Tuesday, October 31, 2023

And For my Next Trip


Research is sometimes a process involving many iterations of the same type of step. In the case of my discovery of record transcriptions online for Aunt Rose's ancestors, I did indeed find many records for her Zegarski grandfather and his family. All I needed do after that point was to repeat the same process at the same website for her other three grandparents.

For some, I fared better with progress. While I couldn't push back any further in the generations for Rose's paternal grandfather, his wife—Susanna Radomska—appeared in transcriptions of birth records, revealing her own parents' names, and thus her siblings, as well. Likewise, for Rose's maternal grandfather Jan Zegarski, I could repeat the same process with welcome results, though not for his wife, unfortunately.

While the indexed transcriptions at the PTG website were a big help, they clearly pointed out the need to find a record set containing the original documents. Fortunately, I did indeed find just that, but brace yourself: this record set won't have a name which rolls right off your tongue (well, if you're not Polish, that is). Known as "Księgi metrykalne," or "Record Books," the collection dates from 1770 to 1896 and covers the parish of Pączewo—that source of earlier records I mentioned yesterday—as well as the place known back then as Schwarzwald, currently Czarnylas. Included are four microfilms of Catholic parish registers in Latin, German, and Polish, plus an index.

In my explorations, I also realized that the paternal side of the family was more likely to show up in records in a different nearby town named Lubichowo. This town, situated to the west of Czarnylas while   Pączewo was to the east, was roughly twice the distance as that between the two towns I mentioned yesterday—certainly a short distance quite easily traveled. While I was also able to access helpful transcriptions at the PTG website for Lubichowo, I also found a microfilm version of the actual documents available, again called "Księgi metrykalne." Though the dates for this three microfilm set were not as early as the one for the other parishes—from 1803—the record set continues through 1925.

There is one drawback to finding these microfilmed record sets. While I'm grateful they are out there, preserved on microfilm, their accessibility at FamilySearch.org is currently limited to viewing at a local FamilySearch center, or at the FamilySearch library in Salt Lake City. (Although, oddly, I discovered that one record set was indeed viewable despite the key icon displayed.)

Hence, as the month has drawn to a close and we'll be moving toward a new research project for November, I'll be putting these two microfilmed record collections on my to-do list for my next trip to Salt Lake City. Though I've been grateful for finding the website which provided the transcriptions for these record sets, I'm glad to know I can access a copy of the actual records for myself. Hopefully, there will be more information included in the actual records—baptismal sponsors, wedding witnesses—to help me piece together Aunt Rose's Polish ancestry more completely on that next trip to the library.


  1. I do recommend that you view the microfilm of the original church records. My husband's ancestors arrived in New Mexico with the conquistadors. Original Catholic church records, when they were well kept, contain the names of the all the grandparents, whether they were living, where they lived or which community they were natives of as well as the names of the godparents (who are often relatives) and the witnesses. Family Search's indexed versions of these, without images, do not include anything more than the child and parents' names. Anyone who did not know better would think that was all the information available. Catholic church records are usually a bonanza of information.

    1. Kathy, good point which I've also found to be true. Thank you for bringing that up and sharing your experience researching these records.


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