Until recently, my research on collateral lines has been limited to those living in the US – my great aunts and uncles The discovery of distant Polish relatives in the US got me busy looking at collateral lines from a 3rd great grandfather born in Poland in 1779.
I should have done this a long time ago! On the other hand, the information I found may not have been easily available a long time ago.
Using information from The Poznan Project and BaSIA I was able to locate and download records from The State Archive in Poznan. Adding this data to my tree on Ancestry.com brought up a forest of shaky leaf hints.
My 3rd great grandfather, Johann Ganas, lived in the small village of Czerlejno which was the estate of a Polish nobleman. Johann’s sons had to look elsewhere for work but they stayed within a 10-mile radius of their birthplace. In the next generation, some families moved farther away but still within 20 miles of Czerlejno.
The Ancestry hints showed me that 3 Ganas families came to the US between 1887 and 1891. Two of them settled in Buffalo, NY; and one in Milwaukee, WI. My grandfather, Ignatz Ganas arrived in 1893 as a single man and settled in St. Paul, MN. Maximillian Ganas, a Roman Catholic priest, arrived in Detroit, MI in 1911.
WOW!! What fun! I have more Polish cousins in the US than I’d ever imagined. With ongoing research, I hope to be able to find living distant cousins.