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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Gorski

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 910-912 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

It was during the reign of Sigismund, one of the kings of Poland — then an independent kingdom — that the Gorski family came into prominence in public life. At that time the founder of the family now represented in Amsterdam, New York, by Rev. Anton Gorski, was appointed by King Sigismund to be his personal and private secretary. Since then members of the Gorski family in each generation have been actively connected with the government public service. Many of them took an active part to prevent the absorbment of their native land by Russia and in the subsequent revolutions aimed to restore liberty to their well loved land. Many lost their lives and property and were driven into exile.

(I) Four generations from the first secretary to the King, Matthew Gorski, were born in Lomza, Poland. The country was then under the Austrian government. Matthew was owner of a large estate and was a landlord over many tenants, who worked his lands. He was a man of quiet tastes and of religious temperament, himself a farmer, and owing to his descent from noble blood received proper recognition in the province. The family were members of the Polish Catholic church. He died aged about sixty years, leaving a wife Rosalia and six sons. She survived him many years, became blind and died in extreme old age. Their sons were:

  1. Anton, who died in his native town at the age of thirty-six. He left a widow and two sons, John, a physician and an officer in the Russian army, and Michael, a sailor in the Russian navy.
  2. Felix, was a physician and held the rank of captain in the war of 1855. He was a leader in the revolution of 1863-65, against Russia. After the defeat of the Poles a price of two thousand rubles was placed upon his head, but he escaped and fled to France. He located in the south of France, where he practiced his profession with success until 1899, when he came to the United States, settled in Chicago, where he died three years later. Immediately after escaping from the Russians he was in Paris, where he met and married Mary, daughter of General Yorgan. She accompanied him to the United States, and died one year after her husband.
  3. Joseph, was in the Russian government service as postmaster in one of the cities of Poland. He also owned and operated a large farm. He married the daughter of the sheriff of the district, but had no issue.
  4. Alexander, died November, 1909, at the age of eighty-six; he was a government official all his life and retired to a large estate after an active life. He married Rosalia Brzosko, a blood relative of the patriot priest, Father Brzosko, who was a leader in the revolution of 1863-65, was captured and hanged. He was the last victim of that revolution executed under authority of the Czar.
  5. Michael, was a well educated man in Poland when he entered actively into the revolution of 1864, and became a leader of his countrymen. When the revolution was crushed there was a price offered for him "dead or alive." A party of Cossacks ran him down and nearly effected his capture. One of the Cossacks was in advance of the others, and although he was shot through the leg, Michael killed the leading Cossack, mounted the dead soldier's horse and escaped. After much hardship and difficulty he reached France, thence going to Berne, Switzerland, where he completed his education at the University there. He then went to Buenos Ayres, Argentine, South America, where he is a professor of mathematics in the college. He married a Polish wife and had three sons, two of whom completed their education in Paris, France; one enlisted in the Boer army during their late war, was captured by the British, and died from the results of imprisonment.
  6. Kasimir Michael.

(II) Kasimir Michael, youngest son of Matthew and Rosalia Gorski, was born in Poland, March 1, 1829. He entered the public service, and was for years mayor and postmaster of his native city, Ciechanowiec, Poland. He was accused of being a Revolutionist during the revolt of the Poles against Russia in 1863-65, arrested and thrown into prison where he was confined for eighteen months. There not being sufficient evidence to convict him, he was released. He was restored to his position of postmaster, and in 1894 was retired on a government pension. He lives upon his own estate in Poland, and is still active in local affairs. He married Cecilia Liszkiewicz, daughter of John, a forester of the district, who died at the age of thirty-three, from the bite of a poisonous snake. Her mother was one of the remarkable women that the revolution brought into notice for their patriotic devotion to the cause of liberty. She went to the front with the soldiers, was captured by the Russians, and was tortured by them in every inhuman way, to make her acknowledge her connection with the Revolutionists and the names of the others but she remained silent, declaring they could kill her but could not compel her to speak. She died about 1895. The children of Kasimir Michael and Cecilia Gorski are:

  1. Ludowika, died at the age of twenty-six, leaving her husband Joseph Czerski (since deceased), and three children, Mary, Kasimira and Stephen.
  2. Rev. Anton, of further mention.
  3. Saturinia, who was educated in Poland, is now the wife of Mr. Francis Luiski, living in Florida township, Amsterdam, New York.
  4. Kasimira, came to Amsterdam, New York. when a young woman. She is the wife of Wenceslaw Michalowski, an officer of the Russian army. He served during the war of Russia against Japan, and was wounded in battle. They have George and Anna.
  5. John Otto, as chief of the Siberian railroad stations the time of the war with Japan, is now cultivating his brother Anton's farm in the town of Florida, Montgomery county.
  6. Kajetan, died at the age of nineteen years.
  7. Cecelia, married Dr. Bronislaw Smykowski, who is now (1909) completing a post-graduate course at the Baltimore Medical College.
  8. Alexander, died at the age of eleven.
  9. Michael, died in childhood.

(III) Rev. Anton, second child of Kasimir Michael and Cecilia Gorski, was born in Poland, January 30, 1867. He was educated in the city of Biala, Poland. His theological studies were pursued at Wloclawek Seminary, where he was graduated with the class of 1893. During his studies there he saw much of the interference of the authorities; and he inherited a hatred of Russian oppression and spoke his opinions perhaps too freely for his future comfort. On being required to enlist in the Russian army, he refused, and fled the country, coming to the United States in 1893. He entered St. Joseph's Seminary at Troy, New York, to acquire a more perfect knowledge of English. He was graduated in 1895, and having completed all preparation required for candidates for the priesthood, was admitted to holy orders and ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic church. He was at once placed in charge of St. Stanislaus Church, a Polish congregation at Amsterdam, numbering three thousand communicants in the parish, not including those who live in suburban towns. This number has increased from one thousand since Father Gorski was assigned to the parish and placed in spiritual control. St. Stanislaus also maintains a school of four hundred pupils presided over by Sister Samuela, mother superior. Although descending from a family of warlike tendencies, Father Gorski as a minister of peace maintains a mild, yet firm control and is beloved of his people. He is a member of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, of Chicago, Illinois, and chaplain of its eastern division; a member of the Polish Military organization of the United States, of Jersey city, New Jersey, being commander and chief of this, and also chaplain of the society; colonel of St. Michael's Knights, First Polish Battalion, of Amsterdam New York; a member of the Knights of Columbus, Amsterdam council; member of the board of directors of St. Joseph's Society of the "Emigrant House," and secretary of the society; also a member of the Associations of the Polish and Lithuanian Roman Catholic Priests of Eastern Provinces of America. Father Gorski is also a writer of considerable note, and has furnished much valuable material for both American and foreign Polish periodicals and newspapers.

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