Monday, November 3, 2014


My mother's entire ancestry is Polish, yet it is also the side of my family that I know the least about.  My mother only has one brother but her mother was one of 10 children and her father was one of 9 children.  You would think that would give me some contacts.

Of course, I was thinking of none of this when I received a friend's request on Facebook at the end of July.  I did my typical thought process -- Does the last name sound familiar?  Did I go to high school with this person?  Is she a fellow UCLA Bruin fan?  Well, all those answers came up "no".  I am happy to report that she was persistent and the next day I learned that we were relatives.  How come there are so many relatives that I don't know about?

It seems that Sally and I share great grandparents -- Charles Stachowiak and Anna Szukalski.  Yes, that is them in the above photo.  Thank you, Sally, for that photo!  My maternal grandfather Leonard Stachowiak was the younger brother of her paternal grandfather Eugene Stachowiak.   An added bonus, was that I got to meet her sister Chris online.  Okay, that has never happened before and I can tell you meeting 2 cousins at once is even better than only meeting one!

So, now are not only Sally, Chris and I friends on Facebook but we have also shared photos and stories.  I don't think I had ever seen a photo of my great grandparents until Sally and Chris shared several with me.  

I have done a ton of genealogical research these past 15 years but the highlights have definitely been finding or more typical in my case "being found" by new cousins, either through Facebook or one of my blogs.


  1. I'm one of your distant cousins too! My grandmother is Helen Stachowiak. She was the youngest daughter of Charles and Anna. The youngest child was Chester. He never married or had any children. Helen married William Wertz and had two boys, William "Bill" Jr. and Paul. Paul is my dad. I've tried to work on my family tree too. You have given me a lot of great additional information. THANK YOU!!!

  2. Stacey, so very happy to meet you! I don't think I ever met your grandmother Helen. I did meet Chester and Clara on several occasions since I grew up in Van Nuys. I have been sort of ignoring my Polish genealogy and focusing more on my German and Irish ancestry. I need to get back to the Polish side. You are so very welcome for any information you might have gotten from my blog. I also have public trees on Ancestry.

  3. I am Stacey Elledge's dad. I can probably wear you out with family anecdotes, i.e. as a boy I used to sit in the sun parlor with Grandma (Anna) and play Chinese checkers with her. I don't participate in Facebook, but you can reach me at I probably am missing it somewhere here, but what is your name? And, are you aware of my first cousin, ret. astronomer Dr. George Preston, who lives in Pasadena?