Posts tagged ‘History’

June 22, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Shoemaker’s Guild (Leszczynski, Biechow)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pretty nifty poster or book page huh? Stanczyk found this in a Polish Digital Library. This masonic-looking page, with the all-seeing eye in the clouds with cherubs, etc. is a notice of a Shoemaker’s Guild from the “Year of Our Lord 1842″ in the gubernia of Kielce.

Now this is of interest to me because my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski listed his occupation in the church birth records on the 1860’s, as shoemaker & innkeeper  — which I always thought was a rather clever combination as travelers would need shoe repairs and why not get those while you are staying at the inn. So this image is contemporaneous (roughly) with my great-grandfather and the thought occurred to me perhaps I can find records in a Guild Book about my great-grandfather.

So here is Stanczyk’s million dollar question:  “Has anyone done any research in Poland and located these guild books in any Archive or Library and been able to locate ancestors?” Question two, “Was the search worthwhile — what kind of info did you find?”

Come on genealogists, let’s crowd-source, collaborate, or social network a solution here. OK? Anyone near Biechow parish, Pinczow Archive or Kielce Ecclesiastical Archive or a Library in or around one of those three cities in Poland? Can you help a Polish-American jester out? Email me or even comment on this blog… I’ll be waiting.

June 10, 2011

Dziennik Polski (Detroit) – Historical Daily Newspaper

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

If you are a loyal reader of Stanczyk’s then you must be aware of the penchant for ethnic newspapers; In particular for Polish language ethnic newspapers. I like using Historical newspapers to fill-in otherwise missing info or spots in my research where there are gaps and no other viable resource to turn to.

They used to say, “Everyone gets in the newspaper three times (if you are lucky): birth announcement, marriage announcement and death notice.”. If you are {un}lucky then perhaps you will also have other magazine or newspaper articles written about you too.

Well Stanczyk has a page dedicated to the places where you can research the Dziennik Polski (Polish Daily) of Detroit, MI. The Dziennik Polski page list the archives where you can read/research your family history. Now this jester needs to add in some more info from Orchard Lakes, St. Mary, MI. They host a program on their campus called, “Polonica Americanna Research Institue” (PARI). Ceil Wendt Jensen, the Director of PARI at Polish Mission has informed me that they are another source of Dziennik Polski (Detroit) newspapers. They have both bound copies (from the 1930’s and forward) and microfilm from 1904-1920 [they are still completing their inventory of microfilm], but that range is close.

So look for this jester to make a visit to their campus sometime this year and see for himself what is happening at PARI. Look for an update after my visit. Also look for an update to my Dziennik Polski web page with the updated info when I have verified the findings.

Oh, one more thing, loyal readers, please consider answering the call in  their “Friend of Polish Mission Membership Drive”. Their membership form is here.

May 1, 2011

Santo Subito – The Blessed John Paul II (Part Two)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

✠ The Blessed John Paul II ✠

Today this Jester was moved to tears at the Mass of Beatification for The Blessed John Paul II. The Mass just completed was beautiful ! Bless His Holiness, Pope Benedict and all others whose preparation and works made today such a moving mass.

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

Karol Józef Wojtyła b. 18-May-1920 in Wadowice. He was youngest of three children born to Emilia Kaczorowska + Karol Józef Wojtyła Sr. His beloved mother died in childbirth in 1929 and thus the 4th child within her too must have perished.

Karol Józef Wojtyła’s parents were as named above. Karol Józef Wojtyła Sr. was born 18-July-1879 in Lipnik (near Bielsko). His mother, Emilia Kaczorowska was born 26-March-1884 in Krakow. They were married 10-February-1906 in Wadowice. Karol Józef Wojtyła’s family died in 1914 (sister Olga), 1923 (grandfather Maciej Wojtyła), 1929 (mother Emilia), 1932 (brother Edmund), 1941 (father Karol) leaving him  a solitary pilgrim throughout his life.

Maciej WOJTYLA (paternal grandfather) was born 01-January-1852 in Czaniec. Anna PRZECZEK (paternal grandmother) was born 03-September-1878. Maciej also had a second wife: Maria ZALEWSKA born: 01-February-1861 in Lipnik , the daughter of Jozef ZALEWSKI. Feliks KACZOROWSKI (maternal grandfather) was born 26-June-1849 in Biala. Maria Anna SCHOLTZ (maternal grandmother) was born circa 1853.

The Wojtyła line continues backward with: Franciszek WOJTYLA + Franciszka GALUSZKA and one final generation: Bartlomiej WOJTYLA born circa 1788 Czaniec +  Anna HUDECKA born 1792 Bulowice. The Wojtyła family are purported to be from Czaniec originally (near Biala in the south of Poland).

As a genealogist, I should point out that all of this information is not sourced and should be verified by church records.

April 30, 2011

Santo Subito – John Paul “The Great” II (Part One)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk honors, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, who is being beatified tomorrow (1st-May-2011).

I want to write two parts upon this pope. Part One, is I want to write about his religious lineage. Part Two (on 5/1/2011), I want write about his genealogical lineage. The parallels to that statement should  be obvious, so I will not draw it. If you do not get it, then read a good book.

Both parts will start with Karol Józef Wojtyła‘s birth. If you look at the prayer card to the left, you will see:

Birth-Priest-Bishop-Cardinal-Pope-Deceased-Beatified. That is the timeline: 1920-1946-1958-1967-1978-2005-2011, a period 91 years. If canonization occurs then we may well be speaking about a century or more. The dates are to the left (uh, or above) on the prayer card. But that is not what I meant by the great pope’s religious lineage. What I mean is right here (Catholic-Hierarchy.org). So here is his religious lineage:

Episcopal Lineage / Apostolic Succession:

There is also another religious lineage. The great pope is the 264th pope in direct line back to Saint Peter (the Apostle). John Paul II, was not the longest reigning pope, nor was he the oldest pope. That is his papal lineage (also a religious lineage).

The known Catholic lineages are:

1. The Patriarchate of Constantinople claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Andrew.
2. The Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Mark.
3. The Russian Orthodox Church claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Andrew.
4. The Armenian Apostolic Church claims unbroken succession to the Thrones of Saint Bartholomew and Saint Thaddeus (Jude).
5. The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Mark.
6. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian) claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Thomas.
7. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Barnabas.
8. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims succession to the Throne of Saint Philip.
9. The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem claims succession to the Throne of Saint James the Just, although this line includes Patriarchs in exile.
10. The Roman Catholic Church claim unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Peter called “Prince of the Apostles”. This is the papal lineage of John Paul II.
Interestingly, the only religious lineage that does not go back to an undisputed Apostle is  #9 above (the Patriarch of Jerusalem). Saint James the Just was not the Apostle James (brother of Saint John the Apostle), but the hotly disputed brother of Jesus. Having said that why are there no  Orthodox Churches with lineages back to the two Apostles (and brothers), James and John? Stanczyk does not know! If anyone does, please email me.
April 29, 2011

Metal Id Card ? ? ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has a question for the vast army of Genealogists out there on the Internet. Today’s blog has a picture of my deceased grandfather’s social security card. This card is brass (I think). Here’s the question:  Did the U.S.A. ever issue metal social security cards ? Does anyone else have a metal social security card ?

Does anyone else have an oddity from an ancestor that you are puzzling over? Send me your comments and pictures.

April 23, 2011

1926 – Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In 1926, on the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, the children and government of Poland had undertaken a massive effort of friendship with their Polish Declaration of Admiration & Friendship for the USA. Poland had only re-emerged 8 years earlier at the end of World War I, from nearly a 150 years of occupation! Imagine if you will, a nation occupied nearly the entire history of these United States of America who with the help of the Allied Powers in World War I (including the USA) and with the aid of Americans (USA and Canadians) who formed an expatriate army, known as Haller’s Army or the Polish Army in France.  These Allied Powers through 1918 and Haller’s Army through the early 1920 skirmishes, re-established the borders of Poland between the two World Wars and bottled up Communism for another two decades.

You will be forgiven gentle reader if you have never heard of this gift from the people and government of Poland to the people and government of the USA on their 150th Anniversary of our nation’s founding. President Calvin Coolidge received the gift and placed it into the Library of Congress  (LOC) where it was forgotten until 70 years later in 1996 when it was re-discovered. The LOC has digitized 13 of the 111 volumes which has the signatures of approximately 5.5 Million Polish school children. There is also an index to the location names of the schools in the other volumes that have not yet been digitized. The main LOC page (also reachable from the index page above is here):

http://memory.loc.gov/intldl/pldechtml/pldechome.html

The LOC has not produced a searchable index person names from the digitized volumes. Fortunately, there exists a web app with nearly 3,000 pages scanned to produce a person name index of nearly 250,000 people by the the PTG (Polish Genealogical Society) with a summary of the project so far here. The PTG searchable index is reachable from their main page:

http://genealodzy.pl/index.php?&newlang=eng

and clicking upon ‘Declarations‘ on the left side of the main page. The page is in Polish.  ‘Tom’ = Volume (type 1 – 13) and ‘Strona’ = Page. You can use the LOC website to locate the volume and page of  interest to you and reach the same page here at PTG. You enter the TOM and the STRONA and click on the ‘Pokaz’ button to go to the image of that volume and page to read the names. Remember that most schools have more than one page. PTG however, also has a way to search on the names. In the first field (no name) you can type a last name and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search on the name. The check box (‘dokladnie’) should be left unchecked (to avoid having to enter diacritics) for the name you are searching on. Many American Polish names are spelled differently from their original names in Poland. You  can overcome this somewhat by using a wildcard character at the end. For example, if Stanczyk wanted to search for ELIASZ or ELIJASZ or ELJASZ, he could enter ‘EL%’ and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search for those possible spellings.

The wildcard can also be used in the middle as shown in the picture below:

Stanczyk got all good matches except for number 2. In particular,  matches 3,4,5 are probably Stanczyk’s ancestors, since Tom/Volume 13, Strona/Page 419-420 is for the school in the village of Pacanow from whence Stanczyk’s direct lineage comes from. Now I could use those Tom’s and Strona’s to bring up the image of the page with those signatures and save the image in my family history.

There is also a nice web page in the LOC, called Emblem of Goodwill with many details of the friendship between Poland and the USA. It also includes pictures of the artwork in the volumes and even a few photos of two classes.

April 6, 2011

Remember Me?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

On March 22, 2011, The United States Holocaust Memorial museum, announced a new program: Remember Me? Their press release statement can be read on the web site here .

They are trying to use the Internet and Social Networking to reunite families / genealogies separated during by the Holocaust and Displacements that occurred during  World War II. Already they have had some success. Stanczyk was deeply moved about this program and its connection to history and genealogy. This is a blessing for the Jewish peoples and perhaps other Europeans who were displaced during the war. That was 66 years ago.  Why did this idea take so long to be conceived? More importantly, why did I learn of this from the BBC America Network’s World News program? It has been over two weeks since this release came out. How did my links to various genealogical web sites and blogs and other tricks I use fail to inform me of this such that I was bowled over by the TV being my first source of this information?

Three children (uh? seniors) were identified in the first 48 hours of the website and three more have been identified today (6th-April-2011), including Michel Sztulzaft, who was on the BBC news segment Stanczyk watched. PLEASE everyone take a look!

Truth be told Stanczyk has been very busy the last two weeks on frantic matters related to my heart and family. But I just checked Tracing The Tribe, I did not see it there.   Please write Stanczyk and let him know if you wrote about this important topic before the TV segment on the BBC or whether you too were just informed.

The web site for Remember Me?: http://rememberme.ushmm.org/

March 24, 2011

Memory Lane – Aleksander & Chase

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

When I was born, life was simpler. In fact, Life was a magazine. The day I was born, the cover of Life, was as shown on the left. Marilyn Monroe greeted my birth (unbeknownst to her).

I will save a newspaper or magazine from your birth day, my sons, for you to reminisce about (G-d willing). I will also plant two oaks for my twin sons to grow along with you. Your matka (mother), will commemorate your birth in so many more ways, including planting trees in the Middle-East (i.e. Israel).

 

March 15, 2011

Historical Ethnic Newspapers – Balch Collection in READEX

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Balch Collection is a Philadelphia genealogy resource. Back in 2002 it merged into the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP). The HSP is one the finest genealogical repositories in Philadelphia, if not in the country. The Family History Library is still far and away the best, but this fine resource is invaluable, especially if your ancestors are from Philadelphia and/or are from the colonial families — particular those of historical prominence. This Balch Collection resource contains an enormous collection of ethnic resources — hence the Ethnic Studies that it is known for.

So this morning,  as Stanczyk read the online newsletter of the PGSA , I noticed this news item (mentioned in the subject). Now this jester has a soft spot for historical newspapers (see my Dziennik Polski fetish). So the Balch Collection being available electronically caught my eye, especially because I noticed the list of languages included the Język polski (Polish Language) newspapers.

The Balch Collection Inventory for Polish language historical newspapers includes:

Newspaper/Serial Publisher Location
Czas Times Brooklyn
Dziennik Zjednoczenia, City Edition Chicago
Dziennik Zjednoczenia, Country Edition Chicago
Dziennik Zwiazkowy (Polish Daily Zgoda) Chicago
Glos Polek (Polish Women’s Voice) Chicago
Gwiazda Philadelphia
Gwiazda Polarna Stevens Point, WI
Jednosc (Unity) Philadelphia
Jutrzenka (Morning Star) Cleveland
Narod Polski (Polish Nation) Chicago
Nowiny Polskie Milwaukee
Ognisko New York City
Ognisko Domowe Detroit
Patryota Philadelphia
Pol-Am Journal (Association of the Sons of Poland) Scranton, PA
Pol-Am Journal (Chicago Edition) Scranton, PA
Pol-Am Journal (National Edition) Scranton, PA
Pol-Am Journal (Polish National Alliance of Brooklyn, USA) Scranton, PA
Polish American Journal Scranton, PA
Polonia w Ameryce Cleveland
Republika-Gornik Pensylw anski Wilkes-Barre, PA
Sokol Polski New York City

Here is the READEX press release for more info. I promise to update you, my faithful readers,  when I have some more info on this announcement.

February 27, 2011

Genealogy and Antiques

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

German Fraktur - Birth & Baptism

Stanczyk wishes that the Poles would create artwork of this style for their births. How beautiful this German Fraktur artwork of a family Birth and Baptism. Now I would hasten to add that this is not my family, but none the less it drew my attention and I had to take a picture, so I asked the proprietor if I may take a picture of this lovely piece and obviously he said yes.

This baptism and birth record is yet another example of the places we genealogists can find our answers. This lovely record surrounded by two angels and topped by an American Eagle and covered with detailed ornate borders and ended with four birds that would make John James Audubon proud … Hmmm I wonder is he was  ever inspired by these contemporary PA Dutch treasures.

The picture on the left is a record of Joseph Carl Rupp’s birth/baptism. Birth 5/19/1848 and Baptism in July 23rd of the same year in Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA. It is all in German.

This jester loves the beauty in such art. You,  my faithful readers, can find further information and enjoyment in  other examples online at our own local Philadelphia Free Library at the following link on Fraktur:

http://libwww.freelibrary.org/fraktur/frkLst.cfm?srch=4&subjectID=3948

Takle a look at this jester’s favorite Fraktur, of Michael Groff’s Birth/Baptism.

January 8, 2011

Biechow – Births in 1753 & 1754

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Biechow parish Stanczyk keeps writing about was shuffled amongst many administration units that changed as the borders changed, which in Europe was often.  After the partitions started in 1772, my ancestors were briefly in the Austrian partition. In the Napoleonic era, they were a part of the Duchy of Warsaw and were in the Departmente of Krakow. Post Napoleon, they were in the Kielce wojewodztwo of  the Congress Kingdom of Poland.  My ancestral villages pretty much stayed put after that point and were in Kielce wojewwodztwo or gubernia depending on the whims of the czar until about 1918. Today, they are in wojewodztwo of SwietyKrzyskie.

The records were originally kept in Latin. The earliest Latin records were scant/terse, let me call them blurbs, like little Power-Point bullets scrawled upon the pages of the church books. Eventually they became more formulaic and I’d see what I call the Latin paragraph form (really a few sentences). Copies would be made and shipped to the Archdiocese Archives and these were often recorded in the Latin Box form that was prevalent in the Austrian partition. Napoleon while he was briefly in charge, instituted a format according to the Napoleonic code, that was written in the lingua franca of each locale. So about 1805, we see the church records being kept in a Polish paragraph form (quite long) as specified by the Napoleonic Codex. In 1868, the Czar decreed a change from Polish to Russian, but the Napoleonic format stayed, so the records switched from Polish paragraphs to Russian/Cyrillic paragraphs. So this jester since he was forced to, has acquired the ability to read enough Latin to read the genealogical blurbs of Catholic priests and is quite skilled in reading the Polish paragraphs and is still increasing his knowledge of Russian paragraphs, but has long since been able to pick out the salient facts of the vital records even in Russian with Cyrillic character set (as opposed to Polish language written in the Latin alphabet).

Now let me hasten to add, that this was true of Catholic church records. Obviously if your ancestors were Jewish, then you have additional burdens in your research, including reading Hebrew.  The format of recording vital records also differed amongst the three partitioning / occupying Empires. Stanczyk writes from a Russian-Poland partition experience.

Having said that, in a very long preamble, today’s post is about the pre-partitioned, Polish vital records. In 1753 & 1754 these were Latin paragraph form (very terse still, but better than those of the 17th century). I want to examine a couple of these records for today’s discourse and ask for some help.  Here is what we are dealing with …

Stanczyk’s eyes weary fast when trying to read these early Latin blurbs. Handwriting had not been perfected in those days. Also I find a good many misspellings on the family names or sometimes even the village names. This is still better than what was present in the 17th century. Each line starts with a day (month, year are usually assumed). These are really baptismal record (as opposed to birth), so it records the baptism, the parents and the God Parents of the baby and the villages of the people involved.

Now here is where Stanczyk is looking for help. Please take a look at the next image (click on it to see a full size copy) and help this jester understand the concept of ‘alias’. In this record we will see a surname of  Michałek as an alias for Materna. Is this some kind of case of name “evolution”. The Michałek family name disappears and the Materna family name becomes a common village surname. Why would a surname become aliased? In these early Latin records, it happens a few times and Stanczyk is trying to understand what is happening and why?

January 4, 2011

Biechow Parish 1814 Marriages

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1814 Groom Age Bride Age Rec#’s Notes Widowed Galician Village ~Birth Yr, Groom ~Birth Yr, Bride
1 Wincenty Sardela 24 Maryanna Zarazionka 25 115,116,117 1790 1789
2 Wincenty Rayczowski 19 Maryanna Kaminszczonka 19 112,113,114 1795 1795
3 Ignacy Maychra 25 Franciszka Sobonka 24 109,110,111 bride was a widow 1 1789 1790
4 Piotr Orlowski 23 Katarzyna Kotanska 22 106,107,108 1791 1792
5 Marcin Grzywacz 23 Maryanna Zmyslowna 24 103,104,105 1791 1790
6 Michal Watroba 22 Franciszka Czaplonka 16 100,101,102 1792 1798
7 Jan Luszcz 18 Katarzyna Mrzyglodowna 15 98,99 no marriage record 1 1796 1799
8 Jakob Bayka 24 Anjela Maychrowna 20 96,97 groom was a widower; no marriage record 1 1790 1794
9 Gabrych skladzien 28 Elzbieta Jurkowska 17 93,94,95 1786 1797
10 Jan Fosara 25 Giertruda Stefanie 18 90,91,92 1789 1796
11 Piotr Prukop 23 Magdalena Zmyslowna 36 87,88,89 bride is a widow (maiden name Fortuna) 1 1791 1778
12 Maciej Wrobel 23 Malgorzata Domin 20 86 only marriage record (no banns) 1791 1794
13 Jan Kanty Woycika 40 Elzbieta Cepilka 34 83,84,85 both were widowed. 1 Szczucin 1774 1780
14 Jozef Obara 32 Malgorzata Wieczorkowa 30 80,81,82 bride was a widow 1 1782 1784
15 Marcin Piopzona 27 Maryanna Stracka 29 77,78,79 1787 1785
16 Maciej Wrobel 23 Malgorzata Domin 20 75,76 see marriage record #86 1791 1794
17 Jakob Dydysia 40 Franciszka Czaplonka 24 72,73,74 groom was a widower 1 1774 1790
18 Lukasz Wodziak 19 Maryanna Poniewierczonka 21 69,70,71 1795 1793
19 Grzegorz Smydra 41 Dorota Kaminszczonka 20 66,67,68 groom was a widower 1 1773 1794
20 Jan Szydla 19 Marta Goleniowna 18 63,64,65 1795 1796
21 Jacenty Fortuna 26 Maryanna Pawelkowna 16 60,61,62 1788 1798
22 Grzegorz Ziemba 34 Maryanna Maychrowa 43 57,58,59 bride was a widow 1 1780 1771
23 Stanislaw Materna 23 Agnieszka Pekaciczka 34 54,55,56 bride was a widow (maiden name Lutego) 1 1791 1780
24 Benedykt Blayda 22 Agnieszka Zielinszczonka 17 51,52,53 1792 1797
25 Jan Zdrala 34 Helena Stoykowa 30 49,50 bride was a widow; no marriage record 1 1780 1784
26 Jakob Maychra 44 Teresia Karamanaczyna 46 46,47,48 both were widowed. 1 1770 1768
27 Maciej Bebel 21 Maryanna Pireczka 21 43,44,45 1793 1793
28 Franciszek Garstka 30 Malgorzata Zaraszczonka 25 40,41,42 groom was widower 1 1784 1789
29 Marcin Juda 41 Maryanna Salaszyna 30 37,38,39 both were widowed. 1 1773 1784
30 Jakob Domin 40 Agata Wroblowna 25 34,35,36 1774 1789
31 Piotr Ragana 29 Kunegunda Blaydowna 24 31,32,33 1785 1790
32 Kazimierz Walaska 54 Malgorzata Maychrowa 35 28,29,30 both were widowed. 1 1760 1779
33 Maciej Luszcz 41 Barbara Leykowna 22 25,26,27 groom was a widower 1 1773 1792
34 Woyciech Omyla 30 Helena Zarazionka 16 22,23,24 groom was a widower 1 1784 1798
35 Woyciech Zdybia 33 Jadwiga Cyskowa 25 19,20,21 both were widowed. 1 1781 1789
36 Jozef Kosiolka 53 Maryanna Gorszczonka 27 16,17,18 groom was a widower 1 1761 1787
37 Stanislaw Dalackowski 60 Helena Goleniewska 44 13,14,15 both were widowed. 1 1754 1770
38 Kazimierz Kordos 56 Maryanna Stokarzka 38 10,11,12 both were widowed. 1 1758 1776
39 Jan Kaminski 56 Elzbieta Nowakowna 29 7,8,9 groom was a widower 1 1758 1785
40 Grzegorz Kopcia 46 Helena Nowakowa 24 4,5,6 both were widowed. 1 1768 1790
41 Bartlomiej Obara 45 Maryanna Wroblowna 20 1,2,3 groom was a widower 1 1769 1794
Counts: 24
Avg Male Age 32.59 Avg Female Age 25.44 Percentage of 2nd Marriages: 58.54
December 16, 2010

Tomasz Leszczyński de Biechów (part two)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The 2nd Marriage of Tomasz Leszczynski

The 2nd Marriage of Tomasz Leszczynski

This is the second part of my search for Tomasz and family. The first aritcle is here . This amazing find was done by my equally amazing friend from Krakow, Jacek.  Stanczyk prized his great-grandfather Tomasz so much, Jacek made an extra effort on my behalf. Thank You Jacek (researcher / genealogist of the Sokolowskich from Swiniary/Biechow/Pacanow/Zborowek parishes).

This document is an alegata. Let me review a bit of Polish genealogical terms to help other new-to-Polish-genealogy researchers. The Polish archives have a few databases ( I have written of them before ), but the most critical to me so far has been Pradziad. If you search their database for Biechow (do not bother with diacriticals), you will find:

urodzenia – Births

małżeństwa – Marriages

zgony – Deaths

and … alegata – Addendum (other, miscellaneous).

So this is an addendum … to something. Now this alegata is fascinating on many levels to me. First off, it is from 1885 and it is testimonial from 1863 !  So this document recounts the events of 22 years ago (from 1885).  Second, since it is the era from 1868..1918, it is written in Russian as is required and … also in Polish. Take a closer look…

Alegata from October 1885 about ...

This portion is written in Russian (old style Cyrillic). Notice the stamp which shows that a fee/tax was paid and the date: 4th-October-1885. The last words (bigger than the rest) mean.. BIRTH RECCORD. Oh, so this recounts a birth from 1863. To give you a place we read the first three lines …

Gubernia Kieleckie

Uezd Stopnickie

Parish Biechow

This is from the Russian Empire era where this portion of Poland is one of ten gubernias previously from the Duchy of Warsaw (Russian- Partition of Poland also known as Congress Kingdom of Poland before the czar made it direct territories of the Russian Empire which would last until 1918).

The three pages go on to describe the birth of a female child to Marcin Major &  Katarzyna  z  Ozarowiczow. I like that this birth was originally recorded at 7pm (in 1863) and describes a birth from 5am. Such detail! It is commendable that their bureaucrats worked late into the evenings. Oh this is a quote of the birth record of my great-grandmother Aniela born Piestrzec (part of Biechow parish)! Oh so the Polish is a direct transcription from the church record of 20-July-1863.

All that was great! But the third page was a Marriage Certificate. I had waited so long to see my great-grandfather’s marriage certificate. Now I would have a definitive age and his parent’s names. I was disappointed that his age was not listed in the record?? Oh, well I know he was born 1835 +/- 2 years, so his second bride was as young as his children from his first marriage. My 50-ish great-grandfather was married again and I know in 1886 what happens (Stanczyk’s babcia comes along).  It appears Tomasz is the town burgher and a farmer and now Aneila lives in Pacanow, while Tomasz still lives in Biechow. Wait a second, neither set of parents are listed. I know Aniela’s from the first two pages retelling her birth. But I had hoped to learn Tomasz’s parent’s names. Oh, this IS a disappointment!

Now I will have to track down his marriage record from his first marriage and that would be the late 1850’s, an era where no microfilm exists in Biechow. I do not even know where Julianna Kordos was born; I do know her parent’s names and her approximate age — so if I do find her record I will know it is her.

December 16, 2010

Swinary Parish – A Survey of Births 1826-1852

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Once again, I have reviewed the images of the indexes to compile a brief survey of the births in the Swinary parish.  As I posted before this Swinary is in southern Poland:

Świniary – 409 osób(people) woj.:  świętokrzyskie,   powiat: buski,  gmina: Solec-Zdrój,    Polish Postal Code: 28-131
[Source: mapa.szukacz.pl]
Year Count Of Births
1826 124
1827 111
1828 99
1829 95
1830 96
1831 53
1832 95
1833 92
1834 99
1835 112
1836 94
1837 91
1838 99
1839 111
1840 98
1841 92
1842 114
1843 97
1844 109
1845 86
1846 N/A
1847 N/A
1848 N/A
1849 N/A
1850 80
1851 N/A
1852 86

I do not know what to make of the data. There are years missing and the first year was the highest birth registration. 1831 seems to be an outlier with only 53 births. From reading in books, works in newsletters (like by Dr. Paul Valasek), and in my own grandmother’s parish of Biechow which is very nearby, I know 1831 to be a year of the Cholera epidemic. So perhaps an epidemic limited births (or at least their registration).

From birth records (so this may not be a complete/exhaustive list), we see the following villages make up the Swiniary parish:

Ludwinow, Oblekon, Parchocin, Swiniary, Trzebica, Wlosnowice, and Zielonki .

One final note, this parish was in the old wojewodztwo, Kielce in this era (1826-1852).

Other Surveys of Nearby Parishes, I have previously done:

Biechow 1810 http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~meliasz/biechow/Biechow_Births1810.htm
Biechow 1811 http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~meliasz/biechow/1811_BiechowChurchRecords_Births%20.htm
Biechow 1812-1831 http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~meliasz/biechow/BiechowVillageHouses.htm
Pacanow 1883 10 sample births Out Of 203 Births
Pacanow 1884 15 sample
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…

December 2, 2010

Christopher Columbus Discovers … He Is POLISH!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polonia, this jester is pleased as punch to tell you, that you can now celebrate Columbus Day as well as Pulaski Day, so get out there in September with the Italians and celebrate with pride our newest Pole, Christopher Columbus! Portuguese historian Manuel Rosa has spent the better part of two decades studying the Columbus myth and has now reached a new conclusion, that everything we thought we knew about Columbus was wrong.

First book up on the background articles:

Apparently Columbus’s grandfather was the founder of the Jagiellonian Line of Polish Kings. And his father was Wladislaw III . Wladislaw III was thought to have died at the Battle of Varna in 1444. Luckily for America he survived, found absolution in Palestine for his wrongs, and settled in Portugal, where the Portuguese King gave him land on  the island of Madeira,  and he married Portuguese aristocracy and had two sons (one of which was Columbus).

Now this story makes sense of why Columbus had access to no less than four royal lines who he could approach and propose such a venture of discovering a new path to the Orient (uh America, ummm, the Caribbean Islands). A Book is coming and National Geographic is also interested in the story. Manuel Rosa is now seeking access to DNA to prove his theory. In the mean time, lets see some Polish flags next September at the Columbus Day Holiday Parades and reclaim our prodigal son from the Italians. This will be a nice entre into October (Polish History Month, Pulaski Day celebrations) giving Polonia two months of pride. Also drink some Madiera wines. It appears we can thank our Polish son for this wine appearing in the Americas — a nice red wine. This also adds to the credibility that Columbus was born on the Island of Madiera (a Portuguese territory at the time) and not in Genoa.

November 24, 2010

Milosz, Dlugosz and Eliasz … Shhh

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Czeslaw Milosz (June 30, 1911 – August 14, 2004), the Nobel Prize author,  should have the 100th Anniversary of his birth commemorated, June, next year. I do not know why I took a fancy to this person who took my mind captive. It is probably because he was Polish (and a naturalized American) and his first name was the same as my ojciec (father). That got me to read this man’s works. But what kept me reading his works is his Captivating Mind and his way around the rhythm of language (quite extraordinary to be so  talented in two languages).  So I was reading a book of his, “The History of Polish Literature“; London-New York: MacMillan, 1969. When I read, I am rather immersive, so I read the text and Google the concepts or the author. It provides a richer experience for me. So I noticed that Milosz (or the concept that was Milosz) is about to turn 100!

This jester has many of this writer’s books in his personal library. I chose the Road Side Dog for a picture, because I am a long time dog  aficionado and I have made a reservation, “to let” some of Milosz’s ideas for my own writings. So from my readings today in The History of Polish Literature“, here are a few memes and things for you think upon:

  • Marcholt – The Polish Aesop, particularly the connection to the Wise King Solomon
  • Sowizrzal
  • Melusine
  • Jan Dlugosz ( 1415-1480)

In the above list, the first three are literary characters, while the fourth is a historical figure and writer. His historical writings are  a rich source. See Annales Poloniae.  Jan Dlugosz endeared himself to me by teaching himself Cyrillic in order to be to source info from the Letopisi. So this jester identifies with Dlugosz and his need to read Cyrillic texts to have ready access to Russian information.

Alas, in the partitions of Poland by the three black-eagled Empires,  my ancestors were  mostly in the Russian-Poland partition, so reading Cyrillic handwriting and Russian language (pre 1918 language reforms) became a necessary skill. I think I dislike the Russification of the ELIASZ name into Elijasz. I still remember my Busia teaching me that our last name was in the Old Testament and that we were named for the prophet Elijah. In Polish, it appeared as ELIASZ.  So when I got further into the genealogical research and I saw post-partition Catholic priests change the name into Heliasz and Elijasz, I saw something of a diminishing of respect for its biblical roots. But whether we are ELIASZ or HELIASZ or ELIJASZ or even ELJASZ or ELYASZ. I still see Elijah. In fact, amongst the Slavic peoples, other variations exist: Iliasz, Oliasz, and Uliasz. So now you know, that this jester’s family with the short name (6 characters) of which uncharacteristically,  half of them are vowels is very much Polish with  a very uncommon Polish name.

 

A Reasonably Complete Bibliography of Czeslaw Milosz can be found in the New World Encyclopedia  article.

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.

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