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Chmiel - My Polish Family memories, traditions, thoughts and hopes

Maggie M Chmiel 1 | 3
26 Aug 2013 #1
Hello, first I am new to this interesting forum! My name is Maggie Maria Chmiel. I am married but kept my Polish maiden name as I didn't want to loose my identity to my family. My husband is not of Polish decent and has been supportive of me reconnecting with my heritage as it was missing in my life for a while.

When I think of Poland or the Polish, I immediately think of my Grandfather, My Fathers Dad. My Grandfather was Joseph Chmiel, he was a hard working Coal miner and our family began in America in Windber, Pennsylvania. The area I grew up was a very high population of Polish immigrants who worked in the mines and steel mills etc of this area of Pennsylvania. My Grandfather had a large family with his siblings and his parents. He married my Nonna who was an Italian and my two heritages are very important to me. I was always very close to my grandfather, he was a father to me. After he died, I lost connection to his family. I was more closer to my Italian relatives it seemed, but I have wanted to learn so much more about my Grandfathers People, the Polish who I can relate to in so many ways.

My Chmiel family were very proud of their Polish ancestry. One side came from Trzebnica, and the other from Poznan supposedly. Polish music played in our house regularly and the Polish food was always the best! My Great Grandmother Eleanora Czarnecki Chmiel always made Pierogies, Halupki, Kielbasa, all the good food! It was a good time in my life. As with many families,, some strife came into the family and many of us stopped communicating out of grudges and not many want to ever say sorry.... unfortunately I became bitter and distanced myself. Now that I am getting a little older I want to reconnect with my Grandfather and who he was and what he passed to me was his value of hard work and his Polish heritage. I remember him speaking Polish and teaching me the words, counting, greetings, bad words etc LOL,,, alot of that I forgot. I want to regain that again. I've been building my family tree and wanting to learn as much I can about my Polish ancestry. Is there any recommendations on how to achieve this more??

I would love to hear from anyone who would share their thoughts or their Polish memories with me. I would love to be able to find relatives who are still in Poland and wonder how to go about searching information in Poland about my ancestors going back farther. I have very little understanding of the language unfortunately but am willing to learn. Thanks so much for reading this and I hope for so much in the future to understand more about my Grandfather and ME! Thanks!
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
26 Aug 2013 #2
I can't really assist you, as I'm no genealogy expert, but just wanted to wish you luck and I hope you reconnect with your Polish side :-)
OP Maggie M Chmiel 1 | 3
26 Aug 2013 #3
Thank you so much Magdalena for your well wishes! I am slowly but surely!
gjene 14 | 203
27 Aug 2013 #4

You can try sending an email to an Emil Krasnodebski. His email is He has assisted me in obtaining some documents already and of which I am still looking for other information. Maybe he might be able to help you. If there is any info you can provide him in order to know where to start looking will make his job easier and will help him to find whatever you want that much faster. Who knows, maybe you connect with relatives of your grandfather that stayed behind. That is what I did before I connected with Emil.

OP Maggie M Chmiel 1 | 3
27 Aug 2013 #5
Thanks so much Gary.. I will contact him! I appreciate your info!
mochadot18 15 | 241
27 Aug 2013 #6
He has assisted me in obtaining some documents already and of which I am still looking for other information.

How much did it cost you to get the information???
gjene 14 | 203
28 Aug 2013 #7
It cost me $23 US per hour and whatever the cost was in obtaining the 6 documents I obtained so far from the appropriate office in Podedworze. That came out close to $110 in Canadian funds. That was for 1 marriage, 3 birth and 2 death certificates and one hr so far. What it is going to cost beyond this will depend on how much time is spent in looking over the records to obtain the information I want. But I was specific to the dates I was looking for since I knew the person and where that individual was born. Now I am after residency info to determine how long a person stayed at a particular address. Particularly from 1940 to 1945 since there are 2 issues that I need to get resolved that happened during that time frame. I also have 2 letters dated during this time frame that may or may not be of some use to verify this individuals whereabouts for that time. It will also depend on the availability of the records as well. If the records dont exist, I may have to follow a different path in order to deal with the matter. Such as other records that will be considered legal that can be used to provide verification of a persons date and location of birth. These other records will be easy enough to locate provided that they weren't destroyed during the war or by some other incident. For example, the marriage certificate confirms my grandmothers' place of birth and how old she was at the time of marriage within 6 months either way of her birthday. That confirms another document I have as to her birthplace. So it will be easy enough not only to locate what I am after but to cut the cost per hour I would be charged. For someone who cant be that specific it may cost a lot more.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699
16 Sep 2013 #8
first of all join they are all over the world and in canada so you would be able to find something.. then look at some of the sites provided by people.

the only way to start is by looking at all the old documents your family has.. anything, pictures, memorial cards etc.. document everything and keep a clipboard near to write or jot down anything familiar.. you can go back to.

Ellis island is a great place to start.. and of course bury your grudges and talk with family , anyone who might know or is older that can help you determine exact dates... family stories can be true or not true, write down everything.
hotrod - | 1
10 Dec 2020 #9
Maggie , did you ever reconnect with any of your family from mine 37 in Windber ?
BarnsMa - | 1
15 Feb 2021 #10
Are you also a Chmiel?

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