Showing posts with label Czarnecki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Czarnecki. Show all posts

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, ( : accessed 12 April 2013 ]
2.JewishGen Communities Database, Searching for Town RACZKI, JewishGen ( 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 ( : accessed 20 April 2013)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Surname Saturday - Polish Surnames

Recently I began researching my Polish heritage. Unfortunately none of the ancestors are still here to help with this family history.

All I have are faint memories of grandmother Czarnecki speaking in a "funny" language. Also, those wonderful dishes she prepared for special occasions. My favorite treat by far where the yummy Polish angel wings, or chrusciki.

My first step along the way was to find the meaning of Czarnecki. I have discovered websites with varying definitions for this surname.

One website offers the definition as one who came from Czarnecki which is a wooded place on the bank of a river. Another site says the name was derived from the Polish word "czarny" which means "black". It goes on to say the name was originally a nickname for someone with black hair.

Realizing further investigating was necessary I spent the day searching for resources. Here listed are some of the sites found with excellent information about Polish surnames.

PolandGenWeb - Rafat's Surname List

Polish name by Wikipedia

Polish Patronymics and Surname Suffixes by Susana Leistner Bloch from JewishGen ShtetLinks

Polish Research on Family Search by Ceil Wendt Jensen MA, CG

Polish Surname Meanings & Origins: Uncovering Your Polish Heritage by Kimberly Powell, Guide

Polish Surnames - RootsWeb

What does my surname mean? by Polish Roots

Good luck with your Polish surname research and have a cookie along the way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Google Search Tips & Tricks Webinar

This weekend has been exciting in a genealogical sense. For over a year I have been researching my great-grandfather Adam Czarnecki. On this blog I have documented finding a petition for naturalization and discovering his homeland.

Locating census records has been extremely difficult. In 1900 and 1930 we found the family listed as Czarneski, and on the 1910 census as Charnewsky. No matter how many research tactics I employed the 1920 census has proven elusive.

After months of searching I located the records using tips learned from attending a webinar sponsored by RootsMagic. The episode was entitled "Google Search Tips and Tricks" by Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems). Lisa shared search tools and shortcuts to help locate those difficult ancestors.

One tip Lisa shared was using the * (asterisk wildcard) feature. I must admit never using this "trick" while searching websites. One such site is the online newspaper database listed at our local public library. Many months have been spent trying to locate birth, death, and marriage records.

Saturday I used this tip by entering Czar* into the library search engine. In this new listing I located the following obituary for my grand-uncle, Edward Czarnecki :

Here we discovered another spelling associated with this surname. Entering Chaneski in Ancestry lead to locating the 1920 Baltimore census record for the entire family. This one simple tip has lead to locating other relatives in local newspapers and death records at the state archives.

Thanks to Lisa and RootsMagic for offering such helpful advice. Make time to view this webinar and save TIME in the long run!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Surname Saturday - Czarnecki Origins

One benefit researching my ancestors is the process of learning more about the geography and history of various countries. While looking at census records for my Czarnecki great-grand parents there were conflicting entries for country of origin. The 1900 and 1910 records list Russia, and the 1930 states Poland. First thought was the census taker may have made a mistake when entering the data. After further investigation I was lead to political and historical changes to this region of the world.

This is my great-grandfather Adam Czarecki's Petition for Naturalization. As you see his lists his place of birth as Racyki, Russia. After spending many frustrating weeks trying to locate information about this area a wonderful genealogy friend suggested the JewishGen website.

There I located a map of Raczki in the province of Suwalki. From the site we find that during the time my ancestor resided in the area the country was part of the Russian Empire. From this information the place of birth on the early census records would be correct. By the time the 1930 records were being compiled Poland was once again a free nation. Would love to know if Adam or the census taker determined he was Polish instead of Russian.

Now on to learn more about Poland and the Russian Empire!