Sunday, June 19, 2011

Was he a Bigamist or a Polygamist?

Fire Brigade, Chicago

At this point old grandpa was a Bigamist. Why did he become a bigamist? He was raised in a good Catholic family in Poland and he came to America with his brother Adam.  What events in a person's life turn you in another direction and then you never get back to that innocence of youth? When he was confirmed a member of his church, he chose Chester as his new name.  

How devious to be married in Chicago in a Catholic Church as Peter and six years later marry another girl in Canada in an Anglican Church as Chester Paul (his middle name).  No one would ever know, right?  After all it was the early 1900s.  
Montreal, Mt. Royal 1915

After getting his birth date from his military records, I sent for his birth certificate from Poland and included the $20 fee.  Within a month I received a reply from Poland.  They returned my check and did not find his birth record.  Disappointment drowned me to the extent that I wanted to pull my hair out!  I did not, however, let it keep me down.  Mr. liar himself strikes again! From now on, we call him CP. I tried to justify his lying by thinking that men lied about their birth dates to get a better position in the army.

I sent off for his marriage record to Blanche in Montreal.  When I received his second marriage record, I was totally blown away. It stated, "Chester Paul, bachelor of Montreal, son of Chester Paul of Czestochowa, Poland and of Jeannette Norton..... Who is Jeannette?  

My great grandmother was Joanna. She wrote in 1910. "It is not enough that a person is already very weak and approaching death but one must suffer and battle with this man beyond my energy."  Did she die by 1915 and my great grandfather married a second wife, Jeannette? More mysteries!

My next ploy was to skip CP and find my great grandparents in Poland.  

1 comment:

Cheerful Thrifty Door said...

I am enjoying the journey that this story is taking me on.

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