I received sad news today of the passing of a friend and fellow volunteer at The Westland, Michigan Family History Center, Jan Zaleski.
When I was actively and aggressively researching my husband's Polish ancestors I tried to learn everything I could from Jan. He had a lot to teach.
He asked me once if I had any brick walls in my research that might have appeared on the Hamburg (Germany) Passenger lists. I gave him a name - we weren't even sure of the spelling - and he found the family on the passenger lists. It gave a prior residence which led us to figuring out who the ancestor's parents were, where my ancestor was actually born and about 5 different spelling of the last name.
After I retired from the Family History Center and from my paying job, my husband and I moved down to Tennessee. But Jan would keep in touch, sometimes by Christmas card, sometimes by email, keeping me apprised of what was going on in the research world.
He had a great sense of humor, always telling me I was pronouncing Polish names wrong - he was right - and making jokes. I'll miss him.
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