Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Clues that Lead Nowhere

Trying to locate any of Anna Zegarska Gracz's siblings who might have opted to follow her recently-married example and immigrate with their newlywed spouse to a new world: not as easy as one would have thought. I have, for instance, the clue of another tongue-twisting Polish surname among those six DNA matches that have, just this past summer, led me back to historic Pomerania to research my paternal grandfather's roots. This time, the surname is Krzewinski—do not ask me how to pronounce it!

Using the marriage search option at the Pomeranian Genealogical Association website, I had searched for all Zegarska daughters who were married in their home village of Czarnylas, and got this result:

Though it is difficult to read such a small document—you can find it for yourself by using those search terms at the Pomeranian Genealogical Association's website—right above the 1879 entry for Anna Zegarska's marriage to Thomas Gracz, there is an entry for Marianna Zegarska. Her husband is listed as that same unpronounceable surname of Krzewinski. Their wedding date is given as 1879.

However, when you search on the same website for baptismal records for that same groom's name—Krzewinski—there are five children listed for the same Johann, but the mother of the children is listed as someone by the name of Anna Woitaś or Wojtaś, likely spelling variations on the same surname. That surname, incidentally, is the same as the mother's maiden name for the Zegarska daughters I am trying to track, making me wonder whether Johann Krzewinski was brother-in-law to the mother of the two Zegarska daughters I am researching.

To complicate matters, though there is a marriage listed for Johann Krzewinski and Marianna Zegarska, I can find no record of any baptisms for children of this couple. So how does this Krzewinski line connect with me? After all, I have one, possibly two, DNA matches which include this Krzewinski surname in their pedigree.

Though that Krzewinski line did come to America—bringing the possibility of our relationship tantalizingly closer—without actual documentation, I can't rely on the DNA connection solely for assurance of our relationship. I really need to ferret out additional sources for documentation, especially knowing how prone to error transcriptions can be, even under the best of circumstances.

I will certainly examine that line more closely as I work through this puzzle. In the meantime, the main point of all this winding pursuit of DNA matches on my paternal grandfather's line is to consider the question: could my grandfather's mother, whom I presumed was named Anna Zegar, actually be siblings or close cousins to the Zegarska lines which immigrated to Milwaukee? After all, that same marriage listing I posted above has another possible "Anna" listed, and her marriage is to someone with a surname very close to the one I learned was once my grandfather's last name. Could Thomas Puchała who married Anastasia Zegarska possibly be the missing parents of my paternal grandfather?


  1. Replies
    1. It's exciting...but I'm getting impatient! It would be a lot easier if I had access to digitized records from this region at my fingertips!


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