By JD Lasica
My side of the Lasica family — the American side — has had only fleeting contact with our cousins in Poland since my grandfather, Wojciech (George) Lasica, arrived on Ellis Island on Feb. 13, 1912. (For some perspective, that was a month before the Titanic sank.) My grandmother, Katarzyna Delenta Lasica, and my aunt Tory (Sophie) Lasica Stagg, sent items of clothing over in the 1950s, but since then, the connections have faded away.
So when I headed to Poland in June 2013 for the first time, as a speaker at the Bitspiration startup conference, I decided to mix business with family affairs by hiring a Krakow-based family researcher from Your Roots in Poland to accompany me to the former Lasica family homestead in Spie, about 2 1/2 hours northeast of Krakow.
Here are 34 photos of my trip to Spie and the surrounding countryside. And here’s a map of where Spie is located (at right).
Kinga, Krzysztof and I spent June 27 tooling around Wilcza Wola, the district that encompasses Spie, with a local historian, Wojchiech Mroczka. We spent an hour going through records dating back to the early 1800s in the church parish’s offices with the help of Father Stanislaw. But the highlight came when we visited the now-abandoned house at 11 Spie and met the neighbors, Bronislaw and Zofia Sudol, who still maintain the land there for the property owner.
I won’t go into the backstory of how a determined family matriarch, Maria Lasica Bordon, cajoled family members to up and move to Toronto. But the Łasica family (pronounced wa-SHEET-sa) left an indelible mark.
Here’s a short video I took of Bronislaw when we arrived — he was quite excited to pass along his recollections of family members who once lived there, and it was quite touching to meet him and Zofia. For your hospitality, dziękuję bardzo!