A Little Help From My Friends and Family

Richard Zalewski

Richard Zalewski, Miami, Florida, Sept 1941

This weekend I picked up the mother lode of photos, documents, and information on my grandparent’s families. My aunt and uncle were holding on to my grandmother’s heirlooms, which included my grandfather’s stuff after he passed away. I knew my grandmother had a few photo albums since I previously borrowed them and scanned some photos. I was pretty surprised at all of the other items in the boxes. There were old documents, death certificates, baptism records, funeral cards, old Navy photos, and even film/video from the 30s and 40s (fortunately, on VHS.)

I only scanned a few things so far, but I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’d like to get everything scanned just as a way to digitally back it all up. I also happen to have a VHS-to-DVD machine that I bought to transfer my parent’s home videos to DVD as a Christmas gift one year, so that makes backing up the video pretty easy. One problem there, I can’t find the remote control for it and it has a lot of little important buttons on it. One of the cats probably stole it and made a bed out of it or something.

That does bring me to a question for somebody out there. My paternal grandfather served in the Navy during World War II. He didn’t see combat overseas, but he was stationed “overseas” in Hilo, Hawai’i. From what it sounds like from stories, photos, and some news articles is that he was there for the 1946 Hilo Tsunami and helped rescue people. Along with his Navy stuff, he has dozens of photos of fellow Navy men, including their last names and which group they served in. What would be the best way to go about possibly scanning these photos in and getting them to family members? Is there a “Navy Veterans” message board or something similar? I think it’d be very nice to get copies of the photos to some of these people’s families.

Along with that, a very helpful fellow Polish researcher sent me some copies of the baptism record of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Ignatz Szulta, from 1849 and also his marriage record with Nepomuncena Syldakt in 1875 that he happened to run across. Ignatz’s parent’s names are listed on his baptism record, which is new to me. I now just need to try to transcribe it. Those were extremely helpful and very interesting to read. Thanks, Al.

About Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.

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