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Pilch family

Pilch family

John Pilch (View posts)
Posted: 1076633656000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Pilch, Potoczny/Potoczna, Kielar
My family is from Zagorze Podkarpackie, near Manasterz, and that is not far from Przeworsk, in the county and diocese of Przymysl. A visit to the cemetery in Manasterz in 1999 or 2000 resulted in my finding the tombstone of my grandfather's sister, Wiktoria Pilch Potoczna.

I had difficulty finding any related Pilch's in the village. This past December, 2003, I decided to try tracking down his sister's family and had success. The youngest of her six children, Stasiu Potoczny, joined the Franciscan Order (took the name of Serafin) and died and was buried in Przeworsk. I went to the Friary there and found a priest who knew him personally. He also had an address book in which my cousin's mother's name appeared three time with the same address in Rzeszow. I visited my cousin's grave.

So if you have among your immediate ancestors any one who was a member of a religious community, you might try searching there. It has paid off for me after five years of on-the-spot searching as well as letters to the government agencies whose response is usually that all records prerished in the war.

My cousin's (Serafin Stasiu Potoczny OFM) sister married a man named Kielar, who was in the fire department in Rzeszow. The old priest in the Friary also gave me the name of the pastor of the parish in which Mrs. Kielar and her family lived. I don't know whether she is still alive, nor whether her children still live in the area.

Sometimes relatives don't want to be found, and that is fine with me. But at least I know for certain that I still have relatives in Poland.

Good luck!

John Pilch

Re: Pilch family

Posted: 1193155917000
Classification: Query
Surnames: CYCAK
Dear Mr. Pilch:

My Great Grandparents Marcin & Marya CYCAK lived in Manasterz, near Przeworsk, before World War I. Their son Andrzej Cycak visited them there with his wife Anna. They are buried in Walawa. Another son Mikolaj Cycak was born in Walawa. I have not found any birth or baptismal records of my a third son, my Grandfather Michal Cycak (Michael Syzek), who was born June 24, 1886 and left Galicia about 1900. We don't know when he arrived in North America, as we have no records of his immigration or naturalization.


Posted: 1193445953000
Classification: Query

CYCAKs in Myczkowce's phone book.
There is a Michal CYCAK arr. thru Ellis Island from Miczkowce/Myczkowce. You most likely saw his manifest.

Re: Pilch family

Posted: 1193461934000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Pilch
Hi, I visited Manasterz and Zagorze (from which my family originated) in 1999. Inquiries about my family didn't yield any information. I posted all I know about my family on my web-page (, click on Polish culture, Pilch Family.

This information recently brought a very surprising and most welcome response from a family member still living there. Local gossip spread in 1999 about my visit, but no one bothered to ask for my name or other information. Poles seem to be very reticent (secretive? result of Communist Occupation)? Even now that we have made contact, and I desire to visit and meet them in person, e-mail communication is incredibly rare. Perhaps this is as far as an American can get.

Good luck to you.

Re: Pilch family

Posted: 1207525547000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Pilch, Stopka, Sojka
My father's cousin, Victoria Stopka married Stanley Pilch prior to 1940 in Chicago. Stanley was a patrolman in Chicago. He had a brother Walter and a sister Mary. He and Victoria had two children, Patrick and Barbara. I don't know anything else about this family.

Since you have had succes tracking your Franciscan relative, I'm wondering if you can give me some pointers. My grandmother, Frances Stopka, had an uncle who was a Franciscan priest. My grandmother was born in Wroblowka, Poland (near Nowy Targ) in 1890. Her mother's name was Sojka. I am not sure if her uncle was a Sojka or a Stopka. I have a picture of him in his cowl (attached), but no other information. As far as I know he never was in the United States. How can I begin to search for some record of him?

Re: Pilch, Sojka, Stopka

Posted: 1207526598000
Classification: Query

Few websites for research:
In 1990 census of names there were 6194 PILCHs, 5987 SOJKAs and 1663 STOPKAs in Poland. in Polish and only distribution.
Village Wroblowka has 580 inhabitants.
In Wroblowka's phone book SOJKA and STOPKA. but because of privacy law, no full address.
No church records of Wroblowka show up in LDS-Mormons (Family History Center) site.

Re: Pilch family

Posted: 1207526792000
Classification: Query
Hi Mary Ann,

While visiting a Franciscan church in Krakow quite close to Wawel, I purchased some books. One is a history of Bernardines in Poland, volume III, from 1772-1946. The author is Jerome Eugene Wyczwski, OFM, and it is published by Calvarianum, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, 1992. I checked the extensive Index, but there is no listing of Soja or Stopka. It could be that your relative belonged to a different Province of Bernardines in Poland. Here is their web-site:

You might try to contact them and ask for further information about other provinces and friars.

I didn't find the attachment, so I couldn't see the photo. I'm wondering whether he might not have been a Conventual Franciscan ("Black Franciscan" from the color of the habit they wear). In Poland, these are called Franciscans; the "Brown Franciscans" (OFM) are called Bernardines.

Hope this helps a little.

John Pilch

Re: Pilch family

Posted: 1360032199000
Classification: Query
Surnames: stopka
Hello MaryAnn, on a whim tonight I typed in family names to see if I could find any new history leads and I found your post. Victoria is my husbands great aunt. Victoria and Stanley attended our wedding in 1978. I hope to hear from you. Shirley Stopka

Re: Pilch family

Posted: 1360261894000
Classification: Query
Hello Shirley,
What a surprise to hear from you. If Victoria is your husbands great-aunt, then my great-grandparents would be his great-great-grandparents. I think that makes us 2nd cousins once removed. Was his grandfather named Adelbert? I am interested to hear about other family members, and see pictures. Please let me know how we can share information. Are you on
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