Born at the Right Time

My fourth great grandfather, Tomasz Niedziałkowksi, lived a relatively unusual life. He was born on 20 Dec 1750, he married for the first time at age 34, he lived in four different countries although he never lived more than 10 miles from the place he was born, he fathered children when he was 60, and he died just short of his 76th birthday.

Both Tomasz and his wife Cecylia Chotkowska were members of the nobility, and one might expect that the marriage between the two was arranged. If the marriage was arranged at the time of Cecylia’s birth in 1767 (when Tomasz was 16 years old), Tomasz would have had to wait 18 more years until Cecylia was old enough to marry.

The earliest known birth of a child to the couple was in about 1793, eight years after their marriage. Tomasz and Cecylia continued to have children until he was 60 years old and she was 44.

If any of my direct ancestors was born at the right time to see dramatic changes in his homeland, it was Tomasz. During his life, Tomasz saw his homeland ruled by four distinct governments: the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Kingdom of Prussia, the Duchy of Warsaw (with allegiance to France), and the Congress Kingdom of Poland (with allegiance to the Russian Empire).

Tomasz died on 17 Dec 1826 and, although he was just a few days short of his 76th birthday, his death record stated that he was 72 years old.

A timeline of Tomasz’ life shows the tumultuous political and military conditions of his homeland interspersed with events in his personal life:

  • Age 0 – 20 Dec 1750 – Born in Klonowo, Powiat Ciechanowski, Wojewódstwo Mazowieckie, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • Age 21 – 05 August 1772 – First Partition of Poland
  • Age 34 – 15 Nov 1785 – Married Cecylia Chotkowska in Krasne, Powiat Ciechanowski, Wojewódstwo Mazowieckie, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • Age 42 – 23 Jan 1793 – Second Partition of Poland
  • Age 42 – About 1793 – Birth of daughter Maryanna in Powiat Ciechanowski, Wojewódstwo Mazowieckie, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • Age  44 – 24 Oct 1795 – Third Partition of Poland
  • Age 45 – 17 Feb 1796 – Birth of son Walenty in Mosaki Godacze, Kreise Przasnysz, Departement Plozk, New East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
  • Age 46 – 12 Jul 1797 – Birth of son Jan in Godacze, Kreise Przasnysz, Departement Plozk, New East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
  • Age 47 – 23 Jul 1798 – Birth of daughter Anna in Mosaki Godacze, Kreise Przasnysz, Departement Plozk, New East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
  • Age 50 – 05 Jul 1801 – Birth of son Józef in Mosaki Godacze, Kreise Przasnysz, Departement Plozk, New East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
  • Age 56 – 09 Jul 1807 – Formation of the Duchy of Warsaw (with allegiance to France)
  • Age 57 – 24 Jun 1808 – Birth of daughter Ludwika in Mosaki Godacze, Powiat Przasnysz, Departament Płock, Duchy of Warsaw
  • Age 60 – 14 Sep 1811 – Birth of son Antoni in Godacze, Krasne Gmina, Powiat Przasnysz, Departament Płock, Duchy of Warsaw
  • Age 62 – Jan 1813 – Collapse of the Duchy of Warsaw
  • Age 64 – 09 Jun 1815 – Congress of Vienna and formation of the Congress Kingdom of Poland (with allegiance to the Russian Empire)
  • Age 75 - 17 Dec 1826 – Died in Mosaki Godacze, Powiat Ciechanowski, Gubernia Płockiej, Congress Kingdom of Poland

Written for the 52nd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

Copyright © 2008 by Stephen J. Danko

This entry was posted in Daily Journal, Niedziałkowski and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Born at the Right Time

  1. Donna says:

    Steve,

    What a great story! And a nice perspective on Polish history.

    Donna

  2. Cheryl says:

    So you have found nobility in your family! Great article, love the timeline too!

  3. Laura says:

    I really like the juxtaposition of Polish history and your ancestor’s life – this is great!

  4. Great story. I also like the timeline. It makes this family history more clearer for someone like myself who is not familiar with Polish history.

Comments are closed.