Featured Obituaries – Stephen and Jean Pucilowski Mirota

Stephen and Jean Mirota are on the left, and their three sons are on the right. With Sophia and Joseph Mirota Sr., and Joe Mirota, Sr.  Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

“Stephen Mirota, 78, worked at Cyanamid

Toms River – Stephen W. Mirota, 78, died Monday (June 25, 1990) at Community Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Mirota was born in Cherry Valley, Pa., and had lived in Whitehouse station, Dunellen and Manville before moving to Toms River in 1980.

He had been a chemical operator for American Cyanamid in Bridgewater.

Surviving are his wife, Jean Pucilowski Mirota, three sons, Readington Township Mayor Stephen R. Mirota of Whitehouse Station, former Borough Councilman Victor Mirota of High Bridge and [omitted for privacy], and five grandsons.

Visiting hours are today from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Kearns Funeral Home in Whitehouse. There will be a funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Whitehouse Station [The Courier -News, Bridgewater, NJ, 27 June 1990, Wednesday, Main Edition, page 9. Accessed at http://www.newspapers.com on 9 May 2017].

Two hobbies that I remember Steve liked were gardening and fishing.  Wherever he lived he would have a beautiful garden with vegetables and flowers. When he was a young man, Stephen Mirota had worked as an accident clerk for the Jersey Central Railroad. The family had lived in Brooklyn, New York then. From the city, Jean and the three boys would take the train to visit with Steve’s family at Whitehouse Station. Her future sister-in-law, Stefie, would reminisce about seeing this pretty and frazzled mom with her three rambunctious sons, sharing a train compartment with her riding to the Whitehouse Station stop.

Jean Pucilowski Mirota, with her three sons, and her sister-in-law, Mary Mirota. Photo taken  on Sunday, 11 February 1945 at the Mirota farm. Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

“Genevieve Mirota, formerly of Dunellen

Genevieve Mirota, 87, a homemaker, died Friday (March 5, 1999) in Bumpass, Va.

She was born in Grodno, Poland, and had lived in Dunellen for 23 years, in Manville for five years and in Holiday City, Tomas River, for 16 years before moving to Virginia in 1997.

She was a member of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Dunellen. She was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Stephen W. Mirota. A son Stephen R. Mirota, the former mayor of Readington, died in 1993.

Surviving are two sons, Victor J. Mirota of Bumpass, Va., and [omitted for privacy]; a brother, Paul Pucilowski of Long Island, N.Y., five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral liturgy will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Whitehouse Station. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Kearns Funeral Home, Whitehouse [ The Courier -News, Bridgewater, NJ, 6 March 1999, Saturday, Main Edition, Page 12. Accessed at http://www.newspapers.com on 9 may 2017].

Genevieve was called Jean from an early age. Her other siblings were Mary “Mae”, who married Adolf Lewinski, and brothers Charles and Stanley (Stanley died in childhood). Although in the obituary it states she was a homemaker, I do remember Jean working at the Great Eastern Mills Discount Department Store, on Route 22 in North Plainfield, in the 1960s. Coming from Brooklyn, where she didn’t need a car, she learned to drive in New Jersey. She loved sharing photos of her beloved sons, daughter-in-laws, and grandsons, and she herself always enjoyed being photographed. Jean had emigrated from Poland with her parents, and her two older siblings, Mary and Charles, as a young child. Stephen and Jean Mirota are buried at St. Bernard’s Cemetery, in Bridgewater, Somerset County, New Jersey.

Jean Mirota with her parents, John and Amelia “Emily” Pucilowski (center). Left – Joseph and Sophia Mirota, Ted Lubas, and Joe Mirota, Jr. On the right Stephen Mirota (next to his in-laws) and Genevieve Mirota Lubas holding the baby. Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

IMG_1292Copyright 2017 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Family Names, Family research, Mirota, Obituary, Pucilowski, St. Berrnard Cemetery | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Our lady of Lourdes Church and Shrine – Whitehouse Station, NJ

Doran children at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Whitehouse Station, NJ

I loved the shrine at our church when I was a child, and we often walked over from the church after Mass. My sister and I had to wear our Sunday dresses and hats, and our brothers also dressed in their Sunday best, since they were often serving as altar boys. My one brother is missing from the photo, so maybe he was the one that took it. The shrine still watches over Route 523 in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, by Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church. The shrine grotto was patterned after the one in Lourdes, France and was built by the parishioners.

One of the most significant events during Father Wade’s pastorate was the building of the grotto by the Holy Name men. Ground was broken on February 11, 1953, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and on November 7, 1954, Bishop Ahr dedicated the grotto [Source: http://ollwhs.org/Our-Parish/Parish-History%5D.

My mother had saved a newspaper clipping from when the shrine was blessed in 1954.

The Courier-News, November 1954. Photo by Harland S. Frost.

This below was saved from the Centennial Year of Our Lady of Lourdes.

I love seeing the baskets of flowers all over the shrine, and even on the very top. I remember singing Immaculate Mary at many Novenas, and that is printed on the back of this four page devotion.

This photo below of the grotto is more current, but I think my family’s black and white photo shows the size and scope of the stonework better.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Whitehouse Station, NJ. From –  Michael Krull, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, Editions de Signe, Strasbourg, France, 2005, page 139. Book in possession of Maryann Barnes.

It is mind boggling to think of how the parishioners donated so much time, labor, and the equipment to build the shrine. How the men hauled the large boulders from the nearby Cushetunk Mountain, and then fitted all of the rocks together. Such are labors of love!

Happy Sunday! Copyright 2017 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

Posted in Blogger, Churches, Doran, Family Names, Family research, Locations, New Jersey, Our Lady of Loudes, Whitehouse Station | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Exploring the new “Genetic Communities™” on Ancestry.com

Forewarning. This is Veronica, the other Genealogy Sister, writing today. You’ll be glad to know that Maryann who writes 99.9% of the posts will be back online with a new post very soon. I decided to make a rare appearance on the Genealogy Sisters blog to talk about my recent experience with Ancestry.com new DNA feature “Genetic Communities,” which is now available for those who purchase and submit an autosomal DNA test.

According to Ancestry.com

“Genetic Communities™ are groups of AncestryDNA members who are connected through DNA most likely because they descend from a population of common ancestors, even if they no longer live in the area where those ancestors once lived.

For example, some Genetic Communities trace their roots back to groups of people who were isolated geographically. Mountains, rivers, lack of roads, or other barriers made it likely that each new generation would marry someone who lived close to home. Others have their roots in groups who typically married others of the same religion or ethnic group. In each case, these groups came to share a significant amount of DNA. Modern-day descendants who inherited some of that DNA make up Genetic Communities.”

I was so excited when I read the announcement and was looking forward to knowing more from my DNA test than the more ancient origins, which until now is what was available to researchers on Ancestry.com. From those results I had learned what I pretty much already knew: I am 99% European (35% Irish, 50% Eastern Europe, 5% Western Europe, & 9% other) and what I didn’t know: 1% Southern Asia.

The new Genetic Communities results show that my Irish roots from past few hundred years are primarily within 2 subgroups: Connacht Irish (60% confidence level), Irish in Cork (20% confidence level) To a lesser degree, my DNA test indicates I also belong to the Irish subgroups from  MayoGalway, and Munster.  So basically despite the Dorans living for a long time in Belfast, Ireland our clan most likely migrated there for work. All making the story Sal Rafferty told her cousins that the Dorans came from the West of Ireland, perhaps from County Clare more likely true than not.

Map of Ireland download courtesy of http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ruairc/ireland.htm

For my 50% Eastern Europe roots I did expect to see the Polish Community from Lesser Poland Malopolska  but the inclusion of Swietokrzyskie  was a surprise (20% confidence level for both).  I do not appear to have Polish roots from the rest of Poland.

Our primary research into church records has shown our Polish family lived in the same villages, and usually in the same homes, for at least 200 years (1700s through early 1900s). The villages were located in the Carpathian foothills between the modern cities of Tarnow, Golice, and Bobowa. Roughly 50 – 60 miles east of Krakow, Poland.

Map download courtesy of FamilySearch.org URL https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/File:Poland_map_with_English.png

Have you submitted a DNA sample yet to Ancestry.com or FamilyTree DNA or some other genetic testing service? Which one(s)?  Did you find out anything you didn’t already know? Have any of your DNA connections pointed you in a new direction of family research? Let us know how it turned out for you.

Posted in Blogger, DNA, Eastern Europe, Family Locations, Immigration, Ireland, Locations, Poland, Veronica, Western Europe | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments