Archive for ‘Genealogy’

March 19, 2013

Polish State Archives – Numbers — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archives

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polish State Archives (Archiwum)

The Polish State Archives via the National Digital Archives (NAC) recently announced the plans to release 2.4 Million scans of metrical book records online. In order to use this database (http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/) you will need to know the Archive’s number of the Regional State Archive that you are interested in (i.e. the Archive that has the data/scans of your ancestral village).

Stanczyk could not locate such a list. So this jester created one. Knowing that the IZA had a drop down menu of Archives,  I went there. Sure enough it had the archives … and the archive’s number. But it was a drop down menu and I could not copy/paste from the drop down menu. How could I get the data?

I put on my propeller beanie and it occurred to me that the HTML of the web page would have that data for the menu. So I looked at the page source and voila. After some editing to remove HTML tags I built the required list for all of to use with the new 2.4 Million records in http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/.

The list is below. One note, I notice that the list is out of date in the sense that there are regional archives that no longer exist. For example, I know to my own pain, that the Kielce regional state archive (Kielce Panstowe) office (oddzial) in Pinczow  (#23 in the list) was closed and the records moved to Kielce (the main office, #21). So please take note of this, as I am sure it happened to other offices as well.

Here is the PDF of the listed parishes/synagogues being scanned (for March):

http://nac.gov.pl/files/D’ASC1_02_2013v.3.pdf

Archive Number List

1 Archiwum Glówne Akt Dawnych (1)
2 Archiwum Akt Nowych (2)
4 Archiwum Panstwowe w Bialymstoku (4)
5 Archiwum Panstwowe w Bialymstoku Oddzial w Lomzy (5)
6 Archiwum Panstwowe w Bydgoszczy (6)
8 Archiwum Panstwowe w Czestochowie (8)
9 Archiwum Panstwowe w Elblagu z siedziba w Malborku (9)
10 Archiwum Panstwowe w Gdansku (10)
11 Archiwum Panstwowe w Kaliszu (11)
12 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach (12)
13 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach Oddzial w Bielsku-Bialej (13)
14 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach Oddzial w Cieszynie (14)
15 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach Oddzial w Gliwicach (15)
16 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach Oddzial w Oswiecimiu (16)
17 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach Oddzial w Pszczynie (17)
18 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach Oddzial w Raciborzu (18)
20 Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach Oddzial w Zywcu (20)
21 Archiwum Panstwowe w Kielcach (21)
22 AP w Kielcach Oddzial w Jedrzejowie – Oddzial zlikwidowany, akta przeniesione do AP K… (22)
23 AP w Kielcach Oddzial w Pinczowie – Oddzial zlikwidowany, akta przeniesione do AP Kie… (23)
24 Archiwum Panstwowe w Kielcach Oddzial w Sandomierzu (24)
25 AP w Kielcach Oddzial w Starachowicach – Oddzial zlikwidowany, akta przeniesione do A… (25)
26 Archiwum Panstwowe w Koszalinie (26)
27 Archiwum Panstwowe w Koszalinie Oddzial w Slupsku (27)
28 Archiwum Panstwowe w Koszalinie Oddzial w Szczecinku (28)
29 Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie (29)
30 Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie Oddzial w Bochni (30)
31 Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie Oddzial w Nowym Saczu (31)
33 Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie Oddzial w Tarnowie (33)
34 Archiwum Panstwowe w Lesznie (34)
39 Archiwum Panstwowe w Lodzi (39)
41 Archiwum Panstwowe w Lodzi Oddzial w Sieradzu (41)
42 Archiwum Panstwowe w Olsztynie (42)
45 Archiwum Panstwowe w Opolu (45)
48 Archiwum Panstwowe w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim (48)
49 Archiwum Panstwowe w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim Oddzial w Tomaszowie Mazowieckim (49)
50 Archiwum Panstwowe w Plocku (50)
51 Archiwum Panstwowe w Plocku Oddzial w Kutnie (51)
52 Archiwum Panstwowe w Plocku Oddzial w Leczycy (52)
56 Archiwum Panstwowe w Przemyslu (56)
58 Archiwum Panstwowe w Radomiu (58)
59 Archiwum Panstwowe w Rzeszowie (59)
60 Archiwum Panstwowe w Rzeszowie Oddzial w Sanoku (60)
61 AP w Rzeszowie Oddzial w Skolyszynie – Oddz. zlikwidowany, akta przeniesione do AP Rz… (61)
62 Archiwum Panstwowe w Siedlcach (62)
63 Archiwum Panstwowe w Suwalkach (63)
64 Archiwum Panstwowe w Suwalkach Oddzial w Elku (64)
65 Archiwum Panstwowe w Szczecinie (65)
66 Archiwum Panstwowe w Gorzowie Wielkopolskim (66)
67 Archiwum Panstwowe w Szczecinie Oddzial w Miedzyzdrojach (67)
68 Archiwum Panstwowe w Szczecinie Oddzial w Stargardzie Szczecinskim (68)
69 Archiwum Panstwowe w Toruniu (69)
71 Archiwum Panstwowe w Toruniu Oddzial we Wloclawku (71)
72 Archiwum Panstwowe m.st. Warszawy (72)
73 Archiwum Panstwowe m.st. Warszawy Oddzial w Grodzisku Mazowieckim (73)
75 Archiwum Panstwowe m.st. Warszawy Oddzial w Lowiczu (75)
76 Archiwum Panstwowe m.st. Warszawy Oddzial w Mlawie (76)
78 Archiwum Panstwowe m.st. Warszawy Oddzial w Otwocku (78)
79 Archiwum Panstwowe m.st. Warszawy Oddzial w Pultusku (79)
82 Archiwum Panstwowe we Wroclawiu (82)
83 Archiwum Panstwowe we Wroclawiu Oddzial w Jeleniej Górze (83)
84 Archiwum Panstwowe we Wroclawiu Oddzial w Kamiencu Zabkowickim (84)
85 Archiwum Panstwowe we Wroclawiu Oddzial w Legnicy (85)
86 Archiwum Panstwowe we Wroclawiu Oddzial w Lubaniu (86)
88 Archiwum Panstwowe w Zamosciu (88)
89 Archiwum Panstwowe w Zielonej Górze z siedziba w Starym Kisielinie (89)
90 Archiwum Panstwowe w Zielonej Górze Oddzial w Wilkowie (90)
91 Archiwum Panstwowe w Zielonej Górze Oddzial w Zarach (91)
93 Archiwum Panstwowe w Gdansku Oddzial w Gdyni (93)
307 Muzeum Pierwszych Piastów na Lednicy (307)
309 Archiwum Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika w Toruniu (309)
324 Stowarzyszenie Archiwum Solidarnosci (324)
325 Zarzad Oddzialu Zwiazku Sybiraków w Lodzi (325)
327 Glówna Biblioteka Lekarska im. Stanislawa Konopki (327)
701 Instytut Józefa Pilsudskiego w Ameryce (701)
702 Polski Instytut Naukowy w Nowym Jorku. Biblioteka i Archiwum im. A. Jurzykowskiego (702)

March 18, 2013

Waiting For Polish Archives 2.4 M Scans …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PTG_Metryk_SwietoKrzyskie - genealodzy.pl

Stanczyk reported on 11 February 2013 , that the Polish Archives would be posting 2.4 Million scans of church/synagogue metric books on the Internet. The first phase which is due to be complete in March (this month) does not include any scans from Kielce Archive, which means that there will not be metric book scans of my ancestors in the first phase (Let’s be hopeful for something in June).

Well what can you do if your ancestors are from SwietoKrzyskie (the area from the old wojewodztwo Kielce)?

The website genealodzy.pl (polish website – some English user interface available) has a project called the Metryk project. Their Genealogical Society’s members are scanning metryk records from churches/synagogues. Once the scans are in place, they then index the image into their Geneszukacz databases that are searchable by Name, Event Type (B/M/D), Place. So you have two options Search Geneszukacz by index or scan the available images in Metryk (images are of Latin, Polish, or Russian language church records).

So what is available for SwietoKrzyskie? That information is shown in the above image. For this jester, I go to Buski (aka Busko-Zdroj).  There are, as of March 18th, 2013 a total of five parishes that have some scanned records (metryk / aktow).

PTG_Metryk_SK_Buski

You can see the five parishes in the image are:

Biechow,  Busko-Zdroj,  Dobrowoda, Gnojno,  Zborowek.

The right most column gives the years for which there are scanned records. For my research, Biechow and Zborowek were the most helpful. What I noticed was the Biechow images were much better than the images that the LDS had microfilmed. See my inventory of Biechow  records blog article (19 July 2011).

In fact, I was able to read some records better than previously and correct some of my translations. By the way, if you are researching the same area as Stanczyk, then just click on the Powiat buski image and it will take you to the genealody.pl website for that Buski powiat. So whether you have seen these images before or not, I would encourage you to look again at these quality images in the Metryk Project.

Hey PTG, can you guys PLEASE scan and index: Pacanow,  Swiniary,  Szczucin, and Stopnica parishes too?

I hope the Polish National Archives will be scanning records in the Kielce Archive for June proszę (please)?

March 11, 2013

Zasucha in Niagara Falls, Pacanow, Albion and Elsewhere — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Two days ago, Stanczyk wrote about SNA/Cluster Genealogy and FultonHistory.com. So today I wanted to wrap-up some loose (odds and) ends. Its all about the Zasucha and that is my focus. But I must digress for one minute …

Historic Newspapers

I mentioned Tom Tryniski, the owner of FultonHistory.com whose Herculean efforts provides us with 21.8 Million pages to search through. Today, I wanted to extend to Tom, the offer to correspond (click on the Post Missive picture on this blog page). I have been an Historical Newspaper fan ever since I found my grandparents and the birth of my uncle mentioned in Dziennik Polski (Detroit). So I am hoping for a discussion on what Roots Tech he uses to maintain his website. Stanczyk after all is a STEM worker and loves IT (that is Information Technology, not ‘it’). That is my offer –  an interchange of ideas and perhaps a blog article. Tom, if you are looking for ideas on Newspapers to scan (in the NY region), how about the Buffalo area newspaper:  Dziennik dla Wszystkich (= Everybody’s Daily). Come on help this Polish jester out! Just a reminder, the Library of Congress ‘s Chronicling America projects lists about 220 Polish language, Historical Newspapers  [Polskie Gazety językowe]   (that it has holdings of?).

Zasucha

The last blog post listed four ZASUCHA families:

Martin (father of Andrew in the above death notice) – Andrew(the deceased), Roman, and Jan

Adam – Michal, John, Karol, Marya, and Feliks

Josef – Benedykt (son of Josef), Feliks (a 2nd much-younger Feliks, son of Benedykt)

Jan – Roman (a 2nd Roman), Teofil, Josef, and Pawel

Those were Niagara Falls Zasuchas. When I queried Ancestry Public Family Trees, I found another Zasucha family in the USA for the same timeframe:

Wojciech (aka Albert in USA, husband of Urszula) – Tomasz (aka Toma) and Tekla

These were Albion (Calhoun County, Michigan) Zasucha. If the owner of Brubaker and Zasucha Family Tree (silverandsienna) would like to compare notes on these Zasucha and/or Pacanow, then please by all means email me or comment on this blog post.

All of the above Zasucha are of interest to me because:

  • They all came from Pacanow (where my grandfather was born)
  • My great-great-grandmother was Anna Zasucha, wife of Martin Eliasz (of Pacanow)
  • Karol & Feliks sons of Adam lived at 235 11th Street in Niagara Falls
  • My grand-aunt Mary and grand-uncle John lived at 235 11th street in Niagara Falls

Now besides the Zasucha, I also found the following affiliated families living at 235 11th Street:

Adam Ziglicki,  Josef Ziglicki,  and (Filip Kulczyki brother-in-law of Adam Ziglicki).

The Ziglickich are intermarried to Eliaszow/Elijaszow in Pacanow (hence an affiliated family).

Finally, there was a Rozalia Zasucha last residence Samsonow, coming from her mother,  J. Zasucha living in Komorow to her brother-in-law Wawrz. Berusad(sp?) at 239 11th street in Niagara Falls on 7/1/1913 (SS Gothland). Now Komorow is a village in Pacanow parish. Samsonow is also related to my family tree as a residence for some Kedzierski related to my grand-uncle John’s wife, Pelagia. There is also a Feliks Zasucha at 239 11th street (who was son of Adam, going to brother Michal) at 239 11th street. So I am thinking I am going to add Rozalia to the Adam children [Michal, John, Karol, Marya, and Feliks] which are very connected to my ELIASZ family.

I am now guessing that Wawrz. (short for Wawrzeniec = Lawrence = Lawrenty) perhaps married Marya Zasucha (a theory I will need to test and verify).

So … any Zasucha out there? Particularly, the children of Adam [Michal, John, Karol, Marya, Feliks and now Rozalia] Zasucha. Let’s trade missives. The Social Network Analysis is trending towards a deeply connected family tree.

 

One very final aside …

Two other ELIASZ surfaced in this SNA research. Tomasz Eliasz (b. 6 September 1881 in Pacanow) son of Ludwik Elijasz. There was also a Stanley Eliasz (I believe a theater owner in Buffalo) who I believe was a cousin to my grandfather, but not the cousin that came to Detroit (aka Stanley Elyasz) who was the son a Martin Elijasz and Julianna Odomski. Tomasz was a 1st cousin twice removed and is in the family tree. I am aware of Stanley Eliasz (Buffalo theater owner) and his family, but as yet I have not been able to connect him to my tree. I think Stanley is also fairly closely related to our Detroit/Pacanow Eliasz family. It was interesting to see him turn up in the SNA (via City Directories).

SNA seems to find some very interesting and unknown familial relationships. At the very least it provides the fodder for future research to break through those genealogical “brick walls”. Please drop me a missive and let me know if you are using this technique and what successes you have had.

March 9, 2013

Niagara Falls Gazette – 1937 — #Genealogy, #Newspaper

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s blog is an intersection of some prior Social Network Analysis (aka Cluster Genealogy) and  EOGN‘s mention of FultonHistory.com (the website of Historic Newspapers). Stanczyk, waaay back discovered FultonHistory.com – An Historical Newspaper  (mostly NY) website. I was not aware that the owner (Tom Tryniski) was still adding content and that the content had grown to about 21.8 million pages, rivaling the Library of Congress’s efforts of digitized newspapers.  Each scan is a single page PDF document that is zoomable.

19370119_ZasuchaAndrew_deathNoticeSo  the idea presented itself, why not see if any ZASUCHA in Niagara Falls can be located in those 21.8 million scanned pages. I am happy to report a very good success. Take a look at the image. It is from Tuesday, January 19th, 1937 edition of the Niagara Falls Gazette. [You will need to click to read death notices - Jacobs, Geraud, Kochan, Laydon, Mahoney, Morrison and ZASUCHA].

Now I said this was a part of a long standing (i.e. “incomplete”) SNA project of mine. I am trying to do ELIASZ/ELIJASZ research by analyzing the affiliated families in the ELIASZ Social Network in Biechow/Pacanow (Poland) and Detroit/Toledo/Cleveland/Buffalo/Niagara Falls/Syracuse (USA).  My thesis is that all of these people are closely inter-related from Poland and they continued/extended their villages in the USA.

So by following these “genetic markers” (literally) of my family tree, the affiliated families, that I would be led to new facts about my direct lineage and possibly artifacts (pictures, etc.) of my ancestors. I was also hoping to lure my distant 2nd/3rd/4th cousins to me via this blog and my research in hopes of a second bump beyond my circumstantial info of the SNA. You see they would see their family names and realize the connection and we would be able to do that genealogy swapping of intelligence and/or pictures and documents.

First, an aside [skip ahead to next paragraph if you are not a ZASUCHA], the death notice transcription:

ZASUCHA – Died in Mount St Mary’s hospital, January 19, 1937, Andrew Zasucha, beloved husband of Catherine, father of Helen and Joseph, son of Martin in Poland; brother of Roman of this city. Funeral services at 9:30 Thursday, January 21, from his home, 423 Eighteenth street and 10 o’clock in Holy Trinity church. Burial at Holy Trinity cemetery.

That is some excellent genealogy info there for Andrew Zasucha of Niagara Falls who was born in Pacanow, [old wojewodztwo Kielce], Poland !

Now I am spending many hours in Ancestry/Ellis Island ship manifests, Ancestry city directories, censuses, WWI draft registrations,  etc. and now historic NY newspaper scans. I am matching people up (my nodes in the picture) and drawing lines connecting the people(nodes) to other people. I have to take some care to get the nodes right in order to draw inferences, so I tend to a conservative approach of keeping nodes separate until I have a high degree of certainty they are the same node. I use spreadsheets to collect a timeline of data and then match up people before drawing the picture. This is my SNA methodology.

I did this current project because I noticed that my grand-aunt Mary arrived to my grand-uncle John Eliasz and were in Niagara Falls (not Buffalo/Depew like most and not Detroit). I was always puzzled about why Niagara Falls. Who or What drew them there (Niagara Falls) before their sojourn to Detroit? Now grand-aunt Mary came from Ksiaznice in Pacanow parish from her brother-in-law Jan Leszczynski to her brother Jan Eliasz in Niagara Falls in 1910. All of these facts matched my family tree (except for the Niagara Falls which nobody alive had any memory of anyone living there). None the less, I slavishly recorded the address: 235 11th Street, Niagara Falls, NY.

Now let me digress. This is why I want the PLAC tag in GEDCOM to be elevated to a Level 1 tag. I want to do these analyses in my family tree. I want to find people who shared the same/similar places for family events and see if there is any connection that I am not aware of — i.e. SNA (aka Cluster Genealogy). I need it in the genealogy file and I need reports to allow me to search on place and to conform these places into a hiearchy for analysis.

Fortunately, Stanczyk still has a good memory. I was gathering data about: Zasucha, Zdziebko, Zwolski, Hajek, Leszczynski, Eliasz/Elijasz, etc. These are all families found in Pacanow parish who came to the USA and settled in: Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse, some moving onward to Cleveland, Toledo and my grandparents moving onward further from Toledo to Detroit. When I was recording addresses from the city directories, I noticed a few Zasucha being at the 235 11th street address. That address rang a bell in my memory and I went back through my family’s ship manifests to see who had been at that same address. That is when I saw that my grand-aunt and my grand-uncle had been there. So now I had a thesis that any ZASUCHA at 235 11th street the surrounding environs, would close family to my grand-aunt/grand-uncle and be direct ancestors of ANNA ZASUCHA, my great-great-grandmother, wife of MARTIN ELIASZ of Pacanow. In fact, I am pretty certain now that I have gotten this far in my SNA, that ANNA ZASUCHA had a brother(s) who had sons:   Martin,   Adam,    Josef,    Jan.  These four men had children as follows who came to Niagara Falls:

Martin (father of Andrew in the above death notice) – Andrew(the deceased), Roman, and Jan

Adam – Michal, John, Karol, Marya, and Feliks

Josef – Benedykt (son of Josef), Feliks (a 2nd much-younger Feliks, son of Benedykt)

Jan – Roman (a 2nd Roman), Teofil, Josef, and Pawel

Now the ones of greatest interest to me are the children of Adam. This is because Karol and his brother Feliks lived at 235 11th street, the same address that my ELIASZ ancestors had lived at, in the same year! That shows a pretty strong family connection in my family tree (I cannot say for your tree or not) whenever I find it happening. Of course, the other ZASUCHA of Niagara Falls are also of some interest to me as they ALL came from Pacanow. I can be pretty sure that everyone from Pacanow (or Biechow) parish is likely to share a distant (non-linear) family relationship as determined by connecting family trees.

So I owe some thanks to FultonHistory.com - An Historical Newspaper  (mostly NY) website and its creator  Tom Tryniski. Tom’s efforts have provided my the above death notice. I also found an Emil C. Mrozek (a physician) from Erie County, NY and his exploits of winning a bronze star in WWII. I also found an article of a Richard (aka Ryszard) Kryszewski who died tragically at the age of 18 in a car-train crash in Depew, NY. Now I had Richard’s cause of death from the newspaper article. So some articles are uplifting and some are tragic, but I collect them all for my ancestors.

Some people mock my genealogical research as chasing down dead people. My wife, Teréza, takes the learned Jewish position that I am doing a good deed (mitzvah) in keeping these ancestral memories alive. Tereza likes to call me the “Soul Keeper”. This blog of my musings is filled with my genealogical / family stories. Besides being a “cousin magnet”, this blog is my effort to record these stories.

 

PLACes: Biechow, Pacanow [in Poland],  Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse

NAMEs: ELIASZ/Elijasz, Kedzierski/Kendzierski, Leszczynski, Sobieszczanski, Fras(s), Mylek, Hajek, Mrozek, Kryszewski

March 1, 2013

Thinking About @Ancestrydotcom ‘s GEDCOM — #Genealogy, #GEDCOM

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GorillaFamilyTreeAncestry.com (Twitter: @Ancestrydotcom ) is the proverbial 800 lb (362.87 kg) gorilla in the genealogical archive. You cannot miss him — mostly he’s lovable. So today after you read this blog post, Stanczyk wants you to tweet at him (see Twitter link above). I am hoping the big ape will make some improvements to their software. Hint .. Hint !

A couple of days ago (25-Feb-2013), I ran my PERL program against the GEDCOM file I exported from my family tree on Ancestry.com ‘s  website. That tree, the RootsWeb tree, and this blog are Stanczyk’s main tools for collaboration with near and distant cousin-genealogists (2nd cousins, 3rd, 4th, 5th cousins — all are welcome).

Quick Facts —

  1. No invalid tags  - Good
  2. Five custom tags – Also Good
  3. CHAR tag misused – ANSI [not good]
  4. My Ancestry Family Tree uses diacriticals: ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ź ż   in proper nouns [not good]
  5. Phantom Notes ??? [really not good]

So, Mr. Ancestry (sir) can you please fix #’s 3, 4, and 5, please?

CHAR -  I think Ancestry should use what is in the standards: ANSEL | UTF-8 | UNICODE | ASCII . I think this is easily do-able (even if all you do is just substitute ASCII).

This is not a picayune, nit-picky, persnickety, or snarky complaint. In fact, it leads right into the next problem (#4 above). Not only does Ancestry export the GEDCOM file as “ANSI”, it strips out my diacriticals too (as a result?). So now I have potentially lost valuable information from my research. For Slavic researchers, these diacriticals can be vital to finding an ancestor as they guide how original name was pronounced and how it might have been misspelled or mistranscribed in the many databases. Without the diacriticals that vital link is lost.

The last criticism is an insidious problem. Every time I exported the GEDCOM, I would get a note on one person in the tree. I would carefully craft the note on Ancestry, but what I received in the GEDCOM file downloaded would be different ???

I reported the problem to no avail and no response. This is not very good for an 800 lb gorilla.

Digging Deeper

I have since gone on to do some experiments and the results may astound you (or not). I copied the NOTE I was getting in my GEDCOM and saved it off to a text file, perplexed as to where it came from, since it was not the NOTE I was editing on Ancestry??? Now I did something bold. I deleted the note from that person on Ancestry and then downloaded the GEDCOM file again. Do you what I got? Wrong! I did not get my carefully crafted NOTE, I got yet another NOTE. I copied that note’s text and repeated my process of deleting the note and downloading the GEDCOM file a 3rd time. This time when I edited my GEDCOM file, I found MY note!!! But where/how did the other two notes come about? Why were there three notes? Why could I see and edit the 3rd note, but only get the first note when I downloaded the GEDCOM file? How did notes 2 & 3 get there? Why did I not get all three notes when I downloaded the GEDCOM? All good questions that I have no answer to. My suspicion is that Ancestry should not allow more than one EDITOR on a tree, other contributors should only be allowed to comment or maybe provide an ability to leave sticky-notes on a person [that does not go into a GEDCOM file]. I do not think the notes were created by their mobile app since I always saw my NOTE (and not the other two notes). I am chalking this up to an Ancestry.com bug and urging others who see strange things in their notes to take deliberate steps to unravel their notes. I hope Ancestry will fix this and let people know. I hope they fix all of items #’s: 3, 4, and 5.

So, my dear readers, I am asking you to tweet to Ancestry (as I will too) and  ask them for bug fixes. Perhaps if enough people tweet at @Ancestrydotcom, they will respond and not give us the cold  gorilla shoulder.

February 27, 2013

RootsTech 2013 — #Genealogy, #Conference, #Technology, #Apps

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RootsTech.org is a genealogy conference that combines two of my passions: Genealogy (Roots) and Technology (Tech). Stanczyk went to last year’s conference and was impressed!

It is a Family Search International conference and is based in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace Convention Center, not far from the Family History Library. It is a 3-day conference with a wide variety of topics covered. The dates for 2013 are: 21-March-2013  -  23-March-2013 (THU, FRI, SAT).

RootsTech2013

This jester thinks that last year was a better year, judging by the sessions that are planned for 2013 as compared to what sessions were done in 2012. However, the 2013 exhibitors seems to shaping up to be much better (they say 40% more).

The smartphone Apps were released:  25-Feb-2013.  So for those mobile genealogists, gear up by clicking on the following links:

Its a universal app (meaning it works on both iPhone and iPad).

The conference hall is wonderful and the people putting on the conference have conferences down pat. The logistics of this genealogy conference are well thought out.

February 25, 2013

Thinking About Gedcom — #Meme, #Genealogy, #RootsTech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been thinking about GEDCOM a lot these days. As you may know, GEDCOM is the de facto standard format for a genealogical family tree file, in order for it to be shared amongst the many genealogical software programs / websites / apps. Most genealogy programs still use their own proprietary format for storing data but will import / export the data in the GEDCOM standard for you to exchange data with another program or genealogist.

Did you catch the phrase ‘de facto standard’ ? OK it is NOT an open standard maintained by ISO or ANSI standards organizations. But it is widely supported and in fact you should NOT buy or use software that does not support the export and import of GEDCOM files!

Well we are coming up on RootsTech 2013 and my mind is turning back to the technical part of genealogy again!

Today’s blog is about the GEDCOM used by Ancestry.com. Were you aware that you can export your family tree from Ancestry.com? You can by selecting/clicking on ‘Tree Settings‘ under the ‘Tree pages‘ drop down menu (Tree Settings will be the second from the bottom in the menu list). If you click on ‘Tree Settings’ you will see a screen similar to:

ANCESTRY_TreeSettings

Notice that after you click on the ‘Export tree‘ button, that you get a new button named, ‘Download your GEDCOM file‘  in that same place.

In all likelihood if you click on the  ‘Download your GEDCOM file‘ button you will get a file in your Downloads directory on your local hard drive. It will have a name of:

<your-family-tree-name>.GED

Now the phrase ‘<your-family-tree-name>’  will actually be something like ‘Eliasz Family Tree.GED’ . So your Downloads directory will have a similar named file (complete with blanks in the file name). The size of the file will be dependent on how many individuals, families, sources, etc. that you have recorded in your family tree. Figure on a file size of 2MB for about 1,100 people.

Now this file you just downloaded from Ancestry.com is really just a plain text file with a set of standardized ‘tags’ defined by the GEDCOM standard. Software vendors are free to define their own custom tags too. Although CUSTOM tags must begin with an underscore (‘_’). I was curious as to how well Ancestry.com implements/adheres to the GEDCOM standard, so I wrote a little program (in PERL for you programmer types) to analyze my GEDCOM file that I just downloaded.

ReadGedcom_ANCESTRY

My program, read_gedcom.pl, spits out a slew stats about the GEDCOM including the tags used. As you may be able to see from the screenshot, there sorted at the end were 5 custom tags:

_APID,  _FREL,  _MILT,  _MREL,  _ORIG

These names do not have any meaning except to Ancestry.com and their website’s program(s). What you also see are that in 48,538 lines (in the GEDCOM file downloaded), that 5,158 lines have one of these five custom tags. Normally, I will just ignore these tags and import the GEDCOM file into my laptop’s genealogy software (REUNION, RootsMagic, PAF, etc.) and let that software ignore these non-understandable tags and within seconds I have my Ancestry.com family tree imported in to my computer’s genealogy software. That is fine  – no problems.

But what do you think happens you if turn right around and upload that GEDCOM file into your RootsWeb family tree? If you use RootsWeb, then you know you get a LOT of _APID notes across all of your ancestors and sometimes, if you have many facts/citations for any ancestor, then the RootsWeb page for him/her will be horribly marred by all of these _APID tags!

TIP

Remember I said the GEDCOM file is a TEXT file. As such it can be edited by whatever your favorite text editor that you use. If your editor does global search/replace, then you can easily remove these CUSTOM tags (_APID, etc.). That will make your RootsWeb family tree individual pages look MUCH better.

Now I know what you are thinking. Do NOT go editing your GEDCOM file!  I agree.  Make a copy of your GEDCOM file and edit the copy of the downloaded GEDCOM file to remove the lines with ‘_APID’ on them. You can remove all custom tags, but I just bother with the _APID which are so irksome. If your editor can remove the lines with ‘_APID’ then that is what you should do. But if all your editor can do is replace the lines that have _APID on them with a blank line then that is OK too. Make those edits and save the edited (copy) file.  The blank lines seem to be ignored by RootsWeb – thank goodness.

Now you can upload the edited file, with the _APID custom tags removed to RootsWeb and your family tree will again look the way it used to before,  without these irksome custom tags.

Next time I will tell you what I found when I looked closely at what ANCESTRY.com was putting into the downloaded GEDCOM file.

February 11, 2013

Polish National Archives to post 2.4 Million Historic Church Records — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk ‘s position has been overrun! I was trying to write a blog, but the course of events has been running at EXTREME Internet speed so much of this blog post may be “old news” to you — but in case its not, this is very exciting news!

NAC Scanning 2.4 Million RecordsAccording to a Polish website (The National Digital Library of Poland) …

URL: http://nac.gov.pl/node/682

  • By mid-year (2013), they plan to digitize 2.3 Million  historical  (>100 years old) vital records.
  • This will happen in two phases: March,  June
  • This PDF file (see link) lists 40 pages vital records from MANY parishes (a few synagogues too):
  • It appears the plan is to digitize about 1.37 Million records by March and the remainder (another 1 Milliion) by the end of June.

These are actual church record images! I hope they plan on digitizing records from the Kielce Archive (please do PACANOW, BIECHOW, SWINIARY, BESZOWA, ZBOROWEK, KSIAZNICE and STOPNICA parishes).

Can anyone detail the plans for JUNE yet? Unfortunately, the 1.37 Million records in March are NOT from the KIELCE archive or any parish where Stanczyk’s ancestors resided?

Do not forget about GENETEKA database in the meantime:

Thanks in advance for any answers from our genealogists resident in Poland!

January 26, 2013

RootsMagic iPhone/iPad App — #Genealogy #Software #Review, #RootsTech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RootsMagicAppThis jester has been a big proponent of Ubiquitous Genealogy – i.e. genealogy is portable and everywhere. I have used the Ancestry App for a long while and am well satisfied. They use a concept of synching the App with  your tree and their website. Now that the kinks are worked out, I am well satisfied. There are also MyHeritage and Heredis  Apps too. These do not synch over the “air”. You need to use your iTunes application on your desktop/laptop to move files into the App’s “sandbox” via synching your iPhone/iPad with the laptop/desktop over the iPhone/iPad cable. Tethered synching is ok but a hindrance.

Ok so the new App on the block is an offering called RootsMagic.   Stanczyk likes the Roots Magic laptop application as a full blown offering for working on your genealogy and documenting the tree and finding data on the Internet and keeping track of to-do lists, publishing your tree on CD/Web and all sorts of work that you do when your research spans years (or decades) – does anyone ever finish their genealogy? Its modern and uses Universal Character sets (so us Slavic Researchers can use our slashed Ł’s  or Cyrillic  Я’s) and other features that the Internet Genealogists have grown up with.  So I was hopeful when I received an email from Roots Magic touting their iOS offerings – Its free!

The App starts with the familiar Roots Magic splash screen that you may have grown accustomed to from the laptop application. You are then presented with a list of files from their sandbox (ugh, tethered synching). Once you select a file to work with, your family tree is presented in a Pedigree form (with three generations visible on iPhone/ four generations on iPad). At the top left is a green/white button with three lines (see image)  that will allow you to pick a particular person with whom you wish to work upon. At the bottom of the screen are four buttons:

Files,   Views,   Lists,   Tools

Files – Lets you select the family tree file you want to on from your Device or from DropBox (a cloud-based file storage service). It also has HELP (files??) which tell you how to use your Device or DropBox to get a file loaded into the App. Sadly,  the RootsMagic app does not read standard gedcom (ged)  files. It only reads files with rmgc extension (i.e. created by Roots Magic laptop application). However, it does load their database extremely fast from those rmgc files.

Views – Lets you choose to view the data in a PEDIGREE tree  or a FAMILY tree or in a DESCENDENTS outline  or in the detailed FACTS (events), NOTE, direct family members of the current INDIVIDUAL. I prefer working in FAMILY (as seen in image) view mode, then switching to INDIVIDUAL view mode for any details on that person. Clicking on NOTE really gives you access to NOTE(S), SOURCE(S), and MEDIA for that individual (and a BACK button at the top to return to INDIVIDUAL view mode).

Lists – This just gives a list of your: Sources, To-Dos, Research, Media, Addresses, Repositories, Correspondences, and PLACES. I liked places (which showed that this jester really needs to make his Places (Locations) conform to some kind of standard).

Tools – Date Calculator, Relationship Calculator, Soundex Calculator, and Calendar. Unimpressive to say the least. Lest you get your hope up, the Calendar tool only displays the Calendar for a Month/Year of your choice [I did not verify the Julian/Gregorian boundary to see if it calculates a proper month calendar for dates before 1582]. It was not worth the effort as I did not see why I would want to see what day  June 3rd, 1700 would fall on (Thursday) if you are eyes are young or your glasses are a good prescription to read the day name. Otherwise, you not notice the day names on an iPhone  [perhaps a black font, instead of gray, would give better contrast]. The Soundex is only American Soundex – why not Daitsch-Mokotoff or Bieder-Morse codes too? Really, we Slavic researchers get short shrift in the software world.  Never fear, just create a desktop icon of Steve Morse’s Soundex page to see all three Soundex/Pattern Matching methods for your family names.

iPad vs iPhone

For some reason the iPad interface treats the buttons (Files, Views, Lists, Tools) differently on the iPad. That was a bit confusing until I got used to the difference. Rotating the iPad to landscape, also brings the Surnames/Search view along side whatever view you are in. The Calendar is a bit easier to see on the iPad, but I’d still like to see the day name text in black (or at least a MUCH darker gray).

UbiquitousGenealogyThe app is strictly for viewing your family tree (et. al.). There are no tools for modifying the tree for re-import into the desktop application. Shortcomings aside, it is still a very good first effort by Roots Magic. If you have the Roots Magic laptop application, then download the free app for your smartphone or tablet and go Ubiquitous. If you do not have the Roots Magic laptop application and do not have a way to get your ged converted to Roots Magic format (rmgc) then do NOT bother to download the app – you will not be able to use it.

P.S.  Do you spell  “DESCENDENT”  – as  D-E-S-C-E-N-D-E-N-T   or    D-E-S-C-E-N-D-A-N-T ?  Both spellings are correct, but I guess I use “DESCENDANT” all of the time and so the Roots Magic use startled me.

I also would love to see the REUNION app (the Mac Software vendor) make their iOS App free or low-cost – then I’d review it here too. I am a BIG Apple eco-system fan and as such have used REUNION Mac software for a very LONG time. I would be remiss not to mention that REUNION App does exist, but its cost is a bit steep relative to the other iPhone genealogy APPs in this article.

January 23, 2013

The Fourth Partition

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Duchy Of Warsaw SuperimposedA few days ago Stanczyk put forth his framework for discussing Polish genealogy, by enumerating the various eras of the many territories that had ever come under the aegis of  a Polish nation of some kind of government.  This blog tends to a focus upon “Polish” genealogy … in the greater ecumenical, greater geographic and greater ethnicity sense.  As I said, when you start upon Polish genealogy, “they” always say you need to learn about the three partitions of Poland. “They” mean the partitions imposed by the neighboring empires: Prussia, Austria, and Russia in the years, 1772,  1793, and 1795.

Over the years the phrase, “The Fourth Partition” has come to mean any annexation/occupation of Polish territories by outside nations. The years are long and getting longer still day by day. So the Fourth Partition can now be used to mean any of a good many events in history. But today I wanted to speak about Napoleon.

I have written with some fondness on the little, French, coffee drinking Emperor. What I most liked about him (besides the coffee drinking) was the suffrage and enfranchisement that he was able to bring about AND the fact that Codex Napoleon specified in detail how vital records were to be recorded and all of us genealogists benefited from his wisdom.  The Emperor had held out the hope of restoring the Polish condition, but alas, he used Poland as his pawn for his own ambitions, so Poland would languish for more than a century longer after Napoleon was ultimately defeated.

However, whilst Napoleon was having his madcap adventure upon the European continent, he inadvertently, partitioned “Poland” a fourth time. As a result of Napoleon’s early military victories, he was able to wrest wide swaths of Polish lands and fashion out a French protectorate, he named, The Duchy of Warsaw (notice he did not call it Poland). He carved this duchy out of territories on which the three Empires: Prussia, Austria, and Russia had previously partitioned three times already. So in effect, Napoleon manifested a Fourth Partition that lasted for the years 1807-1815, until the treaty of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 which broke the Duchy of Warsaw up into the Cracovian Republic and Congess Kingdom of Poland (under the hegemony of the Russian Empire). The CracovianRepublic was an independent city-state and included Krakow and some lands surrounding Krakow and this land was not returned to the Austrian Partition, called Galicia until it was folded into Austrian-Poland’s Galicia Crownland in 1846 after much upheaval in the 31 years of the CracowRepublic’s lifetime.

Stanczyk had never seen a map showing the original three partitions and then juxtaposing the Duchy of Warsaw (less the CracowRepublic) upon those areas. So I took an existing map and created a new map to see what it must have looked like. So today’s blog is about the Fourth Partition (by Napoleon) and the resulting  map. This jester would like to mention that the 8 years of the Duchy of Warsaw existence had negated the three Empires’ resolution to never have Poland reappear. Of course, after World War I Poland (2nd Republic) did reappear (and after World War II and in 1989 after throwing off the yoke of the Soviet Union, giving rise to the 3rd Republic). Enjoy the map!

January 21, 2013

Historical Eras of Poland … For Genealogists

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has lived much history and God willing,  will live much more of it. So across the generations, you see the changing borders of Eastern / Central Europe and how it affects us genealogists (not that I am ignoring the plight of our ancestors that had to evolve with the changing landscape). From the beginning, I was always advised to learn about “The three partitions” and determine which of the three partitions my forebears came from  — good advice, but Poland’s history is a much richer tapestry than just the three partitions (zabory).

So today’s blog is about the Eras of Poland and the names I have chosen to call them going forward so that we can all “be on the same page”. Please forgive this jester as I will limit the discussion to the eras post-Piast dynasties, starting with the Polish-LithuanianCommonwealth. This roughly matches the Papal nuncios that dictated that churches must record the vital records of the parishioners. So we find the beginnings of genealogies for all peoples and not just for the magnate families or the royals.

Let me just utter the era names I wish to use going forward when I write about genealogies or histories. Let me get the mystery out of the way and also let the debates and arguments proceed. Some of these are overlapping eras, because not only are we discussing a vast span of time, but we are also talking about vast distances and a broad swath of peoples / religions / governments.

 

ERAS

ERA Name Beg. Date End Date Synonyms / Alternate Names
POLISH-LITHUANIANCOMMONWEALTH 07/01/1569 08/04/1772 RZECZPOSPOLITA, FIRSTREPUBLIC
AUSTRIAN PARTITION 08/05/1772 07/21/1807 ZABÓR AUSTRIA, GALICIA, GALICIA AND LODOMERIA, GALICJI, GALIZIEN, LODOMERIA
PRUSSIAN PARTITION 08/05/1772 07/21/1807 ZABÓR PRUSY, GRAND DUCHY OF POSEN
RUSSIAN PARTITION 08/05/1772 07/21/1807 ZABÓR ROSYJSKI
JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT 01/01/1791 3/8/1921 ЧЕРТÁ́ ОСЕДЛОСТИ, CHERTA OSEDLOSTI
DUCHY OF WARSAW 07/22/1807 06/08/1815 KSIĘSTWO WARSZAWSKIE
AUSTRIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 GALICIA
CONGRESS POLAND 06/09/1815 03/06/1837 KINGDOM OF POLAND, KONGRESÓWKA
PRUSSIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 Bezirks: POSEN, POMMERANIA, DANZIG (GDANSK) etc.
CRACOVIANREPUBLIC 10/01/1815 12/31/1846 CRACOWREPUBLIC, RZECZPOSPOLITA KRAKÓWSKA
KINGDOM OF POLAND 03/07/1837 12/31/1866 KONGRESÓWKA, КОРОПЕВСТВО ПОПЬСКОЕ
RUSSIAN POLAND 01/01/1867 11/10/1918 КОРОПЕВСТВО ПОПЬСКОЕ,   KINGDOM OF POLAND,   VISTULALAND,   CONGRESS POLAND,   KONGRESÓWKA,   ПРИВИСЛИНСКИЙ КРАЙ,   KRAJ PRZYWIŚLAŃSKI
POLAND 11/1/1918 9/1/1939 SECONDREPUBLIC
WWII ERA 9/2/1939 12/31/1946 Occupied Poland, General Government, German Occupied, Russian Occupied
POLAND 1/1/1945 6/30/1975 Post World War II Poland
POLAND 7/1/1975 12/31/1998 1989 is commonly referred to as the start of the THIRDREPUBLIC
POLAND 1/1/1999 Present Times THIRDREPUBLIC and beyond to the present

Some of the era names are well understood and some are controversial (for a lot of reasons). First off, I wanted to make a distinction between the PARTITION era (1772-1815) which I saw as including the Napoleonic wars and ending with Napoleon’s defeat and the Treaty of Vienna.

So I separate AUSTRIAN PARTITION from AUSTRIAN POLAND. The distinction is subtle but I believe defensible. The three Partitions and the Duchy of Warsaw (French protectorate) are separate because during these times there was at least a scrap of Poland in existence (excepting for a decade proceeding Napoleon’s victories). The AUSTRIAN/PRUSSIAN/RUSSIAN POLANDs represent the slightly more than one century that Poland had “disappeared” from European maps. That century coincides with the Great Migration of Poles (including Jews) to the USA – a significant genealogical event for the Slavic Genealogist.

You will note the CracovianRepublic which gets a lesser amount of attention and eventually is folded into AUSTRIAN POLAND. Also there is the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT (more about that in a bit).

RUSSIAN POLAND is treated differently than I have seen it handled before. My ancestors come from this area, so you will have to forgive me if this appears a bit chauvinistic. I delineated the RUSSIAN occupation finely. So you see a Russian Partition followed by a Duchy of Warsaw followed by  Congress Poland ( a TSARIST hegemony) followed by the Kingdom of Poland and finally resulting in RUSSIAN POLAND. The nuances in the RUSSIAN Zabor (partition) follow the changes in administrative boundaries that so affect genealogical research. Genealogists also should take note that vitals records in RUSSIAN POLAND are written in Russian/Cyrillic and use Gregorian Calendar from late spring 1869 through the collapse of the Russian Empire near the end of World War I in 1917. So, Polish language records are found before and after that period of time. Similarly, for Latin/Hebrew languages for religious records (although you do find Latin, Hebrew and even some Polish records during 1869-1917 timeframe in some limited ways). Since the Russian language edict almost matches exactly the above RUSSIAN POLAND era, I did not create yet another era specifically for that era of Russian language. I merely note it here.

PaleOfSettlementMAPThe JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT was created by the Russian Tsarina, Catherine the Great. She added to the PALE over the years as the Russian Empire acquired new lands. So as I refer to the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT, it is the 15 western Guberniya where Russian Empire Jews were forced to settle. In practice it also included the 10 Guberniya of the PolishKingdom (Congress Poland/Vistula Land). So Russian Jews had a total of 25 Guberniya where they could live (with some exclusions for large cities which were forbidden to most Jews) within the Russian Empire (European Portion). Most or all of the areas within the 25 Guberniya used to be a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1772), so I thought it important to include the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT in order to speak of the 15 Guberniya that underlie that geographic area and that era of time (1791-1918) as well as some minor forays on my part into Jewish Genealogical research.  The 15 specific guberniya are (roughly North to South):

Kovno,  Vitebsk,  Vilna (Wilno),  Grodno,  Minsk,  Mogilev,  Volhynia,   Kiev,   Chernigov,  Poltava,  Podolia,  Bessarabia, Kherson,  Ekaterinoslav,  and  Taurida (the Crimean Penninsula)

The astute reader will note four POLAND eras. These cover the two decades between World War I and the up to the time of World War II began. It  also covers the Post World War II era. They also overlap the Second and Third Republics of Poland. Finally, the fine-grain view of Post World War II Poland is coincident with the redefinition of  Wojewodztwo (Provinces) and their underlying powiaty (counties). Again, the emphasis is in order to support genealogical research.

I have not mentioned the WWII era (World War II) yet. I need to do some specific research to see how Nazi / Soviet occupations affected the administrative jurisdictions and what impact if any that had on genealogy during the war. I leave that for some future blog(s).

No mention of religious hierarchies and their administrative boundaries have been addressed, but obviously, that too has an impact on genealogical research. The religious boundaries reflect the changes caused by changing national boundaries, but overall the religious boundaries were more stable until modern times necessitated re-arranging or closing religious areas.

OK, that is my blog and those are my eras. You may now proceed to critique my choices. But I have now defined my terms for future “Polish” genealogical blogs.  As usual, I look forward to your comments and emails.

October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tomasz Leszczynski (de Biechow) — #Genealogy, #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Wordless (or nearly so) Wednesday – Tomasz Leszczynski died at age 104

Affiliated Families:

Kordos

Major

Ozarowicz

Mizdrak

Elijasz

Fortuna

Pawelec

Kalucki

Fras{s}

The above are from Poland.

The Fras / Frass family was found recently by doing some SNA in Depew / Toledo to infer familial relationship to this LESZCZYNSKICH .

Ancestral Villages:

Biechow, Pacanow, Stopnica, Zborowek

NOTE:

For a timeline, please see the ‘ Tomasz Leszczynski ‘  tab at the top of this blog.

October 2, 2012

Social Network Analysis – A Genealogical Tool — #Genealogy, #RootsTech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Social Network Analysis has worked again!

This is a broad, umbrella-like, semantically overloaded term. In fact, this term is even known by aliases. GeneaBlogger, Thomas MacEntee, calls it “Cluster Genealogy“. Stanczyk calls it by a more modern term that immediately identifies and places this tool in a perfect context — Social Network Analysis (SNA for short). Both terms are defined by wikipedia pages — follow both links and decide for yourself what to call it, but whatever you call it, start using it in your genealogical research now!

Stanczyk has successfully used this technique three times now.

  • Used to determine siblings for my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz of Pacanow
  • Inadvertent use in locating another line from  great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski
  • Whimsical Use on an Affiliated Family Name that exploded in multiple dimensions

This article and the next article where I elaborate the steps for the last one in the list is my third success.

The first two list items are from two earlier blog posts:

  1. Jozef Elijasz - Inferring unknown siblings from known siblings. A series of 3 articles.
  2. Jozef Fras – Son of Agnes Leszczynski. Proving this Leszczynski family was mine.

Happenstance Scenario

The third research opportunity was a happenstance fluke. To test my connection to Ancestry, I did an Immigration search on ‘ZWOLSKI’. This is one of the affiliated names from Poland for our Elijasz family branch. I also knew that some Zwolski came to America and were related to my great-grandfather’s sister, Pelagia. So I did an Immigration search and clicked on the Passenger List Ship Manifest for Jan Zwolski. A mere random selection of Zwolskich. He arrived in 1910 on the Lapland. Jan was not from Pacanow or as far as I could tell any nearby village of my ancestors. Finally, he was going to Jamaica, NY, also not a locale known for members of my family tree. So I figured that my Ancestry was working since I could see the ship manifest, but this random person was not a candidate  for entry into the family tree.

Now the real genealogy began. I looked down the ship manifest to see if anyone else with Jan was from a nearby ancestral village. Looking down the page I found plenty, so I decided to focus on those affiliated family names that I had researched before in my Pacanow Social Network Analysis (#1 on the list). I started with the first Pacanow resident, Francisek [sic] Luszcz. He was going to  a Teofil Zasucha at 1319 Falls street in Niagara Falls, NY. Now I got interested Zasucha is a big SNA family name and it is the maiden name of my 2nd great-grandmother, Anna Zasucha Elijasz. The location also tugged at a memory from my research. I had a great-aunt (Mary Elijasz) who arrived in the USA in 1910 to her brother Jan Elijasz from a brother-in-law, named Jan Leszczynski in Zborowek and she went to her brother who lived in Niagara Falls. Looking further down the page, I even found a Jan Eliasz from Zborowek (not my great-uncle, but surely deserves a place somewhere in my tree, though his branch is yet missing) and Jan was going to Syracuse (where some distant Elijasz resided and also another Elijasz affiliated family, the Kedzierski, one of whom did marry my great-uncle Jan Elijasz). Alas this Jan came from a wife Maryanna, not a Pelagia.

So I thought to check Ancestry’s City Directories for Teofil Zasucha in Niagara Falls and up popped a 1915 address. Teofil was now at 163 13th street in Niagara Falls (as are all addresses today). I thought to look-up my great aunt’s address from her ship manifest, she was going to her brother at 235  11th street. No match … except the city directory showed two other Zasucha living at 235  11th street in 1915. OK, I was now officially beginning a new SNA and recording my data (a necessary step in SNA).

One final note, further down the page in the city directory of ‘Z’ names was an Albert Zdziebko. Now Zdziebko are quite rare, but they too are from the Pacanow area (and they are related to the great genealogist, Ceil Wendt-Jensen, the current PARI director). So this was becoming a full fledged SNA project. My Pacanow SNA project had just moved across the Atlantic to  Niagara Falls, NY.

Summary

This article and the next one on SNA are about my third use of SNA in my genealogical research. SNA (or Cluster Genealogy) are techniques described in Wikipedia pages (see links above) or another article in my Post Scriptum below. The first two projects were wildly successful with limited data. I had other follow-on successes as a result because I had done those two SNA studies — for example at RootsTech 2012, I found an 1876 marriage record of  Walenty Paluch to Magdalena Major. Neither of these two people were in my family tree when I read their record in Russian (so you know I was committing time/effort on a whim). The Paluch and Major were affiliated names from my 1st SNA project so I decided on that basis alone to read the 1876 marriage record. What did I find? I found that the two people getting married were each a sibling of  two of my paternal great-grandparents in my tree! So I added this married couple to my family tree. SNA is a technique to increase your confidence level in your research to take a guess/hunch/assumption from that level of statistical probability (which is what 10-25% ??) to a level well above 50% maybe as high as 99%. While this may or may not pass muster for a Genealogical proof,  it is actually good enough for civil court (where you just have to prove just 51%, not the 100% required in criminal court). It may open up new lines of research you were unaware of,  that come back to help with your existing “brick-walls”.

Next

The next article will be the details of my SNA research and the results.

P.S. – Another post scriptum. Though I prefer the term Social Network Analysis, thus demonstrating my computer education/bias — I found a very early reference to the term Cluster Genealogy from March 1st, 1994 by a CG, named Connie Lenzen who published this article in National Geological Society Quarterly. Her goal was to develop a higher level of confidence in proving a female ancestor’s lineage when there is no certain paper trail to follow, but only indirect leads. You may want to read her article too. SNA has wide applicability in uncertain circumstances.

October 1, 2012

Ancestry App – New Release — #Genealogy, #RootsTech, #Mobile

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry has a version of their app out that supports the new iOS6/iPhone product release. Stanczyk, uses iOS6, so I took the plunge and upgraded.

The changes are really subtle. I am not certain whether I have seen them or not. The tree displays fast and it appears animated. Other displays changed subtly not much here, but all good. UPGRADE (click on image).

The image by the way lists the new features for version 4.0.2 (as well as previous release 4.0). Image as text.

Notice the snazzy new iTunes/App Store interface (a part of iOS6).

Stanczyk has been busy writing a new two-article blog post on my third success with the Social Network Analysis (aka Cluster Genealogy) technique. I hope to complete that soon. As it so often happens, an initial foray kept expanding as a result of the connections.

Watch this space !

 

 

P.S. October is Polish American Heritage Month.  Here is what the Polish American Center (Philadelphia) is doing … Don’t forget on Columbus Day to celebrate our native son . The book came out in Polish in May 2012 and has now  been translated into English — They are looking for a book publisher !!!

September 12, 2012

Mt. Olivet Maps – Detroit Cemetery — #Genealogy, #Cemetery, #Maps

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has previously published a map of Mt. Olivet, Detroit cemetery showing the various sections. Today is the second day of publishing map sections. This article is virtually identical to yesterday’s article (so its deja vu for you).

Section L (L2 part)

Sampling of Names:

942 – Cedzynski

156 – Kaczor

1039 – Sabiski (8 plots?), also 1046

184 – Paczen. & Topolski

1091 – Bochowicz

Let me hasten to add that Stanczyk is NOT related to the above name samples. You need to follow the link to Mt Elliott cemetery association for more info.

Next:  send me an email if you need a section and I will check to see if I have it

September 11, 2012

Mt. Olivet Maps – Detroit Cemetery — #Genealogy, #Cemetery, #Maps

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has previously published a map of Mt. Olivet, Detroit cemetery showing the various sections. Today, I am starting a meme to publish all of the section maps I have. Eventually, I will build a database of the names for searching.

Section L (L1 part)

Mt Olivet, Detroit cemetery L1 section map

Sampling of Names:

1182 – Piotrowski

251 – Wojtanowski

279 – Osmialowski

1967/1968 – Zielinski

1352 – Wnuk

 

Let me hasten to add that Stanczyk is NOT related to the above name samples. You need to follow the link to Mt Elliott cemetery association for more info.

 

Next:  L2

September 6, 2012

Fras | Frass | Frasowa | Frasskosz — #Genealogy, #Cousin, #NewLineOfResearch

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A week or two ago, Stanczyk got a bolt out of the blue. It was another genealogist; She was inquiring after my Leszczynski lineage — specifically Agnieszka Leszczynski.

Well a long time ago I got used to the fact that there were so MANY Leszczynskich out there that the possibility that any were directly related was infinitesimally small. Now to be sure a few second cousins have re-connected and it was good to get updates on the American branches. But in my 17 years as a genealogist — I had not received an inquiry on the line of Leszczynskich from my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski’s first wife or their children.

Old Tomasz lived a long time … to be 104 years of age from about 1835 to 1939 (give or take). He had two wives and bless his heart he had 14 children by them. From his first wife, he started to have children in 1860. Agnieszka (or Agnes as the inquiry was for) was born 9th December 1866. I had her birth record from the church in that lovely Latin Box format and I had deciphered all that was written. But I had no idea if Agnes made it to adulthood or married or even when she died.

Well this genealogist said her-great-grandfather had a mother named Agnes Leszczynski (from his death certificate). Yes, I said, but there are so many Leszczynski families, where was your great-grandfather from. She had a vague idea of the area and the names seemed to be close to a village that I had ancestors from but it was horribly misspelled if it was from that area at all. I was still skeptical, but she sent me an Ellis Island ship manifest (actually a tiny bit of transcription from one). So I thought I would go take a look and see if I could decipher where her ancestor was from — it would be an RAOGK. I was going to help her out.

Well imagine my surprise! Her great-grandfather was from an ancestral village of mine, coming from his father Wladyslaw Fras in Piesciec [sic  -> Piestrzec, today; Piersiec back then, although I had seen it spelled Piersciec many times too]. Now I had never seen any Fras before in those villages, maybe some Franc (Frąc) which was close. But then I went to page two of the ship manifest and he was going to Depew, NY to his uncle, Teofil Lezczynski!!! That was my grand-uncle. OK, I was now getting interested in Jozef Fras.

Now, I had to do some research, but I found him with his family in Toledo, Ohio. Well I had some family from Toledo. In fact, my grandmother’s sister Antonina Leszczynska Sobieszczanski lived there. Well this jester had a few St Anthony, baptismal register images that I could peruse. Now I was even more amazed. Jozef Fras’ wife, BENIGNA (not a common name) was the god-mother of one of Antonina’s sons. Benigina Fras was god-mother to Matthew Sobieszczanski. Those percentages kept going up. I said, perhaps the Fras had children baptised in St Anthony too. I examined their birth years and looked in the register images and there was their first child Helen Fras whose god-mother was my Antonina Sobieszczanski (to Jozef and Benigna’s daughter). Ok, in my head, we are now at 99+% related.

1 Wladyslaw FRAS d: 11 Feb 1919
  + Agnieszka LESZCZYNSKI b: 12/9/1866
    2 Josef Edward FRAS b: 16 Mar 1893 d: 08 Aug 1935
      + Benigna PALICKI FRASS b: abt 1897
        3 Helen FRASS b: 25 October 1917 d: 23 May 1982
        3 Joseph Radislaus FRASS b: 25 March 1922 d: 14 March 1934
        3 Eleanor FRASS b: 15 Jan 1926 d: 25 Oct 1988
        3 Melvin R FRASS b: 15 Jun 1930 d: 10 Dec 2006

So now my next goal is to find the church marriage record of Wladyslaw Fras and Agnieszka Leszczynski (probably in Biechow parish), since Jozef Fras’ ship manifest said he was born in Piestrzec. This would give me the certain Genealogical Standard of Proof — but I have already added the above to my tree.

Thanks second cousin, twice removed, Mindy! By the way, this line of reasoning I am leaning on is again the Social Network Analysis (what Thomas MacEntee calls cluster genealogy).

Don’t you wish you could search Ellis Island by whom people were going to or coming from? Better database search capabilites are needed and the GEDCOM standard needs to be enhanced to handle these social network/cluster analyses

September 2, 2012

Genealogy Volunteerism – FamilySearch Indexing — #Genealogy, #Volunteerism, #RAOGK

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday’s blog, I mentioned briefly one project that I was a volunteer for at the PGSA. Today, Stanczyk wanted to mention that genealogical volunteerism can be a Random Act Of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK).

Of course, I know that the original RAOGK web site is currently offline (due to the unfortunate demise of the founder). Well there are many ways to be RAOGK genealogist. You can volunteer for a local genealogical society. You can help by answering an email or a questions in a forum or a Yahoo Group or a Tweet from Twitter or a question on a Facebook Group. But, did you know that Family Search has a volunteer umbrella organization for all kinds of Genealogy Indexing projects? Well, they do. They have a computer app, FamilySeaching Indexing or a smartphone app (iPhone & Android) and they have many projects spanning all sorts of locales that may be of interest to you or your family.

My picture below is my modest contribution, across a number of projects so far in 2012. Why not give it a try yourself?

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