Archive for February, 2014

February 28, 2014

GenBaza — Jewish Congregations (AP Kielce, AP Sandomierz) — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Jewish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been writing about metryki.genbaza.pl a lot this year and this week in particular. Since I wrote my guide on using GenBaza, I thought I might start enumerating what is actually in GenBaza. So to honor my wife, I thought I would start with the Jewish records.

I compiled my list from two of the archives that I dabble in: AP Kielce and AP Sandomierz.  This roughly covers the area that a genealogy group on the Internet known as KR SIG/ Kielce-Radom Special Interest Group (are they defunct now?  — see JewishGen/JRI-Poland have their materials) used to do research on.

Today’s blog is almost a Wordless Friday blog. I see from the embedded pictures (below) that AP Kielce has 10 congregations data and AP Sanodmierz has 13.KielceRadom

AP_Kielce_mojAP_Sandomierz_moj

February 27, 2014

Genbaza Image Tool Pallets … #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This is an additional image to help work with the scanned images you see on screen in GenBaza.

06_GenBaza_ImageTools

The two tool pallets can be collapsed by clicking on the upward vee (upper right corner of the tool) giving you more space to view the image. Clicking a second time un-collapses (expands) the tool again.

You can also drag the two tools to see a hidden part of the image. You can even drag one tool on top of the other tool to stack them and save space.

February 27, 2014

Guide (Poradnik) for Using Metryki.GenBaza.PL — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wrote about  metryki.genbaza.pl two months back and the fact they were posting online the state archives (civil) and church archives (diocese) and many people have asked me to write a guide (poradnik) on how to use  Metryki.GenBaza.pl  .

In this guide, I will be using a Macbook laptop with the Safari browser, but you should see just about the same thing with your PC or your browser. Obviously, if you are using a mobile device you user experience will be slightly different may not work if your smartphone is too small.

Œ Œ

Step By Step


Step 1

Step One

            Go to the website: Metryki.GenBaza.pl 

You should see the web site with just the GRODZISK archive shown …

01_Metryki.GenBaza_plYou will need to register for a free account in order to see of the available archives on metryki.genbaza.pl . The link to create a free account will take you back to GenPol.pl and you will need to fight your way through their poor user interface. Their interface (web app) did not indicate to me when it had created the account. But if you go back to metryki.genbaza.pl and click on the Login, you should be able to login to genbaza (using your email and your newly created password). If you are on a mobile device or a small/minimal browser window and do not see Login , then you should see a graphic button with three horizontal lines in upper right corner click on this followed by clicking on Login .

Now that you are logged in to genbaza you should see the following archives …

02_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_loggedIn

Small_2
 
Step Two — Select An Archive

            For this guide, we will be working with AD_Kielce and AP_Kielce and the parish named Biechow. From the above screen shot you can see that we will be using the 1st and the 3rd archives. So if you are following along, then click on AD_Kielce (the church archive -or- Archiwum Diocesan).

You should see …

03_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_ADKielce

Notice it gives you the feedback that you are working with the AD Kielce “Album” contents. Think of this as an iPhoto photo album. Down the left side you will see a list of all available parishes that they have scanned images for. This is NOT a complete list of all parishes in the old province (wojewodztwo or Russian Gubernia) of Kielce, but just the ones they have some subset of images from the Kielce church archive.

The blue words, Bebelno, Bejsce, Biechow … etc. are just parishes. You will need to know the parish of your ancestral village to select the appropriate parish, but that is another blog or two. Let me take one step back, I said parishes, but there are also Jewish congregations / records  too in these online images. These parishes are just sub-directories of the AD Kielce Album. If there had been an image file also, it would be listed on the right side under the Album (or sub-directory) as a set of JPG (graphic file) files that viewable in a browser.

Step 3
 
Step Three — Select A Parish (Congregation)

Let’s click on Biechow . You should see …

04_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_Biechow

You will notice that I have scrolled down a bit from the top. At the top it lets you know that you are in the Biechow Album (sub-directory). There are no files here either. But down the left we see more blue text (that are clickable). Ignore the leading number before the underscore. The middle part is a year or a year range.  The last part, when it is present, is a set of letters.

The latest birth I can get from the AD Kielce (church archive) is 1855. [see 22_1835-1855_ur]. So please excuse me while I switch over to  AP_Kielce in order to work with Biechow births (ur) for 1886.

Decoding the ‘Letters’

These letters (or suffixes if you prefer) are fairly standard (with exceptions). If you see a suffix of,  “_ur”,  that is an indication that when you click on that sub-directory you will find online scanned images of Births (urodzony). So these suffixes are Polish abbreviations for Birth (ur), Marriage (sl), Death (zg) or Alegata (al). Each describes the type images you will see. What if there is no suffix? Then you will probably see  all of the event types: Birth, Marriage, Death and possibly Alegata too.

What is an Alegata (al)? These scanned images are requests to the church for a transcription from the church book or to lookup something like a birth or death possibly or most commonly to support a person’s need to re-marry by showing that s/he is widowed. These are transcriptions copied from the actual church register, by the current pastor of a past event (birth/marriage/death). These are usually accompanied by a fee, collected via stamps on the actual page. If these are present with the other event types, then they are at the end of the images.  Alegata are almost as valuable as the actual church entry. But the alegata can substitute when you do not have the actual church register (or image) available to you.

By the way the final set of letters that I want to mention are, “_moj”. If you see “_moj” as a suffix then that directory’s scanned, online images are of Jewish denomination records. The Moj. is an abbreviation for  mojżeszowe (Mosaic denomination as in Moses),

If you are following along, then you will need to click on the following to switch to 1886 Biechow parish in AP Kielce Archive:

At the top click on “Main page” at the top, then click on AP_Kielce (on left the next page), followed by  clicking on Biechow,  and finally clicking on 1886_023. After all of those clicks you should see …

05_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_APBiechow1886

Notice the website gives you a nice trail of breadcrumbs to find your way around all of these directories.  You should see between the top level and the “Album contents”, a line of clickable text:

GenBaza | AP Kielce | Biechow | 1886_023

These are your breadcrumbs that allow you to find your way back. Keep in mind that “Main page” at the top will always bring you back to the original set of Archives to pick from.

 
 Step 4
Step Four — Working With A List of Images

            On the right side you see Album Contents: 1886_023 with a list of scanned images named like :

_k_??????.jpg — where the ?????? are replaced by some consecutive numbers. These files contain one scanned image each. Typically the set of images is a parish register, including the front and back covers, such as they may be. So in practice I seldom look at the first or the last image, because I am too busy to look at book covers.

The images are number consecutively from front cover to last cover with all the pages in between as they are. There are a few possible arrangements of pages. Typically it is Births, then Marriage, then Deaths if the particular register you are looking at has two or more event types. I also see Marriage, then Birth, then Death. Death comes last always. In some parish registers you will also see Alegata and these come after Death if they exist.  Many times Alegata are in their own directory apart from the other vital record events.

Our goal is to avoid having to look at all pages one after another. To do that we must find the indexes that follow each vital record event. For example, after the Births, you usually find a page or two (or more) of an index of all of the births for that year — hopefully in alphabetical order. Sometimes the indexes do not exist. Sometimes the indexes have errors and sometimes a mistake is found and added at the end of the index. Always seek  out the index and look at ALL index pages for your surname(s) to catch these errors.

For this exercise I am going to click on the 27th file, named: _k_088054.jpg . I knew that this file contained the birth index scanned image. It is here that I want to say a few things about working with the scanned images. So clicking on _k_088054.jpg, you should see …

06_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_APBiechow1886IndexUR_27

OK the text is in RUSSIAN/Cyrillic handwriting. Many of you cannot read this image. But some images are in Polish and a few are in Latin. So you can usually find somebody who reads these if you cannot read them yourself. But I do urge you to get the Jonathan Shea/Fred Hoffman book, “In Their Own Words” books and learn to read these church records.

In the upper left you will see two tool pallets. The top tool is for adjusting (from top to bottom):  Contrast, Brightness and Zoom. Mostly, you will not need to adjust Contrast or Brightness, but they are there for those who know how to use them to make the scanned images more readable. I do use the Zoom adjustments all of the time. The zoom tool (the bottom pick with a ‘magnifying glass’), you can zoom in (+) or zoom out (-). Depending on the scale of the image scanned and the health of your eyes, you will need to zoom in (+) 4 – 6 times to get a comfortable level of reading. Your eyes may differ.

As you zoom in, you will notice that a gray box in the preview too pallet  gets smaller.  This gray transparent rectangle is the area of image displayed in the viewer window. You can drag this gray square to quickly navigate the viewer window to area of the page I have focused on. The other method of navigating the image is to click on the image viewer, click-and-hold-and drag the image around. So whether you drag the gray box in the preview or click-drag (common called grab) the view image around make it so you can see the Russian ‘L’ and possibly Russian M on the index screen.

NOTE: You can scroll the viewer left-right and up-down, but I would not do that as you may not realize that you have NOT reached the image’s edge and that you need to click-drag some more to move the image to see the remainder of the image that scrolling cannot show you.

Now you my dear reader of this tutorial must indulge me. I want to call your attention to the 4th ‘L’ name in the image (лещунъска  виктория) — yeah, I know cursive Cyrillic does not look much like block letter Cyrillic characters, especially pre-1918 cursive Russian, which were before Bolshevik language reforms. It says, “Leszczynska Wiktorija” 118 (akt#) / 20 (Kart #). We use the Akt # as the record number in the parish register to find this record. This record is my grandmother!

Click on the 23. Do you see where it says “First photo  << 23  24  25   26  27 …  >> Last photo”? Click on the 23, which will take us 4 images before the image we are on (the gray highlighted 27 in the middle). You should see an image with a 124 in the upper left.  If you drag the image around in the viewer (or I find dragging the gray rectangle box in the preview tool) around the page you will see a total of 6 births on this page, number 124 through 129. The image looks like two pages of a parish register (book). The left page has records (akts) 124, 125, 126 and the right page has records 127, 128, 129.

We are looking for my grandmother who is act# 118. 118 is exactly 6 records before the first birth record shown on this page. Since we six births per page, my grandmother’s birth record should be the 1st record on the previous page. So let’s click on the 22 in the: “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo” near the top. After clicking on 22, you should see …

07_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_APBiechow1886IndexAkt118

Do you see the Akt #118 at the upper left? We have found our record. These particular birth records list the baby’s name at the top. Do you see: Leszczynska Waleryja ? Wait a minute the index said, Wiktorija??? I said before the indexes contain errors. Waleryja Leszczynska is indeed my grandmother and I knew she was born in Biechow parish in 1886,  but it was not until GenBaza put the AP_Kielce images online that I actually could prove her birth date / place.  You can imagine my joy. Now imagine what your joy will be when you find your grandparents!

Notice there is a button at the top,  “Download photo” (Pobierz zdjęcie). The last thing you need to do is download this keepsake image you found.  On a Mac when you do this the image is downloaded to your “Downloads” folder. It also brings up a Preview of the image when the download completes. Close out of of Preview. In your browser is a new tab, “Untitled” with nothing in the window. Close this tab and you will be back in the image viewer tab.  In Windows you get a new browser window (named Untitled), your downloads  window opens and the images goes into whatever Windows directory you download into (typically called Downloads). Likewise, close the Untitled browser window and return to your previous browser window. One note, on the mac the image download is TIFF by default and in Windows it is JPG. So on the Mac when your Preview comes up … click on File menu, then Export menu item and select either PNG or JPEG to get a file format that you can use on the Internet (like on Ancestry.com) for example. The Internet browsers natively work with: JPG/JPEG, GIF or PNG (or PDF too). Keep your images in one of those formats.

There is one more thing I have yet to emphasize. I was trying to teach you that you can jump around the images by doing simple math. We were on Akt# 124 (of records 124 through 129) of six records per page. If my grandmother’s akt# had been 100 (instead of 118) then I would have had to click 4 pages left of page 23 or page 19 on the line,  “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo”. This little math tip can save you the time of scrolling page after page. I use this tip to navigate more than 4 pages at a time too, but I will leave that exercise for the reader to figure out.

February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday – Ludwik Elijasz Family View

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A couple of days ago Stanczyk published a tip for using Alegata online images to supplement/replace having a marriage record. So here is the genealogy record for Ludwik Elijasz (and his two wives, siblings and parents). Where’s Maryanna Wierzbocka? She is Maryanna Przylucka (Wierzbocka) Elijasz. :

Ludwik Elijasz

February 24, 2014

#Polish #Genealogy Clever Workaround … Using Genealodzy.pl (Genteka) and GenBaza.pl Together

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ludwik Eliasz Marries Maryanna Wierzbocka

Stanczyk has been very busy researching in Genbaza.pl.

Ever since they posted online a significant cache of both Polish Archive in Kielce and the Church Diocesan Archive (also in Kielce) this jester has been busy examining the church registers and wading through Russian and Polish records alike.

So here is my simple tip to you. Use Geneteka database on genealodzy.pl as an index into many (not all) of the records that you may be able to find online for the Kielce Gubernia (old Wojewodztwo Kielce, now SwietoKrzyskie), like in mertyki.genbaza.pl for example. From my picture above you can see, I was searching in Olesnica for any Eliasz (aka Elijasz). Up popped a Ludwik Eliasz marrying a Maryanna Wierzbowska in 1902. It even gave me the Akt # (record number) 21. Let me just pop over to genbaza.pl and see what that record looks like and who is this Ludwik Eliasz. A quick check of AD Kielce (the Church Archive, showed no Olesnica scans online). Smugly, I just popped over to AP Kielce (the Civil Archives), but all they had was: OLEŚNICA_AL .

This jester was vexed. I had an index listing a record I wanted, but there were no scans online for the record. Let me explain, that OLESNICA_AL means that the online images are not Birth, Marriage or Death records. In fact they are Alegata records. These are the kind of routine administrative searches a church performs in its own parish books for a parishioner to document a marriage or a birth or a death for some civil? reason.

First off, this is a good time to mention that Geneteka database will have some records indexed that there are no scans for (my case) and the opposite also happens  that they do not have an index of a record that does exist online. Happily, most of what they have in indexes are also online so there are 1 to 1 matches between Geneteka and Genbaza.

Sadly, in my case they had no marriage scans online for Olesnica.

That is NOT the end of this story and so you get a second genealogy tip in this article. I said to myself if this is my LUDWIK ELIASZ, this would be a second marriage of his and therefore he would be a widower and have to have proof that he was widowed or divorced to marry a second wife. So … I said to myself,  then there should be an ALEGATA record documenting Ludwik’s first wife’s death in the 1902 Alegata of Olesnica.

The Alegata are not indexed; So I had to go record by record (image by image) in the 1902 Olesnica Alegata and examine each record in turn. Do you know what I found? This Ludwik had an alegata for his 1st wife’s death documenting his widower standing. This Ludwik was the widower of Elzbieta Miklaszewski Elijasz.  So my persistence had paid off. I now had an alegata, that was transcription of Elzbieta Miklaszewski Elijasz ‘s death (with death date / place). This was indeed my Ludwik Elijasz (brother of my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz). Now I had the death date and place of his first wife Elzbieta. Persitence pays off!

Tip number three, keep going. I then looked at the next image and it was the alegata of  a death record extraction for Maryanna Wierbowska ‘s first husband. Oh, she was a widow, just like my great-grand uncle Ludiwk was a widower. So this was a second marriage for both. Oh, how nice — good for them. Keep going!  The next alegata was indeed the alegata of their marriage record in 1902! How cool was that? SO persistence did yield me my marriage record even though the marriage records were not online. Also, being a former stamp collector, I adore the stamps on the alegata (used as fees, I suppose) records. Here below is their marriage record from the alegata:

1902OlesnicaAlegata_Marr_LudwikEliasz_MaryannaWirzbocka

Click (and keep clicking) for a Full Size image (readable)

—  …

February 5, 2014

#AmericaIsBeautiful – America The Beautiful — #Culture, #Politics, #Commentary

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Perhaps you watched an American Football game on Sunday. Odds are that if you are reading this blog, you did watch the Super Bowl. This is something that a large part of Americans participate in, myself included … all my life. I then spent the next two days seeing the commercials dissected on news shows across cable TV and the Internet.

So I watch the commercials, to see the reflection of America. I am also hoping that for this one day a year, the commercials are entertaining and thought provoking. Who can forget Apple’s iconic, “1984”  Super Bowl commercial for the Mac. In fact, that is what this blog is about  —  our American icons.

Coca-Cola did a commercial,  #AmericaIsBeautiful . The song “America The Beautiful” was sung —  how beautiful. Really it was beautiful. I have to admit my hypocrisy upfront. While I was reveling in the song and its meaning to me, my primitive self had a moment of rage. The song had a couple of choruses  sung in foreign languages. How dare they meddle with such a beloved American icon, as America The Beautiful ? But that half a second passed and I rationalized (as my rational mind is wont to do) that it was just foreign born Americans or other citizens of the world lauding America The Beautiful in their first language. I just enjoyed the lovely singing.  I loved how the commercial tied into Queen Latifah’s beautiful rendition of America The Beautiful .  But my rational self said Coca-Cola is going to feel a firestorm now for meddling with an American icon.

I knew that the irrational 5% of America (uh commonly called the Tea Party), would be up in arms over this commercial over the use of foreign languages used in this version of the song. I knew they would boycott Coca-Cola, itself an American icon, but these are not rational people. They (the Tea Party) would spew their hateful rhetoric and start a boycott in their usual way of social conservatism  — not fiscal conservatism as they espoused as their rationale for existing. These Tea Party thugs would try their totalitarian tactics to bend Coca-Cola, the American icon of business to their will. I do not think  the Tea Party would see the ugliness in contrast to this beloved business icon, nor was it possible for them to appreciate the irony in their attacking the #AmericaIsBeautiful commercial.

Coca-Cola for its part would need to learn that not all publicity is good publicity. Even 5% of a very large number is still a very large number. That could hurt the bottom line for Coke. I am not a shareholder and I have no allegiance to Coke as I am not usually a consumer of this company’s products. But I want to engage the other 95% of America, the rational 95%. Let’s buy a twelve pack of a Coke product (I think this jester will get their ginger-ale) and render the Tea Party boycott as weak as their numbers are and to show they have NO power over the other 95% of Americans !   Symbolism at its most eloquent. Render the Tea Party moot. Even better would be to vote them ALL out of Congress this November.

Let’s end the concept of “social conservatism” by exposing it to the light and showing it for the TOTALITARIANISM that our parents / grandparents fought against in World War II and its aftermath, the Cold War. Lets make sure that,   #AmericaIsBeautiful  is not ironic.

Think about it America, talk about it, then just do it.   Make America The Beautiful the real thing !

–Stanczyk

February 1, 2014

Rzeszow Galicia Cadastral Maps – Online in June

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CadastreMapsRZESZOWStanczyk, was perusing the Polish Genealogical Society Connecticut & NorthEast Facebook page recently and noticed that on 27-January-2014 their posting on digitized cadastral surveys from the State Archives in Przemyśl . The  full text of the Polish State Archive (  http://www.archiwa.gov.pl ) news is posted  here.

By the end of June, the Przemyśl state archives will complete the digitization of Galician cadastral maps started in 2012 of 63,000 pages of descriptive material to the cadastral maps of the villages . The 63,000 pages accompanies 9,084 digitized map sheets of 743 localities of the former province of Rzeszow and 29 more localities now in Ukraine.

Digitized copies of the documents so far will be at the Przemysl archive by the end of March for  study. Afterwards, the scans will be published online at the site:  szukajwarchiwach.pl .

Also See …

Gesher GaliciaInventory of Galicia Cadastral Maps

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