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how many know their own family histories?


Peter 3 | 247  
19 Sep 2007 /  #61
Not trying to be a wet blanket but sometimes there are gaps in the archival records. For Sokal there are quite a few gaps in the parish records. Lost, destroyed, etc. A lot also depends on where your wife was from and the historical "unrest and wars" in the area.

I can see that you've put a lot of effort into your family history.

You've no idea. 5 years of cost and effort and still counting!! The reward of learning about your family's history and even discovering "missing" cousins who you never knew existed....................priceless!
Sweetcarolcody - | 1  
20 Sep 2007 /  #62
I've just started researching my family tree and am finding it a daunting task. So many of the spellings have changed and so many of the towns in which my ancestors were born have moved borders. Where does one begin? :)

My Grandmother is the only living relative that was actually born in Poland and the only documentation she has is her name in her father's passport when they emigrated.

Any hints on places to look would be awesome and greatly appreciated.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386  
20 Sep 2007 /  #63
Your grandmother's naturalization papers will have details. As will her birth and marriage certificates.
If you can get hold of her birth certificate.... you should be able to check her mother and father's name as well as place of birth.

If she is willing to help... ask her as many questions as possible. take notes and make sure that she confirms the details.
Peter 3 | 247  
20 Sep 2007 /  #64
My Grandmother is the only living relative that was actually born in Poland and the only documentation she has is her name in her father's passport when they emigrated.

So your great grandfather waould have also been born in Poland? Have you checked the Ellis Island records? If the record is there then there should also be details of his home town and nearest relative.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
7 Oct 2007 /  #65
You've no idea. 5 years of cost and effort and still counting!! The reward of learning about your family's history and even discovering "missing" cousins who you never knew existed....................priceless!

peter definately with ya on that one :)

its amazing all the family you discover and how many are unaware and once you
piece together everything, and bring up familiar things to them they start telling you
all about the family and how long they lived there etc....

definately priceless :)

My Grandmother is the only living relative that was actually born in Poland and the only documentation she has is her name in her father's passport when they emigrated.

Any hints on places to look would be awesome and greatly appreciated.

if you have the passport thats a big deal... whats the town name listed on the passport? whats the last name ( surname) your researching?
PA Coalminer  
7 Oct 2007 /  #66
I am second generation Pollock in USA seeking family in Poland. Grandparents came over in 1912 and settled in Western PA. Little was revealed by my aunts and uncles and parents over the years. Am getting older and more curious to find whats left. Not sure how.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
8 Oct 2007 /  #67
well good start is the local church where everyone was baptised.

We can help you get going, but we do need surnames and siblings.. if you want to
email me I will check on some info in my ancestry :)

my email is in the profile. :)
cathman  
17 Oct 2007 /  #68
Many times "documentation" is carried in photos, testimonies, stories, meeting of persons and so on. There tends to be a trend in today's society where many of us who are tracing our family roots are left without "hard" proof (written documentation) and simply go by what we've been told.

Ruben

Many of us are left with other forms of "documentation" -photos, testimonies, stories, mmeting people and so on - without "hard" proof or concrete evidence of our histories. This tends to be the trend occuring in our current day for those of us who seek information regarding our family roots and have little to go by.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
20 Oct 2007 /  #69
Many of us are left with other forms of "documentation" -photos, testimonies, stories, mmeting people and so on - without "hard" proof or concrete evidence of our histories. This tends to be the trend occuring in our current day for those of us who seek information regarding our family roots and have little to go by.

I am finding a even amount from both.. some know and have major amounts of
documentation in Polish families where others have no/very little. but its been
close even amount of folks , and it isnt anyone being ashamed, it was more the
War/ things they been thru.. always I heard wonderful things about the country
itself.
Peter 3 | 247  
20 Oct 2007 /  #70
You have to remember to take verbal stories with a grain of salt. Sometimes they can be wrong or misleading.

For example, my mother related to me that my father had told her about his childhoon when he would ski to and from school and that there would be light from the oil rigs in the area (1920's). This caused a lot of problems because the town where my father was born had no oil or gas fileds anywhere nearby. It was only when I made contact with a cousin who I did not know existed (he is 88) that I discovered that the story is correct but the location was wrong.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
20 Oct 2007 /  #71
My family history had been researched meticulously by my mother. It was her hobby for many years. Unlike a neighbour who was also doing similar research, she was not looking for some kind of noble connection!

There can be a lot of names and a lot of dates, but it's only when you think about the times your ancestors lived in, you begin to see more of a picture. But the truth is, the reality of the past is unobtainable. All too often, our stories die when we die. Those stories aren't always true either.

Somewhere, all her good work is to be found, but it's not an easy thing to just go and find it, then try to take it all in.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
20 Oct 2007 /  #72
You have to remember to take verbal stories with a grain of salt

done :) did actually.. but I do record and keep everything till otherwise proven :)

but it's only when you think about the times your ancestors lived in, you begin to see more of a picture.

Of course!! using a little imagination to put ourselfs in the past to realize the hard
ships they faced.. even though we will never know this. our past is a changed era
as their past is a changed era.

the reality of the past is unobtainable.

individuals reality.. the past is well documented in so many books and so many
eyes of authors around the world.. but its their own realitys they documented
so it is possible. but only for individuals :)

least thats the way I see it :)

All too often, our stories die when we die. Those stories aren't always true either.

it depends on what truth we wish to believe.

back when they were young folklore was real..

my grandmother told my mom about a story of her having to go to the local store
( whatever they called them back in the early 1900s) in Poland.

each day she had to walk past a cemetary to get to this store.. one day she said
it was a different day, and she heard noises and looked towards the cemetary to
see a pair of red eyes staring at her, she ran home as fast as she could scared
to go past it again..

another story ( truth or fiction) was my grandfathers sister wrote to my great uncle
begging him to send her money to come to America.. she told him that their father
was being difficult and he didnt want her to marry , but to be a farm hand and
work for him the rest of her life.. ?? so several cousins tell same story, perhaps
all of them are same grandchildren ?

yes, they are.. and its a true story actually. more then one verification.different
cousins.
Peter 3 | 247  
22 Oct 2007 /  #73
Anyone else have stories about family jewels?

According to my mother, my family has jewels buried inside the cellar staircase of their home. My grandmother (after she re-married) owned a few houses, some of which she used to rent (pre 1939).
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
22 Oct 2007 /  #74
not jewels but grandma made WHiskey in the bathtub :))))

at one point they owned a confections shop, but of course behind the shop was
the other candy for the adults.. lol

till the local authorities and heath dept made them dump it out ..

bummer.
Peter 3 | 247  
26 Oct 2007 /  #75
Genealogical research really is a never ending journey. I've just discovered that one of my cousins was a Captain in the infantry. He was taken prisoner as part of the Modlin group in 1939. He died in 1945 days before the war ended after the barn they were sheltering in was shelled by Russian tanks. What a way to go. Another cousin who was also a Captain was shot at Starobielsk.

I'm finding out that there is a history of military service in the family. I am assuming that this is also the case for other families.
Kataryna - | 36  
26 Oct 2007 /  #76
I've gotten back to my great great grandparents from Galicia. I have documents from the early 1900's from marriages and deaths, plus Ellis Island ship records. It's a long process, costly and very time consuming....but I think it's important to know the road that was traveled to get to where we are. A quote I found years ago "To understand where we are going....you have to understand where we've been...". So true.
Peter 3 | 247  
26 Oct 2007 /  #77
It's a long process, costly and very time consuming

So true. In the last 5 years I have used / am using 2 researchers in the US, a research office in Warsaw and a freelance researcher in the Ukraine. I estimate it's cost me in the region of US$ 6,000-10,000 and counting. However I have a pretty impressive body of work to show for it.
Kataryna - | 36  
27 Oct 2007 /  #78
a research office in Warsaw and a freelance researcher in the Ukraine

How far back have you gotten on your genealogy? And where in Ukraine are you searching? I have family who was from a town called Rohatyn in Eastern Galicia (now Ukraine).
Koach 16 | 128  
27 Oct 2007 /  #79
I'd love to trace back to Polish records myself, but it's far too expensive. I'm still hoping the parish in Lubno writes to me with records.
Peter 3 | 247  
27 Oct 2007 /  #80
When I first started out the only documentatio I had was my father's original birth certificate and a translation of it. I have since been able to trace my family back to approx 1690-1710, all in the same town. My research is concentrated on the town of Sokal which is north of Lwow, just over the border inside the Ukraine.
Kataryna - | 36  
27 Oct 2007 /  #81
town of Sokal which is north of Lwow

I have heard of Sokal. Rohatyn is SE of Lwow (or SW?) Good for you to have researched that far back....I'm only as far as the mid 1800's....... :(

How is the research in Ukraine? I haven't contacted the town churches yet. If I send a letter in English, are they likely to understand English?
Peter 3 | 247  
27 Oct 2007 /  #82
What I did was bypass writing to the town churches. Instead I used a freelance researcher who (a) visited the Lwow archives and took his own notes (b) made digital photos of various archive pages and (c) visited Sokal and made enquiries and made a video for me.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
27 Oct 2007 /  #83
I realy do not know how far back to go, Polish people do not seem to have embraced the geneology thing and I've found lots of official records are difficult if not inpossible to access, especialy those relating to the years between and during the two world wars.

Lots of family lines were broken by wars and Soviet occupation. For many, to research their bloodlines it meant to go back to painful memories, often not so distant. A sentence from your post kinda touches on the subject(quoted below)

In my case, I somehow convinced my grandmother to talk about her side of the family. In 1970's she was able to take me back to 1812, all from memory. Every single male who was alive between 1812 and 1942 was killed as a result of some war or military action. One who lived longest was my grandfather, killed by the Germans at the age of 42. Going further in time required a lot more effort and research (but it paid off).

Also, as you may know, Poland, like most other European countries, had this nobility vs commoners system. It never occurred to the latter to inquire about their roots. Because of social systems they lived under, they often lived in the same place (as an extended family) for centuries. There was no need. All you had to do was go to the local cemetery, or ask your grandparent. Many of those who would be in a position to trace their bloodlines beyond the times of their immediate family members were killed as soldiers, or exterminated by the Germans and Soviets. In Poland the intelligentsia and nobility were usually the first targets.

Also, a lot of records were systematically destroyed by the Germans during WW2. We were deemed to be Untermensch and designated for complete destruction, so it certainly made no sense to the Germans to hold on to the tradition and documents of an unworthy race.

I always thought it was just them but even on my visit to close relatives in the "stary kraj" I found they do not talk easily about the past.

What I did was bypass writing to the town churches. Instead I used a freelance researcher who (a) visited the Lwow archives and took his own notes (b) made digital photos of various archive pages and (c) visited Sokal and made enquiries and made a video for me.

You are doing some serious research here.
Glad it's yielding good results.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
27 Oct 2007 /  #84
When I first started out the only documentatio I had was my father's original birth certificate and a translation of it. I have since been able to trace my family back to approx 1690-1710, all in the same town. My research is concentrated on the town of Sokal which is north of Lwow, just over the border inside the Ukraine.

i am jealous :)) in a good way.
Peter 3 | 247  
28 Oct 2007 /  #85
Don't get green so fast! The archives only go back to approx 1720 so I've gone as far as I can on my father's side. Still, a lot of gaps exist within his line but due to the gaps in the parish records some may never be filled in. I started trying to go back doing my grandmother's side but quickly ran into a stone wall and have not been able to make any progress.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
28 Oct 2007 /  #86
but quickly ran into a stone wall and have not been able to make any progress.

yes me too..I think also the work ahead of me on certain records that I still have yet
to work on.

but for the most part.. I dont think I will be able to fill in the gaps either.. if I do
it would be miracle.
Peter 3 | 247  
28 Oct 2007 /  #87
What's really annoying is that I know my grandmother had 2 sisters and I also know their children's names but also no luck tracing them either!

How is the research in Ukraine? I haven't contacted the town churches yet. If I send a letter in English, are they likely to understand English?

No, you have to write in Ukrainian. I don't speak (or write) it either hence why I used a freelance researcher which probably was much quicker.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
31 Oct 2007 /  #88
What's really annoying is that I know my grandmother had 2 sisters and I also know their children's names but also no luck tracing them either!

I have a great great aunt that I believe her children ( few of them) came here to the
states, but can I find any records? no.. can I attach anyone here to anyone ? no

frustrating , its more then that.. but I still love doing it :) as much as I have wanted
to call it quits because I hit the brick wall.
doonboggle - | 1  
25 Jan 2008 /  #89
As for my father's side, my aunt did a lot of research over a long period of time and apparently traced our name a really long way back. I'm not sure of the year, but from what I know, she traced it back to a man that was an orphan and had been taken in. When he was grown, a group of raiders I believe to be Cossacks destroyed the village and he was among the few survivors. The name of the village had been Ransleben and he took it for his surname since he never knew his parents and in honor of the memory of the village and it's inhabitants.

Regarding the name in this posting, we'd like to establish contact. The name is in my wife's family history; and we'd like to see if your aunt knows anything about one of the members of this family name. Thanks

email address is ...
ussshields_dd596 at yahoo

Even though registered now, likely will not visit this forum again as so far we have no Polish folks in our lines.
bobby 6 | 32  
25 Jan 2008 /  #90
Well, i'm only about 4 months into my research.

My grandparents ended up in Germany during WW2, then went to OZ as Dp's a few years after the war. They never spoke about Poland/germany, apart from vaguely knowing the names of their brothers/sisters, and where they were born, everything else i need to find out. And so i'm more or less starting from scratch.

I have been fortunate enough to find a family member in Poland, through a letter i wrote to someone with the same surname as my GM's. Anyway, this really has been a critical find, as sharing gathering info about my GM's side of the family is now much easier.

As for researching my GF's history/family etc, boy, thats proven to be much more difficult.

Found out that my GF was married before he married my GM. Yea, bit of a shock, and i must admit, i was a bit dissapointed when his war papers mentioned what children he had from his first wife - none. Would of been exciting to try to find children from his 1st wife.

Seems to be a common theme regarding those whom were caught up in the war - its not spoken about, and this also seems to impact on life prior to that, thats also kept pretty much quiet.

Anyway, i've now got a hobby that will keep me going till i end up in the ground.

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