Archive for ‘Internet’

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…

January 16, 2015

RAOGK is Back — #Genealogy #Volunteer #Collaborate

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


RAOGK (Random Acts Of Genealogical Kindness) is back. Their website is trying to rebuild the database of volunteers. The RAOGK pages on Facebook appear to be unconnected but were created to fill the void when disappeared a few years ago.

Welcome back back RAOGK!  If any of you are Polonia in the USA or are from Poland, then email me and I’ll note it here in the blog. In my day, I too was a RAOGK volunteer.

Now you can provide raogk via Facebook groups (and yes even through the old Yahoo Groups that pre-dated Facebook), volunteer to do indexing through a local society or through, (or other Indexing projects, like Ancestry’s World Archives Project). I have been a part of many of those too as well hanging out in Rootsweb/Ancestry forums.

Genealogy is collaborative. If you can go back 30+ generations (less if you are Polish like this blogger), then you are related to me and you  are helping family. At least that is how I think about it. Also many have paid me this kindness, how can I not pay it forward too?

Collaborate … Volunteer its good for you and for all.

January 14, 2015

Marriott & The Internet … Just Wrong — #STEM #FCC #Internet #1stAmendment

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MariottJammerThe FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for jamming their customer’s personal hotspots or tethered access to the Internet [that these customers have already paid for] and then forcing the Marriott customer to have to pay HIGH prices for Marriott Wifi/Broadband for a 2nd access to the Internet.

The Story … [HuffPost] [Slate];

You can also find this story covered by CNN and other media (TV, NewsPaper, Radio, Internet).

Marriott then Tried to Justify its Illegal Practice ––We–Encourage–Open-Internet-Access/

The Opposing View

Microsoft and Google are against this Marriott practice and so am I. Here are my reasoned legal arguments:

  1. It is a 1st Amendment Free Speech Issue – I should not have to pay for my speech [a 2nd time]. I am a blogger, but even a person on social media who comments on politics or civil issues (local, state, federal, etc.) is exercising their free speech rights (and possibly their right to peaceably assemble too).
  2. It is a Net Neutrality Issue and the FCC is setting the rules on this (not Marriott). Marriott is blocking a service that its customers / guests have already paid for in order to substitute an expensive Marriott access. How is this not equivalent to adding “toll roads” to the air-waves that are owned by all Americans. The Internet frequencies are owned by all citizens and no citizen should be allowed to block free/low-cost/private access routes and force people onto HIGH toll access routes. This appears to me to be akin to Highway Robbery. At the very  least the Marriott company is acting as a TROLL to limit access to their bridge (by destroying all other local bridges) by forcing the paying of extortionate rates.
  3. Why should any business be allowed to block or jam personal access to the Internet? Doesn’t that set a precedent that private companies can take away 1st Amendment rights at public venues? Do we now have to pay for our access to the Bill of Rights? Only the military or police should be allowed to do this and only in specific rules of engagement for security or safety issues or government or courts as punishments to criminals using the public airwaves (i.e. the Internet) to spread hate-speech, incite violence, and other harmful intent actions etc. Things that are NOT covered by Free Speech  could/should be “jammed”.
  4. Businesses can still use their own networks and give/deny access to their computer resources or ” private clouds” and maintain security. But a personal hotspot or tethering is NOT a security issue as this is a customer / guest’s private network and does not access or connect to the Marriott network. Marriott would still be allowed to deny access to their networks or private clouds by anyone else’s networks.
  5. I also think local building codes need to be updated that using materials that block the Internet access in public venues (concert halls, conference centers, etc.) not be allowed. We already have IP (Intellectual Property) laws to protect copyright materials, like shows, concerts, etc. So jamming  important communications (security personnel, doctor’s phones/emails, etc.) could have catastrophic consequences .  Jamming is akin to stopping people by police without due cause. They have not committed a crime so you cannot take away their rights/privilege to access the Internet,  just because some bootlegger may (or may not) try to steal some IP. Casinos deny access to card counters why not have IP venues deny access to convicted IP thieves rather than jam free communication. Jamming also inhibits “fair-use” or other legal uses (checking on your home’s safety while attending a concert,  reporting on an event by a reporter or journalist, etc.).
  6. This private jamming will limit new technologies too. Are we going to have the Internet Of Things or are we going to have Trolls with extortionate paid access paths interfering with technologies, some of which may be vital to someone’s safety/health. Do we want a robust economy for new innovations or do we want companies to be able to limit innovation/disruption by using public airwaves in a monopolistic fashion? What happens when health processes include medical devices that connect via Internet are jammed?
  7. When a company or government organization forces a customer to use their cloud/network, what happens when an employee of this organization forcing the use of their network,  uses the organization’s internet access to stalk, harass, threaten,  “shed a false light” or for other illegal actions? Why would an organization willingly compel the use of their network/cloud(s) where disgruntled employees can wreak havoc upon their customers?

This is much bigger issue than Marriott is portraying and Marriott’s petition should be denied and the $600,000 fine enforced.  The FCC needs to look into Gaylord Opryland too since this is being used by Marriott as an argument to justify its own unethical practices. Marriott should be allowed to charge for providing access to the Internet if it wants — even though most hotels/motels provide FREE access to the Internet. Let the free market determine what the customers want.

This is also why Net Neutrality is a very nuanced issue and not a one-size fits all ruling (unless it is many pages long detailing all the possibilities that people can dream up right now and allow for future remediation due to new technologies).

Need to catch up on Net Neutrality, try the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s C|Net Interview:  here .


December 4, 2014

GenBaza News – New OnLine Records … #Polish #Genealogy #Genealogia #Polska

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk noted the news from Genbaza over the last two weeks:

Please note the phrase, “dostęp tylko dla indeksujących” means only access to indexes (for indexing?). So it appears we will be getting some new data (and/or images) online very soon.

Some of the parishes/cities are given first in Polish followed by their German name (i.e. Prussian-Poland partition). An example is:  Mierzyn [pl] – Alt Marrin [de]

Here is what they are working on …


Nowości w GenBazie

2014-12-02 dodałem — do katalogu AP Koszalin_index – dostęp tylko dla indeksujących
USC Sowno – Zowen
USC Mierzyn – Alt Marrin
USC Stanomino – Standenmin

2014-11-30 — do katalogu AP Kielce (dostęp tylko dla indeksujących)
Książnica Wielka 1699-1906
Kurzelów 1733-1913
Pierzchnica 1875-1913
Tarłów 1810-1873

2014-11-29 — do katalogu AP Gdańsk zindeksowane USC
USC Okalice
USC Leźno
USC Konarzyny Kościerskie – uzupełnienie

2014-11-28  — do katalogu AP Kielce
uzupełnienia Parafii Odrowąż (1909-1912) [Editor. – Parish Supplement]

— do katalogu AP Grodzisk
Grodziec 1909-1912
Czerwińsk alegaty 1808-1822
Leszno alegaty 1826-1837
Nieporęt 1907r
Zaborów alegaty 1855r
Izdebna alegaty 1816 i 1819r
Grodzisk Mazowiecki alegaty 1808-1825

— do katalogu AP Koszalin_index – dostęp tylko dla indeksujących/Zugriff nur für die Indizierung
USC Smęcino – Schmenzin
USC Spore – Sprasse
USC Stare Drawsko – Drahim
USC Stary Chwalim – Valm

Good Luck Hunting!

November 25, 2014

Ancestry App version 6.2 is Released — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk noted a new release of the’s app.

Ancestry App version 6.2

In time for thanksgiving, Ancestry, released version 6.2. It looks like they added two features:

  1. Quickly add photos / documents from iCloud and/or Dropbox.
  2. Discover historical events that shaped your ancestor’s lives.

I get the first feature. It leaves me feeling, “meh”. It adds something for some people that have their photos in the cloud (despite all of the security concerns). For me this is a not-going-to-be-used, app “bloat-ware” feature added by some mobile programmer trying to shore up his/her resume.

The second feature is apparently Ancestry trying too add a widget to your daily notifications. I really see that feature  as less than “meh”. It is almost a negative feature in my eyes.

As far as I am concerned this version of the app, you can pass on. Nothing here. Don’t waste your bandwidth, unless you actually use iCloud or Dropbox to store your genealogy images / documents.

I like to keep my images on the phone, in case you cannot reach the Internet in some building (say a courthouse) where the Internet is blocked by wiring or other building materials. No Internet,  will not deter me, I just have my photos organized for quick location on my phone. If its up on a cloud and you have no access to the Internet for some reason  (or your cloud has crashed) then you cannot access the document when you need it and are out mobile doing some genealogy research in some remote location you cannot return again for a long time. But maybe you store pics of your ancestors (and not critical documents in the cloud) and you use that to add a pic to your tree one time. That might be ok, for people with large trees with 10,000+ people whose pics you do not want to clutter your phone with. So I am just “meh” about this upgrade.

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August 28, 2014 App Turns 6.0 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry just released their newest version of their mobile application.

Ancestry App

Well testing was brief and then interrupted by Ancestry not being available (to the app; was ok via the laptop).


The interface was lovely, but the constant tinkering with the interface is confusing the end users (at least this end user, who is a professional IT worker) and not intuitive at all.

The speed I could not test with my small tree. But it will reload your tree data  from the website, so something in the data / model must have changed for the app.


More  to come when the App can reach the website .. reliably.



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July 18, 2014

Family Search – An Inventory of Kielce Gubernia/Wojewodztwo

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk,  frequently has written about the online inventories where the Kielce Gubernia/Wojewodztwo parish records, scanned images or indexes  exist. I have written about Geneteka, GenBaza, etc. But did you know that Family Search also has some?

Buried within:

You can find the list of parishes at:  Family Search (Kielce) 

At present we find parishes have some online scans:



July 3, 2014

Kielce Parishes On-line in SzukajWArchiwach — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Previously, Stanczyk has written about what is available online for the former Gubernia (or Województwo) Kielce. In this article I am listing the parishes online with year ranges and scan image counts. Please notice that links are provided for you to go directly to those you are interested in or you can go to the list of all parishes available (since as you know an article like this becomes out of date periodically).


Poland’s Archives (Kielce) Parish Year Range Scans #
21/1700/0 Brzegach 1810-1912  5,652
21/1701/0 Chomentowie 1810-1939  5,997
21/1702/0 Ciernie 1810-1907  5,717
21/1703/0 Imielnie 1810-1912  9,680
21/1704/0 Jędrzejowie 1812-1911  18,045
21/1705/0 Korytnicy 1810-1912  –
21/1706/0 Kozłowie 1811-1913  5,795
21/1707/0 Krzcięcicach 1810-1912  9,569
21/1708/0 Łukowej 1811-1909  4,732

Parishes (Parafia):  Brzegach,  Chomentowie,  Ciernie,  Imielnie,  Jędrzejowie,  Korytnicy,  Kozłowie,  Krzcięcicach,  Łukowej

Cut and Save— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

June 29, 2014 — Photoduplication Services — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Did you know that you can submit a request to Family Search for Photo Duplication service of one of their indexed databases for a found indexed record?

Stanczyk did not know either. Then I read: “How to order an indexed document from Family Search” by Selma Blackmon .  At any rate, you can follow her steps to submit a request. I was able to utilize the info she wrote and submit a request (I am waiting for my emailed document, but I will update my readers when I get the result). Now you only get an email with an attachment of the image for the indexed record, which you request.

I’ll save you a few steps by putting the link below (so you do not have to search for it)



  1. You need an account [they are free].  Go to and click on “Join For Free” to register.
  2. After you have registered and you login to your new account, go to:
  3. Lookup your indexed record. In Stanczyk’s case I chose the database: “Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952,”
  4. Notice that is only an index without any images. So I wanted to order the image of the death certificate I was interested in.
  5. I searched on “Elyasz” to get the info for Stanley M. Elyasz in order to submit the request
  6. I read the instruction from the above Photoduplication Services web page.
  7. I clicked on the green button, “Photoduplication Request Form”
  8. I filled in ALL fields with the info from the index result page of Stanley M. Elyasz and used that info
  9. Click on Submit

If you filled in ALL fields then you get the result I did in the picture at the top of this article. But you must fill in all fields or it will sit there as if it ignored your request — sadly no error message indicated I needed to fill in ALL fields.

The cost for an email of the document:  $0.00.  Most genealogists have an account to search the online images in the many databases that Family Search has published. But if not, then this Photoduplication Service should give you the impetus to register for an account.

PRICELESS! Thank you Family for providing this valuable service and Selma Blackmon for writing about it.


Returned Image [1-JULY-2014] from Submitted Request:


June 28, 2014

Ancestry and ProQuest Announce Expanded Distribution — #Genealogy, #Library, #Research

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

27-JUNE-2014 — & ProQuest   announced an expanded agreement to deliver  broader array of premier genealogy resources to libraries worldwide. This announcement’s offerings expands the 10 year relationship between the two companies.

This should be good news for libraries around the world.

Read more:


June 22, 2014

Using — Zooming In

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Al Wierzba
Al’s Polish-American Genealogy Research Blog


Al, another Polish genealogy blogger to bookmark [see above for link],  wrote (or more accurately commented on a blog article) and asked,

“I had a question regarding your experience using I’ve stumbled upon an ancestry line that belonged to a parish that has digital copies available online, but I was wondering how do you make the images bigger? The viewer on the website doesn’t allow for the images to magnify sufficiently.”


Let me first say, that the images I am displaying are from a Mac with Safari (I also do the same in MS Windows, Vista with Safari). I cannot test each browser + operating system combination, but I suspect it may be an MS Windows + Java + Security issue on your part,  but let me go step-by-step and perhaps it will work for you too. If not, I would try another browser (Mozilla, Chrome are two other good choices).

Let me choose from one of the new Kielce parishes, I have written about as an example.

Steps …

Small_1 Go to [click on preceding link to go there. You will see the following:



Click on the ‘X’ in the upper right corner [see red arrow and red circle above].  You will now see:

SzukajWArchiwach_ArchivesClick on ‘Archives’ button [see red arrow and red circle above].  You will now see:



Click on ‘Archiwum Panstwowe w Kielcach’ to follow along with my example. Or you can select the actual archive that has the parish and images you wish to work on. For those who clicked on ‘Kielcach’ you will see a screen with ‘Archiwum Panstwowe w Kielcach’ in big bold text near the top of your window.

Click on ‘Resources’ button. Now you will see 9 rows of various parishes from Brzegach to Łukowej. Click on the top one for Brzegach which is numbered as:  21/1700/0     NOTE:  you can click on Number or Name field (Brzegach).

You will see a screen with the Roman Catholic parish Brzegach,  ‘Units 193/193’ and some year ranges and that the records are in Polish, Russian and Latin. Click on ‘Units 193/193’. If you are still with me you will see a list of rows. I am going to click on the 2nd row:  ’21/1700/0/-/2‘ or [Akta urodzeń, małżeństw i zgonów]‘.

Small_2Now we get to a screen that indicates that there are ‘Digital copies [10]’ and a series of boxes describing the year 1810 which is in the language of Polish. Click on ‘Digital copies [10]‘ . At this point if you followed my directions you should see:



Please click on the fifth scanned image [see the red arrow and box above]. This will get us to point where Al’s question is concerned with. You should now see the image:


The above scanned image shows popped up window that is a scaled down image that Al want’s to work with [hypothetically speaking, as I do not know which real image(s) Al was referring to]. It has four black ovals surrounding the tiny  version of the scanned image that we want to work with. If you were to click on the ‘X’ it would close the popped up image and take you back to the previous window with 10 thumbnail images. Do not click on the ‘X’. Also do not click on the ‘Z’. The ‘Z’ just gives you a zoomed in square that magnifies the image area beneath it, after some delay it will appear and you can drag that around the image to see closer what was written — this is not what you want, but maybe it will meet your needs.

If you click the black circle [see red arrow and oval above] with the rectangle and four tiny arrows coming out of the rectangle’s corners — this “icon” is implying it will zoom in on the document. Please click on that icon and you should see:



In the above image you should see a portion of the full page at full-size (1:1), unfortunately if is the upper left corner where no text is displayed. You will also see two miniature windows.  There is a window titled, ‘Tools’ and another window with the title, ‘Preview’.  I dragged both of these windows to the top to get them as much as possible off the full size image.

The ‘Tools’ will allow you to change the contrast (the top tool), the brightness (the middle tool) and the zoom (the bottom tool).  The zoom tool is what you really want to use to see the scanned image at zoom level that is comfortable for you to read the text. I sometimes press this ‘+’ to zoom-in 5 or 6 times. Regrettably the ‘1:1’ does not update to show the zoom level, but the full size image gets larger and of course you are looking at a smaller field of view when you zoom in so you will see less of the document, but at a size you can read.  In this example I found a zoom-in of clicking twice on the ‘+’ was sufficient to read the document which is indeed in Polish. Now you can read:

Roku Tysiąc …  [of course the handwriting is a bit difficult, but trust me that is what the first two words say]. Since we clicked on ‘1810’ year, then we would expect this image to say, “In the year 1000 800 ten …” [Roku Tysiąc Osmset Dziesiątego …]

I cannot show you the relative difference in zoom level as I have to scale the image down so it fits on this blog page in HTML and perhaps is scaled differently still on your mobile device. SO I won’t waste your time trying to show the relative zoom-levels which I cannot really do accurately anyway given all of the many ways this blog is presented to you [my many readers].

Let me come back to the second tool which is also very useful. The tool window titled, ‘Preview’ has a tiny gray rectangle in it that is transparent so you can see a thumbnail of the scanned image underneath the transparent gray rectangle. You can drag this rectangle around the preview window and it will move/navigate the full size window to the area you want to read. I find this easier to navigate the full size window so I use it a lot. You can of course click-drag on the full-size window and drag the viewable area around to the portion of the document that you are trying to read. Either way works for me and I use both depending on whether I am doing a big movement (I use ‘Preview’) or for a small adjustment, I use the click-drag on the full size image. Whatever way you find easier to work for you is the way you should work. But there are those two ways to navigate the image. If you prefer, ‘position’ instead of the word navigate. Then you are positioning the scanned image inside the viewable area for that portion of the document that you are trying to read at the current zoom level you are working with.

In practice I do not change the brightness or contrast tools, just the zoom tool to get a comfortable zoom-level for these aged eyes of mine to read the handwriting. Different documents or years will be scanned such that you need differing zoom levels. In practice I zoom in from 2 to 7 ‘+’ levels and I have not yet had to zoom out (i.e. the ‘-‘). Your eyes may differ.


I hope that answers your question, Al. If not just email me back (click on the jester picture) and I’ll email you personally. Keep in mind that some OS’s do not have java installed or their security is set such that it won’t run as Java had its share of security issues for a while. Every person will need to make those changes on their laptop and/or browser themselves. I just wanted to throw that out as that may be what is going on in your case. Possibly you may not have waited long enough if you clicked on the ‘Z’ in the black oval to provide the magnifying glass rectangle which on my laptop takes a few seconds before it starts to work [it is not instantaneous]. If you clicked on something else before the magnifying glass appeared it might appear to you that it was ‘not zooming’ when in reality it was canceling the magnifying glass because you clicked elsewhere on the web app in your browser.


Thanks for the question, I enjoyed it and I enjoy reading your blog too. Alas, Stanczyk does not have any ancestors in the Milwaukee area, but if you do, then see Al’s blog — its a good one.


June 21, 2014

Is RootsWeb Dead? — #Genealogy, #Cloud

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MyCloudStanczyk is wondering … “Is Rootsweb dead”? Please give me date and place of death if that is the case. Earlier in the week had a multi-day outage due to a DDoS.  That is  a distributed denial of service, whereby a ‘botnet  make an overwhelming number of requests from a website until it crashes or ceases to be able to respond to requests.

So since Ancestry, hosts Rootsweb, I was thinking perhaps that DDoS took out Rootsweb too. I tweeted  @Ancestry and asked if anyone was working on Rootsweb being down and did not receive any response — so I am blogging in hopes that will respond. Now I know parts of Ancestry came back a little at a time. Searching, then trees, the blog, finally message boards (connected to Rootsweb n’est c’est pas?). How many days now has Rootsweb been down and when will Ancestry get around to fixing the problem. Mundia is also down and perhaps Ancestry will never bring Mundia back, since they had already announced  (June 12th, 2014) that it  was going away. Likewise for MyCanvas and also are dead too and they were scheduled for termination too.

This is a Cloud problem. When you live upon someone else’s cloud and it crashes you are down too and you do not come back until their cloud is reconstituted. I guess in this case maybe longer. Maybe you remember the news when in 2012 Amazon’s cloud crashed and that cloud crash took out Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and even GitHub (a nod to my Developers guild) or the when Amazon’s  cloud crashed in 2011 taking out FourSquare and Reddit.

My advice is from the Rolling Stones in 1965: [enjoy]. Mick Jagger was way ahead of his time.



May 22, 2014

Genealogy Websites Mash-up — #Genealogy, #Military, #Church

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

About two years ago Stanczyk wrote about a website, special because it was a Polish-German joint effort at Reconciliation.  The website I am referring to is: — Which takes you to a database search page where you can search for, “Victims of Oppression“.  It for searching for victims of World War II inside Poland.  Originally, I kind of ignored it because I did not have family who was sent to  a  Concentration Camp nor did any of mine get forced relation after the war. So I  MISTAKENLY thought this database was not for me. Last week I learned a few things.

Today’s blog is about the Mash-up of  Geneteka database,  Using (the above database of oppression) and a website of Concentration Camps, with a smidgeon of thrown in for good measure.

Here is my Mash-Up … I went to (use above link, for Polish) or paste the above link into Google’s Translator (for English). I put ‘Elijasz’ into the field named “Nazwisko” (Surname) and clicked on the button “Szukaj” (Search). It returned four results for me:

Straty Results - Four Elijasz

Notice the third row, with Stanislaw Elijasz, whose “Miejsce urodzenie” (birth place) was Pacanów. When I clicked on the button with the number “3”.  Remember his birthdate: 1906-04-17 ; We will use this data in Geneteka to get the Akt # and in to get the image of the birth record. When I clicked on the number “3” button, I got a lot more info:

Straty Details Stanislaw Elijasz

I immediately, understood my mistake. The oppression database returned data about my ancestor, Stanislaw Elijasz who was a soldier in the Polish Army when World War II started (1-SEP-1939). He is listed as a victim of the September 1939 Campaign, he was caught, in “Russland” [I presume they mean in the Russian Occupied territory as opposed to the German Occupied Poland.], he was the equivalent of a Lance Corporal in a Signal Corps Battalion. At any rate, he was interred in POW Camp (the 1st of three) on September 17, 1939. Imagine that, he spent the entire World War II as a prisoner of war.

The other details were vague and not clear to me from the data. Lucky for me in Facebook, I have a friend, named Jozef Taran (in Poland). He provided me a website for concentration camps:


This second mash-up link was website of German Stalags (Concentration Camps) in Poland, Ukraine and Western Russia. This website and wikipedia pages gave me the details to understand the data returned by  for Stanislaw. You World War II  military buffs take note !

Ok, but now I wanted to find which Stanislaw Elijasz of Pacanow, born on or about 17-APRIL-1906 was this data about. So I went to: — to see if Stanislaw was indexed and what his birth record number (Akt #) might be to help me in my search of and to confirm the birth date. I found on result number 46,  a result for Stanislaw born in 1906 Pacanow with an Akt # 77. Now I had enough info to locate his birth record in:

Small_4  — That link takes you directly to Stanislaw Elijasz, born in Pacanow on 17-April_1906, Akt #77 [assuming you have a GenBaza login id and you are logged in]. This gives the the church birth record image:


Now we have a complete picture of our Polish ancestor by the mash-up of websites:

April 20, 2014

Genealogy Indexer – Logan Kleinwak — #Genealogy, #Historical, #Directories

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Recently, while Stanczyk was on Twitter, I saw that  Logan Kleinwak (Genealogy Indexer / @gindexer) was again busy,  very busy.  Perhaps you do not remember that his website: , publishes Historical Directories, Yizkor Books, Military Lists, etc.


What I noticed besides he was very busy indexing things and putting them online for searches is two things:

  1. In my 1st thought I noticed, “Collections” (each a menu to a page of resource links)
  2. My 2nd thought was Logan added a Latin-to-Cyrillic feature

I do not mention his excellent little piece of code to implement a keyboard for implementing whatever language’s special characters that are a might difficult to type on American keyboards. That I posted about before.

The Collection  I searched was “Directories”  and I saw:

Obviously this is the Gubernia of my paternal ancestors. So I was excited and I knew it was in Russian (i.e. Cyrillic characters) — a challenge.  AH, … now we see the need for the 2nd thoughtful feature, ‘Add Latin->Cyrillic’. This feature automatically adds the equivalent Cyrillic characters to the Latin characters you are searching for, in order to locate the equivalent, transliterated string in the Russian Directories. That is well thought out! Indeed Genius!

So my thanks to Logan for his fine piece of programming and history/genealogy indexing that he has done. If you have not done so, you owe it to yourself and your research to check out Genealogy Indexer. Add it to your social network (Facebook and Twitter) and bookmark the website in your browser.



Related Blog Articles …

03-May-2012 — Genealogy Indexer – Logan Kleinwak 

28 Feb 2012 — Dying for Diacriticals – Beyond ASCII

15 Jun 2011 —  Polish Genealogy – Useful Websites …


March 24, 2014 – #Genealogy, #Polish, #HistoricalNewspapers

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk has been experimenting with and utilizing their Clippings to frame research topics.

So my current set of clippings are on my profile page: .

So if you are interested in Haller’s Army or General Jozef Haller then you may want to check it out. My initial focus is upon General Haller’s 1923 trip to the USA after World War I, in order to honor the men under his command that were in the USA. Then as today there were detractors to the general’s visits — which I had not previously known. His 1923 itinerary included a visit to the Lincoln homestead in Springfield, IL. He also honored the long US-Poland relationship by visiting the Pulaski memorial in D.C. too. I am left to ponder if the 1926 Emblem of Goodwill, “A Polish Declaration of Admiration and Friendship for the United States of America” might not have been influenced or inspired by General Haller.

March 9, 2014

Archiwum Państwowego in Gdańsk & Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne – 650,000 records scanned/online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk has news of yet another Polish Archive scanning and going online with vital records (older than 100 years).

The Pomeranian – Gdansk Archive will soon have 650,000 vital records scanned and online by the 2nd qtr this year.

The AP-GDANSK are working with Pomeranian Genealogical Society who already have 2.78Million records indexed and now will get 650,000 scanned images to go with index.

The National Archive (Gdansk) and Genealogical Society will share the online indexes/scans.

Something else to be thankful for this Easter/Passover season.

PomGenBase / PomGenBaza is here … :

For more details, the full article can be read here [in Polish /po polskiu].

Archive – Archiwum Państwowego w Gdańsku (AP-Gdansk)

Genealogical Society – Search The Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (PTG), which in English translates to the Pomeranian Genealogical Association

February 27, 2014

Guide (Poradnik) for Using Metryki.GenBaza.PL — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wrote about two months back and the fact they were posting online the state archives (civil) and church archives (diocese) and many people have asked me to write a guide (poradnik) on how to use  .

In this guide, I will be using a Macbook laptop with the Safari browser, but you should see just about the same thing with your PC or your browser. Obviously, if you are using a mobile device you user experience will be slightly different may not work if your smartphone is too small.


Step By Step

Step 1

Step One

            Go to the website: 

You should see the web site with just the GRODZISK archive shown …

01_Metryki.GenBaza_plYou will need to register for a free account in order to see of the available archives on . The link to create a free account will take you back to and you will need to fight your way through their poor user interface. Their interface (web app) did not indicate to me when it had created the account. But if you go back to and click on the Login, you should be able to login to genbaza (using your email and your newly created password). If you are on a mobile device or a small/minimal browser window and do not see Login , then you should see a graphic button with three horizontal lines in upper right corner click on this followed by clicking on Login .

Now that you are logged in to genbaza you should see the following archives …


Step Two — Select An Archive

            For this guide, we will be working with AD_Kielce and AP_Kielce and the parish named Biechow. From the above screen shot you can see that we will be using the 1st and the 3rd archives. So if you are following along, then click on AD_Kielce (the church archive -or- Archiwum Diocesan).

You should see …


Notice it gives you the feedback that you are working with the AD Kielce “Album” contents. Think of this as an iPhoto photo album. Down the left side you will see a list of all available parishes that they have scanned images for. This is NOT a complete list of all parishes in the old province (wojewodztwo or Russian Gubernia) of Kielce, but just the ones they have some subset of images from the Kielce church archive.

The blue words, Bebelno, Bejsce, Biechow … etc. are just parishes. You will need to know the parish of your ancestral village to select the appropriate parish, but that is another blog or two. Let me take one step back, I said parishes, but there are also Jewish congregations / records  too in these online images. These parishes are just sub-directories of the AD Kielce Album. If there had been an image file also, it would be listed on the right side under the Album (or sub-directory) as a set of JPG (graphic file) files that viewable in a browser.

Step 3
Step Three — Select A Parish (Congregation)

Let’s click on Biechow . You should see …


You will notice that I have scrolled down a bit from the top. At the top it lets you know that you are in the Biechow Album (sub-directory). There are no files here either. But down the left we see more blue text (that are clickable). Ignore the leading number before the underscore. The middle part is a year or a year range.  The last part, when it is present, is a set of letters.

The latest birth I can get from the AD Kielce (church archive) is 1855. [see 22_1835-1855_ur]. So please excuse me while I switch over to  AP_Kielce in order to work with Biechow births (ur) for 1886.

Decoding the ‘Letters’

These letters (or suffixes if you prefer) are fairly standard (with exceptions). If you see a suffix of,  “_ur”,  that is an indication that when you click on that sub-directory you will find online scanned images of Births (urodzony). So these suffixes are Polish abbreviations for Birth (ur), Marriage (sl), Death (zg) or Alegata (al). Each describes the type images you will see. What if there is no suffix? Then you will probably see  all of the event types: Birth, Marriage, Death and possibly Alegata too.

What is an Alegata (al)? These scanned images are requests to the church for a transcription from the church book or to lookup something like a birth or death possibly or most commonly to support a person’s need to re-marry by showing that s/he is widowed. These are transcriptions copied from the actual church register, by the current pastor of a past event (birth/marriage/death). These are usually accompanied by a fee, collected via stamps on the actual page. If these are present with the other event types, then they are at the end of the images.  Alegata are almost as valuable as the actual church entry. But the alegata can substitute when you do not have the actual church register (or image) available to you.

By the way the final set of letters that I want to mention are, “_moj”. If you see “_moj” as a suffix then that directory’s scanned, online images are of Jewish denomination records. The Moj. is an abbreviation for  mojżeszowe (Mosaic denomination as in Moses),

If you are following along, then you will need to click on the following to switch to 1886 Biechow parish in AP Kielce Archive:

At the top click on “Main page” at the top, then click on AP_Kielce (on left the next page), followed by  clicking on Biechow,  and finally clicking on 1886_023. After all of those clicks you should see …


Notice the website gives you a nice trail of breadcrumbs to find your way around all of these directories.  You should see between the top level and the “Album contents”, a line of clickable text:

GenBaza | AP Kielce | Biechow | 1886_023

These are your breadcrumbs that allow you to find your way back. Keep in mind that “Main page” at the top will always bring you back to the original set of Archives to pick from.

 Step 4
Step Four — Working With A List of Images

            On the right side you see Album Contents: 1886_023 with a list of scanned images named like :

_k_??????.jpg — where the ?????? are replaced by some consecutive numbers. These files contain one scanned image each. Typically the set of images is a parish register, including the front and back covers, such as they may be. So in practice I seldom look at the first or the last image, because I am too busy to look at book covers.

The images are number consecutively from front cover to last cover with all the pages in between as they are. There are a few possible arrangements of pages. Typically it is Births, then Marriage, then Deaths if the particular register you are looking at has two or more event types. I also see Marriage, then Birth, then Death. Death comes last always. In some parish registers you will also see Alegata and these come after Death if they exist.  Many times Alegata are in their own directory apart from the other vital record events.

Our goal is to avoid having to look at all pages one after another. To do that we must find the indexes that follow each vital record event. For example, after the Births, you usually find a page or two (or more) of an index of all of the births for that year — hopefully in alphabetical order. Sometimes the indexes do not exist. Sometimes the indexes have errors and sometimes a mistake is found and added at the end of the index. Always seek  out the index and look at ALL index pages for your surname(s) to catch these errors.

For this exercise I am going to click on the 27th file, named: _k_088054.jpg . I knew that this file contained the birth index scanned image. It is here that I want to say a few things about working with the scanned images. So clicking on _k_088054.jpg, you should see …


OK the text is in RUSSIAN/Cyrillic handwriting. Many of you cannot read this image. But some images are in Polish and a few are in Latin. So you can usually find somebody who reads these if you cannot read them yourself. But I do urge you to get the Jonathan Shea/Fred Hoffman book, “In Their Own Words” books and learn to read these church records.

In the upper left you will see two tool pallets. The top tool is for adjusting (from top to bottom):  Contrast, Brightness and Zoom. Mostly, you will not need to adjust Contrast or Brightness, but they are there for those who know how to use them to make the scanned images more readable. I do use the Zoom adjustments all of the time. The zoom tool (the bottom pick with a ‘magnifying glass’), you can zoom in (+) or zoom out (-). Depending on the scale of the image scanned and the health of your eyes, you will need to zoom in (+) 4 – 6 times to get a comfortable level of reading. Your eyes may differ.

As you zoom in, you will notice that a gray box in the preview too pallet  gets smaller.  This gray transparent rectangle is the area of image displayed in the viewer window. You can drag this gray square to quickly navigate the viewer window to area of the page I have focused on. The other method of navigating the image is to click on the image viewer, click-and-hold-and drag the image around. So whether you drag the gray box in the preview or click-drag (common called grab) the view image around make it so you can see the Russian ‘L’ and possibly Russian M on the index screen.

NOTE: You can scroll the viewer left-right and up-down, but I would not do that as you may not realize that you have NOT reached the image’s edge and that you need to click-drag some more to move the image to see the remainder of the image that scrolling cannot show you.

Now you my dear reader of this tutorial must indulge me. I want to call your attention to the 4th ‘L’ name in the image (лещунъска  виктория) — yeah, I know cursive Cyrillic does not look much like block letter Cyrillic characters, especially pre-1918 cursive Russian, which were before Bolshevik language reforms. It says, “Leszczynska Wiktorija” 118 (akt#) / 20 (Kart #). We use the Akt # as the record number in the parish register to find this record. This record is my grandmother!

Click on the 23. Do you see where it says “First photo  << 23  24  25   26  27 …  >> Last photo”? Click on the 23, which will take us 4 images before the image we are on (the gray highlighted 27 in the middle). You should see an image with a 124 in the upper left.  If you drag the image around in the viewer (or I find dragging the gray rectangle box in the preview tool) around the page you will see a total of 6 births on this page, number 124 through 129. The image looks like two pages of a parish register (book). The left page has records (akts) 124, 125, 126 and the right page has records 127, 128, 129.

We are looking for my grandmother who is act# 118. 118 is exactly 6 records before the first birth record shown on this page. Since we six births per page, my grandmother’s birth record should be the 1st record on the previous page. So let’s click on the 22 in the: “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo” near the top. After clicking on 22, you should see …


Do you see the Akt #118 at the upper left? We have found our record. These particular birth records list the baby’s name at the top. Do you see: Leszczynska Waleryja ? Wait a minute the index said, Wiktorija??? I said before the indexes contain errors. Waleryja Leszczynska is indeed my grandmother and I knew she was born in Biechow parish in 1886,  but it was not until GenBaza put the AP_Kielce images online that I actually could prove her birth date / place.  You can imagine my joy. Now imagine what your joy will be when you find your grandparents!

Notice there is a button at the top,  “Download photo” (Pobierz zdjęcie). The last thing you need to do is download this keepsake image you found.  On a Mac when you do this the image is downloaded to your “Downloads” folder. It also brings up a Preview of the image when the download completes. Close out of of Preview. In your browser is a new tab, “Untitled” with nothing in the window. Close this tab and you will be back in the image viewer tab.  In Windows you get a new browser window (named Untitled), your downloads  window opens and the images goes into whatever Windows directory you download into (typically called Downloads). Likewise, close the Untitled browser window and return to your previous browser window. One note, on the mac the image download is TIFF by default and in Windows it is JPG. So on the Mac when your Preview comes up … click on File menu, then Export menu item and select either PNG or JPEG to get a file format that you can use on the Internet (like on for example. The Internet browsers natively work with: JPG/JPEG, GIF or PNG (or PDF too). Keep your images in one of those formats.

There is one more thing I have yet to emphasize. I was trying to teach you that you can jump around the images by doing simple math. We were on Akt# 124 (of records 124 through 129) of six records per page. If my grandmother’s akt# had been 100 (instead of 118) then I would have had to click 4 pages left of page 23 or page 19 on the line,  “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo”. This little math tip can save you the time of scrolling page after page. I use this tip to navigate more than 4 pages at a time too, but I will leave that exercise for the reader to figure out.

February 1, 2014

Rzeszow Galicia Cadastral Maps – Online in June

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CadastreMapsRZESZOWStanczyk, was perusing the Polish Genealogical Society Connecticut & NorthEast Facebook page recently and noticed that on 27-January-2014 their posting on digitized cadastral surveys from the State Archives in Przemyśl . The  full text of the Polish State Archive ( ) news is posted  here.

By the end of June, the Przemyśl state archives will complete the digitization of Galician cadastral maps started in 2012 of 63,000 pages of descriptive material to the cadastral maps of the villages . The 63,000 pages accompanies 9,084 digitized map sheets of 743 localities of the former province of Rzeszow and 29 more localities now in Ukraine.

Digitized copies of the documents so far will be at the Przemysl archive by the end of March for  study. Afterwards, the scans will be published online at the site: .

Also See …

Gesher GaliciaInventory of Galicia Cadastral Maps


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