Personal Page: edgraziani

All surnames
Knapik, Fedorowicz
All places
Lipinki, Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Research notes
Hi, my name is Edward Graziani.  My maternal grandparents were Paul and Mary Fedorowicz, who lived in the Bronx, NYC, USA, until their deaths.  Grandpa Paul Fedorowicz was born in New Jersey, USA, circa 1902.  Grandma Mary's maiden name is Knapek.  She was born in Lipinki, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland, circa 1907, and emigrated with her parents and sister to the United States, when she was 5 months old, in the same year.  She and my grandfather were married in a Catholic church, sometime between 1920 and 1924, in Montgomery, New York.  Both my grandparents were very private, emotionally distant, and perhaps fearful/xenophobic, people, and I remember as a child asking (sometimes begging) them to tell me about their Polish heritage.  Both adamantly -- almost defensively -- insisted they never talk about the past -- and they both died with their "secret."  I was told that my grandfather had volunteered for both WW1 and WW2.  I know virtually nothing of my/their Polish heritage and I am eager to discover anything I can about their histories.  They were both Catholic and raised their children in the Catholic Church.  Conversely, my father was Italian, and he came from a strict Catholic upbringing.  About 25 years ago, I researched the possibility that there were Jewish ancestors in my family.  For a number of reasons, I always "felt" Jewish.  I found an agency in New York which maintained a database of known Jewish names but it turned out that neither Fedorowicz nor Knapek were listed.  I never thought to ask about my father's Italian name.  About 10 years later I discovered that my father's name, Graziani, was a fairly common Italian Jewish name (at the time, the conductor of the Israeli Philharmonic was a Graziani and had just died) and it inspired me and my brother to have our DNA analyzed (both paternal and maternal DNA sequencing) and to our happy amazement, there were significant Jewish links on both my father's and mother's sides (even though the Polish names were not listed as Jewish).  I have even speculated that the "secret" that died with my grandparents might have been that their parents/grandparents/ ancestors were Jews and at some time either converted, or were forced to convert, or perhaps had been involved in supporting Jews, or dare I say persecuting Jews.  Sadly, by the time I discovered my Jewish roots, both my parents, all four grandparents, and all of my aunts and uncles, had died, so there was no one from their generations with whom to share this amazing news. I am planning on contacting the Catholic Church in Montgomery, New York to ask about my grandparents' marriage records.  In addition, if anyone has any advice for me as to where else I could look for information about the Knapek name from Lipinki, and the Fedorowicz name from New Jersey, it would be deeply appreciated.  I do not speak or read Polish so I am hoping I can find some English-speaking websites in this r