Today I upload a new page devoted to my ancestors from the other (western) side of Galicia: the Prusaks and Jareks from Przeciszow and Kwiatonowice respectively.
I have been searching for these ancestors for many years, and with one village I have been able to find records going back to the late 1700s while my wheels are spinning in the mud with the other. What made the difference to me was the fact that one of the villages was microfilmed by the LDS and one was not. So with one side of the family I have many relationships charted and facts verified.
That would be Kwiatonowice, with parish records at Biecz going back quite far. Not to say has it has been easy — it is only by looking at every page and discovering a notation at the end of one year that I discovered that one great-grandparent had later married another, and that 3 children of one first marriage married 3 children of another! Maybe more on that another time…
With Przeciszow, there is not one place I can document that has the originals, much less the microfilms! Letters to the parish church and to various archives over the years have not made a dent in this gap of knowledge. And so I have been left with researching the existing records in the U.S. and trying to piece the truth together. I have learned a lot about the families in the U.S., but before 1901 the trail goes cold.
As a librarian, I know how poorly funded libraries and archives can be, but it would be nice to receive one follow up letter once in a while. Do I keep trying, or not?
And I also know that Przeciszow is only a couple of miles away from Oswiecim/Auschwitz, and there are so many who senselessly lost their lives there and so many people who cannot know the fate of loved ones. My quest to find relatives does not seem so important, but how can I learn if I have relatives who perished there during World War II? What did the Nazis do with the local populace who were not Jews? Were my unknown relatives “righteous”? collaborators? resisters? or just swept along in a flood of human misery? Who survived? What happened to the records of their lives?
Who were they and who am I?