Archive for ‘Musings’

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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April 22, 2016

Queen Elizabeth ‘s 90th Birthday — #4Gen #Picture

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


HRH, Queen Elizabeth celebrate our birthdays which are almost the same day. This year decennial celebration meant an update on the royal family from Britain’s longest reigning monarch.  So here’s two to ogle …

img_2542
The queen with her great-grandchildren by Annie Leibovitz. Such a masterful composition. It almost looks like it should be an oil painting.

March 14, 2016

Happy PI Day — 🍰

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk,

I am rounding up from last year to 3.1416:
https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/good-morning-its-pi-day-3-14-15-92653-or-3-141592653-for-short/PI DAY

Happy PI DAY 2016

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March 9, 2016

Meme: Wordless Wednesday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  

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March 8, 2016

RootsWeb Still Dead … But Signs Of Life ? #Genealogy #Cloud

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Rootsweb Returns March 15th, 2016RoostWeb estimates it will return March 15th. That is good news.

However, it being down hurt my blog website because I had links to my genealogy research that I had in RootsWeb and much of that research is over a decade ago. Now I had backups of  almost everything. That is my blog for today.

 

First off, it points out how important it is to have backups of your research. I had used RootsWeb as my cloud backup for SO LONG. So long that I had forgotten what I had up there and where it was sourced from. As it turned out, I was missing one spreadsheet. It was important in the sense that it was good data and I had even built my blog using the data from that spreadsheet as a menu item. So my recommendation here is that you have backups of everything and that you know where each copy is.

This may seem trivial, but let me point out that at this juncture, many genealogists use their CD ROM/DVD, their USB (aka thumb) drive, and even the cloud (iCloud, Dropbox, Box, EverNote, oneDrive and GoogleDrive) to backup their data from their hard drive. But what happens when your hardware is obsolete? Remember floppy drives??? Most of us are old enough to remember those removable media (in various sizes). They are gone now. What happens to your backup? It is not backed up if you cannot ACCESS the data.

So it is also true for the Cloud. This jester has a trademarked magazine, “Cloud Is Falling™“, that I started when I realized that we do not own the cloud, we only access it (perhaps for free or for a fee). So what happens if the Cloud Goes Down or a portion of the cloud no longer exists (the cloud company goes bankrupt or changes terms such that you can no longer access it)? You cannot access your research data. It is the same as hardware obsolescence. Perhaps you have heard of “Murphy’s Law” (i.e. anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) and the corollary extension: (at the worst possible time). @AmyJohnsonCrow (twitter) was using the RootsWeb outage to illustrate the need to have backup plans (as well as backed up data). 2016 had illustrated that a few times. We need only recall Ancestry.com eliminating FTM family tree software at the end of 2015. Fortunately, MacKiev has taken over developing and publishing FTM and now (as of March 4th) we have FTM and soon(??) RootsMagic that will have the TreeSynch capabilities to synch with Ancestry.com via their newly published API.

Ok, RootsWeb was out and still is down, so I rebuilt much of my Reference Data from the Menus of my blog to use another portion of the cloud instead of RootsWeb. This will give me redundancy by having the same data on two distinct clouds. I now have all my data on the hard drive now too! How did I do that while RootsWeb was still down?

That is an interesting tale. I used The Internet Archive and in particular, I used their WayBack Machine to access my RootsWeb page. Fortunately, they had made a snapshot of that page whose data I was missing and I was able to cut & paste the data back to my hard drive in a new spreadsheet! Pretty nifty huh? I hope you will enjoy my new spreadsheet which I have enhanced and even improved (i.e. corrected data). The new page: 1811_BiechowChurchRecord_births.htm  can be reached from the Menu of my blog’s home page.

February 28, 2016

Slavic Haplogroups — #Genetic #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

R1aClades
A picture worth a thousand words!

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/r-1a/about/background

Also see Peter Gwodz (comprehensive, though not pretty):

http://www.gwozdz.org/POLISHCLADES.HTML

Polish Time Line:

http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsEurope/EasternPoland.htm 

February 13, 2016

Pacanów Index (Skorowidz) of Indexes 1875-1908

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


 

Pacanow Index of Indexes  Stanczyk over the last two weeks has been building a tool for his ancestral village. It is an index of church book indexes for Pacanów. It is a spreadsheet (Excel, xls). It is also available for all to use, because I have published it to Dropbox.

See the picture at the top. The top portion is the first spreadsheet’s sheet on 1908 marriages in Pacanów. The bottom portion is the index of indexes. Each year that is online (see Genbaza), is on a single line. The third column is a column of links (URLs) that will take you directly to the list of church book pages (images). The three index columns (Birth/Marriage/Death) are the image name in the list of images for that year. Just click on the image of the index you want to search and you will see the first page of the index for vital record type:


For 1908, Marriage Index we will click on … L_12356.JPG and that should bring up the image of the Marriage Index page.

1908 Pacanów Marriage Index

February 8, 2016

Pacanów 1908 Marriages (Małżeństwo) — #Genealogy #Polish #Data

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pacanow Marriage Metric Statistics

Pacanow Marriage Metric Statistics

 

Stanczyk has been reading the 1908 Marriages of Pacanow in order to build a spreadsheet/index of the newlyweds. There are some findings from this very preliminary set of data (1st year of data). First the men are noticeably older than the women. Men are often widowers ( and very much more so than the women). The men also frequently come from another parish. Now I collected that statistic for two reasons: (1) There will be an alegata record to document this cross-parish marriage   (2) So you can find the groom’s birth record (since it will not be in Pacanow).  I was surprised at how often the bride had come from another parish too. This data also confirms that the marriage is performed in the bride’s parish and its place is listed as the bride’s (current) village. I did find that one mother was an ELIJASZ so once again, this is an affirmation that social network analysis (SNA) can yield helpful results. In fact, I am hoping to use do a full scale SNA on Pacanow some day (1875-1908).

The spreadsheet is available to the public (and if genealodzy.pl wants it for its indexes of Geneteka/Geneszukacz then you have my permission/blessing). The spreadsheet is HERE (PDF) .

 

P.S. – One of the things I have learned is that the online indexes I have seen are incomplete (not missing). What I mean is that I have recently found data that was not present in an index that existed and I was puzzled by the omission.

 


 

January 25, 2016

An App from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — #iOS # STEM

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 

Donald Rumsfeld in WSJ

 


 

Churchill Solitaire iOS App (in Apple App Store)

iOS App (in Apple App Store)

Let me shoot down your thoughts  quickly… no it was not a 1st-person-shooter like DOOM, nor an arcade like Missile-Defense game either. It was a card game; No it was not WAR (just stop it)!

It is a solitaire like card game invented by none other than British Prime Minister (WWII), Winston Churchill!

 

Proceeds (a portion) go to charities for UK & USA veterans. This is no simple solitaire.


So wimps need not download. The cost is free, but there are  In-App purchases, including, the cost of $4.99 if you want to get rid of ads and have free-play.

January 22, 2016

Wleciał from Pacanów — Redux

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Jozef Wlecial – lower right

Yesterday, Stanczyk wrote about an email from Poland. Well I guess Grandmother’s / Grandfather’s day caused Polish genealogists to go web surfing in America. This jester received a message from Rzeszów (Teresa B.).

We traded messages and while we had family names in common from Biechów and Pacanów it was a near miss … nobody in common. But Teresa did mention that the gmina Pacanów website did have some nice pictures.

This Pacanów cemetery image had another angle of Jozef Wleciał’s tombstone (notice lower right corner) picture from yesterday’s blog.

 

January 21, 2016

Mailbag — Wleciał from Pacanów

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Stanczyk received an email from the old country … Poland. It was from a distant cousin who only spoke/wrote in Polish. Aleksandra, wrote in enough detail that I could place her family in my family tree. She was most appreciative of my research and thankful that she could ask someone about her Wleciał family in America. She was very kind and shared some photos  …  (see below).

What made this a special email for me was that Aleksandra had been born in Pacanów, my paternal grandfather’s home village. Sadly, she no longer lived there. Besides the connection to Pacanów, she shared her family photos from the cemetery in Pacanów (which I assume is the church graveyard). This jester has long wanted to return to the ancestral village and see the parish and its graveyard and with some hope, the parish books. But something about seeing the church graveyard in my grandfather’s birthplace touched me very deeply and deepened the longing to see with my own eyes, Pacanów.

I emailed back to Aleksandra and I hope to get some more emails back. I sent her what she was looking for in terms of her Wleciał family in America. What I am hoping for from Aleksandra is to see if she has any photos of her grandparents, one of which is Katarzyna Elijasz (daughter of Marcin Elijasz & Anna Zasucha). Katarzyna Elijasz is my great-great-aunt, born about 1866 in  Pacanów. She married Maciej Wleciał on 19-October-1890 in Pacanów. This was according to Akt#38, of Pacanów 1890 Marriages. Katarzyna was 24 at the time of her marriage, implying a birth about 1866.

At any rate, here are the photos from “Pacanów cemetery” that Aleksandra sent. This jester does not know all of the people, but the image of Jozef  Wleciał  ‘s (Katarzyna’s son) grave was beautiful.


Jozef Wlecial

January 6, 2016

Eastpointe, Macomb County, MI Turns Vital Records Over To The County — #Genealogy #Michigan

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Macomb County, Michigan is an interesting county.  To whit, there had been four cities in Macomb county who maintained their own vital records, instead of the county clerk. Those four cities are: Eastpointe, Saint Clair Shores, Sterling Heights and Warren. Now wouldn’t you know those just happen to be the major cities of the ELIASZ clan in Michigan. This jester just assumed that Macomb county had those duties. No wonder genealogy is hard, the exceptions get you.

Now this came to light recently when in November (2015), Eastpointe decided to turn over its birth, death record keeping to Macomb County. Eastpointe turned over  to the county 90 years worth of vital records. The records date back to 1925 when Eastpointe was known as Halfway (I did not know that), in 1929 it became East Detroit, and finally in 1992 it became Eastpointe. So if you were missing data from Halfway/East Detroit/Eastpointe now you may be able to find them at the county clerk’s office in Mt Clemens. For those whose data is in St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights or Warren, now you know the data if its not in the county clerk’s office is in those cities’ municipal buildings.

See today’s Macomb Daily newspaper.


 

 

January 5, 2016

Memorial Website Opens Door to Find Living Russian Family

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Russian Genealogy blog that passes along useful genealogy websites (Russian, Ukrainian) and provides tips to their use!

Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family

Finding long-lost family in the Russian-speaking world takes some creativity. I was thrilled to learn about a growing Russian-language website for remembering family and friends who have passed on.

This website- ПомниПро– is a perfect resource to see whether any information has been posted on long-lost family. Some memorial pages just have photos and others have detailed life stories of people who died.

Some will say “So what!” about this website. Then people need to remember that Russians don’t post obituaries and death notices online in the same fashion as the English-speaking world.

ПомниПро has grown to about 82,000 memorial pages in 4 years, not impressive but could become impressive in the next few years.

So if you want to give ПомниПро a try, here is how to search this website.

  1. First, translate last names of your Russian family on Google Translate.
  2. Copy and paste the translate names under Поиск по…

View original post 112 more words

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January 4, 2016

Kielce Holdings Possible in GenBaza … — #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kielcach Archive Holdings

              partial pdf table of Kielce church/synagouge books

Stanczyk, was looking at the GenBaza news of what was being indexed and loaded in order to see what was coming online (… eventually). This jester noticed a PDF document of the inventory of books at Diocessan Archives (AD), State Archive (AP) and in some of the parishes too.

Now let me hasten to add that this is NOT an inventory of online records/images. It is only a list of what may yet come and of course some of these are already online, but many more are just potential data available to be indexed and loaded.

The actual PDF document is here . A final note the Fond# is similar to what the Library of Congress calls a Record Group. It is the identifier for requesting the resource inside the archive. Only State Archives have a Fond#, not the church archive nor the church parish.

 

 Fond #  Place Name Date Range Books Count Count of Images     NOTES
Bebelno 1787-1864  13 1,174  AD
Bejsce 1586-1862  37 3,966  AD
Biechów 1674-1855  50 3,598  AD
355 Pacanów 1875-1908 64 3,703  AP
373 Pacanów moj 1875-1912  55 1,957  AP (jewish)
399 Pałecznica 1861-1911  77 3,235  AP
December 30, 2015

Auld Lang Syne – 2015 — #HappyNewYear, #Poem, #AnnualBlog

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AllsWell

Stanczyk is republishing his annual blog post:  Auld Lang Syne

Count your blessings my dear readers and take heart in that inventory.

So as we draw to a close this elder year 2015 AD, I take but a moments pause to wish my friends and good readers well and much happiness and wishes for a healthy and prosperous  New  Year.

Verily, this jester says, “All Is Well, That Ends Well“. And 2015 has indeed ended well. The wealth of family/friends who have been such a vital and loving pressence in our lives. Truly  our love has been returned and it goes back to the senders too.

Let me endebt myself further and borrow again from the great bard to close out this year. In Shakespeare’s play, “All’s Well That Ends Well”, in the first Act, the first Scene is a quote that suits me well to use though I steal it from a woman’s lips:

That I should love a bright particular star
And think to wed it, she who is so above me:
In her bright radiance and collateral light.

My bright star is my much beloved wife, Teréza !

I love her so and our growing family and our friends too. Those who love her cannot be faulted for she is such a force of a nature and a wonder to behold. And those who fault her, do not know love. Theirs is a terrible loss indeed. Pity those fools for their jealousy and praise this jester for his steadfastness in the face of such folly. Bless my wife for her devotion made stronger and more holy for her mettle that was tempered by the trifles of miscreants.

I would like to thank my readers for another fine year. Reads of the blog were phenomenal;  The reads could not have and would not have been so, without you. You, my good readers, are a part of that inventory of blessings that I have counted. Interact with me on FacebookTwitter (@Stanczyk_), and/or LinkedIn too.

Those are my closing thoughts for 2015. Better #Genealogy in the coming year to all genealogists!

Happy New Year 2016 !

–Stanczyk

December 12, 2015

Anna Slavinska, from Sulislawice

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk got another genealogical question. It was from Cris (on Ancestry.com).

Cris wrote …

SlawinskiQuestion

 

 

Cris, welcome to my blog. I have good news so please keep reading. As you no doubt know, I have SLAWINSKI in my own family tree. Most likely you will find your name in Polish Archive / Church records written as SŁAWIŃSKI in Polish and as СЛАВИНСКИЙЬ in Russian records.

From mapa.szukacz.pl I have a map of your ancestral village (Sulislawice, 50,587500   21,468333  – see pink circle).

Sulisławice
population 353 people (osoby)
woj.        świętokrzyskie
pow.       Sandomierski
gmina   Łoniów

 

Sulislawice_near_Sandomierz_map

Since your ancestral village is near to Sandomierz, I knew it would be in Kielce AP (state archive of Poland) and in particular its office in Sandomierz AP.  This Kielce / Sandomierz area is where the overwhelming majority of my Polish ancestors come from. As a result, I knew to check Metryki.GenBaza.pl to see if your grandmother Anna Slawinska might have her records online. The good news is yes, those records are online in GenBaza. It has Sulislawice (which is also the parish) in the years:  1810-1910 [inclusive].

You will need to be able to read Polish for records 1810-1868 (possibly Latin before 1820). For records in the years 1869-1910, they will be written in Russian/Cyrillic characters.

You will also need to register for userid / password on Metryki.GenBaza.pl (which takes you to GenPol.pl) and do so in Polish to gain access to that database of church record images.  This is doable, but not a trivial task. Once you get an email with your userid/password, contact me again and I will post the link to my blog where I wrote a user guide to using the website.

But it is the holiday season and your Slawinski may be relatives of my Slawinski. So this jester is willing to find your grandmother’s birth record (if she was in fact born in Sulislawice). To do so, please  contact me in Ancestry again with:

  1. Your grandmother’s birth date (the year must be in the range 1810 … 1910)
  2. Your grandmother’s parents names (great-grandparents).

I will use that info to search for and send you the birth record if I find it. I will also provide a translation of the key genealogical facts (dates, names, ages, etc.) from what I am expecting will be a Russian language record.

 

Happy Holidays !


StefanSlawinski_sonOfStanislawSlawinski_MariannaJarokow

1886 – Akt (Record) #47 – Stefan Slawinski son of Stanislaw Slawinski & Marianna Jarok in Gieraszowice

 

November 26, 2015

Le Grande Thanksgiving —

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

By Art Buchwald

Le Grande Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingOne of our most important holidays is Thanksgiving Day, known in France as le Jour de Merci Donnant .
Le Jour de Merci Donnant was first started by a group of Pilgrims ( Pelerins ) who fled from l’Angleterre before the McCarran Act to found a colony in the New World ( le Nouveau Monde ) where they could shoot Indians ( les Peaux-Rouges ) and eat turkey ( dinde ) to their hearts’ content.

  

They landed at a place called Plymouth (now a famous voiture Americaine ) in a wooden sailing ship called the Mayflower (or Fleur de Mai ) in 1620. But while the Pelerins were killing the dindes, the Peaux-Rouges were killing the Pelerins, and there were several hard winters ahead for both of them. The only way the Peaux-Rouges helped the Pelerins was when they taught them to grow corn ( mais ). The reason they did this was because they liked corn with their Pelerins.

In 1623, after another harsh year, the Pelerins’ crops were so good that they decided to have a celebration and give thanks because more mais was raised by the Pelerins than Pelerins were killed by Peaux-Rouges. Every year on the Jour de Merci Donnant, parents tell their children an amusing story about the first celebration. It concerns a brave capitaine named Miles Standish (known in France as Kilometres Deboutish) and a young, shy lieutenant named Jean Alden. Both of them were in love with a flower of Plymouth called Priscilla Mullens (no translation). The vieux capitaine said to the jeune lieutenant :

“Go to the damsel Priscilla ( allez tres vite chez Priscilla), the loveliest maiden of Plymouth ( la plus jolie demoiselle de Plymouth). Say that a blunt old captain, a man not of words but of action ( un vieux Fanfan la Tulipe ), offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a soldier. Not in these words, you know, but this, in short, is my meaning.
“I am a maker of war ( je suis un fabricant de la guerre ) and not a maker of phrases. You, bred as a scholar ( vous, qui tes pain comme un tudiant ), can say it in elegant language, such as you read in your books of the pleadings and wooings of lovers, such as you think best adapted to win the heart of the maiden.”

Although Jean was fit to be tied ( convenable tre emballe ), friendship prevailed over love and he went to his duty. But instead of using elegant language, he blurted out his mission. Priscilla was muted with amazement and sorrow ( rendue muette par l’tonnement et las tristesse ).
At length she exclaimed, interrupting the ominous silence: “If the great captain of Plymouth is so very eager to wed me, why does he not come himself and take the trouble to woo me?” ( Ou est-il, le vieux Kilometres? Pourquoi ne vient-il pas aupres de moi pour tenter sa chance ?)

Jean said that Kilometres Deboutish was very busy and didn’t have time for those things. He staggered on, telling what a wonderful husband Kilometres would make. Finally Priscilla arched her eyebrows and said in a tremulous voice, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, Jean?” ( Chacun a son gout. )

And so, on the fourth Thursday in November, American families sit down at a large table brimming with tasty dishes and, for the only time during the year, eat better than the French do.

No one can deny that le Jour de Merci Donnant is a grande fête and no matter how well fed American families are, they never forget to give thanks to Kilometres Deboutish, who made this great day possible.



Stanczyk
wishes my blog readers a blessed & joyeux Thanksgiving!

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

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