Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Timelines - My Pages updated

Hi everyone! 

When I work with an ancestor to tell their story, I put a lot of time and effort into it. One of the tools I use is a timeline. This gets things into perspective for me, so I know where I've looked and what I've found. Its also a great way to review documents and their information. 

Anyway, I've been trying to slowly go through my relatives and do their timelines as best I can do. It is a slow process especially if I'm currently researching them or find something else to add to their timeline as I go. This does include putting historic or history into their timelines to illustrate just want is going on in their lives and what could affect them. 

My goal is to eventually have all of my relatives on a page with a timeline. Now that's going to be a trick and may take the rest of my life but it s a goal! 

Anyhow, I've recently finished up my paternal grandfather's timeline, Mathias or Matthew Schmitz. His timeline is now published but beware! This is a live document and can change if I find further information. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Birthdays and the Holiday Season

I always feel sorry for the people who were born in December and early January because I can imagine they are always missing out on gifts and well wishes due to the holidays. Do you feel the same? 

I know I'm always forgetting what day my great grandfather Adam Wojtkowski was born and this year I wanted to remember and do a write up here about it. However, the holidays got me again - I forgot about it until today - Christmas which is December 25th - and his birthday was the December 21st. 

Anyhow, even though its a bit late, I wanted to wish my paternal great grandfather a very Happy Birthday for his 131st birthday. He was born in 1886 and today is 2017, so if we do the math then he would have been 131 years old. 
Here is a close up of Adam in front of his story in about 1920s or 1930s Copyright J Fitzgerald

Adam visiting his wife's grave site and talking to a child in 1940s. Copyright J. Fitzgerald

Others in December and January which are always forgotten are below. 

My father in law, Noel, on December 6. 
Noel in front of his house in Deni in 2012. Copyright Spanrz.

My sister, Theresa, on January 7.
Theresa and Captain Cook in 2012 in Sydney. Copyright J. Fitzgerald

My nephew, Eric, on December 26.
Eric in 2012. Taken from his Facebook Page.

My ex-brother in law, Jack, December 31. 
Jack in 2011. Copyright J. Fitzgerald.

And anyone else out there I might have forgotten! 
Happy Birthday to you! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 Veterans, Independence, Remembrance Day

The US celebrated Veterans Day this month.
Credit: J. Fitzgerald
These are not the only people who served...but only the ones I know about or could remember. Did I forget one? Let me know and I'll be more than happy to include if they are my relatives.


Further, Poland celebrated Independence day. 

This is important to me and my family because my grandmother and great grandmother was still in Poland when this happened. However, the fighting didn't stop due to the Russian's trying to overtake Poland's land even though the Treaty of Versailles said Poland was to reappear, but they tried, and failed!, to stop it. This allowed my grandmother and great grandmother enough time to leave Poland before they were enclosed in the Iron Curtain.

Finally, Europe held Remembrance Day ceremonies.

I had and have family which was on both the Western Front and the Eastern Front. My grandmother, as discussed above, was on the Eastern Front. However the Western Front? This was my mother's side who lived and still live in Belgium all along the France and Belgium border. My mother's side of the family had fought on the Belgium side and I have knowledge of this fact after doing research.

My paternal side? Well, they were the baddies in Germany. I was told by a cousin, who still lives in Germany, our family had been in the same house over 300 years, so I know we lived in Germany for at least that long. Did we fight for Germany? I'm not sure but it would make sense to think we had fought for Germany during this time. However, I'm not sure if we had or not.

All within the same day - it was a busy day worldwide.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Blogging challenge: Power without Glory

There's been another Blogging Challenge by Family Tree Frog. This is part of their Family History month which is August here in Australia. I know its October - its late, but I'm working on it! 

They posted this on their blog and the challenge: 

"Power without Glory
Frank Hardy's novel covers a wide range of notorious characters from criminals to Archbishops and politicians, wrestlers to gamblers and everyone else in between.  One of the themes is conscription during WW1 but you can interpret the title as broadly as you like.  Were your ancestors powerful in some way? Legitimately or  not.  Did they have a stoush with the authorities or strong political beliefs? Lets hear their story.  Where will your imagination run to??" 

I have a few ancestors I can say fit this topic of notorious characters including criminals to Archbishops and politicians, wrestlers to gamblers all everything in between

The question is - where do I start because there have been MANY of them. *laugh* 

I guess I'll start where the topic starts: Criminals 

I have had a few grand uncles and at least one cousin (that I've done research on) which have had been arrested and did a bit of time. 

The one which always gets me is my mother's grandfather (my maternal great grandfather) - Apoloniusz Jagodzinski or Leo Barry/Berry or many of the other names he goes by. 

When I started to do my research I asked my mother if she knew the name of her grandfather and she gave me the name Apoloniusz Jagodzinski. Away I went to do my research and found a shipping manifest for the area around where my mother told me about. Then that's where the information ends. 

Years go by and I find out about A files and C files in the US Immigration and have them pulled looking for more information. They sent me his Alien file. What can I say - interesting to say least! See part of the file below. 
Credit from USCIS

I love this section of the statement
Excerpt from page 2 of above document. Credit USCIS.
Anytime I need a laugh I pull this out and take a look. 

What makes this so much more interesting, I started to look for my grandmother and her siblings including his wife and found they had disappeared until my grandmother married my grandfather in the 1930s. Then some of them reappeared around where my grandmother was. This including a person who sometimes lived with them - Leo Barry/Berry

Next I ordered in my grandmother's social security information and there it was again - Leo Barry. 
Credit Social Security Administration
Then when I looked at one of my uncle's information and up came that damned name again - Leo Barry. Then there's a notation regarding a change.
Credit Ancestry and SSA
In case there's a doubt, my great grandmother's obituary, or my grandmother Janet's mother, has the name's in it except for the last name Barry.
Credit: 1964 Oct 3 -Bernice Jagodzinski Obituary - The Times Herald
Go figure! However, I still can't find out anything about this criminal charge for some reason.

Next topic: Archbishops and politicians

We have many different higher priests and nuns on my mother's side of the family. They are in Belgium and the US.

My great grandfather - Jules Gauquie - had put down he was in public office. However, I still can't find anything about it. This is according to his naturalization paperwork.
Credit: Orange Country Registrar
If you look closely enough, you can see where he says he holds office!
Credit Orange County Registrar
The one I'm most impressed with is on my father's side though. He married my great aunt in Poland. They married just before World War 2, in 1919. In fact, my grandmother was probably even at their wedding!
Credit: K. Wyrzykowski family photo
Anyhow, after they married they moved to an area where my great uncle and his father were in office. My great uncle's father was the equal to a Mayor of the town of  Siedlce, Poland. My great uncle was the secretary of the town until his father passed and then HE became the Mayor or government official. In fact, the whole family, that was alive, helped where they could.

During this time, World War 2 happened. As many people know, Poland has been a mess for over 100 years, and during WW2, many horrible things happened as we know. But do you know, the Nazi's made Poland their disposal area. Then on top of that, you have the Soviets take what was left, moved people into their land more or kept people there only to basically starve them.

My great aunt and uncle were people I admire. My great uncle lost his brother during this time to the Gestapo. They came and arrested him for some trumped up reason. He died at Auschwitz and, yes, he was Polish.

What they did for others should put them into sainthood. For Jewish or any other child or children under suspicion they spent their own money to pay for and put them in the orphanage with false paperwork saying they were Catholic. If they could fit anyone into places in their homes or businesses they did again with false documents.

Keep in mind, if they were found by soldiers, all of them would have been murdered. They saved hundreds if not thousands of adults and children. By the end, they didn't have any money or anything else left of value, but people had their lives. My cousin, their grandson, sent me a few of the documents and thank you letters from people they have saved.

All documents are from K. Wyrzykowski and private family papers.

Next topic: wrestlers to gamblers

I grew up with my grandmother telling us about one of my grand uncles and his gambling. Further, I was told he was wanted by the mob for money owed and was on the run. He only stopped because he ended up with cancer and they knew he only had a tiny bit of time to live. 

If the stories I've been told are to be believed, both of my grandfathers, on my maternal and paternal sides, were all gamblers and drinkers. This is a family story and I don't have any proof. 

I don't have any thing else which can fit this topic. 

In closing
All families have their scandals and secrets. Some have more than others. We just have to see if we can find proof of them and if not, its just a story which can be passed down with the note of it being unproven. 

No matter if they were good or bad, they are all our family and we have to admit to them being in the trees it just depends if we shake the tree or not. 
Image result for bad nuts in the tree