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. Also found here in SBC Digital Library. [Gazeta Kielecka, 1879 #35]

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 …


… returning home from an acquaintance (in Pacanów) after midnight, noticed that a stable owned by the former man’s father was open, and a man was fleeing with stolen horses. The townsmen took  off after the thief, but he left his stolen goods and ran off alone in the direction of Stopnica. Marcin Elijasz and his comrade did not give up and ran step for step after the fleeing man, and they caught up with him sitting on a cart yoked with a pair of horses. They stopped him by force, took the reins from him, and turned the cart back toward Pacanów. But the sly thief — whom they took to be Jewish from the way he spoke — beat the horses strongly with a whip he was holding. The horses bolted and overturned the cart.
The Jew then began to cry out, and in a few seconds, the cart was surrounded by some eight people, who began to beat Elijasz and Grudzien with sticks. The Pacanów natives, feeling it was beyond their power to repel their attackers, took off back in the direction of Pacanów. The bandits ran after them, and one struck Elijasz in the shoulder and head with an iron pitchfork so badly that the latter fell on the road. Another shot at Grudzien twice. Finally the attackers got on the cart and left. The owner of a nearby windmill, Ślaski, heard the shouts and shots and came to help; but a small, powerfully built man got in his way and hit him on the arms with a staff, forcing him to retreat.
The injured man, Elijasz, is very ill.
Due to the darkness at the time, even the facial features of the bandits are not known.

Now this is significant for this jester as his research has shown that Marcin Elijasz dies 19-August-1879. So it is assumed that Marcin eventually dies from his injuries or that his injuries contributed to his death 4 months later. What is tantalizing by this story is that it seems to say that the horse thief was stealing from Marcin’s father’s barn?!?

Oh had the journalist only said the barn owner’s name then this jester could have confirmed a fact that is right now just conjecture. Also why was Grudzien’s first name not included? Hmmm. It is this jester’s thoughts that it was Walenty Grudzien (frequent witness and/or god father in Elijasz metrical records).

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