Archive for December, 2009

December 16, 2009

Anioł Stróz – Guardian Angel

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

Anioł Stróz, once I translated this phrase and found it meant, “Guardian Angel”, I immediately had multiple themes (or is it memes)  for this blog.

How many times have you felt that a beloved relative who has passed, was aiding you in finding answers to your genealogical research? I know I have felt this to be the case and I have heard other genealogists say the same. That is one kind of guardian angel — for us genealogists.

I have also felt fortunate to be saved from a few “close calls”. Once, immediately after being saved from a collision with a deer. My radio played some music with the lyric “saved by an angel”. How spooky is that? That is the kind of guardian angel most of us think of. The benevolent, ethereal kind that saves us from harm.

Today, however, I have started blogging about my father’s prayer book, which had this title in Polish.  I will post a picture of the prayer book and the prayers cards I found inside it  — as soon as I replace my broken Mac. This genealogical memento is a treasure for me as it connects me to my father and his religious studies from when he was just a little boy.  Also, because of the cards and inscription, I have an extra memory of my paternal grandmother in the form of her handwriting.

It is not one of those fabled family Bibles that had many generations of ELIASZ or LESZCZYNSKI with birth, marriage and death dates.  It was my father’s prayer book, but it is my connection to him (bless his heart he is now 83 years old with two older brothers still alive — real family treasures) and it is my connection to his mother Walerya Leszczynska Eliasz.

Chester Eliasz was born at home, in Detroit, MI in 1926. On, 6/24/1928 he was baptised at Corpus Christi Church – 2291 East Outer Drive, Detroit, MI. This is the same church where my grandfather Joseph Eliasz built the Bell Tower. His  God Parents were: Wladislaw Gronek & Janina Leszczynska [I do not even know who Janina was/is). As a boy, Chester attended Immaculate Conception Church in Hamtramck as a boy. {near his Craig St home  — no longer existent due to Poletown Plant}. On 6/5/1938: he made his 1st Holy Communion, while he lived at 6468 Craig Street [from prayer book] @ St Johns Church on East Grand Blvd, Detroit. It is this Anioł Stróz that I hold and blog about now (12/18/2009).

As I draw to a close in 2009, I do think upon my genealogical guardian angel(s), who have helped me find, many Polish church records from the parishes in Biechow and in Pacanow. In 2009, my Anioł Stróz were many real people as well as the many spiritual kind, who helped me acquire amongst other treasures: my grandfather’s birth record from Pacanow (and a few of his siblings), my grandparent’s marriage record from Biechow  and other treasures that solved puzzles connecting the ELIASZ family to Gawlik {owski} family via the Wlecialowskich (i.e. Rosa Wlecialowski Gawlikowski — whose mother was Katarzyna Eliasz). That is nice!

Ciotka Rosie and her family lived across the street (Fairchild Rd) from my grandmother’s farm in MI. This time of year they would come Christmas Eve and sing a Christmas carol outside my grandmother’s farmhouse [when I was just a young, impressionable boy, circa 1960's]. At the time, I was told they are friends of the family. Now in 2009, I find they too are part of the ELIASZ family and that my “cousin”, Kim Gawlik Kowalski, the genealogist from TN,  is actually a real 4th cousin of mine.

Merry Christmas, Eliasz, Leszczynski, Gawlikowski, Wlecialowski and even Gronek, Sobieszczanski, Mylek, and Mrozek too — wherever we all are this 2009! May our family trees cross in the coming year!

December 6, 2009

2009 Genealogy Treasure Finds

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been silent for far too long. Most of my silence is due to my Mac dying and a bad economy dictating that I cannot replace it right now. Lest you feel sorry for this jester, my other reason has been my job. I have been busy working and since August working on an important project vital to my company’s success. So I’ll thank the Lord for my job and the ability to take care of my wife and dog (Princess Java Argus Solomon Eliasz). I’ll get around to registering her with the AKC one of these days. I am thankful for JAVA  and TEREZA.

I am also thankful for a wonderful year in genealogy. I can look back and see how luck I was to find a kind soul in Biechow (Elzbieta) who mailed me my grandparent’s marriage record from the church and from the local USC.

I am thankful to Ann Faulkner of Michigan who was able to dig out my great-uncle Jan Eliasz/Elijasz and his death notice. From which I was able to get his death certificate. Next time back home to family, I will pay a visit to my great-uncle’s grave.

Those were huge! I am also thankful for meeting Jacek of Krakow. I met him in a Polish web site: genealodzy.pl. We swapped some images since our families were from the same villages (Biechow, Pacanow, Zborowek amongst others) and some laughs (due to my lack of proficiency with the Polish language). He also worked for me at the Pinczow Archive to research: Eliasz, Leszczynski & Wlecialowski.  It is to Jacek, that I am most thankful. He found my grandfather’s birth record ( and many of his siblings), he found an uncle we never knew about (but suspected must exist), he found Leszczynski and many Wlecialowski too. I am particularly grateful he found an Eliasz-Wlecialowski marriage record that solved a problem about how the Eliasz were related to Wlecialowski. In so doing he made a genealogical friend of mine, a third cousin! I am most thankful to Jacek fo rhis finding the marriage churhc record of my great-grandparents: Tomasz Leszczynski & Aniela Major (yes this is a Polish name). He also found three pages of alegata describing the marriage banns — believe when I have a MAC again, I will post pictures. This must have been a pre-cursor to a marriage license — it has a postage stamp on the top of the 1st page! It was from 1885, so the pre-amble and the final summation are in Russian/Cyrillic, but the middle was in Polish  — and I was able to read and understand it; Much good info there.

So all-in-all, I’d have to say that 2009 was an unparalleled year for genealogy.  How did your genealogy search go this year?

–Stanczyk

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