Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tombstone Puzzle

My grandmother's parents emigrated to the US from Poland sometime in the late 1800s/early 1900s. I am working on getting more info. Today I got this picture from my brother, who has been with my grandmother at the cemetary where her parents are buried. I have scant information on her family, so I asked if he would get me the info from the tombstones if he could.

My grandmother had told me her mother's name was "Dominique" or something like that... and my brother said that when he was there with her, she told him this was the grave of her parents and two of her siblings.

I am a little puzzled. First, there are two people with the same name apparently: Antoni. Antoni #1 was born in 1891 and died in 1918, according to the tombstone. Antoni #2 was born in 1884 and died in 1944.

Also, I am assuming Dominika is my great-grandmother. Her dates are listed as 1869-1921. Wawrzyniec is likely my great-grandfather and he is listed as 1829-1923.

So... is it unusual for a family to have two children with the same name? And, if Antoni #2 was Dominika's child, she would have been 15 when he was born. And her husband was 40 years older?

Isn't that illegal?

I do know that one of my other great-grandmothers was married at 14 back in 1906, so I guess it wasn't that unusual. But still....

I am just wondering why they would have two children of the same name, and is it really possible that a 55 year-old man was married to a 15 year-old. I suppose it was.... still kind of strange. A possibility is that she was his second wife and the elder Antoni was a child from a different wife. I have found that when a spouse died back in those days, there was always a quick remarriage in order to provide support(financial for the woman, childcare/household for the man). So maybe that is the explanation. I will probably never know because I doubt I'll be able to access any 19th century Polish records.

Edit 8/29/06: Got an email from my brother today. Apparently, I have misread the tombstone. He stopped after work and checked again. The dates for the second Antoni are 1864-1944. I would assume that he and Dominika (1869-1921) are husband and wife. Antoni 1891-1918 was likely their son. I don't have any idea who the fourth person on the stone is. Perhaps a parent of either Dominika or Antoni?

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