Archive for the ‘Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families’ Category

Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. Day 9. Kiermusy, Treblinka and last day in Warsaw.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

As we spent our last night in Kiermusy, we sat and reflected on the journey and how we felt about everything.

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Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. Day 8. Touring in Tykocin and Biebrza National Park.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Another busy day as we played tourist in the morning.  Toured the town of Tykocin which is near Kiermusy. This was the scene of the Tykocin massacre. On August 25, 1941, the Nazi’s ordered 1400 – 1700 Tykocin Jews to the town square for ‘resettlement’.

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Men were marched and the women, children and elderly were trucked to the nearby Lopuchowo forest.  There they were executed in waves and this mass execution of Polish Jews continued to spread across the Bialystok region.


Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. Day 7. Samelko Family in Romany.

Monday, November 16th, 2015

We returned to Romany and met with the priest.  The priest opened the church for us to go inside and take pictures.

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Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. Day 6. Heading to Romany to research the Samełko side

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Checking out of the hotel, we bid goodbye to the Obiala side of the family and headed to the Romany area to start a new chapter and research the Samelko’s.  It was about a five hour drive thru the Polish countryside, including the outskirts of Warsaw.  Upon arriving in the small town of Romany, the birthplace of our grandfather, Jan, and Theodore’s father, we went to the church.  Zenon met with the priest and set up an appointment for the next day. He then proceeded to ask around and located a family whose parents cared for Balbina (a sister to Jan) in her later years when she was ill.  They could not answer as how they were related, but felt they were in some way because you do not care for someone that is ill unless they are family.

After some discussion with Zenon and using our family tree, they were able to give us more leads as well as additional names of family members.

Note: This part of Poland is home to storks.  Their nests are everywhere, on roof top chimneys and on utility poles.  They spend the summer and around the middle of August migrate back to Africa.

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Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. Day 5. Searching for Obiala’s family house and visit in Toruń.

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Returned to Zaduszniki and visited the parish cemetery, but could not find any Obiala’s.  Zenon spoke with some townspeople who vaguely remember an Obiala family, but could not tell for certain where the house may have been. With the priest not around, the church was not open, but mass was being held at 7:00 PM.

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Not wanting to spend the day waiting, we headed to Bakowo to seek Antoni Obiala’s birthplace.


Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. Day 4. Zaduszniki. The birthplace of our grandmother.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

As usual we started the day with a hearty breakfast. Afterwards we met with Pawel who was going to assist Zenon with directions and take us to places of interest of the Obiala family.  The first stop was at the cemetery where Wladyslawa and Zofia, sisters of our grandmother, are interred with their husbands.  It was a very moving experience as Jim and I placed lit candles at the graves of the deceased.  We purchased them as we entered the cemetery for the streets are lined with vendors selling items to show respect when you visit a relative’s grave.  Also, all the gravesites were very elaborate as to monuments with the flowers and such.

From there we drove to Zaduszniki, the birthplace of our grandmother, and Theodore’s mother, Helena, as well as her brothers and sisters.  We visited the church where the children were baptized and the family attended services.  Unfortunately, the Priest was not available and we could not get inside.

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Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. Day 3. What a day!!!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

What a day!!!!!!! It will live with us forever. After breakfast at the Hotel Herman, we departed for Wloclawek. And went to the archives to do research.  After much persistence by Zenon, the marriage record of Kazimierz Obiala and Agniesta Osielska was found. They were married in Zaduszniki, but did not live there. Therein, was the problem.  Tomorrow we are to go to Mokowo to search for their records.  After checking into the Hotel Aleksander, we all had lunch and relaxed to get ready for our next adventure.

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Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. First Days – Arrival in Warsaw and visit in Płock.

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Arrived safely in Warsaw and preceded to the Residence at St. Andrews for the remainder of the day and evening.  Accommodations were outstanding and exceeded our expectations. It was an apartment that easily accommodated the three of us.  We received a call from Zenon to assure our arrival and set a time to start our journey.  After a brief rest, we roamed the streets around the hotel, Warsaw Old Town, which were filled with shops and restaurants.  We enjoyed our first meal in Poland which consisted of pierogis, pork and duck.  It was an enjoyable evening.

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