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 27, 2014

Guide (Poradnik) for Using Metryki.GenBaza.PL — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wrote about  metryki.genbaza.pl two months back and the fact they were posting online the state archives (civil) and church archives (diocese) and many people have asked me to write a guide (poradnik) on how to use  Metryki.GenBaza.pl  .

In this guide, I will be using a Macbook laptop with the Safari browser, but you should see just about the same thing with your PC or your browser. Obviously, if you are using a mobile device you user experience will be slightly different may not work if your smartphone is too small.

Œ Œ

Step By Step


Step 1

Step One

            Go to the website: Metryki.GenBaza.pl 

You should see the web site with just the GRODZISK archive shown …

01_Metryki.GenBaza_plYou will need to register for a free account in order to see of the available archives on metryki.genbaza.pl . The link to create a free account will take you back to GenPol.pl and you will need to fight your way through their poor user interface. Their interface (web app) did not indicate to me when it had created the account. But if you go back to metryki.genbaza.pl and click on the Login, you should be able to login to genbaza (using your email and your newly created password). If you are on a mobile device or a small/minimal browser window and do not see Login , then you should see a graphic button with three horizontal lines in upper right corner click on this followed by clicking on Login .

Now that you are logged in to genbaza you should see the following archives …

02_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_loggedIn

Small_2
 
Step Two — Select An Archive

            For this guide, we will be working with AD_Kielce and AP_Kielce and the parish named Biechow. From the above screen shot you can see that we will be using the 1st and the 3rd archives. So if you are following along, then click on AD_Kielce (the church archive -or- Archiwum Diocesan).

You should see …

03_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_ADKielce

Notice it gives you the feedback that you are working with the AD Kielce “Album” contents. Think of this as an iPhoto photo album. Down the left side you will see a list of all available parishes that they have scanned images for. This is NOT a complete list of all parishes in the old province (wojewodztwo or Russian Gubernia) of Kielce, but just the ones they have some subset of images from the Kielce church archive.

The blue words, Bebelno, Bejsce, Biechow … etc. are just parishes. You will need to know the parish of your ancestral village to select the appropriate parish, but that is another blog or two. Let me take one step back, I said parishes, but there are also Jewish congregations / records  too in these online images. These parishes are just sub-directories of the AD Kielce Album. If there had been an image file also, it would be listed on the right side under the Album (or sub-directory) as a set of JPG (graphic file) files that viewable in a browser.

Step 3
 
Step Three — Select A Parish (Congregation)

Let’s click on Biechow . You should see …

04_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_Biechow

You will notice that I have scrolled down a bit from the top. At the top it lets you know that you are in the Biechow Album (sub-directory). There are no files here either. But down the left we see more blue text (that are clickable). Ignore the leading number before the underscore. The middle part is a year or a year range.  The last part, when it is present, is a set of letters.

The latest birth I can get from the AD Kielce (church archive) is 1855. [see 22_1835-1855_ur]. So please excuse me while I switch over to  AP_Kielce in order to work with Biechow births (ur) for 1886.

Decoding the ‘Letters’

These letters (or suffixes if you prefer) are fairly standard (with exceptions). If you see a suffix of,  “_ur”,  that is an indication that when you click on that sub-directory you will find online scanned images of Births (urodzony). So these suffixes are Polish abbreviations for Birth (ur), Marriage (sl), Death (zg) or Alegata (al). Each describes the type images you will see. What if there is no suffix? Then you will probably see  all of the event types: Birth, Marriage, Death and possibly Alegata too.

What is an Alegata (al)? These scanned images are requests to the church for a transcription from the church book or to lookup something like a birth or death possibly or most commonly to support a person’s need to re-marry by showing that s/he is widowed. These are transcriptions copied from the actual church register, by the current pastor of a past event (birth/marriage/death). These are usually accompanied by a fee, collected via stamps on the actual page. If these are present with the other event types, then they are at the end of the images.  Alegata are almost as valuable as the actual church entry. But the alegata can substitute when you do not have the actual church register (or image) available to you.

By the way the final set of letters that I want to mention are, “_moj”. If you see “_moj” as a suffix then that directory’s scanned, online images are of Jewish denomination records. The Moj. is an abbreviation for  mojżeszowe (Mosaic denomination as in Moses),

If you are following along, then you will need to click on the following to switch to 1886 Biechow parish in AP Kielce Archive:

At the top click on “Main page” at the top, then click on AP_Kielce (on left the next page), followed by  clicking on Biechow,  and finally clicking on 1886_023. After all of those clicks you should see …

05_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_APBiechow1886

Notice the website gives you a nice trail of breadcrumbs to find your way around all of these directories.  You should see between the top level and the “Album contents”, a line of clickable text:

GenBaza | AP Kielce | Biechow | 1886_023

These are your breadcrumbs that allow you to find your way back. Keep in mind that “Main page” at the top will always bring you back to the original set of Archives to pick from.

 
 Step 4
Step Four — Working With A List of Images

            On the right side you see Album Contents: 1886_023 with a list of scanned images named like :

_k_??????.jpg — where the ?????? are replaced by some consecutive numbers. These files contain one scanned image each. Typically the set of images is a parish register, including the front and back covers, such as they may be. So in practice I seldom look at the first or the last image, because I am too busy to look at book covers.

The images are number consecutively from front cover to last cover with all the pages in between as they are. There are a few possible arrangements of pages. Typically it is Births, then Marriage, then Deaths if the particular register you are looking at has two or more event types. I also see Marriage, then Birth, then Death. Death comes last always. In some parish registers you will also see Alegata and these come after Death if they exist.  Many times Alegata are in their own directory apart from the other vital record events.

Our goal is to avoid having to look at all pages one after another. To do that we must find the indexes that follow each vital record event. For example, after the Births, you usually find a page or two (or more) of an index of all of the births for that year — hopefully in alphabetical order. Sometimes the indexes do not exist. Sometimes the indexes have errors and sometimes a mistake is found and added at the end of the index. Always seek  out the index and look at ALL index pages for your surname(s) to catch these errors.

For this exercise I am going to click on the 27th file, named: _k_088054.jpg . I knew that this file contained the birth index scanned image. It is here that I want to say a few things about working with the scanned images. So clicking on _k_088054.jpg, you should see …

06_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_APBiechow1886IndexUR_27

OK the text is in RUSSIAN/Cyrillic handwriting. Many of you cannot read this image. But some images are in Polish and a few are in Latin. So you can usually find somebody who reads these if you cannot read them yourself. But I do urge you to get the Jonathan Shea/Fred Hoffman book, “In Their Own Words” books and learn to read these church records.

In the upper left you will see two tool pallets. The top tool is for adjusting (from top to bottom):  Contrast, Brightness and Zoom. Mostly, you will not need to adjust Contrast or Brightness, but they are there for those who know how to use them to make the scanned images more readable. I do use the Zoom adjustments all of the time. The zoom tool (the bottom pick with a ‘magnifying glass’), you can zoom in (+) or zoom out (-). Depending on the scale of the image scanned and the health of your eyes, you will need to zoom in (+) 4 – 6 times to get a comfortable level of reading. Your eyes may differ.

As you zoom in, you will notice that a gray box in the preview too pallet  gets smaller.  This gray transparent rectangle is the area of image displayed in the viewer window. You can drag this gray square to quickly navigate the viewer window to area of the page I have focused on. The other method of navigating the image is to click on the image viewer, click-and-hold-and drag the image around. So whether you drag the gray box in the preview or click-drag (common called grab) the view image around make it so you can see the Russian ‘L’ and possibly Russian M on the index screen.

NOTE: You can scroll the viewer left-right and up-down, but I would not do that as you may not realize that you have NOT reached the image’s edge and that you need to click-drag some more to move the image to see the remainder of the image that scrolling cannot show you.

Now you my dear reader of this tutorial must indulge me. I want to call your attention to the 4th ‘L’ name in the image (лещунъска  виктория) — yeah, I know cursive Cyrillic does not look much like block letter Cyrillic characters, especially pre-1918 cursive Russian, which were before Bolshevik language reforms. It says, “Leszczynska Wiktorija” 118 (akt#) / 20 (Kart #). We use the Akt # as the record number in the parish register to find this record. This record is my grandmother!

Click on the 23. Do you see where it says “First photo  << 23  24  25   26  27 …  >> Last photo”? Click on the 23, which will take us 4 images before the image we are on (the gray highlighted 27 in the middle). You should see an image with a 124 in the upper left.  If you drag the image around in the viewer (or I find dragging the gray rectangle box in the preview tool) around the page you will see a total of 6 births on this page, number 124 through 129. The image looks like two pages of a parish register (book). The left page has records (akts) 124, 125, 126 and the right page has records 127, 128, 129.

We are looking for my grandmother who is act# 118. 118 is exactly 6 records before the first birth record shown on this page. Since we six births per page, my grandmother’s birth record should be the 1st record on the previous page. So let’s click on the 22 in the: “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo” near the top. After clicking on 22, you should see …

07_Metryki_GenBaza_pl_APBiechow1886IndexAkt118

Do you see the Akt #118 at the upper left? We have found our record. These particular birth records list the baby’s name at the top. Do you see: Leszczynska Waleryja ? Wait a minute the index said, Wiktorija??? I said before the indexes contain errors. Waleryja Leszczynska is indeed my grandmother and I knew she was born in Biechow parish in 1886,  but it was not until GenBaza put the AP_Kielce images online that I actually could prove her birth date / place.  You can imagine my joy. Now imagine what your joy will be when you find your grandparents!

Notice there is a button at the top,  “Download photo” (Pobierz zdjęcie). The last thing you need to do is download this keepsake image you found.  On a Mac when you do this the image is downloaded to your “Downloads” folder. It also brings up a Preview of the image when the download completes. Close out of of Preview. In your browser is a new tab, “Untitled” with nothing in the window. Close this tab and you will be back in the image viewer tab.  In Windows you get a new browser window (named Untitled), your downloads  window opens and the images goes into whatever Windows directory you download into (typically called Downloads). Likewise, close the Untitled browser window and return to your previous browser window. One note, on the mac the image download is TIFF by default and in Windows it is JPG. So on the Mac when your Preview comes up … click on File menu, then Export menu item and select either PNG or JPEG to get a file format that you can use on the Internet (like on Ancestry.com) for example. The Internet browsers natively work with: JPG/JPEG, GIF or PNG (or PDF too). Keep your images in one of those formats.

There is one more thing I have yet to emphasize. I was trying to teach you that you can jump around the images by doing simple math. We were on Akt# 124 (of records 124 through 129) of six records per page. If my grandmother’s akt# had been 100 (instead of 118) then I would have had to click 4 pages left of page 23 or page 19 on the line,  “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo”. This little math tip can save you the time of scrolling page after page. I use this tip to navigate more than 4 pages at a time too, but I will leave that exercise for the reader to figure out.

February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday – Ludwik Elijasz Family View

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A couple of days ago Stanczyk published a tip for using Alegata online images to supplement/replace having a marriage record. So here is the genealogy record for Ludwik Elijasz (and his two wives, siblings and parents). Where’s Maryanna Wierzbocka? She is Maryanna Przylucka (Wierzbocka) Elijasz. :

Ludwik Elijasz

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

January 5, 2014

New Years Resolutions … #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk had not planned to write any New Years Resolutions. That was the case until I read my resolutions for 2013. I did ok. I accomplished about half of what I set out to do last year — not bad.

2014 Resolutions

1. Rejoin or Renew my genealogical society memberships.  PGSM, PGSA, PGSCT&NE look for my membership fees. I think I will also join WNYGS (Western  NY Genealogical Society) in hopes of doing some Buffalo area research in 2014.

2. Nice segue. I will research the tombstone I found of “Frank Leszczynski” 1866-1943. His birth year and death year are very close to my Frank Leszczynski. How many Frank Leszczynski born in 1860’s can there be? When you factor in he was buried in the St. Augustine cemetery in Lancaster, Erie County, NY then that ratchet ups the probabilities as he lived in Erie County, NY the entire time he lived in the USA and St Augustine was a family church. He was alive in the 1940 US Census so I knew he died after 1940. This tombstone fits the known facts for my Frank Leszczynski — so I resolve to call St Augustine and get the info for this gravesite/tombstone at their cemetery and verify one way or the other if Frank is my grand-uncle.

3. I want to find any info on Frank’s brother John/Jan Leszczynski. He too lived in/around Buffalo. That WNYGS is looking more vital to my needs in 2014.

4. I will register for the United Polish Genealogical Societies too. I miss all my genealogical buddies.

5. I want to take some info from Roots Tech 2012 and look deeper now that I have other online resources available. Specifically, the GRONEK and Ozarow/Uzarow families. As a result of Ceil Wendt-Jensen mentioning a FamilySearch.org database having more records than were in Ancestry, I was able to find some new MI records from the Old Man’s WWII Draft. This led me on the GRONEK record to cross-analyze with GENETEKA indexes for STOPNICA and what do you know I confirmed that generation and added/confirmed the names for two more generations of GRONEK. I now realize that I had noted a Piotr GRONEK in LDS microfilm that pertains to this research from the 2012 Roots Tech research trip. I know the Microfilm #, the parish, the year and the Akt#. I just need to get the picture.   [STOPNICA, 1880 Births, Akt # 191, Piotr Gronek, MF# 1807635 in Russian/Cyrillic]

6. Ola Heska mentioned on Facebook the need to make a donation to the PTG. I love those guys and their website and databases. So I will make a second donation to them. I once donated 10 $USD to them before METRYKI and GENETEKA. This year I resolve to donate 100 PL  to the PTG for METRYKI. I will beg them to add Pacanow and Stopnica to METRYKI too.

7. Visit Buffalo, specifically the Grosvenor Room of Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.

8. Try to get some USCIS papers (A/C files) for my Eliasz grandparents and maybe a couple Wlecial too.

9. Go to Poland. A Genealogical Trip to Kielce (AP and Diocessan Archive too), Biechow & Pacanow villages/churches. I know this one is a bit of a stretch, requiring  good timing and a lot of things to fall into place between now and the trip.

10. Find Walerya Leszczynska ‘s birth record in Biechow? Her brother Michael (aka Mikolaj). Church records for Frank and John (the ones above) too!

11. Find my wife, Teréza’s,  paternal grandparent’s marriage records. I am hoping to find their Ketubah (marriage contract) … at Rodeph Shalom.

12. Assuming, I am successful on #11, then I want to learn to read Hebrew, so I can translate, my wife’s grandparent’s Ketubah for her and our sons. Heritage!

Ok lets see how many 2014 resolutions I can keep.

Tags: ,
December 30, 2013

Family Legacy …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

BooksThe Junior Classics – 1938

As a genealogist, and many of Stanczyk’s readers are genealogists, we are of course leaving a legacy in our research. As a Polish-American, I also leave cultural legacies related to Thanksgiving or 4th of July or Easter or Christmas.

But I wanted share yet another personal legacy that I am sharing. You see those colorful books at the top of the blog? They are a series of ten books by COLLIER — The Junior Classics. It was a series of hardback books filled with stories & poems across a spectrum of genres from 1938!

My parents bought me this set as a child. I was not a good bibliophile as a child and our books became gradually marred. I kept one book (orange) of poems. The picture is of a set I was able to locate via the Internet and purchase to share with the children from  Teréza & my marriage. I wanted to share my love of reading with our children as my mother & father had done for me. So a legacy of reading, learning, and exploring and also a love for bound books … as anachronistic as that may be today or in the future. Thank God that someone else had preserved such a cultural treasure from the past — these books are 75 years old! I hope my and Tereza’s kids can maintain this legacy and the act of reading stories & funny onomapoeiatic poems to their children too.

That is a legacy that connects our generations.

P.S. – kids,  my favorite volumes were #1 & #3 and because of my father and his readings, also #10 .

December 29, 2013

Auld Lang Syne – 2013 — #HappyNewYear, #Poem, #AnnualBlog

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AllsWell

Stanczyk is republishing his annual blog post:  Auld Lang Syne

Count your blessings my dear readers and take heart in that inventory.

So as we draw to a close this elder year 2013 AD, I take but a moments pause to wish my friends and good readers well and much happiness and wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.—

Verily, this jester says, “All Is Well, That Ends Well“. And 2013 has indeed ended well.

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

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

My bright star is my much beloved wife, Teréza !

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

I would like to thank my readers for another fine year. Reads of the blog are up another 15%;  This month is a record month of reads and that would not be so, without you. You, my good readers, are a part of that inventory of blessings that I have counted. Interact with me on Facebook, Twitter (@Stanczyk_), and/or LinkedIn too.

Those are my closing thoughts for 2013. Better #Genealogy in the coming year to all genealogists!

Happy New Year 2014 !

–Stanczyk

December 21, 2013

‘Twas A Very Putin Christmas … #Poem, #Politics, #Putin

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

‘Twas the night before Sochi and all thru the Gulag not a prisoner was stirring … Then Putin was visited thrice in succession by Shades of Olympics Past, Present & the Latter.

Then there arose up on the Kremlin with such a clatter:

“Go Green Peace, Khordorkovsky, out Pussy Riot, begone miscreants all … I’ve turned a new leaf!  Now Dash away, dash away all.”

Let there be cheap gas for the Ukraine and all will be well. Let the Patriarch ring our Christmas Bell, I have an Olympics to sell.

I will greet the US delegation with great, gay cheer … “What, Lindsay Graham is not here?”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/20/pussy-riot-khodorkovsky-vladimir-putin-russia

Vladimir Putin

December 15, 2013

What Was I Thinking ? 2013 A Look Back … — #2013, #Muse, #Review

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is of the age when I remember reading Art Buchwald ‘s Pulitzer Prize winning commentary columns. I was particularly fond of his annual columns that repeated every year (like his Thanksgiving column where Miles Standish became the more French/metric Kilometres Deboutish) — so today’s blog is an attempt to start an annual tradition of a look back … 2013.

Now how to recall my life and thoughts in 2013? How do I elaborate upon my thoughts / muses ?

Should  I summarize my blog posts? Recall major events? Highlight genealogical news? No! I had a brainstorm. I would review my year through TWITTER tweets; To be precise — just those tweets that I FAVORITED. Kind of a highlight of my best 140 characters in my twitter stream in 2013.

Why? Because I now want to propose that you my gentle-readers, also embark on this social experiment right along with me in 2014. This year I had no forethought. But next year, I want to capture the most compelling news stories or fascinating thoughts in science, religion, books, genealogy, etc.

Why FAVORITES? To limit the volume by sifting through the twitter stream. So I propose we use Twitter’s Favorite (star) and/or the tag:  #2014Review  to isolate just those tweets that we deem most worthy of saving/repeating  at the end of the year.

Why you too? Because it will make a fascinating social study for some scientist somewhere to study Cloud-Think. Or possibly years from now some Historian plowing through the Library of Congress who collects all of our tweets will want to study the history of our thought, our collective brain power.  What were they thinking?  Well future historians … here is what was on our minds.

Back to my 2013 Year in Review. I was stunned by the volume of tweets that I “Favorited“. I guess I never thought about it before. I had been using my “Favorites” to be my twitter stream book-marks so I could recall something later on. Well a quick scan told me that I favorited responses from followers, or my wife. I also seemed to be obsessed with the University of Michigan (#GoBlue). I also had a slight penchant for clever humor (that being humor that struck my funny bone) too. Scan my two PDF documents, perhaps you will find an interesting tweet that you had missed in 2013. You may even find a new Twitter account that you want to follow ( Stanczyk assumes you already follow @Stanczyk_   … correct?  If not, then do not let 2013 end without following my twitter stream.

I  created two PDF documents of the Tweet Favorites:  JAN-AUG (1.8MB size),    SEP-DEC (448K size)

Summary:

JAN - 100 tiny swarming robots @ Harvard,   iPhone 5s leaked images (arrives in Fall), French Court orders Twitter to release racist / Anti-Semitic users
FEB – PopSci – software that unveils the evolution of words, Pope Benedykt resigns (and the other 4 popes who resigned),
MARGender Bias in US Visas, Ancestry.com Tweet to fix a bug (and they did!), OpenStack – Cloud Scalability
APRBoston Marathon Bombing (Tsarnaew Saga), Louisville vs Michigan in Mens Basketball Final,
MAY – Oldest Known Torah Found, Genealogy Roadshow & UM 2013 Football Schedule Annonced
JUN – Patent Trolls  &  Turnip Truck (must have been a slow month)
JUL – The Internet Minute Infographic, Maurice Sendak‘s 1971 Yale Course, Forbes tweeted best companies for #STEM workers
AUG – Irish Poet, Translator Seamus Heaney died.; Oxford added to English language (Selfie). @MrMrs_ES was conceived.
SEP – All Tolstoy‘s works online, DISRUPTION in Management Consulting?,   Diana Nyad swims Cuba to USA
OCT - Tea Party Shutdown of government [Carrot Tree Kitchen defies shutdown]; Amazon to create 6,000 jobs in Poland;   14th Amendment – Shutdown Solution? Lincoln Quote on coffee/tea [humor]
NOV – “Thanksgivukkah“, Pope Francis revives/revitalizes chief-alms giver, Kepler telescope found 833 exo-planets before it failed,
DEC - Ukraine unrest over EU treaty delay, Foxconn to build plant in Pennsylvania, UM vs Kansas in BWWB on Dec 25

It looks like I did not FAVORITE a few things:

  1. Mandela died
  2. Prince George was born and subsequently baptised [very big in this blog]
  3. Pope Francis is inaugurated March 19th  [Argentinean Cardinal]
  4. Edward Snowden -release NSA data [June 2013]
  5. US Government restarted
  6. US Stock Market Highs
  7. Higgs Boson Discovery confirmed / Peter Higgs gets Nobel Prize

Most were in blogs or Facebook or in Twitter Tweets – just not favorited. So it is with this new found self assessment that I enter into 2014 and I resolve to record my FAVORITEs (and/or use #2014Review) to attempt to capture the most important events throughout 2014. Oh, I will undoubtably use it for bookmarks and humor or so I can find UM Football Schedule too.  But I want to make a concerted effort to record current events for future historians from my eyes. How about you? Who is with me in this, Cloud-Think meme and will FAVORITE their tweets (or tag them #2014Review)?

Happy Holidays and a Happy Healthy & Prosperous New Year to you,  my readers!

Thank you for making 2013 the most-read year so far for this blog — there were over 21,000 reads in 2013 alone!

MyThankYou

December 4, 2013

Online Inventory of ŚwiętoKrzyskie Parish Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Wordless Wednesday …

WordlessWed_20131204

October 25, 2013

Prince George of Cambridge Baptism – 4 Generation Picture of British Monarchy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

4GenQueenElizabethStanczyk cannot believe almost the whole month of October, Polish History Month in the US, and this is my first blog of the month !

What has gotten me off my royal jester duff ?  The baptism of bonny Prince George of Cambridge, of course. I was keeping abreast of this genealogical event. But the interest in this baby is phenomenal ! Blog readership is up over 250% and most of that increase is International.

I’ll come back to the God Parents (all seven of them) in a minute.

First, I want to comment on the four generation photo of HRH Queen Elizabeth and her three generations of heir apparents – Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince George. Why the focus on a family photo?  This is extraordinary in British History – only once before has a four generation picture happened and that was 1894 !

4GenQueenVictoriaThe last occurrence was with Queen Victoria and her future heir apparents – King Edward VII,  King George V,  & King Edward VIII at Windsor Castle.

The parallel is obvious – baptism is a time of whole family gathering and when it’s a future monarch, it is historic.

Baptism

Prince George who was born 22 July 2013, had his christening and (23 October 2013, Chapel Royal) was  attended and sponsored by no less than seven God Parents – And neither Prince Harry nor Pippa Middleton were god parents.

God Fathers — William van Custem, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Hugh Grosvenor, Oliver Baker

God Mothers — Zara Tindall, Julia Samuel, Emilia Jardine-Paterson

#GoodGenealogy = #GoodHistory

Prior Story …

British Royal Family Tree —  27 July 2013

September 24, 2013

The Library of Congress & PA State Library — #Genealogy, #Archives, #Libraries

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PAStateLib_1PAStateLib_2

The Library of Congress

(LOC) has published a finding resource listing 71 links to the 50 states, online digital collections. That is found here .

The PA State Library — Has a digital collections, very similar to the digital collections found at seekingmichigan.org [Editor: also in LOC list for MI].

From Abe Lincoln, to Ben Franklin, to Coal Mining History, to WWI there are many PA treasures here:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/collections/8728/digital_collections_at_the_state_library_of_pennsylvania/524375

I chose to start in their WWI Collection,  which had a few choices to pick from, so I chose the top pick (Mahanoy City):

American Red Cross. Pennsylvania Chapter. Mahanoy City. In Memoriam Of Those Who, Coming from the District within the Limits of the Mahanoy City, Red Cross Chapter, Quakake to Girardville [inclusive] Made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Great War for Democracy, known as “The World War” 1917-1919. Mahanoy City, Pa., [1920]
This is a six page memorial to the fallen veterans who lived in Mahanoy City in the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania.

http://accesspadr.org/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/sstlp-wwi&CISOPTR=411&CISOSHOW=405

In truth the PA State Library’s digital collection is large enough that this jester will need to spend some time exploring, but I thought I would share my initial impression.

So LOC, a tip of the jester’s hat  to you for compiling a very useful resource of state libraries who have online digital collections. These are historical in nature, but the obvious application to genealogy make these valuable resources to the genealogical researcher too.

September 23, 2013

Map of Poland 1764 – Polish Coat of Arms By Province — #Polish, #Heraldic, #CoatOfArms

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polska_1764_pelna

Jozef Taran wrote over the weekend on Facebook about a website giving the coat of arms of the various provinces.

Stanczyk just loves the artistry and historicity of heraldic symbols.  But, it was a bonus! At the site was a 1764 map of the Poland/Lithuanian Commonwealth.

As a double bonus, I looked at the whole website:

http://www.wawrzak.org/news_updates.htm and it is a site dedicated to Szlachta (Polish Nobility). It has Polish/English text. Very nice find for those with blue blood coursing through their genealogical veins.

The 1764 Map is shown on the Maps Page.

September 15, 2013

100th Anniversary of My Busia in America — 15-Sep-1913 — 15-Sep-2013

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PrinzAdalbert

SS Prinz Adalbert

100 years ago today my paternal grandmother Walerya Leszczynska Eliasz came to the USA with my four year old aunt Aleksandra (Alice) in tow on the SS Prinz Adalbert.  She arrived in Philadelphia (for some unknown reason) and went to Buffalo to join my grandfather, Jozef and her two brothers and a sister. She arrived on the SS Prinz Adalbert from Hamburg, Germany (port) and her last residence was Pacanow.

So it is safe to say that Stanczyk would not be here today if Walerya had not come to the USA when she did.

 

SEE other related posts …

Philadelphia Inquirer 9/15/1913

Philadelphia Inquirer 9/15/1913

Philadelphia Inquirer of 15 September 1913 -

The Ship manifest was also very helpful with its markings that indicated citizenship papers and also showing she came from her father (Tomasz in Pacanow) to her husband (Jozefin Depew, NY).

The Depew, NY address was actually her brother Teofil’s address.  According to my aunt Bernice,  my Busia’s brothers had to go get my grandfather (whom I assume was working in Detroit). My grandparents were reunited in Depew and I have their century old photo in an antique oval/bubble frame with “1913” inscribed on the back. It must have been a happy reunion, because my aunt Kitty was born in 1914 in Depew.

PrinzAdalbert_19130915

Ship Manifest of Waleria & Alexandra Elias [sic]

September 15, 2013

Ancestry App v5.0 — #Genealogy, #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry5_0

Ancestry.com has updated their app to version 5.0 (iTunes App Store). I like their newest effort.  It looks nice and the User Experience (UX) is improved for the most part. I miss  having a button for showing just the lineal line (not siblings) to save space on the iPhone. Also the UX does not provide ways to go up or down your family tree other than what is displayed on screen (5 generations on iPhone). Why no arrows on top/bottom rows. You can of course click on someone higher up in the tree and see further back generations from that person, but you may not realize that there are prior generations unless you know your tree well. No visual key that more generations exist.

When you upgrade you will  need to download your whole tree again (does that imply their local db changed and needs to be reloaded?) and that takes about 30–45 seconds for a tree of 1,142 people. Small price to pay. I do wonder if the new app is causing problems for the Ancestry.com web site. It has performed slowly and sometimes the app says Ancestry.com is not available. Perhaps mobile app users are putting a bigger strain then online users.

AncestryError

Ancestry.com site problems?

It integrates more closely with Facebook. That did not appeal to me, but for some people it may be just what you want. As a result I do not know what happens when you connect your Facebook profile to a person in the tree (does it post the timeline to your Facebook timeline?).

Besides, Facebook, the app now integrates with Ancestry.com more completely. The app now works a lot like the web site. It does not appear to be missing any features. I like the new Timeline view of a profile … very nice.

The Gallery button on the bottom of the profile view quickly loads your images (much faster). It also automatically searches for hints too. Finally this view has a new feature to find sources (from Ancestry.com?) for your facts. Very nice.

The tight integration to the web site does mean the app switches control to a Safari web-app but the integration is so tight you might not notice the switch to Safari and back to the App

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