Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Searching for RUSEK village in the Skorowidz Miejscowości

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ok, yesterday I made a note to search for Rusek, a village  I never knew of, except that it was not a village near to the ancestral villages of my grandparents (dziadkowie). So I used my usual favorite Polish Gazetteer: the Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej … The above image is from page 1479 of the book (although it is image #1481 online). You can find this gazetteer from my web page at the top of the blog (Index of Place Names in the Republic of Poland).

I did find two Ruseks. The one in Pomerania seemed very unlikely. The other is in the same wojewodztwo (Kielce) near Krakow — I’d bet on this one.  If the info in the Ship Manifest (see the previous posting) was correct then Leon Wlecial may have been born in Sułoszowa parish in the village of Rusek-Wrona (actually a settlement/osada according to the gazetteer). I’d have to wonder what would have brought his parents to Sułoszowa parish, given that Maciej Wlecial was a restauranteur and that is a long ways from the family business.

According to the LDS Family Search website – the Library Catalog, we do find they have microfilm for  the Sułoszowa, diocese in woj. Kielce but parish in woj. Kraków.  That is kind of an odd configuration (parish/diocese). The list of available microfilm is as follows:

  1. Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1810-1814 –  FHL INTL Film [ 876795 ]
  2. Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1815-1824 –  FHL INTL Film [ 876796 ]
  3. Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1825-1838 –  FHL INTL Film [ 876797 ]
  4. Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1839-1855 –  FHL INTL Film [ 876798 ]
  5. Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1855-1870 –  VAULT INTL Film [ 923367 ]

So they have birth, marriage, death records for the years 1810-1870. No help there since by Leon’s  age, he would have been born in the 1895 (my guess is 1894, even though he always declared 1897 as the year, it is unlikely unless he was a twin of his sister Julianna (in which case where was Leon’s birth). 1894 would also match his Ship Manifest if he were to become 19 after his arrival date. He was married so I cannot see fittiing him into the gaps for later years (i.e. 1896 or 1900) or he would have been too young to have been married in/before 1913 and immigrate. Perhaps one day I will rent one of these microfilm and look for some Wlecial in that Sułoszowa parish — perhaps they originally came from Rusek to Kwasów (in Pacanów parish).

August 30, 2011

#Genealogy – Ancestry.com Has Free Access Week (until 9/5) for Immigration Records

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk just wanted to let his readers know they have this Labor Day Week/Weekend to search Ancestry.com for free in at least their Immigration records!

I took advantage of this to do some new searches related to the Social Network Analysis (SNA) I did a while back. I also remembered my Haller’s Army article too and so I decided to search for one of my returning Haller’s Army vets (actually his brother Leon). Boleslaw returned in 1920 on Princess Matoika and I got to thinking, I know his brother Leon fought in World War I (in the US Army — not Haller’s Army); Perhaps I can find US Troops returning from World War I too.

Well all of a sudden I found Leon Wlecial on his INITIAL arrival in America in 1913. Too bad it was only the Hamburg Ship Manifest which has such little detail. But then my forensic mind kicked in. If he came to US via Hamburg there had to be a NYC or Philadelphia arrival record for him. I tried variations on the name to no avail to find the matching ship manifest in NYC/Philadlephia. I finally decided to look at all arrivals on 12/20/1913 on SS Pretoria. I searched for all “Leons” assuming they butchered the last name on indexing. No Leon Wlecial in the Leons??? I then did a search on all “Lean”s and lo and behold there was my Leon hiding amongst the Leans with his last name also butchered coming form his wife (??? — never knew he was married) and going to his brother Boleslaw whom I knew well and had a lot of documentation on. So indeed this was my Leon Wlecial (as if there could be another Leon Wlecial with a brother Boleslaw Wlecial in Detroit, MI).

Now the Wlecial/Wlecialowski name is very rare indeed so I did not need much convincing but this info was too good. I now knew Leon had been married in Poland to a woman named “Maten” (??) from whom he was arriving from. I also knew he was living in “Baczanow” (a corruption of Pacanow, often written Paczanow in Ship Manifests) and that he was born in Rusek. Rusek, really ???   Well that might explain why I found his two siblings birth records in Pacanow, but not his. Note to self – FIND R-U-S-E-K (if it exists) in a Gazetteer. I also now had a new residence for his brother Boleslaw Wlecial who was living at 449 Grady Ave, Detroit, MI on 12/20/1913 apparently if you can believe the stuff written on Ship Manifests.

The moral of this story was … Do NOT stop at just the Hamburg Ship Manifest. It means there is a matching Ship Manifest in Ellis Island or for Philadelphia port. Use the date and ship name if the name does not pop up in NYC/Philadelphia searches. You can always go page by page on the Ship Manifest, but often some shrewd guessing can help you divine how the name was mangled by an indexer misreading the Ship Manifest.

August 27, 2011

Earth Status – Blowin’ – Blogging About Hurricane Irene

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

9:50 am Saturday Discovery.com allows you to track Hurricane #Irene. Watch for Periodic updates to this article to chronicle this storm from Stanczyk’s point of view. Today we should all crowd-source the chronicling of Irene, since somewhere between 10% and 20% of the American populace will be affected by Irene’s weather pattern. Are you game?

Hurricane Irene 2011 First Bands near Philadelphia

9:50 am Saturday

Satellite Photo -

This indicates the first bands are arriving in the Philadelphia area.

0950 Saturday

0950 Saturday

9:50 am Saturday Outside Window Photo.

No Rain

Wind 4mph

Humidity 95%;

Temp 75 degrees Fahrenheit

11:52 am  Saturday The Satellite photo shows that the outer band has reached Philadelphia.

Well not much of a perceptible change outside  from two hours ago, maybe a bit darker. I am hoping to determine the radar maps accuracy relative to me and my readings.

No Rain

Wind 4mph

Humidity 87%;

Temp 77 degrees Fahrenheit

1152_Sattelite

Hurricane Irene 2011 First Bands over Philadelphia

Since Donna P. from the Blog, “Whats Past is Prologue” raised the question of media over-hype; Let me add a note.

Yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer published a graphic showing #Irene ‘s projected route/timeline. I noted it said, Landfall (pretty close to where the actual landfall actually occurred) would happen at 14:00. The actual time of landfall was 07:30. The projected arrival was to be a day later in Philly. So I will see whether it arrives in Philly at 07:30 Sunday or not. All times are Eastern US timezone.

1152_outside

1152 Saturday

12:50 Saturday  Previously in my comment to Donna P. I had said I’d compare to Hurricane Hugo (which happened in 1989). But I meant Hurricane Floyd in 1999 is the one in my mind that I wanted to compare.

From wikipedia in 1999 Hurricanes, we see that Floyd came ashore in ” Cape Fear as a Category 2 storm on September 16. It returned to the ocean near Norfolk, Virginia, and traveled up the coasts of the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey as a tropical storm. It passed over Long Island and into New England.[32] Floyd caused record rainfall across the east coast, with Wilmington, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, setting 24-hour rainfall records of 15 in (380 mm) and 6.63 in (168 mm) in respectively. Portions of New England had rainfall totals nearing 11 in (280 mm). Floyd generated 9 to 10 ft (2.7 to 3.0 m) storm surges across North Carolina. There are 57 deaths directly blamed on Floyd, 56 in the United States and one on Grand Bahama. Most of the deaths were due to freshwater flooding in North Carolina. Floyd was one of the costliest hurricanes on record, with an estimated $4.5 billion (1999 USD; $5.93 billion 2011 USD) in damage.”

For comparison, we look at the Discovery.com website and we see the a prediciton on cost damages has already been made:

“Kinetic Analysis Corp., a company that does computer modeling of predicted storm damage, predicted on Friday[8/26/2011] that Irene would cause $5-10 billion in damages, based on the latest available weather data. “

So it would appear that a Floyd comparison may be a sound benchmark to compare with afterall.

1447_Sattelite

Hurricane Irene 2011 1447 Satellite

14:47 Saturday Well the rain started about an hour and five minutes ago (while I was at the supermarket ;-)   ). It was busy and many items were sold out. The supermarket manager was heard saying what the contingencies would be if the power went out to his subordinate — so we are all preparing for #Irene.

The Satellite now shows the forward band extended out past Philly and out all the way to Harrisburg — so I guess the rain should be happening (as I indicated the rain started about 13:42).

1447_outside

1447 Saturday

My outside image is the last I will now be able to take from outside. The remainder will have be shot through windows.

Rain Total: 0.03″ [inches]

Wind: 6mph[variable 0-6mph]

Humidity: 98%

Temp: 75 degrees Fahrenheit

1800_Sattelite

1800 Saturday Satellite

18:00 Saturday If you look closely at the 18:00 Satellite image you will see that the entire Eastern Seabord from North Carolina to Connecticut is now covered by Hurricane #Irene or its bands of rain/wind.You can now see all Harrisburg again so the cone up here seems narrower while more completely covered. In fact the bands are now indistinct — just seems to be one great big mass of rain — less wind then in most of our thunderstorms.

Here by me the region has 5 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning (Irene is supposed to be slower up here and this far inland from the coast) so it will lose Hurricane status when it does arrive here.

Well the weather outside has not changed much — still rainy. The Temps are fluctuating up/down a degree or two.

No image of the outside this time [same as before but darker as we approach dusk].

Rain Total: 0.30″ [inches]

Wind: 2mph[fairly steady]

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 72 degrees Fahrenheit although it had dropped as far as 71.

19:34 Saturday No new  Satellite image. Hurricane #Irene is moving slowly. It is about Newport News, VA (partially offshore. Here by me the region now has 6 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning .

Darkness has descended and the weather outside has changed only slightly — still rainy. The Temps are at projected low (71 degrees).

Rain Total: 0.72″ [inches]; Wow quite a change in 90+ minutes it more than doubled.

Wind: 1-12mph[variable, mostly 5-10mph]

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

21:21 Saturday No new  Satellite image. Hurricane #Irene is moving slowly. It is about Newport News, VA (partially offshore. Here by me the region still has the same 6 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning .

Rain Total: 1.12″ [inches]; In less than 60 minutes we added 0.4″ of rain to the total.

Wind: 4-15mph[most of evening we have had gust in 20+ mph range]. Now we have mostly double-digits wind speed though it seems awfully variable. Data Collector is not realtime so I have not seen the gust speeds, but I have heard them outside.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 1 degree below earlier predictions.

Next update tomorrow morning.

04:19 Sunday No new  Satellite image.  Too early for that rigamarole. Lats night, shortly after sign-off we lost power twice in quick succession, both outages very short in duration. Kudos to PECO.

Let me see what data is still available to be shared. I have not yet turned on the TV. The very fact we have power and a connection to the Internet is a blessing. Moja zona and our dog Java are safe and sound so far — Thanks be to God.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total is yet unknown. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.28″

Wind: 5 mph. I can only assume by such low wind speeds that #Irene ‘s eye must be near my location.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next update will occur after I collect some data. Possibly shortly. So far the effects of Irene seem to have been exaggerated, except for that period when we lost power for a few minutes. I am leaning to media and government over-hype — This is not as bad Floyd so far.

05:08 Sunday No new  Satellite image.  Too early for that rigamarole. Tornado watch just expired (uneventfully) for my area. Picked up another flood warning overnight so we still 7 flood warnings and 1 tropical storm warning in my area.

I was correct that the eye of #Irene is about Atlantic City, NJ (which east  and  a bit south of Phill). So that explains the relative slow winds speeds I am seeing/hearing. It appears that Irene’s greatest affect have been at the shore and the further inland you were the better off you were wind-wise — flooding has been worse inland. Storm surge at the shore is bad  and especially so during the high tides. Irene being so slow, that two high tides can occur. during the event horizon. So Shore flooding and beach erosion have been problems  –hence the necessity of evacuation orders.

Still it seems more people have died from falling trees or tree branches — why are you outside?  One of those fatalities was actually indoors.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total is yet unknown. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.46″. An impressive 0.18″ increase in less than 1 hour. They are calling for 1-4″ (two sources: one says 1-2″ more and the other says 2-4″ more). Best I can determine is that 1.88″ fell yesterday in my area. Do not know the accuracy of that as I suspect it was higher as we were getting about 0.40″ inches an hour when I stopped recording yesterday night and it was accelerating still.

Wind: Variable 5-13 mph. Eye near my location. Gusts into the 20’s though I have heard them my data collector has not measured them (due to it not being continuous I am sure).

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It appears we have been in the 70-71 degree range for hours now — fairly cool for this time of year. It is  a 15-19 degree drop since the weather pattern entered the area.

0858 Sunday Satellite

08:58 Sunday Satellite image shows that #Irene has left town;  Uneventfully for my area. We still have 7 flood warnings in my area. The flooding will continue throughout Sunday as water flows down from the North down the rivers and bays back into the ocean.

The local TV and emergency responders say that this was not as bad as Floyd [so even others are comparing Irene to Floyd].

A final note: We lost power a 3rd time since my last post but only for a few minutes.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total was 2.98-6.33″ depending on source. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.98″. Most sources say 2-4″ are likely for Sunday. We are way past the rainfall record books for August in history of Philadelphia area and we still have three days to go after today.

Wind: Variable 6-10 mph. Gusts into the 30’s though. It looks like a trailing band [down in Baltimore] will still bring some more wind until Irene fully clears the greater Philadelphia area.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 67 degrees Fahrenheit. That is fairly cool for this time of year. It is  over a 20 degree drop since the weather pattern entered the area.

Blessings and Thanks to God for my good fortune. Things could have been much worse and I had little time/resources to prepare/protect my family from this disaster (#Irene).

August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene & Genealogy … Protect Your Valuables

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to wish the East Coast Genealogists good Luck with Hurricane Irene. Be Safe Out There on the Internet –Surfing the Net You May Encounter RipTides!

  • Put your Documents in Sealed Bags (Waterproof)
  • Backup your  Family Tree (GEDCOM) to a thumb drive or the Internet (Cloud/Website)
  • Keep Yourselves Safe – Your Are the Living Family Tree – Remember How Rare It Is That Any of Us Are Here At All

Stanczyk’s prayers go out to all of you.

 

August 25, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Tech Notes & Ideas

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

You may have noticed that Stanczyk’s Blog Roll is heavily Polish Genealogy Blogs. That is because we should try to keep the pulse on news and ideas that other Polish Genealogists know or are struggling with. Polish Genealogy Blogs can be a valuable Reference Source for beginning Slavic genealogists as they struggle to come up the learning curve of dealing with Central/European branches in their family tree.

How can you Find  Blogs of Interest to Your Research?

  • Use search engines like Google or Bing – try searching on ‘Polish, Genealogy, Blog’
  • Word Press has a tool called Tag Surfer – try using the tags: ‘Polish, Genealogy’ or use ancestral village
  • Use Genealogy Blog Finder 
  • Use Yahoo Groups and visit ‘Polish Geniuses‘ [recently(August 2011) celebrated 10 year anniversary]
  • Save the links to these Blogs in your Favorites or Bookmarks or at  Delicio.us
August 24, 2011

#Polonia – October is Polish History Month – This Year We Celebrate …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk notes we are six weeks from the start a whole lot of Polish Celebration. First off,  October is Polish History Month in the USA.

Next,  the second Monday in October is the Polish-Portuguese-Italian-American holiday we usually note as COLUMBUS DAY (traditionally October 12th). This year, thanks the Portuguese Historian Manuel Rosa, who has spent 20 years researching Columbus and who determined that Columbus is the son of Wladyslaw III, grandson of Wladyslaw II Jagiełło,  ( see prior article here ), we need to take our Polish Flags out on Columbus Day to the parade and celebrate with the Italian-Americans and reclaim our Polish son (or at least our share). Since Wladyslaw II Jagiełło is the first King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, perhaps our Lithuanian brothers need to bring their flags too.

Third, the very next day in 2011 (October 12) is Casimir Pulaski Memorial Day. A Heroic Soldier of the American Revolutionary War who died for the founding of America (at the siege of Savannah).

Here is a link to Poland’s History.   Columbus Book by Rosa. Dr Rosa, when is the English Language Edition Coming (Polish Edition)?

Do Not Forget Columbus Day, Polonia  — bring the Polish Flag!

August 23, 2011

Earth – Status – #Shakin’

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A 5.8 MAGNITUDE  EarthQuake struck  DC and felt as far NYC. Locally, the quake ended court early  in MontCo, PA.

There is absolutely No Truth to rumor that Democrats & TeaParty Republicans agreed on something.

 

Just  A Whole Lot Of #Shakin’ Going On.

 

–Stanczyk & Family  fine [no barking by Java]

August 21, 2011

#Art – 100 years ago today – The Mona Lisa Was Stolen !

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Since Stanczyk is in an art mood today, we might as well discuss the 100th anniversary of the Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) being stolen from the Louvre. The story is here: ( http://bit.ly/Yl5cr ).

The French blamed the Germans and the Germans counter blamed the French. After two years of being lost, people thought perhaps the Louvre had accidentally destroyed the painting. For two years it remained stolen until the thief answered an ad of an innocent art buyer in Italy in Fall 1913. A Letter from “Leonardo” arrived saying he had the stolen Mona Lisa. The art buyer working with police staged a sting. I won’t say who did it, but it was an Italian.

Italy went crazy that the Mona Lisa was found and it was exhibited throughout Italy before the Italians finally returned the painting to the French on December 30, 1913.

I’d laugh but thieves still steal from museums today (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/stealing-the-spotlight-ar_n_924991.html#s322725). Let’s not forget my posting of the thieves who steal historical items from US Archives. Come on Archivists and Museum Curators, get it together before some treasure is permanently lost or damaged.

August 21, 2011

A Post About My Previous Post

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A Dutch Stamp 70 years later of Picasso’s 1938 Rooster.

August 21, 2011

#ThingsIFind Whilst Looking Up Other Things … Picasso in Przekroj

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The year was 1938. The magazine was Przekroj. Stanczyk was looking for Wojtek (the heroic Polish Army bear from World War II — that I have written about before). In keeping with my meme: #ThingsIFind Whilst Looking Up Other Things, I thought I’d share this piece of art which caught my eye. Stanczyk likes Books and Art and Fowl — so this meme has two of those likes in it.

At any rate, to give you some context ,1938 is the year before World War II would break out. Things are tense in Europe as the continent is rife with Fascists and Totalitarians  popping up like little yellow dandelions arcoss an otherwise well tended lawn. The Spanish Civil War had broken out in 1937 and “Picasso expressed anger and condemnation of Francisco Franco and fascists through his art .”

[ source: wikipedia ]

I will leave it to the reader to interpret this cubist chicken and what it symbolizes.

A few years after the publishing of this Picasso etching,  Picasso joined the French Communist Party (1944) attended a peace conference in Poland — were there such things in World War II Poland in 1944? In 1950 Picasso wins Stalin Peace Prize(??) and in 1953 Picasso paints a portrait of Jozef Stalin [see below]. This was criticized by the  Stalinists as being “insufficiently realistic”. Hah! That is funny, you have a cubist artist paint a brutal dictator and you criticize the work as, “insufficiently realistic”. The Art World is Infused with Irony. This elicited Picasso  to make the following statement, “I have joined a family, and like all families, it’s full of shit”.

I suppose Poland embraced the 1938 Picasso etching because of its agrarian roots. After all when my grandmother was a young maiden, any woman of note had her chickens and the eggs they produced. I have fond memories of sneaking into my grandmother chicken coop and fretting her chickens — curiosity is a curious curse

Jozef Stalin

So this is what I found while looking up other things. Now I will post the Picasso portrait of Stalin for comparison or irony or satire.

–Stancyzk

August 17, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army in My Tree [part three]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

y Family Tree has many heroic men and women or I would not be here blogging today. It is only by standing on the shoulders of giants that I can see farther — Issac Newton borrowed that quote from a much earlier time; But it is still true today. In today’s article, my third of three ( Article1Article2 ) on Haller’s Army and the heroic 25,000 men who volunteered from America to fight for Poland in World War I, by fighting in France’s army (and their blue uniforms).

There are three men in my family tree who volunteered and fought in Haller’s Army:

  • Boleslaw Wlecialowski
  • Wlodzimierz Kendzierski
  • Pawel Elijasz

I do not know how many people have such in their Polish genealogy, but this strikes me as a large number for one family. What is interesting is that the story for each is so different.

Wlecialowski

Last article, I mentioned that you use the PGSA.org database to look-up your ancestors and see if they volunteered. The results should look something like:

So armed with the Name and Location you should be able to tell if it is your ancestor or not without having to order the form(s). However, it is inexpensive enough that you can order multiple people when in doubt. Better yet, go to the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and then you can review the form in person before ordering.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski registered in Hamtramck, MI. on his Form C,  he mentions that his nearest relatives in Poland are Maciej and Katarzyna Wlecialowscy in the Gubernia of Kiecle, Gmina & Miasto of Pacanow. That is invaluable! Of the three forms, Form C is the most valuable because it asks for nearest relatives in both the US and in Poland. Form A has the basic info (name, address, etc.) and Form B (the medical form) is perhaps the least valuable form of the three. Form L is just the collection of all three forms.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: A

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: C

 When Boleslaw returned his ship manifest on the SS Princess Matoika said he was returning to his sister Rozalia Gawlikowski in Detroit, MI.

The above ship manifest is an image of the manifest header with lines 17-19 spliced in to show Boleslaw’s record on his return from Haller’s Army. He returned 21-July-1920 and his passage was paid for the by the US Government (on page 2 not shown).

Kendzierski

Now Wlodzimierz Kendzierski (aka Kędzierski) is interesting on two accounts. First he registered twice. Once in Detroit and once in Pittsburgh! Now that was helpful because he listed different contacts in the US in the two documents. It was also interesting because I could not find his returning ship manifest (although I did find his brother Ludwik return — but who had not registered?). Genealogical mysteries! Now we know he served because we have a picture of Wlodzimierz in his Haller’s Army uniform.

Wlodzimierz Kedzierski

So he definitely served. I suspect the Ludwik Kedzierski returning (August 1922) to his cousin in Pittsburgh was really Wlodz. But this is interesting. Perhaps the two registrations are because one registration office said ‘no’ to his volunteering and the second office said ‘yes’.

Once again, it was invaluable that we ordered both sets of forms and both forms indicated he was the same person (naming a sister, brother, brother-in-law, and a wife with known addresses). Although Wlodzimierz is an uncommon first name and the complete combination is rare indeed. What it did do was show a family connection to the Pittsburgh Kedzierski which we did not previously know.

Elijasz

Now the third family member was interesting in yet another way. Both Boleslaw (who became Bill) and Wlodzimierz (who became Walter) returned to US and lived full lives as Americans. However, Pawel Elijasz was an enigma. I could never decide how he was related because I only had a ship manifest and a 1910 US Census from Depew, NY. So until I found his registering for Haller’s Army and finding out that he lived with a cousin of my grandfather’s who was Pawel’s brother I did not know how Pawel fit in. Then I found his birth record from Pacanow and his marriage record from Pacanow and the birth record of Pawel’s daughter and his being a God Father to a nephew all in Pacanow. So those church records which connected him with the Pawel in Haller’s Army and which connected him to the Eliasz/Elijasz in America answered many questions for me. Including what happened to Pawel after 1910. I now knew he registered in 1917 in Toledo, OH for Haller’s Army and that he lived with his brother Wincenty Elijasz at 1054 Campbell Street, Toledo, OH (down the road from my grandparents and next door to a married sister Wiktoria, Elijasz Mylek). So now I had a bit more timeline for Pawel. I just assumed he went back to Poland to live with his wife and daughter (and hence why no 1920 or 1930 US Census records). Imagine my shock when I found this last piece of data at a Polish Genealogical Society website. The link just preceding is to a database: “List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920″ . I found out that Pawel had died, while serving in Haller’s Army ( 2/13/1920 in Łuck, Poland )  [see next image of a book page].

So now I knew the rest of Pawel’s story. But it was his Haller’s Army registration that answered so many questions and connected up church records in Poland with US Vital records.

As an aside, finding out that Pawel was a brother of Wincenty and Wiktoria Elijasz and not a brother of my grandfather was still a great find.  For Pawel’s sister Wiktoria is the only ELIASZ in the whole family tree with the following distinction.

Wiktoria has Vital records in US/Poland with her last name spelled as: ELIASZ, ELIJASZ and HELIASZ.

So now you know why the family tree acknowledges all three names as one family name.

I have had ELIASZ and HELIASZ combos (modern and historical). I have had ELIASZ and ELIJASZ combos in my own family. But Wiktoria is unqiue in that she was the only ELIASZ who has used all three versions of the family name at one time or another in her life.

Wiktoria is also God Mother to two of my uncles. Wiktoria is also related to the lovely Elzbieta Heliasz Kapusta who sent to me, my grandparent’s marriage records (both civil and church) from Poland where Elzbieta lives and who does not speak a single  word of English. So it is a small world indeed.

I do not have a Polish Consulate newspaper article saying any of my three ancestors earned land from Poland for their service. I also do not have any info from PAVA, but the next time I travel to NYC, I will look them up and see if Boleslaw or Wlodzimierz were ever PAVA members. I will try and find an example of the Polish Consulate messages to an American-Pole in a Polish Language US newspaper where they were seeking an Haller’s Army veteran now living in the USA and post it here for you my good readers to see. I hope this series of postings has motivated you the Polish Genealogist to seek out this unique Polish genealogical resource and then track down the other connecting pieces to this puzzle.

Let Stanczyk know!

August 14, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army (aka Blue Army / Polish Army in France) [part 2]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Gentle readers, today’s article is about the many genealogical or personal ties to the history of Haller’s Army. The focus is on what the genealogist may want to pursue to flesh out his/her family tree.

Background

The era was World War I  (1914-1918) and the world was mad with war and carnage and pestilence. There were 16.5 million deaths and 21 million wounded making it the 6th deadliest conflict (or possibly 2nd/3rd worse if you include the Flu Pandemic deaths). [See: this cheery web page on the estimate of Wars, Pandemics, Disasters,  and Genocides that caused the greatest number of deaths.] Out of this madness, was an army of diaspora Poles formed, of which over 25,0001

came from the US via a US sanctioned formation of a foreign force, which had to be constituted in Canada due to USA fears and its isolationist policies that limited President Wilson.

These brave 25,000 men were added to another contingent of 35,000 Polish men formed largely from prisoners of war from the German and Austria-Hungarian armies inside France,  who were now willing to fight against Central Powers as a part of the Allied/Central Powers.  They fought bravely in World War I,  before the USA entered the war and for nearly four more years (1918-1922) after World War I officially ended in the Polish-Bolshevik War (aka Polish-Soviet War).

Poster — from wiki

More Background can be found here (Haller’s Army website) or at the wiki page (Blue Army).

Registration Centers

The recruitment centers were in the Polish Falcons centers. The Polish Falcons were called the Związek Sokołów Polskich w Ameryce (ZSP)  and this is what you will find on Haller’s Army enlistment forms. The Polish Falcons still exist and are headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. There are reportedly 115 Polish Falcon Nests across 15 states. Each Nest has its own history that it maintains.

PGSA Database

The Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA.org) maintains a database of the Haller’s Army registrations that can be searched for your ancestor(s). It is free to search and there is a modest charge to get a copy of the actual documents. The search page is here: (http://www.pgsa.org/haller.php) . These documents are archived by the Polish Museum of America in Chicago. This data is also on LDS Microfilm by region see this page for details .

There are three types of forms. These forms are in Polish. You need not worry about that as the PGSA offers example forms in English (FormA | FormC) in PDF format.  On the forms you find the following info:

  • Form A is an intention to volunteer and contains the name, address, age, and marital status.
  • Form B is a medical examination report for the volunteer.
  • Form C is the final commitment paper. It includes date and place of birth and usually the name and address of a parent or other close relative.  The Form’s family notes include close family in USA and in Poland.

Returning Soldiers

The Allies issued medals to their victorious soldiers so you may have in your family heirlooms one of these. This website has an index of the various medals (with images). Many of the websites whose links are in this article also have pictures of men in uniforms — which included their distinctive hats.

We tend to think the soldiers were all Polish men and that these men were Catholics, but our Polish-Jewish brethren also served in Haller’s Army. This page from Polish Roots is about the Jewish soldiers who served and provides a table of many of the men known to be Jewish.

The ship manifests in Ellis Island record the return Haller’s Army soldiers, who returned en masse. You can see the soldiers who are listed on pages together with a note on the bottom, “Reservists”. That notation should eliminate any confusion with other possible passengers/crew members. The soldiers returning from the European theater are known to have arrived via Ellis Island on the following ships:

  • SS Antigone (from Danzig – April 18, 1920)
  • SS Princess Matoika (from Danzig – May 23, 1920)
  • SS Pocahontas (from Danzig – June 16, 1920)
  • SAT  Mercury (US Army Transport), from Danzig, June 16, 1920 / arrived in New York, June 28 1920
  • SS President Grant (from Danzig) – February 16, 1921
  • SS Latvia  – August 17, 1922

 Links to the Ship Manifests

http://bit.ly/rlVaaQ  SS Princess Matoika from Danzig in 1920 [more dates than shown above] 4253 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/p3ViM2 SS Pocahontas from Danzig  in 1920 [please note the ship name is P-O-C-A-H-O-N-T-A-S. It was misspelled on the PGSA.org website].   4199 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/nwYwsx SAT Mercury from Danzig June 1920.  2074 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/n6YRot SS Antigone from Danzig April 1920. 1628 Returning Troops

http://goo.gl/F48dg5 SS President Grant from Danzig February1921. ~1900 Returning Troops3

http://bit.ly/pGwQa5 SS Latvia from Danzig  August 1922. 1517 Returning Troops

Returning passage – Payment of passage was split between the Polish and United States Governments. [see column 16] on ship manifest. It appears some soldiers returned with wives and children too [so those numbers above are not all soldiers].

One more connection. Similar to  the VFW for US veterans, there is a Polish-American organization in NYC called POLISH ARMY VETERANS ASSOCIATION2

They (PAVA  or SWAP) have genealogical data from their membership forms. According to Dr Valasek, the membership application for the association has the usual, date, place of birth, current address, and occupation; It also had something most descendants of Hallerczycy desperately want to know:  the unit in which the man fought, and his rank upon leaving the army. There is also the identification of which post the soldier joined.  Each post has its own history, as well as photos, banquet books, anniversary booklets, etc. All valuable adjuncts to your research once you identify the correct post, (or, as it’s known in Polish, placówka). There is also a question on the form, Do jakich organizacji należy? , to what organizations does he belong. More avenues for research.

Fallen Soldiers

In any war, there are casualties. Haller’s Army is no different. Stanczyk likes this Polish Genealogical Society (http://genealodzy.pl/name-Straty.phtml) named aptly, The Polish Genealogical Society. They have many databases, but they have search front-ends for two related to Haller’s Army. The one from the link above is for:  List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920.

With this link I was finally able to determine that one of my ancestors who was in America up through the 1910 census, but was missing from the 1920/1930 censuses, whom I had previously thought had returned to Poland — had really died while serving in Haller’s Army. I found his Haller’s Army Forms at PGSA and then from this Polish website I found a scanned image of a Polish book listing his name, date/place of death.

Soldier Benefits

Some soldiers who came to America who served in Haller’s Army, earned benefits from the new Polish nation. I have seen land grants awarded (not to my ancestors). They often had to be contacted through the Polish Consulates in America. This leads to my final recommendation — using Historical Polish Language Newspapers from that era to find out about your soldier. The newspaper may write about the returning units in a story and possibly a picture. I have also seen that the Polish Consulate took out listings in the newspaper and referred to Haller’s Army veterans they were seeking to inform them of their veteran benefits. See my Dziennik Polski (Detroit) page at the top menu-tabs for an example what these Polish Consulate ads might look like.

Let me finish today’s article by mentioning Dr. Paul S. Valasek’s book on the subject matter: Haller’s Polish Army in France http://www.amazon.com/Hallers-Polish-Army-France-Valasek/dp/0977975703 and also another book entitled: Remembrance http://www.hallersarmy.com/store/Remembrance.php. written by Charles Casimer Krawczyk.

Tomorrow … Haller’s Army in My Family Tree

–Stanczyk

Notes:

1=Polish Falcons History page . Paul Valasek says the number is above 24,000. The wikipedia says the number is 23,000.

2=PAVA,   address: 119 East 15th Street,  New York,  NY 10003   –   e-mail:  <info@pava-swap.org>,  telephone:  212-358-0306

3= The addition of the President Grant came about from a Newspaper Article mentioned by Daniel Wolinski. A picture of the article has been appended after these notes.

FortDixNJ_HallersArmy_Returnees_1921

August 13, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army [part one]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is busy writing an article on this topic (Haller’s Army) written from an Historical / Genealogical perspective. This is not just a blog about history, but about personal history. In fact, it is a set of genealogical documents unique to Polish Genealogy.

Counting this announcement, it will be in three parts:  Announcement,  Background, and My Family Tree.

This announcement is to let people know about Haller’s Army, a little known facet of World War I. Actually, this army spans World War I longer than the US involvement and longer than the actual Great War itself. These men go on to serve for Poland in the Poland-Bolshevik border war from about 1918-1922 too. It is their heroic self-sacrifice that sets back Communism for another twenty years.

Why does this jester write about this little mote of history? Because it is a valuable tool for Polish genealogists to help flesh out their family tree in the first couple of decades of their ancestor’s arrival in the USA. Also because it touches on  many other aspects connected to genealogy.

It will cover military from the PGSA’s Haller’s Army database and answer why Ancestry’s World War I Draft Registrations may not be the full story. It also has info on a Polish database — The List of Casualties of the Polish Army,  from the years 1918-1920. Well it is obvious that the genealogical info is military in nature. But there is a component related to Ellis Island / Immigration when they return.  This emigration information is sometimes further enhanced by the data found in the PGSA database actual data. Finally, you can use Historical Ethnic Newspapers to add even more details to the returning soldier’s background. You will need to search through Polish Language Newspapers for this info, so we will discuss this from my perspective of the Dziennik Polski (Detroit) newspaper. It seems that these soldiers received benefits for serving in Haller’s Army from Poland itself.

So this little obscure footnote of history can have a much greater impact upon your personal history in your family tree. Come read this series … won’t you?

[coming this week]

–Stanczyk

August 12, 2011

Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations #2

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s Church Metrical Book meme is on Marginalia. This margin note is from the birth of Tomasz Elijasz (Record #130) born (ur.) 6-September-1881 in Pacanow parish. Tomasz was the son of Ludwik Elijasz and Elzbieta Miklaszewski.

Your eyes are not fuzzy, both record and the marginalia are written in Cyrillic (Russian). Stanczyk loves reading marginalia, because it is almost like gossip. I read it from the context of the vital record of the birth. “So little Tomasz. I see you are going to grow up and marry(malz.) Marianna Wojczyk on 19-February-1912 and it will be recorded in the Pacanow church book as record #34 of 1912 Marriages.”

It is almost like you are acting in the role as a cleric angel for God. You know the future of this little baby!

Now I like these margin notes because I can often find the female Elijasz being married off. Once they are married, I often lose track of them, so these margin notes may be a last chance to find them until I see a death notice, if I do not have their marriage record. Since this is Russian-Poland, the records are in Russian from 1868-1918. Sometimes, the margin note is in Polish (say if the marriage happened in/after 1918). So you will have a Russian birth and Polish marriage notation.

So how is it that not every birth  record has a margin note? Well the list of possibilities should include…

  1. The baby died in infancy or childhood
  2. The “baby” emigrated before being married
  3. The “baby” never married before dying
  4. The “baby” got married somewhere else (in another parish/country or perhaps only a civil marriage)

Every once in a while you will see a priest still record the marriage if it was in another country or parish and the catholic priest of the remote locale wrote the priest in Pacanow. Not always, but sometimes this happens.

August 11, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #6 Online Database of Poznan & Gniezno Nobility

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has used and forgotten the following website many times over; It has been online for a LONG time. This website appears to an historical collection of data by a single individual. Here is my best guess as to the Inventory of Materials at the website (all in Polish):

Historical and Genealogical Materials on the history of the nobility of the Wielkopolska from the 15th-20th Centuries. Complete inventories of municipal and land books of the State Archive in Poznan and the books of vital records inventories framework of the same archive as well as the Archdiocesan Archive in Poznan and the Archdiocesan Archive in Gniezno. These were apparently collected by a man named: Włodzimierz Dworzaczek [US Libraries/Archives might call this,  his collected papers].

Website: Teki Dworzaczka – Biblioteka Kórnicka PAN  [a Polish Science Academy]

LINK/URL: http://teki.bkpan.poznan.pl/index_regesty.html

Ease of Use: Slightly Difficult for English Speaking and/or  non-residents of Poland

So if you have ancestors who were from and/or passed through the Western part of Poland, including Poznan and Gniezno, this site has indexed church mertykal records and a great deal of court records too. So far it has not been of use to me, as my known ancestors are predominantly from south-central Poland. But if you have some royal blood (for example Leszczynski), there are many records that can provide you abbreviated notes.

August 10, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Finding a 3rd Cousin …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Petronella Elijasz Zwolska

 

Subsequent to writing my posts upon Social Network Analysis (SNA) in which my research predicted three siblings of my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz (son of Martin Elijasz & Anna Zasucha). The three new siblings (proposed and which will now be researched) are: Ludwik Elijasz (most likely), Petronella Elijasz Zwolski, and Tekla Elijasz Wojtys.

In one of those cognitive resonance situations, a 3rd cousin, a genealogist from Ancestry.com contacted and sent me some pictures of my 2great-grand aunt Petronella Elijasz.

I would dearly like to thank, Marilynne for her kindness in sending me her ancestor’s picture.  Since our common ancestor is Martin (aka Marcin) Elijasz, that makes her my third cousin. I do not believe that Marilynne actually read my blog and found me via the SNA postings. So as I maintain this is just one of those cognitive resonance happenings. But this is why not just pursing the direct lineal descent line, but some  parallel branches is also important. Genealogy is a fascinating way to find out, “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

–Stanczyk

August 9, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #5 Online Databases in Poland

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is a Data Architect by trade. So if it is one thing I love it is databases. This posting is all about some online Polish Databases. The Parish Church Books is a website that collects and indexes and keeps it up to date . It points you to the website, but it is written from a Poland point of view. So I have decoded the website index and made them into LINKS (URLs) so you can click on them and go to the resource from their list. Enjoy!

Parish Church Bookshttp://www.ksiegi-parafialne.pl/

The above Polish website (from Poland and in Polish language) attempts to gather in one place index all interesting projects where Church Parish Indexes are being collected in online databases. This page is updated often. This makes it an excellent website for your bookmarks/favorites (or add it to delicious).

Index of Databases

BASIAhttp://www.basia.famula.pl/en/

Geneteka - http://geneteka.genealodzy.pl/

Lubgens.Euhttp://lubgens.eu/portal.php

Pomorskie TGhttp://www.ptg.gda.pl/index.php/ptgnews/action/basesearch/

The Pomorskie Genealogical Society (Pomorskie TG) website needs some explanation. It has a menu named “PomGenBase“;  Click on menu, then on the submenu, “Search PomGenBase” and click on the final submenu (one of five: Christenings, Marriages, Deaths,  Cemeteries or Monuments) to search.

Poznan Projecthttp://bindweed.man.poznan.pl/posen/project.php

T.G.Z.Cz.http://www.genealodzy.czestochowa.pl/pl/start

August 9, 2011

And the Loser of the 2012 Mens Chess Championship Is …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk knows exactly how the guy on the left feels. The chess clock is still ticking, the flag has dropped … a while a go …  and yet FIDE plays on. No host has been selected (or has one). There have been announcements/press releases, then retractions.

Forget going to the Russian Chess Federation (English language web page): http://russiachess.org/eng/ .  The English version is four years out of date – I hope Gary Kasparov does well. Switching to the Russian language was no help either — no mention of the hosting one way or another. But it was more current.

The PakChess.org website announced Moscow won the right to host and posted a transcription of the FIDE announcement. http://pakchess.org/hot-stories/fide-awards-world-championship-match-to-moscow

This Chess Blog website had the actual FIDE press release posted naming Moscow as the winning bid to host the 2012 Men’s Championship. (see http://chess.business-news-blog.eu/2011/breaking-news-wc-to-be-held-in-moscow-not-chennai/ )

Chess Vibes - http://www.chessvibes.com/  said the FIDE Press Release awarding the torunament to Moscow (Russian Chess Federation) was released and then FIDE issued a subsequent announcement to say their previous announcement was not announced.

FIDE.com website is mum. Don’t you just love the intrigue? I hope the chess tournament is as exciting, although one hopes it will be better managed. It occurs to Stanczyk that FIDE had said about two weeks ago that August 10th is the latest deadline, so they still have HOURS to go,  so  why be hasty — they (FIDE) have only missed a few time trials this year in the awarding of the Host site. Time may very well tell — but you would never know by this year.

I say let Moscow and Chenai do rock-scissors-paper in the best two out of three with the highest rated rock-scissors-paper players from  each country to decide. Anything to get this debacle over.

Oh, I forgot, you came here to my blog to see who the big loser was. It was FIDE!

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