Archive for ‘Maps’

August 5, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Mt. Olivet (Detroit) New Section Maps — #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Thanks to a reader / contributor (Judy G.) I am pleased to mention two new Section Maps for Mount Olivet Cemetery in Detroit (Wayne County), MI.

Judy was kind of enough to send Sections P & R. These are nice quality scans too and you can click-enlarge to read the names of the individual cemetery plot names.


Section P:


Section R:


May 26, 2015

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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


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

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



Now the last article mentioned:

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Panel / Tabs / Checkboxes

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

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

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

Materials Menu

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

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

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

May 16, 2015

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

Atlas of Sources and Materials for History of Old Poland

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

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


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


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

You should see:



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

You should see:



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

— — — — — — Diacritcals to Use:

ą Ćć ę Łł ń ó Śś Źź Żż


Next time we will examine the map further.


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.

April 24, 2014

1890 Kielce Gubernia Commemorative Book — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1867-1915 - Gubernia_Kielce,  Stopnica PowiatOn Easter Sunday, Stanczyk wrote about Logan Kleinwak / Genealogy Indexer. In the article, I used as an example of the database searches (sources) that genealogy indexer searches through as the: 1890 Kielce Gubernia Commemorative Book (Памятная книжка Келецкой губернии). That was a bit foreshadowing of today’s blog.   This blog is dominated by Genealogy, by Polish Genealogy, by Russian-Poland partition Genealogy, in particular the Kielce Gubernia (Wojewodztwo). Most of the time I write about topics that centers upon post-Napoleonic era (1815-ish to about 1918) which overlaps the era of the three partitions and the era of the Great Migration to the USA. One of the reasons for such a focus to connect with distant cousins on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. So today’s topic is to further understand the administrative structures of my ancestral villages in 1890 Kielce Gubernia. Where the red square is on today’s map-graphic is the geographic area we are speaking of. It is important to understand the administrative structures to trace your genealogy. So today we will be examining the hierarchy described by their Russian names as: Gubernia composed of Uyezds or Powiats which were composed of Gminas  (aka Wojewodztwo->Powiats->Gminas). There is also a religious hierarchy: Diocese-Deaconate-Parish. These hierarchies change over time as borders are drawn and redrawn. So Stanczyk pulled images of some these administrative structures and other data to put this research in a context of 1890 (roku) from the above title book which is written in Russian/Cyrillic. I am hopeful that seeing the Cyrillic from the book along with the English translation will aid other genealogists in their searches and research. There are a number of images and descriptions so this will be a long read if you are “up for it”.

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

August 18, 2013

Speculative STEM Thoughts — #Musings, #Pangaea

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Image Source: Popular Science

Popular Science posted an article on Pangaea a week ago or so (8/8/2013). It had a beautiful graphic that caught my eye on what the supercontinent looked like, if we super-impose today’s geo-political boundaries upon the supercontinent for reference. This is the source of my musing today.

Pangaea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, forming about 300 million years ago. I look at this image and it immediately evoked a serious of questions in my mind:

  • Did any landmasses disappear and should the map be more fuller?
  • For example, Atlantis, would it have appeared near England/France water areas?
  • How about the four great rivers of Genesis?
  • Did the islands, like Hawaii or the Azores appear after Pangaea?
  • Were there other islands that existed when Pangea did, but disappeared since?
  • Would Canada’s Hudson Bay & Great Lakes areas be land or water?
  • What about Caribbean Islands?
  • Does this SuperContinent shed any light on dinosaur fossil finds, if plotted against this map?

Well those were some of my musings when I saw that map? How about you? Did it give you pause to wonder? Email me!

May 5, 2013

Sanborn Insurance Maps online …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

LisaCookeLisa Cooke (@LisaCooke) tweeted …

Digitized historic Sanborn Fire Maps are available from the Digital Public Library of America … a t:

At first I was hopeful, but alas only maps from GA, KY (only Frankfurt?), and San Franciso (CA). For genealogists in those locales these are a treasure trove of info about the historic residences.

See Also:

Library Of Congress –


April 11, 2013

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

Section 15  (North part)

Section 15 - N

Sampling of Names:

332 – Buczkowski

443 – Orzel

553 – Rozanski

595 – Katolski – Koswicki

623 – Wroblewski

724 – Morawska

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

March 24, 2013

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

January 23, 2013

The Fourth Partition

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Duchy Of Warsaw SuperimposedA few days ago Stanczyk put forth his framework for discussing Polish genealogy, by enumerating the various eras of the many territories that had ever come under the aegis of  a Polish nation of some kind of government.  This blog tends to a focus upon “Polish” genealogy … in the greater ecumenical, greater geographic and greater ethnicity sense.  As I said, when you start upon Polish genealogy, “they” always say you need to learn about the three partitions of Poland. “They” mean the partitions imposed by the neighboring empires: Prussia, Austria, and Russia in the years, 1772,  1793, and 1795.

Over the years the phrase, “The Fourth Partition” has come to mean any annexation/occupation of Polish territories by outside nations. The years are long and getting longer still day by day. So the Fourth Partition can now be used to mean any of a good many events in history. But today I wanted to speak about Napoleon.

I have written with some fondness on the little, French, coffee drinking Emperor. What I most liked about him (besides the coffee drinking) was the suffrage and enfranchisement that he was able to bring about AND the fact that Codex Napoleon specified in detail how vital records were to be recorded and all of us genealogists benefited from his wisdom.  The Emperor had held out the hope of restoring the Polish condition, but alas, he used Poland as his pawn for his own ambitions, so Poland would languish for more than a century longer after Napoleon was ultimately defeated.

However, whilst Napoleon was having his madcap adventure upon the European continent, he inadvertently, partitioned “Poland” a fourth time. As a result of Napoleon’s early military victories, he was able to wrest wide swaths of Polish lands and fashion out a French protectorate, he named, The Duchy of Warsaw (notice he did not call it Poland). He carved this duchy out of territories on which the three Empires: Prussia, Austria, and Russia had previously partitioned three times already. So in effect, Napoleon manifested a Fourth Partition that lasted for the years 1807-1815, until the treaty of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 which broke the Duchy of Warsaw up into the Cracovian Republic and Congess Kingdom of Poland (under the hegemony of the Russian Empire). The CracovianRepublic was an independent city-state and included Krakow and some lands surrounding Krakow and this land was not returned to the Austrian Partition, called Galicia until it was folded into Austrian-Poland’s Galicia Crownland in 1846 after much upheaval in the 31 years of the CracowRepublic’s lifetime.

Stanczyk had never seen a map showing the original three partitions and then juxtaposing the Duchy of Warsaw (less the CracowRepublic) upon those areas. So I took an existing map and created a new map to see what it must have looked like. So today’s blog is about the Fourth Partition (by Napoleon) and the resulting  map. This jester would like to mention that the 8 years of the Duchy of Warsaw existence had negated the three Empires’ resolution to never have Poland reappear. Of course, after World War I Poland (2nd Republic) did reappear (and after World War II and in 1989 after throwing off the yoke of the Soviet Union, giving rise to the 3rd Republic). Enjoy the map!

January 21, 2013

Historical Eras of Poland … For Genealogists

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has lived much history and God willing,  will live much more of it. So across the generations, you see the changing borders of Eastern / Central Europe and how it affects us genealogists (not that I am ignoring the plight of our ancestors that had to evolve with the changing landscape). From the beginning, I was always advised to learn about “The three partitions” and determine which of the three partitions my forebears came from  — good advice, but Poland’s history is a much richer tapestry than just the three partitions (zabory).

So today’s blog is about the Eras of Poland and the names I have chosen to call them going forward so that we can all “be on the same page”. Please forgive this jester as I will limit the discussion to the eras post-Piast dynasties, starting with the Polish-LithuanianCommonwealth. This roughly matches the Papal nuncios that dictated that churches must record the vital records of the parishioners. So we find the beginnings of genealogies for all peoples and not just for the magnate families or the royals.

Let me just utter the era names I wish to use going forward when I write about genealogies or histories. Let me get the mystery out of the way and also let the debates and arguments proceed. Some of these are overlapping eras, because not only are we discussing a vast span of time, but we are also talking about vast distances and a broad swath of peoples / religions / governments.



ERA Name Beg. Date End Date Synonyms / Alternate Names
AUSTRIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 GALICIA
PRUSSIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 Bezirks: POSEN, POMMERANIA, DANZIG (GDANSK) etc.
POLAND 11/1/1918 9/1/1939 SECONDREPUBLIC
WWII ERA 9/2/1939 12/31/1946 Occupied Poland, General Government, German Occupied, Russian Occupied
POLAND 1/1/1945 6/30/1975 Post World War II Poland
POLAND 7/1/1975 12/31/1998 1989 is commonly referred to as the start of the THIRDREPUBLIC
POLAND 1/1/1999 Present Times THIRDREPUBLIC and beyond to the present

Some of the era names are well understood and some are controversial (for a lot of reasons). First off, I wanted to make a distinction between the PARTITION era (1772-1815) which I saw as including the Napoleonic wars and ending with Napoleon’s defeat and the Treaty of Vienna.

So I separate AUSTRIAN PARTITION from AUSTRIAN POLAND. The distinction is subtle but I believe defensible. The three Partitions and the Duchy of Warsaw (French protectorate) are separate because during these times there was at least a scrap of Poland in existence (excepting for a decade proceeding Napoleon’s victories). The AUSTRIAN/PRUSSIAN/RUSSIAN POLANDs represent the slightly more than one century that Poland had “disappeared” from European maps. That century coincides with the Great Migration of Poles (including Jews) to the USA – a significant genealogical event for the Slavic Genealogist.

You will note the CracovianRepublic which gets a lesser amount of attention and eventually is folded into AUSTRIAN POLAND. Also there is the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT (more about that in a bit).

RUSSIAN POLAND is treated differently than I have seen it handled before. My ancestors come from this area, so you will have to forgive me if this appears a bit chauvinistic. I delineated the RUSSIAN occupation finely. So you see a Russian Partition followed by a Duchy of Warsaw followed by  Congress Poland ( a TSARIST hegemony) followed by the Kingdom of Poland and finally resulting in RUSSIAN POLAND. The nuances in the RUSSIAN Zabor (partition) follow the changes in administrative boundaries that so affect genealogical research. Genealogists also should take note that vitals records in RUSSIAN POLAND are written in Russian/Cyrillic and use Gregorian Calendar from late spring 1869 through the collapse of the Russian Empire near the end of World War I in 1917. So, Polish language records are found before and after that period of time. Similarly, for Latin/Hebrew languages for religious records (although you do find Latin, Hebrew and even some Polish records during 1869-1917 timeframe in some limited ways). Since the Russian language edict almost matches exactly the above RUSSIAN POLAND era, I did not create yet another era specifically for that era of Russian language. I merely note it here.

PaleOfSettlementMAPThe JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT was created by the Russian Tsarina, Catherine the Great. She added to the PALE over the years as the Russian Empire acquired new lands. So as I refer to the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT, it is the 15 western Guberniya where Russian Empire Jews were forced to settle. In practice it also included the 10 Guberniya of the PolishKingdom (Congress Poland/Vistula Land). So Russian Jews had a total of 25 Guberniya where they could live (with some exclusions for large cities which were forbidden to most Jews) within the Russian Empire (European Portion). Most or all of the areas within the 25 Guberniya used to be a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1772), so I thought it important to include the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT in order to speak of the 15 Guberniya that underlie that geographic area and that era of time (1791-1918) as well as some minor forays on my part into Jewish Genealogical research.  The 15 specific guberniya are (roughly North to South):

Kovno,  Vitebsk,  Vilna (Wilno),  Grodno,  Minsk,  Mogilev,  Volhynia,   Kiev,   Chernigov,  Poltava,  Podolia,  Bessarabia, Kherson,  Ekaterinoslav,  and  Taurida (the Crimean Penninsula)

The astute reader will note four POLAND eras. These cover the two decades between World War I and the up to the time of World War II began. It  also covers the Post World War II era. They also overlap the Second and Third Republics of Poland. Finally, the fine-grain view of Post World War II Poland is coincident with the redefinition of  Wojewodztwo (Provinces) and their underlying powiaty (counties). Again, the emphasis is in order to support genealogical research.

I have not mentioned the WWII era (World War II) yet. I need to do some specific research to see how Nazi / Soviet occupations affected the administrative jurisdictions and what impact if any that had on genealogy during the war. I leave that for some future blog(s).

No mention of religious hierarchies and their administrative boundaries have been addressed, but obviously, that too has an impact on genealogical research. The religious boundaries reflect the changes caused by changing national boundaries, but overall the religious boundaries were more stable until modern times necessitated re-arranging or closing religious areas.

OK, that is my blog and those are my eras. You may now proceed to critique my choices. But I have now defined my terms for future “Polish” genealogical blogs.  As usual, I look forward to your comments and emails.

April 22, 2012

Alytus / Olita – Udrija / Baksiai — #Polish, #Lithuanian, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Recently, Stanczyk was asked about a Pennsylvania family and if I could find their ancestral villages, so they could make a family pilgrimage to get in touch with their Genealogical Roots.

See the red annotation (circle / underline) near the map center. This is region as shown from a 1757 map of the Polish / Lithuanian Commonwealth.

One of the immediate points of this region needs to be made explicit. Obviously, it was a part of the Lithuanian Duchy before, then Part of Poland, it became part of Prussian-Poland partition, then part of the Russian Empire, before becoming Lithuania in modern times.

That much border re-drawing causes a lot of languages / archives to come into play. Records can be expected to be found in Latin, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Hebrew/Yiddish and Russian.

The region is known in various languages. So I sought out JewishGen ShtetlSeeker to help me learn all of the various names and here is the pop-up if you hover over the Alytus name:

Most researchers will want to take note of it as Olita in Suwalki wojewodztwo (when in the Polish Kingdom) or as Oлита (Russian/Cyrillic) in Troki uyezd, Vilna gubernia.

Family Search has microfilm for both Catholic and Jewish metrical books:

Lithuania, Alytus – Church records (1)
Metrical books, 1797-1873
Lithuania, Alytus – Jewish records (1)
Metrical books, 1835-1914

Pradziad has some archival records too. Their records are for Jewish metrical records in the year range: 1835-1872 .

Obviously, if you visit the locale, then parish records may exist in Udrija or Baksiai parishes/synagogues in the Alytus region of Lithuania. Besides the Catholic records, there may also be Lutheran records too.

A more modern map (Olita/Alytus) can be found on the Polish map site . Please NOTE this is a large / detailed map. The area of this article is in the left-center area on the river.

March 30, 2012

Ancestry Adds 1940 US Census ED Maps — #Genealogy, #1940, #Census

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, saw that released/updated the 1940 US Census, Enumeration District Maps. It actually says ‘and Descriptions’ in its database title, but for the life of me I did not see any textual descriptions nor any images of words other than Legends and stray comments on hospitals, asylums, nunneries, etc (which were interleaved in the whitespace of the maps).

I queried on the ED I got from Steve Morse’s One-Step website (unified census page) that let me convert 1930 EDs into 1940 EDs. I used ED 84-590 (where I expect to find my grandmother and her children — including my father).

I did an exact search on 84-590 and Ancestry showed me an option for either the city map or the county map. While the county map was interesting, the city map of Detroit was what I was after. I clicked on the link to view the city map for ED 84-590, but what I got was page 1 of 46 pages (not the page where 84-590 was). Well I “gutted it out” and browsed sequentially through all of the pages searches from one corner to the opposing corner reading each and every ED until I found ED 84-590 on page number 40.

That kind of brute force search was not a total waste. I did confirm 84-590 was correct ED that I should search on Monday when they release the 1940 US Census. I was also able to confirm my Vespeks ED as either  84-1246 or less likely (since it is for the prior address) 84-1252. Perhaps my dedicated readers will note that this is the one ED (it gave 84-1244 or 84-1245 — which were close) that was wrong in Steve Morse’s webpage lookup. The fault as I said before was not Steve Morse, but the US government providing inaccurate mapping of the 1930 ED to the 1940 ED, but the description of the EDs on Steve Morse’s lookup image did give me a look at the other descriptions nearby and I was able to divine that 84-1246 should be the one I search. Well this also points out the value of Ancestry’s new database. I was able to look at ED Map and confirm that 84-1246 was correct ED and that 84-1244/1245 EDs were near misses to the known address I had.

I was also able to verify that ED 84-583/584 would probably contain my Galiwks and Wlecials [assuming they are in enumerated in Detroit and not at the Macomb county farm address]. I could see how close they were to  St. Adalbertus church and the the last known addresses I had and how they were all closely clustered in the same area (not obvious from the addresses).

My only complain is that Ancestry should take you to the correct page for your ED and not force you to do a brute force, page-by-page search. Detroit was a LARGE city in 1940 — imagine NYC, LA, Chicago or Philadelphia where were (and still are) larger than Detroit; Those would be awful searches.  For my friends that have Polish family in Hamtramck, not to fear, there are only four pages to comb through. For the few people that I have emailed through the last few months about CHENE St project, just go to image/page 40 of Detroit (or click on the link) you are near my grandmother’s ED. says you have 2 days and about 16 hours (and counting) to ready yourself for the 1940 US Census. Good Luck!

February 15, 2012

Wolf / Wolvovitz – Come to Philadelphia from Maramoros, Hungary — #Jewish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk  made some interesting finds in Salt Lake City, UT a couple of weeks ago. I found multiple Wolvovitz ancestors coming to Philadelphia.

Now I had one of my wife great-uncles (grand-uncles for purists) whose American name was Harry Wolf, but his name had changed from Herman Wolsevitz. So as I prepared my research list (Excel Spreadsheet), I added the microfilm #’s for Philadelphia HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). Now these HIAS microfilm were mainly to find Solomon, but I made a mental note to see if any Wolf were in the list. Imagine my surprise to see Wolvovitz. My brain said not Wolf, but I have seen that name before — so I whipped out my Ancestry App on my iPhone and scanned my family tree for Harry Wolf to see if this matched his name on his Petition for Naturalization. Close.

The cards I found matched enough markers to suggest I may have found my wife’s maternal grandmother’s family. They all agreed on the region they came from … Maramaros … Hungary (and came to Philadelphia). Today that region is called  Maramures and depending on the village either Romania or Ukraine. But with shifting borders, it was Hungary (Austro-Hungary), then Czechoslovakia, then Hungary and now either Romania/Ukraine. The villages are so close to the border it may be both Romania & Ukraine. So I did some quick checking of the area to find what kind of Jewish genealogy resources might be available.

Then I find that one of the #RootsTech speakers, a Brooke Ganz, is a lead contact for the Jewish Indexing project in this area. I had just heard her speak  on  her project called LeafSeek and the underlying Solar/Solarium (open source tools from Apache) technology. The Internet makes this a very small world indeed.

Love those HIAS cards …

November 15, 2011

Just Another Mt Olivet Monday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A bit late …

Mt Olivet Monday (Detroit, MI)

Here is a list of family buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery on Vandyke Rd, in Detroit, MI.

The last two rows are a bit of RAOGK that I did for Maureen Mroczek (whereby I sent her pictures) of her ancestors headstones.

Here is a map of Mt Olivet Cemetery:

Death Date Last Name First Name Section Lot# / Tier# Grave
8/3/1967 Eliasz (Prusinski) Sabina F. G 1344
1/19/1963 Eliasz Stephen E Jr G 1355
1/29/1923 Eliasz Henry 54 16 346
1/6/1930 Eliasz Joseph 57 2 114
8/6/1981 Gawlikowski
Rose 15  1255
7/18/1943 Gawlikowski Adam 15  1255
5/15/1967 Wlecial Leon 15  1255
3/8/1961 Wlecialowski Boleslaw 15  1255
Mroczek Kazimier 51 41 945
Mroczek Mary Kozlowska 55 12 215
September 7, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy #Maps – Just Another Manic Map Day

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kielce - Radom (Stopnica pow. - Sandomierz pow.)

Stanczyk has a new meme: “Just Another Manic Map Day”.

The map with this article is a cross section of the old Kielce province (aka Wojewwodztwo, Gubernia). I was looking at this because of an email I received from Jonathan B. His ancestors are from Kloda with perhaps a tie to my village of Pacanow. Hence this map shows both. [Click on image to see full image]

I noticed that Jonathan’s village was JUST across the Kielce border into Radom gubernia. At one time these were both in the original Sandomierz gubernia from which the Kielce and Radom gubernias were formed from. That caused my mind to think about other resources I have stumbled across on the Internet. So let me take today to introduce a useful link for Polish researchers of Kielce / Radom gubernias (wojewwodztwo).

This is a part of the website. They have copies of a Journal (which I have seen in libraries) named appropriately: Kielce-Radom Journal. The journal has now been defunct for a few years — so this Special Interrest Group (SIG) is no more, but its journals can be read online (in PDF format). Click on the link to see the list of journals.

That is my tip. Go look at their back issues. There are many useful methodology articles. It is mostly a Jewish centric journal, but the methodology applies to all genealogists who have ancestors from KielceRadom areas.



I thought I would add a post script. In order to place this map visually, you need to know that Krakow is further south-west along the Vistula river [at the bottom]. Just off the north edge is the town of Staszow. Off the bottom edge, across the Vistula river is Szczucin [follow the road from Pacanow south across the bridge].


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 486 other followers

%d bloggers like this: