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  • Starting research on Polish roots

    My Great grandparents John and Mary from Poland have been a mystery after 25 years of research. This year I am resorting to DNA to find my roots. My first tester was my dad's cousin who is the only person who has Mary's mtDNA Results should be in any day of the mtDNA full sequence and from what I read I think I might regret paying for this test. My second tester is a male family member who carries on the surname and I paid for Y67. Results are a month out. Should I upgrade these to FF? Can I join a research project for the discount on testing without results being in? There is no surname project for our surnames. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I am really green at this.

  • #2
    Originally posted by desertrose View Post
    My Great grandparents John and Mary from Poland have been a mystery after 25 years of research. This year I am resorting to DNA to find my roots. My first tester was my dad's cousin who is the only person who has Mary's mtDNA Results should be in any day of the mtDNA full sequence and from what I read I think I might regret paying for this test. My second tester is a male family member who carries on the surname and I paid for Y67. Results are a month out. Should I upgrade these to FF? Can I join a research project for the discount on testing without results being in? There is no surname project for our surnames. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I am really green at this.
    There is no project discount for the Family Finder test.

    However, you may want to order Family Finder for each of you today, since until tomorrow there is a $15 discount (use the discount code 15for15). Although there is an order of importance, that is those who are separated by the least amount of births from your great-grandparents would have more helpful FF results.

    What did your great-grandparents gave as their place of origin when coming to the US ? Or maybe what are results of you analyzing what was written about them . Any hints or clues ? Most likely their names were Jan and Marianna...

    W. (Mr.)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dna View Post
      There is no project discount for the Family Finder test.

      However, you may want to order Family Finder for each of you today, since until tomorrow there is a $15 discount (use the discount code 15for15). Although there is an order of importance, that is those who are separated by the least amount of births from your great-grandparents would have more helpful FF results.

      What did your great-grandparents gave as their place of origin when coming to the US ? Or maybe what are results of you analyzing what was written about them . Any hints or clues ? Most likely their names were Jan and Marianna...

      W. (Mr.)

      Thanks for the discount code. I will upgrade today. John listed Grybow Poland as his birthplace. I understand the Roman Cathloic church burned at the turn of the century. Mary ( I have seen Marrianna) listed both Kanaski Mala and Mszana Dolna as birthplaces. My grandfather was born in Budapest. I want to get the most bang for my buck with these tests. The mtDNA full sequence was done on the only female alive with the mtDNA and she is in her 70's. Should do all future tests as FF?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by desertrose View Post
        My second tester is a male family member who carries on the surname and I paid for Y67. Results are a month out.
        I assume you mean John's surname. You would need a separate Y-DNA test, on a male, to investigate Mary's (maiden) surname.
        Originally posted by desertrose View Post
        Should I upgrade these to FF?
        Your own Family Finder is probably the top priority, but if you can afford FF for your extended family members also, great.
        Originally posted by desertrose View Post
        Can I join a research project for the discount on testing without results being in?
        You can certainly join the Polish Project I administer.

        Only Y-DNA tests have project discounts, as far as I know. Even a new customer can get the project discount by ordering through our project order page.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by desertrose View Post
          [----] John listed Grybow Poland as his birthplace. I understand the Roman Catholic church burned at the turn of the century. [----]
          If he meant Grybów http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grybów, then the local church history does not mention any fire in the 19th century or until the World War II. See either http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parafia...yny_w_Grybowie or http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazylik...iej_w_Grybowie.

          Originally posted by desertrose View Post
          [----] Mary (I have seen Marrianna) listed both Kanaski Mala and Mszana Dolna as birthplaces. My grandfather was born in Budapest. [----]
          It looks like it could have been Kasinka Mała http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasinka_Mała. But the parish there exists only since 1911 http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parafia...nce_Małej (or was erected anywhere from 1911 to 1913, the sources given in Wikipedia are not convincing), so she could have been born in the village Kasinka Mała and baptized in Mszana Dolna. And the record was kept in Mszana Dolna (until the new parish came into existence). Or she could have been born in one the settlements (pol. przysiółki) administratively belonging to the village Kasinka Mała (some are named in the Polish Wikipedia http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasinka...obacz_te.C5.BC Cieże, Gocałki, Grzesiaki, Górna Wieś, Kalety, Ksiki, Kuśnierze) and her baptismal record could have used that settlement name.

          In either case, the old records are unlikely to be kept in the parish, they would be only available in the diocesan archives. However, when dealing with Polish records there is a potential problem..., in September 1945 all the baptismal and marriage church records were taken (in the middle of the night, by force) by the (then communist) Polish government. Often they took all the records. Some were never returned.

          Were you able to get a copy of the records from Hungary?

          Originally posted by desertrose View Post
          [----] I want to get the most bang for my buck with these tests. The mtDNA full sequence was done on the only female alive with the mtDNA and she is in her 70's. Should do all future tests as FF?
          Everything depends on your yet unknown family also testing their DNA, as only then matching DNA can connect you. So excluding one kind of a test might not be wise. But you have to look at the family tree of Jan and Marianna descendants and select:
          • for Y chromosome testing: only Jan's male-only line descendants;
          • for mtDNA testing: only Marianna's mtDNA line, please check mtDNA rules of inheritance (the child in http://www.isogg.org/mtdnapath.htm can be of either sex);
          • for Family Finder testing: any person connected by birth to Jan and Marianna.
          In each test type, selecting person(s) separated from Jan and Marianna by the least number of births is the best choice. However, for the Family Finder selecting such person(s) is more critical since with each generation shared DNA is only (approximately) half... See http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_statistics. So..., yes you can say that FF only from now on. A good researcher might select the second person(s) to test for mtDNA and Y-DNA just to double check the results, but that is not the most bang for my buck scenario .

          Good luck!

          W. (Mr.)

          P.S. The baptismal records (there) at that time were written in Latin. So you would see Ioannes or Joannes (actually since it was Latin not even that...). Marianna has an alternative spelling as Maryanna, until 1930s.

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          • #6
            Thank you for the responses. Myself and another researcher have been unable to locate any documents in Poland for this couple for 25 years. Part of the problem is the language barrier. I will definitely be joining the Polish Group and adding my surnames Gucwa and Walanczyk. We do not have any siblings for John and Mary. Both were born in the 1870's. Being new to DNA research I am not sure if the one female grandchild who carries the mtDNA for Mary should be checked for YDNA, too. I did upgrade both the mtDNA cousin and the paternal YDNA brother to FF yesterday using the discount code.

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            • #7
              As to the question on the Y-DNA test and the mtDNA full sequence test, you may be lucky and have people of recent genealogical relationship to you also test. Hopefully they will also have taken the FF test.

              I did the FF test and the full sequence mtDNA test. Two of my exact matches on the mtDNA test also took the FF test. Though we match in our mitochondrial DNA, we don't in our FF autosomal DNA. The mtDNA test can show individuals who match from an ancestor that is thousands of years in the past. I do hope you have better luck with the mtDNA.

              My brother did the Y-DNA and at 67 markers he is matching to many people whose ancesters come from Ireland, but none that share the same surname. And he has no exact matches at 67 markers just 4 steps or more away.

              I do, however, have over a hundred pages of FF matches, some that I've even managed to attach to individuals in my tree. For genealogy the FF works has so far worked the best for me.

              Y-DNA and mtDNA work very well for matching with people who you already suspect are from your family line. The matching DNA acts as a confirmation. For finding unknown relatives, it's a bit more like a fishing trip, sometimes the fish are there but sometimes the pond is empty.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by keigh View Post
                [----] For genealogy the FF works has so far worked the best for me.

                Y-DNA and mtDNA work very well for matching with people who you already suspect are from your family line. The matching DNA acts as a confirmation. For finding unknown relatives, it's a bit more like a fishing trip, sometimes the fish are there but sometimes the pond is empty.
                Just two general comments.

                You do not have the tree to which you can attach any matches, as your tree starts with Marianna and Jan. Thus in your case, any test resulting in positive matches would only point you towards a potential family, and you depend on them having either Marianna or Jan in their tree.

                Keigh's pond analogy is a very good one. It was just discussed in the forum this month that to people in the US, a village might have a different meaning, than to the continental Europeans. I know nothing about your family, but let's suppose that a hypothetical Polish family comes in the early 20th century to the US. Quite likely they would go to Chicago or the surrounding area. Comes the 21st century, their descendants could live in a village of Deerfield. Yes, Deerfield is a village, that happens to be headquarters of Walgreens, Baxter Healthcare, Fortune Brands, and others... People from such a village might be very keen on genealogy and DNA testing, while on the other hand Polish villagers might be preoccupied with hands-on agriculture. You would have to count on those who migrated to cities that they want to find their long lost family who migrated to America long, long time ago...

                W. (Mr.)

                P.S.
                Of course, there are urbanized villages in Poland and Europe . However, thanks to the Homestead Acts, in general an American farmer does not live in a village, but a European farmer quite often does.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by desertrose View Post
                  Thank you for the responses. Myself and another researcher have been unable to locate any documents in Poland for this couple for 25 years. Part of the problem is the language barrier. I will definitely be joining the Polish Group and adding my surnames Gucwa and Walanczyk. We do not have any siblings for John and Mary. Both were born in the 1870's. Being new to DNA research I am not sure if the one female grandchild who carries the mtDNA for Mary should be checked for YDNA, too. I did upgrade both the mtDNA cousin and the paternal YDNA brother to FF yesterday using the discount code.
                  Walanczyk? There are people in Poland with the last name Walańczyk, but that is a rather very rare last name. Maybe a Hungarian or German influence on spelling. I would also try Wolańczyk or Walenczyk or Waleńczyk. Privacy laws are different in the European Union than in the US, but in Poland information about deceased is not protected. There is a small cemetery in Kasinka Mała (at least the Street View implies that), anybody can go there and take the pictures of all the gravestones. I doubt that there are many graves older than 50 years (graves are in general for 25 years in Poland), but the important information to gather would be the spelling of the names.

                  Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie (Polish National Archive in Cracow), actually its department in Nowy Sącz, appears to have non-digitized records from the parish in Mszana Dolna for the years 1890-1900. Again, these could be used to infer the prevailing spelling or confirm Walańczyk. http://baza.archiwa.gov.pl/sezam/sez...poly_id=107191

                  You did not explicitly confirm that, so I will ask whether actual queries where done in Archiwum Kurii Metropolitalnej w Krakowie (Archdiocese of Kraków Archives) to verify in the index that there are no records from Mszana Dolna parish for the years 1800-1900? As far as I understand it, only in-person queries and the number of seats is limited...

                  Also, when posting on Internet you may want to spell their names as Marianna Walańczyk and Jan Gucwa, as then those researching Walańczyk or Gucwa family trees have a chance of finding them. Or

                  Marianna Walańczyk, or possibly Marianna Wolańczyk, or Marianna Walenczyk, or Marianna Waleńczyk.

                  In genealogical research, using name at birth is better both for females and males. Some local cultural customs might dictate that on the family tree poster she would only be displayed as Mrs. John Gucwa (and yes, I am fully aware that her bank might have been sending letters to her addressed exactly like that), but that is just a difference between the genealogical research and result presentation. P.S. When talking about her DNA she is Marianna Walańczyk

                  W. (Mr.)

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