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Memoirs of a Peasant

From Serfdom to the Present Day

Written by Jan Słomka, Translated by William F. Hoffman

Published in Poland in 1929, this memoir was written by a peasant who served for years as the administrator of his Galician village. Słomka (1842-1932) paints a graphic picture of every aspect of life – from what villagers ate to how they dressed, from their role as little more than draft animals to developing a social awareness, and living through WWI. As an eyewitness to history he saw his village people move from subservience under Austro-Hungarian rule to living in a free Poland.

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PGSA Membership Benefits Include:

  • Quarterly journal “Rodziny” with articles specific to Polish genealogy.
  • An automatic 10% member’s discount on all books and CDs.
  • A member’s discount on library research orders.
  • A member’s discount to the nationally recognized annual PGSA conference.
  • Access to the Members-Only section of the PGSA web site.
  • You’ll also be supporting PGSA projects such as indexing and preservation of vital records.

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Date  Sunday, August 15, 2021, 2-4 pm Central Time

Topic Summary: From 1386, with the ascension to the Polish throne of Władysław Jagiełło, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, to the final partition of Poland in 1795, Polish and Lithuanian history, culture and people have been intertwined not only diplomatically but through the movement of individuals and families in both directions. Migration between the two lands was motivated by war, partition, commercial opportunities, religion, intellectual exchange and commoners homesteading to build a better life. To this day, descendants of these Poles continue to live in Lithuania, and many descendants of Lithuanians populate northeastern Poland. Perhaps on the other side of that brick wall in your research lie discoveries in Lithuania. Whether your roots are Polish, Lithuanian or both, our speaker will describe which records are available, what periods are covered, where they are located, and how to access them.

Guest Speaker: Laimonas Gryva


  • MEMBERS: To obtain the member benefit of free attendance you must login before registration.
  • NON-MEMBERS: There is a non-members charge of $10.

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