The Okonski’s descendants of Macij (Mathias Okonski), Gen 3 (see below)
migrated to United States from Prussia-Poland in 1873 through Netherlands.
Macij, his wife Marianna Nyka Okonski and Joseph their 20 month old son,
arrived at Ellis Island in New York City on vessel, Cambria, on October 4, 1873.
They migrated to Pennsylvania where they resided for 7 years to work and
save enough money to buy tickets on a vessel to Galveston and then by wagon
train to Bremond, Texas in 1880.
Detail information and many
pictures for this Okonski Family short story below and for additional
information such as various Family Stories, Family Tree, Favorite Recipes, Good
Ole Jokes and many other related Okonski activities over the past 120 years are
located on the “OkonskiFamily.com” website.
The Okonski Family Tree is maintained by Mark Okonski and
OkonskiFamily.com website is maintained by Gene Okonski with their contact
information for both on the website. More research is required especially in
Poland for Gen 1 and Gen 2 below to determine the Okonski relatives prior to
1750 and where (if any) of Macij 7 brothers and 2 sisters migrated to Unite
States or any other Countries. Any
assistance for many of the Family Stores including some old pictures for Gen 3
and Gen 4 below would be most appreciated.
is the 10th child of Jacob Okonski, born in 1780, who is Generation 2
his wife Marianna, and son, Joseph, settled on Tidwell Prairie in Bremond,
Texas. Macij and Marianna had 7
children (see Gen 3 below). Marianna
died October 15, 1892. Macij married
Michalina (Annie) Jerzek Fojut and had 4 stepchildren for a total of eleven
Joseph Okonski, born March 15, 1871 in Znin, Poland married Victoria
Szturemski on November 16, 1892 (see Gen 4 below).
They begin living and raising their family of 10 children in a house
known as the “Okonski Homeplace” on Tidwell Prairie.
The “Okonski Homeplace” still stands and has been livable for over
120 years. All Joseph and
Victoria’s ten children were born in the “Okonski Homeplace” house.
The first child born in the house was Frank Okonski
on September 15, 1893.
Joseph and Victoria Okonski on Nov 29, 1929 at “Okonski Homeplace”
Besides farming and ranching, Joseph harvested wood and utilized an old
timey sawmill to cut logs for barns, wood for lumber, and wood for burning in
wood and cook stoves. He also had
several horse teams with various horse- drawn equipment and cut hay, planted and
plowed cornfields and cotton fields for hire.
He grew tobacco, large gardens and raised various livestock and poultry
for sale. Joseph also worked on
roads and bridges. Joseph took a
team of horses and wagon to Galveston in 1901 from Bremond for a whole year to
construct the Galveston Seawall after all the destruction and more than 5,000
people that died in the hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900.
first picture taken on the steps and side porch of the “Okonski Homeplace”
house was in 1921.
“Okonski Homeplace” in 1921
Joseph and Victoria Szturemski Okonski, sons, Edward and Marion Okonski
,and daughters, Theresa Okonski Wilganowski and Pauline Okonski Mushinski are
standing or sitting on the steps of the “Okonski Homeplace”.
The large porch, columns , windows, and
doors and the location of the steps are currently the same in 2012 as in 1892
and 1921 when above picture taken. House,
corn crib, and other smaller buildings were built in 1880’s.
Edward L Okonski was born August 8, 1906 and married Helen Novak on
November 12, 1929 (Gen 5 below).
“Okonski Homeplace” on November 12, 1929
stayed in the “Okonski Homeplace” while Ed’s parents, Joseph and Victoria
and their remaining children at home, moved 1 mile closer to town on Tidwell
Prairie. Ed and Helen began raising
their family with seven children born in the “Okonski Homeplace”.
Electricity was finally brought to the “Okonski Homeplace
“ in 1949 with only five lights and two additional plugs for appliances.
Ed and Helen could only afford the radio for the first year and lights
were seldom on and never after 9:00 pm. Gene
remembers having to turn the kerosene lamp on and lights off at 9:00 pm even
into the early 1960’s to complete his high school homework.
L and Helen, Ed,Joe, Gene, Dolores Okonski – “Okonski Homeplace” in May
(same steps, porch, columns, windows, doors since
refrigerator came in 1951 which reduced all that additional canning of sausage
links and patties to store for future meals.
A visit twice a month to the locker plant in Hearne, Texas was always on
schedule to bring some beef back and some chicken or fish taken.
Growing and selling from a one acre tomato patch, a very large garden,
various type of poultry, an occasional calf or hog, and other items such as
geese feathers, eggs, watermelon and various fruit were
the primary source of income for the family.
Additional income came from working for other people for such things as
chopping corn and cotton, harvesting corn and cotton and many odd jobs utilizing
horses, mules and horse drawn equipment.
Edward, oldest son, remembers driving to Bremond’s tomato plant
with 21 bushels of tomatoes on a Model A Ford with all seats out and replaced
with bushels of tomatoes and coming back with 22 bushels of tomatoes and a $1.00
check. Since Ed just graduated from
high school, Dad realized that it was time to send him to Houston to get a job
and send some money back on a monthly basis to help keep the family going and
ensuring the remaining children received a high school education.
A propane gas stove replaced the cooking wood stove in early 1950’s and
a water pump was finally hooked up in late 1950’s.
Ed and Helen’s seventh child, Helen was born on May 30, 1955.
The first child was named Ed and last child was named Helen after Mom and
on June 5, 1955
All seven children were able to graduate from Bremond High School, find
good jobs, raise their own families and help support their parents throughout
their remaining years . Many
of the Okonski’s continued to visit or spend some of their vacation time from
Chicago, Houston and many other cities and states in the Union.
They enjoyed all the fresh vegetables, homemade bread, fresh chicken/beef
and homemade pies or cakes, riding
the horse drawn wagon, hayrides with tractor, fishing, swimming in the pond,
making homemade ice cream, and visiting/sleeping on the porches.
Mary and Mark Okonski and Sadie Okonski Campbell – Oct 2007 “Okonski
step area, Porch, columns, windows & doors since 1880’s.)
Many of the other
Okonski’s moved to Houston or Chicago to find jobs and continue to raise their
families especially after many went through two World Wars, the Depression, and
the continued difficult life trying to make a fair living farming their land in
Ed and Helen celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary with their picture and seven children
taken in November 1979 at the “Okonski HomePlace”.
and Helen 50th Anniversary with Ed, Joe, Gene, Dolores, Larry, Mary
Ann, Helen Okonskis
“Okonski HomePlace “ in November 1979
and Helen moved from the “Okonski HomePlace” on Ed’s 80th
birthday or August 8, 1986 to a house on N Main St in Bremond, Tx.
Gene Okonski (Gen 6 below), the 3rd son of Edward and Helen
Okonski purchased the remaining 1 acre of Okonski Farms and “Okonski HomePlace”
house in 1986.
Okonski holding Gene (3 mths) in 1947
Gene holding Sadie in
“Okonsk HomePlace” front porch (same
porch,windows and door)
son Kevin (Gen 7) and wife and grand-children Tyler and Anthony Ryan (Gen 8)
have/had frequent visits to the “Okonski HomePlace” assisting with the
various operating tasks and many social events including several Catholic Masses
and many Family Reunions .
Kevin, Sherry, Tyler and Ryan Okonskis
in Oct 2009 – “Okonski HomePlace”
Okonski, oldest son of Edward and Helen, and wife Janie already have great
grand- children that have started the next generation (Gen 9) who have also
visited the “Okonski Homeplace”. Seven
of the nine Generations of Okonski have been at the “Okonski Homeplace “
house. Farming and ranching were the
primary operations of the Okonski Farms for the past 120 or more years.
The house, old corn crib, chicken house and a couple other buildings have
also survived the last 120 years. Anytime
a storm was nearby, Mom and Dad’s Mom, would light candles and made a sign of
the cross on the windows which probably protected the house during all these
Poland/Bremond Okonskis’ are related to many of the Polish Families from
Bremond, Texas and are located in many cities in Texas and many states in United
his wife, and son, Edward and Helen and many immediate family relatives are
buried in St Mary’s Cemetary in Bremond, Texas.
1 – Jacob Okonski – Born in 1750 in Prussia- Poland and married Eva Boianska.
2 – Jacob Okonski -- Born in 1780 and died on
January 3, 1845 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
Jacob married Hedwig Przybylski on Feb 9, 1812 in Gorzyce,
Prussia-Poland. Hedwig was born in
1779 and died Aug 12, 1822 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
Jacob married Marianna Majchczak on Jan 27, 1823 in Gorzyce,
Prussia-Poland. Jacob had 10
3 – Macij (Mathias Okonski) – Tenth child below.
(1st child) born to Jacob
and Hedwig on Feb 7, 1816, in Gorzyce, Prussia-Poland and married Apolonia
Brzyka on September 8, 1849 in Gorzyce, Prussia-Poland.
(2nd child) was born Sept 3, 1828 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland and
married Joseph Michalski on May 29, 1849 in Gorzyce, Prussia-Poland.
Joseph was son of Mihael Michalski and Marianna Szlotoski.
(3rd child was born in Jul 24th, 1824 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
(4th child) was born on Jul 29, 1826 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
She married Andreas Felcyn on Feb 9, 1846 in Gorzyce, Prussia-Poland.
Andreas was son of Thomas Felcyn and Marianna Kujawa Felcyn.
(5th child) was born on Feb 18, 1833 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
He died February 22, 1834 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
(6th child) was born on Dec 27, 1834 in Slabomierz,
(7th child) was born Feb 3, 1837 in Slabomiercz, Prussia-Poland.
(8th child) was born on Apr 23, 1839 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
He married Agnes Felcyn on Oct 20, 1861 in Gorzyce, Prussia-Poland.
Agnes was daughter of Antonius Felcyn and Katarina Bryk-Felcyn.
(9th child) was born on Oct 9, 1841 in Slabomierz, Prussia-Poland.
(Mathias) (10th child) was born on Feb 23, 1844 in Slabomierz,
Prussia-Poland. He married Marianna
Nyka on May 25, 1869 in Znin, Prussia-Poland.
Marianna was born on Jan 29, 1850 in Skarbience, Prussia-Poland.
She was daughter of Joseph Nyka and Barbara Cieslak.
Marianna, Macij and their 1stth son Joseph at age 20 months
took passage on the vessel
and landed at Ellis Island in
New York City on Oct 4, 1873.
4 – Joseph Okonski – Macij and Marianna’s( 1st child) was Joseph Okonski born
March 15, 1871 in Prussia-20 months old when he and his parents took a several
week ocean boat ride on vessel “Cambria” from Prussia-Poland to the
Netherlands and then to Ellis Island in New York City arriving on October 4,
1873, They continued their trip to Pennsylvania and had to work for seven years
to save enough money to take a vessel trip to Galveston in 1980 and by wagon
train to Bremond, Texas. Joseph
married Victoria Szturemski on November 16, 1892 in Bremond, Texas.
Okonski (2nd child) was born Sept 1877 who married Frand (Snider)
Suchowiak on October 7, 1896.
Okonski (3rd child) was born Oct 26, 1877.
Okonski (4th child) was born Dec 26, 1880.
Okonski (5th child) was born
June 2, 1986. He married Anna Warhol
on Nov 9, 1910 in Bremond, Texas. Peter
died on Feb 18, 1969
Mary Okonski (6th child) was born on Apr 11, 1889 in Bremond.
Helen married Frank Krysinski from Marlin on Oct 2, 1910.
Helen died April 21, 1967.
Okonski(7th child) was born on Dec 17, 1889.
He married Veronica Budzis Buckner on Jan 21, 1914.
John died Dec 11, 1985.
Fojut (1st step child) was born on Oct 1983.
Foyut (2nd step child) was born on Sep 1885
Fojut (3rd step child) was born o Oct 1887
Fojut (4th step child was born on May 1891
5 – Edward L Okonski – (6th
child of Joseph and Victoria above).
6 – Children’s names are listed below their Gen 5 parents.
Okonski (1st child) was born Sep 15, 1893.
He married Josephine Celunak. Frank
died Aug 6, 1966 and Josephine died Jan 5, 1972.
Okonski (2nd child) was born on Jun 23, 1895.
Served in World War I and died Jan 2, 1926.
“Stash” Marion Okonski (3rd child) was born on Feb 4, 1898.
Married Louise Pauline Burda. They
operated the “Blood Bucket Saloon” which hosted many weddings and dances.
Stash died Nov 22, 1983 and Louise died Apr 22, 1975.
Virginia (Virgie) Okonski
Okonski (4th child) was born Feb 9, 1901.
He married Victoria Novak. Bruno
died on Aug 12, 1971 and Victoria died on Oct 24, 1999.
James Joseph Okonski
Okonski (5th child) was born Oct 14, 1903.
She married Edmond Wilganowski.
L Okonski (6th child was born Aug 8, 1906.
He married Helen Novak on Nov 12, 1929.
Edward died on Nov 6, 1990 and Helen died May 21, 2002.
All of Ed’s brothers and sisters and all of Ed and Helen’s seven
children were born at the “Okonski HomePlace”.
Their children are:
Edward E Okonski
Joe M Okonski
Gene B Okonski
Mary Ann Okonski
Okonski (7th child) was born Mar 23, 1909.
She married John Wilganowski.
Okonski (8th child) was born October 6, 1911 and died in 1914.
John Okonski (9th child) was born Dec 2, 1914.
He married Pauline Nobra. Died
Oct 4, 1997.
Okonski (10th child) was born Mar 7, 1918.
She married L.B. Mushinski. She
5 and Gen 6 for Peter Okonski of Gen 4 -- Peter was born Jun 25, 1886.
Married Anna Warhol on Nov 9, 1910. Peter
and Anna had 11 children.
Okonski (1st child) was born Oct 11, 1911.
Married Clara. Died 1950
Okonski (2nd child) was born Dec 11, 1912.
Married Henrietta Gomolka. Died Oct 1978.
Paul Okonski (3rd child) was born Sep 5, 1914.
Married Mary Ann Gailus. Harry
died August 4, 2011. Harry worked at
Wrigleys in Chicago and received a Purple Heart that is in the National Purple
Heart Museum in New York City (see OkonskiFamily.com) website.
Harry and Mary made many of trips from Chicago
to the “Okonski Homeplace” and
visited relatives in Bremond, Texas almost annually.
Harry and Mary raised 7 children.
Kathleen T Okonski Blossom
Jerome Paul Okonski
John Anthony Okonski
Mark William Okonski
Mary Karen Okonski
Janet Julianne Okonski
Jean Ann Marie Okonski
(Willie) Okonski (4th child) was born Oct 21, 1915.
She married William Pietrowicz.
Ignatius S Petrowicz
William (Billy) Petrowicz
Okonski (5th child) was born Jan 29, 1918.
She married John Stachniak who was born Jan 1, 1914 and died Oct 22,
1990. Sadie married Gordon Campbell
Jul 30, 1994. Sadie also made
frequent trips back to the “Okonski Homeplace” and also visited where she,
Harry and brothers and sisters were born on Tidwell Prarie.
Okonski (6th child )was born Mar 25, 1920.
Okonski (7th child) was born Aug 23, 1921
Married Virginia Gregg. Died
Mar 19, 2010 and Virginia died Apr 30, 1997.
(Ludwig) Okonski (8th child) was born Mar 16, 1923 and died Mar 5,
Okonski (9th child) was born Jun 13, 1925 and died Jul 1971.
Theresa Okonski (10th child) was born on Feb 22, 1928.
She married Cyril Niemiec. She
died August 11, 1993.
(1) Marilyn Niemiec
(2) Debbie Niemiec
Okonski (11th child) was born Nov 18, 1929.
Died Aug 28, 1949.
5 and Gen 6 for Gen 4 John Okonski -- John was born Dec 17, 1889.
Married Veronica Budzis Buckner on Jan 21, 1914.
Died Jan 8, 1933. John and
Veronica had 4 children.
Okonski (1st child) was born Aug 29, 1916.
Married Josephine Nobra. Died
Oct 14, 2000. Lived all their lives
on Tidwell Prairie. Steve played the
fiddle for over 70 years in many cities in Texas for many weddings, reunions,
and social functions and is known for some favorite polka and waltz music.
Steve and Carol Bashinski in 1991 --
and Josephine had 7 children.
Stephen Michael Okonski
John Anthony Okonski
Mary Ann Okonski (2nd child) was born May 9, 1918.
She married Bolaswal (Bill) Bashinski.
Died Jan 29, 1969.
Okonski (3rd child) was born Mar 17, 1920.
Married Lee Floyd Wachel.
Barbara Ann Wachel
Okonski (4th child) was born Aug 28, 1926.
He married Willie Brown Irion. Died
We are also trying to determine any relations to
Zbigniew Okonski, Defense Minister of Poland, who negotiated purchase of F16’s
with President George H Bush during President Clinton,s term in 1995 and wrote
Partnership for Peace: An Essential Element of the European Security System.
We also are trying to determine any relations with Walter Okonski, who is
the famous author Of Poland’s World War II book.
Detail information for Gen 7 and Gen 9 are minimized for security
reasons. Again, see the
OkonskiFamily.com website for more detail and future updates.