Archive for ‘Culture / Folklore’

October 29, 2015

Halloween in Philadelphia 🎃

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Stanczyk is in a macabre mood … it must be that Halloween Full Moon a couple of days ago or perhaps because  in a couple of more days its Halloween itself.

So this jester was reading about books & libraries to assuage my bibliophage tendencies. In Philadelphia we have a unique collection of books the largest known cache:  anthropodermic bibliopegy
Well now, that suits the mood just fine. If you clicked on the anthropodermic bibliopegy link, then you know this is a story about book binding using human skin. So the largest collection of human skinned books is located in Philadelphia. To be precise it is in: The Historical Medical Library of the College  of Physicians of Philadelphia. 

How Do You Know its really Human Skin?

Forensic scientists have developed a method called, peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF). So you might think these books would be at the Mütter Museum. You’d be part correct, since the Mütter Museum is part of The Historical Medical Library. Got a minute? Watch this You Tube video, (a Mütter Minute on one of the books). If you have a bit more time then read the mental floss article: http://mentalfloss.com/article/51634/bizarre-art-binding-books-human-skin .

So how many creepy books are in this collection? Five books.  (see the image above). Perhaps we should be grateful that the largest collection is only five books. Happy Halloween and do not forget All Saints Day & All Souls Day too (good days to go to cemeteries and visit with your ancestors).

June 12, 2015

Introducing Pacanów — #‎KoziołekMatołek‬ ‘s home away from home #Museum

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MuseumStanczyk was astonished. THere is no other single word to describe what I felt as I was reading The Economist article, “Build it and they will come“. When I read the first six words, this jester was astonished. I knew in an instant they were going to talk about #‎KoziołekMatołek and the fairy tale museum that is in Pacanów (this jester’s ancestral village).

The Economist ! I guess we know where the center of Europe is, Pacanów. A good way to end the week.


 

June 2, 2015

The Pretenders To The Throne — #HorseRacing #Triplecrown

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  Perhaps Caitlyn has so overwhelmed your news consumption, that you may have overlooked the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of horse racing’s triple crown, is this Saturday.  You are forgiven. 

This jester still remembers Secretariat who became the Athlete of the Year in 1973. That was three years before Caitlyn was man/athlete of the year. The halcyon 1970’s produced the last three Triple Crown winners (Secretariat, Seattle Slew & Affirmed). The last 37 years we have had 13 close calls (Big Brown who could not  finish at Belmont due to injury & I’ll Have Another was scrathed due to injury); let’s hold our breath on Saturday and wager on American Pharoah. Its time for some new racing royalty. 

January 3, 2015

What Is In A Name ? — Polish Name Days #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wants to start the year with this blog.  So in Polish genealogy there is the concept of a name day. This day is celebrated as often as a person’s actual birthdate. Well it turns out that a name if often given from the Polish Name Day. So in actuality then the birthday and the name day are the same day in MANY cases.

Perhaps you have been looking through the family parish books for births (urodziny). Many times you will see a string of several Pawels (or any name) born in a row. This is an indication that name days has a strong influence in your village. Now if you look closely you will see that not all of those Pawels were born on the same day so technically not all were named on their name day. But you can expect the name is close by (+/- 1-2 days).

How does a name day work?

First let me introduce you to some good resources on the Internet.

  1. http://www.namedaycalendar.com/index.php/poland
  2. http://www.masterpage.com.pl/imieniny.html
  3. http://www.behindthename.com/namedays/
  4. http://diminutive-names.com/
  5. http://www.catholic.org/saints/

Number one (NameDayCalendar) is Comprehensive. It defaults to today’s date and names. You can search by date or month. You can also search for a name too. Number two (Imienny) gives you a concise box/table of name days. It goes across with month-name and downwards from 1 to 31 with 2 or 3 names per box. Number three (BehindTheName) is a comprehensive tool. Names, Name Search, Name Translation,  Name Popularity, Name Days (for 15 countries) and a few more. Number four (DiminutiveNames). You know Ted is a diminutive form for Theodore (Teodor). But have you ever wondered what a Polish Diminutive name is from? That is what Number Four does for you. I searched for ‘Czesiu’ and it said it was the diminutive for Czeslaw (which I knew because that is my father’s name and Czesiu was the term of endearment that my grandmother Walerya wrote in her son’s prayer book.  Number 5 is the other popular possibility of naming the child for a favorite saint whose feast day is the date of birth of the child (again +/- 1-2 days).

Okay so every day has more than one name. Some names (maybe all names) occur on more than one day in the calendar year. So if you are using the name day to figure out the birth date, please be aware that you might have to juggle several dates as possibilities. Of course many countries have name days. Consider, the rare name Dionizy [which occurs once in my family tree of Polish born ancestors], its names days are:

Poland: February 26
Poland: April 8
Poland: September 2
Poland: September 9
Poland: September 20
Poland: October 2
Poland: October 9
Poland: October 16
Poland: November 16
Poland: November 17
Poland: December 26
Poland: December 30

I would have to consider all twelve dates as possible birth dates for Dionizy Slawinski.

My grandfather, Jozef Elijasz had a brother born December 21st. His name was Tomasz Kanty. The ‘Tomasz’ came from the name day of the 21st (of December). The ‘Kanty’ came from the feast day of  saint Jan Kanty (John Canty) on December 23rd. Now I have plenty of Jan Kanty in my tree, but this is the first and only Tomasz Kanty. So we see the influence of both the name day and the saint’s feast day in one person!

What about Dionizy? His actual birth date was the 29th of March – no Dionizy name day there. But the record date is April 6th and this is often presumed the baptismal date of a birth record. Well now we have a name day for the baptism day (actually April 8th).  So you can see a certain amount of fluidity in the naming of a child.

It appears that naming a Polish child is akin to the complexity of naming a cat (T. S. Eliot, “The Naming Of Cats“). But  Polish Name Days or Saints Feast Days may provide a clue to a missing birth date. It appears Stanczyk’s first name is from his name day (or perhaps he was just named after his father). Something to think about.

Happy New Year Everybody!


December 18, 2014

Polish Columbus Author — Dr Manuel Rosa Discovers America … Again #History #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dr. Manuel Rosa long time historian, some-time IT professional is returning to the USA again on:

Feb 10th, 2015 at the: Florida International University (in Miami, FL) to present, “COLUMBUS: The Untold Story“. This was brought to my attention by, “Lourenço Damas” on 16th December. Lourenco has been a previous commenter/contributor to this blog.

I have posted a few times on Manuel Rosa and his research that Christopher Columbus may have been the son of King Wladyslaw III, going by the name, “Henry the German (Alemao)” to hide from Turks who thought they killed him. When is the book going to be published in English?

To review the factual claims … read this blog article. Some arguments are compelling, others are an exegetical stretch. I thought we were waiting on DNA to confirm/refute this theory? Where is that DNA test, Dr. Rosa? This is beginning to feel like “Ancient Astronaut” TV fodder since it does not progress to accepted fact by continued research and/or intellectual debate amongst historians in historical journals.


November 9, 2014

2014 World Chess Championship — Magnus Carlsen Wins, Two-Peat

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Sochi2014 The Offical website – http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/

Round 1 Was an exciting ebb and flow back and forth between Carlsen (black) and Anand (white) which wound down to a DRAW. http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/8393-wccm-round-1-draw.html

The moves with analysis can be found here …

http://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2014-wcc/01-Anand_Viswanathan-Carlsen_Magnus

Round 2 is today: 9th-November-2014 in five minutes ! Live Analysis is here.


Cumulative Results:

WCCM_2014_final

 

Prior Blog:

https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/2014-mens-chess-championship-tournament-fide-chooses-sochi/

October 1, 2014

Polish American Heritage Month — 2014 #Genealogy , #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Calendar_October_Polish

#WordlessWednesday — The above is a historical calendar for Polish Events in October. So I thought it was perfect for kicking off Polish American Heritage Month.

 

Also, Stanczyk wanted to mention that this month also has an important museum opening in New York City, NY.

MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS announce its Grand Opening on OCTOBER 28, 2014

The museum will open with eight galleries and span the 1,000 history of Jewish Life in Poland. The press-release provides further details. For more info CONTACT: info@taubephilanthropies.org . In time for Polish American Heritage Month!

 

 

September 23, 2014

Finding Your Roots — #Genealogy , #TV

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FYR_PBSFinding Your Roots by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.  returns to PBS tonight. The first episode features:

  • Stephen King
  • Gloria Reuben
  • Courtney B. Vance

What’s their connection? Tune in tonight on PBS.

 

— A Stanczyk favorite


 

July 1, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are – UK? #UK, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

WDYTYA_QmWho are the UK celebs of, “Who Do You Think You Are“?  Stanczyk does not watch the UK TV,  but this blog is #Global. But, I would watch the episode on Twiggy .

Why not bring some WDYTYA episodes from overseas back to the USA?

The details are at: http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.comUK .

 

UK Stars:

Mary Berry,   Brian Blessed,   Billy Connolly,   Brendan O’Carroll,

Martin Shaw,   Sheridan Smith,   Twiggy,   Julie Walters,   Reggie Yates,  Tamzin Outhwaite

December 30, 2013

Family Legacy …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

BooksThe Junior Classics – 1938

As a genealogist, and many of Stanczyk’s readers are genealogists, we are of course leaving a legacy in our research. As a Polish-American, I also leave cultural legacies related to Thanksgiving or 4th of July or Easter or Christmas.

But I wanted share yet another personal legacy that I am sharing. You see those colorful books at the top of the blog? They are a series of ten books by COLLIER — The Junior Classics. It was a series of hardback books filled with stories & poems across a spectrum of genres from 1938!

My parents bought me this set as a child. I was not a good bibliophile as a child and our books became gradually marred. I kept one book (orange) of poems. The picture is of a set I was able to locate via the Internet and purchase to share with the children from  Teréza & my marriage. I wanted to share my love of reading with our children as my mother & father had done for me. So a legacy of reading, learning, and exploring and also a love for bound books … as anachronistic as that may be today or in the future. Thank God that someone else had preserved such a cultural treasure from the past — these books are 75 years old! I hope my and Tereza’s kids can maintain this legacy and the act of reading stories & funny onomapoeiatic poems to their children too.

That is a legacy that connects our generations.

P.S. – kids,  my favorite volumes were #1 & #3 and because of my father and his readings, also #10 .

December 29, 2013

Auld Lang Syne – 2013 — #HappyNewYear, #Poem, #AnnualBlog

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AllsWell

Stanczyk is republishing his annual blog post:  Auld Lang Syne

Count your blessings my dear readers and take heart in that inventory.

So as we draw to a close this elder year 2013 AD, I take but a moments pause to wish my friends and good readers well and much happiness and wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.—

Verily, this jester says, “All Is Well, That Ends Well“. And 2013 has indeed ended well.

Let me endebt myself further and borrow again from the great bard to close out this year. In Shakespeare’s play, “All’s Well That Ends Well”, in the first Act, the first Scene is a quote that suits me well to use though I steal it from a woman’s lips:

That I should love a bright particular star
And think to wed it, she who is so above me:
In her bright radiance and collateral light.

My bright star is my much beloved wife, Teréza !

I love her so and our growing family and our friends too. Those who love her cannot be faulted for she is such a force of a nature and a wonder to behold. And those who fault her, do not know love. Theirs is a terrible loss indeed. Pity those fools for their jealousy and praise this jester for his steadfastness in the face of such folly. Bless my wife for her devotion made stronger and more holy for her mettle that was tempered by the trifles of miscreants.

I would like to thank my readers for another fine year. Reads of the blog are up another 15%;  This month is a record month of reads and that would not be so, without you. You, my good readers, are a part of that inventory of blessings that I have counted. Interact with me on Facebook, Twitter (@Stanczyk_), and/or LinkedIn too.

Those are my closing thoughts for 2013. Better #Genealogy in the coming year to all genealogists!

Happy New Year 2014 !

–Stanczyk

September 23, 2013

Map of Poland 1764 – Polish Coat of Arms By Province — #Polish, #Heraldic, #CoatOfArms

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polska_1764_pelna

Jozef Taran wrote over the weekend on Facebook about a website giving the coat of arms of the various provinces.

Stanczyk just loves the artistry and historicity of heraldic symbols.  But, it was a bonus! At the site was a 1764 map of the Poland/Lithuanian Commonwealth.

As a double bonus, I looked at the whole website:

http://www.wawrzak.org/news_updates.htm and it is a site dedicated to Szlachta (Polish Nobility). It has Polish/English text. Very nice find for those with blue blood coursing through their genealogical veins.

The 1764 Map is shown on the Maps Page.

August 22, 2013

#Meme — Things I Find Whilst Looking Up Other Things — #Genealogy, #Art, #GettyMuseum

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

DukeLudiwg_I_01

The Getty Museum released on 14th-August-2013 over 4,000 images into public domain (i.e. free). According to the ArtObserved article on the museum’s  public release made public on their Getty Iris blog, this is part of their, “Open Content” commitment of their digital resources.

You can search these images using:  Getty Search Gateway .

Stanczyk, knows what you’re thinking, “I am too busy on my genealogy to search through museum images”. But I politely urge you to reconsider. While I was searching their images, I found a genealogical family tree, of Duke Ludwig I of Brzeg (amongst many other images he commissioned). A Polish noble of house Piast. So if your family tree intersects, get thee to the Getty Museum. For those curious, I have posted the images to this blog. The text is Fraktur looking, gothic, German script.

.

.

Other Duke Ludwik I, Family Tree Images …

DukeLudiwg_I_02 DukeLudiwg_I_03

May 30, 2013

Koziolek Matolek 80 Years ! — #Polish, #Culture, #Pacanow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Happy Birthday  Matolek, sto lat. Koziolek Matolek (Matolek the Billy-goat) was born in 1933. You Koziolek_80Yearsmight say he put Pacanow “on the map”. You see Matolek wanted to go to Pacanow because he heard that you could get good (goat) shoes in Pacanow.

Now this charming character has always had a special place in Stanczyk’s heart, because my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski was a shoe-maker (szewc) / inn keeper. So perhaps Matolek would have bought his shoes from my great-grandfather. Did he ever find Pacanow? I do not know.

Koziolek Matolek (Matolek the Billy-goat) was the creation of  Kornel Makuszyński (story) and Marian Walentynowicz (art).

Well, it is now 80 years later and Pacanow is celebrating this cult-favorite May 31st – June 2 this year! Their program can be found here . Like Matolek, I too have been trying to get to Pacanow.

April 1, 2013

World Backup Day

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1 April 2013 – Dateline Philadelphia

Yes, this jester knows its April Fool’s day; But who better than a jester to speak truth to the people (uh … genealogists, librarians, archivists, & researchers) on this day? The first of April has become the impetus for backup and preservation.

20130401-051142.jpg

You need only look at today’s world of crazy dictators or Mali terrorists to see that cultural/historical artifacts can disappear in an instant. Cyberwarfare can claim your harddisk. The cloud could crash or hurricane Sandy can happen (please donate to Ellis island Foundation to help in that restoration effort). Libraries and Archives need to safeguard your artifacts too! Are you motivated yet? Good!

There are backup solutions, including some free options to the “cloud”. Apple even provides a free 5GB iCloud. So save your GEDCOM file. If you still have free space then backup pictures or scans that are CRITICAL. You can save/backup to media: CDs, USB thumb drives, etc. But be aware that backup to electronic media needs to be refreshed yearly to avoid stranding your backups on outmoded technology (i.e. 8Track tapes or even floppy disks).

Be careful out there and have a Happy April Fool’s Day!

December 30, 2012

Auld Lang Syne – 2012

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AllsWellSo as we draw to a close this elder year 2012 AD, I take but a moments pause to wish my friends and good readers well and much happiness and wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Verily, this jester says, “All Is Well, That Ends Well“. And 2012 has indeed ended well.

Let me endebt myself further and borrow again from the great bard to close out this year. In Shakespeare’s play, “All’s Well That Ends Well”, in the first Act, the first Scene is a quote that suits me well to use though I steal it from a woman’s lips:

That I should love a bright particular star
And think to wed it, she who is so above me:
In her bright radiance and collateral light.

My bright star is my much beloved wife, Teréza !

I love her so. Those who love her cannot be faulted for she is such a force of a nature and a wonder to behold. And those who fault her, do not know love. Theirs is a terrible loss indeed. Pity those fools for their jealousy and praise this jester for his steadfastness in the face of such folly. Bless my wife for her devotion made stronger and more holy for her mettle that was tempered by the trifles of miscreants.

That’s my closing thoughts for 2012. Better Genealogy in the coming year to all genealogists!

Happy New Year 2013 !

–Stanczyk

August 2, 2012

President Obama’s Ancestor Was 1st African Enslaved For Life — #Genealogy, #History, #Presidents

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

For Stanczyk, Ancestry.com keeps getting better and better. Ancestry discovered that President Obama is related to John Punch. John Punch was one of President Obama’s 11th great-grandfathers.

According to the Ancestry press release, this discovery happened as Ancestry researched his maternal lineage. As you may recall, President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is Caucasian (i.e. white) with a lineage that was recently traced back through Ireland (by Megan Smolenyak).

Lesser known is the President’s German 6th great-grandfather, Johann Conrad Wolflin (aka Wolfley) who immigrated to Pennsylvania. This research was also done by Ancestry.com.

Now this John Punch is a topic I’d like to see done on Dr. Henry Louis Gates‘ PBS show!

 

July 1, 2012

History Stolen – More than 4,000 Documents Stolen; Conviction In Thefts !

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Perhaps long time blog readers will remember Stanczyk’s earlier post about historical documents that may have been stolen. Well it seems a conviction has been had in the theft of more than 4,000 rare historical documents.

On June 27th, 2012, Barry Landau  was convicted for his role in stealing more than 4,000 rare historical documents. Landau, 63, admitted in a plea agreement to having stolen from museums in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut and having sold some of those documents for profit.

His accomplice, Jason Savedoff, who along with Landau was arrested in July 2011 after workers at the Maryland Historical Society spotted them trying to steal documents. Savedoff has already pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing for his role.

Landau has acknowledged stealing documents from at least five institutions in addition to the Maryland Historical Society. They are the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Connecticut Historical Society, the University of Vermont, the New York Historical Society and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential library in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Many of the angry historians who had been tricked by Landau came to see his sentencing. Locally from Philadelphia the sentiment was …

“What they did is really terrible. It our national patrimony that they took,” Lee Arnold of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) said. “A thief and a liar,” Ashley Harper also of the HSP said. The HSP had to conduct an inventory of documents after several visits by Landau and Savedoff (See: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/07/25/historical-society-of-pennsylvania-conducting-inventory-after-visits-by-accused-document-thieves/). Kim Sajet said Landau and Savedoff visited the HSP’s historical collections a total of 17 times !

Other Sources

Bloomberg BW (excellent reporting):

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-06-28/ny-man-gets-7-years-prison-for-rare-document-theft

CBS:

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/06/27/man-to-be-sentenced-for-rare-document-thefts/

CNN:

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-06-27/justice/justice_presidential-historian-sentenced_1_barry-h-landau-jason-savedoff-documents?_s=PM:JUSTICE

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