Ignacy (James) Smolinski

Polish immigrants arrived in droves between 1890 and the start of World War I in 1914. It is estimated that more than four million Poles — out of a population of 22 million — emigrated to the United States during that period.

My grandparents, Helena Kalinowski married Boleslaw Smolinski in 1902 in Kolno, a city in a part of Poland under Russian control from the late 1700s until the end of World War 1. They were teenagers. He left for America soon after the wedding, she followed a year later.

My grandfather's name, in Polish, appears as Smolnik or Smolnek. My grandmother's maiden name was Kalinowska, though others from the same family who settled in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, had a variety of spellings, including Kalinowski, Kalinoski andKalinowsky. I once saw my grandmother's name written as Kalinowskich.

Helena and Boleslaw were reunited in New Jersey where their first child, Wanda, was born in 1904. For reasons unknown, they returned to Kolno in 1905 and remained there until their second child, Boleslaw, was born in 1906. Then they sailed again to the United States and settled in Solvay, New York, just outside of Syracuse. Two of Boleslaw's brothers, Ignacy (or Ignatz) and Joseph soon followed. So did Stanley and Rosa Smolinski, listed in the 1910 census as the parents of Boleslaw, Ignacy and Joseph.

That census shows ten Smolinskis living at 319 Second Street, Solvay: Boleslaw, 26; Helen, 24: and their children, Wanda, 5; Boleslaw Jr., 4; Helen, 2, and Edward, three months; Stanley, 56; Rosa, 45; Ignacy, 22, and Joseph, 20. (According to the census, the household also included a boarder, Peter Naja, 23, a native of Russia-Poland.)

While Joseph (aka Josef) joined the army, and Boleslaw left his family and settled elsewhere around Binghamton, Ignacy (or Ignatz) Smolinski remained in Solvay and became known as James. However, when he applied for citizenship in 1917, he apparently had to use the name that appeared on his birth certificate — Ignacy Smolnik.

The 1920 United States census has him married to Iadwiga Basceska (Baczewski), but this was an incorrect transcription of a first name that was difficult to read. Her first name most likely was Jadwiga, translated as Hedwig or Hattie. (Jadwiga is pronounced as though it is spelled Iadwiga.)

In the 1930 census Mrs. Smolinski's first name is listed as Agness, the same first name the couple gave their third daughter, who was born in 1918. (I assume this spelling was incorrect and that Agnes, with one S, is preferred.)

Ignacy and Iadwiga Smolinski — aka James and Agnes Smolinski — and their five daughters, Helen, Jennie, Agnes, Ann and Dorothy, lived at 301 Center Street, a few blocks west of where the Smolinski brothers had lived after they arrived in Solvay. My grandmother moved a few blocks in the other direction, to Summit Avenue, atop a hill a short distance from the main entrance to the Solvay Process factory.

Ignacy (James) Smolinski

Ignacy (James) Smolinski (1888-1967) m. Jadwiga (Agnes) Baczewski (1889-1977).

An obituary in the Syracuse Herald-Journal (July 21, 1941) for Mrs. Mary Baczewski, widow of Joseph Baczewski, identified the deceased as the mother of Mrs. Ignatius Smolinski of 301 Center Street, Solvay. She also was survived by a son, Walter Baczewski, also of Solvay.

On February 3, 1942 the Herald-Journal carried an obit for Stanley Baczewski, a native of Poland who worked as a moulder at the Pierce-Butler Radiator Corporation. He lived in Syracuse and was survived by his wife, Antonia, and three sons – Chester, John and Edward Baczewski. At the time John was a private in the U.S. Army.

Also listed as survivors were a sister, Mrs. Jadwiga Smolinski, and a brother, Walter Baczewski, both of Solvay. I'm assuming Stanley Baczewski also was a son of Joseph and Mary Baczewski and that the omission of his name from the list of his mother's survivors was an oversight.

The 1930 U. S. Census listed James and Agness Smolinski living in Solvay with five daughters. I'm listing them below in hopes members of their families will verify and elaborate or correct my information. (One of the daughters also was listed as Agness, with two S's. I have found other online references which list the daughter's first name as Agnes, with the usual spelling; that is, one S.)

Helen Smolinski (1913-2009) m. Adolph S. Podolak (1913-1962). Her obituary said she had worked at Onondaga Pottery, General Electric and Edwards & Son department store.

Rosalie Podolak m. George Oberlender

Suzanne Podolak m. Richard Greene

Jennie Smolinski (1915-1983) m. Martin Kuss (1910-1988). They were married in 1942. Martin Kuss retired from Crucible Steel where he had worked for 35 years. His Herald-Journal obituary said he was survived by three sisters, Dorothy King, Ann Kuss and Martha Flum.

Agnes Smolinski (1918-1986) m. George E. DuBosh Sr. (1909-1996). They had twins:

Georgette DuBosh m. Thomas Maksym

George E. DuBosh Jr.

Ann Smolinski (1922-1993) m. Warner Lang (1913-1995)
Ann S. Lang retired from the New York Telephone Company. Warner Lang was a native of Berlin, Germany; he lived in the Syracuse area 62 years and was a meat cutter 34 years with American Stores and Acme Supermarkets.

Dorothy Smolinski (1926-2015) lived for many years in Camillus. She retired in 1982 after 38 years with the New York Telephone Company.


Syracuse Journal, March 12, 1931
Aged Solvay Woman Gone
From Home Three Days

Missing from home three days, Syracuse and Solvay police are searching for Mrs. Mary Baczewski, 83, of 301 Center Street, Solvay.

The aged woman left home early Tuesday morning, according to her daughter, Mrs. Agnes Smolinski, and was last week walking in Avery Avenue.

Mrs. Smolinski left her mother at home to take care of her daughter, Dorothy Smolinski, 5, while she went to a nearby grocery story Tuesday.

On returning she found Dorothy crying, and asking what the trouble was, she sobbed, “Grandma's gone.” Hasty search of the house and a check with nearby neighbors revealed little information.

According to the daughter, Mrs. Baczewski came to this country from Poland 18 years ago, making her home in Syracuse. Two years ago she went to Loretta Rest and a week ago today the daughter persuaded her to make her home with her. The mother seemed contented, she said, and was in a happy frame of mind.

When last seen she wore a black coat with a white shawl pulled over her head in place of a hat. She has gray hair and is about five feet two inches in height.


Syracuse Journal, March 13, 1931
Woman, 83, Located After Three Days
Reported missing from home since Tuesday, Mrs. Mary Baczewski, 83, of 301 Center Street, Solvay, was located Thursday at Loretta Rest, where she had lived for two years until a week ago

Officials at the home informed her daughter, Mrs. Agnes Smolinski, where the mother was after reading of her disappearance in Syracuse papers.

Mrs. Baczewski left the Center Street home early in the morning when her daughter stepped out for several minutes. It was late in the afternoon when she arrived at Loretta Rest, tired after the walk of seven miles to the home.


Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 21, 1941
Mrs. Mary Baczewski, widow of Joseph Baczewski, died Monday morning at Loretto Rest. A native of Poland, she lived in Syracuse 27 years. She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Ignatius Smolinski, and a son, Walter Baczewski of Solvay.

However,on February 3, 1942, the Herald-Journal published an obituary that indicated Mrs. Baczewski had another son. His name was Stanley Baczewski, a native of Poland who lived in Syracuse for 30 years. The story said he'd been a moulder at the Pierce-Butler Radiator Corporation. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Antonia Baczewski; three sons, Chester, Pvt. John and Edward Baczewski; a sister, Mrs. Jadwiga Smolinski of Solvay, and a brother, Walter Baczewski of Solvay.

Syracuse Post-Standard, April 29, 1962
Adolph S. Podolak, 48, a foreman at Onondaga Pottery Company and a widely known semi-professional baseball player here in the 1930s, died yesterday of a heart attack at his home, 107 Doll Parkway.

Known as “Bingo” Podolak, he played second base for the East Side Falcons Club in the old Post-Standard League.

He was active in baseball and golf in the Industrial League, bowling in the Greater Syracuse League, and in the Gale Athletic Club. He was a member of the Industrial Management Club and of the Research Institute of America.

Mr. Podolak was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and lived here 40 years.

Survived by his wife. Mrs. Helen J. Podolak; two daughters. Miss Rosalie Ann and Miss Suzanne Podolak; two brothers. Frank and Joseph Podolak; five sisters, Mrs. Alexander Krakuszewski, Mrs. Antony Karpinski, Mrs. Robert Rafka. Mrs. Joseph Matkowski and Mrs. Thadeus Orzel; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were at the Labaca Funeral Home and Transfiguration Church. Burial was at Sacred Heart Cemetery.

Syracuse Post-Standard, June 2, 1963
Married yesterday in Transfiguration Church were Miss Rosalie Ann Podolak and George William Oberlender.

Bride is the daughter of Mrs. Adolph S. Podolak of 107 Doll Parkway and the late Mr. Podolak. The bridegroom is the son of Mrs. Donald B. Oberlender of Marcellus and the late Mr. Oberlender.

In wedding party: Miss Mary Frances Oberlender, sister of the bridegroom was maid of honor; Mark Oberlender, brother of the groom, was an usher.
Syracuse Post-Standard, August 18, 1963
Married yesterday in St. Matthew’s Church, East Syracuse, were Miss Suzanne Podolak and Richard Arthur Greene.

Bride is the daughter of Mrs. Adolph S. Podolak of 107 Doll Parkway and the late Mr. Podolak. The bridegroom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur A. Greene of 220 Roby Avenue, East Syracuse.
Syracuse Post Standard, February 24, 2009
Helen J. Podolak, 96, of Auburn, passed away peacefully Monday morning. Although she enjoyed being a homemaker, she had been previously employed by Onondaga Pottery, General Electric and E. W. Edwards & Sons.

She was a communicant of Transfiguration Church. Helen was predeceased by her husband, Adolph S. Podolak, in 1962.
Survivors: two daughters, Rosalie (George) Oberlender and Suzanne (Richard) Greene; one sister, Dorothy M. Smolinski; a niece, Georgette Maksym; a nephew, George DuBosh; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren

Services were held at Giminski-Wysocki Funeral Home and Transfiguration Church. Interment was in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Geddes.