Cetnarski and Ptak Family Page

On June 12, 1917, Francis Cetnarski and Mary Ptak were married in St. Stanislaus Church in Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut.

Wedding group portrait, June 12, 1917. Bottom row, from left: Ann Dulski, Catherine Dulski (right behind sister Ann); Mary Cetnarski, Frank Cetnarski, Mary Ptak, Paul Ptak, Julia Fajdasz (married name). Back row, from left: Steve Ptak, Agnes Nadalska Brys, John Paul Syniec, unknown woman, unknown man, unknown woman.


Both Frank Cetnarski and Mary Ptak were immigrants who were no doubt looking for better opportunities. Both were the firstborn in their families. Both were ethnic Poles born in towns just a few miles apart in the Galicia region of Austria in what is now Poland and what had been Poland until 1772. Galicia, which is located in the south-eastern part of Poland, was annexed by Austria in 1772 as part of what historians call the First Partition of Poland. In 1795 Poland ceased to exist entirely when what remained of Poland was annexed by Austria, Prussia, and Russia in the Third Partition. Poland did not exist as a nation between 1795 and 1918. Nationhood was restored in 1918. Thus Galician immigrants are shown as being born in Austria in records before 1918 and as being born in Poland in records after 1918.

Frank Cetnarski

Franciszek Cetnarski was born in Przewrotne, Rzeszów Province on September 10, 1894. His father, Michal (Michael) Cetnarski, was born in nearby Widełka. In 1893 Michal married Aniela (Angela) Pomykala from Przewrotne, and they reared their family in Przewrotne, living at house number 268. In 1883, there were 368 houses in the village and 1,933 inhabitants.

Francis arrived at Ellis Island in New York City on June 12, 1913 on the S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. According to the ship's passenger list, his final destination was New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut, where Mary Pomykala, a cousin, lived. By 1916 his name began appearing in the Meriden, Connecticut city directory.

In the 1920 Federal census, Frank is listed as a driller at a factory. In the 1930 Federal census, his occupation was grinder in a factory. His death certificate in 1952 gives his occupation as a boiler attendant in a factory.

He must have saved his money well because by 1920 he had purchased a house (valued at $4000 in 1930) at 52 Merriam Street in Meriden. He and his wife had five children: Paul, Angela, Ann, Louise, and Veronica.

He became a US citizen on November 23, 1943. His son Paul enlisted in the US Army in WWII, and his daughter Louise served as a Wave.

One of Frank's sisters, Mary (1896-1952), also immigrated to the US before 1917. She married Frank Bigdon, from Widełka, around 1924. By 1930 they were living in Rutland, Vermont. She died in Center Rutland, Vermont on January 26, 1972. Frank Bigdon died there in September 1976. They had no children.

Frank Cetnarski and his sister Mary were cousins of either Stephen Joseph Pomykała (1870s-1949) or his wife Mary Orzech (1880s-1918), who lived in New Milford, Litchfield Co., Connecticut.

Frank Cetnarski's parents were Michal Cetnarski (September 12, 1865-December 26, 1929) and Aniela Pomykala (December 12, 1875-August 7, 1929), daughter of Bartlomiej Pomykala and Malgorzata Pyrcz. They married on February 8, 1893. They lived in Przewrotne village in house number 268. They had the following children:

  1. Franciszek, born September 10, 1894.
  2. Marianna, born September 23, 1896.
  3. Anna, born May 12, 1899. She married Szczepan Bialek on 28 May 1923.
  4. Katarzyna, born May 25, 1902. She married on 15 February 1927 to Piotr and she died on 4 March 1929.
  5. Jan, born December 25, 1904.
  6. Stanislaw, born June 1, 1907. He married Apolonia Kadziela.
  7. Walenty, born July 26, 1909 and died June 1, 1929.
  8. Jozef, born March 13, 1913 and died March 8, 1917.
  9. 9. Jozefa, born September 17, 1915.
  10. 10. Zofia, born April 15, 1918 and died February 20, 1928.

Frank Cetnarski's paternal grandparents were Andrzej Cetnarski (son of Franciszek Cetnarski and Agnes Zabczyk) and Zuzanna Letanska (daughter of Marcin Letanski and Zofia Godek). They married on January 24, 1865 and lived in Przewrotne in house number 243. Andrzej Cetnarski died on February 5, 1871 in Widelka.

Their children were:

  1. Michal, born September 13, 1865 Godparents: Stanislaw Salata, Katarzyna Salata
  2. Jadwiga, born October 30, 1867 Godparents: Tomasz Salata, Marianna Salata
  3. Wojciech, born April 17, 1869 Godparents: Wojciech Gil, Rosalia Liszcz

Mary Ptak

Maria Ptak was born in Widełka, Rzeszów Province on January 14, 1888. She was the daughter of Adam Ptak and Ludwika Syniec. Around 1893, Widełka had 398 houses and 2617 inhabitants. Mary's immigration records have not yet been located, but Franks’s Petition for Naturalization states that she entered at New York, New York in February 1909. The 1930 Federal Census gives her year of immigration as 1910.

Mary's brother Steve also immigrated to Connecticut. He married Annie Surowiec on May 28, 1919 in Derby. He died on January 17, 1942. His wife died in Derby on April 13, 1965.

Mary Ptak's first cousin John Paul Syniec (1893-1980), also from Widełka, immigrated to Connecticut around 1914. He was the son of Antoni Syniec (brother of Ludwika Syniec) and Salomea Koenig. He married Anna Brutz, and they lived in New Milford, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. He died in New Milford on December 10, 1980.

Paul P. Ptak (1893-1972), a first cousin also from Widełka, immigrated to Connecticut around 1913. He was the son of Wojciech Ptak (brother of Adam Ptak) and Mary Golema. He married Caroline Korzen, and they lived in Brookfield, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. He died in Danbury, Fairfield Co., Connecticut on March 3, 1972.

Click here to view Obituaries and Notices for many of these people.

Genealogy Reports

The following surnames are included in the ancestral charts for Frank Cetnarski and Mary Ptak.

Bujak Kleczek Pyrc/Pyrcz
Cetnarski Krolowna Ryczek
Chrusciel Letanski Stosak
Dobek Pacyna Sycha
Gil Patek Syniec
Godak Pipala Tapala
Golkow Pitak Tereba
Gut Ploch Wilk
Jarochowicz Pomykala/Pomykała  
Jaskot Ptak  

Some of the lines are traced back to the mid-1700s.

Ancestry tree for Mary Ptak (1888-1956) (PDF) - Updated: 2004

Ancestry tree for Frank Cetnarski (1894-1952) (PDF) - Updated: 2004

Family Group Sheet for Frank Cetnarski (1894-1952) and Mary Ptak (1888-1952) (PDF) - Updated: 2010

Ancestry tree for Louise Cetnarski (1923-1910) (PDF) - Updated: 2010


Cetnarski/Ptak family photographs

Przewrotne photographs

Some Other Sites of Interest

Polish Genealogical Society of America

Iwona Dakiniewicz, Polish researcher

Research Information

I would like to thank Iwona Dakiniewicz, a Polish researcher affiliated with the Polish Genealogical Society of America, who researched the Widelka parish records for the Ptaks and related families and also researched some of the information from Przewrotne. The Roman Catholic birth, death, and marriage records for Przewrotne parish, from 1784 to 1867 are available on microfilm from the Church of Latter-Day Saints (FHL INTL Film 766043 and Film 766044).

Email Bill Cash with questions or comments about this website or to provide information.

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Last modified: January 24, 2016.