Jankowski Plenzler

Two Sisters, Same Husband: Edna and Florence Plenzler

Edna and Florence are first cousins to me, they are the grandchildren of my great-grandparents Joseph Plenzler and Eva Dauer. Edna was born in 1911; Florence in 1913. They are the daughters of Martin Plenzler, Joseph and Eva’s eldest child. This is one of my maternal lines.

While researching my Plenzler line, I realized that Edna and Florence each married the same man at different times. I was not quite clear on how that happened–I hadn’t developed their lifelines yet and it became an interesting small, charming story. (This theme does repeat itself a few times in my family: there are a handful from the Plenzler line marrying into the Przybylski line.)

Florence married Stanley Jankowski about 1932. Stanley was the son of Wojciech (George) Jankowski and Rose Jarczynski. He was born in Toledo in 1910. They had two children: Ronald and Joan. Ronald did not survive infancy.

Florence died on 17 September 1946 of tuberculosis. This left Stanley to raise Joan on his own.

Edna married Daniel Sieja on 28 September 1935 in Toledo in St. Anthony’s parish. An interesting twist, but somewhat irrelevant here, is that Daniel Sieja was also a first cousin to me through my other maternal line, Andrew Przybylski and Frances Rochowiak were his grandparents (my great-grandparents). Daniel was the son of Frank Sieja and Andrew’s and Frances’ daughter, Victoria.

Daniel and Edna went on to have three daughters: Susan, Nancy, and Kathleen. Danny died of a cerebrovascular accident while in Detroit on 7 November 1948. Edna and her three daughters went on to reside with her widowed mother, Michalina.

Stanley and Edna then married on 16 September 1950. They were joining forces to finish raising their families. The youngest child, Edna’s daughter, Kathleen, was only five years old at the time. This story would not have been uncommon in the 1800s in Poland. I’ve seen another scene play out several times in my family: a spouse dies young, the widow then marries a sibling of the spouse. It seemed to have been done in order to help raise families and provide stability. I was amazed to see it actually have happened in 1950.

Edna passed away on 26 June 1969. Stanley passed away on 5 April 1979.