Researching family history outside the confines of familiar resources like Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org can mean faltering progress. After all, exploring websites in other countries means struggling with a foreign language, as well. Perhaps, given my research goal this month of locating more resources to confirm my great-grandfather Antoni Laskowski's roots, I may have wandered a bit astray. Like, far from the beaten path.
In my defense, the idea this month of looking for a DNA match who actually resided in Poland seemed a logical step to take. How was I to know that the most promising connection would lead to Antoni's maternal side with a Gramlewicz descendant? With the first sighting of that lead, I was off, chasing all the Gramlewicz documents I could find for residents of Żerków claiming connection to that surname. Yep. Down the rabbit hole.
Only problem: guess what my research goal for next month is supposed to be?
So, we rewind. Bookmark sites where we left off the chase. We'll resume the Gramlewicz chase again next month. For now, I have four more days to catch up on my original intentions. Let's see what we can gather up—and quickly—so we can spruce up the Laskowski line.
Part of my goal for October was to clean up and update all the Laskowski profiles I've already entered into my Ancestry account. Those, for the most part, belonged to the Laskowski siblings who left their homeland for a new life in New York.
Antoni's parents, Mateusz Laskowski and Elżbieta Gramlewicz, had three children that I am currently aware of: Antoni and his brother Lorenz, and a sister named Agnes. All three of them immigrated to the United States. While I don't have copies of actual passenger lists, by other reports, it seems the two brothers may have traveled together to New York, possibly in 1884. Antoni's wife Marianna and children traveled later, most likely after Antoni sent word—and travel funds—back to them. Along with Marianna, a possible traveling companion might have been Antoni's sister Agnes who, after being widowed and losing several children, had remarried and was likely ready to start a new life in a new land.
Between the three siblings—Antoni, Lorenz, and Agnes—there are ample descendants whose profiles at Ancestry.com need updating. Besides Antoni's three children, Lorenz had five, and Agnes had one or two who survived to adulthood. All those children became residents of the United States, making it easy for me to spruce up that branch of my family tree, adding records which were not part of the Ancestry universe the last time I passed through this way.
Besides this, though, there are likely more Laskowskis who remained behind in Poland. While access to records there may be limited, my next step will be to thoroughly check for any indication that there were other descendants of parents Mateusz and Elżbieta. From that point, if there is more time, I'll step back one more generation to see what can be found on Polish websites regarding children of Mateusz' parents, Bonaventura Laskowski and Orszula Wroblewska.
I just won't touch Antoni's maternal Gramlewicz line—at least, not for another four days. No sense getting tempted down that rabbit hole yet again.