Archive for May, 2010

May 31, 2010

Mount Vernon Cemetery – Philadelphia

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This is Mount Vernon cemetery. Now before you think this the George Washington’s Mt Vernon, it is not that one. This is a cemetery in Philadelphia nearly next door to Philadelphia’s famous, historical Laurel Hill cemetery that is on the hill above Philadelphia overlooking the Schuykill River (quite a lovely vista — in fact today the jester met an artist at the Mt Laurel cemetery painting a landscape on an absolutely beautiful day surrounded by these wonderful cemetery monuments).

Mount Vernon Cemetery to my horror is now a nearly defunct cemetery. There appears to be very little in the way of funds to maintain this lovely old cemetery. Overgrowth is obvious, the paths for cars is overgrown and truly I needed the caretaker to guide me through and not run over any tombstones. The picture at the top of this blog is obviously an old image. The entrance which is what the picture shows,  is now very much overgrown and disheveled and looks nothing like the image. I spoke to Norman the caretaker and he said that almost all families are no longer providing for upkeep. I felt for Norman as he is very local and doing his best to keep this cemetery together on something less than a shoestring budget.

This cemetery has Drew Barrymore’s ancestors (find-a-grave) ! This jester does not have family interred here. I would however be willing to help Norman do a project to capture the genealogy from his records and the tombstones and develop some kind of saleable product to help sustain this cemetery. But realistically, unless the lovely Drew Barrymore were to  provide some kind of endowment fund or help raise funds for this cemetery, it will  become perpetually defunct and eventually go back to the state of Pennsylvania for guardianship. My guess  is that  if anything happens to Norman, this cemetery will die. Death of a Cemetery.

Mount Vernon Cemetery Philadelphia                 28-February-1856   —  2010?

May 15, 2010

Struck!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s musing comes from three tragic stories. There is a thimbleful of genealogy here. Stanczyk was perusing a tome in his library of a Norse saga.  It struck me with the power of a missile how similar were these three stories  and this jester was astounded.

Here are my protagonists:

Odin and Frigg had a son the beloved and good Baldur. Baldur was so loved by all, including his mother, Frigg. So Frigg extracted an oath from all manner of things not to harm Baldur. All things gave an oath, but  mistletoe which was too young to swear an oath.

Genealogy: Odin + Frigg -> Baldur

Peleus and Thetis had a son Achilles. Thetis, the good Greek wife she was knew her son would grow up to be a warrior. So to protect her son, she took Achilles to the river Styx and lowered him into the waters whose miraculous properties would make Achilles impervious. Except, she dunked Achilles, by holding onto his left heel.

Genealogy: Peleus + Thetis -> Achilles

Adam and Eve had a son Cain. Cain after murdering his brother Abel was cursed by God to be ostracized and  Cain was marked so that no living thing would kill him. The curse had a time limit, until the 7th generation of Cain.

Genealogy: Adam + Eve -> Cain->Enoch->Irad->Mehujael->Methushael->Lamech->son

In all three cases, (Baldur, Achilles, and Cain), they were shot and died. Baldur dies when Loki ferrets out that mistletoe is the only thing that did not give an oath and he fashioned a dart of mistletoe. While the Norse were having fun throwing things at Baldur who could not be hit or hurt, Loki directed, Hod,  to fire the mistletoe dart at Baldur killing him. Achilles was killed by Paris with an arrow shot in the Trojan war, striking the only spot on him that was not impervious, his heel. Finally, we have Cain being shot by the blind Lamech, who was directed by his own son to fire at something in the woods. Therefore, Lamech’s son, the 7th generation of Cain caused Cain’s death. In two of the stories, a blind man is directed to kill the protagonist. All three protagonists die of a missile being fired at them. In all three cases, the protagonist was impervious except/until:  mistletoe, unprotected heel, or 7th generation.

As I researched this blog, I was astounded a second time, that the story of Cain’s death is NOT in the Bible. Just Cain’s curse and his generations are recorded in the Bible. It is funny how this jester had joined two separate stories in his mind and then sourced it solely from the Bible.

Striking parallels indeed. Please do not shoot me any emails over this blog.

May 12, 2010

Dziennik Polski [Detroit]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dziennik Polski 1924Dziennik Polski (“Polish Daily”). Many times this has been used as a title for a local  Polish language newspaper. This jester originally came from Detroit, MI where we too had such a newspaper. One day I was having a meal  with mój ojciec (my father). I had decided to go to the Library of the State of Michigan in Lansing the next day and I was going to do my first foray into reading an historical newspaper on microfilm. The newspaper I selected was Dziennik Polski; I am not even certain why I chose that newspaper, perhaps it was an article I read in the PGSM’s Eaglet newsletter. Now Michigan was blessed with many Polish language newspapers:

And those were just from Wayne County. I was going to try and find the birth announcements for my father and his siblings and perhaps I’d also find some death notices too.

Surprise

At any rate, as we eat a meal together I told my father that I was going to the State Library and perhaps read some newspapers. Out of the blue and for the first time, my father tells the family how his mother, Walerya, used to read the Dziennik Polski newspaper! What serendipity he mentioned the exact newspaper I was going to research. So I was armed with birth dates and off I went secure in the knowledge that my new idea would be successful. For if my busia read the newspaper, then surely she must have put announcements into to it too. Now the more experienced genealogists are probably laughing at that naiveté. Well I did not find my father’s birth being announced. However, I did find my uncle Thaddeus’ birth being announced and the street address was one my father had recalled to me in an earlier conversation. Well you can imagine I was hooked on this charming little Polish language newspaper.

I was certain, that I’d find my great uncle Jan’s death announcement – but I did not have the date, just that it was after my grandfather’s death (06-January-1930). So I would just gut it out and search this newspaper for all of the 1930’s decade until I found him. By now you must realize that this  is a daunting task. Each microfilm contains about 2-3 months of newspapers and I found I could do one microfilm in a single day. By my math I would need 40 days at the Library or possibly on average maybe only 20 days. Of course, I no longer lived in Michigan, so that posed a problem. Of course, they also did not have every day on the microfilm either, so it just might not be on the microfilm. Finally, it was during the Great Depression, so death announcements would not be there unless you paid for them; That was certainly going to be a problem for my widowed grandmother with 7 kids to feed.

Well Stanczyk is still pursuing this enterprise, albeit more slowly due to the tough economic times. I enjoy the genealogy and also the history preserved in these newspapers. I also get some kind of surreal connection to my grandmother by putting myself in her place and reading these historical newspapers in her native tongue. I have painstakingly gathered some expertise on this newspaper and gathered info the PGSM Eaglet, my own research and the work of the PGSCTNE and have built an index now with over 20,000 names. Because this is a Polish language newspaper, it is largely a story of the Poles who settled in Detroit, MI (and of course Hamtramck). I have that index and my collected research available here on Rootsweb website:  Dziennik Polski .

Read your local newspaper or that of your grandmother’s. Read the Second World War, through your grandmother’s eyes. It is horrific to see Hitler and Stalin splashed across the pages of the 1920’s and 1930’s and to know that they eventually will collectively kill nearly 40 million people – back then, for busia  it was news, now for this jester it is history. History carries a much greater impact when read through the context of your ancestors and the newspapers of their lives.

May 2, 2010

Biechow & Pacanow databases…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday this jester wrote about an interaction with another genealogist and how it caused me to do my research in a different way and how by doing this survey, I was able to find two small related Elijasz facts buried in another family’s church record.

The blog was not suitable for three column (or even nicely viewable in single column). So I wanted to publish the database on my Rootsweb page. So here is Pacanow 1883 Births .

I have done surveys of some years records and published them onto the Internet. The reason I do this is draw other genealogists to me, by their Googling their family tree and finding my pages and then querying me to see if we are related in some way. Over the years I have run into many genealogists and/or distant cousins who have supplied vital or emotionally  priceless photos.

Here are my Biechow parish databases too:

1810 Biechow Births

1811 Biechow Births

1812-1831 Survey

So if your ancestral village was in Biechow parish or Pacanow parish send me your query. Perhaps we are related somewhat closely. Or if your name is the following list (these are just Biechow/Pacanow family names):

Eliasz, Elijasz, Heliasz, Leszczynski, Wlecialowski, Paluch, Zasucha, Zwolski, Odomski, Kedzierski, Kalucki, Kordos, Siwiec, Wojtys, Gawron, Fortuna,  Grudzien, Piotrowski, Juda, Bebel, Bordziak, Bugaj, Kostyra, Podolski, Wrobel, Wrzesnia, Watroba, Gula,  Janicki, Kapusta, Baran, etc.

Why not send me a query?

May 1, 2010

Pacanow 1883, A Survey of Births

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to take another look at the church records in Pacanow. Recently, I was emailed  by a Zwolski ancestor whose Jan Zwolski had married a Petronella Elyasz[sic]. So I went combing through the Zwolski records and sure enough I found a Petronella Elijasz married to a Jan Zwolski. There was a lot of synergy in the names of witnesses and God Parents too.

So I decided to do a survey of the 1883 Births of Pacanow for these “marker” families to see if I might find some female Eliasz/Elijasz ancestors and possibly some male Eliasz/Elijasz witnesses. At the end of this article I put together a table of people, places and dates of this little synergistic community within the Pacanow parish.

I was surprised at how well this little experiment had worked. Now wrapping my brain around the translation/transliteration of proper nouns from Russian/Cyrillic to Polish (or English) is not my idea of fun so I never did a survey of the Russian church records, like I did for the pre-1868 Polish records of Biechow (Pacanow does not have any pre-1868 records that have been microfilmed by the LDS).

So here is what I did. I looked at Elijasz (or Heliasz if any) in the indexes as usual, but now I also noted the records with: Zwolski, Siwiec, Odomski, Pytka, Zasucha, Paluch, Wojtys and for good measure, Zdziebko. Now that last one I added for my good friend, the famous genealogist Ceil Jensen, whose ancestors just happen to inhabit the same parish as my ancestors. Now keep in mind that this survey was just one year and just for the births.

The experiment worked, I found an Elijasz female and one Elijasz male mentioned in records that were indexed by the other “marker” families. Some people call these aligned or affiliated family names. I prefer the analogical thought that these are genetic markers for Elijasz (and on some deeper level this is true). I have joked for a few years now that the Elijaszow are related to all of the families in Biechow and Pacanow parishes. I even take note of these “parish names” when I come across them in the USA records in Buffalo, Toledo, and Detroit in particular, but other US cities as well. They are still good genetic markers for Eliasz/Elijasz even in the USA even more than a century later.

I did not find any Leszczynski or Wlecialowski, but to be fair, I seldom find them in the LDS microfilm. I did find a few other “marker” families that I had neglected to survey in the go around. I found Janicki, Janowski, Luszcz, Major and Kordos too. So these family names are also heavily intertwined with the original list. In fact, I think I found a few misspellings that are actually really in my list, but were misspelled. Now I cannot prove this, but I will build a little database and publish it to my website and see if any genetic marker families ping me about being related.

So I guess when you look at indexes, do not just fixate on your direct descent family name. At some point go back and look for your “marker” family names in the indexes and search those records as well. You too may find some extra nuggets of family gold. At the very least you may find some female ancestors who tend to get lost when they marry.

Oh, that Zdziebko experiment. It appears that Ceil’s Wojciech Zdziebko married one of my “marker” families, Jano{w}ski, and he had a child with Marianna Janoska. So even the Zdziebko’s are just one degree away from my ancestors – but no direct connection.

Database

Pacanow Parish, 1883 Births, a small Survey Total Births: 203
Surname Given Name Age in Yrs Approx. Birth Year or Birthdate Birth Place Church Record Relationship to Baby Baby Name Notes / Marginalia
Czylanka Antoni 36 abt 1847 25 Witness Roman Elijasz
Elijasz Jozef 23 abt 1860 n/a 25 Father Roman Elijasz
Elijasz Marianna n/a 169 God Mother Jan Kanty Zasucha
Elijasz Martin n/a 186 God Father Marianna Zasucha
Elijasz Roman 0 8-Feb-1883 Pacanow 25 Baby Roman Elijasz
Grudzien Walenty n/a 169 God Father Jan Kanty Zasucha
Grudzieniszkow Stanislaw 46 abt 1837 25 Witness Roman Elijasz Grudzien?
Janicki Teofil n/a 85 God Father Antoni Odomski
Janoska Marianna 30 abt 1853 n/a 111 Mother Tekla Zdziebko
Janoska Zofia n/a 19 God Mother Apolionia Paluch
Katarzyna Zhigliczka n/a 186 God Mother Marianna Zasucha
Kodos Walenty 30 abt 1853 124 Witness Bronislawa Wojtys Kordos?
Korczynska Zuzanna n/a 162 God Mother Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jadwiga 0 7-Oct-1883 Rataje 162 Baby Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jan 38 abt 1845 162 Witness Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jan 1845? 162 God Father Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Michal 28 abt 1855 n/a 162 Father Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Stanislaw 50 abt 1833 162 Witness Jadwiga Kordos
Kuczka Maciej 56 abt 1827 111 Witness Tekla Zdziebko
Lewinska Franciszka 47 abt 1836 124 Mother Bronislawa Wojtys
Lewinski Michal n/a 124 God Father Bronislawa Wojtys
Lewinski Piotr n/a 170 God Father Leopold Pytka
Lewisnka Julianna n/a 85 God Mother Antoni Odomski
Lewisnki Michal 36 abt 1847 170 Witness Leopold Pytka
Lewsinski Stanislaw 45 abt 1838 186 Witness Marianna Zasucha
Luszcz Ignacy 52 abt 1831 10 Witness Agnieszka Wojtys
Luszcz Kasper n/a 25 God Father Roman Elijasz
Luszcz -owa Marianna n/a 10 God Mother Agnieszka Wojtys
Major Magdalena 22 abt 1861 n/a 19 Mother Apolionia Paluch
Mondra Wiktorya 22 abt 1861 n/a 162 Mother Jadwiga Kordos
Nowakow Antoni 46 abt 1837 170 Witness Leopold Pytka
Nowakow Katarzyna 22 abt 1861 n/a 170 Mother Leopold Pytka
Odomski Antoni 0 27-May-1883 Pacanow 85 Baby Antoni Odomski
Odomski Antoni 48 abt 1835 n/a 85 Father Antoni Odomski
Odomski Antoni 45 abt 1838 124 Witness Bronislawa Wojtys
Orzechowek Tekla n/a 169 Future Wife Jan Kanty Zasucha Pacanow Marriage Rec #16 for 28-Jan-1914
Paluch Apolionia 0 21-Jan-1883 Pacanow 19 Baby Apolionia Paluch
Paluch Marianna n/a 25 Future Wife Roman Elijasz Pacanow Marriage Rec #144 for 24-Nov-1913
Paluch Walenty 27 abt 1856 n/a 19 Father Apolionia Paluch
Piotrowska Marianna 22 abt 1861 n/a 25 Mother Roman Elijasz
Poniewirska Anna n/a 170 God Mother Leopold Pytka
Poniewirska Jozefa 40 abt 1843 n/a 85 Mother Antoni Odomski
Pytczyka Eleonora n/a 25 God Mother Roman Elijasz Pykta?
Pytka Andrziej 50 abt 1833 19 Witness Apolionia Paluch
Pytka Leopold 0 18-Oct-1883 Pacanow 170 Baby Leopold Pytka
Pytka Michal n/a 10 God Father Agnieszka Wojtys
Pytka Tomasz 38 abt 1845 10 Witness Agnieszka Wojtys
Pytka Wladyslaw 23 abt 1860 n/a 170 Father Leopold Pytka
Siwacz Tomasz 46 abt 1837 169 Witness Jan Kanty Zasucha Siwiec?
Sliaska Marianna 25 abt 1858 169 Mother Jan Kanty Zasucha Eliaszka?
Sowowa Marianna 25 abt 1858 n/a 10 Mother Agnieszka Wojtys
Strykarz Jakob n/a 19 God Father Apolionia Paluch
Wieczorek Antoni n/a 111 God Father Tekla Zdziebko
Wojtys Agnieszka 0 13-Jan-1883 Pacanow 10 Baby Agnieszka Wojtys
Wojtys Aniela n/a 124 God Mother Bronislawa Wojtys
Wojtys Antoni n/a 85 Witness Antoni Odomski
Wojtys Bronislawa 0 31-Jul-1883 Pacanow 124 Baby Bronislawa Wojtys
Wojtys Jozef 50 abt 1833 19 Witness Apolionia Paluch
Wojtys Jozef 50 abt 1833 169 Witness Jan Kanty Zasucha
Wojtys Mateusz 45 abt 1838 n/a 10 Father Agnieszka Wojtys
Wojtys Tomasz 66 abt 1817 124 Father Bronislawa Wojtys
Wtorka Tomasz 60 abt 1823 186 Witness Marianna Zasucha
Zagoczec Elzbieta n/a 111 God Mother Tekla Zdziebko
Zasucha Adam 26 abt 1857 169 Father Jan Kanty Zasucha
Zasucha Jan Kanty 0 19-Oct-1883 Pacanow 169 Baby Jan Kanty Zasucha
Zasucha Marianna 0 12-Nov-1883 Pacanow 186 Baby Marianna Zasucha
Zasucha Martin 23 abt 1860 186 Father Marianna Zasucha
Zawada Jan 60 abt 1823 111 Witness Tekla Zdziebko
Zdziebko Tekla 0 1-Jul-1883 Rataje 111 Baby Tekla Zdziebko
Zdziebko Wojciech 36 abt 1847 n/a 111 Father Tekla Zdziebko
Zhigliczka Katarzyna 20 abt 1863 186 Mother Marianna Zasucha
Zhigliczkow Teodor n/a 85 Witness Antoni Odomski
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