Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Onion Layers that Were Cecelia Dagutis

After discovering my husband's paternal grandmother remarried after her first husband died, I decided to re-examine what information I did have about her. Cecelia Dagutis, like many of my husband's Lithuanian ancestors, has been a lot like an onion. The layers peel off slowly as I uncover a small bit of information, leaving many layers of the unknown. I have two big questions: 1) am I dealing with two women named Celia and Cecelia who married Adam Dagutis or one, and 2) what in the heck was her maiden name? I have a slew of options from which to choose.

Cecelia first showed up on the 1900 Census for Hazle Township in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Her name is spelled Celia Clomaskousky. She was born in April 1883 in Poland Rus and immigrated in 1899. She worked as a servant in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Griskconick, who seemed to run a small boarding house for immigrant coal miners. This may have been where Celia and Adam Dagutis met as he lived at the boarding house.

Cecelia showed up next as Celia Domoshowski, who was born on 10 April 1882 in Russia Poland. Her father was Anthony Domoshowski and he gave his consent to the marriage. Celia lived in Harwood, Pennsylvania, a coal patch, and married Adam Dagutis on 24 November 1900. And honestly, I'm not sure if this is "my" Cecelia or not. My husband's oldest sister had a vague recollection that Adam had been married before. Currently, my family tree reflects Adam being married twice. I have not been able to find a second marriage record for Adam, which makes me wonder if Celia and Cecelia are one in the same person.

Snippet of Adam Dagutis and Celia Dowoshowski Pennsylvania marriage
record; document courtesy of FamilySearch.org

I also have two different birth dates. 10 April 1882 for Celia (marriage record) and 22 November 1882 for Cecelia (death certificate).

Cecelia and Adam had nine known children, though my sister-in-law remembers her Dad talking about 13 children, several of whom died infancy or very young. Luzerne County began recording births in 1893 and this something I need to pursue for all of the children:
  • John Joseph Dagutis, born about 1902
  • Francis Adam Dagutis, born 1 August 1904
  • Joseph Dagutis, born 3 October 1904
  • Anthony Dagutis, born 3 October 1906
  • Anna Dagutis, born 1 June 1908
  • Anthony D. Dagutis, born 10 October 1911
  • Charles Dagutis, born 12 February 1914
  • Peter Charles Dagutis, born 10 March 1918
  • Albert Paul Dagutis, born 18 March 1920
I'm sure you can see a problem right away with the birth dates for Francis and Joseph. The source for Francis' birth date was the application he completed for a Social Security account in 1936. The source for Joseph's birth date is the application his mother sent for a headstone for a military veteran. She submitted the application in 1950.

Francis Dagutis was baptized on 14 August 1904. His mother's maiden name was listed in the church register Kilmasauckuite (keep in mind this is what I believe Latin version of her name). No church baptismal record has been found for Joseph. Anthony Dagutis was buried on 26 November 1906. His mother's maiden name was listed in the church register as Kilmaskeuc. The Pennsylvania death certificate listed her maiden name as Klemazaska. The Pennsylvania death certificate for Charles' death in 1920 listed his mother's maiden name as Klenosioski.

Francis Adam Dagutis' church baptismal record; document courtesy of
Holy Name Parish in West Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Cecelia's oldest known son, John Joseph, married Mary Berndetta O'Donnell in 1925. He listed his mother's maiden name as Cecelia Rolickas. Daughter, Anna, married Joseph Genevich on 2 January 1926. Her mother's maiden name was listed as Kavalaitis on the marriage license. 

Adam Dagutis died in 1925 and Cecelia remarried in 1929. Her father's name was listed as Anthony Klamanakie on her marriage license.[1] On her obituary, which was probably written by her son Anthony (born in 1911), Cecelia's maiden name was Klimasuskis. When Cecelia died in 1967, her son Francis was the informant listed on the death certificate. He did not know the names of Cecelia's parents.

Snippet of Anthony Shrupskis and Cecelia Dagutis' marriage Michigan
marriage record; document courtesy of Ancestry.com

And then there is Cecelia Dagutis' application for Social Security. She listed her father's name as Klimasansluski, which is the spelling I currently have in my tree.

What's your vote for her maiden name? And did Adam Dagutis marry twice?

[1] This marriage lasted very long. It took place in Michigan, but but 6 years later, she was back in Pennsylvania and called herself Cecelia Dagutis. The second husband was not mentioned in her obituary and my father-in-law never spoke of a step-father. My sister-in-law believes her second husband died three years after they were married but I have been unable to find a death certificate yet.

Cecelia [you decide her maiden name] was born on 10 April 1882 or 22 November 1882. Her father's given name was Anthony. She may have married Adam Dagutis on 24 November 1900 or it may have been later. She and Adam had nine known children. Adam died in 1925. Cecelia and her sons Francis, Anthony, Peter, and Albert to Hamtramck, Michigan, between 1927 and 1929. She married Anthony Shrupskis on 13 April 1929 in Detroit. When the 1930 census was enumerated Cecelia and her sons were still living in Hamtramck and Cecelia said she was married, but Anthony was not listed as living with her. By 1935 she was back in West Hazleton and called herself Cecelia Dagutis. She died on 23 May 1967 at the Hazleton State Hospital of peritonitis due to a perforation of the bowel and colon cancer. She was buried beside her first husband on 27 May 1967 at the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church Cemetery.

Cecelia's Big Secret? 


  1. Very interesting! It is quite a tangled mess, isn't it? Best wishes as you unravel this puzzle. :)

  2. Very interesting! It is quite a tangled mess, isn't it? Best wishes as you unravel this puzzle. :)

    1. Yes, it is. I settled on using the maiden name that was in her own handwriting from her social security application. I have no idea if it is the right version. I'm still trying to figure out the correct birth year for her son Joseph as there is no way it could be 1904. This family has made say more than a few bad words over the years!