I hope to share research, information, tips, and a little of my family history with others following the path to greater genealogical awareness. Let the search for enlightenment continue...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Photo Story: One Brother Disappeared...

Wincenty Szerejko
(Original Images and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) My grandfather was one of six brothers.  I had the photo below in my collection for the longest time, and I thought that it was one of my grandfather's brothers because of the strong family resemblance.  When my cousin Marek and I first got acquainted he identified the man in the photo as my grandfather's brother Wincenty Szerejko.  For years I had heard family stories about how my grandfather Adolf and his brother Aleksander were sent to America because their older brother was conscripted into the Russian army and never seen or heard from again.  Wincenty was that brother.

Wincenty Szerejko, 1931
What's interesting is the writing on the back of my photo says, " for keepsake to Adolf and Antosia Wicek April 16th 1931."  Antosia is short for Antonina, and Wicek is short for Wincenty.  Interesting, eh?  So clearly my grandparents were in contact with Wincenty as late as 1931.  I think I have one letter from him that dates from the early 1930s.  After that, nothing.  What happened to Wincenty?

We do have one clue that Marek picked up on that I did not.  Look at the pins on Wincenty's lapel in the 1931 photo.  Is one of those pins a hammer and sickle?  What about the other pin?  If anyone out there can positively identify either of those pins I'd love to hear from you.  A Polish researcher that I spoke with at NERGC suggested I write to the military museum in Warsaw to ask about the pins.

After Wincenty was conscripted into the Russian army did he remain in Russia, perhaps after marrying a Russian girl?  Clearly he survived World War I, but what happened to him after 1931?  Was he killed in World War II or did he die before?  None of the other brothers mention him in later letters.  Another mystery for sure...

Special Thanks: To my cousin Marek for providing me with the ID photo of Wincenty and for his translation of my 1931 photo.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Reflecting on NERGC One Week Later
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me
Treasure Chest Thursday: Travel Diary, Poland 1937

2 comments:

Dorene from Ohio said...

His eyes are so piercing! I so hope you can solve this mystery....

Cynthia Shenette said...

Dorene - Thank you for your comment. I agree, his eyes are piercing. Such a serious expression in both photos. I wonder if he ever had a lighthearted moment or just grew up too soon...