Archive for ‘Biechow’

December 12, 2016

Searchin’ For Zasucha — #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has the instincts of an hard-boiled detective.  Now this is not the story of forensic genealogy. Nor am I infringing on Tim Firkowski (Genealogy Assistant / Family History Detective). I guess my hard-boiled detective work stems from my reading Michael Chabon right now. 

No I am investigating / researching an affiliated family of my ELIASZ /ELIJASZ ancestors: the ZASUCHA. You see, Anna Zasucha, is my 2nd-great-grandmother and wife of Marcin/Martin Eliasz. She is a part of my direct DNA. Like in DNA, the ZASUCHA are a genetic marker for my Eliasz family of village Pacanów. Hence, my curiosity.

Now for a while this jester has noticed the Zasucha were engaged in some  chain-migration genealogy involving many families from Pacanów to the USA, including among others, my Eliasz family.

So I find Zasucha in many of the same locales as my Eliasz: 

Buffalo, Syracuse, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit.

But there was NO family memory of ZASUCHA among my direct Eliasz family. Indeed, nobody knew Anna Zasucha was our 2nd-great-grandmother.

But I notice things and patterns and I have employed SNA (Social Network Analysis), aka as cluster genealogy before and made breakthroughs in finding out more about my direct lineage by studying these genetic markers (affiliated families) as they immigrated to the USA in a chain-migration fashion. Whole branches have been discovered. I would welcome geneslogists with:

Kędzierski/Kendzierski, Pieszczachowicz, Fras/Frass, Hajek, Zwolski, and Zasucha (all affiliated to Eliasz/Pacanów or Leszczyński/Biechów).
You will be happy I have connected back your families to those two ancestral parishes(Biechów and Pacanów) whence my paternal grandparents originated from. Indeed, I have found many 2nd/3rd and further distant cousin-genealogists via this blog’s research. However, I am still waiting on a Zasucha genealogist.

So this blog is about a lovely couple: Feliks Zasucha & Antonina Łuszcz Zasucha (both from Pacanów).
I want to end this blog with the Zasucha in my tree and pick up in the next blog article with my struggles to find data on Feliks & Antonina.

Eliasz Zasucha family tree

2nd and 3rd great-grandparents

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 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 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.

January 22, 2016

Wleciał from Pacanów — Redux

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Jozef Wlecial – lower right

Yesterday, Stanczyk wrote about an email from Poland. Well I guess Grandmother’s / Grandfather’s day caused Polish genealogists to go web surfing in America. This jester received a message from Rzeszów (Teresa B.).

We traded messages and while we had family names in common from Biechów and Pacanów it was a near miss … nobody in common. But Teresa did mention that the gmina Pacanów website did have some nice pictures.

This Pacanów cemetery image had another angle of Jozef Wleciał’s tombstone (notice lower right corner) picture from yesterday’s blog.


November 11, 2015

Dobrowoda & Fras/Frass Genealogy — #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dobrowoda Dobrowoda, “Good Water” indeed. Its about 15-16 km from my paternal grandmother (babcia/Busia), Waleria’s ancestral village (Biechow). Waleria Leszczynska’s (half-)sister, Agnieszka married her 2nd husband, Wladyslaw Fras … somewhere (I am still looking for that marriage). Agnieszka & Waleria (the Leszczynscy) were born in Biechow so you might expect their marriage was there in the bride’s village as is custom.  But let me start this genealogical story from the beginning.

A few years ago, my family tree on the Internet caused someone to email me about my Leszczynski. For years, other genealogists had emailed about LESZCZYNSKI, so I was used to saying, “Its a popular name and we are not related or are so distantly related that we cannot prove it.” But this person had a name, Agnieszka Leszczynski, which I had one too in my tree, but she was born so long ago (1866) that I only had a birth record and nothing more for Agnieszka Leszczynski. But she had a Russian Passport (which she could not read). I had never seen an actual Russian Passport before, so I told her I would look at it and help translate what info I could and perhaps that will tell us whether there is a chance that her ancestor (great-grandfather), Jozef Fras, was son of my Agnieszka Leszczynski or not. Long Story-Short, the passport gave clues to the same area, tantalizingly close to Biechow — so I could neither prove nor disprove the relationship, but it was an avenue for research. So I started researching her Fras/Frass from Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. They were close to where my grandparents and my grand-aunt, Antonina Leszczynska Sobieszczanski lived. Ok that added a very tenuous connection.  I found a church baptism where Jozef Fras’s wife, BENIGNA (not a common name) was a God Mother to one of my dad’s Sobieszczanski cousins. Ok. that is a pretty good connection. Next I found Jozef’s ship manifest and that his father was Wladyslaw Fras living in Piersciec, a village in the same parish as my grandmother’s family. Ok that is a great connection. Oh, look Jozef went from his father, Wladyslaw, to his uncle Teofil Leszczynski (my grand-uncle) in Depew, Erie County, NY. Ok that is a solid family indicator. So I emailed Mindy to tell her that we were probably related and I added Fras to my family tree.

So Mindy sent me family photos of other Fras family from Poland. So I knew Jozef had two brothers and a sister (maybe) and I had their names. From the passport I had a birthdate / birthplace for Jozef (Zborow – which I initially mistook for Zborowek, but later realized he meant the Zborow near Solec, at any rate both were in Kielce gubernia. So I had Biechow and Solec as possible parishes to research. Eventually GenBaza published images online and I could progress, I did find Jozef’s siblings: Teofil & Wincenty(and two sisters born in Piestrzec/Piersciec). But I could not find Jozef and I also could not locate Wladyslaw and Agnieszka’s marriage record in Biechow or Solec (nor in Stopnica). I began to research in nearby parishes (cluster genealogy) looking for either the birth or the marriage record. Years went by and no luck.

Did I mention that GenBaza went offline due to technical problems? It did and when it came back I noticed a few new parishes, hence Dobrowoda (which was >= 15km away) and I doubted that a parish at such a distance might yield any new clues. However, earlier I had found a church record in Stopnica of a Fras birth, where a Wladyslaw Fras was God Father. I then found the marriage and alegata for the couple whom Wladyslaw was God Father for. It turned out that Fras was originally from Silesia [Uiejsce, in Wojkowice Koscielne parish, in Piotrkowskiej Gubernia, Poland]. I found this Fras’ birth record and now had his parents (possibly Wladyslaw’s parents or maybe just uncle/aunt). Using Geneteka as an index, I found other children for Jan Fras & Maryanna Bialas, besides this Stopnica Fras. This family went from Wojkowice Koscielne parish in Piotrkowskiej Gubernia to Holudza village in Chotel Czerwony parish, in Kielce Gubernia. OK now we are getting close. I found Jan Fras’ death record in Kikow village in Dobrowoda parish (also Kielce Gubernia). So when Dobrowoda came online, I decided I would look there once GenBaza came back online.

That is where this blog entry starts. There were many years and I was not expecting any Fras really. So I started in Zborowek instead which now had metrical records and not just alegata like before. Some minor advances, but nothing really. So I looked at Dobrowoda. There were many years in Dobrowoda and my eyes went right to a book that ended in ‘rejestr’. These ‘rejestr’ tend to be church censuses, sometimes just an annual census, sometimes a decade, sometimes two-three generations. So I thought I could quickly scan and see if there were any Fras or not in this parish.

It was just an annual census (my hopes were lowered) for 1895 sorted alphabetically with Birth Marriage and Death records indexed together (in a funky Polish handwriting – that I had to train my eyes to read). Ok there was a Fras, a Teofil Fras. But I had already found my Teofil Fras born in 1903, so this Teofil Fras born in 1895 must be for another family. Nonetheless, I wanted the record to see if Wladyslaw or Agnieszka Fras were a God Parent or witness. So I was shocked to find that this Teofil Fras was also a child of Wladyslaw Fras and Agnieszka Leszczynska. This Teofil must have died and thus the second Teofil was born in 1903 (who is the one in my picture with Wincenty). Ok this parish had my Fras. Maybe I can find the birth of Jozef and/or the marriage of Wladyslaw & Agnieszka here. From the passport, I knew that Jozef was born in 1893, so I went to that year. Guess what I found? Yes, I finally found Jozef Fras’  birth record and the date matched as well as the parents.

Alas, I still did not find the marriage record of Wladyslaw and Agnieszka, but now I have hope. I hope I can find their marriage and also Wladyslaw’s birth (once I confirm that his parents are indeed Jan Fras & Maryanna Bialas). You must persevere. These affiliated families (like Fras) can indicate parishes to research in for your main lines and shorten your cluster genealogy search. But as you saw, Dobrowoda was indeed good water for Stanczyk.

Jozef Fras birth record:

Jozef Fras Akt #23

Jozef Fras Akt #23

March 12, 2015

Techno#Genea™ – A New Meme For 2015 — #Genealogy #Geneteka

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Needs a new meme. Hence “Techno#Genea” .    I am putting my hashtags to work inside and not necessarily at the beginning. Software will just have to catch up.

Techno#Genea is my meme to talk about technology + genealogy – just lose the “logy”.

Today’s Techno#Genea is on G E N E T E K A .  Geneteka added a new and I think very useful feature. Between the search fields and Search (Wyszukaj) button and the rows of data (i.e. result-set) are two lines:

‘Parafie w promieniu 15km:’ (Parishes within a 15km radius) of the parish you were searching within [in my case,  Biechow] and ‘Lata: ‘ (Years). In the case of the parishes, it gave me six: Beszowa, Oleśnica, Pacanów, Stopnica, Szczebrzusz, Zborówek. These are actually clickable too. You can start by searching all places, in my case you’d find 3 pages of ELIASZ (155 results) in the result set of BIRTHS. So to limit what I am looking at, I can go back to the Ksiega field and select from the drop down menu, “Biechow (pow. buski) – (U) 1810-1820” to look at just the Births (U) for Biechow and I get a much smaller result-set of just 9 records. But look at the two new lines!  I can click on PACANOW link and the result set changes to 58 (across 2 pages) births in Pacanow. This is #AWESOME ! Now you can do proximity searches, just by clicking on links of parish names. It also helps to teach you a bit of geography nearby to your ancestral village/parish.

Now just a word to the wise. This is only for records that have been indexed. It is not ALL records available and not all parishes are shown (just those with indexed records). So in the case of Biechow, you will not see Swiniary [today] as one of the parishes within the 15km radius even though it is only about 2-3km. This is because Geneteka has not indexed any records in Swiniary. So you can do proximity searches and see if there are any records in the surrounding parishes for your family name. Pretty cool feature for the tech-experts at: .

That’s my meme – Techno#Genea ™ and I am sticking to it.

December 22, 2014

1772 Polish Wojewodztwo, Diocese, and Deaconates — #Polish #Genealogy #Maps

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1772_ParishesInPoland_mapXVIsegmentStanczyk is busy with holiday chores, including wishing you, my dear readers a Happy Holidays & a Happy, Healthy New Year too. As most regular readers know, I spend a lot of my time writing about genealogy with a focus on Polish genealogy and in particular in the geographical areas surrounding my paternal grandparent’s ancestral villages (Biechow & Pacanow in old wojewodztwa Kieleckie, now a part of SwietoKrzyskie woj.). Like most areas in and around Eastern /Central Europe the borders change … frequently. So today’s blog article is about 1772 just before the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth was partitioned amongst the neighboring empires (you know who you are/were, you Black Eagle Empires).

It is interesting to note that Pacanow was a much more important regional village in 1772. It was in fact, a deaconate, subordinate to the diocese of Krakow in the Gniezno Wojewodztwa. At that time, there were only two Wojewodztwo (Provinces): Gniezno in the west and Lwow (Lviv, Lemberg, Leopolis, the city of Lions in whatever language) in the east. Any other wojewodztwo were in the Lithuanian portion of the Commonwealth. So the civil/religious hierarchy of the time was: Poland->Gniezno->Krakow->Pacanow, which  along with Opatowiec deaconate contained most of the villages this author writes about [you might be tempted to toss in Polaniec and Sandomierz too]. That area is shown in the map at the top. I do a lot of research for my family in the above map, west of Polaniec and south of Pinczow (the lower/left quadrant) in almost every parish north of the Vistula (Wisla) river I have located a record for someone in my family tree  —  you might say, the bones of Stanczyk’s DNA are rooted here.

So let me enumerate the parishes from this 1772 map that are present in my genealogy:

Biechow & Pacanow (grandparents), Stopnica, Ksziaznice, Zborowek, Swiniary, Olesnica, Szczebrzusz, Beszowa, Opatowiec, Busko and probably another 8-9 other villages with a person here or there. I think Solec too, but I have not found that record yet. I also a few stray, unconnected family records from Szczucin (the only parish south of the Vistula … so far). Are these in your bones too? Drop me a line in the New Year and we can compare family trees.

By the way, this research is from the PGSA’s CD-ROM, “The Latin Church in the Polish Commonwealth in 1772” [ISBN – 978-0-924207-12-9 ].

October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday — Searching For O Z A R O W I C Z #Meme , #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Uzarowicz_CYRYLLICStanczyk  —  has a great-grandmother, Aniela Major / Majer who was the daughter or Marcin Major and Katazyna Ozarowicz. I have found some Major in church records. But, as yet I have been unable to locate Ozarowicz records that connect to my family tree.

At the top is an image, of the OZAROWICZ  (aka Uzarowicz) name as written in Russian/Cyrillic. My Ozarowicz were from Biechow parish (of Stopnica area in the old wojewodztwo Kielce). So today, I am announcing in this blog that I am searching for Ozarowicz from Biechow area.

Click on my Stanczyk  image and drop me an electronic missive if you are one or know one. Thanks!

May 27, 2014

Pieszczochowicz — An Affiliated Family to LESZCZYŃSKI — #Genealogy, #Polish, #SNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Pieszczochowicz – 20 people in Poland

Stanczyk is working out a rather difficult piece of analysis. This jester uses Social Network Analysis (#SNA)  to assert a familial relationship or connection. It is labor intensive / data intensive process. Prior analyses have been very excellent at predicting valuable lines of research that have led to many further finds.

The tool for mapping names (shown in the image above) — shows that Pieszczochowicz is a rather rare name and only exists for some 20 people. The locales, I cannot draw conclusions from, but the numbers say that most if not all PIESZCZOCHOWICZ are closely related by its scarcity. So the name Pieszczochowicz enters my family tree in the following way:

Leon Pieszczochowicz (b. 7-NOV-1865 in Górek, Strożyska, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), son of Konstanty Pieszczochowicz & Maryanna Rzepała. Leon married Jozefa Leszczyńska (b. about 1861 in Biechów, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), daughter of Tomasz Leszczyński & Julianna Kordos. I am sur ethey many children, but I only know of one child: Edward Pieszczochowicz. Now, Edward, comes to the USA from his father Leon in 1910 (who was living in Busko) to his uncle Jan Pieszczochowicz in West Seneca, NJ. Edward, continues onto to Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. He will move on to Lackawanna, Erie County, NY in later life. But while in Toledo, he becomes the God Father of my own uncle: Stephen Edward Eliasz (son of Joseph Eliasz & Waleriya Leszczynska) at St Anthony’s Church on Nebraska Ave.  in Toledo, OH in 1916. Edward Pieszczochowicz’s own God Parents were: Wladyslaw Fras (husband of Agnieszka Leszczynska)  & Antonina Leszczyńska (probably nee Sieradzka, married to Jan Leszczyński). So what we see from this one affiliated family is what I considered a very highly connected value to my LESZCZYNSKi research and even so far as to connect my own ELIASZ line as well. We also see the FRAS (aka FRASS) affiliated family and the I believe the SIERADZKI affiliated family.

When I first captured Edward Pieszczochowicz at the birth/baptism of my uncle Steve, I had no idea who Edward was and had thought him a family friend [not a family member]. So you see over the span of time the collected data and SNA analysis of other data can connect disparate data points and prove  out relativity.

Let me end today’s blog article, by returning to the fact that since PIESZCZOCHOWICZ is rather rare, that I am now seeking out Jan Pieszczochowicz and two others: Boleslaw & Stanley Pieszczochowicz (these two also show up in Toledo, OH at  3224 Maple Street).  Will this family lead me to my LESZCZYNSKI roots? Time will tell.


May 21, 2014

On The Trail Of Tomasz Leszczyński … #Genealogy, #Polish, #SNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Antonina Sieradzka 1862 Birth in Gorki

Yesterday, Stanczyk wrote about Tomasz and I provided an updated timeline of Tomasz Leszczynski  throughout much of his 104 year  lifespan. Today, I wanted to write a quick post about the affiliated families to the LESZCZYNSKI line.

If you have these surnames from the villages found below, then we need to compare research notes:

Surnames …

Kordos, Majer/Major, Ozarowicz, Fras/Frass,  Sieradzki, Slawinski, Pieszczochowicz/Pierzchowicz,  Mikniewicz   plus friends — Woloszyn, Stanek,  Pawelec, Fortuna and especially MIZDRAK.

I mention Mizdrak, because a Jozef Mizdrakborn 5-FEB-1834 in Wojcza,  Biechow parish. Seemed to be a part of the LESZCZYNSKI family records from 1860 through the death of Julianna Kordos Leszczynski in Pacanow,  27-NOV-1881 in Biechow parish. 47 years in the Leszczynski records in Poland.

Villages  …

Biechow  (including Piestrzec, Wojcza), Swiniary (including Oblekon), Pacanow,  Stopnica (including Falęcin), Strozyska (including Gorki)

May 20, 2014

Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów, Innkeeper, Shoemaker, Bourgeois Farmer — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tomasz LeszczynskiStanczyk’s  great-grandfather, Tomasz — Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów was an Innkeeper, a Shoemaker, and Bourgeois Farmer and these were just his listed occupations in the church records from Biechów, Pacanów, Stopnica. There is also a good bit of family lore surrounding Tomasz as well. For example, Tomasz lived to be 104 years old, he had two wives and 15 children via these two wives spanning 45 years of reproductive life — so indeed Tomasz was a productive and prolific man.

But it is the things about Tomasz that this jester does not know that obsess me. For example, I do not know Tomasz’s first marriage details. I wish I did then I would know with certainty his parents’ names. Or if I knew his birth details I could know his parents’ names and then locate his siblings, if any. I also need his death details too. At least then I would have an anchor point for his 104 year span of life then and that would lend me more info for deciding between various Tomasz contenders. The solace I have,  is that 15 births of children and some children’s deaths too have provided me with many data points with which to make inferences.  Even the two spouses’ births and deaths have provided data points.

So this jester is in the midst of performing a detailed SNA (social network analysis) also known as “cluster genealogy” of these data points. I will produce that and  write about my findings here when it is complete. At the UPGS conference, I was able to do research in a new village Wolica and I located a birth record for a Tomasz Leszczyński that fits data points. That led me to another village named Dzieraznia and yet another possible generation. At present I am only about 75-80% confident that I have the correct Tomasz, hence the SNA study. There is much work to do, but I have updated my Tomasz Leszczynski Timeline with many finds over the past couple years, including the finds from just this year when I located my paternal grandmother’s birth record! This grandmother of mine  (Walerya)  was Tomasz’s eldest child by his second wife Aniela Majer (aka Major)

March 7, 2014

Another Alegata Article — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Russian, #Cyrillic

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19070124_Alegata_Marr_Elijasz_Leszczynski copy

75 kopeks. The cost of that stamp on an alegata. In case, you cannot read Cyrillic or do not recognize it on the cancellation mark of the stamp — it says:

11/24 January 1907

This stamp appeared on an alegata document, describing my paternal grandparents, Jozef Elijasz & Waleryja Leszczynska. You can see from the civil and church records of theirs, that this is their marriage date.

So now I have three Polish  authoritative sources for their marriage (date/place).

I found this alegata a bit fascinating. First it had the stamp. Second it listed my grandfather & his parents, but only my grandmother (without her parents  — fortunately, the other two records listed those parents). Third and most puzzling is the marriage bann dates:

13th, 20th, 27th January [of 1907 implied]. But wait a minute, the date of the alegata is 11/24 January, 1907. That is three days before their marriage date. So this “official document” had listed a future date [of the marriage], I guess giving them permission to marry in the church assuming the 3rd bann was a foregone conclusion. The future date so messed with my mind and comprehension of Russian/Cyrillic that I had to check and recheck the three documents to assure myself I was reading it correctly and that they had used a future date in the alegata!

Oh, the 11/24 January 1907 thing?  That is just the custom of “dual dating”. The earlier date is the Julian date: 11-January-1907, as the Russian calendar was still using the Julian calendar. While the 24-January-1907 is the Gregorian calendar that we use today. Of course you can find liturgical calendars (Russian Orthodox for example) that still use the Julian Calendar for their religious events (i.e. EASTER). Why is it 13 days difference?  They were in the 20th century and another day difference between the two calendars, as compared to the majority of the church records (1868-1900 during when the Russian language  was the defacto language of administration records) in the Russian partition which were 12 days apart.

— — —  Alegata …

read more »

January 23, 2014

GenBaza Has Kielce Gubernia / Wojewodztwo Records Online ! — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Kielce

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GenBazaDateline: January 6th, 2014  — Stanczyk knows this is over two weeks old. First, I had to be alerted to the fact, then I had to verify the accuracy and availability. Finally, I had to see how much data is now online.

That is where the delay came in. Our Polish cousins in genealogical societies in Poland have succeeded into digitizing images from both the State Archives & the Diocessan Archives for the Gubernia / Wojewodztwo of Kielce. In truth they have done a bit more than Kielce (former woj. replaced by SwietoKrzyskie in today’s administrative structure in Poland).

It took me over two weeks to get the info and write this blog in large part because there was so much online and I found dozens of records of my direct line and their siblings. In fact this jester found his grandmother’s birth record — which was the biggest jewel I found in the pile of gems online (see picture at the end of the blog).

Please make yourself get access to this treasure and please think of donating to genealogical society:

Swietokrzyskie Genealogical Society /  Świętokrzyskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne

The list is too lengthy to provide in this blog post, but perhaps I will provide it in a future post. But the counts are below and those are just Kielce archives !

Details – (URL:,list,62658,1 )

State Archives (AP) of Kielce – 91  parishes or miscellaneous curia errata available (23-JAN-2014)

Church Archives (AD) of Kielce – 126 parishes or miscellaneous curia errata available (23-JAN-2014)

— — — — — — — — — — — — —


You must register, which is free, to even see the data that is online and to access it. Otherwise you will only see:

  • AP Grodzisk

But, if you register and login to GenBaza, then you will see:

Today’s blog is about AD Kielce (the church archives) and AP Kielce (the state archives). The data encompasses the timespan of the individual holdings at the particular archives for that particular parish (or synagogue), but most data is in the range:  1875-1908. The records are in Russian (Cyrillic) in this time period. But often, you will find Latin records (in the Latin Box/Table format) and those are easier to read. The records are the birth / marriage / death (urodziny /malzenstwo / zgony), but there are also alegata.  The alegata are various church inquiries or interactions between parishes to confirm a congregant’s  standing or to provide/validate a birth/marriage or death event. These were documents that required fees of some sort be collected, so you will see colorful stamps in various amounts of various empires in these records ! Stamp collectors will relish the alegata for these images alone.

This range typically overlaps with the Polish immigration that took place during the Great Immigration period of the USA. So this is the bridge data that will connect your first generation American ancestor to his/her roots back in Poland !

It looks like I will be busy for a few months. But I will leave you with a sample church birth record of my Busia (babcia), Waleryja Leszczynska born in Biechow (Akt #118) .


March 18, 2013

Waiting For Polish Archives 2.4 M Scans …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PTG_Metryk_SwietoKrzyskie -

Stanczyk reported on 11 February 2013 , that the Polish Archives would be posting 2.4 Million scans of church/synagogue metric books on the Internet. The first phase which is due to be complete in March (this month) does not include any scans from Kielce Archive, which means that there will not be metric book scans of my ancestors in the first phase (Let’s be hopeful for something in June).

Well what can you do if your ancestors are from SwietoKrzyskie (the area from the old wojewodztwo Kielce)?

The website (polish website – some English user interface available) has a project called the Metryk project. Their Genealogical Society’s members are scanning metryk records from churches/synagogues. Once the scans are in place, they then index the image into their Geneszukacz databases that are searchable by Name, Event Type (B/M/D), Place. So you have two options Search Geneszukacz by index or scan the available images in Metryk (images are of Latin, Polish, or Russian language church records).

So what is available for SwietoKrzyskie? That information is shown in the above image. For this jester, I go to Buski (aka Busko-Zdroj).  There are, as of March 18th, 2013 a total of five parishes that have some scanned records (metryk / aktow).


You can see the five parishes in the image are:

Biechow,  Busko-Zdroj,  Dobrowoda, Gnojno,  Zborowek.

The right most column gives the years for which there are scanned records. For my research, Biechow and Zborowek were the most helpful. What I noticed was the Biechow images were much better than the images that the LDS had microfilmed. See my inventory of Biechow  records blog article (19 July 2011).

In fact, I was able to read some records better than previously and correct some of my translations. By the way, if you are researching the same area as Stanczyk, then just click on the Powiat buski image and it will take you to the website for that Buski powiat. So whether you have seen these images before or not, I would encourage you to look again at these quality images in the Metryk Project.

Hey PTG, can you guys PLEASE scan and index: Pacanow,  Swiniary,  Szczucin, and Stopnica parishes too?

I hope the Polish National Archives will be scanning records in the Kielce Archive for June proszę (please)?

March 9, 2013

Niagara Falls Gazette – 1937 — #Genealogy, #Newspaper

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s blog is an intersection of some prior Social Network Analysis (aka Cluster Genealogy) and  EOGN‘s mention of (the website of Historic Newspapers). Stanczyk, waaay back discovered – An Historical Newspaper  (mostly NY) website. I was not aware that the owner (Tom Tryniski) was still adding content and that the content had grown to about 21.8 million pages, rivaling the Library of Congress’s efforts of digitized newspapers.  Each scan is a single page PDF document that is zoomable.

19370119_ZasuchaAndrew_deathNoticeSo  the idea presented itself, why not see if any ZASUCHA in Niagara Falls can be located in those 21.8 million scanned pages. I am happy to report a very good success. Take a look at the image. It is from Tuesday, January 19th, 1937 edition of the Niagara Falls Gazette. [You will need to click to read death notices – Jacobs, Geraud, Kochan, Laydon, Mahoney, Morrison and ZASUCHA].

Now I said this was a part of a long standing (i.e. “incomplete”) SNA project of mine. I am trying to do ELIASZ/ELIJASZ research by analyzing the affiliated families in the ELIASZ Social Network in Biechow/Pacanow (Poland) and Detroit/Toledo/Cleveland/Buffalo/Niagara Falls/Syracuse (USA).  My thesis is that all of these people are closely inter-related from Poland and they continued/extended their villages in the USA.

So by following these “genetic markers” (literally) of my family tree, the affiliated families, that I would be led to new facts about my direct lineage and possibly artifacts (pictures, etc.) of my ancestors. I was also hoping to lure my distant 2nd/3rd/4th cousins to me via this blog and my research in hopes of a second bump beyond my circumstantial info of the SNA. You see they would see their family names and realize the connection and we would be able to do that genealogy swapping of intelligence and/or pictures and documents.

First, an aside [skip ahead to next paragraph if you are not a ZASUCHA], the death notice transcription:

ZASUCHA – Died in Mount St Mary’s hospital, January 19, 1937, Andrew Zasucha, beloved husband of Catherine, father of Helen and Joseph, son of Martin in Poland; brother of Roman of this city. Funeral services at 9:30 Thursday, January 21, from his home, 423 Eighteenth street and 10 o’clock in Holy Trinity church. Burial at Holy Trinity cemetery.

That is some excellent genealogy info there for Andrew Zasucha of Niagara Falls who was born in Pacanow, [old wojewodztwo Kielce], Poland !

Now I am spending many hours in Ancestry/Ellis Island ship manifests, Ancestry city directories, censuses, WWI draft registrations,  etc. and now historic NY newspaper scans. I am matching people up (my nodes in the picture) and drawing lines connecting the people(nodes) to other people. I have to take some care to get the nodes right in order to draw inferences, so I tend to a conservative approach of keeping nodes separate until I have a high degree of certainty they are the same node. I use spreadsheets to collect a timeline of data and then match up people before drawing the picture. This is my SNA methodology.

I did this current project because I noticed that my grand-aunt Mary arrived to my grand-uncle John Eliasz and were in Niagara Falls (not Buffalo/Depew like most and not Detroit). I was always puzzled about why Niagara Falls. Who or What drew them there (Niagara Falls) before their sojourn to Detroit? Now grand-aunt Mary came from Ksiaznice in Pacanow parish from her brother-in-law Jan Leszczynski to her brother Jan Eliasz in Niagara Falls in 1910. All of these facts matched my family tree (except for the Niagara Falls which nobody alive had any memory of anyone living there). None the less, I slavishly recorded the address: 235 11th Street, Niagara Falls, NY.

Now let me digress. This is why I want the PLAC tag in GEDCOM to be elevated to a Level 1 tag. I want to do these analyses in my family tree. I want to find people who shared the same/similar places for family events and see if there is any connection that I am not aware of — i.e. SNA (aka Cluster Genealogy). I need it in the genealogy file and I need reports to allow me to search on place and to conform these places into a hiearchy for analysis.

Fortunately, Stanczyk still has a good memory. I was gathering data about: Zasucha, Zdziebko, Zwolski, Hajek, Leszczynski, Eliasz/Elijasz, etc. These are all families found in Pacanow parish who came to the USA and settled in: Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse, some moving onward to Cleveland, Toledo and my grandparents moving onward further from Toledo to Detroit. When I was recording addresses from the city directories, I noticed a few Zasucha being at the 235 11th street address. That address rang a bell in my memory and I went back through my family’s ship manifests to see who had been at that same address. That is when I saw that my grand-aunt and my grand-uncle had been there. So now I had a thesis that any ZASUCHA at 235 11th street the surrounding environs, would close family to my grand-aunt/grand-uncle and be direct ancestors of ANNA ZASUCHA, my great-great-grandmother, wife of MARTIN ELIASZ of Pacanow. In fact, I am pretty certain now that I have gotten this far in my SNA, that ANNA ZASUCHA had a brother(s) who had sons:   Martin,   Adam,    Josef,    Jan.  These four men had children as follows who came to Niagara Falls:

Martin (father of Andrew in the above death notice) – Andrew(the deceased), Roman, and Jan

Adam – Michal, John, Karol, Marya, and Feliks

Josef – Benedykt (son of Josef), Feliks (a 2nd much-younger Feliks, son of Benedykt)

Jan – Roman (a 2nd Roman), Teofil, Josef, and Pawel

Now the ones of greatest interest to me are the children of Adam. This is because Karol and his brother Feliks lived at 235 11th street, the same address that my ELIASZ ancestors had lived at, in the same year! That shows a pretty strong family connection in my family tree (I cannot say for your tree or not) whenever I find it happening. Of course, the other ZASUCHA of Niagara Falls are also of some interest to me as they ALL came from Pacanow. I can be pretty sure that everyone from Pacanow (or Biechow) parish is likely to share a distant (non-linear) family relationship as determined by connecting family trees.

So I owe some thanks to – An Historical Newspaper  (mostly NY) website and its creator  Tom Tryniski. Tom’s efforts have provided my the above death notice. I also found an Emil C. Mrozek (a physician) from Erie County, NY and his exploits of winning a bronze star in WWII. I also found an article of a Richard (aka Ryszard) Kryszewski who died tragically at the age of 18 in a car-train crash in Depew, NY. Now I had Richard’s cause of death from the newspaper article. So some articles are uplifting and some are tragic, but I collect them all for my ancestors.

Some people mock my genealogical research as chasing down dead people. My wife, Teréza, takes the learned Jewish position that I am doing a good deed (mitzvah) in keeping these ancestral memories alive. Tereza likes to call me the “Soul Keeper”. This blog of my musings is filled with my genealogical / family stories. Besides being a “cousin magnet”, this blog is my effort to record these stories.


PLACes: Biechow, Pacanow [in Poland],  Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse

NAMEs: ELIASZ/Elijasz, Kedzierski/Kendzierski, Leszczynski, Sobieszczanski, Fras(s), Mylek, Hajek, Mrozek, Kryszewski

October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tomasz Leszczynski (de Biechow) — #Genealogy, #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Wordless (or nearly so) Wednesday – Tomasz Leszczynski died at age 104

Affiliated Families:










The above are from Poland.

The Fras / Frass family was found recently by doing some SNA in Depew / Toledo to infer familial relationship to this LESZCZYNSKICH .

Ancestral Villages:

Biechow, Pacanow, Stopnica, Zborowek


For a timeline, please see the ‘ Tomasz Leszczynski ‘  tab at the top of this blog.

July 27, 2012

Genealogy and Social Media — #Genealogy, #Facebook

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

There are 901 Million active Facebook users as of March 2012, according to  ( Facebook is estimated to break one Billion users before 2012 ends (Mashable source: According to Gregory Lyons, a senior analyst at iCrossing, Facebook will reach the milestone in August [2012].

Do I have your attention genealogists? One seventh of the world’s population is on Facebook – perhaps your 2nd and 3rd cousins are there waiting for you to engage them in some family history. Skype has nearly 107 Million “Real Users” and recently hit 41.5 Million concurrent users !

So being social can help you reach more people who may have a piece to your family history. I have searched Facebook with modest success for the ‘ELIASZ’ or ‘ELIJASZ’ family name. Not everyone will friend you anymore.  I have had success in SKYPE finding an ‘ELIJASZ’ family member in my grandfather’s ancestral village of Pacanow in Poland. I once had a very lucky success with a social network in Poland, named (now more easily found at ). Now this jester is minimally conversant in Polish and my “cousin” in Poland was zero conversant in English. But, I was able to use Google’s Translator (English to Polish and vice versa) with success although it did generate some laughter at times. The final result was a letter from Poland with a copy of my grandparents’ marriage record from the actual church book in Biechow, Poland! Nasza-Klasa also yielded two 2nd cousins who were born in Poland (one since moved to the US) and we keep in touch via Facebook.

How else can you use social media to aid your genealogy? Write a genealogy blog (like this blog for example). I went to a recent Polish/Slavic genealogy seminar this year and spoke to a fellow blogger, Donna Pointkouski, who writes the genealogy blog, “What’s Past Is Prologue”. Donna called genealogy blogs, “2nd Cousin Bait” . She said by writing about your genealogy searches, successes and family members, your blog can lure these more distant family tree members to you. It works because search engines like Google or Bing find your blog posts and index key words (tags/categories) and proper nouns in their databases and out they pop when 2nd/3rd cousins are trying to Google their family trees. Stanczyk has personally located two 2nd cousins and one 3rd cousin via the blog. One 2nd cousin even gave me a picture of a previously unknown grand-aunt from before 1910  — jackpot! I was then able to locate that grand-aunt in microfilm from the LDS Family History Library for her children’s birth records in Poland.

A couple more blog tips –  Sprinkle your blog posts with the lingua franca of your ethnic lineage to lure readers from your ancestral home. Finally on your blog software (WordPress,  Blogger,  Tumblr, etc.) – get the widget(s) to share your blog posts on your other social media accounts: Facebook,  Twitter,  LinkedIn,  Google+, etc.  Make sure you get the widest exposure possible to lure your family from all over. Ask family and friends to add your blog/tweets to their Flipboard and possibly ‘star’ the better posts for you to up your Klout.

Lastly, you may want to put your family tree online. Some of my greatest finds have come from collaborating with other genealogists on It is the largest collection of genealogists and paid genealogy subscribers — serious genealogists. These people found me and my family who as it turned out were a part of their family tree too. I cannot count the number of family members I have met from Let me tell you that my greatest finds were from a woman whose family I and my father thought were only friends from the “old country” whose families renewed their friendship here in the US. From this woman (Kim), who I helped out by reading her grandparents’ marriage record from a Polish church in Detroit. What do the two of us discover, but her great-grandmother was an ELIJASZ from Pacanow. As it turned out, her great-grandmother was my great-grandfather’s sister and that the two of us shared a great-great-grandfather — we were 3rd cousins! So we were blood relatives not just family friends as our parents had thought. I found out my father was her father’s best man — neither of us knew that beforehand. Her grandmother (Rose Wlecialowski) was a best friend of my grandmother. I thought I had never met this third cousin … wrong!  She had photos of me in her family pictures. We were so young neither had memories of the other. She had pictures of me as a 3 year old child that I did not have, with my young father on her grandmother’s farm. She had a picture of my young grandmother from the 1930’s with her grandmother!  This was a B-O-N-A-N-Z-A!

I found her great-grandparents’ marriage record from Pacanow and had it copied from the church book. I translated it from Russian for her (and for my records too). It confirmed that we were indeed 3rd cousins and shared great-great-grandparents (Martin Elijasz & Anna Zasucha). I also eventually found the birth record from the first child that my paternal grandparents had together over in Poland and little Wladyslaw Jozef Elijasz had Rose Wlecialowski for his god-mother. Her grandmother was a god-mother to one of my “uncles”. Poor little Wladyslaw died in infancy and never made the trip to America with my grandparents and my aunt Alice. My father and the rest of my aunts and uncles were born here in the US.

So you see, your family is out there. You just don’t know it yet. Use the social networks, USA and overseas versions. Write a blog to lure your cousins. By all means join too and upload your family tree to These will grow your family tree more completely than you could if you eschewed not to use the Internet. Make your family tree mobile — load it to your iPhone and start collaborating in the Cloud. You will thank me later!


May 13, 2012

Martha Stewart … Are We Related ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, took note of when my friend and noted professional genealogist Ceil Wendt Jensen did an article for magazine(2009, #3) on Martha Stewart’s ancestry. For a long time, I knew her maiden name was Kostyra. So when I noticed that Ceil had done an article and detailed much of Martha’s family tree, I asked her is she from Pacanow too?  [Now you may not know that both Stanczyk and his friend Ceil have ancestors from Pacanow]. I had asked because, I had Kostyra in my family tree. Ceil told me, ‘No.’

So when I noticed that 5/6/2012 episode on Finding Your Roots,  was going to have a segment on Martha Stewart, I watched again. It was interesting that Martha’s roots (and DNA) include Tartars and again they mentioned Kostyra and a few village names, but not Pacanow.

Now I read a column by the famous genealogist Megan Smolenyak (at Huffington Post??) on, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Martha Stewart’s Family Tree – Huffington Post” on Martha Stewart. What caught my eye was …

If you have any of the following surnames in your family tree, you could be a cousin of Ms. Stewart’s: Adamczyk, Albiniak, Baran, Ciman, Flis, Grab, Grosiewicz, Grysztar Kak, Kielar, Kisielinska, Kiszka, Kostyra, Krol, Krukar, Krulicka, Kulpa, Lach, Lazinska, Litwin, Macuga, Misiak, Okon, Oleszko, Orzeł, Penar, Rajchel, Ruszkowski, Rygiel, Rzad, Siwy, Skubik, Strzalinska, Tomczyk, Wasi, Wojtan, Wolyniec and Zukowsa.

Now if you notice, I BOLDED, some of the above family names (many of the others I am not certain of) in the list of possible cousins. I cannot speak to the commonness of those names, but each one is from my paternal grandparent’s (Eliasz/Leszczynski) parishes and some of those are actually in my family tree.

By all means go read Megan’s article. It is another interesting piece on Martha Stewart (aka Jadwiga Kostyra).

So Martha perhaps we are cousins (albeit very distant ones). Any Eliasz/Elijasz, Leszczynski, Ozarow, Major, Wlecial, Kedzierski in your tree (Martha)?

How about you readers? Any of you have those names in your tree? Do you research in Biechow or Pacanow (villages in the old Kielce wojewodztwo)? Email me!

September 26, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1821

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow  (an homage to moja dobra żona, Tereza) during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority for all parties/religions.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1820  inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births and even the Death records too  from 1821 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1821 inclusive. The prior post is here .

As per usual, I give permission for all Jewish data that I have been posting to be included in the JRI project.  Happy New Year 5772 [upcoming this week].

In 1821, there were three Jewish births out of a total of 112 births recorded in the Biechow parish. That works out to be 2.7% of the total.

There were no indexes for Marriage or Death. There were 57 death records total and five deaths were Jewish residents. That works out to be 8.8% of the total.

Year: 1821      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      111 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660


Record #1     Date: 12/31/1820 [yes it was actually in the prior year, but recorded the 1st week of 1821]

Father: Mosiek Simolewicz,  Handlarz, Age 36, Wola Biechowski   House #7

Mother: Serra z Jaklow, age 38

Baby: boy Szmul

Witnesses:  Zelman Majorowicz, Handlarz, age 30 Biechow & Wulf Jaskowicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Piestrzec


Record #43     Date: 4/10/1821

Father: Jakob  Majorowicz,  Mlynarz, Age 36, Biechow  House #12

Mother: Hay z Rzelkowna, age 30

Baby: boy Martka

Witnesses:  Gicel   Fulfowicz, Pakiarz, age 45 Biechow & Moska Szmolowicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojla Biechowski


Record #48    Date: 5/11/1821

Father: Icek  Majorowicz,  Mlynarz, Age 24, Biechow  House #12

Mother: Sara z Moskowiczow, age 20

Baby: girl Haja

Witnesses:  Jakob Majorowicz, Mlynarz,  36, Biechow  & Mindla Abramowicz mlynarz, <no age>, Wojcza


Deaths  – 57 total deaths

Record #12     Date: 3/6/1821

Witness1: Jasek Linden,

Witness2: Salomon Steyberg,

Deceased: Icek Majorkiewicz 30 Biechow


Record #17     Date: 3/10/1821

Witness1: Zelman Steyberg,  <no age> Biechow

Witness2: <none>

Deceased: Jakob Majorkiewicz 36 Biechow


Record #40     Date: 8/28/1821

Witness1: Mendel Fryszman,  Age 46, Wojcza

Witness2: Herszla Herszkowicz, Age 60 Wojcza

Deceased: Ruka 2 weeks? daughter of:  Mendla Fryszman & Sarl z. Sewkowiczow


Record #47     Date:10/26/1821

Witness1: Jasek Linden,  Age 44, Biechow

Witness2: Hycek Bartmanowicz, Age 38 Chrzanow

Deceased: Hansa Mendlowa 36, Biechow, House #217 [? number hand written in afterwards in a gap left]

wife of Abraham Mendlowicz


Record #48     Date: 10/24/1821 [yes this date is earlier than prior record]

Witness1: Jasek Linden,  Age 44, Biechow

Witness2: Hycek Bartmanowicz, Age 38 Chrzanow

Deceased: Hycek Abramowicz <no age>, Biechow

[both deaths, 47 & 48 were recorded on the same day, 10/27/1821]


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