July 4, 2016

USA TODAY 4-July-2016:

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Author, Holocaust Survivor/Educator, Philosopher/Professor, Activist, Elie Wiesel remembered at private service.

http://usat.ly/299GU3a

Note to genealogists: burial info provided in article

July 3, 2016

Elie Wiesel Died.

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Elie Wiesel, a man of letters, intellectualAs a genealogist, one of our most sacred duties is the recording and memorializing a person’s death. It is always a solemn thing for me and I do it as soon as possible … to capture it in its rawest form. 
Elie Wiesel died. September 30, 1928 — July 2, 2016. He died aged 87. He was Jewish (Romanian by todays borders) so for me the connection is not as deep or rich as for my wife, Teréza. Nonetheless, I yielded the intellectual high ground to Elie Wiesel whose thoughts I always admired for the deepness and completeness, like a grandmaster chess player whose knowledge of a line of play is so expansive. 

Imagine my surprise today. For 21 years now I have always said, “The opposite of love is not hate … it is indifference.” This philosophy of mine was born as a result of living my life.  So I was surprised that my thought was not original nor was it complete.

Elie Wiesel wrote …

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

So it would seem that Elie Wiesel and I are connected in that thought and once again his thought was deeper and more complete. 
Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. He spent much of his life as a dedicated Holocaust  educator. He was also a prolific writer. His bibliography is too long to count especially if  you include other wtitings beyond books or where he was a co-author. His bibliography can be found here
Well  Mr. Wiesel you will be remembered and your memory will be a blessing. 

June 15, 2016

RootsWeb Upgrade — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RootsWeb Source: THE ANCESTRY INSIDER

“We are currently working to move the entirety of RootsWeb to new machinery that can handle the load and be backed up in a consistent and reliable manner,” says Ancestry.com’s Anne Mitchell.
“Ancestry is making the switchover this week. During that time, you may notice short periods when RootsWeb is unavailable.”

Ancestry Insider believes that RootsWeb / Ancestry are making this upgrade to generate good will.

After the RootsWeb crash back in February,  the RootsWeb community, expressed themselves effectively and Ancestry is responding! When Ancestry acquired RootsWeb, they said they would keep it running.

Thank you Ancestry for keeping that promise.

Rootsweb is a very old genealogy resource that just needed some love to keep and enhance its usefulness to the genealogical community.

Stanczyk complained and apparently other Rootsweb users were also complaining that new additions to RootsWeb were not being indexed. This includes GEDCOMs uploaded to WorldConnect, Obituary Daily Times, and mail archives. This jester had to drop my trees and move to Tribalpages.

So, after this upgrade is finished, Ancestry will have fixed that. If it is indeed fixed, perhaps Stanczyk can move a family tree back.

You may have experienced some data loss the last time RootsWeb went down. That will not be happening during the outages this week, as these are planned, controlled, outages.

May 28, 2016

National Book Festival — 24-Sept-2016

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Love this annual event. Last year the First Family was there. The Library of Congress blog link:
http://blogs.loc.gov/national-book-festival/2016/05/2016-national-book-festival-poster-takes-viewers-on-journey-to-the-unknown/?loclr=twloc

May 19, 2016

Romanov Russian Royalty … REDUX

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.

Now we come to 2016 …

There is an artist,  Olga Shirnina, who has taken Romanov family photos and colorized them. Please read the article: RBTH (Romanov family photos in color) from “Russia Beyond The Headlines”.
Romanov Links:

Romanov Photos British Archives

Romanov Family Tree

May 16, 2016

Genealogy At Scale — 1 Million Burials

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Hart Island outside/near New York City is a 101 acre potter’s field. Since 1849 over a million people have been buried anonymously since their bodies went unclaimed or otherwise became property of city/county of NYC. 

Story from Today’s NYT. There is the Hart Island Project that tries to give voice to tens of thousands buried since 1980.

May 12, 2016

Ancestry App is Updated to v. 7.2

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry 7.2  (App Store )

download iPhone v 7.2

As the picture shows version 7.2 is 87.5 MB and newly minted.

You can download the iPhone version by clicking on the above image.

Beyond the new features, the app’s UI is more attractive in both tree and individual presentations.

May 11, 2016

Meme: Wordless Wednesday — #History Mackinac Bridge

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


The Mackinac Bridge is only a couple years older than this jester, built in 1957. Here are some of the ferrys that got people from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace before the bridge.

May 5, 2016

Holocaust Remembrance Day (USA)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk seeks every year to remember. There are those who deny the Holocaust ever happened. They would deny the 11 million victims of whom 6 million were Jews. This is done out of stupidity or hatred for Jews (anti-semitism).

But now you know that there were 11 million killed genocide style and 5 million were not even Jewish … just inconvenient or a nuisance or someone did not like them.

Won’t you join me, a Christian, and say, “Never Again!” ? Please

Remember the 11 Million.

May 2, 2016

May 3rd — Constitution Day — #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Warsaw Gazette
May 3rd Constitution (see middle of Warsaw Gazette) / Konstytucja_3_Maja
The Constitution of May 3, 1791 (Konstytucja Trzeciego Maja) was drafted between October 6, 1788, and May 3, 1791, when it was adopted by the Great Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth . The contitution’s adoption was preceded by a period of agitation with the Convocation Sejm of 1764 and the election of Stanisław August Poniatowski as the Commonwealth’s last elective monarch.
The constitution had sought to prevail over and eliminate the anarchy, caused by the Liberum Veto, which had put the Country/King at the mercy of any single Sejm deputy who chose, or was bribed by an internal interest or external foreign power, to undo all the legislation that had been passed by the Sejm. The constitution’s adoption met with immediate hostilities, both political and military by the Commonwealth’s neighbors. In the War in Defense of the Constitution, the Commonwealth’s ally Prussia, broke its alliance with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was effectively defeated by the three Empires: Russia, Prussia, & Austria-Hungary (aka Hapsburg).
[NOTE the parallels between this Sejm’s use of liberum veto and the U.S. Congresses of 2008-present who have abused/utilized omni-present obstructionist tools: filibuster and cloture to keep the Obama administration for achieving its goals.]
British historian, Norman Davies describes the legal document as “the first constitution of its type in Europe”; Other historians documented it as the world’s second oldest codified national constitution after the U.S. Constitution, which was effective on March 4, 1789 — just two years earlier.
The Commonwealth’s 1791 Constitution remained in effect for all of 14 months and 3 weeks. It would be a long time until the Second Republic would re-emerge after World War I and Poland would re-appear and be a free republic again.
[Source Material from Wikipedia]

Tomorrow is May 3rd and in Poland and Lithuania it is celebrated as Constitution Day (first celebrated jointly on May 3rd 2007). But Stanczyk is getting ahead of himself in this story.
This jester trusts by now that you know that Poland was country with the second constitution. I am also hopeful that you had read a prior blog article of mine: “Poland 1794, The Tempest, and Catherine The Great” . For the discussion on Poland’s Constitution, I’d like to try my hand at an even broader context.

1732

Stanczyk maintains that 1732 was a very bad year for Poland. On 17 January 1732 Stanislaw Poniatowski was born in Wolczyn (which is in modern day Belarus). If the year had begun badly, then it would get much worse. On 13 September 1732, the secret treaty was signed at the Alliance of the Three Black Eagles. This was a secret treaty between Prussia, Russia and Hapsburg-Austria Empires (all three had Black Eagles as emblems — in stark contrast to Poland’s White Eagle). They agreed to maintain Poland in their “status quo” suffering from a non-functional szlachta with a Libretum Veto — meaning a single veto could derail any new law, further meaning that laws almost never got passed [sounds like 2009-2012 Washington D.C. does it not?]
Now let me narrate the rest of the story, before I give Constitution Day’s Timeline.
In 1750 Poniatowski met his mentor, the Briton, Charles Hanbury Williams . Williams was the British ambassador to Russia. They met again in 1753. Now while the Poniatowskich were a noble family, their family fortunes were not so great as the great magnate families. So they had to align themselves and hope for a strategic marriage for Stanislaw to a wealthier family. None the less, Stanislaw’s father was able to procure him some nominal titles. In 1755, the elder Poniatowski got his son Stanislaw, the title of Stolnik of Lithuania. Stolnik was a court office in Poland and Russia, responsible for serving the royal table. Keep that image in mind.
So armed with his new title of Stolnik of Lithuania, Stanislaw accompanied the British Ambassador to Russia, where the young Poniatowski met the also young (but very formidable) Catherine who had not yet become Empress of Russia (nor yet earned, her appellation, “The Great”). Stanislaw Poniatowski was only at the Russian court for one year. By 1756 Poniatowski was ordered to leave the Russian Court amidst some “intrigue”. It is thought that this intrigue resulted in the birth of Anna Petrovna (by Catherine the Great) on the 9th December 1757. It is also said that Stanislaw always hoped his bedding of Catherine would result in a future marriage for him. This jester thinks that Stanislaw deluded himself to think he had successfully wooed Catherine and that marriage was possible for the two of them. This jester also further thinks that Catherine, used this virtual “apron string” to manage Poniatowski to do her Russian bidding in Poland.
In 1762 Catherine used her new position as the Russian Empress and she was able to get Stanislaw to be elected King of Poland on 6 September 1764. It has now been 32 years of managing Poland’s status quo by the Three Black Eagles. So by 17 February 1772 the Three Black Eagles agreed to partition Poland. On August 5th, 1772 the occupation manifesto was issued and foreign troops entered Poland’s sovereign territory and forced a cession Sejm to convene with King Poniatowski and agree to the partition manifesto (probably Stanislaw thought it was best to go along with Russia in this matter and that this obedience would be rewarded) on 9/18/1773. Not much leadership in this jester’s mind was exhibited, but opposition to three Empires was probably futile anyway.
Life goes on for another decade. Stanislaw uses what little wealth of the Kingdom to foster arts & science, but with Prussia’s control of the Baltic Ports, and using its control to extort high custom duties from Poland on 80% of Poland’s economic trades to further collapse Poland’s economy and that limits Poniatowski’s wealth/power. Poniatowski also continues his hope for a noble marriage, but he does engage in a morganatic marriage to Elzbieta Szydlowska in 1783 and thereby maintains his options for a royal marriage.
In 1788 the Four Year Sejm convenes and Stanislaw thinks he can help Catherine The Great in her war with the Ottoman Empire by raising an army in Poland — which Catherine quickly squashes, but leaves the Polish Sejm alone while she wars with the Ottomans. Left to their own devices, this “Enlightened” body of lawmakers passes a constitution on 3rd May 1791. Even King Poniatowski celebrates this event. If you have read my prior blog article listed above, then you know this will NOT end well for Poland (or Poniatowski who is forced to abdicate the Polish throne 11/25/1795).
I think you can see that Poniatowski, Stolnik of Lithuania, served up Poland as a feast for Catherine The Great to enjoy repeatedly until even she was forced to make him abdicate and spend the remainder of his three years of life as a nominal prisoner in St Petersburg, Russia (so he could not meddle further in Russian affairs). Poniatowski died 2/12/1798 in St Petersburg, Russia. Poniatowski’s remains were removed and re-buried in Wolczyn, Belarus — until that church fell into disrepair. Poland reclaimed Poniatowki’s remains and he was buried a third time (14 February 1995) in St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw, Poland — the very site where he had celebrated the Polish Constitution on May 3rd 1791.

Timeline of the Constitution:

5/3/1791 – Constitution is Passed (2nd in the world).
May 1792 Constitution Day is celebrated.
July 1792 King Poniatowski joins the Targowice Confederation against Poland and his own nephew (and Kosciuszko too) who were fighting the War To Defend The Constitution with Russia and Catherine the Great who was now freed up from warring with the Ottomans and now able to show her displeasure.
1793-1806 – Constitution Day is banned during the the 2nd/3rd Partition years.
1807-1815 – Constitution Day is celebrated in the Duchy of Warsaw thanks to Napoleon.
1815-1918 – Constitution Day is unofficially celebrated / discouraged in Congress Poland
April 1919 – The re-emerged Polish Republic celebrates Constitution Day again until 1940.
World War II – Constitution Day is banned again.
1945 – Constitution Day is celebrated.
1946 – The Communists cancel Constitution Day. They substitue May Day (May 1st) as an attempt to replace the Constitution Day celebration.
April 1990 – Poland out from under the Communist yoke celebrates Constitution Day again.
May 3rd 2007 – Poland & Lithuania celebrate Constitution Day jointly echoing their former Commonwealth days. This is the first jointly celebrated Constitution Day.
Perhaps one day, the USA will celebrate with Poland on May 3rd as the two countries with the oldest constitutions. [Now, please I know Polonia all over the USA, but most notably in Chicago mark May 3rd annually.] Indeed you are reading this blog about May 3rd. So Polonia still mark the day, the old country adopted the second oldest constitution.

Happy Constitution Day!


May 3rd is also Feast Day of Mary Queen of Poland!

But that is another story. 

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April 22, 2016

Queen Elizabeth ‘s 90th Birthday — #4Gen #Picture

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


HRH, Queen Elizabeth celebrate our birthdays which are almost the same day. This year decennial celebration meant an update on the royal family from Britain’s longest reigning monarch.  So here’s two to ogle …

img_2542
The queen with her great-grandchildren by Annie Leibovitz. Such a masterful composition. It almost looks like it should be an oil painting.

April 7, 2016

Rootsweb Is Back Up … — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Rootsweb Stanczyk attended Ceil Jensen’s PARI webinar yesterday. Ceil graciously mentioned my Rootsweb page on Dziennik Polski (Detroit), a Polish historical newspaper.

I was excited for the shout-out and since I had not been on Rootsweb since it came back up, I decided a visit was in order.

Much to my horror the pages were recovered to 2013. Any work since was lost. I was able to quickly restore the current pages from my local files on my laptop. I uploaded the changed files and everything was fine. 

But I now wondered how much on Rootsweb private/user pages were not completely restored to their latest version?

Please check your pages on Rootsweb in case you may need to recover your work/research!

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March 14, 2016

Happy PI Day — 🍰

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk,

I am rounding up from last year to 3.1416:
https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/good-morning-its-pi-day-3-14-15-92653-or-3-141592653-for-short/PI DAY

Happy PI DAY 2016

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March 9, 2016

Meme: Wordless Wednesday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  

Tags:
March 8, 2016

RootsWeb Still Dead … But Signs Of Life ? #Genealogy #Cloud

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Rootsweb Returns March 15th, 2016RoostWeb estimates it will return March 15th. That is good news.

However, it being down hurt my blog website because I had links to my genealogy research that I had in RootsWeb and much of that research is over a decade ago. Now I had backups of  almost everything. That is my blog for today.

 

First off, it points out how important it is to have backups of your research. I had used RootsWeb as my cloud backup for SO LONG. So long that I had forgotten what I had up there and where it was sourced from. As it turned out, I was missing one spreadsheet. It was important in the sense that it was good data and I had even built my blog using the data from that spreadsheet as a menu item. So my recommendation here is that you have backups of everything and that you know where each copy is.

This may seem trivial, but let me point out that at this juncture, many genealogists use their CD ROM/DVD, their USB (aka thumb) drive, and even the cloud (iCloud, Dropbox, Box, EverNote, oneDrive and GoogleDrive) to backup their data from their hard drive. But what happens when your hardware is obsolete? Remember floppy drives??? Most of us are old enough to remember those removable media (in various sizes). They are gone now. What happens to your backup? It is not backed up if you cannot ACCESS the data.

So it is also true for the Cloud. This jester has a trademarked magazine, “Cloud Is Falling™“, that I started when I realized that we do not own the cloud, we only access it (perhaps for free or for a fee). So what happens if the Cloud Goes Down or a portion of the cloud no longer exists (the cloud company goes bankrupt or changes terms such that you can no longer access it)? You cannot access your research data. It is the same as hardware obsolescence. Perhaps you have heard of “Murphy’s Law” (i.e. anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) and the corollary extension: (at the worst possible time). @AmyJohnsonCrow (twitter) was using the RootsWeb outage to illustrate the need to have backup plans (as well as backed up data). 2016 had illustrated that a few times. We need only recall Ancestry.com eliminating FTM family tree software at the end of 2015. Fortunately, MacKiev has taken over developing and publishing FTM and now (as of March 4th) we have FTM and soon(??) RootsMagic that will have the TreeSynch capabilities to synch with Ancestry.com via their newly published API.

Ok, RootsWeb was out and still is down, so I rebuilt much of my Reference Data from the Menus of my blog to use another portion of the cloud instead of RootsWeb. This will give me redundancy by having the same data on two distinct clouds. I now have all my data on the hard drive now too! How did I do that while RootsWeb was still down?

That is an interesting tale. I used The Internet Archive and in particular, I used their WayBack Machine to access my RootsWeb page. Fortunately, they had made a snapshot of that page whose data I was missing and I was able to cut & paste the data back to my hard drive in a new spreadsheet! Pretty nifty huh? I hope you will enjoy my new spreadsheet which I have enhanced and even improved (i.e. corrected data). The new page: 1811_BiechowChurchRecord_births.htm  can be reached from the Menu of my blog’s home page.

March 4, 2016

FTM Is Back!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FTM — Mac & Windows It’s here! Family Tree Maker is BACK.And its available RIGHT NOW!

FTM updates

They started with Ancestry’s FTM 2014 and FTM Mac 3 and set the focus on stability and performance improvements. Some bugs were also eliminated. The application is more responsive – you will find some actions that previously took minutes now take seconds.
New features

We managed to sneak in just a few surprises, like 100 beautiful new backgrounds you can use to make professional looking charts and reports. And we’ve integrated a service for printing high resolution genealogy charts through the good folks at Family ChartMasters. It’s a modest start, but we hope you will be happy with our new updates.
Compatibility

Mac Kiev sure that the new updates are completely compatible with the latest operating systems (Windows 10 and Mac, El Capitan). They made sure that your old trees will open seamlessly. There is nothing to move.

That your Ancestry account if you have one will continue to work with the new versions. And that TreeSync and all the other things you have come to like about FTM are still there for you.

Get The Update

What you will get and when depends on what FTM version you currently have:
1. Users of FTM 2014 and Mac 3: FREE updates are coming. They will be available in about a week or so through the software’s built-in update feature. Registered users will receive an email to let them know as soon available.
2. Users of older FTM editions: No matter how old your copy of FTM is, or whether its running on Windows or Mac, you can download an upgrade for $29.95 .
3. New users: If you have never owned a copy of Family Tree Maker before, for a limited time, you can download a full edition from their online store for $49.95 .
Family Tree Maker users who do not currently have an Ancestry.com subscription, will be offered a 14-day free trial.

If you would like a backup disc, you can purchase a CD in a jewel case for an extra $10 including shipping and handling.

Most everything you will need to know can be found on the Family Tree Maker home page:
www.mackiev.com/ftm

February 28, 2016

Slavic Haplogroups — #Genetic #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

R1aClades
A picture worth a thousand words!

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/r-1a/about/background

Also see Peter Gwodz (comprehensive, though not pretty):

http://www.gwozdz.org/POLISHCLADES.HTML

Polish Time Line:

http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsEurope/EasternPoland.htm 

February 15, 2016

Presidents Day … Redux — #Genealogy #DNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  Its been three years since my first Presidents Day blog:

https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/
This time I wanted focus on a novel genealogical / genetic story about Presidents Day. This story comes from the Toledo Blade newspaper. One of their journalists, Tyrel Linkhorn, had a story in his family that they were related to President Lincoln. So to confirm the oral history, he used DNA!  It turns out he is related to an illegitimate half-brother of the sixteenth president.  Now that is a DNA success story. 
The full story (worth a read) is here .

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