Polish Falcon

Our Families from Poland

The Zalenski and Bartold Families

According to an old legend, Polish history began with a peasant boy named Piast. He was told by two strangers that someday he would rule the land. Years later the prophecy was fulfilled. The Piast dynasty ruled for 500 years. Poland derived its name in the 10th century from Piast's tribe, the Polonie.

Historically, owning land in Poland meant stability. Families tended to be large providing many hands to do the farm work. By the second half of the 19th century, Poland's agricultural economy was weakening. Large families that once were viewed as assets soon became liabilities. These poor economic conditions caused the greatest wave of Polish imigration. These immigrants are often referred to as za chlebem or "for bread" immigrants. Many never intended to stay in the United States. Most planned to save their earnings, return to Poland and build a better life for themselves and their families.

The ZALENSKI family lived in the Province of Ostroleka * in the small village of Chiliny. The Polish spelling of the surname is ZALESKI, with a slash through the "l" and a little "hook" under the "e." Little is known about the family; however, the line has been traced to PIOTR ZALENSKI, who was probably born about 1860.

The progenitor of the BARTOLD family was FILIP BARTOLD. He was probably born sometime around 1775 in the Province of Ciechanow*. Research into Polish heraldry indicates that the Bartolds from the Ciechanow area were entitled to used the Grzymala Herbarz. At this time, little is known about the history of the crest; however, it may have originated with the Teutonic knights.

Filip's son, WALERY BARTOLD, was born in December 1799 in the village of Cyty, Parish of Paluki, Province of Ciechanow. The Bartold family also has very strong ties to the village of Bartoldy, Parish of Zielona. Many (if not all) the Bartolds in this village seem to connect to our family. The Bartold name is found scattered throughout the Province of Ciechanow.

A genealogy database for the ZALENSKI/BARTOLD family can be viewed in the Reports Section of Our Grafted Family Tree, and some early photographs are included in Our Family Photograph Album. To review the history of the early Bartold family and read about the origin of the name, visit Thom Bartold's comprehensive site, A Virtual Place for any and all Bartold's.......

Ships They Sailed - 1888-1928 contains a brief overview and links to specific information about our immigrant ancestors' arrivals in the United States.

* On January 1, 1999, the provinces of Poland were restructured. The former 49 provinces were consolidated into 16. All but three were given new names. Click on the following hyperlink to learn more - Poland GenWeb.

rainbow bar

Links to other sites on the Web:

Polish Costumes, Customs and Crafts
Description of Poland - Penny Magazine, March 31, 1832
Memories of a Polish Easter - by Judy McCann
Polish Genealogical Society of America
Poland GenWeb
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet - Poland/Polska

rainbow bar


Home Page
Genealogy Reports
Index of Arrivals
Photo Album
Our Entwined Family Trees
Next Page


© 1998 (excluding graphics and music)