Little miracles and fortuitous coincidences in Brzózki, 2018.

July 30th, 2019

Blog by Sharon Schoen.

 

I cannot recommend Polish Origins highly enough. In June 2018, I spent a week touring Mazovia, the place from which four of my great-grandparents and three of my grand aunts emigrated to New York around the turn of last century. The week was exceptionally well planned by Aga, and Daniel was our guide and translator. Daniel is incredibly adept at quickly establishing rapport with people and assessing options for which leads to follow, and this led to learning so much more than I’d have imagined possible and experiencing very many unlikely moments, including some adventures.

 

According to US census and naturalization documents, the village of Brzózki was where my Serafiński grand aunts and their parents were living when they left Poland, but despite prior attempts with multiple researchers, I could not locate any documentation of them in Polish archives. So I was fairly sure—but not one hundred percent certain—that this was the correct village, and I was hoping to find some verification.

 

 

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PolishOrigins’ field reports.

July 25th, 2019

 

We have been pondering for some time now about the best way of sharing the adventures and emotions our guests experience on their genealogy tours. Many of them write short testimonials or longer stories later published on our blog. But we came up with another idea of short, a few sentence reports, enriched with a picture or two, which will be sharing with you here.

Of course, nothing will replace the actual feeling of discovering family roots, finding family land, or meeting with newly discovered cousins. Yet, we hope this way we will manage to give you at least the taste of what’s going on the ancestral trips. (The pictures and descriptions will follow all the privacy rules and we will not reveal any personal details nor faces without the explicit permission of our guests and families in Poland.)

See The first PolishOrigins’ field report ‘Grandfather with granddaughters in the parish office.’ on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PolishOrigins/photos/a.10151634539758900/10157673867163900/?type=3&theater and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0V0KNHHtSi/

If you want to  see more “‘field reports” in the future follow us on Facebook, Instagram or search for following phrases in social media: #POfieldreport #polishtours #polandtourism #genealogytours #polishgenealogy #polishancestry #tourismpoland #ancestraltours .

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Follow the oak trees (part 3)

July 10th, 2019

The next day we drove to Wesiory, the Polish Stonehenge. The stones mark a Goth burial ground from about the first to the third century. We touched the stones and Daniel read us some history on Wesiory. The sizes of the burial mounds vary from four to sixteen meters. The creation of the burial grounds is connected with the so-called Wielbark culture. It was interesting to see the Polish Stonehenge nestled right beside a lake.

 

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Follow the oak trees (part 2)

July 8th, 2019

On our way back to Poland, we stopped at the Trakai Castle, a castle on Lake Galve. Construction started in the 14th century and Trakai was one of the main centers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The castle held great strategic importance to the Duchy. The castle suffered major devastation during an attack by the Teutonic Knights in 1377. We also took a cruise on Lake Galve, where we could see how the Castle was protected and surrounded by the Lake. It was a very beautiful castle, with stunning stained glass windows and an interesting history.

 

 

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Follow the oak trees (part 1)

June 28th, 2019

My trip actually started out in Ukraine, where my daughter and I went to see the villages, where my family were born and lived in Volhynia. At that time the villages were part of Russia. I had booked a tour with Volhynian Adventure Tours with Alex Brzhezytsky being our tour guide.

Prior to my Polish trip, I found information that my relatives were Masurian, Polish Lutherans, (Evangelical) who lived in the northern part of Poland dating back to the late 1700s. At first, this confused me, as Poland is mainly Roman Catholic, and I knew that my family were Lutheran, yet we were Polish, so that took some research to figure out. Hence my trip consisted of cemetery tours, seeing my villages, and also diving into the Archives.

Upon the appointed day of our arrival in Poland, Alex drove us across the Ukrainian/Polish border where we had to meet up with our tour guide Daniel Paczkowski from Polish Origins, who was going to drive us to all of the villages in Poland that were decided upon prior to our arrival. This trip was personalised to suit whatever and wherever I wanted to go, and was 14 days long. So much preparation went into this trip via Aleksander Zawilski, (from Polish Origins) who organized my tour based on my family villages, and which ones; as come to find out there are many villages in Poland with the same name.

 

 

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My family’s Polish wedding: vodka shots and midnight cake cutting

June 27th, 2019

 

This is the continuation of the previous visits of Abraham in Poland in 2014 and 2015. You can read about them here: https://blog.polishorigins.com/looking-for-great-grandpa-ludwik/

and here: https://blog.polishorigins.com/looking-for-great-grandpa-ludwik-part-2-we-return-with-mom-to-discover-even-more/

The blog is adapted from Abraham’s article in “The Macon County News”, with his permission.

 

Little did I know five years ago when I first “re-discovered” my Polish family in rural Eastern Poland, that I would return to Poland for the eighth time on May 25 for the wedding of my third cousin, Monika. Nor did I realize that it was not through language, but vodka that I would strengthen those family ties.

 

Monika married Maciej in Eastern Poland May 25. In attendance were two American cousins she never knew existed until five years ago. At nearly midnight, the wedding party and guests were handed sparklers, providing a beautiful wedding scene of “cold fireworks.”

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A welcomed surprise or… being in the spotlight

June 26th, 2019

Word tends to travel quickly in small towns and villages. Often our guests are not prepared for what they will experience during their Genealogy Tour when all their previous plans and roadmaps get altered by people they meet and new discoveries they make.

One of our recent guests, Peter Wollinski, probably did not suspect that local media from the area of his ancestral homeland will learn of his visit even prior to him setting his foot in Poland. And that they will want to interview him.

Peter conducted his genealogy research years back and contacted us to organize a guide who would take him to the towns and villages of his ancestors. Although he visited the area in 2013 on his own, he felt that more can be discovered. And he was right.

 

 

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Paying it Forward: The PolishOrigins Ripple Effect by Cynthia Bielec McDonald.

May 17th, 2019

 

In September of 2018, my husband and I engaged PolishOrigins for a 3 week customized genealogy tour to visit the ancestral villages of all four of my grandparents. We had many memorable experiences, but these events in particular had impacts beyond what I ever expected or imagined. This is one of two stories in which the effects of our discoveries in Poland continue to have a ripple effect. Also, this story will give you some idea as to the sense of how the PolishOrigins guides work their magic! Think treasure hunt…

 

 

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Poland on a whim. Genealogy Tour with Denise in 2016.

March 12th, 2019

 

Three years ago on a whim, I booked myself a ticket to Poland.  I then booked a tour with PolishOrigins. I hoped and prayed that they were everything they claimed. My prayers were answered in the most spectacular way.

 

Denise, Krzysztof and Zenon in Krzywa in 2016.

 

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We will take you ANYWHERE in Central Europe.

December 17th, 2018

 

In the correspondence with our future guests, a few questions and doubts repeat frequently. Let me answer to some of them today:

“Do you travel to Ukraine?”

“Do you do tours in Vilnius?”

“My grandfather emigrated from Silesia, will you travel there with me?”

We are based in Kraków, so I understand your doubts. But: We will take you ANYWHERE in Central Europe on the tailor-made genealogy tours. By Central Europe I mean: the whole territory of today’s  Poland and our neighboring countries: Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania. Those are the most popular destinations, where we organize trips regularly.

 

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