Thursday, November 10, 2022

Virtually Flailing


When we set research goals, sometimes we have no idea whether we'll achieve what we hoped to gain. Such may be the case with this month's goal of discovering more about my paternal Gramlewicz line. While I'm still flailing about online, though, there may be light at the end of this research tunnel. Time—plus a lot of grunt work—may tell.

While my great-grandfather Antoni Laskowski did come to America, the problem is that his mother—Elżbieta Gramlewicz—did not. Remaining all her life in the small town of Żerków in Poland, she and her extended family apparently did not generate the type of records upon which genealogists of our era depend.

True, through the generosity of dedicated volunteers in Poland, there are some websites providing transcriptions of many records. For that, I am thankful for what I can find on BaSIA and the Poznan Project. Yet, there are many date gaps. And I have the kind of ancestors prone to fall in such gaps.

For the brave of heart, there are other options. Looking beyond the initial veneer of those Polish websites, there are way markers in place to point me to other record sets. In the past, I could click through on a record transcribed at BaSIA—I'm positive I could—and the scan number showing on the website would lead to a digitized version of the actual document itself, including the item and scan number. But today? Just my luck the URL connected me to an error message.

I know, also, that if I click through on a record's listed town at the Poznan Project, I'd be led to a second page showing the date ranges for available records at the archival source and also list the Family History Library (in Salt Lake City) microfilm numbers where—supposedly—the same digitized records could be found. Possibly. I still need to test out that implied resource.

While all this sounds terribly like the hunt and peck method from which technology has since liberated us researchers, I'll never know until I give it a try. Give me another day, and perhaps the glitch at BaSIA will have worked itself out, and I will be able to report on my explorations of that second page at the Poznan Project. 

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