I spent most of today working on one of the courses I’m taking through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (Methodology – Part 5: How To Prove It). One of the assignments was to describe a problem we are having with our research and to formulate a plan to solve this problem. Here’s my answer:
One problem I have in my research is finding records my Niedzialkowski ancestors in Poland. Records for my grandfather (Kostanty Niedzialkowski) usually state that he was from Pomaski, Poland (Szwelice parish), but one record states that he was born in Warsaw, Poland. I have not found Kostanty’s Baptismal Record in the Szwelice parish records, but I found the Baptismal Records for his siblings there. I have not found the Baptismal Records or the Marriage Record for my great-grandfather (Teofil Niedzialkowski), although I found the Baptismal Records for Teofil’s siblings in the Szwelice parish records. I found the Baptismal Records for my great-great-grandfather (Wojciech Niedzialkowski) and his siblings and those of my great-great-great-grandfather (Antoni Niedzialkowski) and his siblings in the Krasne parish. My great-great-great-great-grandfather (Tomasz Niedzialkowski) was born in the
PalucenePałuki parish, but I don’t even know where the PalucenePałuki parish is.
UPDATE: 22 Jun 2007, thanks to Agnieszka who left a comment, below, I now know that the name of this parish is Paluki. The records for Paluki have been filmed by the Family History Library and go back as far as 1658 – a full century earlier than the records I currently have!
The problem is I don’t know where to find the Baptismal Records for Kostanty, Teofil, or Tomasz, and I don’t know where to find the Marriage Records for Teofil or Wojciech. Compounding the problem is that the Niedzialkowski family is described in most of the records as “noble”, “well-born”, or “owners of part of the village”, and as such they always married “well-born” women from other villages, often from other parishes.
I have attempted to find the missing records in the surrounding parishes, without luck. I have attempted to find the missing Baptismal Records in Szwelice by looking for illegitimate births, again without luck.
Using the problem-solving techniques from the lessons, I intend to search surrounding parishes again, looking not only for the Niedzialkowski surname, but also the surnames of the wives of my Niedzialkowski ancestors. My experience with Polish records is that surnames tend to be clustered in particular villages, so if I can’t find a Niedzialkowski, perhaps I can find the surname for their wives. There is also the possibility that some of the missing Baptismal Records may be recorded as illegitimate births under the mother’s maiden name, and so I plan to search for illegitimate births in surrounding parishes.
Because the missing records may be difficult to find, I plan to search substitute records. I’m not certain which substitute records are available in Poland, so I plan to take the National Institute course in Research: Polish Ancestors in February. I understand that there may be “Status Animarum” records in Polish parishes that record parish records according to family groups, providing details of the births, marriages, and deaths of individuals in the family. These records would be invaluable to solving some of my problems. Census Records and Property Records could also be useful. Because the Niedzialkowskis are of noble birth, I intend to learn more about the records of the Polish nobility to see if I can find clues there.
As far as I know, there are no One Name Studies for the Niedzialkowski surname. I plan to start such a study in the hopes that the ancestral villages of other Niedzialkowskis may lead me to the records for my own ancestors. With that in mind, I’m planning to take the National Institute course in Organizing a One Name Study.