Welcome!

Welcome to my Polish blog! My Polish great grandpa was orphaned during the Chicago flu epidemic of 1918 & spent his life looking for all of his siblings. Some family stayed in Chicago & some returned to Poland. Some family was Catholic, & some are believed to be Jewish. I post the things I learn in efforts it may help someone else in their research. I also hope this blog helps me connect with others that know about the people I'm learning about. Digital images of records or links are put inside most postings so you can view records full screen. I encourage comments. Feel free to sign the guestbook, stating who you're looking for. Maybe we can all help each other out this way, because there are many challenges with Polish research. I hope you enjoy learning with me. And I hope to be taught more about my Polish heritage.
I have added a few languages to this blog through Google translate. I hope that it may be accurate enough with the communication of ideas.
Thanks! -Julie

Witam! (Polish translation of Welcome)

Witam w moim polskim blogu! Mój pradziadek został osierocony w czasie epidemii grypy w 1918 roku i spędził wiele lat poszukując swojego rodzeństwa. Część rodziny pozostała w Chicago a część wróciła do Polski. Część rodziny była katolikami a część, jak przypuszczam, wyznania mojżeszowego. Piszę w moim blogu o rzeczach które odkrywam i o których dowiaduję się mając nadzieję, że pomogą one wszystkim zainteresowanym w ich własnych poszukiwaniach. Wierzę, że ten blog pomoże mi w skontaktowaniu się z ludźmi którzy wiedzą coś na temat osób ktorych poszukuję. Zdjęcia cyfrowe lub linki umieszczone są w większości moich komentarzy i artykułów, można więc otworzyć je na cały ekran. Gorąco zachęcam do komentarzy. Proszę wpisać się do księgi gości i podać kogo Państwo szukacie. Może będziemy mogli pomóc sobie nawzajem, ponieważ nie jest łatwo znaleźć dane których szukamy. Mam nadzieję, że zainteresuje Państwa odkrywanie ze mną tajemnic przeszłości. Mam rówież nadzieję poznać lepiej moje polskie dziedzictwo.

Dodałam do mojego blogu automatyczne tłumaczenia poprzez Google. Ufam, że będą wystarczające w zrozumieniu o czym jest mowa w artykułach i komentarzach.

Dziękuję! - Julie

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14 November 2016

1913-Another Bronislawa and Stanley Sanetra, Brooklyn, NY

I finally found where that index about Bronislawa was referencing! Continuation of this post: Bronislawa Sanetra 1913 index ...I could not find the record in searches for Ellis Island, on their website, or on Ancestry.com. I had to manually look through it.  The Index said the ship was the Rhein Oct through Dec 1913. I saw a few ships were on this index. I decided to try to go to the beginning of the index book on the microfilm to see what the index numbers meant. When I got to the beginning of the book, it said this was an index for The Frankfurt ship which sailed 13 Oct 1913. The Rhein did sail in Oct but it was Oct 7th, and that book was later on the same microfilm.  The book Bronislawa was in did not give info about what the numbers meant. But I saw one number pattern on the index, and that was the section of the ship was the first number. In the upper corners of the manifest pages you can see the section number. On Ellis Island.org, I went to "search ship", typed in Frankfurt, clicked on 13 Oct 1913, then looked for section 13 and found her very quickly. I can't believe doing so many searches, this record does not show up anywhere. Thankfully the index told me how to manually find it. Now I'm curious to learn more about this family I'm not seeing on records.
There's 2 pages for this record. Summary: Bronislawa Sanetra age 25, married, housewife. Children: Stefania, Stanislaw (twins? Stefania listed as 7 -3/4, Stanislaw 7), Julian; Bronislawa was born at Wilno, Poland. Children listed as born in the United States. The husband of Bronislawa was Josef Sanetra. (or Sanetro). I think her father's name is spelled Felix Kiechwedowice. Final destination, Brooklyn, NY where Josef Sanetra lived. So this Bronislawa was born about 1888 in Wilno, Poland and Sanetra is her married name. This also means there should be one other Stanley Sanetra showing up on records. He's 2 years younger than my Stanley and the Stanley in Minneapolis. Also I noted, only Bronislawa was on an index, not her children. Maybe the index was only for people not born in the US?

30 October 2016

New record for Bronislawa Sanetra

Update 14 Nov 2016: continues with this post:  1913-Another Stanley and Bronislawa Sanetra

I found a new record for Bronislawa! Now I'm trying to find the manifest that matches this. I heard there's some new immigration collections being indexed. I did a search yesterday on FamilySearch and found there are new immigration indexes. In 1911, two Bronislawa Sanetra's immigrated to the US. They are the only two Bronislawa's I've ever been able to find. One is ours, who never made it to our family, she was a young girl. The other, was an adult, who married Rudolph Cender and remained in New York the rest of her life.
Here is from the new collection I found. This is not listed with Ellis Island under collections. This is a new collection, an index to immigrants arriving in New York.
1911-1913 immigration : Bronislawa Sanetra
I had never seen this 1913 entry before yesterday. Sailed from Bremen, on the ship Rhein. Arrived between Oct to Dec 1913, and final destination New York. I spent awhile trying to find this record. I looked on Ellis Island. The Rhein did sail Oct, Nov and Dec 1913. Each ship was listed as having 800-1000 passengers. I found some records on Ancestry.com that had been digitized from microfilm. But I only sifted through about 300-400 names scrolling through for each month. I know I didn't see the whole ship, even though I scrolled through all the manifest there. So I'll keep looking.
1913 Bronislawa Sanetra immigration
Here's a link to the image: to image Bronislawa 1913 Third name from the bottom.
This could be a different person I haven't heard of yet. Or it could be our Bronislawa. She may have had to go back because she didn't find her parents and this was her trying to come back. The Ellis Island record of 1911 is the last record I have for our Bronislawa.
Looking forward to seeing what more I can learn about this Bronislawa.

Correction: 9 Nov 2016- The only other Bronislawa Sanetra I know, (besides my family), was married to Rudolph Cender; She was married when she immigrated. So she traveled with the name of Bronislawa Cender, not Sanetra. She immigrated in 23 Aug 1911 with her son Raymond Cender.

17 October 2016

Stürmer or Streicher Library trying to reunite owners with their books

I read an amazing story this week about a group of people trying to return books to families that were confiscated/stolen during WWII. Here is a link to that page: Books trying to reunite with owners
Can you imagine trying to return 10,000 books stolen by Nazi's to their original families? I imagine the internet helps, trying to spread the message around the world. The article said the books came from 514 Austrian towns and other European localities, in 25 languages. A list of some names who had their books stolen is also on this web page. 

I subscribe to the newsletter from: kontakt@GenTeam.at
That is how I heard about this story. A letter was attached from the director of this project, Magister Leibl Rosenberg. It appears most of the books were taken from Jewish families. I will look forward to updates on this project and wish them the best, in this huge endeavor.

18 September 2016

Paul Sanetra, 1940s Arizona pictures

Paul Sanetra went to the orphanage when his mother died, at age 13. After that, for decades, Ervin was the only sibling he knew. Paul couldn't find the rest of his siblings, but they (Paul and Ervin) always kept looking for them. They lived near each other and kept in touch after Paul moved to Arizona for health reasons. Paul's wife Catherine was one of 11 children. (One died as a baby). He was very close to Catherine's siblings and their spouses. Paul and his brother in law Jesse Buckner and father in law George Stowe all got land, divided it and they (themselves) built houses beside each other. Here are 3 Arizona pictures I love of this group.They moved to Arizona mid 1940's. This was just outside Pheonix. Today this area is concrete and dense population. This was still as I like to think of as "the old west."


13 September 2016

Karolina Matuszek: deafness, communication, languages

Karolina is the cute one with the braids, smiling.
I wrote about this picture in Feb 2013, (see link for story) but I wanted to post it and again, and say: I love this picture so much! I appreciate this picture even more as I myself struggle with communication now. Karolina left home for several years to get an excellent education in the German language. She learned to lip read the German language, and get by in a "hearing world". She attended the Vienna School for the Deaf. Her family spoke Polish, but they learned German to communicate with her. What a big, difficult, yet amazing thing! What a huge accomplishment for Karolina and her family!  http://sanetra-genhistory.blogspot.com/2013/02/karolina-matuszeks-picture-helps-me.html Communication is so important, and can be so challenging. When we can't hear, speak or understand another language, it can be very frustrating, and make life's challenges much more difficult. I think parents' struggles to try to help their children understand language has always been there and always will be. Especially if immigrating or having health challenges. This is a subject and feeling that we may understand and empathize with our ancestors.

Over the last 20 years, I've gained a much bigger appreciation for trying to communicate through language barriers, including autism. I've wanted so much to learn other languages, but this is a skill I'm terrible at, no matter how hard (or how many years) I try. ASL (American Sign Language) is the only language I've ever been able to remember and understand. Probably because it's visual and I think visually. And it's based off the language I already know. Thankfully my family is now learning to sign with me since I have speech challenges. I've always wanted to sign ASL really well. Probably from the first time I saw it on the Sesame Street TV show. During 5th grade, I learned some signs from my teacher and her daughter who was deaf. Back then, they had to sign SEE, (signing exact English) in the classroom. That was tedious. I love ASL, and am glad that is the language allowed now. I took 2 college classes of ASL 20 years ago. It was new to our area then. My husband and I were dating while I took those classes. I practiced my lessons and tests with him as my audience. Now high schools offer it as a language here. I love that. I stopped classes, to address multiple health challenges for me and my little ones.  And...now its 20 years later! I'm relearning, reviewing and starting new classes.

I've been reading a lot about deaf history recently. My mother in law was hard of hearing, deaf without her hearing aids. She learned to read lips. She never learned to sign and had no interest when I took classes. Her generation wasn't very friendly to "being different." Understanding what people said was always a challenge for her though. She'd pretend she understood rather than admit she didn't understand the conversation. I can understand that though. I've read it often took 6-8 years of intense training to be able to read lips in one language. In the 1890's to 1900, deaf children had intense immersion type training but they didn't get to live at home, or do "normal things" children their age did. Most farmers didn't send their toddlers away for 6 years. That wasn't normal. The majority of people in the US back then were farmers. Yet these children were expected to act and live like everyone else. Like there was nothing wrong or different. If someone had a bushy mustache, mumbled or looked away a lot, it was hard to follow their conversation.  People had to hide their problems for survival.  But families wanted to communicate, and often felt signing communicated better, and it was easier with quicker language skills.

Can you imagine a new immigrant and the only way you ever knew how to communicate, you aren't aloud to speak or you get in trouble? Can you imagine the immense pressure of immigrants (early 1900's) to learn English quickly, so people didn't try to cheat them out of the little money they had? Or trick them with work contracts?

Paul Sanetra knew Polish, probably up until age 13 when his mother died. Near the end of Paul's life with Alzheimer's we realized he remembered some German words from when he was a little boy. He said his mother (Rosalie Wandzel) used to say those words to him. But in the early 1900's in America, children got in trouble (and humiliated) for speaking anything but English. By the time Paul spent some time in the orphanage, he lost the language. When he was about age 50 and started to find his siblings, he had to hire a translator, because he forgot and couldn't get the language back. For years (school, orphanage, work) it was drilled into him that he could only speak English.

I lived in Los Angeles for a few years. There were a number of political refugees in my high school. From Kosovo, Iran, El Salvador and Russia. A lot of effort was made to help the teenagers feel welcome and safe. I became good friends with several of these new students. They had some crazy stories! They were really hard working students, who wanted to master several languages, be good students and contribute to their community. If your parents, or grandparents immigrated, do you know their story? Do you know why they moved to a new country? Do you know what they did to adjust to a new place? How they learned a new language? Did they move to communities were others were from the same culture? Or spoke the same language? Do you know how many languages they knew? Did they keep the same religion or join a new religion in their new country? Did they have the same occupation here as their old country? Even if they were factory workers, did they sing or draw? Invent things? Neighborhood sports games at the end of the street? These are the kinds of questions I ask and I'm trying to learn the answers to, for my immigrating ancestors. Regarding my Polish ancestors, ...it's so hard to find these answers! But I'll keep looking and asking.

************
Side notes:
* Karolina Matuszek was the sister in law of Bronislaw Sanetra. Paul and Bronislaw were bothers. 
* A little info about Bell and lip reading: Bell-lip reading click here
*Info about Gallaudet University and what they do. I just bought a biography about Gallaudet that I look forward to reading. It amazes me how much he helped to address such an enormous problem, and helped improve the quality of living and communication. Gallaudet click here 
I feel that American Sign Language is a beautiful language. One that I want to learn really well.