May 21, 2018

British Royalty Has Polish Royalty DNA — #19th #Cousins

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19 Generations back to Wladyslaw Jagiello (from Prince Harry)

British Royal Family Tree

Prince Harry & Duchess of Sussex Meghan will have children who are 19th cousins to Władysław Jagiełło King of Poland & Grand Duchy Of Lithuania (& Queen Jadwiga)!

❤ 🇵🇱 🇲🇱 🇬🇧 💙

[Thanks to source:]

Family Tree Pdf:

May 17, 2018

Alegata Are Genealogy Time Machines — #Genealogy #Polish #ChurchRecords

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Early Alegata: 1823, 1826, 1827…

       Opatowiec Parish in Kielce Gubernia

Stanczyk loves alegata. Let’s see you have Birth (urodzony/chrzest), Marriage (małżeństwo/słuby, zapiowiedzi), Alegata, Death (Zgony/Śmierci). The cycle of life via church records (sacrements). Reading alegata are very interesting indeed. Sometimes its like gossip… “Do you know who is getting married here?” Other times its solemn, like the death of a soldier. But it is a time machine of sorts, that allows you to see backward and on rare occasions forward. It is this time machine capability that may help you locate missing records.

What are Alegata?

Alegat is a Polish word of Latin origin, from allegatio, “sending someone as an intermediary; a citation of proof; a submitted document.”

It is not only an interesting relic of phraseology from ecclesiastical language, it provides great potential genealogical documents of significance. This word, seemingly forgotten and archaic, is currently undergoing a rebirth, precisely because of genealogy. Many beginning researchers do not know about the existence and meaning of these documents. Alegata is the plural of Alegat. Sometimes they are found at the end of church books as loose pages. When they are found in their own books, they are called Alegata or Aneksy. They are most common in the former Russian-Poland partition. As is shown in the picture (by red arrows) they date to just after the Napoleonic Era.

What were Alegata Used For?

These are Polish Church documents to establish an eligibility for a church sacrament. Most often they are used for marriages. Their purpose is often to document a death and thus making the widow/widower eligible to remarry in the church. Sometimes its used where the groom (most often) if from a remote/foreign parish is a baptised Catholic. I have seen a few other purposes: name change, soldier’s death, etc. Often the inquiries in later years are from courts or remote Polish parishes and are forms.  However, for the genealogist, they can fill in the gap for a missing church record. Often because of the marriage aspect, they can help you (the genealogist) track movements of your ancestors across parishes. Next time, we’ll look at a few examples.

May 16, 2018

CHUR – CHU – RAH — A Subject To Let — #Books #Milosz #9of40

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CHUR CHU RAHMiłosz’s subject to let is about censorship of the media. Once again his essays pertain to today as well as to 1997 or his earlier years in Poland post World War II.

Stanczyk likes how Miłosz is able to work in folk aspects from his life into serious topics. CHUR CHU RAH is a kind of child’s magic word for becoming untouchable during their play/games. He applies it to the way that only a small few journalists knew how to publish unvarnished truth while remaining untouchable. He also remarked how that was a refreshing breath of fresh air to the everyday mandatory cliches or pronouncements in most articles, newspapers or scholarly works.

Today we have a President that attacks media. He hollers, “Fake News” at any article he finds detrimental to himself or his administration. He even tweeted that anything bad was equivalent to “Fake News”. This orange, buffoon President would even incite crowds against the media and say he should ask the crowd to attack them??? Although claiming in the next breath that he would not do such a thing. I guess that was the President’s use of a childish safe word, like “CHUR CHU RAH”. So he’d incite violence under the guise of he should but that he won’t. Sometimes, this President would call out by name a specific journalist, who often times was a woman in a thuggish, misogynist fashion. Just Kidding folks. I don’t REALLY want you to hurt the journalist(s). I wish we had a Miłosz or Zbigniew Brzesinski or some other Cold War era survivor who could compare this American Fascism to the mid-century 20th century Fascists of Europe in Miłosz’s time.

To this jester’s eyes & ears the evidence appears to be eerily similar. I wish I could utter, “olly olly umphrey” so that all the erudite politicians and journalists could out come out from their hiding places and provide the kind of relief that Miłosz cherished and that we sorely need  today!

What do you think? Email me.

May 14, 2018

CIRCE — #BookReview #MadelineMiller

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CIRCE by Madeline Miller

Stanczyk loves the classics! So in January, when I read that local author Madeline Miller (@MillerMadeline) had a new book coming out called, “CIRCE“, I knew I had to read it. But the announcement said it would be published April 10th, 2018??? So I Googled her other works. I saw “Song of Achilles” and I thought, OK I need to read the Iliad before I read the Odyssey, so I’d go book up on her prior book (an NYT Best Seller) and wrote a book review too.

If you read this jester’s book review of “Song of Achilles” then you know I adored the story and the author too. So my expectations were high for “CIRCE” too. I craved more of Ms. Miller’s Greek hero narrative. I had thought Odysseus would be the narrator like Patroclus was in the prior book. I should not have been surprised when Circe was the narrator, but I was.  I thought the prior book had an #LGBT flavor to it and would appeal to that crowd. So then this book would appeal to the #MeToo and Feminists everywhere… I am sure of that. But both books were enjoyed by this jester ( a heterosexual male). Ms. Miller once again shows off her strong narrative style and flair for Greek Myth.

The prior book spanned a couple of decades, but CIRCE spans centuries. Given that vast timespan, we get to enjoy encounters with Daedalus and the Minotaur. Hermes and Athena appear as do quite a few Titans. Jason’s wife Medea shows up too. But in the end we are expecting Odysseus to appear on Circe’s island. We expect her to ensorcel our Greek hero. Oh, Odysseus does show up and regales Circle (and us) with his heroic tales. They become enchanted  lovers. Circe is a strong woman, an herbalist, witch with scant soothsaying skills and being a Titan deity, the endless lifespan to tell these tales to us. Circe evolves from a powerless nymph to a powerful feminist goddess in her enlarged lifespan. I guess you could say this a goddess coming of age novel. Ms. Miller is a master of the narrative style and the book is a compelling tale (s).

The span is so large not only do we get to view Odysseus, we also get to see his return home to Penelope and Telemachus. At this point, the classicist author turns the novel into Homer’s missing sequel (Telegony). You recall, that Odysseus unknowingly  fathers a son, Telegonus by Circe (her choice to let protective spells lapse). So we get a clever tale of Odysseus’s two sons (and wives?) interacting on Circe’s island. That was an unexpected treat. Indeed, before this book review, I did not know that Homer’s sequel was lost and that we find it herein told in the book Circe. I loved this novelty more in my review than I had as an unknowing book reader.

This book if it has a flaw and most would say none, but I think Ms. Miller’s treatment of the hero Odysseus is harsh. This jester was always an Odysseus groupie (but always a died-in-the-wool Theseus fan). So I did not enjoy the feminist revision of Odysseus even by his patron god, Athena! Oh the horror. But even that I am willing to entertain. As this book and this author gets benefit of doubt for the rapt enjoyment bestowed.

Buy the book and read it. Indeed buy them both and read them both. Then email this jester and let him know which book  you prefer.

May 8, 2018

One Life, A Subject To Let — #Milosz #8Of40 #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

One Life - A Subject To Let (Milosz)

Stanczyk has now made it 20% of my way through Miłosz’s Subjects To Let. This is an exercise in discipline and learning to read/write as well as Miłosz; not like Miłosz but as well as. His subjects permeate with mortality and impermanence. So today’s subject appears to dwell in that sweet spot. But appearances can be deceiving. My own żona, who tutors as if she were a rabbi and that tutelage informs my Catholic world view, says that her mother was fond of quoting, “Be careful what you martyr yourself for as you only have One Life”.

As is so often with sages their words are wise on multiple levels. Of course there was the obvious meaning of giving away your life and that such sacrifice should be for what you see as your penultimate value(s). But on another level it means spend your time in life wisely and take care that your expenditures are for worthwhile purposes.

But it is also about mortality and impermanence. I think we can also see that the woman subject receives Miłosz’s scorn because she not only rebuffed the poet/essayist Julius Słowacki ‘s petition for love, she also upbraided this great man. I can imagine that Miłosz identified with Słowacki since they seemed to be cut from the same cloth. The both were poets and essayists. They also continued to write poetry ’til their dying days. So I guess Miłosz sees her karmic retribution is the complete and utter lack of a memory of her (whose name I refuse to type) and her efforts. Read the three pages of the subject, “One Life“.

But let me honor Juliusz Słowacki, by leaving you, good reader, with Słowacki’s prophetic 1848 poem, The Slavic Pope.

Here comes our Slavic Pope to the rescue,

Brother of mankind.

Angel batallions dust off his throne with

Whisks made of roses,

While he pours lotion onto our bosom,

Pontiff   benign.

He will distribute love like a warlord

Passes out arms;

His strength sacramental will gather the cosmos

Into his strong palms.

Then will he send glad tidings to flutter

Like Noah’s dove:

News that the spirit’s here and acknowledged,

Shining   alone.

And we shall see angels part nicely before him

The sky above.

He’ll stand on his throne, illumined, creating

Both world and throne.

His voice will transform the nations to brethren.

Burnt  offerings

Circle the spirits in their march toward

Their final goal.

Strength sacramental of hundreds of nations

Will help our king

See that the spirits’ work overpowers

Death’s mournful toll.

The wounds of the world shall he cleanse, and banish

Rot.   pus and all —

He will redeem the world and bring to it

Both health and love.

He shall sweep clean the insides of churches

And clear the hall,

And then reveal the Lord our Creator

Shining   above.

May 7, 2018

Searchin’ for Sobieszczanski — #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Sobieszczanski ( собещаньский )

   114               Sobieszczanski        Jan

A ponderously long search for an ancestral parish is over!

Stanczyk was humbled. This jester could always find someone’s ancestral parish in the Russian-Poland partition (zabory). Yet in his own family tree the Sobieszczanski (aka Sobb) I was unable to locate.

Doubling the frustration is I had Stanisław (Stanley) Roman Sobieszczanski ‘s Naturalization papers. It plainly said Lesnik, Russian Poland.

Declaration of Intent

The problem? In the Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej there were 19 Lesnik/Lesniki and in the Russian-Poland Gazetteer there were another handful (some possibly overlapping as they were different time periods. There were no LESNIK. I had to consider diacriticals (accents). The L could be Ł and the e could be ę and the s could be ś and the n could be ń. Thankfully, the i and k did not have diacritics. But that still left a lot of combinations. But one-by-one I searched. I looked up in the gazeteers and found parishes. Some were not online, but many were. Alas, those online did not have any Sobieszczanski. I searched  (Lubgens)  and there were Sobieszczanski, but I could not confirm they were mine. No Lesnik. I searched in too and again I found Sobieszczanski but again no good matches and not good enough locations to believe that is what Stanley meant.

That’s when I thought to look at a map that indicated parishes. I still thought Lesnik was a parish. So I went to: . I looked at the Lublin powiat (map 31); nothing promising, but I did see a village on the border of an adjacent powiat named Sobieszczany, so I thought perhaps they came from there. So I looked in the adjacent Janow (map39) and I found a couple of Lesnik (duzy/maly) villages in B3 quadrant.

I could not find Lesnik Duzy or Maly in any gazetteer???. Frustration. In looking at map 39, I saw Marynopol looked to be near a circle with a cross that indicated a parish. But I could not find Marynopol in the gazetteer. Very puzzling. I tried to  find nearly named towns and I did find one but it was in Kielce gubernia, not Lublin. So I looked and saw GOSCIERADOW. I quick checked and saw they had GOSCIERADOW in Kielce-AP Sandomierz. Only 1890-1901 but at least I could see if there were any Sobieszczanski and get my bearings as too what Sobieszczanski looked like in Russian/Cyrillic and in cursive handwriting. My first try I found Jan Sobieszcanski in 1891 (see top pic).  His record indicated he lived in LISNIK. Well what do you know Jan’s parents were Michal Sobieszczanski & Stanislawa Kowalska and these were the names I had from Stanley’s first marriage record in USA (Depew, NY). So I was pretty sure (99%) that I had my parish. But they did not go back before 1890 and Stanley clearly enumerated many times his birth year was 1886. However, his younger brother Tadeusz had come to the USA as well and I had his info, so I looked up the birth year and it was 1896! Ok, they had that year in the range 1890-1901, so I should find a Tadeusz in 1896 (+/- 1 year).  Ok, his birthday was in October (not December), but the year and the parent names were exact matches, the village a very close match. I was now 100% certain I had my parish and my family. Success!


LISNIK DUZY was in the gazetteer and GOSCIERADOW was the parish.

May 3, 2018

Constitutions — The People’s Rights

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


has written about Constitution Day (May 3rd 1791 and continuing) before. Poland’s constitution was second, after only the United States Constitution. I think we should celebrate Constitution Day in the USA (like they do in Poland), perhaps on a shared day like May 3rd.

With the rise of nationalism & fascists again, it is important to remember our laws come from these documents. They protect the citizens. In the USA, the federally elected politicians take an oath to protect the Constitution. So take a moment and read some of my prior writings about Poland’s Constitution the second in the world and inspired by the USA!


Prior Blogs:

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

But that is another story.

May 2, 2018


by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1916 Busko parish book of marriages

Busko – 1916 Marriages

Stanczyk, always thought that while Poland was partitioned (1772-1918) and from 1868-1918 that the vital records and other “official” documentation in the Russian partition (zabór) were written in Russian / Cyrillic. Perhaps that is not PRECISELY true.

Consider for example the image with this article. In fact let us examine marriage #4 (at the bottom image), bewteen Waclaw Balabanski & Maryanna Zwolska. All of the text is written in Polish (not Russian, nor Latin). Even the index for 1916 was written in Polish/Latin characters. However, in 1915 the records were written in Russian/Cyrillic characters. Now this is a rural part of Poland and perhaps lacking in oversight, but cognizant of the politics/war raging.

What may be happening and reflected in the church records is, that in 1915 a temporary client-state was setup by Germany & Austria-Hungary due to the Russia’s  withdrawal from the World War (I) and the chaos in the Russian Empire (with the Bolshevik revolution in 1917). So the Russian-Poland partition was not so obliged to write in Russian any more now that there was no more Russian hegemony in Poland.

What lovely information these books show, besides the marriage in 13-February-1916, we also see the death dates for the bride groom in 1951, 1979. We also get precise birthdays for the newlyweds as well as their ages.

May 1, 2018

HRH Prince Louis Arthur Charles — #Birth #Certificate

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

HRH Princess Charlotte — Birth Certificate

We have the young Prince Louis ‘s Birth Certificate!

Compare to (his siblings ) …

  1. HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana
  2. HRH Prince George Alexander Louis



HRH Prince George - Birth CertificatePrince Louis Arthur Charles - Birth Certificate

April 29, 2018

Mrs. Darwin, A Subject To Let — #Milosz #7Of40 #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Mrs. Darwin

Mrs. Darwin was of course Charles Darwin’s wife. Judging by the story recounted by Milosz, she was a devout soul. So was Charles Darwin, at least until he came up with his opus on Evolution. Evolution led Mr. Darwin away from his faith. He could not reconcile how God and Evolution could both co-exist.

Let this jester start by stipulating:

Isaac Newton was religious & spent many years in its intellectual pursuit. Albert Einstein famously believed in God. Kurt Gödel proved God exists. Gödel also believed Religions are bad, but religion is not.

Permit Stanczyk to quote Einstein a few times. He was adamant about his religion saying, “I am not an atheist”. In his research & learning, he said, “When the answer is simple, God is speaking”. Lastly, on morality, “A people that were to honor falsehood, defamation, fraud, and murder would be unable, indeed, to subsist for very long”.

If you want to learn science read Einstein. If you want to learn religion read Einstein. If you to read science & religion and to know both, read Einstein.

Now we can forgive Darwin his fall from religion. For he was after Newton, but before Einstein & Gödel. So I believe Darwin was in error (not about evolution which is a fact), but in eschewing religion based upon the discipline/philosophy science or by mistakenly thinking he could only pick one. In this matter we hold Mrs. Darwin in higher esteem.

Let me add one last post script. The “atheist” who is like Dawkins (meme, “Selfish Gene”) but their belief in ethics/morality is embedded in humanism (or secular humanism) is believing in a religion. They are not irreligious, just godless. Therefore, his endeavor as spokesman for humanist funerals merely parallels Newton in later life; if we admit, Christianity = Humanism = religion

(for other religions just substitute your religion for either Christianity or Humanism in the above tautology.)

April 23, 2018

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge — #3rd #Baby

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Royal Genealogy update … HRH Queen Elizabeth has a new great-grandson (son of Duke William of Cambridge and Duchess Kate Middleton). The baby’s name will be announced in two days!

• New Prince of Cambridge born at 11am weighing 8lbs 7oz

• Mother and baby ‘doing well’, Kensington Palace says

Birthdate: 23-April-2018

Birthplace: St. Mary’s Hospital, London

[update: 4/27/2018 —

Name: Louis Arthur Charles

(Prince Louis the Vth in line for the throne).


Line of Succession for the 92 year old HRH Queen Elizabeth

April 20, 2018

Joan Miro — April 20th #HappyBirthday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today is Stanczyk’s date of birth. I thought I’d chronicle others born the same day, hence Joan Miro.

Joan Miro - Vincent Nubiola, The Giraffes , Carnival of Harlequin

• Joan Miro – Vincent Nubiola, The Giraffes , Carnival of Harlequin •


Joan Miró

born (ur.) 20 April 1893 – Barcelona, Spain
died (zm.) 25 December 1983 – Palma, Spain

It’s the 125th Anniversary of the Spanish artist’s birth. His vivid use of color and surreal style appealed to this jester’s eye & heart.

April 19, 2018

Archaeology, A Subject To Let — #Milosz #6Of40 #RoadsideDog #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Ok now, this week and next are a couple of Let Subjects that this jester really likes. Archaeology & Mrs. Darwin (you know what that’s going to be about, right?): reading, writing, and science, it’s a good match.

I’ll forgive you now if you are thinking, “It’s Miłosz & his mortality again”. But you might be surprised that you are wrong.

In this essay, Miłosz says each era operates oblivious of what went on before (and alludes to what happens after as well). Man has no appreciation for those who came before. He even insists that those before and those who came after would not understand and therefore despise the other.

This jester is a genealogist. Researching and studying your family history you see how tenuous things were/are for us modern humans. Indeed, we genealogists say its miracle that we were ever arrived at. The string of ancestors is so fragile that one decision by one person can prune so many potential branches. Therefore the rarer it is that any one of us exists at all.

So a genealogist favors his ancestors and perhaps blesses God for them because he is. Against all odds we are. So now we have genetic genealogy allowing us a dim view of upto 200,000 years ago. Writing having arisen only a bit over 5,000 years ago means 195,000 of those earliest years are “pre-historic”, i.e. no record or history was written down or preserved. Can there be an oral history older than written history? I suppose so, but how reliable could that be?

My point is that we have no window into the first 195,000 years … except for our DNA. Those A-C-G-T , molecular bases are our only record of us in particular. But who reads DNA? Who writes DNA? I think it is a language. Can we marry DNA to fossil record and artefacts dug up from various strata? What bits of history can we divine or winnow out after these long eons? Even so that is so vague or imprecise and not specific to the individual person. How could we have feelings about such primordial times/places/people, even if we have their DNA? If I have any feeling it is, “Thankfulness” that ALL my predecessors were so clever or lucky to survive to bring about me! I am the culmination of about 5,700-6,000 generations surviving to replicate the necessary DNA to become, I. My family tree is woefully small in those terms!

So given all that, I think Miłosz believes not only that we’re connected (by definition), but that it is foolish to think ill of our pre-historic forebears. Their record is written in our DNA and without that I’d not be writing this nor would you be reading this!

But lets go easy on the future too we’re connected to that as well.

April 16, 2018

All Politics Is Genealogy — #Politics #Genealogy #USCensus #2020

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

When you’re a jester, you see politics from afar and for such a good many eras. Alas, this jester has typed truth to power for as long as blogs have existed. Still, the 2010’s have been an unusually busy decade (and we still have two more years) for politics & genealogy. Do you agree?

Let’s recount some from this decade:

Obama was not born in USA. Uh, yes he was. Birth Certificate from Hawaii and newspaper announcement substantiated to all but DJT. Oh, how about Trump’s genealogy? Ancestor kicked out of Germany (for illegal emigration). John McCain was born in Panama Canal Zone. American? Yes. Mitt Romney was born in Mexico. American ? Yes. How about Ted Cruz and his Canadian birth to a Cuban father & an American mother who renounced her citizenship and registered & voted in Canada … yet still he professes that he is an American. Me thinks he professes too much.

We also heard and continue to hear about Elizabeth Warner (dubbed Pocohantas by DJT) who talked about her family lore/genealogy including American Indian ancestry (Cherokee). So its 2018, DJT who dodged military service by bonespurs, like his banned ancestor (grandfather was it?) that was kicked out of Germany for not serving in the army before emigrating illegally. Now he wants to deport DACA (Dreamers), even though we have Ted Cruz as a Senator, and a FLOTUS who overstayed her visa and used the “Einstein Exceptional Immigrant” law to be admitted legally (and then chain migrated her parents) to the USA. Oh it does not end there, now the GOP want to bring back an old question on the 2020 census:  “Where were you born and/or are you a US citizen?”

The census genealogy is a new wrinkle in voter suppression and representation. But it also could affect health care & hospitals and all manner of government expenditures that are based upon census demographics. This is actually a very important issue. So let’s unpack the nuances about the census, that most valuable of genealogy documents.

US Censuses

There are a few states that have utilized censuses as well but that is another blog. The US Census has been going every 10 years from 1790-2010, the next being 2020. They do not occur on years ending in ‘5’ as the press secretary seemed to allude. They also have a 72 year privacy rule. So why not fill out the census? It is after all the primary and sole method for apportioning representation. Do not be scared off or representation will go elsewhere (primarily southward). These are precisely the states that have enacted voter suppression laws that discriminate against poor or non-white citizens. So in effect you will be limiting voting and representation to places that are NOT protecting the constitution or your rights given you therein. This is why the census brouhaha in 2018 is so contentious. 2020 Census is coming and what you are asked needs to be finalized … ASAP!

Here is the 72 year privacy rule info:

72 year rule

The U.S. government will not release personally identifiable information about an individual to any other individual or agency until 72 years after it was collected for the decennial census. This “72-Year Rule” (92 Stat. 915; Public Law 95-416; October 5, 1978) restricts access to decennial census records.

After 72 years and then only under circumstances protecting against disclosure to the detriment of any individual according to  44 U.S.C. 2104  (from  Federal Records Act of 1950).

So protection safeguards are built in.

So a president that berates immigrants  (except those he’s married to) as criminals, he reneges on DACA, increases deportations and threatens to limit immigration to rules of his own choosing is talking about Census questions. Why? The answer appears to be, to intimidate naturalized citizens, permanent resident immigrants, visa visitors, and of course those who are not here legally or who over stayed their visas from being counted. As late as April 16th, 2018, the president was saying, the census would be used to prevent illegal voting!?! Uh, Mr. President, the census is private for 72 years, even if an illegal immigrant could vote illegally (not possible), he’d vote in as many as 18 Presidential elections before you knew HE did it. So that is another idiotic premise and fake justification for needing the census question. But it does show your intent to intimidate people, possibly legal citizens who were born elsewhere and became a naturalized citizen. That IS disenfranchisement of voters; voter intimidation. It is illegal. So that is the context on which the battle lines have been drawn.

But they should be counted. The naturalized citizens are entitled to voting (the other classes not). But each is entitled to representation in government as they are taxpayers. Additionally, funding for infrastructure or hospitals and other aid are apportioned by population. If you are not counted then you are losing out on government spending.  Now homeless or poor people who lack documentation or the means to get documentation may be afraid of the government. But if you are not counted then they too stand to lose from  social safety net programs be eliminated or moved to other population centers according to apportionment. So make sure you are counted in the census you are protected! Do not lose your government spending to another locale out of fear or intimidation.

There will be NO access to personally identifiable info for 72 years. The only access is too summaries and other aggregations of the numbers to study issues related to government budgets.


Census Questions

The questions from every prior census can be examined at: census questions . Now there are short forms and there are long forms, so there is no short answer to when was the last time a question about citizenship was asked. Before the Civil War the counting questions were more or less related to being male, female, black, white, free, slave.

1860 is the first time the question, “Where were you born?” was asked, including country if not USA. In 1900, they finally ask if you are a citizen or not (as well as where you were born and where your parents were born). So we see a new nuance of citizenship vs nativity. 1970 starts the concept of short form vs long form questions. 85% were short form. The short form did not ask where you were born. The long form asked both where and whether naturalized. 1980 short form merely asks if you are Spanish/Hispanic (not where born or whether a citizen). The Long form (every 7th person) does ask where born & citizenship. Its not clear but it appears as if households with fewer than 7 people just filled in short form.

Be a good citizen. Be an informed citizen and go to:

April 15, 2018

Poland Genealogy Between 1918-1939

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has noted an uptick in interest in my Army Conscripts (poborowe) pages.

  1. Conscript Lists of Kieleckie Wojewodztwo
  2. Genealogy in Poland Between The Wars (1918-1939, Conscript Lists)

Here is a link to Google Doc (large PDF):

1932 Conscript List —

April 12, 2018

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica — #Contagion #MarkovChain #Network

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

#Facebook — The Markov Chain. The Cambridge Analytica ( 87 Million user PII data exploitation can be modeled using Markov Chains for Disease and Rumor Spreading in Complex Networks

Isomorphically, the info-wars/propaganda/fake-news/defamation-slander is the same as a pandemic in how it spreads in a complex network (human based or computer based).

According to : Guilherme Ferraz de Arruda, Francisco A. Rodrigues, Pablo Martin Rodriiguez, Emanuele Cozzo, Yamir Moreno

The states are:

(i) susceptible or ignorant (X)

(ii) infected or spreader (Y )

(iii) recovered or stifler (Z)

So which state are you?

Ignorant, Spreader or Stifler.

I believe my wife & I have worked very hard to become Stiflers (Z).

Unlike Mark Zuckerberg, I was not part of the 87 Million!

So I would like to thank my Facebook direct-connected friends. You acted as Stiflers. As such I was not infected/compromised. I could not have done that without you! Thanks!

To those who would Twitter or Facebook shame the X or Y people, I say you are misdirected in your efforts. The ones who need to be held accountable are Cambridge Analytica (et. al. ) who intentionally released the contagion in Facebook’s network and the Facebook people who engaged Cambridge Analytica (i. e. took their money) & who failed to disengage Cambridge Analytica (et. al. ) in a reasonable timeframe. They inflicted the contagion upon X & Y.

The Z people (my Facebook friends) saved me and the other (330Million less 87Million) Americans from being exposed.

April 11, 2018

Fleas, Grizzlies, & Syphilis … oh my! — #Books #5Of40 #SubjectsToLet

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Milosz’s essay “Fleas”

Stanczyk’s writing fancy continues with Miłosz’s subjects to let. This article is “Fleas”. But a reading of Fleas and you get a sense that after Miłosz emigrated to the West and in particular his time at Berkley (CA, 1961-1998), he embedded himself in CA culture & history.

Last time it was the Amer-Indian Tassajara and this time its Spanish missions in California (CA). Czeslaw Milosz was a religious man, a good Catholic. So his pointed observation of early missionary life in CA is not a critique upon the church, so much as it was a criticism on missionary history. That despite the good that the missions brought, they also brought other unforeseen consequences too. Hence unpaved floors brought fleas and grazing cattle became larders for the eager grizzly. Of course, the consequences brought further consequences as a rippling effect. Grizzlies brought hunters & soldiers to protect and these brought syphilis. The syphilis brought death to the indigenous peoples.

Oh the unintended consequences of new regimes … even religious regimes. Is everything Milosz writes a metaphor? How is it his writings apply well after the poet, writer, academic’s lifespan. It is eternal. Even banal banter of Czeslaw Milosz can be dropped into any today’s conversation. But did he intend his writings as metaphor? Is Milosz a modern Aesop? I raise these questions for you to answer!

April 9, 2018

Swabian Germans / Donau Schwabians — #Genealogy #German #Croatian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

All the way to the east (right) we see Osiek (by red 3. ), you will find Sarvas & Tenje and a bit further away west (left) & south we see Đakovo(aka Djakovo, Diakovo) written as “Diakovar” (near red 2.).

This is where a bit of my MT-DNA comes from. You see my Swabian German ancestors came from Baden-Wurtemberg Germany to Sarvas & Tenje about 1750. They were Catholic Germans.

These are the ancestral villages I am working with on my maternal side.

In Tenje we find: Gottler/Göttler, Eisenbeiser. In Sarvas, we find Vespek (aka Veszpek, Vesbek).

Recently, this jester made good head way into tracing genealogy in these parts. So I have my Swabian German from these ancestors (via Vendel born 1858) …

April 7, 2018

1808 A Jewish Conversion of Biechowska to Catholicism

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


April 5, 2018

Croatia, German, Genealogy — #Sarvas, #Tenje, #Djakowo

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kettler = Gettler (aka Gottler/Goettler)

One could be excused if you thought this blog was solely upon Russian-Polish partition genealogy. Well Stanczyk has another branch (maternal) that is German. I have been told they were Swabian Germans located in modern day Croatia in the Osiek-Baranja county, specifically: Sarvas, Tenje, and Djakovo. This area was Austria-Hungary, Jugoslavia and now Croatia, but there were German Catholic settlers here.

Today is a quick post on the area and the family names of interest. This database can be searched online at (Croatia). According to Google Maps it is only about 10 minutes (via car) or about 90 minutes on foot between Sarvas and Tenja.

Now this interesting to Stanczyk, because his maternal grandparents came from these two villages/towns. Vespek came from Sarvas and Gottler came from Tenja. As with other families, there are affiliated families that are “genetic markers” to my Vespek & Gottler families: Reiner, Reither/Rajter, Elter, Keller, Eisenbeiser, Kasper/Kaschper.

What I learned from other Gottler researchers in this area is that I should expect to see that Gottler = Gettler = Goettler. Think “get” not “got”. The ‘O’ has an umlaut over it. So Gottler. Now If you look closely at the image at top, we see the priest recorded Gettler in two ways (Gettler, Kettler). In fact he recorded that equivalence in the record! So now I have to keep Kettler/Kottler in mind as well.

Now the jester mentioned Djakovo (which is a bit west of the map’s left border) because my mother’s two half brothers (Joseph & Wendell) emigrated from “Jakovo” from an uncle whose last name was Rajter. Now I know their mother’s maiden name was Eisenbeiser, so I am expecting to find an Eisenbeiser + Rajter(Reither) marriage in one of these villages.

More later as my research firms up. But if you have an ancestor from Sarvas and in particular House #43 in Sarvas, then we need to compare family trees.


April 2, 2018

Edge Of The Continent — #Books #SubjectsToLet #4Of40 #Milosz

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Subjects To LetI think we see again Miłosz, the poet’s, lament. You know the lament, it was in the first article… the temporalness of man’s works. He remarks on the “hands” on the cave walls near Tassajara, on the western edge of the North American continent.

The poet wonders about what others were unremarked, whose works in this area were lost to the stretches of time. There is nothing here at Tassajara, no castles or lost cities or even broken statuary to commemorate the existence of any civilization except for these cave artworks of hands and a much later poem about the hand tracings. Indeed we see again this Nobelist lends his permanence to the chronicles to keep these cave artworks known, even if a future catastrophe erases their temporal existence.

They were here, the cave hand-tracers of Tassajara. Now we need to keep the works of Miłosz alive to keep this cave artwork at the edge of the continent alive.

This jester wonders why no images to go with the words. Tassajara is the briefest mention & continent edge to place in space this proof across timespans. Look to the map of Tassajara’s lost valley.

Perhaps Miłosz left out the images of the hands, lest other seekers find and possibly obliterate this fragile proof of early man. As a genealogist, I know the only hope is to record what still is, on newer and newer technologies in hopes to preserve what rarity lingers with such fragility in the real world. This virtual home upon the Internet hopes to preserve its temporalness and extend its permanence.

You have to wonder if the poet was thinking of entropy.  Entropy — [definition]

2. lack of order or predictability, gradual decline into disorder.

This jester once a TV episode of “After Man” in which they stated that after 400-500 years of the extinction of man, there would be no trace of us. That the geologic and climactic processes of the planet would erase us. Perhaps to never to be known again. Or perhaps an inter-galactic archaeologist might discover our traces beneath the soil and ponder. What will be left of us?

Tassajara map of California

March 26, 2018

River Basins — #Books #SubjectsToLet #3Of40

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

River Basins / National Park/Monument/WaterwayHere is another example of the let from Miłosz and sublet to those after this jester.

Read his words. Why can we not live out Pan Tadeusz, or enjoy our Natural Parks/Monuments without oligarchs enriching themselves and ruining this planet in the exchange.

Why do only rich profit from pipelines across precious waterlands/aquifers , while poor suffer from the oligarch imposed catastrophe and those in the middle pay taxes to enrich/exculpate the oligarch and alleviate the sufferings inflicted upon the poor who live near the oligarch’s projects.

Why shrink National Monuments? Why pollute oceans or aquifers? Why is Flint (MI) poisoned with lead in its waters?

We are all husbands of this planet. Why make it so that many suffer & die? Won’t those amongst the oligarchs also die from the same calamity? Where will the oligarch get water to drink or bathe or to wash/clean? Will they man the waterworks can they repair/maintain these themselves? If so then why not now? Oligarch, Cancel projects that do harm to our only God-given habitat. Are there no good oligarchs to counter the bad ones?

Water is life. And water borne diseases are death. Oligarchs will not be spared. We all depend on each other. United we stand & divided we all … fall down!

Those who ruin what God created will not be saved.

March 24, 2018

Polish Genealogy Blog — #RussianPoland #partition #KielceGubernia

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Stopnica and surrounding areas: Pacanow, Biechow, Olesnica, Zborowek, ...

Click for Full Size image

The parishes on this map (large) are the predominant parishes that Stanczyk writes about. So If you ancestral villages are here or more generally in Kielce (Kieleckie) Gubernia /  Wojewodztwo  (now SwietoKrzyskie) then you can learn some useful information to help you in your genealogy research. Feel free to email questions too!

Parishes (partial list) / Parafia (Russian-Poland partition):

Beszowa, Biechow, Olesnica, Ostrowce, Pacanow, Polaniec, Ruda, Solec, Stopnica, Swiniary, Szczebrzusz, Zborowek

Below the Visutla River / Wisla  Rzeka (Austrian-Poland partition):

Slupiec, Suchy Grunt, Szczucin, Wadowice Dolny, Wolka


March 22, 2018

Conscription Lists of Kieleckie Województwo — #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1932 Kielce Conscript ListOn St. Patrick’s Day, Stanczyk wrote about two Conscription Lists (poborowi) from the 1930’s in Kielce Woj. There were 9,300++ records of families in this province/state whose son was born between 1891-1911.

Now this being an era immediately preceding World War 2, it is important to Jewish genealogists whose families lost 6 million family members, about 3 million in Poland alone (even 1 million Christian Poles) were lost to NAZI concentration camps. So alternative sources are critical.

That makes these Conscript Lists vital. In, my analysis of the smaller list (1933 had 2,000 families), almost 25% were Jewish families! So between 1932 & 1933 there were 9,300 families listed. If that 25% holds for both years, then Jewish genealogists can locate about 2,325 families (a conscript, man & his parents). The conscript is listed with his birth year, and residence. So that is some good data for genealogists, plus you can see the original spelling of the family name.

I am hopeful that I will have a laptop soon and be able to build a database of these vital records. Until then you can contact this jester via email and ask about your family (must be from Kielce Województwo) and I’ll look through the two Conscript Lists for you.

If your ancestor is from another Polish Województwo then you can search online archives or digital libraries for “poborowi” to locate conscript lists from those Województwa.

March 21, 2018

Calculating Consanguinity — #Genealogy #Genetic #Internet

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Y Chromosome ?

Stanczyk learned a new trick! There is software called Wolfram Wolfram AlphaAlpha. It parses your textual question and answers it via its AI/Mathematics engine. The software is similar to smart-assistants like  Siri or Alexa being asked a question, except Alpha coming from Wolfram is really great at math. It also is parsing your typed words. So I mostly used it for math. But, a facebook user told me to use Wolfram Alpha to calculate if our common ancestor indicated kinship. It did not:

My grand-aunt’s husband’s first cousin’s wife

Degree of kinship

I could try my cousin’s son who just tested his DNA. Do we share a Y chromosome?

1st cousin once removed

Since this jester is indeed male, we do share a Y-chromosome. Our degree of kinship is five (father, grandparents, uncle, 1stcousin,

1stcousin-once-removed). Our blood relationship is 3.125% (1/32). Now the 32 (in 1/32) is derived from the degree of kinship. (1/(2^5))= 1/32= 0.03125= 3.125% . Very cool. Now I don’t need to keep a chart around to calculate my degree of kinship or estimated percentage of dna shared.

Thanks Camille N Greg!

Now some useful notes for you to try. The Wolfram Alpha is an iphone app and its also a web app, runable via a link (URL):

Notice I took a shortcut. That will hurt the Y-chromosome calculation which depends on gender. Type the following instead:

my father’s brother’s son’s son

Which is the same as:

my uncle’s grandson

Apparently, the shorter form does not lend itself to helping the software determine all genders.

March 19, 2018

Banners (Fake News) — #Books #2Of40 #SubjectsToLet

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is practicing writing (and maybe philosophy too). Milosz is most definitely dead. That must be understood. Else, why would I Let the Subjects of a Nobel-Prize winning author? I’d just write a book review and move-on if Milosz were alive. I’d follow His blog (and Twitter). Alas,  he did not make it to the age of social media. His words & ideas however, live on.

From this point on. I may sublet his ideas and mine to some other writer/philosopher. This post is one I wish to sublet. Milosz: Banners / Eliasz-Solomon Fake News .

In Milosz’s Banners he lays down his thoughts on a military banner. He makes no bones about it, that it was a folly. The folly was upon the Teutonic Order and its allies crossing the Nieman river at Alytus (Olita). Amongst these warlike men was a Prince Percy (younger brother of Hotspur), an Englishman. He noticed a St. George banner being carried into battle and demanded the right to carry the banner since St. George (the dragon slayer) was the patron saint of England. Factions within this army almost came to a battle within their own army over the banner… the feelings were smoothed over somehow and matters I presume continued.

Milosz thought it a folly to fight for a banner. He even remarked it was a banner over an imaginary man who never existed (a further folly). It is certain that Milosz thought it a folly for an army to be divided against itself. So Milosz used the icon of a banner in the same fashion as Ingemar Bergman might use a clown in his movie. The banner is actually folly.

Its now thought that St. George was a conflation of the lives of three “Georges”, none of whom history recorded as slaying a dragon. This common misconception still persists on flags and even in the name of a country and he is still patron saint of England.

Milosz’s idea is timely and never more so than today. The banner today is “Fake News”. So the subject I sublet is Fake News, a modern folly perpetuated by a clownish, reality television “star” who managed to parlay folly and showmanship into being elected President.

Exercise 2 of 40

March 18, 2018

Secret Baptism of Meghan Markle — #Genealogy #Royal

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Mrs. Stanczyk has the date saved & is clearing her calendar.

Now details have emerged of a secret baptismal ceremony for Ms. Markle!

Baptism (& Confirmation) Date:

6-March-2018 Windsor Castle’s Chapel Royal by Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

[Religion: Anglican/Church of England]

Marriage Date:

19-May-2018 Archbishop Welby will officiate at the wedding of Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

More Details:

March 17, 2018

Genealogy in Poland Between The Wars – Conscripts (Poborowi) – #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Kielecki Dziennik Wojewodzki – 1933 July 25th

Well earlier (a few blogs ago, 20-February-2018)), Stanczyk, dropped his favorite meme, “Things I Found…“.  In actuality, this jester was searching for military conscript lists. I had one and needed help interpreting the data. That bit of seeking help resulted in my finding a news account of my great-great-grandfather Marcin Elijasz in an historical Polish newspaper from 1879.

I found two conscript lists (poborowi) in digitized historical newspapers from the 1930’s (Poland between the Wars era). I am struggling with what to do as the amount of data is in 2,000[1933 list], 7,328[1932 list] (9,328 total) names from both articles. After analyzing the data, what I found was:

Continue reading

March 12, 2018

Why Do I Let These Subjects ? — #Books #1Of40

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Road-Side DogMiłosz’s first Subject To Let is: “Why Do I Let My Subjects To Others”. Why does Miłosz Let His Subjects? It’s right there in the first sentence. Because he is old. At the time of  “Road-Side Dog” being published, Miłosz was 86 years old. Yet he continues to write poems until he is 93!

He detests writers who write about themselves …  viva the classicist he intones. By classicist, I assume he means people like who wrote Gilgamesh or the Greek writer Homer or perhaps the divine words of the Bible.

Taken together, these two thoughts, I think he “Lets His Subjects” to be remembered. He seeks the immortality of Homer (we do not know the author(s) of Gilgamesh). But nothing he writes in his Nobel-prize lifetime will sustain his vision. He needs us …  he needs me to do this exercise of 40 Let Subjects; One per week, taking roughly 77% of a year’s span to keep his animus alive and doing something.

I understand Miłosz here (let me not proclaim in totality). I am an inveterate genealogist. My wife calls me, “The Soul Keeper”. I keep the Eliasz-Solomon family alive.  The nodes in our family tree are remembered, each node, each person is not yet dead. There is a quote by David Eagleman:

There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.

Now I merely have to keep my research alive and doing something. Indeed, even my writings must live so Miłosz’s writings will also live and be doing something.

I wanted to dissect another of his thoughts. By mentioning himself (“I’m old”, “His Muse”, “His ignorance”, etc.) in this first subject, he contradicts himself about authors who write about themselves. He, in fact, does so too. Now I am pretty sure Miłosz is not a self-hating author. In fact, all authors do write about themselves. They say, “Write about what you know.” We all know ourselves. Ergo, authors are always present in their stories/essays/blogs … in all their works.

Look at the Bible. It is said to be God’s Word(s). And yes, God is in His Word(s). Miłosz,  I am here! So too, is Miłosz.

#1Of40  “Why Do I Let My Subjects To Others”

March 7, 2018

Meme: Wordless Wednesday — #Meme #Genetics #Haplogroups

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Genetics is a constantly evolving (see what I did there 😅) science. For the genealogists in the audience, there are three types of genetic tests:

  1. MT (aka Mitochondrial) DNA
  2. Autosomal DNA
  3. Y DNA

Today’s and the next article is on Y DNA. Enjoy the pic which is of Y- Haplogroups their evolution and migration. Y-Adam is presently thought to have come from West Africa (see ⭐️ on map).

Notice that the R haplogroup is last. We are the last mutation. Think about that … we are the X-Men of Y-Haplogroups!

March 3, 2018

13 Million Person Family Tree — #Science #Genealogy #Math

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

70,000 person tree

The Scientists…:

Joanna Kaplanis1,2, *, Assaf Gordon1,2, *, Tal Shor3,4, Omer Weissbrod5, Dan Geiger4, Mary Wahl1,2,6, Michael Gershovits2, Barak Markus2, Mona Sheikh2, Melissa Gymrek1,2,7,8,9, Gaurav Bhatia10,11, Daniel G. MacArthur7,9,10, Alkes L. Price10,11,12, Yaniv Erlich1,2,3,13,14,

  •  1 New York Genome Center, New York, NY 10013, USA.
  •  2 Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
  •  3 MyHeritage, Or Yehuda 6037606, Israel.
  •  4 Computer Science Department, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 3200003, Israel.
  •  5 Computer Science Department, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610001, Israel.
  •  6 Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
  •  7 Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
  •  8 Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
  •  9 Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
  • 10 Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
  • 11 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
  • 12 Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
  • 13 Department of Computer Science, Fu Foundation School of Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
  • 14 Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Department of Systems Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

* Contributed equally    Corresponding author. Email:

… published an article in Science  01 Mar 2018,  “Quantitative analysis of population-scale family trees with millions of relatives”.

Science Mag AAM —

They started with 110 Million Available in They used software to do data analysis and they downloaded 86 Million persons from From that set of data they did cleansing and transformation to winnow the data down to 13 Million individuals.

Continue reading

February 25, 2018

The Other Things Found — #Historical #Polish #Newspapers

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

While Stanczyk was searching newspapers for military conscripts, he found many items useful to genealogy…

Today was a landholders chart for Niegosławice village, in Pacanów gmina, Stopnica powiat of 22-June-1933.

Found in Newspaper: Kielecki Dziennik Wojewódzki

Stanczyk would like to call your attention to one of his ancestors, on line 12 (Leon Wleciał).

This chart had four columns:

Line Number, Landholder(s), Plot Number, Plot area in ha (hectares).

So on Line #12 (col. 1), we see Leon Wleciał (col. 2), Plot #18 (col. 3), 6.1019ha (col. 4).

This Leon was not the Leon who came to America, but the Leon who was a witness/god-father in church records for the Wleciałowscy who came to America (and some who stayed in Poland too).

You want to search for:

Okręgowego Urzęd Ziemskiego

(Official District Land in <gubernia-name>).

February 20, 2018

Meme: Things I Found Whilst Searching For Other Things — #Meme #Newspaper #Crime #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Gazeta Kielecka — 04-May-1879

Dateline     Pacanow                                         4-May-1879   

Horse Thief

Stanczyk was searching for conscription lists (listy poborowi). In doing that I asked if any native Pole in the Polish Genealogy Facebook group could help me understand the conscription document I had. Well, a fellow by the name of Sebastian Jedrych  responded and answered my question. He suggested a Polish website:

I was curious about what he was trying to show me so I went there to . I searched for “poborowi” and did not find anything interesting. So on a lark, I searched for “Pacanow” and I found many results, but one had “Pacanow, Marcin Elijasz” in its matches. Well it was for a 1879 newspaper and I figured there were not that many Marcin Eliasz in Pacanów in 1879 (only two I knew of). So I followed the link.

Imagine when I saw a crime tale about a horse thief! My 60 year old great-great-grandfather Marcin Elijasz and <?> Grudzien (a family friend) were two Pacanów townsmen.

Marcin Elijasz & Grudzien Pacanow townsmen

The crime tale continued onto the newspaper’s second page. It was there that Google Translator and other online computer translations failed me. So I turned to the Facebook Group, Genealogy Translations . I was frustrated by the lapse in translation around the items of violence.

Fortunately, for me, William F. Hoffman (aka “Fred”), the author of many genealogy translation books and names book fame pitched in to complete the translation.

Here is what the second page of the article looked like, along with Fred’s translation of the horse thievery story.

The story started on the first page:

Two Pacanów townsmen, Marcin Elijasz & Grudzien  were …

Continue reading

February 15, 2018

40 The Number Of Preparation — #Books , #Writing , #Miłosz

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Subjects to Let

Two days ago it was Fat Tuesday the end of Mardi Gras and I decided that I’d feast upon and finish the book, Song of Achilles.

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, the forty days of preparation for Easter started & I wrote my book review for Song of Achilles and published it to my blog.

So today I needed a new book to read and none were readily available. So on a whim I picked, Roadside Dog by Czesław Miłosz from our bookshelf. As is my custom, I studied the book including its Table Of Contents. My eyes went to my favorite pastiches. I re-read a few. Then I saw his grouping: “Subjects to Let”. I counted these topics and there were forty! Aha inspiration from God himself. I should prepare myself to be a writer by writing my response to each Let Subject. I further thought I will do one per week and finish it this year.

So today dear reader, I pledge to respond to Miłosz’s Subjects, starting the week of March 25 and that week and the next 39 following, I will write a response & publish it on my blog. 40 weeks of preparation to be a writer. Why not write like Miłosz? We’re kindred spirits so embedded in our Polonian culture.

I know Miłosz by today’s borders he would be Lithuanian, but he considered himself Polish. I am hoping to discover that Polishness in myself by reading his 40 subjects & writing my response to them one per week.

Preparing to be a writer.

February 14, 2018

Song Of Achilles — #Book #Review 📚

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Madeline Miller — #Achilles

Stanczyk has long been a classicist. Greek classics are an especial treat for me. I loved Greek Mythology as I learned it from my teacher, Claudia Nash. So I read the Iliad and devoured the Odyssey. Those books on my bookshelf impressed my Teréza who was smitten by my erudition.

So when I saw a book entitled CIRCE coming out this April 10th 2018. I knew I had to read it! But lo, she had previously penned Song Of Achilles. So I knew I had to “book up” and read that book before CIRCE came out. After all, the Trojan War before the Odyssey home. After all my dog Princess Java, an AKC pedigreed Lab whose 3rd name is Argus after Odysseus’s dog!

So I read Song of Achilles hoping to get a feel for the author (Madeline Miller / @MillerMadeline) and her writing style. I wanted Circe, but I admit I fell in love with the characters in Song Of Achilles. I was lured in by prose while Patroclus was just a boy. But I knew the author had an epic skill when I read her telling of Patroclus & Achilles meeting Chiron. Those chapters slew me and drew me in like no other author.

It was pure joy to read of Achilles and this telling of the Trojan War. It was easy to read a few chapters at a sitting. Hard to put down.

All along I knew how it was going to end. But that did not detract. I loved Odysseus’s cleverness at finding Achilles (after his god-mother, Thetis, not a god mother, a god for a mother hid her son). I too, like Patroclus and the other Greek kings/princes had a sense of dread whenever she appeared.

Patroclus was an artful narrator that set the tone and drew me in. His narration of Achilles’s rise from teen to hero and coverage of the Trojan War and its major combatants was thrilling. Patroclus was good, I forgot his narrative was Madeline’s narrative; That is the level of immersion she was able to acheive.

Alas I loved the book. I did not want it to end (especially two months before CIRCE arrives). I set it aside as Patroclus & Achilles set aside their child-selves. For 3-4 days I could not bear to pick it up and read. Finally, on Fat Tuesday I devoured the remainder of the book in a final three hour reading spree.

As I was reading I realized the narrator was going to die so my meta-reader-self was wondering who would narrate the ending when the narrator was dead. I will not tell you the spectacular brilliant choice she made for the final narrator of the final chapters. It is worth reading the book 📖 just to savor that transition alone.

So much pathos. So much love & hate and other emotions. Truly she captured the spirit of greek tragedy. Is this mythology or historical fiction? You decide the genre. Madeline you were so great I forgive you the detail of Achilles’s death. I accept your smart choices in retelling the Illiad. Somehow you enlarged the story. In fact it appears to cover at least 15 years of Achilles in a mere 369 pages.

I think Madeline was Odysseus. After all his/her words about the changing feelings mankind will have for the characters will change over the centuries. In truth, my feelings for the main characters swirled like Charybdis’s eddies.

Read this book. I think we are witnessing the development of an unparalleled author / story-teller. Please CIRCE come quickly!

Rage of Achilles

Hector’s death by Achilles

January 3, 2018

Rootsweb Dead … Again? #Genealogy #Ancestry

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Rootsweb Dead? … #UnavailableStanczyk

is getting inquiries again. Is Rootsweb dead?

Yes …

Rootsweb d. 23-Dec-2017

Rootsweb Security Notification

It should be revived after some serious changes to the website and its security.

This jester originally thought it was “phishing” but quickly there was no Rootsweb website, just the notice and other genealogists were tweeting about this!

So I changed my concern to what is the exposure? Ancestry and Rootsweb accounts typically share a password! So I immediately changed my Ancestry password and I will verify its changed when Rootsweb is back, but at least Ancestry is safeguarded.

Stanczyk also downloaded my gedcom from Ancestry. This seemed a prudent thing to do. I routinely download it once a month or after a large series of updates (that I really do NOT want to repeat).

Please change your Ancestry password immediately (right after reading this blog)! If you use that Rootsweb password for many websites then update those websites as well.

Oh some of this jester’s data, like Dziennik Polski (Detroit) is unavailable until Rootsweb is back. The data is safe and backed up!

Be safe in 2018!

Stem Cellular

Science and technology improving health outcomes

Steve Szabados Genealogy

Genealogy Columnist for the Polish American Journal and Author

From Shepherds and Shoemakers

Sharing musings, insights, resources and strategies as I discover my family history.

Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family

Uncovering the secrets of finding family and records in the former USSR

Historia pamięcią pisana

Historia wsi Święty Józef na Pokuciu

The Dystopian Nation of City-State

A cruel, futuristic vision created by science fiction authors James Courtney and Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills. ©2013-2016. All Rights Reserved. All writings available through Amazon.

What's Past is Prologue

Adventures in genealogy

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

Oracle Scratchpad

Just another Oracle weblog

toledo's kuschwantz

a Polish kid and her family from Toledo

Author Michael Charton

Home of Author Michael Charton


A Journey through History in Search of a Vanished Family

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

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