I just got off the phone after speaking with Kathy Smith about Dubiecko, the parish of my Danko ancestors. Kathy is leaving tomorrow morning for a trip to Berlin, Kraków, and Dubiecko, and she was searching the web for information about Dubiecko. By chance, she happened to come across my blog entry The Church in Dubiecko and What I Found There, and posted a comment. She also sent me an email message to which I responded and then she called me this evening.
In reading my blog, Kathy had noticed some interesting connections between our ancestors, and in talking with her, we noticed even more connections. While we may or may not be related to each other by blood, our families did seem to cross paths.
- Two Polish villages that appear in Kathy’s family history are Dubiecko and Sliwnica. My Dańko ancestors were members of the Roman Catholic Parish in Dubiecko. My great uncle, Jan Dziurzyński, and the my great aunt’s husband, Pawel Goliński, were both from Sliwnica.
- The maiden name of Kathy’s grandmother was Pilch. One of the witnesses at my great-grandfather Jakub Dańko’s second marriage was Marcin Pilch. My step-great grandmother is descended from Jadwiga Pilch. I have attached the marriage record for Andrzej Głowacz and Jadwiga Pilch. The midwife for at least two of my great-grandparents’ children was Agnieszka (Agnes) Pilch. I have attached the birth and baptismal record for Tomasz Dańko, showing that the midwife was Agnes Pilch.
- Three of Kathy’s ancestral relatives bore the surname Sowa. My great grandmother was Agnieszka Sowa and one of the witnesses at my great grandfather’s second marriage was Jakub Sowa.
There are no smoking guns here to indicate that we are related, but it’s exciting to find someone searching for the same surnames in the same Polish villages as I am!
Kathy and I spent quite a bit of time telling each other about our families, and I told her about my experience in Dubiecko. I told her about the church, and about the cemetery, and I gave her some suggestions on how she might get to see the parish records in Dubiecko. Since Kathy doesn’t speak Polish, and few (if any) people in Dubiecko speak English, I suggested that she find a translator before she goes to Dubiecko.
I gave Kathy the name of a Polish genealogist I met last year at the Annual Meeting of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, Adam Jędryka. Adam lives in Krakow and I had spoken to him briefly about doing some genealogical research for me. Since Adam speaks fluent English and is familiar with the church records in the southern Poland, I thought he would be the perfect person for Kathy to contact. Kathy has already sent Adam an email and she plans to call him when she reaches Krakow. Who knows? Adam may be able to accompany Kathy to Dubiecko, or at least find a translator for her.
So, with that, I wish Kathy szczęśliwej drogi (bon voyage)!