Archive for ‘Genealogy’

May 26, 2015

Atlas of Sources & Materials of Old Poland, Part 2 — #Genealogy #Polish #History & #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

— — — — — — Diacriticals to Use (in search box):      ą   Ć  ć   ę   Ł  ł   ń   ó   Ś  ś   Ź   ź   Ż   ż

— — — — — — just copy/paste the above text characters as necessary in your search


 

Stanczyk, was talking about the interactive 16th century map of Polish Crown-Lands the last blog article.

We were talking specifically about a zoomed in search of Pacanów:

PacanowZoom_16w

 

Now the last article mentioned:

  1. zoom / scale tool (lower left)
  2. search box (upper left which is closeable )
  3. map features like the square box being the parish, etc.

In this article I want to talk about a few more user interface / user experience (UX) elements:

  1. toolbar
  2. panel, with tabs [far right]
  3. tab, check boxes (for more details) [far right]
  4. “Materials” menu [upper right]

Here is the image (clickable) I will be addressing:

Pacanow_16thCentury_Boundaries

The place name search box has been hidden so we can see more of the map under the search box.

Toolbar

For the toolbar we find the following icons (top to bottom):

Show/Hide Panel (to show hide the layers/legend tabs), max zoom-out, previous map, next map, zoom at selection, zoom-in, zoom-out, pan,  info on selected map object, select rectangluar region to zoom in on, tool tip,  measure (distance, area), query editor, refresh map. Now I want to emphasize a few of the toolbar tools. Just hover over a toolbar icon to see the name of each tool. Click on an icon to select the desired tool (before interacting with the map).

The Show/Hide Panel tool at the top is to show or to hide the right-most area known as the Layers/Legend Panel (that contains the two tabs, “Layers” & “Legends”. This is again a way to show more of the map. I also like the Measure tool. The measure tool allows you to draw either a line or a polygon shape. Drawing a line will give you the distance between two points. Drawing a polygon will give you total area and the length around the polygon edges. To draw a line click on measure tool (3rd from bottom) and drag your mouse to the second location and double-click (to end line drawing). So if you  select the measure tool you will see an info box in lower right corner of your screen that gives the distance/area. So if you click on Pacanów and double-click on Biechów, the distance shown should be approximately 7 km (roughly 4.2 miles) between my grandfather’s village and my grandmother’s village. You can clear the distance info in the bottom corner and redraw your line(s) as necessary. The Pan tool (shown as a hand) is necessary to drag the map up or down or right or left to pan the map. You need to click on the pan tool before trying to move the map (or you will be doing whatever the last selected tool was). The last tool I wanted to mention is the, Tool Tip tool. The tool tip is a very nice tool that provides info on a village as you hover over its square/dot).

Panel / Tabs / Checkboxes

ThePanelThe Panel is the right-most part of the map and you can toggle on or off the showing of the panel via the top tool in the toolbar.  There are five layers for this 16th century map available (from the underlying data). The panel has two tabs, “Layers” and “Legend”.

Each layer has a box with a ‘+’ in it that you click on to expand (the box then contains a ‘-‘ which you click on to close). For this article we are only interested in “Ecclesiastical Borders”. This layer allows us to show the checkboxes for the boundaries for a parish or a deaconate (aka deanery) or a diocese. The two that can be most helpful for studying your ancestors are the parish boundary and/or the deaconate boundary. In the above map, I checked both parish and deaconate boundaries. Now keep in mind that these church boundaries are the way they were back in the 16th century and not for the current times and in most cases also do not match the 18th/19th centuries either. These borders can point out the relationship between nearby parishes and also show which set of villages make up a parish. Both of these visual clues are helpful to the genealogical researcher.

The checkboxes when checked show the boundary and when unchecked do not display the boundaries.

Materials Menu

MaterialsMenuThe Materials Menu  is near the upper right corner (above the map area) and it allows you to switch between collections whose data are map based. It shows the same map but the layers change to show the new details that can be displayed through the user interface.

I particularly found the “Libraries of Wislica”, “Protestant Communites 16th-18th centuries”, and “Religions / Confessions 18th century” to be VERY interesting !

Now using the Layers tab and the Info tool can be most useful. The objects on these maps open up rows of data via the info tool to show a lot of useful material that you must see to believe. This is one of the best uses of a spatial (i.e. map) user interface that I have yet seen. It may take some time to master the user interface, but I assure it is worth it if you want to go much deeper in your understanding of your family history in Poland. If you are looking for old synagogues or to find minority religious denominations that are uncommon this site is a treasure trove of help.


May 16, 2015

Atlas of Sources & Materials of Old Poland — #Genealogy #Polish #History #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, was combing through genealodzy.pl  (aka PTG). In their discussions they mentioned a new website with an interactive map of Poland from the 16th century. That was excellent and I will discuss it this blog article and continue in the next with examples. But I decided to see what else the website had and that is how this jester go to:

Atlas of Sources and Materials for History of Old Poland

If you see the polish language version, merely click on the British flag to see English language. This site has seven assets worth perusing and examining in depth, including the interactive map of the Polish Kingdom in the 16th century (16w).

  1. Polish Territories of the Crown in the 16th century.  Spatial Database
  2. Tax Registers from the Voivodeship of Kalisz in the 16th Century
  3. Tax Registers from the Voivodeship of Poznań in the 16th Century
  4. Religions and Confessions in the Polish Crown in the 2nd half of the 18th Century
  5. The Court Records of Wschowa, 1495-1526
  6. Register of Protestant communities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
    in the 16th-18th centuries
  7. Parish libraries of Wiślica praeposite in the second half of the 18th century

 

This blog is primarily about Kielce wojewodztwo (or gubernia) and some surrounding areas too. So while I dutifully inform my readers who are interested in other Polish Genealogical matters or Geographical area that there are Tax Registers for  KALISZ or POZNAN. There are also a statistical record of ALL religions in the Polish Kingdom of the 18th century (very useful for classifying your ancestral parish’s congregation or identifying a synagogue location). Likewise, the register of PROTESTANT congregations in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for 16th-18th centuries (16w-18w). This jester did not investigate the court records … yet. Lastly,  the parish libraries of Wislica is heavy Latin lifting, so while I did peruse and find some possible future gems, I will skip this too. So I will return to the 1st item in the list, the interactive map which is a treasure for all wojewodztwa (provinces/states/voivodes).

 

Here is the link (using English, clicking above link will lead to an intermediate set of choices which uses Polish map):

http://hgisb.kul.lublin.pl/azm/pmapper-4.2.0/map_default.phtml?resetsession=ALL&config=korona&language=en

You should see:

AllPoland_16w

 

Let’s type ‘Pacanów’ (no quotes, and diacriticals are needed). Since it is inconvenient to enter diacriticals, you can start typing and let the software, autocomplete for you (thus supplying the necessary diacritical). Keep in mind that this what Poland looked like in the 16th century! So that is why you see Wislica ‘District’ and the Sandomierz wojewodztwo in the pop-up box — which you should promptly close . Next we need to zoom as, all you can see is the blue-green box that represents Pacanów (not the actual text). So in the lower left of your screen is the zoom tool. Click on plus 2-3 times or drag the little slider arrow or you can do as I did and enter ‘100000’ (no quotes) into Scale field at the bottom.

You should see:

PacanowZoom_16w

 

Now you notice villages with green boxes (ex. Solec, Swiniary, Biechow, etc.). These are parishes that existed in the 16th century.

— — — — — — Diacritcals to Use:

ą Ćć ę Łł ń ó Śś Źź Żż

 

Next time we will examine the map further.


 

May 10, 2015

Letter From Olivier – #Genealogy, #Polish, #Russian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Olivier, first thanks for reading/writing the blog …

I’ve been reading your genealogy blog for a year now and I’ve found some nice infomration from and a lot of good humour as well, thank you and good job.
I trying to research my in-law’s side of the family. They come from Lomza and Grajewo region of Poland, I believe it is the Podlaskie District. The names are Bruszkiewicz and Jurkowski, and Trepanowski (a cousin).

I registered with GenBaza.pl and genetyka.pl and metryki but it doesn’t look as easy as how you made it look in your blog stories to find available scans. And then when I go to the Polish State Archives, well the short of it is I don’t read Russian (and I don’t read Polish either but I can read indexes, I can’t in Russian) and I don’t know how to spell Bruszkiewicz in Russian. So when I am faced with an index or i’m looking at a page of 4 birth certificates, i don’t even know what I’m looking at.


Then I will need to find help with translations.

Do you have any tips on how to translate a Polish family name into how it would be spelled in Russian? And written by hand in a civil register?

As anyone indexed these parishes?

Any encouragements or tips would be welcomed if possible :) The whole thing feels like a brick wall!

Thank you for any help, and good job on the blog!

Best, Olivier

Ok let me see in what ways I can help you:

  1. First I am self taught in Russian and Polish from books written by William F. Hoffman and Jon Shea. So I’d recommend purchasing & reading their books, “In Their Own Words …” .  Volumes I & II.
  2. Also it is helpful to know Polish and learn the families and village names in Polish as this will help when you learn to read Russian. Translating names back & forth between Polish & Russian is more art than science.  So knowing family names  before tackling helps. Lets try a few names: Eliasz became Elijasz under Russian (1868-1918) in Russian-Poland partition. So I was expecting to see: елиашь  or элиашь but was surprised to see it as: елияшь  or элияшь in Russian/Cyrillic. So learn the Cyrillic “alphabet”  and the sounds of those letters so you can transliterate Polish/English/Latin letters into Russian/Cyrillic.  SteveMorse.org has a good English-to-Russian (and vice-versa) tool at:   http://stevemorse.org/russian/eng2rus.html

So if we try, “Bruszkiewicz”, we get (try the first one, but keep in mind that you are liable to see any below):

Брушзкивич, Брюшзкивич, Бружзкивич, Брюжзкивич, Брушжкивич, Брюшжкивич, Бружжкивич, Брюжжкивич, Брушзкиевич, Брюшзкиевич, Бружзкиевич, Брюжзкиевич, Брушжкиевич, Брюшжкиевич, Бружжкиевич, Брюжжкиевич

  1. You are correct about Lomza/Grajewo current wojewowdztwo. Both appear to be indexed in Geneteka. You can try the website: http://www.ksiegi-parafialne.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=236&Itemid=331
  2. Grajewo is in Szukajwarchiwach (1890-1912): http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/5/525/0/str/1/15?sort=4&ps=True#tabJednostki . Have you read my documentation for using Szukajwarchiwach?
  3. Let’s see what “Bruszkiewicz” looks like in 1890 index in Cyrillic cursive writing: … ok I could not find Bruszkiewicz in a handful of years that I searched in both Grajewo and Lomza. Perhaps you need to verify the locale.
  4. So I went back to Geneteka and found a Bruszkiewicz in the index that I could locate online. I wanted to show you what it looks like in cursive Cyrillic:

Bruszkiewicz

 

May 5, 2015

HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge — Birth Certificate #Genealogy #Royalty

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 

Birth Certificate

 Today the Queen met her newest great-grandchild,  HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge . The Duke of Cambridge signed the official birth certificate today. 


From earlier accounts we know that the royal baby was born at 8:34am (local time) on the 2nd of May.

April 15, 2015

Ancestry — Time For Ancestry App ? —  #Genealogy Techno#Genea 

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

ancestry app in appstore

The newest version of the Ancestry App 📱 (6.5) is here.  Genealogy on the go has reached a new level of portability for those with an Apple Watch⌚️ !

Lets see if the optimized matching is like MyHeritage or exactly what “enhanced search results” entails (more to come).

Option to delete trees within the app seems risky with touch screens. Caution would be advised and practice on a test tree before doing this for real.

 

🇵🇱 — I hope your using iOS 8.3, otherwise you may be seeing aliens (instead of iPhone, Apple Watch, Polish Flag)

 

 


April 7, 2015

Genealogy Collaboration — #Genealogy #Collaboration #Facebook

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is BIG on collaboration on genealogical research. So, let me start by thanking Donna Keicher (FB) genealogist, Western NY Genealogical Society member, etc. Thank you Donna!

Donna was going to Buffalo & Eric County Public Library (BECPL) and she graciously agreed to donate some of her research time at BECPL to helping others from outside the area in their Western NY research. Stanczyk loves RAOGK (receiving and giving) as a collaborative pursuit. The BECPL is on my wish list (again) this year to visit and do some research in. Any way, Donna was able to get me a complete death date for Frank/Franciszek Leszczynski and she sent me an image from the Buffalo Evening News newspaper from 25-JUNE-1943.

Stanczyk also did a RAOGK for another researcher by visiting Great Valley Baptist Church Cemetery (Devon, PA). It was for a James Davis (1784-1852) and was through, Find-A-Grave. I took a shot of his tombstone. While there, I also did some shots that added to memorials that were missing pictures and added a few new memorials (18th century) that were missing from Great Valley Baptist Church Cemetery on Find-A-Grave. I noticed an interesting tombstone (Phyllis Burr) who had a bit of a story about her slavery past. I learned a bit about Philadelphia’s abolitionists and the US Warship Ganges that rescued over 100 people from slavery (to indentured servitude/apprenticeship). Along the way, my social wife, spoke with the pastor John Loring (of The  Baptist Church in the Great Valley). The good pastor had some materials that he mailed, to this jester, about his historical cemetery and its occupants. Thank you Pastor John Loring.

Now this jester would like to hasten to add that he has done a lot of contributions to genealogy at Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz ‘s FB Group, Polish Genealogy. In particular, I like to help people with their translations or even  just reading the handwriting in their research finds from Poland. I also like to help genealogists in the group locate their ancestral parishes in Gazetteers or on current/historical  maps. Everyone is always sharing expertise,  tools or web sites to aid each other in furthering their genealogical research — this jester gets a kick out of brushing shoulders with the many talented/knowledgeable people the world over.

Let me conclude today’s blog by mentioning that ALL links today are to Facebook pages. The people & pages on Facebook have grown into a tremendous collaboration opportunity and also a learning tool as well.

March 22, 2015

530 Years After Death, Richard III Reburied

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

530 years after death, Richard III honored before reburial

Richard III finally is buried 22-MARCH-2015 in a marked grave.

Update your family trees Anglo Genealogists. 

 #AccuracyInGenealogy

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March 18, 2015

USA VETS — by war   #WordlessWednesday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Fold3 has a useful Infographic …



Do not forget Polish-American vets of Haller’s Army were World War I

Tags:
March 15, 2015

Metryki.GenBaza.pl – What’s Happening in March ? – #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Parafia Michałów

Michałów

Stanczyk wanted to check-in on GenBaza and what has been going on for the old Wojewodztwo/Gubernia Kielce.

Thank You Kornelia! So here are the GenBaza updates:

2015-03-15

— in AP Kielce Kornelia photographed the parish, [sfotografowała parafię]
Michałów (1711-1904) and ready for indexing [i udostępnia indeksującym].

2015-03-14

— in AP Kielce Kornelia photographed the Orthodox parishes, [sfotografowała parafię prawosławne]
Miechów (1892-1912) and also
Nowe Brzesko (1906-1908) and ready for indexing [i udostępnia indeksującym]

2015-03-12

— in AP Kielce Kornelia photographed the Jewish congregation in, [sfotografowała parafie]
Sobków_moj (1810, 1826-1912) and ready for indexing [i udostępnia indeksującym]

2015-03-11

— in AP Kielce Kornelia photographed the parishes, [sfotografowała parafie]
Waśniów (1890-1910) and ready for indexing [i udostępnia indeksującym] and also
Wiślica Gmina (1755-1825) and ready for indexing [i udostępnia indeksującym]

March 12, 2015

Techno#Genea™ – A New Meme For 2015 — #Genealogy #Geneteka

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Geneteka_20150312Stanczyk,

Needs a new meme. Hence “Techno#Genea” .    I am putting my hashtags to work inside and not necessarily at the beginning. Software will just have to catch up.

Techno#Genea is my meme to talk about technology + genealogy – just lose the “logy”.

Today’s Techno#Genea is on G E N E T E K A .  Geneteka added a new and I think very useful feature. Between the search fields and Search (Wyszukaj) button and the rows of data (i.e. result-set) are two lines:

‘Parafie w promieniu 15km:’ (Parishes within a 15km radius) of the parish you were searching within [in my case,  Biechow] and ‘Lata: ‘ (Years). In the case of the parishes, it gave me six: Beszowa, Oleśnica, Pacanów, Stopnica, Szczebrzusz, Zborówek. These are actually clickable too. You can start by searching all places, in my case you’d find 3 pages of ELIASZ (155 results) in the result set of BIRTHS. So to limit what I am looking at, I can go back to the Ksiega field and select from the drop down menu, “Biechow (pow. buski) – (U) 1810-1820” to look at just the Births (U) for Biechow and I get a much smaller result-set of just 9 records. But look at the two new lines!  I can click on PACANOW link and the result set changes to 58 (across 2 pages) births in Pacanow. This is #AWESOME ! Now you can do proximity searches, just by clicking on links of parish names. It also helps to teach you a bit of geography nearby to your ancestral village/parish.

Now just a word to the wise. This is only for records that have been indexed. It is not ALL records available and not all parishes are shown (just those with indexed records). So in the case of Biechow, you will not see Swiniary [today] as one of the parishes within the 15km radius even though it is only about 2-3km. This is because Geneteka has not indexed any records in Swiniary. So you can do proximity searches and see if there are any records in the surrounding parishes for your family name. Pretty cool feature for the tech-experts at: genealodzy.pl .

That’s my meme – Techno#Genea ™ and I am sticking to it.

March 7, 2015

#Genealogy Technology — Ancestry App Update

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk loves using tech with genealogy to really engage  the left brain in my research (even though the right brain loves the UX). 

So I thought this being a big genealogy weekend, I’d point out Ancestry upgraded their App — a bug fix release, recommended for v6.4 users.  You will be required to download your tree again. Not a concern — just a bit of extra time. 

March 6, 2015

#Genealogy Weekend …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This weekend you can watch the premiere of Who Do You Think You Are?  The first episode is Julie Chen. 

#WDYTYA

You can also use, for free, Find My Past .

So be a genealogy lion, this March. Ramp up your genealogy for 2015 this weekend. 

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February 17, 2015

Citizen, Soldier, Ancestor in Pictures – Wordless Wednesday #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

EdwardJozefPieszczochowicz_Arrival

Arrival 1910

Edward Jozef Pieszczochowicz WWI

WWI Draft 1917

Edward Jozef Pieszczochowicz Natl

Pet. Natl. Granted 1918

Edward Joseph Pieszczochowicz

Born: 16-OCT-1892, Stopnica, Kieleckie Gubernia, Poland (Russian-Poland partition); Akt #268 in Stopnica 1892 Births

Arrival: 28 May 1910,  Age: 17; from his father Leon Pieszczohowicz in Busko, Kielce to his uncle Jan Pieszczohowicz in West Seneca, NJ on SS Kroonland

WWI Draft: 1917

Petition For Naturalization (Granted): 2-October-1918

Discharged From Military Duty: 21-December-1918

Edward gets his citizenship while he is still in the Army (Camp Zachary Taylor, KY)! Notice he did not need to file a Declaration Of Intent – another benefit of serving in the military.

EdwardJozefPieszczochowicz_WWI_Service

World War I – Service Record


February 17, 2015

Citizen, Soldier, Ancestor — #Genealogy #Military #Citizenship

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Immigrant War Service Early 20th Century

We are an immigrant nation and multicultural, diverse melting pot of people. So from the beginning we controlled the process of who is a citizen with full rights that accrue from being an American.

Citizenship & Naturalization 

http://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12.html

Somewhere along the way, the USA developed a tradition of rewarding service in the defense of this nation with easy citizenship. So after almost every war, we amended our laws to allow the citizen-soldier a fast track to citizenship.

Military Naturalization

http://www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/erc-ntz-military.htm

 

Next … Losing Your Citizenship.

February 14, 2015

St. Stanislaus Cemetery — Hamilton, MERCER COUNTY, NJ — #Genealogy #Volunteer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

St_Stanislaus_Cemetery

Stanczyk was taking a road trip last weekend.

I took a page out of Jonathan Shea’s book, “Going Home”. In an Appendix, he lists the Polish Cemeteries across the USA. So in a kind of RAOGK, and as a way to contribute to PGSCT&NE, I started to take pics of tombstones and transcribe the pics for an index.

In a single visit I was able to do about 40% of the cemetery. I of course, am sending my entire contribution to PGSCT&NE. But, two tombstones had pics attached to the tombstone and I admired these two tombstones so much, I also added them to FindAGrave.

#Volunteer genealogists; Its another way to collaborate.


Below is the one from the Maławski family (click to enlarge):

Malawski_Marcin_Stanislawa

Marcin, Stanislawa Malawski

January 25, 2015

Resources For Albanians in Southern Italy #Genealogy — #Albania

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Calabria Region

Calabria Region

In my wife’s family tree we have two branches of Albano-Italians (Arbëresh):

Augustine = D’Agostino (in Italy and early ship manifests)

They come from, Carsoli, in Aquila (Province), Abruzzo (region) of Italy  [eastwards from Rome]

The Di Lazzaro, Todaro branches going backwards from my wife’s great-grandmother are from:

Castroregio (commune), subdivision of Castrovillari, in Cosenza (Province), Calabria (region) of Southern Italy

Castroregio =  Kastërnexhi (Albanian)

Both branches appear to be Albanians (Arbëresh) and were founding families from 15th century migration from Albania to the remote Italian states of the Southern of Italy and even a few in Sicily too. These were from the Princes of Albania and their retinue and warriors.

Resources:

Castroregio is online in FamilySearch.org –

Italy, Cosenza, Castrovil…on (Tribunale), 1866-1910-> Cosenza-> Castroregio

Its State Archive (in Castrolvillari branch office of Cosenza) – Contact / Research Info —

http://www.archiviodistatocosenza.beniculturali.it/index.php?en/130/sezione-di-castrovillari

This had no online record images as other Italian State Archives did .

Carsoli – In Antenati –

http://www.antenati.san.beniculturali.it/v/Archivio+di+Stato+di+LAquila/Stato+civile+italiano/Carsoli/

Inventory of State (Italy) Archives Online –

http://www.archivi-sias.it/consulta_inventari.asp?ResetFilter=Y&OnLine=1

Twenty-Six State Archives in Antenati with > 26 Million images Online –

http://www.antenati.san.beniculturali.it/?q=gallery


Castroregio_4

Castroregio_1

Castroregio_2

Castroregio_3

January 24, 2015

Is There Any Such Thing as a Half-Cousin?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter had an interesting blog recently …

The premise, “Are There 1/2 Cousins?”, intrigued Stanczyk.

One of my pet peeves is a term that I see online over and over: someone claiming to be a “half first cousin” or a “half second cousin once removed” or something similar. Sorry folks, but there is no such thing as a “half first cousin” according to legal dictionaries. However, the term is used…

http://blog.eogn.com/2015/01/21/is-there-any-such-thing-as-a-half-cousin/

January 23, 2015

Maria Giuseppe Di Lazzaro Augustine — #Genealogy of Albano-Italians

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

18710613_Birth13_MariaGiuseppeDiLazzaro_page1

page 1 of Birth Record 13

This week Stanczyk ventured far afield to … Castroregio. Where?

Exactly, I did not know where. My wife’s Great Grandmother, Mary Augustine was a Muslim !!! An Albanian Muslim. But when I started trying to find “Castorregio” [sic] from an USA record, I kept being shuttled off to Castroregio … Italy???

It turns out that the commune/settlement of Castroregio a part of Castrovillari in the Costenza Province in the region of Calabria, Italy. It is southern Italy up the pennisula north of the heel of the boot. It is also across the Adriatic Sea from Albania.

Ok, I accepted that fact. Now did FamilySearch.org have any online records/images of it? Yes. Their title:

Italy, Cosenza, Castroville. (Tribunale), 1866-1910URL:

Birth Record #13 — Maria Giuseppe Di Lazzaro di Diomede

I knew her father’s name was Diomede and that her birth date should be: 13 Jun 1871. These were from US records.

I had Mary Dellazarro for  name. The birth record said in the margin: Maria Giuseppe Di Lazzaro di Diomede

OK, so Mary was Maria and Maria’s middle name was Giuseppe. I was in the Civil Records for Castroregio in 1871. The final di Diomede was who her father was (his first name). Ok that was very good too. Diomede was not a common name. But how could I possibly know this was my Mary Dellalazzaro Augustine? The baby’s birth date was 13 Jun 1871 .  OK I was now certain I had the birth record of my wife’s maternal Great-Grandmother. The birth date was an exact match from US records! This happens so seldom among my immigrant ancestors. It is usually a few days one way or another.

So now I had my wife’s maternal Great-Grandmother, Mary’s birth record from Italy. It was in the civil records and the religion was listed as unknown/none-followed (not Muslim, but I could accept that might not be a popular label). But these were Italians or so I thought. After all these were records from Calabria, Italy. Perhaps they had migrated from Albania at some point, but when?

I also had my wife’s 2x great-grandparent’s names: Diomede Di Lazzaro of course. But I also had Mary Todaro too. I’ll save the suspense for another time. I found Diomede & Mary ‘s marriage record too. So I had another generation’s names (3x great grandparents on both Di Lazzaro & Todaro sides). The marriage record also gave me the full birth date of both newlyweds too! Bonus. I like Italian records – more info than my usual Russian-Poland records.

How was I able to read the records? It was not quite the same as Latin (which I knew well enough from Poland). I also was a bit let down by my Hoffman & Shea book, “Following The Paper Trail“. The book did not have a sample of Italian paragraph form. Thankfully, I can read old handwriting pretty well and Google’s translator worked well too and I was reading Italian. The form was very similar to the Napoleon Codex form I was used to from the Russian-Poland records I routinely deal with.

Finally, Google found me several web sites that described the Albanian migration to Italy which was actually a reward to the Albanian hero-king, Skanderbeg! These people were Albanians and they still communicated in their language and even today you may see signs in two languages (Albanian & Italian) for the place names in this region. I also found a Lazzaro in Berat, Albania. It turns out that the TODARO family was in the retinue of the original Albanian Soldiers of Skanderbeg. They were one of forty families that had migrated from Albania about  400 years earlier! Many of these families were Christians too. It turns out they were Eastern Rite Catholics (Orthodox Catholics) due to their connection  Byzantium and Constantinople. Skanderbeg was Orthodox Catholic, then Muslim then converted back to Orthodox Catholic again – so  being Muslim or Catholic was not a problem for these Albanians. They were ALBANIAN (Arbëresh) and that and their connection to Skanderbeg was what mattered to them!

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