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Lauren McInerny

Professor Raymond

UWRT 1104-001

2 November 2018

Labinski Family History

There is a lot of history behind my family. Some that I have heard stories about for a long

time and some that I had never heard about. I decided to do research on my mom’s side of the

family because her parents have been collecting family memories and history for many many

years. I felt that it would be easier to delve into her family history because of all the information

right at my finger tips. My family came from Poland, the capital being Warsaw. Like many cities

in Poland, including my family's, they were fairly small and set in forest clearings, but there were

also some mountain towns that stretched for miles (Dawson, Wandycz, 1).

The Labinski family originated in Poland, specifically a small village outside of Krakow,

Poland. Krakow is the second largest city in Poland, and a main tourist destination now (Strzala,

1). My great great grandparents, Henry and Julia were living in Poland but Julia lived in the

Western part of Poland in a small town closer to Germany. Henry and his parents lived on a big

plot of land which happened to be a farm, that consisted of chickens, horses and sheep. Henry

and his family loved living on their farm and had Henry take care of it as one of his chores.

Henry was not the only child but his two brothers had already moved to the United States

because they were older than him. There was a lot of political unrest in Poland because the war

was starting to pick up so the Labinski family decided to move to the United States. Many others

living in Poland were forced to stay and had to live in fear (Sontheimer, 1). Julia had already

previously moved to the United States with her family a few months before Henry. Since Henry

and his family loved farming, the United States was a good place, they saw it as a good place to

farm and start a new and safe life. As Henry and his family moved to the United States, they

chose to live in Minneapolis, Minnesota because Henry’s brothers had already been living there

with a Polish community. After living in Minnesota for a couple months, Henry heard about

work opportunities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the only one to move there from his

family, the rest staying behind in Minnesota.

Julia was the only one from her family to move to the United States. She felt she needed

to get away from the political unrest and war but her family didn’t receive a very big impact

from the war like Henry’s family did so they stayed. When the war did start to get very bad, Julia

and Henry sent her family packages of jeans and candy. Both of these items were fairly rare to

find in Poland during the war. The jeans would come from factories in the United states, Julia’s

family found this very interesting and it was a big deal to the people of Poland. Seeing that

resources in Poland were scarce, Julia and Henry would sew patches onto the jeans that they

were mailing to her family. However, these were not just normally patches, they hide money in

the patches so they could receive it but not get caught.

When Henry made it to Wisconsin by train he worked a factory job in the city. At this

time there was a plethora of jobs in Wisconsin because there were a lot of factories that made

parts with machinery. It was also located conveniently to be able to ship parts and other

necessities from the Great Lakes and use trains to get the items to Chicago and other big

supplies. After a couple of months, Henry Labinski met Julia Macowski, they married a couple

years later. Julia and Henry settled down in Milwaukee, Henry still working in the factory while

Julia was a seamstress. They had three children together, Phyllis, Henry Jr. and Joseph (my great

grandpa). After decades of a happy life, Henry passed away at the age of sixty with Julia

following him at the age of eighty.

My other great great grandparents, Anna and Constantine Tyzckowski, were both born in

Poland, but Constantine moved to the U.S. a couple years before Anna. Constantine was a

wealthy man and worked as an accountant while living in Wisconsin. Both Anna and

Constantine were active members in the Catholic church community and supported Polish

immigrants. In a recent phone interview with my grandpa, he informed me that Anna actually

died from kidney failure when she was only forty-three years old but she did out-live her


My great grandfather Joseph was born in Milwaukee, and when he was in his early

twenties he started/owned a steel factory with his brother-in-law, which he was eventually

pushed out of. He then started to work as a purchasing director for Saint Francis Hospital in

Milwaukee. He met his wife, my great grandmother, Felicia, soon after and she worked as a

operator at a telephone company. They both spent their whole lives in Milwaukee and being

involved in the Polish American society. This was both a social and political group. In 1937, my

grandpa Ron was born. He was the oldest out of him and his brother Richard. My grandpa went

to an all-boys high school in Milwaukee and he met my grandma, Camille, at a school dance.

They had mutual friends and started dating right away. My grandpa studied Dentistry at

Marquette University and was also in Air Force ROTC there. My grandma went to Alverno

College and became a second grade teacher in Milwaukee. Right out of school, they got married

and my grandpa joined the Airforce to be a dentist. They were stationed in Texas for two years.

While in Texas, my mom was born, so my grandma stopped teaching to take care of her. After

two years they were back in Wisconsin with the rest of their extended family. My mom was the

only one out of her and her siblings to not be born in Wisconsin. My mom lived in Milwaukee up

until she met my dad in Colorado on a ski trip, my dad was living in Charlotte at the time. After

they met, it took my mom a couple months before moving in with my dad in Charlotte. My mom

worked in a jewelry store while my dad worked as a salesman for many different companies and

he traveled around the southeast. In 1994, they had their first child, my older sister, so my mom

stopped working. In 1997, my brother was born, I followed in 1999, and then my little sister was

born in 2002.

My family history is constantly amazing me as I keep learning more. Tracing back

archives of the past and learning even more about Poland than I had already known was a great

success for me. Though I wish I had the time to research both my parent’s sides of the family, I

think I chose an information rich side of the family to be able to extend my findings. The

Labinski family's legacy continues to live on through my mom, her brothers, and their children.

Works Cited:

Labinski, Ronald J. Phone Interview. 25 Oct. 2018

Sontheimer, Michael. “Germany's WWII Occupation of Poland: 'When We Finish,

Nobody Is Left Alive' .” ​SPIEGEL ONLINE,​ SPIEGEL ONLINE, 27 May 2011,


Strzala, Marek. “Krakow in Poland.” ​Krakow in Poland | Information Sheet about

Krakow, Poland​,

Wandycz, Piotr S., and Andrew Hutchinson Dawson.Poland.​Encyclopïdia Britannica​,

Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 27 Oct. 2018,​.