Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tangled Trees

It’s been a while since my last post because I’m not inspired to blog when frustrated.  My double focus lately is trying to make sense of two families.  I alternate from one to the other when I get stuck or overwhelmed. 

 The Polish Genealogy group on Facebook has helped me better understand my dilemma with the Dachtera family.  Church sacramental records from the late 1600s through the 19th century confused me with several variations of the name.

There was what I was looking for:  Dachtera.  But there were a number of others

The Polish language is very complex.  I didn’t know whether these were likely to be different families or just variant spellings.

The responses to my Facebook query answered some questions but raised a few more. 

I now expect that these are all the same family.

The church records were handwritten in old fashioned European script in either Latin or in Polish.  Penmanship varies widely – some are extremely sloppy while others are picture perfect. The small sample below is more readable than most,

 And the names recorded were apparently at the discretion of the priest who wrote them. He wrote what he heard, or what he thought he heard or what he thought it should be.  (This happened in the US into the 1930’s when the priest at St. Adalbert’s in St. Paul decided that my Schipp relatives should be spelled Szyp.)

So now I have to figure whether out whether “Marcin” is correct, or should be “Martin”.  If Marcin’s wife is shown as Maria in one record and as Marianna in another, are they the same woman? Both were extremely common – a couple may have named one daughter Maria, and another Marianna.

 Trying to follow the Rose family from Maine to New York state to Wisconsin has proven a real challenge.  In New York they lived in counties that were absorbed into other counties.  Without the ability to travel to the courthouses to review the records, I’m dependent on online records and the materials at my library. They have a huge collection of material from New York that I’m sifting through. 

Fortunately, Chicago’s Newberry Library has a wonderful online resource in their Atlas of HistoricalCounty Boundaries.  Its interactive map shows  boundaries for any given year in any given county in the US.

Of course, it is always possible that I’m trying to connect two different Rose families.  Its slow, but I am making some progress.

1 comment:

  1. While the script is beautiful I cant read a single word of it, much like my own penmanship some days.