Monday, November 18, 2013

JewishGen = Czarnecki Homeland


Where did the Czarnecki family originate? Answering that question has not been as simple as one would imagine.

Trying to locate these ancestors on census records, has brought me to tears. Spellings such as Czarneski, Czarnaski, and Charnewsky. This quest has certainly improved my wild card searching skills.

Additionally, each record lists "place of birth" as either Russia or Poland. Where? Russia? Poland?


Finally! First concrete clue! Petition For Naturalization .1 for great-grandfather, Adam Czarnecki. Adam lists place of birth as Raczki, Russia.

Off to Russia! Well, not so fast. After hours of searching, Raczki remained stubbornly hidden.

I decided to take this problem to a more experienced genealogy friend. Ann teaches family history research at our local public library.

She steered me to the website JewishGen. On the front page is a "search for town" option. Entering Raczki 2 brought interesting results.

Now I understand the wavering from Russian to Polish. When Adam was born, the town was part of the Russian Empire. By the 1930 United States Census we see them as Poland.

Tourist Map of the Community Raczki
 
Finding the birthplace was just the tip of the iceberg. We need to dig deeper into the history and politics of the region.

Searching for additional information, I discovered a gold mine on RootsWeb.3 A fellow researcher has created an entire site dedicated to history, photographs, and links for Raczki.

Looking at the site I realize this region changed hand many times. Certainly have my work cut out for me! Another spreadsheet? Love spreadsheets!

Using this information I hope to paint a clearer picture of our Czarnecki ancestors.

Sources (first real attempt at sourcing records ... excuse my learning curve)

1.National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Petitions of the US District Court for the District of Maryland, 1906-1930; Microfilm Serial: M1640; Microfilm Roll: 11., digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 April 2013 ]
2.JewishGen Communities Database, Searching for Town RACZKI, JewishGen (http://www.jewishgen.org/: accessed 13 April 2013)
3.Raczki, Ancestral Streams Homepage; by Constance J. Ostrowki, Last updated: 8 Dec 2002, digital image, data extracted from the 2002 SuwaƂki phone book, map located at Plac Kosciuszki, Raczki, RootsWeb (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ : accessed 20 April 2013)

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