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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09 December 2010

Jadwiga Sanetra's letter- looking for family and working through tough economic times

The following is a letter written from Jadwiga (in the area of Lebork, Poland), to her brother Paul in Arizona, in May 1963. Paul was orphaned at age 12. From that point on, the only sibling he had seen was his brother Ervin. Paul's father (Adam Sanetra) placed the boys in a Chicago Catholic orphanage, with the plan to re-marry and return to get them. He married Alfreda Mazurkiewicz and returned to pick up his children as he had promised them, but the orphanage had lost Paul, Ervin and Stanley. Adam, Alfreda, Bronislaw (our family called him Bennie) and Jozef returned to Poland. Then Alfreda and Adam had Jadwiga. Paul Sanetra was 58 years old when he received a letter from Poland, and the family started to find each other again! He and his family had been looking for each other for 46 years! Paul was also 58 years old when he found out he had a sister he had never met. The first few letters he received were about how his father had been looking for him, and had tried to keep his promise after all. Jadwiga did not write with punctuation or paragraphs. I am very thankful to my friend for giving me an English translation. Paul at one time had a translation but it had gotten lost over time. Note: The picture is of Alfreda, Jadwiga, Bennie and Joe. The baby pictured is Jadwiga the writer of this letter. This is the only letter I have that tells about how life was for a family member during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

Dear Brother,
In the beginning of my letter I would like to tell you how happy my mom and I are for the fact that after so many years we have found each other. As a family we haven’t known each other until now, so I would like to ask you to send me your picture, and a picture of your family. I assume you do have a family. Please, tell us as much as you can about your life, and the life of a second brother.

Mom asks if you found brother Stanley and sister Bronka. We can already congratulate you on finding us, and brother Bennie, since our search [for the family members] hasn’t brought any results. Our father, before he left America, was looking for all of you  for a long time. Unfortunately, he hadn’t found anyone.
I was born in Poland, and I was four when father died. Mom worked, so did  Bennie and Jozef. After some time they got married, and had their own families, so then mom and I were alone. We have not heard from Bennie since about 1941.

During German occupation I was still young, [but] and worked in the factory. We lived in the city. Food rations were so small, and work hard. I thought that I would not survive if anything would not change. But somehow all that passed.
I was very sick, and in a few years I had again a surgery for a duodenum ulcer (of the liver).
After a few years from the surgery I got married. We do not have children. We have bought a small farm, we still have some mortgage to pay, and the [farm] buildings are in bad shape. My husband commutes to work to get extra income, but it is not worth his effort since commuting takes a lot of time, and no one pays him for that lost time.

My mom is with me. She is now 79 years old. Her health is not good, but I’m happy that she is alive. We miss father all the time. But what could one have done? The disease was incurable. Father wanted so much to live. He left America in hope that his health would improve, but he died within one year [of returning to Poland]. He was always very sorry that he wasn’t able to find you.

Dear Brother, please do not loose contact with us. I would like to write to brother Ervin too. I only wonder if writing to me isn’t too much trouble for you. I am sure none of you can read or write in Polish. You went to English [language] school. I do not know English because I went to Polish school. But I think that all that shouldn’t be an obstacle in keeping in touch.

I am finishing this letter now. My mom and I send you all the warmest greetings. Please, write back [to me].