Archive for ‘Musings’

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

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


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 !


December 12, 2015

Anna Slavinska, from Sulislawice

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

Cris wrote …




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

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



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 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 (which takes you to 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 !


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.

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

September 10, 2015

Apple Bloggist — Apple Event 9-September-2015

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday you may have noticed a fair amount of Internet bandwidth and TV airtime devoted to Apple’s event. I want to do this economy a good deed. Apple did well.

How does that help? Well Apple is part of the DOW and NASDAQ and as such it affects the US Market. I know their stock (AAPL) went down yesterday about 2.12% after/during their event. I also know that todays market started down. So how did Apple and this jester help the economy? Apple announced new products. But this jester is going to tell you why what Apple announced was good.

Apple started with 15 minutes on Apple Watch. That was mostly ho-hum. But it is integral in long term. Wearables will be a more important segment of Apple’s future profits. This because we will shift our focus (in the world economies that are older) to health. Apple’s watch is only the entrée into this future product segment. Let me connect and emphasize a few other Powerpoints that you have missed. At the event Apple talked about pregnant women using their watch to collect fetal data that they could then share with the doctor. They also had a vendor (3D4Medical) during their iPad Pro presentation (which was nearly 40 minutes in length). It was a part of Apple Pencil announcement. A lot of people … ok most people laughed at this Steve-Jobsian-anachronism. Jobs hated the idea of a stylus. But mark this jester’s words that the wearables, the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil along with apps (like 3D4Medicine) are pushing Apple products into the corporate world (a new market segment for Apple). Just take a moment and realize that Microsoft was a vendor at Apple’s event, earlier in the week we heard about Apple/Cisco and last year Apple/IBM. So we can foresee that Health is a new vertical for Apple in the business world. The Apple Pencil is important in this new segment when combined with apps and a nice tablet (such as iPad Pro).

The Apple Pencil was a part of the 40 minutes of iPad Pro. Why is this more than another Apple Newton (PDA)? The Apple Pencil is important because of the accuracy  —  down to a pixel. At the time of the announcement they had not spoken of the 3D Touch (formerly known as Force Touch) which was a part of the iPhone presentation [yet to come]. Many app types will benefit not just Health apps. CAD, design, graphics will all be MUCH better on iPad and to a lesser extent the iPhone. It will also become staple of e-signatures. This jester (and I assume others) have hated e-signatures based upon on finger-touch because the accuracy was horrid and that added worry to using e-signatures. I now think e-signatures will finally become REAL. Annotations will become a bigger part of Apple’s eco-system. I think it will put pressure (pun intended) on other offerings (MS, Sanyo). So I think Apple Pencil will stick  …  assuming the price comes down from $99.

Apple TV finally got an update. It received 30-31 minutes of love at the Apple Event. Ok, we got a new remote,, Siri-Search, an SDK, plus the other iOS features (multitasking, split-screen, picture-in-a-picture) in another OS, tvOS. So now developers must know: MacOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. What we did not get was 4K support. Apple TV is still 1080p (HD). Why? The hardware in Apple TV (for which we get to pay a much higher price than Roku or Chromecast) includes 2GB RAM, HDMI 1.4, 802.11ac WiFi with MIMO, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless, USB-C (only for service & support), A8 chip. That  HDMI 1.4  can support 4K, so why is Apple TV not supporting 4K? There is no local storage so apps have to store data in iCloud. Apps are also limited to 200MB in size. clearly storage on Apple TV is limited — hence why the USB-C is not the “hosted type” that you find on laptops whereby you can transfer a lot of storage. I assume it for  Flash-RAM/PRAM updates, but will Apple send me aUSB-C flash-drive or will I have to bring the Apple TV into the Apple Store to get these updates? So Apple TV is a bit of a miss while providing an evolutionary link to something more special.

iPhone 6s / 6s plus was the big announcement that most people were at the Apple Event to see. They devoted nearly 40 minutes to the iPhone. This jester thinks the new iPhone will be a winner. A9 chip that will be 70% (or more when an app is GPU dependent) faster. There is also 3D Touch, Touch Id(2x faster),  12 MP camera / 5MP front facing camera, auto-focus and zoom? appear to be better or at least faster,  4K Video, True Tone, Display 3x brighter,  Live Photo, LTE and WiFi (upto 2x faster) and you can now purchase or  make install payments on your new iPhone (2 year contract). Oh, iCloud is now half the cost for the same amount of storage. I think I want it all.


You can pre-order starting Saturday (9/12). iOS9 will be released Wednesday(9/16), your new iPhone 6s/6s-plus arrives Friday (9/25) .  Apple TV will be available late October (I hate these vague dates). iPad Pro will be available in November. [update]  OS XEl Capitan“, which is version 10.11 will be available, September 30.  [update]. So that is the event timeline.

Ok, since everyone is panning or bored with Apple and its offerings, I expect I will be alone when I walk into my local Apple store to purchase my new gear. Good, because this stuff will give me and my coCEO wife, Teréza an edge in many ways over our competition.


Stanczyk 8[mouse-in-wingdings-font]

P.S. A Bloggist is a blogger, apologist.

September 2, 2015

GenBaza — An Update To Their Online Database — #Genealogy #Genealogia #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

New_20150902GenBaza has had its access restored (since the crash). You may not be able to register for a new account, but old accounts can now login (since 24-August-2015).

So Stanczyk noticed a few new online databases in GenBaza. So in a Wordless Wednesday way, here are the 30 new congregations/databases with images that became available in the last 90 days.

I am most interested in: Olesnica and Zborowek. But I also want to examine Gnojno and Dobrowoda as I attempt to do a cluster analysis of villages around my ancestral villages (to find outlier events and migratory trends).

September 1, 2015

INS Entry Numbers — #Genealogy #Immigration

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Yesterday, Stancyk wrote about the three pieces of info that you need to request info from INS Holdings in the D. C. Archives.

I wanted emphasize the Entry # a bit more. Yesterday and today we were discussing Subject, Policy, & Correspondence Files. These are NOT the A-Files or C-Files that the INS/USCIS provides genealogy research for. These correspondence files were turned over to NARA & are in the National Archives.

The Entry#’s 1-8 — Early Correspondence

Entry#9 — INS Policy Corespondence

Entry#26 — Bureau of Naturalization Correspondence

Entry#P-4A — Central Office Files

The Subject Card Indexes in are Entry#9.

These are all RG85, Entry#9. The final piece of info (File#) comes from the subject index card. In Leon Pieszczochowicz ‘s  case it was: 55,874-84

So that is how I got my three pieces. Most people will be Entry#9 (deportation, illiterate, disease, crimes, etc. — immigration related) with some people possibly falling into Entry#26 if their correspondence is about the Naturalization (naturalization issues).

Tags: , , ,
August 31, 2015

INS/USCIS & NARA – How To Do Research — #Genealogy #Immigration

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1934_LeonP_RemovalLast week Stanczyk took part in  a webinar:  An Overview of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Records at the National Archives — by Zach Wilske.

It was an excellent webinar. It was my first genealogy webinar! The AT&T Connect that the NARA used for the webinar worked extremely well. I used the iPhone app (as opposed to the laptop software). The iPhone app work well. I heard the presenter over the phone and was able to see the slides simultaneously on the phone.  Very nice choice by the NARA/USCIS and executed well by Zach Wilske.

This jester had a goal to figure out how to research a fact from a number located on Ancestry for Leon Pieszczochowicz. I found Leon in Ancestry’s:  Subject Index to Correspondence and Case Files of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1903-1952

I had found a number(s)/code :  55,874-84

Mr Wilske did a thorough job explaining the topic and out popped my answer without my even having to text a question to the presenter. I needed to go to  NARA in Washington D.C.

I also learned that you need three pieces of info: RG (Record Group),  Entry#, & File# . So what did I have and how do I research it?


Ah, I have a File#. What do I do with it?

This jester will be looking up (on a reference service slip, as shown above):
Leon Pieszczochowicz
RG#     85
Entry# 9
File#    55,874-84

As per Mr. Wilske, I sent an email to:

to confirm the file is still extant.

August 20, 2015

Historical Newspapers … #Australia — #Genealogy #Polish #Newspapers

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk was reminded this week by Flipboard genealogy blogger Kenneth R Marks (Boost Your Genealogy Research With Newspapers) — If you have not discovered this valuable resource then by all means click the link and scan his recent articles in his curated Flipboard magazine.

This week Mr. Marks’ article reminded this jester about TROVE, an Australian Historical Newspaper (and other online documents too) website.  Now I say reminded, because loyal readers may recall my article from April 2013 (From Pacanow Poland to Birchgrove …).

I like what they have done since 2013 and it appears they have been busy at TROVE. So i encourage you to take another look for your Polish ancestor.  TIP (see picture): Use advanced search, look for online resources, search the newspapers for: Naturalization Notice, Poland and check the categories: Advertising, Family Notices to see vital record notices as well as immigration/naturalization notices. This should get your a little over 8,000  articles to search through.

Here are two images of  Polish expats who immigrated to Australia post World War II:



June 12, 2015

Introducing Pacanów — #‎KoziołekMatołek‬ ‘s home away from home #Museum

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MuseumStanczyk was astonished. THere is no other single word to describe what I felt as I was reading The Economist article, “Build it and they will come“. When I read the first six words, this jester was astonished. I knew in an instant they were going to talk about #‎KoziołekMatołek and the fairy tale museum that is in Pacanów (this jester’s ancestral village).

The Economist ! I guess we know where the center of Europe is, Pacanów. A good way to end the week.


June 9, 2015

Meet Jennifer Bailey — Apple VP of Internet Services

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk should not have been surprised. But WWDC15 surprised me early on, when Apple made a bold diversity statement by introducing us to Jennifer Bailey.

Jennifer is Apple’s VP of Internet Services. While at Apple she has worked on the Apple Store and most recently as the global manager of a global team responsible for developing Apple Pay technology. Jennifer also has the distinction of being the first woman speaker at the WWDC Keynote this year.

Previously Ms Bailey has a background that includes: Apple, SkyTel, & Go Corporation. Ms. Bailey was previously Partner and Co-founder of Spark & Kindling, a strategic marketing services firm, where she specialized in new market opportunity evaluation, market segmentation, and business plan development. Prior to Spark & Kindling, Ms. Bailey served as Senior Vice President of On-Line Services and Operations of myCFO, a financial services firm.

Kudos to Apple for progressing its diversity and promoting women in technology. Along with Jennifer Bailey, Apple also introduced us to Susan Prescott, the VP Product Marketing.

June 7, 2015

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Baby Pictures

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 The Duchess of Cambridge took some adorable pictures of her royal babies. Prince George looks particularly dapper in his ensemble — kudos to the Duchess for her pictures & her exquisite baby outfits / picture composition. Consider the Internet broken.

Go to Twitter for @KensingtonRoyal to see more pictures.

May 31, 2015

Meet Private Wojtek, the Nazi fighting Bear-Soldier — #Polish #History #WWII

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Private Wojtek

Private Wojtek


This article from has pictures and personal anecdotes that this jester has not seen before and I recommend you read this uplifting story (and my two stories for a complete picture of this hero-bear)!

Meet Private Wojtek, the Nazi fighting bear-soldier

Twice before has Stanczyk written about Private Wojtek, the Polish Army Bear:


May 27, 2015

American Pharoah

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AmericanPharoahLineageLast year California Chrome missed winning the triple crown by finishing 4th in the Belmont (to TONALIST).. Once again, all across the land people are rooting for history. On 6-June-2015, American Pharoah could make history  as the thoroughbred by winning the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes prize races). The  colt missed out being the  twelfth  Triple Crown winner in horse racing history. The previous Triple Crown winner was Affirmed, 37 years ago !

So Stanczyk being a genealogist was wondering what is American Pharoah’s family tree. To answer that question, you can query a pedigree database ( It should be no surprise that this colt is a champion winning two of three legs of the Crown. His 3x great-grandfather was Secretariat.  Good Stock. Speaking of good stock, American Pharoah’s  breeding rights to Coolmore in America. The terms have not been disclosed but it is believed to be much more than $20 Million and if you can project from Affirmed, probably more than $40 Million. Imagine what American Pharoah will be worth if he is the Triple Crown winner !


Previous 11 US Triple Crown Winners

1919 Sir Barton Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell
1930 Gallant Fox Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons
1935 Omaha Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons
1937 War Admiral Charley Kurtsinger George H. Conway
1941 Whirlaway Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones
1943 Count Fleet Johnny Longden Don Cameron
1946 Assault Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones
1973 Secretariat Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin
1977 Seattle Slew Jean Cruguet William H. Turner, Jr.
1978 Affirmed Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera




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.


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