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In my quest for the Austrian soldier who married my great great great grandmother, Catharina Kuczynska, I discovered that there were some Roman Catholic records for Rozwaz filmed with the nearby town of Olesko. I received the first of these recently, and after a couple of hours of searching through the Rozwaz sections, I became discouraged at the lack of familiar surnames. Out of desperation I began to look at the actual town of Olesko records. After all, that was probably where Josef was posted originally, and I reasoned that perhaps not all listings were recorded in the small village.

Lo and behold! I discovered a listing for the death of a Josef Schmutz in March, 1830. He was living in Olesko at the time of death. So now I know his death date and approximated year of birth, but this was one of those sketchy records that says nothing at all about his family or birthplace. Of course I now feel the need to go over this microfilm with a fine tooth comb!

A lesson learned — although going over each item on a microfilm may seem like a waste of time, you might be surprised to find something  in a different place from  where you originally thought it would be. So go with your hunches and consider spending more time with the microfilm reader’s forward, rewind, zoom and focus features!

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