Yesterday, Christine posted a comment under The Church in Dubiecko and What I Found There that sparked my interest in a couple of things related to my family history.
Steve, Do you know that Nienadowa had its own parish church starting in 1957? (Did you see it when you were there? It may also have a cemetery starting then.) Before that time, the residents attended Mass in Dubiecko, which is considered the “mother parish”. If you hadn’t already known that your ancestors went to church in Dubiecko, you would probably have contacted the church in Nienadowa only to be told they didn’t have records from the time period you are interested in. They probably would have referred you to Dubiecko eventually.
I found this out in an article published by PGS-CTNE in Spring 1996. It is called “Finding the Mother Parish” and has a 3-1/2 page chart showing parishes in Przemysl Diocese that were formed since 1900 and what town/church each was spun off of. Even though you knew where to go in your case, this is good to know in case you find someone else who doesn’t know.
Thanks so much for this information, Christine! When I was in Nienadowa, I was asked whether my ancestors were fron Nienadowa-Dolna (Lower Nienadowa) or Nienadowa-Górna (Upper Nienadowa). I had no idea there were two and each had its own parish, and until Christine posted her comment I had never heard about Mother Parishes! I visited the churches in both villages, although the church in Nienadowa-Dolna (pw. MB Nieustającej Pomocy, or Holy Mary of Help) was still under construction when I was there in October 2000. The church in Nienadowa-Górna (pw. Najświętszego Serca Pana Jezusa, or Sacred Heart of Jesus) had been around for a while, and may be the parish church Christine said was started in 1957. This parish had it’s own cemetery. The pastor of the church in Nienadowa Górna said that there were no records for my ancestors in his church; records from that period were all at the parish in Dubiecko (pw. Niepokalanego Serca NMP, or Sacred Heart of Holy Mary).
The MassTimes website provides information on churches throughout the world, but doesn’t necessarily have complete information. Fortunately, the Archdiocese of Przemyśl in Poland has its own website with photographs of the Mother Parish, along with names, addresses, and phone numbers of the other parishes under the Mother Parish. To find a parish in the Archdiocese of Przemyśl from the main page (Strona Główna), just click on the link dekanaty i parafie (deaconates and parishes). The Dubiecko Parish page shows several other churches in Babice, Bachórz, Bachórzec, Drohobyczka, Krzywcza, Nienadowa Dolna, Nienadowa Górna, and Tarnawka.
I’ve been trying to find records for my paternal grandmother, Maryanna Dziurzyńska, in Poland, but I only found one record for her family. A few months ago, I found a lead that indicated that her family may have been from Sielnica, in the Dylągowa parish (pw. św Zofii, or Saint Sophy). Information on the Dylągowa parish is listed on the Dynów (pw. św. Wawrzyńca, or Saint Lawrence) Mother Parish page.
At this point, I should mention that the parish names in polish often include abbreviations. Some of those abbreviations are defined in Lidia Mullerowa and Zofia Żuchowska’s book, Roman Catholic Parishes in The Polish People’s Republic in 1984, published in Chicago in 1995 by the Polish Genealogical Society of America.
- pw. = pod wezwaniem = under the summons of, under the name of
- św = święty = Saint, Holy, Sacred
- bł = błogosławony = Blessed
- MB = Matka Boska = Mother of God, Our Lady
- NMP = Najświętsza Marya Panna = The Most Holy Virgin Mary, Our Lady, The Blessed Virgin
- PJ = Pan Jesus = Lord Jesus, Jesus
For help with polish/english translations, there is a fairly good online polish/english dictionary at PolTran.
Christine also mentioned the article on Mother Parishes in the newsletter of the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast. I took a look through the tables of contents of some of their newsletters and I think I have to join this organization! Their newsletter is just great! The group’s president is Jonathan D. Shea who, with William F. Hoffman, wrote great translation guides for polish and russian documents and plans to write guides for german and latin documents, too. Furthermore, some of my relatives lived in Connecticut at least briefly and being a member of a recognized genealogical society in Connecticut eliminates the access restictions to vital records in Connecticut.
Finally, to wrap up, I’ve attached two photos. The first is of one of the Danko graves in the Dubiecko cemetery in Poland. I don’t know how Bronisław Dańko is related to me, but it’s likely he is related since my Dańko ancestors lived in the area for at least the last quarter century. If you look closely, you can see that the grave behind Bronisław’s grave belongs to Jan Dańko. I didn’t find any graves for my known ancestors in Dubiecko, however. This observation isn’t particularly surprising, since graves in Poland are typically “rented” for a certain period of time; there usually isn’t any perpetual care provided, as is typical in the United States. Almost all of the graves in the cemetery were post-World War II graves.
The second photo is a picture of my friend Tom and me (I’m on the right) outside the church in Dubiecko trying to explain to a nun who we were and why we were there. In the end, she let us into the church and told us about the history of the church. Thanks again, Christine for your comment that inspired today’s blog.