Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brick Wall Broken!

"Genealogy is a pursuit of hidden knowledge, and success at the end of the search is like the perfect outcome of a mystery murder". -Graham Landrum

It was three years ago when I began searching for the records of my grandfather's family of origin at the Transylvania Public Library in Brevard, NC. After countless hours of research, the mother of Adam T. Siulinski has at last been found one month prior to a planned trip to the city where she raised her family. Bronislawa Podorski Szulinski's obituary was found on Google News Archive which popped up through navigating the Albany State Library website during a late night search at my home in Oakland last weekend. This incredible find will be a point of reference that I can use to find vital documents for my grandfather's family members, and will piece together other documents I have already found to confirm the path of this Polish immigrant family's journey. The source of Mrs. Szulinski's obituary (seen to the left) is the Schenectady Gazette printed on May 14, 1953.

One of the reasons why this find is so significant is because the Szulinski family in Schenectady became disconnected from the newly forming Siulinski family in Portland as far back as 1928 when Adam Siulinski married Ouida Dykeman. Their sons, Adam Jr. and Jack, never got to know this half of their family line. Here is a time that the work of genealogy can open a window (if only for a glimpse) to shed some light on a long forgotten family.

As noted above, the two family names are spelled differently. What has been speculated is that when Adam married outside the traditional faith of the family, a separation occurred thereby cutting off communication for all those years. Or, did Adam just choose to stay out of touch because of other family-related reasons? What is certain is that somewhere along the line, Adam changed his name from Szulinski to Siulinski.
Armed with the facts about Mrs. Szulinski's life, I used another website (fultonhistory) to find the obituaries of Adam's brothers, Walter and Joseph. They both died in middle age, but what of?...Stay tuned. Also, Adam was known to have a sister but she was not named in Mrs. Szulinski's obituary possibly because she was not living at the time. Here is another part to piece together the family that Adam came from.

Over these years, many people have helped me break the brick wall. I would like to formally thank four of them: Jerry McGovern, Marybeth Frederick, Nancy Servin and Michelle LePaule.