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Monday, June 27, 2011

To Begin, Pop-Pop's A Murderer As Well as A Self-Dreading Jew Who Is Ungrateful To His Philosemitic gentile Mother

"Czarnecki" was actually a change in our name. We actually were "Chernetski" before my great-granddad Czarnecki's parents converted to avoid the pogroms, then were kicked off the family farm in Lipsk nad Biebrza because of said conversion. They took "Czerniecki", "Czarniecki", and other variants before settling on "Czarnecki" when they assimilated as Anusim in Sugar Notch, PA; and they never returned to Lipsk, Tsuman (where Great-Granddad was born while his mom was visiting Andrulewicz (Andrulevich) relatives in Buzhanka, Kiev area), or anywhere else in Poland or the Ukraine for even a visit. I didn't even know any of this until I began family research and confronted my dad's dad (John "Jack" Czarnecki) about hiding all of it.
Great-Granddad was Antoni Jan Julianowicz Chernetski, the oldest son and child of Julian Jan Antoniowicz "Felix" and Aleksjondria Alicja Antoniowicza Chernetski (respectively; the son of Antoni and Katarzyna Danilowicza Chernetski, and the daughter of Antoni "Anthony" and Katarzyna "Katherine" Morgewicza (Margiewicza) Andrulewicz). When Great-Granddad came here with his mom to join his dad (who had already joined relatives who had splintered off into Sugar Notch from the group of Chernetskis that came here- and many of whom splintered off into Jersey City, NJ and other parts besides Sugar Notch); he along with his parents had his name Americanized into "Anthony Czarnecki" (1910 Census), which was (with his middle name, "Jan", Americanized into "John") the final name that he was given and/or stuck with (1920 Census: "Anthony Chernetski"; 1930 Census: "John Czarnecki", sent away to a mental asylum in Wood River, Illinois).
By the way (I'm kvetching here; but this is a keep-in-mind thing), from what I understand, the-now Alexandria Alice Andrulewicz Czarnecki was a wicked woman who was part of what affected and effected him to be at Wood River in the first place. When the-now Julian John Czarnecki (with his name given as "Julian Czarniecki" on his death certificate) died on September 11, 1922 (and Great-Granddad was only 17 when his dad died); Alexandria took over the household with an iron fist- not that she didn't have one before (since Julian was a schicker, and she manipulated that), but she took over- and began influencing then-to-be-18-year-old Anthony and his America-born siblings (Regina, 13, dead by four laters later; Alexandria Alice, to be 12 on September 28; Stanislaw "Stanley" Peter, 10; John Felix, 9; Edward L., 7; Joseph Paschal, 5; Bernard, 2; and Cecelia, 9 months old) nuts.
This becomes important when you track down and realize that, for example: 

  1. They were indeed Anusim, and dropped mixed-bag hints at that. In other words, you had to really think about the names (among other things) as hints to figure that out. (e.g., Notice any "Mary"s in there? Remember that an ancient Jewish- and still a Sefardi Jewish- practice is to name relatives even after still-living family members?)
  2. The names become extremely important when you have to keep track of who went where. For example; as I recall finding out, Great-Granduncle Stanley fled to Nanticoke with his then-new-wife, Theresa Makarczyk, around the time that Great-Granddad himself came back to Sugar Notch and married the gentile Mary Trudnak (which, as you can imagine, pissed off Mama Alexandria off! In fact, for such a seemingly-Catholic wedding, there's no preist's signature on and no returned filed for the marriage license of Anthony John and Mary Trudnak Czarnecki!). By the way, why Great-Granduncle Stanley fled: Mama Alexandria wasn't hassling only daughter-in-law Mary. Besides, there were cousins in Nanticoke, so he had connections there if and when push ever came to shove (which it did).     
Great-Granddad with Dad on his lap; Great-Grandma with Aunt Mary, named for Great-Grandma and also Great-Grandma Marysia "Mary" Elizabeth Rusnak Gaydos. The Virgin Mary was far from receiving kavod from Pop-Pop (far left, next to his brother James "Jim" Julian. By the way, I told you that the naming was part of the hint dropping.).

 Not that Dad will admit that he didn't like his own "Pop-Pop" Czarnecki ("Like dad, like son" in more ways than one); but he didn't like him (and can you blame him? "Tony", Sr. took on after a certain Mama Alexandria). As the old wisdom goes; unless you really commit to conciously being the opposite of whom you dislike, you end becoming the next generation of whom you claimed that you did not want to be (and did Dad ever become like my "Pop-Pop" Czarnecki, who was like "Pop-Pop" Tony, Sr. Czarnecki!)

"Doesn't seem too upset at his.." "Grandfather Czarnecki"! Sure; he doesn't; or else he wouldn't have hidden that last part of the caption when he scanned in the photo (for which I had to fight with him); right, Grandma?. By the way, perhaps I will quote the proverb- and G-d forgive me- "Like mother, like daughter". And Grandma; who knows? Maybe, as happens as well, you even married someone like your mother- at least in some ways. Well, betraying relatives during the Shoah puts Great-Grandma Gaydos up there with Pop-Pop, no matter how (as Aunt Mary put it) kind and sweet she (apparently) was (otherwise?). Or maybe Pop-Pop is up there with Great-Grandma Gaydos (Who knows? I'm kvetching by now.).

By the way, Dad had a broken collarbone at the time- he had fallen out of a high chair.

Dad at his baptism with Great-Grandma Czarnecki holding him, Great-Granddad looking at him, and Great-Grandma Gaydos and Grandma Czarnecki posing for a picture.

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