Archive for ‘Data’

September 16, 2011

Preparing for 1940 Census

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1940 US Census Form

If you go to Steve Morse’s One-Step Website or you go to the US National Archives, you will see that as right now you have 198 days (and 17+ hours) to prepare for the 1940 US Census (which arrives 72 years after census, to protect privacy). This time it will be on April 2nd (2012).

Are you preparing? Ancestry.com says they will give us free access to the 1940 census (for a while). The last time (10 years ago) there were no indexes at the release and you had to do a lot of brute force searching page-by-page through an Enumeration District (ED), so you had to know the whereabouts of your family and be able to use the ED’s boundary cross streets to figure out which ED you needed to go page-by-page through. “Supposedly”, Ancestry.com says the indexes will be there (all of them?  on day 1?). I hope they are correct and I hope this year they do not use foreign people to index the names — which was quite a snafu the last time and of course they were re-indexed (always time/money to do it a second time, but not enough time/money to do it right the first time — Stanczyk was a consultant too long and saw this again and again in many industries).

How can you prepare?

  • Locate a 1940 (or 1939 or 1941) City Directory if you know the street address and verify that family were there
  • If they are somewhere else, then you will need to use SteveMorse.org and his Census tools to change the new address into a 1940 ED
  • Determine the ED ahead of time in case there are no indexes or the indexes are BAD.
  • No City Directory available? SteveMorse has a census tool to convert the 1930 ED into a 1940 ED [assuming your family stayed at the same address]
  • Figure out ahead of time some novel misspellings of the surnames your are searching for in case the indexer or the Census taker messed up your ancestor’s name.
  • DO NOT lock yourself into assuming they are in the same state (or county or city).
  • At first try with many details filled in, then relax a field at a time until you find your family -or- you can go in the opposite direction if your name is not common and start with the fewest fields filled in (usually just surname) and add in fields if you need to cut down the number of results.
  • Use an address from any document prior to 1940, (ex. Naturalization Forms) if you do not have any idea where they live in 1940. Use the latest document’s address that you have to guess at an ED [again using SteveMorse.org].
  • If the above fails try and find the address, the earliest as possible  after the 1940 Census and see if they were. The Old Man’s WWII Draft might fit the bill for most people.

Those are my tips. Any other tips you are using? Then email this jester or make a comment, please.  Prepare as if you were going to a Library or an archive or the Family History Library.

This is a War Census, so I do not know how they dealt with the many households that had soldiers away at war. Were soldiers listed on the Census or not?

General Info & 1940 Census Questions

Many good questions on this census, including …

  1. Residence, April 1, 1935
  2. For all women who are or have been married:  Number of children ever born (do not include stillbirths).
  3. Veterans: War or military service.
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September 13, 2011

Musing about the Cholera Epidemic of 1831

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I frequently browse my blog’s web analytics (who refers, what they searched on, etc.). I noticed that someone landed on my blog searching about Cholera in the Biechow parish (in Piestrzec to be specific).

First let me take a moment to pay due to Rosemary Chorzempa(Toledo Genealogical Society, author) whose book, Polish Roots, was my first genealogy book and from whence I began the study of this craft. I still refer back to it — a real classic. I bring her book up because it has a timeline in it and one of the entries is 1831 – “First[sic Second] Asiatic Cholera Epidemic“. This is when Cholera came to the villages: Biechow, Piestrzec, Wojcza, Chrzanow, etc. Besides the obvious HIGH death rates, we also saw low birth rates too.

Stanczyk has mentioned this before, but one of my ancestors, Marcin Heliasz, age 50 (b. about 1781) was listed as death number 232 (the last one) and Marcin and number 231 did not even have death dates or witnesses. I surmise that the parish priest as he visited on or before the Feast of Epiphany to inscribe the door lintel with the three wise men’s initials (K,M,B) he found these two villagers dead. Their record is after the other records and the end of year notation the priest usually makes.

The number of deaths were between 49-88 (from 1816-1827). Then 1828- 122 deaths, 1829- 149 deaths, 1830- 142 deaths, perhaps these might have been due to a growth spurt, but in 1831- 232 deaths (and cholera was noted in the church registers). In 1832- 80, 1833- 61, 1834- 71. So we see a return to normal death rates of the early 1820’s. This may also reflect the low birth rate in 1831- just 46. Typically, the birth rate exceeds the death rate by a handful (or a couple dozen in times of plenty) in this parish.

So for the year 1831 with only 46 births and then 232 deaths meant this parish had a net drop in population of 186 in ONE year! If we assume/project from the Parish Censuses (at the top of this blog) that Biechow’s parish population was between 1800-1900 people, then in one year they lost about 10% of the people ! Perhaps half a million Europeans died during this epidemic. In many countries there were actually Cholera Riots — as people were suspicious of their governments.

For more information on epidemics or Cholera Epidemics see Wikipedia.

September 12, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – Revisited With A Documented Methodology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk got one comment recently. It was the first one I ever deleted. It was rude and was in reference to my rant at Genealogy Rankings posted by EOGN. Eastman, had just reposted some blogger’s effort without checking the results (a genealogical mistake — which we all make at some time or other).

Stanczyk, however is a natural skeptic. So when I looked at the results and they differed from my experience … WILDLY. I knew they were wrong or at least that the methodology employed was flawed and the info was misinformation. So I searched for another more credible ranking — which I did find and repost myself. This info was more representative of the real world and while a methodology was also not documented for this, I did cite my source of data.

However, bothered I was by my comment that I deleted for its obvious bias and rudeness, I had to admit I needed to study this and document my methodology. The commenter proffered that ALEXA.com be the source. So I obliged. I used Alexa.com and made the following search for data:

  • All countries (hint hint)
  • Society->Genealogy [the topic]
  • All languages (although come on, Genealogy is only genealogy in English)
  • All rankings
  • No filter
  • I eliminated results without any numbers (how could they be ranked)
  • I added a handful off the top of my head to see where they fit
  • I used Global Ranking (since I wanted all countries/languages)

My Additions

I added FamilySearch.org,  I knew this must be big! I added Genealodzy.pl which most people probably do not know (unless they read my blog), because it was a credible Genealogical Society Website (and probably not the most popular genealogy website in Poland). I added Footnote (now Fold3) — I was sure this was huge too. I also added CastelGarden, SteveMorse, and my own humble blog for reference — I am sure many other Polish Genealogy blogs are higher ranked. My additions are  bolded and in RED.

I could not compare my results to his results because he used the URL instead of the name so I am not certain which of mine are his and vice-versa. Also since we did these studies at different times, our results differ slightly in numbers. I am also puzzled as to how he got so many .UK or .CA websites. These did not get returned by my Alexa.com search — perhaps he limited his methodology  or added in many websites that he knew. I think Alexa.com needs to return a consistent set of websites so rankings can be compared. I also think that some websites need to describe or META tag their website better so sites like Alexa.com and its competitors can do a better job of collecting statistics. I think GENEALOGY as a topic is MUCH more popular than Alexa.com shows. Also, perhaps Alexa.com data is NOT reproducible.  So maybe my critique of EOGN is unwarranted and the Anglo-Celtic blog is also correct (as I am too). That would not be a good thing for Alexa.com. I wish other competitors in Web Analytics would publish a Genealogy/Family History Ranking study. I hope they include genealogia or other foreign renditions of the English ‘Genealogy’ so we can get a true World-Wide study. I also question whether Ancestry.com (and Ancestry.ca, Ancestry.uk, Ancestry.de, etc) should be separate or combined.

When you view the rankings, the lower the number, the better. It means there are that many websites (-1) that are more popular. So for example, my blog that you are reading has 12.8 Million other websites (like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.) ahead of me in popularity in the WORLD. Pay close attention to my additions, they are in bold/red and for the most part are near to the top.

Genealogy Websites top 113 (I am number 106 — come-on readers)

# Website Ranking
1 Ancestry.com 1,073
2    Familysearch.org 8,331
3 Genealogy.com 11,875
4 GeneaNet 13,684
5 The British Monarchy 53,320
6 Family Tree DNA 57,911
7 RootsWeb  62,662
8   Footnote.org (now fold3) 76,309
9 JewishGen 85,873
10 What’s New in Genealogy Today  116,942
11 Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Resources on the Internet 124,819
12 TribalPages 125,404
13    Stevemorse.org 137,026
14 Eastman’s Online Genealogy News  138,037
15 Access Genealogy  140,165
16 GenoPro 164,723
17 World Vital Records 186,504
18   Genealodzy.pl 187,329
19 One Great Family 203,284
20 Polish Genealogical Society of America 203,550
21 ProGenealogists, Inc. 230,037
22 Genealogy and Family History Data at DistantCousin.com 240,451
23 AncientFaces 271,220
24 Kindred Konnections 273,644
25 National Genealogical Society 300,259
26 Family Tree Magazine 304,602
27 Family Research 317,401
28 Legacy Family Tree 334,708
29 British Royal Family History 337,957
30 Curious Fox 450,455
31 museumsusa.org 478,027
32 Olive Tree Genealogy 478,202
33 GenealogyLinks.net 526,395
34 NCGenWeb 529,784
35 Family Tree Guide 540,734
36 Oxford Ancestors 540,969
37 Irish Genealogy 542,221
38 RootsMagic 546,245
39 CousinConnect.com 556,154
40 Family Tree Circles 560,472
41 Monmouth County Library 664,876
42    Castlegarden.org 736,651
43 Avotaynu 790,666
44 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
45 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
46 Genealogy Articles, Tips & Research Guides 867,921
47 CensusDiggins.com  903,350
48 Genealogy Blog 981,796
49 Reunion 988,538
50 Obituary Links Page  1,080,372
51 Dear Myrtle 1,084,424
52 Dead Fred’s Photo Genealogy Archive 1,149,953
53 GeneaLinks 1,168,516
54 Ultimate Family Tree 1,527,831
55 Holmes, Doug 1,569,874
56 RoyaList Online 1,608,515
57 Kerchner 1,624,302
58 phpmyfamily – Genealogical website builder 1,635,669
59 Jewish Web Index 1,713,993
60 Couch: USA 1,766,283
61 The Ohio Genealogical Society 1,792,377
62 Board for Certification of Genealogists 1,854,544
63 Ancestral Quest 1,856,546
64 GenealogyPro.com 1,892,255
65 Scot Roots 2,170,754
66 Genealogy Magazine 2,175,330
67 Black Sheep Ancestors 2,243,157
68 Eneclann 2,298,226
69 Sephardim.com 2,456,171
70 Odessa German-Russian Genealogical Library 2,531,031
71 Journal of Genetic Genealogy 2,585,838
72 Genealogical Journeys In Time 2,780,736
73 Colonial Ancestors 2,932,587
74 Genealogy Register 3,016,245
75 The Genealogue 3,033,136
76 Winslow 3,189,607
77 Family Chronicle Magazine 3,248,384
78 GEDitCOM 3,527,586
79 Gen Source 3,718,359
80 Brother’s Keeper 3,788,856
81 Surname Site  3,854,351
82 GenealogySpot.com 4,028,763
83 GenSmarts 4,070,308
84 Palatines to America 4,161,788
85 Looking 4 Kin Genealogy Links and Chat 4,650,889
86 Genealogical Forum of Oregon 5,079,038
87 Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox  5,229,636
88 Family Origins 5,240,600
89 Genealogy Research Associates, Inc 5,416,307
90 Surname Genealogy Archive 5,462,264
91 Spansoft – Kith and Kin Genealogy Software 5,477,484
92 Historic Genealogy in New England 5,550,789
93 Ancestor Genealogy Photo Archive 5,999,968
94 Genealogy Roots Blog 6,048,790
95 Lineages, Inc 6,852,004
96 Surname Guide 7,252,646
97 Debrett Ancestry Research 8,431,123
98 Geneabios 8,649,736
99 MudCreek Software 9,461,331
100 Family Tree Connection 9,693,244
101 Association of Scottish Genealogists and Record Agents 9,785,665
102 nbgs.ca 10,632,352
103 Scottish Roots 10,912,588
104 Georgia Genealogical Society 11,944,069
105 Rogue Valley Genealogical Society 12,287,030
106   mikeeliasz.wordpress.com (Stanczyk) 12,805,138
107 Genealogy Software News 15,592,001
108 Wheelock 20,518,710
109 FamilyWebHost 20,769,903
110 Genealogy Home Page 23,241,140
111 Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society 25,363,263
112 Upper Canada Genealogy 26,691,115
113 GenDesigner 26,900,547

It is clear that Great Britain is much more genealogy crazy than the USA. If I were to do this again, I would probably go through my favorites/bookmarks and add in a few blogs (Polish Genealogy), Polish Genealogical Societies (US & Poland), FindAGrave.com, Interment.net, and Everett Genealogy Magazine. What would you add?

–Stanczyk

September 8, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1820

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 1810-1819  inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1820 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1820 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. In 1820, there were four Jewish births out of a total of 111 births recorded in the Biechow parish. That works out to be 3.6% of the total.

Year: 1820      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      111 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Record #8     Date: 1/24/1820

Father: Szmul  Abramowicz,  Handlarz, Age 30, Piestrzec   House #77 (recorded as Karol Jaworski’s house)

Mother: Wiktula z Berkow, age 36

Baby: girl Chanka

Witnesses:  Leyb Berkowicz, Handlarz, age 26 Piestrzec & Judka Moskowicz, Handlarz,  <no age>, Piestrzec

—-

Record #13     Date: 2/5/1820

Father: Leyb  Szlamkiewicz,  Szkolnik, Age 50, Wojcza  House #2

Mother: Faydosz z Herszkow, age 30

Baby: boy Szlama

Witnesses:  Walsa  Jaskowicz, Pakiarz, age 40 Biechow & Mendla Moskowicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Record #54     Date: 6/30/1820

Father: Mendel  Moskowicz,  Pakiarz, Age 36, Wojcza  House #64

Mother: Serla z Lewkowiczow, age 36

Baby: girl Rucka

Witnesses:  Moska  Szymolowicz, Pakiarz, age 36 Wola Biechowska & Zelman Majorkiewicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Biechow

—-

Record #79     Date: 8/2/1820

Father: Zelman Steyberg,  Handlarz, Age 29, Biechow  House #46

Mother: Malka z Jaskowiczow, age 24

Baby: boy Herszla

Witnesses:  Jaska Wolfowicz, Pakiarz,  44, Biechow & Moska  Szymolowicz, Pakiarz, <no age>,  Wola Biechowska

–Stanczyk

September 6, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1819

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 1810-1818. inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1819 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1819 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Before I begin, I have been watching the evolution of names in the church register and I thought I would offer a few observations. First off, I am a gentile genealogist. So my treatment of Jewish names as rendered in the Polish language with its complex grammar is suspect — but I am learning.

So earlier I have been struggling with the surname: Golbarka or Goberka (also rendered as Golbarkow). First off, the assumption of ‘bark’ vs ‘berk’ due to poor writing and page condition is definitely off. I now know the name is Golberg (or we would probably render in 20th century English as Goldberg/Goldburg). I think I will keep the Golberkow ending as this is the grammatical construct for referring to the family as when writing the woman’s maiden name.

Notice I have decided to drop the ending ‘a’ on men’s names — which I am also thinking I should do on many first names as well, but my lack of experience with Jewish names of the 19th century Poland causes me to wonder how to apply what William Hoffman calls, ‘The Chopping Block’ to both first and last names when Jewish. So forgive me when I write: Moska, Mendla and Herszla(which in 20th century America I’d write as Herschel as in Herschel Walker). I know I need to drop the ending ‘a’, but I am not certain as to how to write those names, so I leave them as I find them for someone more expert than I to correct. My apologies in advance.

We see three births out of 104 total births. That represents a population of about 2.88% of the total parish population. So we are in the range of 3% +/- 0.25% which seems to be what I have seen in previous years. Again realize I am trying to give an in idea of the Jewish population in proportion to the entire population of the parish in (not intimating that the Jewish peoples are participants in the church parish activities). The 3% represents a modest growth from the 2.6% in Biechow census from 1787. [See Parish Census at the top of this blog]. According to that same census, the entire set of parishes in the surrounding area was about 6.4% Jewish.

My reason for doing this assessment is to convince the JRI, that it should at some point visit all Catholic parishes to pull out the remaining Jewish people without looking at the amount of effort required to yeild such tiny results. We know they are there  — do not leave them behind. After my Social Network Analysis, I am thinking that these non-shtetl Jews are a kind of glue between the surrounding towns/shtetls.

The assessment also shows that Jews and Catholics lived side by side and not segregated [in this very rural area very near to the Austria-Poland partition]. Now this may only be true in Poland and not the rest of “The Pale of Settlement” as defined by the Czars of the Russian Empire. According to Wikipedia,  Jews (of the Pale) were not forbidden by the Czars from rural areas until 1882.

Year: 1819      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      104 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Record #38     Date: 4/17/1819 [about 1 month earlier than the 5/15/1819 record date]

Father: Mosiek Golberg,  Arendarz, Age 34, Wojcza   House #60

Mother: Fraydla z Jakow, age 32

Baby: girl Cyra

Witnesses:  Moska Samulowicz, kaczmarz, age 36 Biechow & Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Record #53     Date: 7/7/1819

Father: Nat Belel,  Mlynarz, Age 25, Wojcza   House #3 (listed as Jozef Pawelec ‘s house)

Mother: Rucha  z Golberkow, age 22

Baby: girl Eydla

Witnesses:  Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  28, Wojcza   &  Moska Szmulowicz, pakiarz, <no age> Wola Biechowska

—-

Record #104     Date: 12/23/1819

Father: Jasek Wolf,  pakiarz, Age 45, Biechow   House #48

Mother: Blima  z Chaymowicz, age 38

Baby: boy Herszla

Witnesses:  Zalman Stemberk(Stemberg??), pakiarz,  28, Biechow   &  Berka Chaymowicz, Handlarz, <no age>  Biechow

–Stanczyk

September 6, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – 2011

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk just read EOGN (Eastman Online Genealogy Network) and could not believe what he read. So I followed the source and read that and still did not believe. So I checked further – because I could NOT locate the benchmark/methodology of the survey which is NOT credible. I  then Googled and found this source here:  http://www.progenealogists.com/top50genealogy2011.htm .  I certainly would agree with these rankings as these are what I use most often throughout the year.

Perhaps I am not Canadian as the source EOGN quoted was and perhaps the methodology was geographic based (in Canada, with UK add-in). Dick Eastman should do some extra checking rather than just re-broadcasting bogus news. That is my expectation for EOGN. Read the EOGN blog post that  I am railing against here: http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2011/09/genealogy-site-rankings.html

Certainly if I surveyed Polish Genealogy websites, my list would look differently too.

Here is the only credible 2011 Rankings:

Rank    Website                     Coverage/Content

  1. Ancestry.com $ – Ancestry.com is the leading genealogical data site, and includes articles, instruction, and reference help.
  2. MyHeritage.com – Focuses on genealogy community building and networking.
  3. FindAGrave.com – This database of 57 million cemetery inscriptions adds about a million per month and often includes tombstone photos.
  4. FamilySearch.org – This major data website sponsored by the LDS Church includes the IGI, census records, the library’s catalog and a growing collection of historical records from throughout the world, along with instruction and reference help. (4>5>5)
  5. Genealogy.com $ – A major data site, includes family trees, instruction and reference help. (5>2>4)
  6. Geni.com – Free, with the world’s largest collaborative family. (31>8>18)
  7. MyFamily.com – Hosts family websites for sharing photos, genealogy, and more. (33>5>5)
  8. FamilyLink.com $ – One of the most popular FaceBook applications helps people identify and network with their family and search billions of records. (2>80>72)
  9. RootsWeb.com – One of the largest, free, user-contributed data sites, includes 575 million names in family trees, also instruction and reference help. (6>4>2)
  10. AncestorHunt.com – Free genealogy search engine linking to free data. (11>11>12)
  11. AccessGenealogy.com – Millions of names in 250,000 pages, along with links to free data; especially useful for Native American information, and some data. (13>14>13)
  12. SearchForAncestors.com – Interactive directory of free genealogy websites and data. (12>19>21)
  13. GenealogyBank.com $ – 1 billion exclusive records from 4500 newspapers and historical books. (19>31>41)
  14. USGWArchives.net – A large collection of free data, arranged by state and searchable across the entire collection. (8>not ranked)
  15. CyndisList.com – The best subject catalog of genealogy webpage links. (14>17>15)
  16. Interment.net – Transcribed and indexed cemetery inscriptions. (16>16>16)
  17. OneGreatFamily.com$ – A family tree sharing and collaboration website. (9>11>9)
  18. GenealogyToday.com – Includes instruction, reference articles, and some unique data collections. (10>12>11)
  19. SurnameWeb.org – A collection of surname website links; online since 1996. (48>62>26)
  20. FindMyPast.co.uk$ – (Back in) 650 million British records of many types [formerly FindMyPast.com]. (57>46>50)
  21. Geneanet.org – (Back in) A European collection of 400 million names in family trees, community, and submitted records. (58>42>36)
  22. DeathIndexes.com – Lists of links to United States death records, by state. (23>25>31)
  23. Linkpendium.com – Nine million genealogy links organized by state/county and surname. (24>24>35)
  24. EllisIsland.org – Database of 24 million New York passenger arrivals that is free to search. Actual passenger list images can be printed or purchased. (15>20>14)
  25. GeneBase.com – A DNA ancestry cataloguing project with 675,000 users. (21>24>24)
  26. GenealogyTrails.com – Five year old site with free U.S. data contributed by volunteers. (25>35>NR)
  27. GenealogyBuff.com – A free genealogy search site with hundreds of data sources. (27>134>NR)
  28. FamilyTreeMaker.com – Homepage for Ancestry.com’s genealogical software. (28>21>20)
  29. USGennet.org – Historical and genealogical web hosting service. (18>15>17)
  30. WorldVitalRecords.com $ – The data collection provided by Family Link, with over a billion records, as well as instruction and reference help. (17>13>10)
  31. FamilyTreeDNA.com – DNA testing service focused upon family history test types. (20>26>27)
  32. Footnote.com $ – In conjunction with the U.S. National Archives, Footnote offers data, original records images, and more. (37>9>8)
  33. KindredKonnections.com $ – Grassroots created data site with compiled family trees, and some extracted records. (29>22>19)
  34. CensusFinder.com – Links to free census records. (22>29>40)
  35. Archives.com $ – A major new subscription data site, launched in July 2009 and already with more than a billion names. (41>New)
  36. DistantCousin.com – An online archive of genealogy records and images of historical documents. (34>23>22)
  37. FamilyHistory101.com – Less than four years old and full of instruction and guidance for genealogists. (38>47>107)
  38. ThePeerage.com – A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. (44>53>58)
  39. TribalPages.com – Family trees hosting with 300,000 members and 80 million names. (35>28>25)
  40. RootsChat.com – (New) Free family history messaging forum with almost 3 million mostly UK messages. (57>54>NR)
  41. HeritageQuestOnline.com $ – Census, PERSI (the periodical index), books, all free to you at many libraries. (32>39>39)
  42. NewspaperObituaries.net – (New) A directory of obituary databases and archives on the web. (91>84>126)
  43. AncientFaces.com – Share genealogy research, community pages, family photos & records more for free. (46>48>38)
  44. JewishGen.org – Jewish, reference, instruction, coordination, and databases. (26>32>28)
  45. PoliticalGraveyard.com – Comprehensive source of U.S. political biography that tells where many dead politicians are buried. (36>33>34)
  46. CousinConnect.com – A large free queries website. (39>27>23)
  47. DAR.org – Site of the largest lineage society; includes their library catalog and 32 million name index. (43>49>67)
  48. FamilyTreeMagazine.com – (New) Website for popular magazine that includes shopping, links, and research tools. (55>67>47)
  49. AmericanAncestors.org $ – (New) The new name for the NEHGS website and their 3,000 databases.  (73>89>87)
  50. GenealogyLinks.net – 50,000 links to free sites, arranged by state and county. (53>50>43)

Dropping out of the top 50:

  • GenWed.com– Online marriage records, where to order, some indexes, and more. (42>43>42)
  • ObitLinksPage.com– State-by-state directory of obituaries and obituary resources. (47>not ranked)
  • Genuki.org.uk– Large collection of genealogical information pages for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. (50>34>32)
  • GenoPro.com– Genealogy software that produces genograms (40>37>53)
  • US-Census.org– Census abstracts (U.S. GenWeb Census Project) (49>45>37)
  • Genealogy.org– (New) A listing of 400+ registered websites, ranked weekly by hits. (45>69>56)
  • FamilyTiez.com– (New) A site where families can establish their own pages to share news, photos, events and genealogy with each other. (30>not ranked)

Send Me your  top 10 Polish Genealogy Websites. This will be a non-scientific survey and I will only publish my findings if I can get 36 emails and I will add in my own top 10 Polish Genealogy sites too. Do not include from the above “generic” genealogy sites. I will allow only Polish (or German, Russian, Austrian, Slavic, Czech, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Jewish, or Hungarian genealogy websites that have ties to Poland).

Email your top 10 to: Stanczyk Email

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.]

September 2, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy #Blog – Stanczyk Thanks His Visitors …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Visitors Last 60 Days - Cumulative

About two months ago, on the 4th of July, Stanczyk decided to put a counter on the blog/website to see who you, my gentle readers are. Thank you for coming and for your emails — please keep them coming.

Since the blog is written in English, with a smattering of Polish, or Russian or even Latin, I suspected the English speaking world (US, CA, GB, AU) would be the majority. As you can see by the flags of the world and the numbers besides the flags,  representing yourselves, that is true.

Since much of the subject matter is Polish/Slavic genealogy based, then I was not surprised to find Poland my second largest country of interested viewers — Dziękuję bardzo . Indeed my thanks to all of the Central/Eastern Europeans from: PL, DE, RU, CZ, AT, UA, BY, LT and even HR — you know who you are.

I am pleased with Canada since many Polish genealogists or genealogists in general  who trace the Polonian diaspora came through Canada, as was the case in some of Stanczyk’s family tree. I am pleasantly surprised by the Nordic nations (SE, NO, DK), but of course there was much intermingling with the Polish peoples in a time long ago, including Mieszko I ‘s grandson Canute (aka Cnut the Great) who went on to great influence in the Nordic countries and finally in the United Kingdom itself.

As for the rest of the world, I am glad you came too. I thank you for your polite inquisitiveness.

I would urge all interested parties who blog, to use the Flag Counter — why not? I think the experiment was a success. I now know I am reaching my target audience (and a bit more besides) globally.

You can find the flag on the Map pages or the Dziennik Polski (Detroit, MI) pages. Click on the flags and it will take you the Flags Counter website where you can get your own.

Thanks for being a part of my experiment. For my part, I think I will keep it going to see how many Flags of the world I can collect or how many US states (32 so far) or Canadian provinces (5) I can wrangle in.

 

Your Host,

–Stanczyk

August 27, 2011

Earth Status – Blowin’ – Blogging About Hurricane Irene

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

9:50 am Saturday Discovery.com allows you to track Hurricane #Irene. Watch for Periodic updates to this article to chronicle this storm from Stanczyk’s point of view. Today we should all crowd-source the chronicling of Irene, since somewhere between 10% and 20% of the American populace will be affected by Irene’s weather pattern. Are you game?

Hurricane Irene 2011 First Bands near Philadelphia

9:50 am Saturday

Satellite Photo –

This indicates the first bands are arriving in the Philadelphia area.

0950 Saturday

0950 Saturday

9:50 am Saturday Outside Window Photo.

No Rain

Wind 4mph

Humidity 95%;

Temp 75 degrees Fahrenheit

11:52 am  Saturday The Satellite photo shows that the outer band has reached Philadelphia.

Well not much of a perceptible change outside  from two hours ago, maybe a bit darker. I am hoping to determine the radar maps accuracy relative to me and my readings.

No Rain

Wind 4mph

Humidity 87%;

Temp 77 degrees Fahrenheit

1152_Sattelite

Hurricane Irene 2011 First Bands over Philadelphia

Since Donna P. from the Blog, “Whats Past is Prologue” raised the question of media over-hype; Let me add a note.

Yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer published a graphic showing #Irene ‘s projected route/timeline. I noted it said, Landfall (pretty close to where the actual landfall actually occurred) would happen at 14:00. The actual time of landfall was 07:30. The projected arrival was to be a day later in Philly. So I will see whether it arrives in Philly at 07:30 Sunday or not. All times are Eastern US timezone.

1152_outside

1152 Saturday

12:50 Saturday  Previously in my comment to Donna P. I had said I’d compare to Hurricane Hugo (which happened in 1989). But I meant Hurricane Floyd in 1999 is the one in my mind that I wanted to compare.

From wikipedia in 1999 Hurricanes, we see that Floyd came ashore in ” Cape Fear as a Category 2 storm on September 16. It returned to the ocean near Norfolk, Virginia, and traveled up the coasts of the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey as a tropical storm. It passed over Long Island and into New England.[32] Floyd caused record rainfall across the east coast, with Wilmington, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, setting 24-hour rainfall records of 15 in (380 mm) and 6.63 in (168 mm) in respectively. Portions of New England had rainfall totals nearing 11 in (280 mm). Floyd generated 9 to 10 ft (2.7 to 3.0 m) storm surges across North Carolina. There are 57 deaths directly blamed on Floyd, 56 in the United States and one on Grand Bahama. Most of the deaths were due to freshwater flooding in North Carolina. Floyd was one of the costliest hurricanes on record, with an estimated $4.5 billion (1999 USD; $5.93 billion 2011 USD) in damage.”

For comparison, we look at the Discovery.com website and we see the a prediciton on cost damages has already been made:

“Kinetic Analysis Corp., a company that does computer modeling of predicted storm damage, predicted on Friday[8/26/2011] that Irene would cause $5-10 billion in damages, based on the latest available weather data. ”

So it would appear that a Floyd comparison may be a sound benchmark to compare with afterall.

1447_Sattelite

Hurricane Irene 2011 1447 Satellite

14:47 Saturday Well the rain started about an hour and five minutes ago (while I was at the supermarket 😉   ). It was busy and many items were sold out. The supermarket manager was heard saying what the contingencies would be if the power went out to his subordinate — so we are all preparing for #Irene.

The Satellite now shows the forward band extended out past Philly and out all the way to Harrisburg — so I guess the rain should be happening (as I indicated the rain started about 13:42).

1447_outside

1447 Saturday

My outside image is the last I will now be able to take from outside. The remainder will have be shot through windows.

Rain Total: 0.03″ [inches]

Wind: 6mph[variable 0-6mph]

Humidity: 98%

Temp: 75 degrees Fahrenheit

1800_Sattelite

1800 Saturday Satellite

18:00 Saturday If you look closely at the 18:00 Satellite image you will see that the entire Eastern Seabord from North Carolina to Connecticut is now covered by Hurricane #Irene or its bands of rain/wind.You can now see all Harrisburg again so the cone up here seems narrower while more completely covered. In fact the bands are now indistinct — just seems to be one great big mass of rain — less wind then in most of our thunderstorms.

Here by me the region has 5 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning (Irene is supposed to be slower up here and this far inland from the coast) so it will lose Hurricane status when it does arrive here.

Well the weather outside has not changed much — still rainy. The Temps are fluctuating up/down a degree or two.

No image of the outside this time [same as before but darker as we approach dusk].

Rain Total: 0.30″ [inches]

Wind: 2mph[fairly steady]

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 72 degrees Fahrenheit although it had dropped as far as 71.

19:34 Saturday No new  Satellite image. Hurricane #Irene is moving slowly. It is about Newport News, VA (partially offshore. Here by me the region now has 6 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning .

Darkness has descended and the weather outside has changed only slightly — still rainy. The Temps are at projected low (71 degrees).

Rain Total: 0.72″ [inches]; Wow quite a change in 90+ minutes it more than doubled.

Wind: 1-12mph[variable, mostly 5-10mph]

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

21:21 Saturday No new  Satellite image. Hurricane #Irene is moving slowly. It is about Newport News, VA (partially offshore. Here by me the region still has the same 6 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning .

Rain Total: 1.12″ [inches]; In less than 60 minutes we added 0.4″ of rain to the total.

Wind: 4-15mph[most of evening we have had gust in 20+ mph range]. Now we have mostly double-digits wind speed though it seems awfully variable. Data Collector is not realtime so I have not seen the gust speeds, but I have heard them outside.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 1 degree below earlier predictions.

Next update tomorrow morning.

04:19 Sunday No new  Satellite image.  Too early for that rigamarole. Lats night, shortly after sign-off we lost power twice in quick succession, both outages very short in duration. Kudos to PECO.

Let me see what data is still available to be shared. I have not yet turned on the TV. The very fact we have power and a connection to the Internet is a blessing. Moja zona and our dog Java are safe and sound so far — Thanks be to God.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total is yet unknown. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.28″

Wind: 5 mph. I can only assume by such low wind speeds that #Irene ‘s eye must be near my location.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next update will occur after I collect some data. Possibly shortly. So far the effects of Irene seem to have been exaggerated, except for that period when we lost power for a few minutes. I am leaning to media and government over-hype — This is not as bad Floyd so far.

05:08 Sunday No new  Satellite image.  Too early for that rigamarole. Tornado watch just expired (uneventfully) for my area. Picked up another flood warning overnight so we still 7 flood warnings and 1 tropical storm warning in my area.

I was correct that the eye of #Irene is about Atlantic City, NJ (which east  and  a bit south of Phill). So that explains the relative slow winds speeds I am seeing/hearing. It appears that Irene’s greatest affect have been at the shore and the further inland you were the better off you were wind-wise — flooding has been worse inland. Storm surge at the shore is bad  and especially so during the high tides. Irene being so slow, that two high tides can occur. during the event horizon. So Shore flooding and beach erosion have been problems  –hence the necessity of evacuation orders.

Still it seems more people have died from falling trees or tree branches — why are you outside?  One of those fatalities was actually indoors.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total is yet unknown. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.46″. An impressive 0.18″ increase in less than 1 hour. They are calling for 1-4″ (two sources: one says 1-2″ more and the other says 2-4″ more). Best I can determine is that 1.88″ fell yesterday in my area. Do not know the accuracy of that as I suspect it was higher as we were getting about 0.40″ inches an hour when I stopped recording yesterday night and it was accelerating still.

Wind: Variable 5-13 mph. Eye near my location. Gusts into the 20’s though I have heard them my data collector has not measured them (due to it not being continuous I am sure).

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It appears we have been in the 70-71 degree range for hours now — fairly cool for this time of year. It is  a 15-19 degree drop since the weather pattern entered the area.

0858 Sunday Satellite

08:58 Sunday Satellite image shows that #Irene has left town;  Uneventfully for my area. We still have 7 flood warnings in my area. The flooding will continue throughout Sunday as water flows down from the North down the rivers and bays back into the ocean.

The local TV and emergency responders say that this was not as bad as Floyd [so even others are comparing Irene to Floyd].

A final note: We lost power a 3rd time since my last post but only for a few minutes.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total was 2.98-6.33″ depending on source. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.98″. Most sources say 2-4″ are likely for Sunday. We are way past the rainfall record books for August in history of Philadelphia area and we still have three days to go after today.

Wind: Variable 6-10 mph. Gusts into the 30’s though. It looks like a trailing band [down in Baltimore] will still bring some more wind until Irene fully clears the greater Philadelphia area.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 67 degrees Fahrenheit. That is fairly cool for this time of year. It is  over a 20 degree drop since the weather pattern entered the area.

Blessings and Thanks to God for my good fortune. Things could have been much worse and I had little time/resources to prepare/protect my family from this disaster (#Irene).

August 17, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army in My Tree [part three]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

y Family Tree has many heroic men and women or I would not be here blogging today. It is only by standing on the shoulders of giants that I can see farther — Issac Newton borrowed that quote from a much earlier time; But it is still true today. In today’s article, my third of three ( Article1Article2 ) on Haller’s Army and the heroic 25,000 men who volunteered from America to fight for Poland in World War I, by fighting in France’s army (and their blue uniforms).

There are three men in my family tree who volunteered and fought in Haller’s Army:

  • Boleslaw Wlecialowski
  • Wlodzimierz Kendzierski
  • Pawel Elijasz

I do not know how many people have such in their Polish genealogy, but this strikes me as a large number for one family. What is interesting is that the story for each is so different.

Wlecialowski

Last article, I mentioned that you use the PGSA.org database to look-up your ancestors and see if they volunteered. The results should look something like:

So armed with the Name and Location you should be able to tell if it is your ancestor or not without having to order the form(s). However, it is inexpensive enough that you can order multiple people when in doubt. Better yet, go to the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and then you can review the form in person before ordering.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski registered in Hamtramck, MI. on his Form C,  he mentions that his nearest relatives in Poland are Maciej and Katarzyna Wlecialowscy in the Gubernia of Kiecle, Gmina & Miasto of Pacanow. That is invaluable! Of the three forms, Form C is the most valuable because it asks for nearest relatives in both the US and in Poland. Form A has the basic info (name, address, etc.) and Form B (the medical form) is perhaps the least valuable form of the three. Form L is just the collection of all three forms.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: A

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: C

 When Boleslaw returned his ship manifest on the SS Princess Matoika said he was returning to his sister Rozalia Gawlikowski in Detroit, MI.

The above ship manifest is an image of the manifest header with lines 17-19 spliced in to show Boleslaw’s record on his return from Haller’s Army. He returned 21-July-1920 and his passage was paid for the by the US Government (on page 2 not shown).

Kendzierski

Now Wlodzimierz Kendzierski (aka Kędzierski) is interesting on two accounts. First he registered twice. Once in Detroit and once in Pittsburgh! Now that was helpful because he listed different contacts in the US in the two documents. It was also interesting because I could not find his returning ship manifest (although I did find his brother Ludwik return — but who had not registered?). Genealogical mysteries! Now we know he served because we have a picture of Wlodzimierz in his Haller’s Army uniform.

Wlodzimierz Kedzierski

So he definitely served. I suspect the Ludwik Kedzierski returning (August 1922) to his cousin in Pittsburgh was really Wlodz. But this is interesting. Perhaps the two registrations are because one registration office said ‘no’ to his volunteering and the second office said ‘yes’.

Once again, it was invaluable that we ordered both sets of forms and both forms indicated he was the same person (naming a sister, brother, brother-in-law, and a wife with known addresses). Although Wlodzimierz is an uncommon first name and the complete combination is rare indeed. What it did do was show a family connection to the Pittsburgh Kedzierski which we did not previously know.

Elijasz

Now the third family member was interesting in yet another way. Both Boleslaw (who became Bill) and Wlodzimierz (who became Walter) returned to US and lived full lives as Americans. However, Pawel Elijasz was an enigma. I could never decide how he was related because I only had a ship manifest and a 1910 US Census from Depew, NY. So until I found his registering for Haller’s Army and finding out that he lived with a cousin of my grandfather’s who was Pawel’s brother I did not know how Pawel fit in. Then I found his birth record from Pacanow and his marriage record from Pacanow and the birth record of Pawel’s daughter and his being a God Father to a nephew all in Pacanow. So those church records which connected him with the Pawel in Haller’s Army and which connected him to the Eliasz/Elijasz in America answered many questions for me. Including what happened to Pawel after 1910. I now knew he registered in 1917 in Toledo, OH for Haller’s Army and that he lived with his brother Wincenty Elijasz at 1054 Campbell Street, Toledo, OH (down the road from my grandparents and next door to a married sister Wiktoria, Elijasz Mylek). So now I had a bit more timeline for Pawel. I just assumed he went back to Poland to live with his wife and daughter (and hence why no 1920 or 1930 US Census records). Imagine my shock when I found this last piece of data at a Polish Genealogical Society website. The link just preceding is to a database: “List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920” . I found out that Pawel had died, while serving in Haller’s Army ( 2/13/1920 in Łuck, Poland )  [see next image of a book page].

So now I knew the rest of Pawel’s story. But it was his Haller’s Army registration that answered so many questions and connected up church records in Poland with US Vital records.

As an aside, finding out that Pawel was a brother of Wincenty and Wiktoria Elijasz and not a brother of my grandfather was still a great find.  For Pawel’s sister Wiktoria is the only ELIASZ in the whole family tree with the following distinction.

Wiktoria has Vital records in US/Poland with her last name spelled as: ELIASZ, ELIJASZ and HELIASZ.

So now you know why the family tree acknowledges all three names as one family name.

I have had ELIASZ and HELIASZ combos (modern and historical). I have had ELIASZ and ELIJASZ combos in my own family. But Wiktoria is unqiue in that she was the only ELIASZ who has used all three versions of the family name at one time or another in her life.

Wiktoria is also God Mother to two of my uncles. Wiktoria is also related to the lovely Elzbieta Heliasz Kapusta who sent to me, my grandparent’s marriage records (both civil and church) from Poland where Elzbieta lives and who does not speak a single  word of English. So it is a small world indeed.

I do not have a Polish Consulate newspaper article saying any of my three ancestors earned land from Poland for their service. I also do not have any info from PAVA, but the next time I travel to NYC, I will look them up and see if Boleslaw or Wlodzimierz were ever PAVA members. I will try and find an example of the Polish Consulate messages to an American-Pole in a Polish Language US newspaper where they were seeking an Haller’s Army veteran now living in the USA and post it here for you my good readers to see. I hope this series of postings has motivated you the Polish Genealogist to seek out this unique Polish genealogical resource and then track down the other connecting pieces to this puzzle.

Let Stanczyk know!

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]

LINK/URL: http://teki.bkpan.poznan.pl/index_regesty.html

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.

August 9, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #5 Online Databases in Poland

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is a Data Architect by trade. So if it is one thing I love it is databases. This posting is all about some online Polish Databases. The Parish Church Books is a website that collects and indexes and keeps it up to date . It points you to the website, but it is written from a Poland point of view. So I have decoded the website index and made them into LINKS (URLs) so you can click on them and go to the resource from their list. Enjoy!

Parish Church Bookshttp://www.ksiegi-parafialne.pl/

The above Polish website (from Poland and in Polish language) attempts to gather in one place index all interesting projects where Church Parish Indexes are being collected in online databases. This page is updated often. This makes it an excellent website for your bookmarks/favorites (or add it to delicious).

Index of Databases

BASIAhttp://www.basia.famula.pl/en/

Geneteka http://geneteka.genealodzy.pl/

Lubgens.Euhttp://lubgens.eu/portal.php

Pomorskie TGhttp://www.ptg.gda.pl/index.php/ptgnews/action/basesearch/

The Pomorskie Genealogical Society (Pomorskie TG) website needs some explanation. It has a menu named “PomGenBase“;  Click on menu, then on the submenu, “Search PomGenBase” and click on the final submenu (one of five: Christenings, Marriages, Deaths,  Cemeteries or Monuments) to search.

Poznan Projecthttp://bindweed.man.poznan.pl/posen/project.php

T.G.Z.Cz.http://www.genealodzy.czestochowa.pl/pl/start

August 7, 2011

#Polish, #Genealogy – The Pillars of the Eliasz Social Network of Pacanow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

tanczyk,

was very sleepy/tired when the last posting was written! As I looked at this Social Network Analysis  (SNA) that I performed and the resulting diagram from the data I realized two more things.

There were five old men, the pillars of this Social Network who were the progenitors of this data, if not literally, then at least figuratively. These august gentlemen, were Marcin Elijasz (about 1819),  Pawel  (abt. 1825) & Antoni (abt. 1830) [undoubtedly brothers] Odomski, Antoni Wojtys (abt. 1823) and Franciszek Zwolski (abt. 1823). In fact, Franciszek Zwolski & Antoni Wojtys were the witnesses at my 2great-grandfather Marcin Elijasz ‘s death in 1879. If you have one of those five men in your family tree, then welcome, for  we are surely relatives. Indeed it is true for just about everyone in the diagram.

Second, this SNA diagram – that messy scribble from my last posting, with the nodes and the connecting lines is properly viewed in two ways. First off, the SNA diagram is a road-map for reading these church records (in Pacanow and to some degree the adjoining parishes) and providing a much richer/complete context for understanding the families: Elijasz (Heliasz), Zasucha, Wojtys, Zwolski, Odomski, Siwiec, Paluch, Lewinski, Piotrowski and Major and Wlecialowski. However the SNA diagram is a bit unwieldy in being able to quickly read/find any single individual. So the Second view is that it is a database. Now Stanczyk is database architect and data analyst by trade. So I will reorganize this data from its visual representation into a more “tabular” data friendly representation that is searchable/sortable. I will also redraw the diagram and organize its visual presentation because that visual road-map is invaluable. It is easy to count the hops between nodes (people) and get a sense of connectedness or remoteness between two individuals in quick fashion.

I urge people to incur the pain of producing such a diagram and then re-viewing your church records and/or family group sheets again.  It also shows the clear import of transcribing witness names and AGEs, as well as the mother and father’s ages and the God Parents names. It is too bad that the GEDCOM, file format of our family trees,  mostly buries this info in NOTES/COMMENTS because it is hard to query/report/analyze these pieces of data that link/glue nuclear families together.

My family tree never indicated to me that it was important to take note of the ODOMSKICH. Nor really the Zwolski or Wojtys and certainly not the Zasucha. The Lewinski and Piotrowski were not even on the radar before. The SNA diagram really shows the rich/complex tapestry of the social network in Pacanow for my ancestors.

August 7, 2011

#Polish, #Genealogy – Social Network Analysis Project Complete

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Social Network Analysis Diagram

Ok, Stanczyk does not think you can make heads or tails out of the SNA diagram (even though at full size / resolution it should be readable).

I started this experiment to see if I could convince myself if some people living contemporaneously with my great-grandfather were siblings or not. I did NOT have the marriage or birth records for four ELIJASZOW (Franciszek, Ludwik, Petronella, and Tekla). SO I lacked the conclusive proof.  In fact, before I started this study, I did not even have Tekla.

I have used a previous analysis of Affiliated Families and surveying all records of these “Afffiliated” families. What I did was to check these families on birth records or death records where they record the woman’s maiden name to see if I could find female relatives whose married names I did not know. That worked moderately well with my limited set of data/microfilm to look at. So it occurred to this jester that I could apply a technique called Social Network Analysis to the field of genealogy — by using Church Records where they list witnesses and God Parents. This technique is similar to what police use when examining mobsters and their network. You may have seen it on TV police shows or movies that try to break up a crime ring. The idea is that the same names (i.e. people) will show up repeatedly in the list of witnesses (where I have ages) and in the list of God Parents (where I do not have ages). My theory is that I can PREDICT if any of these four ELIASZ ancestors are related to my lineal descent line by examining all of the affiliated families and plotting all people involved in a diagram with Node (the circle) and lines connecting the nodes (denoting a familial relationship). By seeing many connections between groups I could determine/PREDICT  nuclear families.

I think it works. I will now need to get access to Polish Archives or Parish books to confirm my work. But here is what I found. My conclusion is this:

Franciszek does not appear to be a sibling of my grandfather (or his other presently known siblings). Why, he does not share the same connections to critical people that Ludwik, Petronella, or the newly found Tekla do.

I do believe this technique predicts that Ludwik, Petronella and Tekla are my great-grandfather’s siblings. Their birth years do fit the gaps in between the other existing siblings without conflict — another possible confirmation. To be honest even Franciszek fits the gaps too (even with adding Ludiwk, Tekla, and Petronella). So he is still possibly a sibling but the technique says ‘NOT‘ because he does not hang with the same network of people.

Now here are some observations. I chose ZASUCHA and ODOMSKI as affiliated families for this survey (and not in the prior survey). I did not choose them previously because they occur so little in my family tree — usually just a female who marries a male ELIASZ and her just her parents (or in the case of ZASUCHA, just the woman who married my great-great-grandfather). The WOJTYS family name was added too. Now I know this name was affiliated, but only to a remote branch of ELIASZ/HELIASZ that I have not been to connect to the lineal descent line. So again they have NOT been used in any other analysis but as I went along, I added this name to the study (particularly after I found TEKLA ELIASZ WOJTYS).

What I found was that ODOMSKI and WOJTYS are the ‘glue’ in the ELIASZ social network. Also true for ZASUCHA and a bit less to ZWOLSKI and  PALUCH or MAJOR still less and just a tiny bit to Lewinski and Piotrowski (these two families will need a further follow-up analysis by themselves). What I found to a large degree was that a handful of individuals in these “glue” families showed up over and over in the network. Now I call these families and indeed these handful of people the glue, because they glued the disjoint groups together into one cohesive group.

If you remember the Kevin Bacon movie, ‘6 Degrees of Separation” then you get the premise that  we are all connected. What these handful of ‘glue people’ did was to show that my hypothetical siblings were two degrees apart (or their children).

So I will proceed on my assumptions. But beyond giving me a set of assumptions that have become more than just little  hunches, I have other new “findings”.  I believe the ELIASZ-HELIASZ family connection is so strong that I think I could convince my distant cousins to give up their notion, ‘They (the HELIASZ) are not related to us’. Now I have written about Elzbieta HELIASZ Kapusta who has kindly aided my genealogy so graciously of her own accord. She too did not think we were related. But I thought otherwise, even though I could not prove it, I still cannot “prove” in any sense that a professional genealogist would accept — it juts goes against the common “Standard of Proof”. However, the study has shown that even the HELIASZ are in the Social Network and strongly in it. So much so, that this Michal HELIASZ I think is a brother to my great-great-grandfather. I truly believe that at most he is a first cousin to great-great-grandfather, Martin Elijasz. If that is true then Elzbieta HELIASZ Kapusta and I are 5th cousins (or 6th cousins if Michal HELIASZ is 1st cousin to Martin Elijasz).

The HELIASZ family (of Elzbieta’s line) have connections to the same Wojtys and Zwolski. Both Elijasz and Heliasz have SIWIEC too. Indeed, the Wojtys, Zwolski and Siwiec have intermarried into both Elijasz and Heliasz. I will need Michal Heliasz’s marriage record to Anna ?uknown-maiden-name and Martin Elijasz’s marriage record to Anna Zasucha to see if they share the same parents or if their parents share the same parents.

I also believe this new TEKLA is a sibling of my great-grandfather and not the TEKLA, daughter of GASPAR ELIASZ. Earlier in the study I was considering both possibilities equal. But the social network says differently. Indeed TEKLA and PETRONELLA are clearly sisters and it looks by their birth years that they were probably consecutive born siblings of their father, my 2g-grandfather, Martin Elijasz.

I would recommend this technique to people where they are missing information/records. I do not propose this to be an end around of the”Genealogical Standard of Proof”. It is not that. It is a method to predict further research. This is helpful if you need to write to a Polish Archive (or a Polsih Parish) because it allows you to ask the correct question. For example in my case, I should write to Poland and ask the authoritative source(s): …

Does TEKLA ELIASZ have a birth record from about 1853 in Pacanow or a marriage record to Franciszek Wojtys from the 1870’s in Pacanow. I am looking for a TEKLA Elijasz wife of Franciszek Wojtys(born about 1843) and whose parents are Marcin Elijasz and Anna Zasucha.  Likewise, I would also ask similarly for Ludwik Eliasz (born about 1844) and for Petronella Eliasz (born about 1856). I could just ask the local Polish Archivist for all children born to the marriage of Marcin Elijasz and Anna Zasucha of Pacanow [whose children should all be born in the range  1847-1866], (their birth records and their marriage records). Then I would expect to see in the results: Ludwik, Tekla, and Petronella right along with my: Jozef,  Martin, Katarzyna and Jan Elijasz.

If I get the answers I expect (that Ludwik, Tekla and Petronella are siblings of my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz), then I also get confirmation that my new theory and indeed the application of Social Network Analysis is useful in predicting nuclear family members.

This is a tedious study technique and requires some bookkeeping and compact notation to carry out effectively. I finally stopped my data collection with 1-2 years of data still left because I had too much data and too little space. Fortunately, the trends were obvious. I would also recommend using one village (or if you use other adjoining parishes) that you just indicate with a non-circle symbol ONLY for those records that are not a part of the “default” parish — you can just assume the rest are from the default parish and not clutter your diagram further than is necessary.

August 4, 2011

#Polish, #Genealogy – Social Network Analysis work is progressing…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

My Social Network Analysis is progressing, albeit slowly. Stanczyk is drawing his diagram and the bookkeeping is terrible. How do you distinguish one dot (person) from another? It is forcing me to make each dot much bigger so I can record a distinguishing bit of info. I have more lines than I thought because …

You have a father, a mother, a baby, 2 wtinesses, 2 God Parents (sometimes more) [in birth records], 2 sets of parents [in marriage records].

So here are my family names that I am working with: Elijasz, Zasucha, Paluch, Odomski, Wlecial, Miklaszewski, Zwolski, Major, Wojtys, Siwiec, Piotrowski, Lewinski, and my discarded names ( Grudzien/Grudnia, Poniewirski, Janicki, Pytka, and Kordos). The surprises  are that I needed to add Piotrowski and Lewinski and that I had to discard Janicki. We had no family knowledge or record of Piotrowski or Lewinski and I did have knowledge of Janicki (various spellings). Now dropping a name means less work. But adding a name means going back to the beginning and searching for them too. A lot more work.

Early on I have already found a new female (Tekla Elijasz) relative under her married name (Wojtys). So there is some fruit. But I can see some foreshadowing from the research already. First off my research is already predicting two new siblings(Ludwik and Petronella) for my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz (as I suspected), one person inconclusive,(Franciszek) and the new TEKLA is an issue. If she is truly a new relative then she is most probably a sibling of my great-grandfather. However, there is another TEKLA in that era (although  the birth years are 3-5 years apart) and the looseness of ages in the Polish church records is presenting a challenge. If TEKLA is the exisiting TEKLA, then the research is telling me(predicting) that my great-great-grandfather (Martin Elijasz) has another  brother Gaspar/Kasper. The age of the “new” TEKLA fits in the gaps of my great-grandfather’s siblings so I cannot eliminate her on that basis. In fact the ages of all the “new” predictions seem to fill in the gaps of my great-grandfather’s siblings.

One of my candidate relatives also has church records in the adjoining Biechow parish, so I will need to look at her family name (and the new Tekla) in those parish records too, so more of my research parameters are being tweaked. I also had a finding of one social network dot having a Kalucki God Mother. Now this Kalucki is exceeding rare in the records I have access to. My Kalucki fixation is because my grand-aunt Genowefa Leszczynski married a Kalucki (source from an obituary of my grand-uncle Michael Leszczynski). Also, the lady in Poland who sent me my grandparent’s marriage records (Elzbieta Heliasz Kapusta) has her great-grandfather showing up in my research and he is connected to some of the same families she mentioned (Siwiec,  Zwolski) and I know Wojtys from American relatives of Elzbieta. So once again another reconfirmation that Heliasz are really Elijasz (and both are really ELIASZ, i.e. that all three are the same family name) .

August 2, 2011

The Social Network Experiment

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The last time I did a survey of “genetic marker” families in search of female Eliasz and was modestly successful. That article on affinity had some data and one approach. This time I want to look at 1878-1884 in Pacanow using another approach I have watched Police use on Mobsters or the military use on terrorists — I call this technique, the “Social Network” (SN).  In fact, there is some theory behind this. What I am proposing is called formally, “Social Network Analysis”. (SNA)

My goal was to “prove” if some ELIJASZOW in Pacanow were siblings of my great-grandfather or not. My problem is that I have incomplete information so I cannot prove anything conclusively. But I have  a few theories that I want to test. Whatever I find, I will use to test against archive data in Poland and see if my theory pans out or not. Can this technique predict familial relationships or not?

Here are the S.N. Experiment Parameters:

  1. Birth Data in Pacanow parish
  2. Years: 1878-1884 [that is all I have to work with]. That is seven years.
  3. Even with ONLY seven years, I cannot read every record. There on average 190 births per year and all records are in Russian (Cyrillic character set), old style (pre-1918 reform) characters in abundance, and there are handwriting/paper/image/mistakes issues in the priest’s  writings to deal with.
  4. Index Issues. My favorite is the inaccurate index (missing data or wrong name or wrong record #).
  5. Select some family names that have an affinity with ELIJASZ and chase just those records.
  6. Prove a connection to the children of Marcin Elijasz & his wife Anna Zasucha ( at present I KNOW of Jozef, Martin, Katarzyna and Jan).
  7. My candidates are Ludwik and Franciszek and Petronella  Elijasz. Are they siblings of the KNOWN children?

My focus is on ELIJASZ and ZASUCHA, but I decided to include other family names that connect through wives or husbands that marry into ELIJASZ family of this era. As my study proceeded, I added/subtracted some families as I collected data (or didn’t as the case may have been). Give me a week to collect data and build a chart showing the social network connections (and re-arrange the chart a time or two).

My data points will be considerably less, but I envision an SNA diagram like this:

Social Network Analysis Diagram

July 27, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Biechow Parish Clergy, including visiting clerics …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I decided to update the info from the SwietoKrzyskie Digital Library, in the book, “Historical Description of Churches, Cities, Monuments, & Memorials of Stopnica“, written by Jan Wisniewska in 1929 . I found that info in the book was very accurate indeed. What I did notice was his info was incomplete. So Stanczyk went through his images and compiled a more complete list. Please compare the image at left with my spreadsheet data:

Years Cleric
1326- Boguslaw ?
1391- Konrad ?
1531- Stanislaw Biechowski
1553- ? Gladysz
1610- Aleksandr Lukomski
1641- Joachim Parzniewski
1664- Fran. Gogolinski
1668- Marcin Humienicki
1671-1675+ Jozef Walcerz
1674-1675+ Albert Tryescinski
1693- Kazimierz Rogala
1717- Ludwik Siemieradzki
1727- Zacharias Stakowski
1727-1730+ Antonius Ciolek Zaleski
1731-1759 Kasper(Gaspar) Sebastyan Zabrowski
1738-1748+ Karol Szaykowski
1753-1757, 1769-1782+ Camirus Zabkowski
1759-1764 Valentinus Szeligowski
1759+ Augustyn Zagoborski
1760-1763 Wojciech Basa Radoszowski
1760+ Casmirus Kayski
1763-1769 Matheus Sowicki
1764+ Franciscus Muszenski
1764-1777 Laurentius Lalosinski
1777-1780 Josephus Ignatius Malczewski
1778+ Sebastianus Skwarcz
1782+ Augustyn Filipowski
1779-1782+, 1792-1796 Wojciech(Adalbertus) Wdowskiewicz
1787-1797 Kajetan Aleksander Boniecki
1792-1794 Nicolaus Kotlinski
1796+ Carolus Binkowski
1796+ Alexius Debski
1797-1828 Jozef Parzelski
1797, 1806(Pacanow), 1827 Jan Gliszczynski
1797+ Dominicus Cyranski
1798-1799 Laurentius Gomborski
1798-1825+ Jozef Gierasinski
1800+ Felix Smukrowicz
1801+ Petrus Draskiewicz
1801-1806 Samuel Snorski
1806+ Domincus Boznowicz
1806-1808, 1827-1828+ Franciscus Stawiarski
1809- Placidus Janicki
1809-1810 Fracnciscus Maykowski
1810+ Josephus Szwanderski
1811+ ? Pasternik
1815-1817 Ludovicus Filipowski
1819+ Jacobus Walichowski
1819+, 1825+ Jozef Krzewski
1821-1822 Floryan Milewski
1825-1847 Jan Kanty Bielski
1848-1852 Jozef Stanko
1852-1907+ Michal Krolikowski
1910 Franciszek Dworak
1919 Jozef Banasik
Year(s) Visiting Clerics (Parish/Monastery)
1720’s-1730’s Jan Trzeminowski (Pacanow)
1720’s-1730’s Michal Handzynski (Beszowa)
1720’s-1730’s Atanasius Jedrzeykiewicz(Beszowa)
1720’s-1730’s Christianus Ochozki (Beszowa)
1720’s-1730’s Michal Kolowski (Trzes??)
1760’s Josephus Kotlinski(Pacanow)
1770’s Ignatius Glowacki(Pacanow)
1792 Laurentius Kloscenski(Pacanow)
1793 Nicolaus Dabrowski(Swiniary)
1796 Jacobus Walichowski
1796 Jan Gliszczynski(Swiniary) [see above]
July 26, 2011

#Genealogy #Archives – LDS Microfilm: Rent Some …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

It looks like the LDS (aka Mormons) have implemented online microfilm rentals. My local Family History Center told me about this feature back in the Fall of 2010 — so I have been waiting. It is only on the West Coast now … here’s the news from About.com:

http://genealogy.about.com/b/2011/07/21/online-familysearch-film-ordering-rolling-out-to-ca-west-coast.htm

Can anyone tell me when it will be available on the East Coast? I recommend using the LDS microfilms before heading to Poland. You need to train yourself on the paleography of the older handwriting and languages involved. The old Cyrillic (pre-1918 reforms) is enough different that expert Russian Language speakers struggle because they have not see all of the characters that used to exist.

July 26, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona

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 last posting was for the years 1810-1815 inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1816 in Biechow parish. For the record, there is not any record of 1817 on the microfilm. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1817 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Year: 1816      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      93 Total Births

Record #11     Date: 1/31/1816

Father: Dawid Matusowicz, Pakiarz, Age 22, Biechow   House #23

Mother: Estera z Isserow, age 20

Baby: Jasek

Witnesses:  Jaska Walsowicz, pakiarz, age 38 & Rzelika Chaymowicz, kaczmarz,  <no age>

—-

Record #24     Date: 3/17/1816

Father: Layzar Kabmanowicz, Pakiarz, Age 38, Piestrzec   House #33

Mother: Rywka z Chaykow, age 40

Baby: Hima (40)

Witnesses:  Judka Faycer, arendarz, age 38 & Jaska Jaskowicz , arendarz, <no age>

—-

Record #38     Date: 5/23/1816

Father: Abram Menkier, Pakiarz, Age 40, Woycza   House #2

Mother: Channa z Fercykow, age 24

Baby: Icek

Witnesses:  Rzelika Chaymowicz, Kaczmarz, age 50 & Giecta Moska, pakiarz,  <no age>

That is it for 1816 only 3 out of 93 total  = 3.22% of the births in the “parish”.

JRI you are welcome to use this data and/or incorporate this into your databases.

Stanczyk

July 25, 2011

#Russian – #Poland #Genealogy : Swiniary Birth Index 1833

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Well I wanted to publish some more Swiniary parish indexes to celebrate my line of Kordos and Leszczynski who lived in the parish. So far I have seen the following villages to comprise the Swiniary Parish (parafii):     Swiniary, Parchocin, Oblekon, Zielonki, Tur, Trzebica, Ludwiniow,  and Wlosnowica.

As always, keep in mind that I have done some surveys for Biechow and Pacanow too and those are available via the menus near the top of this page.

The first index was for Swiniary 1826 Births. So here is the  second index – Swiniary Parish Birth Index from 1833 (roku):

# First Name Last Name Village
1 Agnieszka Woycikowna Oblekon
2 Sebastyan Kolano Tur
3 Sebastyan Kawa Oblekon
4 Sebastyan Sobieszkada Zielonki
5 Sebastyan Gadas Oblekon
6 Maryanna Ozimkowna Parchocin
7 Jan Chryzstom Wronski Zielonki
8 Jan Chryzstom Bodach Parchocin
9 Kazimierz Nowak Parchocin
10 Pawel Fabian Swiniary
11 Dorota Szczepanska Oblekon
12 Stanislaw Parka Parchocin
13 Jozef Dyrliski (sp?) Oblekon
14 Ignacy Czekay Parchocin
15 Agata Rzepska Parchocin
16 Apolonia Kowlowna
17 Jozef Satoza Ludwiniow
18 Maciej Banas Wlosnowica
19 Jozef Gadawski Oblekon
20 Luza Maryanna Walenty; zanprawi Oblekon
21 Maryanna Kasperkowna Parchocin
22 Jozef Skowron Parchocin
23 Maryanna Wierzbicka Zielonki
24 Maryanna Sowinska Parchocin
25 Maryanna Woyniakowna Oblekon
26 Maryanna Luza z Cepielowna [sp?] Oblekon
27 Stanislaw Padak Oblekon
28 Maryanna Dorniowna Parchocin
29 Wincenty Zayda Tur
30 Anna Piotrowska Oblekon
31 Katarzyna Wawrzencowna Oblekon
32 Stanislaw Wawro Oblekon
33 Stanislaw Pawlak Ludwiniow
34 Julianna Kordosowna Oblekon
35 Magdalena Misiaczkowna Oblekon
36 Magdalena I Oblekon
37 Antoni Zaladz Oblekon
38 Maryanna Dabrowska Tur
39 Maryanna Gawlowna Parchocin
40 Malgorzata Dryiowna ?
41 Maryanna Krawczykowna Oblekon
42 Malgorzata Kozlowna Parchocin
43 Anna Zalewska Parchocin
44 Angiela Anna Zalewska Swiniary
45 Jakob I Wincenty (bliz) Kostery Oblekon
46 Anna Zdybowna Oblekon
47 Wawrzeniec Kolodziej Parchocin
48 Piotr I Ignacy Gluszczykowna ?
49 Rozalia Orlikowna ?
50 Piotr I Ignacy Grzeda ?
51 Wawrzeniec Gryc ?
52 Maryanna Skowronowna ?
53 Michal Buska Parchocin
54 Michal Luszcz Oblekon
55 Franciszek Fiutko Parchocin
56 Jadwiga Pisarczykowna Trzebica
57 Jan Baran Oblekon
58 Elzbieta Doktorowna Oblekon
59 Teressa Juszczykowna Zielonki
60 Teressa Karetowna Oblekon
61 Anna Dudek Parchocin
62 Marcin Gryc Parchocin
63 Lucya Markowna Wlosnowica
64 Jan Laszkiewicz Parchocin
65 ? Much polish Swiniary
66 Marcin Skalbania Parchocin
67 Magdalena Kawionka Parchocin
68 Jedrzy I Marcin Gora Wlosnowica
69 Marcin I Ignacy Babiarz Parchocin
70 Katarzyna Adamusowna Wlosnowica
71 Katarzyna Kloskowna Trzebica
72 Elzbieta Nowakowna Wlosnowica
73 Tomasz Pawlak Oblekon
74 Tomasz Kawa Parchocin
75 Adam Baran Parchocin
76 Katarzyna Doktorowna Zielonki
77 Jedrzey Sobieszkada Swiniary
78 Barbara Doktorowna Parchocin
79 Lucya Kamienska Zielonki
80 Szczepan Pisarczyk Tur
81 Maryanna Zemlonka Swiniary
82 Agnieszka Pankowna Wlosnowica
83 Ewa Woytelowna Oblekon
84 Barbara Wawrzencowna Oblekon
85 Ewa ? Zielonki
86 Ewa Stankowna Parchocin
87 Ewa I Barbara Chlosciowy Oblekon
88 Ewa Chloscianka Oblekon
89 Maryanna Baranowna Parchocin
90 Agnieszka Gadawska Oblekon
91 Jan Wierzbicki Swiniary
92 Tomasz Kostera Oblekon

Stanczyk

July 24, 2011

Ecclesiastical Archive for: Biechow, Ksiaznice, Zborowek … and Pacanow?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk said a week ago he would show a series fonds in the Catholic Church Archive in Kielce, Poland. These fonds are microfilmed church books of the various parishes in the Kielce Diocese. Sadly, the church does not publish a library catalog of its holdings. Let’s review these images which I collected a long time ago and do not seem to be available any more upon the Internet. I also hope to beseech my readers (in Poland — I know there are a few of you tanks to my Flag Counter), to help me acquire at least Pacanow and I also hope for Swiniary too. Please email Stanczyk if you can help me locate Kielce Diocessan Holdings for: Pacanow and Swiniary parishes (parafii). I can accept a text file of the details or even an image (JPG, GIF, TIF, BMP, PNG) or even a PDF document.

Now lets take a look at what I have (and what I am seeking) …

Biechow Holdings in Kielce

 

Biechow Parish Holdings

These birth/baptismal , marriage/marriage banns, and death church records have been microfilmed by the LDS (aka Mormons).

The LDS also have three microfilm covering the years 1875-1884 which are church records written in Russian that do not appear in this image of their holdings. Now to be fair the image is a few years old and perhaps the Diocessan Archives has been updated since this was taken.

A careful comparison seems to indicate that the LDS microfilm are missing some things that Diocese has and that the Diocese may be missing some things that the LDS have. If this is true then it would appear this is not the source of the LDS microfilm.

You can find the LDS microfilm for my Biechow parish here  and also here too .

If anyone knows if the Diocessan Church Archives in Kielce has microfilm for Biechow from the years 1861-1910, please email me (see above for my email link),  so I can do complete research plans.

I also hope someone out there in the Internet can answer why there is not alegata listed in the Kielce Diocessan Church Archives. Poland’s  State Archives (PRADZIAD) has alegata mcirofilm. Why would the Kielce Diocessan Church Archive be lacking in this manner? I hope this present somewhere in their holdings. I have had excellent success with alegata records giving me missing data.

Finally, my last question is, does the Church Archive also have physical books or only microfilm? If the books exist, can you take photographs of the books themselves?

Now lets look at Ksiaznice. Most people are not aware that Ksiaznice was ever a parish or possibly they were not aware that microfilm existed for Ksiaznice separate from other parishes. I think people just think that Ksiaznice’s church records were added to either Zborowek or Pacanow.

Ksiaznice Holdings in Kielce

Ksiaznice Parish Holdings

The LDS does not have any microfilm of my Ksiaznice which is from the area around Pacanow. Now I did notice some scant records in the Pacanow(Zborowek?) microfilm for Ksiaznice. But look at all that Diocese’s Archive has in Kielce !

I will have to spend a lot of time here to figure out if any of my missing records are here or not. But the holdings looks very complete indeed  — very few gaps !

There is no LDS microfilm for my Ksiaznice, so I have no link to post for you. Clearly, LDS does not get their microfilm from the Diocessan Church Archive. I guess its microfilm  comes directly from the parish books. Again this is probably why people never think of Ksiaznice as a parish separate and apart from Zborowek. Yet look at all of the data they have.

Back at the beginning of July, I talked about this book I used about Biechow parish, from the SwietoKrzyskie Digital Library, in the book,
Historical Description of Churches, Cities, Monuments, & Memorials of Stopnica“, written by Jan Wisniewska in 1929. This book describes all of these parishes in today’s posting too, plus more. That is how I knew about Ksiaznice.

And now lets review the third parish that I have, Zborowek.

Zborowek

The LDS does have microfilm for Zborowek. To be precise, they have one microfilm covering the years  1878-1884 for birth, marriage and death church records.

The Zborowek LDS microfilm can be found here. But look at the holdings in the Diocessan Archives ! Their records span the years 1736-1887 ! That is again a lot more than you can get from your local Family History Center which has only 6 years I spoke of above.

Again, Stanczyk has his work cut out for him to review the records in Zborowek. I can only dream about the possibilities.

So now gentle reader you know why I am seeking the holdings for Pacanow and Swiniary in the Kielce Diocessan Archives. The potential to close the holes in my family tree and answer all questions back to just before the three partitions of Poland for my Elijasz, Leszczynski, Wlecialowski, and Kedzierski lines is almost more than I can bare. You see I am hoping to plan the search beforehand, so I am prepared for a rather lengthy visit to the Church Archives.

Zborowek Parish

 

July 24, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Kodexu Napoleon

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kodex NapoleonA few times before, I have spoken about the Codex Napoleon. Why does Stanczyk speak of Napoleon? Well, he (or his army) did discover the Rosetta Stone, leading to the understanding of Hieroglyphics and also while he was in Egypt he also uncovered the Sphinx which had lain buried in sand for centuries. He commissioned the Arc de Triomphe too. His military exploits reshaped the European borders. Finally, his progressive laws  embodied in the corpus: Codex Napoleon gave personal and property rights to the individual and abolished feudalism. But did you know those codes in the Kodexu Napoleon (see Polish does have the letter ‘x’, at least for foreign words), also designated how to record vital records?

Most European Church Records after 1806 followed this format and it was this code that required the two witnesses in vital records. The image at left/above is from Biechow parish church book in 1811, noting (above the yellow line) that they now follow the Kodexu Napoleon –Biechow now a part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.  From LDS MF # 936660, it appears to me that starting with August 15th, 1810 the vital records in the Catholic Church in the parish of Biechow switched to the “Napoleonic Form”  — a long paragraph narrative in a standard form, with two witnesses, written in the local language (Polish, not Latin).

This blog’s meme is really about how History/Law shape the discipline of genealogical research.  I am not merely thinking about border changes — although that is certainly a part of this meme. Today’s thread in the meme is certainly about the border changes and the shifting administrative units (Departement vs Wojewodztwo vs Gubernia, etc.), but also the data changes required by the law. For instance, the requirement for two witnesses means we have two more names in the record for our research. One of the witnesses may also be a God Parent or possibly just another family member. Does that indicate a new relationship (i.e. another sibling)? Perhaps a witness or declarant is a mid-wife. Does that indicate an illegitimate birth or that the father is away, serving in the military? More data, means more information or clues/mysteries for further research. Prior to Napoleon and the Codex that bears his name, we did not have this  information, afterwards we do.

Napoleon was beneficial to genealogical research — who knew?

July 23, 2011

House Numbers – Numerus Domus – Redux

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In case you missed my first posting with the questions, you can catch-up by following this link . Debbie G (moderator of the Yahoo Group, Polish Geniuses) sent me some answers — first a reminder of the questions I am researching …

Research Questions

  1. Was the column labeled ‘Numerus Domus‘ in the Latin Box format of church records required by the Codex Napoleon?
  2. When did house numbers get assigned?
  3. How were numbers assigned?  Did they number starting from the church (I have had that said to me.)? Did they give the lowest numbers to the “most important” members of the parish? Were houses assigned numbers in the order they were built without regard to their sequential location to another house or did they start at 1 and proceed down the street numbering each house, such that consecutive house numbers are next door neighbors?
  4. Were house numbers unique to a single village or to the parish they all belonged?
  5. Why did they stop collecting house numbers in the church records?
  6. Did house numbers get renumbered (if so then when)? I am thinking like, in Detroit around 1920 when many/most homes were renumbered.
  7. If the houses were not renumbered, then is it possible to visit the same house (assuming it still stands) and know it was that house where so-and-so lived?

Answers …

#2 … I have seen house numbers on records as old as late-1600s  [Stanczyk: so this way pre-dates Napoleon and as such also answers #1; In Biechow, prior to Latin Box format, circa 1797 no record of a house # exists].

#3 House numbers were assigned starting with the church and moving outwards OR starting with the first house that was built and numbering each house built after that in sequence. This means you would/will find house # 245 across the street from house #1, and next door to house #59 on one side and house #75 on the other. This type of house numbering system makes it impossible to locate a particular house. Homes and buildings in cities are numbered sequentially however. [Stanczyk: Pity. This precludes me from analyzing next door neighbors by using the house numbers.]

#4 House numbers are unique to the individual village.
#5 “They” did not stop collecting house numbers in the church records. This continues today. [Stanczyk: I meant in the church records. But I think Debbie means yes. Just not in Biechow it seems.]
#6 The only time houses/property were renumbered is  if the house burned down. Then the house rebuilt on that same property was numbered sequentially after the last house built. Example: if the number of the last house built in a village was #364, and house # 34 burned down, then when that house is rebuilt it is numbered 365. [Stanczyk: Perhaps, knowing that larger numbers are newer homes will yields some insight.]
#7 In villages where the houses were numbered as they were built, it is almost impossible to locate a particular house unless it is a very small village. If any or all of the village burned down at any time, the process becomes even more impossible (if that can be).  [Stanczyk:  Debbie went on to crush my hopes of locating a family homestead by various reasons on why the house #’s  may be different or non-existent].

Thank You Debbie G. for sharing your expertise!

More Answers …

I have verified that Biechow does not have house #’s  in the church records prior to  1797 — probably as a result of Austrian partition regulations. In MF# 936660,  I found when Fr. Dominicus Cyranski arrives he starts using what I believe are house #’s (i.e. Sub. No 27). These 1797 Church records are in Latin Paragraph format. The house numbers also appear in MF # 936665 (the Latin Box format) beginning in 1797.

Again let me remind the readers that Biechow (and Pacanow, Swiniary, etc.) are rural so they will do things differently than larger towns or cities. Oddly, I went through MF # 936662 and for the years 1836-1848 there were no  house numbers. But in 1849, the records (which were in Polish paragraph / Napoleonic form), the house numbers make a come back. So I have house numbers in 1849-1852 inclusive. In 1853, they stop again. Now there was an explanation, it appears to be by priest sentiment. In 1848, Father (Fr.) Jozef Stanky [the priest who writes likes a chicken] takes over.  In 1849 he adds house numbers back. In 1852 Fr. Michal Krolikowski shares duties with Fr. Stanky. In 1853 Fr. Michal Krolikowski [priest with the angel like handwriting] decides to stop recording house numbers. So it appears to be specific to the whims of the parish priest.

Also when I was posting about Old Tomasz Leszczynski‘s first wife Julianna  Kordos‘ brith record,  I put an image of her Latin Box church record from 1833 (Swiniary parish) and I noticed it had house #’s (hers was house #40). So the variation can be by priest within a parish or variable by different/adjoining parishes. I think that explains why Debbie G. see one thing and I see another. I am guessing that it differs by partition too (Austrian vs. Russian vs. Prussian). I think it is the differences and freak happenstances that make genealogical research so interesting (and/or frustrating).

I do accept the fact that house numbers exist in a village, irrespective of whether they exist in the church records for that village. Stanczyk is NOT thick skulled!

July 21, 2011

#Russian – #Poland #Genealogy : Swiniary Birth Index 1826

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Julianna Kordos - Birth (ur.) 04-May-1833

Stanczyk has a great-grandfather by the name Tomasz Leszczynski. Old Tomasz, whose hands were big as hams, was a shoemaker and an innkeeper. Old Tomasz lived to be 104 years old. All cousins, no matter how distant agree their parents/grandparents, said Tomasz lived to be 104. That is a lot. More than Sto Lat. He lived a lot of life (from about 1836 – 1940) and saw a lot of tumultuous events. He was also married twice.

I am related to Tomasz’s through his second wife,  Aniela Major (My-Yore or My-Yur, mispelled in America as Meyer). I have this Catholic church wedding record from the Alegata. So I know their wedding date and her parents (why are no parents listed for old Tomasz?). I also have the church records of Julianna Kordos (his first wife)’s death (zmarl) from 27-November-1881 in Pacanow. So I was searching the parishes around Biechow and Pacanow when I stumbled upon a dusty tome from Swiniary.  Lo and Behold, good readers,  I did find Julianna Kordosiowna’s birth record in Swiniary. I know it is hers, because her parents were listed in her death record and here they are as the proud parents of baby Julianna, who was born (ur.) 4-May-1833 in Oblekon, Swiniary parish, Swietokrzyskie, Poland (old woj. Kielce). As it turns out, Julianna was the first born child of this marriage (Wojciech Kordos & Wiktorya Chalastra). So it should come as no surprise to any genealogist,  that I found her parent’s marriage record the year before in 1832 in Swiniary parish.

Well I wanted to publish some Swiniary indexes to celebrate my good fortune and perhaps to locate others related to this line of Kordos and my Leszczynski line. So here is the Swiniary Parish Birth Index from 1826 (roku):

# First Name Last Name
1 Kasper Stanek
2 Kasper ?szyk
3 Agnieszka ?owna
4 Jozef P ?? l ? k
5 Maciej Szczepanek
6 Jozef ?
7 Sebastjan i Agnieszka Rosi?nscy
8 Maciej Kolodziej
9 Maciej Klosek
10 Dorota Gawlowna
11 M/ G?
12 Dorota Liebionka
13 Agata Sokolowszonka
14 Agata Gmyrowna
15 Maciej Skolbania
16 Jozef Dyrdul
17 Jozefa Turinowa
18 Ma?? Malik
19 Agnieszka Pokasianka
20 Katarzyna Wieczorkowna
21 Franciszka Banionka
22 Maryanna Orlowska
23 Maryanna Gadiewska
24 Franciszka Doroska
25 Kazimierz Biskup
26 Zofia Dudkowna
27 Jozef Janoski
28 Jozef Pisarczyk
29 Jozef Stanek
30 Jozef Jankowski
31 Jozef Plecka
32 Franciszka Kawionka
33 Jozefa Banasowna
34 Wojciech Mazur
35 Agnieszka Szufranowna
36 Wojciech Stanek
37 Maryanna Kloskowna
38 Wojciech Szurpala
39 Katarzyna Dynakowna
40 Katarzyna Kawina
41 Wojciech Kania
42 Wojciech Uchwal
43 Jozefa Biskupowna
44 Antonina Szekogorska
45 Franciszka Jos??owna
46 Katarzyna Sosionowna
47 Stanislaw Juda
48 Stanislaw Zaniej
49 Stanislaw Uzydlo
50 Zofia ?
51 Stanislaw Dyrdul
52 Stanislaw Kuron
53 Stanislaw Podzszen
54 Helena Ksiabiodowna (sp?)
55 Helena Nowakowna
56 Antoni Przybycien
57 Malgorzata Mislanka
58 Malgorzata Rybakowna
59 Antoni Kaszoski
60 Antoni Starosciak
61 Antoni Janusziewicz
62 Jan Durek
63 Malgorzata Dabielka
64 Malgorzata Skowron
65 Antoni Bzepecki (sp?)
66 Magdalena Kosior?
67 Anna Kossterzanka
68 Antoni Zioladkiewicz
69 Maryanna Woytalowna
70 Malgorzata Marzalowna
71 Magdalena Ztoadziowna
72 Piotr Habinas
73 Adam Czekiej
74 Anna Klionczakowna
75 Maryanna Skowronowna
76 Maryanna Dulakowna
77 Anna Sowianka
78 Franciszka Kloskowna
79 Katarzyna Izdneralowna
80 Wawrzeniec Durek
81 Helena Gmyrowna
82 Bartlomai Juszczyk
83 Bartlomai i Katarzyna Babina
84 Bartlomai Sobieczkada
85 Stanislaw Stanek
86 Roza Sikorzanka
87 Wiktorya Dydluka
88 Szczepan Wizbicki
89 Michal Mieswiodonski
90 Stanislaw Sakowna (sp?)
91 Jadwiga Skowronska
92 Jadwiga Dudayczykowna
93 Michal Uchwal
94 Jadwiga Gawlowna
95 Jadwiga Szu?
96 Jadwiga Zey?
97 Jadwiga Tomarska
98 ? Gad?
99 Marcin ?
100 Mikolaj Widoski (sp?)
101 Barbara Polakowna
102 Jedrzej Dabrowski
103 Mikolaj i Jedrzej Dal?ow
104 Jedrzej Byla
105 Maryanna Zaskowna
106 Katarzyna Juszczykowna
107 Helena Nowakowna
108 Jedrzej Scliga
109 Ambrocy Skolbania
110 Mikolaj Orzimek
111 Lucija Witorzynowna
112 Sebastjan Siwiek
113 Szczepan Kasperak
114 Tomasz Jadel
115 Szczepan Soja
116 Szczepan Witdoczyk
117 Szczepan Kasperak
118 Szczepan Gebala
119 Agnieszka Golkdunca (sp?)
120 Sebastjan Juda
121 Agnieszka Czekasiowna
122 Sebastjan Wawrzeniec
123 Agnieszka Plakowna
124 Franciszka Durziowna
July 20, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – #Map : Russian-Poland 1914

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1914 Russian Poland

URL: http://mbc.malopolska.pl/dlibra/doccontent?id=1511&dirids=1
Digital Library:  Malopolska Digital Library (search page)

This maps differs from the one on the MAPS page which is from 1820 which had the original 8 gubernias (aka guberniya or governorates). This maps shows 10 gubernia. Also note that CHELM is still shown a part of the Polish Kingdom;  In 1912 Chelm became its own gubernia and was directly incorporated into the Russian Empire. So this map shows the evolution of Russian Poland from 1820 (on MAPS page) to 1912 (prior to World War I and the collapse of Czarist Russia which will bring about the re-emergence of Poland as a sovereign nation after World War I).

Gubernia Shown on Map

Gubernia / Governorate Name in Russian Name in Polish Seat
Kalisz Governorate Калишская губерния Gubernia kaliska Kalisz
Kielce Governorate Келецкая губерния Gubernia kielecka Kielce
Łomża Governorate Ломжинская губерния Gubernia lubelska Łomża
Lublin Governorate Люблинская губерния Gubernia łomżyńska Lublin
Piotrków Governorate Петроковская губерния Gubernia piotrkowska Piotrków
Płock Governorate Плоцкская губерния Gubernia płocka Płock
Radom Governorate Радомская губерния Gubernia radomska Radom
Siedlce Governorate Седлецкая губерния Gubernia siedlecka Siedlce
Suwalki Governorate Сувалкская губерния Gubernia suwalska Suwałki
Warsaw Governorate Варшавская губерния Gubernia warszawska Warszawa
July 19, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Biechow Church Records an Inventory

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is trying to digest Debbie G’s (from TX and Yahoo Group Polish Geniuses) insight and observations. I will need to analyze her feedback in relationship to the data I have seen (which is just about everything extant). So first, I would like to speak about the LDS microfilm, then I want to speak about Pradziad (Poland’s State Archives which contains civil and ecclesiastical data), and finally the  Ecclesiastical Archive for the parish of Biechow. I have in my possession a complete list of all microfilm — that would leave only actual physical books in the parish and possibly the civil and ecclesiastical archives. This discussion is just to convince  myself (and others) of what exists and to compare the sources available to me and draw up an action plan of what I have yet to view.  A further article will compare Debbie’s House Number experiences (which I know include many trips to Poland and its parishes and archives — sadly none in my area) with my data from Biechow. Today’s posting is a long one, but if you stick with it, you should learn where to find sources of data for your ancestral parish.

LDS Microfilm – Family History Library (Salt Lake City)

URL: Biechow microfilm       Family History Library Catalog: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp

First off, I need to admit, I still use the original web user interface, so if you do a place name search from their Library Catalog in their new beta-web interface it will look different, but the data will be the same — I have verified that.

The second line is a single microfilm (LDS Mf# 936665) which says it is a microfilm of the original church records from 1674-1847 inclusive, but many gaps exist. The records are all in Latin. Before 1797, the records are what I call Latin Paragraph Form (the earliest are more like Latin sentence or two, than paragraph). From 1797-1847 the data is in the Latin Box Form with standard columns that seem to vary little across all of Poland. Prior to the Latin Box Form, which includes, the column, ‘Numerus Domus’ (or in some areas an abbreviation of those words), I can state unequivocally, there are NO house numbers recorded. If these really are the actual church records and not a copy then house numbers were not recorded in the Latin paragraph form. After the introduction of the Latin Box Form, the house numbers are used (although not always in the years where they are collected). After reading Debbie G’s comments I will go back to the Latin Box Form and confirm the years they have recorded house numbers. I do know that house numbers are also present in the Polish Long Paragraph Form for the early years of Polish records. I will confirm these dates too. I can also state unequivocally, there are NO house numbers recorded in the Russian Long Paragraph Forms.

The top line resolves in the microfilm notes into 8 separate microfilm: 936660-936664 (five film),  and 1257788, 1807660, 1807661. These last three are for the years 1875-1884 and as such are in Russian (using the Cyrillic character-set). The first five microfilm are written in Latin until 1797, then in Polish for the years 1797-1847. There are no microfilm for years 1848-1868 which would be in Polish, nor are there any for 1869-1874 which would be in Russian. These eight microfilm are supposed to be copies of the original church records. 1868 is usually a cross-over year, part Polish records and part in Russian.

You can view these nine total microfilm at the Family History Library for free or rent copies and have them sent to your local Family History Center to view. I have done both for all nine microfilm. If you have followed my blog, I have taken pictures of these microfilm records and used them in my family tree and in this blog to good effect. I have analyzed these records and inventoried and built indexes of the details of what is present on each microfilm. So I am more than conversant about these nine microfilm. I can say unabashedly, that I have an expert level knowledge of these nine microfilm and derived my own data in summaries or studies I have undertaken from the detailed records. So it should be understood that I have acquired the ability to read Latin, Polish and Russian. I am self-taught and did so in order to trace my genealogy in the Russian-Poland partition (although, as I have said these villages went from Poland to Austria to France to Russia back to Poland autonomy).

Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (USC) – Civil Registration Office

A real secular civil registry did not exist in Poland until after World War II (1945/1946). Before that vital records were maintained by religious adminstrators. In Catholic churches from the 16th century by Papal edict, but it took many decades and future edicts before Church record keeping became reliable and consistent. Since Poland became partitioned in the late 18th century, there arose three ways of civil registration. So I believe the local USC will only have from 1945-forward. I will refer the reader to a couple of Wikipedia pages that offer the details:

Suffice it to say that the religions (protestant churches / synagogues) did not gain individual official recognition as civil registrations until:

In the Austrian partition in 1782, in Prussian partition since 1794, and in the Russian partition in 1825. Napoleon by his civil code established a standard for civil registration and in lieu of any civil office, had the Catholic priest serve in this capacity (1808-1815), such that from 1808-1825 officially in Russian partition, although 1828-1830 may have been when Protestant and Jewish religions were able to finally get control of their own civil registrations and not be recorded in the Catholic Church registers. In my Biechow records, I think I see Jewish records recorded from 1810-1828 in the Catholic register. However, the fact it went past the official 1825 date, is probably more indicative of the rural nature of the region and the scarcity of Jews in some areas. Keep in mind that Napoleon (and his Codex Napoleon) and Russian Czars dictated the civil registration rules in Biechow for most of its records [1808-1918]. During the few years when Biechow was in the Austrian partition (1772-1807) there was probably no change in church registrations, since this era was largely Latin to start and the Austrians maintained the Latin record keeping.

PRADZIAD – Poland’s State Archives

URL: http://bit.ly/qe2pn2  [ link to my Biechow]     PRADZIAD Database: http://baza.archiwa.gov.pl/sezam/pradziad.php?l=en

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         alegata              1875-1886, 1888-1893, 1895, 1897-1898, 1901, 1904-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         małżeństwa       1875-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         urodzenia          1875-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         zgony                1875-1905

The above table shows my Biechow village. The second column is the Polish word for Roman Catholic. The Third word is record type.

małżeństwa = Marriages ;  urodzenia = Births (usually also has baptisms) ; zgony = Deaths   [your basic vital records]

alegata   =  addendum [often used to show that someone can be married in the church or has converted religions]

Well pretty much it is just 1875-1905, which is good for my grandparents and their siblings (births and marriages maybe). It also means reading Russian since 1868-1918 the records are kept in Russian. So if I view these in the regional Archive in Kielce, then I could add info to the microfilm I have already viewed,  for just the years 1885-1905 inclsuive. That is helpful, because I need my grandmother (Busia) Walerya Leszczynska’s birth record from about 1st-November-1886 in Biechow? I also want to search all of the alegata for: Elijasz, Leszczynski, Kedzierski, and Wlecialowski.

Kielce – Ecclesiastical Archive

URL: http://www.kielce.opoka.org.pl/?mod=contents&g=kuria&id=archiwum

The Church too has copies of the parish books/records that it keeps. Biechow is in the Kielce Diocessan Archive in the city of Kielce itself. I once found this image on the Internet on a Polish genealogy forum (now long since gone). Goes to show, you should keep the static web pages you find on your local hard drive.

Most of these are in the LDS microfilm: 936660, 936661, 936662, 936663, 936664, and 936665. Following the record groups are little notes, that I believe represent the fonds within the Church Archive that  hold those records. There are a few that are NOT in the LDS microfilm. Likewise there are a few in the LDS microfilm that are not in the Church Archive. SO I will need to look at these microfilm in the Church Archive in Kielce.

I have a similar image for Ksiaznice and Zborowek. My heart is heavy because I have never been able to find a similar document (text or image) for Pacanow. PLEASE can someone in Poland help me? It requires a visit to the Church Archive in Kielce to get this info (possibly a phone will get it). At any rate, if can get Pacanow, please can you email Stanczyk at mike@eliasz.com.

So once you find your ancestral parishes, this is what you should do. Build an inventory (a to do list) and a plan to get access to these resources for your family genealogy. Finding your ancestral parish is a process. I need to document my ideas, but that is another posting or two.

Lastly, plan to visit the parish office and the local priest. Be nice (obnoxious Americans please skip this step) and bring a gift of thanks for the priest and his office. When you leave, perhaps you can make a religious offering to the priest for a having a mass for your ancestors. What better way to honor your family and the local parish (or synagogue)! Please make the path easier for the next genealogist by being kind and respectful and generous. There may also be monuments and/or cemeteries in the area or at the church. Do not forget those too.

July 18, 2011

#Polish, #Jewish, #Genealogical Research – Church Census

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Perhaps you sneaked a peak at some new pages I recently created. My blog stats indicate that is so. So you may have witnessed the data for this story. But lets take a step back  for a moment.

In Poland, most Gminas or Powiats or large cities (ex. Warsaw) have a website, much like our cities or counties in the USA. These are the basic administrative units: Gminas make up Powiats which make up Voivodeships . Comparable to Townships(Boroughs) -> Counties -> States in the USA. So an understanding of these units of administration and their historical changes is fundamental to tracing your genealogy. Like us, they also have a history and their history is long, VERY LONNNNG in duration. In Poland, the Church is also an organizing presence and like here, they have parishes, deaconates, and dioceses. These too have very long histories. Understanding these units of administration, both civil and ecclesiastical can aid you in finding records to research. So this long preamble leads to my next useful website, which is quite specific to the locale of my ancestral villages  and what you need to do is to find the one that corresponds to your ancestral village and do likewise. Mine is:

http://pacanow.tbu.pl/pa_online/tradycja/index2.html

So grab your Google Translator and follow along, please. Pacanow Gmina is the organizing unit for most of my ancestral villages (and the neighboring gminas cover the remainder). The above link (on a  line by itself) is an older web page that I have kept for years and it is now becoming buried in the official government page that is useful to residents. This page is useful to historians and family history researchers. It covers the history and tradition of both the civil and the ecclesiastical (i.e. parish) histories. Why do I or you care about these fine histories that a local historical society has produced — well if you have been a genealogist for a while you know that Historical Societies are the genealogist’s best friends. They have collected and preserved much of value that will further aid in our family history research. And so it is here. Pacanow is both a parish/deaconate (thus the ecclesiatical) and the civil gmina so they have both histories. From their pages, I have culled Church Censuses for this area covering circa 1340 through 1787 (not continuous, but snaphots at various times) that their local historians researched from church records. So on my Parish Census page is my resulting spreadsheet from a couple of their mages. These are statistical summaries, not individual records. So to be clear I am not talking about a Spis Ludnosci which contains a family and its names for generations in a parish. May we all be so lucky to find such in our individual researches.

Years – 1340, 1618, 1664, 1699, 1747/48, 1782/82, 1787

These are early years. In Biechow, one the parishes these censuses mention, my actual church records that LDS have microfilmed only go back to 1674-1675, then nothing until some deaths from 1697-1743. I have looked at these microfilm and the records are sparse (and in Latin). That being said, these censuses now allow me to evaluate what I have “detailed” records for. From the 1747/48 census I can see how Biechow has many more females than males. That explains why I can see men have many second wives (no doubt after their 1st wives die in child-birth or from the rigors of life with many children) to often much younger wives who can bear the man still more children. I have to wonder at the sizes of the homes. Even with the astonishing infant/child mortality rates of this era, families are large. Deaths are overwhelmingly people under 18 with the usual percentage of deaths for mature adults only a small percentage of the overall total. Populations are growing since the births outnumber the deaths, slightly.

All of these years are before the partitions  of Poland, except for the last two censuses (which come after the first partition of 1772). Now this last census(1787) is interesting for another reason. There was a census of Jews by parish. Now we cannot expect that the Jewish peoples attended the churches and the year 1787 was prior to the 1810-1830 years when the Catholic Church was also required to be the civil registrar and the Jews needed to register their births and marriages with the Catholic Church priest who was also the civil registrar. Like New Orleans which organizes its administrations by parishes, these early/rural parishes acted also as civil units of administration and collected censuses. The overall percentage across all parishes, was that Jewish peoples were about 6.44% of the total population. In Biechow, I see the percentage was 2.6% and that fairly closely matches the rates of Jewish records I see in the overall births from the years 1810-1830  in the Biechow parish church register.

Now that gives us a window into the first partition of Poland. Even though Stanczyk writes of Biechow/Pacanow being in the Russian-Poland partition, this early era was pre-Napoleon and these parishes were in the Krakow voivoide and Stopnica powiat, which were controlled by Austria  (more properly the Austrian-Hungarian Empire). At any rate, in the interest of the Blessed Pope John Paul II and his ecumenical efforts and to honor my own Jewish wife, I have included the Jewish census numbers here with the Catholic numbers to aid the Jewish researchers in their quest. I have collected some records in the early 1810’s that were in Biechow, since I noticed the JewishGen and JRI have not indexed Biechow. Now you know why. There were only 2.4% of the total population and  those scant numbers may have gone unnoticed so far by researchers. I would encourage JRI/JewishGen to take a look at my Parish Census blog page (in reality on Rootsweb).

Well this posting is too heavy on numbers and too slight on story, so let me end it here for today.

–Stanczyk

P.S. I am glad I put their numbers into a spreadsheet. I did find they had numerical errors (one total) and also an editing error, as the total for Jews was 1,000 more than the 821 they showed, thus they dropped the leading ‘1’ by some editorial typo. A spreadsheet quickly caught those errors.

July 15, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – #Gazetteers and Other Similar Resources

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Gazetteers. You have got to love them to do genealogical research outside the USA. How do you learn the maps of the country your grandparents or great-grandparents knew? Today’s atlases  or Google Maps only give you the view as of the present (at least point at which it was published). You need an historical perspective. Hence why you need to use Gazetteers. Maps/Atlases give you the picture and Gazetteers give you the intelligence/ontext about the maps.

Here’s an  list of excellent  Gazetteers:

  • Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
  • Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia
  • Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen. 
  • ShtetlSeeker
  • Kartenmeister
  • Slownik geograficzny królestwa polskiego i innych krajów slowiańskych.

Stanczyk has developed his resource (an index of an index?) on the Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej [Index of Placenames of the Republic of Poland]. The Skorowidz is an excellent resource for all of Poland covering all parts (Russian-Poland, Austrian-Poland and German-Poland partition areas) that were within the borders of Poland circa 1934. This is the resource you need to use to find your ancestral parish. It is online (click the above link to reach the online version). It has a short-coming: it does NOT list the synagogues   — pity, otherwise excellent.

The flat out best Gazetteer for its research and even for its included maps to give a sense of location relative to today is Brian Lenius’ well researched, Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia. As its name implies it is only for Galicia, an area that is presently with Poland and Ukraine. This area of historical Poland was in the Austrian-Poland partition and finally eastern parts after Napoleon, were in the Russian-partition. Brian’s book does include synagogues!  Some treatment of Polish versus German names and Ukrainian names is also mentioned. It is not online. Buy the book if you find ancestors lived in Galicia.

The Gemeindelexikon is a very good resource for what was Prussia (or Prussian-Poalnd) areas. It also indicates the location of parishes and gives statistics for sex, ethnicities, or religious affiliation. It is online in the BYU library. But if you have Ancestry.com, it has a faster and easier user interface to the information.

ShtetlSeeker is part of the JewishGen website and is  predominantly a resource for Jewish settlements, villages, synagogues, data, etc. I also use it for my Catholic family villages. It is particularly useful if you do not know the spelling of your ancestral village. It also provides on the map with icons of other resources: Yizkor books, JRI-Poland data. It is by definition online.

Kartenmeister is for those parts of Poland formerly ruled by Prussia. It is online. It is an excellent resource if you only know the Polish name or the German name of a locale and you need to know the other name. It also has maps. It has two mini-lists cross-references: Lithuanian-German-English and Latin-German-English. Which makes sense in that those languages are the language of Prussian records for their territories.

The Slownik geograficzny królestwa polskiego i innych krajów slowiańskych is a multi-volume gazetteer / dictionary of places in Poland and other Slavic kingdoms. The dictionary is written in Polish. It is online here. That is yet another Polish Digital Library that I have written about recently (Malopolska). Each volume (or Tome abbreviated T. or tom.). Some translations are on the PGSA.org website or you use the Google Translator. It is filled with abbreviations (PGSA is helpful).

Here are a couple of more resources…

Family Search with their excellent wiki(s) has a page on Poland Gazetteers. The LDS also have these resources as microfilm or books within their Family History Library.

The LDS also has a PDF (you need Adobe Acrobat Reader) for Finding Places in the former RUSSIAN EMPIRE . This PDF is not a gazetteer, but is a valuable resource. You can Google ‘Spisok naselennykh mest  gubernii’ to find individual volumes in Libraries or possibly online. Finally, see this wiki page for Russian Empire Gubernya Gazetteers.

PGSA.org has a list of map resources here. They also have a project to index the 1907, The Illustrated Geographic Atlas of the Kingdom of Poland . An esthetically lovely historical atlas, with the indexes providing you with an indication of which villages are the parish. Stanczyk indexed the Stopnicki powiat.

July 14, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – An Homage to Moja żona

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Moja żona (my wife) Tereza is a very good wife indeed. So I wished to honor her by doing some research for the Jewish faithful. I suppose many genealogists are unaware that much of Europe owes its church records and their format to the Codex Napoleon. Another side effect of this edict was to create a new civil registry of civil records, which Napoleon originally placed responsibility with the Catholic church. So peoples of all faiths had to register with the Catholic church for the years 1810-1830 [approximately] until civil data could be collected by all faiths in their own church/temple/synagogue.

So whilst I was collecting other genealogical research data, I decided to pay extra attention to the Jewish births listed to honor my wife. I am sure this was an onerous requirement for Jewish citizens to have to record their vital records with the Catholic church. This village of my ancestors has NOT been indexed by JRI, as there was no significant Jewish presence in these villages, but there were Jews indeed! So what was probably an imposition for Jews may now be a blessing and a mitzvah for me (and my wife). Why a blessing? So many Jewish records were destroyed during World War II (and possibly in other pogroms) that any echo, any echo at all of those who were here is a blessing.

Births in Biechow (departement de Krakow) for years 1810, 1811, 1813 and 1815

[ source: LDS microfilm # 936660]

First note that 1812 and 1814 had no registry at all for anyone. In 1810 there 50 recorded births and of those fifty, one record was Jewish:

1810 Births – Record #24 – Pinkiesz Szmulowicz (father), Hercyk (baby) and Marya Manasow (mother)

In 1811 there were 116 births and three records were Jewish:

#68 Zelmanowiczowna, Rywka (baby)

#91 Faycer, Jasek (baby)

#96 Menkierowna, Bela (baby)

In 1813 there were 76 births and two records were Jewish:

#26 Wulfowna, Chaja

#36 Fisolowna, Faytsia

In 1815 there were 99 births and one record was Jewish:

#62 Wolf, Sura (baby);  Jasek Wolf (father); Blima Haymnowiczow (mother).

Well I guess you can see why JRI ignored LDS Microfilm #936660. Out of 341 births only seven (just 2%) were Jewish births. Jewish genealogists, feel free to collect this data and add it to your database. These records are in Polish in this era.

Stanczyk

July 9, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Odds & Ends, New Data

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Bronislawa Eliasz Born 19030427

from LDS Microfilm #1898357

Stanczyk wants to write about databases of data for Polish Genealogists. But that is a large topic and requires some gathering of data and links (URLs). SO instead here are a few teasers (odds & ends):

  1.  From my Rootsweb NYErie Message Board/Mailing List, I found a New Poznan Research Database (posted by Ruth Susmarski). This is an excellent effort and a worthy candidate for that iGoogle Genealogy page (see yesterday’s posting) that I hope you are building. This comes from the Greater Poland Genealogical Society of Gniazdo . So if you have ancestors from Western Prussian-Poland partition this should be helpful resource. They have an RSS feed too. Link: http://www.basia.famula.pl/en/
  2. I see that on June 28th, 2011, the FamilySearch.org website added a new Polish database of  2,204,751 images. This is data for: the parishes in the Częstochowa, Gliwice, Lublin, and Radom Roman Catholic Dioceses of Poland  (Russian-Poland, Austrian-Poland partitions).  [see sample image above] Link: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://hr-search-api:8080/searchapi/search/collection/1867931

I did a quick check of the FamilySearch database (#2 above) and found 31 exact or close matches to Eliasz. When I clicked through the list I found they had data from Szczucin parish (which is Austria-Poland) partition. In fact I am fairly certain the Szczucin Eliasz are distant cousins as this is just across the bridge (over the Vistula river) from my other Eliasz / Elijasz / Heliasz. I looked up the microfilm for Szczucin for 1867-1903 it is LDS Microfilm # 1898357. This matches the Szczucin in Brian Lenius’s gazetteer: “Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia“.

July 8, 2011

#Genealogy & #Technology – #1: iGoogle To Keep Tabs On Genealogy –

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

How do you keep the pulse of the Internet? At present (and for a good while now), there are over a billion websites. You can Google/Bing searches and possibly save the searches for future use or make them a Bookmark/Favorite. That is ok. But I want to go somewhere and see what my agents dug up for me to look at and examine. It is almost a Genealogy Newsletter (ok, but I want more than Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter). But I want it is tailored to my needs and interests. Eastman is broad,  but seldom specific to Slavic (Polish, Russian, Czech, Ukraine, Belarus, etc.) research, or to a specific locale: Detroit, Toledo, Buffalo, Philadelphia, etc.

Enter iGoogle. I have been using it for a year or two now and  have steadily tweaked it to my purpose and tastes. iGoogle is what we techies call a customized portal (similar to Yahoo or AOL, but more like My-Yahoo). People may be vaguely aware that Google has more software available than its iconic Search Engine. But where is this software? The Google products are located:

http://www.google.com/intl/en/about/products/index.html

iGoogle is near the top (presently second). Ok, so now you register for an account and login to Google and igoogle.com instead of google.com (for both search and portal capabilities). You can use Classic Google or iGoogle (so you are not locked in to the new search portal) and go back and forth. Now you need to add TABs (I pick one per subject: Genealogy, Science, Financial, etc.). So create a “Genealogy” Tab.  Now you can add gadgets or feeds. I have a mix of some of each on my Genealogy TAB. I like to have Google’s Translator gadget and Sirius Genealogy Date Calculator as handy gadgets. Useful tools to my research right at hand.

Next we need to define the blogs or RSS feeds of websites that we need to cull information from on a “regular” basis. Now a blog is just an article (or web log) that an author creates with useful info/data. The RSS thingys are just the Internet’s way of broadcasting to you what has changed at a website, but you must subscribe (no fee). This is how I can stay on top of what is happening elsewhere on the Internet (without intensive googling, web surfing or reading many emails/newsletters or magazines).   HINT: you may want to subscribe to this blog if you are a Polish Genealogist or a genealogist with some Polish ancestors.

OK, I did add Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter to my Genealogy Tab as he does one of the finest newsletters on genealogy. I also subscribe to Tracing The Tribe and many other Polish genealogy websites. Libraries, Genealogy/Historical Societies,  and Archives specific to locations where my ancestors lived are excellent candidates for my Genealogy Portal that I am creating in iGoogle.  Here’s a winning tip, I use what’s changed in Ancestry.com (in my shared area) as a feed. That is the essence. Tailored like a nice suit.

Now left-brain people will thrill that you can arrange your page and set how many lines each feed gets or how many columns you can have (1,2,3 or 4). You can even “skin” your page to improve the esthetics (eye of the beholder). Now I put my feeds up near the top and the gadgets near the bottom, so I do not have to scroll to see info. I do in fact tweak my page periodically to get the most useful feeds near the top or to get rid of feeds that are not useful or are too static (unchanging). Since I am researching ancestors across the ocean, I do have foreign-language websites too (hence Google Translator). Here’s what a finished product looks like ( a partial screenshot) …

So now iGoogle is my Hubble-Space-Telescope into the vastness of the Internet taking snapshots and presenting me a daily synopsis of what is going on far and wide that I may want to apprise myself of. That’s it,  a technological solution to information overload and time management — as this is my window and I make it a discipline to make a quick daily check of what is going on.

July 6, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Gazetteer: Skorowidz Meijscowosci …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk loves maps. But how do you know which map to examine and where Babcia’s village is? Well today’s post is about a Gazetteer:

Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej [Index of Placenames of the Republic of Poland] circa 1931.

Now this also touches on a previous article, in that I have this Gazetteer bookmarked from a Digital Library in Poznan, Poland. So it is an online resource available through your browser.

A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or directory, an important reference for information about places and place names (see: toponymy), used in conjunction with a map or a full atlas. It typically contains information concerning the geographical makeup of a country, region, or continent as well as the social statistics and physical features [source: Wikipedia]. The features genealogists look for are: administrative levels (state/woj., county/pow., township/gmina) or location of parishes/parafialny. So the “Skorowidz” gives us this info, if we can know the name of the place/village we are looking up info upon.

I have created a mini index of this Gazetteer age paging through 2096 pages sequentially or randomly is not very productive. My index page for Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej is here.  So I wish you good research in locating your ancestral village and its parish/synagogue. One final note!  There are many excellent Gazetteers for Poland, but that will be another article.

July 4, 2011

Flags of the World Counter – Who’s There ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

free counters

Stanczyk added a Flag Counter, I’ll see if this makes sense in a blog.  Also, please note that the Skorowidz Miejscowsci (Gazetteer) has been slightly modified to be more readable. Let me know!

Tags:
July 4, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Historical Dziennik Polski (Detroit) Newspaper

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wishes all Americans a Happy Fourth Of July !

I just wanted to update my readers that my page on the Dziennik Polski (Detroit, MI) Newspaper has been updated to include a new repository: PARI – Polonica Americana Research Institute on Orchard Lake, St Mary’s campus, whose Director is the well known Ceil Wendt Jensen (who has ancestors from Stanczyk’s ancestral village, Pacanow).

Their holdings are 1904-1920 on microfilm and 1930’s-? in bundles of actual newspapers.

Mój pies (my dog), Java wants everyone to keep their dog safe today and not to lose your dogs due to the fireworks and the fright they cause in dog’s sensitive ears.

June 27, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #4 Genealogical Societies in Poland

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, continues with his favorite websites in Poland. I hope you speak Polish or at least have mastered using Google Translate .

Pay especial attention to: Polskiego Towarzystwa Genealogicznego (Polish Genealogical Society). They have valuable databases online and their forums have experts, some of whom speak English and generally all of them are friendly and knowledgeable. Stanczyk once found a Polish genealogist who had ancestors from the same villages as mine. This fine lad (Jacek) from Krakow even shared images from church books with me and he was amenable to being a genealogy researcher for me on a trip to an Archive! I also found some distant cousins who traded emails with me on the website’s email facility and that was helpful. One of my grandfather’s cousins was a member of Haller’s Army (aka Blue Army)  and I was able to find his record amongst the fallen in one of their books, which answered why he was no longer found in any US census or in any US death record [since he had died in World War I overseas in Poland’s post WWI battle with Russia]. These snippets of info have been able to enrich my family tree. Finally, they have a database of parishes that is invaluable.

Take a look and see what you find …

Genealogical Societies (Some w/ Heraldic Info) WebSite
Bydgoskie Towarzystwo Heraldyczno–Genealogiczne http://www.mok.bydgoszcz.pl/index.php?cid=199
Galicyjskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.republika.pl/slucki/gtg.htm
Kaliskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne http://genealogia.kalisz.pl/
Kujawsko-Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne http://kptg.pl/
Lubelskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.ltg.zg.pl/index.html
MaloPolska Towarzystwa Genealogicznego http://www.mtg-malopolska.org.pl/index.html
Opolskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne http://www.otg.mojeforum.net/search.php
Ostrowskiego Towarzystwa Genealogicznego  http://www.otg.xt.pl/
Polskiego Towarzystwa Genealogicznego (Polish Genealogucal Society) http://genealodzy.pl/changelang-eng.phtml
Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.ptg.gda.pl
Śląskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://gento.free.ngo.pl/
Suwalskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://www.mem.net.pl/stg/
Świętokrzyskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne “Świętogen” http://www.genealodzy-kielce.pl/beta2/index.php
Towarzystwo Genealogiczne Centralnej Polski  http://www.tgcp.pl
Towarzystwo Genealogiczne Ziemi Częstochowskiej  http://www.genealodzy.czestochowa.pl/
Towarzystwo Genealogiczno – Heraldyczne w Poznaniu  http://www.tgh.friko.pl/info.html
Warszawskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne  http://genealogysociety.republika.pl/
Wielkopolskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne „Gniazdo” http://www.wtg-gniazdo.org/wiki.php?page=Info_English
Heraldic Societies in Poland WebSite
Polskie Towarzystwo Heraldyczne http://www.sejm-wielki.pl/
Związek Szlachty Polskiej http://www.szlachta.org.pl/

Let me know what you find!

June 26, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #3 Mapa.Szukacz.pl

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

To recap, please look at Stanczyk’s little graphic. We have covered genealogyindexer.org, Poland’s Digital Libraries (Biblioteka Cyfrowa), and now number three in our series:  Mapa.Szukacz.pl  .

If you want to trace Polish genealogy a good many skills are required of the researcher. The ability to read a map or a gazetteer is critical. Where is Babcia’s village?  So mapa.szukacz.pl is good for locating today’s existing villages/towns/cities. If you use Google Maps, then the basic concept should be familiar to you. But Stanczyk likes mapa.szukacz.pl because you lookup the village. To lookup a placename you enter the village in the field with the title ‘Miejscowość’ in the pink dialog box with the title, ‘Pokaż na mapie’ (‘Show on Map’). Finally, you press the button named, ‘Pokaż’ (Show). That is it. The village appears, assuming it still exists and you are fortunate enough to spell it correctly. If the placename you entered is a common one, then you may see a list of choices to examine and pick from. That is it and you have located dziadek’s (grandfather’s) home town. Of course, you have probably done some extensive research to get to this point. But now you have the lay of the land of your ancestral village. The radio buttions by ‘Zebliż’ change the zoom of the map; so adjust to your needs. All this is well and good and mostly just like Google Maps, except the ability lookup by name. But there have been a few new tricks added to this wonderful tool.

It already gave you the population (ex. 1275 osób, like for Pacanow). You need not enter the diacriticals. It also gave you woj. ,  pow. ,  and gmina. Which you may think of as  state, county, and township/borrough. Write these down, you will need them over and over again. Sadly, these levels of administration have changed since your grandparent’s time. You also get a postal code and telephone prefix in case you seek out family in the mother country. If that were all it would be a useful tool. But as I said, they have enhanced this web application. There is a valuable drop down named, ‘Przydatne punkty’ (“Useful points’). It only allows you to pick one selection. I find ‘kościoły’ (Churches) and ‘cmentarze’ (Cemeteries) the most useful to a genealogist. A word to the wise. The symbols that pop-up on the map (if any,  at your zoom level) are woefully incomplete. So the church you are seeking may not show, as in my case. But I am hopeful that they will keep adding to his valuable resource. This option is akin to that of ‘search nearby’ in Google Maps. Originally, I did not use Google Maps for Poland or Ukraine because it was woeful in listing villages and its ability to search nearby was no good for countries that did not have English as their primary language. But I see today that those issues have been resolved by Google. But Mapa.szukacz.pl still gives you the population and administration levels and other demographics that Google has yet to provide. Stanczyk does have to praise Google in one way. The ‘little yellow man’ that you can place on most US roads to get a web-cam still panoramic view of the location is replaced with little blue ‘dots’ where you can drop him and see photographs from that spot (Which Pacanow seemed to have many). So I guess you should use both maps.google.com and mapa.szukacz.pl to geo-locate your ancestral village. To get  the spelling correct, perhaps you can use JewishGen’s (also now in ancestry.com) Shtetl Seeker tool to help you get the spelling correct. Alas, that is another useful website for another day….

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