Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Ancestors and Aktabowskis


Even within our roots in a foreign country, we may find a world of difference between two separate regions inside the same modern nation. That may be what we discover with the start of this new month as we delve into a new set of ancestors from my father's heritage.

For November, we'll move from the saga of Aunt Rose's once unidentified ancestry—which turned out to be located in the Polish region known as Pomerania—to that of another branch of my paternal line based in what was once known as the Province of Posen. Moving from my paternal grandfather's sister Rose, we'll now spend a month chasing clues about my paternal grandmother's brother's wife, Bronisława Aktabowska. It is her heritage—and the history of this Aktabowski family—which I have slated as the eleventh of my Twelve Most Wanted for this year's research.

I stumbled onto curiosity about the Aktabowski surname honestly: at one time, I thought it was a surname in my own direct line, simply because someone had erroneously reported it as the mother's maiden name for my own grandparent. Wrong: it wasn't—but I didn't discover that fact until years after researching the surname.

Or maybe it wasn't incorrect. Now that I'm researching roots in Poland, I'm discovering that small villages in Poland sometimes came with cousins marrying cousins. Perhaps just beyond the record set I could access, there might have been the further story about how the family lines intertwined. This month will be my chance to see what I can find about that possibility.

With that research assignment ahead of us—and fervently hoping I'll benefit from as much added good fortune as last month in the form of greater accessibility to records uploaded both at home and in Poland—we'll start off this month by meeting Uncle John and Bronisława Aktabowska, the woman he married, tomorrow.

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