Archive for ‘Musings’

August 31, 2014

75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Poland — #History #Molotov–Ribbentrop-Pact

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19390901-german-army-attacks-polandDateline  September 1, 1939 —

Nine days ago, on August 23rd, 1939, Nazi Germany & Soviet Russia signed a Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, formally known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.  This was a foreshadow to war.  If you were expecting a Labor Day blog then you are mistaken; Not this year. It has been exactly 75 years since World War II began with the invasion of Poland.

The 20th Century’s most heinous death sprees: World War II, The Holocaust, The Korean War and The Cold War are an era when between 30 Million-nearly 100 Million were killed, some genocidally. Truly a century of madness.

start-WorldWarIIBut it started with the fifth partition of Poland. FIVE ??? Yes, I said five partitions. The first three partitions (zabiory) in 1772, 1793, 1795 were by: Prussia, Austria, and Russia. These are the reason we see: Ger-Poland, Rus-Poland or Aus-Poland in the US Census during the Great Migration era 1870-1920. This jester likens Napoleon’s Duchy of Warsaw as the 4th partition (1807-1815). So when the Nazis and Soviets invade Poland in 1939 to form the General Government, with its Districts: Warsaw, Radom Lublin, and Krakow (2 years hence, 1941 with Operation Barbarosa,  also Galicia) we arrive at the fifth partition.

Stanczyk, mentions those 4 or 5 Districts (Distrikts) as they are important to interpret the administrative hierarchy for the vital records between 1939-1945. It was the same in the prior four partitions of Poland that administrative hierarchy changes occurred.

The largest  civil administrative division, what Americans might think of as Province/State was variously known, depending on partition as:  Provinz/Kreis, Wojewodztwo, Gubernia, Departament and Distrikt. Knowing the civil administrative hierarchy is important in locating your ancestor’s village.

Let’s hope that Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the support of the Russian Rebels in Ukraine and the Syrian Civil War giving rise to the fascist Islamic State is not the beginning of the 21st century of madness. Think !


August 25, 2014

Genealogy Consanguinity & DNA — #Genealogy #DNA #Kinship

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Genealogy_Consanguinity
Consanguinity Chart Now … by John J. Tierney used via CC rights

 This is a beautiful data visualization tool of “relatedness” (Consanguinity) between yourself and an ancestor/descendant. Stanczyk loves good #STEM.  Mr. Tierney modified his excellent chart to add, “What percentage of DNA do you share with your family members”.

Kinship is characterized by the sharing of a common ancestor(s).  Consanguinity is derived from its Latin root:   consanguineous ∴  “of common blood”.

Today, I wanted to use this excellent chart to talk about the three types of Genealogical DNA tests:

 mtDNA

Y-DNA

autosomal DNA

mtDNA / Y-DNA

This way a genealogist can determine for him/her-self what benefit each type of DNA testing offers. mtDNA is for tracing the matrilineal line (your mother/maternal side). Y-Chromosome is for tracing your patrilineal line (aka surname tracing) or your father’s side. These two dnas are for tracing direct descent as these sex-based chromosomes are copied identically from one generation to the next, not half/half as the autosomal dna chromosome’s dna. Correctly, said the mutations in mtDNA and Y-DNA are more infrequent than the non-sex based genome (i.e. autosome) and they are not mixed like the other 22 chromosome’s dna. If you follow the blue arrows (in the diagram) up/down your family tree that is your linear descent; so you mtDNA to trace your mother’s side and use YDNA to trace your father’s side to your proverbial mitochondrial-Eve or your Y-Adam. You are testing for the blue boxes in our diagram.

So what is autosomal DNA?

Genealogy_Consanguinity_dna1

Inside Red Lines – are autosomal DNA generations.

The autosomal DNA are the dna from the other 22 non-sex chromosomes pairs. Autosomal DNA testing is a genealogical DNA test that uses either autosomal STRs or autosomal SNPs. (STR’s are Short Tandem Repeats; SNPs are single-nucleotide polymorphisms.) However, testing companies do not currently offer autosomal STRs tests that use enough STR markers for genealogy. The preferred choice for both genealogy and ethnic population matching is microarray chips that use hundreds of thousands of autosomal SNPs.

Mathematically, speaking you need at least six generations back before you get enough certainty(99% certainty) to do matching to find distant cousins by using current Genealogical DNA testing. So if you do not have your 4x-great-grandparents’ (all 64 of them) surnames then you are NOT guaranteed to be able to use current DNA tests to determine your relatedness to another genealogist (and his/her ancestors who must also have six generations in their tree too).

I am thinking we are still one or two generations (35-70 years) away from using this as a viable technique that will work with any two random genealogists — mathematically speaking. Obvious exceptions are Icelandiks or Amish or other relatively closed-genetic populations who may have greater success (or counter-intuitively lesser) with fewer generations. Its all in the DNA and in the quality of the testing to catch the diversity in your genome.

You will notice that the fine chart we have been using, including the one with the red-lines (my lines) that indicate autosomal DNA testing candidates, does NOT show enough generations. It would need to be extended one more generation. So we need the surnames of 64 people with whom we only share 1.5675% of our DNA with. That is with direct descent. If we are matching to the autosome DNA  (i.e. our Nth cousin, M-times removed) then we are matching to someone who we may only share 0.0243% blood with. That is 2/100th of 1 percent !

Related Blog Article

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p style=”text-align:justify;”>Violinist’s Thumb24-January-2014 – This has many great links to other articles and includes some pertinent facts on DNA to think about. A Guaranteed thought provoker of a blog.

August 10, 2014

Meme: Things I Found While Looking Up Other Things — 02-JAN-1943, #History #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19430102_ToledoBlade_Page10Dateline 02-JAN-1943Stanczyk was doing some newspaper research for my family tree residents that resided in Ohio, Lucas County, Toledo.  On 01-JANUARY-1943 Vincent Eliasz died.  From my visit to  Calvary Cemetery in Toledo and speaking with one of the caretakers (Bruce) who was very kind to me in search of my ancestors who were buried there that I wanted to pay my respects to. He opened the cemetery’s old books and showed me the info on my relatives; One of whom was Vincent Eliasz. So I knew that Vincent Eliasz died on Stomach Cancer on January 1st of 1943.

So I was searching Google’s History Newspaper Archive for the Toledo Blade in 1943. I did find Vincent’s death notice — it was helpful at documenting relationships and locales of siblings. But I could not help but notice something else. Of course, in January  1943 , we are 13 months into the USA’s involvement in World War II. So I was fascinated by the pictures and names of the local servicemen posted in the paper. The image at the top is the top half of page 10, Toledo Blade newspaper of  02-JAN-1943 (Saturday). Perhaps one of these men are related to you. Here is the rollcall of these men whose picture was in the newspaper that day:

B.W. Beaverson,   R.L. Cole,   Edward White,   C.J. Schultz,   R.G. Musser,

John h. Schaub Jr.,   Paul Beecher,   Roland Cordrey,   Danny Malecki,   A.F. Rutter,

Sam Maccabee,   R.L. Powell,   E.S. Gallon,   Robert Lewis,   C.C. Kirbey,

Herbert J. Hall, age 25 was just married and returning back to his aircraft carrier in Midway!

The Death Notices & Birth Notices were also on this page. Under the Births let me list two:

Mr & Mrs Clement Plenzler of 1019 Brookley had a boy on Friday [which would be 1/1/1943]

Mr & Mrs Robert Nadolny of 643 Junction had a girl on Friday.

 

* Click on the picture to go directly to the Google Newspaper Archive page *


 

 

August 8, 2014

King Richard III, died August 22, 1485, buried Saturday, March 28, 2015 — #Genealogy, #Royalty

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RichardIII

King Richard III was dead, you must admit for over 100 years or this story will make no sense. So more than a century had expired before the bard ever gave him the tragedy treatment.  King Richard III ‘s reputation was such a cesspool  of swirling accusations and counter claims that by Shakespeare’s time he is portrayed as “a physically deformed machiavellian villain, albeit courageous and witty …”. Now it is indeed true that king died in battle (final and decisive battle of the War of Roses) and was hastily buried and his remains were lost for just over a half-millenia.

Richard III was lost and spent the the first 500+ years of his eternal life, ignominiously buried beneath a parking lot in Leicester. They (the Brits) finally located where his bones were and the bones were unearthed in 2012 . Even though they had to ascertain whose bones were unearthed in that parking lot, this re-commenced a less violent and less heroic struggle for Richard III ‘s bones. After half a millenia in the ground we developed the ability look at DNA and via mtDNA and compared to those of a direct descendant of Richard’s sister. So now we have the remains of King Richard III for certain and as I foreshadowed the forces  of several armies immediately sought to lay claim to the bones. This mayhem precipitated a judicial review. The magistrates have ruled and now a proper party, er, um, ahem,  burial will be had and Richard III will be interred Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the Leicester Cathedral. There the king will lie in repose for three days prior to beginning the next part of his eternal life. King Richard III’s remains will lie in repose for three days, during which time the public can pay their respects. The first service, on March 26, will be followed by similar events on March 27 and 28 leaving plenty of time for people to plan their vacations to be a part of this august ceremony and  be able to purchase all of the bric-a-brac that is incumbent at major genealogical events !

Now we come to the heart of the matter for this jester. I  inveigle all of my Anglo-Genealogists and Royalists of all stripes to properly update their family trees to show the accurate burial date and place of poor Richard III. The king’s remains will now be deposited  inside a lead ossuary placed inside an English-oak coffin — all of which will be placed inside a brick-lined vault in the cathedral floor of  Leicester Cathedral. Let the Wikipedia editors take note too!

So let it be written.

#AccuracyInGenealogy

P.S.  —  As the picture shows, Shakespeare was at least correct in the physical deformity part of his portrayal.


August 8, 2014

George Timothy Clooney, Amal Ramzi Alamuddin — Marriage License — #Genealogy, #Celebrity

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Lgeorge-clooney-amal-marriage-licenseondoner Alamuddin is marrying George Clooney in Italy (It has been IntolerableCrueltyreported as in/near Venice). Didn’t I see this in a George Clooney movie before?

Ah, yes — in Intolerable Cruelty. Although this time miss Alamuddin is the lawyer and George is the divorcee.

Although if you are one of George’s cast-offs, this may be intolerable cruelty to you:

Sarah Larson, Krista Allen,  Lisa Snowdon,  Celine Belitran, Karen Duffy, Kelly Preston,  Talia Balsam [ex-wife].  [list is here, with photos]. George is the nephew of Rosemary Clooney.

 

This jester wishes the happy couple well and all the happiness the world has to offer !

 

Celebrity Genealogy.


 

August 7, 2014

#Book #Review — The Serpent Of Venice by Christopher Moore

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Serpent Of Venice  by Christopher Moore —

contact:  Christopher Moore .

The Serpent Of VeniceStanczyk is  a bibliophile, possibly even a bibliophage. Being a jester for three kings gives me an especial fondness for authors/stories that have a jester/fool as one of the characters. So Stanczyk has a special fondness for William Shakespeare. Imagine how this jester was jolted to find a story mashed-up from Shakespeare with a jester … wait-a-minute  … who has a monkey  … named Jeff? Oh rapture, huzzah! How did I miss the fact that Christopher Moore had these characters in a prior novel  … Fool? Note to self go back and buy Fool !

I had only just finished the first chapter when I realized this story was a mash-up.  It appeared to me to be a mash-up of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (comedy) and Othello (tragedy) and Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado (mystery). I was lured by the clever riff upon the Merchant of Venice title and naïvely assumed this would be a take off of that story. But I got more, much more than even I had bargained for and a monkey named Jeff to boot.

I like to examine a book like some kind of genealogy document. What is its structure? Is there anything unusual or unexpected? How many pages/chapters? So after I read three chapters, I decided to do this kind of examination. I recommend you read the first three chapters too before you do this examination. I saw an afterword. It was by the author and he gives his deconstruction of his novel — most interesting! But it can be a bit of a spoiler. Still I did read the Afterword before I read the last chapter  … I just could not help myself. I already decided to invest myself in the book and was uproariously entertained so far. Having the author give insight, also added to my wanting to complete the book, but I did appreciate some of the inside “skinny” he gives, so I can ensure I get all that Mr. Moore dishes up.

I laughed at his wit. Its right there in the preface (called The Stage and after  the Cast [Dramatis Personae] ). So even before the story begins, the humor has already set in. So I was surprised at his droll wit — not that he had it. Its just that I had Mr. Moore pegged in my mind as a Terry Pratchett. Indeed, I assumed he was some kind of Londoner. So I was surprised when I read his Wikipedia page that he was born in Toledo, Ohio. He writes the dialogue with such obvious British humor and dialect that I had assumed British, not someone born where many of my ancestors had settled, land of the algae bloomed water supply (that has not, so far, caught fire as Lake Erie has been known to do).

The surprise character (at least I think she/it will be a surprise since I was given an inkling in the Afterword which I read beforehand) and its introduction into the storyline called to mind for me, a bit of Beowulf. Especially since this story was already known by me (before the Afterword) to be a mash-up, so perhaps I was now hunting for mash in this uplifting and funny story. So many of the characters are very likeable that I do not know who to cheer for and who to jeer for. What a delightful diversion.

Its a novel in a guise of a play. Hence, the Cast and the Stage. But there is also a Chorus (like some kind of Greek play) and the Chorus is a character too! The book is so clever, this jester decided to Follow @TheAuthorGuy on Twitter.

Stanczyk recommends this book to all who like a good story infused with humor ala Pratchett. Its absurdist proportions appeal to my Slavic soul. The meta joke that an American can write the British dialect with such humor and panache will appeal to Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams fans.  Do not wait for this book to become available as an e-book on your library’s e-book facility, the line is too long. Go directly to your local library (or bookstore) and get the physical copy — much quicker than waiting for the Overdrive download to become available. I guess most people are afraid to enter the physical world and reticent to  leave their Internet bus stop. Excuse me, I will have to go to Marseilles now.


July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday — Romanov Family — #Royal #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RomanovFamilyTreeThe Romanov Family Tree

There are quite a few distinct DNA combinations involved here …

German, English, Danish, Greek, as well as Russian (possibly some Polish too).

 

The lower right, is Prince Phillip Mountbatten [no picture], the husband of Queen Elizabeth II (the present Queen of England).

July 29, 2014

Tax Amnesty to Repatriate Foreign Dollars from USA Companies

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

dollarsMr. President (@BarackObama, @WhiteHouse), it is time to offer USA Corporations a tax amnesty program:
1) Allow Corporations to file for the program on the grounds of International Instability caused by Russia. Russian instability threatens Multinational Companies too — not just EU countries, Companies with EU offices or Bank Accounts too.
2) Companies must file with the IRS on instability grounds
3) Allow Companies who filed with IRS to repatriate earnings & pay only 5% tax on repatriated dollars. Repatriate the money SLOW to Moderate to FAST depending worsening (or improving) conditions with Russia
4) This will draw the money out of the World Market for loans to Russia & bring it back for lending in the Americas
5) Create Western Hemisphere Trade programs that help struggling Central/South American countries & Carribean nations (as well as Canada/Mexico). Kind of a “soft AU zone of economic growth/help”
6) Work close with Brazil/Mexico
7) Develop Natural Gas production – create a USA owned refining processing facility if the Oil Companies will not & annually lease the facility to an OIL company based upon an AUCTION (similar to FCC Airways auctions)
8) Sell/Export Gas to the EU.

 

 

Keep The Americas Safe – Repatriate the $. Make Energy Security the Space Race of Today

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!

 

 


July 17, 2014

The London Blitz 1940-1945 vs. Israel Blitz 2001-2014

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Is it just me or does the 2001-2014 rocket bombardment of Israel bring to mind the London Blitz [Ernie Pyle's 1st hand account] of World War 2?

The Nazis used to bomb London at first, then when the RAF/USAF dominated the air, the Nazis would launch V2 rockets into London not for any other purpose than to strike terror and break the hearts of the UK. Is was good the UK had Winston Churchill in World War 2 and I would say that Israel is lucky to have Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu as their leader today. This jester sees the parallels.

When the airplanes flew into the US buildings on 9-11. The Israelis were sympathetic,  as was most of the world. But, …, the Palestinians were actually gleeful at the deaths of so many Americans. Therefore, it should not be surprising that I am sympathetic with Israel and her magnificent people. I can understand the sorrow of the civilian Palestinian. It seems to me that these people should join Israel in a one state solution and leave the fighting areas to the militants and then let the militants fight it out with Israel. It has been 14 years and Hamas, Islamic Jihad,  etc. has done nothing to make the Gaza Strip a better place. It is a shame that Israel has the ideal place for all — Indeed today, Christian, Muslim, Jew live and work side-by-side, worship in freedom, and even serve in the government together and with a lot less acrimony than we see in Washington D.C. !

I see no two state solution. Particularly when a terrorist organization runs one of the proposed “states”.  It will be the same for the ISIS/ISIl militants that threaten the USA — another terrorist organization that wants to be a “state”.

Nostalgia for World War 2

If you toss in  Putin’s annexation of Crimea and his announced doctrine of  adding back “Russian-speaking people” then we see a manic nostalgia for Word War 2 being re-enacted today. Putin’s words seem to echo the very same sentiment that Hitler had espoused before World War 2.

What do you think are we revisiting World War 2? Did 9-11 start the world upon this World War 2 nostalgia? Was 9-11 just another example of the London Blitz, but upon American soil or is the proper comparison for 9-11 that of  Pearl Harbor?

We are coming out of a world wide recession/depression which is parallel to the Great Depression that preceded World War 2. Do bad economic times usher in World Calamities?

July 15, 2014

FamilySearch.org What’s New — #Genealogy, #Online, #Databases

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

WhatsNew_20140715Dateline 14-JULY-2014 — As the image shows …

There are six new databases available in FamilySearch.org, including Canadian and Peruvian data.

The 1920 and 1940 US Censuses alone are over 240 Million indexed records with images. Frequently the Family Search images are superior in quality to the Ancestry images. This has been true for other databases like the US World War I Draft Registrations whose quality was such that I could read the street addresses that previously in Ancestry had been unreadable. So if you have any 1920/1940 census images that were a bit sketchy to read, give these a try. You may also find the indexes differ from Ancestry indexes for the same images — so the moral of the story is to look at these as well in case a new indexing provides you access to record you previously were unable to find in Ancestry.

 

July 3, 2014

Kielce Parishes On-line in SzukajWArchiwach — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Previously, Stanczyk has written about what is available online for the former Gubernia (or Województwo) Kielce. In this article I am listing the SzukajWArchiwach.pl parishes online with year ranges and scan image counts. Please notice that links are provided for you to go directly to those you are interested in or you can go to the list of all parishes available (since as you know an article like this becomes out of date periodically).

 

Poland’s Archives (Kielce) Parish Year Range Scans #
21/1700/0 Brzegach 1810-1912  5,652
21/1701/0 Chomentowie 1810-1939  5,997
21/1702/0 Ciernie 1810-1907  5,717
21/1703/0 Imielnie 1810-1912  9,680
21/1704/0 Jędrzejowie 1812-1911  18,045
21/1705/0 Korytnicy 1810-1912  -
21/1706/0 Kozłowie 1811-1913  5,795
21/1707/0 Krzcięcicach 1810-1912  9,569
21/1708/0 Łukowej 1811-1909  4,732

Parishes (Parafia):  Brzegach,  Chomentowie,  Ciernie,  Imielnie,  Jędrzejowie,  Korytnicy,  Kozłowie,  Krzcięcicach,  Łukowej

Cut and Save— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

July 2, 2014

Death Certificates & Death Certificates — #Genealogy, #DeathCertificates

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

19360717_EliaszJohn_DeathCertExtract

Death Certificate of John Elias [sic]

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

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

19360717_EliasJohn_ClintonTwp_DeathCert

Actual Death Certificate of John Elias [sic]

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

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

19231023_Detroit_ElyaszStanleyM_DeathCert

Stanley M. Elyasz

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

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

June 29, 2014

FamilySearch.org — Photoduplication Services — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RequestSubmitted

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

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

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

 

Requirements:

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

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

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

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


 

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

19231023_Detroit_ElyaszStanleyM_DeathCert

June 22, 2014

Using SzukajWArchiwach.pl — Zooming In

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Steps …

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

SzukajWArchiwach

 

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

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

Kielcach

 

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

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

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

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

digital_scans

 

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

scan_5

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

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

normal

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

June 21, 2014

RootsWeb only wounded … Thanks Ancestry for Reply!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry_DDOS

If you blog they just might come.

Immediately after  Stanczyk published his last blog Ancestry was very gracious or shall I say that Amy Johnson Crow was gracious to answer my question. THANKS ANCESTRY and Amy!

June 19, 2014

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

 

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

GenBaza 6 Archives

GenBaza – 6 Archives

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

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

 

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

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

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

AP Gdansk

 

 

June 17, 2014

2014 Mens Chess Championship Tournament – FIDE Chooses Sochi

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FIDE Tournament Host Selection

Perhaps you had a bad case of triskaidekaphobia  and missed last Friday’s announcement that the Men’s 2014 Chess Championship will be held in Sochi this November. The re-match between Magnus Carlsen & Viswanathan Anand will be hosted in Sochi.

The agreement between Putin and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE President) will perhaps salvage Sochi’s reputation after all of the Olympic insults about it being less than suitable, unfinished site. This tournament will also be juxtaposed against the political climate since Russia annexed Crimea after Sochi Olympics.

The chess tournament  is also going to be challenged by Russian finances, as the Bloomberg article indicates that Russia needs to add an extra  $58 Billion to ease their bank system’s funding shortage putting  at least one bank:

Sberbank is between Scylla and Charybdis  

– an analyst at BCS Financial Group

Toss in a former chess champion, Russian Activist, Garry Kasparov (Га́рри Ки́мович Каспа́ров) and this tournament has all the making of another drama that could blow up in the face of FIDE and/or Putin. Stanczyk loves Slavic dramas!

Putin and Ilyumzhinov

Vladimir Putin and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE)

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