Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Examining Family Groupings


Sometimes, the ancestor-a-month approach to setting family history goals is not aptly applied to some research dilemmas. Take today's target—not to mention the last three goals for the year. In applying the concept of my Twelve Most Wanted to my father's ancestors, the method falls short.

I'm still reeling from my unsuccessful close of the previous year, in which my hope to tackle my paternal Polish roots ran smack into the brick wall of lack of online record access. After all, I can't very well hop a flight to Poland at this COVID-infested moment. How does one go about setting goals that would follow in the path of such recent virtual failures?

Rather than attempting to select a specific individual for this coming October's research goal, I'll switch tactics. Since utilizing the results of DNA testing is my overarching theme for 2022, I'll follow suit for these three difficult months and look for family groupings, rather than individuals. From that point, I'll inspect the big picture to ensure I've done all I can to include descendants of the ancestral surname. The main point is to provide a working chart useful for resolving my DNA matches of unknown connection.

For October, we'll return to the Laskowski family from Żerków, Poland. Laskowski was my paternal grandmother's maiden name, and she was actually born in Poland, so I don't have far to reach to connect with potential relatives still living in Poland—wherever they are. In addition, I have distant cousin matches on some testing sites—MyHeritage being the most notable—who appear to have Polish, or at least Eastern European types of names. How to connect with them, lacking a more complete tree and access to more current documentation for the family, is the question.

And yet...day by day, volunteers in the various regions of Poland are adding to the assembled databases they are posting online, for which I am grateful. The region of Poznań is one such location benefiting from this volunteer effort, fitting perfectly with my research needs. A visit to their site a year after my latest effort will hopefully reveal additional information.

My goal is to be as thorough as possible with records available by October for the extended Laskowski family in Żerków. From that point, I'll trace each Laskowski line of descent forward to the present day, matching up any records aligning with DNA matches at the five companies where I've tested.  

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