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Stephen Howicz/Wojciechowicz

born c. 1915









    1910-John Sylvester


Rose became a Gorney

Florian m. Anna (Siebert?)

Emil (m. Helen?)

Louis m. Martha, then Ann

Joseph m. Charlotte

Theresa became a Zabrowski

John Sylvester m. Kay

married in 1937


Coletta Wachdorf







Stephen Jr.


his parents:

Chester/Czeslaw Wojciechowicz



her parents:

Joseph Wachdorf


 Jessie McCormick


Her paternal grandparents:

Anton Wachdorf


Anna Klein


Her maternal grandparents: unknown


Chester and Josephine Wojciechowicz came to America from Poland c. 1895.

They lived at first in Philadelphia, before moving to Chicago,

and family lore says the family is kin to

an archbishop of Philadelphia

Click on image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, mover cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again

group photo of their wedding, see below gallery for full caption

zoom on Steve from wedding photo

John Sylvester Wojchiechowicz from Steve's wedding photo

Coletta and Steve 1937

Steve Howicz-Wojciechowicz and perhaps Harry Wachdorf (orig labeled by Steve's niece "Uncle Steve and Uncle Harry.)

Who's who in Steve's wedding photo, left to right (with the exception of Steve's brother, John Sylvester, everyone seems to be related to Coletta). The two seated on the ground are Marge Kary Wachdorf (wife of Coletta's cousin,  Edward Wachdorf Jr.), and Coletta's aunt Madge Wachdorf. Of the three girls, I can only identify the littlest one: Dolores Wachdorf on the left, between bride Coletta and bridesmaid Leona Wachdorf (Coletta's sister). The back row, from left: Coletta's paternal aunt, Lettie Myers, Coletta's sisters Blanche, Leona and Ruth, Coletta's paternal grandmother Anna Klein Wachdorf, Steve's brother John Sylvester Howicz/Wojciechowicz, bride Coletta Wachdorf Howicz/Wojciechowicz, an unknown woman, groom Steve Howicz/Wojciechowicz, then possibly Coletta's paternal uncle Frank Stevens and her aunt Frances Stevens (nee Wachdorf), then an unknown old man behind two unknown girls who are probably two of the Stevens girls.

March 2007 rec'd an email from a son of John Sylvester Howicz, brother of Steve, identifying JSH in wedding photo.

March 2007: rec'd an email from Janet Wojciechowiecz, daughter of Colletta Wachdorf and Steve Howicz/Wojciechowiecz. She said, "Stephen had 3 more brothers (besides John Sylvester): Emil, Louis and Florian, and two sisters: Theresa and Rose. Rose married Gorney (not sure of spelling) and they had 10-13 kids. Theresa I believe still lives in Chicago, I think last name Zabrowski."

In a second email she added, "My Uncle Louis or Lou was married to first wife Martha who passed and he remarried my Aunt Ann; both passed away in Oklahoma sometime back. My Aunt Kay and Uncle John both passed away in OK also." She also filled in the blanks on her own branch of the family, saying, "I am one of four children that Coletta had. My sister Leona you know. My sister Charlotte married but has since passed away. We had one brother, Stephen Jr, who is still alive and living in and around the Chicago area. He is married to a gal named Ruth...Aunt Mae and Madge (Wachdorf) took in Aunt Leona and Aunt Ruth and they all lived together in Chicago."

Based on this info, I found the following paper trail for Chester Wojciechowicz and children:

according to the 1910 census, Chester immigrated in 1895 and Josephine in 1896. They list their oldest daughter as born c. 1895 in Poland, but the next child, born c. 1896, is listed as born in Pennsylvania. I have not been able to find the ship either of them came in on just yet. I also have not found them yet in the 1900 census, but imagine they were in Philadelphia, because that is the place of birth Florian lists on his draft card, and because the second and third children are born in PA (c. 1896 and 1898). The next surviving child, born c. 1904, is listed as born in Illinois, so they moved from Poland to Philadelphia c. 1895, and from Philadelphia to Chicago c. 1898-1904.

1910 census, Chicago Ward 5: Czeslaw Wojciechowicz, age 41, in first marriage for 16 years, of Ger-Polish birth, immigrated 1895 AI, occupation: baker in bakery store. Wife Josephine, age 36, mother of 8 of whom 7 are surviving, also of Ger-Polish birth, occupation: saleslady in bakery store. Daughter (name looks like an attempt to phonetically spell Iphigenia) Eufegenya, age 15, of Ger-Polish birth (assume this is Rose?). Son Florian, age 14, born in PA. Son Emil, age 12, born in PA. Son Ludwig, age 6, born in IL. Son Joseph, age 5, born in IL. Daughter Theresa, age 2, born in IL. Son John, 4 months, born in IL. Also in the household: Peter Podgorny, boarder, age 22, or Rus-Polish birth, immigrated 1909, baker in baker shop. (Note: I wonder if the Gorney Rose/Eufegeyna married might be a shortened version of Podgorny, as Wojchiechowicz got cut down to Howicz by some family members).

1917 draft card for Florian Wojciechowicz, born 4-18-1896 in Philadelphia, residing at illeg. Racine Ave, Chicago. Occupation: Baker at Hackell Bakery. Under reasons for exemption, where generally one lists dependents, he put, "None to support." He was tall, of medium build, with blue eyes and dark hair.

1918 draft card for Emil Wojciechowicz of 5317 Racine Ave, Chicago, age 19, born 4-5-1899. Occupation looks like L. Guard? Place: L. Road Office 61st and Calumet. Nearest relative: Mrs. Josephine Wojciechowicz, mother, or 5319 Racine (double checked, one is 5317, one is 5319). Tall and of medium build with blue eyes and brown hair.

1920 census, Chicago Ward 30, Racine Avenue: Chester, age 51, still says imm. 1895, born in Poland, baker in bake shop. Wife Josephine, age 47, immigration year 1895 instead of 1896. Son Florian, age 23, accidentally listed as born in IL, baker in bake shop. Son Emil, age 21, correctly listed as born in PA, baker in bake shop. Son Louis, age 19, born in IL, baker in bake shop (note that in 1910 there were 6 years between Emil and Ludwig, but now there are only 2. Hmm). Son Joseph, age 16 (another gap shift), born in IL. Daughter "Thresa" age 12, born in IL. Son John, age 10, born in IL. And son Steve, age 5, born in IL.

Lake County Marriage records (Lake County is home of Crown Point, where many a Wachdorf slipped off to get married, though no one seems to recall if it was because you didn't need parental consent or you didn't need a blood test) show Florian Wojciechowicz marrying Anna Siebert on 8-12-1920.

1930 census, Chicago (ancestry.com had this transcribed as Wajcischowicz) Chester, 61, married at 26, born in Poland, baker in bakery retail industry. Wife Josephine, age 56, married at age 21, born in Poland. Daughter "Theresia" age 22, single, born in IL, bookkeeper in radio industry. Son John, 20, single, no occupation. Son Steven, 18, salesman in real estate industry (note Steven was 5 in 1920, but 18 now. 13 yrs. Hmm). Also 1930 Cicero IL: Emil "Howicz" age 31, married at 25, born in PA of parents born in Poland, baker in bake shop. Wife Helen P, age 25, married at 19, born in IL of parents born in Poland, bookkeeper in office. Daughter Loretta, age 4 years 8 months, born in IL. Also 1930: Louis Wojciechowicz, age 27, married at 25, born in IL of parents born in Poland, baker in bake shop. Wife Martha, age 22, married at 20, born in IL of parents born in Poland. Son Lawrence, age 1 year and 10 months, born in IL.

Social Security Death Index has Emil "Howicz" born 4-5-1899, died Nov. 1972, Chicago.

Postings on Rootsweb to Wojciechowicz page indicate Steve Howicz's brother Joseph married to Charlotte, John married to Kay.

Janet Wojciechowicz (Steve's daughter) adds to this information, "Uncle Lou had his own bakery in Forest Park, IL for many years. That is where they lived and Lawrence, their only son, grew up and married and may still own the family house. He married and had 5 children. Uncle Joe and Aunt Charlotte had two boys who still live in and around Chicago somewhere."

Wojciechowicz family lore also says that the Chicago Wojciechowicz family was in some way related to an archbishop of Philadelphia. A list of famous Polish Americans gives one Philadelphia Archbishop of Polish descent--John Cardinal Krol, born in 1910 in Cleveland to John Krol and Anna Pietruska. He was archbishop of Philadelphia from 1961 to 1988. It's possible that the Wojciechowicz-connected Archbishop is not of apparent Polish descent (just a Polish wife somewhere in the tree) and so this could be the wrong Archbishop. Anyone out there know which Archbishop was related to the Wojciechowicz family and how?

Steve's siblings: c.1895-Eufegeyna/Rose (Gorney); 4-18-1896-Florian (spouse Anna Siebert?); 4-5-1899-Emil (spouse Helen?); c.1904 Ludwig/Louis (spouse Martha, then Ann); c.1905-Joseph (spouse Charlotte); c. 1908-Theresa (Zabrowski); 1910-John Sylvester (spouse Kay)