Wednesday, July 10, 2019
a New Research World
It's been thrilling finding a new area to research in that mystery branch of my paternal grandfather's family tree. But you know what I say about such genealogical endeavors: I add genealogy to the group that belongs with politics and sausage-making. Watching genealogical research unfold can be a boring—perhaps outright disgusting—process. So I won't be taking much time to continue the story, until I do find something of significance.
Before then, you can be sure I've gone back to square one, retracing my steps through making the acquaintance of online resources, much as a beginner would do when starting out on family history research. I've gone back and revisited Cyndi's List, pulling up the links for finding Polish records—though I notice, clicking through to suggested foreign sites, I'll often get a warning pop up about site security, causing hesitation in this journey into new territory. I've poked around at Geneteka, where I noticed just how many spelling variations I could find for the Puhała surname which might be in my history.
Not only have I tried to push ahead in finding the right records, but I've also attempted broadening my knowledge of how to pronounce those Polish names and words, which look like such tongue-twisters—until, at least, I learn the secret behind the phonics of those diacritical marks. I also tracked down the information on Czarnylas, that tiny village where Aunt Rose may have come from, locating background information in a gazetteer from the Prussian time period. And, of course, I'm continuing to absorb as much information as possible on the realm of Pomerania, the designation of the village at the time Aunt Rose's family once lived there.
While I've been working on Poland, I also went back and reviewed some of the Polish websites I had used when researching Theodore Puchalski's wife, Sophie Laskowska, adding a few more details from site updates since the last time I visited.
This is the kind of time when there is more to chase after than to write home about—and, if I even try to write about it, I can safely say there isn't really anything exciting to say at this point. Sometimes, research turns into that hit-or-miss, try this and try that, dull routine. We really need it to make any progress. And when we're done, the story can sure sound scintillating. It's just that the grunt work itself doesn't make for full length feature film glory.