Who's Who in the Tree of Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.
The Result of Thirty years of Research


My father's line is of Austrian, Palatine German, English and Native American descent.

I have connections to Salem, Massachusetts, and the Towne Family. My ancestor was Susanna Towne, sister of William Towne and Joanna Blessing. The Towne's three daughters were accused of witchcraft. Arthur Miller's play The Crucible and a movie called Three Sovereigns for Sister Sarah were about these women.

Notables in my line include Mayflower passengers Francis Cooke, and James Chilton (through my Packard, Howard, and Ames lines), John Alden, and Stephen HopkinsFamous people in the Knight family. I have many Howard lines, one of which is reputed to connect with the mother of Anne Boleyn through a Tilney sister. Distantly, I also connect to Catherine of Aragon, through Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I. I am strongly related to William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) through my Packard lines. My great-great grandfather, Elijah Packard II and he were first cousins.

My Bartholomew family came from Oxfordshire, England, to Massachusetts in 1634, as Puritans. William and his sister, Mary, were disinherited, since the rest of the Bartholomews were "Popish Recusants" (kept their Catholic beliefs in spite of Henry VIII). However, William and his sister owned a tavern in the New World, and William was a member of the General Court in Ipswich, Massachusetts (from 1638) and held many other offices. William's ancestor, John Bartholomew, received his manor houses, in Oxfordshire, England; from Henry VIII, as he was one of Henry's envoys to Spain. He helped arrange the marriage of Henry to Catherine of Aragon. Later when Henry made himself the head of his Church of England, the Bartholomews fell out of favor. However, their large stone manor house, "Westhill Manor," is still standing on the hillside above the Thames River, in Burford, Oxfordshire, England.

I am a cousin to Clint Eastwood, the actor and film director, who shares my Bartholomew family ties.

An patriot, John Dickerson, who was well acquainted with Robert Treat Paine, Thomas Paine (the writer), and George Washington. John Dickerson (Dickinson) is best known for his letters to King George regarding his taxes. At this time, it is not clear whether our lines connect.

My Dickerson and Paine lines go back to the owners of Bradley Hall, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England. This same line goes back to Edward I (1272-1307), William the Conqueror (1066-1086), El Cid, St. Margaret of Scotland, Malcolm III of Scotland (1057-1093), John of Gaunt, St. Louis of France, and the Kings of Dalriada who migrated from Ireland to Scotland.

I have many Native American connections including relationship to Pocahontas, who married the English planter, John Rolfe. My Bartholomew line has connections to John Rolfe and the Rolfe family in Elizabethan times, while my Wood and Crush lines connect to Pocahontas.

My Crysler family were among the first Palatine Germans who settled in New York State and they were close to, traded with, and intermarried with members of the Mohawk nation, under Chief Joseph Brant. Many of the ancestors of my Burnam and Wood lines sill live near Oshweken, Canada's Six Nations Reserve on the Grand River. This land was given to Brant's Mohawks by the British. Oshweken is our family's own personal place of retreat. My great-grandmother, Ermina Crysler was a tribal leader and healer. Adam Crysler, the Loyalist hero, was a cousin to my great-grandfather's line. My Crysler line originated from the Counts Kruessler of Austria, who moved to the Palatinate in Dietz, Germany. They were innkeepers there, and later, in Flacht on the Aar, a chief magistrate. The Crysler line has many mayors and civic leaders all the way through modern times. The Crysler line was named "the blue-eyed Indians." One line of Dickersons also married into the Native American lines via the Tanner family. My Crush lines go to the Niantic, Occuish, who was a Native American Missionary in Connecticut. My Crysler relatives are cousins to Walter P. Chrysler, the auto baron, and William Clay Ford. The addition of the "h" in the spelling of the name was to set them apart from us in the USA (they were Canadians and Loyalists).

My Dickersons are also distant cousins to George Washington through the Butler lines, and distant cousins to the late Lady Diana Spencer. Experience Mitchell's parents are our common ancestor as well as Edward I and others. I am currently trying to prove my Wood relationship as well. My Mitchell and Hayward families also make me a cousin to William Howard Taft, 27th President, while my Mitchell, Washburn, my Butler lines make George Herbert Walker Bush, 42st President of the U.S.A., and his son, my distant cousins. My Dickerson line relates to Warren Harding.

I am still trying to prove the family stories about Hugh de Payens, founder of the Knights Templars. It seems that I relate to him through my Paine and Sinclair lines (originally St. Clair of Normandy). It is reputed that Hugh married Catherine St. Clair when they both were still in France. Hugh was the cousin of the Comte de Champayne. The first Templar preceptory, outside the Holy Lands, was on the St. Clair/Sinclair estate in Scotland. History tells us that Catherine bore him children before he took his Templar vows. Many Templars were married before entering the Order. The husband and wife generally agreed on a vow of celibacy, while they were members.

Most of the members of my father's line were officials of the court, tavern keepers, land owners, mayors, and officers in all major wars from King Phillip's War to the Civil War (in the U.S.A.).


My mother's lines are 100% Scottish.

I am the great niece of Alexander Malcolm, owner of Malcolm & Sons, Ltd. of Shanghai and Hong Kong, and other parts of the East. Uncle Alex was an engineer and ran an import/export business. His company was contracted to construct one of the largest "water schemes" ever carried through China. He constructed a large reservoir and filtration plant for the city of Canton, at a cost of 600,000 British pounds, before WWII. This was one of the largest British contracts in this area, at the time. Alexander, his sister Isabel, and his brother William were all born in Auchtermuchy, Fifeshire, Scotland. William Malcolm, my grandfather, and his sister, Isabella Malcolm, emigrated to Detroit, Michigan, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, respectively in 1910. Alexander was the first-born and owned a large manor house in Edinburgh. Alexander was captured and presumably killed by the communists.

In clan histories, Malcolm meant "followers of St. Columba;" and their hereditary manor house was near Loch Ness, where St. Columba was reputed (by legends) to have talked with Nessy, the Loch Ness monster.


Raymond Sypniewski's family came from Poland to Pennsylvania during the great migration, and because of the war, we don't know much about the family. Ray's family came here in the early 1900's to Glassport, Pennsylvania, where Ray's father was born (eldest son). His grandfather's family owned a large roadhouse and farm in Kowalewo Pomorskie , Poland . However, previously their estate was much larger, and they basically were allowed to keep a small percentage of their original holdings. They were said to have made ammunition, and sold arms and swords, in secret, and held meetings at their roadhouse. They were part of the resistence that occured from 1905-1907, while the Russians were busy with a revolution at home. The people of Poland thought this was a good time to do some of their own rebelling, since the troops were otherwise occupied. Ray's grandfather, Kasimierz, had to flee Poland when the Russians finally discovered their plots, and the arms buried under the floor of their stables. At this time, Kazimierz Sypniewski, fled to Germany and became a sailor on the North German Lloyd Lines, on the SS Brandenburg. He made 14 voyages between Bremen and the United States, when he finally made enough to pay for his passage. He and his sister, Mary, were the only members of the family to escape, at this time, since they were not home during the raid. When they returned home they realized that their only hope was to leave with no more than the clothes on their backs and a few items they could carry. A half-brother of Ray's grandfather was a Captain, of a warship, in the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1890's. One of Kazimierz's uncles lived in Detroit, Michigan; and his sister moved, after marriage, to Erie, Pennsylvania. No one knows the fate of Ray's great grandfather, Leo Sypniewski and his wife. One can guess that they were sent to Russia or killed? Kazimierz Sypniewski married Weronica Modzielewska, from Lublin Province, Poland. They married in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

The Sypniewskis, in early Poland, were granted membership into the Odrowaz clan, by order of the king. They were originally called Rünge, and had a German coat of arms, and were noteworthy Silesians. For a time, in Poland, they were known as Rünge-Sypniewski and had various estates named Sypniewo. It seems ironic that they fled Germany to go to Poland and then eventually returned. Family history states that they still had relatives there during the war.

A similar fate brought his maternal grandfather, Leo Stempnakowski here to the USA. Leo's mother was a von Döering from Alsace Lorraine. The king of Sweden granted a coat of arms to the von Döerings. She taught French in the University. His sisters still have a large Alpine Inn in the Black Forest region in Germany today. We have photographs of Leo Sypniewski when he visited there in his late 70's. Leo married Frances Mentkowski and they lived in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

At this point, we have found lots of Sypniewskis, but are still unsure how they all relate to Ray. I think that each day we are closer to a breakthrough.

I have only been seriously searching for Ray's Polish roots since 1998, on the internet, which has opened up many new doors, so I have learned quite a bit, in that time, about the Sypniewski Family. My main stumbling block has been the translations from Polish and Latin. This is a lengthy process. Luckily, I have a few kind souls that are willing to help me in this endeavor.

My own side of the family has been researched since 1978. In actual time, I have much more to do on Ray's line. Hopefully, I can reap as much in the future. If you want to learn more. visit my individual pages.


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This page was last updated on July 15, 2013

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