Posts Tagged ‘Wielkopolskie Province’

Successful Family Search

Friday, 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. 



Poland Ancestry Tour in September 2017. Part 2.

Friday, January 19th, 2018

This is part 2 of a blog based on the photo presentation by Bonnie Lewis travelling with us in 2017.

Konin archives genealogy research



Poland Ancestry Tour in September 2017. Part 1.

Friday, January 12th, 2018


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




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


My Incredible Trip to my Grandparents Ancestral Villages. Part 1.

Friday, December 8th, 2017


We arrived in Warsaw, Poland on May 3rd from Atlanta, Georgia, USA for our 13 day journey which is shown on the map below.





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.

Zdjęcie 12

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).


Ray from Minnesota: His Family Search. Part 1.

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Finding an ancestor is quite difficult, especially for those of us whose ancestors came long before the time when the U.S. Citizenship papers required specific information on the town in Poland from which the ancestor came.

My story which begins in 1976 might be of some help to others in their search.

My great-grandfather, Jan Marszalkiewicz and his older brother, Andrzej, emigrated to Duluth, Minnesota, in 1872.  All I knew about their life in Poland, through my Dad, was that they were from “Poznan”, and that Jan had served in the Prussian army in the Franco-Prussian War, had been at Paris at the end in 1871 (date determined by history books) and soon after emigrated to the U.S.


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.