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WARGIN Family History, Part I

July 2012

Prussia, 1700-1871 According to's compilation of Wargin surnames from New York passenger lists, 88% of Wargin immigrants came from Germany-occupied Poland and Prussia. Not surprisingly, 80% of Polish immigrants to America during the period of 1854-1890 came from the area which Prussian's ruled as the province of "Posen," named for the principle city of Poznań. This province roughly conformed to the modern Polish province of Wielkopolskie (Greater Poland), the origin of the Polish nation dating from the 10th Century.

Censuses record that John and Ludwika Wargin were from German-occupied Poland. The 1920 census deviates slightly by refering to their origin as Western Prussia, while John's brother Michael, is noted as originating in "Posen". Prussia, essentially northern and southwestern Poland, regained Poznań and parts of northern Germany in 1815. Just before John's birth, Otto Von Bismarch became Minister-President of Prussia (1862-1890) under King William I of Prussia. Von Bismarch engineered the unification of Germany and gained parts of northern Germany during the Danish and Austrian wars (1865-1866). In 1867 he became chancellor of the North German Confederation. Later when the German Empire was formed in 1871 and William I became emperor, Von Bismarck became its first chancellor.

In 1872 the Prussian parliament ordered compulsory instruction of German in all schools and outlawed the speaking of Polish in public. In 1888 the parliament established a commission for the purpose of purchasing land from Poles in Wielkopolskie and leasing that land to German colonists, hence the Polish immigration wave to America and likely John and Ludwika's journey in 1890-1891 as well.

DNA Analysis

DNA testing of John Wargin's descendants, reveal that we belong to Haplogroup R1b1c. From this we find that after "Eurasian Adam" (M168) left the Ethiopia-Sudan region of East Africa some 50,000 to 79,000 years ago, one branch of descendants entered the Middle East (Haplogroup F, M89) and spread throughout the northern hemisphere with Haplogroup K (M9) some 40,000 years ago. From a branch on the Central Asian Steppes (M45) some 35,000-40,000 years ago Haplogroup R (M207) and its subgroup R1 (M173) sprang and gave rise to Cro-Magnon Man (R1b/M343) in Western Europe 35,000 years ago. Yes, it appears our earliest Wargin ancestors, along with those of most Western Europeans, were Cro-Magnon.

The R1b1 (P25) subclade likely resettled in Western Europe after the last glacial age ended some 10,000-12,000 years ago. As such, this widespread haplogroup is noted in 70-90% of the Western European population, and not only encompasses our Polish Wargin ancestors but those of my German Miller ancestors and my Italian-Swiss MALUGANI ancestors.

Among this widespread, common Western European ancestry there arose a further off-shoot, the R1b1c (P25+) subclade, which includes our Wargin lineage and my German Miller ancestors.


WARGIN or GRACZ? 1. The father of the Wargin family is believed to be Stefen Wargin, as identified through suspected son Michael's 1921 passport application information. Stefen was likely from Wielkopolskie (Posen), Poland, perhaps from Głomsk in Złotów County. At least two suspected sons immigrated to America in 1890 and settled in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin:

11. Jan "John" P. Wargin2 18 Oct 1864 1 Mar 1931 (66)
12. Michael Wargin 28 Sep 1869    
Pictured above is a grandfather, either Wargin or Gracz, who was photographed in his Prussian uniform in Flatow, West Prussia (Złotów, in modern-day Wielkopolskie).

Per Michael's passport application, Stefen died prior to 1921.

  • Pass 1921: 25 Feb 1921 Passport Application, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

Likely WARGIN Relatives

In searching over the Wisconsin and Minnesota records, other Wargin families of the approximate age of John's are also noted. So far I've not been able to determine what connections, if any, these families have to John:

Jan "John" P(eter) WARGIN (1864-1931)

Jan Peter WARGIN 11. Jan P(iotr) Wargin2 ("John P(eter)") was born October 18, 1864[Dth] in German-occupied Poland, most likely in Wielkopolskie (Posen). He married Ludwika "Louise" Gracz in late 1887 or early 1888[Cen 1900] and both immigrated by way of Ellis Island, New York in 1890[Cen 1900, 1910] and were naturalized in 1903[Cen 1920]. They settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had 11 children, two of whom died in infancy:

11A. Melania "Millie" Wargin Dec 1888 5 Oct 1964 (75)
11B. Helena Wargin 31 Dec 1890 1 Aug 1941 (50)
11C. Anastasia "Nettie" Wargin Dec 1892 10 Aug 1935 (42)
11E. Mary "Marie" Wargin 10 Jun 1897 16 Aug 1971 (74)
11F. Roman A. Wargin 4 Aug 1899 11 Dec 1929 (30)
11G. Bernard A. Wargin 13 Aug 1901 25 Nov 1973 (72)
11H. Sylvester Thomas Wargin 29 Dec 1903 2 Jul 1966 (62)
11J. Casimer Stanley Wargin3 21 Jul 1907 8 Jan 1984 (76)
11K. Jadwiga "Hedwig" Wargin 1911 1926 (15)

Ludwika and Baby Casimer After immigrating, John Wargin settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and opened a tailor shop. By 1900, the Wargins were living at 819 First Avenue in Milwaukee and had been naturalized as a U.S. citizen[Cen 1900]. For the next three decades the family was enumerated at 911 First Avenue[Cen 1910-1930] (now renumbered and renamed as 2201 South 6th Steet). John ran a small tailor shop in an outbuilding behind their home.

Most, if not all, of the Wisconsin-born children were baptized in the Basilica of St. Josaphat, a Polish Roman Catholic church about half a block away from their childhood home and John's tailor shop.

Jan "John" Wargin died in Milwaukee at his residence at 2201 South 6th Street on March 1, 1931. He died of cerebral apoplexy (stroke) after falling ill to hypostatic pneumonia a week prior. He was 66 years old and worked 45 years as a tailor, right up until he developed pneumonia. John WARGIN residence He was buried at Saint Adalberts Cemetery in Milwaukee.[Dth 1931] John and Louise had been married about 43 years.

After John's death, Ludwika lived with daughter Mary in a "Polish bungalow" off West Lincoln Avenue at 2228 South 18th Street.[Cen 1940]

Ludwika "Louise" (Gracz) Wargin died 12 years later of a cerebral hemorrhage caused by hypertension on May 27, 1943 in Milwaukee at the home of her daughter, Mary, at 711 West Lincoln Avenue. She was also buried at Saint Adalberts Cemetery in Milwaukee. She was 73 years old.[Dth 1943]

  • Cen 1900: 5 Jun 1900 Census, 819 First Ave., Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1905: 1 Jun 1905 Census, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1910: 27 Apr 1910 Census, 911 First Ave., Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1920: 15 Jan 1920 Census, 911 First Ave., Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1930: 8 Apr 1930 Census, 911 First Ave., Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Dth 1931: Death Certificate, filed 4 Mar 1931 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1940: 18 Apr 1940 Census, 2228 South 18th Street, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Dth 1943: Death Certificate, filed 28 May 1943 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

Michael WARGIN (1869-)

Michael WARGIN 12. Michael Wargin was born in September, 28 1869 in Głomsk, Złotów County, in Prussian/German-occupied Wielkopolskie (Posen), Poland. He boarded a ship in either Antwerp, Belgium, or Rotterdam, The Netherlands and arrived in America on July 28, 1891. He first lived in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, before settling in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. He had been married once before he married Michaeline "Minnie" Latus on September 20, 1897, in Milwaukee County. They had at least one daughter:

121. Anna Wargin (1900)    
Passport, 1921
Michael Wargin, born September, 1869 in Głomsk, Poland. Father, Stefen Wargin, born in Poland and died prior to the 1921 application. Emigrated to the U.S. from Rotterdam, Holland, about July 1891 and resided 29 years, uninterrupted through 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Naturalized in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illiois, on March 20, 1896. Permanent residence in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; occupation of merchant. Traveling from New York to France aboard the Cunard Line on April 25, 1921; returning within 3 months. Signed on Feb 25, 1921, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"Mich Wargin," age 22, departed Antwerp, Belgium, aboard the Friesland and arrived in New York on July 28, 1891.[Imm 1891] He was recorded as a German laborer with one piece of luggage bound for Chicago, Illinois. He settled first in Chicago where he was naturalized on March 20, 1896.[Pass 1921]

Michael and Michaeline married the following year on September 20, 1897, in Milwaukee, where they resided at 409 Mitchell Street by 1900. As was his older brother, Jan, Michael worked as a tailor.[Cen 1900].

By 1910 the Wargins moved about six blocks south to 712 Lincoln Avenue. Michaeline ran a millinery there with help from daughter Anna. In addition, Michaeline's widowed elder sister, Frances (Latus?) Streich, moved in with them.[Cen 1910-1920]

Kozlowski Cousins
Anna's daughters, Rose Mary and Beatrice Kozlowski are recalled to be Wargin cousins, thus firming up the relationship between Michael and John as brothers.

During the 1920s, daughter Anna married, had two daughters, divorced, and moved back in with her parents by 1930 and resumed work as a millner with her mother.[Cen 1930]

Michaeline (Latus) Wargin died during the 1930s. She was in her fifties or early 60s.

Michaeline's sister Frances, daughter Anna, and Anna's daughters, continued to live with Michael afterward. In 1940 their address was recorded as 1530 West Lincoln Avenue where they had lived since at least 1935.[Cen 1940]

  • Imm 1891: 28 Jul 1891 Immigration, Friesland from Antwerp, Belgium
  • Cen 1900: 1 Aug 1900 Census, 409 Mitchell Street, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1910: 15 Apr 1910 Census, 712 Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1920: 16 Jan 1920 Census, 712 Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Pass 1921: 25 Feb 1921 Passport Application, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1930: 14 Apr 1930 Census, 710 Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Cen 1940: 12 Apr 1940 Census, 1530 West Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin