Saturday, October 21, 2006

Polish family places

In my research into the Dershewitz (Deresiewicz) family, there has been a certain consistency in the area in Poland from which these leads come.  I guess in the late part of the 19th century, people didn't move far from their homeland unless of course there was some monumental turn of events.  Poland was a very turbulent place during this time with world powers using it as a geo-political football.  Anyhow, I thought it would be worthwhile to point out the area of Poland I am concentrating on and the particular cities and towns that may be important in this search.  I am listing these places in the order that I was lead to them.  By clicking on the town name you will get a Google map of the area.  You can see from the map links that all these to towns are within a 20 mile diameter circle.  A good place for focusing attention.

Stary Sacz - When I finally found my father's family Ellis Island records, the place of last residence in Poland was listed as Sharyshoutz.  Searching maps of the area around Cracow which is where I always thought my father said he was from, my son and I found Stary Sacz.  This was the first geographical lead to the family origins.  You can read more about this town's history.

Limanowa - When I first got in touch with my Aunt Belle through my Cousin Shelley Kohen, she related what she could recall of the family history.  Belle was only 2 years old when the family immigrated and recalls history that she heard from other family members.  She recalled that all the Dershewitz children were born in Limanowa.  This is a bigger town then Stary Sacz and an administrative center.  The railroad also goes through this town.  I has quite a history.

Lukowica - This is the village that Isaac and Rosa Singer, my grandmother's parents, listed as their last residence in Poland.  I believe today it's a very small rural community.  There was an interesting article written about the Jews of Lukowica.

Kamienica - I just received a photostat of my cousin Marty's father's Polish birth certificate. The birthplace was listed as Kamienica, not Limanowa.  It even had a house number (302).  So, I guess this was the actual birth village of at least Juda Leib Deresiewicz (Louis Dershewitz).  The birth certificate was however issued in Limanowa.  From the looks of the map today, Kamienica is just a bump in the road.

Mszana Dolna - This is where I found a marriage record for Ester Deresiewicz, probably Solomon's sister, to Wolf Leib Glashut in 1911.  They apparently died in the Holocaust.

These towns are but places in my imagination now.  I can look at maps, do Google Earth and read town descriptions and history but it is still somehow not real.  I would like someday to visit these places, plant my feet where my ancestors may have done the same to get firmly rooted in the reality of my family history.  Sounds like another adventure I will need to take soon....

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