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I have been researching my own roots, too. I work on 8 great grandparents' lines and their ancestors and descendants. Below you can see the families of the 4th generation level with whom my research began. The menu in this section will take you to family trees which have been determined so far. As you can see there are more family names in the menu than listed below. The most successful searches have been so far on the Pieniążek family (the earliest ancestral date - 1708 - was reached with the Pieniążek line), Szaniawskis and Rychliks. Last year's biggest success was the identification of the direct line ancestors from the Lipiński family. They came from the province of Mazovia where it was typical for the people in the past to move around and not stay in one place which makes any research in this vast area very challenging. Also unexpectedly descendants of unknown relatives (collaterals at the level of great grandparents) from both sides of the Atlantic connected with me and contributed to writing new chapters on the family history.

I also tested my mother's and father's mt-DNA and both have been determined to belong to the haplogroup J (with variations). I also tested Rychlik Y-DNA and so far it has been determined to belong to the haplogroup I1c. All DNA tests have been done through the National Geographic Genographic Project and first results became available in July and August 2009.

maternal great grandparents:

Marcelli Szaniawski b: 4 Jun 1860 in Kotarwice (par. Radom), d: 1912 in Radom
+Feliksa Bieniek b: 15 Mar 1868 in Janiszew (par. Radom), d: 1956 in Radom

Antonina Kaleńska (later became Kalińska) b: 30 Aug 1874 in Gilino (par. Bielsk), d: 24 Jun 1961 in Zawiercie
+Adam Skwark (later became Skwarek) b: 23 Feb 1869 in Zawiercie (par. Kromołów), d: 8 Apr 1934 in Zawiercie

paternal great grandparents:

Stanisław Franciszek Rychlik b: 17 Sep 1866 in Wielgie Grabówiec (par. Stoczek Węgrowski), d: 19 Feb 1948 in Majdan (par. Łochów)
+Apolonia Borowa b: 5 Feb 1880 in Wielgie Grabówiec (par. Stoczek Węgrowski); d: 6 Dec 1917

Jan Dołecki b: abt 1867 so far not known where, d: bet est. 1910-1914 prob. somewhere in Pennsylvania (not found in Pittsburgh), U.S.A.
+Konstancja Lipińska b: 4 Apr 1864 in Gutkowo, RC Łopacin; d: 29 May 1942 in Warszawa

Of all the family names in my many family trees the oldest so far is the family name Pieniążek* which for the first time appears in the written sources in a royal document from 1336 (please see a separate article on the Pieniążek family).

Second oldest ancestral family name is Rychlik. It appears in the written sources in 1429*. One family story has it that my Rychliks came from Bohemia but so far it has not been confirmed - mainly because the research is still underway and has not reached early 18th century or even earlier times. However, some family members appear in records as colonists which means at least that they came from somewhere else to settle around Stoczek Węgrowski. Many Rychliks who have been contacted during the research have their roots in Biskowice near Lviv (today's Ukraine) but detailed comparative information was never provided - mainly, it is believed, due to the fact that the research into Rychliks of Biskowice back in time was not carried out - and hence so far it is not possible to establish any connection between these two very different and distant locations for the same family name.

Family trees presented in this section show 8 years of research into all these families. Work is still in progress and as all genealogists know there is no end in view.

* Zofia Kowalik-Kaleta, Leonarda Dacewicz, Beata Raszewska-Żurek, Słownik najstarszych nazwisk polskich [Dictionary of the oldest Polish family names], vol. I (Warsaw, Poland: Instytut Slawistyki PAN Fundacja Slawistyczna [Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences the Slavonic Foundation], 2007) [translation of the title by Grażyna Rychlik and may differ from official translation used by the publisher and authors]

Aleksandra Chwatow

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