The second step of the research process is talking to family members about your subject. If you are brand new to genealogy, you will want to interview as many family members as possible, starting with the oldest (I know this sounds morbid, but these are the people who have the most information about past generations and who will likely become a past generation first). Additionally, no one wants to replicate another’s research, as this would be a waste of both time and money, so by taking the time to speak to your relatives and do a cursory online search (step 3), you will limit this.
Talking to the Family
For this project, the only person I know to speak to is my great aunt Dottie. She has done a lot of research on the Acquard family and is where I received the information on the Karpinski’s. The information I received via email was:
“Here's the info I have on your great-grandmothers (Stella Karpinski Acquard) mother and father.
Francis (Francixaek) Karpinski (Karpinska) born September 16, 1880 in Poland and Died May 22, 1943 married to Josephine (Zozefa) Szydlik who was born September 26, 1886 in Poland and died April 4, 1973 in Warsaw NY. Both are buyed[sic] in St. Joseph's cemetery on Rt. 16 in Holland NY. There headstone reads S.P. Mama Josefa 1886-1973 and S.P. Ojciec Franciszek 1880-1943 Karpinska. He died of cancer and she died of asthma. He had a brother Stephen. I do not know who his parents were. Hopefully, you can find some information on him.
Josephine Szydlik Karpinski's parents were Thomas & Barbara Szydlik. I do not have any other info on them.
Josephine had 2 sisters that I know of Stepania Szydlik who married with last name Stankiewicz. No first name known. Her other sister Apolania born in 1892 in Poland and married with last name Kaczanowski. She died January 4, 1963 in North Collins NY.
In 1987 I received a letter from Apolonio Stankiewicz
address: ulico.Wojsko, Polskiego 37/20; 77-100 Bytow; woj. Stupsk. She is a cousin that used to write to my Mom. However, she writes in Polish and I can't read or write it so I had a terrible time communicating with her. I also have an name and address for Barbara Stelmaszczyk, ul. Krabowska 14; 42-600 Tarnowskie Gory; Polska . I have a picture of a girl from 1957 with the name Picowszs Kaminia.
Good Luck. Not sure if any of these people are alive but their children or grandchildren should be.”
One email and I have a lot more information. Things to look into:
- Visiting the cemetery in Holland next time I am visiting Buffalo to see the gravestone mentioned. I can also see what info the cemetery has on the family.
- Josephine’s sister’s first and married names and some of their children’s names
- Francis’s brother’s name
- More spellings of first and last names. Need to look at a Polish genealogy book for some standards.
- Addresses in Poland. Finding hometowns in the ancestral country can be difficult, this should help.
Our next step will be a cursory search of this family online tomorrow.