Our Polish Heritage

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The purpose of the Polish Heritage Society (PHS) is to collect, preserve and perpetuate the culture and history of our ancestors. Suffield on the Green has provided a fantastic opportunity to do that for the past several years, except during COVID restrictions. Last month’s fair was no exception. The Polish national colors of red and white fluttering around the tent attracted some passersby. The poster of a tree trunk with its roots, branches, and a few leaves aroused interest in others. Some visitors were surprised to learn the extent of the Polish history within Suffield. Others who stopped to chat sought answers to questions they had about their ancestors. Several second or third-generation Polish American women came to the PHS booth to share information about their families.

One of those women loaned us a scrapbook of newspaper articles from the 1940s. Compiled by her mother, it contains dozens of clippings about servicemen and women from Suffield and recently engaged or married couples from town. Most of the people mentioned on the yellowed newsprint were first-generation Polish Americans with names familiar to this researcher of Suffield Polonia. They are already represented by leaves on the Suffield Polish Families Tree, a digital collection of over 1200 people dating back to the late 1890s. Other names may require some investigation and are considered as future foliage. This scrapbook is a wealth of genealogical information that inspires ideas for future PHS meetings, such as the session scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10 a.m. in the Suffield Ambulance Center on Bridge Street.

As the number of local Polish Americans who can attend our monthly weekday meetings decreases, the PHS hopes to garner the attention of the next generation of those interested in learning more about their ancestors and heritage. We anticipate evening meetings that may be virtual or in person. In the meantime, please check your parents’ closets and shelves for any resources that might help us remember more about our Polish Ancestors. Contact us through the Suffield Polish Heritage Society Facebook page or at suffieldpolams@gmail.com.

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