Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rumors of Greatness

Poniatowski.  That's the family name I'm currently researching and there's a potential tie to a well-known historical figure:  Catherine the Great!

Stanislaw August Poniatowski was romantically involved with Catherine Alexeievna (Catherine the Great).  Through her influence, Stanislaw was elected the king of Poland in 1764. 

While I believe there's enough evidence to prove that Stanislaw was not a direct ancestor of ML, if one were to go back in history far enough, perhaps one could prove that he is a distant cousin, many times removed.  I don't imagine I'll be able to conclude definitively one way or another, but it is a fun connection to ponder.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sunny Days

Hi everyone,

I have to admit, the genealogy research this week has really taken a backseat to enjoying the sunny weather with my family & preparing for my son's baby dedication on Sunday. It's not often we have perfect weather in Cleveland, and I wanted to make sure I enjoy it while it lasts. My son certainly enjoys going on bike rides around our neighborhood!

This Sunday also marks Mother's Day so don't forget to let your mom know how much you care. Without her, (and her mom, and her mom...) you wouldn't be here right now.

In my first draft of this post, I realized I had added exclamation points to nearly every sentence. I must just be in a happy mood. Wishing you all the same!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Handwriting Challenge #1

Okay folks.. I've got a handwriting challenge for you all. This is some information from ML's grandparents as they came over to America. I'm trying to glean any more information from this record and thought I'd see what you thought. I'm pretty bad at reading handwriting, so I'm opening it up to your suggestions.

I know it says the following:
to son in law _________?
Shenandoah PA ______    302?

Would love to know the son-in-law's name, especially.  Arriving just a month earlier was another family member, also headed to Shenandoah:

This one though, is easier to read, as I have already encountered the family member.  It says:
to brother in law Mateusz Mikolajczewski Shenandoah PA ______ 230

It definitely looks like these family members are different, so any suggestions on the name would be fantastic!  :)  I'll have more handwriting challenges in the future.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Third visit with ML

I need to come up with a better title for this series.. :)

I had some time to visit with ML tonight... I'm pretty sure her smile is a little bigger each time she sees me walking down the hallway to visit. Today I shared with her the first Census (1910) that her family is listed on, her father's arrival at Ellis Island in 1907, and an all-in-one chart showing all of her relatives. I think she was most shocked by the all-in-one chart, realizing just how many other people she was connected to. I've only connected a little over 50 people, but seeing them all in one place certainly makes an impression. I could tell she really loved the Ellis island immigration form as well, and it took her back to her own memories of climbing all the stairs up to the arm of the State of Liberty. "I couldn't walk for two days after that" she described. Reading immigration records make me appreciate the sacrifices our ancestors made in the voyage to America in search of new lives. I try to imagine the faith it must have taken for the very first family member to venture to a new world. The spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation fill me with a sense of patriotism.

On the topic of innovation, ML also mentioned her father was smart and had invented something or two. I asked if there might have been a patent for it, and she didn't think so, but I still think it's worth pursuing. Has anyone tried this type of research before? She thought it was related to cars.