1/18/2011 at 8:48 PM
My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Sokolowski, from Poland. Her father, two brothers & her uncle and his two sons came to America. Her uncle and his two sons moved to Chicago, Illinois where they opened a furniture store and sold the furniture they made.
My maternal great grandfather, Phillip (Polish filipe) returned to Poland. His two sons, Anthony (Polish Antoni) and Peter (Polish Piotr) remained in the Natrona/New Kensington area of Pennsylvania. The two towns were along the Allegheny River north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but on opposite sides of the river. Natrona was further up the river from Pittsburgh.
The brothers worked in a coal mine, and lived in Natrona where there was a large community of Poles. It was called "Duck Town" because they raised ducks to make into duck soup.
Phillip's daughter, my grandmother, Mary Sokolowski (Polish Marianna) joined her brothers when she was 17. She was a cook at a restaurant/hotel in New Kensington. Eventually she became the cook for a wealthy family in Natrona Heights. Mr. McGinnis was the equivalent of today's CEO, for the steel mill which was located along the Allegheny River.
Mary met a widower, Louis Grzymala who had two children. Mary & Louis married on November 29, 1922. They had two daughters. All four children worked at the restaurant named Louis' Restaurant in New Kensington. Louis and his son, Frank opened in the morning and made breakfasts. His oldest daughter, Anna, from his first wife was the waitress. Mary walked the two younger girls, Mildred & Helen to the Polish Catholic School, then on to the restaurant where she did the rest of the cooking. The younger girls walked to the restaurant at lunch time and after school where they bussed the tables.
Anthony and Peter moved to Weirton West Virginia. Anthony married Helen and had Peter and Alfred. Anthony's son Peter married Jennie Markson. They had Elfreda & Elnora. Alfred married a WAC, Sally, from Scotland whom he met during World War II. They had Delores and Anthony.
Mary, Anthony & Peter had many relatives that remained in Poland. Their parents Philip (Polish Filipe) & Mildred (Mehalina) Sokolowski & two sisters. Cecilia (Polish Cheshva) married and had 4 daughters. One was Ursula who had three daughters. Ursula and her husband worked on a ship out of the Port Bremen. The other sister was Sofie (Polish Sofia) who married a Balinski. Sofie's son, Lester (Polish Lesheck) Balinski was sponsored by Mary and her husband Louis. He came to New Kensington, Pennsylvania and lived with them. He worked as a cake decorator in a local bakery. He met a woman and married her. Lester & his wife then moved to Chicago, Illinois.