Going Home

Last February, I was lucky enough with the help of my job and a co-worker to visit Pakoszówka, Poland. This is the small village, with a population just over 900, in south east Poland where my great grandparents emigrated from before World War I. I believe I am the first of their descendants to make the trip back home, over 100 years since they last left.


The area around Pakoszówka was settled as early as the end of the 3rd Century BC by the Przeworsk culture and lasted to around the 5th century AD.  There have also been sites found to include artifacts from the Roman period.1

The village itself was founded in 1348 by Nicholas Pakosz as a gift from Casimir the Great for service to the King.The name Pakoszówka replaces Pakosz in 1448 and later in 1465 we have the first reference about a Pakoszowskim court.The village was raided and burned to the ground by the Turks (Tartars) on May 15, 1498 though it was said they were later defeated at Mount Wroczeń.4

At the time my great grandparents left, Pakoszówka was part of the Galicia region of the Austrian Hungarian Empire.  In 1920 (after Poland regained its sovereignty) the village was a part of the land that Pawel Tyszkowski bequeathed to the Polish Academy of Sciences.5 Pawel was a member of the National Parliament of Galicia.


My great grandparents were born in Pakoszówka in the end of the 19th century.  They knew each other because they were some of the first students to attend the newly built primary school in the town.6 Peter’s family were the town blacksmiths and Anna’s family were local farmers.  Peter was the first to emigrate, as early as 1906, after his best friend died under a cloud of suspicion while they were both in the Austrian Calvary.  Anna emigrated to the United States in 1912 after Peter made several trips back to Galicia.

Famous Resident(s)

Pakoszówka most famous son is Jozafat Kocyłowski (Polish version) but our family knows him as Uncle Joesph Kocolowski.  We think they were not really related to us but just close family friends.  One of Anna and Peter’s son is named after him.  The Kocolowski family were instrumental in getting Anna and Peter married, a daughter to her First Communion and the same daughter into the Order of Saint Basil the Great as a Nun.

Possibly the second most famous son of Pakoszówka is poet and writer Włodzimierz Marczak.  He is especially known for the “Ukrainiec w Polsce” series of books talking about his experiences as an ethnic Ukrainian growing up in a religiously sanitized Poland after WWII.  There are many references to many family names of my ancestors in his first book; I am trying to obtain a copy of it but it is currently out of print.  I believe he may be a nephew of Anna.



  1. Historia Pakoszówki
  2. Historia Pakoszówki
  3. BieszczadyNoclegi.pl
  4. BieszczadyNoclegi.pl
  5. Historia Pakoszówki
  6. Historia szkoły


2 comments for “Going Home

Comments are closed.