Posts tagged ‘Family’

December 11, 2010

Tomasz Leszczynski & I, Post Cards, Swiniary – A Hodge Podge

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stancyzk inherited much from his great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski and is happy with his legacy. Today Stanczyk was speaking with a genealogist friend and as I told him I was expecting twin sons in my 50’s;  He then asked has that happened before in your family tree. Stanczyk thought for a second and said, yeah , but not since the 19th century.

Stanczyk had one Eliasz ancestor who had three wives and somewhere just shy of 20 children by the three of them. But I have been thinking about great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski recently. I am his descendant via Tomasz’s second wife, Aniela Major. Tomasz’s 1st child with Aniela was Walerya (Stanczyk’ s Busia) at roughly 50 years of age. He went on to have  at least five more children with Aniela, so I guess he had children until he was sixty (plus or minus a couple of years). So Stanczyk realized he now has something in common with the great Tomasz, children born unto him in his 50’s.

Stanczyk, finally received a post card from his Dziennik Polski database, from someone who found an ancestor in my web pages. I had done that as a lark. It has been so many years, that I had forgotten that I asked for postcards. So April, I will post your contact by Helen Steba (and Alojyus Heyza) with your email for others,  related to you to find via the indexes. Thanks April for the first postcard!

Swiniary is a parish in Southern Poland (above the Vistula River, north-east of Krakow). It is very near to Biechow where my grandmother, Walerya was born. So I was searching for some Leszczynski family there (and possibly some Eliasz too). Well I have found Tomasz Leszczynski’s first wife, her birth record in Swiniary!  I am elated to find another clue to my great-grandfather’s life. Now that is great news, but I also wanted to share my largess with other genealogists with family from this parish. In my next article, I will list some family names and the villages that made up the parish. Stanczyk has Birth Indexes for the years 1826-1852 (some missing, some blurry), so if you have an ancestor, drop me a line and I will search these indexes for you. Eventually, I hope to compile another index similar to what I have for Biechow and Pacanow parishes. This Swiniary is located at:

Świniary – 409 osób(people) woj.:  świętokrzyskie,   powiat: buski,  gmina: Solec-Zdrój,    Polish Postal Code: 28-131
[Source: mapa.szukacz.pl]
It’s close-in (12km) map looks like:
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December 6, 2010

Auld Lang Sine…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

As the end of 2010 draws near, Stanczyk feels the need to recall his family to mind. The duties of the family historian are felt most keenly. Joys are larger and the sorrows are most burdensome.

Please say a prayer for the loved ones lost to us this year:

9-JAN-2010Stephen E. Eliasz, my god father died. I miss his strong wisdom

25-FEB-2010Phyllis M. (nee Darbe) Gawlik – my 2nd cousin’s mother. My father was their best man at their wedding

Peace be with them. God grant Stanczyk a respite from the sorrow.

There is an old saying…

When a man dies, his wife is a widow,

likewise, when a woman dies her husband is a widower

If a child’s parents die, that child is an orphan,

But if a man’s child dies, there is no word for that,

for God could not bear to hear it

So a bitter adieu to 2010 as it joins the days of long ago. Stanczyk is looking forward, but like Orpheus, I could not help myself from   sneaking one last peak backwards.

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December 5, 2010

Tomasz Leszczyński de Biechów (part one of many)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tomasz Leszczynski It was said by my elders and confirmed by distant cousins who had heard the same story, that Tomasz Leszczynski lived to the ripe old age of 104! For me as it was for Tomasz, I am sure that is a mixed blessing. Now perhaps my grandmother, my father (and his siblings) and perhaps even myself have inherited that longevity. That would be, should be  a blessing. In 104 years of life on this planet, you could generate a whole  lot of genealogy and played  a large role in that genealogy. Tomasz outlived his first wife (Julianna) and took a second wife (Aniela). It is from Aniela and Tomasz  that my grandmother comes, the first born child of that second union.

Tomasz was a shoemaker and an innkeeper, those are facts recorded in the church records of Biechow. There are family stories about Tomasz (was he or was he not descended from royalty). How did my grandmother, Valeria, inherit a mill (not certain what kind of mill) in Łodz ??? In an era of limited literacy, my grandmother was fluent in Polish (undoubtedly her native language), Russian (Biechow was in Russian-Poland partition), and German (the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was just across the Vistula river). Plus she learned English when she arrived here in America, so four languages she was fluent(read/write/speak) in.

The picture that was given to me by Carol (my 2nd cousin, who I have never met in person). The picture is hard to see, it so old (perhaps a century old). But it appears that Tomasz wears a tie and he is seated outside with his wife Aniela [see full picture at end]. I was told that my Busia (Valeria) was one of 12. Well so far I have info on Tomasz having 14 children across his two wives. Indeed two of those children died in infancy (so 1 of 12 cannot be said to be incorrect info). But he lived to be 104. So I have not found his death record (circa beginning of World War 2), but I am fairly confident when I find it, that it will NOT list his parents (as many church death records do), the curse of a long life, your survivors no longer remember that far back. I was never able to find the Leszczynski records in Biechow, except for one record that I believed at the time was my great-grandfather Tomasz’s first wife (Julianna Kordosów). So I recorded the fact, uncertain as I was (time will tell). This jester later joined a Polish social network (Nasza Klasa) and eventually I traded emails with a kind woman who spoke no English. Her maiden name was Heliasz and was from Biechow parish. We realized that we were still too far apart with too many missing links to connect our family trees (although we are very close to connecting them). Unbeknownst  to me she went to Biechow and got the marriage record of my grandparents! So it was true. My grandmother was from Biechow and her father was Tomasz Leszczynski and her mother Aniela Major. So now I had confirmed many US documents listing these two whose names were spelled many ways. Well I was elated for sure. Still why so little info on the Leszczynskich  from Biechow when I had so many microfilm from the LDS spanning decades/centuries even. Well I had also joined a Polish Genealogical Society website (genealodzy.pl). From there I met a genealogist (Jacek of Krakow) whose family also came from Biechow. I lamented to him my problem of not finding Leszczynski when I had so much evidence that this where they were from. Well Jacek, was also very kindly and he found a few early records from Biechow born to Tomasz Leszczynski and a Julianna Kordos from the early 1860s (not in the LDS microfilm I had seen). So now I had a pretty strong confirmation that the death record of Julianna Kordos from Pacanow parish, was indeed my great-grandfather’s first wife. But I do not have a marriage record for Tomasz and either wife nor do I have any birth info on Tomasz other than an indication he was born in the mid 1830’s. So I cannot go further back. If only I could find a marriage record of Tomasz and one of his wives, then I would know his parents’ names.

Aniela Major & Tomasz Leszczynski

Let me end this posting at this point, but the story continues…

October 27, 2010

Romanov Russian Royalty.. oh my

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester has a deep appreciation for Dr. Stephen Morse and his many works, especially those related to genealogy. I have used his One Step Web Page for many years. So it was thrill to meet him at various conferences and I was touched at his kind offer to help  moje zona read her grandparent’s tombstone (alas the jester struggles with his Hebrew language skills). I have followed his recent work to make yet a 3rd generation soundex algorithm (for us Slavics).

Originally, we had American Soundex, which you still see on Immigration documents (mine is E420). Then along came the most excellent Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex which was a vast improvement for those whose heritage was Slavic (mine is 084000) and you would see it on Russian Consular records.  Recently Dr Morse has developed the Bieder-Morse Soundex algorithm which further improves name matches (by eliminating false matches). So my family name would have Bieder-Morse soundex tokens of:  elaS elas [exact match tokens only] . I think only the JewishGen website has implemented that matching.

Now Dr Morse has an article(Genetic Genealogy Revisited) in the APG’s professional journal: “Association of Professional Genealogists QUARTERLY”. It was on the use of genetics in genealogy and he used the Romanov Family mystery as a demonstration of using genetics to solve a question. Now I read in the Current issue of the Smithsonian,  the Resurrecting the Czar, article. It too covers the latest background on murder mystery of Czar Nicholas II and his family and attendants. I found that the two aritcles read together give a fascinating account of the story.

Now this jester is not a fan of the Russian Empire (even though my grandparents and their parents were born into Russian-Poland partition).  The Rus betrayal of Poland not even a century after the great  King Jan Sobieski, the Savior of Vienna [indeed all of Europe],  the “Lion of Lechistan” and  their betrayal again in 1939 at the start of World War II sour my feelings for our brother Rus. So while I enjoyed the two articles read back-to-back, I was appalled by a few “royalists” who want to bring back the monarchy to the Russian Federation. One woman artist actually is hoping for a Russian fascist (to clean up the mess??) followed by a transition back to the monarchy. That would be quite a rewind of history huh?

Czech, Lech and Rus - there is a legend of three brothers that settled central and eastern Europe. Czech went on to found the Czechs and Rus went on to found the Russians. Lech and Lechistan became Poland. So we can see again that monarchies and the battles between them are really nothing more than family squabbles done on a grand scale. By the way both articles mention the British monarchy  and their family connection to the Romanovs (via Hapsburgs).  Canute the Great was a Grandson of Mieszko I (first king of Poland) and of course another ancestor of this jester, the twice king Stanislaw Leszczynski, had a daughter marry into the Bourbons. Alas all of Poland’s goodwill and family relationships could not prevent the Deluge and Poland’s slip from History’s main stage. We will have to content ourselves that Rus and their partitions, produced Kosciuszko and Pulaski and they in turn helped to produce America.

October 8, 2010

October is National Polish Heritage Month

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

October is our National Polish Heritage Month in the USA. So I thought, how about talking about Polish Name Days. Each day in the calendar is associated with one or more (always more) names. In fact this day is more celebrated than the person’s birth day, in Poland?? It may be more prevalent in Western Poland. A Person may celebrate his birthday, but that is usually a private matter. Whilst,  the name day celebration,  he celebrates with friends or co-workers. This used to derived from the church calendar and its Saints and their feast days. But now name days are largely separate from church calendar.

For more information, please see this Wikipedia article .  Here is the list for October…

Polish Name Days – October

October
1 Benigna, Cieszysław, Dan, Danisz, Danuta, Igor, Jan, Remigiusz
2 Dionizy, Leodegar, Stanimir, Teofil, Trofim
3 Eustachiusz, Eustachy, Ewald, Gerard, Gerarda, Gerhard,
Heliodor, Józefa, Kandyd, Sierosław, Teresa
4 Edwin, Franciszek, Konrad, Konrada, Manfred, Manfreda, Rozalia
5 Apolinary, Częstogniew, Donat, Donata, Faust, Fides,
Flawia, Igor, Justyn, Konstancjusz, Konstans, Placyd
6 Artur, Artus, Bronisław, Bronisz, Brunon, Emil, Fryderyka,
Roman
7 Amalia, Justyna, Marek, Maria, Rościsława, Stefan,
Tekla
8 Artemon, Bryda, Brygida, Demetriusz, Laurencja, Marcin, Pelagia,
Pelagiusz, Symeon, Wojsława
9 Arnold, Arnolf, Atanazja, Bogdan, Dionizjusz, Dionizy, Jan,
Ludwik, Przedpełk
10 Franciszek, German, Kalistrat, Lutomir, Paulin, Tomił
11 Aldona, Brunon, Burchard, Dobromiła, Emil, Emilian,
Emiliusz, Germanik, Maria, Marian, Placydia
12 Cyriak, Eustachiusz, Eustachy, Grzymisław, Maksymilian,
Ostap, Salwin, Serafin, Witołd, Witold, Witolda
13 Daniel, Edward, Gerald, Geraldyna, Maurycy, Mikołaj,
Siemisław, Teofil
14 Alan, Bernard, Dominik, Dzierżymir, Fortunata, Kalikst,
Kaliksta
15 Brunon, Gościsława, Jadwiga, Sewer, Tekla, Teresa
16 Ambroży, Aurelia, Dionizy, Florentyna, Galla, Gallina,
Gaweł, Gerard, Gerarda, Gerhard, Grzegorz, Radzisław
17 Lucyna, Małgorzata, Marian, Sulisława, Wiktor,
Wiktoriusz
18 Julian, Łukasz, René
19 Ferdynand, Fryda, Pelagia, Pelagiusz, Piotr, Siemowit,
Skarbimir, Toma, Ziemowit
20 Budzisława, Irena, Jan Kanty, Kleopatra, Wendelin, Witalis
21 Bernard, Celina, Dobromił, Elżbieta, Hilary,
Klemencja, Pelagia, Pelagiusz, Urszula, Wszebora
22 Abercjusz, Filip, Halka, Kordelia, Kordula, Przybysława, Sewer
23 Iga, Ignacja, Ignacy, Jan, Marlena, Odilla, Roman, Seweryn,
Teodor, Włościsław, Żegota
24 Antoni, Boleczest, Filip, Hortensja, Marcin, Rafaela,
Rafał, Salomon
25 Bończa, Bonifacy, Chryzant, Daria, Inga, Kryspin, Maur,
Sambor, Taras, Teodozjusz, Wilhelmina
26 Dymitriusz, Ewaryst, Eweryst, Łucjan, Lucyna, Ludmiła,
Lutosław
27 Frumencjusz, Iwona, Sabina, Siestrzemił, Wincenty
28 Juda, Szymon, Tadeusz, Wszeciech
29 Euzebia, Franciszek, Longin, Longina, Lubogost, Narcyz, Teodor,
Wioletta
30 Alfons, Alfonsyna, Angel, Angelus, Edmund, Klaudiusz,
Przemysław, Sądosław, Zenobia
31 Alfons, Alfonsyna, Antoni, Antonina, August, Augusta, Godzimir,
Godzisz, Lucylla, Łukasz, Saturnin, Saturnina, Urban, Wolfgang
September 19, 2010

Black Sheep Sunday: “A Bullet Sings Goodbye”

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This is my first blog, in conjunction with GeneaBloggers. So hello other GeneaBloggers!

I think most genealogists seek an ancestor who was a king or queen, maybe relationship to a historical figure or a Pilgrim. Some of us even seek ancestor of some notoriety like Jesse James of John Dilinger. It offers relief from the many leafs in our tree that are just mundane. Now I would not mind a king or Daniel Boone or being a Polish Genealogist maybe Kasimierz Pulaski. I was not seeking a notorious, Black Sheep to liven up the old family tree, but alas these things do happen.

OK, my Black Sheep is from Detroit, MI. Actually, Stanley Gawlick [sic], really born Stanislaw Gawlikowski, was a street tough during the roaring 1920’s and a member of the “Shotgun Gang”. Stanley was born about 1902 in Poland and came along with his Father Antoni & mother Katarzyna through Ellis Island. I do not know how Stanley went bad.

“Well, Here’s Stanley”

That was Stanley’s MO. He liked to introduce himself that way at the bank robberies. A tad narcissistic, n’est-ce pas? Apparently, that was par for the times. As you can see, his headline is entitled, “A Bullet Sings Goodby[sic]“

Well here is his mug, printed in the Detroit News,  that fateful day, the 5th of August 1924. Now this newspaper clipping was saved by my cousin’s parents. When I asked my father, who was not born at that time, he said he never remembered anyone in the family speaking of this.

This goes to show that historical newspapers can provide you with vital record info too, such as date of death and cause of death (gun shot wound). I am an aficianado of the Polish Daily (Detroit), named, Dziennik Polski.  They provided an even longer article !

Well I said it was probably just a local story. Then a year later, I found another article on this crime in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that describes the crime. From the article in the Dziennik Polski, I am wondering whether the female  robber may have been a common-law wife or whether she was just a gun moll. Along for an exciting ride.

That’s my Black Sheep meme and I am sticking to it ! Let me hasten to add that Stanley and I share no blood. We are merely related by marriage.

September 19, 2010

What Do You Know?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

What Do You Know?

This jester has been a trusted advisor at the court of two kings and many companies, both large and small. As a matter of course, you develop a book of precepts to deal with a great many situations and to provide yourself with a context in which you ferret out a truth when you only have partial information. You also develop a toolkit and like the proverbial Felix The Cat, you pull something out of your bag of tricks, when the situation arises.

I want to talk today about timelines and facts. As I was saying last paragraph, I had some precepts and platitudes to carry me through uncharted waters. One of my favorites was, “The man with one clock always know what time it is, but a man with two (or more) clocks is never certain what time it is.” Whilst I knew my ojciec (father) was one of seven children, I was fine. But imagine my confusion, as I was chiding my god-father (my Uncle Steve) that he did not know his birthday and that the Diocese of Toledo said, he was born a month earlier – as an aside, my uncle was correct and the Diocese of Toledo was wrong.  A week later my uncle mails to me his birth certificate from Lucas County, OH and it does show his birthday as we always celebrated it. So it was good that I received another source fact for his birth. Now this is not a diatribe on whether the church was correct or the state (of OH) was correct on recording vital records. No,  the state certificate had other “facts”. On it was a question, “Number of children for this mother”, with three parts.

  • Part A. Born alive and still living: 3 (of course, Aunts Alice and Catherine and now uncle Steve)
  • Part B. Born alive, but now dead: 1 (Hmmm??)
  • Part C. Stillborn:                                  0.

But clearly at the time Uncle Steve’s birth, he was the fourth child, not the 3rd. So my father was one of 8 (not one of seven). Ok, so there was another child who was born and died before my father was born. I could not expect him to know of this fact. I also knew that this child was not stillborn. So I mentioned this bit of unexpected news to my father. Now this triggered a conversation that we had never had. He said he was born at home (not in a hospital) and that in 1926 this was not uncommon. Well Stanczyk always knew things were “different” in the olden days. Then he proceeds to bring out his “delayed birth certificate”. Ok since there was no official record of his birth, he had to have a copy of his baptism and a witness swear that they knew his true birth date. Not too surprising, but interesting as I scanned his “delayed birth certificate”. A fascinating birth certificate from 1943 (showing my dad to be one year too young to serve in the military in 1943). But this birth certificate from Wayne County, MI had two questions on it: “Number of children born alive to this mother” and “Number of children still living”. Now with answers nine and seven respectively. Now hold on here a second, my father was the 9th child, not the 7th as he had supposed.

But this goes to show. A few months ago I was certain my dad was one of seven children. A few weeks later I was disabused of that long-held fact and “knew” he was one of eight. Now I was confronted with the fact he was one of nine. So I am like the man with 3 clocks in his house. Who were these other two children, that we had no knowledge of? Let’s start with when were they born…

Timeline

Fortunately, I had learned of the marriage date of my grandparents and had the church record from Poland. They were married, the 28th of January, 1907 in Biechow, Poland. So lets start with that date in our timeline.

Dates Description of Event Children Alive

1/28/1907          Jozef Elijasz & Walerya Leszczynska marry in Biechow                                                                    0

1909 or 1910    Alice (aka Aleksandra) Eliasz was born in Poland.                                                                                 1?

5/31/1910       Josef Eliasz arrives Ellis Island on SS Finland from wife Walerya in Zabiec to

brother-in-law Teofil Leszczynski@41 Neoga Street, Depew, NY

9/15/1913      Valeria(Waleria, age 27) Eliasz arr. in USA with Alice(Alexandra, age 4) in Phila.

on SS Prinz Aldabert; Sailed 9/2/1913 from Hamburg, Germany                                                      1

8/27/1914    Catherine Eliasz born in Depew, NY (see birth cert+baptismal cert);                                                 2

10/5/1916    Stephen E. Eliasz born in Toledo, OH baptised 11/8/1916 St Anthony                                               3

3/14/1919    Joseph S. Eliasz born in Toldeo, OH (1108 Campbell Street)                                                                   4

11/27/1920 Bernice Eliasz born in Toledo, OH and baptised in Detroit.                                                                      5

2/11/1924    Ted Eliasz born in Detroit, MI                                                                                                                               6

8/18/1926   Chester S. Eliasz born in Detroit, MI at home.                                                                                                7

So we have “gaps” in the timeline in: 1908,  and 1909 or 1910, [ignore 1911-1912 when apart], 1915 as possibilities for Baby#1. This baby must be born before Steve in 1916. Baby #2 must be born between 1916 and 1925. We have “gaps” in: 1917, 1918, 1921, 1922, and early 1923, technically even in late 1924 could be another birth. Finally 1925 was possible.

Now fortune smiled down upon me when I was searching Mt Olivet’s cemetery records for a missing uncle. They had a Henry Eliasz who died in January 1923. So I sent away for the death certificate and was shocked to find that Henry, was Baby#2 (of the two unknown siblings of my father). He was born to my grandparents, prematurely in December 1922 and died one month later in January 1923. One mystery solved.

Now my aunt Alice maintained until her dying days, that she was born in 1910. I have no proof to the contrary other than the Ship Manifest on 1913 saying she was four in 1913, implying a birth year of 1909. As luck would have it, a genealogist in Poland whose family came from my ancestral villages agreed to perform some research for me. I was seeking my grandparents and any other born in Poland, their birth certificates. In the package I received was church record of a birth of a Wladyslaw Jozef Eliasz born on the 31st of March 1908 to my grandparents. So now, I had unknown baby #1’s birth and my timeline is now almost complete. I still need to find aunt Alice/Aleksandra’s birth record, but now I know, my dad was one of nine children (and that he was the ninth child born to Jozef & Walerya).

September 12, 2010

Odds & Ends …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester was gamboling through the ancient graveyards of Philadelphia again. In case, inquiring minds want to know.  This time it was in the Mt Peace Cemetery on Lehigh St.  You have the historic Laurel Hill, the Mt Vernon and Mt Peace cemeteries in very close proximity to each other. Many of the old tombstones are now illegible and the one I went to visit was disintegrated and is now just an empty lot. Genealogists and Historical Societies need to define projects to preserve the images before they disappear.

I have begun to try and use this windows PC to post to the Internet. Besides, visiting cemeteries, I have an affinity for historical news papers. So I am back compiling my index of vital records and other genealogical materials from the Dziennik Polski of Detroit, newspaper. My website for Dziennik Polski is a Rootsweb free page . At present I have an index of names (mostly Polish) of over 20,100 to search and a summary that spans over 41,500 collected extractions from the Dziennik Polski.  Now this was made possible by Genealogical Newsletters, such as the Eaglet published by the PGSM . A large number of names come from a list in the State of Michigan Library in Lansing, MI,  composed by a good friend James Tye (“Jim”), a long time member of the PGSM. An overwhelming number of names come from a project done (and still ongoing) by the PGSCTNE .  My own individual efforts have amounted only to about 2.4% of these totals. Perhaps one day, I will have amassed a database of 100K Polonia from Detroit, MI.

September 7, 2010

Komunikat z Konsulatu Polskiego

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Communications with the Polish Consulate

Communications with the Polish Consulate

Stanczyk, apologizes for being derelict of duty. Has it really been 2.5 months? Much has happened since my twin daughter Valeria died, that required Stanczyk’s attentions.  Oddly it is another death that happened 80 years ago that caught my attention, as I try to muse along.

I was reviewing some digital pictures I took years ago of a January 22nd, 1930 newspaper page that contained some columns posted by the Polish Consulate in Detroit. Stanczyk has long been a fan of the Dziennik Polski and I have just this Labor Day weekend, posted an update to my index of Polish peoples whose names appeared in the Dziennik Polski newspaper in various columns (birth announcements, funeral cards, marriage announcements, divorce announcements, class pictures from local High Schools, and even Polish Consulate postings). So this muse added another 64 names to my index (over 20,100) people now:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~meliasz/detroit/DziennikPolski/Complete_Index_DziennikPolski.htm

It has been two years between updates (this fool’s Mac died, just before the economy died). So I have finally gathered a sundry of  open source (i.e free) tools to edit/post files to web sites on an MS Windows laptop (distasteful). So look for future updates.

At any rate, I found a Kędzierski who may or may not be related to a family that my grand-uncle Jan married into listed. This caught my eye and also a communique about a Marjanna Skowronkówna. It appears her family in Poland (via the court in Jaslo in Krakow area) are trying to determine for certain her death. This woman was the daughter of Jan Skowron and his wife Barbara nee  Filasow, was born 1st October 1866. She came to America the second time in March of 1913 (remember this is a 1930 newspaper posting) and the family has heard nothing since 1914 when she was last known to be a housekeeper for Greek-Catholic priest, V, Dobry in Uniontown, PA. As I said, this was posted 22-January-1930 issue of Dziennik Polski, in Detroit, MI [in case an ancestor reads/Googles this blog].

Now the above was written in Polish (I used Google Translate to help me), so it was not the fact of a daughter being deceased unbeknownst to her family that caught my eye, but the fact that her birth date, her parents’ names and  her birth place were given. What immensely valuable genealogical data can be found in these Polish Consulates communiques!

Now as for Pawel Kędzierski,  a relative of his living in France, named Michal Kędzierski, was looking for him. They gave Pawel’s last known address as the state of Ohio. Note to Fool, check to see if these Polish Consulate postings appeared simultaneously through out USA Polish newspapers; I say this since we see Ohio and Uniontown, PA being written about in a Detroit, MI newspaper.

For those who read Polish fluently here is the clip of Marjanna Skowronkowna’s communique:

June 6, 2010

From Pacanow, Russian-Poland to Cleveland, Ohio

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

As you must know by now, Stanczyk’s  paternal family is from Pacanow. I like to use the website:   http://mapa.szukacz.pl/ very valuable. It helps you distinguish between same name villages by providing valuable info, like Pacanow’s, gmina, powiat, or wojewodztwo. It also says that is has a population of  1,275 people. If you read the church records from 1868-1918 (which are in Russian/Cyrillic) they describe Pacanow as a settlement.  So in my mind’s eye, it is a small place.

So, when I find records of an Elijasz or other family from that village/parish (Pacanow is also the parish locale), I think they must be related to me. How then, can there be this whole little community of Pacanow  Elijasz/Elyasz/Eliasz/Heliasz who came to be in Cleveland, Ohio and I and my family have no collective memory of them?  So I have used the LDS resource, http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=0 ,  and also the Cleveland Public Library’s Necrology database and collected much info which I have augmented with Footnote.com and Ancestry.com data. With that info I have built a profile of these people which I will list today in hopes that somebody who lives on the Internet will see their ancestor and contact this jester.

Let me start with Agnieszka Elijasz (aka Eliasz). She came to Cleveland (which is true of the rest, so I will not mention this again). She married a Stanislaw Hajek. She came from her brother Roman Eliasz to a cousin Zwolski in the Pasaic, NJ, USA. So we have Elijasz, Zwolski, and Hajek and all of these are families from Pacanow.  Because she names Roman Eliasz, my theory is her parents are: Jozef Elijasz (aka Heliasz) and Theresa Siwiec. She became more interesting recently because I received an email from a genealogist who named Roman Zwolski of Pasaic, NJ as a son of Petronella Elijasz (and a Jan Zwolski). I did find the birth record for this Roman Zwolski and confirmed that his mother was indeed Petronella Zwolski (a previously unknown Elijasz)! So Hajek-Elijasz from Cleveland let me hear from you.

One final aside,  the Roman Eliasz named above from Agnieszka’s ship manifest, his granddaughter, Elzbieta (nee Heliasz) Kapusta, whom I met on the Polish social networking website, Nasza-klasa.pl, out the kindness of her heart, without any prodding from this jester, drove back to Biechow, and retrieved a copy of my grandparent’s marriage record from the church and also a copy of the civil record and mailed them to me — forever endearing her to me.

Now I have a long list so I will skip all the stories of the rest. But this next one is interesting because a L. Baran (from genealodzy.pl) emailed me from Poland having knowledge of Elijasz from Pacanow and she named an Anna Elijasz.  This Anna I believe is the one that married Stanislaw Domagalski. I also think Domagalski is a Pacanow family too. So Domagalski from Cleveland let me hear from you.

I hope all of the rest also contact me.  Tekla Eliasz & Alexander Musial. Musial is another Pacanow family name and some went to Michigan too. Antoni Boza & Franciszka Eliasz, or Paul Budka & Elizabeth Elijasz, or finally Ignacy Elijasz & Augusta Ciaplenska.

Now as you may have noticed, most in this blog were female Elijasz, meaning the family name going forward is something else. Indeed, even Boza, Budka, Hajek, Musial or Domagalski may not remain, but they are links in the chain. Those elusive female ancestors!

Just for good measure will the ancestors of Stanley Elyasz of Detroit (a first cousin of my grandfather) or the Stanley Eliasz (aka Ellis?) of Buffalo who are also Pacanow Elijasz also contact me. I won’t even go into the Elijasz from Massachusetts who I believe are a very far branch (and for the most part not from Pacanow, although I saw a Szczucin Elijasz in Massachusetts) of the family.

Jak się masz, Elijasz?

P.S. – I hope you noticed  the several Polish websites mentioned. American genealogists need to get on these Polish websites and search for their families in Poland  there too.

May 15, 2010

Struck!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s musing comes from three tragic stories. There is a thimbleful of genealogy here. Stanczyk was perusing a tome in his library of a Norse saga.  It struck me with the power of a missile how similar were these three stories  and this jester was astounded.

Here are my protagonists:

Odin and Frigg had a son the beloved and good Baldur. Baldur was so loved by all, including his mother, Frigg. So Frigg extracted an oath from all manner of things not to harm Baldur. All things gave an oath, but  mistletoe which was too young to swear an oath.

Genealogy: Odin + Frigg -> Baldur

Peleus and Thetis had a son Achilles. Thetis, the good Greek wife she was knew her son would grow up to be a warrior. So to protect her son, she took Achilles to the river Styx and lowered him into the waters whose miraculous properties would make Achilles impervious. Except, she dunked Achilles, by holding onto his left heel.

Genealogy: Peleus + Thetis -> Achilles

Adam and Eve had a son Cain. Cain after murdering his brother Abel was cursed by God to be ostracized and  Cain was marked so that no living thing would kill him. The curse had a time limit, until the 7th generation of Cain.

Genealogy: Adam + Eve -> Cain->Enoch->Irad->Mehujael->Methushael->Lamech->son

In all three cases, (Baldur, Achilles, and Cain), they were shot and died. Baldur dies when Loki ferrets out that mistletoe is the only thing that did not give an oath and he fashioned a dart of mistletoe. While the Norse were having fun throwing things at Baldur who could not be hit or hurt, Loki directed, Hod,  to fire the mistletoe dart at Baldur killing him. Achilles was killed by Paris with an arrow shot in the Trojan war, striking the only spot on him that was not impervious, his heel. Finally, we have Cain being shot by the blind Lamech, who was directed by his own son to fire at something in the woods. Therefore, Lamech’s son, the 7th generation of Cain caused Cain’s death. In two of the stories, a blind man is directed to kill the protagonist. All three protagonists die of a missile being fired at them. In all three cases, the protagonist was impervious except/until:  mistletoe, unprotected heel, or 7th generation.

As I researched this blog, I was astounded a second time, that the story of Cain’s death is NOT in the Bible. Just Cain’s curse and his generations are recorded in the Bible. It is funny how this jester had joined two separate stories in his mind and then sourced it solely from the Bible.

Striking parallels indeed. Please do not shoot me any emails over this blog.

May 12, 2010

Dziennik Polski [Detroit]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dziennik Polski 1924Dziennik Polski (“Polish Daily”). Many times this has been used as a title for a local  Polish language newspaper. This jester originally came from Detroit, MI where we too had such a newspaper. One day I was having a meal  with mój ojciec (my father). I had decided to go to the Library of the State of Michigan in Lansing the next day and I was going to do my first foray into reading an historical newspaper on microfilm. The newspaper I selected was Dziennik Polski; I am not even certain why I chose that newspaper, perhaps it was an article I read in the PGSM’s Eaglet newsletter. Now Michigan was blessed with many Polish language newspapers:

And those were just from Wayne County. I was going to try and find the birth announcements for my father and his siblings and perhaps I’d also find some death notices too.

Surprise

At any rate, as we eat a meal together I told my father that I was going to the State Library and perhaps read some newspapers. Out of the blue and for the first time, my father tells the family how his mother, Walerya, used to read the Dziennik Polski newspaper! What serendipity he mentioned the exact newspaper I was going to research. So I was armed with birth dates and off I went secure in the knowledge that my new idea would be successful. For if my busia read the newspaper, then surely she must have put announcements into to it too. Now the more experienced genealogists are probably laughing at that naiveté. Well I did not find my father’s birth being announced. However, I did find my uncle Thaddeus’ birth being announced and the street address was one my father had recalled to me in an earlier conversation. Well you can imagine I was hooked on this charming little Polish language newspaper.

I was certain, that I’d find my great uncle Jan’s death announcement – but I did not have the date, just that it was after my grandfather’s death (06-January-1930). So I would just gut it out and search this newspaper for all of the 1930’s decade until I found him. By now you must realize that this  is a daunting task. Each microfilm contains about 2-3 months of newspapers and I found I could do one microfilm in a single day. By my math I would need 40 days at the Library or possibly on average maybe only 20 days. Of course, I no longer lived in Michigan, so that posed a problem. Of course, they also did not have every day on the microfilm either, so it just might not be on the microfilm. Finally, it was during the Great Depression, so death announcements would not be there unless you paid for them; That was certainly going to be a problem for my widowed grandmother with 7 kids to feed.

Well Stanczyk is still pursuing this enterprise, albeit more slowly due to the tough economic times. I enjoy the genealogy and also the history preserved in these newspapers. I also get some kind of surreal connection to my grandmother by putting myself in her place and reading these historical newspapers in her native tongue. I have painstakingly gathered some expertise on this newspaper and gathered info the PGSM Eaglet, my own research and the work of the PGSCTNE and have built an index now with over 20,000 names. Because this is a Polish language newspaper, it is largely a story of the Poles who settled in Detroit, MI (and of course Hamtramck). I have that index and my collected research available here on Rootsweb website:  Dziennik Polski .

Read your local newspaper or that of your grandmother’s. Read the Second World War, through your grandmother’s eyes. It is horrific to see Hitler and Stalin splashed across the pages of the 1920’s and 1930’s and to know that they eventually will collectively kill nearly 40 million people – back then, for busia  it was news, now for this jester it is history. History carries a much greater impact when read through the context of your ancestors and the newspapers of their lives.

May 2, 2010

Biechow & Pacanow databases…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday this jester wrote about an interaction with another genealogist and how it caused me to do my research in a different way and how by doing this survey, I was able to find two small related Elijasz facts buried in another family’s church record.

The blog was not suitable for three column (or even nicely viewable in single column). So I wanted to publish the database on my Rootsweb page. So here is Pacanow 1883 Births .

I have done surveys of some years records and published them onto the Internet. The reason I do this is draw other genealogists to me, by their Googling their family tree and finding my pages and then querying me to see if we are related in some way. Over the years I have run into many genealogists and/or distant cousins who have supplied vital or emotionally  priceless photos.

Here are my Biechow parish databases too:

1810 Biechow Births

1811 Biechow Births

1812-1831 Survey

So if your ancestral village was in Biechow parish or Pacanow parish send me your query. Perhaps we are related somewhat closely. Or if your name is the following list (these are just Biechow/Pacanow family names):

Eliasz, Elijasz, Heliasz, Leszczynski, Wlecialowski, Paluch, Zasucha, Zwolski, Odomski, Kedzierski, Kalucki, Kordos, Siwiec, Wojtys, Gawron, Fortuna,  Grudzien, Piotrowski, Juda, Bebel, Bordziak, Bugaj, Kostyra, Podolski, Wrobel, Wrzesnia, Watroba, Gula,  Janicki, Kapusta, Baran, etc.

Why not send me a query?

May 1, 2010

Pacanow 1883, A Survey of Births

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to take another look at the church records in Pacanow. Recently, I was emailed  by a Zwolski ancestor whose Jan Zwolski had married a Petronella Elyasz[sic]. So I went combing through the Zwolski records and sure enough I found a Petronella Elijasz married to a Jan Zwolski. There was a lot of synergy in the names of witnesses and God Parents too.

So I decided to do a survey of the 1883 Births of Pacanow for these “marker” families to see if I might find some female Eliasz/Elijasz ancestors and possibly some male Eliasz/Elijasz witnesses. At the end of this article I put together a table of people, places and dates of this little synergistic community within the Pacanow parish.

I was surprised at how well this little experiment had worked. Now wrapping my brain around the translation/transliteration of proper nouns from Russian/Cyrillic to Polish (or English) is not my idea of fun so I never did a survey of the Russian church records, like I did for the pre-1868 Polish records of Biechow (Pacanow does not have any pre-1868 records that have been microfilmed by the LDS).

So here is what I did. I looked at Elijasz (or Heliasz if any) in the indexes as usual, but now I also noted the records with: Zwolski, Siwiec, Odomski, Pytka, Zasucha, Paluch, Wojtys and for good measure, Zdziebko. Now that last one I added for my good friend, the famous genealogist Ceil Jensen, whose ancestors just happen to inhabit the same parish as my ancestors. Now keep in mind that this survey was just one year and just for the births.

The experiment worked, I found an Elijasz female and one Elijasz male mentioned in records that were indexed by the other “marker” families. Some people call these aligned or affiliated family names. I prefer the analogical thought that these are genetic markers for Elijasz (and on some deeper level this is true). I have joked for a few years now that the Elijaszow are related to all of the families in Biechow and Pacanow parishes. I even take note of these “parish names” when I come across them in the USA records in Buffalo, Toledo, and Detroit in particular, but other US cities as well. They are still good genetic markers for Eliasz/Elijasz even in the USA even more than a century later.

I did not find any Leszczynski or Wlecialowski, but to be fair, I seldom find them in the LDS microfilm. I did find a few other “marker” families that I had neglected to survey in the go around. I found Janicki, Janowski, Luszcz, Major and Kordos too. So these family names are also heavily intertwined with the original list. In fact, I think I found a few misspellings that are actually really in my list, but were misspelled. Now I cannot prove this, but I will build a little database and publish it to my website and see if any genetic marker families ping me about being related.

So I guess when you look at indexes, do not just fixate on your direct descent family name. At some point go back and look for your “marker” family names in the indexes and search those records as well. You too may find some extra nuggets of family gold. At the very least you may find some female ancestors who tend to get lost when they marry.

Oh, that Zdziebko experiment. It appears that Ceil’s Wojciech Zdziebko married one of my “marker” families, Jano{w}ski, and he had a child with Marianna Janoska. So even the Zdziebko’s are just one degree away from my ancestors – but no direct connection.

Database

Pacanow Parish, 1883 Births, a small Survey Total Births: 203
Surname Given Name Age in Yrs Approx. Birth Year or Birthdate Birth Place Church Record Relationship to Baby Baby Name Notes / Marginalia
Czylanka Antoni 36 abt 1847 25 Witness Roman Elijasz
Elijasz Jozef 23 abt 1860 n/a 25 Father Roman Elijasz
Elijasz Marianna n/a 169 God Mother Jan Kanty Zasucha
Elijasz Martin n/a 186 God Father Marianna Zasucha
Elijasz Roman 0 8-Feb-1883 Pacanow 25 Baby Roman Elijasz
Grudzien Walenty n/a 169 God Father Jan Kanty Zasucha
Grudzieniszkow Stanislaw 46 abt 1837 25 Witness Roman Elijasz Grudzien?
Janicki Teofil n/a 85 God Father Antoni Odomski
Janoska Marianna 30 abt 1853 n/a 111 Mother Tekla Zdziebko
Janoska Zofia n/a 19 God Mother Apolionia Paluch
Katarzyna Zhigliczka n/a 186 God Mother Marianna Zasucha
Kodos Walenty 30 abt 1853 124 Witness Bronislawa Wojtys Kordos?
Korczynska Zuzanna n/a 162 God Mother Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jadwiga 0 7-Oct-1883 Rataje 162 Baby Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jan 38 abt 1845 162 Witness Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jan 1845? 162 God Father Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Michal 28 abt 1855 n/a 162 Father Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Stanislaw 50 abt 1833 162 Witness Jadwiga Kordos
Kuczka Maciej 56 abt 1827 111 Witness Tekla Zdziebko
Lewinska Franciszka 47 abt 1836 124 Mother Bronislawa Wojtys
Lewinski Michal n/a 124 God Father Bronislawa Wojtys
Lewinski Piotr n/a 170 God Father Leopold Pytka
Lewisnka Julianna n/a 85 God Mother Antoni Odomski
Lewisnki Michal 36 abt 1847 170 Witness Leopold Pytka
Lewsinski Stanislaw 45 abt 1838 186 Witness Marianna Zasucha
Luszcz Ignacy 52 abt 1831 10 Witness Agnieszka Wojtys
Luszcz Kasper n/a 25 God Father Roman Elijasz
Luszcz -owa Marianna n/a 10 God Mother Agnieszka Wojtys
Major Magdalena 22 abt 1861 n/a 19 Mother Apolionia Paluch
Mondra Wiktorya 22 abt 1861 n/a 162 Mother Jadwiga Kordos
Nowakow Antoni 46 abt 1837 170 Witness Leopold Pytka
Nowakow Katarzyna 22 abt 1861 n/a 170 Mother Leopold Pytka
Odomski Antoni 0 27-May-1883 Pacanow 85 Baby Antoni Odomski
Odomski Antoni 48 abt 1835 n/a 85 Father Antoni Odomski
Odomski Antoni 45 abt 1838 124 Witness Bronislawa Wojtys
Orzechowek Tekla n/a 169 Future Wife Jan Kanty Zasucha Pacanow Marriage Rec #16 for 28-Jan-1914
Paluch Apolionia 0 21-Jan-1883 Pacanow 19 Baby Apolionia Paluch
Paluch Marianna n/a 25 Future Wife Roman Elijasz Pacanow Marriage Rec #144 for 24-Nov-1913
Paluch Walenty 27 abt 1856 n/a 19 Father Apolionia Paluch
Piotrowska Marianna 22 abt 1861 n/a 25 Mother Roman Elijasz
Poniewirska Anna n/a 170 God Mother Leopold Pytka
Poniewirska Jozefa 40 abt 1843 n/a 85 Mother Antoni Odomski
Pytczyka Eleonora n/a 25 God Mother Roman Elijasz Pykta?
Pytka Andrziej 50 abt 1833 19 Witness Apolionia Paluch
Pytka Leopold 0 18-Oct-1883 Pacanow 170 Baby Leopold Pytka
Pytka Michal n/a 10 God Father Agnieszka Wojtys
Pytka Tomasz 38 abt 1845 10 Witness Agnieszka Wojtys
Pytka Wladyslaw 23 abt 1860 n/a 170 Father Leopold Pytka
Siwacz Tomasz 46 abt 1837 169 Witness Jan Kanty Zasucha Siwiec?
Sliaska Marianna 25 abt 1858 169 Mother Jan Kanty Zasucha Eliaszka?
Sowowa Marianna 25 abt 1858 n/a 10 Mother Agnieszka Wojtys
Strykarz Jakob n/a 19 God Father Apolionia Paluch
Wieczorek Antoni n/a 111 God Father Tekla Zdziebko
Wojtys Agnieszka 0 13-Jan-1883 Pacanow 10 Baby Agnieszka Wojtys
Wojtys Aniela n/a 124 God Mother Bronislawa Wojtys
Wojtys Antoni n/a 85 Witness Antoni Odomski
Wojtys Bronislawa 0 31-Jul-1883 Pacanow 124 Baby Bronislawa Wojtys
Wojtys Jozef 50 abt 1833 19 Witness Apolionia Paluch
Wojtys Jozef 50 abt 1833 169 Witness Jan Kanty Zasucha
Wojtys Mateusz 45 abt 1838 n/a 10 Father Agnieszka Wojtys
Wojtys Tomasz 66 abt 1817 124 Father Bronislawa Wojtys
Wtorka Tomasz 60 abt 1823 186 Witness Marianna Zasucha
Zagoczec Elzbieta n/a 111 God Mother Tekla Zdziebko
Zasucha Adam 26 abt 1857 169 Father Jan Kanty Zasucha
Zasucha Jan Kanty 0 19-Oct-1883 Pacanow 169 Baby Jan Kanty Zasucha
Zasucha Marianna 0 12-Nov-1883 Pacanow 186 Baby Marianna Zasucha
Zasucha Martin 23 abt 1860 186 Father Marianna Zasucha
Zawada Jan 60 abt 1823 111 Witness Tekla Zdziebko
Zdziebko Tekla 0 1-Jul-1883 Rataje 111 Baby Tekla Zdziebko
Zdziebko Wojciech 36 abt 1847 n/a 111 Father Tekla Zdziebko
Zhigliczka Katarzyna 20 abt 1863 186 Mother Marianna Zasucha
Zhigliczkow Teodor n/a 85 Witness Antoni Odomski
April 25, 2010

Memes & Things

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester was listening to NPR this morning on the way to the market. The show on “Speaking of Faith”: http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2010/alzheimers/

Spoke of the subject’s need to capture Alzheimers patient’s memories before they were gone. A tragedy that tugs at my Slavic soul. My aunt/God Mother Kitty suffered and died from Alzheimers, as did my younger brother’s, father-in-law. An awful fate, the loss of your memories. Now this jester has had many talks with his elders, some of whom were in their eighties and nineties. Another aunt died before she could capture her memories of my Busia. I had encouraged Aunt Bernice for years to write and to send me her drafts for me to edit for her. Alas it never happened and they were lost.

So this show tugged at my genealogical mind. I am sure all genealogists mourn the loss of valuable document or artifacts of their family’s history. I just want to encourage genealogist to do a few things:

  • Capture the memories of your elders onto the page (or the computer)
  • Backup your research; a backup copy onsite and another copy offsite.
  • Write your Family History and publish it (to book would be best, but to the Internet at least, both is best).

In many ways we are recording the dying memories of our family, the same as NPR’s guest. The entropy of time acts as Alzheimers to each of our genealogies. We must work swiftly and surely to record the memories before they are lost. Feel free to edit and revise your “final work” to incorporate the latest research until you too can no longer do the work.

Our history and our blogs are memes that function in much the same way as DNA does for life. We try to preserve biological diversity of animals or food crops by saving these “scraps” for a future so they will not be lost and can be enjoyed by the future. Does anyone backup the Internet? Are we just heading for another Library of Alexandria catastrophe? Write books on your family history; The books will last 500 years; The Internet or your computer media will not last anywhere near that long. Food for thought!

March 20, 2010

Pacanow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pacanow Church circa 1918

Stanczyk’s dziadkowie (grandparents) came from Biechow and Pacanow parishes. Each of those two parishes had a few others villages that made up the parish. It is my fondest dream that I should return to these ancestral towns and see the churches, cemeteries, libraries, Urzad Stanu Ciwilego (USC which are roughly equivalent to a County Clerk’s Office in the USA). Not to mention visit a couple of archives too.

My grandfather, Jozef Eliasz (aka Elijasz) and his father Jozef and his father Marcin were from Pacanow. Other families from Pacanow parish,  like the Wlecialowskich who married into the Eliasz family and who also came to America and lived across the road from my grandmother Valeria’s farm. My grandfather Jozef help build Ciotka Rosie’s farmhouse (really a barn) with her husband Adam Gawlikowski. Ciotka Rosie (nee Wlecialowski) had a mother named Katarzyna Eliasz, who was my grandfather’s aunt. There was also Kedzierski family that my grandfather’s older brother, Jan Eliasz married into and some Kedzierskis also came to America. Funny, Stanczyk even found a friend, amongst the professional genealogists, the multi-talented Ceil Wendt Jensen whose Zdziepko ancestors came from Pacanow and settled in the Detroit area. So in a way the Polish diaspora from the parish of Pacanow reformed in Detroit (and Toledo, and Buffalo, and I am sure other Great Lake states).

Miraculous Cross

Stanczyk wants to visit Pacanow’s church (Sw. Marcin / St. Martin) as a pilgrimage. The picture,  near the top of this column, is the church as my grandfather would have known it (circa 1918). I wonder if my grandfather and his family helped in one of the many rebuilds or expansions of  the church. My grandfather, Jozef, was a carpenter and he built a steeple on Corpus Christi Church in Detroit.

This church whose cross has been a source for pilgrims to worship due to its uniqueness dating back to the middle ages,  has one more chapter. During World War II, something miraculous happened in that church. It was partially destroyed, all but the section that had the agonizing Jesus upon this sacred cross. The Russian soldiers were going to finish their godless work and tear it down. When they attempted to pull the cross down, they were blinded multiple times, until they ran away (these Bolshevik atheists) and witnesses heard them scream that the God in Pacanow is very strong. Imagine that miraculous event in my family’s ancestral church!

I am hopeful to see this church which has recently been recognized by the Vatican as a minor Basilica. It is a beautiful icon and has some church relics around it.

December 16, 2009

Anioł Stróz – Guardian Angel

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

Anioł Stróz, once I translated this phrase and found it meant, “Guardian Angel”, I immediately had multiple themes (or is it memes)  for this blog.

How many times have you felt that a beloved relative who has passed, was aiding you in finding answers to your genealogical research? I know I have felt this to be the case and I have heard other genealogists say the same. That is one kind of guardian angel — for us genealogists.

I have also felt fortunate to be saved from a few “close calls”. Once, immediately after being saved from a collision with a deer. My radio played some music with the lyric “saved by an angel”. How spooky is that? That is the kind of guardian angel most of us think of. The benevolent, ethereal kind that saves us from harm.

Today, however, I have started blogging about my father’s prayer book, which had this title in Polish.  I will post a picture of the prayer book and the prayers cards I found inside it  — as soon as I replace my broken Mac. This genealogical memento is a treasure for me as it connects me to my father and his religious studies from when he was just a little boy.  Also, because of the cards and inscription, I have an extra memory of my paternal grandmother in the form of her handwriting.

It is not one of those fabled family Bibles that had many generations of ELIASZ or LESZCZYNSKI with birth, marriage and death dates.  It was my father’s prayer book, but it is my connection to him (bless his heart he is now 83 years old with two older brothers still alive — real family treasures) and it is my connection to his mother Walerya Leszczynska Eliasz.

Chester Eliasz was born at home, in Detroit, MI in 1926. On, 6/24/1928 he was baptised at Corpus Christi Church – 2291 East Outer Drive, Detroit, MI. This is the same church where my grandfather Joseph Eliasz built the Bell Tower. His  God Parents were: Wladislaw Gronek & Janina Leszczynska [I do not even know who Janina was/is). As a boy, Chester attended Immaculate Conception Church in Hamtramck as a boy. {near his Craig St home  — no longer existent due to Poletown Plant}. On 6/5/1938: he made his 1st Holy Communion, while he lived at 6468 Craig Street [from prayer book] @ St Johns Church on East Grand Blvd, Detroit. It is this Anioł Stróz that I hold and blog about now (12/18/2009).

As I draw to a close in 2009, I do think upon my genealogical guardian angel(s), who have helped me find, many Polish church records from the parishes in Biechow and in Pacanow. In 2009, my Anioł Stróz were many real people as well as the many spiritual kind, who helped me acquire amongst other treasures: my grandfather’s birth record from Pacanow (and a few of his siblings), my grandparent’s marriage record from Biechow  and other treasures that solved puzzles connecting the ELIASZ family to Gawlik {owski} family via the Wlecialowskich (i.e. Rosa Wlecialowski Gawlikowski — whose mother was Katarzyna Eliasz). That is nice!

Ciotka Rosie and her family lived across the street (Fairchild Rd) from my grandmother’s farm in MI. This time of year they would come Christmas Eve and sing a Christmas carol outside my grandmother’s farmhouse [when I was just a young, impressionable boy, circa 1960's]. At the time, I was told they are friends of the family. Now in 2009, I find they too are part of the ELIASZ family and that my “cousin”, Kim Gawlik Kowalski, the genealogist from TN,  is actually a real 4th cousin of mine.

Merry Christmas, Eliasz, Leszczynski, Gawlikowski, Wlecialowski and even Gronek, Sobieszczanski, Mylek, and Mrozek too — wherever we all are this 2009! May our family trees cross in the coming year!

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