Archive for ‘Polish’

December 18, 2011

Polish Resources – Cobbled from Ancestry.com/PGSA.org and Family Search – #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, put together a couple of pieces to make a NEW and useful Polish Genealogy database. First off, my email box had a weekly email from Ancestry.com.  This week’s Weekly Discovery is a boon for Polish Genealogists …

U.S. and Poland, Catholic Parish Marriage Index, Polish Genealogical Society of America,
1767–1931

Ok, the above link takes you to Ancestry’s newest database index (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=70048&enc=1) .  Which as the Link Name suggests is a Polish Catholic Parish Marriage Index. I was excited until I discovered that it was really just a re-issue of the PGSA.org ‘s  database: http://www.pgsa.org/CzuchMarAll.php . So if you are not a subscriber to Ancestry, you could just go to PGSA and use their database and get the same results. The PGSA even gives an LDS Microfilm #. So Stanczyk took note of an Anna Eliasz marrying Leon Zielinski in 1910 and the LDS MF#: 1578072 . I made a vow to look that record up in the LDS microfilm. So I was in the LDS Library Catalog verifying the microfilm # was correct and LO and BEHOLD (why is it always LO and BEHOLD — and not just BEHOLD), the Library Catalog says the images are online!!! They even provided a link:

https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//api.familysearch.org/records/collection/1452409/waypoints

Now thankfully the database did specify 1910 and that the church was St. Stanislaus Kostka and even the Page# 204 was helpful. I used those pieces of info and the Family Search link to go to their web page:

  • Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925

I selected the St. Stanislaus Kostka (Chicago) to go to the web page:

From there,  I picked Marriages, 1910-1915 (you need a free login to use their databases) and browsed the images until I got to page# 204 (which was actually image # 109 of 897) and on the left hand page was Leon Zielinski & at the bottom Anna Eliasz marriage record from the church. I got the actual date and parent names (including mother’s maiden name). See below …

I am not certain that Anna Eliasz is a relative or not because it did not provide the parish where Anna was born (and I seriously doubt Anna was born in Chicago in 1882). Her mother’s maiden gives me hope as that name does appear in my ancestral villages, so now I will have to find an Anna Eliasz birth record (or not) in Biechow/Pacanow parishes with parents Jan Eliasz & Mary Jurek.

 

The point of today’s article is that by joining the index in PGSA.org (or Ancestry.com) and using the index data with the browseable images from FamilySearch.org I was able to pull a new Church Parish record quite easily without leaving my house. It is the combination of the two resources from two separate websites that make a new and very useful tool. What do you think?

 

If you have Chicago ancestors (and in particular Polish ones) then you have an early Christmas or Chanukah Present. Drop me a comment of thanks, will ya?

Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah and just in case,  Happy Holidays to the rest of my readers.

 

December 17, 2011

A Little Bit of Blog Bigos … #Genealogy, #Website #Rankings, #SSDI

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has a lot of catch-up to do. I blame it on the season and the Blood Red Lunar Eclipse — certainly that must be cause of the madness this December.

SSDI

So many blogs have written about the Social Security Death Master File and the many related issues. First millions of records were dropped by the SSA. Next the SSA, and this has probably been going on for months, started redacting the names of the parents on the SS5 Applications, thus eliminating the usefulness of that research tool. Now Congress has bullied the paid genealogy databases (and even Rootsweb) to drop the SS# from their databases on deaths in the last ten years. Rootsweb just dropped their Social Security Database altogether!

Now let me remind the lame (not lame duck) Congress that the Social Security Death Master File is used to inform banks/financials/loan companies/credit card companies etc. that these SS#’s are of the DECEASED and that they should not grant any NEW credit applications with the Social Security Numbers in the Social Security Death Master File! Ergo, having the SS# of a dead person should not avail any criminal and should in fact result in their arrest for fraud, as the afore mentioned companies are supposed to check the Social Security Death Master File against credit apps. Therefore, there is really is no need to  eliminate the SS#’s from Ancestry.com or any other database. By eliminating these numbers you cannot order the SS5 Applications — which is just as well since the SSA has made them much less useful. The result is: genealogists have less data available and the US Government has less MONEY($) available since the genealogists now have two reasons not to order the SS5 Applications any longer. The result is the US Government will now lose another source of income??? Boy, is this CONGRESS the biggest bunch of idiots or what?

Eastmans / Website Rankings

Dick Eastman’s Online Newsletter recently wrote about new website rankings and gave the URL/Link to a Anglo/Celtic website. Needless to say this is the website that caused this jester to produce a BETTER set of website rankings (please see my page above or at Genealogy Website Rankings). I ask you to please utilize my Genealogy Rankings as they are based upon resources in more common use in the USA (and Canada), such as SteveMorse.org or EllisIsland.org or CastleGarden.org or any Polish-related website or blog. So I am compelled — not because I am as popular as EOGN.com (#12),  vs Stanczyk (#120). But clearly leaving off the Steve Morse, or Ellis Island or the US NARA or Fold3 is not accurate in the USA and certainly NOT in the GLOBAL Genealogy market as a whole. Now this is foremost a blog about Slavic Genealogy (Russian-Poland overtly emphasized) and so I have made an effort to seek out and reflect Polish websites of Polish Genealogy websites/blogs (when their popularity reflects the need). I have intentionally not included GENPOL.com because its Global Ranking is too low. It is a very well known website to Polish Genealogists and I am sure in Poland itself it would be in the top 125 (just not Globally). So while this blog has a certain voice, my website rankings deserve as much attention as those that Dick Eastman writes about. Perhaps one day EOGN.com will notice this blog and its Genealogy Website Rankings List — you my faithful readers can help me by emailing Dick Eastman and informing him about my set of Genealogy Website Rankings which is very thorough and includes the Top 125 Genealogy Websites — including Polish & American & Jewish (re NonAnglo-Celtic) websites too. EOGN should not be allowed to perpetuate its blind-spot to other genealogies. Now let me hasten to add the other Rankings does in fact mostly agree with my own Rankings on the top 10 or 20 Genealogy Websites — his Rankings lack Polish/American/Jewish sites and my own Rankings miss a few Anglo websites and all of Ancestry.com’s other country sites (UK, CA, DE, AU, etc.) — which should probably be aggregated into Ancestry.com but due to their many domains their totals are segregated by Alexa (ratings agency) and this jester chose not to include so many Ancestry.com properties in the Rankings (which would exclude so many other worthy websites).

As before, let me remind new genealogists that this Genealogy Website Ranking could be utilized to create or augment your genealogy Bookmarks/Favorites. Obviously, they are valuable since a LOT of genealogists visit them.

MOCAVO

I forgot to mention about Mocavo.com (I put it into the newest Genealogy Website Rankings). I have briefly mentioned Mocavo.com before (when I found them in my blog analytics). They are a new search engine, akin to Google. However, they are a Genealogy Search Engine and as such is enhanced to understand GEDCOM, genealogy, dates, places, etc. and their search results are more intensely accurate then say what you would get from Google. They also have the ability search databases and include those in results, as well as GEDCOMs. You have the ability to submit your family tree (GEDCOM) to Mocavo and they can provide you with notices of potential new matches — much like Ancestry.com does for their subscribers. So instead of Googling you Family Tree, try MOCAVOing your Family Tree.

November 23, 2011

Stanislaw Lem – Google Doodle

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has written about Stanislaw Lem before (https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/thingsifind-when-looking-up-other-things-stanislaw-lem-1956-przekroj/). So in another bit of cognitive resonance, I find that Google has a Stanislaw Lem Doodle (a rather complex Google Doodle). Now before you scurry off to verify this factoid, be forewarned that here in the USA, we only see a Turkey Doodle. Here is the UK Google Doodle (http://www.google.co.uk/)  for Stanislaw Lem.

A Few Articles on the Lem Google Doodle:

The last two are European newspapers, as it is not readily apparent in the USA that Goggle has done this tribute. You need to visit a Google mirror in Europe to see the Stanislaw Lem Doodle (or click on the first link above). The doodle ends with the message that the art was inspired by the drawings of Daniel Mroz for Lem’s short story collection The Cyberiad, published in 1965. This Google Doodle is interactive, allowing users to participate in a series of games. This doodle marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of his Stanislaw Lem’s first book, The Astronauts in 1951.

Since he is Polish son, go Googling in the UK today.

November 17, 2011

Feliks Elijasz, Roman Catholic Shoemaker – Found in Fold3.com Free WWII database

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wants to tell you, my faithful readers, a story of Remembrance. This is a fitting tale, since it came from Fold3’s providing free access to its WWII databases for Veterans Day (also known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day). It is the story of Feliks Elijasz, a Catholic Shoemaker from Warsaw, Poland. Feliks shares a last name with Stanczyk’s family, but there is no evidence that Feliks is an ancestor. This story is derived from an historical form (see the end of this article). This story is also another case of cognitive resonance, due to its connection to my wife and a friend she made a while ago and this woman who gave moja zona some significant historical photos earlier this week (just copies, not the originals).

Feliks Elijasz, was a Shoemaker (and as I said a Catholic). Feliks was born the 17th-November-1896 in Warsaw. At the time of this form’s creation, Feliks was living in Warsaw, on Okopowa 30 ( a street address). Warsaw was in occupied Poland at the time. His parents were Wiktor Elijasz (also a shoemaker in Warsaw) and Paulina Elijasz (nee Szczigolska), with whom he lived. Feliks was married to Janina Elijasz (nee Woclarksa). He and his wife had at least one child (20 years old). Feliks was an infantryman in the Polish Army from 1920 to 1921. [Since that is after World War I, it is probable that Feliks fought the Russian Bolsheviks in the border war of that time period.]

Feliks had the bad sense to do something for which he was arrested in Warsaw, on the 10th-August-1944. He was admitted to prison in Krakow, on the 13th-August-1944. Feliks died while incarcerated on the 2nd-March-1945. That is horrible! The horror is further compounded because that prison camp was liberated  just a month later on the 11th-April-1945. The prison camp was Buchenwald!!! The form is from the Buchenwald Camp documents, called, “Camp Records – Inmate Cards“, page 2177.  There a few other details (describing Feliks’ appearance, etc.). The file was discontinued, on the 16th-March-1945. So this entire remembrance was constructed by careful extraction from the historical document — which provided a treasure trove of detail to remember Feliks by.

Now the Cognitive Resonance part is about Buchenwald. Not two days earlier, my wife was given pages of photographs of the Dachau Trials (held at the same time as the more famous Nuremberg Trials). The pictures were of the prosecuted Nazis, the American Liberators, the witnesses, courtrooms, etc. I was able to identify the pictures as from the Dachau Trials, as there were other pictures taken (and published on the Internet) and the windows, light fixtures, room decor, etc, matched EXACTLY. These pictures were taken by a  Norristown, PA soldier (who has since passed). His pictures did NOT contain, the infamous, “Witch of Buchenwald” who was prosecuted at the Dachau Trials (and convicted), but the other pictures that I matched these newly discovered historical pictures to, did, contain, Ilse Koch (the Witch of Buchenwald, amongst other  appellations). Ilse Koch was the wife of the Buchenwald Commandant (Karl Otto Koch).

For the record my wife, has contacted the Shoah Foundation about this woman who has the original historical pictures that her father took in Dachau in 1945. So these pictures will be recorded/preserved for posterity by professionals. We did not handle the originals,  merely copies that the woman had given to my wife. I know the new pictures are from Dachau Trials, because the soldier signed the back of one picture with his name and his location (Dachau). He was the soldier who was assigned to photograph the proceedings (I do not know/think he was the only photographer) and he was also required to witness the death sentences carried out on at least  three different individuals (two of the Nazis for which it appears he has something akin to funeral cards for and Claus Karl Schilling, the camp doctor whom the soldier mentioned witnessing his death). That soldier/photographer was Carmen Frangiosa a man who witnessed and photographed history.

The Inmate Card of Feliks Elijasz …

November 14, 2011

#ThingsIFind Whilst Looking Up Other Things … Polish Libraries in the USA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In one of Stanczyk’s continuing memes, Things I Find Whilst Looking Up Other Things, I was combing the Internet and was rifling through Polish Genealogical Societies. I hopped from the PGSA.org to PGSNYS.org (Polish Genealogical Society of New York State), when they mentioned, The Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle. Apparently, they had a Reopening of their Library on September 17, 2011. The library is located at: 612 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, New York 14212.

That got this jester to thinking, so here is my list of Polish Libraries in the USA:

Does anyone else know of any other Polish libraries that I need to add to this list? If so, please email me.

November 7, 2011

Madame Sklodowska Curie, #Scientist

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Did you catch the Classic Home Google logo today? It features Madame Curie, whose birthday is today. It is still true that women do not go into science and/or engineering in the same numbers as men do. That makes Marie Sklodowska Curie and her daughter, Irene, all the more remarkable that their family had two women scientists (both Nobel Prize winners) and that the entire family had a preponderance of Nobel Prizes amongst them.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Smithsonian Magazine’s article, “Madame Curie’s Passion“. Clearly, she was a woman ahead of her time. The Smithsonian thoughtfully included additional pics (including Nobel Certificate).

Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize in Physics(1903) and another in Chemistry(1911). Only Linus Pauling was able to duplicate this feat — They are the only two people who won Nobel Prizes in two separate fields and Madame Curie was the first. Of course, she honored her homeland (Poland), by naming the first radioactive element she discovered, “Polonium”.

She was born, Maria Salomea Skłodowska, in Warsaw (Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire) 7th-November-1867 to Wladyslaw & Bronislawa Sklodowskich. Wladyslaw’s father was Jozef Sklodowski and his mother was Salomea z. Suktinski. So Maria’s middle name was from her paternal grandmother. She married Pierre Curie and had two daughters (Irene, Eve) with Pierre. She died on 4th-July-1934, Skłodowska-Curie died  in Passy, in Haute-Savoie, France.

Madame Curie's Father, Wladyslaw's Birth Record

November 6, 2011

Polish Genealogy Notable News – #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polish Genealogy Notable News

On Wednesday (November 2nd), Family Tree Magazine released their 101 Best Genealogy Websites. Their email newsletter had the link for 2010 unfortunately — which Stanczyk only just noticed as I was writing this article. Here is the link to their 2011 version of the 101 Best Genealogy Websites. This 2011 article did NOT have a printable list of URL’s/LINKs, but here is the PDF from last year .

On Monday (October 31st), The Gen Dobry newsletter came (always a monthly highlight) and there was a mention of the United Polish Genealogical Societies Biennial Conference in April 2012. For more info on this conference, go to: http://upgs.eventbrite.com/ .

Stanczyk’s own Dziennik Polski (Detroit, MI) Historical Ethnic Newspaper page had many updates this week. Most importantly, the Dziennik Polski Names Index Page now has nearly 31,000 names (and dates and whether it is a birth, marriage, or death or other event).

South Florida’s Sun Sentinel published an article November 1st, on a remarkable story of how genealogy connected a Jewish Polish-American with the rest of his Holocaust survivors family. This is genealogy at its most poignant.

Blessings for the new week!

–Stanczyk

 

 

November 4, 2011

Joseph Conrad = Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

During, October (Polish Heritage Month), when I wrote about Polish literati, I neglected to mention, Joseph Conrad. A huge oversight on my part, that I did not realize until afterwards, when I had read Donna Pointkouski’s comment with a link to her fine article on Polish authors.

I hope you can already guess the reason for my mental blunder, Joseph Conrad, was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski. He was born 3-December-1857 in Berdichev (Polish: Berdyczów, in the Russian Gubernia, of Kiev). Donna’s article said his first language was Polish and his second language was French and that Joseph Conrad did not become fluent in English until his 20’s. I have to wonder that perhaps that there must have been some Russian nestled in between Polish and French given his birthplace and early life. At any rate, it is a marvel that he could be so literate in English and that his literary prose so remarkable, considering it was not his native language. Now he has a rather lengthy bibliography and this jester can only claim to have read, Heart of Darkness (1899).

Check out the wikipedia article from the above link. Look at the picture of Conrad. You can see the noble birth writ upon his face and his intellect is there too in his eyes. This man should have been an author – thank goodness he became one.

For Stanczyk, who came across Conrad later in life and having only read Heart of Darkness, I categorized him in with his contemporaries: Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, & Sir Henry Rider Haggard (who? – author of Solomon’s Mines, creator of the “Lost World” literary genre) and their literary inheritors: Edgar Rice Burroughs (not so much Tarzan as his John Carter character) and Robert E. Howard. There may be many others, but these are the ones I have read. I am sure Ernest Hemmingway read Conrad from Hemmingway’s quotes and there are elements in Hemmingway’s works/life that bring to mind Joseph Conrad. So I guess my brain “Anglicized” this brilliant author who wrote such fluid prose in English and imbued it with his Slavic soul.

That is my mea culpa for omitting Joseph Conrad in October and I am sticking with it.

October 20, 2011

Polish Heritage Month – Artists & Scupltors

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Copernicus' Deathbed by Walery Elijasz

We always salute the famous historical heroic figures like Pulaski or Kosciusko or possibly scientists like Madame Skladowska Curie and Mikolaj Copernicus or maybe a musician like Fryderyk Chopin. But I do not want this month to go by without a listing of the literary talents and the artistic talents. Yesterday I wrote about the writers and today I wanted to mention the painters and scupltors.

Piotr Michałowski, Jan Matejko (Stanczyk’s portrait painter — see below for self-portrait), Walery Elijasz (guess why he is in the list), Stanisław Wyspiański (also was on the list of writers yesterday too).

Here are an abbreviated list of painters & scupltors for you to explore:

Olga Boznańska, Konstanty Brandel, Xawery Dunikowski, Julian Fałat, Jacek Malczewski, Józef Mehoffer, Józef Pankiewicz, Ferdynand Ruszczyc, Jan Stanisławski, Władysław Ślewiński, Wojciech Weiss, Leon Wyczółkowski, Konstanty Laszczka

Walery Elijasz who may or may not be related to this author was famous for his  book illustrations and travels through Zakopane where he was a major part in the founding an artists colony there.

Jan Matejko - self portrait

If Stanczyk could get you to view one artist’s works it would be Jan Matejko (1838-1893). His home is a museum in old city Krakow and can be visited. He is the artist whose painting is at the top of this blog. You have probably seen his painting of Polish kings in books or on Polish stamps. This jester has a work of his on Copernicus (on a rooftop with his scientific tools, “Conversation with God“) that is much beloved. Jan Matejko also wrote a small book in Polish on the Polish kings using his artwork on them and provides a genealogical/historical sketch of each king. Besides his historical paintings of Battles and Kings, he is also renown for his portraiture. The Krakow Academy of Fine Arts where he served for many years was named for him in 1979. He was a true Master of the Fine Arts.

October 17, 2011

#Books, #Maps, #Documents – Home is Where the Hearth Is

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk,  is feeling very home-centric these days and many familial events (genealogy progresses). As the weather now turns to autumn, thoughts of baking and fine cooking come to mind — who does not revel in the warm, fragrant baked goods of the season.

Polish Bakery Food is good for the soul … and so is food for thought, good for the soul too. Stanczyk combs through the dusty catacombs of the Internet seeking. Seeking what … I do not know. But here are a few pictures to warm your thoughts. I have mentioned before that this jester is a bibliophile. So when I found a website  (http://arcaion.cba.pl/) about Documents, Books & Lettersin a digital form, I was fascinated. It is written in Polish and other languages, but you can select ‘English’ at the top left and much of the text (including Tag Cloud) convert to English.I like this site enough that I am considering adding it to the blogroll. What do you think my faithful readers?I think I approve of this erudite author’s penchant for interesting and wide-ranging topics. I found that s/he chose. I was interested in the Ming Virtual Manuscript Room (University of Birmingham, England) and the collections of documents they have from the Middle East.If you go back to December 13th, 2010 you will find an article on “Ex Libris / Bookplates“. The link (URL) to that blog’s website, which was chock full of interesting articles — sadly none new since 2009. I loved it so much, I am considering “ripping the web pages from the defunct website??” to my hard drive so I do not lose that author’s research which was so rich and robust.Somewhere amongst the original website I was speaking of, is another link to a website of ancient French maps (rather ancient maps collected by National Library of France). I was intrigued (is there such a thing as cartophile — for map lovers) by a map purported to be from the 15th century that captured the Ptolemaic View of the World Map.

There was another fine article on the oldest documents in the Suwalki State Archive.

I will definitely have to check in on this blog and either add it to my blog roll here or at least add it to my iGoogle page for genealogy so I can keep tabs on the new articles of interest.

Oh, the artwork on the left side of today’s article — they are from You Tube videos on Poland or Yiddish Theater in Poland. But I felt they capture my mood for this autumnal Monday.

Enjoy with your morning coffee (how about some Sumatra) !

— Stanczyk

Russian Peddlers
Bagel Seller
October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day – Get Out Your Polish Flags

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In the USA, we celebrate Columbus Day, the second Monday in October. The actual day is 12-October-1492. Latin America too celebrates this holiday. It has been a federal holiday since 1937. However, I did not say national holiday as three states do not celebrate the holiday at all. Alaska, Hawaii, and South Dakota are the three states that do not recognize Columbus Day.

 

This year, I am asking Polish-Americans, as well as all other Polonia to wave their Polish flags at Columbus Day celebrations. Here are my initial two articles on this topic that establish Columbus as person of Polish Heritage (and therefore appropriate to honor in this Polish Heritage Month):

  1. Columbus Discovers He Is Polish
  2. Columbus’ Real Father ?

I hope Columbus’ roots can be determined scientifically, just as Copernicus’ remains were identified and resolve this hoopla over Columbus’s Heritage.

Happy Columbus Day !

–Stanczyk

October 6, 2011

Ukase – Decree … #Genealogy, #History, #Russian, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester thanks my Slavic readers from: Poland, Russian Federation, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Slovakia, etc and of course their American emigres and American born of that heritage. This is after all predominantly a blog of genealogy that focuses on its Slavic Heritage and especially the heritage of Stanczyk‘s paternal grandparents who were born, married, had children and emigrated from Poland … Russian-Poland also known as Congress Kingdom of Poland and to a lesser degree, Vistulaland (a collection of ten gubernia in the czarist Russian Empire). Poland was occupied and partitioned between three Empires: Prussian (German), Austrian (Austro-Hungarian / Hapsburg), and Russian from 1792-1918. As such, in the Russian partition, they were subject to the Czar’s ukases (decrees).

A UKASE (указ) is formally an “imposition” , usually by the czar, but possibly by an Orthodox Patriarch. But ukase is usually translated as decree or edict.

My ancestors were from the Russian-Poland partition, but just across the Vistula (Wisla) river from the Austrian-Poland partition — which had, to me, a surprising number cross-Empire interaction in vital records. The Russian-Poland nominally a fiefdom of the Russian Czar, who was also titled as King of Poland, as well as Russian Emperor.

There were many Ukases from each czar/czarina. So many so, that Czar Nicholas in 1827 ordered a collation of these edicts (a kind of codification Russian law). The result was a 48 volume collection of ukases. Some notable ukases …

  • Created (1791) and others amended the Pale of Settlement
  • 1821 Territorial waters off Alaska (affecting British Empire and a young America)
  • 1861 Freeing the Serfs
  • 1868 Decreed that vital records in the Kingdom of Poland be recorded in Russian

Stanczyk is fascinated by the last one. It is said that it is in the Polish DNA to be multi-lingual. Certainly, my grandmother was capable of four languages (Polish, Russian, German, and finally English). But how did the Catholic priests do this? Switching from recording vital records in Polish to recording them into Russian? The year of the switch-over was 1868. The records start out in Polish but switch during the year to being in Russian ??? Admittedly, the Russian in most cases was a bit … uh “problematic”.

Can you imagine that happening in America? Most of the world thinks of the USA as being linguistically challenged. This jester is fluent only in English. I did receive much French tutelage and can read French. With my genealogy, I have been self taught in Polish, Russian and Latin. Thankfully, Google provides the Google Translator, flawed as it is, for Polish. Still as it was, I was able to use it communicate with a distant cousin in Poland who could not speak any English and my ability to write Polish was so very limited. Yet we overcame and I was blessed with the gift of my grandparent’s marriage record from Biechow church and a civil record of their marriage from a local USC office.

And it was a good thing my cousin sent me both. As the USC mistranslated the Russian language church record on my grandmother’s age. They had accidentally added five years to my grandmother’s age, which I would not have known if I did not have the original church record in Russian (which apparently the local USC could not read as well as I could).

So here is Stanczyk’s UKASE …

All Polish Genealogists must be able to read Latin, Polish, and Russian. (Who can read that German handwriting?)

October 3, 2011

Polish American Heritage Month

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday’s Pulaski Day Parade (10/2/2011 Philadelphia) was another event in the Month long celebration of Polish American Heritage Month. This year there is a focus on Polish Scientists and in particular, Madam Curie, whose 100th anniversary of her 2nd Nobel Prize (November 2011). Marie Sklodowska Curie was the first scientist (man or woman) to win two Nobel Science Prizes. I believe only Linus Pauling has equaled her achievement.

Stanczyk‘s favorite magazine, “Smithsonian” (October 2011), also has and article on this amazing scientist. Please honor the month and the woman by reading this fascinating article, “The Passion of Madame Curie“.

Remember, to honor Columbus Day and any of its parades with your Polish flag. In the last year it was reported by a Portuguese researcher (Manuel Rosa) that Christopher Columbus is really a Polish son (and not Genovese). So this is new Polish Heritage we need to celebrate. This blog has a couple of articles (here is the original article).

 

September 25, 2011

#Genealogy #Polish – Searching ELA database, State Archives (Poland)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was visiting the State Archives in Poland website and he explained about the four databases:

  • PRADZIAD – For vital records, both civil and religious. Birth,  Marriage, Death and Alegata records.
  • SEZAM – A database containing  detailed descriptions of archival holdings preserved by the State Archives and a few related repositories. Some entries are rather lengthy.
  • IZA – A catalog of all (really slightly more than a quarter of all) fonds, by archive that holds them and indexed by Key Words. It includes the Archive’s contact info (for each fond). I hope they get around to indexing the other 3/4 of fonds.
  • ELA – A database of all population registers (Censuses, Lists, Indexes, etc.) in Poland’s State Archives.

When I wrote about ELA, I said it was not very useful. But I  wanted to correct my errant statement (due to my own misconception about what data they had available). By the descriptions, you can see that PRADZIAD is the most important to a genealogist, but that the ELA database with its population lists can provide additional opportunities to find an ancestor and in some context (a list of soldiers, those being deported, a census, eligible voters list, etc.) for some timeframe. Now let me hasten to add that in the Russian Partition of Poland you are not going to find much in the way of censuses — it seems you can find Russian Empire censuses in all Russian Gubernias, but the ten gubernias in the Polish Kingdom (of the Russian Empire, aka Congress Poland).

Using ELA

This is the English language version of the ELA database (click on link to go to ELA) search form.

You can leave “Town” empty and just search on the “Register’s title” field. Here are some possible search strings (enter Polish words):

  1. Listy osób
  2. Listy osób uprawnionych do głosowania w guberni kieleckiej
  3. listy osób deportowanych z Cesarstwa Rosyjskiego

The first is just the generic, “Lists of People”. All strings must be in Polish (get your Google Translator out). The diacriticals (accents) are not required. The second is the list of eligible voters (in Kielce Gubernia).  The third one is a list of people deported from the Russian Empire.

Leave town blank if you want to search all towns. Fill in town or gmina or powiat (if these are also town names) if you want to limit yourself to an area where you know your ancestors were from. You can also use “Register’s title” if you want to search a whole wojewodztwo (gubernia) and not just the town Kielce.

I have family from the Kielce Gubernia, so I clicked on “more” to find out what FOND and Archive has this data of interest to me (#2 of the list above).

So I should use the contact info to go to the Kielce State Archive and ask for FOND # 59 to see the list of eligible voters in Kielce Gubernia in 1906.

Perhaps I’ll find Elijasz, Leszczynski, Wlecial, and Kedzierski families listed among the eligible voters. From that era, my paternal grandparents are still there  and I expect  that I’d find my great-grandparents too. Now I do not know that I will find more than their names. But perhaps, I’ll get ages and addresses too. Who knows what else (military service, occupation, date of prior elections or number of elections voted — who knows).

There is no actual data or images online. It just a big library catalog file of what you can expect to find, if you visit or hire a genealogist to visit the State Archives.

September 21, 2011

Smithsonian Institution Libraries – Books, Images Online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Brown Tree Duck

Being a jester brings with it a lot of name calling and chief among them is “bird-brain” — which Stanczyk has taken to heart.

A Number of times, I have written about the Smithsonian Libraries & Museums or the Library of Congress. These treasures of America should be enjoyed  and are provided for the diffusion of information. Every American should make a pilgrimage to Washington D.C. and see the statues and museums — taking care not to wander too close to politicians lest you contract a serious case of lunacy.

I have lived in the Village of Audubon, the hometown of the Franco-American Naturalist, John James Audubon. My connection to my genealogy is a fascinating one. Many of the persons from my grandparent’s ancestral villages have Bird Names! Names like: Czapla, Dudek, Kruk, łuszcz, Orzeł{owski}, Ptak, Siewki(Siwiec), Sroka, Skowronek, Sokol(owski),   Szczygieł,  Wrobel, Zięba, żuraw(ski), (and even Włecial=flew) etc. Now one thing had nothing to do with the other; It was just a weird juxtaposition of my life. To couple these two things with my obsession with ducks and yea verily all manner of water fowl — well you get today’s posting. Maybe birds really are in my DNA (in more ways than one).

Actually, today’s posting came from my iGoogle page (Genealogy & Libraries). I have hooked the Smithsonian Libraries blog into the iGoogle page. Today they blogged about their Gallery of Images. Now I thought this was going to be another mention of their flickr pages. But I was wrong. WARNING: do not go to the Gallery of Images if you suffer from ADD. You can easily become lost in the SIL efforts to bring these images and their information online.

The picture at the top is not from Audubon’s Birds of North America, but it is from “The Birds of North America” by Spencer Fullerton Baird, published in 1860 (Philadelphia).

[click on read more to Polish-English Bord List]                                  

September 20, 2011

#Genealogy #Polish – Notes & Notices; Searching IZA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was visiting the State Archives in Poland and he saw the news…

The State Archive in Wroclaw is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its opening. They published a monograph, “The State Archive in Wrocław 1811-2011. Past and Present “, The main celebration  will take place on 28th of September. If the Archive is 200 years old, then I wonder how old its oldest documents are? Please note if you click on the Union Jack flag (for English) you will miss this announcement which only listed on the Polish language version of the page.

Shoemaker’s Guild

I wanted to search their IZA database to do a “Key Word” search across all State Archive Offices on the topic of Guilds, in particular Shoemaker’s Guild (cechu szewskiego). I have previously written about these guilds before in this blog. I used the ‘cechu’ AND ‘szewc’ as my keywords and I got back seven results:

I circled the Catalog Number (sygnatura) which is a link that can be clicked. When you click on it, you are taken to the specific page for the archive that has the material you need.

The first part of the four parts indicates the archive office (see drop down below). The second is “series”, the third is “sub-series” and the fourth part is file number. Now the material retrieved from the IZA database is in Polish, so if you are not fluent in Polish, you will need your Google Translate webpage.

So when you click on the Catalog number the top of the page should look like …

The address and phone number at the top left. Further down the page it describes the archival file(s) from your search — in Polish!

The initial database search screen also has a drop-down field that maps the State Archive Offices to the number (the first part of the Catalog Number). You may want to limit results to a specific office if you are only searching in a specific archive office when you visit Poland.

So you see at the bottom of my drop down that 32 = Krakow State Archive in the Nowy Targ office. The 32 was the first part of my catalog number: 32/1/0/64 .

You can click these images at the left to see a large size image that will be easier to read.

In terms of vocabulary, the series + the sub-series (parts 2 & 3) are the FOND. The fourth part, the file number, is also called ‘OPIS‘.

You will see these words used with the other databases, in particular, the PRADZIAD database that has the vital records (church registers -or- civil office records).

It is this jester’s hope that this info can help you navigate the State Archives of Poland’s three databases (also a fourth database, ELA which is not very useful):

  • PRADZIAD
  • SEZAM
  • IZA
September 12, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – Revisited With A Documented Methodology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk got one comment recently. It was the first one I ever deleted. It was rude and was in reference to my rant at Genealogy Rankings posted by EOGN. Eastman, had just reposted some blogger’s effort without checking the results (a genealogical mistake — which we all make at some time or other).

Stanczyk, however is a natural skeptic. So when I looked at the results and they differed from my experience … WILDLY. I knew they were wrong or at least that the methodology employed was flawed and the info was misinformation. So I searched for another more credible ranking — which I did find and repost myself. This info was more representative of the real world and while a methodology was also not documented for this, I did cite my source of data.

However, bothered I was by my comment that I deleted for its obvious bias and rudeness, I had to admit I needed to study this and document my methodology. The commenter proffered that ALEXA.com be the source. So I obliged. I used Alexa.com and made the following search for data:

  • All countries (hint hint)
  • Society->Genealogy [the topic]
  • All languages (although come on, Genealogy is only genealogy in English)
  • All rankings
  • No filter
  • I eliminated results without any numbers (how could they be ranked)
  • I added a handful off the top of my head to see where they fit
  • I used Global Ranking (since I wanted all countries/languages)

My Additions

I added FamilySearch.org,  I knew this must be big! I added Genealodzy.pl which most people probably do not know (unless they read my blog), because it was a credible Genealogical Society Website (and probably not the most popular genealogy website in Poland). I added Footnote (now Fold3) — I was sure this was huge too. I also added CastelGarden, SteveMorse, and my own humble blog for reference — I am sure many other Polish Genealogy blogs are higher ranked. My additions are  bolded and in RED.

I could not compare my results to his results because he used the URL instead of the name so I am not certain which of mine are his and vice-versa. Also since we did these studies at different times, our results differ slightly in numbers. I am also puzzled as to how he got so many .UK or .CA websites. These did not get returned by my Alexa.com search — perhaps he limited his methodology  or added in many websites that he knew. I think Alexa.com needs to return a consistent set of websites so rankings can be compared. I also think that some websites need to describe or META tag their website better so sites like Alexa.com and its competitors can do a better job of collecting statistics. I think GENEALOGY as a topic is MUCH more popular than Alexa.com shows. Also, perhaps Alexa.com data is NOT reproducible.  So maybe my critique of EOGN is unwarranted and the Anglo-Celtic blog is also correct (as I am too). That would not be a good thing for Alexa.com. I wish other competitors in Web Analytics would publish a Genealogy/Family History Ranking study. I hope they include genealogia or other foreign renditions of the English ‘Genealogy’ so we can get a true World-Wide study. I also question whether Ancestry.com (and Ancestry.ca, Ancestry.uk, Ancestry.de, etc) should be separate or combined.

When you view the rankings, the lower the number, the better. It means there are that many websites (-1) that are more popular. So for example, my blog that you are reading has 12.8 Million other websites (like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.) ahead of me in popularity in the WORLD. Pay close attention to my additions, they are in bold/red and for the most part are near to the top.

Genealogy Websites top 113 (I am number 106 — come-on readers)

# Website Ranking
1 Ancestry.com 1,073
2    Familysearch.org 8,331
3 Genealogy.com 11,875
4 GeneaNet 13,684
5 The British Monarchy 53,320
6 Family Tree DNA 57,911
7 RootsWeb  62,662
8   Footnote.org (now fold3) 76,309
9 JewishGen 85,873
10 What’s New in Genealogy Today  116,942
11 Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Resources on the Internet 124,819
12 TribalPages 125,404
13    Stevemorse.org 137,026
14 Eastman’s Online Genealogy News  138,037
15 Access Genealogy  140,165
16 GenoPro 164,723
17 World Vital Records 186,504
18   Genealodzy.pl 187,329
19 One Great Family 203,284
20 Polish Genealogical Society of America 203,550
21 ProGenealogists, Inc. 230,037
22 Genealogy and Family History Data at DistantCousin.com 240,451
23 AncientFaces 271,220
24 Kindred Konnections 273,644
25 National Genealogical Society 300,259
26 Family Tree Magazine 304,602
27 Family Research 317,401
28 Legacy Family Tree 334,708
29 British Royal Family History 337,957
30 Curious Fox 450,455
31 museumsusa.org 478,027
32 Olive Tree Genealogy 478,202
33 GenealogyLinks.net 526,395
34 NCGenWeb 529,784
35 Family Tree Guide 540,734
36 Oxford Ancestors 540,969
37 Irish Genealogy 542,221
38 RootsMagic 546,245
39 CousinConnect.com 556,154
40 Family Tree Circles 560,472
41 Monmouth County Library 664,876
42    Castlegarden.org 736,651
43 Avotaynu 790,666
44 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
45 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
46 Genealogy Articles, Tips & Research Guides 867,921
47 CensusDiggins.com  903,350
48 Genealogy Blog 981,796
49 Reunion 988,538
50 Obituary Links Page  1,080,372
51 Dear Myrtle 1,084,424
52 Dead Fred’s Photo Genealogy Archive 1,149,953
53 GeneaLinks 1,168,516
54 Ultimate Family Tree 1,527,831
55 Holmes, Doug 1,569,874
56 RoyaList Online 1,608,515
57 Kerchner 1,624,302
58 phpmyfamily – Genealogical website builder 1,635,669
59 Jewish Web Index 1,713,993
60 Couch: USA 1,766,283
61 The Ohio Genealogical Society 1,792,377
62 Board for Certification of Genealogists 1,854,544
63 Ancestral Quest 1,856,546
64 GenealogyPro.com 1,892,255
65 Scot Roots 2,170,754
66 Genealogy Magazine 2,175,330
67 Black Sheep Ancestors 2,243,157
68 Eneclann 2,298,226
69 Sephardim.com 2,456,171
70 Odessa German-Russian Genealogical Library 2,531,031
71 Journal of Genetic Genealogy 2,585,838
72 Genealogical Journeys In Time 2,780,736
73 Colonial Ancestors 2,932,587
74 Genealogy Register 3,016,245
75 The Genealogue 3,033,136
76 Winslow 3,189,607
77 Family Chronicle Magazine 3,248,384
78 GEDitCOM 3,527,586
79 Gen Source 3,718,359
80 Brother’s Keeper 3,788,856
81 Surname Site  3,854,351
82 GenealogySpot.com 4,028,763
83 GenSmarts 4,070,308
84 Palatines to America 4,161,788
85 Looking 4 Kin Genealogy Links and Chat 4,650,889
86 Genealogical Forum of Oregon 5,079,038
87 Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox  5,229,636
88 Family Origins 5,240,600
89 Genealogy Research Associates, Inc 5,416,307
90 Surname Genealogy Archive 5,462,264
91 Spansoft – Kith and Kin Genealogy Software 5,477,484
92 Historic Genealogy in New England 5,550,789
93 Ancestor Genealogy Photo Archive 5,999,968
94 Genealogy Roots Blog 6,048,790
95 Lineages, Inc 6,852,004
96 Surname Guide 7,252,646
97 Debrett Ancestry Research 8,431,123
98 Geneabios 8,649,736
99 MudCreek Software 9,461,331
100 Family Tree Connection 9,693,244
101 Association of Scottish Genealogists and Record Agents 9,785,665
102 nbgs.ca 10,632,352
103 Scottish Roots 10,912,588
104 Georgia Genealogical Society 11,944,069
105 Rogue Valley Genealogical Society 12,287,030
106   mikeeliasz.wordpress.com (Stanczyk) 12,805,138
107 Genealogy Software News 15,592,001
108 Wheelock 20,518,710
109 FamilyWebHost 20,769,903
110 Genealogy Home Page 23,241,140
111 Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society 25,363,263
112 Upper Canada Genealogy 26,691,115
113 GenDesigner 26,900,547

It is clear that Great Britain is much more genealogy crazy than the USA. If I were to do this again, I would probably go through my favorites/bookmarks and add in a few blogs (Polish Genealogy), Polish Genealogical Societies (US & Poland), FindAGrave.com, Interment.net, and Everett Genealogy Magazine. What would you add?

–Stanczyk

August 25, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Tech Notes & Ideas

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

You may have noticed that Stanczyk’s Blog Roll is heavily Polish Genealogy Blogs. That is because we should try to keep the pulse on news and ideas that other Polish Genealogists know or are struggling with. Polish Genealogy Blogs can be a valuable Reference Source for beginning Slavic genealogists as they struggle to come up the learning curve of dealing with Central/European branches in their family tree.

How can you Find  Blogs of Interest to Your Research?

  • Use search engines like Google or Bing – try searching on ‘Polish, Genealogy, Blog’
  • Word Press has a tool called Tag Surfer – try using the tags: ‘Polish, Genealogy’ or use ancestral village
  • Use Genealogy Blog Finder 
  • Use Yahoo Groups and visit ‘Polish Geniuses‘ [recently(August 2011) celebrated 10 year anniversary]
  • Save the links to these Blogs in your Favorites or Bookmarks or at  Delicio.us
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