Archive for the ‘Genealogy Tours and Gen Stories’ Category

Follow the oak trees (part 3)

Wednesday, 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)

Monday, 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)

Friday, 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

Thursday, 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

Wednesday, 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.

Friday, 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.

Tuesday, 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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Thanksgiving 2017.

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

 

Forever more I will have the fondest affinity for red geraniums and white lace curtains…they are the welcoming symbols of every Polish living space.

 

Photo credit: our guest from July 2018, Dawn S.

 

When my childhood and lifelong friend, Sue, and I were chatting last fall she said that she hoped to visit Poland one day, I agreed and said, “Let’s go in July!” and so we did. Many of you have asked how my visit was. This is my story, and these are my memories.

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Dawn and Walter’s trip to Poland and Slovakia. July 12, 2018 – A Necessary Hike.

Friday, November 16th, 2018

 

When we woke up we were very excited to see that there was no chance of rain for the time that we were planning on being at Spišský hrad, Spiš Castle that morning. We had breakfast in the dining room of Boutique Hotel Pracháreň and we quickly returned to our room, finished getting ready for the day, and maybe snapped a couple of parting scenic photos out of our bedroom window.

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Dawn and Walter’s trip to Poland and Slovakia. July 11, 2018 – Time to Say Good-bye.

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

 

At 8:30 we met downstairs in the dining room for our last breakfast with Lucjan. Today was the last day of the tour  with him and although I was pretty  tired from all the travel, family meetings, and sights I was feeling sad that our time was coming to an end. After breakfast we had made plans to sit and review what we had accomplished and to come up with a plan for what still needed to be done. Lucjan came to our room and he and I sat down in the sitting area to discuss things. We took this time to exchange gifts, I gave Lucjan two of the fabric bowls that I made, and he gave us a magnet and collectible plate from Przemyśl, his hometown. Before too long there was a knock on the door and a cleaning person informed us that it was check out time and that they needed to clean the room. They very generously offered to let us finish our discussion in a sitting room.

Lucjan gave us a magnet from Przemyśl, his hometown.

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