Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:37 pm
Post subject: Second "Forefather's Traces Tour"
Last week, my daughter and I returned from a second trip to Poland, this time accompanied by the daughter of a cousin. I wanted to learn more about my paternal ancestors (Krakowski, Michalkiewicz, Jerawski and Golebiewski) in Szafarnia, Pokrzydowo, Jastrzebie, Brodnica, and Kowalki.
This trip was fabulous. I knew grandmother Krakowska was born in Szafarnia. I
did not know what happened to the Krakowski/Michalkiewicz family that remained in Poland - but by the end of the first day, I learned that my father had indeed had Krakowski cousins in Poland, of whom we knew nothing, and we met a granddaughter of one, who is my second cousin, twice removed.
Through one of the residents of Szafarnia, we were told of a gentleman, Mr. Taduesz Majewski, who was writing a book about Szafarnia and the destruction of the Evangelical Church during the Russian occupation. With his help we actually found the place where the Krakowski home had been! Joy! We also learned that there are no descendants of my Michalkiewicz ancestors living in Pokrzydowo.
None of this would have been possible without Zenon's expertise in genealogy, and the kindness of the Polish people who shared their knowledge of their community.
We continued to look in Jastrzebie, Brodnica and Kowalki for further information, but from my search in the LDS microfilms, it seems that the famililes moved frequently, and so are very difficult to trace. The many churches we
visited while searching are beautiful. We also visited the Zamek Krzyzacki, the Crusaders castle in Brodnica.
We traveled Northwest to Nowa Wies Lemborska, where my daughter's GGG grandfather was born, when it was Pomerania in 1850. We were unable to find the Evangelical Church, until a Catholic priest told Zenon that the Catholic Church we had been photographing had actually been the Evangelical church from 1840 t0 1860's, and then became a Catholic church again. Another success. However, we learned that during the Russian occupatin, the Evangelical community was not
allowed, and the school was torn down to make room for a fire station, and the
cemetery became the land for a sawmill.
We visited the ancient town of Torun with a 12th century Cathedral and several other wonderful ancient churches, the home of Copernicus, and the remains of a 12th century Teutonic castle. We stayed in Torun to search the archives and succeeded in finding a few nuggets as well as continuing eliminating possibilities for these very elusive ancestors.
Our last day was devoted to a trip to Czestochowa to see the Black Madonna. I have seen many reproductions during my 82 years, but the actual painting is awesome, as is the entire church complex.
Zenon is a joy to travel with. He is extremely knowledgeable, and his preparatory work made our trip the success that it was. Our accommodations were very
We three agreed that Poland is a beautiful country, with much to offer travelers, and friendly people everywhere. But I wish my ancestors hadn't moved so often!
ShelliePO Top Contributor & Patron
Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:46 pm
I also just returned from my 2nd trip to Poland. This time I ventured out with some new-found cousins (Zenon was already booked with another client, maybe it was you?). I also was lucky enough to visit Czestochowa and view the Black Madonna. Wasn't it wonderful? I am so happy that you had another great trip to Poland!
Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:41 pm
Travel in Poland just gets more interesting. There is so much to see, (and so much
research to be done.) And such a thrill when we find what we've been looking for.
My daughter who was with me wants to go back with her boys, and a few other
family members. I've told my friends of other ancestry to think about
Poland - especially the Black Madonna.
Hope your trip was wonderful too!