The fascinating American Public Television series "Finding Your Roots" has helped many Americans discover unknown great-great-grandparents in various, sometimes unexpected, countries. Some of the tools for research are listed below
This story is about discovering the origins of Biega families living in America and many other countries. It turns out that anyone with the name Biega, anywhere in the world, has their roots in villages in southern Poland - Dębna and Mrzygłód.
On this web site they may find much fundamental information, starting at http://biega.com/biegapage.html
The name Biega (which means runs) is a rare name. It is almost certain that anyone with this name had geat-great-grandparents living in the above mentioned villages, near Sanok in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains in south eastern Poland. From there they have spread around the world.
There are Biega families living throughout the United States and Canada. particularly in the north-eastern states, as well as California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Ontario and Quebec. There are also many Biega families in Australia, France, Germany, and of course throughout Poland.
Many Biega sons and daughters left the impoverished Sanok area searching for a better life, especially in the period 1880 to 1914, when that part of Poland was part of the Austrian empire.
Then Poland regained its independence and the economic situation of the area improved.
The upheavals of World War II spread Biegas (and all other Poles and western Ukrainians) far and wide - fleeing across the mountains to Hungary and Romania on their way to free Polish forces in France, later England - deported by Soviets to Siberian labor camps and gulags - imprisoned by Germans in prisoner-of-war camps or concentration camps or to forced labor in Germany. After the war, many of the survivors, unwilling to live under Communist dictatorship and terror, moved further to any country willing to receive them.
In Poland itself,in 1946 through 1950, there massive resettlements from east Poland annexed by Soviet Union to parts of eastern Germany, now attached to Poland.
For full details of some of their stories, with links to information, please click here. . Here you can read the story of many Biega families, in the United States, in Canada, in Australia.
DNA testing has become very popular (and reasonable in cost) for deterning ancestry. This subject is too complex to fully discuss here, please refer to this article for complete information. In general, if certain markers in the DNA of two different individuals are very similar or even the same, it indicates that they have a common ancestor, up to six or more generations earlier.
WARNING The internet is wonderful and makes research so much easier than in the old days of long hours perusing books and card indexes in cold libraries. There is, however, one drawback. Digital files are not permanent, as the dead links in some of the references will show. When the Webmaster of this web-site dies, if no successor continues to maintain it and pay the fees, this collection of data, records, photos, will disappear and be lost forever. It is recommended that any reader who finds material of specific interest, should download it and store on a CD or DVD. The Code of Hammurabi. written 4000 years ago, is available to us today only because it was written on stone tablets!