You're invited! Come help us celebrate our 25th anniversary with our genealogy roadshow! For both beginners and experienced researchers, this will be a day of fun and learning featuring 4 speakers, one-on-one consultations, and great manned stations.
Speakers and Topics
"Beginning Your Genealogy" - by Alan Horbal
Whether you are a beginner or have been doing research for years, we could all use some guidance on how to further our research. Alan Horbal will go over the steps you don't want to miss in delving into your Polish or Eastern European Research. Bring your notebook and get ready to take notes during this informative and fun session.
Alan Horbal is a long-time genealogist and dedicated teacher of all things genealogy. He is an adjunct professor of genealogy at Williams College. He volunteered at NARA for 15 years and at the Berkshire Atheneum before that for many years as well. He routinely teaches genealogy classes in several cities and towns in Western Massachusetts. Alan has conducted research at the Archives in Poland. He generously provides advice and assistance for people with difficulties in their research.
"Naturalization and Related Records" - by Walter Hickey
This session will present an overview of the content and accessibility of naturalization records, 1790-1906; 1906-ca. 1965; and post-1965. There will also be a presentation of records available from the Genealogy Program of the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS), formerly the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS). This program makes available several series of genealogically important naturalization files.
Walter Hickey recently retired from the National Archives after 25 years, having served at both the Waltham and Pittsfield regional archives. He has been a frequent speaker at genealogical societies and conferences throughout New England on Federal records, including those relating to naturalization and immigration.
"Poland- What's That??" - by Staś Radosz
Situated in Central Europe yet drawn eastward, Poland, as a nation, is not always easy to identify. Individuals searching for their family origins are easily confused as borders shift and regional ethnic identities intermingle. This is a brief introduction to the geography, history and cultural nuances which define Poland.
Staś Radosz is Executive Director and founder of the Polish Center of Discovery and Learning. For many years, he taught a course entitled “Introduction to the Polish People” at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in addition to Polish language. He has also taught at Elms College and local community colleges. For 31 years, he was employed as Slavic Bibliographer and Coordinator for Collection Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Library, where he developed the Slavic and East European collection. Staś has worked in Poland as an interpreter for the US Information Service and has translated for US JPRS and others. He is also a storyteller of traditional Polish legends and tales, which he presents in a way that introduces children and adults to the history and culture of the Polish people.
"Uncover Your Roots in the Lemko Region of Southeast Poland" - by Mike Buryk (via Skype)
This workshop covers historical background on this region, how to research your family history, available archival and online resources and tips on the best way to search for living relatives. It draws from the personal experience of Mike Buryk who has spent the last 35 years researching his own Ukrainian and Lemko family history in southeast Poland and western Ukraine.
Mike has given the workshop for the last three years in various places including at the Lemko Vatra in Ellenville, NY, the Ukrainian Homestead in Lehighton, Pa and the Ukrainian Historical and Educational Center in Somerset, NJ.He has also appeared and presented for the Family Historian TV program “Ukrainian Genealogy” which was aired in September 2012 on Cable TV in central New Jersey.
Mike is a publishing industry executive in New York City with more than 35 years of experience working for various companies, including The New York Times, McGraw-Hill and the IEEE. In his free time, Mike is a writer and speaker whose research focuses on Lemko and Ukrainian genealogy and the history of Ukrainians in the United States. He has a special interest in Schuylkill County, Pa., since his paternal grandparents came from the Lemko region of Poland and settled in the Forestville/Primrose area early in the 20th century.
He has researched and written two articles on local history: “Coal Patch Days” (2011) and “Nicholas Bervinchak: From Slate Picker to Celebrated Pennsylvania Coal Country Artist” (2011) (co-authored with his daughter Alexis). These articles were published both in The Ukrainian Weekly and Schuylkill Living magazine. Another of his earlier articles in The Ukrainian Weekly, “To Find the Missing G: My Trip to the Sanok Lands”, chronicles his 2009 visit to the area of southeastern Poland from which his paternal grandparents emigrated. It is the same area from which many of the Ukrainian Lemkos came to Schuylkill County at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries including the Bervinchak family. He revisited the Lemko Region of Poland again in the summer of 2013 and conducted genealogy research at the Sanok Archives.
Stations/Tables (Available throughout most of the day)
Refreshments and Fun!
Directions to the Polish Center
From Mass Pike (from either East or West)
Take exit # 4, follow signs to I-91, south on I-91 over the Connecticut River, taking the very next exit which is for I-391 which goes north after going under I-91.
Then take the very first exit into Chicopee onto Center St. Take right onto Center St. You will come to a traffic light with CVS on the right and a Shell Gas Station on the left. Proceed a few yards, then take a right onto South St. Follow South St. up to the top of the hill. The Polish Center is on the right.
From I-91 North
Take Exit for I-391 ( not I-291, repeat Not I-291) Then follow directions from the traffic light by the Shell Gas Station and CVS from above.)
Parking is available in the parking lot which is along side of and behind the Polish Center. Additional parking is available slightly farther up along South St.,along side The Elms College Admissions Building (a very large Victorian House actually on Springfield St.). The parking lot is much larger than the Polish Center's.