stories: familyseach-Rootstech

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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08 January 2011

Julia Matuszek and how I met her granddaughter.



Julia Matuszek
Bronislaw Sanetra
Julia was the daughter of Franciszek Matuszek (a Pole) and Paulina Bürger (Austrian). She married Bronislaw Sanetra. Julia and Bronislaw had four children: Apolonia, Liliana, Adolf, and Henryk. The youngest, Henryk, only lived about a month.

Bronislaw Sanetra was 5 years younger than his brother Paul Sanetra. Julia and her children wrote Paul a few times. But about the time they started writing each other, Paul's wife started having major health issues and then passed away. Then Paul lost touch with his family in Poland.

Apolonia Sanetra, Poland
Paul's son Richard, paid a genealogist to go to Poland to find our family. Richard sent a few letters Paul had received, with the genealogist, so family would know who we were. The genealogist gave us the addresses of Jozef and Julia's family. We wanted to start writing letters to Poland. But it was a challenge, because we only know English and they probably only knew Polish. So we were going to look for a translator. Meanwhile, Richard moved and retired. My house had a major electrical fire, and writing got delayed another year from that.  I went to visit my grandpa after things settled down for us. We looked at the letters and pictures his father Paul had received from Poland, in the 1960's. Richard let me borrow the letters and pictures so I could digitize them and put them in archival safe materials.
Liliana Sanetra, Poland

We knew about Ervin's family. Ervin and Paul found eachother as teenagers. We knew about Jozef's family, and the genealogist met his son Adam. We knew about Bronislaw and Julia's family a little, from a few letters and two addresses the genealogist gave us. But we still didn't know hardly anything about them. We only had one letter from Bronislaw since Paul had seen him last, in January 1919. We still don't know anything about Paul's siblings Stanislaus (since January 1919) and Bronislawa ("Bessie") (since Feb 1911). We also hadn't heard anything from Paul's sister Jadwiga except the letter in 1963. (In my previous post 9 Dec 2010)

I wondered, if I typed messages on the Internet, could family around the world recognize what I wrote and find me? I had posted on genealogical message boards with no response. I needed an easier way to get my message out to more people, for free. I wondered, if I created a blog, posting pictures and stories, would it be easier for family to find me? I didn't know anything about blogs, but I had seen one, and thought the blog format would help me. I spent a few days reading blog help menus and technical pages, to learn about formatting.  I created my blog. A few months later, I learned how to post a picture image instead of a title that was just text for the blog title. I created a collage of pictures into a single image for my blog title picture. I put in the title picture, a picture of Adolf Sanetra, hoping someone from his family might recognize the picture and know that my family was looking for them. I also put other pictures in the title picture, hoping Paul's other siblings or their descendants might recognize the pictures.

Adolf Sanetra, Poland
Soon after posting this picture of Adolf, I got an email. The email was from Jolanta Piecuch, Adolf's daughter. She had recognized the picture of her father (To the right of this paragraph) on my blog. And she lived in America, not Poland! It was so amazing we found each other! This was the whole purpose for creating my blog, to find more family!! Thankfully, Jolanta knows English very well, so I didn't need a translator to talk to her. We emailed eachother regularly for several months. I had an opportunity to travel close to where Jolanta lived. So I went to meet her. My grandparents met me there too. Jolanta made us some wonderful traditional Polish dishes, fed us delicious produce from her garden, answered questions we had about Poland, and grandpa told a little about his family. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to do all the visiting we all would have liked to do. But we decided this was just the start of our friendship.

Another amazing thing happened. We Skyped to Adolf Sanetra in Poland! We got to see family in Poland! Jolanta translated for us. It was really neat to see Adolf and his family in Poland, as close as face to face as we could get, through Skype. I don't know if I've ever seen my grandpa smile so big for so long. He was talking to his first cousin Adolf, in Poland, seeing his cousin for the first time. Seeing family in Poland was a dream Paul always had, but was never able to do. So we were able to continue Paul's dream of finding family and talking to family in Poland.

I am so grateful that technology helped amazing things happen. It is rather remarkable, all that had to happen to lead to the Skype session between Poland and the USA. First, Adolf sent the picture to Paul about 1965. Then the picture went to Paul's son Richard. Then I borrowed the picture from Richard. Then I created a blog and posted the picture. Then Jolanta found the picture and contacted me. Then we continued to correspond and became friends. Then we met. Then Jolanta coordinated a time we could speak with her father. Then, during our visit, we Skyped to Poland. Then Jolanta translated for us. In a way, it seems a miracle that everything lined up just right for us to meet, talk, and understand each other. It is impossible for me to put into words, how grateful I am for this day (in September 2010) I met Jolanta's family.

I continue working on this blog, in the hopes that we will find more family. I also write, in case it may be of help to others looking for their family.

Note: I will share more stories about Julia and her family soon.
I am thankful to Jolanta Piecuch for sending me the pictures in this post. I am also thankful to family who sent pictures to her. Click on images to view full screen.

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