Archive for February, 2008

1924: Joseph Zesut’s Death Reported In The Hartford Courant

February 24, 2008

Well…sort of…I guess. Clearly one of the more laughable errors in the Hartford Courant’s history. This one leads me to believe that “reporting” in the 1920’s was based on word of mouth from the town gossips.

Joseph Zesut January 30, 1924 Hartford Courant

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, January 30, 1924, page 4


Former Glastonbury Man Killed By Train

(Special To The Courant)

Glastonbury, January 29.

Word was received here this afternoon from Dr. Teler, coroner of Rome, NY that Tony Zesuit, formerly of this town, was killed on the railroad track at Rome this afternoon. Dr. Teler telephoned the family here for instructions, but Mr. Zesuit had recently moved his wife and four children to Hartford.

After reading my earlier post about Joseph’s death it’s apparent this report has confused Anthony with Joseph. I wonder how many people were shocked to see Anthony show up at work after being reported dead…

While Anthony (aka Tony) had moved with his family to Hartford from Glastonbury it was his younger brother Joseph who was killed in Rome, NY.


UPDATE – More Kasper Rzeszut Info Found

February 18, 2008

I re-checked the Hartford Courant for the week Kasper died and was shocked to find three pieces about him I had previously missed. Because the text in the papers for that particular week was scanned so poorly my searches had come up empty. The fact that Kasper’s name is misspelled didn’t help either. I decided to search only on “Glastonbury” and found myself reading about his hospitalization, death and funeral. I’ve updated the original Death of Kasper article with the new scans and transcriptions so be sure and check them in the original article.

1922: Michael Zesut Marries Josephine Zabkowski

February 13, 2008

On September 25, 1922 – 6 years to the day his older brother got married – Michael Zesut married Josephine Zabkowski.

I found Michael and Josephine’s marriage certificate at the Glastonbury Town Hall and transcribed the information on it.

State Of Connecticut Bureau Of Vital Statistics

License #365

Marriage License

Town Of Glastonbury

  • Groom’s Name:Michael Anthony Zesut
  • Age:20
  • Color: White
  • Occupation: Mill Hand
  • Birthplace – Town: blank Country: Poland-Austria
  • His Residence: Glastonbury
  • Single, Widowed or Divorced?: Single
  • 2d or 3d Marriage: First
  • Name Of Father:Caspar Zesut
  • Maiden Name Of Mother: Anna Kopec
  • Bride’s Name:Josephine Zabkowski
  • Age: 20
  • Color: White
  • Occupation: Housekeeper
  • Birthplace – Town: blank Country: Poland-Austria
  • Her Residence: Glastonbury
  • Single, Widowed or Divorced?: Single
  • 2d or 3d Marriage: First
  • Name Of Father: John Zabkowski
  • Maiden Name Of Mother: Eva Chichastepka

The certificate is signed by clergyman D.L. Baker; the same person who married Julia Zesut and John Pendrok and Anthony Zesut and Victoria Puscizna and ind years prior and indicates the marriage ceremony took place on September 25, 1922 in Glastonbury. The license was applied for on September 21, 1922.

Michael and Josephine would go on to have three sons; Walter, John, and Robert. Walter would be tragically killed in action in WWII and Robert would go on to have several children of his own.

Copies of CT marriage Licenses are open to the public and a copy of Michael and Josephine’s can be ordered from the Glastonbury Town Hall. The order form for a copy can be reached through here.

Michael & Josehine Zesut Wedding Photo 19220925
Source: Michael and Josephine Zesut’s Wedding Photo. Photographer Unknown. September 25, 1922. From the Bob Zesut Collection. Digital scan of original photograph. Received via email February 2008.
BACK ROW: Unknown Female, Unknown Male, Victoria Puscizna Zesut, Sophie Zesut, Anthony Zesut, Julia Zesut Pendrok, John Pendrok
FRONT ROW: Mary Zesut (?), Unknown Male, Josephine Zabkowski Zesut, Michael Zesut, Unknown Female, Joseph Pendrok, Jessie Pendrok
    After a lengthy separation, Michael and Josephine would eventually divorce in 1951.

    Rzeszut / Zesut Family Photo Archive

    February 11, 2008

    I’ve created a password protected area of this site used to store hi-res photos. Pictures will be whatever can be found of Kasper and Anna and their children. In special cases I’ll add photos of their children and grandchildren.

    I’ll give the password to any family member who contacts me requesting access. You can get in touch with me by clicking here.

    When possible the scans will be digitally cleaned to remove dust and major blemishes. They’ll also be large enough to have decent prints made at home or professionally. Discussion regarding the photos will be welcome in the Photo Archive.

    The link to the Photo Archive is in the sidebar to the right under the Pages heading.

    Joseph & Anthony Zesut’s Probate Records *Update*

    February 11, 2008

    Sigh. The CT State Library Archives have been unable to find Probate records for Joseph or Anthony Zesut, Rzesut or Rzeszut. Frustrating because I know Joseph’s estate went to Probate. I need to think some more on this and gather some evidence to bring to the library and see what they have to say.

    Joseph and Anthony Zesut’s Probate Records

    February 10, 2008

    Several weeks ago when I requested to view my Great Great Grandfather Kasper Rzeszut’s Probate Packet at the CT State Library I also requested packets for my Great Grandfather Anthony and his brother Joseph. Joseph died in 1924 and Anthony died in 1929.

    Based on land transaction records at the Glastonbury Town Hall I know for a fact that Joseph’s estate went to Probate as I’ve viewed old handwritten copies of the original documents there. When I had requested Joseph’s and Anthony’s records I asked for Joseph and Anthony Zesut and not Rzeszut because at the time of their respective deaths they had been known as Zesut and not Rzeszut. When Kasper’s documents came in the archivists told me they couldn’t find anything under Zesut. Last week I reviewed the documents from Glastonbury and noticed that Joseph’s paperwork said “Joseph Zesut, alias, deceased”. The alias meaning Zesut was an alias for Rzeszut. With that in mind on Saturday I requested they look for Probate documents pertaining to Joseph and Anthony Rzeszut instead of Zesut. I expect to find out on Monday if they’ve been able to locate the documents.

    I’m not expecting much from Joseph’s records as he was young and probably only owned the land he had received from his father Kasper’s estate. I’m VERY curious to see if Anthony’s estate went to Probate. I have suspicions it didn’t because in the 1980’s his heirs received a small sum of money from the sale of a piece of land he had owned that had been forgotten about. I can’t imagine the courts missing that. If they did and there are documents relating to Anthony I will be happy to have found more documents about my Great Grandfather.

    Then again…they may still find nothing…we’ll see.

    1917: Kasper Rzeszut’s Probate Packet

    February 4, 2008

    When Kasper Rzeszut died unexpectedly in 1917 he died intestate – without a will. On one of my trips to the Glastonbury Town hall I noticed in their land records that they had an old property transaction under then name “Est. Of Kasper Zesut”. Since this meant he owned land it was also possible he had other assets that may have required the creation of a Probate file when the court tried to settle his estate.

    The CT State Library and Archives in Hartford have court records going back hundreds of years. They have a card catalog dedicated to Probate records up to 1920. I checked the Z drawer and was amazed to find an index card for Kasper.

    Kasper Rzeszut Probate Index Card At CT State Library


    The index card indicated his Probate file contained seven documents – one of which was an inventory of his estate. I’d actually see an inventory of what Kasper owned?

    Since the actual court documents were held offsite I had to fill out a short form requesting the archive be pulled and brought to the library the following Monday.

    On Monday I went back to the Library and asked to view the materials. I had to hang my coat up and put my laptop bag in a closet. Due to the age, condition, and value of the documents in the Archives they are concerned about theft and damage. I had my portable scanner with me but was informed I couldn’t scan the documents or make photocopies. This was a major letdown. Fortunately I had my digital camera with me and was allowed to take photos of the documents.

    The Archives handler gave me Kasper’s Probate Packet – it was pretty exciting to be holding 90 year old documents relating to my Great Great Grandfather whom I had never known.

    Following is a sampling of some of the documents:

    Kasper Rzeszut 1917 Probate Packet

    Kasper Rzeszut 1917 Probate Packet


    Kasper Rzeszut 1917 Probate Bond

    Kasper Rzeszut Probate Bond


    Kasper Rzeszut 1917 Probate Application Of Administration

    Kasper Rzeszut Application Of Administration


    Kasper Rzeszut Estate Inventory

    Kasper Rzeszut Tax Assesment On Estate Inventory


    Kasper Rzeszut Probate Newspaper Clipping

    Hartford Times Clipping Stapled To Document Inside Probate Packet

    There were a few more items all with varying degrees of redundancy. Once you filter through the legalese the point of the documents are that my great grandfather Anthony petitioned the court for Anna to become Administratrix of Kasper’s estate which consisted of a double mortgaged 6 room home and shed on lot 60 in the Grassmere area of Glastonbury, two cows and a calf, and some household furniture. The home and property had an equity value (value above the mortgages) of $152, the cows and calf were valued at $60 and the furniture valued at $25.

    Prior to the resolution of the estate Anna was required to post a sign near their property and document in a local newspaper that any claimants against the estate had ten days to file their claim. Anna placed the order in the June 12, 1917 edition of The Hartford Times. An actual clipping from that edition of the Times was stapled to the documents. No claims were filed.

    Kasper’s funeral expenses were $150.00.

    Annie signed her name with an “X”.

    Kasper’s name is sometimes spelled with a “K” and sometimes with a “C”.

    I’m no legal expert but it looks like Annie and her children all inherited equal parts of Kasper’s property. Per the land records in Glastonbury it looks to be the case as the land seemed to be bought and sold amongst the siblings over the course of several years.

    While there was nothing revelatory in the documents it was interesting to find out he had farm animals. I shouldn’t have been surprised as Kasper’s occupation on the Ship’s Passenger List was “Farm Laborer”. It was also cool to hold documents that my Great Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather signed.

    Hopefully the Archives will someday (soon!) digitally scan these old documents to make it easier for people to view them without worrying about damaging the originals.

    1924: The Death Of Joseph Zesut

    February 1, 2008

    Joseph Paul Zesut, my Great Grand Uncle, was born March 18, 1900 in what is now Poland.

    I learned through documents that Joseph was born in 1900, came to the U.S.A. with his mother and siblings in 1909, briefly sidestepped the factory work his father and siblings did and worked as a fireman for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad around 1917. Unlike some of his brothers I could find no evidence of brushes with the law during prohibition.

    Joseph never married and had no children.

    When I first became interested in researching my Rzeszut family tree all I knew about Joseph was a story he had been mugged in upstate New York and murdered in the early 1920’s. Nobody I had spoken to knew the location or exact date of his death and I had no idea where he was buried.

    My father’s German ancestors came to the U.S. in the late 1800’s and settled in New York City after a brief stay in Buffalo, NY. While researching their migration path I came across the website Old Fulton NY Postcards with scans of old NY State newspapers. I never found anything in those papers pertaining to my paternal lineage but decided to search on “Zesut” and see if anything turned up. I never expected to find anything.

    What I did find was an article in the January 30, 1924 edition of the Utica Daily Press reporting on the death of Joseph Zesut.

    Following is a scan of the article from that newspaper. I’ve also transcribed it as some parts can be difficult to read. Be forewarned that it is somewhat gruesome.

    1924 - Joseph Zesut Utica Press Article

    SOURCE: Utica Daily Press, Oneida County, NY, Wednesday Edition, 1/30/1924, Front Page, Daily, , Accessed Fall 2007.
    Utica Daily Press

    January 30, 1924

    Hunter Finds Body Of Man Near Tracks

    Mangled Corpse of Joseph Zesut, 23, Discovered by Joseph Copia – Left Foot Cut Off At Ankle Leads To Gruesome Find.

    Rome, Jan. 29 – Joseph Copia, bound for his favorite hunting ground Tuesday morning, while walking along the New York Central tracks in the western part of the city, found the left foot of a man encased in a shoe lying beside the tracks, and half a mile further the body of Joseph Zesut, 23, of 403 River St, Patterson, N.J…according to an identification card found in the man’s clothing.


    Dr. H.J. Teller, Coroner, was notified and upon investigation found in a pocket a pay check of the Rome Brass and Copper Company. It was further learned that he had been employed as a helper in the plant since January 3. He boarded at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on South James Street.

    Inquiry at the hotel disclosed the fact that Zesut ate his breakfast at 6am as usual. It was also learned that for a week he had been acting queerly and appeared to be suffering from melancholia or despondency. It was believed that he was slightly unbalanced.

    The card which he filled out when accepting the local position given his birthplace of Glastonbury, Conn. It is believed his mother Mrs. Annie Zesut is living there and has been notified by the coroner.

    It is not known whether the man was walking along the tracks or riding on a train when the tragedy occurred. A track walker under Henry Meyers and Jake Metterick who was also bound for the hunt arrived at the scene shortly after Mr. Copia made the gruesome discovery.

    I made some phone calls and sent some emails to find out if any other records of this event existed in Rome, NY. A local police detective looked for Joseph in their logs and could find nothing. He indicated if a paper record still existed it was in deep storage at the local courthouse and without a case number would be virtually unfindable. The coroner’s office told me they didn’t have records going that far back and neither did the State Police or the County Sheriff’s office.

    I plan on ordering a death certificate at some point but it will unfortunately not list the official cause of death because it will be a genealogical copy and not a next of kin certificate. If I could prove my lineage to Joseph I could get one with the cause but I’d need to have both Anthony and Joseph’s birth certificates from Poland. I expect to have these eventually so time will tell.

    Another question I had was where was Joseph buried? I found the answer to this when I stopped by St. Augustine Catholic Church’s office in Glastonbury a few months ago. The reason I went there was because my great great grandfather Kasper Zesut’s death certificate indicated he was buried at St. Augustine’s Cemetery and I hadn’t been able to find a headstone. The more-than-helpful clerk at the church office looked through their files and found the plot cards for the Zesuts. Not only was Kasper’s plot identified but so was Joseph’s. They had question marks next to the dates because the cards had been written based on very old record books that may have been in poor condition. Regardless, I was happy to know that Joesph had made his way back to CT and was interred in the family plot with his family.


    Zesut Family Plot Marker - St. Augustine Cemetery