Archive for ‘Databases’

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 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 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 3, 2011

Social Security Administration (SSA) changed the Death Master File (SSDI); #Genealogy, #Sources

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In a nice piece of Genealogical Journalism, Steve Danko (eminent Polish genealogist — see my blogroll on the right), posted about the Social Security Administration (SSA) changing its Death Master File (DMF), aka the Social Security Database or SSDI,  that we use as a major source of genealogical data. Their change, which you can read about in Steve’s blog, took place on November 1st (two days ago) without much fanfare or any fore knowledge. Now as an IT Expert for the last quarter century, I understand the SSA’s rationale — it is a data privacy / legal issue. Its impact is immediate. 4.2 Million records have been deleted from the former 89 Million records (approximately 4.72%) and have vanished because it was “Sourced” from various US States (and not updated from those States’ records). This article is not about discussing the whys and what-nots of the SSA’s decision. This post is about the ramifications of that decision for genealogy.

Two impacts are explicit. 4.2 Million source records disappeared. Going forward, 1 Million records per year will not be loaded (or is it more proper to say, will be in suspense until a source comes forward for that death). Let’s talk about the 4.2 Million records that disappeared 1-November-2011. Some percentage of those records were used in some genealogist’s family research and are documented therein. However, the source is now gone?? If you were diligent and documented the SSA’s DMF (aka SSDI) in your research and that record disappeared, then future researchers will be left wondering what happened. Is this researcher accurate? So,  I propose that everyone use their favorite DMF/SSDI and verify their source is still there (or that it is gone). Furthermore, if it is gone, then I propose a note be entered in your source documentation of this “Event” that happened 11/01/2011 and that a reference back to the state where the death took place (and/or county) be mentioned as the place to get extant documentation and that the previous source documentation was removed by the US Government pursuant to this “Event”.

Apparently, you will need to verify your DMF/SSDI source for ALL deaths from 2002 through to 11/01/2011. Before that , there are no changes that need to be verified. Use your family tree software, pull a report of deaths from 2002-2011 inclusive and work your way through the list.

I think it is still a FACT. The death is still a FACT; but the evidence to support the FACT is now missing unless you have a death certificate or other source for the death date / place. That is why I propose a note be placed into your documentation of your sources. What you know, has NOT changed. How you know of the death has effectively been changed (rug pulled out from underneath you).

There is so much more that could be discussed on this topic.  But this much is my topic and the subject of this post. Good Luck and get started.

–Stanczyk

P.S.

I guess to the litany of investigatory questions, we will now see/hear: …

“What did you know? When did you know it? Do you still know it?

October 27, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #7 Prussian Army’s Personnel Losses in World War I

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was reading  his emails, when he noticed Ceil Wendt-Jensen  has published a useful website on the various Polish / Michigan genealogy mailing lists.

As the Article title suggests this is another database of military personnel from World War I. This one is unlike the ones you’d find at genealodzy.pl . It is however, similar to these databases and even links to the same Fallen in World War I website. But as I said this website/database is different from those.

The aim of the Prussian Army project (link: http://www.genoroots.com/eng/databases.php) is to provide an easy way of searching through the Deutsche Verlustlisten. This is the Prussian Army’s Personnel Losses during World War I .

The authors of the project: Aleksandra Kacprzak  and  Mariusz Zebrowski. They are still updating so check back from time to time. If you click on the “Prussian Army project” link above it will take you to its databases page. There  under the ‘Prussian  Army’ Heading you will see a link ‘Search’. Click on ‘search’ link. You should see the following search form:

Fill in a name and click on the ‘Search’ button. That is it. Should you find an ancestor, you can email them for more info. There is a very modest charge for this follow-on service (the search is free, the detailed info is where the cost is). So if you find someone, then …

e-mail: prusy22@wp.pl. When asking for further information, you must provide the ordinal number (‘L.P.’), the first and last name and the rank of the person in question. The additional information costs 2 Euro per name (=$2.82 as of 10/27/2011), payable via PayPal (to prusy22@wp.pl ). Stanczyk is not affiliated and has no conflict of interest in these entrepreneurial Poles. I did not find any of my ancestors, so I cannot tell you what details you may find. My ancestors were from the Russian-Poland partition (and hence would have been in the Russian army) — keep in mind this Prussian army (not Russian, not Austrian).

Good Luck! Please send me an email with a sample detail if you send for it. Thanks!

September 27, 2011

Family Search Indexing Tool – #Genealogy – #Polish Radom 1866

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to take a moment to say, “Thanks”. You may recall I did my due diligence on the Genealogy Website Rankings. I added my own blog website for reference. At the time of the survey I was a little over 12.8 Million-th most popular website on the Internet. Out of the billions of pages, I thought that was a great start.

For kicks, I went to Alexa.com and inquired if my ranking had changed. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was now the 10.3 Million-th most popular website. That is an improvement of 2.5 Million in about one month !   So I just wanted to say thanks. I am hoping to eventually crack the top 1 Milliion (with perhaps a dream of being in the top 100,000 some day). I asked for your support and I can definitely see that I received it. Thank You very much for lending me your eyes.

I am also looking for people to help me in my volunteer efforts. If you can read Polish (or even Russian, I saw two projects for Ukraine-Kiev church records), then you can join with me on one of two projects: Lublin and/or Radom. I chose Radom as it was close to my grandparent’s ancestral villages (Biechow/Pacanow).

Most projects are for English language records. Of those, many are in the USA, so you could pick your local area and get a local genealogy society or historical society to pitch in. It will provide more data for all of us to research. If you want to thank me, but only read English then perhaps you can pick from a project for: Philadelphia, Buffalo, Toledo, Detroit (or Michigan in general). This is another way you can lend me your eyes and feel good about doing some volunteer work (Random Act of Genealogical Kindness, anyone?).

Two Polish projects open at present.

As I said, I chipped in some effort to read one batch (of 12 birth church records). The records I was given in my first batch were from 1866 in the Radom diocese. This data (index and images) will be free to search from their website: FamilySearch.org (Europe Record Groups) .

Good Luck & Thanks again!

– Stanczyk

September 25, 2011

#Genealogy #Polish – Searching ELA database, State Archives (Poland)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was visiting the State Archives in Poland website and he explained about the four databases:

  • PRADZIAD – For vital records, both civil and religious. Birth,  Marriage, Death and Alegata records.
  • SEZAM - A database containing  detailed descriptions of archival holdings preserved by the State Archives and a few related repositories. Some entries are rather lengthy.
  • IZA – A catalog of all (really slightly more than a quarter of all) fonds, by archive that holds them and indexed by Key Words. It includes the Archive’s contact info (for each fond). I hope they get around to indexing the other 3/4 of fonds.
  • ELA – A database of all population registers (Censuses, Lists, Indexes, etc.) in Poland’s State Archives.

When I wrote about ELA, I said it was not very useful. But I  wanted to correct my errant statement (due to my own misconception about what data they had available). By the descriptions, you can see that PRADZIAD is the most important to a genealogist, but that the ELA database with its population lists can provide additional opportunities to find an ancestor and in some context (a list of soldiers, those being deported, a census, eligible voters list, etc.) for some timeframe. Now let me hasten to add that in the Russian Partition of Poland you are not going to find much in the way of censuses — it seems you can find Russian Empire censuses in all Russian Gubernias, but the ten gubernias in the Polish Kingdom (of the Russian Empire, aka Congress Poland).

Using ELA

This is the English language version of the ELA database (click on link to go to ELA) search form.

You can leave “Town” empty and just search on the “Register’s title” field. Here are some possible search strings (enter Polish words):

  1. Listy osób
  2. Listy osób uprawnionych do głosowania w guberni kieleckiej
  3. listy osób deportowanych z Cesarstwa Rosyjskiego

The first is just the generic, “Lists of People”. All strings must be in Polish (get your Google Translator out). The diacriticals (accents) are not required. The second is the list of eligible voters (in Kielce Gubernia).  The third one is a list of people deported from the Russian Empire.

Leave town blank if you want to search all towns. Fill in town or gmina or powiat (if these are also town names) if you want to limit yourself to an area where you know your ancestors were from. You can also use “Register’s title” if you want to search a whole wojewodztwo (gubernia) and not just the town Kielce.

I have family from the Kielce Gubernia, so I clicked on “more” to find out what FOND and Archive has this data of interest to me (#2 of the list above).

So I should use the contact info to go to the Kielce State Archive and ask for FOND # 59 to see the list of eligible voters in Kielce Gubernia in 1906.

Perhaps I’ll find Elijasz, Leszczynski, Wlecial, and Kedzierski families listed among the eligible voters. From that era, my paternal grandparents are still there  and I expect  that I’d find my great-grandparents too. Now I do not know that I will find more than their names. But perhaps, I’ll get ages and addresses too. Who knows what else (military service, occupation, date of prior elections or number of elections voted — who knows).

There is no actual data or images online. It just a big library catalog file of what you can expect to find, if you visit or hire a genealogist to visit the State Archives.

September 20, 2011

#Genealogy #Polish – Notes & Notices; Searching IZA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was visiting the State Archives in Poland and he saw the news…

The State Archive in Wroclaw is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its opening. They published a monograph, “The State Archive in Wrocław 1811-2011. Past and Present “, The main celebration  will take place on 28th of September. If the Archive is 200 years old, then I wonder how old its oldest documents are? Please note if you click on the Union Jack flag (for English) you will miss this announcement which only listed on the Polish language version of the page.

Shoemaker’s Guild

I wanted to search their IZA database to do a “Key Word” search across all State Archive Offices on the topic of Guilds, in particular Shoemaker’s Guild (cechu szewskiego). I have previously written about these guilds before in this blog. I used the ‘cechu’ AND ‘szewc’ as my keywords and I got back seven results:

I circled the Catalog Number (sygnatura) which is a link that can be clicked. When you click on it, you are taken to the specific page for the archive that has the material you need.

The first part of the four parts indicates the archive office (see drop down below). The second is “series”, the third is “sub-series” and the fourth part is file number. Now the material retrieved from the IZA database is in Polish, so if you are not fluent in Polish, you will need your Google Translate webpage.

So when you click on the Catalog number the top of the page should look like …

The address and phone number at the top left. Further down the page it describes the archival file(s) from your search — in Polish!

The initial database search screen also has a drop-down field that maps the State Archive Offices to the number (the first part of the Catalog Number). You may want to limit results to a specific office if you are only searching in a specific archive office when you visit Poland.

So you see at the bottom of my drop down that 32 = Krakow State Archive in the Nowy Targ office. The 32 was the first part of my catalog number: 32/1/0/64 .

You can click these images at the left to see a large size image that will be easier to read.

In terms of vocabulary, the series + the sub-series (parts 2 & 3) are the FOND. The fourth part, the file number, is also called ‘OPIS‘.

You will see these words used with the other databases, in particular, the PRADZIAD database that has the vital records (church registers -or- civil office records).

It is this jester’s hope that this info can help you navigate the State Archives of Poland’s three databases (also a fourth database, ELA which is not very useful):

  • PRADZIAD
  • SEZAM
  • IZA
September 16, 2011

Preparing for 1940 Census

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1940 US Census Form

If you go to Steve Morse’s One-Step Website or you go to the US National Archives, you will see that as right now you have 198 days (and 17+ hours) to prepare for the 1940 US Census (which arrives 72 years after census, to protect privacy). This time it will be on April 2nd (2012).

Are you preparing? Ancestry.com says they will give us free access to the 1940 census (for a while). The last time (10 years ago) there were no indexes at the release and you had to do a lot of brute force searching page-by-page through an Enumeration District (ED), so you had to know the whereabouts of your family and be able to use the ED’s boundary cross streets to figure out which ED you needed to go page-by-page through. “Supposedly”, Ancestry.com says the indexes will be there (all of them?  on day 1?). I hope they are correct and I hope this year they do not use foreign people to index the names — which was quite a snafu the last time and of course they were re-indexed (always time/money to do it a second time, but not enough time/money to do it right the first time — Stanczyk was a consultant too long and saw this again and again in many industries).

How can you prepare?

  • Locate a 1940 (or 1939 or 1941) City Directory if you know the street address and verify that family were there
  • If they are somewhere else, then you will need to use SteveMorse.org and his Census tools to change the new address into a 1940 ED
  • Determine the ED ahead of time in case there are no indexes or the indexes are BAD.
  • No City Directory available? SteveMorse has a census tool to convert the 1930 ED into a 1940 ED [assuming your family stayed at the same address]
  • Figure out ahead of time some novel misspellings of the surnames your are searching for in case the indexer or the Census taker messed up your ancestor’s name.
  • DO NOT lock yourself into assuming they are in the same state (or county or city).
  • At first try with many details filled in, then relax a field at a time until you find your family -or- you can go in the opposite direction if your name is not common and start with the fewest fields filled in (usually just surname) and add in fields if you need to cut down the number of results.
  • Use an address from any document prior to 1940, (ex. Naturalization Forms) if you do not have any idea where they live in 1940. Use the latest document’s address that you have to guess at an ED [again using SteveMorse.org].
  • If the above fails try and find the address, the earliest as possible  after the 1940 Census and see if they were. The Old Man’s WWII Draft might fit the bill for most people.

Those are my tips. Any other tips you are using? Then email this jester or make a comment, please.  Prepare as if you were going to a Library or an archive or the Family History Library.

This is a War Census, so I do not know how they dealt with the many households that had soldiers away at war. Were soldiers listed on the Census or not?

General Info & 1940 Census Questions

Many good questions on this census, including …

  1. Residence, April 1, 1935
  2. For all women who are or have been married:  Number of children ever born (do not include stillbirths).
  3. Veterans: War or military service.
September 6, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1819

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1818. inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1819 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1819 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Before I begin, I have been watching the evolution of names in the church register and I thought I would offer a few observations. First off, I am a gentile genealogist. So my treatment of Jewish names as rendered in the Polish language with its complex grammar is suspect — but I am learning.

So earlier I have been struggling with the surname: Golbarka or Goberka (also rendered as Golbarkow). First off, the assumption of ‘bark’ vs ‘berk’ due to poor writing and page condition is definitely off. I now know the name is Golberg (or we would probably render in 20th century English as Goldberg/Goldburg). I think I will keep the Golberkow ending as this is the grammatical construct for referring to the family as when writing the woman’s maiden name.

Notice I have decided to drop the ending ‘a’ on men’s names — which I am also thinking I should do on many first names as well, but my lack of experience with Jewish names of the 19th century Poland causes me to wonder how to apply what William Hoffman calls, ‘The Chopping Block’ to both first and last names when Jewish. So forgive me when I write: Moska, Mendla and Herszla(which in 20th century America I’d write as Herschel as in Herschel Walker). I know I need to drop the ending ‘a’, but I am not certain as to how to write those names, so I leave them as I find them for someone more expert than I to correct. My apologies in advance.

We see three births out of 104 total births. That represents a population of about 2.88% of the total parish population. So we are in the range of 3% +/- 0.25% which seems to be what I have seen in previous years. Again realize I am trying to give an in idea of the Jewish population in proportion to the entire population of the parish in (not intimating that the Jewish peoples are participants in the church parish activities). The 3% represents a modest growth from the 2.6% in Biechow census from 1787. [See Parish Census at the top of this blog]. According to that same census, the entire set of parishes in the surrounding area was about 6.4% Jewish.

My reason for doing this assessment is to convince the JRI, that it should at some point visit all Catholic parishes to pull out the remaining Jewish people without looking at the amount of effort required to yeild such tiny results. We know they are there  — do not leave them behind. After my Social Network Analysis, I am thinking that these non-shtetl Jews are a kind of glue between the surrounding towns/shtetls.

The assessment also shows that Jews and Catholics lived side by side and not segregated [in this very rural area very near to the Austria-Poland partition]. Now this may only be true in Poland and not the rest of “The Pale of Settlement” as defined by the Czars of the Russian Empire. According to Wikipedia,  Jews (of the Pale) were not forbidden by the Czars from rural areas until 1882.

Year: 1819      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      104 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Record #38     Date: 4/17/1819 [about 1 month earlier than the 5/15/1819 record date]

Father: Mosiek Golberg,  Arendarz, Age 34, Wojcza   House #60

Mother: Fraydla z Jakow, age 32

Baby: girl Cyra

Witnesses:  Moska Samulowicz, kaczmarz, age 36 Biechow & Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Record #53     Date: 7/7/1819

Father: Nat Belel,  Mlynarz, Age 25, Wojcza   House #3 (listed as Jozef Pawelec ‘s house)

Mother: Rucha  z Golberkow, age 22

Baby: girl Eydla

Witnesses:  Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  28, Wojcza   &  Moska Szmulowicz, pakiarz, <no age> Wola Biechowska

—-

Record #104     Date: 12/23/1819

Father: Jasek Wolf,  pakiarz, Age 45, Biechow   House #48

Mother: Blima  z Chaymowicz, age 38

Baby: boy Herszla

Witnesses:  Zalman Stemberk(Stemberg??), pakiarz,  28, Biechow   &  Berka Chaymowicz, Handlarz, <no age>  Biechow

–Stanczyk

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 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 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 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

July 19, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Biechow Church Records an Inventory

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is trying to digest Debbie G’s (from TX and Yahoo Group Polish Geniuses) insight and observations. I will need to analyze her feedback in relationship to the data I have seen (which is just about everything extant). So first, I would like to speak about the LDS microfilm, then I want to speak about Pradziad (Poland’s State Archives which contains civil and ecclesiastical data), and finally the  Ecclesiastical Archive for the parish of Biechow. I have in my possession a complete list of all microfilm — that would leave only actual physical books in the parish and possibly the civil and ecclesiastical archives. This discussion is just to convince  myself (and others) of what exists and to compare the sources available to me and draw up an action plan of what I have yet to view.  A further article will compare Debbie’s House Number experiences (which I know include many trips to Poland and its parishes and archives — sadly none in my area) with my data from Biechow. Today’s posting is a long one, but if you stick with it, you should learn where to find sources of data for your ancestral parish.

LDS Microfilm – Family History Library (Salt Lake City)

URL: Biechow microfilm       Family History Library Catalog: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp

First off, I need to admit, I still use the original web user interface, so if you do a place name search from their Library Catalog in their new beta-web interface it will look different, but the data will be the same — I have verified that.

The second line is a single microfilm (LDS Mf# 936665) which says it is a microfilm of the original church records from 1674-1847 inclusive, but many gaps exist. The records are all in Latin. Before 1797, the records are what I call Latin Paragraph Form (the earliest are more like Latin sentence or two, than paragraph). From 1797-1847 the data is in the Latin Box Form with standard columns that seem to vary little across all of Poland. Prior to the Latin Box Form, which includes, the column, ‘Numerus Domus’ (or in some areas an abbreviation of those words), I can state unequivocally, there are NO house numbers recorded. If these really are the actual church records and not a copy then house numbers were not recorded in the Latin paragraph form. After the introduction of the Latin Box Form, the house numbers are used (although not always in the years where they are collected). After reading Debbie G’s comments I will go back to the Latin Box Form and confirm the years they have recorded house numbers. I do know that house numbers are also present in the Polish Long Paragraph Form for the early years of Polish records. I will confirm these dates too. I can also state unequivocally, there are NO house numbers recorded in the Russian Long Paragraph Forms.

The top line resolves in the microfilm notes into 8 separate microfilm: 936660-936664 (five film),  and 1257788, 1807660, 1807661. These last three are for the years 1875-1884 and as such are in Russian (using the Cyrillic character-set). The first five microfilm are written in Latin until 1797, then in Polish for the years 1797-1847. There are no microfilm for years 1848-1868 which would be in Polish, nor are there any for 1869-1874 which would be in Russian. These eight microfilm are supposed to be copies of the original church records. 1868 is usually a cross-over year, part Polish records and part in Russian.

You can view these nine total microfilm at the Family History Library for free or rent copies and have them sent to your local Family History Center to view. I have done both for all nine microfilm. If you have followed my blog, I have taken pictures of these microfilm records and used them in my family tree and in this blog to good effect. I have analyzed these records and inventoried and built indexes of the details of what is present on each microfilm. So I am more than conversant about these nine microfilm. I can say unabashedly, that I have an expert level knowledge of these nine microfilm and derived my own data in summaries or studies I have undertaken from the detailed records. So it should be understood that I have acquired the ability to read Latin, Polish and Russian. I am self-taught and did so in order to trace my genealogy in the Russian-Poland partition (although, as I have said these villages went from Poland to Austria to France to Russia back to Poland autonomy).

Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (USC) – Civil Registration Office

A real secular civil registry did not exist in Poland until after World War II (1945/1946). Before that vital records were maintained by religious adminstrators. In Catholic churches from the 16th century by Papal edict, but it took many decades and future edicts before Church record keeping became reliable and consistent. Since Poland became partitioned in the late 18th century, there arose three ways of civil registration. So I believe the local USC will only have from 1945-forward. I will refer the reader to a couple of Wikipedia pages that offer the details:

Suffice it to say that the religions (protestant churches / synagogues) did not gain individual official recognition as civil registrations until:

In the Austrian partition in 1782, in Prussian partition since 1794, and in the Russian partition in 1825. Napoleon by his civil code established a standard for civil registration and in lieu of any civil office, had the Catholic priest serve in this capacity (1808-1815), such that from 1808-1825 officially in Russian partition, although 1828-1830 may have been when Protestant and Jewish religions were able to finally get control of their own civil registrations and not be recorded in the Catholic Church registers. In my Biechow records, I think I see Jewish records recorded from 1810-1828 in the Catholic register. However, the fact it went past the official 1825 date, is probably more indicative of the rural nature of the region and the scarcity of Jews in some areas. Keep in mind that Napoleon (and his Codex Napoleon) and Russian Czars dictated the civil registration rules in Biechow for most of its records [1808-1918]. During the few years when Biechow was in the Austrian partition (1772-1807) there was probably no change in church registrations, since this era was largely Latin to start and the Austrians maintained the Latin record keeping.

PRADZIAD – Poland’s State Archives

URL: http://bit.ly/qe2pn2  [ link to my Biechow]     PRADZIAD Database: http://baza.archiwa.gov.pl/sezam/pradziad.php?l=en

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         alegata              1875-1886, 1888-1893, 1895, 1897-1898, 1901, 1904-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         małżeństwa       1875-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         urodzenia          1875-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         zgony                1875-1905

The above table shows my Biechow village. The second column is the Polish word for Roman Catholic. The Third word is record type.

małżeństwa = Marriages ;  urodzenia = Births (usually also has baptisms) ; zgony = Deaths   [your basic vital records]

alegata   =  addendum [often used to show that someone can be married in the church or has converted religions]

Well pretty much it is just 1875-1905, which is good for my grandparents and their siblings (births and marriages maybe). It also means reading Russian since 1868-1918 the records are kept in Russian. So if I view these in the regional Archive in Kielce, then I could add info to the microfilm I have already viewed,  for just the years 1885-1905 inclsuive. That is helpful, because I need my grandmother (Busia) Walerya Leszczynska’s birth record from about 1st-November-1886 in Biechow? I also want to search all of the alegata for: Elijasz, Leszczynski, Kedzierski, and Wlecialowski.

Kielce – Ecclesiastical Archive

URL: http://www.kielce.opoka.org.pl/?mod=contents&g=kuria&id=archiwum

The Church too has copies of the parish books/records that it keeps. Biechow is in the Kielce Diocessan Archive in the city of Kielce itself. I once found this image on the Internet on a Polish genealogy forum (now long since gone). Goes to show, you should keep the static web pages you find on your local hard drive.

Most of these are in the LDS microfilm: 936660, 936661, 936662, 936663, 936664, and 936665. Following the record groups are little notes, that I believe represent the fonds within the Church Archive that  hold those records. There are a few that are NOT in the LDS microfilm. Likewise there are a few in the LDS microfilm that are not in the Church Archive. SO I will need to look at these microfilm in the Church Archive in Kielce.

I have a similar image for Ksiaznice and Zborowek. My heart is heavy because I have never been able to find a similar document (text or image) for Pacanow. PLEASE can someone in Poland help me? It requires a visit to the Church Archive in Kielce to get this info (possibly a phone will get it). At any rate, if can get Pacanow, please can you email Stanczyk at mike@eliasz.com.

So once you find your ancestral parishes, this is what you should do. Build an inventory (a to do list) and a plan to get access to these resources for your family genealogy. Finding your ancestral parish is a process. I need to document my ideas, but that is another posting or two.

Lastly, plan to visit the parish office and the local priest. Be nice (obnoxious Americans please skip this step) and bring a gift of thanks for the priest and his office. When you leave, perhaps you can make a religious offering to the priest for a having a mass for your ancestors. What better way to honor your family and the local parish (or synagogue)! Please make the path easier for the next genealogist by being kind and respectful and generous. There may also be monuments and/or cemeteries in the area or at the church. Do not forget those too.

July 14, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – An Homage to Moja żona

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Moja żona (my wife) Tereza is a very good wife indeed. So I wished to honor her by doing some research for the Jewish faithful. I suppose many genealogists are unaware that much of Europe owes its church records and their format to the Codex Napoleon. Another side effect of this edict was to create a new civil registry of civil records, which Napoleon originally placed responsibility with the Catholic church. So peoples of all faiths had to register with the Catholic church for the years 1810-1830 [approximately] until civil data could be collected by all faiths in their own church/temple/synagogue.

So whilst I was collecting other genealogical research data, I decided to pay extra attention to the Jewish births listed to honor my wife. I am sure this was an onerous requirement for Jewish citizens to have to record their vital records with the Catholic church. This village of my ancestors has NOT been indexed by JRI, as there was no significant Jewish presence in these villages, but there were Jews indeed! So what was probably an imposition for Jews may now be a blessing and a mitzvah for me (and my wife). Why a blessing? So many Jewish records were destroyed during World War II (and possibly in other pogroms) that any echo, any echo at all of those who were here is a blessing.

Births in Biechow (departement de Krakow) for years 1810, 1811, 1813 and 1815

[ source: LDS microfilm # 936660]

First note that 1812 and 1814 had no registry at all for anyone. In 1810 there 50 recorded births and of those fifty, one record was Jewish:

1810 Births – Record #24 – Pinkiesz Szmulowicz (father), Hercyk (baby) and Marya Manasow (mother)

In 1811 there were 116 births and three records were Jewish:

#68 Zelmanowiczowna, Rywka (baby)

#91 Faycer, Jasek (baby)

#96 Menkierowna, Bela (baby)

In 1813 there were 76 births and two records were Jewish:

#26 Wulfowna, Chaja

#36 Fisolowna, Faytsia

In 1815 there were 99 births and one record was Jewish:

#62 Wolf, Sura (baby);  Jasek Wolf (father); Blima Haymnowiczow (mother).

Well I guess you can see why JRI ignored LDS Microfilm #936660. Out of 341 births only seven (just 2%) were Jewish births. Jewish genealogists, feel free to collect this data and add it to your database. These records are in Polish in this era.

Stanczyk

July 9, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Odds & Ends, New Data

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Bronislawa Eliasz Born 19030427

from LDS Microfilm #1898357

Stanczyk wants to write about databases of data for Polish Genealogists. But that is a large topic and requires some gathering of data and links (URLs). SO instead here are a few teasers (odds & ends):

  1.  From my Rootsweb NYErie Message Board/Mailing List, I found a New Poznan Research Database (posted by Ruth Susmarski). This is an excellent effort and a worthy candidate for that iGoogle Genealogy page (see yesterday’s posting) that I hope you are building. This comes from the Greater Poland Genealogical Society of Gniazdo . So if you have ancestors from Western Prussian-Poland partition this should be helpful resource. They have an RSS feed too. Link: http://www.basia.famula.pl/en/
  2. I see that on June 28th, 2011, the FamilySearch.org website added a new Polish database of  2,204,751 images. This is data for: the parishes in the Częstochowa, Gliwice, Lublin, and Radom Roman Catholic Dioceses of Poland  (Russian-Poland, Austrian-Poland partitions).  [see sample image above] Link: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://hr-search-api:8080/searchapi/search/collection/1867931

I did a quick check of the FamilySearch database (#2 above) and found 31 exact or close matches to Eliasz. When I clicked through the list I found they had data from Szczucin parish (which is Austria-Poland) partition. In fact I am fairly certain the Szczucin Eliasz are distant cousins as this is just across the bridge (over the Vistula river) from my other Eliasz / Elijasz / Heliasz. I looked up the microfilm for Szczucin for 1867-1903 it is LDS Microfilm # 1898357. This matches the Szczucin in Brian Lenius’s gazetteer: “Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia“.

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