It’s been a while since I updated my research status. Since the last update I’ve really not been able to get any more information. I’ll have to go back and review what I’ve accumulated so far and pick up where I left off. I also need to go back to Arolsen Archives- International Center and see if I can find additional information.
I’ve pretty much concluded the review of the data I received previously from Arolsen pertaining to my father. I have a fairly good understanding of my father’s timeline in Germany from 1942 to 1950. I know that he was taken from his home in Lutowiska, Ukraine to Germany in 1942 as forced labor. Up until the end of the war my father worked as a farm hand. Then in Ulm, Germany my father was a cobbler (shoemaker) until he and the family emigrated to the US.
I may need to hire a professional genealogical researcher located in Ukraine to physically go to the archives and located my father’s vital records. But I need to get additional information as to which archives and which specific records. I also need to properly vet prospective researchers before I hire them. If anyone has any input or ideas about this I’d appreciate hearing from you.
In any genealogy research one thing is always consistent. Waiting, We do spend a lot of time waiting. When I posted previously that I had received some documentation about my parents while they were living in Ulm, Germany and that information stated that the labor camp they were interred at was not in Ulm, I ended up e-mailing a couple of other people to see if they could give me information about the labor camps around the Sulmingen area of Germany.
Well, that is the point at which I find myself…waiting. Waiting to hear back about my inquiry. Waiting because I don’t know if they have put my inquiry in their queue for researching or did they just discard and ignore it. Will I hear back from them in the next few days, next few weeks, next few months, or longer? The worse part of waiting is not knowing.
I also submitted a research request to the International Tracing Service for my father and a Micola Iwaniw. I included Micola because my father had a brother by that name and according to information from my father he was born in 1910, just like the Micola shown in the ITS records. Could this be the long lost brother that my father said they lost touch with during the war? Because there was little detail from the online record I had to request the hardcopy in order to see what other information can be found there. Again, waiting.
Previously I posted my discovery of my family’s information on the passenger list of the Blatchford that brought them to America from Germany. As I stated before, hearsay is good but documentation is gold. I also had come across church records from my father’s village in present day Poland before and still need to visually scan those microfilmed records.
Well, now I’ve found out about a web site that has digitized the records and lists from Displaced Person Camps in Germany from after World War II. The web site is called International Tracing Service and pertains to the people who were in Nazi concentration camps, labor camps, and ghettos. My parents met while they were interned in a labor camp in Ulm, Germany. I’m hoping to find some information about my family on this site. Otherwise, I’d have to write to someone in Germany to see if I could locate any records. To that point, I heard from someone on another genealogy group that suggested that I check out another person’s web site, Olga Kaczmar’s genealogy site. I was informed that Olga’s site had a lot of information on gathering information from Germany. I’ve added that to my To-Do list.
The Service is still adding to their digitized collection so if I don’t find anything now I’ll have to come back. I use Evernote to keep track of these web sites and articles that I find useful and may want to refer back to in the future. And when I get a chance, I’ll update the links found on the right sidebar.
In the last few days I have been busy updating my family research files and reviewing my information from previous research efforts. I’ve also spent time locating new sources of information and updating my current list of genealogy web sites. I’m still in the process of reviewing/perusing Cyndi’s List for new sources that may be of help to me.
As I stated here before, I am the first generation of my core family to be born in the US so that means that no documentation pertaining to my ancestors exist anywhere in the US. I have had to conduct my research on a more global level. That activity kept me busy most of the time.
My research in that area was twofold. One, I wanted to locate information about the Archives in Ukraine and the process on acquiring documentation on my ancestors. I had limited success in this area. I located the website for the Archives of Ukraine and subsequently the web site for the regional State Archives of Lviv. My father was born in the village of Lutowiska, which now located in present day Poland. My father was born in the village when it was still part of Ukraine, prior to the end of WWII. In 1951 there was an exchange of territories between Poland and the then USSR. It was at this time that my father’s family was moved from their village to Eastern Ukraine. I don’t know if the records were moved with the families, destroyed, or moved to Moscow. This may be a long and drawn out effort.
Second, while looking through my research notes I couldn’t locate the information on the ship that transported my father, mother, and sister to New York. I couldn’t retrace my steps because the name of the ship had slipped out of my memory (I finally remembered the name as the Blanchford). I needed the name of the ship in order to research which port my family left Europe from. The natural presumption would be Hamburg, but actually they sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany.
This all leads to my being able to provide as much information as possible in order to acquire the proper documents to help me research my family.
Another task on my to-do list is to write to the Social Security Administration and request a copy of my father’s SS-5 (his application for a Social Security number) which will give me the names of his father and mother. This can then be used to confirm and validate the information that I have.
So, if anyone has any information or directions to help me with my research I would appreciate hearing from you. Use the Contact link at the top of this page.