As you know, if you a reader of this site, I’ve been trying to track down information on my Zalewski line as long as I’ve been doing genealogy. For the longest time it was always my shortest line, ending at my great-great grandfather, Frank Zalewski. This week changed a lot of that and during the excitement I almost totally forgot about RootsTech, which is crazy.
I plan to add more detailed posts this week about how exactly I found this new information, but here is a quick overview. [Update: the detailed post is now up. You’ll find the link at the end of this post, so keep reading.]
A few years back, I found Frank’s marriage record to his wife Anna in the civil archives which listed his parent’s names and his birthplace. This got me one more generation back, but with little more info besides names and a location.
I quickly was able to find the location of this birthplace, Krottoschin. It is now Krotoszyny, Biskupiec, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Poland. What I couldn’t find were any church records for this location. Civil records were available at the other site, but those didn’t start until 1874. Frank was born in 1858. FamilySearch has always been helpful at finding records for almost any location I’ve thrown at it, no matter how small, but for some reason Krottoschin wasn’t even listed on their site. I was at a loss.
I decided to just post about my conundrum in the Polish Genealogy! Just Ask! Facebook group I belong to. Someone might know something. Well, they did and a few comments later someone told me to try records for Schwarzenau, West Prussia, Germany. I had no reason not to, so I did.
Fortunately, the records around 1858 had an index for baptisms. When I jumped in and browsed, I immediately saw a Frantz Zalewski born on his exact birth date! Jackpot!
After all of that excitement, which I will detail soon, I did what any excited genealogist would do, I start logging every entry mentioning Zalewski and these new names I collected. Right now, it’s not super helpful, but I imagine I may be able to track these families around the area and some are definitely connected to me somehow. As of now, I have 282 baptisms logged.
That’s not the end of it! During this process, I was looking through Marriages of the area and saw one for an Anna Zalewska. The husband was an August Gwiazdowski. You probably don’t remember, but I’ve had a longstanding mystery regarding a connection between the Zalewski and Gwiazdowski families. This marriage record may have solved that mystery and also shown that my 3rd-great grandmother was living in Milwaukee for 25 years and I already have a photo of her headstone. Some of the dates are slightly off from my information, but the record lines up a lot more pieces of other information. I’d like to try to confirm it a bit more before locking it down.
So, it’s been a whirlwind of activity this week on my Zalewski line. I’ve add multiple more generations and possibly solved another longstanding mystery. As with mystery solving, I’ve created a dozen more, but I like doing that. Stay tuned for the more detailed posts!
[UPDATE: Here is the link to the more detailed post.]