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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26 July 2009

Louis Joseph and Caroline Sanetra in Chicago-from Zywiec



 See posting 20 Aug 2010 for updates and further information.

Attached are the WWI and WWII draft card for Louis/Lewis/Ludwig Sanetra. You may click on them to view full screen. I have a note from my grandma, that she called this family in about 1970. She wrote that Caroline's maiden name was Strzawi. Also that this family still corresponded with their family still in Poland. I'm wondering if that name is missing a vowel? I found the following sources for this family: WWI draft card, WWII draft card, 1920 and 1930 Census, Chicago birth and death indexes. On the 1930 Census, it says Ludwig can't speak English but his wife Caroline can. From these records, I see 5 children for Ludwig and Caroline, but will not list their ages, in case they are still living: Francis (female), John, Carl, Anna, and Mary. The WWII draft card states that Ludwig was born in Zywiec, Galatia, which was the name for Poland at the time. I took a Google map and plotted on it all the addresses Adam Sanetra lived. Then I plotted addresses of Ludwig Sanetra, and another man named Michael Sanetra, who was married to Stella Mathuszewska. All three men are Sanetras, from Zywiec, (sometimes stated Zablocie) all close in age. I only know Adam Sanetra's siblings. I don't know any uncles or cousins. Could these men be cousins? I just don't know enough about these other two Sanetra families. But to have the same name, and be from the same town, and in 1910 Adam lived a half a block from one family and then in 1923 he lived 3 blocks away from the other family, I am convinced they had to know each other! My grandma Catherine Stowe Sanetra talked to children in both families and they didn't know. But I'll bet the previous generation knew each other. They at least had to attend church together. I know life was tough and much of the time was spent working long hours to pay the bills, but I'll bet they still knew each other. I don't see how they couldn't know each other! I just have this circumstantial evidence and wish I had some real proof to show they were related and how. If you know of this family, please email me and/or post comments here.

17 July 2009

A Bronislawa Sanetra marries Rudolph Cender

I did some searches on ellisisland.org for "Sanetra". I noticed a Franciszek Sanetra immigrated 11 Jun 1912. It said her brother-in-law Rudolph Cender paid her passage. So then I was curious who Rudolph's wife was. So I went to the familysearch pilot record search page (see my favorite links) which has the full index of Ellis Island records. I did a search on Cender & Cinder. I found Rudolph's wife was named Branislawa listed as age 25, and his son was Raymond, age 3 1/2. The record stated that Branislawa Cender's husband was Rudolph Cender, and that her mother was Anna Sanetra, in Zablocie. That's where our Sanetra's and Cenders are from, but I don't know how they're connected to our family yet. So I am really curious what the connection is, and figure there must be a connection.

Rudolph Cender's WWI draft card stated he as born 18 Apr 1883 in Austria (Poland). They lived on John St, in Richmond, New York, -which was what the Ellis Island, WWI draft card & 1920 Census all said was their address. In 1920, on the Census, it says Rudolph immigrated in 1906, and that they are all Polish. It also said Rudolph was age 33, a laborer in the ship yard, owned a home (mortgaged), Branislawa was 31, and they had 5 children: Raymond 12, Rudolph 5, Wilhelm 3, & Rozalia 1 5/12. Not seeing them on the 1930 Census yet.

Maria Sanetra (my gr..grandpa Adam Sanetra's sister), the daughter of Jozef Sanetra & Franciszka Gowin, married Maciej Caputa in 1888. Their daughter Katarzyna Caputa married Juliusz Cender, the son of Jozef Cender & Regina Urbanska. The curious part for me here, is that on Ellis Island records, our Branislawa Sanetra (Adam Sanetra & Rosalie's daughter) traveled to the US in 19 Feb 1911 (a year before Branislawa Sanetra Cender). Ellis Island records said that our Branislawa left her grandmother which looked like "Regina Urbanska", and was going to see her father Adam Sanetra in Chicago. But our Branislawa's maternal grandmother was Regina Zulawska & paternal grandmother was Franciszka Gowin. I don't yet see a relationship between our Branislawa & Regina Urbanska who was Juliusz Cender's mother. Juliusz Cender's relationship to our Branislawa Sanetra would be first cousin's husband. (Husband of Katarzyna Caputa) I just don't know very much about the Cenders yet, but would like too. One thing I do know from family letters, is that Maria Sanetra's family (including the Cenders) stayed close to Adam Sanetra. Maria Sanetra & her daughter Katarzyna (Caputa) Cender were with Adam Sanetra when he died. And we do know Adam and Rosalie had to leave Branislawa behind with family. So maybe she did stay with the Cenders. I wish I knew how to learn more about these Cenders.

12 July 2009

Anita Lobel: No Pretty Pictures- A Child of War

I read a book this week, called: No Pretty Pictures, A Child Of War. By: Anita Lobel. I really wanted to write about it on my blog, in the hopes maybe a few others will be interested in reading it. Anita Lobel is an artist, who immigrated to the United States after WWII. Her family was Jewish, and she lived a comfortable life in Krakow, Poland, before the Nazi's invaded Poland. I found a copy at my public library. You can see the story, and where you can purchase copies, at Google books. (Most copies are under 7$).

I thought this was a truly amazing story! And very well written. Anita was about 10 years old when the invasion started. Her parents separated for safety. The Nannie who was not Jewish, kept Anita and her brother safe and hidden for about 5 years. Then they were discovered, and the children spent time in multiple concentration camps. It is absolutely amazing how she and her brother were able to stay together through all of it. It is amazing how her mother was able to stay safe through the war. And even more amazing that after the war her mother and father were reunited together and then reunited with their children. And it is also truly amazing that they survived in a camp without children. (Only adults were aloud to live in those camps, children were killed.)

I really like this story, because it is told from a child's perspective. It isn't sugar coated, but it isn't so scary and awful that you won't be able to sleep at night. Instead you're left to ponder this amazing story with a good ending. Stories that were sometimes hard, but then stories of people trying to be helpful and caring. Like the Nuns, all the people trying to help Jews restore their health, people helping the Jews search for family and try to help reunite families after the war. I think Anita does an excellent job explaining the situation, how she felt, and how others around her felt. She really explains and helps you get a good feel for how it felt to live in Poland during that time period. Various social classes, various types of people and backgrounds are explained. From life in peasant areas, to the cities, to the ghetto, and to the quiet countryside. I loved the story of how they kept the matzo balls safe!

On a personal note, thinking about what little I know about my family in that time period...Anita's father and some other Jewish men left early to try to escape. Because at that time, men were rounded up and killed first. During their escape, the men were captured by Russians. Anita's father was in a camp for about a year, then just released and able to work on his own and live (it sounded like) pretty independent with some freedoms. He was aloud to sell things. (He was a merchant in Poland before the war.) He probably lived better and safer than he could at that time in Poland. After the war, the Russians just let him go home. I was amazed because of what I've heard about the Gulag camps in Russia, where so many did not survive. And I was surprised because for a long time Jews in Russia were so persecuted they sought refuge in Poland. So it was almost the reverse for Anita's father. We were told our relative Stanley Sanetra (a US Citizen) was captured by Russians on a visit to see the relatives in Poland. He was captured because he was a bridge engineer. No one in our family ever heard from him again. We hsven't yet been able to find anything to prove or disprove this story. Also Bronislaw Sanetra (Known as "Bennie" by our family) went to Russia about the same time Anita's father went as a Jewish refugee. So I am amazed that Anita's father was just allowed to go home, but I am very happy that her family was able to be reunited together.

After Anita was in concentration camps and away from her parents for over a year, she was rescued from the concentration camp and taken to recover in Sweden. It was wonderful to read how well they cared for her and her brother. She was content to never leave Sweden and their hospitality to her. She learned the language well. She went to school. And an art teacher introduced her to watercolor which she was very good at, right from her first try. I was so impressed with how much Anita learned. -Not just life lessons, but multiple religious ways, multiple languages, customs, etc. She was a hard working student, truly appreciating her chance for a formal education. I know I say "amazing" a lot here, but I can't think of how else to describe my feelings about it. I highly recommend reading this amazing and miraculous story!

05 July 2009

How Jozef searched for family post WWII

Jozef Sanetra tried to find his siblings and Alfreda Mazurkiewicz after WWII. He told us his source for information: He wrote letters to the Red Cross and the "Warsaw Board of Inquiry".
I wonder if anyone has preserved these letter requests, like Jozef sent? I also wonder if this information still exists: The information that the Red Cross and Warsaw Board of Inquiry had to share with families in the 1950's to 1960's that helped reunite families? I'd never heard of the Warsaw board of Inquiry until I read Jozef's letter. Have any of you ever heard about it?