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John Ponkow Family webpage


New info: From Paul Ponkow (grandson)

John Ponkow was born in Dobrowlany, Galicia approximately July 4th.,1888(died 1931). His name at birth was Ivan Pankow. Kalusz was a nearby city located in Eastern Galicia, part of the Austrian Hungarian empire(which ceased to exist after the Great War, WW1). His nationality was Ruthenian. He was possibly Greek Orthodox at the time before his departure to America. In 1912 he worked in a chemical fertilizer factory in Rendsburg, Germany.

General info:

He and his wife, Alvina sailed from Brennan, Germany, aboard the SS George Washington and arrived NYC Ellis Island on April 14th.,1913. Records indicate that he was married in February, 1911 in Kalush Germany to Alvina Jakowina(born 14 Mar 1893, died 15 Jul 1970 ) (her name may not be correct [records indicate that she entered the U.S. and registered under the name of 'Jewdoka Pankow']). This same record indicates that Alvina was born in Kalush, Austria. They first went to upstate New York and later settled in Oshkosh, WI and had 8 children. They raised their children Catholic. There is no information available at this time for the period spent in New York.

I would like to receive your input, i.e. names(middle), birthdates, marriages, children, deaths, etc... Please include addresses, email addresses, etc.... if possible. Photos of John and Alvina would be appreciated. And of course, any information on their life(and dates) in the U.S. & in Europe. According to the limited information available to me, I present this to you for your consideration and comment. It has been suggested that Alvina spoke Polish. Please send any info to:


P.O.BOX 5062, SHERMAN OAKS, CA 91413-5062

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The information contained herein is incomplete and inaccurate. If you can contribute any additional information, it would make this very interesting. No addresses will be published except mine. Addresses and email addresses could be included with permission.


The following is some general information on the children of John & Alvina Ponkow.

William'Bill' John:(born 8 Apr 1915, died Jul 1984),(birthplace: Oshkosh,WI), Married to Irene(born 21 Mar 1917, died 15 Nov 1996), 3 children

** Barbara

** Bill

John William: (born June 26, 1917, died 10 Nov 1998),(birthplace: Oshkosh,WI), Married to Lil Reynolds, 2 children

** Leslie Ann,(born July, 1947)(died Approx 1977) unmarried, no children

** Michelle, Married, 1 child

*** Stacy

Joseph:(born September 23,1919),(birthplace: Oshkosh,WI), Married to La Rae, 3 children

** Brent

** Blaine

** Allison

Helen Alvina:(born July 23, 1922),(birthplace: Poysippi,WI), Married to Clarence Nitz, 3 children

** Ricky, married to Laine, 2 children

** Nancy, not Married, no children

** Karen, Married to James,

Rose Marie: (born May 28, 1924),(birthplace: Poysippi,WI), Married to R.H.Smith, no children

Anna Marie: (born May 28, 1924),(birthplace: Poysippi,WI), Married to William Brabazon, 2 children

** William, Married

** Mary, not married, no children

*************Anna Marie, Married to James McCann, no children

Elaine Dorothy: (born August 2,1926),(birthplace: Oshkosh,WI), Married to Clarence Paul, no children

Edwin: (born January 19, 1930),(birthplace: Oshkosh,WI), Married to Barbara, 4 children

** Linda

** Paul

** John

** Cheryl

The above information is incomplete. If you can contribute any additional information, it would make this very interesting. This is a new activity and maybe someone could do it better. I invite your comments and suggestions. Your input would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you for your participation. Sincerely,



The following is information from the death records of the Social Security Adminstration.

ALVINA PONKOW born 14 Mar 1893 died 15 Jul 1970 90601 Pico Rivera, Los Angeles, CA 396 14 3186 WI (Before 1951)

CHARLES PONKOW born 24 Jun 1903 died Nov 1976 97058 The Dalles, Wasco, OR 398-05-9202 WI (Before 1951)

ELLA PONKOW born 10 Mar 1882, diedJan 1971 21214 Baltimore, Baltimore, MD 220-46-7757 MD (1963)

IRENE PONKOW born 21 Mar 1917, died 15 Nov 1996 95356 Modesto, Stanislaus, CA 398-10-5441 WI (Before 1951)

J PONKOW born 12 Jan 1963, died Aug 1990 391-80-3294 WI (Between 1977 and 1978)

JOHN PONKOW born 1 Jan 1914, died Oct 1980 14226 Buffalo, Erie, NY 159-16-3183 PA (Before 1951)

JOHN PONKOW born 26 Jun 1917, died 10 Nov 1998 89122 Las Vegas, NV 390-10-3384 WI (Before 1951)

JOYCE PONKOW born 8 Nov 1918, died 10 Nov 1988 112-54-5817 NY (1974)

MABEL PONKOW born 7 Nov 1904, died Jun 1972 97058 The Dalles, Wasco, OR 542-34-3942 OR (Before 1951)

MABEL PONKOW born 13 Sep 1902, died Jan 1986 54880 Superior, Douglas, WI 391-10-4634 WI (Before 1951)

OSCAR PONKOW born 4 Mar 1908, died 5 Mar 1994 708-05-0187 RR (Before 1951)

WILLIAM PONKOW born 8 Apr 1915, died Jul 1984 95350 Modesto, Stanislaus, CA 396-05-1802 WI (Before 1951)


Valid for the Year 1912


No 403811

 Border Office Myslowitz II (now prob. Myslowice, Poland)

of the German Field Worker Central Office of Berlin

Worker Identification Card

issued on the basis of the Ministerial Decree

dated 21 December 1907 - II b 5675. -

 First and Last Name Iwan Pankow

from Dobrowlany [I believe this is Dobrovolje in the Ukraine]

District Kat?? Home Country Galizien[Galicia: today situated in Poland and the Ukraine]

Employer Chemical Fertilizer Factory

Place of employment Rendsburg

District, Province Rendsburg - Schles.-Holst. (Schleswig-Holstein)

Federal State

This identification card must be produced when registering moves with the police and at every change of the place of employment.

[Same in Russian]

Stamp of the Police 26th April 1912

Administration of Myslowitz The Police Administration


  Note: Mysolwice or Myslowitz was once German, but is today in Poland. This ID shows that Ivan Pankow was from Dobrovolje, Galicia in the Ukraine, but worked in Rendsburg, Germany (in Schleswig-Holstein which is south of Denmark) in 1912 and this document was both his police identification card and work permit.

Here is an article about Galicia for your information.

From Encyclopedia Britannica:


Polish GALICJA, German GALIZIEN, Russian GALYTSIYA, historic region of eastern Europe that was a part of Poland before Austria annexed it in 1772; in the 20th century it was restored to Poland but was later divided between Poland and the Soviet Union.

During the Middle Ages, eastern Galicia, situated between Hungary, Poland, and the western principalities of Kiev and Volhynia, was coveted by its neighbours for its fertile soil and its important commercial connections. Incorporated into Kievan Rus by Vladimir I (Grand Prince Vladimir) in 981, eastern Galicia (also called Red Ruthenia, or Red Rus), being the country around Halicz (Galich, or Galych) on the upper Dniester, east of the Zbruch confluent and west of the headwaters of the San River, became an independent principality in 1087; during the next century it developed into a rich and powerful principality. In 1199 Prince Roman of Volhynia, invited by the Galician boyars (noblemen), ascended the throne in Halicz and united under his power both Volhynia (or Lodomeria) and Galicia in 1200. Under his rule and that of his son Daniel (reigned 1238-64), the united principality defeated both Polish and Hungarian attempts at conquest and asserted itself as a major state in eastern Europe. The principality was weakened, however, by internal struggles between the princes and boyars, who often held the real power in the principality, and, though Daniel was crowned king of Galicia by a papal legate in 1253, he was also compelled to recognize the suzerainty of the Mongol khan, who had conquered the former Kievan territory in 1237-41.

Galicia, however, did not become an integral part of the Mongol empire as did other lands of Rus, and in 1323, when Roman's dynasty died out, a Polish prince, Boleslaw Jerzy of Mazovia, was elected by the boyars to rule Galicia. After his death (1340), the Polish king Casimir III the Great annexed Galicia to his lands (1349). Under Polish rule Galicia was settled by Polish gentry, who became the dominant social class, and Galician boyars soon were compelled to accept the Polish language as well as Polish legal and social institutions and Roman Catholicism.

When Poland was first partitioned in 1772, eastern Galicia, together with the territory to the west, between the San and the Vistula, was attached to Austria; and in 1795 further lands, both west and east of the Vistula, passed also to Austria. From 1786 to 1849 Austria administered the territory of Bukovina as part of Galicia. After the adjustments of 1815 (Congress of Vienna), Austria's Polish possessions were called the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria; and the 1815 Republic of Cracow was added to them in 1846. In 1848-49 Austria abolished serfdom in Galicia and after 1867 allowed the region a large degree of administrative autonomy. During the late 19th century, however, the Ukrainian population, which constituted the majority of the inhabitants of eastern Galicia, objected to the increasing domination of the Polish population and developed a strong Ukrainian nationalist movement.

All Galicia became a part of Poland after World War I and postwar controversy. When World War II began, the Soviet Union united eastern Galicia to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following the war, eastern Galicia remained a part of the U.S.S.R. (after 1991, part of Ukraine), while western, Polish-settled Galicia was attached to Poland.


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