Archive for ‘Military’

July 23, 2014

The Polish-American Man And His Service In World War I — #Genealogy, #Polish, #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has just come to realize that my Polish-American ancestors had such a love for their old country that they found many ways to serve.

 

Dateline 28-July-1914  —  The world went mad again. I am reminded of this century mark in 2014, just five days before the solemn memorial date. In the USA we call it World War I. Obviously there had been other multi-national conflicts dating back at least to the time of the American War For Independence. It is now a century since that fateful day that World War I started.  America maintained its neutrality, indeed it was in a period of isolationism. But the Old World does not leave the New World apart and isolated from the Old World. The USA  did not enter the war until April 6, 1917.  Wilson was unable to rustle the sleeping giant from its slumber and engage in this World War. Not until when a German U-boat sank the British liner Lusitania in 1915, with 128 Americans aboard did we begin to waken from our stupor and our anger rouse us to action. Still something kept us restive for  many months more.

 

A Century Later

So when Russian and/or Russian-Rebels in Ukraine,  shot down the Malaysian MH17 airplane  on 17 July 2014. Nearly a hundred years to the day! The parallel was not lost on Americans. Many pondered is this it? Are we going to start World War III? How horrific to even write those words, “World War III” — may it never be so. To see those thugs in Eastern Ukraine gleefully pick among the dead and steal their watches or credit cards and then ignore the dead???  Quelle horreur !  If there had been 128 Americans on MH17 like there were upon the Lusitania who knows what may have happened. Still 298 people died in an act of murder. The only thing more sickening to the commission of the murders is to watch  the loathsome Russian-speaking thugs in that part of the world try to propagandize the incident and frame innocent people for THEIR crime.

Dear Diary, I have to say that when I hear Russian-speaking thugs say the plane that they shot down was filled with dead people beforehand or that MH17 was the missing MH370 (which was lost over Indian Ocean) was also a further disgusting phlegm spewed  by these Russian-speaking thugs who had bragged upon the Russian-Facebook they shot down a Ukrainian cargo plane only to delete their Russian Tweet (on VK [originally VKontakte, Russian: ВКонтакте]) when they realized it was a Dutch filled Malaysian civilian airplane on its way to Kuala Lumpur and then summarily deleted their tweet little realizing it had been saved by media watchers. The EU slumbers while the Russian bear lumbers. Now it is not America who needs to be awakened.

 

The Pole-AM in World War I

A while ago I wrote about finding another ship manifest about returning Haller’s Army vets returning from World War I. This was a Canadian ship manifest. Like the Poles in America, the French-Speaking Canadians too wished to serve before Canada entered the war (for France). So a Canadian ship was bringing back some Haller’s Army vets with their own Canadian vets who served in France for the French.

It was a short time afterwards that this jester found a Canadian World War I Draft registration for a John Leszczynski  [name badly butchered multiple ways]. In fact, I would not have recognized it was one of my own had it not made a reference to a nearest relative living at 417 E. Webber St, Toledo, Ohio. That was an address of another of my great-grandfather’s grandsons. Later on I found a 1916 Toledo City Directory that said John Leszczynski lived at that same address too.

So in my family I had USA ancestors fighting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1916, a few Haller’s Army Volunteers who served in France and one in Poland after 1918. I also had some American Army draftees too! So in fact, my family served in three different armies in World War I while being USA residents (soon to be citizens). They served in Canada and the USA and in France for Poland and then in Poland for Poland to fight in the Polish-Russian Border War  (1918-1921) settled by the Treaty of Riga. Three Armies, Four countries, Two Wars. My beloved ancestors, so loved their old country, Poland that they found ways to serve it in the war. They served before the USA entered the war, they served after the USA entered the war and they served after the USA left the World War to serve Poland in its fight against the Bolsheviks.

Those men loved Europe, enough to leave the safety of their American homes to return to the Old World and fight for their beloved old country (and/or their new country). I leave this history lesson for the EU to learn from. These men, those who lived, came home to the USA, became citizens and helped build this great nation.

Remember history;  So you recognize it when you’re repeating it!

 

 


May 22, 2014

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

About two years ago Stanczyk wrote about a website, special because it was a Polish-German joint effort at Reconciliation.  The website I am referring to is: http://www.straty.pl/index.php/szukaj-w-bazie — Which takes you to a database search page where you can search for, “Victims of Oppression“.  It for searching for victims of World War II inside Poland.  Originally, I kind of ignored it because I did not have family who was sent to  a  Concentration Camp nor did any of mine get forced relation after the war. So I  MISTAKENLY thought this database was not for me. Last week I learned a few things.

Today’s blog is about the Mash-up of  Geneteka database,  Using Straty.pl (the above database of oppression) and a website of Concentration Camps, with a smidgeon of Genbaza.pl thrown in for good measure.

Here is my Mash-Up …

Straty.pl I went to straty.pl (use above link, for Polish) or paste the above link into Google’s Translator (for English). I put ‘Elijasz’ into the field named “Nazwisko” (Surname) and clicked on the button “Szukaj” (Search). It returned four results for me:

Straty Results - Four Elijasz

Notice the third row, with Stanislaw Elijasz, whose “Miejsce urodzenie” (birth place) was Pacanów. When I clicked on the button with the number “3″.  Remember his birthdate: 1906-04-17 ; We will use this data in Geneteka to get the Akt # and in GenBaza.pl to get the image of the birth record. When I clicked on the number “3″ button, I got a lot more info:

Straty Details Stanislaw Elijasz

I immediately, understood my mistake. The oppression database returned data about my ancestor, Stanislaw Elijasz who was a soldier in the Polish Army when World War II started (1-SEP-1939). He is listed as a victim of the September 1939 Campaign, he was caught, in “Russland” [I presume they mean in the Russian Occupied territory as opposed to the German Occupied Poland.], he was the equivalent of a Lance Corporal in a Signal Corps Battalion. At any rate, he was interred in POW Camp (the 1st of three) on September 17, 1939. Imagine that, he spent the entire World War II as a prisoner of war.

The other details were vague and not clear to me from the data. Lucky for me in Facebook, I have a friend, named Jozef Taran (in Poland). He provided me a website for concentration camps:

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

This second mash-up link was website of German Stalags (Concentration Camps) in Poland, Ukraine and Western Russia. This website and wikipedia pages gave me the details to understand the data returned by straty.pl  for Stanislaw. You World War II  military buffs take note !

Ok, but now I wanted to find which Stanislaw Elijasz of Pacanow, born on or about 17-APRIL-1906 was this data about. So I went to:

Small_3Geneteka.pl — to see if Stanislaw was indexed and what his birth record number (Akt #) might be to help me in my search of GenBaza.pl and to confirm the birth date. I found on result number 46,  a result for Stanislaw born in 1906 Pacanow with an Akt # 77. Now I had enough info to locate his birth record in:

Small_4

 GeneBaza.pl  — That link takes you directly to Stanislaw Elijasz, born in Pacanow on 17-April_1906, Akt #77 [assuming you have a GenBaza login id and you are logged in]. This gives the the church birth record image:

GenBaza_Stanislaw

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

  1. straty.pl
  2. http://www.moosburg.org/info/stalag/laglist.html#generalgouvernement
  3. Geneteka.pl
  4. GeneBaza.pl
April 20, 2014

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Recently, while Stanczyk was on Twitter, I saw that  Logan Kleinwak (Genealogy Indexer / @gindexer) was again busy,  very busy.  Perhaps you do not remember that his website: http://genealogyindexer.org , publishes Historical Directories, Yizkor Books, Military Lists, etc.

GenealogyIndexer_2

What I noticed besides he was very busy indexing things and putting them online for searches is two things:

  1. In my 1st thought I noticed, “Collections” (each a menu to a page of resource links)
  2. My 2nd thought was Logan added a Latin-to-Cyrillic feature

I do not mention his excellent little piece of code to implement a keyboard for implementing whatever language’s special characters that are a might difficult to type on American keyboards. That I posted about before.

The Collection  I searched was “Directories”  and I saw:

Obviously this is the Gubernia of my paternal ancestors. So I was excited and I knew it was in Russian (i.e. Cyrillic characters) — a challenge.  AH, … now we see the need for the 2nd thoughtful feature, ‘Add Latin->Cyrillic’. This feature automatically adds the equivalent Cyrillic characters to the Latin characters you are searching for, in order to locate the equivalent, transliterated string in the Russian Directories. That is well thought out! Indeed Genius!

So my thanks to Logan for his fine piece of programming and history/genealogy indexing that he has done. If you have not done so, you owe it to yourself and your research to check out Genealogy Indexer. Add it to your social network (Facebook and Twitter) and bookmark the website in your browser.

 

 

Related Blog Articles …

03-May-2012 — Genealogy Indexer - Logan Kleinwak 

28 Feb 2012 — Dying for Diacriticals – Beyond ASCII

15 Jun 2011 —  Polish Genealogy – Useful Websites …

 

April 7, 2014

Haller’s Army – Returning Vets … A New Ship Is Discovered — #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dateline 06-April-2014  — Stanczyk has found many of my great-grandfather’s grandsons came to the USA. Tomasz Leszczynski was good for this country. More of his children (sons & daughters) came to the USA and more grandsons came to the USA than I had previously known. You see my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski had 16 children by two wives from the years 1857 … 1902, across 45 years his two wives bore him 16 children. Even more amazing, only three of my great-grandfather’s children had perished before my grandmother herself was born (the eldest child of the second wife). It should be noted that routinely 25%-50% of the children in that locale, in those years died before puberty. Sometimes the ratio was higher still such as in times epidemics (i.e. cholera). Even more amazing, all of my great-grandfather’s children with his second wife, Aniela Major Leszczynska, survived including my grandmother – whose grandson pens these family stories and recalls these times from before the US Civil War until the present. God had certainly blessed Tomasz Leszczynski and Tomasz’s years were numbered to 104 years of age. All agree in the USA as to the length of his lifespan across the many families descended from this one man. Alas, the great lifespan has been a hinderance to me (his great-grandson) who tries to write the family history and I have not yet found the year of his birth, the year/place of his first marriage (to Julianna Kordos Leszczynska) and I have not found his death date/place either. The 104 year span covered from about 1832-1945 — yes, yes, I know that span is 113 years. But you see I do not know which 104 year span in that range is the life span of Tomasz Leszczynski. I hope to visit Poland and gather his death certificate and put certainty to the end of his lifespan and put  an anchor in the estimate of the year of his birth. I now have a very good timeline of info about my great-grandfather’s life and the whereabouts of his children and most of his grandchildren too.

That over long pre-amble is to note that GenBaza with their online database: metryki.genbaza.pl that I have written so often of in 2014 has been a great source for my family heritage and I owe a debt of gratitude to genebaza.pl and genealodzy.pl too. It is from this database that I have located many of my great-grandfather’s children getting married and having children of their own! It is from this and my meticulous recording of these facts in my family tree on Ancestry.com that I have located new records in the USA of my great-grandfather’s descendants. I had no idea. I assume that my Polish-American heritage is similar to the vast majority of Polish-Americans. My family arrived, mostly at Ellis Island, and they originally put down roots for their American families in the Great-Lake States of the USA: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio,  Michigan dominate, although I have seen bits and pieces in Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota too! Now a days the family has migrated further in the USA and I will not attempt to enumerate all of the states — suffice it to say that we stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Now we approach the point of this blog article. I have been busy with the Immigration records in Ancestry.com after recording the new finds from GenBaza.pl and was surprised by how many of my great-grandfather’s line had left Poland. This surprise led to a lot of scanning ship manifests for the the somewhat common name: Leszczynski.

Well I landed on a ship manifest of a French Ship landing in New York City. The year was 1919 and I did not giver any particular credence to the year other than I could expect more details in the ship manifests (than say those ship manifests from 1906 and earlier). So as I was reading for a possible ancestor, I noted that a good many men had fought in the Polish Army (or the French Army) and that the majority were Polish names. So it is my assertion that I have discovered a new ship with only a scattering of returning Haller’s Army personnel (listed as both Polish Army and/or French Army). Only a handful of pages, although I am sure there were a good bit more manifests with only one or two soldiers listed among the 30 passengers per page. But below you will find four pages that were almost all or mostly all returning soldiers from WWI.

The late date is not unusual for Polish veterans as many in Haller’s Army stayed past the end of WWI and continued the fight against the Bolsheviks  of Russia in the aftermath of WWI. I also learned something new. I had known that the Polish-Americans who signed up to fight in French-Army under General Jozef Haller had trained in Canada. But I had never considered that a good many French-Canadians had trained in Canada too to fight in the French Army. There are a sprinkling of these French-Canadians mixed in too. These French-Canadian soldiers are “In Transit” as they are continuing on to Canada.

Here are the brief details of this new ship delivering Haller’s Army and possibly a few just French Army who may or may not have served under Jozef Haller:

 

SS: La Tourane            Port: La Havre     Arrival Date: 25-APRIL-1919

URLS [require Ancestry.com access]:

List 2 (image 346 of 827) 

List 3

List 4

List 5

 

Previously Blogs, I Have Written About Haller’s Army:

24 Mar 2014Newspapers.com – #Genealogy, #Polish, #HistoricalNewspapers

25 Apr 2013The Last Pandemic … 1918 — #Genealogy, #Polish, #War

11 May 2012Kedzierski/Kendzierski TimeLine — #Polish, #Genealogy, #Timeline

13, 14, 17 Aug 2011 -  [3 parts series on Haller's Army & the Transport Ships] – Returning Soldiers

NOTE: In the three part series, I have posted the link to middle article which had the other transport ships previously known. You can go forward/backward from the middle article to see the other two articles in series.

 

 

 

July 2, 2013

4th of July / 150th Anniversary of Battle of Gettysburg

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Battle of GettysburgYesterday’s (1st July 2013) Philadelphia Inquirer [go to your local library] had a reproduction of their newspaper from 1863 commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

This is running now along with the Welcome America Festival in Philly. There are Civil War reenactments this week in Gettysburg.

Happy Fourth of July!

 

See Also …

Philadelphia ‘Living Monument’ of the Civil War — #History, #150th Anniversary [16 May 2013]

May 16, 2013

Philadelphia ‘Living Monument’ of the Civil War — #History, #150th Anniversary

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

2013_gettysburg

Stanczyk loves the history of our nation (USA). The U.S. history is much younger than our European ancestral villages. But, in 2013, we will celebrate and remember the Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3rd, 1863  on its 150th anniversary.

Philadelphia is the cradle of American Civilization. During the Fourth of July Celebration  (Welcome America), in addition to the normal July 4th celebrations, there will be additional events this year, the 150th after the battle of Gettysburg.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia ‘a living monument’ to the Civil War [Philadelphia Inquirer article]

There are so many historical and genealogical things to experience beyond the fireworks & concerts:

Related

May 5, 2013

VE Day: Few know story of Jews in Red Army

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AP: Few Know Story of Jews in Red Army

ap thumbnailJERUSALEM (AP) – Once a year, Israel’s Jewish war veterans don suit jackets and uniforms dripping in Red Army medals, the shiny bronzes and silvers pinned to their chests in tight rows like armor. About 500,000 Jews served in the Soviet Red Army during World War II. Most of those still alive today – about 7,000 – are said to live in Israel. Every year on Victory Day, which falls on Thursday this year …

Read Full Story

An excellent piece detailing how European Jews fought against the Nazis in the Allied Forces.

April 28, 2013

Pocket: A Polish-Jewish Hero — #Polish , #Jewish, #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

c.michael eliasz-solomon shared with you:
Simcha Rotem

University Michigan, Wallenberg Medal Lecture

Living history is so finite. I hope my blog captures the fragility and preserves history / family history before they are lost. Also, I know I am writing for a future. They will look back upon blogs and judge their quality when studying this era and what this era found important. I find Simcha Rotem, an eye witness / participant of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of World War II compelling and authentic.

‍   #History    #Poland    #Jewish    #HERO

A Polish-Jewish hero
economist.com - Article source
Don’t have time to view this now?

Get Pocket
pocket_embossed.gif

April 25, 2013

The Last Pandemic … 1918 — #Genealogy, #Polish, #War

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Block_A week ago Stanczyk wrote about Cholera and its 5th Pandemic. This week I was searching for ‘Status Animarum‘ (Latin for ‘State of the Souls’). That is a type of church census. Often these censuses include three generations. I stopped in a list of Google results. I stopped for Cleveland’s St. Stanislaus’ 1918 Status Animarum.

Now Stanczyk has a branch of the family in Cleveland and at the St Stanislaus parish. 1918 was the tail end of World War I. It was also the main year of the last epidemic,  … the flu,  sometime called the Spanish Flu. More people died from the flu than from the war. Pestilence won again. I am sure war had something to do with the pestilence and people weakened immune systems.

World War I was different then almost all other wars in US history. We had citizens training and fighting in two armies against a common enemy. You had Polish-Americans serving in the US Army and you had Polish Americans serving in the French colors (Blue Army), Polish-led (General Haller), Canadian-trained, with men from the USA who were Polish ethnically. So a world war and pestilence both ran amok.

This Status Animarum was not the kind like in European parishes that listed two-three family generations and their home, census-like. This was a Status Animarum Report — summarized at the parish level …

1918_Cleveland_StStanislaus_pg1 1918_Cleveland_StStanislaus_pg2

Blessedly, with about one thousand men serving in the military (3/4 USA, 1/4 Polish) and the Flu Pandemic, only 18 men had died!

  1.8%  

Statistically, Cleveland’s St. Stanislaus had lucked out. The other statistic, 25% of the men served in Haller’s Army (aka the Blue Army). This device allowed the US men to have a presence in the World War, before the USA was ready … emotionally to end its isolationism and enter the war itself. I wonder if this percentage held true in all Polish parishes in the USA?

What desperate times were those? And yet, is today not like a hundred years ago? We shall see. It has been nearly a century since the last pandemic. Will the Chinese bird-flu be the next pandemic? Time will tell. Certainly, there is plenty of warfare about the globe and plenty of sabre rattling.

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)
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 14, 2012

Poland 1794, The Tempest, & Catherine The Great – #Polish, #Genealogy, #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk’s blog has a blog roll that includes the talented, Donna Pointkouski’sWhat’s Past is Prologue”. Her blog’s title is from Shakespeares’ play, “The Tempest”. Today’s article is NOT a paean to her fine works, nor to Shakespeare really though this jester has a fondness for the bard – I know I’ve said that before.

Ok, get out your Shakespeare’s 1st Folio and follow along. You will not have to flip too far. The Tempest is the first play in the tome. Just do it. Donna’s quote (“What’s Past is Prologue”) comes from Act II, Scene 1 and is said by Antonio. Today’s article is about Act I, Scene I and how that scene appears in another case of life imitating art. Never fear this is an historical tale from Russian Poland …

Dateline – Easter Week 1794. Poland has already been partitioned twice, the second time was just last year (1793) following the War of the Second Partition. The Empress of Russia is Ekaterina (Catherine) the Great. This Tsarina seems to have had a ‘soft spot” for the Polish diplomat and it was her seduction of Stanislaw August Poniatowski, whom she had caused to be installed as the last elected King of Poland that brought us to this day. It was Poniatowski’s duplicity in trying to move Poland closer to his lover’s Russian Empire that led to the Four Year Sejm only the Empress did not want Poland to re-arm nor Poland’s help in suppressing Turkish aggressions. So the Sejm left to itself,  enacted the world’s  2nd Democratic Constitution on May 3rd, 1791 which led to the War of the Second Partition and finally the 2nd partition in 1793. Violence begets violence and so we find ourselves here Easter Week 1794.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko emboldened by his success in the American Revolution, leads a successful Insurrection in Krakow, where his heroic charge against the Russian General Tormasov results in the capture of the Russian cannons and defeat for the Russian General and his overly small force. This victory results in the ensuing liberation of Warsaw followed by Wilno. Thereby commencing a killing spree led by a tailor whose name (ironically in English) is Jan Kilinski and also by the Guild of Slaughterers (the fascinating occupations of our ancestors). The Russian Ambassador in Warsaw was able to flee eastward across the Vistula bridges[1] just ahead of the Insurrection.

However, the remainder of the Russian sympathizers who were too slow to follow the Russian Ambassador were summarily tried and hung by the Insurrection Council and/or by angry mobs. Amongst those fleeing, was a certain Hetman named Szymon Kossakowski who was caught trying to escape by boat …

Kossakowski  was caught and hanged under the rather literate inscription, “He who swings will not drown.” [1] .

Now compare that quote to Shakespeare’s text in “The Tempest”, published in the 1st Folio in 1623[2]  (performed prior to that publishing in 1610/1611). Near the end of Act I, Scene I  Gonzalo says, “He’ll be hanged yet, though every drop of water swear against it …[3]  .  That scene also contained more dialog about the loathsome boatswain being hanged rather than drowning.

Now we have arrived at the point of Stanczyk’s thesis. That Poland’s rebels were literate and familiar with Shakespeare’s Tempest. They cleverly used this paraphrase in proper context and it was directed at Poniatowski and of course the hangings left no doubt what would happen to other Russian sympathizers when caught. How do I come to suppose such a thing?

Poniatowski, despite his flaws was linguistically talented and mastered many languages, including English due to his mentorship in Russia by the British Ambassador, Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams, who was responsible for introducing Poniatowski to the Russian Empress[4].  Poniatowski was so enamored of the bard he erected a statue at Lazienki Palace of Shakespeare[5] ! Poniatowski’s brother, Michal Poniatowski (a Polish Primate) committed suicide rather than meet his fate at the hands of the Insurrection Council. So the Primate knew more certainly than most what Kossakowski’s hanging meant to all Russian sympathizers.

The Insurrection was short lived and was put down by the Catherine the Great and her Russian Generals. This historical story is what led to the third Partition of Poland.

However, it appears 171 years was ample time for the 1st Folio to be transported to Poland, translated to Polish and understood and used in appropriate context during a rebellion. So Stanczyk lays the events of Easter Week 1794 squarely at the foot of Stanislaw August Poniatowski, including the rebels literate scholarship, and the resulting third Partition of Poland which made Poland’s borders (not her people or her culture) disappear for 123 years (1795-1918). Poniatowski had to abdicate in 1795 (at the 3rd Partition) and he died 3 years later … in St Petersburg, Russia.

Catherine The Great : Portrait of a Woman

I’ll have you know that today’s article was inspired by my wife, Tereza. She is reading the above named book  by Robert K. Massie and because she knows my interest in and knowledge of matters about Poland and our shared Slavic genealogies, we have had many wonderfully animated conversations about this book she is reading.  It was nice for her to hear another viewpoint and for me to be further informed by Massie’s scholarly work. We both recommend the book to biography/history readers. My wife reads the book as Catherine, and Stanczyk pretends he is Potemkin !!!

;-)

That is my meme for today.

References

[1] Norman Davies, “God’s Playground”, Volume 1,  2005 Revised Edition, pages 406, 407.

[2] Editor, G. Blakemore Evans, “The Riverside Shakespeare”, page 56.

[3] Edited by Cross & Brooke, “Yale Shakespeare, Complete Works”,  2005 Edition, page 1407.

 [4] Robert K. Massie, “Catherine The Great: Portrait Of A Woman”,  2011  1st Edition, page 175.

[5] Czeslaw Milosz, The History of Polish Literature”, page 169.

December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor – A Day That Will Live In Infamy – #History, #Genealogy, #Family

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the day Pearl Harbor was Sneak Attacked by the Japanese — that caused the USA to officially enter into World War II.

Most of the Greatest Generation of Americans would be 83 years old or older — my own father is now 85 (center, front Navy man). It is just him and my uncle Ted (back, left Army man) who remain alive now.

How fortunate for my Busia, that her four sons returned to her (in Detroit) alive. My uncle Joe (2nd from left in back Army) was stationed in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor was attacked. My uncle Steve (left-most, front Navy man) joined Joe there in Hawaii briefly for a war time reunion / shore leave.

From 1941 to 1945, receiving a telegram was something to dread. My grand-aunt, Antonina (Toledo) awaited her four sons too. God Bless my family, but eight men returned from the war safely to resume their lives. Alas, for Antonina and her ailing heart, receiving a telegram about one her sons was too much for her sickly heart and though her sons survived the war, she did not survive that telegram bringing news from the war.

In my wife’s family her uncle Milton, a 2nd Lt. in the Army is buried at Arlington National Cemetery (he had survived WWII too). Her own father had finished his service to country in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyards — just two weeks. He died from that service. He contracted mesothelioma (asbestos poisoning) from his final two weeks — but was fortunate enough to raise a family before succumbing 42 years later to this hidden War-time scourge.

Detroit was the Arsenal of Democracy, shifting from cars to tanks/planes. Many people do not realize that population shift that war caused. A Huge migration from the South swelled the population of Detroit as workers were required to keep the factories running 24x7x365. I still remember eating Southern “cuisine” in diners in the greater Detroit area decades after the war.

Back East, the Shipyards were busy building the warships with their armaments. The USS Dixie (AD-14), Tender Destroyer that my own father served on was built right here in Philadelphia (launched on 27 May 1939) — probably in that Navy Ship Yard. A far cry from that 1913 September day that my grandmother arrived in Philadelphia. How funny for a Midwestern boy, that Philadelphia would be where my grandmother arrived, where my father’s WWII ship was made and where I would wind up living and raising a family with my Philly girl.

Before, I started genealogy 15-16 years ago, I did not know my grandmother arrived in Phillly (we thought Ellis Island like my grandfather and so many others). I did not know that ship my father served on was built here. I had not even moved to Philly yet. Destiny draws you to these places and then you discover that the history of your family preceded you. Full circle.

Remember the Day of Infamy (70 years ago) !    Remember 9/11/2001 too, now ten years ago.  Family History Marches on.

November 17, 2011

Feliks Elijasz, Roman Catholic Shoemaker – Found in Fold3.com Free WWII database

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wants to tell you, my faithful readers, a story of Remembrance. This is a fitting tale, since it came from Fold3′s providing free access to its WWII databases for Veterans Day (also known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day). It is the story of Feliks Elijasz, a Catholic Shoemaker from Warsaw, Poland. Feliks shares a last name with Stanczyk’s family, but there is no evidence that Feliks is an ancestor. This story is derived from an historical form (see the end of this article). This story is also another case of cognitive resonance, due to its connection to my wife and a friend she made a while ago and this woman who gave moja zona some significant historical photos earlier this week (just copies, not the originals).

Feliks Elijasz, was a Shoemaker (and as I said a Catholic). Feliks was born the 17th-November-1896 in Warsaw. At the time of this form’s creation, Feliks was living in Warsaw, on Okopowa 30 ( a street address). Warsaw was in occupied Poland at the time. His parents were Wiktor Elijasz (also a shoemaker in Warsaw) and Paulina Elijasz (nee Szczigolska), with whom he lived. Feliks was married to Janina Elijasz (nee Woclarksa). He and his wife had at least one child (20 years old). Feliks was an infantryman in the Polish Army from 1920 to 1921. [Since that is after World War I, it is probable that Feliks fought the Russian Bolsheviks in the border war of that time period.]

Feliks had the bad sense to do something for which he was arrested in Warsaw, on the 10th-August-1944. He was admitted to prison in Krakow, on the 13th-August-1944. Feliks died while incarcerated on the 2nd-March-1945. That is horrible! The horror is further compounded because that prison camp was liberated  just a month later on the 11th-April-1945. The prison camp was Buchenwald!!! The form is from the Buchenwald Camp documents, called, “Camp Records – Inmate Cards“, page 2177.  There a few other details (describing Feliks’ appearance, etc.). The file was discontinued, on the 16th-March-1945. So this entire remembrance was constructed by careful extraction from the historical document — which provided a treasure trove of detail to remember Feliks by.

Now the Cognitive Resonance part is about Buchenwald. Not two days earlier, my wife was given pages of photographs of the Dachau Trials (held at the same time as the more famous Nuremberg Trials). The pictures were of the prosecuted Nazis, the American Liberators, the witnesses, courtrooms, etc. I was able to identify the pictures as from the Dachau Trials, as there were other pictures taken (and published on the Internet) and the windows, light fixtures, room decor, etc, matched EXACTLY. These pictures were taken by a  Norristown, PA soldier (who has since passed). His pictures did NOT contain, the infamous, “Witch of Buchenwald” who was prosecuted at the Dachau Trials (and convicted), but the other pictures that I matched these newly discovered historical pictures to, did, contain, Ilse Koch (the Witch of Buchenwald, amongst other  appellations). Ilse Koch was the wife of the Buchenwald Commandant (Karl Otto Koch).

For the record my wife, has contacted the Shoah Foundation about this woman who has the original historical pictures that her father took in Dachau in 1945. So these pictures will be recorded/preserved for posterity by professionals. We did not handle the originals,  merely copies that the woman had given to my wife. I know the new pictures are from Dachau Trials, because the soldier signed the back of one picture with his name and his location (Dachau). He was the soldier who was assigned to photograph the proceedings (I do not know/think he was the only photographer) and he was also required to witness the death sentences carried out on at least  three different individuals (two of the Nazis for which it appears he has something akin to funeral cards for and Claus Karl Schilling, the camp doctor whom the soldier mentioned witnessing his death). That soldier/photographer was Carmen Frangiosa a man who witnessed and photographed history.

The Inmate Card of Feliks Elijasz …

November 10, 2011

Marine Corps – The US Marine Corps was born Today 10-November-1775

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Happy Birthday US Marine Corps. You do not look 236 years old. The Marines were born here in Philadelphia, PA ! The Marines were born 10-November-1775 @Tun_Tavern, Phialdelphia, PA.

Tun Tavern was a significant meeting place for other groups as well. In 1756, Benjamin Franklin used the tavern as a recruitment/gathering point for the Pennsylvania militia. The tavern later hosted a meeting of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, & the Continental Congress.

The US Marine Corps has an Illustrious History. Their motto is: Semper Fidelis, which  is Latin for “Always Faithful”. So when you hear their rallying cry (or welcoming shout), “Semper Fi”, now you know what they mean.

October 27, 2011

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 17, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army in My Tree [part three]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

y Family Tree has many heroic men and women or I would not be here blogging today. It is only by standing on the shoulders of giants that I can see farther — Issac Newton borrowed that quote from a much earlier time; But it is still true today. In today’s article, my third of three ( Article1Article2 ) on Haller’s Army and the heroic 25,000 men who volunteered from America to fight for Poland in World War I, by fighting in France’s army (and their blue uniforms).

There are three men in my family tree who volunteered and fought in Haller’s Army:

  • Boleslaw Wlecialowski
  • Wlodzimierz Kendzierski
  • Pawel Elijasz

I do not know how many people have such in their Polish genealogy, but this strikes me as a large number for one family. What is interesting is that the story for each is so different.

Wlecialowski

Last article, I mentioned that you use the PGSA.org database to look-up your ancestors and see if they volunteered. The results should look something like:

So armed with the Name and Location you should be able to tell if it is your ancestor or not without having to order the form(s). However, it is inexpensive enough that you can order multiple people when in doubt. Better yet, go to the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and then you can review the form in person before ordering.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski registered in Hamtramck, MI. on his Form C,  he mentions that his nearest relatives in Poland are Maciej and Katarzyna Wlecialowscy in the Gubernia of Kiecle, Gmina & Miasto of Pacanow. That is invaluable! Of the three forms, Form C is the most valuable because it asks for nearest relatives in both the US and in Poland. Form A has the basic info (name, address, etc.) and Form B (the medical form) is perhaps the least valuable form of the three. Form L is just the collection of all three forms.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: A

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: C

 When Boleslaw returned his ship manifest on the SS Princess Matoika said he was returning to his sister Rozalia Gawlikowski in Detroit, MI.

The above ship manifest is an image of the manifest header with lines 17-19 spliced in to show Boleslaw’s record on his return from Haller’s Army. He returned 21-July-1920 and his passage was paid for the by the US Government (on page 2 not shown).

Kendzierski

Now Wlodzimierz Kendzierski (aka Kędzierski) is interesting on two accounts. First he registered twice. Once in Detroit and once in Pittsburgh! Now that was helpful because he listed different contacts in the US in the two documents. It was also interesting because I could not find his returning ship manifest (although I did find his brother Ludwik return — but who had not registered?). Genealogical mysteries! Now we know he served because we have a picture of Wlodzimierz in his Haller’s Army uniform.

Wlodzimierz Kedzierski

So he definitely served. I suspect the Ludwik Kedzierski returning (August 1922) to his cousin in Pittsburgh was really Wlodz. But this is interesting. Perhaps the two registrations are because one registration office said ‘no’ to his volunteering and the second office said ‘yes’.

Once again, it was invaluable that we ordered both sets of forms and both forms indicated he was the same person (naming a sister, brother, brother-in-law, and a wife with known addresses). Although Wlodzimierz is an uncommon first name and the complete combination is rare indeed. What it did do was show a family connection to the Pittsburgh Kedzierski which we did not previously know.

Elijasz

Now the third family member was interesting in yet another way. Both Boleslaw (who became Bill) and Wlodzimierz (who became Walter) returned to US and lived full lives as Americans. However, Pawel Elijasz was an enigma. I could never decide how he was related because I only had a ship manifest and a 1910 US Census from Depew, NY. So until I found his registering for Haller’s Army and finding out that he lived with a cousin of my grandfather’s who was Pawel’s brother I did not know how Pawel fit in. Then I found his birth record from Pacanow and his marriage record from Pacanow and the birth record of Pawel’s daughter and his being a God Father to a nephew all in Pacanow. So those church records which connected him with the Pawel in Haller’s Army and which connected him to the Eliasz/Elijasz in America answered many questions for me. Including what happened to Pawel after 1910. I now knew he registered in 1917 in Toledo, OH for Haller’s Army and that he lived with his brother Wincenty Elijasz at 1054 Campbell Street, Toledo, OH (down the road from my grandparents and next door to a married sister Wiktoria, Elijasz Mylek). So now I had a bit more timeline for Pawel. I just assumed he went back to Poland to live with his wife and daughter (and hence why no 1920 or 1930 US Census records). Imagine my shock when I found this last piece of data at a Polish Genealogical Society website. The link just preceding is to a database: “List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920″ . I found out that Pawel had died, while serving in Haller’s Army ( 2/13/1920 in Łuck, Poland )  [see next image of a book page].

So now I knew the rest of Pawel’s story. But it was his Haller’s Army registration that answered so many questions and connected up church records in Poland with US Vital records.

As an aside, finding out that Pawel was a brother of Wincenty and Wiktoria Elijasz and not a brother of my grandfather was still a great find.  For Pawel’s sister Wiktoria is the only ELIASZ in the whole family tree with the following distinction.

Wiktoria has Vital records in US/Poland with her last name spelled as: ELIASZ, ELIJASZ and HELIASZ.

So now you know why the family tree acknowledges all three names as one family name.

I have had ELIASZ and HELIASZ combos (modern and historical). I have had ELIASZ and ELIJASZ combos in my own family. But Wiktoria is unqiue in that she was the only ELIASZ who has used all three versions of the family name at one time or another in her life.

Wiktoria is also God Mother to two of my uncles. Wiktoria is also related to the lovely Elzbieta Heliasz Kapusta who sent to me, my grandparent’s marriage records (both civil and church) from Poland where Elzbieta lives and who does not speak a single  word of English. So it is a small world indeed.

I do not have a Polish Consulate newspaper article saying any of my three ancestors earned land from Poland for their service. I also do not have any info from PAVA, but the next time I travel to NYC, I will look them up and see if Boleslaw or Wlodzimierz were ever PAVA members. I will try and find an example of the Polish Consulate messages to an American-Pole in a Polish Language US newspaper where they were seeking an Haller’s Army veteran now living in the USA and post it here for you my good readers to see. I hope this series of postings has motivated you the Polish Genealogist to seek out this unique Polish genealogical resource and then track down the other connecting pieces to this puzzle.

Let Stanczyk know!

August 14, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army (aka Blue Army / Polish Army in France) [part 2]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Gentle readers, today’s article is about the many genealogical or personal ties to the history of Haller’s Army. The focus is on what the genealogist may want to pursue to flesh out his/her family tree.

Background

The era was World War I  (1914-1918) and the world was mad with war and carnage and pestilence. There were 16.5 million deaths and 21 million wounded making it the 6th deadliest conflict (or possibly 2nd/3rd worse if you include the Flu Pandemic deaths). [See: this cheery web page on the estimate of Wars, Pandemics, Disasters,  and Genocides that caused the greatest number of deaths.] Out of this madness, was an army of diaspora Poles formed, of which over 25,0001

came from the US via a US sanctioned formation of a foreign force, which had to be constituted in Canada due to USA fears and its isolationist policies that limited President Wilson.

These brave 25,000 men were added to another contingent of 35,000 Polish men formed largely from prisoners of war from the German and Austria-Hungarian armies inside France,  who were now willing to fight against Central Powers as a part of the Allied/Central Powers.  They fought bravely in World War I,  before the USA entered the war and for nearly four more years (1918-1922) after World War I officially ended in the Polish-Bolshevik War (aka Polish-Soviet War).

Poster — from wiki

More Background can be found here (Haller’s Army website) or at the wiki page (Blue Army).

Registration Centers

The recruitment centers were in the Polish Falcons centers. The Polish Falcons were called the Związek Sokołów Polskich w Ameryce (ZSP)  and this is what you will find on Haller’s Army enlistment forms. The Polish Falcons still exist and are headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. There are reportedly 115 Polish Falcon Nests across 15 states. Each Nest has its own history that it maintains.

PGSA Database

The Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA.org) maintains a database of the Haller’s Army registrations that can be searched for your ancestor(s). It is free to search and there is a modest charge to get a copy of the actual documents. The search page is here: (http://www.pgsa.org/haller.php) . These documents are archived by the Polish Museum of America in Chicago. This data is also on LDS Microfilm by region see this page for details .

There are three types of forms. These forms are in Polish. You need not worry about that as the PGSA offers example forms in English (FormA | FormC) in PDF format.  On the forms you find the following info:

  • Form A is an intention to volunteer and contains the name, address, age, and marital status.
  • Form B is a medical examination report for the volunteer.
  • Form C is the final commitment paper. It includes date and place of birth and usually the name and address of a parent or other close relative.  The Form’s family notes include close family in USA and in Poland.

Returning Soldiers

The Allies issued medals to their victorious soldiers so you may have in your family heirlooms one of these. This website has an index of the various medals (with images). Many of the websites whose links are in this article also have pictures of men in uniforms — which included their distinctive hats.

We tend to think the soldiers were all Polish men and that these men were Catholics, but our Polish-Jewish brethren also served in Haller’s Army. This page from Polish Roots is about the Jewish soldiers who served and provides a table of many of the men known to be Jewish.

The ship manifests in Ellis Island record the return Haller’s Army soldiers, who returned en masse. You can see the soldiers who are listed on pages together with a note on the bottom, “Reservists”. That notation should eliminate any confusion with other possible passengers/crew members. The soldiers returning from the European theater are known to have arrived via Ellis Island on the following ships:

  • SS Antigone (from Danzig – April 18, 1920)
  • SS Princess Matoika (from Danzig – May 23, 1920)
  • SS Pocahontas (from Danzig – June 16, 1920)
  • SAT  Mercury (US Army Transport), from Danzig, June 16, 1920 / arrived in New York, June 28 1920
  • SS President Grant (from Danzig) – February 16, 1921
  • SS Latvia  - August 17, 1922

 Links to the Ship Manifests

http://bit.ly/rlVaaQ  SS Princess Matoika from Danzig in 1920 [more dates than shown above] 4253 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/p3ViM2 SS Pocahontas from Danzig  in 1920 [please note the ship name is P-O-C-A-H-O-N-T-A-S. It was misspelled on the PGSA.org website].   4199 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/nwYwsx SAT Mercury from Danzig June 1920.  2074 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/n6YRot SS Antigone from Danzig April 1920. 1628 Returning Troops

http://goo.gl/F48dg5 SS President Grant from Danzig February1921. ~1900 Returning Troops3

http://bit.ly/pGwQa5 SS Latvia from Danzig  August 1922. 1517 Returning Troops

Returning passage – Payment of passage was split between the Polish and United States Governments. [see column 16] on ship manifest. It appears some soldiers returned with wives and children too [so those numbers above are not all soldiers].

One more connection. Similar to  the VFW for US veterans, there is a Polish-American organization in NYC called POLISH ARMY VETERANS ASSOCIATION2

They (PAVA  or SWAP) have genealogical data from their membership forms. According to Dr Valasek, the membership application for the association has the usual, date, place of birth, current address, and occupation; It also had something most descendants of Hallerczycy desperately want to know:  the unit in which the man fought, and his rank upon leaving the army. There is also the identification of which post the soldier joined.  Each post has its own history, as well as photos, banquet books, anniversary booklets, etc. All valuable adjuncts to your research once you identify the correct post, (or, as it’s known in Polish, placówka). There is also a question on the form, Do jakich organizacji należy? , to what organizations does he belong. More avenues for research.

Fallen Soldiers

In any war, there are casualties. Haller’s Army is no different. Stanczyk likes this Polish Genealogical Society (http://genealodzy.pl/name-Straty.phtml) named aptly, The Polish Genealogical Society. They have many databases, but they have search front-ends for two related to Haller’s Army. The one from the link above is for:  List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920.

With this link I was finally able to determine that one of my ancestors who was in America up through the 1910 census, but was missing from the 1920/1930 censuses, whom I had previously thought had returned to Poland — had really died while serving in Haller’s Army. I found his Haller’s Army Forms at PGSA and then from this Polish website I found a scanned image of a Polish book listing his name, date/place of death.

Soldier Benefits

Some soldiers who came to America who served in Haller’s Army, earned benefits from the new Polish nation. I have seen land grants awarded (not to my ancestors). They often had to be contacted through the Polish Consulates in America. This leads to my final recommendation — using Historical Polish Language Newspapers from that era to find out about your soldier. The newspaper may write about the returning units in a story and possibly a picture. I have also seen that the Polish Consulate took out listings in the newspaper and referred to Haller’s Army veterans they were seeking to inform them of their veteran benefits. See my Dziennik Polski (Detroit) page at the top menu-tabs for an example what these Polish Consulate ads might look like.

Let me finish today’s article by mentioning Dr. Paul S. Valasek’s book on the subject matter: Haller’s Polish Army in France http://www.amazon.com/Hallers-Polish-Army-France-Valasek/dp/0977975703 and also another book entitled: Remembrance http://www.hallersarmy.com/store/Remembrance.php. written by Charles Casimer Krawczyk.

Tomorrow … Haller’s Army in My Family Tree

–Stanczyk

Notes:

1=Polish Falcons History page . Paul Valasek says the number is above 24,000. The wikipedia says the number is 23,000.

2=PAVA,   address: 119 East 15th Street,  New York,  NY 10003   -   e-mail:  <info@pava-swap.org>,  telephone:  212-358-0306

3= The addition of the President Grant came about from a Newspaper Article mentioned by Daniel Wolinski. A picture of the article has been appended after these notes.

FortDixNJ_HallersArmy_Returnees_1921

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