Week 5 of 52: So Far Away

For week 5 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks the theme was “So Far Away.” Many of my ancestors left their homes to settle in a new area. When thinking about this prompt, I thought about my great-grandmother, Caroline Ogrodnik Szeliga. She grew up in a small village named Warwarynce in Galacia, Austria (which later became Poland).

Caroline in front of her garden in Buffalo, NY.

The story that was passed down was that their family sold a cow to buy passage to America for her older sister, but when her sister got sick, they sent Caroline instead. She was only 17 years old and didn’t really want to leave but obeyed her family and immigrated in 1912. This was 5 years after the death of her father. I wonder if the family hoped that Caroline would be able to send them part of her wages to help support the family.

She never returned home to Warwarynce and lived the rest of her life in the United States. I know that she must have corresponded with her family as we have a picture that my grandfather (Caroline’s son) said was his Uncle John.

Uncle John?
The back of the postcard.

I do not know what the writing says, but the last word to me looks like Stanislaw and the bottom right is Warwarynce with the date, I think, of 26 Feb [19]22.

I like to think that Caroline corresponded frequently with her family and that those letters may have helped her not feel so far away from home.

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