Jan Papierkiewicz (1880-1917) and Anastazia Beatrice Siwinska (1891-1977)


Jan Papierkiewicz was born in Zgagowo, near Sierpc, Poland, and died in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Anastazia Beatrice Siwinska was born in Nerberg, Poland, and died in Waterbury, Connecticut.  They married in Zawidz, Poland, in 1907.

Jan's parents: Józef Papierkiewicz (1849-?) and Rozalia Dąbrowska (1845-?)

Anastazia's parents: Józef Siwiński and Theophilia Sirochinska


Children of Jan and Anastazia:


US Census records:

  • 1920, 77 Chittenden St., Duryea, Pennsylvania; Anastazia, her second husband Edward Nawrocki, her four children, and his three children in the household; Anastazia is listed as "Nesti".
  • 1930, 77 Chittenden St., Duryea, Pennsylvania; Anastazia, Edward Nawrocki, and eight children in the household.
  • 1940, 77 Chittenden St., Duryea, Pennsylvania; Anastazia, Edward Nawrocki, and four children in the household.


Jan and Anastazia were married at the St. Martin church in Zawidz, Poland, in 1907.  According to the marriage record, Jan was "a reservist discharged from the army," and he resided in Żabowo, "working as a peasant."


In 1911 Jan and his older brother Antoni left Poland and came to America, settling in Duryea, Pennsylvania, where they found employment as coal miners.  Their families came later.  Anastazia and daughter Sabina sailed on the Rotterdam, departing July 26, 1913, from Rotterdam, The Netherlands and arriving August 4, 1913, at Ellis Island, New York.  They are listed as Polish, but citizens of Russia, from the town of Żabowo, Płock, Poland (at that time part of Russia).  Anastazia arrived with $12 in her possession, is listed as 4'11" in height, and headed to husband Jan in Duryea who paid for her passage.  This was one year after Titanic.  The Rotterdam was a large ship holding 3,575 passengers.

Jan and Anastazia with daughter Sabina, circa 1913
2019 photo of the St. Martin church in Zawidz where Jan and Anastazia Papierkiewicz were married in 1907.
On April 25, 1917, Jan was fatally injured by a "premature blast" inside the Hallstead Colliery coal mine (pictured here).  He was taken to a hospital in Scranton where he died.  At the time, Anastazia was pregnant with their fourth child, Sophie.  Coal production in Pennsylvania reached its peak in 1917 when more than 100 million tons were mined from underground operations near Duryea.  Ninety percent of Polish workers in the region were engaged in mining and processing coal, and there were more than 500 deaths per year in the coal mines.

After her husband's death and with four children to care for, Anastazia worked by caring for people during the influenza epidemic of 1918.  Wladyslaw "Edward" Nawrocki's wife, Josephine Ostrowski, died from influenza at this time.  Anastazia cared for Edward's children (Della, Gertrude, Marie, Anthony, and Louis Nawrocki) and married Edward in 1919.  They had four more children born in the 1920s (Henrietta, Cassie, Johnny, and Joseph Nawrocki).  Edward was also a coal miner and suffered from black lung disease.  He died in 1940 at the age of 58.

Anastazia had a brother Zygmunt who served as a Private in the US Army during World War I and was killed in action.  He listed her as his beneficiary in a life insurance policy, and the money from the policy greatly helped Anastazia's family during hard times.
Zygmunt headed overseas in June 1918 as a member of Company B of the 145th Infantry.  He was killed on September 26, 1918, in France by the concussion of a shell.  It was the first day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest offensive in US military history involving 1.2 million American soldiers.  He was one of more than 26,000 American soldiers who lost their life in the battle.
This is Zygmunt's gravestone at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France.
Sometime between 1920 and 1927, Antoni and his family moved from Duryea to Detroit, Michigan, where Antoni died in 1927.  Anastazia did not want her daughter Sabina to stay in Duryea where her future husband would likely be a coal miner, so she sent her to Detroit to attend Antoni’s funeral.  Sabina initially lived with cousins in Detroit and then moved into the home of Helen Gutowski, a sister of Sabina's future husband, Harry John Good.
Anastazia and Sabina are pictured here, circa 1927.
Jan and Anastazia are buried in the Holy Rosary Church Cemetery in Duryea.