I just wanted to say how pleased we were with our tour. To begin with, I was coordinating our tour group of 3 coming from three different countries. We were to start our tour in Wroclaw but meet the day before in Warsaw. None of us speak Polish and we were meeting at a relative’s house who didn’t speak English. Anna was fantastic and went above and beyond to help us sort out our logistical and communication troubles for our Pre tour day. In the planning of the tour I found the communication to be great, and I’m sure I was possibly one of the most difficult clients because I kept getting bits and pieces of family history given to me that I would pass on for possible inclusion. But at no time did I feel my ‘strange questions’ were a bother or asking too much.
Our guide Mateusz was there waiting for us at the airport when we arrived in Wroclaw. Throughout the three-day tour he was very knowledgeable about each town we visited and over the time we not only learned more about our family we learnt a lot about Poland history too. On day one of our tour we explored Wroclaw (which was beautiful, despite the off and on rain) before heading to my grandmother’s home town of Nysa.
Day two we visited the Lambsdorf POW camp, Klodozko and Stara Lomnica all places were my family had been at one point or another. In Stara Lomnica, based only on the photo of a front step and house number we were able to track down the house of my deceased Great Aunt. Mateusz had stopped a few times to speak to local people to try and locate it. By the time we found the house, word and spread in the small town and my Great Aunt’s best friends and neighbors came to greet us. We were welcomed into their home where we spent some time talking (through Mateusz) and were thrilled to find that the neighbors had kept our relatives photos and papers after she had died as they had no one to pass them onto. It was amazing to find these family ‘treasures’ that they passed onto us to keep, and we were able to hear from them stories about what had happened to our Great aunt and Great Grandmother through the years. It was an amazing day.
Day three we visited Poznan and the archives where we hit gold again and found the original birth register for my Great Grandmother, after years of searching from Australia had gotten me nowhere, I really didn’t expect to be able to find anything. This record confirmed that she was born in a nearby town that we were set to visit. After visiting Szamotuly, and seeing the church where the family would have attended we headed on another journey to find an old family manor. With nothing more than a surname and a location of ‘outside Poznan’ Mateusz managed to track it down and we were able to find the manor and walk through parts of it. (It’s converted into flats now)
We packed so much into our three days, it is hard to believe it all happened in such a short space of time. Our guide Mateusz was always on the job. Whilst we were taking our time in our own world looking amazingly at something, he was researching and planning the entire time. We had little information to start with but due to his determined effort we managed to find so much.
I would most happily recommend PolishOrigins to anyone looking to find out more about their Polish ancestry. It was a wonderful experience and as soon as I was on the train leaving Poland, I wanted to be going back there.
I would happily tour with PolishOrigins again. In fact, it is on my ‘to do’ list for the next few years.
Thank you, you made our dreams come true.