Memories of Dziadka: Rural Life in the Kingdom of Poland 1880-1912 and Immigration to America

Memories of Dziadka: Rural Life in the Kingdom of Poland 1880-1912 and Immigration to America

by Stephen Szabados

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This book is about the life of a Polish immigrant from the Russian partition of Poland. It first describes the area where he was born. The next chapter lists many facts and activities of his early life in rural Polish Russia. The third chapter describes the customs and traditions that his family celebrated as he grew to manhood. Chapter Four discusses the possible reasons for his decision to leave his family and the land of his birth.  Chapter Five describes his trek across Poland and Germany to the port of Bremerhaven, his experience in the port, and his voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean. The next chapter discusses his arrival in America and the process for admittance to the United States after leaving the ship. This chapter also describes his train trip from Philadelphia to Bloomington, Illinois. Chapter Seven details his life in America.


I wanted to put some of the interesting stories that I had of Polish immigrants together in one place to make it easy for other people to read and understand their hardships. My hope in writing this book is to share the information about the daily lives of the Polish people living in the rural areas of Poland. I used my grandfather as the central figure in this book, but this is not his biography. I used details of my grandfather's life but added accounts of other people to tell a complete life story. My grandfather was not a person whose accomplishments would be in history books. However, his life is an example of a typical Polish immigrant in the early 1900s. I chose to tie all of the stories and information to one person to make this a more exciting story. I felt this method would be easier to show the impact of various facets of someone's life.


When writing your family history, remember to "put some meat on the bones of your ancestors." They were more than the names and dates on the documents. Use the pictures in the family albums. Save and label these precious photos. Find stories that tell how they interacted with their neighbors, friends, and family. Please include information about social history and the events that may have impacted their lives. Ask yourself what their lives were like and find accounts that will explain their actions.


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Product Details

BN ID: 2940164303488
Publisher: Stephen Szabados
Publication date: 06/22/2020
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Steve Szabados grew up in Central Illinois and is a retired project manager living in the Chicago Suburbs. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and a Masters in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.

Steve Szabados is an author and lecturer on genealogy. He has been researching his ancestors since 2000 and has traced ancestors back to the 1600s in New England, Virgina, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and the 1730’s in Poland, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia. He has given numerous presentations to genealogical groups and libraries in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. His mission is to share his passion for Family History with as many people as he can. He is a former board member of Polish Genealogical Society of America, and he is a genealogy volunteer at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Steve also is the genealogy columnist for the Polish American Journal.

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