According to the U.S. 2000 Census, roughly 9 million people claim Polish descent -- with the largest Polish populations in New York (986,141), Illinois (932,996), Michigan (854,844), Pennsylvania (824,146), and New Jersey (576,473) (http://factfinder.census.gov).
The Polish American immigrant experience is a compelling one -- from around 1608, when Polish immigrants first appear in the Jamestown, Virgina archives to later waves of immigrations leading up until the Cold War and beyond.
While some claim Poles arrived on Viking ships exploring the New World before 1600, to date there hasn't been any evidence to support such claims. Records indicate the first appearance of Poles in America as early as 1608, when they were recruited to the colonies to establish artisan industries. See Wikipedia, Polish American, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_American (describing the history of Polish Americans) (as of May 28, 2011).
Today MyHeritage is pleased to announce the acquisition of the popular Polish genealogy website, Bliscy.pl, in a move that will open a new range of possibilities in Polish family research -- for those in Poland or part of the greater community of Polish descendants worldwide.
With the acquisition of Bliscy.pl, half a million new users have been added to MyHeritage -- expanding our international family network to over 56 million people and 760 million profiles! Combined with last year’s acquisition of the Polish website MoiKrewni.pl, MyHeritage.com is now an excellent resource for anyone researching their Polish family history.
For over 45 years now, the Monday after Easter has been known as Dyngus Day in Buffalo, N.Y. It's a post-Lent day of polka dancing, beer, Polish sausages and yes, love -- with a few unusual courting rituals that make the day an ideal occasion to meet your soul mate.
Dyngus Day likely began in Poland, though it is said to be celebrated in neighboring countries, such as Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, so it's unclear exactly where the custom or name originates. The story goes something like this: men or boys carried water from house to house to sprinkle - or in some cases drench - the girl(s) they fancied. The girls smack the boys with pussy-willow branches if they share their affections. And while this exchange doesn't seem like it would lead to love and marriage, there are many stories of true love found on this day.