Pilgrim's Progress

Trip Start Apr 28, 2010
Trip End Jul 08, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hotel Ibis, Czestochowa

Flag of Poland  , Silesian Voivodeship,
Friday, June 11, 2010

Today we went on our own pilgrimage of sorts but in a much lower key than the ones that take place in Czestochowa. We rode the short distance to Rędziny, a goal of mine now for a very long time. I had a number of expectations about what the town would be like & obviously some hopes about what I might find.

We never knew much about our father's life before he came to Australia shortly after the war. It was not a topic that was spoken of & unfortunately it wasn't a topic any of us children ever really thought to ask about.

My family history research only revealed a couple of years ago that our grandfather died as recently as the early 1980's. Until then I had assumed he was long dead & any other family members too.

Riding into town, our first stop was the church & cemetary. This was unfortunatley the most likely place to find any relatives. Research had revealed that no-one of our family name still resided in Rędziny.
It was exciting to find our grandparent's grave. Edward & Maria Lukas. Maria died during the war. Dad said she died in hospital & he thought it had something to do with the Nazis.
His father remarried & not surprisingly Dad says he didn't like his step mother.
Interestingly Edward was buried with his first wife Maria. Not sure if this is a convention among catholics or not.

We kept searching the cemetary in case there was any other family members to find. Amazingly I found the grave of an uncle, Josef, who died in 1969. He would have been Edward's brother.
And then we found Felicja's grave, dad's step mother. Like Edward, she was buried with someone else but the stone was too worn to be able to tell.

Having exhausted the cemetary, we then headed for the address that I had for Edward & Felicja at the time of their deaths. Unfortunately the house is no longer there but there were a few old houses in the area that are probably something like the old family home may have been. Dad's family had a small farm of a couple of acres. His father worked in a super phosphate factory as a chemist & an aunt & uncle helped out on the farm.

It sounded like a tough existence & from the look of the town today, not a lot has changed. A poor village on the edge of a city also doing it tough.

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Jaala on

Caught up some more now! its 3:49am on... saturday, my days hav gone blurry? I just got home from an exciting night at work watching mexico v south africa in the real football! getting exciting. Planning on doing the 4am trip down to work to watch more football excellence monday morning! see mum and dad, im being multicultural too! :-)
looks like tracking down your family wasnt too difficult mum. Some good pics to add to your bits!
Good to hear youre getting to see enough multicoloured nuns to see you through the trip dad, I know its been a long time since I... I've never seen a nun.. of any colour...
I dont see why mum's feeling shame about your attempts at european languages dad, everyone knows people prefer you to just have a crack at it no matter how clever you are. Like Ricky Gervais said, "You dont need to speak another language if you're english, just talk a bit louder, and if they still dont understand, smash the place up, secure in the knowledge that you tried your best."

phil on

great to hear of your adventures into family history Di. It sounds fascinating to find out about the places your family lived in. Haven't visited the blog for ages only just coming good after virus now. Mark and I are practicing tonight so we are not too embarrassed when you arrive home dave and we are not up to your standard. Presuming bikes have been travelling well. cheers phil

frances on

The church should have oodles of records for you di,if they weren't destroyed in the war

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