Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

December 27, 2010

Wladislaw III – Father of Columbus

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Seal of Wladislaw III (reign 1434-144)

Earlier (2-December-2010 post), you may remember this jester writing about Columbus’ Polish roots.  This was from AOL News reporting on a press release put out by the researcher/author Manuel Rosa here.  Columbus’ Polish father, Wladislaw III reigned from 1434-1444. You can find many of the seals of the Polish Kings at AGAD .  From another blog (Never Yet Melted), which did a very nice review of the story, one of the arguments (besides genealogy, access to royalty, etc.) included a comparison of heraldic seals.

At the left is the actual seal. Only by close examination of the image can I make out the Royal Eagle (of Poland) in upper left quad of the shield and a horse-figure in upper right quad. I cannot quite tease the details for the two lower quadrants from the seal image.

If you compare to Columbus’ (aka Cristobal Colon) heraldic symbol, you can see four quadrants, but I cannot see a resemblance to Wladyslaw III’s seal. A recreation of Wladylsaw III’s seal is here. This bears 4 of 7 elements from his father’s seal. Interesting is that two of the remaining three elements appear in Columbus’s heraldic symbol (if we allow the horizontal bars are represented by the side-wise anchors in Columbus’ symbol).

Stanczyk will just have to wait for the book to come out (in English) or the National Geographic video to make up his mind in total on this matter.  The book (in Spanish) can be purchased from Amazon. I hope an English translation is forthcoming. The comments so far of those who read the Spanish book say the Rosa arguments are persuasive and compelling.

March 20, 2010

Pacanow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pacanow Church circa 1918

Stanczyk’s dziadkowie (grandparents) came from Biechow and Pacanow parishes. Each of those two parishes had a few others villages that made up the parish. It is my fondest dream that I should return to these ancestral towns and see the churches, cemeteries, libraries, Urzad Stanu Ciwilego (USC which are roughly equivalent to a County Clerk’s Office in the USA). Not to mention visit a couple of archives too.

My grandfather, Jozef Eliasz (aka Elijasz) and his father Jozef and his father Marcin were from Pacanow. Other families from Pacanow parish,  like the Wlecialowskich who married into the Eliasz family and who also came to America and lived across the road from my grandmother Valeria’s farm. My grandfather Jozef help build Ciotka Rosie’s farmhouse (really a barn) with her husband Adam Gawlikowski. Ciotka Rosie (nee Wlecialowski) had a mother named Katarzyna Eliasz, who was my grandfather’s aunt. There was also Kedzierski family that my grandfather’s older brother, Jan Eliasz married into and some Kedzierskis also came to America. Funny, Stanczyk even found a friend, amongst the professional genealogists, the multi-talented Ceil Wendt Jensen whose Zdziepko ancestors came from Pacanow and settled in the Detroit area. So in a way the Polish diaspora from the parish of Pacanow reformed in Detroit (and Toledo, and Buffalo, and I am sure other Great Lake states).

Miraculous Cross

Stanczyk wants to visit Pacanow’s church (Sw. Marcin / St. Martin) as a pilgrimage. The picture,  near the top of this column, is the church as my grandfather would have known it (circa 1918). I wonder if my grandfather and his family helped in one of the many rebuilds or expansions of  the church. My grandfather, Jozef, was a carpenter and he built a steeple on Corpus Christi Church in Detroit.

This church whose cross has been a source for pilgrims to worship due to its uniqueness dating back to the middle ages,  has one more chapter. During World War II, something miraculous happened in that church. It was partially destroyed, all but the section that had the agonizing Jesus upon this sacred cross. The Russian soldiers were going to finish their godless work and tear it down. When they attempted to pull the cross down, they were blinded multiple times, until they ran away (these Bolshevik atheists) and witnesses heard them scream that the God in Pacanow is very strong. Imagine that miraculous event in my family’s ancestral church!

I am hopeful to see this church which has recently been recognized by the Vatican as a minor Basilica. It is a beautiful icon and has some church relics around it.

December 6, 2009

2009 Genealogy Treasure Finds

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been silent for far too long. Most of my silence is due to my Mac dying and a bad economy dictating that I cannot replace it right now. Lest you feel sorry for this jester, my other reason has been my job. I have been busy working and since August working on an important project vital to my company’s success. So I’ll thank the Lord for my job and the ability to take care of my wife and dog (Princess Java Argus Solomon Eliasz). I’ll get around to registering her with the AKC one of these days. I am thankful for JAVA  and TEREZA.

I am also thankful for a wonderful year in genealogy. I can look back and see how luck I was to find a kind soul in Biechow (Elzbieta) who mailed me my grandparent’s marriage record from the church and from the local USC.

I am thankful to Ann Faulkner of Michigan who was able to dig out my great-uncle Jan Eliasz/Elijasz and his death notice. From which I was able to get his death certificate. Next time back home to family, I will pay a visit to my great-uncle’s grave.

Those were huge! I am also thankful for meeting Jacek of Krakow. I met him in a Polish web site: genealodzy.pl. We swapped some images since our families were from the same villages (Biechow, Pacanow, Zborowek amongst others) and some laughs (due to my lack of proficiency with the Polish language). He also worked for me at the Pinczow Archive to research: Eliasz, Leszczynski & Wlecialowski.  It is to Jacek, that I am most thankful. He found my grandfather’s birth record ( and many of his siblings), he found an uncle we never knew about (but suspected must exist), he found Leszczynski and many Wlecialowski too. I am particularly grateful he found an Eliasz-Wlecialowski marriage record that solved a problem about how the Eliasz were related to Wlecialowski. In so doing he made a genealogical friend of mine, a third cousin! I am most thankful to Jacek fo rhis finding the marriage churhc record of my great-grandparents: Tomasz Leszczynski & Aniela Major (yes this is a Polish name). He also found three pages of alegata describing the marriage banns — believe when I have a MAC again, I will post pictures. This must have been a pre-cursor to a marriage license — it has a postage stamp on the top of the 1st page! It was from 1885, so the pre-amble and the final summation are in Russian/Cyrillic, but the middle was in Polish  — and I was able to read and understand it; Much good info there.

So all-in-all, I’d have to say that 2009 was an unparalleled year for genealogy.  How did your genealogy search go this year?

–Stanczyk

February 13, 2009

Eliasz i Elijasz i Heliasz i …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

P

olish names are a bit enigmatic for those of us native English speakers of the Polish diaspora. Now let me hasten to add that Stanczyk is not of the Jewish faith, but is Catholic, but none-the-less there was a large Polish diaspora to many parts of the English speaking world, particularly my, corner America. Like any good Polish-American, I knew that our name meant, ‘Elijah’ like the prophet. This knowledge was deeply rooted in me by my Busia (grandmother), who used to show me her copy of the bible, which was of course written in Polish. Sure enough, in the Old Testament, amongst the books of the prophets was the story of Elijah and it was indeed written as ‘Eliasz’.

My family is from the Russian partition of Poland in the old wojewodztwo (or gubernia) of Kielce in the villages surrounding the Biechów and Pacanów parishes.  So in the years from about 1868 to 1918 the church records were written in Russian using the Cyrillic alphabet. In Russian, Eliasz looks like:

Елиашъ    Елияшъ    Элиашъ

Over the years, I have found  the ELIASZ name written as Eliasz, Eljasz, Elijasz, Elyasz, and Heliasz. Those are just the correct spellings. Now I know what you are thinking, how is ELIASZ Polish. It is only six letters long and half of those letters are vowels. This proponderance of vowels is very un-Polish. Any way, I was treated to a little lesson by one of my favorite Genealogy authors, lecturer, group members: Fred Hoffman. Fred is the Polish Surname guy and linguist extraordinaire in the Yahoo Group -> Polish Geniuses .

In an earlier post, this jester wrote about Ann Faulkner and how she found my great-uncle Jan (John) Eliasz death documents. Besides one entry written as Elijasz, it also listed my great grandparents names in particular my great-grandmother’s maiden name. It also listed a new great-uncle: Thomas (undoubtable Tomasz) Eliasz. Now flash forward a couple of weeks and I returned to a Polish web site: Nasza Klasa (“Our Class”), a kind of Polish Reunion.com — at least it is a social network site ala Facebook or MySpace. I had given up on Nasza Klasa due to my rather limited Polish language skills (Trojhe rozumiem po polskiu). I had managed to find Eliasz and Heliasz in Poland and near to my ancestral villages but nobody in my direct line. Well because of Fred Hoffman mentioning to me about consonantal Y’s and such polysyllabic linguistic jargon and due to the data Ann Faulkner had found, it finally dawned on me to search for Elijasz. Now I had never pursued this as I thought it was just a Russification of our correct name ELIASZ and surely after 1918, my family would have returned to either ELIASZ or HELIASZ and left that particular Russian transliteration in the proverbial dust.

Needless to say I was wrong. Recently, two Dorotas emailed me at Nasza Klasa. Dorota Blome (Elijasz) and Dorota Turner (Elijasz) both from Pacanów roots. These two lovely women are using friends and family to help me locate family records and are actually sending me scanned pictures of relatives. I think one or both of these may be direct line cousins of mine. Now in an even better chance of luck, I happened to meet Elzbieta Heliasz. Now Elzbieta’s family is from Biechów parish, but she speaks no English. Old Stanczyk speaks trojhe po Polskiu. Via google translators and such I was able to  trade some emails and I think I determined she is from a line HELIASZ/ELIASZ that are cousins to my grandfather (not direct relatives, but close). Well fortunately, Elzbieta has a very clever son, Łukasz, who speaks pretty good English. Well this lovely duo of near ELIASZ relatives from the parish of the earlier ELIASZ family that may have seeded Pacanów ELIASZ family lines. They actually went to the Biechów priest and retrieved my grandparents marriage documents!  Now I am not certain what marriage documents they found or are sending, but the excitement builds. It turns out that my Pacanów Joseph Eliasz and my Biechów Walerya Leszczyńka got married in Biechów, not Pacanów. This is not that surprising, since it is customary to marry in the bride’s village — but it is hardly definitive as I have counter examples in my family tree.

Well it is 102 years later, but here is to my grandparents and their marriage (28-January-1907) in Poland, without which I would not be writing these words today from America. Go to Klasa America, Nasza Klasa may hold the ancestors of your family that did NOT come over from the old country. Think Globally and work on the Internet.

May God Bless my new found Heliasz and Elijasz relatives for their kindness.

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