Posts tagged ‘Religion’

May 15, 2010

Struck!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

Here are my protagonists:

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

Genealogy: Odin + Frigg -> Baldur

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

Genealogy: Peleus + Thetis -> Achilles

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

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

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

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

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

March 20, 2010

Pacanow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pacanow Church circa 1918

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

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

Miraculous Cross

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

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

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

March 6, 2010

Random Musings…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester watched “Who Do You Think You Are” (WDYTYA). I was touched and enjoyed the first episode. I hope all interested parties do not get the impression that genealogy is so easy or so fast. Perhaps it was not emphasized, but there about a half dozen of genealogical researchers (who appeared on film — I am sure there were more behind the scenes), who handle the various specialties: California, Gold Rush, New England, Salem Witch Trials,  Cincinnati OH/ Germans. I think that demonstrates that you need various skills in various areas and no one genealogist can possibly know it all or be the efficient in areas outside of his/her specialization. I learned some things and look forward to learning more about areas outside my own sphere of expertise.

I hope the WDYTYA will slog through the many blogs and find hints. So, here are two suggestions that I thought of as I watched that can help add even more connections to those watching.

Suggestion 1.

There were opportunities to connect to others (as possible sequels/foreshadowing) and just being literate. For example, I like to occasionally do some genealogy on literati. So I have looked into Nathaniel Hawthorne’s genealogy. His book the “Scarlet Letter” about the Salem trials would have been such a good side bar note. Not because I want useless trivia to clutter up the show, but because Hawthorne’s ancestor was one of the judge’s. They could have shown his ancestor’s name and connected Sara Jessica Parker to Hawthorne in this odd sort  of juxtaposition that would have added something for Sara and for those watching. Indeed it drove Hawthorne to write the story and caused him to alter his family name(to an alternative spelling) — another good lesson to budding genealogists.

Suggestion 2.

Give the genealogists, researchers, archivists/archives, and historical sites 30 seconds on the film listing them and put their info one the website too (not just the celebrities). A “Thank you to…” still shot listing all of the above and an audio directing viewers to the web site page for more info on these people.

Go to the web site and check out the “about” and exclusive “menus”, in particular the “did you know” menu selection.

Random Musing #2

Did you know there have been approximately, 106 Billion people on this planet over all time? So in theory we’d only need slightly less than 37 generations in our tree to have everyone in our family tree. Of course, that would mean we’d have all people in the family tree before we even went back in time to the Norman Conquest (1066). Obviously there were people before that time. Why doesn’t the math work? As you go back in time, you should see some people appearing multiple places in the tree. So perhaps we need more than 37 generations to all be related.

For those with a scientific mindset, we find in genetics that the genealogical “Eve”, appeared about 200,000 years ago. Oddly enough, the genealogical Adam, appeared only 60,000 years ago. Apparently, he killed off or somehow prevented all previous others from passing on their male DNA. Just so people do not get the idea that partho-genesis did not occur for 140,000 years before male DNA appeared or wonder why that gap. Let’s work with the 200,000 year number. Assuming each generation is about 20 years (Baby Boomers are 1946-1964, a nineteen year span) then we should need 10,000 generations. Just so we are on the same page: Genealogical Eve and Adam are  homo sapiens, not  any of the other prior prototypes of humanity. That is why we are not talking of millions of years, but only 200,000 years. I once read that the aboriginal Australians believe they have a genealogical tree of 48,000 generations (and they kept track of them!!!). That does not seem to match with the current thoughts that they have resided on Australia for a mere 50,000 years. It does seem unreasonable to have a generation each and every year. This jester once met a man at a recent genealogical conference who claimed he had traced his genealogy back to King David(with source documents of evidence). Forgive me for doubting, but I did wonder, but did not give voice to my skepticism nor voice the obvious  question of why, he could not take his genealogy back to Adam, son of God. The rest of David’s genealogy is recorded in the Bible.

Go read a good book!

December 16, 2009

Anioł Stróz – Guardian Angel

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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