Poland archives–is genealogy supposed to be this easy to find??

Another day, another batch of exciting information.

I just wish that this archive office stayed open later. Its hours are 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Try as I might, I just cannot get up very early. Every night I’m wiped out, yet it takes forever to fall asleep. Is it caffeine in my system? Is it the emotion of what I’m experiencing? Am I just an old fart? Perhaps a combination of all three?

No matter. At least I’m finding info. Of course, I could be finding more each day if I spent more time at the archives. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for what I do find.

Today I found the actual marriage record of my grandparents, Theodore and Karolina. Yesterday I had found what amounted to their “fiancé record”. The record today actually showed their marriage date of June 4, 1911. The rest of the information mirrored what I found yesterday with the names of Theodore’s parents and Karolina’s parents.

I already had the names of Karolina’s parents, my great-grandparents. Her father, Basilius Dlugosz, was on her death certificate as was her mother, “Anna”. However, that was all I had. Now I found out her mother’s full name: Julianna Bystrzycka. Julianna’s parents were Thomae and Theclae Dudek—my great-great-grandparents!

I also found my great-great grandparents from Karolina’s father—Joannis Dlugosz and Barbarae Olejnik. Are you as confused as I get when I try to keep all this separate? Here it is in a nutshell–just to beat the point to death.

I started with my mother, Gwen Bakun and worked back in time since I don’t have the very first name in our family tree. Truthfully, I’m not sure if I want it! I could go back centuries!! As a matter of fact, my host, Aleksander, suggested I do just that. I will probably go back as far as I can and then work from there. I still have some research to do on my grandfather’s side of the family as one can see.

Theodore and Karolina Bakun were my grandparents, parents to my birth mother, Gwen Bakun. My grandfather Theodore’s parents were Onufry Bakun and Anna Sawczuk. These were my great-grandparents from my mother’s father, my grandfather.

My grandmother Karolina’s parents were Basilius Dlugosz and Julianna Bystrzycka, my great-grandparents. The parents of my great-grandfather, Basilius, were Joannis Dlugosz and Barbarae Olejnik. The parents of my great-grandmother, Julianna, were Thomae and Theclae Dudek. For some reason, the record does not show a maiden name for Theclae.

I am not sure why my great-great grandmother Theclae Dudek is shown with her married name. In the records I’ve found so far, the wife’s information was always shown with her maiden name. Guess that’s one more thing to find out.

When it comes right down to it, this whole research thing could spiral out of control. While I don’t expect to go back to the 1400’s, I still have to determine how far back I DO want to go. I mean, let’s face it, this could go on for ages and I really don’t care about ancestors from the 12th Century. Perhaps if I had unlimited funds and time, I would be interested. But I don’t, therefore I’m not.

I’m interested in more recent information. Aleksander is very knowledgeable in the history and culture of this whole area—the socio-political climate, wars, famines, geo-politics, culture, and history.

Indeed, it’s been an education for me to hear some of this information he’s proffered. Because Ukraine has been raped over and over by practically everyone in Europe, it’s history, culture and identity has been muted by the superimposition of stronger nations and their wills—Germany, Lithuania, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Poland. This is an area of Europe that has pretty much been ignored. Now it’s on the world stage with Russia’s desire to annex the nation.

Obviously, I cannot follow each and every individual’s life. But I am interested in what their lives were like overall. This is why I want to know about their religious beliefs, their educational levels and their professions. I also want to know how old they were when they died and the number of siblings that were produced. I’m currently finding information from the 1800’s when famine and war were prevalent and Austria-Hungary treated the area (historically called “Galicia”) like a poor stepchild by withholding monies and development, thereby guaranteeing poverty and hunger.

But as I research great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents and their lives I will find myself pushing back into the 1700’s. I’ve been surprised to find records from the 1600’s. Will any of those documents pertain to me?

Of course, once my family left for Canada, my interest in Europe dissipates substantially although I still want to find death records of ancestors in Europe. Did they remain in the area? Had they been able to lift themselves up economically and move someplace better? With the introduction of Bolshevism, the Stalinist purges, communism and the rise of the Soviet Union and its satellites, how did they function?

This information for ancestors remaining in Europe will not be as prevalent in the book because these people will fade further into the past. My family, upon arrival in Canada, maintained some contact, but it gradually dissipated as close members of the family died off. Even the cousin in Warsaw, of which I was vaguely aware, is now deceased, according to my brother.

I have to say that I am stunned at how much information I’m finding and how quickly I’m finding it. Every time I go to the archive now, I feel a sense of exhilaration. What will the next visit bring? What awaits me in Ukraine?



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