Posts tagged ‘Genealogy’

October 28, 2011

Minutia

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

mi·nu·ti·a(e) –

a minor or trivial detail(s,  trifles)

Stanczyk has been mired in minutia or since it is a plethora of minutia, then perhaps minutiae is appropriate. However, I like the sound of minutia, while  minutiae sounds like a Japanese anime character. You see, I am mired in a mountain of minutia — even my writing has been infected by the minutia.

I Tweaked the Blog Again …

  1. I deleted a redundant page and now have the TABs (really menus, although not properly used that way) at the top. Down the side I now have: About StanczykGazetteers, &  Maps
  2. Gazetteers is now complete (or at least no longer under construction) and is a credible resource to start your work on gazetteers.
  3. The other two pages had slight tweaks to them.
  4. I am evolving the top TABs (Dziennik Polski, Biechow, Pacanow, etc.) in true menus, with menu items. I hope this will organize my materials for faster finding and utilization and to provide for more content, easily found and to make better use of that scarce real estate at the top.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Roots Technology …

Stanczyk has been trying to get his Roots Tech organized and ready to be deployed. As you know technology is slippery as an eel and hard to master/muster into a kind of electronic Swiss knife. My focus is portable genealogy — taking my research & tools with me into the field (uh, libraries, archives, churches/synagogues, courthouses, vital records offices, and cemeteries). So the smartphone and the cloud have been an emphasis. My latest tool in my bag of tricks is the iPhone app: ImageToText . This little application allows you to take a picture of a page of text, it recognizes the text (in the picture just taken), and then you can email that text to yourself (or anyone else really). So now you do not have to scribble down that paragraph of text or that page from a city directory. Just (1) start ImageToText, (2) Take a picture, (3) Send an email. What comes to your mailbox is NOT the image but OCR’ed (OCR is optical character recognition) text in the body of the email message. I like that a lot.

LDS Films Online …

I have mentioned this a couple of times before. It was a concept that was coming. It came. OK I tried it, but I could not use the first implementation because they could NOT return a list of MY Family History Centers (why would I want to order a microfilm that was only for other states, i. e. UT). Ok ,they have finally fixed their problems and I can now report that My Account is working. So go to familysearch.org/film  and create an account, set it up and start ordering microfilm.

https://www.familysearch.org/films/customer/account/ - Keep this handy (Bookmark it / Make it a Favorite). This is the link to your Microfilm/Account Dashboard.

read more »

October 27, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #7 Prussian Army’s Personnel Losses in World War I

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was reading  his emails, when he noticed Ceil Wendt-Jensen  has published a useful website on the various Polish / Michigan genealogy mailing lists.

As the Article title suggests this is another database of military personnel from World War I. This one is unlike the ones you’d find at genealodzy.pl . It is however, similar to these databases and even links to the same Fallen in World War I website. But as I said this website/database is different from those.

The aim of the Prussian Army project (link: http://www.genoroots.com/eng/databases.php) is to provide an easy way of searching through the Deutsche Verlustlisten. This is the Prussian Army’s Personnel Losses during World War I .

The authors of the project: Aleksandra Kacprzak  and  Mariusz Zebrowski. They are still updating so check back from time to time. If you click on the “Prussian Army project” link above it will take you to its databases page. There  under the ‘Prussian  Army’ Heading you will see a link ‘Search’. Click on ‘search’ link. You should see the following search form:

Fill in a name and click on the ‘Search’ button. That is it. Should you find an ancestor, you can email them for more info. There is a very modest charge for this follow-on service (the search is free, the detailed info is where the cost is). So if you find someone, then …

e-mail: prusy22@wp.pl. When asking for further information, you must provide the ordinal number (‘L.P.’), the first and last name and the rank of the person in question. The additional information costs 2 Euro per name (=$2.82 as of 10/27/2011), payable via PayPal (to prusy22@wp.pl ). Stanczyk is not affiliated and has no conflict of interest in these entrepreneurial Poles. I did not find any of my ancestors, so I cannot tell you what details you may find. My ancestors were from the Russian-Poland partition (and hence would have been in the Russian army) — keep in mind this Prussian army (not Russian, not Austrian).

Good Luck! Please send me an email with a sample detail if you send for it. Thanks!

October 12, 2011

#Genealogy – Are All of Your Ancestors in the Will?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Family Chronicle magazine (September/October 2011 issue) has a couple of interesting articles in the current magazine .

Here are some I think you should read …

  • Eastern European Research Made Easier!
    Lisa A. Alzo discusses seven strategies to help you trace your East European ancestors
  • The Case of the Missing Sisters
    Donna J. Pointkouski recounts her research quest to find her great-grandmother’s elusive siblings
  • Writing a Codicil to Protect Your Genealogy Collection
    Patti R. Albaugh, PhD, looks at the simple steps you can take to ensure your family history research lives on

This last one caught this jester’s eye. We spend so much time on this research and perhaps even hire other genealogists to assist us, so there is a very good chance that the information you have collected might not be able to reproduced or it may no longer be cost effective to reproduce. So where are your family tree and source documents going when you have departed?

I think you should do the following (please send me your suggestions — emails can be sent on the right side of this column):

  1. Place a copy in the Family History Library; at least send your gedcom to FamilySearch.org
  2. Many local libraries or archives take Family Histories. For example, the Historical Society of PA (HSP.org) has a room of family histories (you should visit it) and if you have written a self-published book make sure a copy goes to your local library.
  3. You should also make sure that other locales you or your direct line family have lived also have a copy of your genealogy. In my case, I will do at least the State of MI Library , and HSP and probably Toledo Public Library. I may consider Buffalo Public Library (their Grosvenor room)  and perhaps Mt Clemens, Public Library too.
  4. What about the Source Documents (Birth/Death/Marriage/Nat’l  Certificates? Bibles?  Do you have someone in the family that REALLY wants these heirlooms? I hope they are reproduced in your self-published book.
  5. Send gedcoms to other genealogists who are family or interested in your family trees. I do this almost annually as a means of backing up my research to CDs and sending them to these remote family researchers; its a good offsite backup. You can put them in EMAILS, Write a CD (with copies of the source documents — fill up the 680+ MB) with the gedcom, use the Internet (Cloud anyone?) — for example use DropBox or Google’s Cloud and grant READ access to other genealogists and interested family members.

That’s my musing for today. I am truly interested in what you are doing. Drop me an email or leave a comment. I am sure other genealogists are thinking about this or perhaps need to be thinking about this.

Oh, have you documented your life too? I think a lot of genealogists, spend time on everybody else but themselves in the family tree. Do not forget to document your life.

Make sure your Will reflects the donations if you do not accomplish them while you are amongst the living. Give considerable thought to your heirlooms. What happens if the intended person pre-deceases you? Make sure your contingencies are accounted for. I do not know about you, but I think I will read Patti R. Albaugh’s article and do some thinking.

October 6, 2011

Ukase – Decree … #Genealogy, #History, #Russian, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester thanks my Slavic readers from: Poland, Russian Federation, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Slovakia, etc and of course their American emigres and American born of that heritage. This is after all predominantly a blog of genealogy that focuses on its Slavic Heritage and especially the heritage of Stanczyk‘s paternal grandparents who were born, married, had children and emigrated from Poland … Russian-Poland also known as Congress Kingdom of Poland and to a lesser degree, Vistulaland (a collection of ten gubernia in the czarist Russian Empire). Poland was occupied and partitioned between three Empires: Prussian (German), Austrian (Austro-Hungarian / Hapsburg), and Russian from 1792-1918. As such, in the Russian partition, they were subject to the Czar’s ukases (decrees).

A UKASE (указ) is formally an “imposition” , usually by the czar, but possibly by an Orthodox Patriarch. But ukase is usually translated as decree or edict.

My ancestors were from the Russian-Poland partition, but just across the Vistula (Wisla) river from the Austrian-Poland partition — which had, to me, a surprising number cross-Empire interaction in vital records. The Russian-Poland nominally a fiefdom of the Russian Czar, who was also titled as King of Poland, as well as Russian Emperor.

There were many Ukases from each czar/czarina. So many so, that Czar Nicholas in 1827 ordered a collation of these edicts (a kind of codification Russian law). The result was a 48 volume collection of ukases. Some notable ukases …

  • Created (1791) and others amended the Pale of Settlement
  • 1821 Territorial waters off Alaska (affecting British Empire and a young America)
  • 1861 Freeing the Serfs
  • 1868 Decreed that vital records in the Kingdom of Poland be recorded in Russian

Stanczyk is fascinated by the last one. It is said that it is in the Polish DNA to be multi-lingual. Certainly, my grandmother was capable of four languages (Polish, Russian, German, and finally English). But how did the Catholic priests do this? Switching from recording vital records in Polish to recording them into Russian? The year of the switch-over was 1868. The records start out in Polish but switch during the year to being in Russian ??? Admittedly, the Russian in most cases was a bit … uh “problematic”.

Can you imagine that happening in America? Most of the world thinks of the USA as being linguistically challenged. This jester is fluent only in English. I did receive much French tutelage and can read French. With my genealogy, I have been self taught in Polish, Russian and Latin. Thankfully, Google provides the Google Translator, flawed as it is, for Polish. Still as it was, I was able to use it communicate with a distant cousin in Poland who could not speak any English and my ability to write Polish was so very limited. Yet we overcame and I was blessed with the gift of my grandparent’s marriage record from Biechow church and a civil record of their marriage from a local USC office.

And it was a good thing my cousin sent me both. As the USC mistranslated the Russian language church record on my grandmother’s age. They had accidentally added five years to my grandmother’s age, which I would not have known if I did not have the original church record in Russian (which apparently the local USC could not read as well as I could).

So here is Stanczyk’s UKASE …

All Polish Genealogists must be able to read Latin, Polish, and Russian. (Who can read that German handwriting?)

October 4, 2011

#Genealogy & #Technology – Google News

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, likes using Goggle technology for genealogy. I use Google’s Translator to translate  Russian/Polish/German/Latin to/from English. I use Google Books for hard to find reference materials. I use iGoogle to create a personal “Genealogy-Newspaper” to read every day and also add a few genealogy widgets too. I use Google Maps to create cemetery maps with data. Obviously, I use Google as a search engine. Now I use all of these tools on my smartphone.

Now You can be a Genealogy News Aggregator (using  Google News) …

Louisville Courier-Journal - ‎2 hours ago‎

6:20 pm Jeffersonville Township Public Library will hold two genealogy classes in October in the library’s Gates Computer Lab, 211 E. Court Ave.
ABC News - ‎8 minutes ago‎

and PBS’ “Faces of America are helping fueling the trend in genealogy. But for many Hispanics, tracing the family tree hasn’t been so easy.
StandardNet - ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

When they run into those inevitable brick walls in search of their ancestors, more and more genealogists are turning not to census data, military logs or death notices.
Iron County Reporter - ‎7 hours ago‎

IRON RIVER—On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Iron County Genealogical Society will meet at 1 pm in the J. Patrick White Conference Room at the West Iron District Library.
Mail Tribune - ‎1 hour ago‎

A five-part series of beginning genealogy  starts Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Jackson County Genealogy Library, Phoenix.
Green Valley News - ‎Oct 3, 2011‎

Virginia and Pennsylvania are considering easing restrictions on vital records in response to pressure from genealogists, and are soliciting comments from researchers.
Carmi Times - ‎17 hours ago‎

By Anonymous The annual noon luncheon meeting of The Genealogy Society of White County, Illinois will be held Oct. 29 at the American Legion Hall in Carmi.
MarketWatch (press release) - ‎Sep 29, 2011‎

Traditionally, genealogists have been forced to manually re-enter vital information, such as names, dates and locations, on every site they visit for every person in their family tree.
ABC News - ‎3 minutes ago‎

and PBS’ “Faces of America are helping fueling the trend in genealogy. But for many Hispanics, tracing the family tree hasn’t been so easy.

The Jersey Journal – NJ.com (blog)
LubbockOnline.com - ‎Sep 29, 2011‎

The South Plains Genealogical Society will feature George Schweitzer as speaker for its Fall Seminar from 9:30 am to 1:20 pm Oct. 8 at First United Methodist Church.
Appeal-Democrat - ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

A free basic genealogy workshop is scheduled at the Yuba County Library, 303 Second St., Marysville. The program is slated from 2-5 pm Saturday.
TCPalm - ‎Oct 3, 2011‎

FORT PIERCE – Local historian and genealogist Patti Kirk is returning to the Morningside Branch Library with her genealogy series for October.
Tbo.com - ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

Genealogy is so simple and easy to do that it can be done in five minutes.” That’s the very misleading introductory remark on a video on the popular Mormon Church website, FamilySearch.
FOX19 - ‎Oct 3, 2011‎

In addition to running her own business, Key Genealogy, and volunteering with the Butler County Records Center & Archives, she is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and holds a Professional Learning Certificate in
Chicago Daily Herald - ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

He started out with a modest interest in his own family genealogy, but when Jerry Becker was done, he had more than 800 names on the family tree and relatives from around the world meeting each other for the first time.
Wired (blog) - ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

But without a lot of experience, those new to genealogy might not be sure what materials exist, or how or where to find them.
TCPalm - ‎8 hours ago‎

Genealogy Dept. Tours: Learn what is available for family history research. IRC Main Library, 1600 21st St., Vero Beach. Tuesdays and Oct. 15.
The Republic - ‎Sep 30, 2011‎

When they run into those inevitable brick walls in search of their ancestors, more and more genealogists are turning not to census data, military logs or death notices.
Patch.com - ‎Sep 30, 2011‎

Tracing her history is hard work, so she is attending meetings of the recently formed East Greenwich Genealogy Society. During the Society’s recent meeting at the East Greenwich Free Library, the library’s Diane Hogan showed members how to find and use
September 26, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1821

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow  (an homage to moja dobra żona, Tereza) during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority for all parties/religions.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1820  inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births and even the Death records too  from 1821 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1821 inclusive. The prior post is here .

As per usual, I give permission for all Jewish data that I have been posting to be included in the JRI project.  Happy New Year 5772 [upcoming this week].

In 1821, there were three Jewish births out of a total of 112 births recorded in the Biechow parish. That works out to be 2.7% of the total.

There were no indexes for Marriage or Death. There were 57 death records total and five deaths were Jewish residents. That works out to be 8.8% of the total.

Year: 1821      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      111 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Births

Record #1     Date: 12/31/1820 [yes it was actually in the prior year, but recorded the 1st week of 1821]

Father: Mosiek Simolewicz,  Handlarz, Age 36, Wola Biechowski   House #7

Mother: Serra z Jaklow, age 38

Baby: boy Szmul

Witnesses:  Zelman Majorowicz, Handlarz, age 30 Biechow & Wulf Jaskowicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Piestrzec

—-

Record #43     Date: 4/10/1821

Father: Jakob  Majorowicz,  Mlynarz, Age 36, Biechow  House #12

Mother: Hay z Rzelkowna, age 30

Baby: boy Martka

Witnesses:  Gicel   Fulfowicz, Pakiarz, age 45 Biechow & Moska Szmolowicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojla Biechowski

—-

Record #48    Date: 5/11/1821

Father: Icek  Majorowicz,  Mlynarz, Age 24, Biechow  House #12

Mother: Sara z Moskowiczow, age 20

Baby: girl Haja

Witnesses:  Jakob Majorowicz, Mlynarz,  36, Biechow  & Mindla Abramowicz mlynarz, <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Deaths  – 57 total deaths

Record #12     Date: 3/6/1821

Witness1: Jasek Linden,

Witness2: Salomon Steyberg,

Deceased: Icek Majorkiewicz 30 Biechow

—-

Record #17     Date: 3/10/1821

Witness1: Zelman Steyberg,  <no age> Biechow

Witness2: <none>

Deceased: Jakob Majorkiewicz 36 Biechow

—-

Record #40     Date: 8/28/1821

Witness1: Mendel Fryszman,  Age 46, Wojcza

Witness2: Herszla Herszkowicz, Age 60 Wojcza

Deceased: Ruka 2 weeks? daughter of:  Mendla Fryszman & Sarl z. Sewkowiczow

—-

Record #47     Date:10/26/1821

Witness1: Jasek Linden,  Age 44, Biechow

Witness2: Hycek Bartmanowicz, Age 38 Chrzanow

Deceased: Hansa Mendlowa 36, Biechow, House #217 [? number hand written in afterwards in a gap left]

wife of Abraham Mendlowicz

—-

Record #48     Date: 10/24/1821 [yes this date is earlier than prior record]

Witness1: Jasek Linden,  Age 44, Biechow

Witness2: Hycek Bartmanowicz, Age 38 Chrzanow

Deceased: Hycek Abramowicz <no age>, Biechow

[both deaths, 47 & 48 were recorded on the same day, 10/27/1821]

Stanczyk


September 24, 2011

Technology in #Genealogy – Google Books, iPhone/iPad

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to elaborate on a few new ideas for incorporating Technology into your genealogy:

  • Roots Tech 2012 – registration is open. Get all your tech on Feb 2-4, 2012 in Salt Lake City
  • Google Books – Many good books are in the public domain, road map to the rest
  • iPhone/iPad – genealogy on the go
  • Hash Tags in your blog, blog title and link your blog to Twitter

The second Roots Tech 2012 conference is coming up soon. If you are trying to make better use of your scant genealogy time, then perhaps using more technology to organize, find, backup or present your research may be the order of the day. This year many big tech companies will be there, as well as genealogy software vendors. Here is your chance to learn and to try out new ideas.

Google Books may help you locate material specific to genealogy, such as a gazetteer or a heritage book like the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). It can also help you with reference materials, such as Latin. Look for “Free Books” (i.e. public domain), such as, “The Poles in America” By Paul Fox. If you are looking for a book that is in copyright, Google Books can help you locate the book in the nearest library/archive or a vendor who sells it.

iPhone/iPad – Genealogy has gone portable with the advent of smart phones. Laptops were fine but smart phones are now better. I have grown fond of the Ancestry app for iPhone. It keeps getting better. I use it to shoot an image of a document and then attach it to a person in the tree. So now you can take pictures of the microfilm and attach the document in the tree. It synchs virtually immediately so you can see in on the web at Ancestry.com as soon as the upload from the phone has finished. I have one of those public domain Latin books from Google or the Gutenberg Project on my iPhone in iBooks app. So you have your family tree software, digital camera, and reference materials all in one device –  your phone.

#HashTags – You see them in twitter all of the time. They are like Key Words in a library catalog. Twitter can produce “What’s Trending” from these hash tags. But you can hook up your blog to twitter and so you should put Hash Tags in your Posting’s title to help people find it on Twitter or in Google. I even use them in Facebook.

September 22, 2011

#Genealogy #News – MyHeritage.com Acquires BackupMyTree

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MyHeritage.com who would be the 2nd most popular genealogy website on our survey [see chart below]:

# Website Ranking
1 Ancestry.com 1,073
2 myHeritage.com 3,360
3 FindAGrave.com 7,294
4    Familysearch.org 8,331
5 Genealogy.com 11,875
6 GeneaNet 13,684
7 The British Monarchy 53,320
8 Family Tree DNA 57,911
9 RootsWeb  62,662
10   Footnote.org (now fold3) 76,309

is buying BackupMyTree a private genealogy software company from St Louis, MO (at least its server) in the US. For more info on the company, here is an analysis.

September 15, 2011

Searching for Clues in 1913 Immigration

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In Stanczyk’s last post I was pondering why my grandmother did not disembark in NYC, but disembarked from Philadelphia instead heading to Buffalo area by train.

So I brainstormed two possible explanations:

  1. Hurricane
  2. Dock Strike

Sorry my brain is tired these days I am sure there are even more besides the obvious, “Maybe she just missed her embarkation point in NYC.”

As the picture shows, a mild season, but Tropical Storm (#4 — no names in those years) may have influenced the ship crossing as it was in the same time frame. But coming from the south I would have thought it may have driven the ship to NYC, not to the more southerly Philadelphia in an emergency. So perhaps a hurricane is not the explanation. I will have to keep searching.

I guess it was Hurricane Irene that came by this season with its horrific floods in the north-east (and here in PA and NJ as well as the VT pics we have all seen) that made me think of and search for that. After I wrote the article I realized it is exactly 98 years today (9/15), since my grandmother arrived in Philadelphia.

In my searches, I also found out about the Hurricane of 1913 on the Great Lakes (called the “Big Blow”). Check out these Ohio Historical Society Newspaper pages. This may at least partially explain why my Aunt Kitty was born in Depew (St Augustine parish) in 1914 and not in Toledo, OH, as her next three siblings were. This “Big Blow” caused a blizzard,  wreaking havoc in Ohio/Ontario and eliminating chances to migrate further west (by train or Lake Steamship) for many months. Something like 250-300 men lost their lives upon 14 vessels that were lost on the Great Lakes during this EPIC storm of 1913. Even the trains were stranded and food left undelivered for a long time — causing food shortages.

I wonder if my KUSCHWANTZ (Toledo) blogger pal has any posts about that 1913 winter in Ohio. See my blogroll for Donna’s very well done blog about Polish genealogy in Toledo area.

On to the next possibility …

[To see what Donna from the Kuschwantz blog wrote, click on read more]

read more »

September 12, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – Revisited With A Documented Methodology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk got one comment recently. It was the first one I ever deleted. It was rude and was in reference to my rant at Genealogy Rankings posted by EOGN. Eastman, had just reposted some blogger’s effort without checking the results (a genealogical mistake — which we all make at some time or other).

Stanczyk, however is a natural skeptic. So when I looked at the results and they differed from my experience … WILDLY. I knew they were wrong or at least that the methodology employed was flawed and the info was misinformation. So I searched for another more credible ranking — which I did find and repost myself. This info was more representative of the real world and while a methodology was also not documented for this, I did cite my source of data.

However, bothered I was by my comment that I deleted for its obvious bias and rudeness, I had to admit I needed to study this and document my methodology. The commenter proffered that ALEXA.com be the source. So I obliged. I used Alexa.com and made the following search for data:

  • All countries (hint hint)
  • Society->Genealogy [the topic]
  • All languages (although come on, Genealogy is only genealogy in English)
  • All rankings
  • No filter
  • I eliminated results without any numbers (how could they be ranked)
  • I added a handful off the top of my head to see where they fit
  • I used Global Ranking (since I wanted all countries/languages)

My Additions

I added FamilySearch.org,  I knew this must be big! I added Genealodzy.pl which most people probably do not know (unless they read my blog), because it was a credible Genealogical Society Website (and probably not the most popular genealogy website in Poland). I added Footnote (now Fold3) — I was sure this was huge too. I also added CastelGarden, SteveMorse, and my own humble blog for reference — I am sure many other Polish Genealogy blogs are higher ranked. My additions are  bolded and in RED.

I could not compare my results to his results because he used the URL instead of the name so I am not certain which of mine are his and vice-versa. Also since we did these studies at different times, our results differ slightly in numbers. I am also puzzled as to how he got so many .UK or .CA websites. These did not get returned by my Alexa.com search — perhaps he limited his methodology  or added in many websites that he knew. I think Alexa.com needs to return a consistent set of websites so rankings can be compared. I also think that some websites need to describe or META tag their website better so sites like Alexa.com and its competitors can do a better job of collecting statistics. I think GENEALOGY as a topic is MUCH more popular than Alexa.com shows. Also, perhaps Alexa.com data is NOT reproducible.  So maybe my critique of EOGN is unwarranted and the Anglo-Celtic blog is also correct (as I am too). That would not be a good thing for Alexa.com. I wish other competitors in Web Analytics would publish a Genealogy/Family History Ranking study. I hope they include genealogia or other foreign renditions of the English ‘Genealogy’ so we can get a true World-Wide study. I also question whether Ancestry.com (and Ancestry.ca, Ancestry.uk, Ancestry.de, etc) should be separate or combined.

When you view the rankings, the lower the number, the better. It means there are that many websites (-1) that are more popular. So for example, my blog that you are reading has 12.8 Million other websites (like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.) ahead of me in popularity in the WORLD. Pay close attention to my additions, they are in bold/red and for the most part are near to the top.

Genealogy Websites top 113 (I am number 106 — come-on readers)

# Website Ranking
1 Ancestry.com 1,073
2    Familysearch.org 8,331
3 Genealogy.com 11,875
4 GeneaNet 13,684
5 The British Monarchy 53,320
6 Family Tree DNA 57,911
7 RootsWeb  62,662
8   Footnote.org (now fold3) 76,309
9 JewishGen 85,873
10 What’s New in Genealogy Today  116,942
11 Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Resources on the Internet 124,819
12 TribalPages 125,404
13    Stevemorse.org 137,026
14 Eastman’s Online Genealogy News  138,037
15 Access Genealogy  140,165
16 GenoPro 164,723
17 World Vital Records 186,504
18   Genealodzy.pl 187,329
19 One Great Family 203,284
20 Polish Genealogical Society of America 203,550
21 ProGenealogists, Inc. 230,037
22 Genealogy and Family History Data at DistantCousin.com 240,451
23 AncientFaces 271,220
24 Kindred Konnections 273,644
25 National Genealogical Society 300,259
26 Family Tree Magazine 304,602
27 Family Research 317,401
28 Legacy Family Tree 334,708
29 British Royal Family History 337,957
30 Curious Fox 450,455
31 museumsusa.org 478,027
32 Olive Tree Genealogy 478,202
33 GenealogyLinks.net 526,395
34 NCGenWeb 529,784
35 Family Tree Guide 540,734
36 Oxford Ancestors 540,969
37 Irish Genealogy 542,221
38 RootsMagic 546,245
39 CousinConnect.com 556,154
40 Family Tree Circles 560,472
41 Monmouth County Library 664,876
42    Castlegarden.org 736,651
43 Avotaynu 790,666
44 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
45 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
46 Genealogy Articles, Tips & Research Guides 867,921
47 CensusDiggins.com  903,350
48 Genealogy Blog 981,796
49 Reunion 988,538
50 Obituary Links Page  1,080,372
51 Dear Myrtle 1,084,424
52 Dead Fred’s Photo Genealogy Archive 1,149,953
53 GeneaLinks 1,168,516
54 Ultimate Family Tree 1,527,831
55 Holmes, Doug 1,569,874
56 RoyaList Online 1,608,515
57 Kerchner 1,624,302
58 phpmyfamily – Genealogical website builder 1,635,669
59 Jewish Web Index 1,713,993
60 Couch: USA 1,766,283
61 The Ohio Genealogical Society 1,792,377
62 Board for Certification of Genealogists 1,854,544
63 Ancestral Quest 1,856,546
64 GenealogyPro.com 1,892,255
65 Scot Roots 2,170,754
66 Genealogy Magazine 2,175,330
67 Black Sheep Ancestors 2,243,157
68 Eneclann 2,298,226
69 Sephardim.com 2,456,171
70 Odessa German-Russian Genealogical Library 2,531,031
71 Journal of Genetic Genealogy 2,585,838
72 Genealogical Journeys In Time 2,780,736
73 Colonial Ancestors 2,932,587
74 Genealogy Register 3,016,245
75 The Genealogue 3,033,136
76 Winslow 3,189,607
77 Family Chronicle Magazine 3,248,384
78 GEDitCOM 3,527,586
79 Gen Source 3,718,359
80 Brother’s Keeper 3,788,856
81 Surname Site  3,854,351
82 GenealogySpot.com 4,028,763
83 GenSmarts 4,070,308
84 Palatines to America 4,161,788
85 Looking 4 Kin Genealogy Links and Chat 4,650,889
86 Genealogical Forum of Oregon 5,079,038
87 Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox  5,229,636
88 Family Origins 5,240,600
89 Genealogy Research Associates, Inc 5,416,307
90 Surname Genealogy Archive 5,462,264
91 Spansoft – Kith and Kin Genealogy Software 5,477,484
92 Historic Genealogy in New England 5,550,789
93 Ancestor Genealogy Photo Archive 5,999,968
94 Genealogy Roots Blog 6,048,790
95 Lineages, Inc 6,852,004
96 Surname Guide 7,252,646
97 Debrett Ancestry Research 8,431,123
98 Geneabios 8,649,736
99 MudCreek Software 9,461,331
100 Family Tree Connection 9,693,244
101 Association of Scottish Genealogists and Record Agents 9,785,665
102 nbgs.ca 10,632,352
103 Scottish Roots 10,912,588
104 Georgia Genealogical Society 11,944,069
105 Rogue Valley Genealogical Society 12,287,030
106   mikeeliasz.wordpress.com (Stanczyk) 12,805,138
107 Genealogy Software News 15,592,001
108 Wheelock 20,518,710
109 FamilyWebHost 20,769,903
110 Genealogy Home Page 23,241,140
111 Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society 25,363,263
112 Upper Canada Genealogy 26,691,115
113 GenDesigner 26,900,547

It is clear that Great Britain is much more genealogy crazy than the USA. If I were to do this again, I would probably go through my favorites/bookmarks and add in a few blogs (Polish Genealogy), Polish Genealogical Societies (US & Poland), FindAGrave.com, Interment.net, and Everett Genealogy Magazine. What would you add?

–Stanczyk

September 10, 2011

#Meme – Things I Find While Looking Up Other Things (Heraldic Genealogy)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Bohemian Nobility

The Bohemian Nobility

Stanczyk, in one of my continuing memes, offers my latest account of ADD researching. What is ADD researching? It is a case of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), whereby I become distracted by curiosity into something more interesting than what I am actually looking up. Today’s ADD Researching brings me to Heraldic Genealogy. Something in Stanczyk’s DNA can be distracted by colorful, Germanic graphic images — hence “The Bohemian Nobility” cover image was what distracted me in my latest adventure. Let me hasten to add, that as yet, I have not located any Bohemian branches of Eliasz (although I believe there are some).

Many genealogists become fascinated by the notion of tracing their family back to a Royal Lineage. Stanczyk too has a family folklore, shared by distant branches (2nd, 3rd cousins) all telling the same tale that we are related to royalty, but nobody seems to recall the Royal from whom we are all related ???

In Stanczyk’s case, the connecting and convergent point seems to point to the Leszczynski line, though try as I may, that Royal Line seems to end with women and thus the Leszczynski line should not continue down to us via the Leszczynski name, but that is what all of our families that share the family folklore, share as a family name. Alas, I fear that I shall have to content myself with having jestered for three kings.

I found the “The Bohemian Nobility” in one of Poland’s Online Digital Libraries. The link is via the SBC here. This digital book is 464 “pages”. It starts with an index of family names. I scanned the list of names and did not find any from my family tree. Heavy Sigh! So I then looked for a connection to me in some fashion to keep my curiosity piqued. I found one: Hoffman in the index.

So my example and an homage to the great Polish Genealogist, Linguist, and All-Around-Amusing-Curmudgeon, Fred Hoffman, author of many books/treatises on language and genealogy. I found a Hoffman — perhaps this is where Fred’s line comes from (but Stanczyk does not know Fred that well). So the book follows the index with pages of descriptions about the families and then pages (aka “Tafels”/Tables) of Heraldic Symbols (sheilds). So each family name is in three places: index, description, heraldic symbol.

Hoffman

You can click for a larger, more readable version of the Hoffman description and I cannot do it justice as it is written in German and Stanczyk lacks his grandmother’s acumen for German (and Russian and Polish, although my Latin and English are better).

Notice it has a reference to ‘Taf 9′ in parentheses after the family name. The Heraldic Symbols start on page(uh image) 313.  So by adding nine (and subtracting one) we get to page 321 where ‘Taf 9′ is found. This algorithm should work for all names.

The name, Hoffman, is found above the heraldic symbol for that family. I found the heraldic symbol interesting  and ornate (as most usually are). The Hoffman family crest seems to include an anchor (and a castle)  — I seem to recall that Bohemia is landlocked, so the anchor is interesting indeed. There must be a story behind that heraldic symbol (shown below):

I did find some other digital books on the Polish Nobility (Szlachta) you may want to peruse:

You may not recall, but the Polish Digital Libraries require a DjVu plug-in for your browser (or a DjVu applet, written in Java) to view the above digitized books — indeed all digitized content in Polish Online Libraries and Archives use this software. DjVu software is here . Do yourself a favor and download this software(I have used on MS Windows and on MACs).

September 8, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1820

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow  (an homage to moja dobra żona, Tereza) during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority for all parties/religions.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1819  inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1820 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1820 inclusive. The prior post is here .

As per usual, I give permission for all Jewish data that I have been posting to be included in the JRI project. In 1820, there were four Jewish births out of a total of 111 births recorded in the Biechow parish. That works out to be 3.6% of the total.

Year: 1820      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      111 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Record #8     Date: 1/24/1820

Father: Szmul  Abramowicz,  Handlarz, Age 30, Piestrzec   House #77 (recorded as Karol Jaworski’s house)

Mother: Wiktula z Berkow, age 36

Baby: girl Chanka

Witnesses:  Leyb Berkowicz, Handlarz, age 26 Piestrzec & Judka Moskowicz, Handlarz,  <no age>, Piestrzec

—-

Record #13     Date: 2/5/1820

Father: Leyb  Szlamkiewicz,  Szkolnik, Age 50, Wojcza  House #2

Mother: Faydosz z Herszkow, age 30

Baby: boy Szlama

Witnesses:  Walsa  Jaskowicz, Pakiarz, age 40 Biechow & Mendla Moskowicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Record #54     Date: 6/30/1820

Father: Mendel  Moskowicz,  Pakiarz, Age 36, Wojcza  House #64

Mother: Serla z Lewkowiczow, age 36

Baby: girl Rucka

Witnesses:  Moska  Szymolowicz, Pakiarz, age 36 Wola Biechowska & Zelman Majorkiewicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Biechow

—-

Record #79     Date: 8/2/1820

Father: Zelman Steyberg,  Handlarz, Age 29, Biechow  House #46

Mother: Malka z Jaskowiczow, age 24

Baby: boy Herszla

Witnesses:  Jaska Wolfowicz, Pakiarz,  44, Biechow & Moska  Szymolowicz, Pakiarz, <no age>,  Wola Biechowska

–Stanczyk

September 6, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1819

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1818. inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1819 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1819 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Before I begin, I have been watching the evolution of names in the church register and I thought I would offer a few observations. First off, I am a gentile genealogist. So my treatment of Jewish names as rendered in the Polish language with its complex grammar is suspect — but I am learning.

So earlier I have been struggling with the surname: Golbarka or Goberka (also rendered as Golbarkow). First off, the assumption of ‘bark’ vs ‘berk’ due to poor writing and page condition is definitely off. I now know the name is Golberg (or we would probably render in 20th century English as Goldberg/Goldburg). I think I will keep the Golberkow ending as this is the grammatical construct for referring to the family as when writing the woman’s maiden name.

Notice I have decided to drop the ending ‘a’ on men’s names — which I am also thinking I should do on many first names as well, but my lack of experience with Jewish names of the 19th century Poland causes me to wonder how to apply what William Hoffman calls, ‘The Chopping Block’ to both first and last names when Jewish. So forgive me when I write: Moska, Mendla and Herszla(which in 20th century America I’d write as Herschel as in Herschel Walker). I know I need to drop the ending ‘a’, but I am not certain as to how to write those names, so I leave them as I find them for someone more expert than I to correct. My apologies in advance.

We see three births out of 104 total births. That represents a population of about 2.88% of the total parish population. So we are in the range of 3% +/- 0.25% which seems to be what I have seen in previous years. Again realize I am trying to give an in idea of the Jewish population in proportion to the entire population of the parish in (not intimating that the Jewish peoples are participants in the church parish activities). The 3% represents a modest growth from the 2.6% in Biechow census from 1787. [See Parish Census at the top of this blog]. According to that same census, the entire set of parishes in the surrounding area was about 6.4% Jewish.

My reason for doing this assessment is to convince the JRI, that it should at some point visit all Catholic parishes to pull out the remaining Jewish people without looking at the amount of effort required to yeild such tiny results. We know they are there  — do not leave them behind. After my Social Network Analysis, I am thinking that these non-shtetl Jews are a kind of glue between the surrounding towns/shtetls.

The assessment also shows that Jews and Catholics lived side by side and not segregated [in this very rural area very near to the Austria-Poland partition]. Now this may only be true in Poland and not the rest of “The Pale of Settlement” as defined by the Czars of the Russian Empire. According to Wikipedia,  Jews (of the Pale) were not forbidden by the Czars from rural areas until 1882.

Year: 1819      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      104 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Record #38     Date: 4/17/1819 [about 1 month earlier than the 5/15/1819 record date]

Father: Mosiek Golberg,  Arendarz, Age 34, Wojcza   House #60

Mother: Fraydla z Jakow, age 32

Baby: girl Cyra

Witnesses:  Moska Samulowicz, kaczmarz, age 36 Biechow & Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Record #53     Date: 7/7/1819

Father: Nat Belel,  Mlynarz, Age 25, Wojcza   House #3 (listed as Jozef Pawelec ‘s house)

Mother: Rucha  z Golberkow, age 22

Baby: girl Eydla

Witnesses:  Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  28, Wojcza   &  Moska Szmulowicz, pakiarz, <no age> Wola Biechowska

—-

Record #104     Date: 12/23/1819

Father: Jasek Wolf,  pakiarz, Age 45, Biechow   House #48

Mother: Blima  z Chaymowicz, age 38

Baby: boy Herszla

Witnesses:  Zalman Stemberk(Stemberg??), pakiarz,  28, Biechow   &  Berka Chaymowicz, Handlarz, <no age>  Biechow

–Stanczyk

September 6, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – 2011

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk just read EOGN (Eastman Online Genealogy Network) and could not believe what he read. So I followed the source and read that and still did not believe. So I checked further – because I could NOT locate the benchmark/methodology of the survey which is NOT credible. I  then Googled and found this source here:  http://www.progenealogists.com/top50genealogy2011.htm .  I certainly would agree with these rankings as these are what I use most often throughout the year.

Perhaps I am not Canadian as the source EOGN quoted was and perhaps the methodology was geographic based (in Canada, with UK add-in). Dick Eastman should do some extra checking rather than just re-broadcasting bogus news. That is my expectation for EOGN. Read the EOGN blog post that  I am railing against here: http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2011/09/genealogy-site-rankings.html

Certainly if I surveyed Polish Genealogy websites, my list would look differently too.

Here is the only credible 2011 Rankings:

Rank    Website                     Coverage/Content

  1. Ancestry.com $ – Ancestry.com is the leading genealogical data site, and includes articles, instruction, and reference help.
  2. MyHeritage.com - Focuses on genealogy community building and networking.
  3. FindAGrave.com - This database of 57 million cemetery inscriptions adds about a million per month and often includes tombstone photos.
  4. FamilySearch.org - This major data website sponsored by the LDS Church includes the IGI, census records, the library’s catalog and a growing collection of historical records from throughout the world, along with instruction and reference help. (4>5>5)
  5. Genealogy.com $ – A major data site, includes family trees, instruction and reference help. (5>2>4)
  6. Geni.com – Free, with the world’s largest collaborative family. (31>8>18)
  7. MyFamily.com - Hosts family websites for sharing photos, genealogy, and more. (33>5>5)
  8. FamilyLink.com $ - One of the most popular FaceBook applications helps people identify and network with their family and search billions of records. (2>80>72)
  9. RootsWeb.com – One of the largest, free, user-contributed data sites, includes 575 million names in family trees, also instruction and reference help. (6>4>2)
  10. AncestorHunt.com – Free genealogy search engine linking to free data. (11>11>12)
  11. AccessGenealogy.com – Millions of names in 250,000 pages, along with links to free data; especially useful for Native American information, and some data. (13>14>13)
  12. SearchForAncestors.com - Interactive directory of free genealogy websites and data. (12>19>21)
  13. GenealogyBank.com $ – 1 billion exclusive records from 4500 newspapers and historical books. (19>31>41)
  14. USGWArchives.net – A large collection of free data, arranged by state and searchable across the entire collection. (8>not ranked)
  15. CyndisList.com – The best subject catalog of genealogy webpage links. (14>17>15)
  16. Interment.net - Transcribed and indexed cemetery inscriptions. (16>16>16)
  17. OneGreatFamily.com$ – A family tree sharing and collaboration website. (9>11>9)
  18. GenealogyToday.com - Includes instruction, reference articles, and some unique data collections. (10>12>11)
  19. SurnameWeb.org – A collection of surname website links; online since 1996. (48>62>26)
  20. FindMyPast.co.uk$ – (Back in) 650 million British records of many types [formerly FindMyPast.com]. (57>46>50)
  21. Geneanet.org - (Back in) A European collection of 400 million names in family trees, community, and submitted records. (58>42>36)
  22. DeathIndexes.com - Lists of links to United States death records, by state. (23>25>31)
  23. Linkpendium.com – Nine million genealogy links organized by state/county and surname. (24>24>35)
  24. EllisIsland.org - Database of 24 million New York passenger arrivals that is free to search. Actual passenger list images can be printed or purchased. (15>20>14)
  25. GeneBase.com - A DNA ancestry cataloguing project with 675,000 users. (21>24>24)
  26. GenealogyTrails.com - Five year old site with free U.S. data contributed by volunteers. (25>35>NR)
  27. GenealogyBuff.com – A free genealogy search site with hundreds of data sources. (27>134>NR)
  28. FamilyTreeMaker.com - Homepage for Ancestry.com’s genealogical software. (28>21>20)
  29. USGennet.org - Historical and genealogical web hosting service. (18>15>17)
  30. WorldVitalRecords.com $ – The data collection provided by Family Link, with over a billion records, as well as instruction and reference help. (17>13>10)
  31. FamilyTreeDNA.com - DNA testing service focused upon family history test types. (20>26>27)
  32. Footnote.com $ – In conjunction with the U.S. National Archives, Footnote offers data, original records images, and more. (37>9>8)
  33. KindredKonnections.com $ – Grassroots created data site with compiled family trees, and some extracted records. (29>22>19)
  34. CensusFinder.com - Links to free census records. (22>29>40)
  35. Archives.com $ – A major new subscription data site, launched in July 2009 and already with more than a billion names. (41>New)
  36. DistantCousin.com - An online archive of genealogy records and images of historical documents. (34>23>22)
  37. FamilyHistory101.com - Less than four years old and full of instruction and guidance for genealogists. (38>47>107)
  38. ThePeerage.com – A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. (44>53>58)
  39. TribalPages.com - Family trees hosting with 300,000 members and 80 million names. (35>28>25)
  40. RootsChat.com – (New) Free family history messaging forum with almost 3 million mostly UK messages. (57>54>NR)
  41. HeritageQuestOnline.com $ – Census, PERSI (the periodical index), books, all free to you at many libraries. (32>39>39)
  42. NewspaperObituaries.net – (New) A directory of obituary databases and archives on the web. (91>84>126)
  43. AncientFaces.com - Share genealogy research, community pages, family photos & records more for free. (46>48>38)
  44. JewishGen.org - Jewish, reference, instruction, coordination, and databases. (26>32>28)
  45. PoliticalGraveyard.com - Comprehensive source of U.S. political biography that tells where many dead politicians are buried. (36>33>34)
  46. CousinConnect.com - A large free queries website. (39>27>23)
  47. DAR.org - Site of the largest lineage society; includes their library catalog and 32 million name index. (43>49>67)
  48. FamilyTreeMagazine.com – (New) Website for popular magazine that includes shopping, links, and research tools. (55>67>47)
  49. AmericanAncestors.org $ – (New) The new name for the NEHGS website and their 3,000 databases.  (73>89>87)
  50. GenealogyLinks.net – 50,000 links to free sites, arranged by state and county. (53>50>43)

Dropping out of the top 50:

  • GenWed.com- Online marriage records, where to order, some indexes, and more. (42>43>42)
  • ObitLinksPage.com- State-by-state directory of obituaries and obituary resources. (47>not ranked)
  • Genuki.org.uk- Large collection of genealogical information pages for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. (50>34>32)
  • GenoPro.com- Genealogy software that produces genograms (40>37>53)
  • US-Census.org- Census abstracts (U.S. GenWeb Census Project) (49>45>37)
  • Genealogy.org– (New) A listing of 400+ registered websites, ranked weekly by hits. (45>69>56)
  • FamilyTiez.com– (New) A site where families can establish their own pages to share news, photos, events and genealogy with each other. (30>not ranked)

Send Me your  top 10 Polish Genealogy Websites. This will be a non-scientific survey and I will only publish my findings if I can get 36 emails and I will add in my own top 10 Polish Genealogy sites too. Do not include from the above “generic” genealogy sites. I will allow only Polish (or German, Russian, Austrian, Slavic, Czech, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Jewish, or Hungarian genealogy websites that have ties to Poland).

Email your top 10 to: Stanczyk Email

September 2, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1818

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1817. inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1818 in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1818 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Year: 1818      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      85 Total Births

Record #3     Date: 1/1/1818

Father: Mosiek Merzdal, Handlarz, Age 28, Wojcza   House #50

Mother: Sorli z Lewkow, age 24

Baby: boy Herczyk

Witnesses:  Jaska Jaskowicz, pakiarz, age 42 Wojcza & Moska Szymolewicz, kaczmarz,  <no age>, Biechow

—-

Record #12     Date: 2/1/1818

Father: Jasek Jaskowicz, Pakiarz, Age 42, Wojcza   House #2

Mother: Estera z Nutow, age 36

Baby: girl Ruskla

Witnesses:  Moska Golbarka, Arendarz, age 34 Wojcza & Moska Szymolewicz, szynkarz,  <no age>, Biechow

—-

Record #15     Date: 2/14/1818

Father: Mosiek Szymolewicz, Szynkasz, Age 36, Biechow   Biechow Inn #77

Mother: Setla z Slorkow, age 36

Baby: girl Esterka

Witnesses:  Moska Golbarka, arendarz, age 34 Wojcza & Simela Komnan, kaczmarzek,  56, Jastrzebica (parish Stopnica)

So we have 3 births in 1818 out of 84 total births, which is 3.6% of birth population. Also note that Mosiek Szymolewicz was in all three records with no age given in the first two records where he was a witness, finally we get his age as the father in the third birth record. Also note the visiting witness from Jastrzebica village which is identified as being in the Stopnica parish.

As usual, I give the JRI permission to use these Jewish records in their databases [if they ever get around to visiting my blog].

I can quickly pick out the Jewish records out  as they hand-write their names in Hebrew script. It is possible that my using this method may cause me to miss a Jewish record if the record was not signed with Hebrew [although let me hasten to add that very few records are signed, maybe another 4-5 beyond the Hebrew signatures and most of those other signatures I recognize as Catholic families that I have in my family tree.]

August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene & Genealogy … Protect Your Valuables

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to wish the East Coast Genealogists good Luck with Hurricane Irene. Be Safe Out There on the Internet –Surfing the Net You May Encounter RipTides!

  • Put your Documents in Sealed Bags (Waterproof)
  • Backup your  Family Tree (GEDCOM) to a thumb drive or the Internet (Cloud/Website)
  • Keep Yourselves Safe – Your Are the Living Family Tree – Remember How Rare It Is That Any of Us Are Here At All

Stanczyk’s prayers go out to all of you.

 

August 25, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Tech Notes & Ideas

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

You may have noticed that Stanczyk’s Blog Roll is heavily Polish Genealogy Blogs. That is because we should try to keep the pulse on news and ideas that other Polish Genealogists know or are struggling with. Polish Genealogy Blogs can be a valuable Reference Source for beginning Slavic genealogists as they struggle to come up the learning curve of dealing with Central/European branches in their family tree.

How can you Find  Blogs of Interest to Your Research?

  • Use search engines like Google or Bing – try searching on ‘Polish, Genealogy, Blog’
  • Word Press has a tool called Tag Surfer - try using the tags: ‘Polish, Genealogy’ or use ancestral village
  • Use Genealogy Blog Finder 
  • Use Yahoo Groups and visit ‘Polish Geniuses‘ [recently(August 2011) celebrated 10 year anniversary]
  • Save the links to these Blogs in your Favorites or Bookmarks or at  Delicio.us
August 14, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army (aka Blue Army / Polish Army in France) [part 2]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Gentle readers, today’s article is about the many genealogical or personal ties to the history of Haller’s Army. The focus is on what the genealogist may want to pursue to flesh out his/her family tree.

Background

The era was World War I  (1914-1918) and the world was mad with war and carnage and pestilence. There were 16.5 million deaths and 21 million wounded making it the 6th deadliest conflict (or possibly 2nd/3rd worse if you include the Flu Pandemic deaths). [See: this cheery web page on the estimate of Wars, Pandemics, Disasters,  and Genocides that caused the greatest number of deaths.] Out of this madness, was an army of diaspora Poles formed, of which over 25,0001

came from the US via a US sanctioned formation of a foreign force, which had to be constituted in Canada due to USA fears and its isolationist policies that limited President Wilson.

These brave 25,000 men were added to another contingent of 35,000 Polish men formed largely from prisoners of war from the German and Austria-Hungarian armies inside France,  who were now willing to fight against Central Powers as a part of the Allied/Central Powers.  They fought bravely in World War I,  before the USA entered the war and for nearly four more years (1918-1922) after World War I officially ended in the Polish-Bolshevik War (aka Polish-Soviet War).

Poster — from wiki

More Background can be found here (Haller’s Army website) or at the wiki page (Blue Army).

Registration Centers

The recruitment centers were in the Polish Falcons centers. The Polish Falcons were called the Związek Sokołów Polskich w Ameryce (ZSP)  and this is what you will find on Haller’s Army enlistment forms. The Polish Falcons still exist and are headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. There are reportedly 115 Polish Falcon Nests across 15 states. Each Nest has its own history that it maintains.

PGSA Database

The Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA.org) maintains a database of the Haller’s Army registrations that can be searched for your ancestor(s). It is free to search and there is a modest charge to get a copy of the actual documents. The search page is here: (http://www.pgsa.org/haller.php) . These documents are archived by the Polish Museum of America in Chicago. This data is also on LDS Microfilm by region see this page for details .

There are three types of forms. These forms are in Polish. You need not worry about that as the PGSA offers example forms in English (FormA | FormC) in PDF format.  On the forms you find the following info:

  • Form A is an intention to volunteer and contains the name, address, age, and marital status.
  • Form B is a medical examination report for the volunteer.
  • Form C is the final commitment paper. It includes date and place of birth and usually the name and address of a parent or other close relative.  The Form’s family notes include close family in USA and in Poland.

Returning Soldiers

The Allies issued medals to their victorious soldiers so you may have in your family heirlooms one of these. This website has an index of the various medals (with images). Many of the websites whose links are in this article also have pictures of men in uniforms — which included their distinctive hats.

We tend to think the soldiers were all Polish men and that these men were Catholics, but our Polish-Jewish brethren also served in Haller’s Army. This page from Polish Roots is about the Jewish soldiers who served and provides a table of many of the men known to be Jewish.

The ship manifests in Ellis Island record the return Haller’s Army soldiers, who returned en masse. You can see the soldiers who are listed on pages together with a note on the bottom, “Reservists”. That notation should eliminate any confusion with other possible passengers/crew members. The soldiers returning from the European theater are known to have arrived via Ellis Island on the following ships:

  • SS Antigone (from Danzig – April 18, 1920)
  • SS Princess Matoika (from Danzig – May 23, 1920)
  • SS Pocahontas (from Danzig – June 16, 1920)
  • SAT  Mercury (US Army Transport), from Danzig, June 16, 1920 / arrived in New York, June 28 1920
  • SS President Grant (from Danzig) – February 16, 1921
  • SS Latvia  - August 17, 1922

 Links to the Ship Manifests

http://bit.ly/rlVaaQ  SS Princess Matoika from Danzig in 1920 [more dates than shown above] 4253 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/p3ViM2 SS Pocahontas from Danzig  in 1920 [please note the ship name is P-O-C-A-H-O-N-T-A-S. It was misspelled on the PGSA.org website].   4199 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/nwYwsx SAT Mercury from Danzig June 1920.  2074 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/n6YRot SS Antigone from Danzig April 1920. 1628 Returning Troops

http://goo.gl/F48dg5 SS President Grant from Danzig February1921. ~1900 Returning Troops3

http://bit.ly/pGwQa5 SS Latvia from Danzig  August 1922. 1517 Returning Troops

Returning passage – Payment of passage was split between the Polish and United States Governments. [see column 16] on ship manifest. It appears some soldiers returned with wives and children too [so those numbers above are not all soldiers].

One more connection. Similar to  the VFW for US veterans, there is a Polish-American organization in NYC called POLISH ARMY VETERANS ASSOCIATION2

They (PAVA  or SWAP) have genealogical data from their membership forms. According to Dr Valasek, the membership application for the association has the usual, date, place of birth, current address, and occupation; It also had something most descendants of Hallerczycy desperately want to know:  the unit in which the man fought, and his rank upon leaving the army. There is also the identification of which post the soldier joined.  Each post has its own history, as well as photos, banquet books, anniversary booklets, etc. All valuable adjuncts to your research once you identify the correct post, (or, as it’s known in Polish, placówka). There is also a question on the form, Do jakich organizacji należy? , to what organizations does he belong. More avenues for research.

Fallen Soldiers

In any war, there are casualties. Haller’s Army is no different. Stanczyk likes this Polish Genealogical Society (http://genealodzy.pl/name-Straty.phtml) named aptly, The Polish Genealogical Society. They have many databases, but they have search front-ends for two related to Haller’s Army. The one from the link above is for:  List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920.

With this link I was finally able to determine that one of my ancestors who was in America up through the 1910 census, but was missing from the 1920/1930 censuses, whom I had previously thought had returned to Poland — had really died while serving in Haller’s Army. I found his Haller’s Army Forms at PGSA and then from this Polish website I found a scanned image of a Polish book listing his name, date/place of death.

Soldier Benefits

Some soldiers who came to America who served in Haller’s Army, earned benefits from the new Polish nation. I have seen land grants awarded (not to my ancestors). They often had to be contacted through the Polish Consulates in America. This leads to my final recommendation — using Historical Polish Language Newspapers from that era to find out about your soldier. The newspaper may write about the returning units in a story and possibly a picture. I have also seen that the Polish Consulate took out listings in the newspaper and referred to Haller’s Army veterans they were seeking to inform them of their veteran benefits. See my Dziennik Polski (Detroit) page at the top menu-tabs for an example what these Polish Consulate ads might look like.

Let me finish today’s article by mentioning Dr. Paul S. Valasek’s book on the subject matter: Haller’s Polish Army in France http://www.amazon.com/Hallers-Polish-Army-France-Valasek/dp/0977975703 and also another book entitled: Remembrance http://www.hallersarmy.com/store/Remembrance.php. written by Charles Casimer Krawczyk.

Tomorrow … Haller’s Army in My Family Tree

–Stanczyk

Notes:

1=Polish Falcons History page . Paul Valasek says the number is above 24,000. The wikipedia says the number is 23,000.

2=PAVA,   address: 119 East 15th Street,  New York,  NY 10003   -   e-mail:  <info@pava-swap.org>,  telephone:  212-358-0306

3= The addition of the President Grant came about from a Newspaper Article mentioned by Daniel Wolinski. A picture of the article has been appended after these notes.

FortDixNJ_HallersArmy_Returnees_1921

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