Posts Tagged ‘Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province’

Solving the Confusion of Two Parisville Surnames: The Ciechanowski vs Smielewski Puzzle. Part 1.

Monday, March 26th, 2018

By Charles Ciechanowski-Chinoski-Chase


My great grandfather was Ambrose Ciechanowski (often mis-spelled as Cichanowski, Chucknowski, Chickenowskie, etc.).  He was one of the founders/pioneers of Parisville, located in Paris Township, Huron County, in the “Thumb” region of Michigan.

During my early research, I reviewed the June 24, 1880 Census for Paris Twp., Huron Co, Michigan.  The primary part of the listing (along with its mis-spellings) for the residence of Ambrose is shown below:


Cichanowski Ambrose 47 Head
Francis 37 Wife
Peter (1) 16 Son
Victoria 14 Daughter
Ludwig 12 Son
Simon 10 Son
Mary 7 Daughter
Frank 4 Son
August 3 Son
Julanna 13 days Daughter
Smielewski Casper 80 Father
Francis 82 Mother

(1) Peter was my grandfather


One of Michigan’s Polish Pioneers—Ambrose Ciechanowski

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

By his gr-grandson: Charles Ciechanowski-Chinoski-Chase


Ambrose was born December 8, 1833 in Sliwice (Gross Schliewitz in German)–Tuchola, Bydgoszcz, Poland to Thomas (Tomasz) Ciechanowski and Francisca, nee, Dobecka. Ambrose had four siblings: Thomas (b. December 20, 1830), Josephine (b. March 16, 1832), Johannes ( b. May 5, 1835) and Theodora (b. May 14, 1837). Within a few years after the birth of Theodora, their father, Thomas, died. With a family of active young children, Francisca needed someone to help her raise these children and serve as a father figure.


Old postcard from Sliwice.



Poland Ancestry Tour in September 2017. Part 3.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

This is part 3 of a blog based on the photo presentation by Bonnie Lewis travelling with us in 2017.



Former historic check post for Russia, on the way to Bydgoszcz.



Poland: Traveling at the Speed of… My Parents!

Monday, January 9th, 2017


This is a story by Jennifer Shoer aka Scrappy Genwho runs genealogy services as Reconnecting Relatives, LLC,  based in the US. This is originally published on Jennifer’s blog: The Scrappy Genealogist. Jennifer travelled with PolishOrigins in September 2016. 

Jennifer is another professional genealogist we assisted in genealogy tour in Poland. A year before, Mike Mierzwa (and his wife) traveled with us and they plan to return this year for even longer trip.

Here are some selected parts from Jennifer’s blog:


Buckle your seatbelts! We are traveling at the speed of my parents. Oh, did you think that speed might be slow? Not with my parents. They may physically move at a slower pace than me, but they travel with the purpose and intensity of a rocket trip to Mars.


We spent two weeks in Poland and Germany with a small day trip to Austria. During that time, we visited eight cities and numerous villages; researched our family in archives in Płock and Włocławek (Poland); spent time with six new (to me) cousins (ages 8 months to 95 years); crawled through overgrown cemeteries and the locations of long gone villages; and even did some sightseeing.



A Poland Family Adventure. Day 5. Confession with a translator? No way!

Monday, November 30th, 2015


We drove south from Bydgoszcz to reach the Iron Age site of Biskupin. On a very foggy Sunday morning we walked through the replicated wooden village of an ancient settlement; the oldest archaeological excavation in Poland. Wood structures were exhibited showing many primitive styles of lean-to shelters, log homes and multi-family long houses that were constructed using ancient tools. Ancient man appeared to have rather sophisticated skills. Movies have been filmed at this site.

Further south we visited the former, noble-owned village of Gultowy near Poznan. The church was shrouded in mist this afternoon, located on a small rise in the center of the village. It was bordered on two sides by an iron-picket fence that separated it from a park with a lake. Being inside the building was a moving experience. It was the parish where my maternal grandfather was baptized only months before he was carried by family on a ship to America. The old baptismal font was located and photographed.  The church was constructed of wood; with interior whitewashed walls, plank floors and ceiling. Softly painted religious paintings with border painted, rococo styled,  gilded “frames” decorated the paintings and Latin script drawn on surfaces. White porcelain statuettes adorned shelves and side altars. A raised stone grave stood along one wall, holding the remains of one of the noble Bninski family’s deceased  (More graves had been found under the floor of the church during renovation).


A Poland Family Adventure. Day 4. Our hearts beat a little faster- the beginning of search for ancestors.

Friday, November 27th, 2015


The city tour was over. Bright and early Zenon appeared to begin the drive through rural Poland. Driving the back roads is an adventure in itself. Narrow village streets and twisted bands of paved highway are framed by close set houses and thick trees, planted too close to the road! Cars, trucks of all dimensions, bikers with no reflectors and even pedestrians fill the roadways. Steep ditches fall away on either side of the roads in the country and spacious fields stretch out in all directions. A few hours outside of Warsaw we reached the first ancestral family villages in the Kujawy district. The topsoil in the fields was deep and black, freshly plowed fertile soil. Crops of sugar beets were being harvested and piled high along the roads throughout central Poland. Sugar refineries were seen in many communities.

My husband’s earliest known ancestors lived in hamlets that were part of the parish of Lubraniec. In the cemetery we saw the first evidence of our family’s surname (relationship unknown at this time). Our hearts beat a little faster as we searched for familiar names. Deaths before early 1900 were not shown on markers. However, we know that Conrad’s great-grandfather was buried in this parish cemetery.

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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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My Big Fat Polish Trip. Part 4.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Back north. Torun and Poznan.

Day 7

Left for Warsaw in the morning, stopping only for water and gas.  We all had dinner at the Holiday Inn where we spent the night again. I had to wash some laundry by hand.

Day 8

We headed straight for TORUN and took many photos, saw the Copernicus house and his statue, bought a small snow globe of said person, found some very delicious gingerbread, and also what I thought was another fabulous church turned out to be the city hall in the middle of the square.