Archive for ‘History’

April 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday … Polish Historical Calendar — #April, #Polish, #Historical, #Calendar

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  • 3 April/Kwiecień 2013 Dateline Philadelphia - Stanczyk,

Kalendarz Historyczny Polski (Kwiecień)

Polish Historical Calendar

April 1st – Death of Zygmunt I (King), 2nd – Death of Andrzej Leszczynski (Archbishop of Gniezno).

Hmmm, the month starts ominously. This jester likes that on the 20th- Krakow Cathedral (Church Blessing/Consecration, at founding?). A Good Day Indeed!

April 2, 2013

Jan III Sobieski … — Things I Find Whilst Looking Up Other Things

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Chocim 1673

Jan III Sobieski – Victorius at Chocim 1673

Stanczyk ,

AngelicCrownOfVictory is a big fan of Jan III Sobieski. Today’s meme, a continuing meme in this blog came about because Valerie Warunek had posted about Digital Library of Polish and Poland Related News Pamplets.  That mention of a new library launched me on another research adventure. When I was looking up other things in Leszno, for Hyam Salomon, I found a Latin text related to Jan Sobieski. This jester loves Jan Sobieski’s letters, particularly those to his beloved wife. This document recounted his victory of 1673 of the Battle of Chocim and was a missive to the pope. This would be a pattern for  King Jan III ‘s future battles — letters before and after battle. After the battle, a missive was sent to the pope. King Jan III was a good Catholic monarch.

He claimed the Triumphant Crown in the Name of Poland and the Polish Eagle.

Triumphant_AquilaPolona

My Latin is not sufficient to render the phrase to the left (I see Polish Eagle = Aquila Polona). But it was signed the Dragon.

Hmmm. Interesting.  I know the Transylvanians aided Jan III Sobieski. But I am supposing this is a reference to the Order of the Dragon, a monarchic chivalric order meant to defend Europe’s Christians (from the Ottoman Empire). This battle is a good 100 years after Vlad Tepes (“The Impaler”) aka known as Dracula, son of the Dragon (Vlad II). Vlad II was a member of the Order of the Dragon, but his son Vlad Tepes was not a member of the order. So my thesis is that Jan III Sobieski was a member of the monarchic Order or the Dragon. Note that Wladyslaw II (Jagiellonian dynasty — possible Columbus grandfather) was also a member. So perhaps there was a strong connection of this chivalric order to the kings of Poland.

So here are a list of (source: Wikipedia) …

Monarchic Chivalric Orders:

  • Late medieval monarchical orders (14th & 15th centuries attached to a monarch):
Order of Saint George, founded by Charles I of Hungary in 1325
Order of the Band, founded by Alfonso XI of Castile in ca. 1330
Order of the Garter, founded by Edward III of England in 1348
Order of the Star, founded by John II of France in 1351
Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, founded by Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy in 1362.
Order of the Ermine, founded by John V, Duke of Brittany in 1381: 1st order to accept Women.
Order of the Dragon, founded by Sigismund of Hungary in 1408.
Order of the Golden Fleece, founded by Philip III, Duke of Burgundy in 1430
Order of St Michel, founded by Louis XI of France in 1469
  • Post-medieval foundations of chivalric orders:
Order of Saint Stephen (1561)
Order of the Holy Spirit (1578)
Blood of Jesus Christ (military order) (1608)
Order of the Thistle (1687)
Order of Saint Louis (1694)
Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary (1764)
Order of St. Patrick (1783)
Order of Saint Joseph (1807)
  • Monarchical orders whose monarch no longer reigns but continues to bestow the order:
Order of the Golden Fleece (Austrian branch)
Order of the Holy Spirit
Order of Prince Danilo I (Montenegro)
Order of Saint Peter (Cetinje)
Royal Order of Saint George for the Defense of the Immaculate Conception (Bavaria)
Order of the Crown (Romania)
Order of Carol I (Romania)
Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa (Portugal)
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (Two Sicilies)
Order of the Eagle of Georgia (Georgia)
March 26, 2013

Cristobal Colon (Discoverer Formerly Known as Columbus) … Polish-Lithuanian & Italian Noble — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Lithuanian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Rosa_InPAStanczyk loves this story. That the discoverer formerly known as Christopher Columbus (who really should be known by his Portuguese name: Cristobal Colon) may be Polish-Lithuanian royalty.

Stanczyk has written a few times on this Columbus / Wladyslaw III genealogy-genetics-history riddle. The Don Quixote of this tale is Manuel Rosa (an an information technology analyst and amateur historian). Mr. Rosa’s claims of the Polish (or more properly Lithuanian, as in Jagiellonian) Wladyslaw III lineage date back to November 2010.

Prior Stanczyk Polish Columbus stories …

1. 02-December-2010 – Christopher Columbus Discovers … He Is POLISH!

2. 27-December-2010 – Wladislaw III – Father of Columbus

Plus a few mentions: 2011, & 2012 at the start of Polish Heritage Month (each October).

Well here is the latest update, from “the Lithuania Tribune“. You can read the lengthy article which is most informative.

Factual Claims:

  • Rosa has published two books (one in Spanish and one in Polish). NO English version yet.
  • Columbus married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo. Filipa was not only daughter of a high noble and Captain of the Portuguese Island of Porto Santo, but a member of the elite Portuguese Military Order of Santiago
  • Cristobal Colon’s noble wife: Filipa Moniz was one of the twelve elite “donnas” of the Portuguese Military Order of Santiago.
  • Colon was descended from legendary Roman General Colonius (not listed in wikipedia List of Roman Generals )
  • Columbus never wrote in Italian or Genoese [not even to his brothers]
  • Columbus’ writings were: rough Castilian punctuated by noteworthy and frequent Portuguese words
  • Prof. José Lorente’s DNA studies prove that the discoverer Cristóbal Colón’s DNA did not match any of 477 Colombo families from the Genoa area.
  • Colón was a royal prince, son of a Portuguese noblewoman from the Italian Colonna family and a man named Henrique Alemão (Henry the German) resident on the Portuguese island of Madeira
  • Henrique Alemão (Henry the German) = false moniker of Wladyslaw III used for hiding on Madiera Island (presumably from the Ottomans)
  • 1498 Will and later Genoese documents proved to be forgeries/fakes
  • Prince Georges Paleologue de Bissipat, an exiled Byzantine nobleman living in France nicknamed “Colombo the Younger”, said to be a relative of Christopher Columbus was also a relative of King Wladyslaw III

The author laments (“… it is lamentable that, up until now, there is little or no debate in America or Lithuania to either accept or contradict”) that only Portuguese and Polish academics have currently debated this topic. Well then Rosa needs to have published/translated the book in Lithuanian and English if he wishes for further debate.

Are there any historians out there? Can anyone refute or supply proof of the above factual claims? Columbus letters and their language should be easy to establish. What about these other people named: General[Roman] Colonius, Portuguese nobles related to Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, or Prince Georges Paleologue de Bissipat ? Come on European Historians help out this poor jester with some factual links or books/documents — so much is online these days.

The next Manuel Rosa appearance is: April 6, 2013, where Manuel Rosa will present a lecture at Boalsburg’s Columbus Chapel, (http://www.boalmuseum.com/columbus-lecture.html) where more evidence will be presented, in Boalsburg, PA which is North-West of Harrisburg (contact: contact 814-466-9266 or office@boalmuseum.com).

I’d love to have this story proven true or false. It is time for the sensationalism to end. Did National Geo ever televise this story as reported earlier? This jester never saw it. What happened with the Colon DNA being compared to Wladyslaw III descendants? So far we only have that he is not related to Colombos who are Genoese. But since he had Roman heritage, I presume he has some Italian DNA. What about the Slavic DNA? Those pesky Slavic DNA markers are pretty different from Italian DNA markers. I am hoping we have Y-Chromosome DNA testing which should show Slavic markers and MT DNA testing which should show Italian/Portuguese markers.

I accept that Cristobal Colon must have had royal blood to marry a noble woman and have such access to European courts. I also accept that a noble man would have had the education that a peasant wool-worker could never have had. I am uncertain about the heraldic symbols. The rest I am unqualified to judge — hence the plea for help.

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 3, 2013

The Horror ! The Horror ! … — #History, #Holocaust

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

TheScreamToday’s title comes from a quote from Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski).

In today’s NY Times (article), The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking, by Eric Lichtblau. Read this article, which enumerates the disturbing horror of WWII to ever greater numbers.

If you trace genealogy, particularly Jewish genealogy, but also Polish Christian genealogy too, you will encounter these stories — over and over again. The Horror!

Read the NYT article, but the numbers being reported by the researchers, are that they have  now cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe.

Here’s a partial breakdown:  30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly/infirm, performing forced abortions, etc. The victims were not just Jews being victimized; They were Poles, Russians, gypsies, homosexuals, and the mentally impaired. Dr. Megargee (one of the researchers)  had expected to find perhaps 7,000 “camps”, but the number quickly passed 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now is currently about 42,500 camps. A staggering, mind numbing number.

The numbers are so much higher than we originally thought

– Hartmut Berghoff

History will now show that far more than 6 Million victims were claimed by Nazi atrocities. The Horror! The Horror!

Other Related Stanczyk Blog Posts …

Feliks Elijasz, Roman Catholic Shoemaker
February 16, 2013

Presidents Day — #2013

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AllUSPresidents

It is President’s Day on Monday. That got me to thinking about Washington and Lincoln. Stanczyk, has had an awful lot of mathematical training – the product of a degree from a School of Engineering. It is funny, the teachings that stick with you your whole life. One of the things that I learned that stuck with me was a little factoid from a Probability & Statistics course. I was taught that in a gathering of just of 19 people that the probability that two of them having the same day of birth (not the same year though) would be 50-50. That in any gathering of 19 people it would be a 50% chance of two people celebrating their birthday on the same day each year!

This being President’s Day weekend, I noted that we have had  44Presidents (only 43 different, since Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and the 24th President). So I asked myself did any two Presidents have the same day of  birth? Now if we ignore the Grover Cleveland issue, and we examine the dates of birth of all US Presidents, we do indeed find that two Presidents had the same day of birth. The day in calendar is November 2nd. The two Presidents who share that day are: Warren G. Harding and James K Polk.

Now you might expect that since we have > 38 Presidents, that there should be two pairs of matches. But the odds are only 50-50. So we have just one matching pair of Presidents. There were a lot of near misses (off by one day). If your birth month is not September or June (each of which only had one President) then the odds are pretty good that you, my dear reader, share a birth day with one of the Presidents. I’d say better than 50-50. So click on the link and see for yourself.

Happy President’s Day!

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.

December 30, 2012

Auld Lang Syne – 2012

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AllsWellSo as we draw to a close this elder year 2012 AD, I take but a moments pause to wish my friends and good readers well and much happiness and wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Verily, this jester says, “All Is Well, That Ends Well“. And 2012 has indeed ended well.

Let me endebt myself further and borrow again from the great bard to close out this year. In Shakespeare’s play, “All’s Well That Ends Well”, in the first Act, the first Scene is a quote that suits me well to use though I steal it from a woman’s lips:

That I should love a bright particular star
And think to wed it, she who is so above me:
In her bright radiance and collateral light.

My bright star is my much beloved wife, Teréza !

I love her so. Those who love her cannot be faulted for she is such a force of a nature and a wonder to behold. And those who fault her, do not know love. Theirs is a terrible loss indeed. Pity those fools for their jealousy and praise this jester for his steadfastness in the face of such folly. Bless my wife for her devotion made stronger and more holy for her mettle that was tempered by the trifles of miscreants.

That’s my closing thoughts for 2012. Better Genealogy in the coming year to all genealogists!

Happy New Year 2013 !

–Stanczyk

August 14, 2012

Ayn Rand – A Producer’s Intellectual Criticism of Objectivism — #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand

–Paul Ryan @ 2005 “Atlas Society “

Perhaps last weekend you heard that Paul Ryan was named the presumptive GOP Vice-Presidential candidate? But do you know that his espoused reason for being in politics is because he read, one of Ayn Rand’s fictional novels, Atlas Shrugged (a dystopian sci-fi novel)? It kind of makes you sad, that Paul Ryan’s parents did not have more books, because if they had, then perhaps Ryan would have read, Asimov (also Russian born) or Bradbury or Clarke (collectively, the ABC’s of science fiction) and been moved by one of them instead. Perhaps if Ryan had read one those talented writers, he might be in favor (or not) of robots, free speech or intellectual property or renewable resources or evolution (think 2001 Space Odyssey). If only he had read Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, perhaps Ryan would have become a Paul Krugman. Krugman cited Asimov’s series for his inspiration at becoming an economist.

Instead, Ryan thinks the top 1% should isolate itself from the other 99% (who are not “productive”/”creative”) and his budget seems to favor that 1% greatly. That is what Atlas Shrugged is about. The “creative” separate themselves and the non-creative types should just die-off. If you read Atlas Shrugged you will see parallels to today. It is the Tea Party creating chaos to “minimize the federal government until they can strangle it.” Go Google “Strangle the government”, this is not my phraseology , but the mantra of Paul Ryan and the Tea Party thugs. So what we have here is a lower-brow variant of L. Ron Hubbard (another sci-fi writer, whose followers started a “philosophical” organization) devotees.

Ryan upon being named as Mitt Romney’s running mate said, “I’d like to thank nature … (slight pause) and God …”. This is a rather odd statement to be uttered by a person professing belief in Objectivism and also Catholicism. You see my dear readers, the phrase “I’d like to thank nature” is the pointed code-phrase of atheists (not that there is anything wrong with being an atheist). They say their coded phrase meant either to cue their listeners into the fact that they are an atheist or for the more militant atheist to mock people of religious faith who say (and have said for thousands of years), “Thank God for …”. It is a parallel construct to the religious thanks and the atheist version is of a very recent invention (i.e. less than a decade, I have found no reference to the phrase on the Internet to before 2008). It probbaly dates from the arise of the New Atheists (Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett) in 2007.

Now as I have said being an atheist is not necessarily a bad thing. What made Ryan’s quote bad / hypocritical / unethical is that he said “nature and  God”. If you were a devout Catholic (other Christain denominations too, but Ryan espouses to be a Catholic) you would only thank God. You would not thank nature which is just a part of God’s creation. Likewise, if you were an atheist or an Objectivist you would absolutely NOT thank God. So, where does that leave the American voter? What are we to believe? The only logical / reasoned conclusion is that Ryan does NOT believe in any of: Atheism, Objectivism, or Catholicism.

So I call on all Atheists, Objectivists and Catholics to repudiate Ryan for his deceptive practice and of trying to portray himself as any/all of those ‘isms’. Now I know  that you are thinking this is the first time that Atheists, Objectivists, and Catholics can all agree on something — so lets agree Ryan is deceitful and vote for the other political ticket. If you are Pro-Deceit than the Romney-Ryan ticket would seem to be what you have been waiting for.

Because this Presidential election cycle seems to be about Ryan/Tea Party and their espousal of Objectivism, then let’s examine Ayn Rand’s life and see what it says about this absurdist sci-fi drama being foisted upon us by Mitt Romney. This is a blog with an oft genealogy theme, so let’s apply genealogy to Ayn Rand. We will use a timeline and add in  seminal documents and 1st-hand accounts of witnesses to examine her life and her followers’ lives (aka the Collective) for context and we finish with a reasoned critique of Objectivism.

The Ryan Budget is the greatest political fraud. That is how Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman’s reasoned analysis of Ryan’s proposed raising taxes on the middle class to lower taxes on the upper class without any deficit reduction for at least 20 years sees the Ryan Budget ??? So we the Asimov motivation in opposition to the Rand motivation — you be the judge on the basis of which is your favorite author/producer. But this jester’s premise is that the author Ayn Rand may influence how the USA is governed and you should be conversant on what the two parties are proposing before November.

I hope you are ruled by reason and will read these articles on Rand, Objectivism and Election 2012.

Lets start with some definitional ground work …

Ayn Rand Objectivist Concepts

  • Man as Heroic
  • Reason, only absolute reason
  • The Productive and The Creative in relation to others
  • Motivation for Man is the pursuit of his own happiness (no altruism)
  • Witch Doctor vs Attila vs Producer
  • Espoused – Atheism, Non-Violence/No-Force, Disgusted By Homosexuality (but favored protecting their rights), Anti Collective Efforts of any kind (Individualism)

Some of this sounds good and some sounds odd and all points need some explaining and a bit of context, so lets delve into these concepts in the next few articles.

Next … A Genealogical View of Ayn Rand

August 2, 2012

President Obama’s Ancestor Was 1st African Enslaved For Life — #Genealogy, #History, #Presidents

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

For Stanczyk, Ancestry.com keeps getting better and better. Ancestry discovered that President Obama is related to John Punch. John Punch was one of President Obama’s 11th great-grandfathers.

According to the Ancestry press release, this discovery happened as Ancestry researched his maternal lineage. As you may recall, President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is Caucasian (i.e. white) with a lineage that was recently traced back through Ireland (by Megan Smolenyak).

Lesser known is the President’s German 6th great-grandfather, Johann Conrad Wolflin (aka Wolfley) who immigrated to Pennsylvania. This research was also done by Ancestry.com.

Now this John Punch is a topic I’d like to see done on Dr. Henry Louis Gates‘ PBS show!

 

July 23, 2012

In Prose … The Good Wife — #Love, #LiteratureLost, #WomanOfValor

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk first put pen to parchment and opined during the reigns of Alexander (1492-1506), Sigismund the Old (1467-1548) and Sigismund Augustus (1520-1572), all kings of the Jagiellonian Dynasty). But of all the kings of Poland, I wish I could have been the jester for Jan III Sobieski (1629-1696) is the monarch I most lament not serving. King Jan III was one of those larger than life individuals about whom history wraps itself around and conforms tightly to.

I’ll leave his deeds of valor to historians and to generals to study. But today, I wish to pay homage to good King Jan III and by extension to my beloved good wife, Tereza.

By extension to my wife? How so? Well you see my gentle readers, Jan Sobieski (no III – the man, not the king) was lesser known for his good wife and the literate love letters they wrote to each other. Usually, the jester informs the king by his position to speak to truth to power. But this jester wishes he could have learned at this king’s knees as King Jan III posted love letters to his wife, the beloved Queen consort, Marysieńka.

Here’s my letter to my good wife …

All the rivers run into the sea

Yet the sea is not full

Unto the place from whence the rivers come

Thither they shall return again

                                    –Ecclesiastes 1:7

 

I quote Ecclesiastes here my love because I love you in this way. The verse speaks a metaphor of infiniteness and my love for you is truly infinite. The verse speaks of water which as all men know is really about women’s emotions. Yet no matter how much love I have for you I cannot fill up the sea. Only God loves more and only He was able to fill the sea. But at least I will love you again and again ad infinitum.

Undoubtedly my good Jewish wife would rather I quote Proverbs 31:10-31 (also know as the Woman of Valor). She is truly deserving of that epithet. Perhaps she’d want me to quote:

A good wife, who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

                                                –Proverbs 31:10

I would however go deeper into the woman of valor for my quote …

Many women have done excellently,

But you surpass them all.

                                                –Proverbs 31:29

 

I feel that God’s own angels would further lavish upon her …

Give her the fruits of her hands,

And let her works praise her inside the gates

                                                –Proverbs 31:31

Love is infinite my wife. No matter how much I love you, I will have more to give you. No matter how much I love you, I will have more to give our children. So my love is like Ecclesiastes 1:7 and yet so much more.

July 14, 2012

US Presidents in the US Census — #US, #Census, #Genealogy, #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 This year the 1940 Census came out. By law the census is released after 72 years. So anyone you may want to find in the US Census must be at least 72 years old this year.

Do you have the urge to peer at the Presidents in the census? Well then you are in luck! The National Archives has developed a web page on the US Presidents recorded in the US Census. George Walker Bush (#43) has only just turned 66 this month so he is not there. President Bill Clinton will turn 66 next month, ergo he too has not yet appeared in the US Census. So President George H. W. Bush (#41) is the last President to appear in the census. Here is the 1930 Census (CT, Fairfield, Greenwich, ED: 1-134, SHT 4A) in which the president is five years old. Now that is Ancestry.com so you need a membership to view the image.

NARA – Presidents in the Census  (click on the link to go to their website)

I had fun looking at Thomas Jefferson. Many of the Presidents are recorded in more than one census. The links open to a page of census images and even a picture of the President. This might be a novel add-on for K-12 History Curriculum. Also a nice way to work the genealogy subject  into history (or vice-versa). All in all, this genealogical slant on history may spur new ideas for research.

My thanks to the NARA librarians/researchers who provided such a valuable resource!

I also want to thank @NYPLMilstein (twitter) who posted this tidbit on twitter.

July 5, 2012

Celsius 233* — A Bradbury Tale — #Humor, #Science, #Religion, #FreeSpeech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dear Readers this neo-post-compassionate-conservative-apocalyptic-dystopian history is from the days of the year 2019. Contrary to the comical Internet Mayan conspiracy kooks, the world did not end in 2012 despite Mitt Romney being elected President of the USA and then re-elected leader of the entire English Speaking Free World in 2016 — an election that everyone now knows he purchased with his considerable undocumented wealth. We should have listened to  Vanity Fair back in 2012 — but there were just too few readers back then. Oh the misery we have endured since …

It has been a hard seven years under President Romney.  Because, of the influence of the Tea Party Evangelicals and Romney’s considerable undocumented wealth he became President.

Back on 4th July 2012, the World Science community discovered the Higgs Boson quantum particle  — the God Particle. This so enraged Romney, that the first thing that President Romney did was have Vain Capitalist LLC buy all the newspapers (especially the Murdoch Press & Hacking Software company) and leverage the hell out of them — supposedly to enhance his own considerable undocumented wealth. But that was just the ostensible reason.

They ended up bankrupting all of the press and media outlets — not hard to do in those days of the Great Recession and barely anybody reading at all and almost none at all in the South. So the newspapers and other media  went out of business and now there were only the bloggers and the Internet to keep data and information alive.

Then in 2017 when President Romney was re-elected in a very suspect election. He immediately moved to control the Internet and to ban blogging software. This precipitated World War III , which he financed with his considerable undocumented wealth while the European leaders were still so busy talking about their imaginary currency (I believe it was called, the Euro) the USA conquered the UK and then most of the European continent (except for Greece, Spain and Italy — which were non-profitable countries), Canada, New Zealand and Australia. That is why he is President of the English Speaking Free World. He is now trying to eradicate blogs and by so doing eliminate the “dangerous” bloggers too. Oddly that is how the USA finally got its first metric standard (Celsius) which it used to confuse the issue of Global Warming.

It has been historic this anti science and publication administration. First they denied the age of the Earth and its fossils, then they denied Evolution, then they denied Global Warming — even when half the US was baking like HELL back in 2012??? The last straw was the Higgs Boson, ironically the God Particle caused these religionists to pursue the pogrom against science and information.

There has been a long history of this anti knowledge movement. First the Catholics tried to censor scientists like Copernicus (who took his knowledge to the grave) and then Gallileo. By the time  Darwin had appeared, Prostestants had joined in too. So by 2012, America had a breed of religionists called “Evangelicals” who were people who Evangelized against science and reading and such things calling them the Devil’s playground. They used to rewrite biblical stories to say that the Bible’s prophets were all about the profit and were against charity. I know this sounds incredible and even unbelievable to you future historians, but I swear it is all true. If you can find any Internet documents or archived newspapers (a physical piece of pages of paper with printed texts that contained information — completely devoid of any digital means) you may be able to read it for yourself — if anyone still does that in the future.

So for the sake of the future. I am asking my blog readers to memorize my blog posts. Just pick your favorites and commit them to memory. Maybe you can write them down on paper if your family has a history of dementia. At any rate, pass them down in your family. Read them at holidays.

All remaining bloggers that have not yet been silenced are calling for their readers to do this for their blogs too. We must be able to preserve knowledge through these information Dark Ages that we are entering.

God (or Nature as the scientists are wont to say) save our immortal souls!!!

*a terrible homage to Ray Bradbury‘s Farenheit 451

July 1, 2012

History Stolen – More than 4,000 Documents Stolen; Conviction In Thefts !

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Perhaps long time blog readers will remember Stanczyk’s earlier post about historical documents that may have been stolen. Well it seems a conviction has been had in the theft of more than 4,000 rare historical documents.

On June 27th, 2012, Barry Landau  was convicted for his role in stealing more than 4,000 rare historical documents. Landau, 63, admitted in a plea agreement to having stolen from museums in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut and having sold some of those documents for profit.

His accomplice, Jason Savedoff, who along with Landau was arrested in July 2011 after workers at the Maryland Historical Society spotted them trying to steal documents. Savedoff has already pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing for his role.

Landau has acknowledged stealing documents from at least five institutions in addition to the Maryland Historical Society. They are the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Connecticut Historical Society, the University of Vermont, the New York Historical Society and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential library in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Many of the angry historians who had been tricked by Landau came to see his sentencing. Locally from Philadelphia the sentiment was …

“What they did is really terrible. It our national patrimony that they took,” Lee Arnold of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) said. “A thief and a liar,” Ashley Harper also of the HSP said. The HSP had to conduct an inventory of documents after several visits by Landau and Savedoff (See: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/07/25/historical-society-of-pennsylvania-conducting-inventory-after-visits-by-accused-document-thieves/). Kim Sajet said Landau and Savedoff visited the HSP’s historical collections a total of 17 times !

Other Sources

Bloomberg BW (excellent reporting):

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-06-28/ny-man-gets-7-years-prison-for-rare-document-theft

CBS:

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/06/27/man-to-be-sentenced-for-rare-document-thefts/

CNN:

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-06-27/justice/justice_presidential-historian-sentenced_1_barry-h-landau-jason-savedoff-documents?_s=PM:JUSTICE

May 23, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday — #Polish, #Genealogy, 1880 Baptismal Certificate

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1880 Krzeszow/Tarnow Birth Extract (Latin/Galicia)

This baptismal certificate was extracted and delivered to a parish in Russian-Poland some time after May 1880. No doubt so Jan Vitus Martino[w] could marry some woman in her parish. It was the oddity of finding such a document amongst the church records written in Cyrillic/Russian for a Russian-Poland partition that I was shocked at the unexpected find.

I also used to collect European postage stamps (mostly Poland, Hungary and the Germanic states) of this era so to see the stamps used as a kind of fee/tax always interests me.

48 kr (kroner?) Austro-Hungarian Empire stamps

Jan Vitus  son of Adalbert Martino[w] son of Mikolaj & Agata Malek  and Victoria daughter of  Michael Michalek & Anna Siwiec born 15th June 1856. Godparents Michael Ligus & Maryanna widow of  Gaspar Flasinicki.

May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo, Napoleon, & Coffee ???

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

If it is one thing this blog stands for, its coffee. No coffee … No blog!

Now Stanczyk has been a big fan of Napoleon primarily for two reasons:

1. Codex Napoleon – What it did for genealogical records (2 witnesses, standardized format, etc.)

2. Napoleon’s Army – His effusive praise for Polish soldiery and of course for Napoleon himself being a royal pain to the partitioning powers of Poland.

Today, I must add a third reason in praise of Napoleon. The Emperor was a coffee aficionado! He is reputed to be a very BIG coffee drinker (ten, twenty, thirty or more cups a day ???). Once again he had effusive praise … for St Helena Coffee! What you may not know was that while he was exiled to St Helena (in the South Atlantic off the coast of Africa) which was largely run by Britain’s East India Company [should not the Emperor have developed a taste for tea?] he lauded the island coffee.

After Napoleon died on 5th-May-1821, his praise of the island’s coffee, caused it to become popular amongst the French. So as you sip your favorite Cinco de Mayo beverage today, be it a margarita or a Kentucky mint julep, this jester will be sipping some St Helena Coffee in honor of the Emperor. After all, his heir and nephew, Napoleon III (Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte) and I have a birthday in common — perhaps that is a fourth reason to be a fan.

May 3, 2012

Genealogy Indexer – Logan Kleinwak — #Genealogy, #Historical, #Directories, #Military, #Yizkor

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

     Stanczyk’s prior article on Genealogy Indexer – the Logan Kleinwaks’ website that indexes historical city directories or other historical lists (i.e. Yizkor Books, Military Muster Lists, etc.) covered this amazing genealogical resource who deserves a much higher rating than #116 on the current Top 125 Genealogical Websites.

Since my first blog article about GenealogyIndexer.orgLogan Kleinwaks has added virtual keyboard (a software icon) for generating diacritical letters (think ogroneks and umlauts) as well as non Latin characters (think Hebrew or Cyrillic) to make searching easier. This jester even uses that excellent piece of coding to generate the text for articles or data entry into genealogy software. You may remember, I wrote about that in “Dying for Diacriticals” or any of the other dozen articles (some of which cover GenealogyIndexer).

Well in the last month Logan has really outdone himself in adding material to the website! I give up trying to keep up with the huge amounts of data he is publishing. You really need to follow Logan on twitter (@gindexer). Thank You Logan for your amazing efforts.

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