Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Anton Dybowski and His Prussian Infantry Unit

My great-grandfather Antoni (Anton) Dybowski was born in the territory of Poland which had been taken over by Prussia due to the 3rd Partition of Poland which took place in 1795. I neither know the date of his birthday nor where exactly he was born. Possibly it was the nowadays Kuyavian-Pomeranian region of Poland as he lived with his wife Bronisława and daughter Irena in the Toruń area.

When WW1 began, Antoni was appointed to the Prussian army. In the picture below we can see him (last row, the man in the middle) and his fellow soldiers, probably before they were sent to the war front.

Grandpa did not come back from the war, he was killed during the fights. I tried to find out where and when he fell, therefore I searched the German archives of WW1 casualties.

To my surprise, the searched results showed nine entries regarding nine men of the same name Anton Dybowski. To make it more difficult, eight of them were from the Toruń region. Studying the records, I could eliminate four Antons who were wounded but did not die. The information about other four you can see below:

1. Anton Dybowski
Page number: 12020
Edition: 937
Date: 13 April 1916
Place: Koncheitz, Thorn (present Kończewice, Toruń district)
List: Prussia 505
Regiment: Reserve Infantry Regiment 53, Company A
Status: missing

2. Anton Dybowski
Page number 15477
Edition: 1203
Date: 12 October 1916
Place: Konchewitz, Thorn
List: Prussia 657
Regiment: Infantry Regiment 145, Company 12
Status: fallen

3. Anton Dybowski
Page number 4265
Edition: 365
Date: 14 Jan. 1915
Place: Leibitsch, Thorn (present Lubicz, Toruń District)
List: Prussia 125
Regiment: Reserve Infantry Regiment 59, III Battalion, Company 9
Status: missing

4. Anton Dybowski
Page number 29394
Edition: 2348
Date: 28 Feb. 1919
Place: Drzonowo, Culm (Drzonowo, Chełmno District)
List: Prussia 1377
Regiment: Fusilier Regiment 40, Company 1
Status: missing

After some further investigation, I decided to discard no. 4 as (according to the photos found on the net), the type of uniform worn by grandpa and the soldiers of his unit was not Fusilier but Infantry uniform. Besides, my grandmother and Anton's daughter was born in 1912. The date given in the record suggests that Anton no. 4 was born in 1898 - he was fourteen in 1912. It would not have been possible for a boy at that age to be a father of course but it all does not match. The uniform for sure.

Anton No. 1 and 2 were listed in the same village, maybe they even knew each other. However, records No. 1 and 3 say those men were missing. They could have been killed of course but their bodies were not found.

As far as I know, my great-grandmother received a message which clearly stated that her husband had fallen. It means Anton No. 2 is the one. I have tried to find out where were the 145 Infantry Regiment men in October 1916. One source says they took part in the Argonne Forrest, Fille Morte area. Another one tells they fought in the Vosges.

Mum told me a story which she heard from her mother, Anton's daughter. According to that grandma Irena (who was four then), had a music box on her bedside table. She had got the music toy from her dad. On the night when Anton died, the box woke little Irena up - it opened and closed itself three times, one by one.

I wish I could find out more about Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 53 and 59. All in all, it seems all of them - Anton No. 1, 2 and 3 fell somewhere in France.

The song "Argonnerwaldlied" (Forrest of Argonne Song) was composed by Herman Albert Gordon in 1914/1915.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick

Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick was a brother-in-law of our great-grandmother Rachel Belle Zorie (Stimson) Howard's brother Josiah L. Stimson.

The Kirkpatrick family origins are connected with Scotland. However, Elbert Wiley's grandmother's lines (his mother's side) go to Germany and Ireland.

Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick was born on 12 October 1844 in Whitesburg, Hamblen County, Tennessee to the family of  Jacob M. Kirkpatrick and Sarah Jane Campbell. When he was ten, Elbert, his parents and siblings relocated to Collin County Texas. Eight years later, Elbert Wiley joined the Confederate Army and Served in Texas Partisan Rangers (Fifth Regiment of Company I) under Col. Leonidas M. Martin. When the war ended, Elbert came back to Texas where he ran the family farm.

In 1870, Elbert was registered in the Census. He lived with his mother, brothers and sisters in Precinct No. 1 of Collin County, Texas. The record states that Elbert was a surveyor then.

Elbert Kirkpatrick
United States Census, 1870
Name: Elbert Kirkpatrick
Event: Type Census
Event: Year 1870
Event: Place Texas, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 25
Race: White
Race: W
Birth Year (Estimated): 1844-1845
Birthplace: Tennessee
Page Number: 61


Sarah Kirkpatrick, Female, age 47, born in Tennessee
Elbert Kirkpatrick, Male, age 25, born in Tennessee
Adaline Kirkpatrick, F, age 21, born in Tennessee
Mary Kirkpatrick, F, age 19, born in Tennessee
Wilkins Kirkpatrick, M, age17, born in Tennessee
Frances Kirkpatrick, F, age 15, born in Tennessee
Dulcina Kirkpatrick, F, age 13, born in Texas

Record Source:
"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), Elbert Kirkpatrick in household of Sarah Kirkpatrick, Texas, United States; citing p. 61, family 414, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,078.

Jacob M. Kirkaptrick died in 1858. It seems Elbert supported the family financially later.

Blooming blueberry bush

Our Elbert Wiley was a self-educated man. In the year 1871, he worked as a teacher at the Wilson Creek school (which was three miles north of Allen) in Collin County .

On 5 November 1874, Elbert married Miss Emily Terrell Clive, daughter of George Clive and Martha "Patsy" Winston Carr, born on 17 June 1848 in Virginia.

Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick was very much interested in growing plants (nuts and fruits) which resulted in establishing a nursery (1874 as well) in White Grove's where he lived with his family.


Three years later, Elbert Wiley, his wife, and children moved to McKinney, Collin, Texas. According to the online Handbook of Texas, the couple had six children but only four of them survived until adulthood. I managed to find the information about four children only:

Ray H. Kirkpatrick - born on 16 Sept. 1876,
Alice Kirkpatrick - born on 13 August 1878 in Texas,
Sarah (Sadie) Kirkpatrick - born on 30 July 1880, (2)
Jack Kirkpatrick - born on 10 July 1882/d. 16 Jan. 1883.

Elbert's mother Sarah Jane left this world on 14 April 1898 in McKinney. Her son E. W. was fifty-four then.

Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick led a very active life. He wrote articles for various gardening journals and worked as an editor of the McKinney Democrat. His work helped found such associations as Central Texas Pomological and Agricultural Association, Texas State Nurserymen's Association, and Texas Nut Growers Association.

Blackberry flower

 If it was not enough, here is the list of the positions he held:

President of
  • Texas Nut Growers Association,
  • Texas State Nurserymen's Association,
  • The Whitesboro Orchard and Fruit Company,
  • The Nueces Land and Immigration Company,
  • Texas Nursery Company,
  • Texas Industrial Congress (1908)

Board of directors member for
  • Durant Nursery Company,
  • The Collin County Mill and Elevator Company,
  • The New Century Milling Company,
  • The Burrus Milling Company 

Vice President of
  • Texas State Fair Association (1908)
Blooming raspberry bush

Chairman of
  • The McKinney Chamber of Commerce (the beginning of the 1920s)

Member of
  • The Sate Council of Defence (WW1), 
  • the state food conservation organization (WW1)

County Chairman of
  • The YMCA War Fund Committee (WW1 as well).

Quite impressive, isn't it? It all seems more than the life of one person only. Elbert Wiley was certainly not an average guy at all.

In 1902, Elbert's house was built in McKinney at 903 Parker Street.

Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick's House

 Mr. E.W. Kirkpatrick also hosted the annual meetings of the Civil War Veterans in his house.

Clipping Source:
Bagwill, Arthur A. The Plano Star-Courier (Plano, Tex.), Vol. 44, No. 24, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 2, 1923, newspaper, August 2, 1923; Plano, Texas. ( accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Collin County Genealogical Society.

The anniversary meeting which took place in 1923 was attended by about 90 veterans of the Trans-Mississippi Division of the Confederate Army. Elbert, the host, was at the rank of lieutenant general.

A few months later Mr. Kirkpatrick contracted pneumonia during his business trip to New Mexico. He passed on 24 March 1874. Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick was buried at Pecan Grove Cemetery in McKinney, Collin, Texas.


Our family line

Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick
his sister Mary Ethelyn Stimson nee Kirkpatrick (b. 19 July 1850, Greene, Tennessee/d. 2 Oct. 1940, Sanger, Denton County, Texas)
her husband Josiah Long Stimson (b. 31 Dec. 1839, Kentucky/d. 12 August 1917, Collin County, Texas)
his sister Rachel Belle Zorie (Belzora) Howard nee Stimson - our great-grandmother

  • Handbook of Texas by Texas State Historical Association
  • A History of Collin County, Texas: Stambaugh, J. Lee, b. 1889; Stambaugh, Lillian J., b. 1888 & Carroll, H. Bailey. A History of Collin County, Texas, book, 1958; Austin, Texas. ( accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,;.
  • (1)"California Death Index, 1940-1997," database, FamilySearch ( : 26 November 2014), Ray H Kirkpatrick, 16 Dec 1964; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.
  • (2)"Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Sarah Kirkpatrick, 26 Dec 1929; citing certificate number 57602, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2,135,162.
Blueberry bush: By Kurt Stüber [1] - part of, CC BY-SA 3.0,,
Pecan: By Bruce Marlin - Own work:, CC BY 3.0,,
Blackberry flower: By I, Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Raspberry bush flower: By Wo st 01 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,

Photo of the house: Beckyquilts [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons.