Archive for ‘Technology’

August 18, 2018

Book Review — Origin by Dan Brown — #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Origin by Dan BrownStanczyk, Adores the Dan Brown techno-thrillers. I especially love his main character, Robert Langdon. The Origin is the fifth book in the series. Where does this story rank in my favorites (top #1 to bottom #5)?

  1. Angels & Demons (the magnum opus)
  2. The Da Vinci Code
  3. Inferno
  4. Origin
  5. The Lost Symbol

I might be the exception, but I prefer Inferno to Origin although both are excellent and very close in quality & entertainment.

Dan Brown has grown in his embracing the technical world. He has created websites to complement the book. Consider his “ConspiracyNet.*” or other oddments that bolster they experience of the book outside the book’s pages itself. A Multi-media presentation like no other. I like Dan Brown the person and Dan Brown the author, creator.

I know I am not the only one who obsesses on Robert Langdon & Dan Brown. Consider this website:  sites.middlebury.edu/origin . These people really add to the Langdon series mythos. They gather the proper nouns in each chapter and provide background material, kind of like Dan Brown must do for his research. Click on “Resources” to view the same treatment for other books in the series.

Dan, has created a new techno-thriller mystery replete with exotic locales. His use web press releases with faux web links adds to the immersive effect just like his use of external websites. He interleaves a kind of travelogue and art exposition, sprinkled heavily with technical buzzwords. That is the comfortable API to his mystery writing with well developed characters and fast paced writing style to add action & suspense.

Stanczyk is a #STEM worker himself. So I have collected the buzzwords / concepts from Origin. These make the novel so NOW! I am not certain if this will hold up over the decades,  but it will serve to place his works in a timeframe & context for future readers.

Buzzwords:

read more »

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June 15, 2016

RootsWeb Upgrade — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RootsWeb Source: THE ANCESTRY INSIDER

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

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

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

Thank you Ancestry for keeping that promise.

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

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

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

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

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.

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
September 22, 2015

Ancestry.com Releases App Version 6.7 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 

Ancestry App version 6.7

– Ancestry.app 6.7 (click to go to App Store)

Early today (22-September-2015) — The latest version of Ancestry’s app version 6.7 was released. Now 90.5MB  in size.

The download is specific to handling images. The quality and ease of dealing with images in your smartphone was greatly improved!

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.

Timeline

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.

August 26, 2015

Ancestry.com & Gannett Collaborate To Bring >80 U.S. Newspapers Online — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GannettAncestryDateline 24-August-2015 — Two days ago this announcement / presswire was published: here . It said that more than 80 newspapers would be digitized and brought online. Now, I am thinking this will not be in Ancestry.com, but in their other product: Newspapers.com (thus requiring you to subscribe to two offerings).

Already this collaboration has born fruit in that Cinncinati Enquirer has 4 million pages available online. Now this jester went to Gannett’s website and saw that they have 95 U.S. newspapers (not including USA Today) covering about 2/3 of  the U.S. states. Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, California, Texas, Wisconsin have at least one newspaper each. Each archive will ultimately include every available page from the first date of publication up to about 30 days prior (to the present? or the announcement?).

This jester is waiting for the Detroit Free Press (MI) and Times Recorder Zanesville (OH) where I expect to find some ancestors in the news. They do not have a Buffalo or Philadelphia paper nor are there any newspapers in Illinois, but they cover a large swath of areas where my ancestors settled.

Gannett Michigan / Ohio Holdings:

Michigan

Ohio

August 24, 2015

GenBaza Is Back ! 24-August-2015 — #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GenBaza Is Back 24-August-2015Dateline 24-August-2015 — GenBaza is now fully accessible again. GenPol is still not fully recovered, but at least its functionality that it provides for authenticating GenBaza allows us full access to GenBaza again!  Good Job to the tech wizards at GenPol.com


—Stanczyk

August 20, 2015

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Trove

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:

HenryGoldstein_Lodz

EugeniuszBalek

August 8, 2015

GenBaza is not reachable because GenPol.com is down ! #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GenBaza_MainGenBaza is fine. However, there is no way to see anything other than Lodz. The reason is because GenPol.com has had a bad crash. GenPol is used as the login/authentication method for GenBaza so we cannot reach the other databases until GenPol is fixed (a couple of weeks at least).

Check back and I will update this post when GenBaza is back.


 

17-August-2015 –  A few days ago, Stanczyk noticed that GenPol.com had updated their 503 Page (Server Outage). This lets users know that the server is down and that recovery is in progress (both English/Polish). This was important so people do not think they are just gone.

GenPol_Down201508

July 3, 2015

Ancestry App Version 6.6.1 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry App 6.6.1

Version 6.6.1 of Ancestry.com ‘s App changes the UX (User Experience) in two noticeable ways:

  1. Tapping on an individual takes you immediately to the profile (not just select and alter tree branch paths)
  2. Tapping & Holding (see top image) highlights the ancestor and allows you three options:

Edit Person, View Tree (previous function of the initial tap of prior app versions), Add Relative.

 


 

ancestry in app store


June 9, 2015

Meet Jennifer Bailey — Apple VP of Internet Services

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

JenniferBailey_AppleVP

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 8, 2015

WWDC15 — Apple’s Mid-Year Developer Conference — #Technology #Apple

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Apple’s 15th WWDC was again surprising. Pity the stories last week were true, no Apple TV announcements. No other hardware announcements either. Still there was plenty of excitement and glitz and all across laptops, smartphone and even TV the bandwidth was electric with Apple announcements.

The conference started with the Mac’s OS X operating system (El Capitan).  Good Stuff and many of the changes foreshadowed what people were expecting in the mobile ecosphere for Apple.

After OS X, the klieg lights shined upon iOS 9. There will be greater emphasis on privacy and security. The 2-factor authentication will provide greater security for your Apple-ID. The privacy part is a re-iteration of Tim Cook’s pol;icy that Apple will not monetize from your personal data. It will collect, generically your personal data and keep it local on the phone, in order to provide, “Proactive Assistance”. There will be many ways that Apple provide’s this machine learning trick to aid you. For example, if you start an email, when add a person to the list of people, the pro-active assistance will suggest other people you frequently CC in your emails. A few examples of this assistance was shown. I will hold my breath and comments for when I see it work with me. I am sure it will work, do not get me wrong this is Apple. My concerns lie in will this eat bandwidth, space or be a nuisance.

Enough on machine learning. The Built-in Apps gets some love. They will be built on Metal (the API for Graphics) and the UI should be a good bit faster and maybe some overall speed improvement as well since more work should be off-loaded of the CPU to the GPU. This will of course be of interest to all who play games. Notes gets some extra features ( is it too late; I guess I still use Notes so perhaps there  are others out there too). Maps is better as well. Public transit help, nearby features improved are a couple of the new updates. There is a new Apple App … NEWS. You should think Flipboard. It will be pretty and sleek. It did remind me of Flipboard (without magazine curation).

Here some iPhone news that I was keen on:   It will use less battery, resulting in approximately 1 more hour of life per full charge, the iOS operating software will take less physical space (more room for apps, photos, music, etc.), Pic-In-Pic ability so you can minimize a video/while watching and put it in a corner of the screen while you type an email (or are tweeting?). This leads to the fact that the iOS 9 will be more multi-tasking. In fact, for you iPad users (Mac users too) you now have a split screen capability(SplitView) to have two apps running at the same time and interactive. You can also copy/paste data between the two parts of the screen (by dragging?). Keyboards will now have  shortcut bar (which even third-party keyboards can utilize).  How about bolding or underlying your text from your keyboard?

This is a Developer Conference and there was much for this geek-boy to love. Swift2 (new and improved). The Swift language will be Open Source too! In fact you will be able to program in Swift for iOS, Mac, and LINUX by the end of the year. So many new APIs: Metal, with gaming Kits, 26 APIs on the “Dev” screen, plus Pic-In-Pic, SplitView, Slide-Over, etc. 100 Billion apps download and $30 Billion paid to developers thru the App Store!

More Apple Pay (its on Discover card now) and in the UK too.  Apple Watch and Apple Watch OS got some new features. HomeKit, HealthKit, CarPlay were all represented. You know what else I was impressed with? I believe for the first time ever, Apple had two women VP’s on stage for the WWDC! Bravo to Apple for making their emphasis on diversity more visible. But you know what? Both of these ladies have been with Apple for a decade:  Jennifer Bailey VP of Internet Services and Susan Prescott VP of Product Marketing. Kudos to both of these women and to Apple.

Apple spent a lot of its, “One More Thing” time on Apple Music to close the keynote. Streaming music, $9.99 for you or $14.99 for up to five people in your family with each getting their own streaming. The Keynote ended on Apple Music and “The Weeknd” playing a new song for the crowd.  OK Internet you can breathe again. Already this conference has had an effect on markets – not Apple stock,  Pandora (down 3.81%).

I know people are going to say WWDC was underwhelming because there was no hardware and because Apple TV was a no-show. But it seems that there was an awful lot to think about across a broad spectrum of products, so I found it interesting.

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:

PacanowZoom_16w

 

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:

Pacanow_16thCentury_Boundaries

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

Toolbar

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 genealodzy.pl  (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):

http://hgisb.kul.lublin.pl/azm/pmapper-4.2.0/map_default.phtml?resetsession=ALL&config=korona&language=en

You should see:

AllPoland_16w

 

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:

PacanowZoom_16w

 

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.


 

March 7, 2015

#Genealogy Technology — Ancestry App Update

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk loves using tech with genealogy to really engage  the left brain in my research (even though the right brain loves the UX). 

So I thought this being a big genealogy weekend, I’d point out Ancestry upgraded their App — a bug fix release, recommended for v6.4 users.  You will be required to download your tree again. Not a concern — just a bit of extra time. 

February 14, 2015

St. Stanislaus Cemetery — Hamilton, MERCER COUNTY, NJ — #Genealogy #Volunteer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

St_Stanislaus_Cemetery

Stanczyk was taking a road trip last weekend.

I took a page out of Jonathan Shea’s book, “Going Home”. In an Appendix, he lists the Polish Cemeteries across the USA. So in a kind of RAOGK, and as a way to contribute to PGSCT&NE, I started to take pics of tombstones and transcribe the pics for an index.

In a single visit I was able to do about 40% of the cemetery. I of course, am sending my entire contribution to PGSCT&NE. But, two tombstones had pics attached to the tombstone and I admired these two tombstones so much, I also added them to FindAGrave.

#Volunteer genealogists; Its another way to collaborate.


Below is the one from the Maławski family (click to enlarge):

Malawski_Marcin_Stanislawa

Marcin, Stanislawa Malawski

January 14, 2015

Marriott & The Internet … Just Wrong — #STEM #FCC #Internet #1stAmendment

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MariottJammerThe FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for jamming their customer’s personal hotspots or tethered access to the Internet [that these customers have already paid for] and then forcing the Marriott customer to have to pay HIGH prices for Marriott Wifi/Broadband for a 2nd access to the Internet.

The Story …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/03/marriott-wifi-blocking-fcc-charge_n_5928678.html [HuffPost]

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/10/03/fcc_fines_marriott_for_blocking_personal_wifi_connections_then_charging.html [Slate];

You can also find this story covered by CNN and other media (TV, NewsPaper, Radio, Internet).

Marriott then Tried to Justify its Illegal Practice – http://www.successfulmeetings.com/News/Meetings-Technology/Marriott-on-FCC-Petition–We–Encourage–Open-Internet-Access/

The Opposing View

Microsoft and Google are against this Marriott practice and so am I. Here are my reasoned legal arguments:

  1. It is a 1st Amendment Free Speech Issue – I should not have to pay for my speech [a 2nd time]. I am a blogger, but even a person on social media who comments on politics or civil issues (local, state, federal, etc.) is exercising their free speech rights (and possibly their right to peaceably assemble too).
  2. It is a Net Neutrality Issue and the FCC is setting the rules on this (not Marriott). Marriott is blocking a service that its customers / guests have already paid for in order to substitute an expensive Marriott access. How is this not equivalent to adding “toll roads” to the air-waves that are owned by all Americans. The Internet frequencies are owned by all citizens and no citizen should be allowed to block free/low-cost/private access routes and force people onto HIGH toll access routes. This appears to me to be akin to Highway Robbery. At the very  least the Marriott company is acting as a TROLL to limit access to their bridge (by destroying all other local bridges) by forcing the paying of extortionate rates.
  3. Why should any business be allowed to block or jam personal access to the Internet? Doesn’t that set a precedent that private companies can take away 1st Amendment rights at public venues? Do we now have to pay for our access to the Bill of Rights? Only the military or police should be allowed to do this and only in specific rules of engagement for security or safety issues or government or courts as punishments to criminals using the public airwaves (i.e. the Internet) to spread hate-speech, incite violence, and other harmful intent actions etc. Things that are NOT covered by Free Speech  could/should be “jammed”.
  4. Businesses can still use their own networks and give/deny access to their computer resources or ” private clouds” and maintain security. But a personal hotspot or tethering is NOT a security issue as this is a customer / guest’s private network and does not access or connect to the Marriott network. Marriott would still be allowed to deny access to their networks or private clouds by anyone else’s networks.
  5. I also think local building codes need to be updated that using materials that block the Internet access in public venues (concert halls, conference centers, etc.) not be allowed. We already have IP (Intellectual Property) laws to protect copyright materials, like shows, concerts, etc. So jamming  important communications (security personnel, doctor’s phones/emails, etc.) could have catastrophic consequences .  Jamming is akin to stopping people by police without due cause. They have not committed a crime so you cannot take away their rights/privilege to access the Internet,  just because some bootlegger may (or may not) try to steal some IP. Casinos deny access to card counters why not have IP venues deny access to convicted IP thieves rather than jam free communication. Jamming also inhibits “fair-use” or other legal uses (checking on your home’s safety while attending a concert,  reporting on an event by a reporter or journalist, etc.).
  6. This private jamming will limit new technologies too. Are we going to have the Internet Of Things or are we going to have Trolls with extortionate paid access paths interfering with technologies, some of which may be vital to someone’s safety/health. Do we want a robust economy for new innovations or do we want companies to be able to limit innovation/disruption by using public airwaves in a monopolistic fashion? What happens when health processes include medical devices that connect via Internet are jammed?
  7. When a company or government organization forces a customer to use their cloud/network, what happens when an employee of this organization forcing the use of their network,  uses the organization’s internet access to stalk, harass, threaten,  “shed a false light” or for other illegal actions? Why would an organization willingly compel the use of their network/cloud(s) where disgruntled employees can wreak havoc upon their customers?

This is much bigger issue than Marriott is portraying and Marriott’s petition should be denied and the $600,000 fine enforced.  The FCC needs to look into Gaylord Opryland too since this is being used by Marriott as an argument to justify its own unethical practices. Marriott should be allowed to charge for providing access to the Internet if it wants — even though most hotels/motels provide FREE access to the Internet. Let the free market determine what the customers want.

This is also why Net Neutrality is a very nuanced issue and not a one-size fits all ruling (unless it is many pages long detailing all the possibilities that people can dream up right now and allow for future remediation due to new technologies).

Need to catch up on Net Neutrality, try the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s C|Net Interview:  here .

–Stanczyk


November 25, 2014

Ancestry App version 6.2 is Released — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk noted a new release of the Ancestry.com’s app.

Ancestry App version 6.2

In time for thanksgiving, Ancestry, released version 6.2. It looks like they added two features:

  1. Quickly add photos / documents from iCloud and/or Dropbox.
  2. Discover historical events that shaped your ancestor’s lives.

I get the first feature. It leaves me feeling, “meh”. It adds something for some people that have their photos in the cloud (despite all of the security concerns). For me this is a not-going-to-be-used, app “bloat-ware” feature added by some mobile programmer trying to shore up his/her resume.

The second feature is apparently Ancestry trying too add a widget to your daily notifications. I really see that feature  as less than “meh”. It is almost a negative feature in my eyes.

As far as I am concerned this version of the app, you can pass on. Nothing here. Don’t waste your bandwidth, unless you actually use iCloud or Dropbox to store your genealogy images / documents.

I like to keep my images on the phone, in case you cannot reach the Internet in some building (say a courthouse) where the Internet is blocked by wiring or other building materials. No Internet,  will not deter me, I just have my photos organized for quick location on my phone. If its up on a cloud and you have no access to the Internet for some reason  (or your cloud has crashed) then you cannot access the document when you need it and are out mobile doing some genealogy research in some remote location you cannot return again for a long time. But maybe you store pics of your ancestors (and not critical documents in the cloud) and you use that to add a pic to your tree one time. That might be ok, for people with large trees with 10,000+ people whose pics you do not want to clutter your phone with. So I am just “meh” about this upgrade.

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November 12, 2014

Philae Has LANDED On Comet 67P ! #STEM #CometLanding

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Philae_picOf_ROSETTAThe ESA’s 10 year mission of the Rosetta satellite to rendezvous with Comet 67P and to launch Philae the Comet Lander which has landed and will commence a one year full studies of this comet with pics from the lander and satellite and data of a variety of on-board instruments.

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is a very interesting comet just from its shape alone.

The first image is from Philae as it was launched from Rosetta. The bubbles are sun-flare – glare on the RAW image with the Sun and its rays on the center bottom of the raw image.

Rosetta’s Experiments

RosettasExperimentsThese 11 experiments  will run for about 64 hours before exhausting batteries. Afterwards, every other day after battery recharge, they will run for about 1 hr. [since the landing bounced, the lander is not in an optimal location/position to optimally charge so the original estimates may now differ.]

This is a tremendous engineering and science acheivement of the ESA to be the first to land upon a comet. The rendezvouse began on  6-August-2014 and for the last three months mapped the comet’s contours and emissions looking for an interesting and viable landing spot. 11:06 ET has the landed and is communicatinging – images to come.

DLR – Rosetta website

Poland is also a part of ESA now. On the Philae Lander is one instrumentation that was built in Poland. More details are here .

Quote More than 70 scientific instruments that were built in Poland, has[sic] already been sent to space. The instruments built at the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences have studied Titan’s surface, have been on board ESA’s Venus and Mars Express missions, and are now studying the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

First Image Of Landing Spot From Philae

1stImageFrom67P

August 28, 2014

Ancestry.com App Turns 6.0 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry just released their newest version of their mobile application.

Ancestry App

Well testing was brief and then interrupted by Ancestry not being available (to the app; Ancestry.com was ok via the laptop).

 

The interface was lovely, but the constant tinkering with the interface is confusing the end users (at least this end user, who is a professional IT worker) and not intuitive at all.

The speed I could not test with my small tree. But it will reload your tree data  from the website, so something in the data / model must have changed for the app.

 

More  to come when the App can reach the website .. reliably.

 


 

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July 3, 2014

Kielce Parishes On-line in SzukajWArchiwach — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Previously, Stanczyk has written about what is available online for the former Gubernia (or Województwo) Kielce. In this article I am listing the SzukajWArchiwach.pl parishes online with year ranges and scan image counts. Please notice that links are provided for you to go directly to those you are interested in or you can go to the list of all parishes available (since as you know an article like this becomes out of date periodically).

 

Poland’s Archives (Kielce) Parish Year Range Scans #
21/1700/0 Brzegach 1810-1912  5,652
21/1701/0 Chomentowie 1810-1939  5,997
21/1702/0 Ciernie 1810-1907  5,717
21/1703/0 Imielnie 1810-1912  9,680
21/1704/0 Jędrzejowie 1812-1911  18,045
21/1705/0 Korytnicy 1810-1912  –
21/1706/0 Kozłowie 1811-1913  5,795
21/1707/0 Krzcięcicach 1810-1912  9,569
21/1708/0 Łukowej 1811-1909  4,732

Parishes (Parafia):  Brzegach,  Chomentowie,  Ciernie,  Imielnie,  Jędrzejowie,  Korytnicy,  Kozłowie,  Krzcięcicach,  Łukowej

Cut and Save— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

June 29, 2014

FamilySearch.org — Photoduplication Services — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RequestSubmitted

Did you know that you can submit a request to Family Search for Photo Duplication service of one of their indexed databases for a found indexed record?

Stanczyk did not know either. Then I read: “How to order an indexed document from Family Search” by Selma Blackmon .  At any rate, you can follow her steps to submit a request. I was able to utilize the info she wrote and submit a request (I am waiting for my emailed document, but I will update my readers when I get the result). Now you only get an email with an attachment of the image for the indexed record, which you request.

I’ll save you a few steps by putting the link below (so you do not have to search for it)

 

Requirements:

  1. You need an account [they are free].  Go to FamilySearc.org and click on “Join For Free” to register.
  2. After you have registered and you login to your new account, go to: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Photoduplication_Services
  3. Lookup your indexed record. In Stanczyk’s case I chose the database: “Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952,”
  4. Notice that is only an index without any images. So I wanted to order the image of the death certificate I was interested in.
  5. I searched on “Elyasz” to get the info for Stanley M. Elyasz in order to submit the request
  6. I read the instruction from the above Photoduplication Services web page.
  7. I clicked on the green button, “Photoduplication Request Form”
  8. I filled in ALL fields with the info from the index result page of Stanley M. Elyasz and used that info
  9. Click on Submit

If you filled in ALL fields then you get the result I did in the picture at the top of this article. But you must fill in all fields or it will sit there as if it ignored your request — sadly no error message indicated I needed to fill in ALL fields.

The cost for an email of the document:  $0.00.  Most genealogists have an account to search the online images in the many databases that Family Search has published. But if not, then this Photoduplication Service should give you the impetus to register for an account.

PRICELESS! Thank you Family Search.org for providing this valuable service and Selma Blackmon for writing about it.


 

Returned Image [1-JULY-2014] from Submitted Request:

19231023_Detroit_ElyaszStanleyM_DeathCert

June 21, 2014

Is RootsWeb Dead? — #Genealogy, #Cloud

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MyCloudStanczyk is wondering … “Is Rootsweb dead”? Please give me date and place of death if that is the case. Earlier in the week Ancestry.com had a multi-day outage due to a DDoS.  That is  a distributed denial of service, whereby a ‘botnet  make an overwhelming number of requests from a website until it crashes or ceases to be able to respond to requests.

So since Ancestry, hosts Rootsweb, I was thinking perhaps that DDoS took out Rootsweb too. I tweeted  @Ancestry and asked if anyone was working on Rootsweb being down and did not receive any response — so I am blogging in hopes that Ancestry.com will respond. Now I know parts of Ancestry came back a little at a time. Searching, then trees, the blog, finally message boards (connected to Rootsweb n’est c’est pas?). How many days now has Rootsweb been down and when will Ancestry get around to fixing the problem. Mundia is also down and perhaps Ancestry will never bring Mundia back, since they had already announced  (June 12th, 2014) that it  was going away. Likewise for MyCanvas and also Genealogy.com are dead too and they were scheduled for termination too.

This is a Cloud problem. When you live upon someone else’s cloud and it crashes you are down too and you do not come back until their cloud is reconstituted. I guess in this case maybe longer. Maybe you remember the news when in 2012 Amazon’s cloud crashed and that cloud crash took out Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and even GitHub (a nod to my Developers guild) or the when Amazon’s  cloud crashed in 2011 taking out FourSquare and Reddit.

My advice is from the Rolling Stones in 1965:  http://youtu.be/pq3YdpB6N9M [enjoy]. Mick Jagger was way ahead of his time.

 

 

June 6, 2014

Kielce Archive On-Line in SzukajWArchiwach.pl — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive, #Online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kielce - KielcachStanczyk has recently written [24-May-2014, “Online Inventory of ŚwiętoKrzyskie (an update)” ] about what is on-line from the Kielce Gubernia/Wojewowdztwo … so of course you know that means — the information is out of date already in this Internet Time world of ours!

Just today on Facebook I saw announced:   New records added to Szukajwarchiwach: http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/media/attachments/swa_share_06_2014.pdf on Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan page.

A pleasant surprise of 8 (osiem) parishes (parafia) were from the Kielce (Kielcach) archive:

http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/21#tabZasoby

This jester examined Jędrzejowie where  some distant Eliasz (aka Elijasz/Heliasz) were known to live. I am envious, a complete or nearly complete century of records [1812-1911] for Birth / Marriage / Death (urodzeń / małżeństw / zgonów)  and even Alegata too in most cases.

That is a nice way to end the week! Powodzenia!

parishes:  Brzegach, Ciernie,  Imielnie,  Jędrzejowie,  Korytnicy, Kozlowie, Krzciecicach, Lukowej

May 22, 2014

Genealogy Websites Mash-up — #Genealogy, #Military, #Church

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

About two years ago Stanczyk wrote about a website, special because it was a Polish-German joint effort at Reconciliation.  The website I am referring to is: http://www.straty.pl/index.php/szukaj-w-bazie — Which takes you to a database search page where you can search for, “Victims of Oppression“.  It for searching for victims of World War II inside Poland.  Originally, I kind of ignored it because I did not have family who was sent to  a  Concentration Camp nor did any of mine get forced relation after the war. So I  MISTAKENLY thought this database was not for me. Last week I learned a few things.

Today’s blog is about the Mash-up of  Geneteka database,  Using Straty.pl (the above database of oppression) and a website of Concentration Camps, with a smidgeon of Genbaza.pl thrown in for good measure.

Here is my Mash-Up …

Straty.pl I went to straty.pl (use above link, for Polish) or paste the above link into Google’s Translator (for English). I put ‘Elijasz’ into the field named “Nazwisko” (Surname) and clicked on the button “Szukaj” (Search). It returned four results for me:

Straty Results - Four Elijasz

Notice the third row, with Stanislaw Elijasz, whose “Miejsce urodzenie” (birth place) was Pacanów. When I clicked on the button with the number “3”.  Remember his birthdate: 1906-04-17 ; We will use this data in Geneteka to get the Akt # and in GenBaza.pl to get the image of the birth record. When I clicked on the number “3” button, I got a lot more info:

Straty Details Stanislaw Elijasz

I immediately, understood my mistake. The oppression database returned data about my ancestor, Stanislaw Elijasz who was a soldier in the Polish Army when World War II started (1-SEP-1939). He is listed as a victim of the September 1939 Campaign, he was caught, in “Russland” [I presume they mean in the Russian Occupied territory as opposed to the German Occupied Poland.], he was the equivalent of a Lance Corporal in a Signal Corps Battalion. At any rate, he was interred in POW Camp (the 1st of three) on September 17, 1939. Imagine that, he spent the entire World War II as a prisoner of war.

The other details were vague and not clear to me from the data. Lucky for me in Facebook, I have a friend, named Jozef Taran (in Poland). He provided me a website for concentration camps:

Small_2http://www.moosburg.org/info/stalag/laglist.html#generalgouvernement

This second mash-up link was website of German Stalags (Concentration Camps) in Poland, Ukraine and Western Russia. This website and wikipedia pages gave me the details to understand the data returned by straty.pl  for Stanislaw. You World War II  military buffs take note !

Ok, but now I wanted to find which Stanislaw Elijasz of Pacanow, born on or about 17-APRIL-1906 was this data about. So I went to:

Small_3Geneteka.pl — to see if Stanislaw was indexed and what his birth record number (Akt #) might be to help me in my search of GenBaza.pl and to confirm the birth date. I found on result number 46,  a result for Stanislaw born in 1906 Pacanow with an Akt # 77. Now I had enough info to locate his birth record in:

Small_4

 GeneBaza.pl  — That link takes you directly to Stanislaw Elijasz, born in Pacanow on 17-April_1906, Akt #77 [assuming you have a GenBaza login id and you are logged in]. This gives the the church birth record image:

GenBaza_Stanislaw

Now we have a complete picture of our Polish ancestor by the mash-up of websites:

  1. straty.pl
  2. http://www.moosburg.org/info/stalag/laglist.html#generalgouvernement
  3. Geneteka.pl
  4. GeneBaza.pl
May 20, 2014

Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów, Innkeeper, Shoemaker, Bourgeois Farmer — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tomasz LeszczynskiStanczyk’s  great-grandfather, Tomasz — Tomasz Leszczyński – de Biechów was an Innkeeper, a Shoemaker, and Bourgeois Farmer and these were just his listed occupations in the church records from Biechów, Pacanów, Stopnica. There is also a good bit of family lore surrounding Tomasz as well. For example, Tomasz lived to be 104 years old, he had two wives and 15 children via these two wives spanning 45 years of reproductive life — so indeed Tomasz was a productive and prolific man.

But it is the things about Tomasz that this jester does not know that obsess me. For example, I do not know Tomasz’s first marriage details. I wish I did then I would know with certainty his parents’ names. Or if I knew his birth details I could know his parents’ names and then locate his siblings, if any. I also need his death details too. At least then I would have an anchor point for his 104 year span of life then and that would lend me more info for deciding between various Tomasz contenders. The solace I have,  is that 15 births of children and some children’s deaths too have provided me with many data points with which to make inferences.  Even the two spouses’ births and deaths have provided data points.

So this jester is in the midst of performing a detailed SNA (social network analysis) also known as “cluster genealogy” of these data points. I will produce that and  write about my findings here when it is complete. At the UPGS conference, I was able to do research in a new village Wolica and I located a birth record for a Tomasz Leszczyński that fits data points. That led me to another village named Dzieraznia and yet another possible generation. At present I am only about 75-80% confident that I have the correct Tomasz, hence the SNA study. There is much work to do, but I have updated my Tomasz Leszczynski Timeline with many finds over the past couple years, including the finds from GenBaza.pl just this year when I located my paternal grandmother’s birth record! This grandmother of mine  (Walerya)  was Tomasz’s eldest child by his second wife Aniela Majer (aka Major)

May 16, 2014

UPGS 2014 – Polish Genealogy Conference Review

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

upgsStanczyk attended this conference this year after missing the last two occurrences. So it is with fresh eyes and yet a knowledge of now having attended 4 of these UPGS conferences over the years.

The presenters were a strong group: D. Joshua Taylor, Ceil Wendt Jensen, Greg NelsonSonia Hoeke-Nishimoto,  Mark Olsen, and Tadeusz Pilat. The first two have been on TV genealogy shows and are therefore well known.  Ceil has been a part of so many Polish Genealogical media/conferences/organizations that her credibility as a UPGS presenter is top-notch. Sonia and Greg are both members of FamilySearch.org and you can often find Sonia in FHL, plus she does Polish genealogy research for her own family tree. Greg Nelson is also the replacement Kahlile Mehr at FamilySearch and so his presence was welcome (as Kahlile’s  presence was missed). Mark Olson was from MyHeritage and Tadeusz Pilat a presenter from Warsaw Poland and a ProGenealogists.com professional.

The conference had 11 presentations over 4 days, leaving some time for research and to attend optional FHL classes. The evenings had special events, including a banquet and a Wesoły Lud Folk Dance Ensemble performance for attendees. There appeared to be about 70+ attendees but there was just a single tract (unfortunately no choice in presentations, but they were all in one place — no getting lost). The presentations were split between Genealogy and Technology as the 2014 Conference proceedings cover shows. The Conference proceedings was good quality and included the presentation abstracts plus extra  material and sponsor materials. This was well thought out and organized, and the Schedule thoughtfully included  the hours for when FHL was open. My only suggestion for the Proceedings was to mention the Conference Room for the Presentations, which in this case  was the same room for all presentations. It was not a problem as the organizers were present to hand-out materials and answer questions and once you knew the conference room it was the same for all presentations — so only a small error of omission.

Josh Taylor did 3 presentations. Two were on Technology. The problem with Technology presentations is that you need to know your audience and deliver to their level but in UPGS people have computer/technology experience of varying levels. This jester has had an entire career in Technology and I know at least two others present also made their careers with computers/technology and one man from Texas had technology focus and his own website that he maintained and developed. Today it is hard to find a genealogist that has not embraced technology. None-the-less the crowd ranged from rank beginners to very advanced and Josh targeted the very beginners. This was a bad decision by UPGS organizers because there was only one tract, I had nowhere else to go, except to the FHL.

If you had multiple tracts and the attendee could choose another presentation then it would be ok. In fairness, the technology presentations should also be evenly split across: beginner, medium and advanced experience attendees. But all of Josh’s presentations were at the lowest level and the material even then was not very substantive. After his presentation, I asked the UPGS/UPGSA director why don’t you have the presenters put their PowerPoints online so we do not have to write down links (URLs) or so that we can cut/paste forms into usable documents. Astonishingly, he said, “Because these are the presenter’s property. Their work-in-trade.” I did not have the heart to tell him that too many of the presentations were worthless if these were examples of that person’s professional body of work. I did not want to argue that most large conferences do EXACTLY as I requested/suggested we at UPGS do. Almost every presenter said if you email me, I will send you my presentation. If that is so then why not upload the presentation online at the UPGS or UPGSA website?

This attitude on this UPGSA organizer’s part of rebuffing suggestions is precisely why UPGS is only 70+ people and one tract of presentations and some of those presentations were sub-par. In truth the conference has not changed since I last attended in 2008. No growth and the quality of the banquet  was less and it seemed less Genealogical Society support than in 2008 and before.

 

The Presentations:

Advancing Your Polish Research“, by Sonia Hoeke-Nishimoto

Maps & Gazetteers for Genealogy“, by Sonia Hoeke-Nishimoto

Immigration Agents“, by Ceil Jensen

The Peasant & the Palace: Research Manor Records“, by Ceil Jensen

“This is Women’s Work — Midwifery”, by Ceil Jensen

Creating Your Personal Family History Website“, by Josh Taylor

New Tools & Ideas in Research“, by Josh Taylor

“Keynote: Family History in Pop Culture“, by Josh Taylor

“MyHeritage.com”, by Mark Olsen

“Notary Records In Poland”, by Tadeusz Pilat

“Searching the 3 Partitions at FHL; LDS Filming Projects in Poland”, by Greg Nelson

 

Can you see the flaws? Too few presentations. There needs to be at least two tracts so people have some choice. Further more, attendees should rate the presentations 1 … 11 (the # of presentations) so that organizers can see what the attendees like (or do NOT like). Also, 8 of the 11 presentations were by just three people. Nowhere near enough presenters. We need more diversity. You cannot tell me this was done to keep quality high, because as I said some of the 11 presentations were sub-par. No quality in limited presenters. Indeed, it causes presenters to “recycle” their efforts and the short durations 75 minutes probably meant that they cut some material from these recycled presentations leaving the attendee with an “unsatisfied” feeling from these content-lite (or content-free) send-ups. Perhaps if we had two tracts we could go to 90 minute presentations. These presentations could not be put up on the Internet??? Please organizers, you need to attend some more conferences and see how things are done BETTER and get some fresh ideas and perhaps decentralize the control of what is done/presented.

Don’t get this jester wrong. Ceil Jensen hit another three home runs. Sonia’s  work was informative and appealing high quality. Josh Taylor did a very good job with the banquet Keynote presentation. Tadeusz’s presentation was one I was looking forward to — to find new avenues of research in Poland beyond church records. It was well done and his English was good enough to present a high-quality send-up. I liked Greg Nelson’s sharing of what was happening in FamilySearch for Polish Genealogists. Mark Olsen won me over about MyHeritage.com. You knew it was going to be a bit commercial, but he was convincing of the special technology that they have in their matching. He even made the commercial part disappear by offering EVERY attendee a free trial ! When this jester, needled Mark with a question about how many Polish genealogists MyHeritage had, he gleefully answered by showing us,within the tool itself,  a map of how many accounts by country and the country Poland was over 1 Million members (on par with Germany)! Obviously some genealogists in the USA would need to be added on top but an accurate demographic of US genealogists by ethnicity, does not exist . I like the idea of the UPGS including a presenter from Europe at each UPGS. Obviously, a Polish researcher would be preferred but one with Eastern/Central European expertise would also  be welcome. This “cross-Atlantic”, cross pollination of information exchange is a valuable goal. It seems we have done many times already. So kudos, for keeping this idea going and for the selection of Tadeusz Pilat,

So it was really just the Technology presentations that I felt were not valuable and the organizer’s entrenchment over simple suggestions that they could make for free and improve this conference. This only happens every other year, so you would think incorporating change and improvements would be easy and also be welcomed,  given that much time to put on the next UPGS. Here is one more suggestion for the UPGS organizers. Perhaps the UPGSA needs to appoint a person whose sole focus is putting on the UPGS conference and training this person on how it is done now, what the costs drivers are and what the revenues are  and asking the UPGSA members to provide suggestions for what they want to see in a new conference. Also I think the other regional Polish Genealogy Societies also need input into what would improve UPGS. I personally would welcome paying $25-$30 more (i.e. raise conference fee) for registration to get a 2nd tract of presenters. In my over 15 years  of genealogy, I have NEVER once seen a call for papers or presentations. I have seen them for ROOTS Tech conference and I have seen them for the IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy. I have even seen the call for papers from FEEFHS.

I think the USPGSA and all regional Polish genealogy societies need to email ALL of their members and request papers/abstracts for presentations for each and every conference. I am a member of several societies and never seen it except for the conferences I have attended: ROOTS Tech & IAJGS Conference. It seems like the presentations are all done by people well connected to conference organizers. More diversity / more opportunity. OH UPGS organizers get some more presentations specific to Polish Genealogy. I was really disappointed by the presenters who said they have no Polish Genealogy experience … REALY at UPGS ??? What are you thinking? I did enjoy meeting old friends and long time Polish Genealogists again and doing some catch-up, perhaps we need some way of doing that.

This conference fails to teach new Polish Genealogists on Polish Genealogy topics. I think that limits the UPGS from growing. We also need to make it so genealogy vendors come and sell at the conference and they help defray the costs by charging for vendor tables. The UPGSA should produce an online PDF document, “How To Present At The UPGS Conference” so that other people know how to submit proposals, what they will face when they get to Salt Lake City and how to hook up their laptops to the projector. Make it a comfortable and welcome process for new presenters and for people to provide suggestions.

Each Polish Genealogical Society needs to sponsor one presenter at the UPGS (if their paper is chosen).  That way we can see material from all over the USA from recognized genealogists and the costs of presenters is born by each society to share the expense of putting on UPGS while sharing control/input amongst them all.  I missed seeing Matthew Bielawa, Jonathan Shea, Lisa Alzo. How long has it been since NY or Toledo had a presenter at UPGS? Perhaps other Polish Fraternal Groups could also help support this conference via ads or sponsorship of national speakers. Finally, show us Polish Genealogy bloggers some love:  Give us quality  pics of  the speakers to use in blogs and access to any/all  speakers for quick interviews. Why not make an UPGS organizer available for question & answer interviews to bloggers?  Why not list bloggers and Polish genealogy websites in the Conference Proceedings?

Let’s grow this thing!  Oh by the way, this jester’s suggestions are in BOLD-RED UPGSA, just in case you want some feedback.

If you agree or disagree let this jester know. Just email me.

 

 

April 20, 2014

Genealogy Indexer – Logan Kleinwak — #Genealogy, #Historical, #Directories

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Recently, while Stanczyk was on Twitter, I saw that  Logan Kleinwak (Genealogy Indexer / @gindexer) was again busy,  very busy.  Perhaps you do not remember that his website: http://genealogyindexer.org , publishes Historical Directories, Yizkor Books, Military Lists, etc.

GenealogyIndexer_2

What I noticed besides he was very busy indexing things and putting them online for searches is two things:

  1. In my 1st thought I noticed, “Collections” (each a menu to a page of resource links)
  2. My 2nd thought was Logan added a Latin-to-Cyrillic feature

I do not mention his excellent little piece of code to implement a keyboard for implementing whatever language’s special characters that are a might difficult to type on American keyboards. That I posted about before.

The Collection  I searched was “Directories”  and I saw:

Obviously this is the Gubernia of my paternal ancestors. So I was excited and I knew it was in Russian (i.e. Cyrillic characters) — a challenge.  AH, … now we see the need for the 2nd thoughtful feature, ‘Add Latin->Cyrillic’. This feature automatically adds the equivalent Cyrillic characters to the Latin characters you are searching for, in order to locate the equivalent, transliterated string in the Russian Directories. That is well thought out! Indeed Genius!

So my thanks to Logan for his fine piece of programming and history/genealogy indexing that he has done. If you have not done so, you owe it to yourself and your research to check out Genealogy Indexer. Add it to your social network (Facebook and Twitter) and bookmark the website in your browser.

 

 

Related Blog Articles …

03-May-2012 — Genealogy Indexer – Logan Kleinwak 

28 Feb 2012 — Dying for Diacriticals – Beyond ASCII

15 Jun 2011 —  Polish Genealogy – Useful Websites …

 

March 9, 2014

Archiwum Państwowego in Gdańsk & Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne – 650,000 records scanned/online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PTG

Stanczyk has news of yet another Polish Archive scanning and going online with vital records (older than 100 years).

The Pomeranian – Gdansk Archive will soon have 650,000 vital records scanned and online by the 2nd qtr this year.

The AP-GDANSK are working with Pomeranian Genealogical Society who already have 2.78Million records indexed and now will get 650,000 scanned images to go with index.

The National Archive (Gdansk) and Genealogical Society will share the online indexes/scans.

Something else to be thankful for this Easter/Passover season.

PomGenBase / PomGenBaza is here … :http://www.ptg.gda.pl/index.php/ptgnews/action/basesearch/

For more details, the full article can be read here [in Polish /po polskiu].

Archive – Archiwum Państwowego w Gdańsku (AP-Gdansk)

Genealogical Society – Search The Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (PTG), which in English translates to the Pomeranian Genealogical Association

February 1, 2014

Rzeszow Galicia Cadastral Maps – Online in June

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CadastreMapsRZESZOWStanczyk, was perusing the Polish Genealogical Society Connecticut & NorthEast Facebook page recently and noticed that on 27-January-2014 their posting on digitized cadastral surveys from the State Archives in Przemyśl . The  full text of the Polish State Archive (  http://www.archiwa.gov.pl ) news is posted  here.

By the end of June, the Przemyśl state archives will complete the digitization of Galician cadastral maps started in 2012 of 63,000 pages of descriptive material to the cadastral maps of the villages . The 63,000 pages accompanies 9,084 digitized map sheets of 743 localities of the former province of Rzeszow and 29 more localities now in Ukraine.

Digitized copies of the documents so far will be at the Przemysl archive by the end of March for  study. Afterwards, the scans will be published online at the site:  szukajwarchiwach.pl .

Also See …

Gesher GaliciaInventory of Galicia Cadastral Maps

December 4, 2013

Online Inventory of ŚwiętoKrzyskie Parish Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Wordless Wednesday …

WordlessWed_20131204

September 24, 2013

The Library of Congress & PA State Library — #Genealogy, #Archives, #Libraries

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PAStateLib_1PAStateLib_2

The Library of Congress

(LOC) has published a finding resource listing 71 links to the 50 states, online digital collections. That is found here .

The PA State Library — Has a digital collections, very similar to the digital collections found at seekingmichigan.org [Editor: also in LOC list for MI].

From Abe Lincoln, to Ben Franklin, to Coal Mining History, to WWI there are many PA treasures here:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/collections/8728/digital_collections_at_the_state_library_of_pennsylvania/524375

I chose to start in their WWI Collection,  which had a few choices to pick from, so I chose the top pick (Mahanoy City):

American Red Cross. Pennsylvania Chapter. Mahanoy City. In Memoriam Of Those Who, Coming from the District within the Limits of the Mahanoy City, Red Cross Chapter, Quakake to Girardville [inclusive] Made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Great War for Democracy, known as “The World War” 1917-1919. Mahanoy City, Pa., [1920]
This is a six page memorial to the fallen veterans who lived in Mahanoy City in the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania.

http://accesspadr.org/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/sstlp-wwi&CISOPTR=411&CISOSHOW=405

In truth the PA State Library’s digital collection is large enough that this jester will need to spend some time exploring, but I thought I would share my initial impression.

So LOC, a tip of the jester’s hat  to you for compiling a very useful resource of state libraries who have online digital collections. These are historical in nature, but the obvious application to genealogy make these valuable resources to the genealogical researcher too.

September 15, 2013

Ancestry App v5.0 — #Genealogy, #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry5_0

Ancestry.com has updated their app to version 5.0 (iTunes App Store). I like their newest effort.  It looks nice and the User Experience (UX) is improved for the most part. I miss  having a button for showing just the lineal line (not siblings) to save space on the iPhone. Also the UX does not provide ways to go up or down your family tree other than what is displayed on screen (5 generations on iPhone). Why no arrows on top/bottom rows. You can of course click on someone higher up in the tree and see further back generations from that person, but you may not realize that there are prior generations unless you know your tree well. No visual key that more generations exist.

When you upgrade you will  need to download your whole tree again (does that imply their local db changed and needs to be reloaded?) and that takes about 30–45 seconds for a tree of 1,142 people. Small price to pay. I do wonder if the new app is causing problems for the Ancestry.com web site. It has performed slowly and sometimes the app says Ancestry.com is not available. Perhaps mobile app users are putting a bigger strain then online users.

AncestryError

Ancestry.com site problems?

It integrates more closely with Facebook. That did not appeal to me, but for some people it may be just what you want. As a result I do not know what happens when you connect your Facebook profile to a person in the tree (does it post the timeline to your Facebook timeline?).

Besides, Facebook, the app now integrates with Ancestry.com more completely. The app now works a lot like the web site. It does not appear to be missing any features. I like the new Timeline view of a profile … very nice.

The Gallery button on the bottom of the profile view quickly loads your images (much faster). It also automatically searches for hints too. Finally this view has a new feature to find sources (from Ancestry.com?) for your facts. Very nice.

The tight integration to the web site does mean the app switches control to a Safari web-app but the integration is so tight you might not notice the switch to Safari and back to the App

September 7, 2013

Radom Roman Catholic Church Books, 1587-1966 — #Polish, #Genealogy, #Stanczyk

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

05September2013_FSFamily Search has updated their Polish Collection & Czech Census too on September 4th & 5th.

Poland, Radom Roman Catholic Church Books, 1587-1966; http://bit.ly/X9qxJ8

Poland, Lublin  Roman Catholic Church Books, 1784-1964 was also updated: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1867931

Also Czech Republic Censuses 1843-1921:  https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1930345

Add  Family Search Wiki Page if your genealogy research area is Poland:

https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Poland

Images and indexes of church books containing baptisms and births, marriages, burials and deaths for the parishes in the Radom & Lublin Roman Catholic Dioceses of Poland.

Births end in 1912,

Marriages end in 1937, and

Deaths end in 1982    due to Polish privacy rules.

August 12, 2013

Oracle 12c – Multi-Tenant Databases — #STEM, #Oracle

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Oracle12c

Oracle 12c

Oracle’s newest database (version 12c) has many new features, the discussion of which are too big for a single blog article (or even a series of blogs). The substantial high-level bulleted list of new features is in the 12c New Features Manual . But the concepts and low level SQL language details show a much larger change then you might perceive.

Multitenant Database

The new paradigm shift, Multitenant Databases, will stop DBAs pretty quick, particularly in Windows where the installer creates a Container DB. Previous to 12c, all databases were Non-Container DBs. With 12c you can create a Non-Container DB or a Container DB. The Container DB can have zero, one, or more Pluggable DBs within. A Non-Container DB can never have a Pluggable DB. So that becomes an upfront database creation decision.

You can and you should read the Oracle Intro to Multitenant Databases .

I first relaized the Oracle Installer had created a container database for me when I went through the normal process of creating a database user using the same old techniques I always did and received an Oracle Error: ORA-65096. WHAM, I slammed right into the new paradigm without me even knowing it existed. The error description and the necessary action introduced to another part of the Multitenant Database paradigm: Comon User vs. Local User. That quickly led to Containers. Of course, with any new features, comes an array of new database schema tables like, v$pdbs for example. You will also probably use a new Sql*Plus command a LOT: SHOW CON_NAME to know what container (root or pluggable database) you are connected to. Some DBA commands must be done in the root container (CDB$ROOT). Your pluggable databases (in Windows) will be by default: PDB$SEED and PDBORCL. Every container database has precisely one seed pluggable database from which all pluggable databases are created from.

This paradigm shift will be  seriously disorienting feeling to long time DBAs, especially if were not aware this was coming. Fortunately, there are many DBA bloggers out there sharing their 12c experiences. They were a help for me to gather the necessary jargon. But it was not until I discovered that Oracle had created a tutorial on Multitenant Databases and I had spent an hour or two playing with the tutorial on my newly created sandbox database (on Windows) which was by default a Container DB. This tutorial is an excellent way to jump start your understanding of the new paradigm.

By the way, I think either the default should be a NON-CONTAINER DB (so you are backwards compatible) or the Oracle Intsaller needs to make it clear that a CONTAINER DB will require new DBA processes (i.e. a learning curve) and give you an OVERT option to create a NON-CONTAINER DB for backwards compatibility.

Conclusion

Read the Oracle Introduction to Multitenant Databases to understand the concepts. Then immediately work your way through the tutorial in a test database that is a Container DB. Ultimately, I think Container DBs are the way to go. I think this is what you want to do to implement a CLOUD or in a Virtualized Environment.

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