(This is post copied after permission of the author Joanne originally published on the Polish Genealogy group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Polish.Genealogy/permalink/10162798964853266/)
I’m in Poland on my dream trip. I booked it in 2019 for a May 2020 departure and began Polish language lessons. Then…COVID. Three years later, here I am. It has been a beautiful mix of history and sightseeing with some amber shopping in Gdańsk.
Now I am in the heart of my ancestral homeland with a marvelous genealogist, Daniel Paczkowski. Yesterday we dug through birth, marriage and death records in the archives and unlocked many mysteries. Many were in Russian! Thank goodness for Daniel! He could quickly scan the Polish and Russian records. He’s also a Geneteka guru, so we only had to hunt through records not on Geneteka.
Next, we drove to the villages where my great grandparents were born and knocked on doors asking where the old people lived. When we knocked on the door of an 88 year old man and asked if he remembered the Żołnowski family, he said, “Tak!” His mother was married to Stanislaw Żolnowski – my great grandfather’s youngest brother! This man is the half brother of the four Żołnowski children alive when Stansław died and he had stories to share. Magic!
Today, we knocked on doors and chatted with many kind farm families who were eager to help us find descendants of my great grandfather’s eldest sister, Antonina, and…Yahtzee! Here I am with her great grandson.