The web site metryki.genealodzy.pl is one of several databases of records and indexes prepared and maintained by the Polish Genealogical Society. It is not as well known as its sister database, geneteka.genealodzy.pl . We thought it may be useful to briefly describe it’s contents, and write a short instruction on how to use it. It contains indexes of parish and civil records and pictures of actual records, mainly from central Poland (łódzkie and mazowieckie provinces) but there are also records from other parts of Poland (in former Kingdom of Poland, the area that used to be occupied by Russia, and also from the former Galicia area). There are 1265 collections of records from different towns listed in the main database.
This is story published a few years ago on the old version of our website. Together with Mary Bier Wilson we decided that it is important for the interview with her grandfather to be published here for even more people to have chance to read it. A few years ago Mary, her late husband John and one of our guides Zen had chance to visit “Sukoluff” Austria, which is actually Sokołów Małopolski and Trzeboś, and step the same ground he once was stepping every day before leaving for his long journey.
We hope that it can also inspire some of your to interview your parents and grandparents as long as they are still among us. You can always wait with your research, but you shouldn’t wait with talking with your ancestors about their life…
The interview, which follows, was taped on a reel-to-reel tape by an older first cousin of mine who had lived with our grandfather for a number of years after our grandmother died in 1937. The interview was conducted in about 1956 when Grandpa was 86 and I did not know this tape existed until about 10 years ago, which was about 10 years after I began doing my family’s research.
Thankfully, my cousin had the foresight to do this interview long before most of us had been encouraged to do so by the genesis in the popularity of genealogy research that I think is due to the advent of the home computer and wonderful software programs that are easy for almost anyone to manage.
My cousin finally was able to make a cassette of the tape and, happily, shared it with me and I then transcribed it and gave it to ALL our cousins. I knew none of the information it contained other than Grandpa saying he was born in “Sukoluff” Austria. I knew Grandpa but did not have the opportunity to see him often nor was I interested in that “stuff” at the time.
Let me just say, it answered a great many questions but it also posed many new ones whose answers I am still seeking.
Or What I have learned from Latin records translations.
On our Forum there is a separate section where you can ask for translation of Latin records. It has existed since 2013 and the undeniable hero there is David – dnowicki, who since the beginning, has been translating, and often adding, very interesting secrets of this language, its history background and context of the times when all those event happens. This not only enriches our understanding of the records but it makes them much more absorbing.
As one of our Forum admins, I am browsing all new posts on a regular basis, and each time I am surprised at how much information can be found and read between the few handwritten lines, and sometimes these were written many centuries ago. Sometimes one’s family history can be hidden in a document that seems to be impossible to decipher.
Here is my subjective choice of Dave’s notes, interpretations, explanations. I do not want to underestimate our other translation sections (Polish, Russian and German), but I’ll focus here in Latin as something that is most mysterious and complicated at first glance. Most of all I want to encourage you to try reading your own family records and to read Dave’s notes and explanations to the translations he makes.
I do not know Latin. I am well aware of that I still have to learn a lot about genealogy and I am eager to do this. I decided to share with you what I have learned from Dave’s posts and what I found especially useful, intriguing or even funny.
Since 2013 our guests participating in Galicia Tour are hosted by the Cultural Center in Strzyżów and “Kłosowianie” folk group. These country parties became the tours highlights! Watch some of the best moments from 2016.
First thing next morning we are off to Tropie. Zenon gets out of the car and just walks right up to who we assumed is a neighbor and starts asking him questions about the possible location of my family….try that one in the U.S.! He gets back in the car and says, “your cousin lives across the street” WHAT?!?
For many years I have been trying to find my Polish relatives. I knew they existed in the 1960’s because I remember sending clothing to “cousins”, however, I was young and did not know the value of family. In the meantime, life got in the way and my search was hit and miss. When I retired and my search became an addiction. The one bit of information I had was 3 letters to my babcia, from my swietny dziadek in the 1920’s. He told of very sad stories about their life at the time and one story really touched our hearts; it was about his grandson, Josef. The letter told about how sick the child was and he wasn’t expected to live, mostly because they could not afford the medicine to make him well. We always wondered what had happened to this little boy.
At some point I talked my husband (of Irish descent) into going to Poland and had no idea what our adventure would bring. Why would anyone go to Poland?
When my cousin Andrzej e-mailed me and asked if I would like to accompany him to his goddaughter’s wedding in Poland, I accepted immediately. What could be better than traveling with a native son, who spoke the language and knew the relatives? I soon found out.
Ss. Simon and Jude Thaddeus Church, the 17th Century church in Dobra-Limanowa where my great grandparents were married in 1883.
Jennifer is another professional genealogist we assisted in genealogy tour in Poland. A year before, Mike Mierzwa (and his wife) traveled with us and they plan to return this year for even longer trip.
Here are some selected parts from Jennifer’s blog:
Buckle your seatbelts! We are traveling at the speed of my parents. Oh, did you think that speed might be slow? Not with my parents. They may physically move at a slower pace than me, but they travel with the purpose and intensity of a rocket trip to Mars.
We spent two weeks in Poland and Germany with a small day trip to Austria. During that time, we visited eight cities and numerous villages; researched our family in archives in Płock and Włocławek (Poland); spent time with six new (to me) cousins (ages 8 months to 95 years); crawled through overgrown cemeteries and the locations of long gone villages; and even did some sightseeing.