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We do not yet know how far back the Pelczarski name goes. It is not a very common name. All the Pelczarski's around Chicago when I was growing up were closely related, and that was when there were more people of Polish descent in Chicago than any city in Poland except Warsaw!
Back then, in the United States there were Pelczarski families in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and near Detroit, but not many more than that. One day in the 1970's my father and I were curious and we called directory assistance in almost every area code of the United States asking if there were any Pelczarski's listed! There were very few.
Around 1995 when the Internet was new, a nationwide phone directory search found only about 100 listings for Pelczarski across the entire United States.
I am told that the Pelczarski name is not very common in Poland either. My grandfather was born in Długie, a small village in the southeast corner of Poland, near Sanok. Most Pelczarski's trace their roots to that corner of Poland known as Galicia.
Several years ago a letter was passed along to me, containing a story that said the name originated after the Swedish-Polish wars in the 1600's, when a Swedish soldier named "Pelchar" married a Polish woman and settled in Poland. I do not know if the story is true (see the "Origins" link above). But whether it is true or not, it seems likely that we are all related and that our common ancestors don't go too far back.
Whether we've lost the knowledge of those links because of generations now gone or because of records now missing because of wars, I don't know. But here we can attempt to find some of those common threads before more generations disappear with their stories. If you are a Pelczarski or a relative of the Pelczarski family, please help fill in this family tree for all of us and for our children to come.
Mark Pelczarski, Geneva, Illinois, USA
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