Annie: Unless you recognize some of the names and information in my April posting, there may or may not be a connection between the Pawelczyk's of Chicago and your father.
I am a volunteer with the Polish Genealogical Society of America (www.pgsa.org) and earlier this year the PGSA received a letter from a Pawelczyk living in Poland who was trying to learn what may have happened to his grandfather's family after they emigrated to the U.S. (Chicago area) sometime prior to WWI.
The fact that Mr. Pawelczyk knew that his grandfather's brother came to Chicago and knew the name of their parents made this search not as impossible as it could have been.
The information in my posting was found on the Internet, on the PGSA web site and with one trip to the LDS FHL...this was rare! With my posting, I was trying to find any descendats of the Pawelczyk family. I didn't succeed, but I did receive a reply to letters I forwarded to Pawelczyk's living in the Chicago area (south suburbs only). Success! I learned that two of Leon Pawelczyk's children were living in the area and that his family had never been able to learn anything about him and his life in Poland.
I was able to connect the Pawelczyk family here in the Chicago area with the Pawelczyk's in Poland.
The fact that Leon Pawelczyk came to Chicago, married and lived in Chicago made the research just a little easier. The PGSA has a database of all marriages in Polish parishes prior to 1915, which helped.
To learn about your father's family, you will need to gather and document as much information as possible. Was your father born here in the U.S. or in Poland?
If he was born in Poland, when? Also when did he come to the U.S.? Did he marry in the U.S. or in Poland?
If he was born in the U.S., when did his parents come to the U.S.? So you know if they were married in the U.S. or in Poland?
Although census records were not intended for genealogical research, they hold clues to when our ancestors came to the U.S., if they were naturalized, etc.
It is difficult for me to tell you where to begin your research without knowing some of the answers to the questions above. Unfortunately, unless you subscribe to one of the many genealogical websites, you will need to research some of the records at a LDS FHL....and this is not difficult.
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