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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21 April 2016

Homesteading in Canada, Polish immigrating

Sept 2012, a lady emailed me saying that she couldn't find a connection to my family yet. But she had several of the same surnames I did, and her family was also from Zywiec, Poland. Her family traveled to Crowsnest Pass in Alberta, Canada, where she saw the name Sanetra a few times. http://www.crowsnestpass.com/ I never would have thought to look for any Sanetras in Alberta! Maryanna Klosak Wojtas who I've written several posts about, had a sister in law that moved to South Dakota. I've since read that a number of Polish stayed in the big cities like Chicago and Minneapolis, saving up, to go west and start a homestead. A large number of recent immigrants continued west to homestead from 1900-1920.

Old farm near Paradise, CA -David Cabitto's picture
One of the first things I ponder, when I try to figure out what happened to someone, is to learn what was normal for that time and place. Then I learn what was normal for that family. For example, for many generations, in my family, the girls were often marrying at age 16, sometimes as young as 15 or 14. I married at age 20, the oldest age (by 2 years) for at least 8 generations. My friend's family was much wealthier than mine, still living in England. Most the women in her family married after age 21, averaging age 25 at the time of their marriage. Another pattern to look for is military involvement. Many people in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and WWII were given land (and often citizenship) in exchange for being a US soldier. It was part of their payment. After the War of 1812 and Revolutionary War, many families went to the frontier (of that time) to claim their land.

One of the first things we want to do is learn why our family immigrated. Was it for political refuge? If so, when Poland had new leadership after WWI, and Galicia became part of Poland again, people would want to return. Many people did. Did they come to America to own their own land? For at least 200 years the 3 biggest reasons I've seen for people immigrating to the United States is to own their own land, political refuge, and religious freedom. For hundreds of years, in many European countries you were either a land owner, or you worked for one. Who your parents were usually determined which kind of life you would have, until the colonial days of  North and South America. A smaller number of people were fortunate to be merchants. Most of my ancestors came to America in its early days, to own their own land, and be farmers. The majority of my ancestors decided to stay put in Virginia or North Carolina until about the WWII time period. But many thousands of other people loved the frontier, the possibilities and excitement of it all. They dreamed of the challenge to tame wild land, and become self sufficient on their farms. The Homesteading Act in the United States enticed many thousands of people west. They often had 5 years to put up a barn, improve the land, then they were allowed to keep and own that land they worked on developing. Many immigrants started arriving from Europe with plans to go west to get homesteading land. After seeing the success of the United States homesteading, Canada started their own homesteading act. One of the interesting things I've been reading is that Canadians seemed to be more tolerant and accepting. Many freed American slaves wanted to get to Canada's homesteading land, because they believed they could really start over better in Canada. Irish also started having a hard time getting jobs after the potato famine, with signs in shop windows saying "no Irish". So the homesteading acts greatly appealed to Irish as well. I've also read in a number of places that Norwegians and Polish liked to live in the northern Midwest, especially around the Great Lakes because it was a similar climate and farming that they were already used to. That would also be true of southern Canada. So far, the Sanetra's I knew were carpenters. They would be far less likely to want a homestead, and more likely to remain in the city with their trade skills.

I'm really not familiar with Canadian records yet. But I am currently trying to learn more so I can look for some of my missing Polish family in Canada. Here is a link to a Canadian Government page with information about the Canadian Homesteading and land grants. Canadian land grants info click here
Here is a link to NARA (National Archives) about the US homesteading: US homesteading info click here

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