Szpiech, Wolan, Witczak, Sullivan and Brosz Family Homepage

The Szpiech, Wolan, Brosz, Witczak, Sullivan Family History


Welcome to the Wolan-Sullivan family history page.

The Wolan-Sullivan family is an American family whose ancestry is predominatly Polish, with one set of Irish great-grandparents.  I am interested in corresponding with anyone sharing the same Polish surnames and originating from villages in the same geographic areas of Poland as my grandparents and great-grandparents. I'd also like to trace the Irish families in the vicinity of Bantry in Cork.

Surnames on the maternal (Polish) side of the family include Szpiech, Pilecki and Wolan and Sanecki. The paternal (Polish & Irish) side of the family includes Bros, Witczak, Driscoll, Connor and Sullivan. Click the specific surname link below to learn more about each of these families. The rest of this webpage provides general information about the surnames and areas of origin of the families and lists known collateral lines. I have over 2000 people in my database. The earliest were born between the mid 1700s-1860s. If you recognize a surname and a place, please write to me at This data contained on this page is accurate and up to date as of July 2013.  

A list of all the surnames mentioned on this website:    

Bros or Brosz, Babierz, Bator, Cierpial, Dopart, Dragula, Dudek, Gierczyk, Janusz, Koczot, Korzienowski, Kozdrasz, Kujawa or Kujawski,
Majcher, Malachowiec or Malachowitz, Michalski, Moskwa
Nowak, Olejarz, Perlejewski, Pilecki, Poinatowski, Pytiniak
Sliwinski,  Smela, Stawarsz, Suita, Szpiech, Taszarek,
Walus, Witczak, Wojewoda,Wolan, Wolanin


Blake, Connor, Costello, Driscoll, Fitzpatrick, Foley, Hurley or Healy, Kachubeck,Randal, Rice  

Szpiech  | Pilecki  |  Wolan  |  Bros  |  Witczak  |  Driscoll-Sullivan

The Szpiech Family

This maternal side of the family has the following surnames: Szpiech, Pilecki, and Koczot. Most of the Szpiech, Pilecki, and Koczot individuals immigrated to America through Ellis Island after 1900 from Austrian Poland or Galicia, mostly from Rzeszow province.

The Szpiech (Spiech is an alternate spelling) family, and surnames related to this line, the  Majcher, Smela and Janusz families, originated in the diocese of Premyszl and resideded in the vicinity of Konieczkowa sometime before 1894. The Szpiech's, once in America, settled in Newark and Elizabeth, NJ.

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The Pilecki Family

The Pilecki's and Koczots were from Gwoznica Gorna, a small mountain village in southeastern Poland. They resided  in this small mountain village  from the late 1700s. Collateral surnames in the village (and later in America) associated with them include Bator, Babiarz, Dopart, Dragula,Korzienowski, Kozdrasz, Lenard or Lenart, Olejarz, Pytyniak,Stawarsz, and Stanislawczyk, Walus, Wojewoda.  Some members of the Pilecki family arrived in America before Ellis Island opened in 1892, although the bulk of them arrived after 1900. They also settled in Newark and Elizabeth, NJ. There are Wolans and/or Wolanins related to the Pilecki line.  These Wolans originated in Gwoznica Gorna and settled in Newark. They appear to be a different family from the Wolans on the maternal grandfather's side of the family who originated from a different village in southeastern Poland, some 25 miles away. 

I have extensive information on the Pilecki and Koczot lines in the village going back to about 1784. 
I'd like to find out more about the early settlement of Gwoznica, especially since these anscestors seem to have been among the first settlers in this town on the Polish/Ukrainian frontier and resided there for almost 200 years.

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The Wolan Family

The Wolan family includes the following surnames going back 3 generations: Sanecki, Nowak, Moskwa.  Sanecki-Wolan family originated from small villages in southeastern Poland near Strzyzow. The family originated in these villages surrounding Strzyzow in the late 1800s: Zarnowa for the Wolans, Zaborow for the Sanecki family.  At the time this area of Poland was a province of the Austrian Empire called Galicia. In the generation before World War 2 they resided in Glinik Charzewski. Members of these families came through Ellis Island inseveral different waves before and just after the turn of the 20th century and also settled in Elizabeth, NJ and Philadelphia. Collateral relatives in the US include Sliwinski, Suita, Dudek, and Cierpial.   This family is documented from about 1860 and I am interested in confirming earlier oral history.

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The Bros Sullivan Family

The Bros-Sullivan family is comprised of the following  Polish branches Witczak,  Malachowiecz, and Bros, originally spelled Brosz. The Brosz side includes at least two male cousins that came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s. They originated in the village of Samborzec on the outskirts of Sandomierz in eastern (then Russian) Poland. They immigrated to the USA around 1900, settling in Staten Island, New York. An additional surname linked with the Brosz family is Gierczyk going back 3 generations.  No members of this family are known to have come to the US.

Brosz and Related Surnames

Surnames on the maternal grandparent side also include the Poniatowski-Malachowiec (or Malachowiecz) family who originated in Ciechanowiec east of Warsaw in what was then Russia.  Zofia Poniatowski came with her daughter and son-in-law Mary and Jozeg Malachowiec 
to Staten Island via Ellis Island in 1913 with several children and some, but not all, of their grown children.  At least one older daughter was married and already living in the US. Her family, Perlejewski, appears to have sponsored the Malachowiec group. I am intersted in corresponding with anyone who has connections with Ciechanowiec or these surnames, especially before the first World War.

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The Witczaks 

The Witzacks are on the paternal grandmother's side of the Sullivan family. Our branch of the Witczak family included 3 brothers who immigrated to the mid-west in the 1880s or earlier from Prussian-held Poland, Poznan province, probably from the Catholic parish in Wilkowyja, in Jarocin District, Rogowo. Our direct ancestor arrived through the port of New York in 1884 and eventually setteld in Bayonne in the early 1890s after living in various locations. The other 2 brothers are believed to have settled and remained in the midwest since the late 1800s, most likely in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, or Illinois. All were sons of Wojciech and Hedwiga Witczak of Rogowo. Family lore states that Jan was the 7th son, supposedly "good luck". This information is currently unconfirmed.  I am especially interested in finding the decendants of a Wojteck or Wojciech (Adalbert or Albert) Witczak or his son John (Jan). They were the first of this family in the USA, are believed to have resided in Wisconsin and sponsored our ancestor. (A John Witczak, was married in Milwaukee in 1899 ---but I do not know if this is the correct Jan, who would be nephew to our ancestor). A sister Anna is also supposed to have immigrated and settled in the vicinity of Nanticoke/Wilkes Barre, PA in the early 1900s.  But her married name is unkown.  

Additional surnames linked through marriage to the Witczaks are Taszasek (This name has been spelled various creative ways on records) on the paternal side and Michalski on the maternal side. I am interested in tracing the family in Poznan.

The Michalski Family

On the maternal side of the Witczak family, is the surname Michalski. The Michalski's were also Poles from Prussian Poland and were linked through marriage with Kujawa or Kujawski families. This is the branch of our family longest in the USA. The Michalski family arrived in 1876 from  the port of Hamburg.  They arrived with their 2 children in Philadelphia where their third child, and youngest daughter was born in 1876. They traveled west by covered wagon to farmland in southeastern Illinois where they settled for at least 2 generations. An 1860 marriage record for Josef Michalski and Marianna Kujawa has been identified through the Poznan Project Marriage Database.  ( If confirmed that this is the corect couple, it will identify the parish of origin and confirm estimated birthdates in the 1840s.

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