Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bartholomew And John Golgoski

In my ongoing efforts to try and find out where my Polish ancestors actually came from, I've decided to make a blog post about them to see if anybody, anywhere might have a valuable lead for me. I have been working on this line of my family for almost 20 years. I have discovered a lot of information, but not enough to tell me where they actually came from.
Bartholomew Golgoski or as he was known when he was born in Poland, Bartłomiej Gałkowski, was born in September 1810. (I have the following picture in my possession. I have seen this photo tagged on the internet incorrectly identifying him as John Golgoski.) Bartłomiej is Bartholomew's Polish given name (pronounced: bahr-TWAWM-yay). Bartholomaeus is the Latin equivalent as he would be found on Catholic church records. Gałkowski is his Polish surname. Golgoski is an Americanized spelling derivation. Sometimes it is spelled as Golgosky and sometimes Golkoski on American records.
 Bartholomew lived to be at least 100 years old, 
possibly a few years older than that.
In this photo dated ~1911, which is also in my possession, he is shown with his granddaughter Tillie (Mathilda) Leopold. She later married Oscar Wolfersteig. The photo came from Tillie's daughter. She sent it to my mother. On the 1910 census from Kingston, New York, Bartholomew was shown living with four of his Leopold grandchildren because their parents Ames and Pauline Leopold both died in 1909. I have not been able to confirm whether they were his grandfather because of Ames or because Pauline was his daughter. I have been unable to locate a death record, death date or place of death for Bartholomew. Ames & Pauline are buried in Kingston very close to the Golgoski family grave.

Bartholomew is found on the Almshouse records of Ulster County in 1901 as an inpatient. He listed his place of residence prior to coming to the US as Kraków, Kraków, Poland. I have searched many of the Catholic parish records in Kraków and am unable to find any of his records there. It is possible he listed Kraków as the largest urban center close to a smaller village just to make it easier for the person writing down his hospital intake information. At that time, he listed that he had two sons John (my great grandfather) and Whattie, otherwise known as Lawrence, or sometimes known as Joe depending on what census or record one looks at. That son was known as Lawrence on the baptismal records of his children on the records of St. Peter's Church in Kingston and Joe on a census or two and on a few city directories. Don't ask me why, it's surely a mystery. He died in Schenectady in 1926. Lawrence (or Joe's) wife's name was Julia Burburi or Bulovi or Burbura, depending on what record you look at. They were married somewhere In Austria-Poland and likely came to the US with their first child somewhere between 1881-1885, again depending on what record you look at.
This is my great grandfather, John Golgoski. Again, I have the original of this picture taken from my grandmother's home. It hangs in an upstairs bedroom. I have seen this picture on the internet incorrectly identifying him as Bartholomew. Błażej is John's given Polish name (pronounced: BWAH-zhay). The Latin equivalent is Blasius as he would be found on some of the Catholic church records. Gałkowski is his Polish surname. Golgoski is a Americanized spelling derivation. He was born in (Poland?) on February 3, 1867.

On John's naturalization record, it says he came to the US in June of 1876. I have searched all the ship passenger records arriving in NYC for June of 1876 and am unable to locate him on any of those records. On the 1905 census for Kingston, John claimed that he was from Hungary. I have a handwritten document written and signed by him in my possession listing the names and birth dates of all his children. It is written in Hungarian. I had it translated. John is buried in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Kingston, New York. Family legend says that John was a Hungarian translator for a court case in Kingston at one time. It is also known that his children did not speak Polish in their home, rather some other language because when they were sent to the newly opened Polish parish school around the corner from them when it opened, they were sent home because they did not speak Polish.
This is the picture of John's wife, my great grandmother Julia. The original, taken from my grandmother's home, is also in my possession. She is a real mystery. Depending on which birth or death record of her children you look at, of which I have several in my possession, her maiden name is listed as either Michalach, Michbach, or Leopold. On the 1905 census, she listed herself as being Slavish. She was born in 1870 and apparently came to the US in 1879. Julia died in 1921. She and John were married in 1889 in Kingston.
This is my grandmother Caroline, John and Julia's daughter. She was a good woman. On one of her birth records, her last name is listed as Golden. There are so many variations of spellings and last names on the records I've collected over the years that it is difficult to ascertain why there are so many discrepancies.
 This is my dad. I'll need to find the original of this to make a better copy but he sure looks like my great grandfather.

If anyone happens upon this blog post and knows any more information than this, please use my contact button and I will happily respond to you. I have exhausted many leads and really could use some help.


  1. My father was tom golgoski he had a brother John golgoski mother Mary Ryan father Peter golgoski dob 7/13/29 from Kingston ny I love your post wish I knew more

  2. I seen pic of grave stone with only one son listed John wondering why? My father at a seperate spot at st Mary's I asked my mom and she said because John used for his wife and she my father tom golgoski died in 1989 she had to get anouther

  3. Maryellen, are you telling me you have or know of a picture of Bartholomew's grave? I've looked for 20 years but have never been able to locate his burial place. Please contact me back. I will see if I can send you a separate email.

  4. Also Thomas Golgoski daughter,this is crazy never knew all this

  5. Your grandfather John was our dad's uncle

  6. I'm trying to figure out to up load a photo of my father for you believe it's from 1938

  7. I'm trying to figure out to up load a photo of my father for you believe it's from 1938

  8. No I am so sorry I confused you! I was referring to my father parents grave stone Peter and Mary and only one son john being listed. Again sorry! And we thought this was so fascinating and wish we knew more. My sister Sandie liverman (golgoski) said it correct

  9. Hi again, if you don't mind, please fill out the contact form on the left menu. That way I can email you back directly. I try to keep my email address private on this blog. It will be a more efficient way to communicate with you. Liz

  10. Also I have since found out that my great grandmother Julia was indeed a Michalec. DNA tests through Ancestry allow me to pinpoint her family from a very small village in southern Poland called Sowina.

  11. I continue to do research on this Golgoski line, but they remain elusive. I will track them down one day. Does anyone in your family know if Peter left any documents somewhere perhaps in a box in someone's attic that might provide more clues? That would help me a lot. I have since seen Lawrence Golgoski's name written on one of the census records as Lawrence J. Golgoski. That solves the mystery of Lawrence vs. Joe. I suspect his full name was Lawrence Joseph Golgoski. They relocated to Schenectady. His wife was from Hungary, I have located that town in northeastern Hungary. It turns out that the people of very southern Poland and northeastern Hungary lived in an area where it was common to speak Slavish or Hungarian. If I could find the Golgoski place of birth, I would be able to solve this mystery once and for all. One day I will. In the meantime if any descendants of Peter or any other Golgoski family member have any pictures or documents of Bartholomew, John, or Lawrence Golgloski, PLEASE contact me and I will sort them out and share with the whole family. Thanks so much. Liz