Posts tagged ‘Szlachta’

September 23, 2013

Map of Poland 1764 – Polish Coat of Arms By Province — #Polish, #Heraldic, #CoatOfArms

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polska_1764_pelna

Jozef Taran wrote over the weekend on Facebook about a website giving the coat of arms of the various provinces.

Stanczyk just loves the artistry and historicity of heraldic symbols.  But, it was a bonus! At the site was a 1764 map of the Poland/Lithuanian Commonwealth.

As a double bonus, I looked at the whole website:

http://www.wawrzak.org/news_updates.htm and it is a site dedicated to Szlachta (Polish Nobility). It has Polish/English text. Very nice find for those with blue blood coursing through their genealogical veins.

The 1764 Map is shown on the Maps Page.

August 24, 2013

From The Mailbag … — #Genealogy, #Royalty, #Polish, #Szlachta

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

From the Post Office Department

From the Post Office Department

The minions in the Email-Room dropped off a missive at my virtual cubicle today. Today’s question is about Polish Royalty & DNA as it relates to genealogy …

Hi, I stumbled across your blog and thought you might could help me. We are searching for my father’s ancestry and think he is a Poniatowski. My grandfather Andrzej changed his name when he came to America in 1909. The story we always heard was that he was royal. So I have my father’s yDNA markers but cannot find a surname project online for the Poniatowskis or other Polish nobles. Do you know of any? Maybe you can give me some advice? I sure would appreciate it! Thanks in advance for sharing anything.
Sincerely,
Kristian Krawford
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Kristian,

Welcome to the blog. DNA plays a role in genealogy in some ways, but it is NOT for every genealogist. It is due the certainty factor (I favor >97% certainty) takes you back beyond the number of generations that most people tracing Slavic/Polish genealogy can do UNLESS they have royal blood. Your question gives me yet another reason to endorse limited use of DNA in genealogy. I am in favor of using DNA in your case because, you want to determine if you have royal blood or not and specifically whether or not you are related to Poniatowski szlactha (nobility).

Now to the crux of your question. You have your family DNA and want to compare it. Ancestry.com has some capacity, but perhaps because they have so little Polish emphasis in their data, their DNA may be lacking from Polish genealogists families. So…

You can Google:  

  Y-DNA project of Polish Nobility families 

That led me to:

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/polish/default.aspx?section=ysnp

This web page had a very extensive list of family names with their DNA markers. I hope you can find your markers in these that are available. Notice that is “Y-DNA”. The mt-DNA will not work for you as that is the maternal/mitochondrial DNA that is passed from Mother to all children (relatively unchanged, except by mutation) and the Y-DNA is the paternal DNA passed from father to sons (23rd chromosome). The rest of the DNA is called autosomal / atDNA (see  Genealogical DNA test). This link is a good link for introduction of DNA terms to the genealogist.

Good Luck!

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).

August 11, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #6 Online Database of Poznan & Gniezno Nobility

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has used and forgotten the following website many times over; It has been online for a LONG time. This website appears to an historical collection of data by a single individual. Here is my best guess as to the Inventory of Materials at the website (all in Polish):

Historical and Genealogical Materials on the history of the nobility of the Wielkopolska from the 15th-20th Centuries. Complete inventories of municipal and land books of the State Archive in Poznan and the books of vital records inventories framework of the same archive as well as the Archdiocesan Archive in Poznan and the Archdiocesan Archive in Gniezno. These were apparently collected by a man named: Włodzimierz Dworzaczek [US Libraries/Archives might call this,  his collected papers].

Website: Teki Dworzaczka – Biblioteka Kórnicka PAN  [a Polish Science Academy]

LINK/URL: http://teki.bkpan.poznan.pl/index_regesty.html

Ease of Use: Slightly Difficult for English Speaking and/or  non-residents of Poland

So if you have ancestors who were from and/or passed through the Western part of Poland, including Poznan and Gniezno, this site has indexed church mertykal records and a great deal of court records too. So far it has not been of use to me, as my known ancestors are predominantly from south-central Poland. But if you have some royal blood (for example Leszczynski), there are many records that can provide you abbreviated notes.

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