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edgraziani@hotmail.com



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Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:44 pm      Post subject: Finding my grandmother's roots in Lipinki, Lesser Poland
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Hi, my name is Ed Graziani. My maternal grandparents were Paul and Mary Fedorowicz, who lived in the Bronx, NYC, USA, until their deaths. Grandpa Paul Fedorowicz was born in New Jersey, USA, circa 1902. Grandma Mary's maiden name is Knapek. She was born in Lipinki, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland, circa 1907, and emigrated with her parents and sister to the United States, when she was 5 months old, in the same year. She and my grandfather were married in a Catholic church, sometime between 1920 and 1924, in Montgomery, New York. Both my grandparents were very private, emotionally distant, and perhaps fearful/xenophobic, people, and I remember as a child asking (sometimes begging) them to tell me about their Polish heritage. Both adamantly -- almost defensively -- insisted they never talk about the past -- and they both died with their "secret." I was told that my grandfather had volunteered for both WW1 and WW2. I know virtually nothing of my/their Polish heritage and I am eager to discover anything I can about their histories. They were both Catholic and raised their children in the Catholic Church. Conversely, my father was Italian, and he came from a strict Catholic upbringing. About 25 years ago, I researched the possibility that there were Jewish ancestors in my family. For a number of reasons, I always "felt" Jewish. I found an agency in New York which maintained a database of known Jewish names but it turned out that neither Fedorowicz nor Knapek were listed. I never thought to ask about my father's Italian name. About 10 years later I discovered that my father's name, Graziani, was a fairly common Italian Jewish name (at the time, the conductor of the Israeli Philharmonic was a Graziani and had just died) and it inspired me and my brother to have our DNA analyzed (both paternal and maternal DNA sequencing) and to our happy amazement, there were significant Jewish links on both my father's and mother's sides (even though the Polish names were not listed as Jewish). I have even speculated that the "secret" that died with my grandparents might have been that their parents/grandparents/ ancestors were Jews and at some time either converted, or were forced to convert, or perhaps had been involved in supporting Jews, or dare I say persecuting Jews. Sadly, by the time I discovered my Jewish roots, both my parents, all four grandparents, and all of my aunts and uncles, had died, so there was no one from their generations with whom to share this amazing news. I am planning on contacting the Catholic Church in Montgomery, New York to ask about my grandparents' marriage records. In addition, if anyone has any advice for me as to where else I could look for information about the Knapek name from Lipinki, and the Fedorowicz name from Poland and New Jersey, it would be deeply appreciated. I do not speak or read Polish so I am hoping I can find some English-speaking websites in this regard. Thank you very much.
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PolishLibrarian
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Post Posted: Yesterday at 7:30 pm      Post subject: Fedrowicz marriage
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Hi Ed~ Took a look on familysearch.org. Here is a link to your Grandpa & Grandma's marriage record (civil) https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9Q97-YSZ6-VMG?mode=g&cc=1618491 Right hand page, bottom record. They married 19 Feb 1924, Paul was 23 (I found something else that said he was born Nov. 1900) son of Stanley and Frances Gares, born in Newark, and Mary was 18 daughter of Albert (Adalbert or Wojciech) and Victoria Wrozek. Priest was Anthony Gorski - searching Google it appears he was pastor of St. Stanislaus' Church in Amsterdam NY. If you can locate the church record, it may tell you where Mary was born... Here is a map showing where the surname Knapek exists in Poland as of the last 15-20 years http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/knapek.html Here is Fedorowicz http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/fedorowicz.html The surname Wrozek does not show up when searching Moikrewni - maybe someone else more familiar with Polish names can provide a better spelling...perhaps Wrózek. Paul apparently served in the Navy 5 Jan 1943 to 21 Jun 1945, but the VA Death File says he was born 23 Nov 1898 (died 30 Aug 1989) so don't know if this is your Paul. ~PL
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edgraziani@hotmail.com



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Post Posted: Yesterday at 7:50 pm      Post subject: Finding my grandmother's roots in Lipinki, Lesser Poland
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Hello PL,

Wow!! Thank you very much for doing this search! I'm amazed at how quickly the information was found. I had no idea they were married in Amsterdam (which is in Montgomery County). The information I found was that Montgomery was a town and I was about to contact the Catholic Church in Montgomery, NY. I just found the marriage information (application for license, marriage certificate, etc.) on FamilySearch.org and Grandma's name is spelled Knapik in a number of places. I will do a search on both. I'm almost positive you found my Grandpa's Navy record. Mom told me that Grandpa volunteered for both WW1 and WW2, and that he was in the Navy. And he died on either August 30th or August 31st in 1989.

I don't know how to thank you. I never thought I'd be able to find any definitive information. You're inspired me to forge ahead valiantly!!!
With my very best regards,
Ed
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PolishLibrarian
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Post Posted: Yesterday at 8:12 pm      Post subject:
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There is a family tree on Ancestry that says Stanislaw Fedorowicz, was born 4 Apr 1863 in Stryjówka, Zbaras, Galicia (now Ukraine), died 11 Apr. 1957 in Amsterdam NY. Says he married Franciszka Geras 8 Nov 1886 in Kretowce. I found this website regarding the area of these 2 villages http://www.longinus.org.pl/niezapominajmyang.htm This family tree also says Franciszka was from the same village as Stanislaw, born 1864 and has her arriving 23 Jun 1898 on the SS Barbarossa from Bremen with Marya age 9 and Anna 6 mo. from Stryjówka and going to husband in Newark NJ. It appears Stanislaw, age 30, may have arrived from Hamburg on the SS Scandia in the Port of Baltimore on 31 Aug. 1891 going to Maryland and from Lemberg (Ger. name for Lwów Poland, now Lviv Ukraine). There does appear to be another Stanislaw Fedorowicz who lived in Mass. but he was from a different village.
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Post Posted: Yesterday at 8:38 pm      Post subject:
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The marriage record says Mary was the daughter of Albert Knapik and Victoria, but in the 1920 Census Albert is now married to someone named Rose, daughter Mary age 13, Genevieve age 10 and son Edward age 2 living with them as well. Found reference to a marriage record in familysearch.org for Albert Knapik age 37 widower (son of Martin Knapik and Regina Wilczak) marrying Rose Ambrcza age 25 on 26 Jul 1919 in Montgomery County NY.
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edgraziani@hotmail.com



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Post Posted: 3 hours ago at 1:38 am      Post subject: Finding my grandmother's roots in Lipinki, Lesser Poland
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Hi PL,
I thank you again ... doubly! You probably have a good idea of how happy and encouraged I am right now. I have much information to review and absorb; and I never imagined I would be making plans so quickly to visit Poland for the first time. I'm very grateful to you ...
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