Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dziubinski Info

Brother Tom provided a photograph and some newspaper clippings to me the other day which offered new (to me) information about the Dziubinski's. The photograph is of Emil Dziubinski in 1931 with his Holdingford High School classmates. (I have the full picture, with names, available to those interested.) Emil was Irene's older brother who died in the October, 1931 car accident in Wisconsin. In that same accident, Irene's mother Anastasia (or Nettie, as she was affectionately known), was also killed and sister Helen lost her leg.

In one of the other clippings Tom discovered is the obituary for Irene's father Athanasius. It says that he was "born in Nowysak, Poland" and "grew up and attended school in Zakopony, Poland". Nowy Sacz is both a town and county in southern Poland, very near the border of present-day Slovakia. Further southwest is Zakopane, also a village in Nawy Sacz county, sitting almost on top of the border.

In the 19th century, Zakopane was the largest center for metallurgy in Galicia — and later with that of tourism. It grew greatly over the 19th century, as more and more people were attracted by its salubrious climate, and soon developed from a small village into a climatic health resort with 3,000 inhabitants in 1889, eight years before Athanasius immigrated to America.

I wonder why Anthansius, situated in a apparently prosperous if not down-right booming town, would decide to head off to America. The obituary notes that in addition to being a farmer, he was also a cabinet maker. As a 23-year-old with such a marketable skill, I am trying to imagine what influences pressured him to leave Poland.

Just prior to his birth in 1874, Galicia, as this area of southern Poland was called, was de facto an autonomous province of Austria-Hungary, with Polish and, to a much lesser degree, Ukrainian or Ruthenian, as official languages. The area had been racked by the Austro-Prussian War, peasant insurrections, political revolutions and military actions in response. Galicia was now subject to internal arguments between Vienna and the Poles in the west and the Ruthenians and Ukrainians in the east.

I had always assumed Athanasius has immigrated to America to get away from the ongoing military situation. And while that may have been a part of his decision, it was the economic situation of Galicia that was most likely the main impetus for such a drastic removal. I will discuss the economics in the next posting.


  1. Irene's mother's name is Antonette or Nettie for short. The obituary called her Mrs. Anastasia Dziubinski. Her husband's name Athanasius, or Astanzy for short, and later Edward. I just assumed the reporter mispelled the name and Mrs. Athanasius Dziubinski (as women were identified by their husband's name in those days) became Mrs. Anastasia Dziubinski in the news article. It was an out of town newspaper afterall. Just my quess.

  2. Guess, not quess. Doh.