Archive for August, 2014

August 31, 2014

75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Poland — #History #Molotov–Ribbentrop-Pact

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19390901-german-army-attacks-polandDateline  September 1, 1939 —

Nine days ago, on August 23rd, 1939, Nazi Germany & Soviet Russia signed a Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, formally known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.  This was a foreshadow to war.  If you were expecting a Labor Day blog then you are mistaken; Not this year. It has been exactly 75 years since World War II began with the invasion of Poland.

The 20th Century’s most heinous death sprees: World War II, The Holocaust, The Korean War and The Cold War are an era when between 30 Million-nearly 100 Million were killed, some genocidally. Truly a century of madness.

start-WorldWarIIBut it started with the fifth partition of Poland. FIVE ??? Yes, I said five partitions. The first three partitions (zabiory) in 1772, 1793, 1795 were by: Prussia, Austria, and Russia. These are the reason we see: Ger-Poland, Rus-Poland or Aus-Poland in the US Census during the Great Migration era 1870-1920. This jester likens Napoleon’s Duchy of Warsaw as the 4th partition (1807-1815). So when the Nazis and Soviets invade Poland in 1939 to form the General Government, with its Districts: Warsaw, Radom Lublin, and Krakow (2 years hence, 1941 with Operation Barbarosa,  also Galicia) we arrive at the fifth partition.

Stanczyk, mentions those 4 or 5 Districts (Distrikts) as they are important to interpret the administrative hierarchy for the vital records between 1939-1945. It was the same in the prior four partitions of Poland that administrative hierarchy changes occurred.

The largest  civil administrative division, what Americans might think of as Province/State was variously known, depending on partition as:  Provinz/Kreis, Wojewodztwo, Gubernia, Departament and Distrikt. Knowing the civil administrative hierarchy is important in locating your ancestor’s village.

Let’s hope that Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the support of the Russian Rebels in Ukraine and the Syrian Civil War giving rise to the fascist Islamic State is not the beginning of the 21st century of madness. Think !


August 28, 2014

Ancestry.com App Turns 6.0 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry just released their newest version of their mobile application.

Ancestry App

Well testing was brief and then interrupted by Ancestry not being available (to the app; Ancestry.com was ok via the laptop).

 

The interface was lovely, but the constant tinkering with the interface is confusing the end users (at least this end user, who is a professional IT worker) and not intuitive at all.

The speed I could not test with my small tree. But it will reload your tree data  from the website, so something in the data / model must have changed for the app.

 

More  to come when the App can reach the website .. reliably.

 


 

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August 25, 2014

Genealogy Consanguinity & DNA — #Genealogy #DNA #Kinship

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Genealogy_Consanguinity
Consanguinity Chart Now … by John J. Tierney used via CC rights

 This is a beautiful data visualization tool of “relatedness” (Consanguinity) between yourself and an ancestor/descendant. Stanczyk loves good #STEM.  Mr. Tierney modified his excellent chart to add, “What percentage of DNA do you share with your family members”.

Kinship is characterized by the sharing of a common ancestor(s).  Consanguinity is derived from its Latin root:   consanguineous ∴  “of common blood”.

Today, I wanted to use this excellent chart to talk about the three types of Genealogical DNA tests:

 mtDNA

Y-DNA

autosomal DNA

mtDNA / Y-DNA

This way a genealogist can determine for him/her-self what benefit each type of DNA testing offers. mtDNA is for tracing the matrilineal line (your mother/maternal side). Y-Chromosome is for tracing your patrilineal line (aka surname tracing) or your father’s side. These two dnas are for tracing direct descent as these sex-based chromosomes are copied identically from one generation to the next, not half/half as the autosomal dna chromosome’s dna. Correctly, said the mutations in mtDNA and Y-DNA are more infrequent than the non-sex based genome (i.e. autosome) and they are not mixed like the other 22 chromosome’s dna. If you follow the blue arrows (in the diagram) up/down your family tree that is your linear descent; so you mtDNA to trace your mother’s side and use YDNA to trace your father’s side to your proverbial mitochondrial-Eve or your Y-Adam. You are testing for the blue boxes in our diagram.

So what is autosomal DNA?

Genealogy_Consanguinity_dna1

Inside Red Lines – are autosomal DNA generations.

The autosomal DNA are the dna from the other 22 non-sex chromosomes pairs. Autosomal DNA testing is a genealogical DNA test that uses either autosomal STRs or autosomal SNPs. (STR’s are Short Tandem Repeats; SNPs are single-nucleotide polymorphisms.) However, testing companies do not currently offer autosomal STRs tests that use enough STR markers for genealogy. The preferred choice for both genealogy and ethnic population matching is microarray chips that use hundreds of thousands of autosomal SNPs.

Mathematically, speaking you need at least six generations back before you get enough certainty(99% certainty) to do matching to find distant cousins by using current Genealogical DNA testing. So if you do not have your 4x-great-grandparents’ (all 64 of them) surnames then you are NOT guaranteed to be able to use current DNA tests to determine your relatedness to another genealogist (and his/her ancestors who must also have six generations in their tree too).

I am thinking we are still one or two generations (35-70 years) away from using this as a viable technique that will work with any two random genealogists — mathematically speaking. Obvious exceptions are Icelandiks or Amish or other relatively closed-genetic populations who may have greater success (or counter-intuitively lesser) with fewer generations. Its all in the DNA and in the quality of the testing to catch the diversity in your genome.

You will notice that the fine chart we have been using, including the one with the red-lines (my lines) that indicate autosomal DNA testing candidates, does NOT show enough generations. It would need to be extended one more generation. So we need the surnames of 64 people with whom we only share 1.5675% of our DNA with. That is with direct descent. If we are matching to the autosome DNA  (i.e. our Nth cousin, M-times removed) then we are matching to someone who we may only share 0.0243% blood with. That is 2/100th of 1 percent !

Related Blog Article

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p style=”text-align:justify;”>Violinist’s Thumb24-January-2014 – This has many great links to other articles and includes some pertinent facts on DNA to think about. A Guaranteed thought provoker of a blog.

August 10, 2014

Meme: Things I Found While Looking Up Other Things — 02-JAN-1943, #History #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19430102_ToledoBlade_Page10Dateline 02-JAN-1943Stanczyk was doing some newspaper research for my family tree residents that resided in Ohio, Lucas County, Toledo.  On 01-JANUARY-1943 Vincent Eliasz died.  From my visit to  Calvary Cemetery in Toledo and speaking with one of the caretakers (Bruce) who was very kind to me in search of my ancestors who were buried there that I wanted to pay my respects to. He opened the cemetery’s old books and showed me the info on my relatives; One of whom was Vincent Eliasz. So I knew that Vincent Eliasz died on Stomach Cancer on January 1st of 1943.

So I was searching Google’s History Newspaper Archive for the Toledo Blade in 1943. I did find Vincent’s death notice — it was helpful at documenting relationships and locales of siblings. But I could not help but notice something else. Of course, in January  1943 , we are 13 months into the USA’s involvement in World War II. So I was fascinated by the pictures and names of the local servicemen posted in the paper. The image at the top is the top half of page 10, Toledo Blade newspaper of  02-JAN-1943 (Saturday). Perhaps one of these men are related to you. Here is the rollcall of these men whose picture was in the newspaper that day:

B.W. Beaverson,   R.L. Cole,   Edward White,   C.J. Schultz,   R.G. Musser,

John h. Schaub Jr.,   Paul Beecher,   Roland Cordrey,   Danny Malecki,   A.F. Rutter,

Sam Maccabee,   R.L. Powell,   E.S. Gallon,   Robert Lewis,   C.C. Kirbey,

Herbert J. Hall, age 25 was just married and returning back to his aircraft carrier in Midway!

The Death Notices & Birth Notices were also on this page. Under the Births let me list two:

Mr & Mrs Clement Plenzler of 1019 Brookley had a boy on Friday [which would be 1/1/1943]

Mr & Mrs Robert Nadolny of 643 Junction had a girl on Friday.

 

* Click on the picture to go directly to the Google Newspaper Archive page *


 

 

August 8, 2014

King Richard III, died August 22, 1485, buried Saturday, March 28, 2015 — #Genealogy, #Royalty

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RichardIII

King Richard III was dead, you must admit for over 100 years or this story will make no sense. So more than a century had expired before the bard ever gave him the tragedy treatment.  King Richard III ‘s reputation was such a cesspool  of swirling accusations and counter claims that by Shakespeare’s time he is portrayed as “a physically deformed machiavellian villain, albeit courageous and witty …”. Now it is indeed true that king died in battle (final and decisive battle of the War of Roses) and was hastily buried and his remains were lost for just over a half-millenia.

Richard III was lost and spent the the first 500+ years of his eternal life, ignominiously buried beneath a parking lot in Leicester. They (the Brits) finally located where his bones were and the bones were unearthed in 2012 . Even though they had to ascertain whose bones were unearthed in that parking lot, this re-commenced a less violent and less heroic struggle for Richard III ‘s bones. After half a millenia in the ground we developed the ability look at DNA and via mtDNA and compared to those of a direct descendant of Richard’s sister. So now we have the remains of King Richard III for certain and as I foreshadowed the forces  of several armies immediately sought to lay claim to the bones. This mayhem precipitated a judicial review. The magistrates have ruled and now a proper party, er, um, ahem,  burial will be had and Richard III will be interred Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the Leicester Cathedral. There the king will lie in repose for three days prior to beginning the next part of his eternal life. King Richard III’s remains will lie in repose for three days, during which time the public can pay their respects. The first service, on March 26, will be followed by similar events on March 27 and 28 leaving plenty of time for people to plan their vacations to be a part of this august ceremony and  be able to purchase all of the bric-a-brac that is incumbent at major genealogical events !

Now we come to the heart of the matter for this jester. I  inveigle all of my Anglo-Genealogists and Royalists of all stripes to properly update their family trees to show the accurate burial date and place of poor Richard III. The king’s remains will now be deposited  inside a lead ossuary placed inside an English-oak coffin — all of which will be placed inside a brick-lined vault in the cathedral floor of  Leicester Cathedral. Let the Wikipedia editors take note too!

So let it be written.

#AccuracyInGenealogy

P.S.  —  As the picture shows, Shakespeare was at least correct in the physical deformity part of his portrayal.


August 8, 2014

George Timothy Clooney, Amal Ramzi Alamuddin — Marriage License — #Genealogy, #Celebrity

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Lgeorge-clooney-amal-marriage-licenseondoner Alamuddin is marrying George Clooney in Italy (It has been IntolerableCrueltyreported as in/near Venice). Didn’t I see this in a George Clooney movie before?

Ah, yes — in Intolerable Cruelty. Although this time miss Alamuddin is the lawyer and George is the divorcee.

Although if you are one of George’s cast-offs, this may be intolerable cruelty to you:

Sarah Larson, Krista Allen,  Lisa Snowdon,  Celine Belitran, Karen Duffy, Kelly Preston,  Talia Balsam [ex-wife].  [list is here, with photos]. George is the nephew of Rosemary Clooney.

 

This jester wishes the happy couple well and all the happiness the world has to offer !

 

Celebrity Genealogy.


 

August 7, 2014

#Book #Review — The Serpent Of Venice by Christopher Moore

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Serpent Of Venice  by Christopher Moore —

contact:  Christopher Moore .

The Serpent Of VeniceStanczyk is  a bibliophile, possibly even a bibliophage. Being a jester for three kings gives me an especial fondness for authors/stories that have a jester/fool as one of the characters. So Stanczyk has a special fondness for William Shakespeare. Imagine how this jester was jolted to find a story mashed-up from Shakespeare with a jester … wait-a-minute  … who has a monkey  … named Jeff? Oh rapture, huzzah! How did I miss the fact that Christopher Moore had these characters in a prior novel  … Fool? Note to self go back and buy Fool !

I had only just finished the first chapter when I realized this story was a mash-up.  It appeared to me to be a mash-up of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (comedy) and Othello (tragedy) and Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado (mystery). I was lured by the clever riff upon the Merchant of Venice title and naïvely assumed this would be a take off of that story. But I got more, much more than even I had bargained for and a monkey named Jeff to boot.

I like to examine a book like some kind of genealogy document. What is its structure? Is there anything unusual or unexpected? How many pages/chapters? So after I read three chapters, I decided to do this kind of examination. I recommend you read the first three chapters too before you do this examination. I saw an afterword. It was by the author and he gives his deconstruction of his novel — most interesting! But it can be a bit of a spoiler. Still I did read the Afterword before I read the last chapter  … I just could not help myself. I already decided to invest myself in the book and was uproariously entertained so far. Having the author give insight, also added to my wanting to complete the book, but I did appreciate some of the inside “skinny” he gives, so I can ensure I get all that Mr. Moore dishes up.

I laughed at his wit. Its right there in the preface (called The Stage and after  the Cast [Dramatis Personae] ). So even before the story begins, the humor has already set in. So I was surprised at his droll wit — not that he had it. Its just that I had Mr. Moore pegged in my mind as a Terry Pratchett. Indeed, I assumed he was some kind of Londoner. So I was surprised when I read his Wikipedia page that he was born in Toledo, Ohio. He writes the dialogue with such obvious British humor and dialect that I had assumed British, not someone born where many of my ancestors had settled, land of the algae bloomed water supply (that has not, so far, caught fire as Lake Erie has been known to do).

The surprise character (at least I think she/it will be a surprise since I was given an inkling in the Afterword which I read beforehand) and its introduction into the storyline called to mind for me, a bit of Beowulf. Especially since this story was already known by me (before the Afterword) to be a mash-up, so perhaps I was now hunting for mash in this uplifting and funny story. So many of the characters are very likeable that I do not know who to cheer for and who to jeer for. What a delightful diversion.

Its a novel in a guise of a play. Hence, the Cast and the Stage. But there is also a Chorus (like some kind of Greek play) and the Chorus is a character too! The book is so clever, this jester decided to Follow @TheAuthorGuy on Twitter.

Stanczyk recommends this book to all who like a good story infused with humor ala Pratchett. Its absurdist proportions appeal to my Slavic soul. The meta joke that an American can write the British dialect with such humor and panache will appeal to Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams fans.  Do not wait for this book to become available as an e-book on your library’s e-book facility, the line is too long. Go directly to your local library (or bookstore) and get the physical copy — much quicker than waiting for the Overdrive download to become available. I guess most people are afraid to enter the physical world and reticent to  leave their Internet bus stop. Excuse me, I will have to go to Marseilles now.


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