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plumbat



Joined: 28 Jan 2022
Replies: 4

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2022 8:56 pm      Post subject: Help With Conflicting Names
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Hello! Hopefully I've posted this in the right category.

I am looking for the ancestors of my great-great-grandfather, and I've found a conflict between the names of his parents that I'm not sure how to resolve. I'm hoping someone here can advise me.

Here is what I have in my tree. The names of Peter's and Anna's parents were taken from a United States immigration record, which I've either misplaced or didn't save, bad me.

Peter Bykowski: born July 2 1851 in Lubla, Poland, died May 23 1911. Married Anna Szopa. Immigrated with family in 1882, naturalized papers dated Jan 20 1906, from Stryzyow, Galicia.
Parents: Josephus Bykowski, Valentine
Anna Szopa: born March 17 1857 in Lubla, Poland, died Oct 22 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Parents: Stanislaus Szopa, Agathatha
Children: Joseph, Agnes, Stanislaus, John Frank, Frank, Max, Mary, Vladislaus, Anton, Edmand/Edward, and Lucy.

I have found a distant relative, who has a different pair listed as Peter's and Anna's parents in their tree. It looks like some of their info came from census reports, but they have conflicting information to what I found and I haven't been able to contact them.

Peter Bykowski: born July 2 1851 in Lubia, Poland, died May 23 1918 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Married Anna Szopa about 1876. Immigrated in 1882.
Parents: Hyacinth Byk, Josephine Knafrek/Knafe/Knaje
Anna Szopa: born March 17 1857 in Galicia, Poland, died Oct 22 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Immigrated in 1882, naturalized in 1896.
Parents: Stanislaus Szopa, Agatha Gieba
Children: Joseph Frank, Agnes, Joannes Frank, Frank, Mary, Anton, Edward, and Lucy

Are there any clues in this information that can tell me which is more reliable, or some other way to reconcile the differences? I've been working on my family tree for years, and have never seen nor heard of a Hyacinth until now.
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mcdonald0517
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Joined: 27 May 2012
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:17 pm      Post subject:
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Hello,

Welcome to the forum.

I looked around the different family trees in Ancestry.com and it seems that one person (don't know which one) added the parents names and then others just copied it. I say this, because the trees have no documented sources to support the parents names. I also looked around for online Parish records for Lubla. Unfortunately, there are no scans available.

That means, the only way you can confirm Piotr's parents is to contact the Lubla Parish in Poland and ask them for a copy of Piotr and Anna's marriage record of 1876, or Piotr's birth record from 1851. The Geneteka database does have their marriage indexed, and the notes under the "I" button at the end of the line indicates the entry is on page 21 of the parish book. It also has his birth record indexed for 1851 with a note that it is on page 120 of the parish book. It also notes that the location of the record is in the Parish Archives, which means you need to contact the Catholic Parish.

Here is a link to information for the Lubla Catholic Parish.
https://parafie.genealodzy.pl/index.php?op=pr&pid=4408

Note the above link includes an email address you can try and also a web URL for the Parish website.
św. Mikołaja
http://www.parafialubla.pl
[email protected]

When you contact the Parish, be sure to give them full names, year of the act, and the page number in the book. If you need someone to contact the Parish on your behalf, Polish Origins offers that service.

I am hoping other forum members will add to and/or correct my reply.

Wishing you the best in your research,
Cynthia
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plumbat



Joined: 28 Jan 2022
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:17 pm      Post subject:
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Thanks for that information! I hadn't had any luck locating the specific parish.

I have, however, another piece of the puzzle. I've just located a family tree that was handwritten by my grandmother, Peter's granddaughter. This is the main source for Peter and Anna's parents, since I've got it in physical copy.

However, my grandmother seems to have gotten a little confused about which people went where on the tree, as it was an artistic, pre-printed image in the shape of a tree instead of a straight-forward organization. For example, she accidentally listed her brother as her father, so Anna and Peter are both listed one generation older than they really were, and Josephus and Valentine's gender placement is swapped. I was able to correct the confusion through other family members and Ancestry records.

Is this information in one of our family books any more or less reliable a source than what I posted above? This book was passed down directly from Grandma to my father to me. And if so, who the heck is Hyacinth Byk?
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mcdonald0517
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:57 pm      Post subject:
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Hello,

in my experience of doing genealogy research, family history that is passed down is essential as a starting point, but it still must all be proven with documented evidence such as vital records. Memory is changeable - so is story. For instance, the family tree you have is precious and provides you with story and the names of individuals, however, the generations and relationships are not established. To bring order to that tree, you must seek out factual vital records from original sources. That will bring order and validation to that precious document.

It is possible that Hyacinth and Valentine are of a different generation or relationship, and as you mention, the names can be used for either gender. They could be siblings, aunts, uncles, or spouses for different people in the tree. You will not know until you get the parish records from Poland.

Another possibility is to obtain Peter's death certificate here in the USA. Sometimes (not often) the parents of the deceased are listed. You would need to order that certificate from the county in which he died. But, even with that, I would still suggest you contact the Parish in Poland to request the marriage and birth records for Piotr.

In genealogy, primary reliable sources are legal record such as birth, marriage, death, taxation, census, etc.

If you need help contacting the parish in Poland, I am sure someone in the forum can assist you. Just do another post with the request in the subject line.

Best,
Cynthia
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starshadow
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Joined: 09 May 2013
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2022 8:55 pm      Post subject:
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I believe the Polish equivalent of Hyacinth is "Jacenty". Someone may have believed Jacenty sounded like Joseph. I've seen many cases of Polish first names being mistranslated in my own research. Some examples, Wladyslaw becomes Walter, Pelagia becomes Pearl, Wojciech becomes George. Most of your research appears intact. You appear to have more data in common than not. Sometimes you just have to overlook inconsistencies and file them away until more proof comes in.
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dnowicki
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
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Location: Michigan City, Indiana

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2022 9:39 pm      Post subject:
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plumbat wrote:
Thanks for that information! I hadn't had any luck locating the specific parish.

I have, however, another piece of the puzzle. I've just located a family tree that was handwritten by my grandmother, Peter's granddaughter. This is the main source for Peter and Anna's parents, since I've got it in physical copy.

However, my grandmother seems to have gotten a little confused about which people went where on the tree, as it was an artistic, pre-printed image in the shape of a tree instead of a straight-forward organization. For example, she accidentally listed her brother as her father, so Anna and Peter are both listed one generation older than they really were, and Josephus and Valentine's gender placement is swapped. I was able to correct the confusion through other family members and Ancestry records.

Is this information in one of our family books any more or less reliable a source than what I posted above? This book was passed down directly from Grandma to my father to me. And if so, who the heck is Hyacinth Byk?


Hi,

As Cynthia wrote there is no substitute for official records in genealogy research. It is vital to document and record your sources. Although as she also wrote the family tree in your possession is precious but the information does require verification. Keep in mind that your grandmother wrote some things in the family tree pretty far removed from her personal life experiences. Peter/Piotr’s parents would have been her great grandparents, whom she never met so facts and details can get muddled at that point. Thus the need for documentary verification.

Here are some things you should know about names...Peter used the surname Byk in Poland and the suffix -owski probably was added on this side of the pond. Keep in mind that your ancestors in Europe were most likely illiterate and so names were recorded they way they sounded to the person who was compiling the record. Records in the area where he lived in Europe were kept in Latin—Peter, Piotr in Polish will be found as Petrus in records from Europe. Since your ancestors were Roman Catholic their children born in Milwaukee would be recorded in the parish baptismal registers in Latin as Josephus, Agnes, Stanislaus, Joannes Franciscus, Franciscus, Maximilianus, Maria, Ladislaus, Antonius, Edmundus/Edwardus, and Lucia. Their names in Polish would be Józef, Agnieszka, Stanisław, Jan Franciszek, Franciszek, Maksimilian, Maria. Wławysław, Antoni, Edmund/Edward, and Łucja. Their formal names in English would be Joseph, Agnes, Stanislaus, John Francis, Francis, Maximilian, Maria, Ladislaus, Anthony, Edmund/Edward, and Lucy. You may very well find that Peter/Piotr’s parents were neither what you recorded nor what the other relative recorded. Don’t be surprised if that is the case.

If you decide to write to the parish in Poland on your own, the letter/email should be written in Polish. If you are not fluent in Polish here is a link to a letter writing guide with sample phrases and sentences that you could use https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Poland_Letter_Writing_Guide . I’ve known some individuals who do not speak Polish who have used the guide with good results. If you compose the letter/email and post it on the Forum there are members who are fluent in both languages who could offer you suggestions and/or corrections.

Although death certificates sometimes do contain the names of the parents of the deceased, they are not primary sources of those names. They are primary sources of the death & burial related info. Cynthia is giving you excellent advice in that the way to go forward in your genealogy research is through records from the parish in Poland.

It is extremely important that you back up your family’s story with documentary proof. Without documentary evidence the story is mythology not genealogy.

The quest should be both informative and enjoyable.

Wishing you success,

Dave
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plumbat



Joined: 28 Jan 2022
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2022 11:31 am      Post subject:
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Thanks for all the advice! Quick question, are there fees to seek the records from the parishes? And if so, what is the best method of payment?
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dnowicki
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Location: Michigan City, Indiana

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2022 12:48 pm      Post subject:
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plumbat wrote:
Thanks for all the advice! Quick question, are there fees to seek the records from the parishes? And if so, what is the best method of payment?


Hi,

In requesting a 19th Century record you are asking for a favor from the parish priest. Doing genealogy research is above and beyond his usual duties so strictly speaking it would be insulting to ask about fees but a donation to the parish would certainly be appreciated. Since parishes vary in respect to how to send donations, if you plan on using the letter writing guide you could frame your desire to send a donation as Proszę o informację w jaki sposób mogę w ramach wdzięczności za okazaną pomoc złożyć ofiarę na kościół? (Please let me know how I can make a donation to your parish in gratitude for your help.)

With best wishes,

Dave
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plumbat



Joined: 28 Jan 2022
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2022 12:01 pm      Post subject:
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Gotcha! Thanks guys, I've been collecting US records of my family for some time, and until now have been unsure how to look further back than the first immigrants to the US. It will be exciting to learn more if I can. Smile
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