Some comments on the towns where members of the Skowronek family lived and how they got there.
Over decades and centuries families tend to expand and ramify; sometimes it is possible to follow those ramifications because historical evidence showing that process exists, while others it is only possible to verify or demonstrate that certain people, living in a certain place, are related to other people living in another place, but the actual links between them remain unknown.
Extreme situations like wars, mass migrations and significant natural disasters, along with the passage of time, tend to erase traces and as a result, even members of a family might forget or lose any knowledge they might have had about relatives living elsewhere. In other cases and for practical reasons, like within the Skowronek family, knowledge might be kept but circumstances produce a void, a loss of information about the facts.
In the case of the Skowronek family, it was decimation during the Holocaust what caused the loss of vast amounts of information regarding several different branches of the family that existed in 1939. In most cases, no survivors whatsoever were found, and those who did survived were unable or unwilling to talk about the events of WWII or many years.
So, in order to reconstruct the history and extension of the whole Skowronek banking family we had to rely in evidence from many different sources, and treat the whole topic as a large hypothesis in which bit after bit is being proved or dismissed.
And one of the key factors in this whole investigation is to learn about the links of the different branches of the family in different cities, especially just before 1939 and mainly in Poland, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Germany, which were the countries in which the Skowronek clan ran its businesses. It is worth remembering that the family was really a family of families or properly speaking, a clan in which several surnames were present, being some of them more predominant that others.
Nevertheless, it is the presence of any of those surnames in a town the first indication of the presence of the clan there; from then on, finding more surnames and some sort of link between any of them and any other similarly-named people in another town, known to be related to the Warsaw Skowronek surname in one way or another what becomes proof of their presence in the city in question, aside from any other possible document found.
As we said, sometimes it is possible to infere or even demonstrate clearly the actual links between members of the family and we have managed to reconstruct the fairly large family tree that existed in the past (see The Skowronek Bankers' Family Tree) while in others we can only learn that certain people living in certain places were relatives.
This section of this research effort is meant to provide some comments about the ways in which we learned that people named so and so in selected towns were actually our relatives, regardless of whether we could put them into the family tree or are yet on stand-by, and taking Warsaw as the centre of reference of the family, since it is without doubt the place were the wealth was concentrated at least in 1939.
Relatives in Alzey - Alzey, a little German town, has been one of the starting point sin the study of the family of the Skowronek bankers.
Relatives in Kielce - Kielce is the place where one of the cadet branches of the Schoenberg family originated - the Goldkorns - but there is much more to it in the family history.
Relatives in Krakow - The presence of the Skowronek bankers in Krakow was due mainly to the expansion of the Schoenberg family in the region around the city.
Relatives in Lodz - The presence of the Skowronek bankers in Lodz is relatively recent; records indicate that some of its members appeared there in the second half of the XIX century.
Relatives in Radom - Radom is found along the road between Warsaw and Kielce, so it is reasonable to expect that having the family relatives in both towns, they could also be in Radom.
Relatives in Izbica - Izbica is one town where there were many relatives belonging to the extended family, although establishing the connection proved to be a difficult job.
We hope that in the future newly discovered evidence might help us learn with more precision about the actual blood links involved.
Retrospective, Pablo Edronkin.