Monday, February 01, 2016

Another Week

Last week was a good week. It was a productive week too. I completed the Słownik entries for my Mizera family villages. :-) I feel like I did some of these translations years ago but who knows where they are now, or what format they may have been saved in. I searched my hard drive before I started on these translations last month but I could only make guesses as to what I might have called the folder(s) I stored the previous translations in. And my guesses were not fruitful. So the attempted translations will continue, but not this week.

I also spent about an hour every day checking out my ancestral villages in Poland via Google Street View. It is so fun to drive the country roads through Poland and pass through the villages that have only been dots on maps and descriptive entries in a language I don't speak before this. As I "drove" the streets I noticed that most of the images were taken in 2012 and 2013. I'm happy with that. I don't care that they aren't more current. What is a bummer though is that several of my ancestor's villages were not "filmed" by Google. It happens that they were the smallest of villages not particularly near a bigger town and not on a major road. The folks at Google probably didn't feel the need to drive all those extra miles for villages too small to have a stop light or even a stop sign. I can't help but hope they will film them the next time they send their cars out to film the roads, villages, town, and cities of Poland. Please Google! Please!

Of course as I was "driving", I couldn't help but wonder which parcels of property were owned/farmed by my ancestors. I'm certain the current house numbers don't correspond with the house numbers shown on the vital records of my relatives from 100-200 years ago. That got me thinking about how I could get that information. I got a tip from one of my best genealogy pals about online options for historical plat maps. I checked out the sites but no luck for any of my ancestor's villages. So then I thought about consulting a library local to the villages I wanted information on. I got on the internet and did some searching and found a library that looked promising. I sent off an email with fingers crossed and hoped that they could tell me where I could find historical plat maps for the area. It's been 7 days and no response. I also did a Google search for what I wanted with no expectation of actually finding anything. But much to my surprise I hit the jackpot! Sort of. I found a printed book of plat maps for the tiny villages I was interested in for the time period I cared about via World Cat. But, (you just new there had to be a "but" didn't you?) only 5 listed copies in the world, 2 in Poland, 2 in Germany, and one at Stanford University in California. I decided to try to request an inter-library loan through my local library. I filled out the request and got an email back the following day saying they couldn't find a copy available for loan. So I'm guessing that copy in the Stanford library was "reference" material. :-(  I have no plans to visit California anytime soon, and I can't really ask a genealogy volunteer to photograph an entire 258 page book for me, so I guess I'm out of luck.

On a better note, I heard from two "cousins" previously unknown to me in the last couple of weeks. They both contacted me regarding information they found on this blog. One of the many benefits of blogging! :-) One I have determined to be a 3rd cousin of mine via my paternal grandfather's line, and the other I would be related to by marriage via my paternal grandmother's line if we can in fact establish a connection. We're working on that. And that's a fun thing! I haven't had many (any) opportunities to collaborate with other genealogists on my family lines. :-)

So that's where I'm at as this first week of February begins. My plan for this week is to visit my local Family History Center to view whatever films might be available to aid my research for my Mizera, Lasky, and Lipa lines.