Some years ago, Jeff Kutcher began to investigate our family roots. In what can only be described as serendipity, cousin Steve Smith was searching for family members on the internet and came across Jeff's blog. What followed was the discovery of near and extended family members. Since then, we've had a number of family gatherings in London, meeting some cousins for the first time - others after a hiatus of many years.
Some of us took a mind-blowing journey of discovery to the village of Chmielnik in Poland to learn about our roots. Our trip is documented in the blog.
Since the first meeting, family members have continued to communicate and learn how we all interconnect. I recognized the names of people I'd never met but were familiar to me from my mother's occasional reference to them.
There are many myths, legends, rifts and schisms in our family. Some of the stories that are emerging throw some light on why there was little or no contact among the different branches for so many years. But that has all changed now. Our family is coming together, discovering who we are and from whom we descend. We're a far-flung family with members in the UK, France, Spain, Canada, Belgium and Israel.
This website is dedicated to the direct descendants of Sura Gitel and David Zmidek, who left Chmielnik and emigrated to the UK in 1903. It's been created to give all branches of the family - close and distant - a space to share their family stories, anecdotes, photos, links to their family trees, and more. If you have a story you want to tell, go to the contact page and drop us a line.
This site will also give the young members of the family a resource when they become curious about their forebears, when we, the older generation, are no longer capable of answering them.