Problematic research case in Pohost Zarzeczny (Polesye)
I had a very problematicresearch case last year. The purpose was to find the birth record ofMichał Zielinski, son of Aleksander and Helena, born in December1915 in Pohost Zarzeczny. According to the information provided,Michał was baptized in the Roman-Catholic church. You could ask: whywas it so problematic? It should be very easy to identify the rightparish church and then to locate the birth records from the 1915-1916time period. But no, it was not so easy.
Pohost Zarzeczny is avillage, which is placed in Ukraine, Rovne District today. BeforeJanuary Uprising of 1863 it belonged to the Roman-Catholic parishchurch in Horodyszcze (today in Belarus). There was a filial chapelin Pohost Zarzeczny, but it is not clear if the metric books wereconducted in Pohost Zarzeczny or in Horodyszcze only. Due torepressions introduced by Tsar after January Uprising of 1863, parishchurch in Horodyszcze was closed and it was reopened just in 1910,after more than 40 years. So, logically, the birth record of MichałZieliński had to be registered in Horodyszcze parish birth recordsbook in 1915 or 1916.
But historical backgroundhad to be taken to account as well. There was an assault of GermanArmy against Russian army in August 1915. Horodyszcze was cut offfrom Pohost Zarzeczny by the front line. Moreover, about 1-3 millionspeople were evacuated to the East before approaching German Armyincluding administration employees, factory laborers, priests. WereMichał's parents among refugees leaving Pohost Zarzeczny? Or didthey stay? These questions were important, while determining wherethe birth record of Michał Zieliński may have been registered.
National HistoricalArchive of Belarus in Minsk kept following birth records of thesurrounding parishes:
All of them wereexamined, but the birth record of Michał Zieliński was not found.
There was one more parishworth examining: Lubieszów, but I was not able to find birth recordsof this parish for the 1915 and 1916 years.
This seemed the dead end,but then I received information from my friend that Fiodor Zieliński,born in 1903 in Pohost Zarzeczny, son of Aleksander, lived in Pinskbefore WWII. He was of Orthodox religion. This was enough for me toconsider checking the Orthodox parish records, where Pohost Zarzecznybelonged to.
It was much easier withOrthodox parishes. Pohost Zarzeczy belonged to the Orthodox parish inMurowin. Vital records of the Orthodox parish in Murowin are kept bythe Regional Archive in Rovne and the birth record of MichałZieliński was found there.
Sometimes, simple thingsprove to be complicated, but the solution comes in the mostunexpected moment!