PolishOrigins Adventure. Part 8: It is hard to say goodbye.

In Płock we visited the Church diocese archives.

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Because I had done lots of research with the LDS microfilm library, we did not stay long. We did have one strange experience. We were accidentally locked into the small archive room! Zenon jumped out the window, but not being young like him, we were hesitant to jump the 6 or 7 feet to the ground. Finally, an elderly priest came to our rescue!

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We also visited the state archives. They were supposed to be closed all week. Zenon’s gentle persuasion once again came to our rescue. We were allowed in even though they were officially closed to the public! It was amazing to be given stacks of 200 year old books – way easier to read than microfilm!

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Remember Jacob Cybulski’s wife, Franciszka (my g-ggrandmother)? We found her birth record which stated she was the daughter of
Franciszka Jablonska but does not give a father’s name. According to the record, my g-g-g-grandmother, Franciszka was working at the manor home in Rościszewo at the time her daughter was born.

We decided to visit the church in Rościszewo since that was the location of Franciszka’s birth. We found the church but no records and
very little evidence in the cemetery that would connect to the Jablonski family. While talking to the priest, we took this picture. The juxtaposition of past and present makes for an interesting photo.

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We went back to our central location of Drobin to regroup. Zenon decided it was time to pursue some hints from the old
pictures I had copied before leaving home. We also wanted to revisit the ‘city hall’ in Drobin to deliver some candy to a very stressed out lady in the records office that had helped us.

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The above photo shows Zenon on the phone in his office (car) trying to track down a possible relative of my Cybulski family while I sit absorbing the fact that I was actually sitting in POLAND. He got permission of us to stop by to visit a lady about 30 miles away.

After World War II, many families in America sent money and things to Poland to help relatives. The war had hit Poland especially hard because
they were squeezed between two very aggressive countries. Both Germany and Russia wanted to destroy Poland; and between the two of them, it was almost accomplished! The Cybulski relatives in America would try to help out by sending money and clothing. Very specific stories were handed down in my family. In order to get money past Polish customs, my grandmother would put money into various places in used clothing, such as in the hem. The letter accompanying the coat would state, I know the coat is too long for you so you will have to hem it up,  which would indicate where the money was hidden. Balls of used yarn would have money rolled into the center. My grandfather even sent antibiotics
using special government seals and bags.

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This photo of a young teen was among my mother’s things. On the back was the name Krystyna Kwidzynska. My guess was that the photo was taken after World War II.
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On the back of this photo, my mother wrote ‘second cousin & husband of Pauline Werbicki. Hendryk

 

Upon arriving we met the lovely lady shown below. Her name is Krystyna Frymarkiewicz, and is 83 years old. When she was shown the picture of the teen, she immediately began talking and smiling. It was HER. The 65 year old picture I had at my house was of HER! Through Zenon’s translations we began exploring our family connections. Her family were some of the recipients of the packages sent from America.

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Notice the smile and hair. Definitely her!
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She told me a story from her side that I did not know about. Evidently, someone in the family sent her a sweater in one of the packages. When she wore it to school, all the girls were jealous of her having something new to wear. Even today she fondly remembers the gift of love that made her life a little brighter. One of the first things I did on arriving home was to send Krystyna a new sweater!

The older couple she identified as her parents, Henryka Bockowska and her husband, Stanislaw Kwidzynski. Henryka’s mother was Josefa Cybulski. This would make Krystyna my mother’s third cousin.

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In case you need a little help, a family chart follows!

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It is hard to say goodbye

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To say this trip was amazing is an understatement! It exceeded all my expectations. Without Zenon it would have been just a sightseeing trip. His knowledge and expertise made it so much more. I met the friendly people of Poland, found cousins I did not know I had, and located new clues to expand my research about my “Polish Origins.”

Thank you Zenon!

Adrianne

6 comments

  1. Adrianne,

    It was a wonderful ten days with you and John. Thanks to your excellent preparation to our trip the work with you was endless pleasure and gave me enormous satisfaction.

    I personally learned a few important life lessons from you both which will stay with me forever!

    I hope to meet you and John someday in the future again.

    Thank you!

  2. Adrianne,
    What a wonderful description of your tour! Thank you so much for sharing your story – you are an amazing storyteller and your research information, charts and photos added just the right touch. I love that you actually met the teen in the old photo. That must have been a wonderful moment for you! I had an exciting moment during my 2nd visit to Poland when I was introduced to cousins (family of my great-grandmother’s sister) who brought me out a bag of old photos they had stored in their barn. Mixed in with the pile were photos from the US that my great-grandmother and her sisters sent to family in Poland. Imagine my surprise to find photos of my dad as a small boy then my parents wedding photo!

    Thank you again for such a beautiful story about your family history and your tour in Poland!

    Shellie

  3. Adrianne,

    Thank you for sharing the story of your tour, I enjoyed reading it very much. The stories and the photos of Zenon doing his magic brought back the pleasant memories of my own tour earlier this year.

    As Shellie also mentioned, it was amazing that you met the woman who was a teenager in the photo you brought. I also had a ‘photo moment’ when we met a cousin and discovered she had the same wedding photo I had brought along from the U.S. It’s so wonderful to reconnect families after so much time has passed.

    Like me, I am sure you will remember these events forever.

    Brian

  4. My Jablonski family came from Malochwiej near Krasnystaw (late 1800s/early 20th century), which is nearly 5 hours away from Rościszewo, a feasible distance one might travel for live-in work. If your great grandmother was born in this timeframe, her mother may be a cousin or even sister to my father. FYI his father was Blazej Jablonski, which I would think is a relatively unusual first name. Contact me if you think there might be some connection. Regards, Christine

  5. Thanks for the wonderful comments on my story. I will forever treasure the memories of Poland! A critical piece of information from the trip (Zenon – the reference to the village of Korzeniste from the Conscription Book in Lachowo) has lead me to a new church parish (Poryte). Without Zenon with me to decipher the writing, I would have never known how much information still existed for me to find. After returning home, with the help of the LDS microfilm reels, I have extended my grandfather Wierzbicki’s line back another 100 years.

    Christine – At this point, I have my Jablonski line back to the late 1700s/early 1800s and haven’t come across the name Blazej. I will watch for it as I research.
    Best regards,
    Andie

  6. I saw your pictures and I think Krystyna Kwidzynska may be a relative of mine. My grandmother Eva was born in 1896 to Jan Kwidzinski and Marta Dobrzyoska (sp). Not too sure of the spelling of the maiden name of my great grandmother Marta. The spelling on the birth certificate of Eva’s youngest sister Josefa is hard to distinguish because the handwriting is so bad. Krystyna looks a bit like my great aunt Theresa, also a sister of Eva. My mother was Eva’s youngest child Mary Ann. I would like to hear from you. My email address is by the top.

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