Tad Strójwąs – Rożnowski In Memoriam

February 16th, 2018

 

Below there is the beginning of autobiography of Tad Strójwąs – Rożnowski ‘I am Australian. Of Polish Descent.’ who passed away a few weeks ago.

“I was living in Starachowice Poland when World War 2 broke out. German stukas (aircraft) were roaming over the sky and dropping bombs here and there, creating panic amongst the civilian population. Hours later, we were informed over the radio that Poland was at war with Germany and general mobilization was at hand. As Starachowice had an armorments production factory the civilians were panicking that it would be heavily bombed so they began collecting their belongings and moving to outlying villages. Of course as a thirteen year old boy I joined them and took the road to Pakoslaw where my mother lived and guess what happened next …..I ended up in the biggest battle! The Germans completely destroyed the village and yet only one bomb fell in Starachowice.

I think I should have stayed put.

Once the Nazis moved in with their regiments, requisitions started where local residents were moved out of their houses and occupied by German officers. At the age of thirteen I had finished public school and was enrolled in high school, but found myself on the street since the Nazis had closed all high schools and did not allow the higher education of Poles.

Jewish cleansing commenced and I sawJews being forceably loaded into cattle trains. Anyone who resisted was beaten. Since the autumn weather was not favourable many people where being knocked down into the mud and not given any help and generally mistreated.

Once the Nazis finished this task, they began rounding up girls and boys and loading them onto passenger trains to take to Germany as forced labourers. I was one of them and that was the last time I saw my family. (…)”

(Full text of Tad’s autobiography available at https://polishorigins.com/pdfs/tad_strojwas.pdf in a pdf format.)

Tad and Linda contacted me for the first time in 2005. They asked me if I could help them to find Tad’s family. They made several attempts in the past but without much success. Tad was on the stage of his life that he wanted finally to learn about the fate of his parents and sibling and, hopefully, find out how they had lived in the last 60 years when was the last time he was in touch with his father…

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Poland Ancestry Tour in September 2017. Part 3.

February 14th, 2018

This is part 3 of a blog based on the photo presentation by Bonnie Lewis travelling with us in 2017.

Bydgoszcz

 

Former historic check post for Russia, on the way to Bydgoszcz.

 

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Poland Ancestry Tour in September 2017. Part 2.

January 19th, 2018

This is part 2 of a blog based on the photo presentation by Bonnie Lewis travelling with us in 2017.

Konin archives genealogy research

 

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Poland Ancestry Tour in September 2017. Part 1.

January 12th, 2018

 

This is a blog based on the photo presentation by Bonnie Lewis travelling with us in 2017.

 


 

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My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 4.

December 13th, 2017

Day 10 – Friday, May 13th – Gdansk

 

This morning we headed to the Archives in Pelplin to research more on my mom’s side of the family Melka.

We drove the countryside passing through the villages of Mieliczki, Osiek, and on to Skorcz to visit the church of All Saints.

 

All Saints Church.

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My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 3.

December 12th, 2017

Day 5 – Sunday, May 8th – Poznan

 

We leave Lichen Stary and head to Poznan. There we met local guide, Adam Dykiert at our next lodging place, Hotel Brovaria at 11am. Our guide is very enthusiast and proud of his heritage and city. Our tour lasted over 3 hours and we covered a lot of territory. Poznan is a city on the Warta River. It included a visit to Poznan Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, which is a 10th century Gothic-Baroque architectural style, the Uprising Museum, a city park, then we road an electric trolley train to Old Town Hall (it’s famous because of the display of the mechanical fighting goats, that fight each other everyday at noon and bring crowds to the square to see it).

 

Town hall in Poznań and mechanical goats.

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My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 2.

December 11th, 2017

Day 2 – Thursday, May 5th – Izbica Kujawska, formerly Zagrodnica, Russia

 

This morning, Dale stayed behind at the hotel and did birding along the water near our hotel, the church grounds of St. Dorothy’s and in Lichen Stary. Z and I left the hotel, and headed back to Konin Archives to look for more records. We then drove around Sompolno where my grandfather Frank Wilinski was born. In Lubstow, we visited the area where my great grandfather Wojciech and great grandmother Emilia Ast lived and worked.

In the area we visited the church where they attended, walked through the cemetery took many pictures of graves that might have a connection to my family. It was noon, so we got to hear the church bells ringing at St. Hedwig Church. Inside the church it looked like they were preparing for a First Holy Communion mass that weekend.

 

St. Hedwig Church in Lubstów

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My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 1.

December 8th, 2017

 

We arrived in Warsaw, Poland on May 3rd from Atlanta, Georgia, USA for our 13 day journey which is shown on the map below.

 

 

 

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How Surnames Came Into Being in Poland

November 28th, 2017

 

During the First Rzeczpospolita (Republic of Both Nations), from the mid-1500 to 1795, (Poland’s borders included then the majority of territories of today’s Poland, a large part of the Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and parts of Latvia and Russia ) surnames already existed, but not for everybody.

Commonwealth of Both Nations at the peak of its strength. Source: Wikimedia, author: Halibutt

 

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A Moment In Our Lifetime

November 16th, 2017

(This is another post which was originally published on the Polish Genealogy group on Facebook where it collected more than 300 “likes”, “loves” and “wows” and dozens of comments. Author of it, our honorable guest Victoria, graciously agreed to share it with our blog readers.

If you want to meet helpful Polish Genealogy community we highly recommend both our Forum and the Polish Genealogy Facebook group)

In September my cousin Kathie and I traveled to Poland hoping to find family. Our common great grandmother, Francezka (Frankowska) died following childbirth leaving our grandmothers without a mother at a young age.

Franciszka Frankowska

Francezka Frankowska

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