No News From Poland

February 8, 2009

Back in March 2008 I posted that I had been contacted by a woman named Ania in Poland who thought she might be related to us via the Rzeszut line. The information she provided seemed like we were on the right track. We exchanged several emails but the communications abruptly stopped. I’ve tried to get in touch with her but to no avail.

Unfortunately the church records for our Rzeszut ancestors are located in Slezaki and their record books were not filmed by the LDS so I can’t research any farther back on our line without going to Slezaki myself or hiring a genealogist in Poland to go check the books. I did send a letter to the church last year (with a donation!!!) but never heard back.

It’s not a dead end…it’s just going to take a lot more time.

I do have one more lead….I found out about a woman named Anna Rzeszut who was born in Dabrowica where Kasper and Anna were from. She now lives in Baranow Sandomierski and is very involved in Polish History. I haven’t found an email address specific to her but did send a query to a website that I believe knows how to get in touch with her.

We’ll see what happens.

How Cool Is This?

February 8, 2009

While doing some Zesut searches recently I came across a photo of a vinyl record LP I’d heard about but never seen a copy of.  The album came out in 1979 and features my Grandmother Wanda Zesut Thibeault’s (daughter of Anthony Rzeszut) cousin Bob Zesut (son of Michael Rzeszut).  As a result I found a record seller online who is has copies of this and another Bob Zesut LP for $15.  I’m definitely going to have to order these at some point as we have a turntable setup at the house!  I assume that’s Bob with accordion.

Pacifically for You
Bob Zesut’s Polish Eagle Orchestra
RZ PEO 110

Incidentally I spoke to Bob once over a year ago when I first began my research.  As I recall his band was successful enough to tour the country several times.  As a music fan it’s pretty thrilling to me that my Grandmother had a cousin who had record albums out!

1918: Joseph Zesut’s Honorable Discharge From The CT Home Guard

June 1, 2008

Several months ago I was doing some Zesut research in the Genealogy section of the CT State Library up in Hartford. When I mentioned to the librarian I was researching ancestors from Glastonbury a woman nearby told me she happened to work for the Historical Society Of Glastonbury. We had a nice conversation about Glastonbury and she told me if she ever came across the Zesut name in their archives she’d get in touch with me.

I recently received an email from her telling me she had come across the Honorable Discharge papers for my Great Grand Uncle Joseph Zesut. Seems the mysterious Joseph had been a member of the Connecticut Home Guard. I was pretty amazed. Due to his death at a young age, we know less about Joseph than any of the other family members so it was great to receive more info about him!

The CT Home Guard was different from the National Guard in that it was a civilian organization established in 1917 for men who could not join the National Guard. Their responsibility would be to perform the military functions of the “militia” during their absence.

Joseph Zesut Home Guard Discharge

SOURCE: State Of Connecticut Military Emergency Board. Glastonbury Historical Society Archives, August 3, 1918.

State Of Connecticut

Military Emergency Board

This certifies that Joseph Zesut a Private of The Second Separate Company CONNECTICUT HOME GUARD who enlisted on the 14th day of May 1918 to serve two years unless sooner discharged, is honorably discharged from the Home Guard of the State ont the 3 day of August 1918 as he is working on the railroad and unable to attend drill.

Given at Hartford this 3rd day of Aug. 1918

By order of the Governor.

Military Emergency Board.

Richard S. Williams


Sad News

April 21, 2008

I recently learned that Sharon Sweeney Zesut passed away. Sharon was the wife of Robert (Bob) Zesut who is the youngest son of Michael Zesut. Bob is my grandmother Wanda Zesut Thibeault’s first cousin (making him my first cousin twice removed).

Sharon and I had recently corresponded via email and she was instrumental in arranging a phone call I had with Bob a few months ago. She was also a big help with passing along info and photos/articles related to the Zesuts to Bob. She was always very friendly – a very nice person.

Sharon was one of the earliest subscribers to the update notifications for this blog and it was nice to know that she was reading along with everyone else.

Following is her obituary from The Daily Times.

Sharon Sweeney Zesut, 60, of Maryville has passed away after a brief battle with ALS on April 10th 2008. She was the daughter of Michael and Ione Sweeney born on November 13th, 1947, in Denver, Colorado. She lived in numerous parts of the country and settled in East Tennessee in 1996. She worked as a Century 21 Real Estate Broker and also spent time volunteering for community events. She held a passion for animals and served as a regional Siamese Rescue Coordinator caring for nearly 200 cats and finding them new homes. She is survived by her husband, Robert W. Zesut; son Robert M. Zesut; daughter, Laura Stacey; brother, Michael Sweeney; stepsons, Richard Zesut & James Zesut; and stepdaughters, Joanne Clinton & Lynda Glarner, along with 11 grandchildren. The family welcomes all to a celebration of her life at 6 p.m. on Sunday April 13, 2008, at the Maryville/Alcoa Home Builders, 1719 King Circle, Maryville, TN. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Siamese Rescue, 366 Meander Run Road, Locust Dale, VA 22948, 504-672-6373 in Honor of Sharon Zesut. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000,

My condolences go out to her family.

1927: Party With The Zesuts!

April 2, 2008

Here’s an interesting little Zesut mention from the July 26, 1927 edition of the Hartford Courant:

Anthony & Michael Arrested

SOURCE: East Hartford, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, July 26, 1927, page 6
Police Court
In Police Court Monday morning, Paul Werkderk of Glastonbury, Anthony J. Zesut of this town and his brother, Michael Zesut of Glastonbury were fined $10 each for breach of the peace.  The men were arrested Saturday night at the home of Zesut on High Street here where neighbors complained of a noisy party.
Prior to this article I had thought my Great Grandfather Anthony had moved straight from Glastonbury to Hartford. This residence in East Hartford is news to me. I’ll have to check the city directories during this time period to see if I can determine how long he lived there. At this point in his life he had been married for eleven years and had five daughters. Michael Zesut had been married for five years and had two boys at home. I can’t imagine this went over very well at home for either of them!

KasperandAnna Blog Mentioned In Gen Dobry!

March 31, 2008

This blog was favorably mentioned in the March 31, 2008 issue of the Email Newsletter Gen Dobry! It’s an honor to be mentioned in a fine resource which I’ve enjoyed in the past. You can check it out by clicking HERE. From that page click the link to the archives and view the .pdf for the March 2008 edition.

1929: The Death Of Anthony Zesut

March 31, 2008

On June 1, 1929 my great grandfather Anthony Zesut died of pneumonia at Hartford Hospital.

Born Antoni Rzeszut on May 12, 1895 in Dabrowica, Austria-Poland, he immigrated to the United States in 1909 with his mother and four siblings joining his father Kasper who had immigrated in 1907.

In 1916 Anthony married Victoria Puscizna and they went on to have five daughters: Frederica, Mary, Wanda, Sophie and Ann.

Anthony and his family lived in Glastonbury, CT until they moved to Hartford in 1923 where they lived down the street from the Colt’s Firearms Manufacturing Company where Anthony had been employed as a polisher for many years.

He left behind his wife Victoria and their five daughters. He also left his mother and step-father Anna & Peter Spark, two sisters, three brothers, three nephews and one niece. He was previously deceased by his father Kasper in 1917 and his brother Joseph in 1924.

I obtained a copy of Anthony’s death certificate from the State Of CT Department Of Vital Records. Following is a scan of that document. Click on it to view an enlargement.


June 1, 1929 - Anthony Zesut Death Certificate

SOURCE: Connecticut State Department Of Health. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Medical Certificate of Death. June 1, 1929


Connecticut State Department Of Health

Bureau of Vital Statistics

Medical Certificate Of Death

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased: Anthony Zesut
  • 2. Primary Cause Of Death: Lobar Pneumonia
  • 3. Duration: 10 Days
  • 4. Secondary Cause Of Death: blank
  • 5. Duration: blank

This portion of the certificate is dated June 1, 1929 and was signed by Dr. J.T. Woodson, Anthony’s physician at Hartford Hospital.

Undertakers Certificate – Personal & Statistical

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased:Anthony Zesut
  • 2. Place Of Death – Town: Hartford – Hartford Hospital
  • 3. Number Of Families In House: blank
  • 4. Residence At Time Of Death: 111 Huyshope Ave. Hartford, CT
  • 5. Occupation: Polisher
  • 6. Condition: Married
  • 8. Date Of Death: June 1, 1929
  • 9. Date Of Birth: May 12. 1895
  • 10. Age: 34 years, 20 days
  • 11. Sex: Male
  • 12. Color: White
  • 13. Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Poland
  • 14. Father’s Name In Full: Kaspar Zesut
  • 15. Father’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Poland
  • 16. Mother’s Maiden Name: Annie Kopar
  • 17. Mother’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Poland
  • 18. Place Of Burial: Glastonbury, Connecticut Cemetery: St. Augustine
  • 19. Name Of Informant: Mrs. Zesut Address: Hfd, Connecticut
  • 20. Was Body Embalmed : Yes If So, Name Of Embalmer: Frank M. Lowe License No. 664

Certificate is signed by the embalmer Frank M. Lowe of East Hartford, Conn.

From the Wikipedia entry for Pneumonia:

A lobar pneumonia is an infection that only involves a single lobe, or section, of a lung. Individuals with underlying illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, tobacco smoking, alcoholism, or immune system problems are at increased risk for pneumonia. These individuals are also more likely to have repeated episodes of pneumonia.

  • It’ s worth noting that Anthony died at the same hospital and of the same primary cause as his father Kasper.

This past fall I hadn’t been sure where Anthony was buried. When I found this death certificate and saw it indicated he was at St. Augustine cemetery in Glastonbury I drove to the church’s office to find out where. I had previously searched St. Augustine but was unable to locate a headstone. The clerk at St. Augustine’s was extremely helpful and located the index card for the Zesut plot and it indicated that Anthony was indeed in the same location as several other members of his family. This was also how I came to find out that Kasper, Anna, and Joseph Zesut were buried in the same area. Unfortunately there are no headstones for any of them. Many years later one of Anthony’s daughters had a family marker placed at their gravesite.

St. Augustine Cemetery - Glastonbury, CT


Zesut Family Plot Marker - St. Augustine Cemetery

Anthony Zesut 1916

Times would not be easy for Anthony’s family following his death. The Great Depression was just beginning and I can only imagine what hardships his widow and five daughters faced.

Since I started this blog I’ve felt that the articles on my Rzeszut ancestors have been leading up to this one. The lack of knowledge about my Great Grandfather is one of the main reasons I began researching this family in the first place. Through the past several months I feel as though I’ve gotten to know my Polish immigrant forebears which is extremely rewarding. I’ve met relatives I never knew and through old photos have placed names to faces. Quite interesting!



Update: My (possible) cousin in Poland

March 30, 2008

I heard back from Ania this weekend in regards to her trip to visit relatives in Dąbrowica. Ania’s mothers maiden name is Rzeszut and she grew up in the same town Kasper & Anna’s family were from. Ania was hoping to look at the old parish records to gather some information on the Rzeszuts in an effort to confirm if her great great grandfather and my great great grandfather Kasper (Kacper in Poland) were brothers. Unfortunately there were weddings, baptisms and funerals going on which didn’t allow the priests any time to help out. The good news is they told her they DID receive the letter I wrote to them a few months ago asking about birth and marriage records but had only just received it around Easter. Ania’s parents have also taken an interest in this and plan on going back to the church in a few weeks to hit the books and gather Rzeszut info. As with most genealogy, patience is required – although I must admit…I’m on the edge of my seat!

Stay tuned…

1929: Frank Zesut Marries Anna Rurek

March 26, 2008

On January 28, 1929 Frank Zesut married Anna Rurek.

I found a copy of Frank & Anna’s marriage certificate/license at the Glastonbury Town Hall and transcribed the information on it. The original document is held by the City Of Hartford Vital Records Dept.

Connecticut State Department Of Health

Bureau Of Vital Statistics

Marriage License

Town Of Hartford

  • Groom’s Name:Frank Zesut
  • Age:21
  • Color: White
  • Occupation: Polisher
  • Birthplace – Town: blank Country: Poland
  • His Residence: Glastonbury, Connecticut
  • Single, Widowed or Divorced?: Single
  • 2d or 3d Marriage: First
  • Name Of Father:Caspar Zesut
  • Maiden Name Of Mother: Annie Kopec
  • Supervision or Control of Guardian or Conservator: No
  • Bride’s Name: Anna Ruvock
  • Age: 22
  • Color: White
  • Occupation: Factory
  • Birthplace – Town: blank Country: Poland
  • Her Residence: Glastonbury, Connecticut
  • Single, Widowed or Divorced?: Single
  • 2d or 3d Marriage: First
  • Name Of Father: Charles Ruvock
  • Maiden Name Of Mother: Catherine Watrous
  • Supervision or Control of Guardian or Conservator: No

The certificate is signed by S. Musiel; the pastor of St. Cyril & Methodius Church in Hartford and Florene L. Garrity, the assistant registrar for the city. The license was applied for on December 31, 1928.


Frank Zesut & Anna Rurek Wedding Photo

Source: Frank and Anna Zesut Wedding Photo. Photographer Unknown. January 28, 1929. From the Irene Zesut Pardo Collection. Digital scan of original photograph.

The only people in the photo I’ve been able to place names to are Mary Zesut (young girl on the far left), Frank and Anna Rurek Zesut (center) and William Zesut (back right). The rest are presumed to be from Anna Rurek’s family.

A High-Resolution version of this photo can be found in the Photo Archive.

Frank & Anna would go on to have two children; Edward and Irene. Both children would eventually marry and have children of their own. Irene is very passionate about Rzeszut family history and has been an invaluable resource to me.

Copies of CT marriage Licenses are open to the public and a copy of Frank and Anna’s can be ordered from the The City Of Hartford Vital Records Department. The order form for a copy can be reached here.


March 26, 2008

This morning I received an unexpected email. The writer was a 22 year old Economic Science major in Warsaw, Poland who had just recently stumbled upon this blog. Her name is Ania and her mother’s maiden name is Rzeszut. Ania went on to say she believes we may be related because her mother’s Rzeszut family is from Dąbrowica. The amazing thing is that she called her grandmother and asked if she knew of a Kasper Rzeszut. Sure enough – her grandmother recalled that her deceased husband’s grandfather’s brother was a Kasper Rzeszut who had emigrated to the United States! So *if* the Kasper she mentioned is the Kasper Rzeszut that many of us reading this site are descended from then her Great Great Grandfather was Kasper’s brother. This would make she and I Fourth Cousins.

We exchanged several emails today and she is very familiar with Dąbrowica and will be visiting family there this Saturday. She’s going to try to access the parish records to look for records that will prove the family connection. She will also be speaking to her grandfather’s brother Antoni Rzeszut who may be Kasper’s Grand Nephew.

While it may turn out we are not related there are two factors that make this seem like a pretty good match

1. Her Rzeszut ancestors are from Dąbrowica. The same place Kasper and Anna and their children were from.

2. Her grandmother recalls hearing of a Kasper Rzeszut who emigrated to the US. Through all of my research I have yet to come across another Kasper Rzeszut who came to the US.

For now I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Anna is able to find information connecting our family to hers. This could get VERY interesting!

P.S. – It’s been ages since I last updated this site. I haven’t’ stopped the research – I’ve been throwing all of my time into parish records from the town Anthony Zesut’s wife Victoria Puscizna was from. There will be extensive information posted concerning the Pusciznas very soon!