Every family story is fascinating. And Ed Kolenda is living proof.

Sixty-three years ago, Tadeusz Edek Doszyń of Poland gained a new family — but lost a link to his past. Today, the man who became Ed Kolenda hopes to make a connection to the people and places that led to him.


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Ed started with what he knew from records, photos and stories.

Although Ed remembers very little of his life in Poland, an envelope of information that traveled with him to America provided clues to his Doszyń family history. These are some of the pieces he used to begin putting together his story.

But like many family stories, Ed’s journey became complex. And that’s where professional researchers came in.

Language barriers, distant archives and missing dates were just a few of the roadblocks Ed encountered, especially on his father’s side. So ProGenealogists put their know-how to work. Their search turned up plenty of incredible information — including Ed’s living cousins, Henryk and Kasimierz Doszyń.

The cousins reunite in Przemyśl, Poland and discover the lasting strength of family ties.

Ed, his sister Jean, who was also born in Poland, and his wife Kit, travel to Poland (along with a film crew and translator) to learn more about the Doszyń family tree and meet actual Doszyń family members. Ed finds a beautiful country and makes an indelible connection with Henryk. As he says after their meeting, “He can't speak English and I can't speak Polish. But I still know he's blood.”

Ed’s story is unique. And yours is too.

Whether you’ve made remarkable discoveries, found interesting characters or solved challenging mysteries, your family history is too good to keep to yourself.

Share your story Start your family tree