After some more żurek for breakfast (!) we headed back to the records office in Bolesław.
Armed only with old family names from the late 1800’s, we headed to the town archives to try our luck locating relatives still living in the area. Luckily the clerk was cooperative and bent some rules by showing us more recent birth, death & marriage records.
After close to an hour of looking through brittle yellowed pages, we had our answer. Since the Struziak surname is not common, we were able to pick out most of the recent records and construct a small tree starting with Krzysztof’s father. The breakthrough came when I found his 3x great grandfather Tomasz in my own records from the LDS films back home. This confirmed it: Krzysztof is a 4th cousin of my Mom! We thanked the clerk and rushed over to Krzysztof’s house with the news. He welcomed us and we spent over 3 hours talking and getting to know each other. We then drove with him to see the site of the family land – his grandfather’s house is still standing.
Zenon mentioned that the 4th (and 5th because we met his son Marcin) cousin relations between Mom & Krzysztof are the most distant he has had on his tours so far. Luckily the research I did in advance back home made this possible.
Although we will be in Poland until Monday, today was the last day of meeting family. We’ve been fortunate enough to find relatives from all 4 branches of Mom’s family during our trip. It’s truly been a once in a lifetime experience.