My Ancestors in History: This Day in History

I though it would be a fun and interesting exercise to explore my ancestors by looking at key historical events that happened during their lifetimes. History does shape us: larger political, social, religious, and economic events affect people. Through knowing a bit of what was happening in our ancestor's lives, we can imagine what their lives may have been like.

I hope to create mini-profiles of relatives in my family tree each month throughout 2021, targeting 10 to 15 individuals per month. I'll choose these individuals based on their date of birth. These profiles will contain the ancestor's name, dates and places of birth and death, and names of their parents as well as the name of spouses. I will define how I am related to the individual. Each profile will have a short list of four to six historical events that have happened during their lifetimes.

This gives me the opportunity to focus in on family members who may not be linear--parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. I can focus in on distant cousins, great aunts and great uncles, perhaps an individual who married a blood relative. These individuals are often great sources to provide more context to our family lines. Maybe a cousin's husband served in the military during a critical time. Maybe an grand aunt lost her US citizenship because she married an alien (before 1920). Maybe a great-grandfather participated in a labor strike. Information like this gives context and meaning to an ancestor's life. We learn their stories.

I hope to put my family's history into the larger context of history. What motivated them to come to the US? What motivated some to return to Poland? What did they experience when they got here? What significant historical events did they witness?


  • 01 January: Jozefa Kołodziejczak, b. 01 January 1862
  • 02 January: Agnes Mazana, b. 02 January 1818
  • 03 January: Robert Plenzler, b. 03 January 1891
  • 04 January: Julianna Lisiecki, b. 04 January 1847
  • 08 January: Johann Plenzler, b.08 January 1873
  • 09 January: Antonina Przyblska, b. 09 January 1874
  • 10 January: Anton Harke, b. 10 January 1899


profiles of toledo's polonia


►ancestors in history


photo and research credits

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