Joseph Szczęch and Bernice Symbal Wedding

I am starting a new series of posts in my Poland Blog, a series on my family’s history. This is the first post in that series, about the wedding of my maternal Grandparents, Joe and Bernice (Symbal) Szczech. Pictures are worth 1000 words, and so here is the story told in pictures:

The wedding party photo

At the center, seated, are the groom and bride, Joseph Szczęch* and Bernice Symbal on their wedding day, June 11, 1929. I know all the attendants, but am not sure who is who in the photos.

The Bride’s attendants were: Anna Szczech (sister of the groom), Helen Gutowski (cousin of the bride) Victoria Symbal (sister of the bride), Rose Symbal (cousin of the bride), Bernice Szczech (sister of the groom).

The groom’s attendants were Stanley Warda (brother-in-law of the groom), Charles Gutowski (brother-in-law of the groom), Stanley Kot (family friend), Florian Brzuzan (family friend) and Harry Meske (family friend).

Here is a copy of the original newspaper clipping about their wedding:

Junle 11, 1929

*The interesting thing to note here is the groom’s surname. In proper, original Polish, it was Szczęch. But like so many Poles, the family struggled to adapt to America and it’s culture, and Polish names were for Americans often difficult to pronounce. At one point in time, the used the surname Sehm, and that is what was used in this marriage notice.

At some point later, the family decided to standardize the surname and used Szczech (converting the ę to e). But even years later, others struggled with the issue. Joseph Szczech’s brother, who was drafted into World War II, used Sczeck as his surname and that’s what’s on his military records and his military tombstone/plaque–he was KIA in 1944 in France, fighting in the US Army. But the original, historic surname was Szczęch, and the ancestors were from the south of Poland, from the villages of Krauszów and Ludźmierz. But that’s a story for another time.

If you’d like to know more about my ancestors, visit my family tree which is online here.

Lastly, here is a photo of the bride and groom, my maternal Grandparents:

Joseph Szczech and Bernice Symbal Szczech
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