Friday, January 24, 2014

Wasosz Poland: Ancestral Village of the Monkowski-Markin Family

Monument to Jews killed by the Nazis in Szczuczyn, in Jewish Waldheim Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois.  My husband's grandparents and several other relatives were members of this organization.  Abraham and Rose Krause (my husband's maternal grandparents) are buried near this monument.
My husband's maternal grandmother's family, the Monkovskis,  came from a small town in Northeast Poland called Stuchin, or Szczuczyn in Polish.  After doing some research and obtaining famiily records from Jose Gutstein, of  I found that they actually came from the small village of Wasosz, which is about 3.5 miles south of Stuchin.  When they immigrated to Chicago, they formed a landsmanshaftn, a group of people who came from the area around Stuchin, called the Stuchiner Social Society.  One of the things that they did was to buy a section in Jewish Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois, where they could be buried with people from their home villages.  They also raised money for a monument in remembrance of the Jews of Stuchin who were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Map of Northeastern Poland, showing the town of Wasosz.  It is located northeast of Warsaw,  3.5 miles SE of  Szczuczyn, and 45 miles NW of Bialystok, and was the home of many Monkovski ancestors. Today, it has a population of 1600.

Stuchin was established in May of 1436 by the Polish Prince Wladyslaw.  It became part of Russia as as result of the partitions of Poland during the rule of the Russian Tsarina, Catherine the Great. In 1897, Stuchin had a population of about 5000 and a Jewish population of about 3,336, about 66% of the total.  After World War II, the Jewish population of Stuchin was zero. Most of the Jews in the Stuchin area were tradesmen or merchants. The most common trades were shoe making and tailoring.  Members of the extended Monkowski family included tailors, shoemakers and glaziers. Others worked as laborers.

Farms in the

area of Wasosz, Poland

Typical street in Razilow, a town neighboring Wasosz and Stuchin. I included this picture, since I couldn't find any pictures of places of the town of Wasosz.