A few years ago, the story “In Search of the elusive Omega Cross ", Part 1, appeared in several genealogical newsletters in Canada, Germany and in the U.S.A. Here now, is the continuation of this story, and I'm pleased to be able to write that my search has finally produced the results which I have been looking for such a long time.
In January of 2004 I received a letter with a picture of an "Omega" cross from a Mr. Bernd von Lonski from Germany. Mr. von Lonski wrote, that he had visited the cemetery in the village of Niezabyszewo in Poland and that he had seen a grave marker, such as I had described on my web site. The enclosed picture Mr. B. von Lonski had sent me, showed a grave site with a real Kashubian Omega cross. From the picture, the name on the inscription of the cross could not be identified. The fresh flowers on the grave however indicated, that somebody was tending the grave and also that somebody had very recently visited this grave site. I also had visited the same cemetery in 1998, but at that time did not see any Omega cross. Well, this definitely needed to be further investigated.
A call was placed from Canada to cousin Reinhard in Hamburg, Germany. Cousin Reinhard spends a great deal of his time in the small village of Piaszno, which is located not too far from the city of Bytow and also not very far from the cemetery in Niezabyszewo. As so many times before, cousin Reinhard proved once again to be a dependable help, in assisting me with my research. He took some more pictures of the grave site and in such a manner, that the inscription became clear and readable. After a few visits to the cemetery, cousin Reinhard also finally would meet the lady who had previously put the fresh flowers on the grave. The lady, a Mrs. Rembalski, told cousin Reinhard that her son Tomasz, who lives in the city of Gdynia, had made arrangements for the new Omega cross to be placed on the grave in honor of his grand parents as well as their Kashubian heritage. After obtaining the address from Mrs. Rembalski's son in Gdynia, it was now time to bring the story of the elusive Omega cross to a successful conclusion.
The next step was to contact Dr. Tomasz Rembalski in Gdynia. It didn't take very long for a long and friendly letter to arrive from Poland in Canada. Dr. Tomasz Rembalski wrote that he was very much surprised to hear about somebody thousands of miles away in Canada, who could possibly be interested in the history of a Kashubian Omega cross in the Niezabyszewo cemetery. Dr. T. Rembalski wrote, that he too had studied the history and origin of the so called Kashubian Omega crosses, and that he and his brother Piotr had made it their mandate to re-construct such an old Kashubian cross for their grand parent’s grave site. Dr. T. Rembalski also advised that the museum in the city of Bytow had a very informative display of several Kashubian Omega crosses and that written reference material may also available at the museum. I also had visited the same museum in 1998, but had failed to find and to see the display of these old Kashubian crosses.
Now it was getting to be more and more interesting all the time. After a so called dry spell for over two years of not making any progress with my research, it seemed that at long last, my search for the elusive cross was finally coming to an end. My friend Jaroslaw also went home this fall to visit his relatives in Poland and also to do some family research. Jaroslaw also went to visit the museum in Bytow and was able to take a few pictures of the Kashubian Omega crosses on display. Jaroslaw met the lady in charge of the library at the museum, a Mrs. Barbara Hapka, who was kind enough to send some printed research material on these crosses back with Jaroslaw to Canada.
Could it get any better?
Another friend of mine, a Mr. Gerald von Gostomski, from Orem, Utah, U.S.A. also went to Poland this fall to do some family research. And yes, you guessed right, he too stopped at the museum and took some pictures of the Kashubian Omega crosses. On one of the signs at the museum, there is also a reference to a display of Kashubian crosses at the museum Szczecin. But this one has to wait until the next time one of us Kashubs goes back to our ancestral home.
It took a lot of time and perseverance to find the information that I was looking for, which was for the most time so close and yet so far away. Another chapter in the quest to find more information about the history of my ancestors can now be closed ...but I'm ready to open chapter for another adventure to learn more about the mystery and historical background surrounding my ancestors, dating back several 100 years.
My sincere thanks and appreciation to the following people for their help in obtaining photographs and other research material on the Kashubian Omega crosses:
Mr. Reinhard Lietz, Hamburg, Germany and Piaszno, Poland , / Mr. Bernd
von Lonski, Düsseldorf, Germany, / Dr. Tomasz Rembalski, Gdynia,
Poland, / Mrs. Rembalski, Niezabyszewo, Poland, / Mr. Piotr Rembalski,
Gdynia, Poland, / Mr. Jaroslaw Lukaszewski, Edmonton, Canada, / Mr. G. von
Gostomski, Orem, Utah , U.S.A. / Mss. Babara Hapka, Musuem in Bytow, Poland .
1) Kashubian Omega cross in the Niezabyszewo cemetery.
2) One of several old Kashubian Omega crosses on display at the museum in Bytow
3) Chart of the different types and designs of Kashubian grave markers and crosses.