Archive for November, 2011

November 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary Moje Zona … #Raw, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Genealogy Happens!

You cannot stop it. You’re born, you’re married, you die — it is inexorable.  Blessedly, I am celebrating the second one today. My wife (zona) was foolish enough to say yes to my marriage proposal and then wed me eight years ago .. today!

In our marriage ceremony, Tereza & I wrote these words which we spoke at our marriage (The Seven Blessings):

  1. Blessed are you God who brings forth fruit from the vine. May the husband and the wife be fruitful together in their branch of Your vine.
  2. Blessed are you God who shapes the universe. All things created speak of Your glory. We are happy to be a part of Your creation.
  3. Blessed are you Holy One who creates each person. Blessed too is when You make two become one.
  4. Blessed are you God who made us in Your image, after Your likeness,  and You prepared for us a perpetual relationship. Your blessings are boundless.
  5. Blessed are You God, who causes Zion to rejoice when her children are united in her midst, full of joy.
  6. Blessed are you, our God for the bliss You bestowed upon the first man and woman. And blessed are you God who now bestows wedded bliss upon this bride and groom.
  7. Blessed are you God for you brought together these lovers to rejoice in each other. Your gift of love is precious.

Those words still have the same power today for me, as they did eight years ago. I love you Tereza!

November 25, 2011

Books, eBooks, and More Books – Bibliophiles/Bibliophages Beware !!! #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is very old … My portrait by Jan Matejko dates back to 1862 alone. So perhaps you can forgive me if I blog about an antiquarian notion today … BOOKS. First off, I hope everyone had a Blessed and Family/Food Filled Thanksgiving Holiday (4th Thursday in November in the USA).

As I was saying I want to write about books today. I provided a handy photo for the reference of my younger readers who may need a refresher on the concept. Before you run off … Here’s my list:

No Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble today, although they are worthy purveyors — nor will I speak of Antiquarian Books, though I reserve that topic for another day.

Google Books (books.google.com/books) – I adore to find public domain books or snippets of books under copyright that I can search and perhaps get at least a snippet view of my search topic. Google now lets you keep the public domain books on their “Cloud” (no space on your hard disk). At present, my Google eBooks include:

Historya Polska w Ameryce by Wacław Kruszka. So you can find resources that are valuable to your genealogical or history research. Although you cannot download them to your iPhone, it is still portable since it is in the “Cloud” (enough with that Internet meme). So as long you can surf the web with your iPhone (or other smartphone) your genealogical resources are portable.
Google Books will also help you locate the book in a local library (or the closest library) or help you locate it via their cadre of booksellers in case you still need that tactile sense of holding a book or where an eBook is not an option.
They also have magazines too! Feel free to browse (get some good Sumatra coffee ready).
 
The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/texts) is more than just books. It also about the Web, Moving Images, Texts (books), and Audio. All intriguing in their own right. In fact, the Web portion has the infamous Wayback Machine for viewing websites as they used to be. As I read somewhere this month, the average website changes about every 28 days. Obviously, blogs skew that average. So in a sense, the Wayback Machine backs up the Internet or should I say the “Cloud”. Oops, I did promise to stop dropping that meme today. But books are what we are about today. Obviously, they get their books from Libraries and also Project Gutenberg. Also it should be obvious that these are public domain books. They store each book in a variety of formats (HTML, PDF, and various ebook formats). So you can download a book to your laptop and import that into your iBooks App (or whatever smartphone App you use) for true portability. Classics .. check, Genealogy/History .. check, Children’s Books .. double check, and Foreign Language Books too. What eBooks are on your smartphone? Perhaps we should ask that question to the famous (instead of what music is on your iPhone). Don’t be embarrassed .. go to the Internet Archive or the Next Topic (Project Gutenberg).
 
Project Gutenberg – has been around a long time. But it has taken eBook formats, eBook readers and smartphones to bring this valuable resource to major relevance. I daresay that most smartphone Apps that have free books, probably use this website. Project Gutenberg has 36,000 books to download. Skip those Apps, use the free iBooks App that came with your iPhone, Project Gutenberg to locate the books YOU care about, download the eBook format (epub or pdf work), import the book into iTunes, find some book cover art, and synch the whole package to your iPhone/iPad for true portability and reading on the beach or in that research archive or at the museum or that archaeology dig you have been promising yourself.
 
LibraryThing (www.librarything.com) –  You must be a bibliophile or bibliophage or why else are you reading this post. Well here is a website that is a bit different. LibraryThing will allow you to upload your library (200 books for free). Now you are not uploading books, but the data about the books or possibly its cover. You can enter the data or specify the ISBN and allow the website to locate the metadata that describes the book in your collection. If that is all it did, it would be mostly useful to libraries and librarians — which it is useful for and they provide a way to bulk load their entire catalogs. But it is a kind of social-network for bibliophiles or for authors trying to sell books to readers of their genre. I like the Zeitgeist feature for understanding what is out there. I also like to compare my books to others and wonder about what others users whose books overlap with my book collection are like and what that says about me. There are also book groups and local ties to bookstores, libraries, museums and other book events. There are so many ways to use this website collaboratively.  Take a peak.
 
Enjoy the books and the other book readers too!
November 23, 2011

Stanislaw Lem – Google Doodle

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has written about Stanislaw Lem before (http://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/thingsifind-when-looking-up-other-things-stanislaw-lem-1956-przekroj/). So in another bit of cognitive resonance, I find that Google has a Stanislaw Lem Doodle (a rather complex Google Doodle). Now before you scurry off to verify this factoid, be forewarned that here in the USA, we only see a Turkey Doodle. Here is the UK Google Doodle (http://www.google.co.uk/)  for Stanislaw Lem.

A Few Articles on the Lem Google Doodle:

The last two are European newspapers, as it is not readily apparent in the USA that Goggle has done this tribute. You need to visit a Google mirror in Europe to see the Stanislaw Lem Doodle (or click on the first link above). The doodle ends with the message that the art was inspired by the drawings of Daniel Mroz for Lem’s short story collection The Cyberiad, published in 1965. This Google Doodle is interactive, allowing users to participate in a series of games. This doodle marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of his Stanislaw Lem’s first book, The Astronauts in 1951.

Since he is Polish son, go Googling in the UK today.

November 23, 2011

Genealogy Journals / Magazines – AVOTAYNU — #Polish, #Jewish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is always seeking out high quality resources that provide context for understanding and/or to provide ideas for new avenues of research. One of the great resources since about 1985, has been Avotaynu. Besides their journal of the same name which is the largest circulation magazine of Jewish Genealogy, they also publish many reference books for Eastern Europe that are of aid Jewish and Non-Jewish researchers alike.

They maintain an index of their published issues (1985-2008) here (http://www.avotaynu.com/indexsum.htm). It is broken down by various countries. This material can also be found in back issues, libraries, and they offer a CD covering the entire 24 year span. This jester sat down to produce a Polish Index for Polish Genealogists of all stripes (Enjoy!):

# Title / Description ISSUE YEAR
1 Jewish records at the Genealogical Society of Utah II/1/03 1986
2 Index to Polish-Jewish records at Genealogical Society of Utah II/1/05 1986
3 Book review: The Jews in Poland and Russia–Biographical Essay III/1/38 1987
4 Origin of Russian-Jewish surnames III/2/03 1987
5 Breakthrough in access to Polish-Jewish records IV/1/10 1988
6 Book review: Jews of Posen in 1834 and 1835 IV/2/26 1988
7 Update on project to microfilm Jewish records in Poland IV/3/12 1988
8 Doing research in the Polish State Archives IV/3/21 1988
9 Jewish Historical Institute in Poland V/2/07 1989
10 Jewish genealogical research in Poland V/2/08 1989
11 Trip to Poznan: The Poland that was not V/3/16 1989
12 Professional genealogists in Poland V/4/04 1989
13 List of former Jewish residents of Lodz V/4/15 1989
14 Caricatures in Polish vital statistic records VI/1/16 1993
15 Polish trip for Jewish genealogists planned VI/1/41 1993
16 Using Prussian gazetteers to locate Jewish religious and civil records in Poznan VI/2/12 1993
17 Sephardic migrations into Poland VI/2/14 1993
18 A genealogical tour through Poland VI/3/16 1993
19 Program Judaica to document Jewish history VI/3/19 1993
20 Jewish researcher in Poland VI/3/39 1993
21 Jews in Poland today VI/4/63 1993
22 Polish maps available in the U.S. VIII/1/58 1993
23 Weiner discusses developments in Poland and Ukraine VIII/3/64 1993
24 A 1992 research trip to Poland VIII/4/12 1993
25 Survey of Jewish cemeteries yields results VIII/4/17 1993
26 Cites Polish “rip off” IX/1/65 1988
27 Asks why survey of Polish cemeteries does not include all regions IX/1/67 1988
28 Polish-Jewish genealogical research–A primer IX/2/04 1988
29 More on the survey of Polish cemeteries IX/2/13 1988
30 Book review: Korzenie Polskie: Polish Roots IX/2/61 1988
31 Polish-Jewish heritage seminar planned for July in Krakow IX/2/65 1988
32 Asks for clarification (of Polish-Jewish records) IX/3/66 1988
33 Stettin emigration lists found IX/3/67 1988
34 Head of the Polish State Archives clarifies policies IX/4/04 1988
35 Book review: Jews in Poland: A Documentary History IX/4/69 1988
36 More on Polish-Jewish Genealogical Research X/1/12 1994
37 Directory of Polish State Archives X/1/14 1994
38 Archives of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw X/1/41 1994
39 Jewish genealogical research in Polish archives X/2/05 1994
40 Jewish surnames in the Kingdom of Poland X/2/15 1994
41 Polish sources at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People X/2/21 1994
42 Success in dealing with Polish archives X/2/48 1994
43 Gleanings from a symposium on bibliographies of Polish Judaica X/4/56 1994
44 Polish name lists sought XI/1/67 1995
45 Nineteenth-Century Congress Documents and the Jews of Congress Poland XI/3/24 1995
46 Polish Vital Records for the Very Beginner: The Polish Language Challenged XI/4/29 1995
47 Alternate surnames in Russian Poland XII/2/15 1996
48 Census records and city directories in the Krakow Archives XII/2/27 1996
49 Book review: The Jews in Poland and Russia: Bibliographical Essays XII/2/63 1996
50 Alternative research sources in Poland XII/2/65 1996
51 Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw XII/3/51 1996
52 Director General of the Polish State Archives dies XII/3/55 1996
53 An interview with the new Polish State Archivist XII/4/03 1996
54 On-site Jewish genealogical research in Poland: an overview XII/4/04 1996
55 The Jewish cemetery in Warsaw XII/4/56 1996
56 Book review: Polish Countrysides: Photographs and Narrative XII/4/81 1996
57 German and Polish Place Names XIV/2/33 1998
58 List of More than 300,000 Polish Holocaust Survivors Received by USHMM In Wash. DC 19th- and 20th-Century Polish Directories as Resources for Genealogical Information XIII/1/25 1997
59 Hamburg Passengers from the Kingdom of Poland and the Russian Empire XIII/2/63 1997
60 Lw¢w Ghetto Records Being Indexed XIII/3/66 1997
61 Cites Location of Polish Directories XIII/4/98 1997
62 Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories; And I Still See Their Faces: Images of Polish Jews; Guide to the YIVO Archives; Luboml: Memorial Book of a Vanished Shtetl XIV/1/63 1998
63 Comments on Jewish Roots in Poland XIV/2/65 1998
64 Report on Jewish Communities in Poland Today XIV/2/65 1998
65 How I Found a New Ancestor in Krak¢w, Poland XIV/4/65 1998
66 18th-Century Polish Jewry: Demographic and Genealogical Problems XV/4/9 1999
67 Tips on Translating Entries from Slownik Geograficzny XVI/3/49 2000
68 The Polish Concept of Permanent Place of Residence XVI/3/12 2000
69 More About Polish Books of Residents’ Registration XVI/3/14 2000
70 Can Jewish Genealogists Successfully Research 18th-Century Poland? XVI/3/16 2000
71 History Book Illuminates Jewish Life in Poland XVI/3/40 2000
72 Book Review: History of the Jews in Poland and Russia XVI/3/65 2000
73 Book Review: In Their Words: A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Russia Documents. Volume 1: Polish XVI/4/87 2000
74 Breaking New Ground: The Story of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland Project XVII/1/7 2001
75 Documenting the Fate of the Jews of Ostrow Mazowiecka XVII/3/19 2001
76 German and Polish Archival Holdings in Moscow XVII/4/11 2001
77 Internet Site Names Polish Towns XVII/4/79 2001
78 Researching Pre-1826 Vital Records in Congress Poland XVIII/2/19 2003
79 Book Review: Jewish Officers in the Polish Armed Forces, 1939-1945 XVIII/3/62 2003
80 Ashes and Flowers: A Family Trek to Jewish Poland and Romania XVIII/4/11 2003
81 Two Polish Directories Online XVIII/4/91 2003
82 Polish Passport Policy 1830-1930: Permits, Restrictions and Archival Sources XIX/1/21 1998
83 Book Reviews: Zród a archiwalne do dziejów Żydów w Polsce XIX/3/65 1998
84 Jewish Surnames in Russia, Poland, Galicia and Prussia XIX/3/28 1998
85 Using Polish Magnate Records for Posen XIX/3/25 1998
86 Avotaynu Online Database Lists Nobility Archives XIX/4/21 1998
87 Hidden Jews of Warsaw XX/1/47 2004
88 Polish archives in Bialystok, Knyszin and Lomza XX/2/50 2004
89 Polychromatic Tombstones in Polish-Jewish Cemeteries XX/2/39 2004
90 Tracing Family Roots Using JRI-Poland to Read Between the Lines XX/2/15 2004
91 Biographical lexicon of Polish rabbis and admorim XX/3/47 2004
92 Flatow Jewish Cemetery Tombstones Discovered XX/4/79 2004
93 Polish City Directories Now Online XXI/3/67 2005
94 Morgenthau Mission to Poland to Investigate the 1919 Pogroms: A Genealogical Resource XXII/2/14 2006
95 What Can We Learn from Slownik Geograficzny? XXII/2/31 2006
96 Spiritual Genealogy: A Look at Polish Notary Documentation XXII/2/38 2006
97 Notes Polish Book and Magnate Records  XXII/3/63 2006
98 Exhibit of the Jews of Poznán, 1793–1939 XXIII/1/71 2007
99 Strategies for Assigning Surnames to Early JRI-Poland Records XXIII/2/22 2007
100 Book Review: Posen Place Name Indexes XXIV/1/51 2008
November 21, 2011

Roots Tech – Ancestry App v 3.0.1 – #Genealogy, #Technology, #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday (20th-November-2011), Stanczyk’s iPhone flagged his attention that his Ancestry.com App had an update available (Version 3.0.1).

What’s New in Version 3.0.1

  • Now the App has Shaky Leaves! The “Shaky Leaf” hints point you at possible new discoveries.
  • A simple merge tool helps toadd new relatives & info to your family tree
  • A new in-app purchase option with special  pricing  for Ancestry.com.
  • This new version also automatically adds information to photos
  • It allows you to change your tree privacy settings in the App
  • Adds an integrated user feedback & support feature
  • Its faster and more stable (Time will tell)

I tried it on a new tree with a few people. When I download the tree and used Roots Magic 4.x to display the Gedcom, I still get a tree without the proper family linkages. This bug appeared before iOS5 and still persists. I do not get it on my older pre-iOS5 trees that existed on Ancestry.com (before the bug). This bug is not an Ancestry App bug. So early adopters will not see this bug unless you create a new tree and download the Gedcom file for use in another family tree program. The tree appears just fine on Ancestry.com and also in the Ancestry App. I am not certain what is happening in the GEDCOM format of the file. I can use Roots Magic 4.x on older Ancestry.com trees (downloaded Gedcoms) and the family relationships are fine.

So I am leaning towards this being an Ancestry.com bug (not a Roots Magic bug).

There was NO mention of whether this makes the Ancestry App iOS5 compatible. It says, it requires iOS4 or later to run the App. It is a 15.9MB download so it takes a bit of time and bandwidth to download. Still it is under the 20MB that forces an iTunes on the computer download. Synching works fine in both directions, so you can create or modify your family tree on the web or in the smartphone App and both sides stay in synch. Because you update to 3.0.1, your entire tree will need to be downloaded. If you get to be about 1,000 people this does take a noticeable amount of time. For 100 people trees or less the delay is miniscule.

Download the new version. Portable Genealogy is back. But please Ancestry, can you fix the Gedcom issue, so I do not need to see people complaining on the Ancestry-app-mailing-list any more? Your website should work interoperable with other genealogy programs that support the GEDCOM standard or Ancestry should remove the feature “Supports GEDCOM”.

November 20, 2011

John Elijasz Eliasz Elias

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In Michigan, the Big Boy restaurants are owned by the ELIAS Brothers (as opposed to Bob’s or Frisch’s in other parts of the USA). In fact, in MI the Elias name is somewhat common, especially among Italians and Syrians. So unless I see a name like Boleslaw Elias or Wladyslaw Elias — I tend to filter those names out as NOT Polish.

My Grand-Uncle Jan Elijasz was born in Pacanow on 6th-December-1880 the first born child of Jozef Elijasz and Maryanna Paluch. I have his church birth record. I also have his marriage record to Pelagia Kedzierski (also in Pacanow). I have his Ellis Island ship arrival record (as Eliasz) with his brother-in-law Wlodzimierz Kedzierski. Once Jan/John was here in the USA, his name varied back and forth between Elijasz and Eliasz, before settling on Eliasz. I have in the US Censuses from 1920 and 1930. I also had his WWI Draft Registration (which referenced my grandfather Jozef as the nearest contact). But I could never find a record of his death.

I constantly searched for him in Mt Olivet cemetery and its records, after all my grandfather, his brother was there (as were others). My father and one uncle told me he died after my grandfather (a short time my uncle said). My dad remembered a train going by the cemetery at the burial (he was young). So I searched for cemeteries in Detroit and also in Macomb County (last known residence from 1930 Census) that were near to railroad tracks and called cemetery after cemetery (year after year in case they found new records). Annually around the new year, I would post a searching-for plea in the MI genealogy mailing lists and Yahoo groups for MI (Wayne/Macomb). I even started researching historical newspapers of MI, vowing to search the entire decade of the 1930’s until I found him. That is how my efforts with the Dziennik Polski newspaper came about.

One year a fellow genealogical researcher (with Mt Clemens Public Library), Ann Faulkner, took pity upon my annual plea — being familiar with my Dziennik Polski efforts and she, unbeknownst to me, undertook a small search for the death of my great-uncle John Eliasz using the information I supplied in my posts. Well I have told this story before in my blog, about how this kind woman found John Eliasz and I was certain it was him because she found an obituary and a church burial record (transcription) that listed enough other details for her and I to confirm that this John ELIAS was my grand-uncle John Eliasz. With this info I did order his death certificate (see below). The death certificate listed my great-grandparents’ names, so I had yet another further confirmation. I have to admit if I had seen ‘John Elias’, I may have ignored it due to not being “Polish enough” and due to the fact that Syrians and Italians from MI outnumbered the Polish Eliasz by a good bit. I might have missed it, but Ann fortunately, did not.

I cannot explain how my grand-aunt, Mary Eliasz Gronek who reported his death had not corrected the various people, writing his obituary, his church burial record, and even his death certificate. My dear grand-aunt had a horrible record of mis-dating her brothers’ birth dates on their death certificates — so it is a VERY good thing I have their birth records from the church in Pacanow to have the correct dates. On my grandfather’s death certificate, she had even filed an affidavit to correct his birth date (which was very nearly correct) to a very much wrong birth date — I had so many birth dates for my grandfather, that if I had not found his birth record, I would NEVER have known anything more than a consensus birth of “late March 1885″ [ignoring my grand-aunt’s May 15, 1887 which was an outlier guess]. Who knew you could file an affidavit to change data on a death certificate? Has any other genealogist encountered such an affidavit? How would I go about finding such an affidavit? Genealogy is very complex, having to winnow the truth from so much inaccurate chaff.

Quite a name evolution huh?  Elijasz to Eliasz to Elias. My grand-uncle John’s name kept getting shorter. Is it any wonder; since his paper trail was disappearing as fast as his last name over time. It is a major reason why I list the family tree as Elijasz/Eliasz/Heliasz which are all correct versions (Elias just being a typographical error). I have also had to accept Elyasz and Eljasz too as variants. Never mind that I have seen ELIASZ Polonia in St Louis, MO area “Anglicize” their name to Ellis. I have to feel sympathy for Donna Mierzejewski-McManus (fellow Polish genealogy blogger) as she sifts through the MANY variants of her Mierzejewski name.

There are quite a few morals to this over long tale…  Be persistent, Collaborate with others (particular experts in regions), Use Historical Newspapers, Do RAOGK for others, be creative in finding a way around genealogical road blocks. But genealogists who research Slavic names, must be prepared to try many, many variants of their last names, over and over again in ALL searches. You may have to go back to prior searches and retry a new name variant when you find the new variation.

 

John Elias (sic) Death Certificate

November 18, 2011

Mt Olivet Detroit, MI Cemetery – #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Earlier in the week I had dropped a quick spreadsheet of some people in my family (or for whom I had performed a RAOGK). It also was accompanied by a map of the Mt Olivet Cemetery (shown to the left).

Mt Olivet is part of the Mt Elliott Cemetery Association which is made up of the following cemeteries:

Mt Elliott,  Mt Olivet Resurrection All Saints Guardian Angel  and The Preserve cemeteries. They also have an online database that you can search for your ancestor here: http://mtelliott.com/genealogy .

The map seems to indicate that there are about 75-85 sections to the cemetery (Most are numbered, but the annex sections have Letters). I have section maps for Sections: 15, 24, 52 and L. These section maps have family names (probably of the original deed-holder family)  written in the boxes.

I would like to collect the entire set of section map pictures. So my plea to you, my readers is do you have a scanned map of any of the sections of Mt Olivet (Detroit) cemetery?

If you have any or all of these Section Maps, then can you email these images (preferably in JPG/JPEG), but I will take any format you have. The image needs to be clear enough to read the names in the boxes. Let me show you an example (a portion) of what I am looking for:

Ok readability is highly variable. Obviously they can write smaller than can be read. But what I am trying to do is read…

“Pitlock”, Plot 1223,  “Chojnaski”, Plot 1222, etc.

These are sometimes called Plot Maps. The one here is a snippet from Section 15.

The three most desired Section Maps are: Section 54 (where my father’s infant brother, Henry is buried) & Section 57 (where my grandfather Joseph is buried) and Section G where my aunt Sally and her son/my cousin Stephen is buried .

Thanks Internet!

November 17, 2011

Feliks Elijasz, Roman Catholic Shoemaker – Found in Fold3.com Free WWII database

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wants to tell you, my faithful readers, a story of Remembrance. This is a fitting tale, since it came from Fold3’s providing free access to its WWII databases for Veterans Day (also known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day). It is the story of Feliks Elijasz, a Catholic Shoemaker from Warsaw, Poland. Feliks shares a last name with Stanczyk’s family, but there is no evidence that Feliks is an ancestor. This story is derived from an historical form (see the end of this article). This story is also another case of cognitive resonance, due to its connection to my wife and a friend she made a while ago and this woman who gave moja zona some significant historical photos earlier this week (just copies, not the originals).

Feliks Elijasz, was a Shoemaker (and as I said a Catholic). Feliks was born the 17th-November-1896 in Warsaw. At the time of this form’s creation, Feliks was living in Warsaw, on Okopowa 30 ( a street address). Warsaw was in occupied Poland at the time. His parents were Wiktor Elijasz (also a shoemaker in Warsaw) and Paulina Elijasz (nee Szczigolska), with whom he lived. Feliks was married to Janina Elijasz (nee Woclarksa). He and his wife had at least one child (20 years old). Feliks was an infantryman in the Polish Army from 1920 to 1921. [Since that is after World War I, it is probable that Feliks fought the Russian Bolsheviks in the border war of that time period.]

Feliks had the bad sense to do something for which he was arrested in Warsaw, on the 10th-August-1944. He was admitted to prison in Krakow, on the 13th-August-1944. Feliks died while incarcerated on the 2nd-March-1945. That is horrible! The horror is further compounded because that prison camp was liberated  just a month later on the 11th-April-1945. The prison camp was Buchenwald!!! The form is from the Buchenwald Camp documents, called, “Camp Records – Inmate Cards“, page 2177.  There a few other details (describing Feliks’ appearance, etc.). The file was discontinued, on the 16th-March-1945. So this entire remembrance was constructed by careful extraction from the historical document — which provided a treasure trove of detail to remember Feliks by.

Now the Cognitive Resonance part is about Buchenwald. Not two days earlier, my wife was given pages of photographs of the Dachau Trials (held at the same time as the more famous Nuremberg Trials). The pictures were of the prosecuted Nazis, the American Liberators, the witnesses, courtrooms, etc. I was able to identify the pictures as from the Dachau Trials, as there were other pictures taken (and published on the Internet) and the windows, light fixtures, room decor, etc, matched EXACTLY. These pictures were taken by a  Norristown, PA soldier (who has since passed). His pictures did NOT contain, the infamous, “Witch of Buchenwald” who was prosecuted at the Dachau Trials (and convicted), but the other pictures that I matched these newly discovered historical pictures to, did, contain, Ilse Koch (the Witch of Buchenwald, amongst other  appellations). Ilse Koch was the wife of the Buchenwald Commandant (Karl Otto Koch).

For the record my wife, has contacted the Shoah Foundation about this woman who has the original historical pictures that her father took in Dachau in 1945. So these pictures will be recorded/preserved for posterity by professionals. We did not handle the originals,  merely copies that the woman had given to my wife. I know the new pictures are from Dachau Trials, because the soldier signed the back of one picture with his name and his location (Dachau). He was the soldier who was assigned to photograph the proceedings (I do not know/think he was the only photographer) and he was also required to witness the death sentences carried out on at least  three different individuals (two of the Nazis for which it appears he has something akin to funeral cards for and Claus Karl Schilling, the camp doctor whom the soldier mentioned witnessing his death). That soldier/photographer was Carmen Frangiosa a man who witnessed and photographed history.

The Inmate Card of Feliks Elijasz …

November 15, 2011

Just Another Mt Olivet Monday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A bit late …

Mt Olivet Monday (Detroit, MI)

Here is a list of family buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery on Vandyke Rd, in Detroit, MI.

The last two rows are a bit of RAOGK that I did for Maureen Mroczek (whereby I sent her pictures) of her ancestors headstones.

Here is a map of Mt Olivet Cemetery:

Death Date Last Name First Name Section Lot# / Tier# Grave
8/3/1967 Eliasz (Prusinski) Sabina F. G 1344
1/19/1963 Eliasz Stephen E Jr G 1355
1/29/1923 Eliasz Henry 54 16 346
1/6/1930 Eliasz Joseph 57 2 114
8/6/1981 Gawlikowski
(Wlecial)
Rose 15  1255
7/18/1943 Gawlikowski Adam 15  1255
5/15/1967 Wlecial Leon 15  1255
3/8/1961 Wlecialowski Boleslaw 15  1255
Mroczek Kazimier 51 41 945
Mroczek Mary Kozlowska 55 12 215
November 14, 2011

Fold3 – World War II Materials Free – 11/11/11 – 11/20/11

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk keeps forgetting to mention that FOLD3.com has some free databases through this Sunday coming up. Apparently, some of you already know the website appears to be busy.

Nice gesture for Veterans Day!

November 14, 2011

#ThingsIFind Whilst Looking Up Other Things … Polish Libraries in the USA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In one of Stanczyk’s continuing memes, Things I Find Whilst Looking Up Other Things, I was combing the Internet and was rifling through Polish Genealogical Societies. I hopped from the PGSA.org to PGSNYS.org (Polish Genealogical Society of New York State), when they mentioned, The Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle. Apparently, they had a Reopening of their Library on September 17, 2011. The library is located at: 612 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, New York 14212.

That got this jester to thinking, so here is my list of Polish Libraries in the USA:

Does anyone else know of any other Polish libraries that I need to add to this list? If so, please email me.

November 13, 2011

1940 US Census Website – #Genealogy, #1940

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk noticed that genealogist,  Ceil Wendt Jensen has been letting all genealogists know about a new website to help with the 1940 US Census (which arrives in April 2012). Here is the website: http://www.1940census.net/ .

Have you prepared for the 1940 Census yet? If not, my prior article or Ceil’s link ,which has many resources, is a whole website that can help you prepare. Also, do not forget the Steve Morse.org website.

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November 12, 2011

2011 Year End Genealogy Website Rankings – Top 125 Websites Globally – #Global, #Genealogy, #Rankings

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Two months ago Stanczyk produced an analysis of Genealogical Website rankings after reading the Eastmans Online Genealogy Network blog about one from Canada??.  Since that time, I have been monitoring my own blog’s rankings every month to see how I have been progressing and I am very thankful for you, my good readers. But before we close out the 2011 year, I wanted to have a final Global Top 125 Genealogy Websites ranking. The current global rankings include a link to the prior ranking, so you can compare for yourself.

First off, let me say how I produced the survey. It is not like Family Tree Magazine’s Top 100 Genealogy Websites which “selects” their favorite 125 websites, by grabbing some from a variety of categories (African-American Genealogy, Jewish Genealogy, Big Genealogy Websites, etc.). Their breadth of “selections” is impressive and they range into reference websites too. Still every one of their selected websites is a valuable resource and the whole list could be used to form your own Genealogy Favorites (Bookmarks).

To arrive at my surveys, last survey and this current survey, I used Alexa.com as my source for rankings. I gathered websites from all over the world and I used the GLOBAL RANKING. This is why we, in the USA may have some disagreements, as Alexa.com also keeps a ranking within the local country. The American rankings for the USA websites tend to be much higher than the foreign regions for us. Likewise, in Canada or the UK, their local genealogy websites tend to rank higher than USA websites because they tend to use their local resources. But in the USA everyone is from somewhere else, so we use USA websites and genealogy websites from around the entire Globe to do our research. Finally, since I use Alexa.com for the rankings, I have to accept that they may not have considered a website that might actually be about genealogy as being about something else, because  the website did not specify or because they described their website as something else. Also Alexa.com does a very poor job of ranking websites outside the USA/Canada/UK unless they write in English. To compensate (modestly), I did add in two Polish genealogical websites and included their global rankings in the survey. After all, this is a blog about Polish Genealogy and other musings. I also added in a few odds & ends, such the the US National Archives (even though not all of the site is not genealogically related  — Alexa does not allow for me to select a sub-site within Archive.gov).

Findings

The new websites, seem to be the ones I added. Some of the older websites no longer had data, so we see some with a ranking of: 99,999,999. This is not an accurate ranking but it must be well beyond 30Million and may now be in the 100Million range and as such, Alexa.com now ignores it or at least does not keep its data.

Many of the top 50 Genealogy websites moved up and moved upwards a good bit. A very few of the Top 50 moved down slightly. So overall, it seems that Genealogy is becoming more popular (than all other websites in general). To give you some feel, this blog that you are reading right now, moved upwards some 6Million places. However, it only moved up four places on the Global Top 125 Genealogy Websites ranking.

In the Top 10, there was very little movement. Most notable, was Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com), the recent Ancestry.com acquisition moved to number 9 (up from #10) and Eastmans Online Genealogy Network moved up to #10 (from 17). The Top 10 also has one of the new websites (NARA) and MyHeritage.com (#2  — one of those websites that Alexa.com had not counted as a genealogy website, but which we included this time).

Next Year

I will begin dropping website that are ranked at or above 20Million  to allow room for some new websites and to keep the list to 125. Please send me an email about any website that I should investigate for inclusion.

I will publish the future Rankings on or about the 1st of: March, June, September, and December going forward.

Thanks!

 

November 10, 2011

The End of the Golden Age of College Football

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

With the firing of Joe Paterno at Penn State yesterday, the Golden Age of College Football is now officially over!  Coach Paterno was the last remaining giant of College Football. He strode the entire era with all of the other giants:

Bo Schembechler, Woodie Hayes, Bud Wilkerson, Darrell Royal, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Ara Parseghian, and Bobbie Bowden.

Joe Paterno won more football games than any of those. This jester is a Michigan WOLVERINE booster and has been so since I was a little boy. My fandom of College Football spanned Joe Paterno’s whole career (as head coach of PSU) and a bit more. So I had respect for Joe Paterno as well as all of these other GIANTS of College Football. I still have respect for the good works of Joe Paterno. I understand Penn State University’s dilemma in dealing with this crisis. I feel for the victims and I feel for the PSU administration, students, and the football players — but the Nitany Lion share of my sympathy does go for the victims. This tragedy has a long way to go, to play out.  My prayers go out to the victims and their families. I hope they get the Legal Resolution they need and deserve. I am appalled at how this Sandsuky fellow’s alleged actions could fell such a legend (who is not guilty of any wrong doing — just not legendary in dealing with the tragedy that has happened during his tenure). There will be no justice in this story, just a long delayed legal resolution.

I am blogging because this is a catharsis for my feelings on this matter. It is a stunning revelation! I am hopeful that Joe Paterno does not let this ignoble end to his career, define him. It was not his actions that caused the crisis (perhaps his inactions allowed this crisis to lengthen). Joe Paterno is defined by his integrity, his body of work, and his family, friends and his faith.

This jester would prefer NOT to think ill of such a man. Joe, please, say it ain’t so. I will lament his demise. I will lament at how his focus on his work let this very human tragedy to continue. I will lament for the children who were the victims. Perhaps that is how every Age ends — in the lamentations and sufferings caused by petty, little people whose actions demeaned these boys and somehow also felled a GIANT and ended an era.

November 10, 2011

Marine Corps – The US Marine Corps was born Today 10-November-1775

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Happy Birthday US Marine Corps. You do not look 236 years old. The Marines were born here in Philadelphia, PA ! The Marines were born 10-November-1775 @Tun_Tavern, Phialdelphia, PA.

Tun Tavern was a significant meeting place for other groups as well. In 1756, Benjamin Franklin used the tavern as a recruitment/gathering point for the Pennsylvania militia. The tavern later hosted a meeting of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, & the Continental Congress.

The US Marine Corps has an Illustrious History. Their motto is: Semper Fidelis, which  is Latin for “Always Faithful”. So when you hear their rallying cry (or welcoming shout), “Semper Fi”, now you know what they mean.

November 8, 2011

Fold3 – Genealogy for Profit Website & Ancestry.com SUBSCRPTIONS

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

OP-ED PIECE

This is Stanczyk’s first opinion piece. I hope it inspires comments and opinions in you my fine Internet Technorati. It would be nice if FOLD3 or ANCESTRY reads this article and comments/responds. If you do not want to read opinion then you are done for the day, loyal reader.

Fold3 used to be Footnote.com.  Stanczyk had used Footnote while it was Footnote. We appreciated the Historical documents and especially liked:

  • Naturalizations
  • City Directories
  • Newspapers

These were valuable resources on top of all the historical/genealogical material they had accumulated from the National Archives (NARA). I liked how they integrated users and their material and how users could ‘Annotate’ Historical documents and link them to their own documents which could be uploaded to Footnote. This was helpful for Genealogy and for History too.

So when Ancestry.com bought Footnote, we had a cautious optimism and hope that this research material would be folded into Ancestry.com’s own valuable databases.

Here’s what happened …

Ancestry.com renamed Footnote.com to Fold3. Ok that was lame and really not useful for newbies. What is Fold3? It lacks broad meaning and is a poor branding.

They decided to focus on the military research material??? OK most of the NARA databases were military in nature (Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, etc.). Perhaps this heroic focus would be a good thing. But what about the other things?

Ancestry.com then proceeded to announce that they jettison City Directories and Historical Newspapers. Ok but that was a MAJOR reason to pay for Footnote/Fold3.

You now have to look under ‘Other‘ when browsing their collections. There you will still find Naturalizations and Passport Applications. Are these remaining … permanently? What else will be lost?

Ancestry.com now is a front-end search engine for some of Fold3’s databases. I do not like this. You pay for Ancestry. You buy their ‘DELUXE’ package to get access to everything and here are data that you cannot access without paying for??? Ancestry we already paid for EVERYTHING. Either give us access to the Fold3 (you own it) data in your search engines or remove this data!

Stanczyk used to index for Ancestry.com, but not any more. Ancestry has muddied the waters about what is Ancestry and what is included in DELUXE. It used to be everything. Now there seems to be a new class of data that is NOT a part of EVERYTHING. Why buy Footnote and NOT include it in Ancestry? Is it to “milk” two subscriptions from your customers? OK, then keep them separate: two companies, two websites and two well defined subscriptions with well defined databases.

I do not like this ‘hybrid” where EVERYTHING is NOT EVERYTHING. I do not like the shell game of what data is where and the implicit attempt to shuffle data and force customers to have two paid subscriptions this does NOT pass the smell test. OPTIMISM is now gone and replaced with DISTRUST for Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com needs to restore that DELUXE means EVERYTHING. If that means removing FOLD3 data, then remove FOLD3 data and do not mingle the two enterprises. This is causing ill will and losing Goodwill for Ancestry.com.

Buy FOOTNOTE if you must. Rename Footnote to FOLD3 if you must. Keep them as two subscription companies separate and distinct if you must. But this disintegration of FOLD3 (nee FOOTNOTE) and the subsequent pollution of Ancestry.com with this bait-and-switch mingling of Ancestry with Fold3 leaves your CUSTOMERS with a bad taste in their mouths. You have made GENEALOGY and HISTORY worse by buying FOOTNOTE, not better. The TOTAL VALUE is now less for FOLD3 than it was for FOOTNOTE and even ANCESTRY is diminished by these decisions.

Ancestry, what were you thinking?

November 7, 2011

Madame Sklodowska Curie, #Scientist

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Did you catch the Classic Home Google logo today? It features Madame Curie, whose birthday is today. It is still true that women do not go into science and/or engineering in the same numbers as men do. That makes Marie Sklodowska Curie and her daughter, Irene, all the more remarkable that their family had two women scientists (both Nobel Prize winners) and that the entire family had a preponderance of Nobel Prizes amongst them.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Smithsonian Magazine’s article, “Madame Curie’s Passion“. Clearly, she was a woman ahead of her time. The Smithsonian thoughtfully included additional pics (including Nobel Certificate).

Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize in Physics(1903) and another in Chemistry(1911). Only Linus Pauling was able to duplicate this feat — They are the only two people who won Nobel Prizes in two separate fields and Madame Curie was the first. Of course, she honored her homeland (Poland), by naming the first radioactive element she discovered, “Polonium”.

She was born, Maria Salomea Skłodowska, in Warsaw (Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire) 7th-November-1867 to Wladyslaw & Bronislawa Sklodowskich. Wladyslaw’s father was Jozef Sklodowski and his mother was Salomea z. Suktinski. So Maria’s middle name was from her paternal grandmother. She married Pierre Curie and had two daughters (Irene, Eve) with Pierre. She died on 4th-July-1934, Skłodowska-Curie died  in Passy, in Haute-Savoie, France.

Madame Curie's Father, Wladyslaw's Birth Record

November 6, 2011

Polish Genealogy Notable News – #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polish Genealogy Notable News

On Wednesday (November 2nd), Family Tree Magazine released their 101 Best Genealogy Websites. Their email newsletter had the link for 2010 unfortunately — which Stanczyk only just noticed as I was writing this article. Here is the link to their 2011 version of the 101 Best Genealogy Websites. This 2011 article did NOT have a printable list of URL’s/LINKs, but here is the PDF from last year .

On Monday (October 31st), The Gen Dobry newsletter came (always a monthly highlight) and there was a mention of the United Polish Genealogical Societies Biennial Conference in April 2012. For more info on this conference, go to: http://upgs.eventbrite.com/ .

Stanczyk’s own Dziennik Polski (Detroit, MI) Historical Ethnic Newspaper page had many updates this week. Most importantly, the Dziennik Polski Names Index Page now has nearly 31,000 names (and dates and whether it is a birth, marriage, or death or other event).

South Florida’s Sun Sentinel published an article November 1st, on a remarkable story of how genealogy connected a Jewish Polish-American with the rest of his Holocaust survivors family. This is genealogy at its most poignant.

Blessings for the new week!

–Stanczyk

 

 

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