Wordless Monday … – Stanczyk thought a brief foray into the Heraldic Family Tree of Spain make for a timely blog given King Juan Carlos abdicating in favor of Crown Prince Felipe.
So here is the Spanish Royal Family Tree of King Juan Carlos …
… A Muse — ing
This is the family tree in question via your email. I have Stanislaw’s birth record from the Church in Pacanow, Kielce Gubernia, Poland (Russian-Poland) from 18-APRIL-1890, it was Akt #59 (Record #59).
In that record we see both Parent’s names & ages: Jozef Hajek, age 55, Maryanna Piotrowska age 21 and that they live in Pacanow.
We also get the God Parents: Antoni Poniewierksi & Wiktoria Pawlowska
The Poniewierski family is a VERY strongly affiliated family with the ELIASZ (aka Elijasz) family.
I also have Jozef Hajek’s death record too. He died 26-APRIL-1908 (age about age 72) and it lists his wife’s name: Maryanna Piotrowska — to confirm it is him. It also listed HIS parents (Stanislaw’s grandparents): Teodor & Katarzyna Hajek. Jozef was born in either 1835 or 1836 when we factor Stanislaw’s birth record and Jozef’s death record together.
I wanted to mention that even though this is Poland, it is the Russian partition in 1890 & 1908. Hence the records are written in Russian/Cyrillic. You can trust my translations. But I wanted to include two more pictures for you. The first picture shows you what HAJEK looks like in Cyrillic (also ‘Stanislaw’ and ‘Pacanow’ too). It is from Stanislaw’s birth record. The other picture is a margin note from Stanislaw’s birth that indicates he got married to an Agnieszka Elijasz August 25, 1913 in CLEVELAND, St. [Cm — in Cyrillic] Ohio [also some note about it being recored in Pacanow parish as Akt #151 on 31-December-1913]. So I am uncertain as to whether they had a 2nd marriage ceremony in Pacanow or not. I think so, since it is recorded as Akt #151, which indicates that the event took place and was recorded in the parish register.
Stanczyk is working out a rather difficult piece of analysis. This jester uses Social Network Analysis (#SNA) to assert a familial relationship or connection. It is labor intensive / data intensive process. Prior analyses have been very excellent at predicting valuable lines of research that have led to many further finds.
The moikrewni.pl tool for mapping names (shown in the image above) — shows that Pieszczochowicz is a rather rare name and only exists for some 20 people. The locales, I cannot draw conclusions from, but the numbers say that most if not all PIESZCZOCHOWICZ are closely related by its scarcity. So the name Pieszczochowicz enters my family tree in the following way:
Leon Pieszczochowicz (b. 7-NOV-1865 in Górek, Strożyska, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), son of Konstanty Pieszczochowicz & Maryanna Rzepała. Leon married Jozefa Leszczyńska (b. about 1861 in Biechów, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), daughter of Tomasz Leszczyński & Julianna Kordos. I am sur ethey many children, but I only know of one child: Edward Pieszczochowicz. Now, Edward, comes to the USA from his father Leon in 1910 (who was living in Busko) to his uncle Jan Pieszczochowicz in West Seneca, NJ. Edward, continues onto to Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. He will move on to Lackawanna, Erie County, NY in later life. But while in Toledo, he becomes the God Father of my own uncle: Stephen Edward Eliasz (son of Joseph Eliasz & Waleriya Leszczynska) at St Anthony’s Church on Nebraska Ave. in Toledo, OH in 1916. Edward Pieszczochowicz’s own God Parents were: Wladyslaw Fras (husband of Agnieszka Leszczynska) & Antonina Leszczyńska (probably nee Sieradzka, married to Jan Leszczyński). So what we see from this one affiliated family is what I considered a very highly connected value to my LESZCZYNSKi research and even so far as to connect my own ELIASZ line as well. We also see the FRAS (aka FRASS) affiliated family and the I believe the SIERADZKI affiliated family.
When I first captured Edward Pieszczochowicz at the birth/baptism of my uncle Steve, I had no idea who Edward was and had thought him a family friend [not a family member]. So you see over the span of time the collected data and SNA analysis of other data can connect disparate data points and prove out relativity.
Let me end today’s blog article, by returning to the fact that since PIESZCZOCHOWICZ is rather rare, that I am now seeking out Jan Pieszczochowicz and two others: Boleslaw & Stanley Pieszczochowicz (these two also show up in Toledo, OH at 3224 Maple Street). Will this family lead me to my LESZCZYNSKI roots? Time will tell.
About two years ago Stanczyk wrote about a website, special because it was a Polish-German joint effort at Reconciliation. The website I am referring to is: http://www.straty.pl/index.php/szukaj-w-bazie — Which takes you to a database search page where you can search for, “Victims of Oppression“. It for searching for victims of World War II inside Poland. Originally, I kind of ignored it because I did not have family who was sent to a Concentration Camp nor did any of mine get forced relation after the war. So I MISTAKENLY thought this database was not for me. Last week I learned a few things.
Today’s blog is about the Mash-up of Geneteka database, Using Straty.pl (the above database of oppression) and a website of Concentration Camps, with a smidgeon of Genbaza.pl thrown in for good measure.
I went to straty.pl (use above link, for Polish) or paste the above link into Google’s Translator (for English). I put ‘Elijasz’ into the field named “Nazwisko” (Surname) and clicked on the button “Szukaj” (Search). It returned four results for me:
Notice the third row, with Stanislaw Elijasz, whose “Miejsce urodzenie” (birth place) was Pacanów. When I clicked on the button with the number “3”. Remember his birthdate: 1906-04-17 ; We will use this data in Geneteka to get the Akt # and in GenBaza.pl to get the image of the birth record. When I clicked on the number “3” button, I got a lot more info:
I immediately, understood my mistake. The oppression database returned data about my ancestor, Stanislaw Elijasz who was a soldier in the Polish Army when World War II started (1-SEP-1939). He is listed as a victim of the September 1939 Campaign, he was caught, in “Russland” [I presume they mean in the Russian Occupied territory as opposed to the German Occupied Poland.], he was the equivalent of a Lance Corporal in a Signal Corps Battalion. At any rate, he was interred in POW Camp (the 1st of three) on September 17, 1939. Imagine that, he spent the entire World War II as a prisoner of war.
The other details were vague and not clear to me from the data. Lucky for me in Facebook, I have a friend, named Jozef Taran (in Poland). He provided me a website for concentration camps:
This second mash-up link was website of German Stalags (Concentration Camps) in Poland, Ukraine and Western Russia. This website and wikipedia pages gave me the details to understand the data returned by straty.pl for Stanislaw. You World War II military buffs take note !
Ok, but now I wanted to find which Stanislaw Elijasz of Pacanow, born on or about 17-APRIL-1906 was this data about. So I went to:
Geneteka.pl — to see if Stanislaw was indexed and what his birth record number (Akt #) might be to help me in my search of GenBaza.pl and to confirm the birth date. I found on result number 46, a result for Stanislaw born in 1906 Pacanow with an Akt # 77. Now I had enough info to locate his birth record in:
GeneBaza.pl — That link takes you directly to Stanislaw Elijasz, born in Pacanow on 17-April_1906, Akt #77 [assuming you have a GenBaza login id and you are logged in]. This gives the the church birth record image:
Now we have a complete picture of our Polish ancestor by the mash-up of websites:
Yesterday, Stanczyk wrote about Tomasz and I provided an updated timeline of Tomasz Leszczynski throughout much of his 104 year lifespan. Today, I wanted to write a quick post about the affiliated families to the LESZCZYNSKI line.
If you have these surnames from the villages found below, then we need to compare research notes:
Kordos, Majer/Major, Ozarowicz, Fras/Frass, Sieradzki, Slawinski, Pieszczochowicz/Pierzchowicz, Mikniewicz plus friends — Woloszyn, Stanek, Pawelec, Fortuna and especially MIZDRAK.
I mention Mizdrak, because a Jozef Mizdrak, born 5-FEB-1834 in Wojcza, Biechow parish. Seemed to be a part of the LESZCZYNSKI family records from 1860 through the death of Julianna Kordos Leszczynski in Pacanow, 27-NOV-1881 in Biechow parish. 47 years in the Leszczynski records in Poland.
Biechow (including Piestrzec, Wojcza), Swiniary (including Oblekon), Pacanow, Stopnica (including Falęcin), Strozyska (including Gorki)
On Easter Sunday, Stanczyk wrote about Logan Kleinwak / Genealogy Indexer. In the article, I used as an example of the database searches (sources) that genealogy indexer searches through as the: 1890 Kielce Gubernia Commemorative Book (Памятная книжка Келецкой губернии). That was a bit foreshadowing of today’s blog. This blog is dominated by Genealogy, by Polish Genealogy, by Russian-Poland partition Genealogy, in particular the Kielce Gubernia (Wojewodztwo). Most of the time I write about topics that centers upon post-Napoleonic era (1815-ish to about 1918) which overlaps the era of the three partitions and the era of the Great Migration to the USA. One of the reasons for such a focus to connect with distant cousins on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. So today’s topic is to further understand the administrative structures of my ancestral villages in 1890 Kielce Gubernia. Where the red square is on today’s map-graphic is the geographic area we are speaking of. It is important to understand the administrative structures to trace your genealogy. So today we will be examining the hierarchy described by their Russian names as: Gubernia composed of Uyezds or Powiats which were composed of Gminas (aka Wojewodztwo->Powiats->Gminas). There is also a religious hierarchy: Diocese-Deaconate-Parish. These hierarchies change over time as borders are drawn and redrawn. So Stanczyk pulled images of some these administrative structures and other data to put this research in a context of 1890 (roku) from the above title book which is written in Russian/Cyrillic. I am hopeful that seeing the Cyrillic from the book along with the English translation will aid other genealogists in their searches and research. There are a number of images and descriptions so this will be a long read if you are “up for it”.
Recently, while Stanczyk was on Twitter, I saw that Logan Kleinwak (Genealogy Indexer / @gindexer) was again busy, very busy. Perhaps you do not remember that his website: http://genealogyindexer.org , publishes Historical Directories, Yizkor Books, Military Lists, etc.
What I noticed besides he was very busy indexing things and putting them online for searches is two things:
I do not mention his excellent little piece of code to implement a keyboard for implementing whatever language’s special characters that are a might difficult to type on American keyboards. That I posted about before.
The Collection I searched was “Directories” and I saw:
Obviously this is the Gubernia of my paternal ancestors. So I was excited and I knew it was in Russian (i.e. Cyrillic characters) — a challenge. AH, … now we see the need for the 2nd thoughtful feature, ‘Add Latin->Cyrillic’. This feature automatically adds the equivalent Cyrillic characters to the Latin characters you are searching for, in order to locate the equivalent, transliterated string in the Russian Directories. That is well thought out! Indeed Genius!
So my thanks to Logan for his fine piece of programming and history/genealogy indexing that he has done. If you have not done so, you owe it to yourself and your research to check out Genealogy Indexer. Add it to your social network (Facebook and Twitter) and bookmark the website in your browser.
03-May-2012 — Genealogy Indexer – Logan Kleinwak
28 Feb 2012 — Dying for Diacriticals – Beyond ASCII
15 Jun 2011 — Polish Genealogy – Useful Websites …
Dateline 06-April-2014 — Stanczyk has found many of my great-grandfather’s grandsons came to the USA. Tomasz Leszczynski was good for this country. More of his children (sons & daughters) came to the USA and more grandsons came to the USA than I had previously known. You see my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski had 16 children by two wives from the years 1857 … 1902, across 45 years his two wives bore him 16 children. Even more amazing, only three of my great-grandfather’s children had perished before my grandmother herself was born (the eldest child of the second wife). It should be noted that routinely 25%-50% of the children in that locale, in those years died before puberty. Sometimes the ratio was higher still such as in times epidemics (i.e. cholera). Even more amazing, all of my great-grandfather’s children with his second wife, Aniela Major Leszczynska, survived including my grandmother – whose grandson pens these family stories and recalls these times from before the US Civil War until the present. God had certainly blessed Tomasz Leszczynski and Tomasz’s years were numbered to 104 years of age. All agree in the USA as to the length of his lifespan across the many families descended from this one man. Alas, the great lifespan has been a hinderance to me (his great-grandson) who tries to write the family history and I have not yet found the year of his birth, the year/place of his first marriage (to Julianna Kordos Leszczynska) and I have not found his death date/place either. The 104 year span covered from about 1832-1945 — yes, yes, I know that span is 113 years. But you see I do not know which 104 year span in that range is the life span of Tomasz Leszczynski. I hope to visit Poland and gather his death certificate and put certainty to the end of his lifespan and put an anchor in the estimate of the year of his birth. I now have a very good timeline of info about my great-grandfather’s life and the whereabouts of his children and most of his grandchildren too.
That over long pre-amble is to note that GenBaza with their online database: metryki.genbaza.pl that I have written so often of in 2014 has been a great source for my family heritage and I owe a debt of gratitude to genebaza.pl and genealodzy.pl too. It is from this database that I have located many of my great-grandfather’s children getting married and having children of their own! It is from this and my meticulous recording of these facts in my family tree on Ancestry.com that I have located new records in the USA of my great-grandfather’s descendants. I had no idea. I assume that my Polish-American heritage is similar to the vast majority of Polish-Americans. My family arrived, mostly at Ellis Island, and they originally put down roots for their American families in the Great-Lake States of the USA: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan dominate, although I have seen bits and pieces in Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota too! Now a days the family has migrated further in the USA and I will not attempt to enumerate all of the states — suffice it to say that we stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Now we approach the point of this blog article. I have been busy with the Immigration records in Ancestry.com after recording the new finds from GenBaza.pl and was surprised by how many of my great-grandfather’s line had left Poland. This surprise led to a lot of scanning ship manifests for the the somewhat common name: Leszczynski.
Well I landed on a ship manifest of a French Ship landing in New York City. The year was 1919 and I did not giver any particular credence to the year other than I could expect more details in the ship manifests (than say those ship manifests from 1906 and earlier). So as I was reading for a possible ancestor, I noted that a good many men had fought in the Polish Army (or the French Army) and that the majority were Polish names. So it is my assertion that I have discovered a new ship with only a scattering of returning Haller’s Army personnel (listed as both Polish Army and/or French Army). Only a handful of pages, although I am sure there were a good bit more manifests with only one or two soldiers listed among the 30 passengers per page. But below you will find four pages that were almost all or mostly all returning soldiers from WWI.
The late date is not unusual for Polish veterans as many in Haller’s Army stayed past the end of WWI and continued the fight against the Bolsheviks of Russia in the aftermath of WWI. I also learned something new. I had known that the Polish-Americans who signed up to fight in French-Army under General Jozef Haller had trained in Canada. But I had never considered that a good many French-Canadians had trained in Canada too to fight in the French Army. There are a sprinkling of these French-Canadians mixed in too. These French-Canadian soldiers are “In Transit” as they are continuing on to Canada.
Here are the brief details of this new ship delivering Haller’s Army and possibly a few just French Army who may or may not have served under Jozef Haller:
SS: La Tourane Port: La Havre Arrival Date: 25-APRIL-1919
URLS [require Ancestry.com access]:
25 Apr 2013 – The Last Pandemic … 1918 — #Genealogy, #Polish, #War
13, 14, 17 Aug 2011 – [3 parts series on Haller’s Army & the Transport Ships] – Returning Soldiers
NOTE: In the three part series, I have posted the link to middle article which had the other transport ships previously known. You can go forward/backward from the middle article to see the other two articles in series.
Stanczyk has been experimenting with Newspapers.com and utilizing their Clippings to frame research topics.
So my current set of clippings are on my profile page: http://www.newspapers.com/profile/michael135/articles .
So if you are interested in Haller’s Army or General Jozef Haller then you may want to check it out. My initial focus is upon General Haller’s 1923 trip to the USA after World War I, in order to honor the men under his command that were in the USA. Then as today there were detractors to the general’s visits — which I had not previously known. His 1923 itinerary included a visit to the Lincoln homestead in Springfield, IL. He also honored the long US-Poland relationship by visiting the Pulaski memorial in D.C. too. I am left to ponder if the 1926 Emblem of Goodwill, “A Polish Declaration of Admiration and Friendship for the United States of America” might not have been influenced or inspired by General Haller.
Stanczyk has been busy with his research in metryki.genbaza.pl . One of my surprising finds was that my grandmother’s eldest [half]-brother Jan lived in Rochester ( in Monroe County, NY ). I recently found Jan Leszczynski in the AP Kielce archive data on GenBaza – his marriage and a few children (with Antonina Sieradzka). Jan came from his son Feliks in Falecin, Stopnica parish, Kielce Gubernia, Poland and went to his son Jan P. Leszczynski in Rochester, NY. Also, Jan (the elder) had another son, Wladyslaw who also came to Rochester, NY.
So I am looking for genealogists tracing or related to this family of Leszczynski in Rochester, NY. Here are a few addresses:
302 Weaver Rd.
304 Weaver Rd.
13 Ernst Rd.
357 Wilkins Street
All are in Rochester, NY. All had Leszczynski related to me living at the above addresses. If you are related to them, then we are related. Please contact me (click on Stanczyk pic to email me) and we can trade info/pictures. It also appears that Jan (the elder) also had a brother Frank Leszczynski that lived briefly in Rochester. This Frank Leszczynski also lived in: Depew, Buffalo, Tonawanda too [All in Erie County, NY]. Both Jan and Frank are sons of my great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski.
I have attached a local map below of Rochester, Monroe County, New York of a small section of town known as the Polish Section which had two Catholic churches very near to my Leszczynski families. It is possible and likely that my ancestors would have been parishioners at one of these churches.
There was a Catholic church, St. Stanislaus on St. Stanislaus Street and a Polish National Catholic Church at 40 Ernst Street. Both of these would have been very near to the Leszczynski families I am searching for.
Stanczyk has news of yet another Polish Archive scanning and going online with vital records (older than 100 years).
The Pomeranian – Gdansk Archive will soon have 650,000 vital records scanned and online by the 2nd qtr this year.
The AP-GDANSK are working with Pomeranian Genealogical Society who already have 2.78Million records indexed and now will get 650,000 scanned images to go with index.
The National Archive (Gdansk) and Genealogical Society will share the online indexes/scans.
Something else to be thankful for this Easter/Passover season.
PomGenBase / PomGenBaza is here … :http://www.ptg.gda.pl/index.php/ptgnews/action/basesearch/
For more details, the full article can be read here [in Polish /po polskiu].
Archive – Archiwum Państwowego w Gdańsku (AP-Gdansk)
Genealogical Society – Search The Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (PTG), which in English translates to the Pomeranian Genealogical Association
75 kopeks. The cost of that stamp on an alegata. In case, you cannot read Cyrillic or do not recognize it on the cancellation mark of the stamp — it says:
11/24 January 1907
This stamp appeared on an alegata document, describing my paternal grandparents, Jozef Elijasz & Waleryja Leszczynska. You can see from the civil and church records of theirs, that this is their marriage date.
So now I have three Polish authoritative sources for their marriage (date/place).
I found this alegata a bit fascinating. First it had the stamp. Second it listed my grandfather & his parents, but only my grandmother (without her parents — fortunately, the other two records listed those parents). Third and most puzzling is the marriage bann dates:
13th, 20th, 27th January [of 1907 implied]. But wait a minute, the date of the alegata is 11/24 January, 1907. That is three days before their marriage date. So this “official document” had listed a future date [of the marriage], I guess giving them permission to marry in the church assuming the 3rd bann was a foregone conclusion. The future date so messed with my mind and comprehension of Russian/Cyrillic that I had to check and recheck the three documents to assure myself I was reading it correctly and that they had used a future date in the alegata!
Oh, the 11/24 January 1907 thing? That is just the custom of “dual dating”. The earlier date is the Julian date: 11-January-1907, as the Russian calendar was still using the Julian calendar. While the 24-January-1907 is the Gregorian calendar that we use today. Of course you can find liturgical calendars (Russian Orthodox for example) that still use the Julian Calendar for their religious events (i.e. EASTER). Why is it 13 days difference? They were in the 20th century and another day difference between the two calendars, as compared to the majority of the church records (1868-1900 during when the Russian language was the defacto language of administration records) in the Russian partition which were 12 days apart.
— — — Alegata …
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.
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.
Go to the website: Metryki.GenBaza.pl
You should see the web site with just the GRODZISK archive shown …
You 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 …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 …
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 Three — Select A Parish (Congregation)
Let’s click on Biechow . You should see …
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.
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 …
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 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 …
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 …
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.