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KarenJones



Joined: 24 May 2019
Replies: 25
Location: Alaska, United States

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:38 pm      Post subject: Some advice from you experienced researchers
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I had put this at the bottom of one of my old posts, and I do not think anyone noticed it. So, I am reposting it.

We have EXTENSIVELY researched and exhausted all US records, and those on Geneteka, and any place else we could find. All of the records have been translated.

All of my "Paul" surname siblings have records that indicate they were born in: West Prussia, Walcz, Pila, Schneidermuhl, The Duchy of Posen depending on the record they were found. However, on the Polish records that we have already found and translated, these siblings had children in and around Mlodzieszyn, Wyszograd, and Sochaczew areas.

Saying that, I have TWO questions:

1. I know the possibilities may be endless...but, how do you think these SIBLINGS ended up in those areas if they were born in Pila, Walcz, West Prussia, Schneidermuhl, or Duchy of Posen? The children's surnames of these Paul siblings were: Retka (near Warsaw), Piskorski (Mlodzieszyn) and then the other Paul children all around 1880s time frame born in and around Mlodzieszyn. The SIBLINGS were all born around 1850-1865 time frame. Marcin Paul, Julian Paul, Julianna Paul Piskorski, Marianna Paul Retka, Agnes Paul Skrzypecki). Julian Paul remained and died in Poland. The father of at least four of these siblings was Herman who died in 1892 IN Mlodzieszyn, but no information indicated his birth place and parents.

2. Is anyone familiar with that Pila area and know what databases or records I could check out?
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mcdonald0517
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Joined: 27 May 2012
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:15 pm      Post subject:
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Hi Karen,

You are right - the possibilities are endless in answering why descendants of your family migrated out of Prussia and into Masovia. I also have ancestors who lived in Prussia, and moved to Masovia between 1860-1870.

When I visited the area with Polish Origins for a custom genealogy tour in 2018, we spoke with several local historians and experts to try to better understand this. Here are notes taken by our PO guide who documented our conversations with these experts. Any, all, or other factors could have played a role in the movement of your ancestors. Note that any reference to Radzyminski surname is my family tree:


1. Serfdom in the area (Prussia in general) was abolished from 1806. This means that if someone own a property, house 1780s he couldn’t be a peasant. This change forced people to find independent work, and also contributed to the movement of the labor force.

2. People who were settling in these area were coming here from Mazowsze (Masovia). Which means that ethnically there were of Polish origins. This means my ancestors (and possibly yours) actually originated in Masovia, then took advantage of the colonization efforts offered by the dependence of Prussia on the Polish Commonwealth (see item 6). They could have been part of the colonization movement into Prussia, but then returned back to Masovia after numerous economic and political changes occurred. This could especially be true if your male ancestors had a specific craft or skill (cart-right; wheel-right; blacksmith; land manager, etc.). Skilled craftsmen were given priority in times of two-way colonization efforts (Prussia to Masovia; Masovia to Prussia), and as "colonists" they were give some privileges.

3. Landowners most often were of German origins.

4. There existed so called “law of the first night”. This meant that if a girl working for a landlord was going to marry she had to spend a night before marriage with her lord. So, it was normal for girls having illegitimate children with landlord.

5. There is one important thing I learned from the short conversation with Mr. Betkowski –minor noblemen might be just craftsmen (wheel-right, cart-right, blacksmith, etc.). And they could move from place to place to search for job. For example they could work for a grange owned by a landowner (who was also a nobleman but usually much more affluent).

6. The most important from my point of view information Mr. Betkowski shared with us:
Since 1525 when Albert of Hohhenzollern became Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Prussia. He converted to Lutheranism and became the first ruler of Duchy of Prussia. Prussia was secularized state which emerged from the former State of Teutonic Knights. Duchy of Prussia became dependent on the Commonwealth (Poland and Lithuania) paid homage to King of Commonwealth. Also at that time Polish King was facilitating settlement process of Polish nobility on the Duchy of Prussia territory. They were giving land there, financial incentives, to live there and develop that region. This is when your Radzyminski family could move from (possibly) Mazovia (Mazowsze) to Fraknowo (Prussian) area - and then later back to Masovia.

Nothing certain of course, but it helps to understand a bit of the historical context....

Hope this helps,
Cynthia
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KarenJones



Joined: 24 May 2019
Replies: 25
Location: Alaska, United States

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:29 pm      Post subject:
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Thanks Cynthia. Every piece of information helps.
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