Archive for ‘Musings’

May 20, 2014

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

May 16, 2014

UPGS 2014 – Polish Genealogy Conference Review

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Presentations:

Advancing Your Polish Research“, by Sonia Hoeke-Nishimoto

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

Immigration Agents“, by Ceil Jensen

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

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

Creating Your Personal Family History Website“, by Josh Taylor

New Tools & Ideas in Research“, by Josh Taylor

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

“MyHeritage.com”, by Mark Olsen

“Notary Records In Poland”, by Tadeusz Pilat

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

May 11, 2014

♥ Happy Mothers Day ♥ — #Genealogy, #German, #Croatia, #Romanian, #Jewish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  Happy Mother’s Day 2014   – First, Stanczyk wishes to thank my wife on Mother’s Day and then to wish all mothers a day of  joy.

I love my wife, Teréza, and one of my goals for my recent research trip  was to find her paternal grandparent’s ancestral villages. I have some clues from American records, but Jewish records are hard to locate. But I was able to locate a census  of the Austrian Hungarian Empire for the Maramaros region and the village of Kovesliget in particular which is very near to the present day border of Ukraine (by Khust) and inside Romania. The only record I found for that locale was from 1828 census, so I cannot prove that Misek Volfe (Jewish) is a direct line ancestor of her paternal grandmother, Bessie Wolf. But it does confirm for me that I have the correct locale from the US records.

 

For my own mother, Rosemary, I was able to locate her Vespeks in Sarvas (Osijek-Baranja county of modern day, Eastern Croatia).  This corresponds to the LDS microfilm: FHL INTL Film # 1739003 Items 1-3. I first had an inkling from my maternal grandfather, Jozef Vespek’s naturalization papers.  I also had seen some records that FamilySearch had posted on-line and so I had more than an inkling that I would find Vespeks in the LDS microfilm. I also found Reiter, which had been in the ship manifest for my mom’s half brothers (Jozef & Vendelin when they came from their uncle Rajter).

Genealogy is all about your family … those people in your tree and Mother’s Day is another fine day to honor those named therein, particularly the mothers.

mday

May 9, 2014

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

18291219_LeszczynskiTomasz_Szczepan_twins_Wolica15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 27, 2014

St. John Paul II & St John XXIII — #Religion, #Saints

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

20140427-070651.jpg

 

Today this Jester was overjoyed, tearfully so,  at the Mass of Canonization for Saint John Paul II & Saint John XXIII. The Mass just completed was beautiful ! Bless His Holiness, Pope Francis and all others whose preparation and works made today such a moving mass. I felt like I was a part of History.

 

Two Popes canonized on the same day! Also we had a Pope (Francis) and a Pope Emeritus (Benedikt) in presence at the ceremony.  Divine Mercy. A moving and special day indeed.

#2014Review

Today is Part Three – This is where Stanczyk wanted to write about Karol Józef Wojtyła‘s genealogical lineage. Blessed be those whose long lineage gave us this magnificent man.

Pope John XXIII was special to my wife and her father. SO may both Saints John Paul II & John XXIII bless my wife & our children.

Related Post on St John Paul II in this blog …

30 Apr 2011  – Santo Subito (Part 1)

1 May 2011 –  Santo Subito (Part 2)

April 24, 2014

1890 Kielce Gubernia Commemorative Book — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1867-1915 - Gubernia_Kielce,  Stopnica PowiatOn Easter Sunday, Stanczyk wrote about Logan Kleinwak / Genealogy Indexer. In the article, I used as an example of the database searches (sources) that genealogy indexer searches through as the: 1890 Kielce Gubernia Commemorative Book (Памятная книжка Келецкой губернии). That was a bit foreshadowing of today’s blog.   This blog is dominated by Genealogy, by Polish Genealogy, by Russian-Poland partition Genealogy, in particular the Kielce Gubernia (Wojewodztwo). Most of the time I write about topics that centers upon post-Napoleonic era (1815-ish to about 1918) which overlaps the era of the three partitions and the era of the Great Migration to the USA. One of the reasons for such a focus to connect with distant cousins on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. So today’s topic is to further understand the administrative structures of my ancestral villages in 1890 Kielce Gubernia. Where the red square is on today’s map-graphic is the geographic area we are speaking of. It is important to understand the administrative structures to trace your genealogy. So today we will be examining the hierarchy described by their Russian names as: Gubernia composed of Uyezds or Powiats which were composed of Gminas  (aka Wojewodztwo->Powiats->Gminas). There is also a religious hierarchy: Diocese-Deaconate-Parish. These hierarchies change over time as borders are drawn and redrawn. So Stanczyk pulled images of some these administrative structures and other data to put this research in a context of 1890 (roku) from the above title book which is written in Russian/Cyrillic. I am hopeful that seeing the Cyrillic from the book along with the English translation will aid other genealogists in their searches and research. There are a number of images and descriptions so this will be a long read if you are “up for it”.

April 23, 2014

Happy 450th Birthday William #Shakespeare – #Bard #Birthday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Happy 450th Birthday William #Shakespeare – #Bard #Birthday

Shakespeare Birthday ?

That is the question.

This jester wanted to wish the Bard a Happy 450th Birthday today! You have inspired more than 1 of my blog articles and entertained me and certainly been a part of my education too.  Finally, your affinity for employing Jesters in your stories deserves my admiration.

 

#Shakespeare – technically nobody knows your birthday. We know you were baptized on 26-April-1564 and that you died on 23-April-1616

[just wanted to get that genealogical factoid in play]


 

Baptismal Register – 1564

[notice the triple ‘XXX’ entry …

 

20140423-051224.jpg

 

Related Posts …

8 Dec 2011 — Recipe For Disaster … #Literary, #Politics, #Humor

14 Jan 2012 — Poland 1794, The Tempest, & Catherine The Great – #Polish, #Genealogy, #History

30 Dec 2012 —  Auld Lang Syne – #2012

 

 

 

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 8, 2014

In Iceland, You Need An App … #Genealogy, #Icelandic

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Islendiga_AppStanczyk
was Reading Eastman’s Online Newsletter. Today he informed me that there is an app for “that”.  Now it is becoming a running joke — so I laughed when I read that Icelanders needed an app to know if they were dating a cousin or not (already available for Android and this jester asked about an app for iPhone/iOS  − will update later when a reply is received).

Now this jester has known for some time that if you want to research closed genealogical populations, particularly for DNA, you study the American Amish and you study Iceland. According to the CIA Factbook (for Iceland), there will be a projected population of slightly over 317,000 this July. A common settlement date of 874 C.E. is accepted to be earliest time, but there is new evidence that Iceland may have been settled even a bit earlier than that. Almost everyone dates from the original settlers (Iceland has a very low  immigration population).

In a previous article about this,  back in 2007 (which I see was updated January 2014). The website islendingabok.is (online database), which hosts the online registry Íslendingabók (“The Book of Icelanders”). Íslendingabók is the product of a cooperation between Icelandic company deCODE Genetics and Fridrik Skúlason.

Genealogists in Iceland say all Icelanders are descendants of the bishop Jón Arason and according to islendingabok.is. Arason and his partner, Helga Sigurdardóttir, had at least nine children who were all quite fertile, while many of the other members of the then 65,000 population weren’t. So experts argue all Icelanders alive today probably derive from the good bishop. On the website of the University in Iceland this argument is supported by their mathematical formula.

#STEM

 

March 22, 2014

#Genealogy #Polish – Haller’s Army in Newspapers.com

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been exploring Newspapers.com. I am a bit disappointed at its overall effectiveness, which I attribute to poor OCR capabilities and a difficult user interface that provides a disappointing user experience (UX).

However, it is not without its redeeming qualities. For example Newspaper.com has a Clipping capability which produces a PDF document that you can share in social network web sites or even make public in Newspapers.com to attract others doing similar research. So today’s blog article is about that clipping capability.

The above is from Stanczyk’s twitter post and you need to follow the link to see the PDF clipping on Newspapers.com.

Please do me a favor and click the link and let me know whether you see the clipping and can download it. Please email me back your results. Thanks!

Twitter Post(s)

P.S.

Stanczyk, thanks Buz Kuzan  for working with me to get the “Clippings” to be accessible. The links should work no matter who you are. Check out the “Comments on this article” for a couple more clippings!

March 15, 2014

Rochester, Monroe County, NY & LESZCZYNSKI — #Genealogy, #Polish, #NY

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

JanLeszczynskiFamilyStanczyk has been busy with his research in metryki.genbaza.pl  . One of my surprising finds was that my grandmother’s eldest [half]-brother Jan lived in Rochester ( in Monroe County, NY ). I recently found Jan Leszczynski in the AP Kielce archive data on GenBaza – his marriage and a few children (with Antonina Sieradzka). Jan came from his son Feliks in Falecin, Stopnica parish, Kielce Gubernia, Poland and went to his son Jan P. Leszczynski in Rochester, NY. Also, Jan (the elder) had another son, Wladyslaw who also came to Rochester, NY.

So I am looking for genealogists tracing or related to this family of Leszczynski in Rochester, NY. Here are a few addresses:

302 Weaver Rd.

304 Weaver Rd.

13 Ernst Rd.

357 Wilkins Street

All are in Rochester, NY. All had Leszczynski related to me living at the above addresses. If you are related to them, then we are related. Please contact me (click on Stanczyk pic to email me) and we can trade info/pictures. It also appears that Jan (the elder) also had a brother Frank Leszczynski that lived briefly in Rochester. This Frank Leszczynski also lived in: Depew, Buffalo, Tonawanda too [All in Erie County, NY]. Both Jan and Frank are sons of my great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski.

I have attached a local map below of Rochester, Monroe County, New York of a small section of town known as the Polish Section which had two Catholic churches very near to my Leszczynski families. It is possible and likely that my ancestors would have been parishioners at one of these churches.

There was a Catholic church, St. Stanislaus on St. Stanislaus Street and a Polish National Catholic Church at 40 Ernst Street. Both of these would have been very near to the Leszczynski families I am searching for.

Rochester Polish Section Map

Rochester_PolishSection

March 9, 2014

Archiwum Państwowego in Gdańsk & Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne – 650,000 records scanned/online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PTG

Stanczyk has news of yet another Polish Archive scanning and going online with vital records (older than 100 years).

The Pomeranian – Gdansk Archive will soon have 650,000 vital records scanned and online by the 2nd qtr this year.

The AP-GDANSK are working with Pomeranian Genealogical Society who already have 2.78Million records indexed and now will get 650,000 scanned images to go with index.

The National Archive (Gdansk) and Genealogical Society will share the online indexes/scans.

Something else to be thankful for this Easter/Passover season.

PomGenBase / PomGenBaza is here … :http://www.ptg.gda.pl/index.php/ptgnews/action/basesearch/

For more details, the full article can be read here [in Polish /po polskiu].

Archive – Archiwum Państwowego w Gdańsku (AP-Gdansk)

Genealogical Society – Search The Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (PTG), which in English translates to the Pomeranian Genealogical Association

March 7, 2014

Another Alegata Article — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Russian, #Cyrillic

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19070124_Alegata_Marr_Elijasz_Leszczynski copy

75 kopeks. The cost of that stamp on an alegata. In case, you cannot read Cyrillic or do not recognize it on the cancellation mark of the stamp — it says:

11/24 January 1907

This stamp appeared on an alegata document, describing my paternal grandparents, Jozef Elijasz & Waleryja Leszczynska. You can see from the civil and church records of theirs, that this is their marriage date.

So now I have three Polish  authoritative sources for their marriage (date/place).

I found this alegata a bit fascinating. First it had the stamp. Second it listed my grandfather & his parents, but only my grandmother (without her parents  — fortunately, the other two records listed those parents). Third and most puzzling is the marriage bann dates:

13th, 20th, 27th January [of 1907 implied]. But wait a minute, the date of the alegata is 11/24 January, 1907. That is three days before their marriage date. So this “official document” had listed a future date [of the marriage], I guess giving them permission to marry in the church assuming the 3rd bann was a foregone conclusion. The future date so messed with my mind and comprehension of Russian/Cyrillic that I had to check and recheck the three documents to assure myself I was reading it correctly and that they had used a future date in the alegata!

Oh, the 11/24 January 1907 thing?  That is just the custom of “dual dating”. The earlier date is the Julian date: 11-January-1907, as the Russian calendar was still using the Julian calendar. While the 24-January-1907 is the Gregorian calendar that we use today. Of course you can find liturgical calendars (Russian Orthodox for example) that still use the Julian Calendar for their religious events (i.e. EASTER). Why is it 13 days difference?  They were in the 20th century and another day difference between the two calendars, as compared to the majority of the church records (1868-1900 during when the Russian language  was the defacto language of administration records) in the Russian partition which were 12 days apart.

— — —  Alegata …

February 27, 2014

Genbaza Image Tool Pallets … #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This is an additional image to help work with the scanned images you see on screen in GenBaza.

06_GenBaza_ImageTools

The two tool pallets can be collapsed by clicking on the upward vee (upper right corner of the tool) giving you more space to view the image. Clicking a second time un-collapses (expands) the tool again.

You can also drag the two tools to see a hidden part of the image. You can even drag one tool on top of the other tool to stack them and save space.

February 24, 2014

#Polish #Genealogy Clever Workaround … Using Genealodzy.pl (Genteka) and GenBaza.pl Together

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ludwik Eliasz Marries Maryanna Wierzbocka

Stanczyk has been very busy researching in Genbaza.pl.

Ever since they posted online a significant cache of both Polish Archive in Kielce and the Church Diocesan Archive (also in Kielce) this jester has been busy examining the church registers and wading through Russian and Polish records alike.

So here is my simple tip to you. Use Geneteka database on genealodzy.pl as an index into many (not all) of the records that you may be able to find online for the Kielce Gubernia (old Wojewodztwo Kielce, now SwietoKrzyskie), like in mertyki.genbaza.pl for example. From my picture above you can see, I was searching in Olesnica for any Eliasz (aka Elijasz). Up popped a Ludwik Eliasz marrying a Maryanna Wierzbowska in 1902. It even gave me the Akt # (record number) 21. Let me just pop over to genbaza.pl and see what that record looks like and who is this Ludwik Eliasz. A quick check of AD Kielce (the Church Archive, showed no Olesnica scans online). Smugly, I just popped over to AP Kielce (the Civil Archives), but all they had was: OLEŚNICA_AL .

This jester was vexed. I had an index listing a record I wanted, but there were no scans online for the record. Let me explain, that OLESNICA_AL means that the online images are not Birth, Marriage or Death records. In fact they are Alegata records. These are the kind of routine administrative searches a church performs in its own parish books for a parishioner to document a marriage or a birth or a death for some civil? reason.

First off, this is a good time to mention that Geneteka database will have some records indexed that there are no scans for (my case) and the opposite also happens  that they do not have an index of a record that does exist online. Happily, most of what they have in indexes are also online so there are 1 to 1 matches between Geneteka and Genbaza.

Sadly, in my case they had no marriage scans online for Olesnica.

That is NOT the end of this story and so you get a second genealogy tip in this article. I said to myself if this is my LUDWIK ELIASZ, this would be a second marriage of his and therefore he would be a widower and have to have proof that he was widowed or divorced to marry a second wife. So … I said to myself,  then there should be an ALEGATA record documenting Ludwik’s first wife’s death in the 1902 Alegata of Olesnica.

The Alegata are not indexed; So I had to go record by record (image by image) in the 1902 Olesnica Alegata and examine each record in turn. Do you know what I found? This Ludwik had an alegata for his 1st wife’s death documenting his widower standing. This Ludwik was the widower of Elzbieta Miklaszewski Elijasz.  So my persistence had paid off. I now had an alegata, that was transcription of Elzbieta Miklaszewski Elijasz ‘s death (with death date / place). This was indeed my Ludwik Elijasz (brother of my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz). Now I had the death date and place of his first wife Elzbieta. Persitence pays off!

Tip number three, keep going. I then looked at the next image and it was the alegata of  a death record extraction for Maryanna Wierbowska ‘s first husband. Oh, she was a widow, just like my great-grand uncle Ludiwk was a widower. So this was a second marriage for both. Oh, how nice — good for them. Keep going!  The next alegata was indeed the alegata of their marriage record in 1902! How cool was that? SO persistence did yield me my marriage record even though the marriage records were not online. Also, being a former stamp collector, I adore the stamps on the alegata (used as fees, I suppose) records. Here below is their marriage record from the alegata:

1902OlesnicaAlegata_Marr_LudwikEliasz_MaryannaWirzbocka

Click (and keep clicking) for a Full Size image (readable)

—  …

February 5, 2014

#AmericaIsBeautiful – America The Beautiful — #Culture, #Politics, #Commentary

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Perhaps you watched an American Football game on Sunday. Odds are that if you are reading this blog, you did watch the Super Bowl. This is something that a large part of Americans participate in, myself included … all my life. I then spent the next two days seeing the commercials dissected on news shows across cable TV and the Internet.

So I watch the commercials, to see the reflection of America. I am also hoping that for this one day a year, the commercials are entertaining and thought provoking. Who can forget Apple’s iconic, “1984”  Super Bowl commercial for the Mac. In fact, that is what this blog is about  —  our American icons.

Coca-Cola did a commercial,  #AmericaIsBeautiful . The song “America The Beautiful” was sung —  how beautiful. Really it was beautiful. I have to admit my hypocrisy upfront. While I was reveling in the song and its meaning to me, my primitive self had a moment of rage. The song had a couple of choruses  sung in foreign languages. How dare they meddle with such a beloved American icon, as America The Beautiful ? But that half a second passed and I rationalized (as my rational mind is wont to do) that it was just foreign born Americans or other citizens of the world lauding America The Beautiful in their first language. I just enjoyed the lovely singing.  I loved how the commercial tied into Queen Latifah’s beautiful rendition of America The Beautiful .  But my rational self said Coca-Cola is going to feel a firestorm now for meddling with an American icon.

I knew that the irrational 5% of America (uh commonly called the Tea Party), would be up in arms over this commercial over the use of foreign languages used in this version of the song. I knew they would boycott Coca-Cola, itself an American icon, but these are not rational people. They (the Tea Party) would spew their hateful rhetoric and start a boycott in their usual way of social conservatism  — not fiscal conservatism as they espoused as their rationale for existing. These Tea Party thugs would try their totalitarian tactics to bend Coca-Cola, the American icon of business to their will. I do not think  the Tea Party would see the ugliness in contrast to this beloved business icon, nor was it possible for them to appreciate the irony in their attacking the #AmericaIsBeautiful commercial.

Coca-Cola for its part would need to learn that not all publicity is good publicity. Even 5% of a very large number is still a very large number. That could hurt the bottom line for Coke. I am not a shareholder and I have no allegiance to Coke as I am not usually a consumer of this company’s products. But I want to engage the other 95% of America, the rational 95%. Let’s buy a twelve pack of a Coke product (I think this jester will get their ginger-ale) and render the Tea Party boycott as weak as their numbers are and to show they have NO power over the other 95% of Americans !   Symbolism at its most eloquent. Render the Tea Party moot. Even better would be to vote them ALL out of Congress this November.

Let’s end the concept of “social conservatism” by exposing it to the light and showing it for the TOTALITARIANISM that our parents / grandparents fought against in World War II and its aftermath, the Cold War. Lets make sure that,   #AmericaIsBeautiful  is not ironic.

Think about it America, talk about it, then just do it.   Make America The Beautiful the real thing !

–Stanczyk

February 1, 2014

Rzeszow Galicia Cadastral Maps – Online in June

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CadastreMapsRZESZOWStanczyk, was perusing the Polish Genealogical Society Connecticut & NorthEast Facebook page recently and noticed that on 27-January-2014 their posting on digitized cadastral surveys from the State Archives in Przemyśl . The  full text of the Polish State Archive (  http://www.archiwa.gov.pl ) news is posted  here.

By the end of June, the Przemyśl state archives will complete the digitization of Galician cadastral maps started in 2012 of 63,000 pages of descriptive material to the cadastral maps of the villages . The 63,000 pages accompanies 9,084 digitized map sheets of 743 localities of the former province of Rzeszow and 29 more localities now in Ukraine.

Digitized copies of the documents so far will be at the Przemysl archive by the end of March for  study. Afterwards, the scans will be published online at the site:  szukajwarchiwach.pl .

Also See …

Gesher GaliciaInventory of Galicia Cadastral Maps

January 23, 2014

GenBaza Has Kielce Gubernia / Wojewodztwo Records Online ! — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Kielce

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GenBazaDateline: January 6th, 2014  — Stanczyk knows this is over two weeks old. First, I had to be alerted to the fact, then I had to verify the accuracy and availability. Finally, I had to see how much data is now online.

That is where the delay came in. Our Polish cousins in genealogical societies in Poland have succeeded into digitizing images from both the State Archives & the Diocessan Archives for the Gubernia / Wojewodztwo of Kielce. In truth they have done a bit more than Kielce (former woj. replaced by SwietoKrzyskie in today’s administrative structure in Poland).

It took me over two weeks to get the info and write this blog in large part because there was so much online and I found dozens of records of my direct line and their siblings. In fact this jester found his grandmother’s birth record — which was the biggest jewel I found in the pile of gems online (see picture at the end of the blog).

Please make yourself get access to this treasure and please think of donating to genealogical society:

Swietokrzyskie Genealogical Society /  Świętokrzyskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne

The list is too lengthy to provide in this blog post, but perhaps I will provide it in a future post. But the counts are below and those are just Kielce archives !

Details

GenBaza.pl – (URL: http://metryki.genbaza.pl/genbaza,list,62658,1 )

State Archives (AP) of Kielce – 91  parishes or miscellaneous curia errata available (23-JAN-2014)

Church Archives (AD) of Kielce – 126 parishes or miscellaneous curia errata available (23-JAN-2014)

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

Access

You must register, which is free, to even see the data that is online and to access it. Otherwise you will only see:

  • AP Grodzisk

But, if you register and login to GenBaza, then you will see:

Today’s blog is about AD Kielce (the church archives) and AP Kielce (the state archives). The data encompasses the timespan of the individual holdings at the particular archives for that particular parish (or synagogue), but most data is in the range:  1875-1908. The records are in Russian (Cyrillic) in this time period. But often, you will find Latin records (in the Latin Box/Table format) and those are easier to read. The records are the birth / marriage / death (urodziny /malzenstwo / zgony), but there are also alegata.  The alegata are various church inquiries or interactions between parishes to confirm a congregant’s  standing or to provide/validate a birth/marriage or death event. These were documents that required fees of some sort be collected, so you will see colorful stamps in various amounts of various empires in these records ! Stamp collectors will relish the alegata for these images alone.

This range typically overlaps with the Polish immigration that took place during the Great Immigration period of the USA. So this is the bridge data that will connect your first generation American ancestor to his/her roots back in Poland !

It looks like I will be busy for a few months. But I will leave you with a sample church birth record of my Busia (babcia), Waleryja Leszczynska born in Biechow (Akt #118) .

Waleryja

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