Posts Tagged ‘Prussian Partition’

My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 4.

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Day 10 – Friday, May 13th – Gdansk


This morning we headed to the Archives in Pelplin to research more on my mom’s side of the family Melka.

We drove the countryside passing through the villages of Mieliczki, Osiek, and on to Skorcz to visit the church of All Saints.


All Saints Church.


My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 3.

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Day 5 – Sunday, May 8th – Poznan


We leave Lichen Stary and head to Poznan. There we met local guide, Adam Dykiert at our next lodging place, Hotel Brovaria at 11am. Our guide is very enthusiast and proud of his heritage and city. Our tour lasted over 3 hours and we covered a lot of territory. Poznan is a city on the Warta River. It included a visit to Poznan Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, which is a 10th century Gothic-Baroque architectural style, the Uprising Museum, a city park, then we road an electric trolley train to Old Town Hall (it’s famous because of the display of the mechanical fighting goats, that fight each other everyday at noon and bring crowds to the square to see it).


Town hall in Poznań and mechanical goats.


My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 2.

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Day 2 – Thursday, May 5th – Izbica Kujawska, formerly Zagrodnica, Russia


This morning, Dale stayed behind at the hotel and did birding along the water near our hotel, the church grounds of St. Dorothy’s and in Lichen Stary. Z and I left the hotel, and headed back to Konin Archives to look for more records. We then drove around Sompolno where my grandfather Frank Wilinski was born. In Lubstow, we visited the area where my great grandfather Wojciech and great grandmother Emilia Ast lived and worked.

In the area we visited the church where they attended, walked through the cemetery took many pictures of graves that might have a connection to my family. It was noon, so we got to hear the church bells ringing at St. Hedwig Church. Inside the church it looked like they were preparing for a First Holy Communion mass that weekend.


St. Hedwig Church in Lubstów


The lost and found roots of Dawid

Monday, September 5th, 2016


My father, Pawel Ryszard Kirchhoff was forced to leave Swarzedz (Poznan) after Germany invade Poland in 1939. The only information I have about a group he was with walked from Romania to France… mostly at night. After he arrived in France I think he joined the French Army, France fell weeks later. As a lot of Poles escaping to England after the fall of France.


old family house in Swarzedz

My Grandfather’s & Grandmother’s old house in Swarzedz


Now I know where I got my hospitality gene from.

Monday, January 4th, 2016

I had been working on our family genealogy for years.  My grandma got me started on the Rudzinski family tree when she lived with me.  It gave us something to work on together and let her tell me stories, we used her memory and prayer cards to get us started.  I remember going back to Indiana where she grew up and six of my great uncles still lived and asking my uncles how many siblings their father (Pa) had. I got differing information because he just didn’t talk about the family he left behind; it must have been too painful.  However, when I got to one uncle I hit the jackpot as he had Pa’s naturalization papers and his baptismal record.  The naturalization papers gave me his mother’s maiden name, and the name of his siblings left behind, Lucyna, Czeslaw, and Stefania. After much research I was still at a dead end.  My sister-in-law Becky kept encouraging me to go to Poland.  So after much research Kathy, Becky and I set off on our family journey to Poland in October.  I hired PolishOrigins for a two-day tour after working with the website and being an active questioner on their interactive forum section.  I can’t say enough about this site it is very valuable for anyone looking for family in Poland.  Everyone is so helpful; this was absolutely the highlight of our trip and exceeded our expectations exponentially.  Success to me would have been to go to Dlugokaty where my great-grandfather grew up and to attend mass at St. Leonardo’s in Grzebsk parish.


A Poland Family Adventure. Day 7. Wrocław, Opole and Kraków.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015


The previous night, Zenon had scouted out features in the area and told us to plan on seeing the Wroclaw Panorama exhibit the next morning before we left the city. This was not only an exhibit about one of the early, historic Polish battles for independence.  It  was also a fascinating artistic rendering. The history of the canvas was a story in itself. The massive canvas was painted before 1900, one hundred years after the battle depicted. It was secreted away in a monastery during the twentieth century’s politically incorrect time periods and wartime years. A rotunda was eventually constructed to permanently house the multi-storey exhibit. The panorama now contains 3-Dimensional elements laid against the canvas that bring the scenes to life. Later, Conrad walked the grounds behind the hotel and photographed parts of the ancient city walls, and of the river and ancient churches towering over the historic city beyond the River Odra.

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A Poland Family Adventure. Day 6. AHA! moment.

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015


Attractions near Poznan, like the Sroda Treasure museum and Beekeepers museum were not open the following day so we opted to return to the family village and get better photographs. The pastor was not in the village until supper time so our attempts at church research were postponed. This day the fog had lifted and we were amazed to see a restored palace in the park beyond the church. Yesterday we saw         a large building inside an entrance gate along a driveway. We imagined the large building was the remains of a noble’s country home, a dwor. Today we realized that the building was only the carriage house and stable for the palace! The multi-storey palace sat opposite, across the park. It had been shrouded in fog the previous day. Following the fall of communism, an heir of the Bninski family reclaimed the property then willed the estate to the University of Poznan, including the grounds with       a lake, extensive fields and landscape acreage, palace structures and the carriage house/stable building.  The buildings are now leased for overnight stays and conferences through the university.

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The former Bninski palace.


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.