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Research in Strzyźów

I woke up early this morning as usual and uploaded photos and blogged. Met Aleksandra for breakfast and afterwards we headed to the church to talk to
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My work begins, going to Szewna & Strzyźów

This morning I had to say goodbye to Zbigniew and Dorota. My next week will be for some work. I must do some genealogical research for 2 clients in so
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Trip to Poland 2011

Follow me on my journey to Poland. My 3rd visit to Poland will be a special one. I will be traveling in Poland for 2 months. I will have the opportunity to visit family and do some genealogical research along the way.

A 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Leaf Clover

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
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on Saturday, 17 March 2012
in Misc
four-leaf-cloverHAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! Given the fact that it is St. Patrick's Day, I thought i would share a story about my discovery of a real 4 leaf clover when I was a child. I grew up in the country in Wisconsin in a home that was surrounded by the fields of farmland. We spent lots of time playing outside as there were no gaming systems or computers at that time. I was playing in the front lawn and saw this small patch of clover and began looking closely at it.

I discovered a 4 leaf clover! WOW did I feel lucky! I kept looking in the patch just for fun and found another 4 leaf clover, and then another.... This was really exciting so I ran inside to tell my mother, my siblings followed me out to the little patch of clover to see. I showed them what I found and found even more 4 leaf clovers as I was showing off my prize patch. My siblings all wanted to look too, but that was my patch and they had to get their own.

I continued a very careful search through my little patch and actually made discovery of not only more 4 leaf clovers, but 5, 6, 7 & 8 leaf clovers. Now I am not sure if this is a freak of nature or if it had anything to do with the fact that we did not live far from a nuclear power plant, but I was holding some strange specimens.

OK, OK you are all thinking I am telling a tall tale right? NOT! and believe it or not - to this day, I CAN PROVE IT! Yes, I was a smart little boy and took those multi-leafed clovers and put them in a book. For all these years they have rested gently between the pages of a little book on coins. I was collecting coins at the time. I still have that little book and the pages are full of specimens collected those many years ago. I know that some of the clovers that had more leaves on them have fell off over time, but I am sure with a microscope the remains could verify the clovers with high leaf count. I had looked for that patch of clover every year after, but it never appeared. It was without a doubt lucky in that year alone.

You would think that owning so many of these lucky items I should be a billionaire about now, but alas that has not come to pass. Maybe all those other types of clover are not as lucky and the luck gets canceled out. If you ever stop by, ask me to show them to you, but don't ask me to have one. Maybe I should take some them out and put them on EBay? Maybe that is how I am to make my billions?
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Returning Home from London

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
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on Wednesday, 29 February 2012
in Travel
phoca thumb l dsc07020My time in London is over. I very much enjoyed my short visit. I have had the opportunity to see Westminster & Tower Bridge, attend the "Who Do You Think You Are? Live genealogy exhibition & visit with family. Quite a lot that was done in such a short period of time, but will always be remembered.

I was up early this morning, so I could get ready and  finish packing my bags. By 6am I was out the door and headed to the Earl's Court tube stop to catch the tube on the Picadilly line to Heathrow Airport.

I found the Subway system in london to be very efficient and with an Oyster card it was very smooth getting from one place to another. Here is a photo of Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport in London.
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Walking to my gate was like walking through a mall, as you can see from the photo on the right. I look forward to my next adventure in England.
 
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Visiting my cousin David and his family in London

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
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on Monday, 27 February 2012
in Travel
dsc06976As soon as I learned I was going to be going to London, England for the "Who Do You Think You Are? Live" Conference, I contacted Dawid Firkowski in London. Dawid is my Third Cousin Once Removed (3C1R).

Dawid and I have talked numerous times over the years via skype and facebook, but had yet to actually meet. I had met Dawid's parents a number of times in Wrocław, Poland, but Dawid moved to England from Wrocław, Poland 7 years ago.

Dawid lives in the northern part of London and I was in the southwestern part of London, but it was very easy to get to where he lived. The Picadilly tube line runs from right where I was to where Dawid lives. I just hopped on the tube and when I got off Dawid was there to meet me.
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We quickly met up with Dawid's wife and daughter, Izabella and Maja. It is so wonderful to see the family growing. Genealogically speaking it can be difficult keeping up with all the new events in a large family tree.

We all took a  walk to a local Polish restaurant called "Autograf" and had a wonderful meal and a good Polish beer.

I had a pork cutlet that  was so big that it did not fit on the plate.

dsc06944 The cutlet was served with some mashed potatoes with dill and cabbage salad. There was so much to eat it was not possible to finish it all.

We walked back to Dawid's home and picked up a few more good Polish beers (I got my favorite beer "Dębowa Mocne") at a local shop and  we sat in his garden relaxing and chatting in the warm sun. I was grateful that the weather in London was beautiful during my entire visit.

Our visit was short, but oh so wonderful! What a wonderful way to mix business with pleasure on my travels to London.

See photos of my visit with Dawid, Iza & Maja Firkowski here.
 
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Touring London

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
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on Thursday, 23 February 2012
in Travel
DSC06586Yesterday, after a short walk to the Olympia where "Who Do You Think You Are? Live" will be held, and checking to make sure everything would be ready for tomorrow, Alvie Davidson and I took the tube to Westminster.

During todays adventures, I took 249 photos so there is no way you will even come close to seeing everything in this post. To see all the photos taken during our intense tour visit my gallery of photos here.

At Westminster, I saw the famous large ferris wheel. Of course I had to get a photo of the red telephone booths.
DSC06594

One monuments that stood out was Westminster Palace and Big Ben. I took a lot of photos of that from every angle possible.

The weather was warm and we were slightly uncomfortable in our coats, but at least it was not cold. The beautiful weather brought out all the tourists to this famous spot.

I also had the opportunity to see Westminster Abby before we stopped for lunch at The Red Lion. I am not a seafood eater, but I thought it was neccesary that I eat something traditional here, so I had myself some fish and chips! :)

I will make a post later about our afternoon adventures.

Here is the link to todays photos.

 
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Leaving Boston for London

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 22 February 2012
in Travel
DSC06545Well, here I am at the International Terminal of Logan Airport in Boston, MA waiting for boarding. I was surprised how quiet it was here this morning even at 6:15 am. I thought it would have been busier, but I guess I should not be complaining.

I have to thank Melinde for giving me a ride to the airport and allowing me to keep my wheels parked at her place while I am in London. That just saved me about $100 or more.

My flight leaves for London at 8:15 for the "Who Do You Think You Are? Live" Conference. It should be an educational experience and I get to do a little touring on my first visit to England.
 
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Off to London, England

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 20 February 2012
in Travel
Tomorrow, I am headed for London, England. I will going to the largest genealogy conference in the world. "Who Do You Think You Are? Live" with estimated attendance at about 14,000 people. I will have the opportunity to tour London, meet relatives in addition to attending the conference while helping out at the APG booth.

I will be making as many blog posts as possible during my short 6 days (travel time included). Some of my Blog posts will be on my other web site "The Genealogy Assistant", so look in both places to see what I am up to.

Of course I will be taking a lot of photos which I will be posting to my photo gallery here on this website, so check back often as I will try to upload photos at every opportunity.
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A Polish Wedding Part 4 The Reception

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 09 December 2011
in Poland

dsc02522So the wedding ceremony is over, but that is just only the beginning of this wonderful event.

On the way from the church to the reception, something happened that I was not prepared for.  We are driving along in the caravan of vehicles honking horns and all that noise making activity, when all of a sudden everyone stops. I am in the vehicle behind the bride and the groom so I get to see what is happening. Someone has stepped into the middle of the road and stopped the caravan. A table is carried into the road and places are set for two along with a bottle of vodka and shot glasses. The new couple exits their vehicle and take their places at the table. They are served a drink of vodka and something quick to eat. The couple returns to their vehicle and the table is removed. As the caravan pulls away, those that stopped the couple wave goodbye and send their good wishes to the new couple. This scenerio repeats itself many times before FINALLY arriving at the place where the reception will be held.

We arrive at the reception and the couple is greeted from a member of the staff with a loaf of bread. The bread symblizes the beginning of their new life and wishes that they may never go hungry.  

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A Polish Wedding Part 3 The Wedding Ceremony

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 23 November 2011
in Poland

phoca thumb l dsc02486In part three I will talk about the actual wedding ceremony. There is not much difference in the actual church ceremony to what we do in the US. In this case, it was a Roman Catholic wedding and the church traditions for a wedding are not going to vary greatly form country to country.

The bride and groom walk up to the church and take a moment for photos while everyone arrives. Guests then get themselves seated taking the opportunity to chat and meet some of the members attending the ceremony.

Tags: Poland, Wedding
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A Polish Wedding Part 2 Before the Ceremony

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 17 November 2011
in Poland


phoca thumb l dsc02478Here is the 2nd part of a series of Blogs about my experience at a Polish wedding.

The day of the wedding, everyone gathers at the home of the bride prior to going to the church. There is a band that plays music as the guests arrive. The guests approach the bride who is standing with her spouse to be, and give the bride a small bouquet of flowers. By the tiem it is all done... she has quite the collection of floral gifts!


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A Polish Wedding

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 15 November 2011
in Poland


phoca thumb l dsc02468I was honored at the opportunity to have been invited to my 2nd cousin's wedding while I was in Poland. There are some differences in the traditions of weddings in Poland versus those in the US. There are also differences of tradition between weddings in smaller villages and bigger cites, along with differences between regions within Poland. Basically what I am trying to say is that a person can come across a wide variety of versions of polish weddings.

Prior to the wedding which was took place in northern Poland, I was in the southeast part of Poland. I had a 9 hour drive to get up north and since I did not get started on my trip until about noon, I arrived very late on the day that the pre wedding events took place.

 

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Krosno & Kamieniec Castle

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 23 August 2011
in Poland

dsc01487This will be  a brief post today. I have been working and then without internet access. On the 16th, I had to go to Lutcza and Krosno to solve a mystery, while waiting for the church office to open I had a moment to get some photos  of the Stare Miasto (Old Town) and Rynek (Marketplace) in Krosno.

The only success I had in researching in Krosno was learning that what I was looking for was not there. For the longest time there was only one church in Krosno, but there were four other parishes formed from this one and records were moved. I will have to go to each one of those parishes to research my mystery

 

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Research in Strzyźów

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Sunday, 14 August 2011
in Poland

dsc01060I woke up early this morning as usual and uploaded photos and blogged. Met Aleksandra for breakfast and afterwards we headed to the church to talk to the priest. As luck would have it, the priest in charge was out of town until Monday, and the other priest had a funeral that day so we would not be able to get a look at records this weekend.

We decided that the best plan of action at the moment was to go through the cemeteries (plural) and see what we could find for the family I was researching.

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My work begins, going to Szewna & Strzyźów

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 12 August 2011
in Poland


dsc00896This morning I had to say goodbye to Zbigniew and Dorota. My next week will be for some work. I must do some genealogical research for 2 clients in southern Poland. I wish Zbigniew and I had more time. We had so much fun, but I think that is always how it is... never enough time.

I left Brwinów about 8am and the GPS said it would take about 2 hrs to drive ot Szewna, but I have discovered what Lukasz told me.... It always takes longer to get there. I had a 3 hour drive to Szewna, and easily found the church (St Nicolas Parish). I took photos all around the church and then wen to the cemetery to look for family gravestones.

WOW, was i in for a surprise. I have been to cemeries in Poland before and they are not the same as in the States, but this cemetery had gravesites so close together that you had to walk across some of them ot get to other gravestones.

 

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Wilanów Palace and Park & I get measured for a tailor made Kujawy

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 11 August 2011
in Poland

dsc00769Agnieszka Sikorska and I were up early this morning. She has to go to work and I will meet once again with Zbigniew. We took the bus through Warsaw to where she works. Zbigniew met us and we said goodbye to Agnieszka.  

I had a meeting later this morning with a Tailor, so we first went to Wilanów Place and Park. This is the other of my favortie parks in Warsaw. As the name states it is not only a park but where there is a palace.

The last time I was here in 2006, they were doing major renovations both the inside & outside the palace  along with some of the park grounds. This time there was no construction materials. 

Although the weather was great, there was only a handful of people. It was very relaxing admiring all the renovations and the beautiful gardens around the palace. Zbigniew was enjoying it just as much as I, because he had not been to the Palace and Park in about 20 years. We spent the next 2 hours walking very leisurely around the park, stopping often to sit on a bench and chat. We finished up our visit at the park with conversation and a cup of coffee.

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All around Warsaw & Łazienki Park

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 10 August 2011
in Poland

dsc00644This morning, we did not leave the house until about noon, Zbigniew and I both had a little work to do, and I had problems getting my photos uploaded to my website and I had to make that work. Eventually I discovered the problem and I was off and running.

We took the train from Brwinów to Warsaw this morning for some more touring and to meet up with Agnieszka after her work. On the train I noticed that the GPS in the camera was not acquiring sattelites. Ths would be a problem for a while. for some reason it locked up, and I discovered that if I turned off the the GPS and turned it back on, everything worked fine.  OK, I thought 2 down.... one to go. What would be my next problem? :)

Zbigniew and I stopped at Agnieszka's work to drop off my bags (I would stay at Agnieszka's home that day. We walked around Warsaw some more and I must say again I am amazed at the changes in Warsaw!

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Touring Warsaw

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 09 August 2011
in Poland

dsc00529The Day began with a car drive into Warsaw from Brwinów. It was uneventful except for dodging construction traffic.

I would be meeting a distant cousin from Warsaw that neither I or Zbigniew had not met before. We would be meeting at the NEW Copernicus Science Center.

The  "Centrum Nauki Kopernik" is a place for hands on science exhibits and it was completed and opened to the public the beginning of this year.  It is as much fun or more for the adults as for the children. We spent the good part of about 4 hours wandering around talking, playing and laughing. It was a great way to get to know each other and have fun. If you are in Warsaw, you may enjoy this place. Everything is in English and Polish.

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Brwinów and Warsaw

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 08 August 2011
in Poland


dsc00359I was up early as normal, but it was necessary today because I would be leaving Sosnowiec and driving to Brwinów (near Warsaw). Lukasz had to go to work, so I quickly updated photos, blogged, showered & packed up to leave by 7:30

I will see Lukasz again in September when we will take some time to see Prague. I had decided that there was no rush to get to Warsaw, and took it easy stopping often for a rest. Little did I know of the driving adventure ahead of me.  There is MAJOR reconstruction of one of the highways to Warsaw and I was met with detours and slow traffic. Thank heavens for the GPS that Lukasz lent me! :) 

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Ostrava-Czech Republic & Pszczyna

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
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on Sunday, 07 August 2011
in Poland


dsc00336Today was an exciting one. We went to Ostrava in the Czech Republic. I was able to see my 1st cousin Mirek. Mirek was kind enough to offer me the use of his second car while I am traveling in Poland for the next 2 months. We only had time to stay and visit for a few hours before we had to make our way back "home" but it was wonderful to see him and his wfie Dagmar again. I will be seeing them again for a longer visit in September. So now I have my wheels. They will be needed as tomorrow I will be going to Warsaw to meet more family!

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A day in Krakow

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Saturday, 06 August 2011
in Poland

Today we headed out for a day in Krakow. The weather forcast was for rain, so umbrellas were to be kept on hand.dsc00143 As it turned out, we never did get any rain. The weather actually was quite warm and humid. I was told that if this continues for too much longer, I would be asked to take back the weather I brought from New Hampshire.

Finding parking was very interesting. The "Tour de Pologna" was going on today and roads wer closed off for the Race Course. We eventually did find a place to put the car, but did end up having to move it to another location because at some point in time, nobody would be allowed to come in or out of the area after the race actually started.

Before we left to go to Krakow we picked up Lukasz's girlfriend to join us for the day. After we parked the car it was a nice relaxing walk to the Rynek. 

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Successful Flight

Posted by Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski
Tim Firkowski has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 05 August 2011
in Poland


dsc00053It was a successful flight! After leaving Boston, I was taken upon the steel bird to Munich where I would then change planes. I was suprised that the flight only took abut 6 1/2 hours from Boston to Munich. I had a 1 1/2 hour layover in Munich and then took a plane from Munich to Krakow. The flight from Munich to Krakow only took about 1 hour 10 minutes. I took more photos form the plane than I normally would have because I wanted to play with the Geotagging function of my new digital camera. I recently bought a Sony DSC-HX7V digital camera. When viewing my photos in my photo gallery, when you see the small globe icon, click on it and it will show you a google map with the location that the photo was taken.

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