Archive for ‘Genealogy’

May 12, 2013

♥ Happy Mothers Day ♥ — #Genealogy, #German, #Croatia, #Vespek

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk, was not intending to write a blog post today. I hope Genealogy Moms are having a wonderful day today  … too.

Yesterday, I was researching on On a lark, I thought I would look at Croatia. In particular at Tenje. I did that because my maternal grandmother, Roza Göttler (aka Gottler/Goettler/Gettler). From her ship manifest, I knew her to come from Tenje (which was Austria-Hungary, then Jugoslavia, now presently Croatia). This explains the ever changing ethnicity throughout the US Federal Censuses. I did indeed find Gottlers in Tenje. I did not find my grandmother’s parents or my grandmother … unfortunately the years available online would not meet my needs. But something unusual happened. I found other affiliated family names: Eisenbeiser and Elter. So I am now convinced that Tenje (the Roman Catholic records) is where I will find my maternal grandmother.

That was so uplifting, on a lark, I thought I’d search for my maternal grandfather’s village. His was a bit of a problem too. Differing country names (like Roza Gottler), but his village name changed often too, so even though I had ship manifest, Declaration of Intent, and finally a Petition for Naturalization, I was still uncertain where he was from. I was pretty sure he was from the same area as Roza Gottler. My paternal grandparents were both married once, before they married each other and had my mother. So my grandfather emmigrated alone and my grandmother emmigrated with her first husband (John Reiner). Over the years, I developed many clues which I collected even though they did not fit together. This weekend, the clues came together! These stray clues allowed me to verify that the records I was viewing were my own family. What a gift on Mother’s Day weekend. I found both of her family parents’ families  this weekend!

It turns out that my grandfather was born in Sarvas (now in Croatia) and in the same district as Tenje. So all those sources: Sawas is from Ship Manifest , then  Storvish is from Declaration of Intent, and  Dowash is from the Petition for Naturalization. The first Vespek birth record I found spelled the village as Starvas. These are all the same place! Some were slightly misspelled. Now I can see it. So in the same FamilySearch project in two different villages I found my maternal lines. Some direct lines, some indirect branches, others are affiliated families.

So I have set a fairly high level of confidence in these findings. As such, I believe I have found my Great-Grandfather Vendelin Vespek’s birth record. This is not 100% certain and I have to find 1 or 2 missing pieces to make it a 100% certain. For those who are second (or 3rd) cousins researching in the Vespek family tree pay attention to the remainder and download the image at the top.


Croatia, Church Books, 1516-1949 Roman Catholic (Rimokatolička crkva), Sarvas

Corresponding LDS MF #’s1739003 Items 4-5,  1739004 Items 1-7

Sarvaš Births (Rođeni) 1847-1865  [for Vespek, Kasper, Kantner, Fechtig, Emert, Platz, Zorn]

URL: FamilySearch Sarvas, Croatia  [image 66 of 298]

Birth 8th / Baptism 9th – November – 1858

Vendelin son of Vendelin Vespek & Catherine Kaschper (aka Kasper)
born in Sarvas, House #43

Godparents:  Tobias Jobst & Joanna Kreines

See Also …

Tenje (Osijek) – [for Gottler, Eisenbeiser, Elter]

URL:  Tenje


Even though most of the records are in Latin, there are still records in Croatian.So for my Polish genealogy researchers, I would hasten a tip. As I was doing this I saw month names that were close to month names for Polish. Croatian is a Slavic language (albeit Southern Slav). So when I saw LISTOPAD (Croatian), I was immediately thinking NOVEMBER (in English), because LISTOPAD in Polish = November in English. But in Croatian, LISTOPAD = October. Surprise!

From Google Translator:

January, February, …, December – (English)

Sijecanj, Veljaca, Ozujak, Travanj,  Svibanj, Lipanj, Srpanj, Kolovoz, Rujan, Listopad, Studeni, Prosinca – (Croatian)

April 30, 2013

Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952 — #Genealogy, #Michigan

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, was overjoyed at the announcement of the newest database:

Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952

The URL / Link is: [bookmark it]


They just published it 29 April 2013 [after some issues were discussed]. No your eyes are not playing tricks, the website has had a makeover recently. It may be a unsettling if you have not visited the site in a while, but persevere, it is worth it.

Hurry and grab your dead relatives in case any controversy causes this database to disappear!


April 28, 2013

Another Leszczynski Branch in Koprzywnica ???

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

On  24 March 2013, I wrote about Gazetteers … and showed an index map of the Polish War Institute.

To follow along, visit … P46_S33_SANDOMIERZ map to see where Koprzywnica town is and its parish(es). Koprzywnica is near enough to my ancestral villages to merit an interest.

On 11 April 2011, in, there was posting in the genealogy forums on a thread that I had participated related to the LESZCZYNSKI magnate family (and specifically King Stanislaw Leszczynski). This woman said that her family had a family lore about being related to King Stanislaw. Since this jester has that folklore in my family that has been echoed by 2nd/3rd cousins who also have Leszczynski blood,  I thought I might investigate her (Ms. Rice) ancestors to see if there were any overlap with my own. Also since Koprzywnica was near enough  that this could be a branch my LESZCZYNSKICH, I was off on another tangent.

I started with an Ignatz Leszczynski (the grandfather of Ms. Rice ??) who also happened to live Philadelphia (nice synergy with Stanczyk), because his bride happened to be a Sadowski (Leokadya Sadowski). So I found this Ignatz (Philadelphia) Leszczynski’s ship manifest and he was from Koprzywnica and was coming from his mother Zuzanna (a fairly uncommon Polish name).

On a lark, I said let me see if PTG’s website, has any data in their GENESZUKACZ or METRYK project databases for an Ignacy (i.e. Ignatz) Leszczynski from KOPRZYWNICA. Well they did and the year was a close match to the ship manifest. Well GENRSZUKACZ gave me the Akt# (Record #) and the year in KOPRZYWNICA, so I asked if the METRYK project had any image of that record … AND it did! Little Ignacy, was b. 1883 in Akt# 32 and his parents were:

WALENTY LESZCZYNSKI b. about 1849 given his age in 1883 &


Well that was some strong circumstantial evidence that I had found the correct parents for IGNACY LESZCZYNSKI of  KOPRZYWNICA. The year match was good match to ship manifest and the mother was named Zuzanna, a match,  and the birth parish matched the ship manifest.


Ignacy’s record is on the left page (na lewo)

Ignacy’s Church Record (#32) in 1883 also had a marginalia that was significant. It had Ignacy’s death date: 9th-November-1963 (Akt#57) in KOPRZYWNICA. So it appears that Ignacy moved back to Poland (before 1963). Also for those who tracing LESZCZYNSKI genealogy, I have outlined in a red box what LESZCZYNSKI looks like in CYRILLIC handwriting. I also red-underlined the Leszczynski name of the father so you would be sure that this is indeed a LESZCZYNSKI record.

It turns out that METRYK had the marriage record image form Walenty Leszczynski & Zuzanna Gawronski in 1876 (Akt #22) in Koprzywnica too. So now I had a Piotr Leszczynski as father of Walenty (Franciszka Bogunski was the mother). I found Walenty’s birth in 1849 (Akt# 26). From Piotr’s age it appears he was born about 1795. I did find a Teodora Leszczynska, daughter of Piotr Leszczynski & Franciszka Bogunska being born in 1835 (Akt #143). That was how I knew Piotr had a birth year about 1795. I could not find Piotr & Franciszka’s marriage record, so perhaps they were married elsewhere. I also did not find any other children of Piotr & Franciszka (other than Teodora & Walenty).


Walenty Leszczynski marries Zuzanna Gawronski in 1876 (Akt #22)

OK, so Stanczyk has found another Leszczynski family (albeit a common name). It is close enough that Piotr Leszczynski (father of Walenty, grandfather of Ignacy) could possibly be a father or an uncle of my great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski — but I am still a LONG ways away from ever proving that. My only saving grace is that Leszczynski in that neck of the woods, is not so common a family name. Right now, it is only a dream or a hope. But, I wanted to throw it out there and see if I get any hits from other genealogists. Email me!

April 28, 2013

Tsarnaev Genealogy — #Genealogy, #Russian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Did you read Stanczyk’s blog from yesterday commenting on the AP Breaking News of the Russian Secret Service having tapes of Zubeidat and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Царнаев) discussing jihad. I believe the Russians also indicated they had tape of the mother speaking to other person of interest to the FBI also. So go read yesterday’s blog then come back …[I'll wait for you]


Tsarnaev / Tsarnaeva – Lines 9,10,11,12

Perhaps you may have missed a link from yesterday on the fine work by Business Insider. They are a fine source of news for what happens in Europe, for those who want yet another viewpoint on which to be informed. You should click on that link (also here) if you wish to see pictures of the family before they came to the US. After I had read that I thought I would write a blog on the school register, which seems to confirm the children (only four, although I have read another account of a fifth child, an unnamed  married daughter in Chechnya). Alas, the AP Breaking News story over ran my composing a story of a school register. But here it is, albeit belatedly …

Line 9 - Bela Tsarnaeva, born 1988, female, Chechen, Arrived In School 2001, 7th grade, from Kyrgyzstan

Line 10 - Alina Tsarnaeva, born 1990, female, Chechen/Avar, Arrived In School 2001, 5th grade, from Kyrgyzstan

Line 11 - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, n/a, male, Chechen, Arrived In School 2001, 1st grade, from Kyrgyzstan

Line 12 - Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 1986, male, Chechen, Arrived In School 2001, 8th grade, from Kyrgyzstan

The handwriting is in Cyrillic. So if you are trying to learn to read Russian, here is a modern version (much easier than old church registers in Old Russian characters/handwriting) — albeit still difficult for Latin Alphabet readers to discern.

So all children entered the Dagestan school system in 2001. They all came from Kyrgyzstan. We now have credible ages for the daughters and confirmation on their names (Bela/Bella, Alina/Ailina).

It is interesting that one daughter (Alina) had a notation of Chechen/Avar. Her mother was an Avar. Previously, all children were listed as being born in Kyrgyzstan. Why does this one child have Avar by ethnicity? Aren’t all of the Tsarnaevich children Chechen/Avar really — since they all have the same mother.

Even though Dzhokhar’s birth was not given, we know his birthdate from other documents (see also the first story) which indicates: 22-July-1993.

So for those genealogists following the genealogy, those are the best birth dates (or birthyears)  so far that I have seen in news accounts. This data is also from a good source document, not just someone’s notes (or memory). Genealogy in the news.


April 25, 2013

The Last Pandemic … 1918 — #Genealogy, #Polish, #War

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Block_A week ago Stanczyk wrote about Cholera and its 5th Pandemic. This week I was searching for ‘Status Animarum‘ (Latin for ‘State of the Souls’). That is a type of church census. Often these censuses include three generations. I stopped in a list of Google results. I stopped for Cleveland’s St. Stanislaus’ 1918 Status Animarum.

Now Stanczyk has a branch of the family in Cleveland and at the St Stanislaus parish. 1918 was the tail end of World War I. It was also the main year of the last epidemic,  … the flu,  sometime called the Spanish Flu. More people died from the flu than from the war. Pestilence won again. I am sure war had something to do with the pestilence and people weakened immune systems.

World War I was different then almost all other wars in US history. We had citizens training and fighting in two armies against a common enemy. You had Polish-Americans serving in the US Army and you had Polish Americans serving in the French colors (Blue Army), Polish-led (General Haller), Canadaian-trained, with men from the USA who were Polish ethnically. So a world war and pestilence both ran amok.

This Status Animarum was not the kind like in European parishes that listed two-three family generations and their home, census-like. This was a Status Animarum Report — summarized at the parish level …

1918_Cleveland_StStanislaus_pg1 1918_Cleveland_StStanislaus_pg2

Blessedly, with about one thousand men serving in the military (3/4 USA, 1/4 Polish) and the Flu Pandemic, only 18 men had died!


Statistically, Cleveland’s St. Stanislaus had lucked out. The other statistic, 25% of the men served in Haller’s Army (aka the Blue Army). This device allowed the US men to have a presence in the World War, before the USA was ready … emotionally to end its isolationism and enter the war itself. I wonder if this percentage held true in all Polish parishes in the USA?

What desperate times were those? And yet, is today not like a hundred years ago? We shall see. It has been nearly a century since the last pandemic. Will the Chinese bird-flu be the next pandemic? Time will tell. Certainly, there is plenty of warfare about the globe and plenty of sabre rattling.

April 23, 2013

FamilySearch Indexing: They Reached A Billion

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FamilySearch Indexing reached their first billion records online. Congratulations FamilySearch!

logo.gif FamilySearch Indexing: Thanks A Billionopen.aspx?ffcb10-fe561074726701757613-fde81c797d6506787c167670-fe6315707166057a711d-fe5a17707266007a701d-fe2c13767767017b761770-ffcf14&d=10026

Thanks A Billion

The winners
Thank you for contributing to the billion! We did it! We reached a major milestone of one billion records indexed and arbitrated since the launch of FamilySearch indexing in September of 2006. We are grateful for the many volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to make these records freely available for online research. Languages

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BillionsBadge_EN.pngKenneth B. (California, United States), Brittney S. (Idaho, United States), and April R. (Alberta, Canada) were the lucky ones to index and arbitrate the billionth record! They will receive a FamilySearch backpack stuffed with FamilySearch goodies. We also want to thank all the volunteers who have contributed to the billion records with a FamilySearch indexing badge. You can download your free badge at

It took us seven years to reach the first billion. How long do you think it will take us to reach the next billion? The advances of technology and the dedication of our volunteers have increased the speed in which we can process and deliver records for publication. Join the global effort to make the next billion records available for family history research. Start indexing now!


FamilySearch indexing is the largest free collection of online resources for family history research. With billions of historical records, powerful search tools, family trees, and an active community, helps everyone discover, preserve, and share their family history.You received this message because you are a registered volunteer with FamilySearch indexing, signed up to receive e-mails, or received this as a forward. The original was sent to mike.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please contact FamilySearch at support.

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I have been an intermittent contributor to this and other genealogy indexing projects. Doing RAOGK helps others and because of the interconnectedness of our family trees, it may ultimately help our own families. Congratulations again to FamilySearch!

April 17, 2013

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

Newspaper / Book Clippings:

1892 September Cholera Newspapers


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

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

Trove Digitised Newspapers - Brisbane Courier September 14th, 1892

April 16, 2013

From Pacanow Poland to Birchgrove, New South Wales, Australia — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Immigration

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk always loves finding something unusual or unexpected. I guess that is just my eternal boyish wonder of finding/unearthing a treasure. Immigration or the diaspora of Polish citizens about the globe holds a fascination for me. It is a difficult puzzle to solve for your own ancestors. So if I unexpectedly find something else in an unexpected place for another Polish genealogist then I feel compelled to post it in my blog.

PiotrowskiJozef_ofPacanowPoland_AuCitizenshipDeclarationDateline – 22 September, 1954 – Birchgrove, New South Wales, Australia. As a fluke while researching some cholera pandemics, I decided to see if there was any news in this Historical Australian Newspaper website from the Biechow/Pacanow area. To my wonder, I spied a hidden jewel in these far away shores. Up popped, an “advertisement”. Shoot, I was hoping for something historical, not something mercantile. Oh well, lets just see what these Aussies have about Pacanow, shall we?

What did I find? No it was not for me (although it is an affiliated family, so who knows). Click on the image if you wish to follow along … (transcription follows):

I, JOZEF PIOTROWSKI, born in Pacanow, Poland, resident 5 years in Australia, now residing at 39 Wharf Rd. Birchgrove. N.S.W.. Intend to apply for Naturalisation under the Nationality and Citzenship[sic] Act, 1948-1953.

Well, Well, an affiliated family member from my ancestral village (Pacanow) declaring his intention to become a citizen of Australia (NSW=New South Wales state) post World War II.

Source: Trove Digitised Newspapers – The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1954)

April 14, 2013

A Church Register Novelty in Koprzywnica — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Poland_1807_1815_AnnotatedIn another case of finding something interesting whilst researching something else, I found a type of Church Register Index that I have not seen before in any other parish. So today’s blog is about that novel index I found. See the Church Register in the picture (see below).

Dateline Koprzywnica parish, 1810 – In what was after the 3rd partition was Austrian-Hungarian territory (Austrian-Poland in green), has now been annexed by Napoleon in 1809 into the Duchy of Warsaw and in another five years will be Congress Poland (Vistulaland, Russian-Poland). But in 1810 we are speaking of Koprzywnica in the powiat of Staszow and the Departement of Radom. No, that is not wojewodztwo — it is the French, Departement that is the highest level of administration in the Duchy of Warsaw. The map shows that a huge swath of green from the  Austrian-Poland partition (zabior) was annexed into the Duchy in 1809. Stanczyk’s own ancestors once again switched Empires from Austria to France. So too did the citizens of Koprzywnica (and a great many cities, towns, and villages). Poof, now the records go from Latin, in the perfunctory Latin Box (Table) Format to the lingua franca of Polish paragraph with French-style two witnesses.

So Koprzywnica, like Stanczyk’s own ancestral Villages (Biechów and Pacanów) was briefly Austrian, then French (very briefly), then Russian until 1917-1918 whence it became just Poland again. We can find Koprzywnica in the gazetteer, Skorowidz Miejscowoscy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej as being in the powiat Sandomierz, wojewowdztwo Kielce (circa 1920′s/1930′s).

Indexes are so very helpful. It is always a let down when a parish book or a year within the book lacks any kind of index. That means I will have to look at each and every record to see if any are related to me / my research. Early Latin paragraph form church records often do not have any index  – they barely denote the year change. So that means you have to read each and every badly handwritten paragraph of Latin — very rare to find a priest with good Latin handwriting. That is why the Latin Box Format was more welcome. At least I could find the pieces of info and the handwriting was less of an issue. But the Latin Box format did not have indexes either.

So it was helpful when Napoleon implemented the Codex Napoleon in the Duchy of Warsaw. So by 1810 you see the records written in Polish (lingua franca) in a paragraph form that is specified by the Codex Napoleon. And these new records have indexes!

OK, the indexes initially are by letter: A, B, C, …, Z. So you have just under 26 pages of indexes. It is an improvement. Quickly the church realizes it can save paper by running the index all together with all letters on a single (or a few) page(s) in order alphabetically. Very efficient to scan these indexes for your families. And it was also easy to spot when a priest added a late addition to the index at the back after all other names (even though it was evidently in the wrong spot lexicographically speaking).

OK 1868-1918, we find Russian / Cyrillic indexes. In addition to priests not knowing Russian well and ordering names phonetically before later on,  we find the index in Cyrillic proper lexical order you will have to scan carefully. Cyrillic kind of forces that to those of us weaned on a Latin alphabet. But you sometimes find the Russian indexes sorted in Cyrillic lexical order … by the first name ??? That is not very useful. Sometimes the index is in chronological order (akt # / record # order) making it barely more useful then scanning every record.

But when we find a well formed index (or a not so good index) it is always for one event: Birth/Christening, Marriage / Marriage Banns, Death Records. One index for Births, one for Marriages and one for Deaths … assuming none are missing, 3 indexes. That is what makes the following index so very interesting …

The Index (Skorowidz)

1810KoprzywnicaINDEX_pg4_JewishNames_righthalf This was supposed to be a Marriage Index !! But it was five scanned pages! This would have to be an extraordinarily large city to have that many marriages! What are all of those columns ?? That is what I asked myself.

Let’s see what those columns are:  Record # (Akt #), Village Name, Person Name(s), Births (Urodzin), Deaths (Zeyscie), Banns (Zapowiedz), and finally Marriages(Malzenstwa) Kart # (you can safely ignore). This index is an all event index. Births-Deaths-Banns-Marriages all interleaved. In fact, when I look at each event (B/M/D) I see the same 99 event-record pages and the same five index pages. It appears that all events are in the same register! This is rather unique — as I said previously I have not seen this before in other parish registers I have seen.

So in this “combo style” index (which needs a proper name) you cannot have a single name  for marriage record, so marriage records have two names (as usual), but this requires two lines in this style of index — since we are multi-columnar. We also see that Banns are indicated ‘I‘ or ‘II‘ — the third bann being the actual marriage itself. The Roman numeral written above the word Zapowiedz. So since the index is in Akt# order, it is a chronological order too. It could be interesting from a demographic perspective (what time of year do most marriages occur or  do a higher concentration of deaths occur in winter months). If this style index had occurred during an epidemic year, then we could have seen all of the deaths occurring in a great streak without interruption by other events. 1810 in Koprzywnica was not such an epidemic year.

There is one more fascinating aspect to this index. In the Napoleonic era (1807 thru 1829) we find that Catholic priest acts as the civil administrator and that Jewish/Evangelic/Orthodox vital records are written in the Catholic register. How is this noted in the index — which again I have not seen elsewhere? Look at the scanned register image for this blog. Pay attention to Records #’s:

85, 86, and 91.

It so happens that each of these records is a Marriage Banns event type. But, notice that each begins ‘Zyda‘.  Żyd = Jew, hence Żyda is plural for Jews. Żydów = Jewish. This indicates that this is a Jewish civil record being recorded.  Now I know that Jewish vital records are recorded in the Napoleonic era Catholic registers. But it is unusual that it is indicated in the index (as opposed to being in the record itself).

So this was a very fascinating find after all. I was actually looking for a particular Leszczyński but I found a novel index and indeed a novel parish register overall.

Related Posts

The Fourth Partition (23 January 2013) – A Discussion of the Duchy of Warsaw, with a map

Historical Eras of Poland (21 January 2013) – A set of Stanczyk defined eras of Poland of particular use to genealogists. An historical definition of Poland’s eras (1569-present) based upon history’s impact on genealogical research.


Post Scriptum

The index from this column was found in the Polish website: (PTG) of which I written many times before. Their METRYK project of scanned church books is where I found the 1810 Koprzywnica Index.

April 11, 2013

Just Another Mt. Olivet Map, Section 15N — #Genealogy, #Cemetery, #Maps

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has previously published a map (or two) of Mt. Olivet, Detroit cemetery showing the various sections. Today, I am continuing the Mount Olivet meme to publish all of the section maps I have.

Section 15  (North part)

Section 15 - N

Sampling of Names:

332 – Buczkowski

443 – Orzel

553 – Rozanski

595 – Katolski – Koswicki

623 – Wroblewski

724 – Morawska

Let me hasten to add that Stanczyk is NOT related to the above name samples. You need to follow the link to Mt Elliott cemetery association for more info.

April 9, 2013

Just Another Mt. Olivet Map – Detroit Cemetery — #Genealogy, #Cemetery, #Maps

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has previously published a map of Mt. Olivet, (Mount Olivet) Detroit cemetery showing the various sections. Today, I am continuing a meme to publish all of the section maps of Mount Olivet, that I have. Eventually, I will build a database of the names for searching.

Section 15 (South-part)

Section 15 - S

Mount Olivet (Detroit) – Section 15 (South)

Sampling of Names:

1547 – Jazdzyk

1544 – Gayeski

1267 – Zwicki

1263 – Warczak, Jablonski, Brzozowski


846 – Kedrowski

Let me hasten to add that Stanczyk is NOT related to the above name samples (except I may now have to look at the PRUSINSKI in 1208). You need to follow the link to Mt Elliott cemetery association for more info.

Next:  15 North

April 5, 2013

AP Kielce, An Inventory of the National Archive in Kielce, Poland — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


From a forum at  Stanczyk saw a PDF document mentioned. When I looked at it, I saw it was an inventory (in progress) of the holdings of  the National Archive in Kielce (AP w Kielcach). So I have produced a condensed version of their work-in-progress. Yes, most of these are related to Stanczyk’s family tree. For their complete inventory list (which was 424 items), see the link (URL) at the bottom of this table.

Now I mention this particular AP (National Archive) because it is the archive that covers the Russian-Poland partition that my ancestors were from. There may be other inventories for other archives.


 # Nr zespołu – # Rec. Group Stan na dzień (as of) 2013-02-01 Nazwa daty skrajne – date range księgi – books metry ilość sfotografowanych ksiąg – number of books photographed ilość zrobionych zdjęć – number of photos taken Braki – deficiencies
1 388 Beszowa 1875-1911 54 71 58 3770 oddział Sandomierz
2 341 Biechów 1875-1908 55 0.83 55 2 538
3 146 Kazimierza Wielka 112 1.03
4 353 Oleśnica 1875-1911 61 0.97 69 3 506
5 812 Opatów 1825,1890-1906 14 0.39 11 2369 oddział Sandomierz
6 152 Opatów 120 1.31
7 658 Opatów-gr 1834-1836 4 0.04 4 36 oddział Sandomierz
8 44 Opatów-moj 1831-1910 46 0.95 47 6860 oddział Sandomierz
9 814 Opatów-pr 1896-1915 19 0.23 20 573 oddział Sandomierz
10 871 Ożarów 1890-1910 3 0.06 4 445 oddział Sandomierz
11 45 Ożarów-moj 1826-1909 43 0.61 43 3419 oddział Sandomierz
12 355 Pacanów 1875-1908 62 0.91 64 3 703
13 373 Pacanów moj 51 0.76
14 245 Połaniec 1810-1910 106 2.05 106 12507 oddział Sandomierz
15 252 Połaniec-moj 1826-1910 88 0.99 92 3425 oddział Sandomierz
16 246 Staszów 1810-1910 103 1.65 103 10146 oddział Sandomierz
17 253 Staszów-moj 1826-1910 84 1.33 86 6236 oddział Sandomierz
18 362 Stopnica 48 0.88
19 374 Stopnica moj 46 1.29
20 582 Stopnica pr 3 0.02
21 97 Tumlin 189 1.67
22 370 Zborówek 1875-1908 58 0.66 65 2 295


I tried to provide a reasonable translation (using Google Translator with some hand-tweaks) of the Polish Column Headings in English.

LEGEND (3rd Column):

A suffix of moj or -moj indicates Jewish records.

pr – Orthodox Catholic

ew – Evangelical

gr – Greek Orthodox

The rest (or any with  rk) would indicate Roman Catholic.

I believe the Column Heading METRY indicates the actual shelf space of storage this record group physically occupies. I believe the units would be in Meters (m). Remember Europe uses ‘,’ where America uses a decimal point. Some appear to be missing the decimal point. In most cases, it appears that Excel has translated the comma to decimal point, but if you look at the source document, you should be aware of this cultural difference.

April 4, 2013

Archiwum Państwowe w Suwałkach in Szukajwarchiwach.PL — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing about, the Polish website for “searching in archives” of the 2.4 Million Archive Images of historical vital records. So today we will look at the Suwalki Archive (Archive #63,, in particular the WIZAJNY parish in which this jester has previously plumbed (for NARKIEWICZ / SZCZESNY).


First off, please take note of the two red circles in the image. The first red circle around the drop down menu is set to ’15′ by default. I usually choose the drop down value ’100′. This drop down menu controls how many ‘Units’ are displayed on each page.  So in order to minimize the number of pages and to maximize the number of items on each page, I routinely pick the ’100′ from the drop down on each page.

Second, I was searching for WIZAJNY parish, But what I got/found was WIZAJNACH. You need to learn to recognize the root of the proper names/nouns in Polish. Fred Hoffman/Jonathan Shea call this applying the “chopping block” to get to the root of a word. So in the second red circle we find Wizajnach. That is the unit we wish to search.

Now notice the last column shows ’5124′ (on 3 April 2013). This number is the number of “sheets” that have been scanned. So you should think images. The concept to take away is that if you see a ZERO, then there is nothing scanned; Try again later.  But in our case we should expect 5,124 images were scanned across the year range:  1808-1905.

If you want to follow along, I picked the year 1822 which 86 scanned images and selected ’100′ scanned images from the drop down which effectively shows all 86 scans one page. These 86 images are actually “thumbnail” images that you click on to see …


At the bottom of the image are two circles/icons. The ‘Z’ circle gives you a kind of magnifying glass for seeing a small part of the image, zoomed-in.

It is the other icon that we wish to click on (the square with the arrows at each corner, left of the ‘Z’). This icon left of the ‘Z’ pops up a window of the image more full sized. This full-sized image can be interacted with, zooming or panning or dragging the image around the viewing window. Please, note that at the bottom of this pop-up viewer window is a link you can click on to ‘Download‘ the scanned image to your hard-drive. So when you find your ancestor, you can download his/her scanned vital record.

Before I bring this post to a close. I wanted to point out how you can find the indexes (usually after the last record). This era of the 1820′s, the indexes are usually alphabetical with one letter per index page. So these kind of indexes look as shown below. You need to find the ‘Akt #’ in the index and then go to the scan that has the image of this Akt. The Akt #’s are on the outside of each image. They are on the left for the left-hand page and on the right for the right-hand page in the image scans.


As I mentioned in a prior blog article, the Wizajny parish is amazingly complete. It was also interesting because its records switch over in mid-year 1868. So you can see the records in Polish in early 1868, then in Russian starting in mid 1868. There are no Wizajny or even Suwalki records in (Metryk or Geneszukach) databases.



Please note that in the Napoleonic era (about 1807-1829), the Catholic parishes in Poland  were required to record the vital records for all faiths. So you will find Jewish birth / marriage / death records in the Catholic parishes books, if there were Jewish families in that area. For example, Akt #39 appears to be a Jewish birth record. Usually that is indicated in the text, but I did not see in Akt #39, BUT … if you look to the right of the record at the image on the left  (you will see a ‘Zydow’ column with a ’1′ in it) …

Prior Related Stanczyk Articles …

A Guide for Using Szukajwarchiwach.PL Poradnik

Polish State Archives – Numbers

Russian Poland 1867-1875

April 1, 2013

World Backup Day

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1 April 2013 – Dateline Philadelphia

Yes, this jester knows its April Fool’s day; But who better than a jester to speak truth to the people (uh … genealogists, librarians, archivists, & researchers) on this day? The first of April has become the impetus for backup and preservation.


You need only look at today’s world of crazy dictators or Mali terrorists to see that cultural/historical artifacts can disappear in an instant. Cyberwarfare can claim your harddisk. The cloud could crash or hurricane Sandy can happen (please donate to Ellis island Foundation to help in that restoration effort). Libraries and Archives need to safeguard your artifacts too! Are you motivated yet? Good!

There are backup solutions, including some free options to the “cloud”. Apple even provides a free 5GB iCloud. So save your GEDCOM file. If you still have free space then backup pictures or scans that are CRITICAL. You can save/backup to media: CDs, USB thumb drives, etc. But be aware that backup to electronic media needs to be refreshed yearly to avoid stranding your backups on outmoded technology (i.e. 8Track tapes or even floppy disks).

Be careful out there and have a Happy April Fool’s Day!

March 27, 2013

A Guide for Using Szukajwarchiwach.PL Poradnik — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been writing for a while about Polish National Archives announcing via their National Digital Archive (NAC) that Poland would be putting 2.4 Million digital images of church / synagogue metric images from their regional archives online. So today’s blog post is a guide (poradnik) about how to use to view these images.

It is easiest if you know the regional archive you are interested in, but you do not need to know it really. I will demonstrate with the RZESZOW regional archive. This archive was in Austrian-Poland partition, so its records should be for those locales to Rzeszow. Recall from my post, Polish State Archives – Numbers (13 March 2013) where I listed the archive numbers, that Rzeszow = 59.


Step By Step

Step_1Step One

            Go to the archive of interest -

You should see the web site with the information for the Rzeszow regional Archive.


Notice the two links: Poprzednie archiwum  and Następne archiwum . With these two links you go through the list of regional archives. The list of archives only includes those archives for which they are presently loading images. If you hover over my two links above you will see ‘Previous Archive’ and ‘Next Archive’.


Step Two

            Click on ‘Resource’ [see 2 in red circle] –  which brings you to the list of collections at Rzeszow.

You should see …



Step Three

 Click on Collection Number ‘59/20/0‘ for the civil records from the Roman Catholic parish of Błażowej -

You should see …



Step Four

Click on ‘Units 20/20‘ in red circle -

You should see …



Step Five

Click on ‘Reference Code 59/20/0/-/1‘ in red circle -

You should see …



Step Six

Click on ‘Digital Copies 107‘ to see a table of 107 scanned images -

You should now see the scanned images …


There are 107 images [currently] and the data looks like it is in the Latin Box format. Since there is no index, you will have visit each image in turn and look at each row of boxes to see if that birth/baptism is for one of your ancestors.

So that is a visual guide for how you navigate the website to get to the scanned images. Obviously, you will need to focus on the villages/parishes for your ancestor. That may be another Archive (besides Rzeszow) or if it is in the Rzeszow archive then you need to pay closer attention to the parishes in the Rzeszow collections and finally, you will need to select Birth/Marriage/Death (Urodziny/Małżeństwo/Zgony) for the year of interest to you.

You will still need to be able to deal with Latin or Polish or Russian or German language in the records to understand what you see in the scanned images. You will also need to be able to read the handwriting. But you can do this!

Good Luck!

March 26, 2013

Cristobal Colon (Discoverer Formerly Known as Columbus) … Polish-Lithuanian & Italian Noble — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Lithuanian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Rosa_InPAStanczyk loves this story. That the discoverer formerly known as Christopher Columbus (who really should be known by his Portuguese name: Cristobal Colon) may be Polish-Lithuanian royalty.

Stanczyk has written a few times on this Columbus / Wladyslaw III genealogy-genetics-history riddle. The Don Quixote of this tale is Manuel Rosa (an an information technology analyst and amateur historian). Mr. Rosa’s claims of the Polish (or more properly Lithuanian, as in Jagiellonian) Wladyslaw III lineage date back to November 2010.

Prior Stanczyk Polish Columbus stories …

1. 02-December-2010 – Christopher Columbus Discovers … He Is POLISH!

2. 27-December-2010 – Wladislaw III – Father of Columbus

Plus a few mentions: 2011, & 2012 at the start of Polish Heritage Month (each October).

Well here is the latest update, from “the Lithuania Tribune“. You can read the lengthy article which is most informative.

Factual Claims:

  • Rosa has published two books (one in Spanish and one in Polish). NO English version yet.
  • Columbus married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo. Filipa was not only daughter of a high noble and Captain of the Portuguese Island of Porto Santo, but a member of the elite Portuguese Military Order of Santiago
  • Cristobal Colon’s noble wife: Filipa Moniz was one of the twelve elite “donnas” of the Portuguese Military Order of Santiago.
  • Colon was descended from legendary Roman General Colonius (not listed in wikipedia List of Roman Generals )
  • Columbus never wrote in Italian or Genoese [not even to his brothers]
  • Columbus’ writings were: rough Castilian punctuated by noteworthy and frequent Portuguese words
  • Prof. José Lorente’s DNA studies prove that the discoverer Cristóbal Colón’s DNA did not match any of 477 Colombo families from the Genoa area.
  • Colón was a royal prince, son of a Portuguese noblewoman from the Italian Colonna family and a man named Henrique Alemão (Henry the German) resident on the Portuguese island of Madeira
  • Henrique Alemão (Henry the German) = false moniker of Wladyslaw III used for hiding on Madiera Island (presumably from the Ottomans)
  • 1498 Will and later Genoese documents proved to be forgeries/fakes
  • Prince Georges Paleologue de Bissipat, an exiled Byzantine nobleman living in France nicknamed “Colombo the Younger”, said to be a relative of Christopher Columbus was also a relative of King Wladyslaw III

The author laments (“… it is lamentable that, up until now, there is little or no debate in America or Lithuania to either accept or contradict”) that only Portuguese and Polish academics have currently debated this topic. Well then Rosa needs to have published/translated the book in Lithuanian and English if he wishes for further debate.

Are there any historians out there? Can anyone refute or supply proof of the above factual claims? Columbus letters and their language should be easy to establish. What about these other people named: General[Roman] Colonius, Portuguese nobles related to Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, or Prince Georges Paleologue de Bissipat ? Come on European Historians help out this poor jester with some factual links or books/documents — so much is online these days.

The next Manuel Rosa appearance is: April 6, 2013, where Manuel Rosa will present a lecture at Boalsburg’s Columbus Chapel, ( where more evidence will be presented, in Boalsburg, PA which is North-West of Harrisburg (contact: contact 814-466-9266 or

I’d love to have this story proven true or false. It is time for the sensationalism to end. Did National Geo ever televise this story as reported earlier? This jester never saw it. What happened with the Colon DNA being compared to Wladyslaw III descendants? So far we only have that he is not related to Colombos who are Genoese. But since he had Roman heritage, I presume he has some Italian DNA. What about the Slavic DNA? Those pesky Slavic DNA markers are pretty different from Italian DNA markers. I am hoping we have Y-Chromosome DNA testing which should show Slavic markers and MT DNA testing which should show Italian/Portuguese markers.

I accept that Cristobal Colon must have had royal blood to marry a noble woman and have such access to European courts. I also accept that a noble man would have had the education that a peasant wool-worker could never have had. I am uncertain about the heraldic symbols. The rest I am unqualified to judge — hence the plea for help.

March 25, 2013

A BANAS marriage record from the METRYK project …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

BANASThis bit of blog is for Michelle Ann Kratts.

банас =  BANAS . The first set of characters(банас) is the RUSSIAN written in CYRILLIC characters.  Look at the name in the RED Boxes in the image. This is a marriage record (#9 from 1869 in STASZOW powiat of old wojewodztwo Kielce/Kieleckie):

From the METRYK project on the PTG website ( You need to know how BANAS/банас looks in Indexes so that you can find your family records. Archaic Russian Cyrillic handwriting is difficult to read. The Russians reformed the CYRLLIC character set in 1918, so they no longer write Russian like you see in these church records — so Russian Language experts may struggle a bit. I taught myself to read Russian from the Hoffman/Shea book, I am far from fluent in Russian, but I have mastered enough Russian to read genealogy records (with their limited vocabulary). You can too!

I wanted to mention that you see Janem Banasiem (Latin for the Polish name Jan Banas ) following the Russian version of that name. That and the ‘Maryanna Glibowna’ are the only little bits written in the Latin alphabet, the rest are written in Russian, using the CYRILLIC character set.

As you may or may not know the ‘-owna’ ending on Maryanna’s name indicates she is an unmarried maiden. So her name is really Maryanna GLIB (not GLIBOWNA). The ‘owna’ ending is a grammatical construct. OWNA (single woman) – OWA (married woman) -KICH or -OW (family name plural).

In my family:

ELIJASZ (a man), ELIJASZOWNA (an umarried woman), ELIJASZOWA (a married woman), ELIJASZOW (the ELIJASZ family).  I record the name as ELIJASZ in the family tree. Actually, my family name has evolved a bit so I find it as: ELIASZ or ELIJASZ or ELJASZ or HELIASZ . Sometimes a priest will leave off the ‘Z’.

I do not think the BANAS name will show such variation, but you never know. I could imagine finding a BANAC  or BANASZ too. In practice, I have always seen your name written as:



March 24, 2013

Gazetteers, Maps, and Genealogy — #Polish, #Genealogy, #Maps, #Gazetteer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Block_Stanczyk, has been busy revisiting the Metryk (metrical, vital records) images from of the various parishes/synagogues [hereafter I just use 'parish' as shorthand for 'parish/synagogue']. As my blog, Waiting For Polish Archives 2.4 M Scans (March 18th, 2013), indicated, I have been exhausting the possibilities for Biechow & Zborowek parishes in the Buski (Busko-Zdroj) powiat. The images are clearer, so I am replacing my existing images with these much better images. In some cases, I have found that the images of the Polish paragraph format provide me with additional details over what may have been available via only a Latin Box format copy that I might have previously had. At the very least, I have corrected a few mistakes of translation due to unreadable portions from prior microfilm I have read from/taken pictures of. So I strongly encourage others to make this effort.

I have been using the Metryk database and looking at the images/scans. Sometimes you have to look at dozens of images because there is NO index. But most of the collection (post 1812) have indexes. If you see SKU (that means index/skorowidz of births/urodziny), likewise  for SKM (for marriage), and SKZ (for death) indexes. Sometimes indexes spread across multiple pages, so you may see SK1, SKa (names begining with the letter ‘A’) or SKU1, etc. SO use these indexes to look for your family names, then just load up the scan of the akt (record) number for your ancestor — no need to search  through a multitude of images.

I have also used Geneszukacz as another kind of index to search for family names. These indexes are nice because I can catch ancestors getting married (or dying or giving birth) in another parish that I might not have known to check. If this previously unknown parish is one that has scans, then I go directly to the year/event for that parish and go to the akt specified in Geneszukacz!

So that is all great and I exhort you to do this.

But these new, previously unknown parishes. Where are they? How far away from the ancestral village are they? That is when I need a gazetteer (check out Stanczyk’s Gazetter page) or a map. If you have not been to the Polish War Map Archive (Archiwum Map Wojskowego), then today’s blog is your reason to do so. I have a map on my wall of my ancestral villages. The map’s name is: STOPNICA_PAS47_SLUP32. In fact, I use their MAP INDEX, 1:100,000 scale map tiled in squares ( Please NOTE these map images are from about 4MB to 7MB in size. Make sure you are at a Free WiFi cafe where you can use a high-speed and the large band-width for the map images you download.

When you see, PAS think ROW and when you see SLUP think COLUMN. This is a big Cartesian Grid (or computer types can think 2d-array). It turns out that STOPNICA_PAS47_SLUP32 has: Biechow, Pacanow, Ksiaznice, Zborowek, Swiniary, Szczucin, Beszowa, Olesnica, and STOPNICA. In fact, that one map has many more parishes than those that I enumerated. I have a small snippet of the Map Index below (you can click on the image and it will take you to the actual map index):


So I found an ELIJASZ ancestor in Koniemloty parish getting married, who was from PACANOW parish. Now from the Metryk web app, I knew Koniemloty was in STASZOW powiat. So I go to the Map Index and look at the grid near STOPNICA (P47_S32) and voila, STASZOW is the box due north of STOPNICA in PAS46_SLUP32. If you cannot locate you powiat that way, then you must drop back to (an interactive map that I have raved about before) and look for KONIEMLOTY (do not need to use diacriticals) to get the relative feel that it is north or east (or north-east). So any way, STASZOW_PAS46_SLUP32 is the map for KONIEMLOTY parish. Notice PAS46 is one row less than PAS47 (of STOPNICA). PAS decreasing is going north, PAS increasing is going south. Going east from STASZOW, we see the SLUP increases to SLUP33  (SANDOMIERZ) or going west the SLUP decreases to SLUP31 (PINCZOW). So now you can now work  with the Map Index using the cardinal directions by adding/subtracting to/from the rows/columns.

P.S. Since this is the Passover (Pesach) / Easter (Wielkanoc) season, let me honor my wife (Tereza) by pointing out that her paternal grandfather, Benjamin Solomon, had as a birth village, Proskuriw (aka PŁOSKIRÓW, Хмельницький/Khmelnitski – now in Modern Ukraine). This village is shown in the lower right-hand corner of my map snippet (PAS51_SLUP44).


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