Archive for the ‘Genealogy Tours and Gen Stories’ Category

What would my ancestors do? Your response.

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

 

We had an amazing response to our latest message ‘What would my ancestors do?’. I didn’t want your stories and comments to be read only by me and our team. They are so important that they just have to be shared with more people to raise at least the same feelings I had reading them.

These are not all and not full responses. I picked out for you these fragments which had the greatest impact on me.


I especially appreciated your comment:

“You are descendants of one of the bravest. You are descendants of those who were leaving their world, their tiny village far away from civilization, to travel to a completely new world.”

In what little research I have accomplished over the past couple of years, I have been left thinking of how fearless my grandparents must have been when, as teenagers and young adults they decided, individually, to pack a bag, leave their family, friends, and home towns/hamlets in southeastern Poland behind (Frysztak and Letownia), travel overland to the coast of Germany (about a thousand km away), board a ship and cross the Atllantic to start a new life in America.

Although I never knew my grandfathers (my dziadzius) – both had passed before I was born – I know that their life was no “bed of roses.” Each worked hard, long hours in not very pleasant factories that were full of men who had immigrated to the U.S. for economic opportunity. It was the way it was, the way it had to be in order to support the families that these men had started.

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What would my ancestors do?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

 

This question I‌ am asking myself especially when life gets harder. Now we live in an unprecedented time when world society globally faces the same challenge at the same time: “a sub-microscopic infectious agent”, or just “virus”.

Recently, when I‌ asked myself again the question: what would my ancestors do in this situation, my first thought was… would they be even aware of the problem?

 


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The Polish Brick Wall That Won’t Crumble. Part 4: Going to the Chapel – March 20, 2019,

Friday, March 13th, 2020

 

One the last day of the genealogy tour, we visit the Gąsewo cemetery. There has been cemetery chapel here for 1000 years.  We took photos of gravestones that had the surnames in my family tree surnames at the cemeteries we visited. My long-term goal to create family trees to see if I can discover a connection. Again, Daniel placed flyers on several headstones for any visitors to those plots to contact him if they had information regarding my ancestors. 

Gąsewo Cemetery Chapel

 

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The Polish Brick Wall That Won’t Crumble. Part 3: What’s in your cellar? March 19, 2019.

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

 

We started the day off in Kołaki, hoping to find a Budny family residing there. Unfortunately, a local informs us that the last Budny family moved away years ago. However, a descendant of that family lived in Sadykierz. Daniel and I make the quick trip Sadykierz to learn more about this family to see if they could be related to Adam Budny. Meeting with Jadwiga Budna didn’t reveal any connection. Jadwiga contacted her sister in Warsaw for us to visit. Jadwiga’s niece had done a family tree that went back several generations. Daniel and I were able to photograph the tree when we returned to Warsaw on the third day. Again, the brick wall keeps getting bigger. We can find no connection to my great-grandfather Adam.

 

At Chojnowski’s place.

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The Polish Brick Wall That Won’t Crumble. Part 2: Mamino, Poland – First day of tour, March 18, 2019

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

 

 

Daniel is already waiting for me in the hotel lobby in Warsaw. He arrived the night before, coming from Białystok to Warsaw. We quickly pack my belongings in his car and head out to the archive in Pułtusk. Daniel already identified a couple of records that might contain information regarding my Borucki, Budny, and Zabielski family surnames.

 

 

 

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The Polish Brick Wall That Won’t Crumble. Part 1: Preamble to my Polish Genealogy Tour

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

 

My greatest aspiration for over 35 years is trying to identify the birth parents of my great-grandfather Adam Budny.  Not successful with records in the United States or with the Polish website Geneteka, I had to come up with a new tactic, crowd sourcing. I decided it was time to visit the ancestral villages that my great-grandparents lived. Maybe the individuals who lived in the villages were living relatives of my ancestors. Or, were able to provide historical or relevant information that would help me break down my Polish Brick Wall. 

It didn’t work. The brick wall got thicker. However, the new added bricks are intriguing. And, just might help in cracking my Polish Brick Wall.

 

 

 

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Through Patrick’s lenses – a Genealogy Tour to Poland

Friday, March 6th, 2020

blog by Patrick McCabe

 

In September 2019 the country of Poland became our family’s latest destination for
sharing a vacation together. The majority of our trip was indeed sightseeing,
however, the genealogy aspect of our family was the driving force for our visit to
Poland. Specifically, it focused on our mother’s side of the family…the Pilarski and
the Borkenhagen families. In 2015 we traveled to Ireland exploring our father’ss side
of the family. In essence, we have now completed an initial “full circle” of our
ancestors’ homelands.

 

 

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Our Genealogy Trip to Poland

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

blog by Chris Cronk

 

It was a wedding picture taken in Poland with my grandmother sitting next to the bride. This was amongst the 50 or so pictures from a fancy photo album that was left by my grandmother to my mother, and which I took when my mother passed away in 1994. Almost none of the pictures had information identifying the people in the them. And I had no idea who those people were. However, I did remember being told that we had another aunt, who stayed in Poland and about whom no one spoke.

 

Wedding in Albigowa, with my grandmother seated next to the bride (Genowefa). At the far right in the first row is my grandmother’s sister, Agata.

 

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Thanksgiving 2019: I want to thank my ancestors for…

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

 

 

This year, just before Thanksgiving Day, I have asked our guides and tour managers what genealogy means to them and for what they would like to thank their ancestors.

 

 

 

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Successful Family Search

Friday, September 13th, 2019

 

My four grandparents were born in Poland in the late 19th century and immigrated to America in the early 20th century. I only knew my maternal grandmother well, because the others died when I was young. Unfortunately I did not take advantage of the time I had with her to learn more about her life in Poland.   

I have always admired my grandparents for their courage and I am thankful to them for the life they made possible for me. I became more interested in my family history several years ago and I began investigating by searching Ellis Island records. Over the years in an on and off effort, using available online records in the US and from Poland, I have been able to trace three branches of my family back to the late 18th century. I have also been able to find the names and birth dates of all my grandparents’ siblings. But, I had reached the limit of records available to me. I did not know if I had any relatives in Poland.

In late July, my wife and I joined a tour to Kraków with a group from an alumni association. We took the opportunity to add on five days for a genealogy tour with PolishOrigins. Using the family information I provided, Magdalena Znamirowska did a great job arranging the tour itinerary, as well as booking all our hotels. Zbigniew Stettner, the genealogist working with us, worked tirelessly to uncover as much family history as possible. 

Through their efforts the trip far exceeded my expectations. We visited all the villages which were home to my grandparents and saw all of the churches they attended. 

 

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