Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

2012 Mens Chess Championship Tournament – Host Selection Still Pending

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FIDE Tournament Selection

 

It was supposed to be today that we found out where and when the 2012 Men’s Chess Championship between AnandGelfand would occur. The process for selecting a host for this tournament has been extended another month until 31-July-2011.

The details can be found here: http://discusschess.com/bids-deadline-for-anand-gelfand-2012-extended.html . I just wanted to update my earlier article on this Chess Championship. Stanczyk thinks FIDE needs to be more flexible on their demands. I think they are snoozing on  the job and need to wake up and smell the coffee. I hope someone in the USA can pull together a bid, I’d love to see a Chess Championship in person!  OK, America its your move.

June 28, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday Czesław Miłosz

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Sto,  that is a lot.  Stanczyk is getting old, …  really, really old. Has it already been a century since the birth of Nobel Laureate, Czeslaw Milosz ?  Time flies when you are a royal jester. In two days, we will be celebrating Milosz’s 100th birthday. Milosz is near and dear to moje serce (my heart). When asked about his nationality, Milosz replied …

I am a Lithuanian to whom it was not given to be a Lithuanian.”  and “My family in the sixteenth century already spoke Polish, just as many families in Finland spoke Swedish and in Ireland English, so I am a Polish not a Lithuanian poet.”

A complex mind indeed. But I get Milosz. His family was from the era of the Polish-Lithuanian Commnwealth, literately Polish as were most in the circles of power or in the intelligentsia circles. So his thoughts were Polish, but his world view was Lithuanian where he was born. Of course this is in counter-point to Milosz being born into the Russian Empire. On June 30th, 1911 (Milosz’s birth) in the village of Szetejnie, his family was a member of the Russian Empire (Kovno Gubernia), just one of ten provinces in Russian-Poland (occupied Poland) inside the much larger Russian (still Czarist) Empire. Milosz however, was never Russian, not Czarist and no, not ever a Soviet.

I get Milosz. His Slavic soul still whispers to me and his way with words kept rapt, my attention. Much of his poetry/prose was indeed of his memory of Lithuanian places or experiences. That is not to negate his Polish experiences both pre and post Communism. His novel, “The Captive Mind”, a brilliant anti-Stalinist piece that made him well known, … in the Western, non-communist world. His works were unknown in Poland and the West thought of him as a political writer, not a poet. Milosz emigrated to the USA in 1960 and in 1961 started his tenure in Slavic Literature/Studies at  UC Berkley, and became a US citizen in 1970. In 1980, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Oddly, because his works were banned in Communist Poland, he was largely unknown as a writer in Poland until the award. Gradually, after the fall of Communism (by the 1990’s), Milosz moved back to Poland and lived and died in Krakow in 2004.

Crypt of the Meritorius

After a solemn mass at the Krakow Basilica of St. Mary’s, where a letter was read by the Pope, Blessed John Paul II,  of the Pope’s last correspondence with the poet. The funeral procession followed the Royal Road to the church of St. Michael the Archangel & St. Stanislaus on the Rock (na Skalce), where his sarcophagus is interred in its crypt. This crypt holds a Polish National Pantheon of literati.

Stanczyk only owns four works by Milosz:  The History of Polish Literature,  New and Collected Poems (1931-2001),  Road-Side Dog (two copies), and   Milosz’s Alphabet. I hope my readers will not think less of me, because I say, that the Road-Side Dog is my favorite. Milosz, I started writing far too late, but I assure you that there are many of your, Subjects, that I wish, To Let. Mój piesek (my little dog), Java, is not so little and seldom Road-Side, but her and I have a voice and your subjects To Let and some topics of our own to bark at visitors as they go by.  Milosz, bless me with your literate spirit.  I get you  Milosz and you live on in my,  and I assume many  minds and hearts,  forever. Pity you did not live to this era of blogging and Twitter. I doubt you’d have tweeted, but the blog would have been a fine media for your splendid thoughts.

Happy Birthday Czeslaw! Sto lat!

June 27, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #4 Genealogical Societies in Poland

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, continues with his favorite websites in Poland. I hope you speak Polish or at least have mastered using Google Translate .

Pay especial attention to: Polskiego Towarzystwa Genealogicznego (Polish Genealogical Society). They have valuable databases online and their forums have experts, some of whom speak English and generally all of them are friendly and knowledgeable. Stanczyk once found a Polish genealogist who had ancestors from the same villages as mine. This fine lad (Jacek) from Krakow even shared images from church books with me and he was amenable to being a genealogy researcher for me on a trip to an Archive! I also found some distant cousins who traded emails with me on the website’s email facility and that was helpful. One of my grandfather’s cousins was a member of Haller’s Army (aka Blue Army)  and I was able to find his record amongst the fallen in one of their books, which answered why he was no longer found in any US census or in any US death record [since he had died in World War I overseas in Poland's post WWI battle with Russia]. These snippets of info have been able to enrich my family tree. Finally, they have a database of parishes that is invaluable.

Take a look and see what you find …

Genealogical Societies (Some w/ Heraldic Info) WebSite
Bydgoskie Towarzystwo Heraldyczno–Genealogiczne http://www.mok.bydgoszcz.pl/index.php?cid=199
Galicyjskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.republika.pl/slucki/gtg.htm
Kaliskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne http://genealogia.kalisz.pl/
Kujawsko-Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne http://kptg.pl/
Lubelskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.ltg.zg.pl/index.html
MaloPolska Towarzystwa Genealogicznego http://www.mtg-malopolska.org.pl/index.html
Opolskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne http://www.otg.mojeforum.net/search.php
Ostrowskiego Towarzystwa Genealogicznego  http://www.otg.xt.pl/
Polskiego Towarzystwa Genealogicznego (Polish Genealogucal Society) http://genealodzy.pl/changelang-eng.phtml
Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.ptg.gda.pl
Śląskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://gento.free.ngo.pl/
Suwalskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.mem.net.pl/stg/
Świętokrzyskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne “Świętogen” http://www.genealodzy-kielce.pl/beta2/index.php
Towarzystwo Genealogiczne Centralnej Polski  http://www.tgcp.pl
Towarzystwo Genealogiczne Ziemi Częstochowskiej  http://www.genealodzy.czestochowa.pl/
Towarzystwo Genealogiczno – Heraldyczne w Poznaniu  http://www.tgh.friko.pl/info.html
Warszawskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://genealogysociety.republika.pl/
Wielkopolskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne „Gniazdo” http://www.wtg-gniazdo.org/wiki.php?page=Info_English
Heraldic Societies in Poland WebSite
Polskie Towarzystwo Heraldyczne http://www.sejm-wielki.pl/
Związek Szlachty Polskiej http://www.szlachta.org.pl/

Let me know what you find!

June 26, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #3 Mapa.Szukacz.pl

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

To recap, please look at Stanczyk’s little graphic. We have covered genealogyindexer.org, Poland’s Digital Libraries (Biblioteka Cyfrowa), and now number three in our series:  Mapa.Szukacz.pl  .

If you want to trace Polish genealogy a good many skills are required of the researcher. The ability to read a map or a gazetteer is critical. Where is Babcia’s village?  So mapa.szukacz.pl is good for locating today’s existing villages/towns/cities. If you use Google Maps, then the basic concept should be familiar to you. But Stanczyk likes mapa.szukacz.pl because you lookup the village. To lookup a placename you enter the village in the field with the title ‘Miejscowość’ in the pink dialog box with the title, ‘Pokaż na mapie’ (‘Show on Map’). Finally, you press the button named, ‘Pokaż’ (Show). That is it. The village appears, assuming it still exists and you are fortunate enough to spell it correctly. If the placename you entered is a common one, then you may see a list of choices to examine and pick from. That is it and you have located dziadek’s (grandfather’s) home town. Of course, you have probably done some extensive research to get to this point. But now you have the lay of the land of your ancestral village. The radio buttions by ‘Zebliż’ change the zoom of the map; so adjust to your needs. All this is well and good and mostly just like Google Maps, except the ability lookup by name. But there have been a few new tricks added to this wonderful tool.

It already gave you the population (ex. 1275 osób, like for Pacanow). You need not enter the diacriticals. It also gave you woj. ,  pow. ,  and gmina. Which you may think of as  state, county, and township/borrough. Write these down, you will need them over and over again. Sadly, these levels of administration have changed since your grandparent’s time. You also get a postal code and telephone prefix in case you seek out family in the mother country. If that were all it would be a useful tool. But as I said, they have enhanced this web application. There is a valuable drop down named, ‘Przydatne punkty’ (“Useful points’). It only allows you to pick one selection. I find ‘kościoły’ (Churches) and ‘cmentarze’ (Cemeteries) the most useful to a genealogist. A word to the wise. The symbols that pop-up on the map (if any,  at your zoom level) are woefully incomplete. So the church you are seeking may not show, as in my case. But I am hopeful that they will keep adding to his valuable resource. This option is akin to that of ‘search nearby’ in Google Maps. Originally, I did not use Google Maps for Poland or Ukraine because it was woeful in listing villages and its ability to search nearby was no good for countries that did not have English as their primary language. But I see today that those issues have been resolved by Google. But Mapa.szukacz.pl still gives you the population and administration levels and other demographics that Google has yet to provide. Stanczyk does have to praise Google in one way. The ‘little yellow man’ that you can place on most US roads to get a web-cam still panoramic view of the location is replaced with little blue ‘dots’ where you can drop him and see photographs from that spot (Which Pacanow seemed to have many). So I guess you should use both maps.google.com and mapa.szukacz.pl to geo-locate your ancestral village. To get  the spelling correct, perhaps you can use JewishGen’s (also now in ancestry.com) Shtetl Seeker tool to help you get the spelling correct. Alas, that is another useful website for another day….

June 25, 2011

Historical Newspapers – Gazeta Kielecka 1899

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was combing the many Digital Libraries in and around my ancestral villages looking for clues, contacts or vital records as published in periodicals or guild books. So I was at: Swietokrzyska Digital Library

That is when I found this funeral ad. This I knew in a minute when I saw, as it was very familiar from reading the Dziennik Polski (Detroit) ethnic newspaper, which is itself an historic newspaper now. At any rate, I hate to leave vital records behind and since this was the only vital record in the 4 pages of the Gazeta Kielecka, I could afford to spend some of my effort to help some other poor genealogist(s).

Poor Jozefa was survived by her husband and children (no names provided). She died in Pinczow on January 17th, 1899 at the age of 37 (born/ur. about 1862). Her maiden name was Baranow (Baranowskich family) and married name was Pogorzelska. It is unclear to me whether she was the wife of a duty collector or whether her occupation was duty/excise tax collector (inspektora akcyzy).

 

Jozefa Pogorzelska z Baranow died (zmarla) 17-Jan-1899
June 25, 2011

Polish Genealogy: Useful Websites #2 … Digital Archives, Libraries, Church Archives

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday I wrote about Poland’s great website resources that we in the English speaking world should be using. I was thinking of the State Archives (national/regional), Libraries, and Ecclesiastical Archives. Now these are not the civil registration offices (USC) nor are these the parish church books. These are the duplicate records in the archives.

Furthermore, I was emphasizing the resources that have online resources, like a catalog (in the case of the PRADZIAD database) or even better digital images of documents or historical items. Yesterday’s article was already running long. So today, I am including a sampling of these resources (while I test/cleanup the others). With these you should be able to find the others yourself. I also apologize that these are heavily influenced by where I have ancestors.

A word of note to my cautious readers. The digital libraries all use a product called Dj Vu ( a browser plug-in) from LizardTech. I strongly urge you to utilize this software! I have used it for years with no worries. It works in both MS Windows and in MAC OS. I have used with many types of browsers and can usually get it to work as an add-in/plug-in to the browser or as a local applet that runs on the PC.

As for the websites, I have some advice there as well. First off, if you are comfortable working in Polish (język polski) then you should use this language. The reason is some sites offer more content only in Polish. If you are language challenged, then your next best option is to look for a little flag. The flag looks like the UK’s Union Jack or the USA’s Old Glory or sometimes a hybrid of the two. Clicking on that icon usually translates a page’s content into “mostly” English. Some button or menus or other user interface features may still be in Polish. For the most part, the websites do not force you to use the accented letters (diacriticals). You should test to verify you get the same results in your searches by doing it both ways. Some websites offer a little keyboard to help Americans enter the diacriticals when they are necessary. The GenealogIndexer website actually had a nice keyboard (see image above) that included the Cyrillic characters (in case you are searching in Russian/Ukrainian/BeloRussian/etc.), Hebrew characters and other Euro/Slavic characters.

Stanczyk wishes to thank Poland and its many archives and museums for providing these resources. I promise to come visit as a tourist and a RESEARCHER because you so kindly made it possible for me to extend my vacation/holiday to do some historical/genealogical research by providing these resources ahead of time while I am still at home and can prepare. Final word of advice, to those planning a research trip to Poland; Try these websites out to help you on locating the resources and their locations and even the details (i.e. FONDS, etc.). Make yourself familiar with access rules or have your guide do the leg-work so you can walk right in and begin your research without delay. Do not forget or ignore the parishes or the USC offices (civil records authority, like county-clerk in USA) or cemeteries; make time for parishes and archives both to ensure you see as much as you possibly can in one trip.

Now my sample resources are in the table below:

Digital Content from Poland’s Archives / Museums / Churches English Translation Websites
Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Państwowych The Head Office of State Archives http://archiwa.gov.pl/en/data-bases.html
MaloPolska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Malopolska (LittlePoland) http://mbc.malopolska.pl/dlibra
WielkoPolska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Greater Poland in Poznan http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/dlibra
Slaska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Silesia http://www.sbc.org.pl/dlibra
Podlaska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Podlaska http://pbc.biaman.pl/dlibra
Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych AGAD – Central Archives of Historical Records http://www.agad.archiwa.gov.pl/
Archiwum Państwowe w Kielcach State Archive in Kielce http://www.kielce.ap.gov.pl/
Archiwum Państwowe w Rzeszowie State Archive in Rzeszów http://www.rzeszow.ap.gov.pl
Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (NAC) National Digital Archives http://nac.gov.pl/en/node/58
NAC – Search Archives link Search the Archives (Lublin, Poznan, Warsaw, Hoover Inst.) http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/
Archiwum Diecezjalne – Kielce Kielce Diocessan Archives http://www.kielce.opoka.org.pl/?mod=contents&g=kuria&id=archiwum
Archiwum Diecezjalne – Tarnów Tarnów Diocessan Archives http://www.archiwum.diecezja.tarnow.pl
June 24, 2011

Shoemakers Guild Brothers, a Guild Book in Śląska Biblioteka Cyfrowa

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been searching for Shoemakers Guild (Chechy Szewskiego) books. I was in the Silesian Digital Library (aka Śląska Biblioteka Cyfrowa). I found this amazing guild book. It had nearly 360 pages to comb through and in Polish (with some Latin); so this will take a good bit of time to peruse. It seems to span about a century (1799-1899). The book as you might guess is mostly about Shoemakers and their various helpers. It also seemed to have another guild: the Tanners (Garbarskiego) in one part. Mostly it is about men ( a few women too) and their jobs. They seem to be very religious as I see many notes related to the church and/or it societies.

While there are many family names, I would have to say that the founding and sustaining family are the Miodonskich (Miodonski). It starts in the 1860′s and 1870′s. But after a few pages there is a colorful page with a drawing and then a good many pages with in an ornate border all in color detailing the people, works, and traditions of this guild’s brotherhood (and sisterhood). The colorful and ornate bordered pages (all hand drawn) start in 1799 and it is clear that a Miodonski is the founder of this guild.

Take a look for yourself here. The expanded book notes indicate a village named: Żywiec . I do not know about shoes, but today  they seem to be known for beer. Just a quick note tonight.

 

June 24, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #2

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Donna Pointkouski ‘s question (about the Shoemaker’s Guild) reminded Stanczyk that he has needed for a while to collect his bookmarks/favorites/URLs together on the useful websites in Poland. In particular, the Online Archives.  Some of the nifty historical images in this blog have been gathered from these valuable resources.

Most genealogists know that you can use the LDS website familysearch.org and search for microfilm of Polish parishes or synagogues. But what if you wanted to search what was available in Poland itself as a way to see what else is available if you go to Poland to search its civil or ecclesiastical archives. Well, Stanczyk uses The Head Office of State Archives (the state archives of Poland) and in particular, I search the PRADZIAD database. You may also want to look at SEZAM, or ELA databases too.

But my images have been coming from Digital Libraries (in Polish = Biblioteka Cyfrowa). I have been collecting a spreadsheet of these digital libraries. They frequently use Dj Vu plug-in to display the scanned images of the books (or other materials). Some regional genealogy societies also have digitized books  (Książki Bibliotek Cyfrowych) on their websites. The one Stanczyk uses for his research is:  Digital Library of Malopolska (LittlePoland) .

The National Digital Archive has 15 million photos and thousands of audio files too. Recently they also implemented an interface (which seems to be implemented at a handful of Polish Archives) to search multiple Polish Archives. The image at left is “Search in Archives” in Polish.

So I have compiled a spreadsheet of Poland’s Archives and their websites. I believe most have an online catalog and some have also digitized some collections and placed those online too. So I have a TAB for Digital Libraries. Finally, I have compiled the Eclesiastical/Diocessan Archives. Since collecting these from Polish websites, I have determined that Poland and its websites are very dynamic and many links are broken. I have been researching them and correcting them where possible. Since this article is already too long …   tomorrow  a partial sample of the spreadsheet to enlighten people on what to search for.

June 22, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Shoemaker’s Guild (Leszczynski, Biechow)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pretty nifty poster or book page huh? Stanczyk found this in a Polish Digital Library. This masonic-looking page, with the all-seeing eye in the clouds with cherubs, etc. is a notice of a Shoemaker’s Guild from the “Year of Our Lord 1842″ in the gubernia of Kielce.

Now this is of interest to me because my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski listed his occupation in the church birth records on the 1860′s, as shoemaker & innkeeper  — which I always thought was a rather clever combination as travelers would need shoe repairs and why not get those while you are staying at the inn. So this image is contemporaneous (roughly) with my great-grandfather and the thought occurred to me perhaps I can find records in a Guild Book about my great-grandfather.

So here is Stanczyk’s million dollar question:  “Has anyone done any research in Poland and located these guild books in any Archive or Library and been able to locate ancestors?” Question two, “Was the search worthwhile — what kind of info did you find?”

Come on genealogists, let’s crowd-source, collaborate, or social network a solution here. OK? Anyone near Biechow parish, Pinczow Archive or Kielce Ecclesiastical Archive or a Library in or around one of those three cities in Poland? Can you help a Polish-American jester out? Email me or even comment on this blog… I’ll be waiting.

June 18, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy: Rummaging Through Genealogy Indexer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Since Genealogy Indexer website has grown so much since my last exploration, Stanczyk decided to do some rummaging through the new data. I was searching for Pacanow with and without my anctesor’s surnames.  I hit upon the page on Stopnica (actually the second page) from the digital book: Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Countries, vol. 11 (1890)  (in Polish: Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polska i inne kraje ..). This time frame is just after the birth of my paternal grandparents. So it is an accurate context for their lifetime in Poland. On page 373 of the book, I was reading about the deaconate of Stopnica (in the diocese of Kielce) and it listed the 32 parishes that made up Stopnica’s deaconate. Here is the list of 32 parishes:

Beszowa, Busko, Chmielnik, Gnojno, Janina, Dobrowda, Drugnia, Kargow, Koniemloty, Kotuszow, Ksiaznice, Kurozweki, Lisow, Nowe Miasto Korczyn (Nowy Korczyn),  Olesnica, Ostrowce, Pacanow, Piasek-Wielki, Pierzchnica, Piotrkowice, Potok, Sedziejowice, Solec Stopnica, Strozyska, Szaniec, Szczaworyk, Szydlow, Swiniary, Tuczepy, and Zborowek.

Stanczyk has seen microfilm on many of these parishes or seen ancestor surnames in many of these places at the genealodzy.pl website. Anyone else from here?

June 17, 2011

Genealogy Indexer – Historical Polish City Directories

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday, Stanczyk was extoling the virtues of the Genealogy Indexer web site. This site has OCR’ed Historical City Directories from Poland’s Digital Libraries and built a database of names from this OCR work.

I also recommended Americans not use diacriticals (accents) unless you can use them correctly as incorrect use will cause you to miss records. Using correct diacriticals or none gives the same results, so mis-used diacriticals is the only way you can miss data. So do NOT use diacriticals.

The image above shows the query screen, where Stanczyk queried on ‘pacanów, eljasz‘, using the keyboard symbol next to the query field to enter diacriticals (I know some of you will want to do this despite my admonitions otherwise). This is actually a handy tool for entering Cyrillic or other Slavic characters on our USA keyboards. Just cut/paste from this website to another website or form or document. At any rate, my query returned five results (only three shown above). I chose the second one to illustrate in this article. The links will take you to a digital image of the document (using Deja Vu browser plug-in) that matches your query result. How cool is that?

So I selected the second link (1930 above).

The resulting digital image was a City Directory Phone book. The language is Polish, but there is a second language (French) too! So if the image is unreadable in one language perhaps you can read the other and figure out what was unreadable in the other. It is also helpful in translating  too, to have two languages.  The first part is a description of the place-name (like a Gazetteer) written in both Polish and French.

The top two paragraphs are Polish, then French Gazetteer description of the place-name (Pacanow). We can see that 1930 Pacanow had 2598 residents an interesting fact to know. After these first two paragraphs we see, what we would call “Yellow Page” listings by business type. It starts with Doctor(s) (Lekarze) and then from there on it flows alphabetically (in Polish) with Midwife, Pharmacy, etc. Each business type is followed by one or more names. These names are your putable ancestors.

I was interested in Kolowdzieje (Wheelwright) business Eljasz M. [This is possibly my grandfather's uncle Marcin Eliasz]. Also the Wiatraki (Wind Mills) business was VERY interesting because we find both Eljasz and Zasucha names. Now this makes Stanczyk’s day as my 2nd great grandfather   was Martin (aka Marcin) Elijasz and he married an Anna Zasucha. These Wind Mill owners are very likely close ancestors of Stanczyk.

There are many surnames from my family tree besides Eljasz and Zasucha, we find:  Poniewierski, Pytko, Siwiec, Wlecial, and Wojtys. Now I can put an occupation by my ancestors. Nice. Very Nice!

June 15, 2011

Polish Genealogy – Useful Websites …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wants to collect under this continuing subject line good URLs / links to websites that provide very good to excellent Polish Genealogy data or possibly reference materials for genealogical research.

GENEALOGY INDEXER – http://www.genealogyindexer.org/

TwitterTwitter – @gindexer

This  first website (URL) is one I wrote about in the Polish Genealogists LinkedIn Group (here) back in October 2009. Its name is Genealogy Indexer . Back in October, 2009 they had: 77,000 pages of historical directories (business, address, telephone, etc.), 28,000 pages of 64 yizkor books (memorials to Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust). Now 20 months later they have: 141,000 pages of historical directories (business, address, telephone, etc.), 28,000 pages of 64 yizkor books (memorials to Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust), 11,000 pages of lists of Polish military officers, and 17,000 pages of community and personal histories. That is an +83% increase, so we can say this is a very active website/database to add to your bookmarks/favorites.

PLEASE take note they list what page # (usually on a digital book from a Polish Archive/ University) you need to look at in their search results. Stanczyk personally loves those digital books/documents made available online by Polish Libraries and Archives.

I have already had some successes. They OCR’ed these digital resources and built indexes — very nice!

For example I searched on “Pacanow, Eljasz” to find ancestors from ancestral village of PACANOW. You do NOT need to supply diacriticals (like the slahsed ł ) — so notice in the ‘o’ in Pacanow does not have the accent ( ó ) on it.

It also worked for “Pacanow, Wlecial” — where I do have a slashed ł at the end. The results were identical whether I used the diacritical or not. Being an American, I liked the convenience of not having to type (or cut/paste) a diacritical character on my searches.

You do need a browser add-in called Deja-Vu (.DjVu plug-in) to view the actual image associated with the OCR data.

I use Historical City Directories for my American ancestors. Now I can do the same for my Polish Ancestors too.

A big thanks to genealogist Logan Kleinwaks for providing this excellent  Polish (Catholic and Jewish) genealogy resource !



Tomorrow: An example of my genealogyindexer findings…

June 13, 2011

Chess & Chess Champions

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Fischer-Spassky 6

It has been a woefully long time since this jester has had eyes for the chessboard other than an occaisional romp with moja żona. So Stanczyk is ashamed that while reading the New York Times newspaper, I found out that the World Chess Champion is Viswanathan Anand (2007-current). Anand is an Indian Grandmaster and as my math informs me has been World Champion for four years (this September). When the Chess Championship was split, he also held the FIDE Championship in 2000-2002. Now I  admit I was stunned by this !

In Stanczyk’s lifetime the World Chess Champion has always been Russian/Soviet, with a brief respite for American Bobby Fischer (1972-1975). In fact, before Anand & Fischer, the last non-Russian Champion was Max Euwe (Netherlands)  1935-1937. Since 1886 when they began recording a World Chess Champion, there have only been 15 Champions across that 125 years span. So for the last four years, Stanczyk has been oblivious. Indeed, my mind’s eye still was set back in the Gary Kasparov years. So it is like I am awaking from a decade long coma to find out who the new World Chess Champion is.

The World Chess Championship is played every other year. So 2012 is the next match for the World Championship. Oddly, where the World Chess Championship will be played will not be decided until  June 30th 2011. We do know who will be competing for thte title. It will be Anand and Israeli Boris Gelfand. The Chess Clock is ticking … where will the next championship be? What is sure is that 2012 will definitely see yet again, another non-Russian World Chess Champion.

Longest reigning Champion was Emanuel Lasker, at an astounding 28 years.  The complete list of Champions:

June 10, 2011

Dziennik Polski (Detroit) – Historical Daily Newspaper

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

If you are a loyal reader of Stanczyk’s then you must be aware of the penchant for ethnic newspapers; In particular for Polish language ethnic newspapers. I like using Historical newspapers to fill-in otherwise missing info or spots in my research where there are gaps and no other viable resource to turn to.

They used to say, “Everyone gets in the newspaper three times (if you are lucky): birth announcement, marriage announcement and death notice.”. If you are {un}lucky then perhaps you will also have other magazine or newspaper articles written about you too.

Well Stanczyk has a page dedicated to the places where you can research the Dziennik Polski (Polish Daily) of Detroit, MI. The Dziennik Polski page list the archives where you can read/research your family history. Now this jester needs to add in some more info from Orchard Lakes, St. Mary, MI. They host a program on their campus called, “Polonica Americanna Research Institue” (PARI). Ceil Wendt Jensen, the Director of PARI at Polish Mission has informed me that they are another source of Dziennik Polski (Detroit) newspapers. They have both bound copies (from the 1930′s and forward) and microfilm from 1904-1920 [they are still completing their inventory of microfilm], but that range is close.

So look for this jester to make a visit to their campus sometime this year and see for himself what is happening at PARI. Look for an update after my visit. Also look for an update to my Dziennik Polski web page with the updated info when I have verified the findings.

Oh, one more thing, loyal readers, please consider answering the call in  their “Friend of Polish Mission Membership Drive”. Their membership form is here.

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