Archive for ‘Deaths’

July 3, 2016

Elie Wiesel Died.

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Elie Wiesel, a man of letters, intellectualAs a genealogist, one of our most sacred duties is the recording and memorializing a person’s death. It is always a solemn thing for me and I do it as soon as possible … to capture it in its rawest form. 
Elie Wiesel died. September 30, 1928 — July 2, 2016. He died aged 87. He was Jewish (Romanian by todays borders) so for me the connection is not as deep or rich as for my wife, Teréza. Nonetheless, I yielded the intellectual high ground to Elie Wiesel whose thoughts I always admired for the deepness and completeness, like a grandmaster chess player whose knowledge of a line of play is so expansive. 

Imagine my surprise today. For 21 years now I have always said, “The opposite of love is not hate … it is indifference.” This philosophy of mine was born as a result of living my life.  So I was surprised that my thought was not original nor was it complete.

Elie Wiesel wrote …

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

So it would seem that Elie Wiesel and I are connected in that thought and once again his thought was deeper and more complete. 
Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. He spent much of his life as a dedicated Holocaust  educator. He was also a prolific writer. His bibliography is too long to count especially if  you include other wtitings beyond books or where he was a co-author. His bibliography can be found here
Well  Mr. Wiesel you will be remembered and your memory will be a blessing. 

May 16, 2016

Genealogy At Scale — 1 Million Burials

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Hart Island outside/near New York City is a 101 acre potter’s field. Since 1849 over a million people have been buried anonymously since their bodies went unclaimed or otherwise became property of city/county of NYC. 

Story from Today’s NYT. There is the Hart Island Project that tries to give voice to tens of thousands buried since 1980.

January 6, 2016

Eastpointe, Macomb County, MI Turns Vital Records Over To The County — #Genealogy #Michigan

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Macomb County, Michigan is an interesting county.  To whit, there had been four cities in Macomb county who maintained their own vital records, instead of the county clerk. Those four cities are: Eastpointe, Saint Clair Shores, Sterling Heights and Warren. Now wouldn’t you know those just happen to be the major cities of the ELIASZ clan in Michigan. This jester just assumed that Macomb county had those duties. No wonder genealogy is hard, the exceptions get you.

Now this came to light recently when in November (2015), Eastpointe decided to turn over its birth, death record keeping to Macomb County. Eastpointe turned over  to the county 90 years worth of vital records. The records date back to 1925 when Eastpointe was known as Halfway (I did not know that), in 1929 it became East Detroit, and finally in 1992 it became Eastpointe. So if you were missing data from Halfway/East Detroit/Eastpointe now you may be able to find them at the county clerk’s office in Mt Clemens. For those whose data is in St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights or Warren, now you know the data if its not in the county clerk’s office is in those cities’ municipal buildings.

See today’s Macomb Daily newspaper.


 

 

December 5, 2014

The Sad Saga Of The Tsarnaevich — Continuing Story

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

We are one year and eight months into this saga. Recently, I thought I would survey if there were additional stories regarding this saga that flew under national radar and went unnoticed in its reporting.

For example, I asked if a death certificate was issued for Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  One had been in May 2013.

We see that Tamerlan was reported to have been born: 21-October-1986, in Elista Kalmykia, in Kyrgyzstan, Russian [Federation] to Anzor Tsarnaev & Zubiedat Suleimanova. The informant was Ruslan Tsarni [an uncle].

Death Certificate

tsarnaevTamerlan_DeathCertificate_20130419 [PDF document]

 

See Also …

Tsarnaev/Boston Flipboard Curated Magazine

Tsarnaev Genealogy 

The Sad Saga Of The Tsarnaevich


 

 

 

 

 

July 2, 2014

Death Certificates & Death Certificates — #Genealogy, #DeathCertificates

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk knows that genealogy is only as good as your sources. The less sourced your family tree, the less the quality of the research. Death is final! It is also well known that death documents are the least reliable as the informant is often incorrect or misinformed and that misinformation is transmitted to authorities. So newbie genealogists be forewarned.

Stanczyk has had a career (outside of being a jester) as a computer professional and more specifically, an expert in data (gathering, organizing, loading, managing and analyzing data). As a consultant, we have this little aphorism, “A man with a watch ALWAYS knows what time it is. And a man with two watches is never sure what time it is.”  What does this mean? It means data/info is often in conflict and that one or both of those watches is inaccurate. One watch at least, but maybe both are wrong if they disagree with each other.  Genealogy has this problem.

A few days ago, this jester was delighted to discover that Family Search provides a Photo Duplication Service for its databases that are index only — no images uploaded, just the transcribed index. What a boon that has been for me. I was finally able to locate a death certificate for a first-cousin-twice-removed (or my paternal grandfather’s first cousin if you prefer). I was thrilled, I now knew factually his father’s name and that the Polish Church record of his birth was for this individual in the USA that spelled his name like, ‘ELYASZ’. Polish/Slavic genealogists must deal with many factors in name corruption or name change. So I confirmed that this man in Detroit, was my grandfather’s cousin. I confirmed his death and his burial at Mt. Olivet in Detroit. I also confirmed that he was married and that his wife/widow was Lorraine Kraft Elyasz (the informant of the death certificate). But let me pause the story there.

A few years ago, when I visited Michigan, I went to the county seat of Macomb County, Michigan (Mt Clemens). So I made a research visit to the clerk of courts. My primary goal was to get death certificates for people in my life I had known, but lacked their death certificates: mother, grandmother, aunt were the primary goals — success. But I wanted my grand-uncle John (aka Jan) Eliasz who had the bad sense to die in 1936 instead of the modern post-World War II era. I did locate his death date and they had to mail me that death certificate because it was off-site due to its age. No online data for those death certificates (pre-1960). So here is what I received in the mail …

19360717_EliaszJohn_DeathCertExtract

Death Certificate of John Elias [sic]

I knew the document was an extract. Just by the format of the death certificate. I was crest-fallen, extracted data is often error-prone and this was a death document the least reliable so that is a double-whammy! Later on, I found out that the age of my grand-uncle was wrong when I located his birth record from the church in Pacanow. So I knew that the age in years,months,days was just plain wrong.  Obviously, the spelling of the name was incorrect (Elias [sic] vs. Eliasz/Elijasz) and the ‘recording date’ led me to believe that this extraction was from a death return (similar to a marriage return)  which is again a further generation removed from a death certificate. Can you just imagine the error propagation rate?

So emboldened by my photo duplication success of Stanley Elyasz, I decided to order the photo duplication for John Elias too. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe they had the image of the actual death certificate. Do you know what I got back yesterday?

19360717_EliasJohn_ClintonTwp_DeathCert

Actual Death Certificate of John Elias [sic]

 So, bless Family Search for producing a copy of the actual death certificate. Not much in conflict with the “extracted” form. But look at all of the extra info available:  Informant name/address, cemetery where buried, years in occupation, last year worked 1930 (6 years out of work during the Great Depression),  name of wife (Margaret ??? actually Pelagia), years lived in town of death (9 years => 1927 residence North Gratiot Ave, in Clinton Township), years in the USA (3o years => arrived 1906, I can only substantiate since 1910 which would be 26 years). Ok some of the extra information was also wrong, including birth date as I mentioned above.

So what did Stanley Elyasz’s death certificate look like  …

19231023_Detroit_ElyaszStanleyM_DeathCert

Stanley M. Elyasz

Interestingly enough both of these two gentlemen, who were first cousins also lived together in Detroit in 1921 at the 6410 Van Dyke Ave, Detroit, Wayne, MI [same as Stanley’s death certificate address]. I assume John moved from that address when his cousin died in 1923.

While sources may conflict isn’t it better to have them than not? Also, do not assume that there is only one Death Certificate. See above for my two death certificates for my grand-uncle John Elias [sic]. While they were not in conflict with each other, the second one was the much preferred one to have; I am glad I did not stop at the first one – in genealogy there are death certificates and then there are death certificates – they may not agree. Finally, bless my grand-aunt Mary Eliasz Gronek, but boy was she an error propagator. On my grand-father’s death certificate, she was NOT the informant (my grandmother was). But apparently after the fact, my grand-aunt submitted an affidavit and changed my grandfather’s birthdate. Unfortunately, she changed it from the correct date to a terribly wrong date. For years I had to keep three dates for my grandfather’s birth until I finally located his birth record in Pacanow. Then you learn what is truth and who are the good sources (or bad sources) of family information.

April 17, 2013

The Fifth (5th) Cholera Epidemic [1881-1896] — #Genealogy, #History, #Morbus, #WordlessWednesday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Another Wordless Wednesday blog post. (Hmmm… somewhat wordless).

1892 Cholera Epidemic  … Russian Empire lost > 250,000 people (note the red boxes)…

Newspaper / Book Clippings:

1892 September Cholera Newspapers

Sources:


Google Books – The Cholera Epidemic of 1892 in the Russian Empire: With Notes Upon

Fulton History – Mount Vernon NY Daily Argus September 27th, 1892

Trove Digitised Newspapers – Brisbane Courier September 14th, 1892

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