Genealogy research in Western Galicia.

February 27th, 2020

 

 

What you will find in this article:

 

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Our Genealogy Trip to Poland

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…

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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PolishOrigins and PGSA Galicia Tour, Sept. 22 – Oct. 3 2019

November 19th, 2019

Phyllis Zych Budka, Editor

Fifteen people met in Krakow to start on a PolishOrigins / Polish Genealogical Society of America Galicia Tour September 22 – October 3, 2019.  Reflecting Galicia’s complex history, some ancestors identified as Polish, others as Ukrainian.  The group included a mix of people at the start of their genealogy quest as well as others filling in some missing details.  Below are short summaries of our 12 day trip experience which we share to encourage others to follow in our path.

 

In front of the State Archive in Sanok

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Successful Family Search

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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Little miracles and fortuitous coincidences in Brzózki, 2018.

July 30th, 2019

Blog by Sharon Schoen.

 

I cannot recommend Polish Origins highly enough. In June 2018, I spent a week touring Mazovia, the place from which four of my great-grandparents and three of my grand aunts emigrated to New York around the turn of last century. The week was exceptionally well planned by Aga, and Daniel was our guide and translator. Daniel is incredibly adept at quickly establishing rapport with people and assessing options for which leads to follow, and this led to learning so much more than I’d have imagined possible and experiencing very many unlikely moments, including some adventures.

 

According to US census and naturalization documents, the village of Brzózki was where my Serafiński grand aunts and their parents were living when they left Poland, but despite prior attempts with multiple researchers, I could not locate any documentation of them in Polish archives. So I was fairly sure—but not one hundred percent certain—that this was the correct village, and I was hoping to find some verification.

 

 

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PolishOrigins’ field reports.

July 25th, 2019

 

We have been pondering for some time now about the best way of sharing the adventures and emotions our guests experience on their genealogy tours. Many of them write short testimonials or longer stories later published on our blog. But we came up with another idea of short, a few sentence reports, enriched with a picture or two, which will be sharing with you here.

Of course, nothing will replace the actual feeling of discovering family roots, finding family land, or meeting with newly discovered cousins. Yet, we hope this way we will manage to give you at least the taste of what’s going on the ancestral trips. (The pictures and descriptions will follow all the privacy rules and we will not reveal any personal details nor faces without the explicit permission of our guests and families in Poland.)

See The first PolishOrigins’ field report ‘Grandfather with granddaughters in the parish office.’ on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PolishOrigins/photos/a.10151634539758900/10157673867163900/?type=3&theater and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0V0KNHHtSi/

If you want to  see more “‘field reports” in the future follow us on Facebook, Instagram or search for following phrases in social media: #POfieldreport #polishtours #polandtourism #genealogytours #polishgenealogy #polishancestry #tourismpoland #ancestraltours .

Follow the oak trees (part 3)

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)

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)

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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