How to cope with the dead end?
Probably most of you, engaged in the genealogical research, reached the dead end for any of the ancestral lines – the vital records were lost. What to do in such a case?
I can say, taking into account my own experience, look for the other historical sources from the place of interest. It may not lead to success in every case, but without an attempt, you are not going to know it.
One of my last research cases regarded the parish in Myszyniec. Myszyniec is located in Kurpie region in Poland. The parish was established in 1774, but the vital records were lost during one of the wars and existing records cover the time period just from the beginning of the 20th century. So, for those of you, whose ancestors hailed from Myszyniec and surrounding villages, it seems to be the dead end.
My research case regarded the village called Brzozowy Kąt, belonging to Myszyniec parish in the 19th century. Geneteka showed two records of the family of interest from the beginning of the 20th century and that was all. I tried to find other records.
The State Archive in Płock (quite far away from Myszyniec, for which the most proper archives seem to be located in Pułtusk or in Łomża) keeps the records of Komisja Wojewódzka i Rząd Gubernialny Płocki (Provincial Commission and the Governorate’s Government in Płock) for the time period 1816-1866. And I found the records from Brzozowy Kąt among them. These documents were the lists of households in the village for which the government found inaccuracies in regard to their ownership status in the documents at the beginning of the 1850s. So the list did not include all the households in the village, but two of them regarded the family I was searching. The rest of the documents were the issues for each of those households (similar to the notarial records), where the owners had to prove their right to given property. I was able to trace the roots of the family back to the end of the 18th century, because the owner of the particular household described in detail who was the first owner of it and the next generations of the family, who inherited the property. The conclusion is: vital records are not everything! Search also other records.
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