Orlasky Families of Berrien County

Contributed by William Brackett

John Orlasky appears to be the patriarch of the Orlasky families in Berrien County, Michigan. The name may be of Polish origins but from records here he seems to be of German ancestry but came to America from Russia. The name here gets spelled a variety of ways: Orlasky, Orlosky, Orlaskey, Orloskey, Orlaski, Orloski, Orlaske, Orlaskee, Orlaskie, Orlsky, Orlaska

The 1900 census of Benton Harbor includes:

John Orlaskee, 49 years of age, born Jan 1851 in Germany
Hattie Orlaskee, 46 years of age, born Dec 1853 in Germany
Julius Orlaskee, 21 years of age, born Apr 1879 in Germ Russ
Gustav Orlaskee, 19 years of age, born Jan 1881 in Germ Russ
August Orlaskee, 17 years of age, born Oct 1882 in Germ Russ

The 1910 census of Lake Township includes:

John Orlaksy, 59 years of age, born in Russ Germ
Hattie Orlasky, 63 years of age, born in Russ Germ
Gustav Orlasky, 26 years of age, born in Russ Germ

The 1920 census of Sodus includes:

John Orlsky, 68 years of age, born in Russia
Dora Orlsky, 59 years of age, born in Russia

The 1930 census of Benton Harbor includes

John Orlaskie 79 years of age, born in Russia living in a boarding house

Hattie must have died and in 1919 John remarried to Dora (Herman) Fritz. This marriage record gives his father as Christian Orlaske and his mother’s maiden name as “Glaske”. John “Orlakse” age 67 married on 22 Nov 1919 in Sodus, Michigan to Dora Fritz age 59, whose maiden name was Herman. John Orlaksy died on 05 Jun 1933. His death record gives his age at the time of death as 82 years, 4 months and 22 days, which would make his birthdate 14 Jan 1851. Census records indicate John Orlasky immigrated in 1894. Besides those show in the census records John appears to also be the father of Adolph Orlasky and Ernestine (Orlaksy) Reich.

There was an obituary for John Orlaske carried in the News Palladium on Monday 05 Jun 1933 and it reads: “John Orlaske, Old Baroda Resident Dies This Morning Baroda, June 5-John Orlaske, resident of Baroda and vicinity since he came to this country from Russia in 1894, died at the home of a daughter, Mrs. August Reich of Baroda. He was 82 years old last February and had been in failing health for about a year. He came to make his home with his daughter last February 18. For many years Mr. Orlaske resided on a farm two and a half miles west of Baroda and in his earlier life he was a member for many years of the Lutheran church at Bridgman. Funeral services will be held at Zion Evangelical church in Baroda on Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock with the Rev. C. A. Haneberg officiating. Surviving the well known Baroda man are his daughter, Mrs. Reich, and three sons, Herman Orlaske of Sodus; Julius Orlaske, Wauwautosa, Wis., and August Orlaske of Michigan City, Ind. Mr. Orlaske’s wife, the former Henrietta Laske, to whom he was married in Russia, died in January 1919.”

Neither John’s obituary nor his death record gives his place of burial. It is most likely he was buried in Ruggles Cemetery near Baroda. His wife is buried there as is his son Gustof and the daughter he was living with when he died, Ernestina Reich. Henrietta Orlosky, wife of John, died on 17 Jan 1919 and was also buried in the Ruggles Cemetery. Henrietta Orlosky’s death record gives her parents as Wm Schrader of Germany and “Vat” Kramer. In most records her maiden name is seen as Glaske.

Ernestina Orlasky was born on 18 Oct 1882 and she married August Reich. She died on 29 Feb 1956 and was buried in the Ruggles cemetery near Baroda. Her death record gives her father as John Orlosky and her mother as Henrietta Glaske.

There was an August “Orlaska” who was 36 years of age who married on 15 Mar 1919 in Benton Harbor to Hazel Folk who was 20 years of age. August’s father is given as John and his mother’s maiden name is given as “Glasske”. Records indicate he was a son of John Orlasky and he later lived in Michigan City, Indiana. This may be the same August John Orlaske who has a draft registration card which lists his address as 616 Hoyt Street, Michigan City, Indiana. This registration gives his birth date as 18 Oct 1882 and birth place as Russia.

Julius Orlakse appears to be the same person who married Martha Konig on 19 Nov 1904 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This marriage record gives his father as Johann Orlaske and mother as Henrietta Glaske. Martha’s parents are given as Karl Konig and Marie Raguse.

Gustave Orlosky was born on 03 Feb 1880 and died on 01 May 1926. He is buried in the Ruggles Cemetery in Baroda Township. His death record gives his father as John Orlosky who was born in Russia and his mother as Harriett Klamposki who was born in Germany. Since he was born before Henrietta (Glakse) Orlasky died it is likely she was his mother.

The 1920 census of Buchanan Township includes:

Gustus Orlsky, 39 years of age born in Russia and he is living in the household of his brother-in-law, August Reich. According to this census record his sister appears to have been named Erenestina. Erestine Orlosky, 18 years of age, married August Reich,23 years of age, on 25 Jan 1900 in Benton Harbor.

The 1900 census of Lake Township includes:

Adolf Orlosky, 24 years of age, born Mar 1876 in Russia
Bertha Orlosky, 23 years of age, born Jul 1877 in Russia
Henry Orlosky, 2 years of age, born Apr 1898 in Mich
Luisa Orlosky, 1 year of age, born May 1899 in Mich

The 1910 census of St. Joseph includes:

Adolph Orloskey, 36 years of age, born in Russ Germ
Bertha Orloskey, 35 years of age, born in Russ Germ
Henry Orloskey, 12 years of age, born in Mich
Charles Orloskey, 9 years of age, born in Mich
Julius Orloskey, 7 years of age, born in Mich
Sophia Orloskey, 5 years of age, born in Mich
Edward Orloskey, 10 months old, born in Mich

The 1920 census of In St. Joseph includes:

Adolph Orlaskey, 46 years of age, born in Russia
Bertha Orlaskey, 45 years of age, born in Russia
Charles Orlaskey, 19 years of age, born in Michigan
Julius Orlaskey, 17 years of age, born in Michigan
Sophia Orlaskey, 14 years of age, born in Michigan
Edward Orlaskey, 11 years of age, born in Michigan
Agard Orlaskey, 6 years of age, born in Michigan

Adolph Orlaksy married Bertha Hauch in 1897 in Lake Township. Adolph died on 26 Jan 1929 and his death record gives his father as John Orlaksy and his mothers as Hattie “Gileske”. I checked for a marriage license and there is one for Adolph "Oilsky" age 21 who married Bertha "Howe" (should be Hauch) who was 19 years of age on 06 Aug 1897 in Bridgman (Lake Township).  A witness was Paulina Hauch.  Adolph's father is given in this record as John and mother's maiden name as "Glasgy". Records indicate Adolph Orlasky immigrated in 1896. Survivors included in Bertha (Hauch) Orlasky’s obituary are five sons and a daughter: Henry, of the U.S. Army at Fort Worth, Tex.,; Charles, Edward and Victor of Benton Harbor; Julius of Mishawaka, Ind.; and Mrs. Sophie Ashcraft, Muskegon, Eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild also survive. Her brothers and sisters are: Fred Hauch, St. Joseph Township; Otto Hauch, Baroda; Mrs. Pauline Schutlz, Benton Harbor; and Mrs. Tena Neering, Lydick, Ind.

On seekingmichigan.org there is a death record for “Lanesa” P. Orlosky who was born 22 May 1899 and died on 27 Jul 1907 in Berrien County of an accidental gunshot wound.  Her father is given as Adolph Orlosky and mother as Bertha Hauch.  She is buried in Crystal Springs Cemetery in Benton Harbor. This is probably the Luisa seen in the 1900 census record. A family story shared with me indicates her brothers had found a pistol and did not know it was loaded. When the gun fired the bullet struck Luisa as she was hanging up clothes.

An obituary for Adolph Orlasky was carried in the News Palladium on 28 Jan 1929 and it reads: “Death Takes A. Orlasky, St. Joe Twp. Adolph Orlasky, for 35 years a resident of St. Joseph township, died in his home at 11 o’clock Saturday night following an illness of two years’ duration. Funeral services will be held at the Slaughter Chapel, Benton Harbor at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. Burial will follow at Crystal Springs cemetery. Deceased was born in Russia on March 4, 1877. He is survived by his wife Bertha, five sons, Charles, Henry, Julius, Edward and Egert, and a daughter Sophia. He also leaves three brothers, Herman, Julius and August, and a sister Mrs. August Reick.”

The News Palladium carried the obituary for Bertha Orlasky on 26 Jan 1943 and it reads: "Death Takes Bertha Orlasky At Age Of 66 Mrs. Bertha Orlasky, 66, of 1065 Union street, who had been in ill health for some time, died at 4:45 o'clock this morning at Mercy hospital. She was born July 9, 1877 in Moscow, Russia, coming to the United States in 1896. She lived for a short time in Baltimore, Md., and in 1897 was married to Adolph Orlasky in Benton Harbor, who preceded her in death in 1929. Survivors include her five sons and a daughter: Henry, of the U.S. Army at Fort Worth, Tex.,; Charles, Edward and Victor of Benton Harbor; Julius of Mishawaka, Ind.; and Mrs. Sophie Ashcraft, Muskegon, Eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild also survive. Her brothers and sisters are: Fred Hauch, St. Joseph township; Otto Hauch, Baroda; Mrs. Pauline Schutlz, Benton Harbor; and Mrs. Tena Neering, Lydick, Ind. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 o'clock Thursday afternoon from the Reiser Mortuary chapel. Burial will take place in Crystal Springs cemetery."

Charles Louis Orlasky was born on 14 Oct 1901 and was the son of Adolph Orlasky. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Benton Township. His father is given in his death record as Adolph and his mother’s maiden name as Schultz instead of Hauch. His mother was Bertha (Hauch) Orlasky and it appears whoever provided this last name for the death record was mistaken.

An obituary for Charles Orlaksy was carried in the News Palladium on 10 Oct 1950 and it reads: “Charles L. Orlasky The Rosary will be recited at 8 o’clock this evening at the Reiser chapel for Charles Louis Orlasky, well known Benton Harbor tavern operator who died Monday morning at Mercy hospital. Requiem high mass will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at St. John’s Catholic church, and burial will follow in Calvary cemetery. Mr. Orlasky operated the grand Crossing tavern at 1010 Pipestone street. The Benton harbor Elks Lodge, no. 544 will meet at the church to attend the funeral services in a group and will conduct the Elk’s rituals at the graveside in Calvary cemetery.”

Victor Orlaski died on 29 Mar 1965 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Victor married Bertha Wills. Victor died in a house fire with two of his children, Barbara and Vincent. They are buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Also buried there is another son, Adolph Orlaksi who was born on 25 Jun 1955 and died on 30 Jun 1955. Adolph’s death record gives his father as Victor A. Orlaski and his mother as Bertha Wills. Victor Orlaski was the son of Adolph and Bertha (Hauch) Orlasky.

The 1910 census of Berrien Township includes:

Herman Orlaska, 37 year of age, born in Russ Germany
Pauline Orlaska, 34 years of age, born in Russ Germany
Melitta Orlaska, 11 years of age, born in Michigan
Blundene Orlaska, 10 years of age, born in Michigan
Walter Orlaska, 7 years of age, born in Michigan
Lillie Orlaska, 5 years of age, born in Michigan
Elma Orlaska, 8 years of age, born in Michigan
Ruth Orlaska, age illegible, born in Michigan

The 1930 census of Oronoko Township includes:

Herman Orlaske, 58 years of age, born in Russia
Pauline Orlaske, 50 years of age, born in Russia
Walter Orlaske, 28 years of age, born in Michigan
Olga Orlaske, 18 years of age, born in Michigan
Peter Orlaske, 16 years of age, born in Michigan
Junior Orlaske, 13 years of age, born in Michigan
Raymond Orlaske, 8 years of age, born in Michigan

Herman Orlaske was born on 12 May 1872 in Russia. Herman married Paulina Klann. Herman died on 07 Jan 1943 at the age of 70 years 7 months and 26 days. His parent’s names are not included on his death record but obituaries found show he was the son of John Orlaksy. Paulina was born on 06 Jan 1878 in Russia and was the daughter of Peter and Rosalia (Fabich) Klann or Klaun who were also born in Russia. She died on 25 Dec 1942. Herman and Paulina Orlaske are buried in the Crystal Springs Cemetery in Benton Harbor.

An Obituary for Herman Orlakse was carried in the News Palladium on 07 Jan 1943 and it reads: “Herbert Orlaske Dies Funeral To Be Sunday Herbert Carl Orlaske, whose wife was buried Christmas week, died at 6 o’clock this morning at his home, 265 Parker street, Benton Harbor. He was born May 11, 1872 in Russia, coming to Benton Harbor in 1895. Survivors include five daughters, Mrs. Louis Hauht, St. Joseph, Mrs. William Nitz, Mrs. Floyd Baushke, Mrs. R. Keene Evans, Mrs. George Karsten, also of St, Joseph and Mars. Fred Lutz, Sodus; four sons, Walter, St. Joseph, Theodore, Benton Harbor, Herman Jr., Sodus, and Raymond, St. Joseph; a brother, August, Michigan City; a sister, Mrs. August Reich, Baroda, and 16 grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 Sunday from St. Paul’s Lutheran church on Sodus, with the Rev. A. J. Fischer officiating. Burial will be made in the vault ay Crystal Springs cemetery. The body will be taken from Kerlikowske funeral home to the church to lie in state from 1 o’clock until the hour of the services.” Note the name on this obituary should be Herman not Herbert. The following day this article was carried in the News Palladium. “Announces Change In Hour Of Orlaske Rites Funeral services for Herman C. Orlakse who died yesterday morning at his home, 265 Parker, Benton Harbor, will be held at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon from St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Sodus. Originally the funeral was scheduled for 2:30, but the Rev. A. J. Fischer today announced the change in time.”

Blondena Orlaske, 21 years of age, married William Nitz, 22 years of age in Sodus, Michigan on 03 Sep 1921. Her father’s name is given in this record as Herman and her mother’s maiden name is given as Klaun. Blondena was born on 06 Mar 1900 and died in December of 1970

Raymond A. Orlakse was born on 14 Aug 1921 and died on 18 Aug 1982. He was the son of Herman and Paulina (Klann) Orlakse.

An obituary for Raymond Orlaske was carried in the Herald Palladium on August 19 and 20, 1982 and they read: “Raymond A. Orlakse, 61, of 716 Hickory Lane, Benton Harbor, died Tuesday at Tuality Hospital, Hillsboro, Ore. Funeral services were incomplete this afternoon at Kerley and Starks Funerla Home, St. Joseph. Mr. Orlaske was born Aug. 14, 1921 in Sodus. He was retired as a maintenance foreman for Whirlpool Corporation. Survivors include: his wife, the former Ellen Marcellous; one son, Raymond Jr. of Hillsboro; two daughters-Mrs. Roger (Andrea) Dieckman of Niles and Sue Ellen Orlakse of Hillsboro; two grandchildren; two brothers-Theodore of Watervliet and Herman of Stevensville; and four sisters-Mrs. Lillian Bauschke of Watervliet, Mrs. Fed (Alma) Lietz and Mrs. Olga Karstens, both of Sodus, and Mrs. R. K. (Ruth) Evans of Benton harbor.” August 20, “Orlakse Rites Funeral services for Raymond a. Orlaske, 61, of 716 Hickory Lane, Benton Harbor will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Trinty Lutheran Church, St. Joseph. Burial will be in North Shore Memory Gardens with graveside services by the Stevensville American Legion Post 568. Friends may call beginning 7 p.m. Saturday at Kerley and Starks Funeral Home, St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to Berrien County Cancer Service, Berrien County Arthritis Foundation, or to the Church.”

There was a Herman Orlaske (Jr.) who was born on 28 Apr 1916 who died on 16 Apr 1989 and his wife, Carmelita Orlaske who was born on 06 Jan 1916 and died on 07 Jul 2000. They are buried in the Hickory Bluff Cemetery in Stevensville, Michigan. He was the son of Herman and Paulina (Klann) Orlaske.

An obituary for this Herman Orlaske was carried in the Herald Palladium on 17 Apr 1989 and it reads: “Herman Orlaske, 72 died Sunday at his home in Stevensville. The funeral will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, St. Joseph. Burial will be in Hickory Bluff Cemetery, Stevensville. Friends may call at Kerley & Starks Funeral Home, St. Joseph, from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today. Memorials may be made to the church or to Berrien County Cancer Service. Mr. Orlaske was born April 28, 1916, in Benton Harbor. He retired in 1980 as manager of the shipping and receiving department of All Phase Electric Supply, Benton Harbor. He formerly owned Orlaske Grocery Store in Sodus. Survivors include: his wife, the former Carmelita Griffin, whom he married June 26, 1938; one daughter, Linda Greening of St. Joseph; one son, David of St. Joseph; four grandchildren; and three sisters-Lillian Baushke of Riverside and Alma Leitz and Olga Karstens, both of Sodus.”

The cemetery listing for Crystal Springs in Benton Harbor includes:

Adolph Orlasky b. 1877 d. 26 Jan 1929 buried 31 Jan 1929

Bertha Orlasky b. 09 Jul 1877 d. 26 Jan 1943 buried 28 Jan 1943

Herman Orlaske b. 12 May 1872 d. 07 Jan 1943 buried 11 Jan 1943

Louisa Orlasky buried 29 Jul 1907

Otto Orlasky b. 21 Jun 1892 d. 22 Oct 1948 buried 25 Oct 1948

Pauline Orlaske b. 06 Jan 1878 d. 25 Dec 1942 buried 29 Dec 1942

Walter Orlaske b. 20 Aug 1902 d. 30 Mar 1972 buried 03 Apr 1972

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