Archive for ‘Eliasz’

April 25, 2012

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A Map of Toledo, Ohio.

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

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

March 30, 2012

Ancestry Adds 1940 US Census ED Maps — #Genealogy, #1940, #Census

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, saw that released/updated the 1940 US Census, Enumeration District Maps. It actually says ‘and Descriptions’ in its database title, but for the life of me I did not see any textual descriptions nor any images of words other than Legends and stray comments on hospitals, asylums, nunneries, etc (which were interleaved in the whitespace of the maps).

I queried on the ED I got from Steve Morse’s One-Step website (unified census page) that let me convert 1930 EDs into 1940 EDs. I used ED 84-590 (where I expect to find my grandmother and her children — including my father).

I did an exact search on 84-590 and Ancestry showed me an option for either the city map or the county map. While the county map was interesting, the city map of Detroit was what I was after. I clicked on the link to view the city map for ED 84-590, but what I got was page 1 of 46 pages (not the page where 84-590 was). Well I “gutted it out” and browsed sequentially through all of the pages searches from one corner to the opposing corner reading each and every ED until I found ED 84-590 on page number 40.

That kind of brute force search was not a total waste. I did confirm 84-590 was correct ED that I should search on Monday when they release the 1940 US Census. I was also able to confirm my Vespeks ED as either  84-1246 or less likely (since it is for the prior address) 84-1252. Perhaps my dedicated readers will note that this is the one ED (it gave 84-1244 or 84-1245 — which were close) that was wrong in Steve Morse’s webpage lookup. The fault as I said before was not Steve Morse, but the US government providing inaccurate mapping of the 1930 ED to the 1940 ED, but the description of the EDs on Steve Morse’s lookup image did give me a look at the other descriptions nearby and I was able to divine that 84-1246 should be the one I search. Well this also points out the value of Ancestry’s new database. I was able to look at ED Map and confirm that 84-1246 was correct ED and that 84-1244/1245 EDs were near misses to the known address I had.

I was also able to verify that ED 84-583/584 would probably contain my Galiwks and Wlecials [assuming they are in enumerated in Detroit and not at the Macomb county farm address]. I could see how close they were to  St. Adalbertus church and the the last known addresses I had and how they were all closely clustered in the same area (not obvious from the addresses).

My only complain is that Ancestry should take you to the correct page for your ED and not force you to do a brute force, page-by-page search. Detroit was a LARGE city in 1940 — imagine NYC, LA, Chicago or Philadelphia where were (and still are) larger than Detroit; Those would be awful searches.  For my friends that have Polish family in Hamtramck, not to fear, there are only four pages to comb through. For the few people that I have emailed through the last few months about CHENE St project, just go to image/page 40 of Detroit (or click on the link) you are near my grandmother’s ED. says you have 2 days and about 16 hours (and counting) to ready yourself for the 1940 US Census. Good Luck!

March 28, 2012

Boleslaw Wlecialowski born(ur.) 6-Nov-1892 – died(zm.) 8-Mar-1961

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is killing time until April 2nd and research can begin in earnest on the 1940 US Census.

Wlecialowski, Boleslaw

One of my focus points will be Boleslaw Wlecialowski, my first cousin, twice removed. I have had problems locating him in the US Censuses. So I am hoping 1940 will be different.

Boleslaw, like many Polish-Americans, “Americanized” his name. So Boleslaw became Bill — very alliterative. Of course, if your name is Bill, then your formal name must be William. So we find records for Boleslaw under Boleslaw, Bill or William.

Here is a brief summary of Boleslaw Wlecialowski ‘s  life as I can document it:

Father: Maciej Wlecialowski (1868 – after 1918)
Mother: Katarzyna Elijasz    (1863 – after 1918)
Individual Facts
Birth 6 Nov 1892 Kwasów, Swietokrzyskie, Poland
Arrival 6 Jul 1910 (age 17) Going to uncle Jan Elijasz in 7829 Burke Ave, Cleveland, OH [same addr in August 29th]; New York, New York (on SS Vaderland)
Arrival 29 Aug 1910 (age 17) from father Maciej Wlecialowski in Pacanow, Stopnica, Kielce, Poland    to uncle Jan Elijasz, 7829 B; New York, New York
Arrival 29 Aug 1910 (age 17) Line #2Series: T715,   Roll: 1542,     Frame: 328, 327; on USS Vaderland in NYC at Ellis Island
Residence 22 Dec 1913 (age 21) from brother Leon’s Ship Manifest SS Pretoria arrival of same date; 449 Grady Ave, Detroit, MI
Residence 1915 (about age 23) from 1915 Detroit City Directory; 67 Playfair, Detroit, MI
Residence 5 Jun 1917 (age 24) from World War I Draft Registration; 15 Playfair St, Detroit, MI
Arrival 21 Jul 1920 (age 27) Going to sister Rozalia Gawlik, Detroit, MI.  Returning from WWI (Haller’s Army);
Residence 31 Dec 1924 (age 32) 3121 Nevada St, Detroit, Wayne, MI; From Decl. Of Intent
Residence 14 Jan 1929 (age 36) 3121 Nevada St, Detroit, Wayne, MI; From Nat’l Petition
Residence 1929 (about age 37) from 1929 Detroit City Directory; 3121 Nevada St, Detroit, Wayne, MI
Death 8 Mar 1961 (age 68) Macomb County, MI
Burial 11 Mar 1961 (age 68) Mt Olivet Cemetery

Let me put some of the above into a narrative form.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski was born (ur.) November 6th, 1892 (Gregorian date) in the Russian-Poland partition village of Kwasow in the parish of Pacanow, Poland (gubernia of Kielce). His parents were Maciej Wlecialowski & Katarzyna Elijasz (my great, grand-aunt) — hence Boleslaw is my first cousin, twice removed. I have Boleslaw’s church record (#171 of Pacanow parish 1892 Births) written in Russian (Godparents: Jozef Slawamowski & Marrianna Elijasz).

He arrived at Ellis Island on July 6th, 1910 on the SS Vaderland. He was coming from his father, Maciej Wlecialowski in Pacanow, Stopnica, Kielce, Poland and his destination was his uncle, Jan Elijasz in 7829 Burke Ave, Cleveland, OH  [hence, Stanczyk’s interest in the Cuyahoga County/Cleveland OH Elijasz families].

He made his way to Detroit, MI where his older sister Rosalia Wlecialowski Gawlikowski lived. He was living at 449 Grady Ave, Detroit, MI, when his brother Leon arrived at Ellis Island on the SS Pretoria arrival on 22 Dec 1913.

March 6, 2012

Archiwum Diecezjalne w Kielcach – Pomoc — #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Recently, I asked for help (pomoc) from a genealogy society in Poland (PTG). I asked if anyone in their society (via their forum) could tell me what holdings the, Archiwum Diecezjalne w Kielcach (The Diocessan Archive in Kielce) has for the village of Pacanów.

This is the village of my grandfather, Jozef Elijasz and his parents Jozef Elijasz/Marianna Paluch, and Jozef’s parents: Marcin Elijasz/Anna Zasucha.

I am hoping to visit the Church Archive or to have a Polish genealogist visit the Church Archive in Kielce for me to do some research.

I’ll let my readers know what happens!

January 30, 2012

Genealogy This Week … #Genealogy, #Technology, #Polish, #GroundHog

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

To Stanczyk, it appears that 2012 has gotten off to a sluggish start (genealogically speaking). How about for you genealogists (email or comment)? Well that is all about to change !   Lisa Kudrow‘s Who Do You Think You Are?, returns this Friday with Martin Sheen as the subject.

RootsTech 2012 kicks off this week too. Did you notice, they have an app (its free) for that? Even better they will STREAM some of the conference for the benefit of all genealogists !   Kudos to Roots Tech — All Conferences (genealogical or not should do these two things: app and stream conference proceedings). This should definitely jump start genealogy.

Read these blogs. Yes, I am telling you its ok to read other blogs than this one. These people are “official Roots Tech bloggers”.

I discovered that I missed one of my holiday blogs (in my backlog) about the happy married couples in Pacanów parish from 1881. So I will post the names of 40 Happy couples and what record # (Akt #) they are in the Pacanów parish church book.  This is two years after my great-grandparents got married, but there is still a Jozef & Mary who are getting married (Jozef Elijasz). I once had to sort out the two Jozef Elijasz from 1879 and the one from 1881 who all married women named Mary in the village of Pacanów! Genealogy is hard.

Oh and Punxsutawney Phil will make an appearance this week and offer his weather prognostication skills (I really think his predecessor Pete was much better and more alliterative too). I am pretty sure Phil & Pete are German, so you will need a German genealogy site for their lineage. Quaint tradition (Pennsylvania), dragging a Ground Hog from its home to ask him about weather. I think Bill Murray’s movie captured it well. So be careful what you do this week, or you may be repeating it a few times.

January 18, 2012

Name Changer – Eliasz becomes Eliasz-Solomon – #Polish, #Jewish, #Catholic, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk like almost all genealogists wrestles with names. What is in a name? Well if your name has Slavic roots then your name will be like a Polish sausage made from a family recipe, with no two ever completely alike. As a jester, I could appreciate John Ryś ‘s article, “Dealing With Sound Equivalents in the Polish Language“, from the PGSA’s Fall 2011 Rodziny journal, pages 20-22. What caught my eye and my heart’s fancy was the sub-title, “How Can One Possibly Misspell a Simple Three-Letter Name…”. Indeed! This jester empathizes with John Ryś. My own family, as I have always joked about, is very unlike Polish names. Look it has three vowels … out of six letters !  How could you possibly misspell that ??? Well this is about names — but not their difficulty or their many misspellings for which Slavic names are legendary — a real genealogical nightmare.

This article is about name changes. Let me just state up front, that my own name has been changed. As of 10-January-2012, my family has legally changed its name and is hence forth called:  ELIASZ-SOLOMON. This jester “hyphenated” his name to reflect and to honor my wife’s family. Her name became inverted from Solomon-Eliasz to Eliasz-Solomon so that all of us in the burgeoning family of ours (including our sons) would have the same name, spelled the same way. What’s in our name?

Let me break it down this way. ELIASZ (also spelled Elijasz, Heliasz, and Eljasz — misspelled/mistranscribed too many ways to enumerate) is Polish for ‘ELIJAH’ the prophet from the Old Testament who was translated by God. You might think it is a Jewish name since that is its etymology. If it is so, I have not found it to be so for my family for whom I have Catholic records back into the 1690’s. There are in fact Jewish Eliasz (and many other variations besides those listed above) and I have often remarked on this fact to my father. For it was common for Jewish families when they were forced to adopt permanent family names to select a family name from the Bible. That leads me to the second/Jewish part of my name, SOLOMON. Everybody, just about the whole world, knows that SOLOMON is from the great, wise king SOLOMON (third and last king of the unified kingdom of Israel). Solomon in America, is the reverse of Eliasz. It is mostly a Jewish family name, although there a good number of Anglo-Saxon Solomons (usually spelled Salomon or Soloman). Of course, the Jewish and the Christian versions of the Solomon name are often spelled the other way engendering more confusion on the name.

So we are a PROPHET-KING family  name now.

Now most Central European genealogists, know our ancestors changed their names quite often, to our dismay — since there was no Internet to record these changes and make them public for future genealogists. In my own family lines through just my paternal grandmother alone, we see that LESZCZYNSKI (also a king name) became LESTER. We also see that SOBIESZCZANSKI became SOBB. So name changes are nothing new for my family (and I assume for yours as well). In fact,  name changes have been happening for a long while. Recall that JACOB had his name changed to ISRAEL (“wrestles with God”).

Contrary to popular notion our ancestors did not change their name going through Ellis Island. Your name coming into the USA had to match the ship manifest and ticket,  so no names were changed (although I am quite sure that some Americans came here under an assumed name — using the tickets purchased by another person). The most common way was to change the name on the NATURALIZATION papers (which is no doubt how the mis-notion of changing the name coming from Ellis Island started). My own aunt Alice was Aleksandra on the Ship manifest (1913) and on US Censuses until she changed her name when she became a US Citizen and adopted Alice.  Our ancestors did a name change to  “Americanize” their names, often quite humorous in their attempt to do so.

Of course, for centuries women have changed their names when they got married. Now a days, women and men adopt hyphenated family names at marriage. It is unclear what the next generation afterwards will do when two already hyphenated people marry; as it seems unlikely they will adopt a four name hyphenation as a family name out of a practical matter (computer systems hate extremely long names — just look at the social network software: Facebook or Twitter). So name changes will become a regular hurdle for modern genealogists to get over (particularly so when one considers divorce rates).

Here is a little info for genealogists unfamiliar with the process:

  1. A petition is filed with the court (in the county where the person lives)
  2. The name change is published in two newspapers (pre-determined by the court)
  3. A judge will issue a decree declaring the name change

Afterwards, the normal paper records will document the name evolution from old name to new name for the individual. But it will be best to check both names. Besides court records or newspapers, I have seen the name change annotated in church records too!

So future descendants whoever you may be. Be forewarned, ELIASZ-SOLOMON was once ELIASZ or SOLOMON. That should be obvious. But for my descendants and my wife, Tereza,  it all started in 10-January-2012 — please take note. I am also offering an apology to future genealogists for further muddying the waters on whether or not the name is Catholic or Jewish — just deal with it. Legal Decrees are shown below …

C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tereza D. Eliasz-Solomon

December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor – A Day That Will Live In Infamy – #History, #Genealogy, #Family

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the day Pearl Harbor was Sneak Attacked by the Japanese — that caused the USA to officially enter into World War II.

Most of the Greatest Generation of Americans would be 83 years old or older — my own father is now 85 (center, front Navy man). It is just him and my uncle Ted (back, left Army man) who remain alive now.

How fortunate for my Busia, that her four sons returned to her (in Detroit) alive. My uncle Joe (2nd from left in back Army) was stationed in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor was attacked. My uncle Steve (left-most, front Navy man) joined Joe there in Hawaii briefly for a war time reunion / shore leave.

From 1941 to 1945, receiving a telegram was something to dread. My grand-aunt, Antonina (Toledo) awaited her four sons too. God Bless my family, but eight men returned from the war safely to resume their lives. Alas, for Antonina and her ailing heart, receiving a telegram about one her sons was too much for her sickly heart and though her sons survived the war, she did not survive that telegram bringing news from the war.

In my wife’s family her uncle Milton, a 2nd Lt. in the Army is buried at Arlington National Cemetery (he had survived WWII too). Her own father had finished his service to country in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyards — just two weeks. He died from that service. He contracted mesothelioma (asbestos poisoning) from his final two weeks — but was fortunate enough to raise a family before succumbing 42 years later to this hidden War-time scourge.

Detroit was the Arsenal of Democracy, shifting from cars to tanks/planes. Many people do not realize that population shift that war caused. A Huge migration from the South swelled the population of Detroit as workers were required to keep the factories running 24x7x365. I still remember eating Southern “cuisine” in diners in the greater Detroit area decades after the war.

Back East, the Shipyards were busy building the warships with their armaments. The USS Dixie (AD-14), Tender Destroyer that my own father served on was built right here in Philadelphia (launched on 27 May 1939) — probably in that Navy Ship Yard. A far cry from that 1913 September day that my grandmother arrived in Philadelphia. How funny for a Midwestern boy, that Philadelphia would be where my grandmother arrived, where my father’s WWII ship was made and where I would wind up living and raising a family with my Philly girl.

Before, I started genealogy 15-16 years ago, I did not know my grandmother arrived in Phillly (we thought Ellis Island like my grandfather and so many others). I did not know that ship my father served on was built here. I had not even moved to Philly yet. Destiny draws you to these places and then you discover that the history of your family preceded you. Full circle.

Remember the Day of Infamy (70 years ago) !    Remember 9/11/2001 too, now ten years ago.  Family History Marches on.

November 20, 2011

John Elijasz Eliasz Elias

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In Michigan, the Big Boy restaurants are owned by the ELIAS Brothers (as opposed to Bob’s or Frisch’s in other parts of the USA). In fact, in MI the Elias name is somewhat common, especially among Italians and Syrians. So unless I see a name like Boleslaw Elias or Wladyslaw Elias — I tend to filter those names out as NOT Polish.

My Grand-Uncle Jan Elijasz was born in Pacanow on 6th-December-1880 the first born child of Jozef Elijasz and Maryanna Paluch. I have his church birth record. I also have his marriage record to Pelagia Kedzierski (also in Pacanow). I have his Ellis Island ship arrival record (as Eliasz) with his brother-in-law Wlodzimierz Kedzierski. Once Jan/John was here in the USA, his name varied back and forth between Elijasz and Eliasz, before settling on Eliasz. I have in the US Censuses from 1920 and 1930. I also had his WWI Draft Registration (which referenced my grandfather Jozef as the nearest contact). But I could never find a record of his death.

I constantly searched for him in Mt Olivet cemetery and its records, after all my grandfather, his brother was there (as were others). My father and one uncle told me he died after my grandfather (a short time my uncle said). My dad remembered a train going by the cemetery at the burial (he was young). So I searched for cemeteries in Detroit and also in Macomb County (last known residence from 1930 Census) that were near to railroad tracks and called cemetery after cemetery (year after year in case they found new records). Annually around the new year, I would post a searching-for plea in the MI genealogy mailing lists and Yahoo groups for MI (Wayne/Macomb). I even started researching historical newspapers of MI, vowing to search the entire decade of the 1930’s until I found him. That is how my efforts with the Dziennik Polski newspaper came about.

One year a fellow genealogical researcher (with Mt Clemens Public Library), Ann Faulkner, took pity upon my annual plea — being familiar with my Dziennik Polski efforts and she, unbeknownst to me, undertook a small search for the death of my great-uncle John Eliasz using the information I supplied in my posts. Well I have told this story before in my blog, about how this kind woman found John Eliasz and I was certain it was him because she found an obituary and a church burial record (transcription) that listed enough other details for her and I to confirm that this John ELIAS was my grand-uncle John Eliasz. With this info I did order his death certificate (see below). The death certificate listed my great-grandparents’ names, so I had yet another further confirmation. I have to admit if I had seen ‘John Elias’, I may have ignored it due to not being “Polish enough” and due to the fact that Syrians and Italians from MI outnumbered the Polish Eliasz by a good bit. I might have missed it, but Ann fortunately, did not.

I cannot explain how my grand-aunt, Mary Eliasz Gronek who reported his death had not corrected the various people, writing his obituary, his church burial record, and even his death certificate. My dear grand-aunt had a horrible record of mis-dating her brothers’ birth dates on their death certificates — so it is a VERY good thing I have their birth records from the church in Pacanow to have the correct dates. On my grandfather’s death certificate, she had even filed an affidavit to correct his birth date (which was very nearly correct) to a very much wrong birth date — I had so many birth dates for my grandfather, that if I had not found his birth record, I would NEVER have known anything more than a consensus birth of “late March 1885″ [ignoring my grand-aunt’s May 15, 1887 which was an outlier guess]. Who knew you could file an affidavit to change data on a death certificate? Has any other genealogist encountered such an affidavit? How would I go about finding such an affidavit? Genealogy is very complex, having to winnow the truth from so much inaccurate chaff.

Quite a name evolution huh?  Elijasz to Eliasz to Elias. My grand-uncle John’s name kept getting shorter. Is it any wonder; since his paper trail was disappearing as fast as his last name over time. It is a major reason why I list the family tree as Elijasz/Eliasz/Heliasz which are all correct versions (Elias just being a typographical error). I have also had to accept Elyasz and Eljasz too as variants. Never mind that I have seen ELIASZ Polonia in St Louis, MO area “Anglicize” their name to Ellis. I have to feel sympathy for Donna Mierzejewski-McManus (fellow Polish genealogy blogger) as she sifts through the MANY variants of her Mierzejewski name.

There are quite a few morals to this over long tale…  Be persistent, Collaborate with others (particular experts in regions), Use Historical Newspapers, Do RAOGK for others, be creative in finding a way around genealogical road blocks. But genealogists who research Slavic names, must be prepared to try many, many variants of their last names, over and over again in ALL searches. You may have to go back to prior searches and retry a new name variant when you find the new variation.


John Elias (sic) Death Certificate

November 18, 2011

Mt Olivet Detroit, MI Cemetery – #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Earlier in the week I had dropped a quick spreadsheet of some people in my family (or for whom I had performed a RAOGK). It also was accompanied by a map of the Mt Olivet Cemetery (shown to the left).

Mt Olivet is part of the Mt Elliott Cemetery Association which is made up of the following cemeteries:

Mt Elliott,  Mt Olivet Resurrection All Saints Guardian Angel  and The Preserve cemeteries. They also have an online database that you can search for your ancestor here: .

The map seems to indicate that there are about 75-85 sections to the cemetery (Most are numbered, but the annex sections have Letters). I have section maps for Sections: 15, 24, 52 and L. These section maps have family names (probably of the original deed-holder family)  written in the boxes.

I would like to collect the entire set of section map pictures. So my plea to you, my readers is do you have a scanned map of any of the sections of Mt Olivet (Detroit) cemetery?

If you have any or all of these Section Maps, then can you email these images (preferably in JPG/JPEG), but I will take any format you have. The image needs to be clear enough to read the names in the boxes. Let me show you an example (a portion) of what I am looking for:

Ok readability is highly variable. Obviously they can write smaller than can be read. But what I am trying to do is read…

“Pitlock”, Plot 1223,  “Chojnaski”, Plot 1222, etc.

These are sometimes called Plot Maps. The one here is a snippet from Section 15.

The three most desired Section Maps are: Section 54 (where my father’s infant brother, Henry is buried) & Section 57 (where my grandfather Joseph is buried) and Section G where my aunt Sally and her son/my cousin Stephen is buried .

Thanks Internet!

November 15, 2011

Just Another Mt Olivet Monday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A bit late …

Mt Olivet Monday (Detroit, MI)

Here is a list of family buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery on Vandyke Rd, in Detroit, MI.

The last two rows are a bit of RAOGK that I did for Maureen Mroczek (whereby I sent her pictures) of her ancestors headstones.

Here is a map of Mt Olivet Cemetery:

Death Date Last Name First Name Section Lot# / Tier# Grave
8/3/1967 Eliasz (Prusinski) Sabina F. G 1344
1/19/1963 Eliasz Stephen E Jr G 1355
1/29/1923 Eliasz Henry 54 16 346
1/6/1930 Eliasz Joseph 57 2 114
8/6/1981 Gawlikowski
Rose 15  1255
7/18/1943 Gawlikowski Adam 15  1255
5/15/1967 Wlecial Leon 15  1255
3/8/1961 Wlecialowski Boleslaw 15  1255
Mroczek Kazimier 51 41 945
Mroczek Mary Kozlowska 55 12 215
October 2, 2011

Saints & Sacraments on Sunday – #New #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 14, 2011

#Genealogy – #Historical #Newspapers – Philadelphia Inquirer 9/15/1913

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Philadelphia Inquirer 9/15/1913

Stanczyk, loves using newspapers for historical research or genealogical research. Most of the time I am doing genealogy research. So I look for vital records in marriage announcements or birth announcements or perhaps death notices / obituaries. But there are so many other reasons  to use historical newspapers.

Today I wanted to give you an idea for using the historical newspaper in the port city where your ancestor arrived.

My grandmother, Walerya Eliasz, arrived in America on the SS Prinz Adalbert on 15th September 1913. I have a picture of the ship, but then the thought occurred to me, what if I get a copy of the newspaper from the day my Busia arrived in Philadelphia! It would make a nice graphic image in the story of the ELIASZ family in America.So that is my tip for another use of the historical newspaper to tell your family history. Use it to find the “Ship Arrivals” in the port city where your ancestor(s) arrived.

SS Prinz Adalbert

Walerya arrived that day, age 27 with her four year daughter Aleksandra in tow. They were coming from her father Tomasz Leszczynski in Pacanow and going to her husband Jozef Eliasz in Depew, NY.  [Can anyone tell me why she did not get off in NYC and take the train to Depew from NYC?] This ship departed from the port of Hamburg and I am pretty sure it stopped at NYC before arriving in Philadelphia.

So Walerya was born and married in Biechow, Poland. She got married there in 1907. She had her first two children there in 1908 and 1909. Her husband Jozef Elijasz came to the USA in 1910 from Zabiec. She left Poland in 1913 from Pacanow. She arrived in Philadelphia and went by train to Depew, NY. She had a daughter Catherine (ok really Casimiera) in Depew. Moved to Toledo, OH where she gave birth to Stephen, Joseph, and Bernice. Immediately after Bernice was born , they moved to Detroit, MI (1920) where she had Thadeus, Henry, and Chester. She was widowed in 1930 (bad time to be a widow, during the Great Depression). She remarried in 1947 and moved to Beech Grove, IN. She was widowed again in 1953 and her children helped move her back to MI, to her seven acre farm in Macomb Township on Fairchild Road — which is the only home I ever remembered my grandmother living in.

August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene & Genealogy … Protect Your Valuables

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to wish the East Coast Genealogists good Luck with Hurricane Irene. Be Safe Out There on the Internet –Surfing the Net You May Encounter RipTides!

  • Put your Documents in Sealed Bags (Waterproof)
  • Backup your  Family Tree (GEDCOM) to a thumb drive or the Internet (Cloud/Website)
  • Keep Yourselves Safe – Your Are the Living Family Tree – Remember How Rare It Is That Any of Us Are Here At All

Stanczyk’s prayers go out to all of you.


August 10, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Finding a 3rd Cousin …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Petronella Elijasz Zwolska


Subsequent to writing my posts upon Social Network Analysis (SNA) in which my research predicted three siblings of my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz (son of Martin Elijasz & Anna Zasucha). The three new siblings (proposed and which will now be researched) are: Ludwik Elijasz (most likely), Petronella Elijasz Zwolski, and Tekla Elijasz Wojtys.

In one of those cognitive resonance situations, a 3rd cousin, a genealogist from contacted and sent me some pictures of my 2great-grand aunt Petronella Elijasz.

I would dearly like to thank, Marilynne for her kindness in sending me her ancestor’s picture.  Since our common ancestor is Martin (aka Marcin) Elijasz, that makes her my third cousin. I do not believe that Marilynne actually read my blog and found me via the SNA postings. So as I maintain this is just one of those cognitive resonance happenings. But this is why not just pursing the direct lineal descent line, but some  parallel branches is also important. Genealogy is a fascinating way to find out, “Who Do You Think You Are?”.


August 7, 2011

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


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) .

July 27, 2011

This is Major … Major = Maycher (also Majcher, Maicher)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Jakob MAYCHER from Biechow Parish 1880

Stanczyk has been trying to find someone to help him confirm that MAJOR (pronounced by my family in USA as My-Her and misspelled in USA as Meyer) was the Russification of the Biechow family name that has been in Biechow at least since the 1670’s (as far as the record goes back) of Maicher/Maycher/Majcher. In fact the Maicherowich have married the Eliaszow for many years.

Now I have a good friend Jasek of Krakow (a native Pole) who has helped me with my genealogical research (since we both have family from the same ancestral villages). I first proposed to that ELIASZ = HELIASZ = ELIJASZ and after some time and mutual research he agreed with me. I said that ELIJASZ was just the Russification of ELIASZ due to Russian/Cyrillic transliteration. As I said, Jasek accepted my findings and blessed what he called this name “evolution”.

So when I proposed that MAJOR=MAICHER/MAJCHER/MAYCHER and gave my reasons (i.e. no MAJOR before Russian Partition and no MAICHER after the Russian Partition, etc.). I was taken back by my friends, “Perhaps”. If it is one thing I knew about the very polite Poles, is that they will not say you are wrong — unless they know you very well. So instead of a “I don’t think so” or an outright, “I believe you are wrong”, Jasek said, “Perhaps” in an unconvincing fashion that crushed my hopes.

So today as I was looking at microfilm images verifying the Priest names, I was looking at Biechow parish  Marriage Record #4 from 1880. I was interested because, I saw the groom’s name was MAJOR and I thought perhaps he was a brother to my great-grandmother (Aniela Major Leszczynska). So I looked at the record closely to see who the parents of JAKOB MAJOR were. Now when I did, I got excited, because I found the mom was Sofia Heliasz (always good to find those female relatives and their married names). I then noticed that the groom’s father was Antoni MAJOR. I then tried to find a Sophia/Zofia Eliasz/Heliasz in my family tree in the appropriate era and see if I had one that married a Maicher. Lo and Behold, I had my long sought after proof.

I had a Zofia Eliasz married to Antoni Maicher and that they were born about 1814. So when I saw that their Jakob was age 39 in 1880 (implying birth about 1841, when the parents would have been about 27) and I saw that he was born in Piestrzec, the same village where the parents were married, his birth of 1841 is after the 1832 marriage date of the parents.  I knew I had a match. Not only did  I have MAJOR=MAYCHER, I also had a bonus of HELIASZ=ELIASZ [long since convinced of this]. Now this was significant as I had my first proof across the Russian language boundary to the pre-1868 Polish language days.


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