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how many know their own family histories?

kman67 2 | 79  
25 Jan 2008 /  #91
My family history is interesting. I wish I could know more of it than I do.

All 4 of my grandparents came to the US in the 1920's by themselves. They all met their respective spouses in New York City. 3 came from Germany and 1 from Switzerland.

As far as one grandfather is concerned, the trail grows cold with him. I can only go back 1 generation with my father's mother as she came from what became the DDR and all old records were lost. Her father came from Poland and forgive the spelling, his last name was Mikolajczyk.

I have the best results with my father's father's side and my mother's mother's side.

My mother's mother is the one who came back from Switzerland. Some of my cousins still live in the town she was born in. During one of my visits there, I was able to trace the church records back to the 15th century. My earliest known ancestor on her side was a criminal who was arrested for stealing linen. He was caught while bleaching it.

As far as my father's father's side is concerned, I am able to get back to the late 1700's. I also know that my last name should be the German equivalent of "Cooper" and not what it really is. Seems that there was a baby born out of wedlock....

As far as my wife is concerned, she can go back a little ways. She came to this country from Stalowa Wola, Poland. I have to have her sit me down and explain something a bit more to me. She actually brought this up last weekend, I haven't quite gotten my hands around the issue yet. Supposedly, she has some Polish nobility in her, but then somehow, there was a theft of the title of from the rightful owner and then a sale of that title. I am really curious to see how that stuff works!
Deb21 6 | 11  
25 Jan 2008 /  #92
Sounds like everyone has done alot of research. I belong to How can I go further?? Not knowing polish, any suggestions.

Kowalick 1 | 18  
25 Jan 2008 /  #93
my fathers side doesnt go far back because of his mother...
my grandmother (my dads mother) was still in her mothers womb when she came over from germany. her mother was apparently a ***** who had become pregnant and sold her to an irish family (adoption they call it lol) who had just moved to upstate NY and bought a large farm out there.

being "bought" by this family turned out to be the best thing for her, because they became christians and officially adopted her and raised her like their own child instead of the "farm help" they had bought her to be.

my grandfather (my dads father) goes back really far into the dutch/german culture and they have it fully researched and everything so i didnt look much into it. they showed it to me and we are german from Leipzig Germany.

my moms side is also fully dictated and is german/welsh but i never was as interested in it. i suppose its because her father and step mother are asses and i have no interest in them.
El Gato 4 | 351  
25 Jan 2008 /  #94
how many know their own family histories?

I don't have documents, but I know the history by heart. I hear stories all the time.

Starts like this:

Looooooong time ago....we were farmers. Then family members started to become soldiers and actually got pretty far up there in the chain of command. One of my great grandfathers became a very highly decorated Hussar for a Polish noble (yes, he wore the wings) and recieved a ceremonial sabre. After him it kinda simmered down a bit and we just passed down the sabre from father to son, father to son. During WW1 I'm not sure who, but a few family members fought alongside the Russians, then against them in the 20s. In WW2, great uncles of mine fought against the Axis in Africa, France, and in rebellions in Poland. Some family members were sent to gulags, others to concentration camps, and some were POWs. My grandfather told me how his father used to hide jews in their basement whenever he could feed them. You see my most of my family lived in small villages at that time and close to the mountains in southern Poland in Lapsze Nizne, so they really weren't bothered too often by the Nazis, but when they did show up the whole town tried to help the jews. After WW2, my fathers side of the family moved away from their home town (can't remember the name) to Nowy Targ, and my grandfather was in possession of the sabre. There, my father was born, then his brothers. Not too long ago my father's father passed away, and my father now owns the sabre, being the oldest. He refuses to take it away from Poland though, so he has his brother and mother hold on to it for now. My mother's side of the family is actually lower-upper class in Poland, or they would be if we lived there. My mother's father, who is an ox of a man (survived 3 heart attacks, 5 strokes, diabetes, leg amputation, and then some) owns about 70 acres of land, and a very nice looking house on his farmland. (nicest farmhouse I have ever seen, by far) It's bigger than the house we live in now, but he wanted his children to have a chance at a better life. My mother, her sisters and one brother were all small children who showed up in New York Harbor on a boat when my mom was about 6 or 7. They lived in the US for a little bit, but moved back to Poland. My mother grew up there, met my father, who was in the military and was widely known as "that guy who looks like Patrick Swayze" (I've seen old pics of him, it's not a lie) and they married. While my mother was pregnant, her sisters were already in the US, and she wanted to visit them, so she hopped over for a quick vacation. While she was here, I was born, and that's why I am a US citizen. Then, we lived in Poland for two years, moved to the US, and my brother was born. We've lived in Garfield, NJ and now live in Erie, PA for some reason unknown to me.

That's our story in a nutshell. :]
Eurola 4 | 1,906  
25 Jan 2008 /  #95
It has to be very interesting to research your family history. We all want to know and feel the connection "where do I come from". It is amazing, how many people try to find their roots...I wish, I knew more about my grandparents, even tough I was born and basically brought up in Poland. I know so little about my grandparents. I only remember a little my grandma (my mother's mother, I was in my teens when she died). All others were gone when I was born. My parents died early too (teens again)...I just have some stories from my older sister...that's it, even about my parents...
El Gato 4 | 351  
25 Jan 2008 /  #96
I have to go by stories that I hear at family get togethers like Xmas dinner, Easter, etc. There is absolutely nothing about us on the internet. Supposedly, we have family that came to America in the 1920s, but I doubt they would even care about being Polish anymore, thats 3 generations to get "Americanized" as I call it. I was thinking about writing a letter to them or actually going to see them, but figured they would be too distant from their Polish roots. I'm happy with the family that sticks together. All 1,000 of us, or something like that. If I take both sides of the family and added up all the people, we would be really close to that number. Both are rare last names, but damn we like to have kids.

My mother has had the least amount of kids so far in our family's history in the past 100 and some odd years. Just my brother and me. It's hard to imagine having about 3 more of him.

Also, as a little side note. A couple years back, they used to say there are nothing but girls in my family, but then my father and his uncles were born, they all had son's except the youngest, Grzeg, my mother's brother had son's, his daughter's even had sons, and all of my recent cousins are male. This leads me to believe that a rather large war is coming. Anybody else familiar with the Polish saying: "In times of war, boys are born."

Just a little something to think about.

Kowalick 1 | 18  
25 Jan 2008 /  #97
Erie, PA

thats where i am from el gato!
well lancaster.
El Gato 4 | 351  
25 Jan 2008 /  #98
Gotta love the weather...

I live in Summit, so we get all the lake effect snow, and right now we have about 2ft, maybe 2.5

It really sucks. Cold as hell too.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
25 Jan 2008 /  #99
Cold as hell too

I always assumed that would be hot rather than cold.
I like cold weather, so perhaps I ought to misbehave more.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
26 Jan 2008 /  #100
That's our story in a nutshell. :]

its very interesting, The one thing to do is document what you know now..

I can tell you from experience, you remember it now, but it does fade..
I used to have all the names of my grandmothers family in my head, and
I couldnt tell you now because I became uninterested for a short time.. but
its easy to do that.. this is a hard project.. you really have to be dedicated and
have alot of time to get somewhere fast with it..
Ozi Dan 26 | 569  
26 Jan 2008 /  #101
my father now owns the sabre, being the oldest

Lucky bastard! Mate, you must be salivating waiting for that sabre to come to you. These sabres are rare as hen's teeth and go for 10's of thousands (not that you'd ever sell it). Any chance of posting piccies of the sabre?
GrandeSande 2 | 119  
26 Jan 2008 /  #102
There is absolutely nothing about us on the internet.

What have you checked, have you ever been to the NJ Archives?

We've lived in Garfield, NJ

I lived in Wood Ridge at one time.... is the Fleischer Deli still in Garfield?

EmmaT2008 5 | 34  
10 Feb 2008 /  #103
I don't finding it really hard to figure out more as all my Polish family died in the war except my grandfather. My great aunty survived and married but that is all we know. I am going to write to the church of the local town my grandfather was form and keep trying.
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
10 Feb 2008 /  #104
Sounds like everyone has done alot of research. I belong to How can I go further?? Not knowing polish, any suggestions.

Deb, how far back are you with your history?

first of all , dig out all old documents.. or if you dont have them, ask the family
member that does.. it gives you clues as to which direction to go.

the local church they attended..
the city records ( Birth, Marriage,Death).

on my grandfathers death cert it says Russian Polish. but his sisters said
the town name.

same with my grandmothers sister.

on ancestry you can get cencus, death dates, immigration, old papers , Obits,
WWI drafts.

Make sure the name is spelled correctly, if you suspect a change, ask family or
look for other spellings or off spellings... alot of times on the immigrations
you will see name mistakes..

hope this helps.. :)
EmmaT2008 5 | 34  
10 Feb 2008 /  #105
Can you get census returns for poland on ancestry? I haven't found it
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
12 Feb 2008 /  #106
Ive not seen anything like that. in ancestry but I did run into cencus online in certain area
for poland. that was few years ago. whether they still have to website up
or not, im not sure.
ChasingHistory - | 1  
15 Feb 2008 /  #107
I'm only starting out, and stumbled over this forum & have joined up.
I'm waiting on a reply from the polish registry office to obtain my late grandmothers birth certificate & see if i can locate my great uncle's daughter (my grandmothers brother had a daughter, they stayed living in poland) but we're all out here in australia.

My gran migrated here after WW2. so my gran's side has links to poland & warsaw.
I'm the only one who's interested to find out our history on the poland side. I'm hoping i've not left it too late to find my long lost relative. She tried to come out & see my gran some years ago on a visa but that didnt work out & they lost touch. my gran's only passed on last year. so i'm not sure if i will find anything but i might. its early days of hunting yet.
Davey 13 | 388  
16 Feb 2008 /  #108
My great-grandfather on my mother's side, Stanisław Trzop was born in Poland and I found his emigration record to Canada online, turns out he came here when he was 25 in 1935
ZESLAW - | 9  
27 Mar 2008 /  #109
yes that is true but i have long family history tree all written
my problem now is movement of family circa 1800
31 Mar 2008 /  #110
I am new to this sight. A lot of people that came to the United States came to flea. Some chose not to pass on their roots. It was a hush hush thing because of the war. Some refused to let their children speak the launguage. My father spoke fluent Polish, but did not pass to much on to us. I am very proud of my hertiage. I am the director of a Polish Cultural dance group in Michigan. We teach the dance and language. My grand daughters are also in the class. We Polish people need to keep our hertage alive. Pass it on however you can. The history is amazing.
El Gato 4 | 351  
31 Mar 2008 /  #111
Mate, you must be salivating waiting for that sabre to come to you.

Hell yeah. I plan on going to it before it comes to me.

These sabres are rare as hen's teeth and go for 10's of thousands

Damn... 8/

(not that you'd ever sell it).

NOT A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE IN HELL. Way too much history and pride in that thing.

Any chance of posting piccies of the sabre?

My friend if I had any pictures I would gladly share them, trouble is that it is in Poland, and I'm in the states...

What have you checked, have you ever been to the NJ Archives?

Nope...might check it out in the future though. Good thought. :]
lowfunk99 10 | 397  
31 Mar 2008 /  #112
I can trace my ancestors back to the ships they came over to the US on.

1 set of great great grandparents came from Germany in 1884 or so.
1 set of great great grandparents came from Poland in 1888 or so.

The rest of my great-grandparents came over from Poland from 1909-1914.

6 of 8 great-grandparents born in Poland.

1 great-grandparent born in US of Polish Parents.
1 great-grandparent born in US of German Parents.

The thing is I don't know is where they lived in Poland.

I am trying to find out. If I can prove my ancestory I might be able to get Polish citizenship.

My girlfriend can trace her family back to the 1500's.
1 Apr 2008 /  #113
Well from my fathers side i never asked so much or researched.
But from my mothers side i can trace my ancestors back into the medival ages. My grandmothers side was from a simple farmer family, but my grandfathers side came from a noble family, his mothers name was Jadwiga pomorska and came from the higher nobility class and had their residence in lwow, and his fathers name was Marian Abdank Toczynski who also came from the upper nobility class and was born in Mielec.

From there i can trace my family/Ancestors back to the medival age. To bad all of the estates they owned before ww2 was confiscated by the Communists after ww2 or else i would live like a king now :P
OP Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
1 Apr 2008 /  #114
The thing is I don't know is where they lived in Poland.

have you looked on the

you live in Detroit, the hill burton collection has some awsome records
and you can find churchs that closed that have baptismals and marriages etc

what else dont you have? the mormon microfilmed the detroit drafts which
also can give clues to the town you need.

email me maybe I have some church records.. :)
3 May 2008 /  #115
I know of a Zygmunt Tarasiewicz (born 1926) oldest son of Adolf and Waleria Tarasiewicz of Nieciecz military settlement (osada) in Nowogrodzkie wojewodztwo. I have been trying to trace members of the Tarasiewicz family who came to in NZ for an elderly friend of Zygmunt's from Canada - they were in the RAF together. Zygmunt's younger brothers were Edmund, Marian and Zbigniew. Marian and Zbigniew came to NZ with a group of Polish orphans in 1944; Edmund and their father Adolf joined them after the War. Zygmunt opted to stay in England. Only Zbigniew is still living. He rememers visiting his brother in England once after the War - his brother Zygmunt lived somewhere between Nottingham and London. Could this be the Zygmunt Tarasiewicz you are looking for?
4 May 2008 /  #116
Zygmunt Tarasiewicz you are looking for?

Thank you Kiwikid ... Zygmunts father was called Adolf as this is stated on the marriage cert to my fathers mum Marjorie .. and they lived Pinxton Derbyshire moving to South Normanton which you could say is just pass Nottingham so you would be spot on
kiwikid - | 2  
4 May 2008 /  #117
Because both your great-grandfather Adolf and your grandfather Zygmunt served in the Polish Army / Air Force under British command during WWII you should be able to obtain their service records. Contact Ministry of Defence APC Polish Enquiries Building 28B RAF Northolt West End Road Ruislip Middlesex HA46NG; email: or phone: 020 8833 8603 and they will let you know what information you need to provide in order to receive the records.
4 May 2008 /  #118

hey chick

thanks again for the help it wasnt expected but i am happy and i will contact the RAF over next few days to obtain that information ...

and welcome to the PF :D
kiwikid - | 2  
4 May 2008 /  #119
If you are interested at all in the history of how your grandfather got to England in the first place let me know and I will give you a brief (?) account - at least I'll try.
gjene 14 | 203  
4 May 2008 /  #120
Hello all

I only know part of the family history based on the family bible. It goes back as far as the turn of the 1800's. I know that my grandfather and a brother of his served in the Polish Armed forces. I have a picture of both of them in uniform and a 3rd brother who is in civilian clothing. I was told he may have served twice. Once in the early 1920's and then about 1939. Where would be the best place to obtain military records? Would the place in England have military records information prior to WWII?

I do know that my my grandfathers' family was involved in the textile industry. His father was 1st married in Wegrow. Then he for some reason not mentioned had been remarried. Just wish I knew where to get information on his Polish citizenship status. He and his family had live in the French zone of Germany prior to immigration to Canada in 1951. My aunts said that they were in Germany for about between 6-8 years. The only problem is tracking that information down. Dzien kuje everyone. I do know that my grandfather was born in Elzbietow and my mother was born in Lublin.

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