Dates of visit:
September 15 - 30, 2009
We rate this trip a:
Town of Kozuchow
Town of Nowy Sol
Town of Zielona Gora
City of Wroclaw
|Part 1 of trip - Berlin, Germany
Part 2 of trip - Meeting Family, Towns of Kozuchow, Nowy Sol, Zielona Gora
Part 3 of trip - Lower Silesia, Boleslawiec City, Karkonosze and Zamek Chojnik
Part 4 of trip - Szklarska Poreba, Vang Church, Hauptmann & Hofman Houses
Part 5 of trip - Kowary, Klodzko Fortress, Ladek-Zdrój, Bear Cave, Ksiaz Castle
Part 6 of trip - Wroclaw + Panorama, Zagan + Stalag Luft III, Military Museum
This and subsequent pages recount the nine-year journey to locate my Polish family gone astray and the eventual discovery and personal meeting with that family.
From my written journal of that discovery …
English ... finding_relations.pdf
Polish ... znalezienie_relacji.pdf
the following extract details the events that led to this trip.
It may be said that at times it is far easier to find a deceased ancestor than it is to find a misplaced living relative. Archived church books, historical documents, civil records, and such usually lead to a successful discovery of an ancestor if some clues are available, such as a region, village, city, town, or even the church parish. Nevertheless, it would be a false assumption to believe that any descendant of those long gone families remains in those ancestral places. Over time, people disperse due to events such as conflict, economic hardships, forced relocation, national resettlement, or changing political borders. One's family relations may be scattered throughout the civilized world … typically in nearby regions but most often in faraway places. Therefore, how does one go about finding those 'lost' family relations or even if they exist?
No doubt, there are many amateur and professional genealogists that face this dilemma, in their quest to complete a family tree by locating family "branches" still living today. I am one of those individuals that is made that journey … trying to locate missing relations. A frustrating odyssey that has consumed my time and energy for nine long arduous years. In my heart and my conviction I knew, I just knew, that somewhere out there is an individual that is blood-related to me … living a normal life, unaware of me - their relation. Moreover, I am equally convinced that that particular individual is most likely thinking … "am I the only descendant living today … have I no other family somewhere in the world?"
My narrative … my story … deals with that quest with a most remarkable ending. As I said earlier, it took a journey of nine years but I was able to answer that question with a resounding, "Yes, I have family elsewhere." I found them through determination and perseverance, some luck, but mainly tenacious hard work. As the journal link above details, the story behind my discovery is extensive and will not be repeated here. Suffice to say, our initial introduction was instantaneous and surprising, but nonetheless, warranted a personal meeting sometime soon.
Thus began a series of e-mail communications between myself and my 2nd cousin Tomasz confirming our families ties. Knowing that exchanging e-mails is at best impersonal, I made the decision to travel to Poland later in 2009 to meet the family. An agreement was reached between us that mid-September to early October would be ideal to visit as the two young girls would still be on summer leave and Tomasz would be able to take his vacation time from his work. To add to the joy of meeting the family, cousin Laurentiu (Dr. Rozylowicz, University of Bucharest, Romania) was invited to join me. He heartily accepted and travel plans were solidified … departing USA on September 14 … returning to USA on October 1.
Oh yes … although initial indication was that the family lived in Zielona Góra, fact is they lived in Kozuchów, a small town due south of Zielona Góra and southwest of Nowa Sól.
This sojourn to meet the cousins began by traveling to Berlin, Germany ... the nearest gateway city to Kozuchów, where we would unwind for a day and a half from our lenghty journey. From Berlin, we would travel by auto to Poland to begin that personal family odyssey. In the meantime, the next page will capsulize our experiences in sightseeing Berlin.
Trip Journal ...
For the visitor who wishes to read our journal on this trip ... a journal that details in written format our experiences during this family visitation ... the following journal sections may be read prior to exploring these web pages. These sections, in PDF format, are exactly what one would view here, with the addition of a fuller personal perspective.
For detailed information on this trip follow the links below ...