Tracing the Obiala and Samelko families. First Days – Arrival in Warsaw and visit in Płock.

Arrived safely in Warsaw and preceded to the Residence at St. Andrews for the remainder of the day and evening.  Accommodations were outstanding and exceeded our expectations. It was an apartment that easily accommodated the three of us.  We received a call from Zenon to assure our arrival and set a time to start our journey.  After a brief rest, we roamed the streets around the hotel, Warsaw Old Town, which were filled with shops and restaurants.  We enjoyed our first meal in Poland which consisted of pierogis, pork and duck.  It was an enjoyable evening.

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After a hearty breakfast that was served in the lounge area of the hotel, we met with Zenon to start our journey.  He and his associates had prepared an agenda, prior to our arrival, and sent it to us for approval.  This agenda, as we found out, to our delight, was not carved in stone and subject to change as we saw fit.  We headed to Plock to visit the archives looking for traces of Obiala family.  After about an hour and forty minute drive we arrived in Plock and proceeded to the courthouse and planned our search. Went to the central diocese record collection and began looking for records I did not have, namely the marriage of Antoni’s father, Kazmierz.  After much searching, Zenon contacted Barbara who did the initial search for Obiala records.  We awaited her reply to plan the next course of action.

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In the afternoon, we played tourist and visited the central market area of Plock. Also visited the Museum of Plock, which houses an extensive collection of Polish coins, paintings and period furniture. The furniture was set up to represent a room as it would look dating back to the 1900’s and earlier. Another part of the collection was jewelry of the Polish nobility and some Russian jewelry that survived the many wars of Poland.  Pictures inside the museum were not permitted because of concerns with flash of the camera. Went to a cathedral dating back to 1194.  Again no pictures were allowed inside, but here it is outside, as well as a connecting park overlooking the river. During WWII, the basilica was partly destroyed and turned into a storehouse.  In 1991, Pope John Paul II prayed there.

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