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Dave Plonka
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Plonka Ancestry

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If you have additional information about any Plonka ancestors, please send it to me. Also, if you wish to help other Plonkas put the pieces of their past together, let me know and I'll gladly add your information to this web site.
Dave Plonka
PLONKA at DOIT dot WISC dot EDU


Plonka Ancestry
        Dave Plonka, contributed 2002-DEC-27

Dave Plonka, contributed 2002-DEC-27

Like many people, I know relatively little about my ancestors. My family immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My grandparents manufactured candy. They first worked for a manufacturer, then later ran their own small family operation. Ultimately, they acquired a number of lots and residences in St. Francis (Milwaukee) for candy making, and to house family and renters. I've put together an abbreviated form of my family tree below.

Not that this is news to anyone, our name appears to be Polish. While some seem to think all Polish names must end in "-ski", I think we can say conclusively that Plonka is not a shortened or changed name. There are many Plonkas in the "old country" today. For some more information about the name itself and possible origins, see the Plonka Trivia page.

Unfortunately, Poland has had a very turbulant history. Its borders have changed many times, it has gone out-of and come back into existence, and has suffered numerous economic problems. All these factors have contributed to the dispersion of Plonkas to other countries. Based on what I've seen on the World-Wide Web and in personal contacts by email, there are currently many Plonkas in both Poland and Germany.

Here's my lineage on the Plonka side of the family:

AncestorBornMarriedDied
Martin Plonka b. 1873
Poland
m. 1901
Apolonia Kazmerciak
d. 1909
Germany
Stephen Plonka
SSN 393-22-4270
b. 1903-AUG-27
Berlin, Germany
m. 1929-JUL-15
Apolonia Bednarowski
SSN 397-44-3271
d. 1961-JUL-10
Milwaukee, WI
Eugene (Richard) Plonka b. 1930-JUL-11
Town of Lake (Milwaukee), WI
m.
Living
d. 1991-SEP-22
Milwaukee, WI
David Plonka b. 1969    
The emphasized entries or those saying Living are deliberately vague for the privacy of living persons.

Stephen Plonka and wife Apolonia (Milwaukee) Eugene Plonka (Northern Wisconsin) Eugene's wife (high school) Eugene Plonka (Korean War, New Jersey) Gerald Plonka (Eugene's brother, Korean War) '57 Chevy (Eugene's?)
Stephen Plonka and wife Apolonia (Milwaukee) Eugene Plonka (Northern Wisconsin) Eugene's wife (high school) Eugene Plonka (Korean War, New Jersey) Gerald Plonka (Eugene's brother, Korean War) '57 Chevy (Eugene's?)

Based on records from Ellis Island, Stefan Plonka (my grandfather) arrived in the U.S. on August 4, 1910 aboard the S.S. President Lincoln. The ship appears to have left from Hamburg, Germany on July 22 or 23. He was traveling with his mother, named Apolosnia (sic) Sokolka, aged 32 years, his younger brother Alfons ("Al") and Gerhard Sokolka, presumably his half brother, aged 9 months. (His mother Apolonia, is listed as single in the passenger records, but we believe her to have married three times, which offers an explanation for the childrens differing last names.) The ship's manifest lists these four on adjacent lines and records that they were all from Berlin, which concurs with my information from my family. The manifest also shows that Stefan and Alfons were aged 7 and 6 years, respectively. However, my family reported my grandfather Stephen's (Stefan) birthday as August 27, 1903 and the Social Security Death Index lists Alfons birthday as August 22, 1904.

First Name:Stefan
Last Name:Plonka
Ethnicity:Germany Polish
Last Place of Residence:Berlin Germany
Date of Arrival:Aug 04, 1910
Age at Arrival:7y
Gender:M
Marital Status:S
Ship of Travel:President Lincoln
Port of Departure:Hamburg
Manifest Line Number: 0014

the S.S. President Lincoln
the S.S. President Lincoln
Built by Harlan & Wolff Limited, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1907. 18,168 gross tons; 616 (bp) feet long; 68 feet wide. Steam quadruple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 14.5 knots. 1,480 passengers (324 first class, 152 second class, 1,004 third class).

Built for Leyland Line, British flag, in 1907 and named Scotian. Sold to Hamburg-American Line, German flag, in 1907 and renamed Berlin. Renamed President Lincoln in 1907. Hamburg-New York service. Laid up at New York in 1914. Seized by US Government, in 1914 and renamed USS President Lincoln. Sunk in the Atlantic by a German U-boat on May 31, 1918.

Based on information from my family, Alfons SSN 393-10-7871 married. His wife was named Jane (probably SSN 395-01-6436). They lived in Detroit, and in Milwaukee for a time, and later in California. Al and Jane had two daughters. One of the daughters had at least two children, one by adoption, who were close in age.

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This page generated Thursday December 29, 2005.