Posts tagged ‘Catholic’

December 10, 2014

James Carroll – “Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age.” #Book

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

It is the Holiday Season. Hanukah is coming and this year leads right into Christmas Eve. So Stanczyk thinks a blog connected with the religious underpinnings of this time of year is a good idea.

Pocket : Jesus and the Modern Man

Also, from NYT:

I found James Carroll speaking on NPR radio. He has the above named book out now and was making the rounds. However, this jester found Mr. Carroll to be a thoroughly knowledgeable Theologian.

Many of the topics that were raised by the NPR host (RadioTimes – Marty Moss-CoaneShow Broadcast – have a listen !!) were so interesting and invited the listener to think more deeply. Some of Mr. Carroll’s answers, made me so want to have a long discussion with him about his book.

I see he was also speaking at our Philadelphia Free Library last night too.

The Book can be found on Amazon. I am adding it to my Wish List.


May 12, 2013

♥ Happy Mothers Day ♥ — #Genealogy, #German, #Croatia, #Vespek

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk, was not intending to write a blog post today. I hope Genealogy Moms are having a wonderful day today  … too.

Yesterday, I was researching on On a lark, I thought I would look at Croatia. In particular at Tenje. I did that because my maternal grandmother, Roza Göttler (aka Gottler/Goettler/Gettler). From her ship manifest, I knew her to come from Tenje (which was Austria-Hungary, then Jugoslavia, now presently Croatia). This explains the ever changing ethnicity throughout the US Federal Censuses. I did indeed find Gottlers in Tenje. I did not find my grandmother’s parents or my grandmother … unfortunately the years available online would not meet my needs. But something unusual happened. I found other affiliated family names: Eisenbeiser and Elter. So I am now convinced that Tenje (the Roman Catholic records) is where I will find my maternal grandmother.

That was so uplifting, on a lark, I thought I’d search for my maternal grandfather’s village. His was a bit of a problem too. Differing country names (like Roza Gottler), but his village name changed often too, so even though I had ship manifest, Declaration of Intent, and finally a Petition for Naturalization, I was still uncertain where he was from. I was pretty sure he was from the same area as Roza Gottler. My paternal grandparents were both married once, before they married each other and had my mother. So my grandfather emmigrated alone and my grandmother emmigrated with her first husband (John Reiner). Over the years, I developed many clues which I collected even though they did not fit together. This weekend, the clues came together! These stray clues allowed me to verify that the records I was viewing were my own family. What a gift on Mother’s Day weekend. I found both of her family parents’ families  this weekend!

It turns out that my grandfather was born in Sarvas (now in Croatia) and in the same district as Tenje. So all those sources: Sawas is from Ship Manifest , then  Storvish is from Declaration of Intent, and  Dowash is from the Petition for Naturalization. The first Vespek birth record I found spelled the village as Starvas. These are all the same place! Some were slightly misspelled. Now I can see it. So in the same FamilySearch project in two different villages I found my maternal lines. Some direct lines, some indirect branches, others are affiliated families.

So I have set a fairly high level of confidence in these findings. As such, I believe I have found my Great-Grandfather Vendelin Vespek’s birth record. This is not 100% certain and I have to find 1 or 2 missing pieces to make it a 100% certain. For those who are second (or 3rd) cousins researching in the Vespek family tree pay attention to the remainder and download the image at the top.


Croatia, Church Books, 1516-1949 Roman Catholic (Rimokatolička crkva), Sarvas

Corresponding LDS MF #’s – 1739003 Items 4-5,  1739004 Items 1-7

Sarvaš Births (Rođeni) 1847-1865  [for Vespek, Kasper, Kantner, Fechtig, Emert, Platz, Zorn]

URL: FamilySearch Sarvas, Croatia  [image 66 of 298]

Birth 8th / Baptism 9th – November – 1858

Vendelin son of Vendelin Vespek & Catherine Kaschper (aka Kasper)
born in Sarvas, House #43

Godparents:  Tobias Jobst & Joanna Kreines

See Also …

Tenje (Osijek) – [for Gottler, Eisenbeiser, Elter]

URL:  Tenje


Even though most of the records are in Latin, there are still records in Croatian.So for my Polish genealogy researchers, I would hasten a tip. As I was doing this I saw month names that were close to month names for Polish. Croatian is a Slavic language (albeit Southern Slav). So when I saw LISTOPAD (Croatian), I was immediately thinking NOVEMBER (in English), because LISTOPAD in Polish = November in English. But in Croatian, LISTOPAD = October. Surprise!

From Google Translator:

January, February, …, December – (English)

Sijecanj, Veljaca, Ozujak, Travanj,  Svibanj, Lipanj, Srpanj, Kolovoz, Rujan, Listopad, Studeni, Prosinca – (Croatian)

September 4, 2011

#Genealogy – Without the Sermon: Introducing “The Catholic Gene”

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A new take on Genealogy and a very polished blog to boot.  Welcome to “The Catholic Gene“. Just look at these bloggers …

Jasia (Creative Gene), Donna Pointkouski who also writes What’s Past is Prologue, Stephen Danko, Sheri Fenley, Lisa (Smallest Leaf), Lisa A. Alzo, Denise Levenick, Craig Manson, and Ceil Jensen.  That’s not a blog, that’s a full blown Polish Genealogy Conference!

I had seen mention of it via my rootsweb genealogy mailing lists, then I saw it pop up on my iGoogle Genealogy Page.  I had to check it out after reading Creative Gene (see my blog roll — in fact most of these people are on it). Naturally, Stanczyk‘s curiosity  was piqued by the blog roll entry, “The Curt Jester”  — clever.

Make this a part of your Sunday ritual, its good for the soul and should be good for your genealogy too.

July 18, 2011

#Polish, #Jewish, #Genealogical Research – Church Census

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Perhaps you sneaked a peak at some new pages I recently created. My blog stats indicate that is so. So you may have witnessed the data for this story. But lets take a step back  for a moment.

In Poland, most Gminas or Powiats or large cities (ex. Warsaw) have a website, much like our cities or counties in the USA. These are the basic administrative units: Gminas make up Powiats which make up Voivodeships . Comparable to Townships(Boroughs) -> Counties -> States in the USA. So an understanding of these units of administration and their historical changes is fundamental to tracing your genealogy. Like us, they also have a history and their history is long, VERY LONNNNG in duration. In Poland, the Church is also an organizing presence and like here, they have parishes, deaconates, and dioceses. These too have very long histories. Understanding these units of administration, both civil and ecclesiastical can aid you in finding records to research. So this long preamble leads to my next useful website, which is quite specific to the locale of my ancestral villages  and what you need to do is to find the one that corresponds to your ancestral village and do likewise. Mine is:

So grab your Google Translator and follow along, please. Pacanow Gmina is the organizing unit for most of my ancestral villages (and the neighboring gminas cover the remainder). The above link (on a  line by itself) is an older web page that I have kept for years and it is now becoming buried in the official government page that is useful to residents. This page is useful to historians and family history researchers. It covers the history and tradition of both the civil and the ecclesiastical (i.e. parish) histories. Why do I or you care about these fine histories that a local historical society has produced — well if you have been a genealogist for a while you know that Historical Societies are the genealogist’s best friends. They have collected and preserved much of value that will further aid in our family history research. And so it is here. Pacanow is both a parish/deaconate (thus the ecclesiatical) and the civil gmina so they have both histories. From their pages, I have culled Church Censuses for this area covering circa 1340 through 1787 (not continuous, but snaphots at various times) that their local historians researched from church records. So on my Parish Census page is my resulting spreadsheet from a couple of their mages. These are statistical summaries, not individual records. So to be clear I am not talking about a Spis Ludnosci which contains a family and its names for generations in a parish. May we all be so lucky to find such in our individual researches.

Years – 1340, 1618, 1664, 1699, 1747/48, 1782/82, 1787

These are early years. In Biechow, one the parishes these censuses mention, my actual church records that LDS have microfilmed only go back to 1674-1675, then nothing until some deaths from 1697-1743. I have looked at these microfilm and the records are sparse (and in Latin). That being said, these censuses now allow me to evaluate what I have “detailed” records for. From the 1747/48 census I can see how Biechow has many more females than males. That explains why I can see men have many second wives (no doubt after their 1st wives die in child-birth or from the rigors of life with many children) to often much younger wives who can bear the man still more children. I have to wonder at the sizes of the homes. Even with the astonishing infant/child mortality rates of this era, families are large. Deaths are overwhelmingly people under 18 with the usual percentage of deaths for mature adults only a small percentage of the overall total. Populations are growing since the births outnumber the deaths, slightly.

All of these years are before the partitions  of Poland, except for the last two censuses (which come after the first partition of 1772). Now this last census(1787) is interesting for another reason. There was a census of Jews by parish. Now we cannot expect that the Jewish peoples attended the churches and the year 1787 was prior to the 1810-1830 years when the Catholic Church was also required to be the civil registrar and the Jews needed to register their births and marriages with the Catholic Church priest who was also the civil registrar. Like New Orleans which organizes its administrations by parishes, these early/rural parishes acted also as civil units of administration and collected censuses. The overall percentage across all parishes, was that Jewish peoples were about 6.44% of the total population. In Biechow, I see the percentage was 2.6% and that fairly closely matches the rates of Jewish records I see in the overall births from the years 1810-1830  in the Biechow parish church register.

Now that gives us a window into the first partition of Poland. Even though Stanczyk writes of Biechow/Pacanow being in the Russian-Poland partition, this early era was pre-Napoleon and these parishes were in the Krakow voivoide and Stopnica powiat, which were controlled by Austria  (more properly the Austrian-Hungarian Empire). At any rate, in the interest of the Blessed Pope John Paul II and his ecumenical efforts and to honor my own Jewish wife, I have included the Jewish census numbers here with the Catholic numbers to aid the Jewish researchers in their quest. I have collected some records in the early 1810’s that were in Biechow, since I noticed the JewishGen and JRI have not indexed Biechow. Now you know why. There were only 2.4% of the total population and  those scant numbers may have gone unnoticed so far by researchers. I would encourage JRI/JewishGen to take a look at my Parish Census blog page (in reality on Rootsweb).

Well this posting is too heavy on numbers and too slight on story, so let me end it here for today.


P.S. I am glad I put their numbers into a spreadsheet. I did find they had numerical errors (one total) and also an editing error, as the total for Jews was 1,000 more than the 821 they showed, thus they dropped the leading ‘1’ by some editorial typo. A spreadsheet quickly caught those errors.


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