Archive for ‘Genealogy’

July 2, 2014

Death Certificates & Death Certificates — #Genealogy, #DeathCertificates

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk knows that genealogy is only as good as your sources. The less sourced your family tree, the less the quality of the research. Death is final! It is also well known that death documents are the least reliable as the informant is often incorrect or misinformed and that misinformation is transmitted to authorities. So newbie genealogists be forewarned.

Stanczyk has had a career (outside of being a jester) as a computer professional and more specifically, an expert in data (gathering, organizing, loading, managing and analyzing data). As a consultant, we have this little aphorism, “A man with a watch ALWAYS knows what time it is. And a man with two watches is never sure what time it is.”  What does this mean? It means data/info is often in conflict and that one or both of those watches is inaccurate. One watch at least, but maybe both are wrong if they disagree with each other.  Genealogy has this problem.

A few days ago, this jester was delighted to discover that Family Search provides a Photo Duplication Service for its databases that are index only — no images uploaded, just the transcribed index. What a boon that has been for me. I was finally able to locate a death certificate for a first-cousin-twice-removed (or my paternal grandfather’s first cousin if you prefer). I was thrilled, I now knew factually his father’s name and that the Polish Church record of his birth was for this individual in the USA that spelled his name like, ‘ELYASZ’. Polish/Slavic genealogists must deal with many factors in name corruption or name change. So I confirmed that this man in Detroit, was my grandfather’s cousin. I confirmed his death and his burial at Mt. Olivet in Detroit. I also confirmed that he was married and that his wife/widow was Lorraine Kraft Elyasz (the informant of the death certificate). But let me pause the story there.

A few years ago, when I visited Michigan, I went to the county seat of Macomb County, Michigan (Mt Clemens). So I made a research visit to the clerk of courts. My primary goal was to get death certificates for people in my life I had known, but lacked their death certificates: mother, grandmother, aunt were the primary goals — success. But I wanted my grand-uncle John (aka Jan) Eliasz who had the bad sense to die in 1936 instead of the modern post-World War II era. I did locate his death date and they had to mail me that death certificate because it was off-site due to its age. No online data for those death certificates (pre-1960). So here is what I received in the mail …

19360717_EliaszJohn_DeathCertExtract

Death Certificate of John Elias [sic]

I knew the document was an extract. Just by the format of the death certificate. I was crest-fallen, extracted data is often error-prone and this was a death document the least reliable so that is a double-whammy! Later on, I found out that the age of my grand-uncle was wrong when I located his birth record from the church in Pacanow. So I knew that the age in years,months,days was just plain wrong.  Obviously, the spelling of the name was incorrect (Elias [sic] vs. Eliasz/Elijasz) and the ‘recording date’ led me to believe that this extraction was from a death return (similar to a marriage return)  which is again a further generation removed from a death certificate. Can you just imagine the error propagation rate?

So emboldened by my photo duplication success of Stanley Elyasz, I decided to order the photo duplication for John Elias too. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe they had the image of the actual death certificate. Do you know what I got back yesterday?

19360717_EliasJohn_ClintonTwp_DeathCert

Actual Death Certificate of John Elias [sic]

 So, bless Family Search for producing a copy of the actual death certificate. Not much in conflict with the “extracted” form. But look at all of the extra info available:  Informant name/address, cemetery where buried, years in occupation, last year worked 1930 (6 years out of work during the Great Depression),  name of wife (Margaret ??? actually Pelagia), years lived in town of death (9 years => 1927 residence North Gratiot Ave, in Clinton Township), years in the USA (3o years => arrived 1906, I can only substantiate since 1910 which would be 26 years). Ok some of the extra information was also wrong, including birth date as I mentioned above.

So what did Stanley Elyasz’s death certificate look like  …

19231023_Detroit_ElyaszStanleyM_DeathCert

Stanley M. Elyasz

Interestingly enough both of these two gentlemen, who were first cousins also lived together in Detroit in 1921 at the 6410 Van Dyke Ave, Detroit, Wayne, MI [same as Stanley's death certificate address]. I assume John moved from that address when his cousin died in 1923.

While sources may conflict isn’t it better to have them than not? Also, do not assume that there is only one Death Certificate. See above for my two death certificates for my grand-uncle John Elias [sic]. While they were not in conflict with each other, the second one was the much preferred one to have; I am glad I did not stop at the first one – in genealogy there are death certificates and then there are death certificates – they may not agree. Finally, bless my grand-aunt Mary Eliasz Gronek, but boy was she an error propagator. On my grand-father’s death certificate, she was NOT the informant (my grandmother was). But apparently after the fact, my grand-aunt submitted an affidavit and changed my grandfather’s birthdate. Unfortunately, she changed it from the correct date to a terribly wrong date. For years I had to keep three dates for my grandfather’s birth until I finally located his birth record in Pacanow. Then you learn what is truth and who are the good sources (or bad sources) of family information.

June 29, 2014

FamilySearch.org — Photoduplication Services — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RequestSubmitted

Did you know that you can submit a request to Family Search for Photo Duplication service of one of their indexed databases for a found indexed record?

Stanczyk did not know either. Then I read: “How to order an indexed document from Family Search” by Selma Blackmon .  At any rate, you can follow her steps to submit a request. I was able to utilize the info she wrote and submit a request (I am waiting for my emailed document, but I will update my readers when I get the result). Now you only get an email with an attachment of the image for the indexed record, which you request.

I’ll save you a few steps by putting the link below (so you do not have to search for it)

 

Requirements:

  1. You need an account [they are free].  Go to FamilySearc.org and click on “Join For Free” to register.
  2. After you have registered and you login to your new account, go to: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Photoduplication_Services
  3. Lookup your indexed record. In Stanczyk’s case I chose the database: “Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952,”
  4. Notice that is only an index without any images. So I wanted to order the image of the death certificate I was interested in.
  5. I searched on “Elyasz” to get the info for Stanley M. Elyasz in order to submit the request
  6. I read the instruction from the above Photoduplication Services web page.
  7. I clicked on the green button, “Photoduplication Request Form”
  8. I filled in ALL fields with the info from the index result page of Stanley M. Elyasz and used that info
  9. Click on Submit

If you filled in ALL fields then you get the result I did in the picture at the top of this article. But you must fill in all fields or it will sit there as if it ignored your request — sadly no error message indicated I needed to fill in ALL fields.

The cost for an email of the document:  $0.00.  Most genealogists have an account to search the online images in the many databases that Family Search has published. But if not, then this Photoduplication Service should give you the impetus to register for an account.

PRICELESS! Thank you Family Search.org for providing this valuable service and Selma Blackmon for writing about it.


 

Returned Image [1-JULY-2014] from Submitted Request:

19231023_Detroit_ElyaszStanleyM_DeathCert

June 28, 2014

RootsWeb Is Alive!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Rootsweb is completely back online. You can now login to your accounts again and update your online family trees. It had gone down 16-JUNE-2014 along with Ancestry.com and its many other offerings (due to a DDoS attack). While Ancestry.com was back quickly, other Offerings like Rootsweb, Genealogy.com, and MyCanvas remained down.

Stanczyk is happy to report Rootsweb, Genealogy.com, and MyCanvas are back online.

The cloud is still down for Mundia.com as of this article’s publishing.

June 28, 2014

Ancestry and ProQuest Announce Expanded Distribution — #Genealogy, #Library, #Research

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

27-JUNE-2014 — Ancestry.com & ProQuest   announced an expanded agreement to deliver  broader array of premier genealogy resources to libraries worldwide. This announcement’s offerings expands the 10 year relationship between the two companies.

This should be good news for libraries around the world.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2021584#ixzz35v8w1eRR

 

June 22, 2014

Using SzukajWArchiwach.pl — Zooming In

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Al Wierzba
Al’s Polish-American Genealogy Research Blog
http://www.apagr.com

 

Al, another Polish genealogy blogger to bookmark [see above for link],  wrote (or more accurately commented on a blog article) and asked,

“I had a question regarding your experience using SzukajWArchiwach.pl. I’ve stumbled upon an ancestry line that belonged to a parish that has digital copies available online, but I was wondering how do you make the images bigger? The viewer on the SzukajWArchiwach.pl website doesn’t allow for the images to magnify sufficiently.”

 

Let me first say, that the images I am displaying are from a Mac with Safari (I also do the same in MS Windows, Vista with Safari). I cannot test each browser + operating system combination, but I suspect it may be an MS Windows + Java + Security issue on your part,  but let me go step-by-step and perhaps it will work for you too. If not, I would try another browser (Mozilla, Chrome are two other good choices).

Let me choose from one of the new Kielce parishes, I have written about as an example.

Steps …

Small_1 Go to SzukajWArchiwach.pl [click on preceding link to go there. You will see the following:

SzukajWArchiwach

 

Click on the ‘X’ in the upper right corner [see red arrow and red circle above].  You will now see:

SzukajWArchiwach_ArchivesClick on ‘Archives’ button [see red arrow and red circle above].  You will now see:

Kielcach

 

Click on ‘Archiwum Panstwowe w Kielcach’ to follow along with my example. Or you can select the actual archive that has the parish and images you wish to work on. For those who clicked on ‘Kielcach’ you will see a screen with ‘Archiwum Panstwowe w Kielcach’ in big bold text near the top of your window.

Click on ‘Resources’ button. Now you will see 9 rows of various parishes from Brzegach to Łukowej. Click on the top one for Brzegach which is numbered as:  21/1700/0     NOTE:  you can click on Number or Name field (Brzegach).

You will see a screen with the Roman Catholic parish Brzegach,  ‘Units 193/193′ and some year ranges and that the records are in Polish, Russian and Latin. Click on ‘Units 193/193′. If you are still with me you will see a list of rows. I am going to click on the 2nd row:  ’21/1700/0/-/2‘ or [Akta urodzeń, małżeństw i zgonów]‘.

Small_2Now we get to a screen that indicates that there are ‘Digital copies [10]‘ and a series of boxes describing the year 1810 which is in the language of Polish. Click on ‘Digital copies [10]‘ . At this point if you followed my directions you should see:

digital_scans

 

Please click on the fifth scanned image [see the red arrow and box above]. This will get us to point where Al’s question is concerned with. You should now see the image:

scan_5

The above scanned image shows popped up window that is a scaled down image that Al want’s to work with [hypothetically speaking, as I do not know which real image(s) Al was referring to]. It has four black ovals surrounding the tiny  version of the scanned image that we want to work with. If you were to click on the ‘X’ it would close the popped up image and take you back to the previous window with 10 thumbnail images. Do not click on the ‘X’. Also do not click on the ‘Z’. The ‘Z’ just gives you a zoomed in square that magnifies the image area beneath it, after some delay it will appear and you can drag that around the image to see closer what was written — this is not what you want, but maybe it will meet your needs.

If you click the black circle [see red arrow and oval above] with the rectangle and four tiny arrows coming out of the rectangle’s corners — this “icon” is implying it will zoom in on the document. Please click on that icon and you should see:

normal

 

In the above image you should see a portion of the full page at full-size (1:1), unfortunately if is the upper left corner where no text is displayed. You will also see two miniature windows.  There is a window titled, ‘Tools’ and another window with the title, ‘Preview’.  I dragged both of these windows to the top to get them as much as possible off the full size image.

The ‘Tools’ will allow you to change the contrast (the top tool), the brightness (the middle tool) and the zoom (the bottom tool).  The zoom tool is what you really want to use to see the scanned image at zoom level that is comfortable for you to read the text. I sometimes press this ‘+’ to zoom-in 5 or 6 times. Regrettably the ’1:1′ does not update to show the zoom level, but the full size image gets larger and of course you are looking at a smaller field of view when you zoom in so you will see less of the document, but at a size you can read.  In this example I found a zoom-in of clicking twice on the ‘+’ was sufficient to read the document which is indeed in Polish. Now you can read:

Roku Tysiąc …  [of course the handwriting is a bit difficult, but trust me that is what the first two words say]. Since we clicked on ’1810′ year, then we would expect this image to say, “In the year 1000 800 ten …” [Roku Tysiąc Osmset Dziesiątego …]

I cannot show you the relative difference in zoom level as I have to scale the image down so it fits on this blog page in HTML and perhaps is scaled differently still on your mobile device. SO I won’t waste your time trying to show the relative zoom-levels which I cannot really do accurately anyway given all of the many ways this blog is presented to you [my many readers].

Let me come back to the second tool which is also very useful. The tool window titled, ‘Preview’ has a tiny gray rectangle in it that is transparent so you can see a thumbnail of the scanned image underneath the transparent gray rectangle. You can drag this rectangle around the preview window and it will move/navigate the full size window to the area you want to read. I find this easier to navigate the full size window so I use it a lot. You can of course click-drag on the full-size window and drag the viewable area around to the portion of the document that you are trying to read. Either way works for me and I use both depending on whether I am doing a big movement (I use ‘Preview’) or for a small adjustment, I use the click-drag on the full size image. Whatever way you find easier to work for you is the way you should work. But there are those two ways to navigate the image. If you prefer, ‘position’ instead of the word navigate. Then you are positioning the scanned image inside the viewable area for that portion of the document that you are trying to read at the current zoom level you are working with.

In practice I do not change the brightness or contrast tools, just the zoom tool to get a comfortable zoom-level for these aged eyes of mine to read the handwriting. Different documents or years will be scanned such that you need differing zoom levels. In practice I zoom in from 2 to 7 ‘+’ levels and I have not yet had to zoom out (i.e. the ‘-’). Your eyes may differ.

 

I hope that answers your question, Al. If not just email me back (click on the jester picture) and I’ll email you personally. Keep in mind that some OS’s do not have java installed or their security is set such that it won’t run as Java had its share of security issues for a while. Every person will need to make those changes on their laptop and/or browser themselves. I just wanted to throw that out as that may be what is going on in your case. Possibly you may not have waited long enough if you clicked on the ‘Z’ in the black oval to provide the magnifying glass rectangle which on my laptop takes a few seconds before it starts to work [it is not instantaneous]. If you clicked on something else before the magnifying glass appeared it might appear to you that it was ‘not zooming’ when in reality it was canceling the magnifying glass because you clicked elsewhere on the web app in your browser.

 

Thanks for the question, I enjoyed it and I enjoy reading your blog too. Alas, Stanczyk does not have any ancestors in the Milwaukee area, but if you do, then see Al’s blog — its a good one.

 

June 19, 2014

GenBaza.pl — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk noticed yesterday (18-JUNE-2014)  that Metryki.genebaza.pl had some additions.  The Polish Archive from Gdansk (AP_GDANSK)  was added to Genbaza.pl  late on Wednesday.

 

So now when you click on the above link, you should see:

GenBaza 6 Archives

GenBaza – 6 Archives

The top archive, AD_Kielce,  is a Diocessan archive, the church archive from Kielce Diocese (Stanczyk’s ancestral diocese).

The new archive is second in this list, AP_GDANSK.  The church archive and the bottom four archives were already there.

 

If you click on the AP_GDANSK, then you will see five research collections (aka fonds). One is an evangelical parish from Krokowa and there are also four USC (civil registration offices, similar to the USA’s county clerk) fonds with vital records.

I looked at two of the USCs (Sopot – a very nice resort town on the Baltic and Kamienica Szlachecka). Their data started at year 1874 and each link was either a Birth or a Marriage or a Death metrical book. Each vital record type was a separate unit. So you had three units per year. My early searches did not locate any alegata in 1874 Sopot.

As you may have surmised this is Prussian-Poland partition data and as such is in the common German long-form birth (or marriage or death) certificates (not the Napoleonic Codex paragraph form of Russian-Poland nor the Latin Box format so prevalent in Austrian-Poland partitions.  The form’s text  are in German. The first birth record I saw was in 1874 Kamienica Szlachecka Births (#1), was  Otto August Carl Mark (son of Ferdinand Mark & Amalie Mark nee Gohrbanet).

AP Gdansk

 

 

June 19, 2014

All Hail King Felipe VI (of Spain) — #Royal, #Heraldic

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

King Felipe VI & the former King Juan Carlos

King Felipe VI & former King Juan Carlos & their queens.

Yesterday King Juan Carlos abdicated his throne.  Yesterday, Spain’s World Cup team was given a Chile-reception (Nil-2) and sent packing for home. But, today is a new day for Spain Felipe VI begins his reign. It is a new era for Spain’s royalty .

 

Spain’s Royal Family Tree …

Royal Genealogy Spain – King Juan Carlos Family Tree

 

 

June 7, 2014

California Chrome – Horse Racing’s 12th Triple Crown Winner? — #TripleCrown, #Pedigree, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

California Chrome Pedigree

California Chrome Pedigree: …, Seattle Slew, Secretariat

All day long, all across the land people were rooting for history. Today, 7-June-2014, California Chrome history was NOT made  as the thoroughbred racehorse missed  out by taking 4th, losing the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes prize races) to TONALIST. The  colt missed out being the  twelfth  Triple Crown winner in horse racing history. The previous Triple Crown winner was Affirmed, 36 years ago! Clearly,  our generation must wait a bit longer.

So Stanczyk being a genealogist was wondering what is California Chrome’s family tree. To answer that question, you can query a database (http://www.pedigreequery.com/california+chrome).

It should be no surprise that this colt is a champion winning two of three legs of the Crown. His 2x great-grandfather was Seattle Slew and  3x great-grandfather was Secretariat.  So why was this horse viewed as a working class horse with such a royal bloodline?

Good Stock.

Previous 11 US Triple Crown Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer
1919 Sir Barton Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell
1930 Gallant Fox Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons
1935 Omaha Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons
1937 War Admiral Charley Kurtsinger George H. Conway
1941 Whirlaway Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones
1943 Count Fleet Johnny Longden Don Cameron
1946 Assault Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones
1973 Secretariat Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin
1977 Seattle Slew Jean Cruguet William H. Turner, Jr.
1978 Affirmed Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera

 

June 6, 2014

Kielce Archive On-Line in SzukajWArchiwach.pl — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive, #Online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kielce - KielcachStanczyk has recently written [24-May-2014, “Online Inventory of ŚwiętoKrzyskie (an update)” ] about what is on-line from the Kielce Gubernia/Wojewowdztwo … so of course you know that means — the information is out of date already in this Internet Time world of ours!

Just today on Facebook I saw announced:   New records added to Szukajwarchiwach: http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/media/attachments/swa_share_06_2014.pdf on Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan page.

A pleasant surprise of 8 (osiem) parishes (parafia) were from the Kielce (Kielcach) archive:

http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/21#tabZasoby

This jester examined Jędrzejowie where  some distant Eliasz (aka Elijasz/Heliasz) were known to live. I am envious, a complete or nearly complete century of records [1812-1911] for Birth / Marriage / Death (urodzeń / małżeństw / zgonów)  and even Alegata too in most cases.

That is a nice way to end the week! Powodzenia!

parishes:  Brzegach, Ciernie,  Imielnie,  Jędrzejowie,  Korytnicy, Kozlowie, Krzciecicach, Lukowej

June 2, 2014

Royal Genealogy Spain – King Juan Carlos Family Tree — #Genealogy, #Spanish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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  …

familia real espanola

May 29, 2014

Hajek – Elijasz Family — Pacanów

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

20140529-054012-20412530.jpg

Denise,

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.

StanislawHajek_Cyrillic

#59 – Hajek – Stanislaw – Pacanow

Marriage Note in the Margin - Kleve- land  St. Ohio

Marriage Note in the Margin – Kleve- land St. Ohio

Tags: , ,
May 27, 2014

Pieszczochowicz — An Affiliated Family to LESZCZYŃSKI — #Genealogy, #Polish, #SNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pieszczochowicz_Moikrewny

Pieszczochowicz – 20 people in Poland

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.

 

May 24, 2014

Online Inventory of ŚwiętoKrzyskie (an update) — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Kielce, #Gubernia

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Last year (December 13th, 2013), Stanczyk wrote about an “Online Inventory of ŚwiętoKrzyskie “(or old Kielce Gubernia) Parish Books. It was produced from a Polish website: http://www.ksiegi-parafialne.pl . That was before I could go through its collected data. It appears some of their info was inaccurate / misleading about whether there was an online database at the links they mentioned. It was certainly before GenBaza.pl was loaded with some regional Polish Archives data and it lacked any mention of the Polish Archives themselves: http://szukajwarchiwach.pl .

 

Today’s blog is a three page posting, or rather a re-posting of a Facebook posting I made in Polish Genealogy Facebook page. This is just the GenBaza data for old Gubernia: Kielce/Kieleckie. This is a long read — hence the read “More …” breaks.

May 22, 2014

Genealogy Websites Mash-up — #Genealogy, #Military, #Church

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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.

Here is my Mash-Up …

Straty.pl 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:

Straty Results - Four Elijasz

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:

Straty Details Stanislaw Elijasz

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:

Small_2http://www.moosburg.org/info/stalag/laglist.html#generalgouvernement

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:

Small_3Geneteka.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:

Small_4

 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:

GenBaza_Stanislaw

Now we have a complete picture of our Polish ancestor by the mash-up of websites:

  1. straty.pl
  2. http://www.moosburg.org/info/stalag/laglist.html#generalgouvernement
  3. Geneteka.pl
  4. GeneBaza.pl
May 21, 2014

On The Trail Of Tomasz Leszczyński … #Genealogy, #Polish, #SNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

k_001494

Antonina Sieradzka 1862 Birth in Gorki

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:

Surnames …

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 Mizdrakborn 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.

Villages  …

Biechow  (including Piestrzec, Wojcza), Swiniary (including Oblekon), Pacanow,  Stopnica (including Falęcin), Strozyska (including Gorki)

May 20, 2014

Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów, Innkeeper, Shoemaker, Bourgeois Farmer — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tomasz LeszczynskiStanczyk’s  great-grandfather, Tomasz — Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów was an Innkeeper, a Shoemaker, and Bourgeois Farmer and these were just his listed occupations in the church records from Biechów, Pacanów, Stopnica. There is also a good bit of family lore surrounding Tomasz as well. For example, Tomasz lived to be 104 years old, he had two wives and 15 children via these two wives spanning 45 years of reproductive life — so indeed Tomasz was a productive and prolific man.

But it is the things about Tomasz that this jester does not know that obsess me. For example, I do not know Tomasz’s first marriage details. I wish I did then I would know with certainty his parents’ names. Or if I knew his birth details I could know his parents’ names and then locate his siblings, if any. I also need his death details too. At least then I would have an anchor point for his 104 year span of life then and that would lend me more info for deciding between various Tomasz contenders. The solace I have,  is that 15 births of children and some children’s deaths too have provided me with many data points with which to make inferences.  Even the two spouses’ births and deaths have provided data points.

So this jester is in the midst of performing a detailed SNA (social network analysis) also known as “cluster genealogy” of these data points. I will produce that and  write about my findings here when it is complete. At the UPGS conference, I was able to do research in a new village Wolica and I located a birth record for a Tomasz Leszczyński that fits data points. That led me to another village named Dzieraznia and yet another possible generation. At present I am only about 75-80% confident that I have the correct Tomasz, hence the SNA study. There is much work to do, but I have updated my Tomasz Leszczynski Timeline with many finds over the past couple years, including the finds from GenBaza.pl just this year when I located my paternal grandmother’s birth record! This grandmother of mine  (Walerya)  was Tomasz’s eldest child by his second wife Aniela Majer (aka Major)

May 16, 2014

UPGS 2014 – Polish Genealogy Conference Review

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

upgsStanczyk attended this conference this year after missing the last two occurrences. So it is with fresh eyes and yet a knowledge of now having attended 4 of these UPGS conferences over the years.

The presenters were a strong group: D. Joshua Taylor, Ceil Wendt Jensen, Greg NelsonSonia Hoeke-Nishimoto,  Mark Olsen, and Tadeusz Pilat. The first two have been on TV genealogy shows and are therefore well known.  Ceil has been a part of so many Polish Genealogical media/conferences/organizations that her credibility as a UPGS presenter is top-notch. Sonia and Greg are both members of FamilySearch.org and you can often find Sonia in FHL, plus she does Polish genealogy research for her own family tree. Greg Nelson is also the replacement Kahlile Mehr at FamilySearch and so his presence was welcome (as Kahlile’s  presence was missed). Mark Olson was from MyHeritage and Tadeusz Pilat a presenter from Warsaw Poland and a ProGenealogists.com professional.

The conference had 11 presentations over 4 days, leaving some time for research and to attend optional FHL classes. The evenings had special events, including a banquet and a Wesoły Lud Folk Dance Ensemble performance for attendees. There appeared to be about 70+ attendees but there was just a single tract (unfortunately no choice in presentations, but they were all in one place — no getting lost). The presentations were split between Genealogy and Technology as the 2014 Conference proceedings cover shows. The Conference proceedings was good quality and included the presentation abstracts plus extra  material and sponsor materials. This was well thought out and organized, and the Schedule thoughtfully included  the hours for when FHL was open. My only suggestion for the Proceedings was to mention the Conference Room for the Presentations, which in this case  was the same room for all presentations. It was not a problem as the organizers were present to hand-out materials and answer questions and once you knew the conference room it was the same for all presentations — so only a small error of omission.

Josh Taylor did 3 presentations. Two were on Technology. The problem with Technology presentations is that you need to know your audience and deliver to their level but in UPGS people have computer/technology experience of varying levels. This jester has had an entire career in Technology and I know at least two others present also made their careers with computers/technology and one man from Texas had technology focus and his own website that he maintained and developed. Today it is hard to find a genealogist that has not embraced technology. None-the-less the crowd ranged from rank beginners to very advanced and Josh targeted the very beginners. This was a bad decision by UPGS organizers because there was only one tract, I had nowhere else to go, except to the FHL.

If you had multiple tracts and the attendee could choose another presentation then it would be ok. In fairness, the technology presentations should also be evenly split across: beginner, medium and advanced experience attendees. But all of Josh’s presentations were at the lowest level and the material even then was not very substantive. After his presentation, I asked the UPGS/UPGSA director why don’t you have the presenters put their PowerPoints online so we do not have to write down links (URLs) or so that we can cut/paste forms into usable documents. Astonishingly, he said, “Because these are the presenter’s property. Their work-in-trade.” I did not have the heart to tell him that too many of the presentations were worthless if these were examples of that person’s professional body of work. I did not want to argue that most large conferences do EXACTLY as I requested/suggested we at UPGS do. Almost every presenter said if you email me, I will send you my presentation. If that is so then why not upload the presentation online at the UPGS or UPGSA website?

This attitude on this UPGSA organizer’s part of rebuffing suggestions is precisely why UPGS is only 70+ people and one tract of presentations and some of those presentations were sub-par. In truth the conference has not changed since I last attended in 2008. No growth and the quality of the banquet  was less and it seemed less Genealogical Society support than in 2008 and before.

 

The Presentations:

Advancing Your Polish Research“, by Sonia Hoeke-Nishimoto

Maps & Gazetteers for Genealogy“, by Sonia Hoeke-Nishimoto

Immigration Agents“, by Ceil Jensen

The Peasant & the Palace: Research Manor Records“, by Ceil Jensen

“This is Women’s Work — Midwifery”, by Ceil Jensen

Creating Your Personal Family History Website“, by Josh Taylor

New Tools & Ideas in Research“, by Josh Taylor

“Keynote: Family History in Pop Culture“, by Josh Taylor

“MyHeritage.com”, by Mark Olsen

“Notary Records In Poland”, by Tadeusz Pilat

“Searching the 3 Partitions at FHL; LDS Filming Projects in Poland”, by Greg Nelson

 

Can you see the flaws? Too few presentations. There needs to be at least two tracts so people have some choice. Further more, attendees should rate the presentations 1 … 11 (the # of presentations) so that organizers can see what the attendees like (or do NOT like). Also, 8 of the 11 presentations were by just three people. Nowhere near enough presenters. We need more diversity. You cannot tell me this was done to keep quality high, because as I said some of the 11 presentations were sub-par. No quality in limited presenters. Indeed, it causes presenters to “recycle” their efforts and the short durations 75 minutes probably meant that they cut some material from these recycled presentations leaving the attendee with an “unsatisfied” feeling from these content-lite (or content-free) send-ups. Perhaps if we had two tracts we could go to 90 minute presentations. These presentations could not be put up on the Internet??? Please organizers, you need to attend some more conferences and see how things are done BETTER and get some fresh ideas and perhaps decentralize the control of what is done/presented.

Don’t get this jester wrong. Ceil Jensen hit another three home runs. Sonia’s  work was informative and appealing high quality. Josh Taylor did a very good job with the banquet Keynote presentation. Tadeusz’s presentation was one I was looking forward to — to find new avenues of research in Poland beyond church records. It was well done and his English was good enough to present a high-quality send-up. I liked Greg Nelson’s sharing of what was happening in FamilySearch for Polish Genealogists. Mark Olsen won me over about MyHeritage.com. You knew it was going to be a bit commercial, but he was convincing of the special technology that they have in their matching. He even made the commercial part disappear by offering EVERY attendee a free trial ! When this jester, needled Mark with a question about how many Polish genealogists MyHeritage had, he gleefully answered by showing us,within the tool itself,  a map of how many accounts by country and the country Poland was over 1 Million members (on par with Germany)! Obviously some genealogists in the USA would need to be added on top but an accurate demographic of US genealogists by ethnicity, does not exist . I like the idea of the UPGS including a presenter from Europe at each UPGS. Obviously, a Polish researcher would be preferred but one with Eastern/Central European expertise would also  be welcome. This “cross-Atlantic”, cross pollination of information exchange is a valuable goal. It seems we have done many times already. So kudos, for keeping this idea going and for the selection of Tadeusz Pilat,

So it was really just the Technology presentations that I felt were not valuable and the organizer’s entrenchment over simple suggestions that they could make for free and improve this conference. This only happens every other year, so you would think incorporating change and improvements would be easy and also be welcomed,  given that much time to put on the next UPGS. Here is one more suggestion for the UPGS organizers. Perhaps the UPGSA needs to appoint a person whose sole focus is putting on the UPGS conference and training this person on how it is done now, what the costs drivers are and what the revenues are  and asking the UPGSA members to provide suggestions for what they want to see in a new conference. Also I think the other regional Polish Genealogy Societies also need input into what would improve UPGS. I personally would welcome paying $25-$30 more (i.e. raise conference fee) for registration to get a 2nd tract of presenters. In my over 15 years  of genealogy, I have NEVER once seen a call for papers or presentations. I have seen them for ROOTS Tech conference and I have seen them for the IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy. I have even seen the call for papers from FEEFHS.

I think the USPGSA and all regional Polish genealogy societies need to email ALL of their members and request papers/abstracts for presentations for each and every conference. I am a member of several societies and never seen it except for the conferences I have attended: ROOTS Tech & IAJGS Conference. It seems like the presentations are all done by people well connected to conference organizers. More diversity / more opportunity. OH UPGS organizers get some more presentations specific to Polish Genealogy. I was really disappointed by the presenters who said they have no Polish Genealogy experience … REALY at UPGS ??? What are you thinking? I did enjoy meeting old friends and long time Polish Genealogists again and doing some catch-up, perhaps we need some way of doing that.

This conference fails to teach new Polish Genealogists on Polish Genealogy topics. I think that limits the UPGS from growing. We also need to make it so genealogy vendors come and sell at the conference and they help defray the costs by charging for vendor tables. The UPGSA should produce an online PDF document, “How To Present At The UPGS Conference” so that other people know how to submit proposals, what they will face when they get to Salt Lake City and how to hook up their laptops to the projector. Make it a comfortable and welcome process for new presenters and for people to provide suggestions.

Each Polish Genealogical Society needs to sponsor one presenter at the UPGS (if their paper is chosen).  That way we can see material from all over the USA from recognized genealogists and the costs of presenters is born by each society to share the expense of putting on UPGS while sharing control/input amongst them all.  I missed seeing Matthew Bielawa, Jonathan Shea, Lisa Alzo. How long has it been since NY or Toledo had a presenter at UPGS? Perhaps other Polish Fraternal Groups could also help support this conference via ads or sponsorship of national speakers. Finally, show us Polish Genealogy bloggers some love:  Give us quality  pics of  the speakers to use in blogs and access to any/all  speakers for quick interviews. Why not make an UPGS organizer available for question & answer interviews to bloggers?  Why not list bloggers and Polish genealogy websites in the Conference Proceedings?

Let’s grow this thing!  Oh by the way, this jester’s suggestions are in BOLD-RED UPGSA, just in case you want some feedback.

If you agree or disagree let this jester know. Just email me.

 

 

May 9, 2014

Research Trip … Some #Genealogical Finds — #Polish, #UPGS, 2014

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

18291219_LeszczynskiTomasz_Szczepan_twins_Wolica15

Stanczyk is tired, perplexed and satisfied ! If you love genealogy then you probably love the new finds — not just the elation and the happy dance that ensues, but because most new finds also cause new  questions that need to be solved or addressed.

For years, I have been searching for my LESZCZYNSKI roots (korzenie Leszczynscy). Previously only my friend Jacek from Krakow was able to locate some Leszczynskich in Biechow. He did not tell me his source for these records (no citation) and I have not been able to locate a source for them either — most perplexing. He also left me with, “You might want to look in Stopnica some day.”. That enigmatic quote always lingered with me lo these many years.

Now in January, GenBaza.pl came up with AD_KIELCE and AP_KIELCE scans online!!! By Kielce, I mean the former Wojewodztwo / Gubernia (or the regional Archives, both civil and religious). This is where my ancestral villages have all been located (so far). So I took Jacek’s long ago advice and looked in Stopnica for Leszczynskich   …  But how was I ever to connect the Stopnica LESZCZYNSKICH with my Biechow LESZCZYNSKICH?

Well as I was gorging myself with the ELIASZ of Pacanow in GenBaza, I was using GENTEKA as a kind of index into where I should look in GenBaza (which Years, and which Akts #). So I decided to search for Leszczynski using this method and looking at Births/Marriages/Deaths in Stopnica. There were 29 marriages (małżeństwa) in the parish of Stopnica, a parish I knew rather nothing about, much less the town families. But I stopped dead on one marriage. One Leszczynski, Jan Leszczynski, had a mother with a maiden name, Kordosz. Now I knew that my great-grandfather Tomasz married a Julianna Kordos (born in Swiniary). So I became very interested in Małżeństwa (Marriage) Akt #73 in 1881 Stopnica. Mystery solved! When I read the record I found that Jan’s parents were Tomasz & Julianna z. Kordosz[sic] Leszczynskich and the ages were correct. So I had my missing link to Stopnica. I also knew that Falęcin would be a focal point in the Stopnica parish. So I found all of Jan Leszczynski & Antonina Sieradzka ‘s children born in Stopnica. I also found that Jan had a few siblings who also married in Stopnica and between these Stopnica records and a few new ones in Biechow and examining witnesses and God Parents I had the correct set of records and more confirmations of other family knowledge. But I have digressed. This is a blog about my findings from a Genealogical Conference in Salt Lake City — UPGS, 2014.

As a result of my earlier GenBaza finds, I had new clues/mysteries that needed solving, plus some from other records that I had wanted to research in LDS microfilm. So I went to UPGS to find out if  Kroczyce, Palecznica, and Wolica had any records for me. Here are my BIG finds:

  1. Pelagia Kedzierska‘s birth record, 28-October-1882 in Kroczyce parish.
  2. Maciej Wlecial’s birth record,  28-February-1868 in Laszow, Palecznica parish.
  3. Tomasz Leszczynski ‘s birth record, 19-December-1829 in Wolica (village, parish, gmina).

This jester hit ALL of his major goals. Sure I did not find Jan Leszczynski or Franciszek Leszczynski birth records or Tomasz Leszczynski’s 1st marriage record to Julianna Kordos. But I found Tomasz Leszczynski’s birth record. At least I am 80% sure on Tomasz — I need his marriage record to prove it 100%, but I will now begin to make a case to myself via Social Network Analysis (SNA) whether this is indeed the correct  Tomasz or not.

It turns out that Tomasz’s (20-December-1829) was a twin (Szczepan his twin). I also knew Tomasz’s parents were: Jan Leszczynski, age 30 (-> born about 1799) and Anna Owczarczyk age 29 (-> born about 1800). I also knew the names of the witnesses and the God Parents too. One God Parent made me take note: Tekla Slawinska.  It turns out the Anna had a very rare name: OWCZARCZYK. So I was able to find her marriage record to Jan Leszczynski … in DZIERAZNIA (a nearby parish to Wolica, with many cross marriages). So now I had a fourth major find in my 2x-great-grandparent’s marriage record  19-JULY-1825 in Dzieraznia parish (village/gmina/powiat) of Szysczya. So now I had the names of yet another generation: Antoni & Katarzyna Leszczynskich. Now I have my 2nd & 3rd great-grandparents in the Leszczynski line. I also had two more parishes: Wolica & Dzieraznia!

A great adventure to be sure. I had many other finds that were not so as notable.  I had success in my Croatian VESPEKs line too. Also a minor confirmation of my wife’s paternal grandmother’s village: Kovesliget (Maramaros region) of Austria-Hungarian (aka Hapsburg) Empire. Kovesliget is now in modern day Romania. The creme-de-la-creme … doing the research while surrounded by  my Polish Genealogy friends at UPGS 2014. Priceless!

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