The Selinske/Zielinski Family



Mary Brueske and Frank Selinske in 1899.



 John Zielinski and his wife, the former Gertrude Smolinsky, came to the United States in October 1889. They landed in Baltimore, Maryland aboard the steamship Rhein under the names Johann and Gertrud Czelinski. They brought five children with them, Franz (b. 1876), Marie (b. 1877), Veronika (b. 1882), Bernhardt (b. 1887) and Paul (b. 1889).

When asked by the census takers, Gertrude claimed to have had 16 children by 1900 and 18 children by 1910. In both years she said that only 4 had survived. Two children were stillborn in 1892 and 1894. Paul died of diptheria in November 1889. The family was Roman Catholic and attended St. Casimer's at the time. Paul was buried in Mt. Olivet cemetery in Detroit in the baby lots.

There may have been some split in family as Frank and Mary were said to only visit their parents occasionally and did not bring their families. It may have something to do with Bernhardt, who lived with his parents until at the 1920's.

John and Gertrude lived at 1126 27th Street in Detroit between 1892 and 1898. By 1900 they had moved to 1122 25th Street and lived there until their deaths. He worked as a laborer at various jobs including a box factory. She died in November 1932 and he died in February 1934. They are buried side by side in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Neither grave is marked.



Frank Selinske


Unlike his parents and siblings, Frank changed the spelling of his name to Selinske. Frank also gave the new spelling to his father when he filled out his death certificate. Consequently, his mother is buried under the name Zielinski and his father was buried next to her under the name Selinske.

Frank worked at a number of different jobs, usually in the garment industry, sometimes as a tailor and as a cutter and in an overall factory. His sister Veronica was also tailoress. Frank also worked for National Twist Drill and in a bakery before he died



He married Mary Brueske in 1899. Their children were Louis (b. 1899), Gertrude (b. 1901), Mary (b. 1904), Marie (b. 1907), Loretta (b. 1910), Francis (b. 1912), Marcella (b. 1915), Elizabeth (b. 1918) and Richard (b. 1921).

Louis attended the University of Detroit and married late in life. His wife's name was Irene. Gertrude married Joseph Fieten, Mary wed Homer Burns, and Marie married Clarence C. Miller. Loretta married Karl Otto, Francis married Marian Childers, Marcella married Robert McCormick and Richard's wife is Betty.



Elizabeth is only child who didn't survive to adulthood. She died at the age of three on her sister Marie's fifteenth birthday, May 30, 1922. Before she died, she insisted to her father and her sister Marie that she saw a lady dressed in white hovering in the corner of her room. Marie is certain that her sister had seen an angel. Betty was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery and joined by her parents, Mary Louise, who died in 1941 and Frank, who had cancer of the jaw, and died in 1951.

Marie and Betty c. 1921






Mary Zielinski Hackbarth


Frank's sister Mary also worked in the overall factory. She was a liaison between the workers and management. She married Louis Hackbarth in 1901. They moved from Wyandotte to the Monroe area in 1926 and opened a grocery store. She was very active in the community. Mary died of intestinal cancer in 1953. Their children were Louis, Jr. (1903 - 1967), Harry (b. 1906) and George (1910-1984).



Veronica Zielinski Krause Goehringer

Frank's sister Veronica worked in the garment industry like her siblings. She married Charles Krause on April 12, 1902 and had at least six children - Ruth (b. 1903) Charles (b. 1905), Edward (b. 1906), Alma (b. 1908), Albert (b. 1915) and Claude (1919 -1984).

They lived at 947 24th Street in Detroit between 1910 and 1930. Ruth died in of appendicitis in 1914. Charles left the family during the 1920's and Veronica remarried after 1930.



Her new husband was Charles Goehringer, widower with several children. She moved into his house at 4440 23rd St. in Detroit. He died in 1938 and is buried in Woodmere Cemetery with his first wife Minnie. Veronica lived to the age of 95 and died in Februrary 1977 in Detroit.



Zielinski Surname DNA Project

In September 2006, the Zielinski Surname DNA Project was inaugurated in an attempt to locate related members of the Zielinski family. The origin of this branch of the family is a mystery. No one seems to know anything about this family prior to their arrival. Hopefully, relatives with a known history will be found through comparisons of DNA test results. You can read more about the project and its results here:



Memorialization Project

In May 2007, some of the descendents of John & Gertrude Zielinski thought it was time that their ancestors were honored with markers on their graves. Watch the space for more details.



This page is maintained by Daniel A. Bellware

And was last updated on February 12, 2010.

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