Big breakfast at the Beekeeping museum this morning – so good and fresh. We wanted to buy a few souvenirs at the gift shop but they were closed until 11am – Zenon asked if they could open early so the owner came by to do it. Bought candles and a bottle of mead to give to Stanisław Twaróg upon our visit later today.
Today we are headed to our next destination, the village of Jaszczew where our Twaróg (Mom’s father) side of the family is from. The drive to Jaszczew took an hour. Upon arriving, we stopped by the church and looked through the old cemetery – lots of Twarógs there but we’re not sure of the relations to us, if any.
We drove to the house of Stanisław and met him with wife Barbara and their daughter. I had contacted Stanisław a couple years ago after finding his name online, but we had already determined we’re not related. Still, he insisted that we meet during my trip and he would introduce us to other Twaróg families who are related to us. They served us a full lunch (a wonderful curry chicken with rice), homemade cakes, and Turkish style coffee. Good conversation and then went to the yard to see his dogs – he breeds Pyranees. Mark and his wife own a dog training & boarding business back home, so he and Stanisław ‘talked shop’ for a while. Stanisław then offered to accompany us to meet Edward Twarog, a 3rd cousin of Mom’s.
As Zenon introduced us, Edward seemed hesitant but invited us into his home. A completely understandable reaction considering he’d never heard of us before and we showed up with no advance warning. Once inside, Zenon explained in more detail how we are related, and Edward’s wife Bernarda joined us. I unrolled the large printed family tree I had brought from home, and seeing the names and relationships on paper helped. They really started opening up to us and then cake, coffee, tea and brandy were served. So much food!
Lots of conversation and sharing of photos ensued. The Twarógs remembered a visit by the Wachowicz family from America, 2nd cousins who I correspond with but have never met. Edward then agreed to go with us back to the cemetery to point out the grave of his grandfather Andrzej, my great-grandfather’s brother. Once there his daughter Elzbieta appeared and joined us.
We went back to the house and they served us dinner – such incredible hospitality here in Poland! We met Elzbieta’s daughter Katarzyna and her 2 year old daughter. More cousins! They also pointed out the land around the house and said all of this had been owned by Andrzej (and most likely also by his father Maciej, our common ancestor). We finally left close to 7 pm – about a 5 hour visit. We headed to our hotel for some rest. The internet connection is better here and I managed to use Skype to talk to my family back home.