By Charles Ciechanowski-Chinoski-Chase
My great grandfather was Ambrose Ciechanowski (often mis-spelled as Cichanowski, Chucknowski, Chickenowskie, etc.). He was one of the founders/pioneers of Parisville, located in Paris Township, Huron County, in the “Thumb” region of Michigan.
During my early research, I reviewed the June 24, 1880 Census for Paris Twp., Huron Co, Michigan. The primary part of the listing (along with its mis-spellings) for the residence of Ambrose is shown below:
(1) Peter was my grandfather
Everything was fine until I saw Casper (used interchangeably with Casimir) and Francis Smielewski being shown as father and mother. It certainly seemed very strange that a “Smielewski” should be the parent of a “Ciechanowski”. I had never previously heard of the name Smielewski, and thus was quite confused. Here was a major question that required extensive detective work to sort out the details.
Ciechanowski Family Data
Gr-grandfather Ambrose (Ambrozy) Ciechanowski, was born Sliwice, powiat Tuchola, in the province of Bydgoszcz, Poland. The small church town of Sliwice, German name Groß Schliewitz, is located on the river Sliwiczka and is 25 km. northeast of Tuchola and 80 km south-southwest of Gdansk.
Smielewski Family DataAmbrose was one of five children born to Thomas (Tomasz) Ciechanowski (?-?) and Francisca Dobecka (1799-1894).
My initial challenge was to become familiar with the family with a surname—Smielewski. My research primarily centered around data found on LDS Film—714384. The head of the household was Casimir (Casper) Smielewski (1804-1880), also from the hamlet of Sliwice. His first wife was Catharine Gliniecka (?—Abt 1840). The data for their children are shown below:
GIVEN NAME BIRTH DATE BIRTH PLACE Apolonia 2/8/1825 Sliwice Maryanna 3/5/1826 Sliwice Thomas 12/8/1827 Sliwice Hedwig 10/6/1829 Sliwice Elisabeth 11/18/1831 Sliwice Catharina 9/24/1833 Sliwice Rosalia 9/12/1836 Sliwice
The only death date I have is for Thomas Smielewski, who died May 25, 1909 in Paris Twp, Huron Co, MI.
After much pondering, I came up with the theory that Francisca Dobecka-Ciechanowski’s husband Thomas, and Casimir Smielewski’s wife, Catharine Gliniecka-Smielewski, must have died some time after their last child was born. Then, at some point, this widow and widower decided to join families. I could not find the death records to support this theory, but I was fortunate enough to find the marriage record to confirm the marriage of Casimir Smielewski and Francisca Dobecka on May 1, 1842 in Sliwice. The record for this marriage is shown below:
So, this matrimonial union provided motherly support for the Smielewski children and both fatherly and financial support for the Ciechanowski children.
Author: Charles Chase