Wednesday Debrief

I’ve had a lot going on lately and have not been able to work on the Prayer Card Project. Instead, I took the easy way out this week and posted an actual family picture.

This picture must have been taken lake 1960s. Probably, 1968 or 69 based on the clothes and the size of the tree that was cut down in the mid 1980s. This was the back yard at 18 Newton St..

Starting on the left is

  • Joseph Alajko 1948 – 2012
  • Kathleen “Tina” Alajko Kurek 1946-
  • Anna Mary Switkowski Alajko 1921-2003
  • Joann Louise Alajko Harris 1945-2017
  • Davis Charles Alajko 1954-

Alajko Update III

Hedwig Alajko

Hedwig has been sitting in the tree all by her lonesome.  No connections and no idea how she fit in the tree or which Alajko tree she connected to.

Then I found the New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 for Hedwig Alajko on Ancestry.

Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 - Hedwig Alajko

This record added more confusion.  She is 12 years old at the time.  It lists her mother as Bronislawa Wroblewski and brother Eugenejusz Wroblewski as 16 years old.  But why the different last name for the daughter?  Hedwig Alajko

To add to the confusion they are going to meet with Hedwig’s father Chester Wroblewski.  Why does she have a different last name from her father?  This was an Alajko that I could never find information.  Now I had her nuclear family but with different last names.

This showed up in my hint list a week after the connections I talked about in the last two blogs.  So with that in mind I dove into their trees to see what they had and where it could lead me.

I found some confusion and some confirmation.

hedwig tree 1

So this tree says Hedwig had a different father than her brother but was born after.  So did mom cheat or is this record wrong?  Mom is listed as Blanche instead of Bronislawa and a daughter of the older Teofil Alajko.  Bronislawa to Blanche does not seem far off to Americanize a name.  So I do see where Alajko came from.

Hedwig 3

This tree does not show Hedwig but it does have her mom as a child of Teofil the elder and the two male siblings that I was able to confirm years ago.  I will need to go back and see if she was mentioned on any of their files.

Hedwig 2

Yet again a tree that shows Hedwig’s mom’s connection to Teofil.

I wonder if there was some cultural reason that Hedwig used the last name Alajko or if they thought it would help at Ellis Island.  There were held up for a short time while things were straightened out.  The officials there must have asked the same questions, they did not seem to write down the answers but did let them into the country.

I will continue looking for more sources but I think I have a starting point for my research.






  • New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957
  • Year: 1931; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5021; Line: 6; Page Number: 170
  • Year: 1931; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5021; Line: 5; Page Number: 176

Alajko Update II

My last blog was about one specific connection that fell into my lap.  About 3 weeks later I received another Ancestry message from someone else.  This person contacted me based on my public tree but some quick looking found that she was a DNA connection to my mother; 13 CM across 2 segments.

So that is some good news, the matches between the trees and some DNA to confirm some relation.  I compared this new tree to the tree from the person that contacted me before that.  These have a lot of similarities.  Especially in the Alajko lines that I have been searching for all these years.

My problem is sources.  They have few on their trees.  They do have some photos of old documents in Polish.  No translations at this time.  So a Polish/English dictionary is in my future.

I think for the most part those other trees are accurate,  More research may get me the sources I need to be more sure of what I’m seeing.

Alajko source 3Alajko source 2Alajko source



Alajko update

For years I have looking into some family connections.  Years ago my grandfather Joseph Alajko said that we are related to every alajko.  Over the years I have found another line of Alajko family that also live in the Buffalo, NY area.  Some of that research can be found here: The other Alajko line.

After years of not finding anything useful I suddenly received a message on Ancestry from a member in Poland.  It was a great connection except there are no sources except a letter in Polish that I haven’t translated yet.  But hoping that they translated properly I have found the connection.

There are two Teofil.  The father stayed in Poland and the son moved to Buffalo according to Ellis Island records.  The family tree of the contact shows my 2X great grandfather Stanislaw Alajko as the older brother of Teofil the senior.  The family had eight siblings.  The parents are Jan Alajko (Halajko) and Franciszka Wyrwas of Zaskrodzie, Podlaskie, Poland.

I have few sources but I have a starting point to move forward with my research.





April 22, 1925

In the past month I have been working on blogs about the prayer cards I found going through my mother’s stuff.  In the same box I found a clipped article about my great grandfather Jozef Alajko.

J alajko suicide

I had no other information but this was an interesting story.  So, in March with the help of the wonderful genealogists on Twitter I was presented with this article.


J alajko suicide w pic

Nothing about my great grandmother’s story makes logical sense.  There was no note, he had a job at the railroad, and he had a part time job as a reserve cop.  Even the police at the time seemed confused.  It’s almost like they saw what happened and helped cover it up.

So this Easter Sunday I discussed this with my aunt and 2 uncles.  Here are some  possibilities that lead to that night:

One uncle was told by his father Joseph that …

Ok I have to stop for a minute.  Story telling at this point is nuts because Joe Alajko told me that Joe Alajko told him that Joe Alajko slept with a gun under his pillow.  He had a nightmare and grabbed the gun in his sleep.  So the middle Joe was the son that was in the home when the shooting happened.  It is possible that he was just told that story as a child so he wouldn’t have problems deal with the truth.

My aunt thinks he may have killed himself after finding out his wife cheated and his daughter was not his.  After Joe’s death she raised the children alone and did not remarry.  I could not find and reoccuring men in her life like a boarder.

Lastly, great grandma shot him.  We just don’t know why.  Maybe he did hurt her or the kids but they kept it quiet.  Or the police knew and found a way to solve the problem.

We may never know since my family never wrote things down for posterity.  That gene is one of the reasons I have so much trouble writing this blog.

We also noticed that both articles misspell Alajko as Atajko.  All the other facts bear out as the correct family.






Wednesday Wedding review

Six and a half months before my birth my parents decided to get married in Washington, DC.  He was from Lancaster, Ohio, she was from Buffalo, NY.  He was a marine, she was a clerk in the navy.

I have no idea who the witnesses are but I did find a letter to my mother from Stanley asking her to call and talk to his daughter.  I was able to find the daughter on Facebook.  She was able to fill in a couple blanks about my parents.



Munda Military


On February 13, 1843 Edmund Alajko reported for induction into the army.  He was selected under board 597 ward 6.

He officially enlisted on February 6, 1943 for the duration of the war plus six months.  He was listed as 71 inches tall and 157 pounds.  He was single at the time of enlistment.

T/4 Edmund Alajko ended up in Silver Creek after returning from overseas on Jan. the 18, 1946 onboard the George Washington at New York.  A year later the ship was decommissioned.



  • Jamestown Post Journal: January 21, 1946
  • The Buffalo Evening News: February 16, 1943 page 25
  • National Archives and Records Administration. Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.

Random Facts

During my research into Uncle Munda I found out he was a volunteer firefighter in the Lancaster and Depew area.  These are some of Buffalo’s eastern suburbs.  The fire department liked to post weekly updates in the local paper about their members.  I was able to find some information about my uncle.

April 11. 1963 it was announced that in December the Central Hose companies sent two bowling teams to Jamestown, New York for a fireman’s tournament.

January 2, 1964 the mayor and town board of the Village of Lancaster were thanked by the central hose companies of the fire department with a bouquet of flowers.  The card was signed by secretary Edmund Alajko.

On April 14, 1966 Lancaster, New York volunteer fire department elections were announced.  Edmund Alajko was re-elected secretary of Central Hose Company 4.

Just prior to Christmas 1970 my uncle was promoted at the Shelly’s meat packing company.


  • Lancaster  Enterprise: Thursday, December 24, 1970
  • Lancaster Enterprise: Thursday, April 14, 1966
  • Lancaster  Enterprise: August 31, 1972
  • Lancaster  Enterprise: January 2, 1964
  • Lancaster  Enterprise: April 11, 1963