I received an email message today from a second cousin (once removed) whom I have never met. In fact, I’ve only actually met one of my relatives from that branch of my family. Our common ancestor is Wojciech Niedziałkowski, who lived in the Łomza Gubernia of the Kingdom of Poland (the Russian Partition of Poland). Wojciech was my great-great-grandfather.
Wojeciech was the son of Antoni Niedziałkowski and Karolina Milewska, and Antoni was the son of Tomasz Niedzialkowski and Cecylia Chodkowska. Cecylia’s birth and baptismal record is the oldest birth and baptismal record I have for a direct ancestor.
Click on the image to englarge it. Click on the link for a PDF copy of the Birth and Baptismal Record for Cecylia Chodkowska.
Cecylia’s record is the second record from the top of this page, and the record, written in November 1767, states:
Franciszek Przedpełski, CRL
56. Mosaki Rukle, the 22nd of November, Cecylia
I, who am named above, baptized and infant by the name of Cecylia, daughter of the nobleman Andrzej Chotkowski and Marianna, a legally married couple. The godparents in the sacred font were the nobles Katarzyna Grochowska and Stefan Mosakowski.
Cecylia’s parents are called nobles in this record, and this is the first documented evidence that any of my ancestors belonged to the Polish nobility. Because the only records for Polish peasants were church records, and because the church records rarely began before the early 1700s, it is generally not possible to trace the ancestors of Polish peasants further back than the church records extend. The Polish nobility, however, maintained records back much further in time. Although I haven’t explored records that might document the genealogy of the nobility, there is at least a chance there might be earlier records for the Chodkowski family.
Note that this record is written in Latin. Later records from this part of Poland were written in Polish, and after a rebellion against the Russian government, the records from this region were kept in Russian.
Note also that the name of the month, November, was abbreviated 9bris, a historical reference that November was once the ninth month of the year, and the word November actually derives from the Latin word for nine – novem.
Update 18 Oct 2009: The maiden name of Cecylia Chodkowska’s mother was Mossakowska. Also, I have changed the spelling of the surname Chotkowski to Chodkowski, reflecting the fact that most living descendants with this surname currently use that spelling.
Copyright © 2006-2009 by Stephen J. Danko