Dziurzynski Swalga Family Reunion

18 August 1988

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Dziurzynski Swalga Family Reunion - Cousins meet at reunion in quest for their...
Cousins meet at reunion in quest for their ancestry By JUNE VATTER Gazette Staff Assistant SALTSBURG — Six years ago, Paulette Busi Koser returned to Saltsburg following an absence from her hometown of seven years. During those years she had developed a strong urge to learn about her ancestry. She began her quest by forwarding questionnaires to as many relatives as she could locate addresses for. Her efforts did not disappoint her, and the information she gathered was compiled and included in a booklet to be distributed at the Michael and Pauline Dziurzynski Swal- ga Descendants Reunion as her way of assuring that her children, her neices and nephews and cousins, and all future generations would know and appreciate their heritage. Victoria Swalga Busi, Paulette's mother, had corresponded with Victoria's uncle, John Dziurzynski of England, as far back as 1965 and had received one reply. Mr. Dziurzynski, the letter noted, was given Victoria's address by a nephew in France, who was the son of Karol Dziurzynski. (John and Karoi were Pauline Dziurzynski Swalga's brothers.) In 1982 Paulette wrote a letter to her great-uncle John in England, but the letter was returned with the notation "House Demolished." Paulette's family was convinced that their search for a connection with relatives in Europe was terminated but, in October 1986, a letter arrived at the Clarksburg post office adressed to Michael Czwaiga (the original spelling of Swalga), Yselin (Iseiin), Indiana Co., PA, America. It had gone to the state of Indiana, and after a month's time, had made its way to Clarksburg. The postmaster decided that it might well go to Walter Swalga of the Clarksburg area. His educated guess was correct as Walter was the addressee's son. He brought the letter to Paulette, his neice, the family's historian. The welcomed piece of mail was written by Thadee Dziurzynski, Karol's son, of France. Thadee ws going through personal papers of his father who had died 10 years earlier. He had found the address he used on his letter among these papers and had taken a chance on writing in the hope of making a connection with his American relatives, knowing only that his father had a sister here who was married to Michael Czwalga( Swalga). Thadee's search for a record of his ancestry led him to hire a genealogist who had determined that his uncle John, whom Paulette had attempted to correspond with in 1982, had died in 1980. Paulette had her mother's cousin's letter translated, and thus began a strong bond that would produce many letters back and forth for the next year and a half. This led to an emotional and joyous meeting on July 21, when Thadee Dziurzynski stepped from the plane that brough him to America in time to attend the Dziurzynski-Swalga Family Reunion two days later at the Nowrytown Sportsmen's Club, about two miles away from Iseiin where Michael Swalga and his young bride, Pauline, went to housekeeping and where they raised their children. Thadee, who will be 62 in September, and his wife, Suzanne, live in Croix, France. They have a son, Patrick, 38. Croix is near Thadee's birthplace. Paulette said, "He got off the plane not knowing what to expect, not knowing his family here in America until almost two years ago. He speaks some English and is communicating better than was thought." "It is because of the Lord and the post office's efforts that the Dziur- zinski-Swalga family is reunited," said a jubilant Paulette, vividly recalling the letter of late 1986 addressed to Yselin, Indiana Co. Thadee is a retired postal worker. Paulette Koser is a U.S. postal employee at the Saltsburg post office. The welcomed visitor from France returned to his homeland on Aug. 14. He plans to continue the work that he and Paulette have started by corresponding with other family members in Poland. Meanwhile, his American cousins are hoping that when the next family reunion occurs in 1990, both Thadee and some family members from Po- land will be able to attend. The two cousins' combined efforts have gleaned much valuable information on their heritage, including the recording of the birth of Pauline Dziurzynski as found in the records of the old family church in Poland. The records survived even though the building was burned by the Nazis. Paulette Koser's search for her roots is far from over as she has received some letters from her grandfather Swalga's side of the family. Pauline Dziurzynski was 10 years old when she last saw her family in Poland. She died without having her wish fulfilled to see her family again, a desire that she had relayed to her children many times over the years. "Who could imagine that 81 years later her children would reunite with her family?" said her excited granddaughter Paulette. Pauline Dziurzynski and Michael Swalga had 10 children, five of whom are still living: Frank Swalga, Francis Drake, Ignatius Swalga, Josephine Musick and Victoria Busi. The family reunion was a very special one this year, but there was one note of sadness that accompanied it. Walter Swalga, Paulette's uncle who received the original letter from France in October 1986, died on July 8, just two weeks before Thadee's arrival. A family spokesperson said, "He was trying so hard to live just a little longer so that he could meet his cousin." Meeting for the first time at a family reunion, these two cousins, Paulette Kosar from Saltsburg and Thadee Dziurzynski of Croix, France, are working on their family tree. (Vatter photo)

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  1. Indiana Gazette,
  2. 07 Nov 1997, Fri,
  3. Page 25

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  • Dziurzynski Swalga Family Reunion — 18 August 1988

    Stephen Danko – 29 Nov 2012