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

Натисніть на прапор, щоб подивитися на українській мові

Щелкните флаг для русского перевода

Kliknij na flagę, aby zobaczyć w języku polskim

25 January 2011

National Archives-Chicago branch website (and a few notes about the Naturalization index)

I discovered an immensley helpful website, that I want to tell everyone about. I found an index for a naturalization in 1940, so I knew it was in a different place than where I got Adam Sanetra's naturalization. The place where I got Adam's record, only has records until 1929. So I didn't know where to get the record from 1940. This 1940 index card said citizenship was granted in the Chicago US Federal Court. So I called the court and asked where records were stored for 1940 naturalizations. They told me the National Archives. I told the clerk that I had read that the archives in Washington DC didn't have Chicago naturalizations. He told me there was a National Archives branch in Chicago, which was the branch I needed, and he gave me the phone number and web address. Later I read more about the database on Ancestry.com. If I had selected "read more about this database" I would have read how the record was at the Chicago NARA branch and would have spared myself some confusion.

I was so amazed when I saw the resources available on this site! I looked through page after page, thinking about what great information there was for such a diverse variety of subjects. I spent a half hour and hadn't even seen all the resources available on that website. Then I remembered I was distracted, and wanted to call to ask about the naturalization record. The person I spoke with was very helpful, and asked if I was comfortable with email. I said "I love and prefer email", so I was asked to send my request by email. This address is also on the site: chicago.archives@nara.gov I typed up my contact information, the index information I had, and asked about the fees. I was told the charge for the record was 7.50 and they would send me a letter with the bill when they found the record. Just a week and a half  later I got a bill for 7.50 saying my record was found and ready. So good, friendly, helpful, and quick service!

Today I was looking at the form and it said "Our office does NOT have non-Federal court records, such as county court naturalization records." So I called NARA again to ask them to help me understand better. I have an index card, for Adam Sanetra, but it is the same index card system as I just ordered the 1940 record from the NARA Chicago branch. Then I wondered if there was two records for Adam Sanetra, one in Chicago and one in NARA records? The woman I spoke to was very helpful. She said the index was done by NARA, but not all the records are kept by NARA. I asked about Adam Sanetra's index card I had. She asked what court it stated. I told her and she said that was Chicago court, so his record is only stored in Chicago. So just one record, and only stored where I already got a copy of my record.

I'd also like to point out something which might be confusing or possibly misleading. On Adam Sanetra's index, it says, "date he was naturalized." He was NOT naturalized. The date listed was actually the date the court denied him citizenship, because he was already out of the country and didn't show up to court.
So here is the index card for Adam Sanetra I talked about. It is the index done by NARA-Chicago. I got this index record from Ancestry.com. I ordered this record from Chicago courts. See posting: 12 September 2009 (or click on tag "naturalization" in right blog column for multiple examples)
Here is the actual record, which matches "date naturalized" on the index, (but he is actually denied). I think it would be more accurate if the index said "court decision date." Click on images to view full screen.

On this NARA site /http://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/ There's great resources available like:
-how to care for your own family records
-learning how the National Archives can help with family history
-WWII picture collection
-lesson plans and ideas for teachers
-view a scan of the original, and a typed-text version of documents like: the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights

There are two main index databases: ARC (68% complete today 25 Jan 2011), and AAD. Here is a direct link to the http://aad.archives.gov/aad/ AAD (Access to Archival Databases) page.  It includes things like 227,000 electronic telegram records on foreign policy files, WWII Army Enlistment records, and many military/serviceman information records. The ARC (Archival Research Catalog) has information and images of things such as: maps, science and environment, application for enrollment into Native American Tribes, Fugitive Slave cases, military personel records, and naturalization records. I saw an interesting page where this guy was issued his visa for a fourth time, and part of the court transcript was included in the index search results. Here is a direct link to an ARC search page: http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/topics/genealogy/

There are many interesting things which are part of our county's history, on this website. Enjoy exploring the NARA resources available! I am!

09 January 2011

guest book

Just a quick note that I updated my guest book today. I replied back to all the posts since the last of Aug. I usually try to reply within a day or two, then send a copy to the email address provided, so you know I replied. Life is calming down a bit for me, so I hope to be able to keep up with the blog and guest book better now.-Julie

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.