Frank Zalewski Sr migrated from Poland to United States.
The photo of Frank and his family was one of the first photos I had ever seen of my distant ancestors before I got into genealogy. For whatever reason, maybe since it's my surname line, I've always prioritized research on him and his family. This line has always been my shortest and toughest to research. Only recently did I break down the wall between Frank and his parents.
1858 Frank is recorded to have been born on 4 Oct 1858 to Michael Zalewski and Anna Muschowska in what was then Krotoschin, Krotoschin, Posen, Prussia, Germany. Today, it is Krotoszyny, Biskupiec, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Poland.
1884 On 2 Nov 1884, Frank marries Anna Lindner in nearby Schwenten, Graduenz, West Prussia, Germany (now called Święte, Gmina Łasin, Grudziądz County, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland). Frank was living in the town next door named Gottschalk (Goczałki today.)
1885 Frank & Anna's first child, a daughter named Martha, was baptized in Schwenten on 12 Sep 1885. Two more daughters followed in Schwenten in 1887 and 1889.
1889 The family, including 3 young children, left Prussia sometime in late 1889, for reasons unknown at this time, and arrived in Baltimore on 23 Nov 1889. They traveled from the German port of Bremen on the SS Weser. Around this time, it is assumed that the couple's third child, Elisabeth, passes away as she is never found in another record.
1892 This is the first recorded date of the family living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Not much is known about their time between 1889 and 1892. Some stories say they stopped in Ohio, Chicago, and even Nebraska, but not records have been found to prove that. The family is living at 902 Pulaski Street on the city's northeast side. Frank is listed as a tanner, which was a common profession for both Milwaukee and its immigrants. This is also the directory that we first find Jacob Zalewski, who is now all but confirmed to be Frank's brother.
1892 On a Philadelphia passenger manifest for the family group of Joseph Goralski, it mentions they are coming to visit their nephew Franz Zaleski at 902 Pulaski St. This has added a bit of a mystery to how exactly these families are connected. The last section on this profile talks more about it.
1893-1896 The Frank Zalewski family is still living at 902 Pulaski St. He is listed as a general laborer.
1897-1898 Frank is still living at 902 Pulaski St, but now he is once again listed as a tanner. I assume he was a tanner since 1893.
1899 The family has now moved slightly west and north to 900 Fratney St. The family will live here for many years taking advantage of Milwaukee's common Polish Flat housing concept. Frank is listed as a laborer.
1900 This is the first US census that Frank and his family appear in. They are still at 900 Fratney St. Frank is aged 39 and working as a day laborer. The family lives with three other families in the house, including the Stanislaw Kubczak and Frank Piatkowski families. Frank Piatkowski's wife, Katharina, is Anna's sister.
1906 Frank's name is found in a book titled Twelfth Annual Report of the Board of City Service Commissioners of the City of Milwaukee. He is listed as part of the Appointments in the Labor Service During the Year 1906 in the Parks Department. It says he was working at Lake Park in Milwaukee which is on the shore with Lake Michigan.
1910 Frank and his family are still at 900 Fratney in the 1910 census and still a laborer. This where the "Ohio" possibility was seen as it lists their 4th child Mary as being born in Ohio in 1892.
1920 By this time, all of the couple's children have moved out of the house and only the youngest son, Frank Jr., is still there at 900 Fratnet St. Though, their daughter Frances (Cybela) and her family are also living in the same building.
1930 The family has now moved to 1008 Buffum St, which is close to their previous location. It lists Frank as now retired at 71 years old. Two other families also live in this building, including Frank's youngest daughter Agnes (Walczak) and her family. 
1937 There are listed in the 1937 Milwaukee City Directory at 2630 Buffum St which is the new address after the city overhauled the addressing system in 1931.
1939 On 11 Apr 1939, Frank's wife Anna passes away at the age of 73.
1940 Frank is listed in his final US census record living with his son, Frank Jr. and his wife at 2630 Buffum St.
1941 On 8 Aug 1941, Frank passes away from natural causes and presumably old age at 82. He is buried with his wife and son Frank Jr. at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.
There is some sort of connection between this family and the GWIAZDOWSKI/GORALSKI family.
Joseph GORALSKI is located in the Milwaukee US Census records (1900-1930), he is shown living with his wife, Marianna, and in-laws in the same area as Frank. His in-laws are listed as August & Anna GWIAZDOWSKI. Using the information in these records (immigration, birth, etc) I found this same group in a Philadelphia passenger list for December 1892. In the notes for this group of people it says, “Visitors. Nephew Franz Zaleski at 902 Pulaski St.” (where Frank lived at the time.)
This information all put together makes either August or Anna GWIAZDOWSKI Frank’s blood uncle or aunt, respectively, as he is listed as their nephew.
Marianna is buried near her husband Joseph and Mr. and Mrs. August GWIAZDOWSKI. She is also buried in the same plot as some of the Jacob ZALEWSKI family, Frank's brother.
Marianna’s obituary is located in the Milwaukee Journal on April 2, 1940 which includes the line “…also survived by 1 brother, Frank Zalewski…” Then, I started doing the math.. How can Mary be Frank’s brother if there is no way, under normal circumstances, that she would ever have the last name of ZALEWSKI? She was a GORALSKI when she was married and according to the other documents, her parent’s last name was GWIAZDOWSKI. How does that work?
Then I thought, maybe it’s not that Frank Zalewski, but another Frank. So, Mary would be my Frank’s cousin. That makes sense logically and follows the info in the passenger list, but again it doesn't solve the name issue. The only way I was able to solve the surname issue was assuming that Anna is Mary’s real mother and August is her step-dad. Maybe Anna’s first husband (Mary’s father) passed away and she re-married before travelling to the US? I'd love to solve this riddle.
↑ 1.01.1 Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland Archiwum Państwowe w Toruniu, "Urzędy stanu cywilnego, Rejestry główne," civil vital records, Genealogy In Archive (https://goo.gl/1GnV36 : accessed 6 April 2017), Marriage; Franz Zalewski & Anne Lindner; 2 Nov 1884; Schwenten; Record #8.
↑ Katholische Kirche Schwenten (Święte, Grudziądz County, Poland), Taufen, Hieraten, Marriages, 1884, Franz Salewski & Anna Lindner, 2 Nov 1884; FHL microfilm 72741.
↑ Katholische Kirche Schwenten (Święte, Grudziądz County, Poland), Taufen, Hieraten, Baptisms, 1885, Martha Salewski, 12 Sep 1885; FHL microfilm 72741.
↑ The Generations Network, Inc., compiler, Balitmore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 (Ancestry.com: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006), November 1889 - Ship Weser - Page 5 of 8.
↑ 5.05.1 "Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 20 May 2009), Steamship Pennsylvania (December 1892).
↑ 1900 U.S. Census, federal, pop. sch., Ward 14, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin, ED 113, Sheet 17B, h.215 f.312, Frank Zalewski.
↑ 1910 US Census, federal, pop. sch., Ward 13, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin, ED 133, Sheet 12B, H.176 F.251, Frank J Zalewski.
↑ 1920 U.S. Census, federal, pop. sch., Ward 13, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin, ED 157, Sheet 22B, H. 144 F. 441, Frank Zalewski.
↑ 1930 US Census, federal, pop. sch., Ward 13, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin, ED 40-156, Sheet 1A, H. 6 F. 8, Frank Zalewski.
↑ Obituary, Anna Zalewski, The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 12 April 1939.
↑ 1940 U.S. Census, federal, pop. sch., Ward 13, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ED 72-288, Sheet 8A, Household 172, Frank Zalewski.
↑ Obituary, Frank Zalewski, The Milwaukee Journal, 9 Aug 1941
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Frank by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: