Monday, January 04, 2010

Monday Madness - Martin Domagalski

This Monday, I decided to talk about my 3rd-great-grandfather, Martin Domagalski. He has been the most difficult of my ancestors to trace and find.

Information on his birth and beginning is very confusing. What I do know, according to his marriage record, is that he is the son of "Alberti Domagalski et Maria Anna Yatak". I've been corresponding with a fellow Domagalski researcher who descends from an Antonia, daughter of Adalbert Domagalski and Marianna Gadacz. I believe Martin and Antonia are siblings. If you pronounce Yatak and Gadacz out-loud they sound pretty much the same. Also, the St. Mary's church parish records in Medina, NY, where Martin Domagalski was married, was infamous for misspelling nearly all the Polish surnames in the parish. An example is in Martin's wife's (Agnes Gotowa) family. Her mother is listed as "Josepha Vaselineska". Her mother's name was Josephine Lesniewski.

I had found a great resource called the Poznan project, and I found Martin's parent's marriage record. Adalbert Domagala and Marianna Gadacz were married in 1853 in Birkenfeld, Kreis Znin, Posen. Birkenfeld is now known as Brzyskorzstew, Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Anywho.. I have multiple birth date information for Martin. In the 1900 census he listed his birth month and year as August 1864. In the 1910 census he was listed as being born about 1863. His birthdate on his headstone is 18 Nov 1859. His birthdate on his death certificate was 22 Feb 1865. As you can see from the last two sources, VERY different birth dates from reliable sources. The most probable birthdate is taken from his death certificate; the census records agree with this.

Martin Domagalski and Agnes Gotowa had a total of 12 children:
  1. Josephine, born 04 Sep 1886, Medina, NY
  2. Ignacy, born 01 Mar 1888, Chicago
  3. John, born 23 Dec 1889, Chicago
  4. Lucy, born 11 Dec 1891, Chicago
  5. Clara, born abt Oct 1893, Chicago
  6. Wladislaw, born 16 Jun 1896, Chicago
  7. Eleanora, born 15 Jan 1899, Chicago
  8. Frank, born 05 Feb 1901, Chicago
  9. Edward, born 10 Apr 1903, Chicago
  10. Roman, born 15 Feb 1904, Chicago
  11. Cecilia, born 22 Nov 1906, Chicago
  12. Helen, born 06 Dec 1908, Chicago
Three of the children died young: Wladislaw, Eleanora and Edward.

Martin and Agnes both died in 1917 in Chicago. Martin died on May 5th, and Agnes died five months later on October 25th. Something interesting about Agnes, is that her death certificate lists that she was temporarily insane, and jumped from a window. A newspaper clipping from the Chicago Tribune on October 26th states: "Mrs. Agnes Domagalski, 49, died yesterday at the Englewood hospital from injuries caused Oct. 3 when she fell from a third floor window of house at 2417 West Fortyfifth street."

As for where Martin was born, I don't know. His death certificate didn't list his place of birth, nor did any other vital record of his or his children. His naturalization documents have yet to be found, although I know he was naturalized in Orleans county, New York on 09 Oct 1884. I do not know when he immigrated either. Without his naturalization papers, I won't know that information. I petitioned to the Gov't using the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requesting Martin's naturalization records, stating they were in Orleans county, New York, but received nothing from this request. They found nothing.. or didn't bother trying. I have a feeling a thorough search in the Orleans county court house will yield his naturalization papers.


  1. Hi, I believe we are probably distant relatives. I was doing a quick search of the Domagalski family and I know that my great grandfather is Frank Domagalski. My searching says that the father of Antonia and Martin is Adalbert...his name appears on the Rugie ship which went from Hamburg to America in 1889. My mother found this information, perhaps that will help.

    Jorie Kassel

  2. I am the granddaughter of Roman Domagalski who was known as Ray Smith later in life. He and John lived in Elkhart Indiana after they left Chicago. He married Lonetta Fore.

    1. Please email me, I would love to talk more!