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Brick wall for Zaworski family

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Oral history: Jadwiga Sodrzejewski (whew!) and Ludwik Zaworski immigrated with their parents from Poland to Sao Paolo, Brazil as "infants," grew up together, married, had children, Ed and Frances, and THEN emigrated out of Brazil to Chicago in America in the first decade of the 1900s. (Brazil was offering free land and seeds and was trying to build up the population in the early 1900s.)

Can't find their ship record going out of Brazil ports, (probably Santos, Brazil--big port) and therefore cannot find out where they came from in Poland. Brazil speaks Portuguese mainly, and not much English. Tried to read the Portuguese paragraph-style marriages in the LDS records for St. Andre and Santos, areas in which an aunt says they lived, but no luck. (Handwriting, vocabulary, etc.)

Any ideas? I am going to buy a Portuguese CD learning set, but do not want to go to Brazil yet, as one has to get several immunizations--Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis B & C, etc., and take meds against Malaria. Would like to follow some other genealogy paths until Brazil (especially Sao Paolo) gets its diseases under control.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I might hold off on the Portuguese CD's unless you wanted to learn the language anyway. I suspect the most challenging part will be deciphering the handwriting, once you've done that just paste it into Google Translate or something along those lines. The translations won't be perfect, but should be close enough for your purposes. It might help slightly with deciphering the handwriting if you knew Portuguese, but probably not enough so to make it worth the time, effort, money spent on the CD's. I'm not familiar with the paragraph-style marriage records you refer to, but I expect there are a lot of words that will show up in a lot of them since they're all about marriages, so once you spend some time deciphering one of them, others may become easier.

If your main objective is to find out where they came from in Poland, your best bet will probably be to look for the ship records from when they first emigrated to Brazil--those would be the ones that would be most likely to list a location within Poland (no guarantees there either--I've seen plenty of ship records that only list the country of origin and nothing more detailed). The ship records for the trip from Brazil to the US might state that they're Polish but I think it's highly unlikely they'd list where in Poland they were from I also think the marriage records are unlikely to list a specific location within Poland.

Actually though, what I'd probably do first if I were you is try to find some records from the time of their death. Since that would be more recent than their emigration, and was in the US where it's easier to find decent records (not to mention the records would be in English), that seems like the best/easiest place to start. I'd order copies of their death certificates (I think it's highly likely that Illinois had mandated death certificates at the state level by the time they died, although I don't have ancestors from IL so I don't know that for sure). On the death certificates, they typically ask for the person's place of birth (as well as their parents' names and the parents' place of birth). This info isn't always filled in (or isn't always accurate) since the person giving the information was typically one of the children, so they may or may not have know where their parents/grandparents were born (or they might just say "Poland" rather than a specific location) but since it should be an easy record to get your hands on it's definitely worth looking. I would also see if you can search Chicago papers from around the time of their deaths and see if there was an obituary--there again if someone from the family knew exactly where they were born, they might mention the city in Poland where they came from originally.

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