Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Polish Haitians

I was surprised to learn about Polish Haitians.  The topic came up at the last meeting of the Polish interest group of the Indian River Genealogical Society. The story of Poles in Haiti is a complex combination of fact and the myths that have grown around the facts. 

In the late 18th century, Haiti provided most of the coffee and sugar enjoyed in Napoleon’s Europe –supplied by slave labor.  The final years of the 1790’s saw a slave uprising and the eventual independence of the island with its own Constitution.  But Napoleon was determined to return the island to its previous circumstance as a subject of France.  To this end, he sent 40,000 troops to Haiti; 4,000 of which were Polish soldiers.  

Zena’s 2011 Black History Month blog includes a very clear and concise description of the struggle and the eventual destiny of many of the Poles who originally arrived to fight for France.

My own research doesn’t go back that far yet; but I suppose that it is possible that I have very distant cousins in Haiti.




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Now..... Where was I??

Genealogy got put aside when I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. At first my energies were focused on learning about my disease and its treatment.  By the time I had a handle on that,  the combination of extreme fatigue and the mental fuzziness of “Chemo Brain” left me pretty much unable to concentrate or focus for more than a couple of milliseconds. No way I could do any research.  So I spent the past several months reading light fluffy mysteries and playing easy computer games. 

Chemo is done!!  I’m still fatigued and still pretty fuzzy, but I’m coming back to being me.  Fortunately, I got a jump start from a query from a cousin. Good timing. She was asking about the family I’d been working on when it got set aside. 

All I have to do now is find all the information and the files and carry on from where I left off.  HAH! Easier said than done.   

I know I created the files because I printed them. So where are they?  Not on my local disk.  Not on a jump drive. Oh, they’re on my external disk.  Phew!!!  A step in the right direction.   

Where are my hand written notes?  I made notes, right?  RIGHT????  I sure hope so. 

How much updating of my tree did I do?  Was I able connect family members that I’d just recently found?

Etc., Etc., Etc……. 

I’ll eventually get it together.  It feels good to be back at it.