Monday, September 15, 2008

A Series on Immigration to Detroit: Ethnic Groups

Metro Detroit area genealogists, rejoice! For coming this fall to the Lorenzo Cultural Center (aka Macomb Cultural Center) is a wonderful series of lectures and presentations on the immigration of various ethnic groups to the Detroit area. Polish, German, Arab, Jewish, Irish, African, Greek, Scot, and more will all have their day (some more than one day :-) . This is a great chance to explore the immigration issues that your ancestors had to face and what the neighborhoods they lived in looked like. Here are the offerings that may be of interest to Polish genealogy researchers:
Poles in Michigan
Oct. 3 (Fri.) 11:00 am & 1:00 pm
Born and raised in Hamtramck, author and professor emeritus at Northern Michigan University Dennis Badaczewski highlights the four waves of Polish emigration to Michigan and their assimilation, and discusses Polish surnames and their meanings.

Mosaic of Migration: Michigan 1701 - 2001
Oct. 5 (Sun.) 2:00 pm
Thaddeus C. Radzilowski, Ph.D., president of the Piast Institute, explores how Michigan was shaped in unique ways by the migrations of the last three centuries.

Hamtramck: Soul of a City
Oct. 9 (Thu.) 11:00 am & 1:00 pm
Lifelong Hamtramck resident and chairman of the city’s historical commission Greg Kowalski discusses the evolution of Hamtramck from a dusty farming community on the edge of Detroit into a nationally recognized multicultural town.

Michigan Immigration and the German Settlements
Oct. 10 (Fri.) 11:00 am & 1:00 pm
Jeremy W. Kilar, professor of history at Delta College, explores the social forces that transformed Germans from inward-looking immigrants to Michigan to citizens in the cultural mainstream.

A Polish Girl Becomes Americanized
Oct. 18 (Sat.) 2:00 pm
Born Ludomira Zaremba, Mira Green shares the story of her escape from Poland during the German occupation and starting over from scratch in Detroit.

German Oktoberfest Celebration
Oct. 25 (Sat.) 1:00 - 4:00 pm
A celebration of German culture highlighted by the Oktoben German Band. German food available for purchase.

This is only "a slice of the pie" of offerings. Check out the events schedule for a complete listing of presentations, dates and times for all the ethinic groups. Enjoy!

(Thanks to my cousin Mary Ellen for passing along this information to me!)


  1. If it's possible to post any of the slides from this or information, that would be wonderful. Some of us can't make it to Michigan :(

  2. I'll keep your suggestion in mind, Alchemista, and share information if I can. I'm not sure how many of these I'll be going to. Right now the only one I have definite plans to attend is the one on October 18th.

  3. pJasia, I saw your post for records on your cousin's stay at "resort" Eloise dated in 2006. Have you found her medical records yet? My late brother-in-law found some of my mother's Eloise records through the State of Michigan Probate Court for the County of Wayne because someone had to admit you to Eloise. Among them, Wayne County Hospital & Infirmary report, the Physician's Certificate, Application for Admission, Orders for Detention. After all, it was a state run hospital and the people there were actually incarcerated for their illness (TB, mental or emotional breakdown),by the state and or a love one. I think there are more papers. Hope this helps.

  4. Thank you for your comment, Anonymous. I have not gotten my cousin's Eloise records yet so I appreciate you sharing your information. Do you know how your late brother in law was able to access the records from the State of Michigan Probate Court for the County of Wayne? Are they on microfilm through the LDS or did he have to request them by mail from the Probate court office?