12:

1773 Inventory of Brzostowa Góra – head of house is Widow Rojek with her 8 children: Krzysztof, Wawrzyniec, Franciszka, Zofia, Wojciech, Gabriel, Marek, and Agnieszka

There is only one Rojek family. While Franciszka is 12, not 14, I have learned the Polish records in the 18th Century weren’t always exact. Additionally, when I looked at Franciszka’s marriage record again, I took a new look at the witnesses. Guess who’s there? Her brother, Gabriel Rojek. Additionally, guess who’s a godparent at her oldest son’s baptism? Her sister Zofia:

Wojciech Wójtowicz birth record in Huta Komorowska, 17 April 1791. Godparents are Antoni Serwoń from Huta and Zofia Roykowna (Rojek) from Brzostowa Góra.

The most intriguing part of this new connection is that Franciszka’s older brother Wawrzyniec (Laurentius) is my sixth great-grandfather on another family line!

What happened to Marianna Wójtowicz?

If you follow Franciszka’s family to the next generation, she and husband Maciej had son Wojciech in 1791 [birth record above]. Wojciech married Marta Kopeć and they had 8 children; their 6th child, Marianna, was born 9 Aug 1826 in Huta Komorowska.

Marianna Wójtowicz, born 9 Aug 1826 in house number 91 to Wojciech Wojtowicz and Marta Kopeć

Marianna married Jan Mazur on 16 Nov 1847 in Huta Komorowska. Here’s an image of the marriage banns record:

Jan Mazur, widower, son of Jan Mazur from Durdy and Marianna Polków [Polek], parish Baranów.
Marianna Wójtowicz, single daughter of Wojciech Wójtowicz from Huta and Marta Kopeć.

I had previously entered Marianna and Jan’s marriage into my family tree but since I was on the hunt working on my Wójtowicz line, I dug deeper.

Family Search has parish Baranów Sandomierski records for the years 1801-1883. A quick look and I found at least 6 children had been born in the birth records between 1849 and 1862: Franciszek (1850), Andrzej (1853), Tomasz (1855), Katarzyna (1858), Wojciech (1860) and Ewa (1862).

While this line will take me some time to fill in, it’s a blessing to have found Marianna. I’m sure there are many more cousins to find on this line in the coming months.

Happy New Year and cheers to a much better 2021!

[Author’s Note: this blog post originated on January 1, 2021 on the author’s prior website.]


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