Friday, August 1, 2008

Reconnecting.... through a published family tree on the internet

Stephen & Cecilia Wozniak
Wedding day
February 11, 1925
Original picture thought to be owned
by L. Pick and family

Several years back as I was searching Rootsweb I input the family name of Wozniak. There were thousands of Wozniak families. I was really shocked, I knew it was a pretty common Polish name, but I never imagined that there would be so many. I am part Polish and have Wozniak, Sawicki, Ziolkowski, Wiezcorek, and Polus families in my family tree.
I started putting in first names and found a pretty good match on a tree with the name Stephen Wozniak, which was my grandfather's first name. The tree listed the same number of children that my grandparents had had. I couldn't believe my luck. The birth and death dates seemed to be correct. I was fascinated that it really seemed to be MY grandfather. He died when I was less than five years old. Plus my mother and father had divorced when I was very young so I didn't really have a lot of information on my father's family. I obviously remembered some but I had not really been in touch with any of my father's family in many years. We just simply seemed to drift apart as some families do.
But now, here was an opportunity for me to possibly reconnect. I was going to do what I could to make that happen. I emailed the owner of the published tree, told her how I thought I might be connected to Stephen, gave her some information I did know and asked her a couple of questions. I was so delighted that she responded to my email message. She was not related to me but her cousin was married to my first cousin. What a story, what a little miracle! She said she would contact her cousin and pass on my information. Several weeks later I did indeed hear from my cousins. We have stayed in touch via email to this day. I was further blessed because my father's sister and I have been in contact with each other too.
My relatives have shared family names and family pictures with me. I have begun to research my ancestors as well. I have connected some names and added more. I have visited cemeteries and requested vital records. Slowly this branch of my family tree is growing thanks to someone posting a family tree with the name Wozniak on it. I was lucky enough to have found a real connection. More importantly, I have connected to living family! What a great gift!

No comments:

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!