Honey produced in Poland has always been esteemed as a type of liquid gold. Historically, many bee colonies were under control of the royal landowners. Stealing honey from their estates was often met with death on the gallows. Destroying an entire colony of bees, even if they belonged to the accused, resulted in an unimaginable punishment: evisceration. The person would “be handed over to the executioner, who shall take out the entrails and wind them round the tree in which the bees were willfully destroyed and shall afterwards hang him on the same tree.”
A Polish beekeeper from 1870
I decided to venture out into the world of magazine and journal publications. The New England Historical Society has just published an article I wrote about a scoundrel ancestor, Sir George Downing. Please check it out!
Monday, April 24, 2017 is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
I am in the process of completing the application for two Polish people to posthumously receive the “Righteous Among the Nations” award from Yad Yeshem in Israel. This distinction is awarded to gentiles who assisted Jews during the Holocaust. Please read the story and about the ways you can assist so the application and testimony would be favorably received by the committee. Maybe next year in Jerusalem?
A Tree is Planted in Israel for Each Recipient of the Award
The research for my next historical novel led me to a little-known story about a Catholic priest and a widow only known as “Pani Kotulova.” The details of their kindness and bravery took place in the small town of Kolbuszowa in 1942. Father Antoni Dunajecki, the priest from the town’s church and Pani (Mrs.) Kotulova” are the two rescuers of Norman Salsitz, a young Jewish man. Salsitz wrote about these courageous people in his remarkable book “A Jewish Boyhood in Poland: Remembering Kolbuszowa.”
As genealogists and family historians, we often ponder why our ancestors didn’t tell us much about their past or the old country. Our lament as grandchildren is we neglected to ask our grandparents and parents questions about which we now care so deeply.
In my senior years, I now have a laundry list of questions that should have been asked. What were the reasons you came to America, what was life like in your village, how much schooling did you have, what did your house look like? etc. Oh, if we could only have them in our lives for just a week so that we could uncover all the mysteries and stories that died with them.
I “get it” now. If there is blame to be placed, it likely is on my shoulders. It wasn’t until I became an empty nester that I began to genuinely care about my heritage. My interests centered on me during my younger years, a common theme of those interested in family history. We probably sat on the couch in our grandparents’ living rooms just waiting to go home. Continue reading
This post is for all of my friends who have been impressed with the family history books I have written using Create Space through Amazon.com. It costs nothing to put your book on Amazon, although of course there is a charge if someone wants to buy it. This post is taken from my book “Travel Back to Your Roots”, also available on Amazon. Enjoy!
Three examples of the covers of my family history books.
Writing a Family History Book
Writing a family history or travel memory book is an easy project for almost anyone. Some companies offer self-publishing options for the novice. The final product is a wonderful keepsake and so much more efficient and less expensive than a traditional scrapbook. The only requirements to produce a book that will impress your family and friends are basic word processing skills and some knowledge of digital imaging (uploading and inserting photos, cropping, etc.)
Recent Additions and Website Reconstruction
I finally took the time to clean up and organize my website. The menu is now a bit clearer since this site has many varied topics of interest.
The Redemption of Mehitabel Braybrooke contains “all things Puritan” relating to Mehitabel and my upcoming historical novel to be published by Heritage Beacon in March 2018.
The History of Niwiska and Anna Grabiec’s Letters contain the fascinating history of this Polish village and one of its heroines during WWII, Anna Grabiec.
The ABC’s of Crime and Punishment in Puritan Times provides details on that topic and will be continued very soon.
Europe is an area of interest for those seeking information on Poland and Sweden, although I will branch out to England, German, Spain, Iceland, Denmark and Italy in the future.
Please sign up to follow my site. I truly appreciate all of my readers from the USA, Canada, Australia, Poland, Ukraine, Brazil, India, Ireland and more! Thank you.