Friday, January 20, 2023

A Dream Come True

It's been a long 5 years since I've updated this blog. I'm still alive and well and occasionally still working on my family history. Every now and then, when something interesting happens (like the publishing of the U.S. 1950 censusπŸ˜‰), I do delve back into my research long enough to update the records in my Legacy database. And then I'm done for a while. 

Yesterday, I experienced another of those "something interesting happens" events.

Let me start by explaining that I had no birth records for either of my grandmothers. Grandma Carrie was born in Detroit, at home, at a time when it wasn't required to register the birth of a child in Michigan. I've searched high and low with the city, county, and state and there's no record for her. I do have her baptismal record, which gives her birth date, so I'm grateful to the Catholic church for that much. But I've given up on finding anything more "official" for her birth. 

Grandma Sophie was born in Poland. She was the second born of six children. Her older sister as well as her younger siblings were all born in Wojnicz, Poland. I have all of their birth/baptismal records as well as the marriage of the parents, their birth records, etc etc. I knew the date that Sophie was born from her immigration paperwork as well as from her marriage record here in Detroit. Everything listed Wojnicz, Poland as her place of birth.

I have looked at countless online data bases, wrote to the civil records office in Poland, wrote to the church where all her siblings were baptized, and searched the LDS films for that period of time in that parish and there is no record of her birth to be found. The LDS film photographs of the church registry book showed pages had been torn out for the time period she would have been born, but the diocesan copy was in tact. Still no Sophie to be found on or around her birthdate. 

A few weeks ago, before Christmas I think, a dear friend of mine, Valerie Koselka (President of the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan), posted a link on Facebook for a new collection of Polish Church Records (on Yesterday I finally got around to checking it out. And I found the elusive record I've been searching for since day one of my genealogy research back in 1995... a record of my Grandma Sophie's birth/baptism. Please clap your hands, raise a glass in toast, and dance the HAPPY DANCE with me!!! 😁😁😁

Years ago I'd given up on finding a record of Sophie's birth but I had a persistent daydream about one day entering her name online and finding that record. And that's exactly what happened. The record I found was just an index and the information for Sophie was a close match but not exact. There was a village name listed but it wasn't one I'd ever heard of. The village was near Wojnicz where all the other siblings were born, but it was in a different Gmina (administration district) with a different parish church. I had done a concentric search of villages with Wojnicz as the center but didn't come up with anything and finally gave up. I'd mostly searched villages south and west of Wojnicz, moving in the direction where Sophie's father's family was from. But I did search other villages around the area too. Wouldn't you know it...the village where she was born is northeast of Wojnicz just beyond where I'd searched.πŸ™„ I guess I just gave up too soon. Anyway, last evening I ran over to my local Family History/LDS location and looked up the record and voila! Found it! 

Yay and thank you to my friend Valerie for posting that link!πŸ‘ Yay and thank you to the folks from the LDS who photographed and indexed the Polish church records! πŸ‘ And yay and thank you to any/all of my friends who are reading this post! πŸ‘ Don't give up the search!!!

Oh, and here's the link for that Polish church record collection:

Good luck!