I first came in contact with members of PGST several years ago while working at the International Reference counter at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Many of the PGST members came up to ask me questions. I couldn’t help but notice the names on their pedigrees. The names were all so familiar to me and so I inquired as to where their ancestors were from. I discovered that they were all from parishes in Poland relatively close to where all my Polish ancestors had lived. This was an area known as Schlesien, or Silesia and in Polish known as Sląsk. Many of the ancestors of this group were even from the same towns as some of my ancestors. I found it fascinating as they told me of Father Leopold Moczygemba of Płużnica Wielka, who led so many of them from that area to Texas in the early 1850’s. I took a great interest in the group and stayed in contact with several members of PGST that came to the Family History Library on that occasion.
Over the years, a committee from the Panna Maria Historical Society, working on the two volumes of Silesian Profiles would ask me to do look ups to help document some things for these volumes. Because of my interest in the Polish area they were from, I happily helped. For one such request, I was asked to look up an early pioneer to Panna Maria, Texas, Jan Dziuk, who was born 6 July 1806. I was given a town where he was supposedly from and asked to find a birth record, if possible. This request especially interested me as I have Dziuk ancestry from a town known as Koszęcin today, which was formerly known as Koschentin during Prussian times. However, the town I was to search for Jan Dziuk was not Koszęcin and so I didn’t make an instant connection. After checking the requested parish for Jan Dziuk, it was quickly determined that there was no one in that village by that surname. On a whim, I opened my personal genealogy database to see if I had a Jan or Johann it my family records. I found one and he was the brother of my third great-grandmother, Catharina Dziuk. He was born 6 July 1806. I was so surprised. I had the needed subject in my own file the entire time. I had no idea that one of my ancestors had come to America. I tried to continue the research of Jan Dziuk before his coming to Texas, as my file had only his birth date and parents in Koszęcin with no other information on him. There were no further documents of Jan Dziuk in Koszęcin.
Jan, or Joannes as his Catholic baptism record refers to him, was born in Koszęcin to Franz Dziuk and his wife Elisabetha Dudek. Franz was born 2 Oct. 1779 in Koszęcin. Franz and Elisabetha Dudek (b.5 Aug 1780) daughter of Jacob Dudek and Barbara Pirreck married in Koszęcin on 23 Jan. 1803. I have only been able to find three children of Franz and Elisabetha. Those children are Catharina Dziuk, who was born in Koszęcin 6 Nov. 1803 and baptized there 8 Nov. 1803. Her death occurred 28 Jan. 1887 and her burial at the Koszęcin church cemetery was on the 31st of January. Catharina Dziuk is my 3rd great-grandmother.
The next child which I have in my records is Johann/Jan Dziuk, born 6 Jul. 1806 and baptized in Koszęcin on 7 Jul. 1806. Research in Panna Maria, Texas shows his death as 5 May 1886.
The only other child found for Franz and Elisabetha Dziuk, was a son, Peter, who was born much later on 1 Aug. 1824 in Koszęcin. It is very strange that no other children were found between the years 1806–1824. It would seem very possible that the family may have moved from Koszęcin to another village for this time period. However, searches in some of the nearby parishes have not turned up any other children for this couple.
Peter was a blacksmith by trade and apparently followed or joined his older brother, Jan, also a blacksmith, to Płużnica Wielka where they both worked in this trade. Jan must have moved from Koszęcin to Płużnica Wielka by or before 1832. This move was a major factor that led Jan Dziuk and his family to Texas. Here in Płużnica Wielka he would have come in contact with Father Leopold Moczygęba who was so instrumental in this large movement of Poles to America.
Jan Dziuk married 6 Nov. 1832 in the nearby parish of Tost (now known as Toszek). His wife, Johanna Wilczek, (b. 24 Jul. 1809) was the daughter of Gregor Wilczek and Sophia Schafranek of Sarnau. The village of Sarnau (now Sarnów) belonged to the parish of Tost and it was common practice for the marriages to be performed in the parish of the bride. All of Jan and Johanna’s children were born in Płużnica Wielka. These children were:
Francisca Brigida was born 28 Sep.1833 and died 4 Mar 1912 in Karnes County, Texas. She married Matthew Urbanczyk 23 Sep. 1856 in Panna Maria.
Marianna Catharina was born 3 Oct.1835 and died 16 Jun. 1836 in Płużnica Wielka.
Philip was born 30 Apr. 1837 and died 16 Oct. 1912 in Panna Maria, Texas. He married Marianna Moczygemba on 16 Jan. 1866 in Panna Maria.
Magdalena was born 21 Jul 1839 and died 6 Aug. 1839 in Płużnica Wielka
Brigitta born 27 Sep 1841 and died 25 Apr. 1843.
Alexander born 24 Mar.1843 and died 24 Mar.1924 in Panna Maria, Texas. He married Mary Ann Gawlik on 4 Feb. 1868 in Panna Maria.
Anna born 22 Jul 1845 and died 3 Sep. 1944 in Panna Maria, Texas. She married Johann Kowalik on 16 Jan. 1866 in Panna Maria.
Carl born 2 Nov. 1847 and died 3 Nov. 1847.
Florentina born 17 Jun. 1849 and died 5 May 1854 in Płużnica Wielka.
I have not found an actual passenger list showing the departure or arrival date of Jan Dziuk and his family, however, on the Agent F. H. Schuler list for the year of 1855, Johann/Jan Dziuk and family members, Alexander, Anna, Franciska, Johanna and Philipp are listed. Schuler was an agent that arranged for passengers to come to America.
Although Jan chose to leave for Panna Maria, Texas around 1855, his brother Peter stayed in Płużnica Wielka. Their sister, my ancestor, Catharina (Dziuk) Ochmann, stayed in Koszęcin.
Peter married Agnes Kruppa from Płużnica Wielka on 5 Oct.1852. Their marriage document, which I have translated into English from the original German text, reads as follows:
Marriage record Płużnica Wielka parish. LDS film 2089245
5 Oct. 1852
The blacksmith, Peter Dziuk from here, son of the inhabitant of Koschentin (Koszęcin) Franz Dziuk with Agnes, the daughter of the local cottager, Peter Kruppa, from here, were legitimately married. Witnesses were the farmer Leopold Moczygemba and Joseph Olscher. The groom was 27 and the bride was 22.
When I found this marriage record of Peter Dziuk, I had actually been looking for a record of my 2nd great grandparents, Eva Palus and Franz Ochmann who lived in Koszęcin. This marriage record had been accidentally spotted by a friend as he was researching a family line of his in Płużnica Wielka. Franz Ochmann was the son of Carl Ochmann and Catharina Dziuk (sister of Jan) of Koschentin, my third great-grandparents. The distance between Koszęcin and Płużnica Wielka is about 30-35 kilometers. Why Franz Ochmann and Eva Palus married in Płużnica Wielka is unknown because neither was from this parish. Both were living in Koszęcin and all their children were also born there. But because of the chance discovery of this marriage, I was also able to find all the documents of Jan and Peter Dziuk which until this time had not been known to me.
Marriage record Płużnica Wielka LDS film 2089245
6 Feb. 1854
The bachelor Franz Ochmann, son of the free gardener Carl Ochmann of Koszęcin with the unmarried woman Eva Palus, daughter of Bernard Palus of Nogoschuetz were married. Witnesses were Father Leopold Moczygemba Church pastor and Peter Kruppa, from here. (Father of Peter Dziuk’s bride, Anna Kruppa, in the entry above)
Groom age 24, bride age 22.
It appears that Jan’s younger brother, Peter, was living in Płużnica Wielka by or before 1840, as he appears in the communion register of Płużnica Wielka with his brother Jan and his mother Elisabetha. At this time, Elisabetha is a widow, which is the only indication of an approximate date of the death of her husband, Franz. The death record was found for her husband, Franz, in Koszęcin on 16 Aug 1836. He was buried on 19 Aug. It is my “guess” that after Franz died Elisabetha moved to be with her son Jan in Płużnica Wielka. It is not clear whether Peter moved there with Jan or with his mother.
He was survived by Elisabetha and 3 children. These were then the children I was able to find. I thought that there would have been more considering the spacing... He died of Lungensucht.
Peter Dziuk and Agnes Kruppa had 8 children in Płużnica Wielka:
Johanna born 24 Jun. 1853 and died 3 Aug. 1917 in Płużnica Wielka,
Joseph born 23 Sep. 1855
Pauline born 18 Jun. 1857 and died 26 Jul 1858
Johann born 9 Jun. 1859
Franz born 6 Oct. 1862
August born 15 Sep. 1863
Florentine born 10 May 1865 and died 13 May 1865
August born 14 Jul. 1866
The first child, Johanna Dziuk, married Anton Moczygęba on 17 Sep. 1888 in Płużnica Wielka. Their marriage document states that Anton was related to Johanna by the 3rd grade of consanguinity. They received a dispensation to marry from Breslau on 11 Sep. 1890. But by this time, they were already married. Anton was born 1 Jun. 1857. He was a son of Franz Moczygęba and Carolina Felux. I have not yet traced back this Moczygęba or Felux line to find the family relationship as indicated above. Johanna Dziuk died in Płużnica Wielka 3 Aug. 1917. It is about this same time period that the Dziuk name seems to stop appearing in the Płużnica Wielka church records.
Interestingly enough, there was one more Johann Dziuk living in Płużnica Wielka during the same time as Jan Dziuk born in 1806. This Johann Dziuk was also from Koschentin and born 26 Dec. 1813. He died in Płużnica Wielka on 9 Feb 1900. He was also a blacksmith and married Marie Kluska on 20 Jan. 1839 in Płużnica Wielka. He was the son of Paul Dziuk and Marianna Paris of Koszęcin. Although a record of birth for Paul Dziuk has not been found, I suspect Johann Dziuk born 1813, was a close relative of Johann Dziuk born in 1806. In the birth records of their children, the two Johanns are referred to often as Johann I and Johann II to diferentiate between them.
When I was in Płużnica Wielka in October of 2007, there were no longer any Dziuk family members there, according to the Priest and various townspeople that we spoke with. The name Moczygęba was still found there, however. And perhaps some of these Moczygębas were from the union of Anton Moczygęba and Johanna Dziuk.
Anton Moczygęba and Johanna Dziuk’s children born in Płużnica Wielka parish:
Johann born 11 May 1889
Joseph born 12 Jun 1891
August born 14 Aug 1893
Hyacinth born 14 Jul 1895
The life of Jan Dziuk has been very well documented in Texas and his known descendants literally count to around 5,000 names that are known. This fact can be credited to Gayle Olenick, whose tremendous work in the parishes of Panna Maria and vicinity as well as personal interviews with descendants has given us an amazing insight of how the life of one man can make very big impact.
Polish Ancestors of Jan Dziuk
The father of Jan, Franz Dziuk was born 2 Oct. 1779 in Koszęcin. He was the son of Thomas Dziuk (b. 14 Dec 1747) and Hedwig Gawenda, (14 Oct. 1745) daughter of Albert Gawenda and Anna Koziol both born in Koszęcin. No other children have been found for Thomas Dziuk and Hedwig Gawenda, who married on 7 Jan. 1776 in Koszęcin. At the time of his marriage to Hedwig, Thomas Dziuk was a widower. Neither an earlier marriage or records of other children were found in Koszęcin.
Thomas Dziuk was one of nine children of the marriage of Paul Dziuk (b. 30 Jun. 1698) and Julianna Sczepanik. (b. 23 Jun. 1700), daughter of Gregor Sczepanik and his wife Marianna of Koszęcin.
Paul Dziuk and Julianna Sczepanik were married in Koszęcin on 7 Nov. 1727.
Their children are as follows:
Jacob born 11 Aug. 1729
Paul born 13 Jan. 1732
Adalbert born 10 Apr. 1734
Mathias born 23 Apr. 1737
Agatha born 5 Feb. 1740
Marianna born 12 Mar. 1741 and died 7 Sep. 1811
Eva born 16 Dec. 1744
Thomas born 14 Dec. 1747
Simon born 28 Oct. 1749
The last known generation of this Dziuk family in Koszęcin consists of Michael Dziuk and his wife Eva. However, there are other Dziuks found in the same time period. No marriage record has been found for this couple yet. But it seems that Michael has a second marriage with a woman named Sophia.
Michael and Eva’s children:
Paul born 30 Jun 1698
Simon born 28 Oct. 1701
Andreas born 10 Dec 1706
Maria born 26 Aug. 170
Michael and his second wife, Sophia, have the following children in Koszęcin:
Franz born 4 Oct. 1714
Peter born 30 Jun. 1717
Johann born 19 May 1719
The name Dziuk was seen frequently throughout the years in the Catholic parish records of Koszęcin and appears to have been a very prolific family. However,as of 2007, this name no longer appears in the town of Koszęcin, although descendants with other family names still reside there.