Archive for ‘Leszczynski’

April 3, 2017

Polonia In Canadian Expeditionary Forces in WWI — #Genealogy #Polish 🇨🇦🇺🇸

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

How to find government military records.

If you have a name of an ancestor who may have fought at Vimy , you should start by searching Library and Archives Canada’s online database of Personnel Records of the First World War.

The Personnel Records of the First World War database includes the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service files.

So far (1-April-2017), nearly 417,000 out of 640,000 of these full files have been digitized, with more added every two weeks.

The service files are typically 25 to 75 pages long and include records on enlistment, training, medical and dental procedures, disciplinary actions, payments, medals, discharges and deaths.

In cases where the full service file isn’t yet uploaded, you may still be able see digitized enlistment records that contain birthplaces, next of kin, addresses, religions, trades and physical characteristics.

Start by typing in the surname and hitting search on this page. Click on the name in the search results. You will likely see an uploaded image of their enlistment document that you can click on that to enlarge it.

If you also see the words “Digitized service file – PDF format” followed by a number, click on the number and the entire scanned service file will open. These files are very large so it may require a fast internet connection to download, or take minutes to appear on your screen.

For example, you can see the first nine pages of John Lescinski’s service record (top of blog). In thus case there were forty (40) pages in the accompanying PDF.

It’s not always clear in the service files whether a person served in a particular battle, like at Vimy Ridge. However, that may be found in the online database of War Diaries of the First World War, which include daily accounts of what troops did in the field. These diaries contain very little personal information, but do show where units were deployed.

Take care. It only showed my first two pages with a link to download the PDF (which actually had 40 pages).

My link (John Lescinski):

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

May 27, 2014

Pieszczochowicz — An Affiliated Family to LESZCZYŃSKI — #Genealogy, #Polish, #SNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Pieszczochowicz – 20 people in Poland

Stanczyk is working out a rather difficult piece of analysis. This jester uses Social Network Analysis (#SNA)  to assert a familial relationship or connection. It is labor intensive / data intensive process. Prior analyses have been very excellent at predicting valuable lines of research that have led to many further finds.

The tool for mapping names (shown in the image above) — shows that Pieszczochowicz is a rather rare name and only exists for some 20 people. The locales, I cannot draw conclusions from, but the numbers say that most if not all PIESZCZOCHOWICZ are closely related by its scarcity. So the name Pieszczochowicz enters my family tree in the following way:

Leon Pieszczochowicz (b. 7-NOV-1865 in Górek, Strożyska, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), son of Konstanty Pieszczochowicz & Maryanna Rzepała. Leon married Jozefa Leszczyńska (b. about 1861 in Biechów, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), daughter of Tomasz Leszczyński & Julianna Kordos. I am sur ethey many children, but I only know of one child: Edward Pieszczochowicz. Now, Edward, comes to the USA from his father Leon in 1910 (who was living in Busko) to his uncle Jan Pieszczochowicz in West Seneca, NJ. Edward, continues onto to Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. He will move on to Lackawanna, Erie County, NY in later life. But while in Toledo, he becomes the God Father of my own uncle: Stephen Edward Eliasz (son of Joseph Eliasz & Waleriya Leszczynska) at St Anthony’s Church on Nebraska Ave.  in Toledo, OH in 1916. Edward Pieszczochowicz’s own God Parents were: Wladyslaw Fras (husband of Agnieszka Leszczynska)  & Antonina Leszczyńska (probably nee Sieradzka, married to Jan Leszczyński). So what we see from this one affiliated family is what I considered a very highly connected value to my LESZCZYNSKi research and even so far as to connect my own ELIASZ line as well. We also see the FRAS (aka FRASS) affiliated family and the I believe the SIERADZKI affiliated family.

When I first captured Edward Pieszczochowicz at the birth/baptism of my uncle Steve, I had no idea who Edward was and had thought him a family friend [not a family member]. So you see over the span of time the collected data and SNA analysis of other data can connect disparate data points and prove  out relativity.

Let me end today’s blog article, by returning to the fact that since PIESZCZOCHOWICZ is rather rare, that I am now seeking out Jan Pieszczochowicz and two others: Boleslaw & Stanley Pieszczochowicz (these two also show up in Toledo, OH at  3224 Maple Street).  Will this family lead me to my LESZCZYNSKI roots? Time will tell.


May 20, 2014

Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów, Innkeeper, Shoemaker, Bourgeois Farmer — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tomasz LeszczynskiStanczyk’s  great-grandfather, Tomasz — Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów was an Innkeeper, a Shoemaker, and Bourgeois Farmer and these were just his listed occupations in the church records from Biechów, Pacanów, Stopnica. There is also a good bit of family lore surrounding Tomasz as well. For example, Tomasz lived to be 104 years old, he had two wives and 15 children via these two wives spanning 45 years of reproductive life — so indeed Tomasz was a productive and prolific man.

But it is the things about Tomasz that this jester does not know that obsess me. For example, I do not know Tomasz’s first marriage details. I wish I did then I would know with certainty his parents’ names. Or if I knew his birth details I could know his parents’ names and then locate his siblings, if any. I also need his death details too. At least then I would have an anchor point for his 104 year span of life then and that would lend me more info for deciding between various Tomasz contenders. The solace I have,  is that 15 births of children and some children’s deaths too have provided me with many data points with which to make inferences.  Even the two spouses’ births and deaths have provided data points.

So this jester is in the midst of performing a detailed SNA (social network analysis) also known as “cluster genealogy” of these data points. I will produce that and  write about my findings here when it is complete. At the UPGS conference, I was able to do research in a new village Wolica and I located a birth record for a Tomasz Leszczyński that fits data points. That led me to another village named Dzieraznia and yet another possible generation. At present I am only about 75-80% confident that I have the correct Tomasz, hence the SNA study. There is much work to do, but I have updated my Tomasz Leszczynski Timeline with many finds over the past couple years, including the finds from just this year when I located my paternal grandmother’s birth record! This grandmother of mine  (Walerya)  was Tomasz’s eldest child by his second wife Aniela Majer (aka Major)

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!

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!

March 9, 2013

Niagara Falls Gazette – 1937 — #Genealogy, #Newspaper

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s blog is an intersection of some prior Social Network Analysis (aka Cluster Genealogy) and  EOGN‘s mention of (the website of Historic Newspapers). Stanczyk, waaay back discovered – An Historical Newspaper  (mostly NY) website. I was not aware that the owner (Tom Tryniski) was still adding content and that the content had grown to about 21.8 million pages, rivaling the Library of Congress’s efforts of digitized newspapers.  Each scan is a single page PDF document that is zoomable.

19370119_ZasuchaAndrew_deathNoticeSo  the idea presented itself, why not see if any ZASUCHA in Niagara Falls can be located in those 21.8 million scanned pages. I am happy to report a very good success. Take a look at the image. It is from Tuesday, January 19th, 1937 edition of the Niagara Falls Gazette. [You will need to click to read death notices – Jacobs, Geraud, Kochan, Laydon, Mahoney, Morrison and ZASUCHA].

Now I said this was a part of a long standing (i.e. “incomplete”) SNA project of mine. I am trying to do ELIASZ/ELIJASZ research by analyzing the affiliated families in the ELIASZ Social Network in Biechow/Pacanow (Poland) and Detroit/Toledo/Cleveland/Buffalo/Niagara Falls/Syracuse (USA).  My thesis is that all of these people are closely inter-related from Poland and they continued/extended their villages in the USA.

So by following these “genetic markers” (literally) of my family tree, the affiliated families, that I would be led to new facts about my direct lineage and possibly artifacts (pictures, etc.) of my ancestors. I was also hoping to lure my distant 2nd/3rd/4th cousins to me via this blog and my research in hopes of a second bump beyond my circumstantial info of the SNA. You see they would see their family names and realize the connection and we would be able to do that genealogy swapping of intelligence and/or pictures and documents.

First, an aside [skip ahead to next paragraph if you are not a ZASUCHA], the death notice transcription:

ZASUCHA – Died in Mount St Mary’s hospital, January 19, 1937, Andrew Zasucha, beloved husband of Catherine, father of Helen and Joseph, son of Martin in Poland; brother of Roman of this city. Funeral services at 9:30 Thursday, January 21, from his home, 423 Eighteenth street and 10 o’clock in Holy Trinity church. Burial at Holy Trinity cemetery.

That is some excellent genealogy info there for Andrew Zasucha of Niagara Falls who was born in Pacanow, [old wojewodztwo Kielce], Poland !

Now I am spending many hours in Ancestry/Ellis Island ship manifests, Ancestry city directories, censuses, WWI draft registrations,  etc. and now historic NY newspaper scans. I am matching people up (my nodes in the picture) and drawing lines connecting the people(nodes) to other people. I have to take some care to get the nodes right in order to draw inferences, so I tend to a conservative approach of keeping nodes separate until I have a high degree of certainty they are the same node. I use spreadsheets to collect a timeline of data and then match up people before drawing the picture. This is my SNA methodology.

I did this current project because I noticed that my grand-aunt Mary arrived to my grand-uncle John Eliasz and were in Niagara Falls (not Buffalo/Depew like most and not Detroit). I was always puzzled about why Niagara Falls. Who or What drew them there (Niagara Falls) before their sojourn to Detroit? Now grand-aunt Mary came from Ksiaznice in Pacanow parish from her brother-in-law Jan Leszczynski to her brother Jan Eliasz in Niagara Falls in 1910. All of these facts matched my family tree (except for the Niagara Falls which nobody alive had any memory of anyone living there). None the less, I slavishly recorded the address: 235 11th Street, Niagara Falls, NY.

Now let me digress. This is why I want the PLAC tag in GEDCOM to be elevated to a Level 1 tag. I want to do these analyses in my family tree. I want to find people who shared the same/similar places for family events and see if there is any connection that I am not aware of — i.e. SNA (aka Cluster Genealogy). I need it in the genealogy file and I need reports to allow me to search on place and to conform these places into a hiearchy for analysis.

Fortunately, Stanczyk still has a good memory. I was gathering data about: Zasucha, Zdziebko, Zwolski, Hajek, Leszczynski, Eliasz/Elijasz, etc. These are all families found in Pacanow parish who came to the USA and settled in: Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse, some moving onward to Cleveland, Toledo and my grandparents moving onward further from Toledo to Detroit. When I was recording addresses from the city directories, I noticed a few Zasucha being at the 235 11th street address. That address rang a bell in my memory and I went back through my family’s ship manifests to see who had been at that same address. That is when I saw that my grand-aunt and my grand-uncle had been there. So now I had a thesis that any ZASUCHA at 235 11th street the surrounding environs, would close family to my grand-aunt/grand-uncle and be direct ancestors of ANNA ZASUCHA, my great-great-grandmother, wife of MARTIN ELIASZ of Pacanow. In fact, I am pretty certain now that I have gotten this far in my SNA, that ANNA ZASUCHA had a brother(s) who had sons:   Martin,   Adam,    Josef,    Jan.  These four men had children as follows who came to Niagara Falls:

Martin (father of Andrew in the above death notice) – Andrew(the deceased), Roman, and Jan

Adam – Michal, John, Karol, Marya, and Feliks

Josef – Benedykt (son of Josef), Feliks (a 2nd much-younger Feliks, son of Benedykt)

Jan – Roman (a 2nd Roman), Teofil, Josef, and Pawel

Now the ones of greatest interest to me are the children of Adam. This is because Karol and his brother Feliks lived at 235 11th street, the same address that my ELIASZ ancestors had lived at, in the same year! That shows a pretty strong family connection in my family tree (I cannot say for your tree or not) whenever I find it happening. Of course, the other ZASUCHA of Niagara Falls are also of some interest to me as they ALL came from Pacanow. I can be pretty sure that everyone from Pacanow (or Biechow) parish is likely to share a distant (non-linear) family relationship as determined by connecting family trees.

So I owe some thanks to – An Historical Newspaper  (mostly NY) website and its creator  Tom Tryniski. Tom’s efforts have provided my the above death notice. I also found an Emil C. Mrozek (a physician) from Erie County, NY and his exploits of winning a bronze star in WWII. I also found an article of a Richard (aka Ryszard) Kryszewski who died tragically at the age of 18 in a car-train crash in Depew, NY. Now I had Richard’s cause of death from the newspaper article. So some articles are uplifting and some are tragic, but I collect them all for my ancestors.

Some people mock my genealogical research as chasing down dead people. My wife, Teréza, takes the learned Jewish position that I am doing a good deed (mitzvah) in keeping these ancestral memories alive. Tereza likes to call me the “Soul Keeper”. This blog of my musings is filled with my genealogical / family stories. Besides being a “cousin magnet”, this blog is my effort to record these stories.


PLACes: Biechow, Pacanow [in Poland],  Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse

NAMEs: ELIASZ/Elijasz, Kedzierski/Kendzierski, Leszczynski, Sobieszczanski, Fras(s), Mylek, Hajek, Mrozek, Kryszewski

October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tomasz Leszczynski (de Biechow) — #Genealogy, #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Wordless (or nearly so) Wednesday – Tomasz Leszczynski died at age 104

Affiliated Families:










The above are from Poland.

The Fras / Frass family was found recently by doing some SNA in Depew / Toledo to infer familial relationship to this LESZCZYNSKICH .

Ancestral Villages:

Biechow, Pacanow, Stopnica, Zborowek


For a timeline, please see the ‘ Tomasz Leszczynski ‘  tab at the top of this blog.

September 6, 2012

Fras | Frass | Frasowa | Frasskosz — #Genealogy, #Cousin, #NewLineOfResearch

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A week or two ago, Stanczyk got a bolt out of the blue. It was another genealogist; She was inquiring after my Leszczynski lineage — specifically Agnieszka Leszczynski.

Well a long time ago I got used to the fact that there were so MANY Leszczynskich out there that the possibility that any were directly related was infinitesimally small. Now to be sure a few second cousins have re-connected and it was good to get updates on the American branches. But in my 17 years as a genealogist — I had not received an inquiry on the line of Leszczynskich from my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski’s first wife or their children.

Old Tomasz lived a long time … to be 104 years of age from about 1835 to 1939 (give or take). He had two wives and bless his heart he had 14 children by them. From his first wife, he started to have children in 1860. Agnieszka (or Agnes as the inquiry was for) was born 9th December 1866. I had her birth record from the church in that lovely Latin Box format and I had deciphered all that was written. But I had no idea if Agnes made it to adulthood or married or even when she died.

Well this genealogist said her-great-grandfather had a mother named Agnes Leszczynski (from his death certificate). Yes, I said, but there are so many Leszczynski families, where was your great-grandfather from. She had a vague idea of the area and the names seemed to be close to a village that I had ancestors from but it was horribly misspelled if it was from that area at all. I was still skeptical, but she sent me an Ellis Island ship manifest (actually a tiny bit of transcription from one). So I thought I would go take a look and see if I could decipher where her ancestor was from — it would be an RAOGK. I was going to help her out.

Well imagine my surprise! Her great-grandfather was from an ancestral village of mine, coming from his father Wladyslaw Fras in Piesciec [sic  -> Piestrzec, today; Piersiec back then, although I had seen it spelled Piersciec many times too]. Now I had never seen any Fras before in those villages, maybe some Franc (Frąc) which was close. But then I went to page two of the ship manifest and he was going to Depew, NY to his uncle, Teofil Lezczynski!!! That was my grand-uncle. OK, I was now getting interested in Jozef Fras.

Now, I had to do some research, but I found him with his family in Toledo, Ohio. Well I had some family from Toledo. In fact, my grandmother’s sister Antonina Leszczynska Sobieszczanski lived there. Well this jester had a few St Anthony, baptismal register images that I could peruse. Now I was even more amazed. Jozef Fras’ wife, BENIGNA (not a common name) was the god-mother of one of Antonina’s sons. Benigina Fras was god-mother to Matthew Sobieszczanski. Those percentages kept going up. I said, perhaps the Fras had children baptised in St Anthony too. I examined their birth years and looked in the register images and there was their first child Helen Fras whose god-mother was my Antonina Sobieszczanski (to Jozef and Benigna’s daughter). Ok, in my head, we are now at 99+% related.

1 Wladyslaw FRAS d: 11 Feb 1919
  + Agnieszka LESZCZYNSKI b: 12/9/1866
    2 Josef Edward FRAS b: 16 Mar 1893 d: 08 Aug 1935
      + Benigna PALICKI FRASS b: abt 1897
        3 Helen FRASS b: 25 October 1917 d: 23 May 1982
        3 Joseph Radislaus FRASS b: 25 March 1922 d: 14 March 1934
        3 Eleanor FRASS b: 15 Jan 1926 d: 25 Oct 1988
        3 Melvin R FRASS b: 15 Jun 1930 d: 10 Dec 2006

So now my next goal is to find the church marriage record of Wladyslaw Fras and Agnieszka Leszczynski (probably in Biechow parish), since Jozef Fras’ ship manifest said he was born in Piestrzec. This would give me the certain Genealogical Standard of Proof — but I have already added the above to my tree.

Thanks second cousin, twice removed, Mindy! By the way, this line of reasoning I am leaning on is again the Social Network Analysis (what Thomas MacEntee calls cluster genealogy).

Don’t you wish you could search Ellis Island by whom people were going to or coming from? Better database search capabilites are needed and the GEDCOM standard needs to be enhanced to handle these social network/cluster analyses

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