Archive for the ‘An American’s Discoveries in Galicia’ Category

2. An American’s Discoveries in Galicia.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The next day, we went to the church at Wysoka Strzyzowska.


The priest was amiable, ribbing me about my lack of Polish skills. He let us look at the original parish records of births, deaths and marriages, which went back to the early 1800s. The aged books were in remarkably good condition, given that they were over 100 years old and had survived two world wars. After a bit of searching, we hit paydirt. We found the birth record of my great-grandfather Wladyslaw, his siblings, his parents and forefathers. All told, I was able to trace ancestry back to the late 1700s, discovering three earlier generations about which I had known nothing.


1. An American’s Discoveries in Galicia.

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Mike Maxwell
November 26, 2010
mmaxwell AT

My grandmother’s parents came to the US from Poland during the great migration wave of the early 1900s. Until the year 2000 or so, I never knew much about the details of their lives in the old country, other than the husband’s name Wladyslaw Wlodyka and his wife’s name Bronislawa Niemiec. For many years, my sole piece of genealogical documentation was my grandmother’s American birth certificate from 1915. It listed her parents’ home country as “Austria” at the time. A little map research lead me to conclude that their homeland was Galicia, given that they were ethnic Poles. Over the past 10 years, I gathered more information from my older relatives, as well as from online sites such as Ellis Island Records ( I also stumbled upon a blog of Nancy Maciolek’s trip with Zenon. She highly recommended his services, which I kept in my records. In August 2010, I finally took the step of travelling to Poland in search of my roots, with Zenon as my guide. My goal was to search vital records at the churches of my great-grandparents’ hometowns, and to look for living relatives. I had no information about relatives remaining in Poland, although I knew that some branches did not emigrate.