Expanding the family tree

I’m continuing to expand my family tree on Ancestry.com. I’m having better luck with my female ancestors and the families they married into than my blood relatives. I’m especially interested in immigration records, so I grab those whenever I see them online.

So, I started with the Menets, my great-grandfather being my focus. I remember my grandmother telling me about her father and that he never learned English. Of course, my grandmother was born in the U.S. and was fluent in both Polish and English. I wish she had taught me some Polish words, but other than the words for certain foods, I never heard her speak Polish. My grandmother displayed her parents’ wedding photo in her home, not her own wedding photo. I was struck by the dark clothes worn by her mother, the bride. However, this is from memory, as I have not been in her house since she died in 2001. I hope to get a copy of that photo someday when I am back in Pennsylvania for a visit.

Anyhow, back to my family tree. My great-grandfather’s sister Francis Menet married into the Albrecht family; another sister, Catherine, married into the Drobek family. An Albrecht descendant married into the Zalenski family.

My great-aunt Mary Menet married into the Uliasz family; my great-aunt Anna married into the Siatkowski family. My own grandmother married into the Schneidenwind family, the German side that I may explore down the road.

Going back farther in time, my second great-grandfather (born in 1841) married a Falecki (or maybe Falenski or Falenska), whose father married an Ekiert, whose father married a Debiczak. My third great-grandfather, born in 1790, married a Mikosz, and his father, my fourth great-grandfather, Adalbert Menet, married a Kochan. That is as far as I’ve gone back, to the mid or late 1700s, probably around the time of the First Partition of Poland in 1772.

My great-grandfather married Agatha Kolanko, but I have not been able to trace her family beyond her own parents, Mary and Waclaw. I do not know her mother’s maiden name or have any birth or death dates for them. However, when searching Geneteka, I did find many people with surname Kolano, from Jawornik Polski, who may be relatives. Happily, I did find immigration records for my great-grandmother, whereas I have not found any immigration information for my great-grandfather (however, I did find a ship manifest with his sister Catherine’s name, spelled Katarine or something similar, who came to America from Belgium on the ship Nederland in 1896).

So, my research continues! I hope to find naturalization records for my great-grandfather at the National Archives in Philadelphia, once I can make the trip on a weekday. Maybe a summer project.

Author: polishamericangirl

I'm a librarian and amateur genealogist who runs a women's memoir book club. I'm working on a memoir project about my own family.

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