Van Essen Genealogy - Polish Ancestors

Polish flag from the Animation Factory Both sets of my Polish great-great-great-grandparents emigrated with their children from German Poland (Prussia) to Todd County in Minnesota in 1869 and 1872. Two adult children married in Oct 1872 and became my great-great-grandparents.

Map of Oppeln ca. 1880 (750x1000 323 KB)
Map of Oppeln ca. 1880
(750x1000 323 KB)
   The map link at the left retrieves a large map of the area around Opole, Silesia, Poland (German: Oppeln, Schlesien, Preußen). The city names underlined in red are where my ancestors are from. These cities include Dziekanstwo (German: Dechantsdorf), Chrz±szczyce (German: Chrzumczütz), and Przysiecz (German: Przyschetz).

See the Pronunciations Section below for audio of correct pronunciations.

The full map covers a much larger area than the thumbnail shown here.

The Wieszała / Wiessalla / Wieshalla Family

My great-great-great-grandparents, Anton and Rosalia Wieshalla (German: Wiessalla, Polish: Wieszała), emigrated from Dziekanstwo in 1869 with seven of their eight surviving children (Thomas immigrated in 1873 and one other child died before emigrating - he was not in the 1870 census for Todd County).

The early records of the Sankt Krzyz Catholic Church (German: Kreuzkirche Katholische Kirche) in Oppeln cover the village of Dziekanstwo and were microfilmed by the LDS. The film numbers (that I've looked at) are 0948828-32 (baptism records for 1818-1832; 1832-1842; 1842-1850; 1850-1864; 1864-1870), and 0948834 (marriage records for 1820-1870).

Anton and Rosalia were married in Dziekanstwo on 22 Apr 1845. Rosalia's father was Thadeus Lyssy of Krzowitz (aka Chrzowice, German: Chrzowitz). The baptisms of these children were recorded - all dates are birthdates:
                    
Thomas b. 18Dec1847in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Joseph b. 10Mar1850in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Thekla b. 23Sep1852in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen (aka Clara)
Susanna b. 12Aug1854in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Jacob b. 25Jul1857in Chmielowitz, Schlesien, Preußen (died bef 1869)
Elizabeth b. 05Nov1860in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Mary b. 13Nov1862in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Margarethab. 27Jun1865in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Agatha b. 31Jan1869in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen


The father, Anton Wieshalla Link to entry in WorldConnect Database, and his twin brother, Adam, were born 18 May 1820 in Dziekanstwo to Urban Wieszalla and Elizabeth Zoloncznik.

Urban and Elizabeth were married in Dziekanstwo on 01 May 1803. The baptisms of these children were recorded - dates are (b.) for birth if known, else (c.) for christening:
                    
Marianna c. 06Jun1804in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Rosalia c. 22Aug1805in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Josepha c. 10Jun1807in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Francisca c. 02Mar1810in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Joseph c. 02Jul1812in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Ignatz c. 18May1818in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen
Adam c. 18May1820in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen (twin of Anton)
Anton c. 18May1820in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen (twin of Adam)
(infant) b. 15Feb1824in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen (stillborn)
Jacob c. 04Jul1825in Dziekanstwo, Schlesien, Preußen


The mother, Rosalia Lysy Link to entry in WorldConnect Database, (German: Lisse, Polish: Łysy) was born 05 Jul 1827 in Chrzowice to Thaddeus Lysy and Clara Cebulla.

The early records of the Catholic Church in Chrz±szczyce (German: Chrzumczütz) cover the village of Chrzowice (Chrzowitz) and were microfilmed by the LDS. The film numbers (that I've looked at) are 0948561-62 (baptism records for 1715-1766, 1778-1820; 1820-1838) and 0948564 (marriage records for 1766-1870).

Thaddeus and Clara were married in Chrzowice (Chrzowitz) on 28 Oct 1820. Thaddeus was a widower, and Clara was from Boguschutz. The baptisms of these children were recorded - dates are (b.) for birth if known, else (c.) for christening:
                    
Anton c. 29Dec1824in Chrzcowitz, Schlesien, Preußen
Rosalia b. 05Jul1827in Chrzcowitz, Schlesien, Preußen


The immigrant Wiesalla family arrived 17 Sep 1869 at the Port of New York, on the ship SS Allemannia (see the Passenger List image at Ancestry). They were passengers numbered 170-178 and traveled "Betweendeck" - Anton Wiesalla 49, farmer; Rosalie 40, his wife; Jos. 19; Thekla 17; Susa 7; Elise 6; Marie 5; Margr 4; Agethe 8 mos. The country of origin was Germany and the destination was the United States.

The Shiplists entry for the SS Allemania(sic) has more information about this ship. Another web page has photographs of the SS Allemannia

Thomas "Wissalla" age 25 arrived 30 May 1873 at the port of New York on the ship SS Ohio.

I had a phone conversation with Fred Poplinski (1939-2006) in 2003 or so and he said his grandmother, Mary (Weishalla) Poplinski (Marie in the above passenger list), told him that the family spent their first winter (1869-70) in a cave. He had been to the actual cave many years ago (the farmer whose land it was on was using it for storage at the time). Unfortunately, Fred died a few years later before we could get together to visit the cave so I never did learn where it was. The Weishallas were enumerated in the 1870 Minnesota census in Hartford Township in Todd County (family #52 in this 1870 census image at Ancestry) so maybe that will help find the cave if they ended up owning and living on that property that the cave was on. Need to research Todd County property records for 1869-70.


Anton and Rosalia are buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Long Prairie, Minnesota, in the family plot of their son, Joseph.

After coming to America, Thomas spelled his last name as Wieshalla while Joseph used Weishalla.

The Lamusga Family

My great-great-great-grandparents, Albert and Antonia Lamusga, emigrated from Przysiecz (German: Przyschetz) in 1872 (more, below) with their six surviving children (six other children died before emigrating, according to Todd County Histories, but only 5 are found in the Polish church records).

The early records of the Catholic Church in Proszkow in the diocese of Oppeln cover the village of Przyschetz and were microfilmed by the LDS. The film numbers are 0948566-7 (baptism records for 1815-1847; 1847-1870), 0948568 (marriage records for 1757-1770 and 1836-1870), and 0948569 (burial records for 1804-1870).

The marriage of Albert and Antonia was not recorded in Proszkow and may have taken place in a village in another recording district. The baptisms of these children were recorded - dates are (b.) for birth if known, else (c.) for christening:
                    
Peter c. 25Jul1845in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen
Pauline c. 04Jun1848in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen
Caroline c. 26Feb1850in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 30 Nov 1850)
Franz c. 01Oct1851in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (aka Frank)
Johannes c. 05Feb1854in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 25 Dec 1855)
Carl c. 31Oct1856in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (aka Charles)
Franzeska c. 27Dec1858in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 12 Apr 1864)
Constantineb. 23May1861in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen
Theka b. 26Sep1863in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 13 Dec 1864)
Martin b. 24Oct1865in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen
Baby Boy b. 24Jun1868in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (stillborn)


The father, Albert Lamusga Link to entry in WorldConnect Database, was born 19 Apr 1821 in Przysiecz to Stanik Lamusga (Stanislaus in later records - he died in Przysiecz on 30 Apr 1853 at age 65) and Catharina Bujała (she died in Przysiecz on 27 Dec 1830 at age 38). After Catharina's death, Stanislaus married Barbara Czyppek.

The marriages fall outside the date range of the microfilmed records. The baptisms of these children were recorded - dates are (b.) for birth if known, else (c.) for christening (note that Albert was born "Woitek", which is the Polish equivalent):
                    
Catharina b. 20Apr1816in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 27 Feb 1818)
Carl b. 30Oct1818in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 08 Nov 1818)
Baby Boy b. 05Jan1820in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (stillborn)
Woitek b. 19Apr1821in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (aka Albert)
Thomas b. 26Dec1823in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 04 Jan 1824)
Ewa b. 02Jun1825in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 02 Jun 1825)
Joseph b. 20Feb1827in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen
Michael b. 19Sep1829in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 28 Nov 1830)
      (widower Stanislaus marries Barbara Czyppek)
Franz b. ?????183?in Przyschetz?, Schlesien, Preußen (died 25 Feb 1839)
Catharina b. 20Oct1833in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen
Thomas b. 18Sep1836in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen (died 24 Mar 1839)
Hedwig b. 15Oct1838in Przyschetz, Schlesien, Preußen

Notes for above children:
- Joseph married Hedwig Tabura(sp?) 09 May 1854 - they had at least one child who died young.
- Franz died at age 7 in 1839, but no baptismal record was found.
- Catharina had a child out of wedlock in 1853 and later married Johann Nitsche and had more children.
- Hedwig had a stillborn illegitimate child in March 1865.


The mother, Antonia Kalla Link to entry in WorldConnect Database, was born 01 May 1821 and is probably not from Przysiecz, as her baptism is not recorded in the Proszkow church records. In her Todd County death record, her parents were Blazeus and Antonia Kalla. Her last name in the Proszkow records was spelled Kała. The proper Polish spelling of Blazeus is Blasius.
The immigrant Lamusga family arrived 14 Aug 1872 at the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, on the ship SS Baltimore of Bremen (see the Passenger List image at Ancestry)). They were passengers numbered 72-80 and traveled steerage - Peter Labusga (sic - Lamusga) 27, Mariane 27, Albert 51, Anton (sic - Antonia) 51, Pauline 24, Franz 21, Carl 16, Albertine (sic - Constantine) 9, Martin 6. (Note - Antonia was listed as a male.) The country of origin was Germany and the destination was Minnesota. Peter, Albert, and "Anton" were listed as farmers.

The Shiplists entry for the SS Baltimore has more information about this ship.
SS Baltimore at seaSS Baltimore after collision
Courtesy of Dennis Lucas, here are two images: #1 - SS Baltimore at sea circa 1868 [680x360] (58K) and #2 - SS Baltimore after collision in 1872 [800x730] (99K) (see shipslist entry for details).


SS Baltimore at sea    Albert and Antonia are buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Long Prairie, Minnesota (first plot on the right as you enter the main gate).

The picture at the left shows Albert's inscription (Antonia's is on the back on the same marker). The "Geb." and "Gest." are abbreviations for the German "Geboren" (born) and "Gestorben" (died/dead). Click on the image for the 'big picture' [864x1152] (135K).

They both died in Long Prairie, and their deaths are in the Todd County records. Albert is "Albert Linndska" and his date of death (July 12, 1889) is off by a month.

The Joseph Weishalla Family

Joseph Weishalla Link to entry in WorldConnect Database and Pauline Lamusga Link to entry in WorldConnect Database were married October 6, 1872, in Long Prairie, Minnesota. They had these eleven children (eight of whom survived to adulthood), all recorded in the Catholic Church in Long Prairie:
                    
Peter b. 19Oct1873in Hartford Twp, Todd County, Minnesota (died 1873)
Robert b. 23Sep1874in Hartford Twp, Todd County, Minnesota
Mary b. 16Mar1877in Hartford Twp, Todd County, Minnesota
Florentineb. 18Sep1878in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota (my gr-gm)
Pauline b. 30May1880in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota
Margaret b. 31May1882in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota (died 1882)
Anton b. 13Jun1883in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota (died 1883)
Birgitta b. 01Oct1884in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota (aka Agnes)
Elizabeth b. 18Nov1886in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota
John b. 22Dec1888in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota
Sophia b. 19Mar1891in Long Prairie, Todd County, Minnesota

Pronunciations of Polish Words

A Polish website called Expressivo.com provides online speech synthesis of a native Polish speaker voicing Polish words. It is important to have the correct non-Latin Polish letters where appropriate. Here are the key surnames and cities with their proper Polish pronunciations:

Surnames:    Wieszała
    Łysy
    Lamusga
    Kała
Cities:    Opole
    Dziekanstwo
    Przysiecz
    Chrz±szczyce

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