Iwona's Sources - Tour References

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*I wanted to let the folks at PGSA know what a wonderful tour Iwona gave us; she patiently, even intrepidly, drove us into remote areas so we could experience our ancestors' homeland.  She was very helpful with details about the areas, and with finding comfortable hotels to stay at.  We did not find living relatives (we did not really expect to); however, given that she knew I was interested in knowing how my ancestors lived in the 19th century, she took us to the fabulous Ethnographic Park in Olsztynek.  I should also note that we hired a driver named Max in Warsaw who was suggested by Iwona; he drove us to Plock, where we met Iwona.  It was a pleasure to work with him, too.  Ultimately, Iwona was central to helping us have a fulfilling experience in Poland.  I would be very happy to recommend them both to others, and to communicate with anyone interested in working with them.

Mary Louise  Hill - Jun 2018

*We can not say or express the delight and fun we had with you these past two weeks . Your professionalism, knowledge and shear humor made the long drives enjoyable and interesting. From the beginning to the end, you made us feel very comfortable, secure and informed." 

Steve  Szuchnicki - October 2017 

*I am overwhelmed when I think about this past week and how much we accomplished on our journey - thanks to you! You are a professional at the highest level and feel so blessed to have met you and our paths have crossed! You touched us all!

Thank you for EVERYTHING!

Melissa Penn - June 2015

*I would just like you to know that you will always hold a very special place in my heart for the work you did in looking for my family and for escorting me and my "girls" around Poland and Germany. It is one of my most beloved memories ! Thank you !!

Valera D'Esopo - October 2014

*"Great work, Iwona! But, I got to find stronger adjectives to describe thequality of your work. Superb fits better. You really do superb work."

"..... but I am learning not to be surprised by your talent."

Thomas Sajwaj - October 2013

*Oh my Iwona, what great knowledge you found in the little Tykocin book. I want to thank you again for all your wonderful help! (Larry and Frank too). We liked visiting Warsaw and Krakow BUT our hearts belong to Tykocin. We all loved that the best part of our journey! We definitely want to come back. Ken, Larry's brother, wants to come back with us too. If you are up to it again, we would love to go along with you again. Probably next year.

Eleonor Drill - 20 August 2013

*From the moment we found Iwona, we knew we were going to have an amazing trip and we certainly did! Iwona served as tour guide, interpreter, genealogist, historical advisor and friend throughout our journey in Southeastern Poland. Not only did she help us solve several family mysteries that had been lost to us for over a century, she engineered some truly unforgettable experiences for our family, who made the trip to learn more about our recently departed Polish mother and her roots. We met previously unknown members of our family, negotiated a tour of the manor house where our great-grandmother and grandfather worked, and visited the church where our grandfather was baptised... All along the way, the trip took on the excitement of a treasure hunt, from parish to parish, archive to archive, with our intrepid explorer Iwona at the helm! We are so grateful to Iwona for a truly magical experience and unforgettable memories.

The daughters and granddaughter of Dolores Kot Pleasant, USA - July 2013

*Thanks again. You’ve made us very happy today! I have looked at these names for years and have developed a ‘closeness’ to them. My cousins and my mother are all talking tonight because we finally understand. It’s simply amazing what you have done. You must get a lot of satisfaction from being able to solve mysteries; you do a very fine job of it and I mean that with all sincerity. You are a true professional and we’re grateful to have your assistance.

Patti Evans - June 2013

*Shirl and I really, really enjoyed touring with you. You are knowledgeable, gracious, and very kind to us. It was a most memorable tour.

Gene Kaczkowski - May 2013

*I have been researching my Polish family history for more than 30 years and finally made the decision to visit my ancestral towns in Poland. Iwona acted as our guide, interpreter, genealogist and driver for five exceptional days. Always professional, insightful and gracious, she helped with some pre-trip planning and research. In Poland, she was invaluable at cajoling priests to give us access to church records and persuading distant cousins to talk to total strangers (who turned out to be 5th cousins). We visited two dozen towns, a dozen parish churches & cemeteries, took hundreds of pictures, and drove 900 miles in her spacious car. Our teenage children even enjoyed it all. If you are contemplating family history help from inside Poland, Iwona is excellent in the breadth and depth of her services. I will return to Poland someday and hope to use Iwona’s services again.

Jerome Biedny, President - August 2012
Polish Genealogical Society of Minnesota

*I have been a PGSA member over the past twenty years, and would like to thank the organization-at-large for consistently providing stellar information and services to persons compelled by the prospect of learning more about their Polish family history. In particular, I would like to single out PGSA Polish correspondent, Iwona Dakiniewicz, for her outstanding dedication and professional contributions to Polish genealogy.

My son, Peter, and I recently had the unparalleled opportunity of personally meeting and working with Iwona in Poland, and over a three-day period, with her expert guidance, secured substantial information about our family history prior to emigration. It was an exceptionally exciting and satisfying experience tracing, through civil and church records, a branch of our family over eight generations, and visiting sites directly associated with our past. Iwona's familiarity with primary source materials and the archives in which they reside, her linguistic skill, her systematic approach to genealogy, and, above all, her dogged determination to uncover our recorded past were outstanding. As a result, Peter and I realized, in large measure, the genealogist's dream of making significant inroads into our family's history -- an accomplishment absolutely impossible without a resource person of Iwona's professional caliber.

I am pleased to recommend Iwona Dakiniewicz in the most glowing terms to any other fellow PGSA member interested in securing her services and, in doing so, am confident that they, too, will have the incomparable satisfaction of working with a true genealogical professional. Please feel free to share these comments with the membership via Rodziny or any other means available.

Eric C. Lewandowski - July 2011

From the Rodziny

*'I want to inform the memberships of what a wonderful asset we have in our "Polish Correspondent" . My husband and I recently were on a 12-day tour of Poland. Five days of this visit were spent with Iwona Dakiniewicz. What a fabulous five days they were! Iwona was warm, friendly, outgoing, and just great fun to be with. Her knowledge of Poland, its culture and genealogical resources is immeassurable . .... Iwona arranged the accomodations, and they were excellent .... I will always be grateful to Iwona for this wonderful visit to the land of my ancestors. When we left after five days we were leaving as friends, and it was with a hug . - from the Spring 2007 issue Shirely A. Beaudin

* We just returned from our trip, which included five days in Warsaw. We hired Iwona Dakiniewicz to work with us and she was fantastic! We will continue to consult with her now that we are back in the U.S. We were able to locate the record of my father's baptism and the marriage record of my grandparents.... Our visit to Poland was most interesting ." - from the Fall 2006 issue Charlotte Schuerman

* "As to genealogical research, it was excellent, mainly due to the fact that I had Iwona Dakiniewicz's expert help. My Polish is limited, to say the least, and Iwona's professionalism shone through. We were able to check out the USC at Raba Wyzna and then the parish church records. ........... Once again I cannot speak highly enough of Iwona's passion for Polish genealogy, and her personality, which made me feel as if I `d been in Poland for a life-time, not such for a few weeks... - from the Summer 2005 issue Henry Krajewski Greta

*We hired a Polish professional genealogy searcher from Lodz, Poland, Iwona Dakiniewicz, she was also the translator and tour guide. Thanks to Iwona the trip was very successful and I prepared a "Rys Genealogy" heritage video tape (1 hour and 30 minutes) for the next generation of relatives. The video tape includes geographic information, explanations, pronunciations, video scenes from the villages, video footage of the churches, and video of how the genealogical searching of church records was conducted in the parish offices and finally a copy of the family tree chart. Oct 1999

John Rys

*I hired a superb researcher and guide, Iwona Dakiniewicz who completed quite a bit of research before I even arrived. She charmed her way through the bureaucracy and into the state archives where we researched original records using white gloves; she knows everyone in the diocesan archive offices which allowed us to handle records that are not usually allowed for the public. We visited ancestral churches that she managed to miraculously get opened for me, and cemeteries where she spoke to local individuals who informed of my targeted families. As we drove through the villages, she had no problem stopping and speaking to older individuals who gave us pertinent information. I cannot endorse her highly enough. She does all of the driving in her car, makes all of the hotel reservations at colorful Polishe stablishments, and generally wishes to do anything you want her to. Sep 2008

Bonnie Banaszak

*When I got into genealogy I met several people who had used the services of Iwona Dakiniewicz. They were all very satisfied with the work that she had done for them. In a few years I had the pleasure of meeting Iwona in Poland. She was assisting a group of heritage tourists in researching the records at the archives in Przemysl. I was impressed with Iwona's knowledge, and her willingness to help everyone in the group. Over the years our paths have crossed a couple of times, and I was always able to tell Iwona that someone that I had met had spoken very highly of her. She is a real expert at digging out data from archival material, and I know of people who used Iwona's services getting contacted years later by her, because she had found something new that she was freely sharing with them. Feb 2010

Jim Stamm

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Last Updated on July 18, 2018