This beautiful wedding portrait was taken about 1914 in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, but it took Genealogy Sisters a few years to unravel the names of the people. We are the lucky recipients of wonderful photos of our Polish – American family, but we used to call this album, Who Are These People? Our Polish grandparents, plus our mother, aunts, and uncles had all died before we got smitten by the genealogy bug, so we really didn’t have anyone to pepper with questions. Instead, we pieced together our photos, letters that had escaped the trash bin, obituary cards, and sympathy notes, plus records at archives and through the years we have solved quite a few of our photo mysteries. This lovely old portrait shows on the left the groom, Jan Rozenek (1884-1988), and next to him is his new wife, Sophie Satkiewicz (1895-1987). The smaller man on the right is Maria’s brother, Jan Satkiewicz (1892-1983). Next to him is his future wife, Marya Bogusz (1893-1972), and in front of them is Maria Satkiewicz (1891-1965) who later married Pawel Szmek (1895-1979). The Satkiewicz family had come to the Carnegie area from Bruśnik, Poland and seem to be related to our family from our bapcia (grandmother) Zofia Szczerba Mirota’s side – the Olszewski family.
Here is another photo from that day showing Sophie kneeling down holding a chair wearing her beautiful wedding gown and cap. The Polish ceremony called oczepiny is the rite of passage from the wedding where the bride is truly considered a married woman. If you click on the highlighted word you can read more about the Polish wedding customs, many of which are still used today in Polish-American ceremonies.
After first settling in the Cherry Valley, Washington County area of Pennsylvania the entire Satkiewicz family shown in the top photo, later moved to Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. The family was very close-knit and traveled from the Mid-West back to the East Coast through the years for weddings and reunions with the Wasik and Mirota families. Our family also traveled to Chicago to visit with them. For anyone related to any of the Satkiewicz family, my sister and I would love to hear from you, especially if anyone knows the date of this wedding. Sophie was the Kumoszka (god-mother) of Mary Mirota. We have many other photographs and lots of research that we are very happy to share. Plus, you may have the key to a brick wall for our Polish-American family.
Three books that I have found to be useful in researching our Polish ancestry are: Polish Roots by Rosemary A. Chorzempa; Podhale: – A Companion Guide to the Polish Highlands by Jan Gutt-Mostowy, translated by Maria de Gorgey; and Polish Wedding Customs & Traditions by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab.
Last year, on December 19th, I posted my first Photograph of the Week, and it has been a year of some fantastic genealogical breakthroughs for Genealogy Sisters. My sister, Veronica, will blog about some of our 2012 successes. The most important success is when we find lost cousins, and travel back to the past together. We hope to hear from you!