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PGSA Quarterly Meeting - February 8, 2015, What You Missed!

"The 4th Partition" by Adrian Prawica (Right) and Rafal Muskala (Left)

The screening of the documentary film "The Fourth Partition" (Czwarta Dzielnica) was viewed by over sixty enthusiastic guests and PGSA members at the King’s Hall of Copernicus Center on Sunday afternoon. Narrators in the film included a great cast of knowledgeable Polish historians and scholars such as Dominic Pacyga, Donald Pienkos, James Pula, Victoria Granacki, Rod Sellers, Daniel Pogorzelski, Piotr Domaradzki and Jan Lorys, all familiar with the many aspects of Chicago’s Polonia. Several of the narrators, particularly Dominic Pacyga, made numerous anecdotal references to various Chicago’s Polish Neighborhoods and related their personal experiences. Many in the audience identified with the stories that brought back fond memories. At the conclusion of the screening Director Adrian Pawica and his colleague, Associate Producer, Rafal Muskala answered the many questions from the audience particularly with their motivations for collaborating on this documentary. The audience also wanted to hear the producers' particular perspectives on Chicago’s Polish History having been both been born and reared in Poland. They also gave their perspective as to why this rich history has been relatively unknown in Poland until now.

We have a limited number of "Presentation DVD's"  for sale in our bookstore. $15 ($13.50 for members) + $4 shipping. Presentation DVD


On Friday, September 25, 2015, PGSA will be offering a bus tour of Chicago's Polish South Side "Historic Scenes Through Mobile Means" visiting a few of the oldest Polish parishes in the city along with commercial and industrial sites that drew our ancestors through employment opportunity and helped to place the City of Chicago on the world stage. Historic landmarks, thriving cozy neighborhoods, European cathedral architecture and drive-by highlights of South Chicago, Bridgeport, and Back of the Yards neighborhoods will be featured.

The PGSA 2015 Conference entitled "Research Before and Beyond the Internet" will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the Marriott Chicago Midway Hotel, 6520 South Cicero Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638. Currently, presentations, will include searching three Polish websites whereby vital records/entries are constantly being added in a step-by-step fashion, and dating old photographs instead of leaving them boxed in a closet. Much more to come in the near future. So, save the dates! Registration will begin in spring.

Compendium of Polish Digital Web Sites!


Peruse this directory of 46 domestic and international sites presented as PGSA's first step to inform and build awareness in the ability of our members to access Digitized Polish Vital Records via the internet. In addition, we will strive to mobilize our members to volunteer in the effort to transcribe and / or digitize Polish vital records before they fall victim to the ravages of time and are lost forever.

William H Hoffman on "SKI" Surnames!

Regarding -ski surnames: Sorry I went incommunicado, but I have several deadlines to meet in January and February. When I'm up against one, I have to ignore most other things till I've finished the newsletter or journal or whatever in question. Anyway, Laura Rogowski Lackner asked whether Rogowski means ancestors came from Rogowo. The late Polish expert Kazimierz Rymut said the surname Rogowski appears in Polish records as far back as 1385, and comes from place names such a Rogow, Rogów, and Rogi. So it is likely your ancestor got the name from an association with a place with a name beginning Rog-. The problem is, there are literally dozens of places in Poland with names that fit. From the surname alone, you can't tell which one a given family came from. That's why, even when surname analysis gives you a hint what place name a surname refers to, you still need extensive research into the family history to nail down which of various plausible candidates actually applies in that specific case. Kind of disappointing, I know -- but at least it's still better than having a name like Nowak, which tells you an ancestor was once "the new guy," or Janowicz, which tells you an ancestor was the "son of John"!


Genealogy Fridays – Polish Research Help at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library

PGSA board member Steve Szabados is a genealogy volunteer at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and he will be available for Polish research questions and help on Friday mornings from 9 AM to 12 PM. Whether you are just starting your research or trying to solve a “brick wall,” Steve should be able to help.

Be sure to add the Notebook's email address

Be sure to add the Notebook's email address pgsanotebook@gmail.com to your address book or "safe senders" list as soon as you subscribe to the Notebook so it will be delivered directly to your in box. If you cannot find your monthly issue of the Notebook, be sure to check your "junk mail" or spam box for your email account. If you continue to have difficulty receiving the Notebook, contact your Internet Service Provider about the issue directly

New Membership — Apply and Pay Online

For a new PGSA membership, click on the link to complete an online Membership Application and pay online: Online New Member Application

What's New onThe Website?

Members Only - Rodziny Electronic Collection - New Additions, Fall 2014

We have expanded the collection of Rodzinys in our members only area to include issues from 2009 to 2014. As you know the Rodziny is packed with valuable information, translations and "how to" tips for the new or expert researcher. We will continue to expand this collection as new issues become available.

Polish Immigrants to the Midwest - Migrated to "Members Only"

Jan 2015 Update 347 new records, 41,747 individual records!

This database is updated monthly. The user will find German, Pole, Hungarian, Belgian, Greek and Italian families from a number of states traced as near to their European origins as possible. Many good people have taken the time to send me extensions to the many families identified and have corrected my work when necessary. They are all credited for their contributions and I encourage any user to contribute “new families” and / or correct my work as the spirit moves you. New data may be sent to jamespiech@aol.com for entry. Let me know if you want your name and / or email credited in the record.

Jim Piechorowski PGSA Web Chair

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