First Genealogy Tours in 2022.

First genealogy tours this year are behind us, two are happening right now, and there are many more ahead of us.

I was a genealogy guide on our first tour this year in April and I would like to share a few impressions with you.

Eastern Orthodox church in Kuźnica Białostocka

In 2020 we made only one tour before travel restrictions were imposed. In 2021 we had 8% tours compared to 2019. With some staff losses (one person leaving the core team, a few tourist guides finding jobs outside of tourism) we made it until 2022. It was possible thanks to the incredibly dedicated and open to change team. We used our genealogy and organizational skills from our many years of experience in providing genealogy tours and used them to provide genealogy research services, live genealogy consultations, and virtual tours.

After such a long, so unexpected break, it was exhilarating to hit the road again. It was not only about the fact that we can do the tours again as a company but also on the personal level, to experience again the adventure and the joy of discovering.

As those of you who participated in our Genealogy Tours know, we always have set itineraries, we arrange organizational details like places you want to visit and stay, we make genealogy research plans which need to be executed when we are in or near your ancestors’ places. But you also know that each tour is a unique adventure. You never know how each day will end. You don’t know what we will find in the sources, where the sources will guide us, who we will meet, and what reactions we will encounter. All these elements are only an addition to the fact that you will walk the land of your ancestors, with a chance to visit the family backyard, the cemetery where they were buried, and what is not so rare, with a possibility of finding living relatives.

Now about the April tour with Michael.

First, travel restrictions in Poland: there are none.

We had spent the whole week together with Michael in the countryside and in a few cities. The only time when we were reminded about covid was when Michael needed to take a test 24 hours before leaving Poland. We visited quite a few state and church institutions, ate in restaurants, stayed in hotels, met with many people, and we were even in a local school. Nowhere, nobody ever mentioned the word “covid” or even “mask”.

As a reminder, all the covid restrictions for people traveling from outside of the European Union (Schengen zone) to Poland have been lifted by the Polish government on March 28, 2022. No proof of covid vaccination, no tests, no quarantine is required to enter Poland. (Source, the official Polish government site:

I also checked recent statistics concerning covid cases and deaths and now (May 11) the 7-days average tells that there are 500 new cases and 12 deaths a day. Source:

Second, war in Ukraine and the refugees. In Poland there are currently about 2.5 million Ukrainians who fled from war in their country. Poland has currently about 38 million inhabitants. This means that within two months the number of people who live in Poland increased by about 6.5%. They are in big cities (only in Warsaw is about 267 thousand refugees, which is 13% of Warsaw’s population, and in Rzeszów near the Ukrainian border 35% of all residents are Ukrainians) and in little towns and villages, especially near the Ukrainian border. They found their places in Polish families’ homes, others have temporary accommodation in hotels or are renting apartments if they have money or a job. There are charities, businesses, and millions of regular people who are engaged in help. There is also formal and financial help from the Polish state and local authorities both for the refugees and for people helping them.

Michael a few times asked me: “Where are all those refugees I heard about?”. I replied: “They are everywhere, here is a family, there is a mother with children, here is a car on Ukrainian plates. But if I haven’t heard them talking I also wouldn’t tell that they are from Ukraine.” The refugees blended in everyday life of Polish cities and villages. They not only receive help here but they also try to be useful if they can, and most of the Ukrainian children went to Polish schools.

I can’t share the details of our tour with Michael because of the private character of each tour. However, I can tell you that in most cases we had good luck with people willing to help us. One of the examples was one of the rector priests who dedicated his time to us and even took us to the school to meet the headmaster and people (including pupils) who could know Michael’s relatives.

From our experience, such people, such meetings are not an exception but a rule. Our research, and especially its part of looking for living cousins is so much more effective thanks to people like priests, mayors of villages, enthusiasts of local history, or just regular people we meet for example in a local village shop.

The final, tangible result of our time with Michael was finding original records of many more ancestors he knew about and others he wasn’t aware of. Equally rewarding and probably even more emotional were moments of finding and meeting with cousins on both lines (different regions). I think the most incredible moments are those with family old pictures being shared and stories being told that are remembered by both sides. Thanks to Michael’s visit and our search, the family reunion on his paternal side took place for the first time since the 1940s…

I cannot tell you more details but I can share with you a few photos and videos from the tour: .

More about our Genealogy Tours:

Best Regards from spring Poland,

Zenon Znamirowski
CEO and Founder


  1. I’m so thrilled to see that you’re able to provide tours again. I was one of the small number of people who was able to go last year and visit the places from which my ancestors came. I could NEVER have done it without PolishOrigins. You and your team are a joy to work with and a gift to know. I look forward to my next trip, when I’ll bring my sister to see what I was lucky enough to see. I know that she will fall as much in love with Poland as I did!

  2. My name is Michael Danisiewicz, I am the person that accounted for Polish Origins first Genealogy Tour of 2022. I can attest to Zenon’s account of our trip.

    I must admit I was a bit anxious about traveling for the first time in several years post COVID and with current conditions in Ukraine. I travelled solo as my spouse decided not to go. My trip began with a 4 day stopover in Berlin. When I arrived in Warsaw, Polish Origins arranged all accommodations, travels and many of my genealogy decisions.

    Just after my arrival, I learned of a family emergency of my designated guide for the week! Without any interruption I learned that Zenon would “fill in” as my personal guide! The next morning we quickly became acquainted and accompanied me to the Lublin area and the southern villages where my maternal grandparents once lived.

    After spending two nights in the Bychawa area we traveled to Bialystock where my my paternal grandparents came from. Zenon was very personal and persistent, knocking on village resident doors attempting to finding connections to my families ancestors. He provided me with options daily and
    allowed me to make each days itinerary. If all his tours are similar to what he provided me I highly recommend Polish Origins services.

    If I could be of help in making your decision concerning a future trip, you may email me at [email protected]

  3. I just got back from my Polish Origins tour of Poland. It was a wonderful experience.

    I can’t thank Polish Origins enough for making sure everything went smoothly. My flight to Poland was cancelled just hours before I was due to leave and Magdalena worked with me through Friday night and early Saturday morning to adjust my schedule so I would not miss anything we had planned. In fact she was able to make adjustments and add a day to make up for my delayed arrival, even adding in a walking tour of Krakow that was not in the original plan.

    My genealogy guide, Zbigniew, had done a great job planning for our research at the archives in Bydgoszcz. We were able to find church records to fill in a lot of gaps in my family tree and even uncovered some amazing land contracts from the 1830 and 1840s that my ancestors had signed.

    I was able to visit all the villages where my ancestors lived and see the land they once farmed.

    Part of the trip was a visit to the village where my grandmother went to a Moravian Brethren boarding school in Pilawa Gorna. Zbigniew contacted the local library and cultural center to see who might know about the history of the school. We were referred to a gentleman who had established a library and museum focusing on the Moravian Brethren in the village. He took us on a walking tour of the town and pointed out the buildings where my grandmother would have lived, eaten her meals, and gone to class.

    I would highly recommend Polish Origins to anyone who wants to learn more about their Polish ancestry.

    1. There are a lot of questions one asks at this time: were masks worn on the flight & throughout the tour?
      Did you have have problems with the outgoing flight to Poland (as one person commented on)?
      What was the weather like, i.e. I visited in 2013 to visit Krakow (to see where I had stayed & how things had changed since I was there in 1975 for the 6-week summer program for foreigners at the university) & the weather in August while visiting the castle was 40 degrees. Is the pace of walking comfortable for an older person? Since starting my genealogy research I would like to visit while I can.

  4. Christine,

    I am on the road with one of the groups (two couples). I asked them the questions you included in your comment above. Here is what they said.

    They flew by Lufthansa and yes, during the flight they had to use masks (of course, not when they were eating). But they said that different airlines have different rules.

    They didn’t have any issues with the outgoing flights to Poland. Both couples independently had a change in Germany, at the Frankfurt Airport.

    As for the weather, in general, September and October are with temperatures between 10 and 25 Celsius (10 to 77 Fahrenheit) with occasional rains. For many people, it is the perfect weather for traveling. September and the first half of October have always been the most booked time for us. Now, when we are on the road our guests (one couple from Florida, the other from Vermont) are surprised by how warm it is here. They were prepared for lower temperatures.

    If you decide on the custom Genealogy Tour the pace of walking and all other details are adapted to your needs and physical condition during the planning stage as well as on the road when you are with your guide.

    If you have any more questions please contact us here or at our email [email protected].


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