Upon leaving Poland, the Kozal family that immigrated to the United States of America resided in the village of Ligota (Lgota), now in the province of Wielkopolska, Poland. Ligota is a small village located in the vicinity of other small villages, including Koryta, Korytnica, Trzebowa, Trzemeszno, and Rozdrażew. Ligota was a free village settlement, probably granted by the king to a knight who occupied the land with people. Lgota (presently Ligota) means "relief". This name was given to this region because its inhabitants were free from duties for some years after their resettlement. Ligota fell in the geographical boundaries of the Catholic parish in Koryta where the first mention of the Church of Saint Nicholas and its school was noted in 1544, although this church is believed to have existed at least a century earlier. The parish register in Koryta began in 1756 and the first mention of "Kozal" was in 1793, the birth year of Stefan Kozal, a relative of the Kozal family that immigrated to the United States of America.
The oldest historical information on the Kozal family that eventually immigrated to America begins with the June 11, 1756 marriage of a Sebastian Kozal (formerly known as both Sebastian Hołderny/Chołderny and Sebastian Grzesiak, birthdate unnknown but prior to 1736) to Katarzyna Celer (born 25 May 1739), residents of the village of Trzemeszno and members of the Catholic parish in Rozdrażew. Sebastian and Katarzyna (Celer) Kozal had six children: Franciszka (born in Trzemeszno, birthdate unknown and most likely baptized in Rozdrażew), Katarzyna (born in Trzemeszno in October 1760 and baptized on 18 October 1760 in Rozdrażew), Filip (born in Trzemeszno in May 1762 and baptized on 16 May 1762 in Rozdrażew), Rozalia (born in Trzemeszno in September 1764 and baptized on 4 September 1764 in Rozdrażew), Marcin/Martin (born in Trzemeszno in October or November and baptized on 2 November 1768 in Rozdrażew), and Sebastian (born in Trzemeszno in January 1771 and baptized on 20 January 1771. Sometime before 1776 however, Sebastian Kozal died, leaving behind his wife Katarzyna (Celer) Kozal and their six children. Their daughter, Katarzyna Kozal (18 October 1760), is the link between the American Kozal family and the family of Blessed Bishop Michał Kozal still residing near Krotoszyn, Poland, today. On January 15, 1776, in the Catholic parish of Rozdrażew, the widow Katarzyna (Celer) Kozal married a widower from Trzemeszno named Grzegorz Kozal (born in 1739 in Rozdrażew), formerly known as Grzegorz Paterek, Grzegorz Dyczak, and Grzegorz Skrzypczak, respectively. Katarzyna (Celer) Kozal and Grzegorz Kozal had two sons, Kazimierz (born in February 1779 in Trzemeszno and baptized on February 26, 1779 in Rozdrażew) and Franciszek (born in March 1781 in Trzemeszno and baptized on April 1, 1781 in Rozdrażew). Together, Grzegorz and Katarzyna Kozal raised Kazimierz, Franciszek, Franciszka, Katarzyna, Filip, Rozalia, Marcin (Martin), and Sebastian in the village of Trzemeszno until Grzegorz's death on September 1, 1789. (Information from genealogist, Christian Orpel, Billy-Montigny, France)
Katarzyna Kozal (18 October 1760), daughter of Sebastian Kozal and Katarzyna (Celer) Kozal and step-daughter of Grzegorz Kozal, went on to marry Bartłomiej Kaczmarek (son of Tomasz and Regina Walarczak; born on 24 August 1761 in Roszki) on September 2, 1782, in the Catholic parish of Rozdrażew. Bartłomiej Kaczmarek took the surname of his wife Katarzyna Kozal. It was Bartłomiej and Katarzyna Kozal who gave birth to Stefan Kozal (mentioned in the opening paragraph) and to several other children while residing in the village of Ligota. In addition, it was Bartłomiej and Kataryzna Kozal's descendants who brought forth the great bishop and martyr Blessed Michał Kozal. Katarzyna died on September 18, 1814, in Ligota and was buried on September 20, 1814, in the parish cemetery in Koryta. Bartłomiej died on October 5, 1814, in Ligota. (Information from genealogist, Christian Orpel, Billy-Montigny, France)
Unfortunately, no further information is currently known about the fate of Franciszek Kozal (Katarzyna's half-bother). Kazimierz Kozal (Katarzyna's other half-brother), however, married Magdalena Komoroska (born in 1777) on November 20, 1803, in the Catholic parish of Koryta. Kazimierz and Magdalena had two sons, Jakub Kozal (born on June 16, 1806 in Ligota) and Tomasz Kozal (born in 1809 in Ligota). Sadly, Kazimierz Kozal died in Koryta on April 12, 1810, and his wife Magdalena died in Ligota on August 19, 1813, leaving Jakub Kozal (age 7) and Tomasz Kozal (age 4) orphans. Not much is known as to who raised these two boys after the death of their parents, and currently no further information is available for the younger Tomasz Kozal. Jakub Kozal, orphan of Kazimierz and Magdalena Kozal, however, eventually became a tenant in the village of Bieganin, and on 12 November 1826 he married Małgorzata Stobniak (also from Bieganin) in the Catholic parish in Raszków. The parish registries in Raszków and Koryta indicate that they had seven children: Walenty (born in Bieganin on 12 February, 1828; married in Głogowa on 9 February 1851 to widow Agnieszka Paszak; died in Głogowa on 12 October 1852), Franciszka (born in Bieganin on 23 September, 1830; married in Koryta on 1 February 1847 to Franciszek Czajka from Ligota; died ?), Michał (born in Ligota on 26 August 1833; married in Koryta on 4 February 1857 to Jadwiga Kaczmarek from Ligota; died on 17 January 1899 in Ligota), Julianna (born in Ligota on 18 June 1836; married in Koryta on 29 January 1855 to Ignacy Witkowski from Kożmin; died ?), Józef (born in Ligota on 12 March 1839; married in Koryta on 18 November 1861 to Katarzyna Ludwik (Ludwiczak) from Roszki; died in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on 22 November 1906), Anastazja (born in Ligota on 8 April 1842; married in Koryta on 3 November 1863 to Szymon Szkudlarek from Głogowa; died ?), Katarzyna (born in Ligota on 9 April 1845; died in Ligota on 6 April 1848), and Jan (born in Ligota on 16 December 1848; married in Koryta on 17 January 1872 to Katarzyna Szymkowiak of Ligota; died in Ligota on 25 November 1884). Their father Jakub Kozal died in Ligota on 29 June 1861 at the age of 57. Their mother Małgorzata (Stobniak) Kozal, born in 1806, died in Ligota on 15 May 1886 at the age of 80. (Information from genealogist, Christian Orpel, Billy-Montigny, France and Jarek Kozal, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)
Józef Kozal (12 March 1839 - 22 November 1906) met Katarzyna Ludwiczak (Ludwik), who was born in Roszki on 7 November 1832 and baptized in the Catholic parish of Janków Zaleśny, and married her in Catholic parish in Koryta on 18 November 1861. Józef and Katarzyna Kozal, had seven children: Andrzej (15 November 1862 - 8 February 1940), Adam (8 June 1865 - 8 June 1865), Marianna (3 October 1866 - 2 June 1870), Franciszka (5 August 1869 - 17 June 1872), Wojciech (19 April 1872 - 12 December 1947), Franciszek (1873 - 2 January 1878), and Jan (1 September 1877 - 25 January 1933).
Andrzej Kozal (1862 - 1940) and his wife Maryanna Fryska were the first to arrive in America via Castle Garden in New York City on 7 May 1888. Andrzej and his family settled first in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and then in Muskegon, Michigan, after his wife's death on 10 September 1910. The next to arrive in America were Jan Kozal (1877 - 1933) along with his parents Józef (1839 - 1906) and Katarzyna Kozal (1832 - 1904) via Baltimore on 20 April 1892. They settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The last to arrive was Wojciech Kozal (1872 - 1947) via Baltimore on 2 November 1894. He also settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My (i.e. Jarek Kozal) family descended from the line of Jan Kozal (1877 -1933) who married Agnieszka Polega from Poznań, Poland, on 14 August 1899 at the Church of Saint Adalbert in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From Jan and his brothers Wojciech and Andrzej emerged a very large Kozal family here in the United States of America.