Archive for ‘Elijasz’

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 17, 2011

Feliks Elijasz, Roman Catholic Shoemaker – Found in Free WWII database

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wants to tell you, my faithful readers, a story of Remembrance. This is a fitting tale, since it came from Fold3’s providing free access to its WWII databases for Veterans Day (also known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day). It is the story of Feliks Elijasz, a Catholic Shoemaker from Warsaw, Poland. Feliks shares a last name with Stanczyk’s family, but there is no evidence that Feliks is an ancestor. This story is derived from an historical form (see the end of this article). This story is also another case of cognitive resonance, due to its connection to my wife and a friend she made a while ago and this woman who gave moja zona some significant historical photos earlier this week (just copies, not the originals).

Feliks Elijasz, was a Shoemaker (and as I said a Catholic). Feliks was born the 17th-November-1896 in Warsaw. At the time of this form’s creation, Feliks was living in Warsaw, on Okopowa 30 ( a street address). Warsaw was in occupied Poland at the time. His parents were Wiktor Elijasz (also a shoemaker in Warsaw) and Paulina Elijasz (nee Szczigolska), with whom he lived. Feliks was married to Janina Elijasz (nee Woclarksa). He and his wife had at least one child (20 years old). Feliks was an infantryman in the Polish Army from 1920 to 1921. [Since that is after World War I, it is probable that Feliks fought the Russian Bolsheviks in the border war of that time period.]

Feliks had the bad sense to do something for which he was arrested in Warsaw, on the 10th-August-1944. He was admitted to prison in Krakow, on the 13th-August-1944. Feliks died while incarcerated on the 2nd-March-1945. That is horrible! The horror is further compounded because that prison camp was liberated  just a month later on the 11th-April-1945. The prison camp was Buchenwald!!! The form is from the Buchenwald Camp documents, called, “Camp Records – Inmate Cards“, page 2177.  There a few other details (describing Feliks’ appearance, etc.). The file was discontinued, on the 16th-March-1945. So this entire remembrance was constructed by careful extraction from the historical document — which provided a treasure trove of detail to remember Feliks by.

Now the Cognitive Resonance part is about Buchenwald. Not two days earlier, my wife was given pages of photographs of the Dachau Trials (held at the same time as the more famous Nuremberg Trials). The pictures were of the prosecuted Nazis, the American Liberators, the witnesses, courtrooms, etc. I was able to identify the pictures as from the Dachau Trials, as there were other pictures taken (and published on the Internet) and the windows, light fixtures, room decor, etc, matched EXACTLY. These pictures were taken by a  Norristown, PA soldier (who has since passed). His pictures did NOT contain, the infamous, “Witch of Buchenwald” who was prosecuted at the Dachau Trials (and convicted), but the other pictures that I matched these newly discovered historical pictures to, did, contain, Ilse Koch (the Witch of Buchenwald, amongst other  appellations). Ilse Koch was the wife of the Buchenwald Commandant (Karl Otto Koch).

For the record my wife, has contacted the Shoah Foundation about this woman who has the original historical pictures that her father took in Dachau in 1945. So these pictures will be recorded/preserved for posterity by professionals. We did not handle the originals,  merely copies that the woman had given to my wife. I know the new pictures are from Dachau Trials, because the soldier signed the back of one picture with his name and his location (Dachau). He was the soldier who was assigned to photograph the proceedings (I do not know/think he was the only photographer) and he was also required to witness the death sentences carried out on at least  three different individuals (two of the Nazis for which it appears he has something akin to funeral cards for and Claus Karl Schilling, the camp doctor whom the soldier mentioned witnessing his death). That soldier/photographer was Carmen Frangiosa a man who witnessed and photographed history.

The Inmate Card of Feliks Elijasz …

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.

August 12, 2011

Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations #2

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s Church Metrical Book meme is on Marginalia. This margin note is from the birth of Tomasz Elijasz (Record #130) born (ur.) 6-September-1881 in Pacanow parish. Tomasz was the son of Ludwik Elijasz and Elzbieta Miklaszewski.

Your eyes are not fuzzy, both record and the marginalia are written in Cyrillic (Russian). Stanczyk loves reading marginalia, because it is almost like gossip. I read it from the context of the vital record of the birth. “So little Tomasz. I see you are going to grow up and marry(malz.) Marianna Wojczyk on 19-February-1912 and it will be recorded in the Pacanow church book as record #34 of 1912 Marriages.”

It is almost like you are acting in the role as a cleric angel for God. You know the future of this little baby!

Now I like these margin notes because I can often find the female Elijasz being married off. Once they are married, I often lose track of them, so these margin notes may be a last chance to find them until I see a death notice, if I do not have their marriage record. Since this is Russian-Poland, the records are in Russian from 1868-1918. Sometimes, the margin note is in Polish (say if the marriage happened in/after 1918). So you will have a Russian birth and Polish marriage notation.

So how is it that not every birth  record has a margin note? Well the list of possibilities should include…

  1. The baby died in infancy or childhood
  2. The “baby” emigrated before being married
  3. The “baby” never married before dying
  4. The “baby” got married somewhere else (in another parish/country or perhaps only a civil marriage)

Every once in a while you will see a priest still record the marriage if it was in another country or parish and the catholic priest of the remote locale wrote the priest in Pacanow. Not always, but sometimes this happens.

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) .

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 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.


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 17, 2011

Pacanów – The Church and A Tip.

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

St. Martin - Pacanów Church about 1918

Stanczyk, writes about Pacanów and Biechów … a lot! These are my ancestral villages. I have never been there, but they are in my very bones.

Today’s picture is from the World War I era of Pacanow and its church area. Today Sw. Marcin is now a minor basilica. The church is such a part of Poland and its history. It is also a major part of its families’ histories. Without the Church, there would be very little in the way of genealogy. As you can see the image is from Poland’s National Digital Archive (NAC). Remember I wrote about these archives, right?

I write about these two parishes, each of which has many villages that comprise their individual parishes. My reason is simple. I am always in search of others whose family history is also from these two parishes.

I have had some success in seeking out these people. For example, I met a good friend Jacek (from Krakow) at a Polish Genealogy website:  . I also met the wonderful, Elzbiety (Heliasz nee) Kapusta. She spoke no English and I am NOT fluent in Polish, but armed with Google Translator and some determination, I made my way to (a Polish Facebook social network website = “Our Classes/Classmates”). This wonderful woman was born in the Biechow parish where my grandparents(dziadkowie) were married ! She took it upon herslef to get the church record of their marriage and even a copy of the civil record too and mail these documents to me. Bless Her Always for that kindness — which I did not even ask her to do!

But that was an active search and it also led me to find a second cousin (whom I have never met face-to-face, who was born in Pacanow and now lives in TX). So active searches of Polish websites are a must, if you cannot actually visit Poland and its churches and/or archives. But this BLOG is an overt attempt to draw (i.e. a passive search) others related to me  or connected to these parishes to seek me out. So this is an inverted search process. Hence, all of the material on names of people or places in hopes that someone someday Googles my blog and contacts me. So that is my latest tip to Polish Genealogists — write a blog and post items on your family so distant cousins far and wide can reach you.

Coming Up …

In the next week or two, I will be writing about other research that I have collected on these two parishes including:

Historical Census of the Pacanow deaconate, Census of the Jewish Population in this area,  Church Archive holdings of Biechow / Ksizanice / Zborowek

Please join me. Blessings For Your Sunday!


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