June, 2019                                                                           Ann Arbor, Michigan

 

I had been wanting to travel to Poland to trace my ancestors for quite some time but I was not sure how to go about it. After I found Tomasz Szymkowiak online it all became very simple. In advance of my trip he did important research to prepare. He was able to correct a mistake in my tree that I never would have found. I wanted to focus not just on genealogy, but also to experience Poland’s history and culture. Tomasz not only did the tedious genealogy research in advance, working with documents in Latin, he also gained valuable information by visiting local parishes and interviewing local residents. Then he was able to create a proposed itinerary for the entire 7 days I would be in Poland. Having a guide to select hotels, take care of transportation, provide invaluable knowledge about our destinations, and eliminate any language barriers, was an incredible experience. On the days we focused on genealogy I was amazed how easily Tomasz could put people at ease and get valuable information. We were invited into people’s homes and escorted to cemeteries by relatives. I was able to meet a relative of mine that I had known nothing about prior to the trip! We were only able to make the connection needed to find her due to Tom’s search prior to my trip. I had been expecting to be moved by the experience but I had not expected to be received so warmly by the relatives we met. None of this would have been possible without Tom. I have traveled to Europe before, but never before have I felt so at home in a country I had never before been to. This is Tom’s gift, and I highly recommend him to everyone. It is a once in a lifetime experience!

Dr. Laura O’Rourke

Tom working on determining possible family connections in one of the homes we were invited into.

These cousins actually did not know exactly how they were related until after talking with Tom!

Visiting the cemetery with my grandmother’s first cousin and her daughter!