Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska
Genealogist, Writer, Artist, and Webmaster

Margaret and Raymond Odrowaz Sypniewski - November 2013

For those of you who do not know me, I have prepared an account of a few of my experiences. For most of my life, I have loved history (Medieval, Renaissance, Early Colonial, and Native American). This began at an early age. My other love is art (various medias). From childhood I could be seen reading, drawing, and doing various crafts. I received a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from Eastern Michigan University, with a history minor. I taught for about seven total years, in various levels, from grade 2-college. I was a born teacher and began as a teacher's aide since kindergarten and continued through high school as principal's switchboard operator, absence list compiler, and typist, and in the counseling office I worked as typist and assistant.

In college I was a paid teacher's assistant in the ceramic department, as well as an Art Department employee with responsibilities that included assisting in setting up gallery displays and hosting gallery openings. Basically, I passed out punch and appetizers and mingled. After college I taught art at the secondary school level. The main reason I left teaching was because I developed lung problems from the lack of adequate venilation in my ceramics and jewelry labs. Since administration felt no need to improve this health hazard, even though they were ticketed REPEATEDLY by the fire department, I decided to quit rather than suffer, and possibly endanger my health. This was not an easy decision because I loved my job. However, they were taking BIG advantage of my good nature and promised things they never delivered until approximately fifteen years after my departure. Before leaving that job, I developed asthma, a confirmed by-product of my job. I feel lucky that I got out when I did. Imagine how much this might have excellerated had I remained there for fifteen more years? I most likely would have developed more severe forms of lung disease like siliconitis, emphysema, or lung cancer. I am NOT now, nor was I ever a smoker! My doctor said it was good I left that job when I did. I could have died or had serious complications if I stayed.

What does not kill you makes you stronger. That experience taught me to run away from people who do not care. Negative people can ruin your life, and that is why you must think of yourself in certain situations. People can not stop you from excelling, unless you let them. People that do not see what they have are the losers. People who try to save money without considering others are dangerous. You must learn to stand up for yourself, without hurting others. However, if people want to hurt you and continue to ruin your health and your personal peace, they do not need your consideration, especially after you have told them that their practices are dangerous to others and hurtful to your own personal being.

Too many people try to succeed by climbing up the backs of honest souls. This is not right. That is why I write letters about environmental wrongs, nursing home reforms, and the like. "If you don't stand for something, then you will fall for anything" is one of my mottoes.

I married two years before giving up my teaching career. After marriage, my number one priority was my family, my home, and part-time volunteer work at my son's school, at the genealogical libraries, etc. As a teacher, I saw the results of bad parenting...I wanted to do better for my own child, even if it cost me monetarily. Some things are more important than fame and fortune.

I seriously began my genealogical work from 1975 until the present, thirty-two (32) years now (in 2007). However, this interest was sparked in high school when we were assigned a project to make a family tree. My own side of the family tree fell into place quite nicely after 10 years, even though I am still updating things today. My side of the family were a bunch of record keepers and they could tell you many generations from memory.

In 1998, I made my first internet homepage, and since then these pages have grown. Being a mom and doing various domestic duties, I learned about many things. I began to write. I had been typing for over forty years, submitting articles since 1991, word-processing since 1980, and learning computer technology since 1997. As a by-product, I also learned many publishing skills.

My recent projects have been my husband's Polish lines which have always been difficult because most records are in Polish. Latin, German, or Russian. Polish and Russian are the most difficult to translate, and require either paying for or exchanging translating skills.

My husband's family members came to the United States as early as the 1850's and as late as 1900. Therefore, researching in the U.S.A. was limited to a few generations. Most of his Polish family members do not wish to offer much help with family history. Either they don't know or they think it is silly to want to find these things out. Or perhaps they did not wish to remember all the pain and suffering as they fled with little more than the clothes on their backs? They made it out of Poland alive, but many of their family members (parents and others) were killed by the Russians.

With the success I had in my own family, and a burning need to know what really happened, I was not to be denied this knowledge. To me to know one's family is to know thyself. Your genes give you your hair color, your eye color, your predisposition to certain diseases, your skills, etc. I felt compelled to, at least try to, find out all I could for both health reasons and for historical curiosity. The pages below are the result of this all-consuming passion.

My Websites:

The Sypniewski Family Pages The Courtly Lives of Polish Kings, Nobles, Saints, and Their Genealogy

As a by-product of my own websites, I was paid to be webmaster at my husband's school (1998-2000). I attended workshops in webmastering at Wayne County RESA. My secondary duties were to conduct workshops, for staff, regarding the use of the school's website as a classroom tool. After this teachers were to do their own websites.

From August 2000 - August 2003, I was asked to be webmaster for The Polish Nobility Association Foundation. I began this gratis job with an enthusiast spirit, thinking I was helping others (something I had done since age 5) and would be able to teach what I had learned, to date, about the process of finding family members. I even received their Orders of Merit, Royal Order of Piast and Royal Order of Jagiellon and their Certificate of Recognition for my work on Polish heraldry, genealogy, and history. After three years, I moved on because of differences in our moralistic views.

I have since moved the articles, I wrote for the Polish Nobility Association Foundation, to "The Runge-Sypniewski Family Pages,". Is was either this or lose them, as PNAF decided to purge their pages of my articles and my name upon my resignation. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!

I am writing new articles daily. My websites have been very popular over the years [since 1989], and they have won me numerous webmaster's awards.

I still webmaster The Order of Saint Stanislas and The Order of Saint Lazarus. These two Orders are dedicated to charitable causes, which better fits into my own beliefs and requires much less of my time. Even though I am not a member of these two charitable groups, I feel that charity should be a part of everyone's life. I have received the Silver Cross of Merit and the 25th Anniversary of Saint Stanislas Commerative Medal for my work as their webmaster and for my contribution to a better understanding of the communities of Polonia throughout the world.

I am currently a member of The Polish Genealogical Society of American, and hope to contribute articles to their cause in the future.

My quotes on gemology have been featured in a Barbara Samuel novel under her Ruth Wind pseudonym.

In conclusion, I have been published both on and off the net (in various medieval and genealogical journals and magazines). I feel that I have learned to grow over the years, and perhaps someday someone will fill in a few more blanks in my family tree, in return for my offerings!? That would be nice, and ALL submissions are credited (unless the contributor wishes to remain anonymous).

Good hunting!


More Information:

Who's Who in the Tree of Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska (nee Knight)

You are the visitor since August 3, 2003

Webmaster: Margaret Sypniewska, B.F.A.
Owner: Raymond Sypniewski, B.S., M.A.,
Email Margaret: Margaret
Email Raymond: Raymond

This page was last updated on July 15, 2013

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