Archive for ‘Musings’

May 14, 2017

❤️ Happy Mother’s Day ❤️ — #DNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

To Moms and the greater, grander ones too …




Happy Mother’s Day to the SoloMOMS:

May 13, 2017

Genealogical Persistence in Pacanów = Serendipity in Zborówek — #Genealogy #Polish #Alegata

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1885 Zborowek Births, Akt 27

Stanczyk believes in persistence and serendipity when it comes to genealogical research. This jester believes a genealogical researcher makes his/her serendipity through that persistence, the bull-dogged determinism and hard work that yields the sweet fruit. 

Oh and after a few years of experience THEN you may trust your instincts. First learn. Learn genealogical research. Learn your family including friends and geography; understand that social network then you play your hunches and trust your instincts in the face of scant or missing data. 

As usual, I have a personal story to demonstrate what I mean. This small story is part of a larger story which is part of an even larger story. But I will start with small story and roll-up fractal-like into the larger fractal pictures (uh stories).
I was trying to find Stanislaw Krzyzycki (Stanisław Krzyżycki po polskiu), specifically his birth record in Poland in the area of my paternal grandparents (cluster genealogy / social-network-analysis). That was my goal. I had many US documents and knew a lot about Stanley and his brother Walter/Wladyslaw and their life in Niagara Falls / Buffalo NY. I also saw a soft connection to my grandparents and to a Stanley Eliasz that for years I suspected was a cousin of my grandfather Joseph Eliasz. But Stanley Eliasz and Stanley Krzyzycki remained opaque to me. I tucked them into a virtual shoe-box that I would return to. This is a part of the next larger story/goal.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in the old country, “Poland” I had a parallel situation. I had an Antoni Elijasz who was married to Katarzyna Krzyzycka. With the launch of Genbaza (metryki.genbaza.pl) I had new avenues of research to connect America to Poland. I had a couple of Elusive Stanley Eliasz/Elyasz to resolve. 

Stanley Elyasz came to Detroit from Pacanów the same as my grandfather but there was no family memory of Stanley Elyasz. Stanley Eliasz in Buffalo was even more opaque. Eventually genbaza solved both puzzles. I knew Stanley Elyasz (Detroit) was the son of Marcin Elijasz & his 2nd of three wives, Agnieszka Skwara. I also knew that Marcin Elijasz and my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz were brothers (two sons of Marcin Elijasz & Anna Zasucha my 2x-greatgrandparents). So I finally had Genealogical proof, not just a hunch that Stanley Elyasz was my grandfather’s first-cousin. 

I also connected Stanley Eliasz to his parents, Antoni Elijasz/Katarzyna Krzyzycki and his sister, Helena through genbaza birth records. Antoni Elijasz was still opaque and as yet not drawn as a son of Marcin Elijasz/Anna Zasucha (though that is a long held hunch). So Stanley Eliasz (Buffalo) I could not yet confirm as another first-cousin to my grandfather. But I now know his parents. 

Walerya & Jozef Eliasz from 1913

Anyway, this small story is about Stanley Krzyzycki. For a long time I suspected my grandparent’s picture from 1913 was taken by a Krzyzycki in Buffalo/Niagara area. So any way the documents in the US led me to believe these NY Krzyzycki (Krzyzyckich ?) were related to Antoni’s wife, Katarzyna Krzyzycki. With the websites: Geneszukacz & Genbaza I was able to locate Krzyzycki in Pacanow & Szczebrzusz (try and get those American teeth & tongues around those Polish phonemes!!).

I found Ludwik Krzyzycki & Franciszka Sikora. Easily enough I found Stanley Krzyzycki’s brother, Walter/Wladyslaw and his birth record. I also found Aleksander Jan Krzyzycki too. But no Stanislaw. I did see a few possible female Krzyzyckich who could also be siblings too. But I focused on a marriage record for a Joanna Krzyzycka because I knew if she was a sister then she would be older and would be a bookend child (along with Wladyslaw) and I would expect Stanislaw to be born between these two children. So I persisted. I read Joanna’s marriage record and yes she was a sister of Stanley Krzyzycki. She also married a man whose family name I did not recognize. So I looked at Joanna’s husband and indeed he was born outside the parish (Pacanów). Now from long experience I knew there would be an alegata or two about Joanna & her husband (Antoni Bąk). I found that Joanna’s age indicated an 1880 birth. Ergo, she was older. I had my bookend child. What I did not expect to find was an Alegata of Joanna’s birth. Great I had her exact birthdate. But wait that meant Joanna was born elsewhere too, another parish besides Pacanow. Joanna was born in Zborówek! Zborówek is an adjoining parish to Pacanów. 

Ok now its getting interesting. First, I confirm Joanna’s birth by finding her actual birth record (Akt42) in 1880 Zborówek. Good. Now I walk forward, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, …,bingo! In 1885, (April 12th 1885), I found Stanisław Krzyżycki and this date matches some of his US records too! Wow that is persistence! Oh and the serendipity of such persistence? It turns out that Stanisław Krzyzycki’s Godfather is Antoni Elijasz. 

Wow, Stanley Eliasz & Stanley Krzyzycki are 1st cousins (not proven but a 75% likelihood by my estimate). So Katarzyna Krzyzycki & Ludwik Krzyzycki are siblings. Now I had proven a hard connection between Eliasz & Krzyzycki who came to America. 

I also have Eliasz & Krzyzycki in:
Pacanów, Zborówek and Szczebrzusz.
This can lead to many new facts (with research):

  1. Krzyzycki photographer took 1913 Eliasz photo in NY.

  2. Antoni Elijasz is a brother of my 2nd greatgrandfather, Jozef Elijasz.

  3. Stanley Eliasz (son of Antoni) is a cousin of Julian Elijasz (son of Ludwik Elijasz). I already know that their two wives are sisters from Pacanów. These two Janicki sisters are a sister and a cousin of my two Dorota Elijasz 2nd-cousins’ grandmothers!

So oddly enough I have connected Stanley Eliasz (Buffalo) to my family tree via the JANICKI affiliated family.  

I have since found more Eliasz Godparents to Krzyzycki children. Thus the Eliasz-Krzyzycki connection was further strengthened.

But that is a part of the bigger next story and my connection to Nancy Langer. Well of course, today’s story is also part of Nancy’s story and it in fact grew out of her story and my long-term virtual shoe-box. It just turned out that both Julian & Stanley Eliasz were a part of Nancy’s family and I am her affiliated family! Or are we actually related? Her trip to Poland this summer may answer that question.

That is Stanczyk’s short (longish) story on persistence & serendipity. Go make some serendipity yourself. 

April 29, 2017

Dziennik Polski (Detroit) — #Newspapers #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been very busy! A long overdue update to my Rootsweb page on Dziennik Polski has been done … more to come!

Also this jester has added 6,000 names to the Complete Index (nearly 42,000 Poles) including adding names (& relationships to deceased) listed on the Funeral Cards. The One-Step db app based on this data needs to be re-done. 

April 21, 2017

Zasucha Eliasz … Nancy Langer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Updated 23-April-2017

Where Julian Elijasz (aka Eliasz) fits
P.S. – updated 4/23/2017 for family tree

April 21, 2017

A Little Bit of Blog Bigos … — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This blog post became necessary because blog topics overran my ability to write blog posts … so here is a bit of Bigos (a mishmash) / hunter’s hodge-podge of blog topics in minature, some of which foreshadow a larger blog post (or two).

Ancestry.appAncestry released version 8.2. Security & some bugs were addressed … but the big news is image/record viewer! For a long time I despaired over the inability of the smartphone app to display the images at full resolution necessary for detailed analysis. So Stanczyk tried the image at top that this jester received from third-cousin that became a seminal document for both of us genealogists! Wow! The image viewer was great! 

In fact, I noticed a detail in the record as I was trying to detail the church record’s Polish for our shared ancestors. The image notes are below … (see Church Marriage Register)
One of the witnesses was a JAN ZASUCHA. It just so happened that I had an unfinished blog piece from mid December 2016 that was languishing in draft mode. It was upon Zasucha and how this affiliated family was related to me because my second-great-grandmother was Anna Zasucha.  So here was another example that 100 years ago the Pacanów families in America were very close and related at some level to my Eliasz/Elijasz/Elyasz/etc. family. I will finish that blog. I am hoping there is a 3rd/4th cousin in Poland with images or info about Anna Zasucha. [Editor’s Note – published Zasucha article on 20-April-2017; URL:  https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/searchin-for-zasucha-genealogy-polish/  ]

Jennifer Holik
I also have a new blog post in progress about a new Ancestry database that was brought to my attention by Chicago genealogist, Jennifer Holik. She is an expert on Military (especially WWII) genealogy records. So she had a brief piece on US Army funerial Transport ships and I noticed the database had WWI Transports and I wondered if some Haller’s Army troops were transported via that. (Spoiler alert … yes!).


Church Marriage Register – Roza Wleciałowski & Adam Gawlikowski

Adam Gawlikowski – kawaler, 27, syn Marcina i Maryanny Lisów z Opatowiec, Kieleckie

Rozalia Wleciałowska – panna, 20, corka Maciej i Kat.  Eliasz z Pacanowa – Kiel.

sw. Marcoli Dusza, Jan Zasucha

<margin>

4)

sl. 19/8

o 9ty

Klęczu z.

— — — transcription above / translation below

Adam Gawlikowski – bachelor, age 27, son of  Marcin (Gawlikowski) & Maryanna z. Lisów of Opatowiec in Kieleckie (Gubernia of Russian-Poland)

Rozalia Wleciałowska – maiden, age 20, daughter of Maciej (Wleciałowski) & Katarzyna Eliasz of Pacanow in Kieleckie (Gubernia of Russian-Poland)

witnesses Marcoli (spelling uncertain) Dusza, Jan Zasucha

(marginalia)

Marriage #4 (of 1912) at Sweetest Heart of Mary, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan

Marriage August 19th

9pm (time)

kneeling

March 26, 2017

Things Found Whilst Searching For Other Things — #Genealogy #History #Obit #KingJanIIISobieski #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk ‘s favorite meme is Things Found Whilst Searching For Other Things .

Today’s blog may be my greatest unexpected find. This day (26-Mar-2017), I found the obituary of King Jan III Sobieski (King of Poland & Lithuania – The Commonwealth).

I was searching Latin church book entries for:

« alias »,« seu »,« vel », « genantt »,« zwany »

But what I found instead  in 1696 in Świniary parish book astounded me. It was by far the longest latin entry I ever found in parish books… then I looked at the top of the page, “Obitu Joannis III Regis Polonii 1696″ !  My latin being somewhat limited, I scanned the obituary of Jan III King of Poland until I could pull the obligatory genealogical data from the 3-4th lines from the bottom: “30 June 1696” [sic actual death date, 17-June-1696].

If my research/understanding is correct, the obituary was written by Jan de Małachowice (Małachowski), the Bishop of Kraków.

 
Post Scriptum:

The Funeral of Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland …

The Funeral of King Jan III

 

Other Blog Post on Jan III Sobieski:

  1. https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/jan-iii-sobieski-things-i-find-whilst-looking-up-other-things/
  2. https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/in-prose-the-good-wife-love-literaturelost-womanofvalor/
March 18, 2017

Libraries Infographic — #Books , #Reading

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tags: ,
March 18, 2017

Stanley Babiarz from Pacanów — #Birth

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Akt#50 (lower left corner of church register image):

For Elizabeth E. (on ancestry).

Akt#50

Record Date: 21-March-1885   Parish: Pacanów

Father: Józef Babiarz of Rataje, age 30

Witnesses:  Walenty Madej, age 26,  Walenty Czapliak age 46

Birth Date: today? (21-March-1885)

Mother: Marianna (née) Smystek age 25

Baby: Stanisław

god parents: Józef Plakta(sp?) & Salomeja Wybraniowa

December 12, 2016

Searchin’ For Zasucha — #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has the instincts of an hard-boiled detective.  Now this is not the story of forensic genealogy. Nor am I infringing on Tim Firkowski (Genealogy Assistant / Family History Detective). I guess my hard-boiled detective work stems from my reading Michael Chabon right now. 

No I am investigating / researching an affiliated family of my ELIASZ /ELIJASZ ancestors: the ZASUCHA. You see, Anna Zasucha, is my 2nd-great-grandmother and wife of Marcin/Martin Eliasz. She is a part of my direct DNA. Like in DNA, the ZASUCHA are a genetic marker for my Eliasz family of village Pacanów. Hence, my curiosity.

Now for a while this jester has noticed the Zasucha were engaged in some  chain-migration genealogy involving many families from Pacanów to the USA, including among others, my Eliasz family.

So I find Zasucha in many of the same locales as my Eliasz: 

Buffalo, Syracuse, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit.

But there was NO family memory of ZASUCHA among my direct Eliasz family. Indeed, nobody knew Anna Zasucha was our 2nd-great-grandmother.

But I notice things and patterns and I have employed SNA (Social Network Analysis), aka as cluster genealogy before and made breakthroughs in finding out more about my direct lineage by studying these genetic markers (affiliated families) as they immigrated to the USA in a chain-migration fashion. Whole branches have been discovered. I would welcome geneslogists with:

Kędzierski/Kendzierski, Pieszczachowicz, Fras/Frass, Hajek, Zwolski, and Zasucha (all affiliated to Eliasz/Pacanów or Leszczyński/Biechów).
You will be happy I have connected back your families to those two ancestral parishes(Biechów and Pacanów) whence my paternal grandparents originated from. Indeed, I have found many 2nd/3rd and further distant cousin-genealogists via this blog’s research. However, I am still waiting on a Zasucha genealogist.

So this blog is about a lovely couple: Feliks Zasucha & Antonina Łuszcz Zasucha (both from Pacanów).
I want to end this blog with the Zasucha in my tree and pick up in the next blog article with my struggles to find data on Feliks & Antonina.


Eliasz Zasucha family tree

2nd and 3rd great-grandparents

November 16, 2016

NJ – Passaic County Naturalization Papers — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to pass along a tip from Ceil Wendt-Jensen! Its a good one too:

Go to the following website:

http://records.passaiccountynj.org/press/indexPassaic.aspx
Results:


There are Declarations of Intent (shown above) and Petitions for Naturalization forms.

The images can be downloaded as PDF documents. This service is FREE!

October 31, 2016

National Novel Writing Month — #NANOWRIMO

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ok, Stanczyk is going to try this #NANOWRIMO process.
I am using:

  •  my iPhone 6+
  • MS Word

Let’s see how many words I get to!
Anyone else trying? Email me.

July 4, 2016

USA TODAY 4-July-2016:

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Author, Holocaust Survivor/Educator, Philosopher/Professor, Activist, Elie Wiesel remembered at private service.

http://usat.ly/299GU3a

Note to genealogists: burial info provided in article

July 3, 2016

Elie Wiesel Died.

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Elie Wiesel, a man of letters, intellectualAs a genealogist, one of our most sacred duties is the recording and memorializing a person’s death. It is always a solemn thing for me and I do it as soon as possible … to capture it in its rawest form. 
Elie Wiesel died. September 30, 1928 — July 2, 2016. He died aged 87. He was Jewish (Romanian by todays borders) so for me the connection is not as deep or rich as for my wife, Teréza. Nonetheless, I yielded the intellectual high ground to Elie Wiesel whose thoughts I always admired for the deepness and completeness, like a grandmaster chess player whose knowledge of a line of play is so expansive. 

Imagine my surprise today. For 21 years now I have always said, “The opposite of love is not hate … it is indifference.” This philosophy of mine was born as a result of living my life.  So I was surprised that my thought was not original nor was it complete.

Elie Wiesel wrote …

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

So it would seem that Elie Wiesel and I are connected in that thought and once again his thought was deeper and more complete. 
Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. He spent much of his life as a dedicated Holocaust  educator. He was also a prolific writer. His bibliography is too long to count especially if  you include other wtitings beyond books or where he was a co-author. His bibliography can be found here
Well  Mr. Wiesel you will be remembered and your memory will be a blessing. 

June 15, 2016

RootsWeb Upgrade — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RootsWeb Source: THE ANCESTRY INSIDER

“We are currently working to move the entirety of RootsWeb to new machinery that can handle the load and be backed up in a consistent and reliable manner,” says Ancestry.com’s Anne Mitchell.
“Ancestry is making the switchover this week. During that time, you may notice short periods when RootsWeb is unavailable.”

Ancestry Insider believes that RootsWeb / Ancestry are making this upgrade to generate good will.

After the RootsWeb crash back in February,  the RootsWeb community, expressed themselves effectively and Ancestry is responding! When Ancestry acquired RootsWeb, they said they would keep it running.

Thank you Ancestry for keeping that promise.

Rootsweb is a very old genealogy resource that just needed some love to keep and enhance its usefulness to the genealogical community.

Stanczyk complained and apparently other Rootsweb users were also complaining that new additions to RootsWeb were not being indexed. This includes GEDCOMs uploaded to WorldConnect, Obituary Daily Times, and mail archives. This jester had to drop my trees and move to Tribalpages.

So, after this upgrade is finished, Ancestry will have fixed that. If it is indeed fixed, perhaps Stanczyk can move a family tree back.

You may have experienced some data loss the last time RootsWeb went down. That will not be happening during the outages this week, as these are planned, controlled, outages.

May 16, 2016

Genealogy At Scale — 1 Million Burials

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Hart Island outside/near New York City is a 101 acre potter’s field. Since 1849 over a million people have been buried anonymously since their bodies went unclaimed or otherwise became property of city/county of NYC. 

Story from Today’s NYT. There is the Hart Island Project that tries to give voice to tens of thousands buried since 1980.

May 12, 2016

Ancestry App is Updated to v. 7.2

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry 7.2  (App Store )

download iPhone v 7.2

As the picture shows version 7.2 is 87.5 MB and newly minted.

You can download the iPhone version by clicking on the above image.

Beyond the new features, the app’s UI is more attractive in both tree and individual presentations.

May 5, 2016

Holocaust Remembrance Day (USA)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk seeks every year to remember. There are those who deny the Holocaust ever happened. They would deny the 11 million victims of whom 6 million were Jews. This is done out of stupidity or hatred for Jews (anti-semitism).

But now you know that there were 11 million killed genocide style and 5 million were not even Jewish … just inconvenient or a nuisance or someone did not like them.

Won’t you join me, a Christian, and say, “Never Again!” ? Please

Remember the 11 Million.

May 2, 2016

May 3rd — Constitution Day — #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Warsaw Gazette
May 3rd Constitution (see middle of Warsaw Gazette) / Konstytucja_3_Maja
The Constitution of May 3, 1791 (Konstytucja Trzeciego Maja) was drafted between October 6, 1788, and May 3, 1791, when it was adopted by the Great Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth . The contitution’s adoption was preceded by a period of agitation with the Convocation Sejm of 1764 and the election of Stanisław August Poniatowski as the Commonwealth’s last elective monarch.
The constitution had sought to prevail over and eliminate the anarchy, caused by the Liberum Veto, which had put the Country/King at the mercy of any single Sejm deputy who chose, or was bribed by an internal interest or external foreign power, to undo all the legislation that had been passed by the Sejm. The constitution’s adoption met with immediate hostilities, both political and military by the Commonwealth’s neighbors. In the War in Defense of the Constitution, the Commonwealth’s ally Prussia, broke its alliance with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was effectively defeated by the three Empires: Russia, Prussia, & Austria-Hungary (aka Hapsburg).
[NOTE the parallels between this Sejm’s use of liberum veto and the U.S. Congresses of 2008-present who have abused/utilized omni-present obstructionist tools: filibuster and cloture to keep the Obama administration for achieving its goals.]
British historian, Norman Davies describes the legal document as “the first constitution of its type in Europe”; Other historians documented it as the world’s second oldest codified national constitution after the U.S. Constitution, which was effective on March 4, 1789 — just two years earlier.
The Commonwealth’s 1791 Constitution remained in effect for all of 14 months and 3 weeks. It would be a long time until the Second Republic would re-emerge after World War I and Poland would re-appear and be a free republic again.
[Source Material from Wikipedia]

Tomorrow is May 3rd and in Poland and Lithuania it is celebrated as Constitution Day (first celebrated jointly on May 3rd 2007). But Stanczyk is getting ahead of himself in this story.
This jester trusts by now that you know that Poland was country with the second constitution. I am also hopeful that you had read a prior blog article of mine: “Poland 1794, The Tempest, and Catherine The Great” . For the discussion on Poland’s Constitution, I’d like to try my hand at an even broader context.

1732

Stanczyk maintains that 1732 was a very bad year for Poland. On 17 January 1732 Stanislaw Poniatowski was born in Wolczyn (which is in modern day Belarus). If the year had begun badly, then it would get much worse. On 13 September 1732, the secret treaty was signed at the Alliance of the Three Black Eagles. This was a secret treaty between Prussia, Russia and Hapsburg-Austria Empires (all three had Black Eagles as emblems — in stark contrast to Poland’s White Eagle). They agreed to maintain Poland in their “status quo” suffering from a non-functional szlachta with a Libretum Veto — meaning a single veto could derail any new law, further meaning that laws almost never got passed [sounds like 2009-2012 Washington D.C. does it not?]
Now let me narrate the rest of the story, before I give Constitution Day’s Timeline.
In 1750 Poniatowski met his mentor, the Briton, Charles Hanbury Williams . Williams was the British ambassador to Russia. They met again in 1753. Now while the Poniatowskich were a noble family, their family fortunes were not so great as the great magnate families. So they had to align themselves and hope for a strategic marriage for Stanislaw to a wealthier family. None the less, Stanislaw’s father was able to procure him some nominal titles. In 1755, the elder Poniatowski got his son Stanislaw, the title of Stolnik of Lithuania. Stolnik was a court office in Poland and Russia, responsible for serving the royal table. Keep that image in mind.
So armed with his new title of Stolnik of Lithuania, Stanislaw accompanied the British Ambassador to Russia, where the young Poniatowski met the also young (but very formidable) Catherine who had not yet become Empress of Russia (nor yet earned, her appellation, “The Great”). Stanislaw Poniatowski was only at the Russian court for one year. By 1756 Poniatowski was ordered to leave the Russian Court amidst some “intrigue”. It is thought that this intrigue resulted in the birth of Anna Petrovna (by Catherine the Great) on the 9th December 1757. It is also said that Stanislaw always hoped his bedding of Catherine would result in a future marriage for him. This jester thinks that Stanislaw deluded himself to think he had successfully wooed Catherine and that marriage was possible for the two of them. This jester also further thinks that Catherine, used this virtual “apron string” to manage Poniatowski to do her Russian bidding in Poland.
In 1762 Catherine used her new position as the Russian Empress and she was able to get Stanislaw to be elected King of Poland on 6 September 1764. It has now been 32 years of managing Poland’s status quo by the Three Black Eagles. So by 17 February 1772 the Three Black Eagles agreed to partition Poland. On August 5th, 1772 the occupation manifesto was issued and foreign troops entered Poland’s sovereign territory and forced a cession Sejm to convene with King Poniatowski and agree to the partition manifesto (probably Stanislaw thought it was best to go along with Russia in this matter and that this obedience would be rewarded) on 9/18/1773. Not much leadership in this jester’s mind was exhibited, but opposition to three Empires was probably futile anyway.
Life goes on for another decade. Stanislaw uses what little wealth of the Kingdom to foster arts & science, but with Prussia’s control of the Baltic Ports, and using its control to extort high custom duties from Poland on 80% of Poland’s economic trades to further collapse Poland’s economy and that limits Poniatowski’s wealth/power. Poniatowski also continues his hope for a noble marriage, but he does engage in a morganatic marriage to Elzbieta Szydlowska in 1783 and thereby maintains his options for a royal marriage.
In 1788 the Four Year Sejm convenes and Stanislaw thinks he can help Catherine The Great in her war with the Ottoman Empire by raising an army in Poland — which Catherine quickly squashes, but leaves the Polish Sejm alone while she wars with the Ottomans. Left to their own devices, this “Enlightened” body of lawmakers passes a constitution on 3rd May 1791. Even King Poniatowski celebrates this event. If you have read my prior blog article listed above, then you know this will NOT end well for Poland (or Poniatowski who is forced to abdicate the Polish throne 11/25/1795).
I think you can see that Poniatowski, Stolnik of Lithuania, served up Poland as a feast for Catherine The Great to enjoy repeatedly until even she was forced to make him abdicate and spend the remainder of his three years of life as a nominal prisoner in St Petersburg, Russia (so he could not meddle further in Russian affairs). Poniatowski died 2/12/1798 in St Petersburg, Russia. Poniatowski’s remains were removed and re-buried in Wolczyn, Belarus — until that church fell into disrepair. Poland reclaimed Poniatowki’s remains and he was buried a third time (14 February 1995) in St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw, Poland — the very site where he had celebrated the Polish Constitution on May 3rd 1791.

Timeline of the Constitution:

5/3/1791 – Constitution is Passed (2nd in the world).
May 1792 Constitution Day is celebrated.
July 1792 King Poniatowski joins the Targowice Confederation against Poland and his own nephew (and Kosciuszko too) who were fighting the War To Defend The Constitution with Russia and Catherine the Great who was now freed up from warring with the Ottomans and now able to show her displeasure.
1793-1806 – Constitution Day is banned during the the 2nd/3rd Partition years.
1807-1815 – Constitution Day is celebrated in the Duchy of Warsaw thanks to Napoleon.
1815-1918 – Constitution Day is unofficially celebrated / discouraged in Congress Poland
April 1919 – The re-emerged Polish Republic celebrates Constitution Day again until 1940.
World War II – Constitution Day is banned again.
1945 – Constitution Day is celebrated.
1946 – The Communists cancel Constitution Day. They substitue May Day (May 1st) as an attempt to replace the Constitution Day celebration.
April 1990 – Poland out from under the Communist yoke celebrates Constitution Day again.
May 3rd 2007 – Poland & Lithuania celebrate Constitution Day jointly echoing their former Commonwealth days. This is the first jointly celebrated Constitution Day.
Perhaps one day, the USA will celebrate with Poland on May 3rd as the two countries with the oldest constitutions. [Now, please I know Polonia all over the USA, but most notably in Chicago mark May 3rd annually.] Indeed you are reading this blog about May 3rd. So Polonia still mark the day, the old country adopted the second oldest constitution.

Happy Constitution Day!


May 3rd is also Feast Day of Mary Queen of Poland!

But that is another story. 

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