Friday, March 25, 2011

back to the old country

So it's been a while since I wrote & I figured I should get everyone updated on what I've been up to.  I ordered some microfilm records from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City and they showed up last week at the my local library.  Now if you've never viewed microfilms before, let me just start off by telling you it's a pain.  It's not like modern day searches where you type in whatever it may be you're looking for.  You literally have to go page by page to find what you need, so if you have no dates to reference you're in for one hell of a ride.  Now through some previous records I've found from my great-great-grandfather Andrew Panfil, I know that he was born in Gniewkowo, Poland.  His United States Naturalization Petition paperwork states he was born October 18th, 1867.  About a month ago I ordered his death certificate from Cook County and it lists his father's name as Valentine & the mother to be unknown.  Now with records that were not filled out by the person who they're about, which obviously you can't fill out your own death certificate, I'm always a little cautious of the validity of the information.  I kept the name in the back of my mind & decided not to completely rule it out.

I arrived at the library hoping I could find any indication of Andrew, his wife Elizabeth & their 3 Polish born children Stanley, Pearl & Joseph.  What I left with was no information on Elizabeth or the 3 kids, but information on Andrew, his parents & at least 2 siblings.  I never expected to be so excited & moved by something as simple as Polish baptismal records from the 1860's written in Latin.  Luckily I knew Andrew's birth date so finding him was a simpler task than I had at first imagined.

This may not be the easiest to read but this basically shows Andrew being born on October 18, 1867 and baptized on the 27th.  His parents are Valentine Panfil & Victoria Wiensiewska.  What I decided to do from there is look back a little before Andrew and see if there were any other baptismal listings with Valentine & Victoria listed as the parents.  To my surprise I found 2 (at least at the moment).  A Josephus born February 18, 1862 & a Josepha born July 4, 1863.  I was so excited to find some relatives of Andrew because up until now I had no idea who came before him & how many siblings he had.  Right now I know he has two, and I'm excited to go back to the library & try to find more baptismal records for siblings, and maybe, if I dig far enough, some baptismal records for his parents too.

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