Posts Tagged ‘Podlaskie Province’

PolishOrigins Adventure. Part 1: Introduction.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The series of blog posts was originally published on Adrianne’s blog:

This trip was taken in honor of my mother, Wanda Wierzbicki Fortenberry. I wish she had been with me.

Between 1976 and 1984, my father and mother, with help from the rest of the family, researched and published a family history on my dad’s family, the Fortenberrys. During this time, mom would periodically attempt to research her parents’ Polish roots.

Because the internet and digitized records were still in the future, not much could be accomplished. So instead, she wrote the stories she had heard as a child. This is the story of my attempt to find the Polish roots of my grandmother, Pelagia Jaroszewska, from north of Płock and my grandfather, Rajmund Wierzbicki, from north of Łomza.


Wanda Maria Wierzbicki 1921-2009


My new name is Janina Kruk. 2014 and I am back! Suwałki.

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Today we have changed our plans since Halina is in the hospital we will leave Ostroleka returning later in the trip. After breakfast we drive to Suwalki to visit with my grandmother’s side of the family. We drove from Ostoleka thru Augustow arriving Suwalki .

Our first stop was the church to check records hoping to find my Great Grandmothers birth records. The priest was very friendly agreeing to search for these very old records. He searched for only a few minutes finding a record he thought was my Great Grandmother. Zenon carefully reviewed the record realizing it was not my Great Grandmother. The Priest did not have more time to search however he would be available after mass at 1800.

2014-05-12 13.28.28


My Journey to Poland. Day 5.

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

After breakfast we drove back to Romany to finish searching the cemetery.  Took photos of several graves with family names. We drove out to Korytki-Lesne, which again is a very small village; stopped to ask if any of the names researching sounded familiar and were told almost everybody here has the last name of Korytkowski!

Korytkowskis everywhere!

Korytkowskis everywhere!


My Journey to Poland. Day 3.

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

I woke up at 3:45am to the sun shining in my room!  I was told later these are the longest days of the year here.  Slept longer and then met Zenon for breakfast downstairs (no elevators, discovered Poland is not really handicap assessable), we are offered a breakfast buffet, but they prepare scrambled eggs for you, unfortunately they will not cook the eggs all the way, no matter how many times you ask!

After that we left for Poryte (this is what I’ve been waiting for) seeing the church.  As we drove up we noticed construction at the rectory, so we went to the church hall.  And there was the priest who explained he is new to the parish only one week.  The rectory, church and hall are being remodeled and repaired.  I took photos of pictures of prominent citizens of Poryte area that were hanging on the wall.

The priest explained that the books for the church are in the attic of the rectory and we cannot view them at this time, but perhaps in the winter would be better; Zenon agreed to come back and research for me in the winter.  We asked if we could see the church, which had not been remodeled yet.  As we entered, I got that lump in my throat again and started to cry!  The poor priest did not understand, and thought that I was upset on the condition of the church; Zenon explained that I was overcome at being in the church where my father and grandmother were baptized.  Just think any later and things might have been replaced!

Plague for memory of Jozef Kisielnicki from 1775

Plague for memory of Jozef Kisielnicki from 1775


My Journey to Poland. Day 2.

Monday, January 27th, 2014

We were given hot cloths to freshen up, and served breakfast again with all real dishes etc., had juice, coffee, and a turkey and ham on a croissant.

We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany. As we got off the plane I realized we were walking off on the tarmac and not into the terminal, as I had reviewed on the computer at home. Now what! I got on the double long bus with everyone else, not knowing where I was going. So at this point I decided what the heck, I probably will never see these people again, and asked if anyone spoke English! A very nice couple behind me answered and said they were familiar with the airport and explained the monitors are to the left as you enter the building.

I followed the crowd as we got off the bus and viewed the ever changing monitors and found the gate I was to go to following the signs, I walked what seemed to me to be about 3 miles, only to have to go through customs who stamped my passport and security again, who took away my water bottle I had purchased in Detroit, which was unopened. At this point I decided I was going to purchase a carry on that had wheels on it! Finally on to my gate and in time to make my flight, on which we were served a lunch salad and beverage.


My Genealogical Quest. What Comes Next?

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

As I sit here on my flight home to the United States cramped in coach seat 50A somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I can’t believe the events of the last 10 days. Even if I was an amazing writer (which I’m not), I could never fully express the feelings and emotions that I’ve felt during this trip. The connections that I have made with family and friends are mind boggling and I cannot express that in words.


My Genealogical Quest. Tuesday and the Race is On!

Friday, December 20th, 2013

After a very long drive from Tarnów to Warsaw the night before, we piled back into the car for another 4 hour drive to Lipsk and Kopczany to visit Wojtek and his family. Wojtek and I were put in touch a few years ago by Joe Baxer who visited the family about 20 years prior. Wojtek and I are not related by blood, but share family connections through Antonina Danilczyk, my great-great grandfather’s second wife. Joe recently visited them again this past spring. For the last few years, Wojtek and I have been exchanging information on family members over the internet and have been eager to meet each other in person.


My Genealogical Quest. One Step Closer.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Well, it’s official now. We have a guide for the Polish portion of our trip – Mr. Zenon Znamirowski! I have been filling his email with family trees and copies of more records that he probably cares to see at this point.


My Genealogical Quest. Part 1: In the Beginning…

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The series of blog posts was originally published on Mike’s blog:

After talking about this for a long time (begging Amy to let me use our vacation on this), in June, Amy and I finally took the leap and bought tickets for us to travel to Poland and Lithuania this fall. This is not going to be like any other vacation/sightseeing trip we’ve taken before.

This trip is centered around my ongoing genealogical research. We will be visiting villages where my ancestors once lived, churches where they worshiped, and cemeteries where generations of family members are buried. Of course we will do some site seeing, but we’ll also visit cold, dusty archives in order to research my family history in centuries old books and visit with distant relatives who I have connected with.Unfortunately, I think that buying the tickets will be the easiest part of this trip. I quickly realized that I still have a lot of work to do when my first stab at plotting our travels required approximately 40 hours in a car! Not including travel days, we are only there for 8 full days. This equated to about 5 hours in a car each day which hardly left me the time required to visit AND research – back to the drawing board.

I ended up on this preliminary itinerary:

mike mapa


My new name is Janina Kruk. Day 8. Relaxation.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

After breakfast at the Hotel Hancza I took a stroll through Suwalki while Zenon continued to work on the computer searching records. Before we departed Suwalki we stopped by the Archive building to search for the marriage record of my  great grandparents Antonia and Leon.

Zenon was able to locate the record within 20 minutes.  I now know the names of their parents – my tree is continuing to grow. Zenon has taught me how to search records however even with my magnifying  glass I will never be as good as him.  🙂

In the archives.

In the Suwalki State Archives.