Archive for ‘Catholic Church’

April 14, 2013

A Church Register Novelty in Koprzywnica — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Poland_1807_1815_AnnotatedIn another case of finding something interesting whilst researching something else, I found a type of Church Register Index that I have not seen before in any other parish. So today’s blog is about that novel index I found. See the Church Register in the picture (see below).

Dateline Koprzywnica parish, 1810 – In what was after the 3rd partition was Austrian-Hungarian territory (Austrian-Poland in green), has now been annexed by Napoleon in 1809 into the Duchy of Warsaw and in another five years will be Congress Poland (Vistulaland, Russian-Poland). But in 1810 we are speaking of Koprzywnica in the powiat of Staszow and the Departement of Radom. No, that is not wojewodztwo — it is the French, Departement that is the highest level of administration in the Duchy of Warsaw. The map shows that a huge swath of green from the  Austrian-Poland partition (zabior) was annexed into the Duchy in 1809. Stanczyk’s own ancestors once again switched Empires from Austria to France. So too did the citizens of Koprzywnica (and a great many cities, towns, and villages). Poof, now the records go from Latin, in the perfunctory Latin Box (Table) Format to the lingua franca of Polish paragraph with French-style two witnesses.

So Koprzywnica, like Stanczyk’s own ancestral Villages (Biechów and Pacanów) was briefly Austrian, then French (very briefly), then Russian until 1917-1918 whence it became just Poland again. We can find Koprzywnica in the gazetteer, Skorowidz Miejscowoscy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej as being in the powiat Sandomierz, wojewowdztwo Kielce (circa 1920’s/1930’s).

Indexes are so very helpful. It is always a let down when a parish book or a year within the book lacks any kind of index. That means I will have to look at each and every record to see if any are related to me / my research. Early Latin paragraph form church records often do not have any index  — they barely denote the year change. So that means you have to read each and every badly handwritten paragraph of Latin — very rare to find a priest with good Latin handwriting. That is why the Latin Box Format was more welcome. At least I could find the pieces of info and the handwriting was less of an issue. But the Latin Box format did not have indexes either.

So it was helpful when Napoleon implemented the Codex Napoleon in the Duchy of Warsaw. So by 1810 you see the records written in Polish (lingua franca) in a paragraph form that is specified by the Codex Napoleon. And these new records have indexes!

OK, the indexes initially are by letter: A, B, C, …, Z. So you have just under 26 pages of indexes. It is an improvement. Quickly the church realizes it can save paper by running the index all together with all letters on a single (or a few) page(s) in order alphabetically. Very efficient to scan these indexes for your families. And it was also easy to spot when a priest added a late addition to the index at the back after all other names (even though it was evidently in the wrong spot lexicographically speaking).

OK 1868-1918, we find Russian / Cyrillic indexes. In addition to priests not knowing Russian well and ordering names phonetically before later on,  we find the index in Cyrillic proper lexical order you will have to scan carefully. Cyrillic kind of forces that to those of us weaned on a Latin alphabet. But you sometimes find the Russian indexes sorted in Cyrillic lexical order … by the first name ??? That is not very useful. Sometimes the index is in chronological order (akt # / record # order) making it barely more useful then scanning every record.

But when we find a well formed index (or a not so good index) it is always for one event: Birth/Christening, Marriage / Marriage Banns, Death Records. One index for Births, one for Marriages and one for Deaths … assuming none are missing, 3 indexes. That is what makes the following index so very interesting …

The Index (Skorowidz)

1810KoprzywnicaINDEX_pg4_JewishNames_righthalf This was supposed to be a Marriage Index !! But it was five scanned pages! This would have to be an extraordinarily large city to have that many marriages! What are all of those columns ?? That is what I asked myself.

Let’s see what those columns are:  Record # (Akt #), Village Name, Person Name(s), Births (Urodzin), Deaths (Zeyscie), Banns (Zapowiedz), and finally Marriages(Malzenstwa) Kart # (you can safely ignore). This index is an all event index. Births-Deaths-Banns-Marriages all interleaved. In fact, when I look at each event (B/M/D) I see the same 99 event-record pages and the same five index pages. It appears that all events are in the same register! This is rather unique — as I said previously I have not seen this before in other parish registers I have seen.

So in this “combo style” index (which needs a proper name) you cannot have a single name  for marriage record, so marriage records have two names (as usual), but this requires two lines in this style of index — since we are multi-columnar. We also see that Banns are indicated ‘I‘ or ‘II‘ — the third bann being the actual marriage itself. The Roman numeral written above the word Zapowiedz. So since the index is in Akt# order, it is a chronological order too. It could be interesting from a demographic perspective (what time of year do most marriages occur or  do a higher concentration of deaths occur in winter months). If this style index had occurred during an epidemic year, then we could have seen all of the deaths occurring in a great streak without interruption by other events. 1810 in Koprzywnica was not such an epidemic year.

There is one more fascinating aspect to this index. In the Napoleonic era (1807 thru 1829) we find that Catholic priest acts as the civil administrator and that Jewish/Evangelic/Orthodox vital records are written in the Catholic register. How is this noted in the index — which again I have not seen elsewhere? Look at the scanned register image for this blog. Pay attention to Records #’s:

85, 86, and 91.

It so happens that each of these records is a Marriage Banns event type. But, notice that each begins ‘Zyda‘.  Żyd = Jew, hence Żyda is plural for Jews. Żydów = Jewish. This indicates that this is a Jewish civil record being recorded.  Now I know that Jewish vital records are recorded in the Napoleonic era Catholic registers. But it is unusual that it is indicated in the index (as opposed to being in the record itself).

So this was a very fascinating find after all. I was actually looking for a particular Leszczyński but I found a novel index and indeed a novel parish register overall.

Related Posts

The Fourth Partition (23 January 2013) – A Discussion of the Duchy of Warsaw, with a map

Historical Eras of Poland (21 January 2013) – A set of Stanczyk defined eras of Poland of particular use to genealogists. An historical definition of Poland’s eras (1569-present) based upon history’s impact on genealogical research.


Post Scriptum

The index from this column was found in the Polish website: (PTG) of which I written many times before. Their METRYK project of scanned church books is where I found the 1810 Koprzywnica Index.

March 27, 2013

A Guide for Using Szukajwarchiwach.PL Poradnik — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been writing for a while about Polish National Archives announcing via their National Digital Archive (NAC) that Poland would be putting 2.4 Million digital images of church / synagogue metric images from their regional archives online. So today’s blog post is a guide (poradnik) about how to use to view these images.

It is easiest if you know the regional archive you are interested in, but you do not need to know it really. I will demonstrate with the RZESZOW regional archive. This archive was in Austrian-Poland partition, so its records should be for those locales to Rzeszow. Recall from my post, Polish State Archives – Numbers (13 March 2013) where I listed the archive numbers, that Rzeszow = 59.


Step By Step

Step_1Step One

            Go to the archive of interest –

You should see the web site with the information for the Rzeszow regional Archive.


Notice the two links: Poprzednie archiwum  and Następne archiwum . With these two links you go through the list of regional archives. The list of archives only includes those archives for which they are presently loading images. If you hover over my two links above you will see ‘Previous Archive’ and ‘Next Archive’.


Step Two

            Click on ‘Resource’ [see 2 in red circle] –  which brings you to the list of collections at Rzeszow.

You should see …



Step Three

 Click on Collection Number ‘59/20/0‘ for the civil records from the Roman Catholic parish of Błażowej –

You should see …



Step Four

Click on ‘Units 20/20‘ in red circle –

You should see …



Step Five

Click on ‘Reference Code 59/20/0/-/1‘ in red circle –

You should see …



Step Six

Click on ‘Digital Copies 107‘ to see a table of 107 scanned images –

You should now see the scanned images …


There are 107 images [currently] and the data looks like it is in the Latin Box format. Since there is no index, you will have visit each image in turn and look at each row of boxes to see if that birth/baptism is for one of your ancestors.

So that is a visual guide for how you navigate the website to get to the scanned images. Obviously, you will need to focus on the villages/parishes for your ancestor. That may be another Archive (besides Rzeszow) or if it is in the Rzeszow archive then you need to pay closer attention to the parishes in the Rzeszow collections and finally, you will need to select Birth/Marriage/Death (Urodziny/Małżeństwo/Zgony) for the year of interest to you.

You will still need to be able to deal with Latin or Polish or Russian or German language in the records to understand what you see in the scanned images. You will also need to be able to read the handwriting. But you can do this!

Good Luck!

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)?

February 11, 2013

Polish National Archives to post 2.4 Million Historic Church Records — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk ‘s position has been overrun! I was trying to write a blog, but the course of events has been running at EXTREME Internet speed so much of this blog post may be “old news” to you — but in case its not, this is very exciting news!

NAC Scanning 2.4 Million RecordsAccording to a Polish website (The National Digital Library of Poland) …


  • By mid-year (2013), they plan to digitize 2.3 Million  historical  (>100 years old) vital records.
  • This will happen in two phases: March,  June
  • This PDF file (see link) lists 40 pages vital records from MANY parishes (a few synagogues too):
  • It appears the plan is to digitize about 1.37 Million records by March and the remainder (another 1 Milliion) by the end of June.

These are actual church record images! I hope they plan on digitizing records from the Kielce Archive (please do PACANOW, BIECHOW, SWINIARY, BESZOWA, ZBOROWEK, KSIAZNICE and STOPNICA parishes).

Can anyone detail the plans for JUNE yet? Unfortunately, the 1.37 Million records in March are NOT from the KIELCE archive or any parish where Stanczyk’s ancestors resided?

Do not forget about GENETEKA database in the meantime:

Thanks in advance for any answers from our genealogists resident in Poland!

January 21, 2013

Historical Eras of Poland … For Genealogists

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has lived much history and God willing,  will live much more of it. So across the generations, you see the changing borders of Eastern / Central Europe and how it affects us genealogists (not that I am ignoring the plight of our ancestors that had to evolve with the changing landscape). From the beginning, I was always advised to learn about “The three partitions” and determine which of the three partitions my forebears came from  — good advice, but Poland’s history is a much richer tapestry than just the three partitions (zabory).

So today’s blog is about the Eras of Poland and the names I have chosen to call them going forward so that we can all “be on the same page”. Please forgive this jester as I will limit the discussion to the eras post-Piast dynasties, starting with the Polish-LithuanianCommonwealth. This roughly matches the Papal nuncios that dictated that churches must record the vital records of the parishioners. So we find the beginnings of genealogies for all peoples and not just for the magnate families or the royals.

Let me just utter the era names I wish to use going forward when I write about genealogies or histories. Let me get the mystery out of the way and also let the debates and arguments proceed. Some of these are overlapping eras, because not only are we discussing a vast span of time, but we are also talking about vast distances and a broad swath of peoples / religions / governments.



ERA Name Beg. Date End Date Synonyms / Alternate Names
AUSTRIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 GALICIA
PRUSSIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 Bezirks: POSEN, POMMERANIA, DANZIG (GDANSK) etc.
POLAND 11/1/1918 9/1/1939 SECONDREPUBLIC
WWII ERA 9/2/1939 12/31/1946 Occupied Poland, General Government, German Occupied, Russian Occupied
POLAND 1/1/1945 6/30/1975 Post World War II Poland
POLAND 7/1/1975 12/31/1998 1989 is commonly referred to as the start of the THIRDREPUBLIC
POLAND 1/1/1999 Present Times THIRDREPUBLIC and beyond to the present

Some of the era names are well understood and some are controversial (for a lot of reasons). First off, I wanted to make a distinction between the PARTITION era (1772-1815) which I saw as including the Napoleonic wars and ending with Napoleon’s defeat and the Treaty of Vienna.

So I separate AUSTRIAN PARTITION from AUSTRIAN POLAND. The distinction is subtle but I believe defensible. The three Partitions and the Duchy of Warsaw (French protectorate) are separate because during these times there was at least a scrap of Poland in existence (excepting for a decade proceeding Napoleon’s victories). The AUSTRIAN/PRUSSIAN/RUSSIAN POLANDs represent the slightly more than one century that Poland had “disappeared” from European maps. That century coincides with the Great Migration of Poles (including Jews) to the USA – a significant genealogical event for the Slavic Genealogist.

You will note the CracovianRepublic which gets a lesser amount of attention and eventually is folded into AUSTRIAN POLAND. Also there is the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT (more about that in a bit).

RUSSIAN POLAND is treated differently than I have seen it handled before. My ancestors come from this area, so you will have to forgive me if this appears a bit chauvinistic. I delineated the RUSSIAN occupation finely. So you see a Russian Partition followed by a Duchy of Warsaw followed by  Congress Poland ( a TSARIST hegemony) followed by the Kingdom of Poland and finally resulting in RUSSIAN POLAND. The nuances in the RUSSIAN Zabor (partition) follow the changes in administrative boundaries that so affect genealogical research. Genealogists also should take note that vitals records in RUSSIAN POLAND are written in Russian/Cyrillic and use Gregorian Calendar from late spring 1869 through the collapse of the Russian Empire near the end of World War I in 1917. So, Polish language records are found before and after that period of time. Similarly, for Latin/Hebrew languages for religious records (although you do find Latin, Hebrew and even some Polish records during 1869-1917 timeframe in some limited ways). Since the Russian language edict almost matches exactly the above RUSSIAN POLAND era, I did not create yet another era specifically for that era of Russian language. I merely note it here.

PaleOfSettlementMAPThe JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT was created by the Russian Tsarina, Catherine the Great. She added to the PALE over the years as the Russian Empire acquired new lands. So as I refer to the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT, it is the 15 western Guberniya where Russian Empire Jews were forced to settle. In practice it also included the 10 Guberniya of the PolishKingdom (Congress Poland/Vistula Land). So Russian Jews had a total of 25 Guberniya where they could live (with some exclusions for large cities which were forbidden to most Jews) within the Russian Empire (European Portion). Most or all of the areas within the 25 Guberniya used to be a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1772), so I thought it important to include the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT in order to speak of the 15 Guberniya that underlie that geographic area and that era of time (1791-1918) as well as some minor forays on my part into Jewish Genealogical research.  The 15 specific guberniya are (roughly North to South):

Kovno,  Vitebsk,  Vilna (Wilno),  Grodno,  Minsk,  Mogilev,  Volhynia,   Kiev,   Chernigov,  Poltava,  Podolia,  Bessarabia, Kherson,  Ekaterinoslav,  and  Taurida (the Crimean Penninsula)

The astute reader will note four POLAND eras. These cover the two decades between World War I and the up to the time of World War II began. It  also covers the Post World War II era. They also overlap the Second and Third Republics of Poland. Finally, the fine-grain view of Post World War II Poland is coincident with the redefinition of  Wojewodztwo (Provinces) and their underlying powiaty (counties). Again, the emphasis is in order to support genealogical research.

I have not mentioned the WWII era (World War II) yet. I need to do some specific research to see how Nazi / Soviet occupations affected the administrative jurisdictions and what impact if any that had on genealogy during the war. I leave that for some future blog(s).

No mention of religious hierarchies and their administrative boundaries have been addressed, but obviously, that too has an impact on genealogical research. The religious boundaries reflect the changes caused by changing national boundaries, but overall the religious boundaries were more stable until modern times necessitated re-arranging or closing religious areas.

OK, that is my blog and those are my eras. You may now proceed to critique my choices. But I have now defined my terms for future “Polish” genealogical blogs.  As usual, I look forward to your comments and emails.

August 30, 2012

Ohio – Cuyahoga County – Cleveland 1884 — #Genealogy, #Marriage, #Elijasz, #Budka

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is still trying to puzzle out these Cleveland, Ohio ELIJASZ. So I am hoping either a Budka or an Elijasz (aka ELIASZ) will see today’s blog and respond via an email.

Today’s image is from on a dangling leaf in my tree. On the 22nd-September-1884, one Father Kolaszewski of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) recorded a marriage between Elizabeth Elijasz and Paul Budka. That is pretty much it for useful genealogical info on the image (see above).

If you have access to ancestry it is here .

Many of these Elijasz came from Pacanów (Russian-Poland partition). Some Cleveland Elijasz also came from across the Vistula (Wisła) River (rzeka) in the Austrian-Poland partition. I am hoping a Cleveland genealogist researching Elijasz or Budka who can look-up a few things for me:

  1. What Catholic Church did Father Kolaszewski represent in 1884?
  2. Can someone get access to Cleveland Catholic diocesan records for September 1884 and get a copy of the church record of this marriage?
  3. I am seeking the parents’ names of Elizabeth (possibly Elzbieta) Elijasz and where she was born (Pacanów, Poland or some other village), and her birth date.

My thanks for reading today’s blog (plea).  If all you can answer is just the first question, that is still VERY helpful. So please do not feel you need to answer all of the questions.

May 21, 2012

Post Office Department – Stanczyk’s Mailbag — #Polish, #Genealogy, Kuc, Kucz, Swiniary

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

From the Post Office Department

From Stanczyk’s Mail Bag

Email From:   Barbara

I have been trying to do research in Pacanow but have not been very successful.  My Grandmother — Maryanna Kuc(z) is from Oblekon.  I wrote to the parish there — Parafia p.w. Najswietszej Maryi Panny Krolowej Swiata but never received a reply.  Perhaps they just couldn’t find any information.
My Grandmother:      Maryanna Kuc(z)
Born:                        March 15, 1886
Baptized                   March  25, 1887
Immigrated to USA:    September 1912
Father:                      Benedict Ku(z)
Mother’s first name:    Marianna
She had a sister Eva (born 1895)
 & a brother Jozef  (born 1893) both came to America.
I think she had other siblings but have not been able to find any records from Poland at all i.e. Marriage of parents, birth or baptisms or death of her parents.  I know her father was alive in 1912 when she came to America.
If you can help or shed any light on how I could obtain the information I am seeking, I would be extremely grateful.
Keep up the excellent work on your blog.
Thank you for any information in can provide and Thank you for your blog,  I learn a lot from it.
I had told Barbara that I would search the Swiniary indexes that I have pictures of to see if I could find anything for her. When I searched my indexes, I found that her family name is spelled most as she had it: Kucz, but I did find one example where the priest wrote Kuć. There was also another family Kuzon, but I do NOT feel like they are the same family as her Kucz/ Kuć. Since this was from the era 1829-1852 the records were in Polish. I found one marriage index in the Swiniary parish:
1836 Franciszek Kuć marries Maryanna Duponką   [this is not your great-grandparents, but probably related]. 1836 was the only year that I had a marriage index picture.
1830-1840 no Kucz/ Kuć births in the indexes.
1841 Jozef Kucz birth record #23
1842 Maciej Kucz birth record #21
1843-1845 no Kucz/ Kuć births in the indexes.
1846-1849 I had no indexes (or pictures thereof)
1850 no Kucz/ Kuć births in the indexes.
1851 I had no indexes (or pictures thereof)
1852 Stanislaw Kucz birth record #28
I think I have seen Kuc in the surrounding parishes (Biechow & Pacanow).
First off, I checked the LDS website ( I wanted to see what microfilm they had. Your birthdates: 1886, 1893, 1895 are rather late (most LDS microfilm stop around 1884). Here is their inventory for Swiniary (you want “Akta urodzeń“, for births):

Family History Library Catalog (Place Search): Swiniary

Akta urodzeń 1686-1811 — małżeństw 1668-1863 — zgonów 1686-1811 –  INTL Film [ 939952 ]
Akta urodzeń 1797-1811, 1826-1865 –  INTL Film [ 939951 ]
Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1812-1816, 1818-1825 –  INTL Film [ 939949 ]
Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1878-1884 –  INTL Film [ 1808854 Items 9-15 ]

Akta zgonów 1797-1839 –  INTL Film [ 939950 ]

That is all the LDS (aka Mormons) have in their Family History Library that you can rent microfilm from. Next I checked the Polish National Archives via PRADZIAD . They did have books/microfilm for the date range you are seeking. Here is the contact info for the archive that has the data you seek. You would need to write them in Polish and they will write you back with their findings and instructions for wiring their bank the money they require (all in Polish).



Archiwum Państwowe w Kielcach Oddział w Pińczowie – akta przeniesione do AP w Kielcach
28-400 Pińczów, ul. Batalionów Chłopskich 32
tel: (41) 357-20-02
fax: 357-20-02

I hope this helps you out!


April 25, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday – Toledo Parishes — #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A Map of Toledo, Ohio.

The dark rectangles (with the year numbers) are the Catholic Churches of Toledo.

The Polish settlements are noted with the German given name for the region: kuhschwanz (cow’s tail). ELIASZ  –  MYLEK  –  SOBIESZCANSKI (SOBB) were St. Anthony parish members.  Saints (SS.) Peter & Paul was an an even older Polish parish !

February 11, 2012

Genealogical Finds From #RootsTech (Family History Library)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was in Salt Lake City, UT for RootsTech a week and a half ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the intersection of my two intellectual pursuits: technology & genealogy. I was not the only person at RootsTech who said they had a foot in each world. I think the conference planners think this is a mash-up between users & developers; And it definitely is that. But there are a large number of us tech savants, who are also avid  genealogists.

Success 1

In an earlier article  (7-Feb-2012), I wrote about an exciting find of two of my great-grandmother’s siblings marrying each other (a Major & a Paluch). Because it was not an Elijasz nor a Leszczynski record and yet I found it because of an Social Network Analysis experiment I conducted last year, I investigated that record and made an outstanding find.

Today I wanted to talk about a cousin of mine from TN whose grandmother turned out to be a cousin of my grandfather. My cousin Kim showed me her grandparent’s marriage records (both civil & church) and we discovered that her great-grandmother was my great-grand-aunt. We also saw that her grandfather (Adam Gawlikowski) was from Opatowiec in the Polish Church Record (Sweetest Heart of Mary Church in Detroit). Well there were a couple of Opatowiec — so I took the opportunity of being in Salt Lake to narrow down which parish might be the correct one.

Success 2

1st part of Rec #27 - Antoni Gawlik

I found my cousin Kim’s great-grandparent’s having children in Opatowiec (in the Kazimierz Wielka powiat, old woj. Kielce — LDS MF# 1192351 & 1807620). In fact, I found her great-granduncle Antoni Gawlikowski ‘s birth record with the correct parents: Martin Gawlik & Maryanna Lisowskich. In fact, if Kim is reading my blog, you should rent LDS MF # 1192350 and you may be able find your great-grandparents’ marriage record and many other Gawliks/Lisowskich, potentially all the way back to 1614 !     MF# 1192351 & 1807620 were in Russian, but I am betting that almost all of MF # 1192350 (1614-1870) will be in Latin.   Sadly, it appears her grandfather Adam was born after the end of the last year in MF 1807620. But I did find three siblings of Adam (besides Antoni) that we did not know of  before:  Jan Gawlik,  Ludwik Gawlik, and Maryanna Gawlik. I also saw that the Gawlik name was written without the ‘ski’ at the end. Sadly both Ludwik and Maryanna died in 1880. Perhaps Jan survived into adulthood. He may have stayed in Poland and took care of his parents. I am sorry that Antoni’s birth record fell across two pages in the church book, requiring two camera shots.

2nd part of record #27 - Antoni Gawlik

February 8, 2012

Meme: Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, & Notations #3

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Last week Stanczyk was combing through the LDS Library in Salt Lake. I was perusing the Tumlin parish (LDS Microfilm # 939955). Whilst I was in 1763 covering the Death Records, I found my current Embellishment (or is it an Oddity).


Now in the older Latin records, the Latin paragraph and not the Latin Box Format, it is not uncommon to see the local priest embellish the new year. They usually write the number and perhaps adorn it with some dots around the digits or some small doo-dad or dingbat (in modern parlance).

But clearly in 1763 this priest had a lot of free time and the Creative Spirit overcame him.

Notice the two skull & crossbones. Each is surrounded by floral designs. This seems to this jester to be some kind of All Souls Day motivation whereby the cemeteries are adorned with flowers and the deceased are celebrated.

I have to wonder do other European countries have such Embellishments in their church books too or is this a uniquely Slavic predilection?

January 13, 2012

Pacanow Marriage Statistics 1878-1884 – #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is obsessed with learning and understanding his ancestral villages. To that end, I spent the latter part of December analyzing the marriage records of Pacanów parish. As regular readers may know, Pacanów was in the Russian-Poland partition in the old gubernia (wojewodztwo/woj.) of Kielce which is north-east of today’s Krakow, Poland.  Pacanów  is now in the woj. of Swieto Krzyskie.

Today I have a graphic of a spreadsheet of the data I collected. Besides providing some demographics by the villages that made up the parish of Pacanów, it also gives you an inkling of the villages that comprise the parish [it may not be an exhaustive list]. You should also be aware that Catholic parish boundaries changed over time, just as they do today. So parish and dioceses may be different from earlier periods and also from those of the present time.

This was also an excellent exercise in practicing reading, transliterating, and translating Russian/Cyrillic to the Latin-based Polish alphabet. As always, the handwriting of the priest , the quality of the paper/book/ink  and even the original scanning of the church records affects your paleographic efforts. So scanning church records for a limited set of proper nouns can improve your paleographic/translating skills. After all, I know the noun has to be a village on the map (some map from that time period) so even difficult paleographic challenges can usually be resolved.

Results of Marriage Statistics

1878-1884 Pacanow Parish Marriage Stats By Village

For indexing/scanning purposes the villages are:

Karsy Duzy, Karsy Maly, Kepa Lubawska, Komorow, Kwasow, Niegoslawcie, Pacanow, Rataje, Slupia, Sroczkow, Szczeglin, Zabiec

I did not include Folwark Dolne as that is a manor house/ estate, (more so than an actual village).

December 18, 2011

Polish Resources – Cobbled from and Family Search – #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, put together a couple of pieces to make a NEW and useful Polish Genealogy database. First off, my email box had a weekly email from  This week’s Weekly Discovery is a boon for Polish Genealogists …

U.S. and Poland, Catholic Parish Marriage Index, Polish Genealogical Society of America,

Ok, the above link takes you to Ancestry’s newest database index ( .  Which as the Link Name suggests is a Polish Catholic Parish Marriage Index. I was excited until I discovered that it was really just a re-issue of the ‘s  database: . So if you are not a subscriber to Ancestry, you could just go to PGSA and use their database and get the same results. The PGSA even gives an LDS Microfilm #. So Stanczyk took note of an Anna Eliasz marrying Leon Zielinski in 1910 and the LDS MF#: 1578072 . I made a vow to look that record up in the LDS microfilm. So I was in the LDS Library Catalog verifying the microfilm # was correct and LO and BEHOLD (why is it always LO and BEHOLD — and not just BEHOLD), the Library Catalog says the images are online!!! They even provided a link:

Now thankfully the database did specify 1910 and that the church was St. Stanislaus Kostka and even the Page# 204 was helpful. I used those pieces of info and the Family Search link to go to their web page:

  • Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925

I selected the St. Stanislaus Kostka (Chicago) to go to the web page:

From there,  I picked Marriages, 1910-1915 (you need a free login to use their databases) and browsed the images until I got to page# 204 (which was actually image # 109 of 897) and on the left hand page was Leon Zielinski & at the bottom Anna Eliasz marriage record from the church. I got the actual date and parent names (including mother’s maiden name). See below …

I am not certain that Anna Eliasz is a relative or not because it did not provide the parish where Anna was born (and I seriously doubt Anna was born in Chicago in 1882). Her mother’s maiden gives me hope as that name does appear in my ancestral villages, so now I will have to find an Anna Eliasz birth record (or not) in Biechow/Pacanow parishes with parents Jan Eliasz & Mary Jurek.


The point of today’s article is that by joining the index in (or and using the index data with the browseable images from I was able to pull a new Church Parish record quite easily without leaving my house. It is the combination of the two resources from two separate websites that make a new and very useful tool. What do you think?


If you have Chicago ancestors (and in particular Polish ones) then you have an early Christmas or Chanukah Present. Drop me a comment of thanks, will ya?

Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah and just in case,  Happy Holidays to the rest of my readers.


November 1, 2011

#Tradition & #Holidays – All Hallows Eve, All Saint’s Day, All Souls’ Day

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The celebration of All Saints Day (also known as All Hallows Day), for known and unknown saints, on November 1st was introduced into the Church Liturgy by Pope John XI in the year 835, while the church holiday, All Souls’ Day on November 2nd began more than 150 years later in 998, when the  Benedictine Monks began to say the mass and prayers in the intention for all the deceased.

In Polish tradition (Polskiej tradycji), especially the folk tradition, both these holidays, but All Saints’ Day in particular, are devoted to praying for the souls of the dead. In a sense this is a continuation of the ceremonies for the dead performed by their descendants (uh, us).

On All Saints’ Day all Polish cemeteries (cmentarze) are visited by many people who come to pray over the graves of their loved ones. Candles are lit on every grave  and flowers are put on them too. The custom requires us  to burn candles in colorful glass with lids specially made to help keep the candle lit for hours,  and to lay flowers interwoven with evergreen boughs. This is also done for old, unattended and forgotten graves, visited by no one.

There is also a custom of providing food on these days. So many cemeteries have little picnics in them. These days are not so sad or solemn as much as they are celebrations of those who preceded us and without whom, we would not be here today. The food is from a belief that a loved one could appear as a beggar, so food may be left behind or donated.

There is also a belief that the night between All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd) is when departed spirits are closest to our human vale.  Perhaps you know the night before All Saints Day – it is called All Hallows Eve, which we (in the USA) call by the contraction: Halloween.

Blessings for your holidays and May God Bless our ancestors too !

My Prayers are also that Blessed Pope John Paul II become a known saint.


October 2, 2011

Saints & Sacraments on Sunday – #New #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk writes to entertain and inform. Perhaps one day I will corral these thoughts into a genealogical book in some media — so I guess that is another reason I blog. To be sure though, I have said this blog is my family magnet. I am trying to draw distant cousins or people with affiliated families who may have pictures or clues to my family history — so I publish info and original research to draw, magnet-like, to me those who are “connected”. Today I will give a Sunday appeal, by listing the churches/parishes where my family has congregated. Let me know if any of these are also yours…

I will start with my paternal grandparents since I know their parishes in Poland. In Biechow, my grandmother Walerya’s parish is named:  Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints). This is the parish where my grandparents were married in 1907. It is also the parish where their first child (Wladyslaw Jozef) was born in 1908 and probably Aleksandra (aka Alice) was born in that parish too. Aleksandra came with my grandmother in 1913 to the USA as a four year old.

My grandfather, Jozef Elijasz, was born in Pacanow, in the sw. Marcin (St Martin) parish. Once Jozef and Walerya came to the USA, they left a trail of churches, with family notations to dot the landscape across this great nation of ours.

1913-? Depew, NY – St. Augustine. Jozef & Walerya had their third child, Casimiera (aka Catherine) in 1914.

?(post 1914, but before 1916)-1920 Toledo, OH – St. Anthony. In 1916 Their fourth child, Stefan (Stephen Edward) was born. Followed by Joseph in 1919 and Boleslawa/Bernice in 1920. Stefan and Joseph were christened at St Anthony, but Bernice was not christened in the diocese of Toledo. So I think that almost immediately after Bernice was born they moved to Detroit and I suspect Bernice was baptized in Detroit.

Detroit, MI – So many parishes. In Detroit, December 1922 Henry was born. Henry was born and died a month later in January 1923. In 1924, Theodore was born in Detroit. Finally, In 1926 their last child, Chester, was born at home. His baptism was at Corpus Christi Church (2291 E. Outer Driver, Detroit) in 1928. My grandfather Josef built the steeple on Corpus Christi Church.  Chester’s God Mother Janina Leszczynska is a mystery. Was  Janina a sister or a sister-in-law of my grandmother (Walerya z. Leszczynska) ?  We have no record of Janina Leszczynska — perhaps the 1940 US Census will shed some light. Chester attended Immaculate Conception Church in Hamtramck as a boy. His 1st Holy Communion was at St Johns Church on East Grand Blvd, Detroit.

So that is nine children born and seven who survived infancy. My grandparents had children in two different countries, and in three states in the US. Two churches in Poland and at least a half dozen churches  in the US document my father and his siblings births/baptisms.

September 28, 2011

Calendars – Happy New Year 5772 – #Genealogy, #Calendars, #RoshHashana

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Hebrew Calendar

Tonight at sundown the Jewish New Year, 5772 begins. Stanczyk besides being a bibliophile, also loves calendars. Since I am a Polish Catholic (Latin Rite) I follow the Gregorian (the common calendar). The Orthodox Catholics and also genealogists like myself (Russian-Polish, or Russian Empire genealogists) have an affinity for the Julian Calendar, which was replaced by the Gregorian calendar, except for liturgical purposes in the Orthodox denominations.I have also previously written of the Mayan calendar so popular with doomsday curiosity seekers.

But today we speak of the Hebrew Calendar. My wife is Jewish so for her this is the beginning of the Rosh Hashana holiday that culminates in Yom Kippur.The Hebrew Calendar is a lunar based calendar (synchronized to the solar calendar; aka Metonic Cycle). 1 Tishri is the celebration of the creation of the world and the start of a calendar. So as the Jewish peoples celebrate the of Rosh Hashana, they are not only celebrating a New Year’s birth; They are also celebrating the Creation (Genesis). No matter who you are, you MUST read Steve Morse’s, “Jewish Calendar Demystified“. It explains the Hebrew Calendar back to creation and the first Tishri 1. I absolutely need to read it every year at this time. For my Jewish brethren, I offer up a website to create a personalized Hebrew Calendar. Of course, Steve Morse also has his printable Hebrew calendar here. also has a calendar converter to convert historical Hebrew dates to the Gregorian Calendar.

For genealogists who a French background, I know I have encountered the French Calendar in genealogy dates. So keep Claus Tøndering’s Calendar page handy. If you wish to know when each country converted from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar (this affects American Historical dates too) the wiki Gregorian page is for you.

September 4, 2011

#Genealogy – Without the Sermon: Introducing “The Catholic Gene”

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A new take on Genealogy and a very polished blog to boot.  Welcome to “The Catholic Gene“. Just look at these bloggers …

Jasia (Creative Gene), Donna Pointkouski who also writes What’s Past is Prologue, Stephen Danko, Sheri Fenley, Lisa (Smallest Leaf), Lisa A. Alzo, Denise Levenick, Craig Manson, and Ceil Jensen.  That’s not a blog, that’s a full blown Polish Genealogy Conference!

I had seen mention of it via my rootsweb genealogy mailing lists, then I saw it pop up on my iGoogle Genealogy Page.  I had to check it out after reading Creative Gene (see my blog roll — in fact most of these people are on it). Naturally, Stanczyk‘s curiosity  was piqued by the blog roll entry, “The Curt Jester”  — clever.

Make this a part of your Sunday ritual, its good for the soul and should be good for your genealogy too.

September 2, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1818

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1817. inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1818 in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1818 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Year: 1818      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      85 Total Births

Record #3     Date: 1/1/1818

Father: Mosiek Merzdal, Handlarz, Age 28, Wojcza   House #50

Mother: Sorli z Lewkow, age 24

Baby: boy Herczyk

Witnesses:  Jaska Jaskowicz, pakiarz, age 42 Wojcza & Moska Szymolewicz, kaczmarz,  <no age>, Biechow


Record #12     Date: 2/1/1818

Father: Jasek Jaskowicz, Pakiarz, Age 42, Wojcza   House #2

Mother: Estera z Nutow, age 36

Baby: girl Ruskla

Witnesses:  Moska Golbarka, Arendarz, age 34 Wojcza & Moska Szymolewicz, szynkarz,  <no age>, Biechow


Record #15     Date: 2/14/1818

Father: Mosiek Szymolewicz, Szynkasz, Age 36, Biechow   Biechow Inn #77

Mother: Setla z Slorkow, age 36

Baby: girl Esterka

Witnesses:  Moska Golbarka, arendarz, age 34 Wojcza & Simela Komnan, kaczmarzek,  56, Jastrzebica (parish Stopnica)

So we have 3 births in 1818 out of 84 total births, which is 3.6% of birth population. Also note that Mosiek Szymolewicz was in all three records with no age given in the first two records where he was a witness, finally we get his age as the father in the third birth record. Also note the visiting witness from Jastrzebica village which is identified as being in the Stopnica parish.

As usual, I give the JRI permission to use these Jewish records in their databases [if they ever get around to visiting my blog].

I can quickly pick out the Jewish records out  as they hand-write their names in Hebrew script. It is possible that my using this method may cause me to miss a Jewish record if the record was not signed with Hebrew [although let me hasten to add that very few records are signed, maybe another 4-5 beyond the Hebrew signatures and most of those other signatures I recognize as Catholic families that I have in my family tree.]

August 11, 2011

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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


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

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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 515 other followers

%d bloggers like this: