Archive for ‘Kielce’

November 11, 2015

Dobrowoda & Fras/Frass Genealogy — #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dobrowoda Dobrowoda, “Good Water” indeed. Its about 15-16 km from my paternal grandmother (babcia/Busia), Waleria’s ancestral village (Biechow). Waleria Leszczynska’s (half-)sister, Agnieszka married her 2nd husband, Wladyslaw Fras … somewhere (I am still looking for that marriage). Agnieszka & Waleria (the Leszczynscy) were born in Biechow so you might expect their marriage was there in the bride’s village as is custom.  But let me start this genealogical story from the beginning.

A few years ago, my family tree on the Internet caused someone to email me about my Leszczynski. For years, other genealogists had emailed about LESZCZYNSKI, so I was used to saying, “Its a popular name and we are not related or are so distantly related that we cannot prove it.” But this person had a name, Agnieszka Leszczynski, which I had one too in my tree, but she was born so long ago (1866) that I only had a birth record and nothing more for Agnieszka Leszczynski. But she had a Russian Passport (which she could not read). I had never seen an actual Russian Passport before, so I told her I would look at it and help translate what info I could and perhaps that will tell us whether there is a chance that her ancestor (great-grandfather), Jozef Fras, was son of my Agnieszka Leszczynski or not. Long Story-Short, the passport gave clues to the same area, tantalizingly close to Biechow — so I could neither prove nor disprove the relationship, but it was an avenue for research. So I started researching her Fras/Frass from Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. They were close to where my grandparents and my grand-aunt, Antonina Leszczynska Sobieszczanski lived. Ok that added a very tenuous connection.  I found a church baptism where Jozef Fras’s wife, BENIGNA (not a common name) was a God Mother to one of my dad’s Sobieszczanski cousins. Ok. that is a pretty good connection. Next I found Jozef’s ship manifest and that his father was Wladyslaw Fras living in Piersciec, a village in the same parish as my grandmother’s family. Ok that is a great connection. Oh, look Jozef went from his father, Wladyslaw, to his uncle Teofil Leszczynski (my grand-uncle) in Depew, Erie County, NY. Ok that is a solid family indicator. So I emailed Mindy to tell her that we were probably related and I added Fras to my family tree.

So Mindy sent me family photos of other Fras family from Poland. So I knew Jozef had two brothers and a sister (maybe) and I had their names. From the passport I had a birthdate / birthplace for Jozef (Zborow – which I initially mistook for Zborowek, but later realized he meant the Zborow near Solec, at any rate both were in Kielce gubernia. So I had Biechow and Solec as possible parishes to research. Eventually GenBaza published images online and I could progress, I did find Jozef’s siblings: Teofil & Wincenty(and two sisters born in Piestrzec/Piersciec). But I could not find Jozef and I also could not locate Wladyslaw and Agnieszka’s marriage record in Biechow or Solec (nor in Stopnica). I began to research in nearby parishes (cluster genealogy) looking for either the birth or the marriage record. Years went by and no luck.

Did I mention that GenBaza went offline due to technical problems? It did and when it came back I noticed a few new parishes, hence Dobrowoda (which was >= 15km away) and I doubted that a parish at such a distance might yield any new clues. However, earlier I had found a church record in Stopnica of a Fras birth, where a Wladyslaw Fras was God Father. I then found the marriage and alegata for the couple whom Wladyslaw was God Father for. It turned out that Fras was originally from Silesia [Uiejsce, in Wojkowice Koscielne parish, in Piotrkowskiej Gubernia, Poland]. I found this Fras’ birth record and now had his parents (possibly Wladyslaw’s parents or maybe just uncle/aunt). Using Geneteka as an index, I found other children for Jan Fras & Maryanna Bialas, besides this Stopnica Fras. This family went from Wojkowice Koscielne parish in Piotrkowskiej Gubernia to Holudza village in Chotel Czerwony parish, in Kielce Gubernia. OK now we are getting close. I found Jan Fras’ death record in Kikow village in Dobrowoda parish (also Kielce Gubernia). So when Dobrowoda came online, I decided I would look there once GenBaza came back online.

That is where this blog entry starts. There were many years and I was not expecting any Fras really. So I started in Zborowek instead which now had metrical records and not just alegata like before. Some minor advances, but nothing really. So I looked at Dobrowoda. There were many years in Dobrowoda and my eyes went right to a book that ended in ‘rejestr’. These ‘rejestr’ tend to be church censuses, sometimes just an annual census, sometimes a decade, sometimes two-three generations. So I thought I could quickly scan and see if there were any Fras or not in this parish.

It was just an annual census (my hopes were lowered) for 1895 sorted alphabetically with Birth Marriage and Death records indexed together (in a funky Polish handwriting – that I had to train my eyes to read). Ok there was a Fras, a Teofil Fras. But I had already found my Teofil Fras born in 1903, so this Teofil Fras born in 1895 must be for another family. Nonetheless, I wanted the record to see if Wladyslaw or Agnieszka Fras were a God Parent or witness. So I was shocked to find that this Teofil Fras was also a child of Wladyslaw Fras and Agnieszka Leszczynska. This Teofil must have died and thus the second Teofil was born in 1903 (who is the one in my picture with Wincenty). Ok this parish had my Fras. Maybe I can find the birth of Jozef and/or the marriage of Wladyslaw & Agnieszka here. From the passport, I knew that Jozef was born in 1893, so I went to that year. Guess what I found? Yes, I finally found Jozef Fras’  birth record and the date matched as well as the parents.

Alas, I still did not find the marriage record of Wladyslaw and Agnieszka, but now I have hope. I hope I can find their marriage and also Wladyslaw’s birth (once I confirm that his parents are indeed Jan Fras & Maryanna Bialas). You must persevere. These affiliated families (like Fras) can indicate parishes to research in for your main lines and shorten your cluster genealogy search. But as you saw, Dobrowoda was indeed good water for Stanczyk.

Jozef Fras birth record:

Jozef Fras Akt #23

Jozef Fras Akt #23

December 22, 2014

1772 Polish Wojewodztwo, Diocese, and Deaconates — #Polish #Genealogy #Maps

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1772_ParishesInPoland_mapXVIsegmentStanczyk is busy with holiday chores, including wishing you, my dear readers a Happy Holidays & a Happy, Healthy New Year too. As most regular readers know, I spend a lot of my time writing about genealogy with a focus on Polish genealogy and in particular in the geographical areas surrounding my paternal grandparent’s ancestral villages (Biechow & Pacanow in old wojewodztwa Kieleckie, now a part of SwietoKrzyskie woj.). Like most areas in and around Eastern /Central Europe the borders change … frequently. So today’s blog article is about 1772 just before the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth was partitioned amongst the neighboring empires (you know who you are/were, you Black Eagle Empires).

It is interesting to note that Pacanow was a much more important regional village in 1772. It was in fact, a deaconate, subordinate to the diocese of Krakow in the Gniezno Wojewodztwa. At that time, there were only two Wojewodztwo (Provinces): Gniezno in the west and Lwow (Lviv, Lemberg, Leopolis, the city of Lions in whatever language) in the east. Any other wojewodztwo were in the Lithuanian portion of the Commonwealth. So the civil/religious hierarchy of the time was: Poland->Gniezno->Krakow->Pacanow, which  along with Opatowiec deaconate contained most of the villages this author writes about [you might be tempted to toss in Polaniec and Sandomierz too]. That area is shown in the map at the top. I do a lot of research for my family in the above map, west of Polaniec and south of Pinczow (the lower/left quadrant) in almost every parish north of the Vistula (Wisla) river I have located a record for someone in my family tree  —  you might say, the bones of Stanczyk’s DNA are rooted here.

So let me enumerate the parishes from this 1772 map that are present in my genealogy:

Biechow & Pacanow (grandparents), Stopnica, Ksziaznice, Zborowek, Swiniary, Olesnica, Szczebrzusz, Beszowa, Opatowiec, Busko and probably another 8-9 other villages with a person here or there. I think Solec too, but I have not found that record yet. I also a few stray, unconnected family records from Szczucin (the only parish south of the Vistula … so far). Are these in your bones too? Drop me a line in the New Year and we can compare family trees.

By the way, this research is from the PGSA’s CD-ROM, “The Latin Church in the Polish Commonwealth in 1772” [ISBN – 978-0-924207-12-9 ].

December 7, 2014

1772 Map of Poland’s Wojewodztwo (Provinces) — #Map #Genealogy #Poland

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Today, Stanczyk was surfing the Internet when I came upon a map from 1772. This map was just as the first partition of Poland had occurred. This segment of the map was part of a PDF document from:

Entitled: “Map of Poland: Outlining Its Provinces and Voivodeships, 1772“. The document if 40.5MB and is 59 pages (about half of whom are blank pages). In 1772 the map segment shown above was in Sandomierskie wojewodztwo/voivodeship. The map is a bit blurry/grainy, so I had to annotate the section to show Pacanow and Szczucin and the river Vistula/Wisla between them. This segment is from the upper left of  page 43 of the PDF.

This map encompasses a large part of the area that blogs emphasizes from my genealogical research in the Russian-Poland partition (zabor). The area north of the Vistula will become part of the Russian Gubernia Kielce. The area below the Vistula becomes part of the Austrian-Partition, known as Galicia.

Knowing the geography of your ancestral villages (in my case Pacanow) can aid you in your genealogical research by identifying the civil administrative hierarchy that records the births, marriages, and deaths of the people. It can also help to locate parishes and in planning a proximity search for adjoining parishes that may also have records of your ancestors. So knowing the maps/geography can help the researcher locate data and the skilled use of Gazetteers can get you to your ancestral parish or parishes. Maps also show the changing borders over time and how the civil administrative hierarchies change over time.

A good genealogist will also be good at geography (as well as many other skills) in order to locate and read records of your family’s history.

May 9, 2014

Research Trip … Some #Genealogical Finds — #Polish, #UPGS, 2014

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk is tired, perplexed and satisfied ! If you love genealogy then you probably love the new finds — not just the elation and the happy dance that ensues, but because most new finds also cause new  questions that need to be solved or addressed.

For years, I have been searching for my LESZCZYNSKI roots (korzenie Leszczynscy). Previously only my friend Jacek from Krakow was able to locate some Leszczynskich in Biechow. He did not tell me his source for these records (no citation) and I have not been able to locate a source for them either — most perplexing. He also left me with, “You might want to look in Stopnica some day.”. That enigmatic quote always lingered with me lo these many years.

Now in January, came up with AD_KIELCE and AP_KIELCE scans online!!! By Kielce, I mean the former Wojewodztwo / Gubernia (or the regional Archives, both civil and religious). This is where my ancestral villages have all been located (so far). So I took Jacek’s long ago advice and looked in Stopnica for Leszczynskich   …  But how was I ever to connect the Stopnica LESZCZYNSKICH with my Biechow LESZCZYNSKICH?

Well as I was gorging myself with the ELIASZ of Pacanow in GenBaza, I was using GENTEKA as a kind of index into where I should look in GenBaza (which Years, and which Akts #). So I decided to search for Leszczynski using this method and looking at Births/Marriages/Deaths in Stopnica. There were 29 marriages (małżeństwa) in the parish of Stopnica, a parish I knew rather nothing about, much less the town families. But I stopped dead on one marriage. One Leszczynski, Jan Leszczynski, had a mother with a maiden name, Kordosz. Now I knew that my great-grandfather Tomasz married a Julianna Kordos (born in Swiniary). So I became very interested in Małżeństwa (Marriage) Akt #73 in 1881 Stopnica. Mystery solved! When I read the record I found that Jan’s parents were Tomasz & Julianna z. Kordosz[sic] Leszczynskich and the ages were correct. So I had my missing link to Stopnica. I also knew that Falęcin would be a focal point in the Stopnica parish. So I found all of Jan Leszczynski & Antonina Sieradzka ‘s children born in Stopnica. I also found that Jan had a few siblings who also married in Stopnica and between these Stopnica records and a few new ones in Biechow and examining witnesses and God Parents I had the correct set of records and more confirmations of other family knowledge. But I have digressed. This is a blog about my findings from a Genealogical Conference in Salt Lake City — UPGS, 2014.

As a result of my earlier GenBaza finds, I had new clues/mysteries that needed solving, plus some from other records that I had wanted to research in LDS microfilm. So I went to UPGS to find out if  Kroczyce, Palecznica, and Wolica had any records for me. Here are my BIG finds:

  1. Pelagia Kedzierska‘s birth record, 28-October-1882 in Kroczyce parish.
  2. Maciej Wlecial’s birth record,  28-February-1868 in Laszow, Palecznica parish.
  3. Tomasz Leszczynski ‘s birth record, 19-December-1829 in Wolica (village, parish, gmina).

This jester hit ALL of his major goals. Sure I did not find Jan Leszczynski or Franciszek Leszczynski birth records or Tomasz Leszczynski’s 1st marriage record to Julianna Kordos. But I found Tomasz Leszczynski’s birth record. At least I am 80% sure on Tomasz — I need his marriage record to prove it 100%, but I will now begin to make a case to myself via Social Network Analysis (SNA) whether this is indeed the correct  Tomasz or not.

It turns out that Tomasz’s (20-December-1829) was a twin (Szczepan his twin). I also knew Tomasz’s parents were: Jan Leszczynski, age 30 (-> born about 1799) and Anna Owczarczyk age 29 (-> born about 1800). I also knew the names of the witnesses and the God Parents too. One God Parent made me take note: Tekla Slawinska.  It turns out the Anna had a very rare name: OWCZARCZYK. So I was able to find her marriage record to Jan Leszczynski … in DZIERAZNIA (a nearby parish to Wolica, with many cross marriages). So now I had a fourth major find in my 2x-great-grandparent’s marriage record  19-JULY-1825 in Dzieraznia parish (village/gmina/powiat) of Szysczya. So now I had the names of yet another generation: Antoni & Katarzyna Leszczynskich. Now I have my 2nd & 3rd great-grandparents in the Leszczynski line. I also had two more parishes: Wolica & Dzieraznia!

A great adventure to be sure. I had many other finds that were not so as notable.  I had success in my Croatian VESPEKs line too. Also a minor confirmation of my wife’s paternal grandmother’s village: Kovesliget (Maramaros region) of Austria-Hungarian (aka Hapsburg) Empire. Kovesliget is now in modern day Romania. The creme-de-la-creme … doing the research while surrounded by  my Polish Genealogy friends at UPGS 2014. Priceless!

February 28, 2014

GenBaza — Jewish Congregations (AP Kielce, AP Sandomierz) — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Jewish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been writing about a lot this year and this week in particular. Since I wrote my guide on using GenBaza, I thought I might start enumerating what is actually in GenBaza. So to honor my wife, I thought I would start with the Jewish records.

I compiled my list from two of the archives that I dabble in: AP Kielce and AP Sandomierz.  This roughly covers the area that a genealogy group on the Internet known as KR SIG/ Kielce-Radom Special Interest Group (are they defunct now?  — see JewishGen/JRI-Poland have their materials) used to do research on.

Today’s blog is almost a Wordless Friday blog. I see from the embedded pictures (below) that AP Kielce has 10 congregations data and AP Sanodmierz has 13.KielceRadom



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