Thanks to a higher amount of Polish records online and the help of some of the usual friendly genealogists (Thanks, Al and Rita!) I have traced a few of my Polish ancestors back to Poland.
I now have the baptism location of my 3rd-great-grandparents, Ignatz Peter SZULTA and Nepomuncena SYLDATK. Ignatz was born in Bukowa GÃ³ra in the SulÄ™czyno Parish of Kartuzy County, Pomorskie, Poland. Nepomuncena was born nearby at Gowidlino in the Sierakowice Parish. Their first three children, including my great-great grandmother Clara SZULTA, were all born in SulÄ™czyno before the family emigrated to America. I also found Ignatz’s parents, who are Anton SZULTA and Marianna MALSZYCKI and also Nepomuncena’s parents, who are Jacob SYLDATK and Tecla KREFFT.
Rita also found information that my great-great-grandfather, Joseph TROKA, was probably from Lipusz which is a village in KoÅ›cierzyna County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. The one family that still eludes me is my ZALEWSKI family. I have not yet been able to trace them back to Poland/Prussia. All I have is that Frank and Anna ZALEWSKI were married in the Poznan Province, but I have no source information on that besides it being listed on a family tree I have. I also know that they immigrated from the Port of Bremen, Germany, but that doesn’t really help pinpoint anything. I’ve checked the Poznan Project website and haven’t run across anything, but hopefully someone indexes their records at some point.
Breaking down these brick walls piece by piece, while aggravating at times, is really very fun. Plus, I am meeting some great people. Hopefully we will help each other more along the way.