Posts tagged ‘Books’

July 7, 2018

Christopher Robin — A Subject To Let #16Of40 #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk enjoys this post… whimsical yet deep! Its been 22 years since Christopher Robin Milne died. His father, A. A. Milne died 62 years ago.

“Beyond our garden, Time begins, and that is an awfully deep well.”

[— Owl]

 


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Winnie the Pooh has always lent itself to philosophical interpretation. Those of a certain age will remember the 1982 book, The Tao of Pooh. In Miłosz’s subject … that I let, are many whimsical & deep elements in his short essay. It reminds me a bit of Schrodinger’s cat paradox. So I see the quantum aspects. A well as a metaphor for time is kind of philosophical or religious. Is this a reincarnation story. But Christopher was aware of his past & transition to reincarnation. That has been studied and always past life memories come away unconvincing. There is an element of Peter-Pan-Theory whereby a person (so often male) refuses to grow up & mature. I think A. A. Milne’s remarkable work with Pooh is that its very deep matter that can be derived for whatever bent you bring to “bear” on the stories. And that, is the charm and I think the appeal to the Nobel Prize author and probably to all the readers of A. A. Milne about his son.

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July 4, 2018

Among People — #Books #SubjectsToLet #15Of40

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk — At one time or another this jester, who is also a genealogist has marveled at the miraculous odds that we overcame to be. Not just I, but anyone of you, my dear readers, the odds are almost incalculable. So I think Milosz with his religious bent would have marveled at that or the fact we are all of us made of star dust.

But we are not each the sum total of the human race. We are each extant branches of that human race are lost in the ravages of time and the savagery of our species. Some DNA has been lost. We are all much more alike because we descend through the few branches that were dramatically pruned from our species long history. Think of how many humans have been eliminated. A good bit of our diversity has already been eliminated. That is why variance between any two humans is less distance than between the variance of say any two Great Ape species. Forget the evolutionary aspects. We are less diverse than the great apes.

So perhaps the lesson here to the orange buffoon in the Whitehouse is that by eliminating diversity we are subjecting our species (the homo sapiens) to a possible extinction event that might have been survivable if we were MORE diverse.

But we are not the summation of our species, but we are more a delicate thread of Y-DNA or MT-DNA back to the last extant branch. Do not risk the thread!

Now about that star dust, if the DNA is remarkably NOT diverse, think about how little diversity of star dust we are each made of. The odds of other intelligent life occurring and still existing such that our civilization’s electronic signature (or noise) being detected or us detecting another civilization’s noise is even longer in odds than for anyone of us to have existed. We’re pretty special right now but in a million years or a billion years our entire civilization just just be so much star dust, without a signature left to be detected. Extinction appears to be more common than creation.

 

If we wish to be Among Other People for longer than this short moment in time, then we better start valuing the diversity that is left and start cooperating for mutual survival of our species.

June 17, 2018

Czesław Miłosz Poetry Fest — Kraków

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

To find out more about the Milosz Festival, June 7–10, 2018:

theculturetrip.com/europe/poland/articles/10-facts-about-the-life-and-works-of-polish-poet-csezlaw-milosz/

May 27, 2018

Carrying A Splinter — #Books #SubjectsToLet #11Of40

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Carrying A Splinter - Milosz, Subjects To Let

Carrying A Splinter – Milosz

Miłosz is he. That does not seem grammatical. Miłosz is referring to himself in the third person as he writes this Subject I Let. (That too looks ungrammatical). 🤭

In this essay of mine, I am going to diverge from my revered subject, whose Subjects I Let. He was thankful that there by the grace of God, he was exempted from the labor camps & mines of Vorkuta. Vorkuta for the rest of us was the largest gulag in the European Russia, up near the arctic circle.

But He got a “splinter”. It stayed under his skin for decades. Why did the West not bring Russia to task for its gulags. Perhaps you do not know that He was a diplomat for Communist-Poland and that He sought to defect during the Cold War era. He wanted asylum in the US but suspicion in the McCarthy era that He might be a soviet spy kept him from seeking & being granted asylum. In the mean time, He wrote “The Captive Mind” and other prose that marked him an intellectual dissident against Stalinism. These works led him to be welcome in the West and in 1960 He emigrated to the US to work at UC-Berkley as a professor.

He was a poet, a Polish (not Lithuanian) poet, who came of age in World War 2 era Europe in Wilno/Vilinius & Warsaw. A complex poet Polish culturally, Lithuanian ethnically, & Russian by oppression and extended sphere of influence.

He hated the Empire and his enmity against the West (for its inaction) made his splinter ache. Study the path He took, an exiled poet who the West saw him as a political tool, a role he eschewed when he defected. Nobody saw the poet despite his works & rewards. Only his memory of Vorkuta prisoners (some his friends) kept him able to discern good from evil. Nobody saw his anguish or cries to heaven (the poet). Yet He wielded his fame which was more powerful than the evil monster-state’s regiments & armies.

But why so angry against the West, Miłosz? It provided you the fame to wield. All of a sudden in 1980, you were part of a triumvirate: Catholic Pope, Solidarinosc-Leader, Nobel-Prize-poet that raised the Polish soul to new heights.

So were you a poet or a Cold War warrior after all?

Please dear readers, email Stanczyk & let this jester know … I am of two minds on this subject.

May 23, 2018

Transmission Of Acquired Traits — #Books #SubjectsToLet #10Of40

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Transmission Of Acquired Traits

Road-Side Dog — Transmission Of Acquired Traits

What a heavy meme this week. Its about religion & philosophy and the strange intersection faith had with humanity in the 20th century. The subject of the Subject To Let, is Father Stanisław, a child of what we call in Anerica, the “Greatest Generation” for their struggles against such dire straits. Father Stanisław was a child in raised during the evil police state that flourished post-World-War-2.

How could this Catholic boy, now Catholic priest, reconcile the horrors endured by his parents, and presided over by God? God & his parents had survived the haunting inhumanities of NAZI Germany and now the Communist Totalitarian state afterwards.

How had he acquired & preserved the traits we call faith or ethics or morality? Weren’t those traits lost in the survival by being unable to stop slavery & genocide? Aren’t they gone in the godless communism that has killed even priests & nuns? Is this an evolutionary trait (the unspoken question of the Subject)? Had Father Stanisław acquired this trait … via nature or nurture? How could he live with this stain?

It was only by turning to God’s willingness to sacrifice his son (himself) to the torture & degradation of crucifixion for his church and its sins. Oddly, Father Stanisław endured & persevered this severe philosophical enquiry. But he hated the symbol of the crucifix, an emblem of torture, even as his flock would paradę with them in celebrations or cling to them with their prayers. Such self sacrifice. This jester has no answer or even a reply. All I can do is propagate this meme and hope some good seed is planted somewhere and bears good fruit!

May 16, 2018

CHUR – CHU – RAH — A Subject To Let — #Books #Milosz #9of40

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CHUR CHU RAHMiłosz’s subject to let is about censorship of the media. Once again his essays pertain to today as well as to 1997 or his earlier years in Poland post World War II.

Stanczyk likes how Miłosz is able to work in folk aspects from his life into serious topics. CHUR CHU RAH is a kind of child’s magic word for becoming untouchable during their play/games. He applies it to the way that only a small few journalists knew how to publish unvarnished truth while remaining untouchable. He also remarked how that was a refreshing breath of fresh air to the everyday mandatory cliches or pronouncements in most articles, newspapers or scholarly works.

Today we have a President that attacks media. He hollers, “Fake News” at any article he finds detrimental to himself or his administration. He even tweeted that anything bad was equivalent to “Fake News”. This orange, buffoon President would even incite crowds against the media and say he should ask the crowd to attack them??? Although claiming in the next breath that he would not do such a thing. I guess that was the President’s use of a childish safe word, like “CHUR CHU RAH”. So he’d incite violence under the guise of he should but that he won’t. Sometimes, this President would call out by name a specific journalist, who often times was a woman in a thuggish, misogynist fashion. Just Kidding folks. I don’t REALLY want you to hurt the journalist(s). I wish we had a Miłosz or Zbigniew Brzesinski or some other Cold War era survivor who could compare this American Fascism to the mid-century 20th century Fascists of Europe in Miłosz’s time.

To this jester’s eyes & ears the evidence appears to be eerily similar. I wish I could utter, “olly olly umphrey” so that all the erudite politicians and journalists could out come out from their hiding places and provide the kind of relief that Miłosz cherished and that we sorely need  today!

What do you think? Email me.

May 8, 2018

One Life, A Subject To Let — #Milosz #8Of40 #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

One Life - A Subject To Let (Milosz)

Stanczyk has now made it 20% of my way through Miłosz’s Subjects To Let. This is an exercise in discipline and learning to read/write as well as Miłosz; not like Miłosz but as well as. His subjects permeate with mortality and impermanence. So today’s subject appears to dwell in that sweet spot. But appearances can be deceiving. My own żona, who tutors as if she were a rabbi and that tutelage informs my Catholic world view, says that her mother was fond of quoting, “Be careful what you martyr yourself for as you only have One Life”.

As is so often with sages their words are wise on multiple levels. Of course there was the obvious meaning of giving away your life and that such sacrifice should be for what you see as your penultimate value(s). But on another level it means spend your time in life wisely and take care that your expenditures are for worthwhile purposes.

But it is also about mortality and impermanence. I think we can also see that the woman subject receives Miłosz’s scorn because she not only rebuffed the poet/essayist Julius Słowacki ‘s petition for love, she also upbraided this great man. I can imagine that Miłosz identified with Słowacki since they seemed to be cut from the same cloth. The both were poets and essayists. They also continued to write poetry ’til their dying days. So I guess Miłosz sees her karmic retribution is the complete and utter lack of a memory of her (whose name I refuse to type) and her efforts. Read the three pages of the subject, “One Life“.

But let me honor Juliusz Słowacki, by leaving you, good reader, with Słowacki’s prophetic 1848 poem, The Slavic Pope.

Here comes our Slavic Pope to the rescue,

Brother of mankind.

Angel batallions dust off his throne with

Whisks made of roses,

While he pours lotion onto our bosom,

Pontiff   benign.

He will distribute love like a warlord

Passes out arms;

His strength sacramental will gather the cosmos

Into his strong palms.

Then will he send glad tidings to flutter

Like Noah’s dove:

News that the spirit’s here and acknowledged,

Shining   alone.

And we shall see angels part nicely before him

The sky above.

He’ll stand on his throne, illumined, creating

Both world and throne.

His voice will transform the nations to brethren.

Burnt  offerings

Circle the spirits in their march toward

Their final goal.

Strength sacramental of hundreds of nations

Will help our king

See that the spirits’ work overpowers

Death’s mournful toll.

The wounds of the world shall he cleanse, and banish

Rot.   pus and all —

He will redeem the world and bring to it

Both health and love.

He shall sweep clean the insides of churches

And clear the hall,

And then reveal the Lord our Creator

Shining   above.

April 29, 2018

Mrs. Darwin, A Subject To Let — #Milosz #7Of40 #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Mrs. Darwin
Stanczyk

Mrs. Darwin was of course Charles Darwin’s wife. Judging by the story recounted by Milosz, she was a devout soul. So was Charles Darwin, at least until he came up with his opus on Evolution. Evolution led Mr. Darwin away from his faith. He could not reconcile how God and Evolution could both co-exist.

Let this jester start by stipulating:

Isaac Newton was religious & spent many years in its intellectual pursuit. Albert Einstein famously believed in God. Kurt Gödel proved God exists. Gödel also believed Religions are bad, but religion is not.

Permit Stanczyk to quote Einstein a few times. He was adamant about his religion saying, “I am not an atheist”. In his research & learning, he said, “When the answer is simple, God is speaking”. Lastly, on morality, “A people that were to honor falsehood, defamation, fraud, and murder would be unable, indeed, to subsist for very long”.

If you want to learn science read Einstein. If you want to learn religion read Einstein. If you to read science & religion and to know both, read Einstein.

Now we can forgive Darwin his fall from religion. For he was after Newton, but before Einstein & Gödel. So I believe Darwin was in error (not about evolution which is a fact), but in eschewing religion based upon the discipline/philosophy science or by mistakenly thinking he could only pick one. In this matter we hold Mrs. Darwin in higher esteem.

Let me add one last post script. The “atheist” who is like Dawkins (meme, “Selfish Gene”) but their belief in ethics/morality is embedded in humanism (or secular humanism) is believing in a religion. They are not irreligious, just godless. Therefore, his endeavor as spokesman for humanist funerals merely parallels Newton in later life; if we admit, Christianity = Humanism = religion

(for other religions just substitute your religion for either Christianity or Humanism in the above tautology.)

February 15, 2018

40 The Number Of Preparation — #Books , #Writing , #Miłosz

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Subjects to Let

Two days ago it was Fat Tuesday the end of Mardi Gras and I decided that I’d feast upon and finish the book, Song of Achilles.

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, the forty days of preparation for Easter started & I wrote my book review for Song of Achilles and published it to my blog.

So today I needed a new book to read and none were readily available. So on a whim I picked, Roadside Dog by Czesław Miłosz from our bookshelf. As is my custom, I studied the book including its Table Of Contents. My eyes went to my favorite pastiches. I re-read a few. Then I saw his grouping: “Subjects to Let”. I counted these topics and there were forty! Aha inspiration from God himself. I should prepare myself to be a writer by writing my response to each Let Subject. I further thought I will do one per week and finish it this year.

So today dear reader, I pledge to respond to Miłosz’s Subjects, starting the week of March 25 and that week and the next 39 following, I will write a response & publish it on my blog. 40 weeks of preparation to be a writer. Why not write like Miłosz? We’re kindred spirits so embedded in our Polonian culture.

I know Miłosz by today’s borders he would be Lithuanian, but he considered himself Polish. I am hoping to discover that Polishness in myself by reading his 40 subjects & writing my response to them one per week.

Preparing to be a writer.

February 14, 2018

Song Of Achilles — #Book #Review 📚

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Madeline Miller — #Achilles

Stanczyk has long been a classicist. Greek classics are an especial treat for me. I loved Greek Mythology as I learned it from my teacher, Claudia Nash. So I read the Iliad and devoured the Odyssey. Those books on my bookshelf impressed my Teréza who was smitten by my erudition.

So when I saw a book entitled CIRCE coming out this April 10th 2018. I knew I had to read it! But lo, she had previously penned Song Of Achilles. So I knew I had to “book up” and read that book before CIRCE came out. After all, the Trojan War before the Odyssey home. After all my dog Princess Java, an AKC pedigreed Lab whose 3rd name is Argus after Odysseus’s dog!

So I read Song of Achilles hoping to get a feel for the author (Madeline Miller / @MillerMadeline) and her writing style. I wanted Circe, but I admit I fell in love with the characters in Song Of Achilles. I was lured in by prose while Patroclus was just a boy. But I knew the author had an epic skill when I read her telling of Patroclus & Achilles meeting Chiron. Those chapters slew me and drew me in like no other author.

It was pure joy to read of Achilles and this telling of the Trojan War. It was easy to read a few chapters at a sitting. Hard to put down.

All along I knew how it was going to end. But that did not detract. I loved Odysseus’s cleverness at finding Achilles (after his god-mother, Thetis, not a god mother, a god for a mother hid her son). I too, like Patroclus and the other Greek kings/princes had a sense of dread whenever she appeared.

Patroclus was an artful narrator that set the tone and drew me in. His narration of Achilles’s rise from teen to hero and coverage of the Trojan War and its major combatants was thrilling. Patroclus was good, I forgot his narrative was Madeline’s narrative; That is the level of immersion she was able to acheive.

Alas I loved the book. I did not want it to end (especially two months before CIRCE arrives). I set it aside as Patroclus & Achilles set aside their child-selves. For 3-4 days I could not bear to pick it up and read. Finally, on Fat Tuesday I devoured the remainder of the book in a final three hour reading spree.

As I was reading I realized the narrator was going to die so my meta-reader-self was wondering who would narrate the ending when the narrator was dead. I will not tell you the spectacular brilliant choice she made for the final narrator of the final chapters. It is worth reading the book 📖 just to savor that transition alone.

So much pathos. So much love & hate and other emotions. Truly she captured the spirit of greek tragedy. Is this mythology or historical fiction? You decide the genre. Madeline you were so great I forgive you the detail of Achilles’s death. I accept your smart choices in retelling the Illiad. Somehow you enlarged the story. In fact it appears to cover at least 15 years of Achilles in a mere 369 pages.

I think Madeline was Odysseus. After all his/her words about the changing feelings mankind will have for the characters will change over the centuries. In truth, my feelings for the main characters swirled like Charybdis’s eddies.

Read this book. I think we are witnessing the development of an unparalleled author / story-teller. Please CIRCE come quickly!

Rage of Achilles

Hector’s death by Achilles

March 26, 2017

Binging on Byatt — #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk  is binge reading Dame A.S. Byatt‘s books. This jester neglected reading Chabon & Byatt for far too long and I am remedying those omissions before the weather gets too nice.

 

By my birthday I will have read a dozen books in 2017.

March 18, 2017

Libraries Infographic — #Books , #Reading

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tags: ,
March 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday — #Meme 2017 Books Read

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Books Stanczyk read in February through 1st week in March 2017 📚

 (although “The Gene” has just been started, definitely not finished)
#Bibliophile

May 28, 2016

National Book Festival — 24-Sept-2016

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Love this annual event. Last year the First Family was there. The Library of Congress blog link:
http://blogs.loc.gov/national-book-festival/2016/05/2016-national-book-festival-poster-takes-viewers-on-journey-to-the-unknown/?loclr=twloc

May 19, 2016

Romanov Russian Royalty … REDUX

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester has a deep appreciation for Dr. Stephen Morse and his many works, especially those related to genealogy. I have used his One Step Web Page for many years. So it was thrill to meet him at various conferences and I was touched at his kind offer to help  moje zona read her grandparent’s tombstone (alas the jester struggles with his Hebrew language skills). I have followed his recent work to make yet a 3rd generation soundex algorithm (for us Slavics).

Originally, we had American Soundex, which you still see on Immigration documents (mine is E420). Then along came the most excellent Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex which was a vast improvement for those whose heritage was Slavic (mine is 084000) and you would see it on Russian Consular records.  Recently Dr Morse has developed the Bieder-Morse Soundex algorithm which further improves name matches (by eliminating false matches). So my family name would have Bieder-Morse soundex tokens of:  elaS elas [exact match tokens only] . I think only the JewishGen website has implemented that matching.

Now Dr Morse has an article(Genetic Genealogy Revisited) in the APG’s professional journal: “Association of Professional Genealogists QUARTERLY”. It was on the use of genetics in genealogy and he used the Romanov Family mystery as a demonstration of using genetics to solve a question. Now I read in the Current issue of the Smithsonian,  the Resurrecting the Czar, article. It too covers the latest background on murder mystery of Czar Nicholas II and his family and attendants. I found that the two aritcles read together give a fascinating account of the story.

Now this jester is not a fan of the Russian Empire (even though my grandparents and their parents were born into Russian-Poland partition).  The Rus betrayal of Poland not even a century after the great  King Jan Sobieski, the Savior of Vienna [indeed all of Europe],  the “Lion of Lechistan” and  their betrayal again in 1939 at the start of World War II sour my feelings for our brother Rus. So while I enjoyed the two articles read back-to-back, I was appalled by a few “royalists” who want to bring back the monarchy to the Russian Federation. One woman artist actually is hoping for a Russian fascist (to clean up the mess??) followed by a transition back to the monarchy. That would be quite a rewind of history huh?

Czech, Lech and Rus – there is a legend of three brothers that settled central and eastern Europe. Czech went on to found the Czechs and Rus went on to found the Russians. Lech and Lechistan became Poland. So we can see again that monarchies and the battles between them are really nothing more than family squabbles done on a grand scale. By the way both articles mention the British monarchy  and their family connection to the Romanovs (via Hapsburgs).  Canute the Great was a Grandson of Mieszko I (first king of Poland) and of course another ancestor of this jester, the twice king Stanislaw Leszczynski, had a daughter marry into the Bourbons. Alas all of Poland’s goodwill and family relationships could not prevent the Deluge and Poland’s slip from History’s main stage. We will have to content ourselves that Rus and their partitions, produced Kosciuszko and Pulaski and they in turn helped to produce America.

Now we come to 2016 …

There is an artist,  Olga Shirnina, who has taken Romanov family photos and colorized them. Please read the article: RBTH (Romanov family photos in color) from “Russia Beyond The Headlines”.
Romanov Links:

Romanov Photos British Archives

Romanov Family Tree

November 25, 2011

Books, eBooks, and More Books – Bibliophiles/Bibliophages Beware !!! #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is very old … My portrait by Jan Matejko dates back to 1862 alone. So perhaps you can forgive me if I blog about an antiquarian notion today … BOOKS. First off, I hope everyone had a Blessed and Family/Food Filled Thanksgiving Holiday (4th Thursday in November in the USA).

As I was saying I want to write about books today. I provided a handy photo for the reference of my younger readers who may need a refresher on the concept. Before you run off … Here’s my list:

No Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble today, although they are worthy purveyors — nor will I speak of Antiquarian Books, though I reserve that topic for another day.

Google Books (books.google.com/books) – I adore to find public domain books or snippets of books under copyright that I can search and perhaps get at least a snippet view of my search topic. Google now lets you keep the public domain books on their “Cloud” (no space on your hard disk). At present, my Google eBooks include:

Historya Polska w Ameryce by Wacław Kruszka. So you can find resources that are valuable to your genealogical or history research. Although you cannot download them to your iPhone, it is still portable since it is in the “Cloud” (enough with that Internet meme). So as long you can surf the web with your iPhone (or other smartphone) your genealogical resources are portable.
Google Books will also help you locate the book in a local library (or the closest library) or help you locate it via their cadre of booksellers in case you still need that tactile sense of holding a book or where an eBook is not an option.
They also have magazines too! Feel free to browse (get some good Sumatra coffee ready).
 
The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/texts) is more than just books. It also about the Web, Moving Images, Texts (books), and Audio. All intriguing in their own right. In fact, the Web portion has the infamous Wayback Machine for viewing websites as they used to be. As I read somewhere this month, the average website changes about every 28 days. Obviously, blogs skew that average. So in a sense, the Wayback Machine backs up the Internet or should I say the “Cloud”. Oops, I did promise to stop dropping that meme today. But books are what we are about today. Obviously, they get their books from Libraries and also Project Gutenberg. Also it should be obvious that these are public domain books. They store each book in a variety of formats (HTML, PDF, and various ebook formats). So you can download a book to your laptop and import that into your iBooks App (or whatever smartphone App you use) for true portability. Classics .. check, Genealogy/History .. check, Children’s Books .. double check, and Foreign Language Books too. What eBooks are on your smartphone? Perhaps we should ask that question to the famous (instead of what music is on your iPhone). Don’t be embarrassed .. go to the Internet Archive or the Next Topic (Project Gutenberg).
 
Project Gutenberg – has been around a long time. But it has taken eBook formats, eBook readers and smartphones to bring this valuable resource to major relevance. I daresay that most smartphone Apps that have free books, probably use this website. Project Gutenberg has 36,000 books to download. Skip those Apps, use the free iBooks App that came with your iPhone, Project Gutenberg to locate the books YOU care about, download the eBook format (epub or pdf work), import the book into iTunes, find some book cover art, and synch the whole package to your iPhone/iPad for true portability and reading on the beach or in that research archive or at the museum or that archaeology dig you have been promising yourself.
 
LibraryThing (www.librarything.com) –  You must be a bibliophile or bibliophage or why else are you reading this post. Well here is a website that is a bit different. LibraryThing will allow you to upload your library (200 books for free). Now you are not uploading books, but the data about the books or possibly its cover. You can enter the data or specify the ISBN and allow the website to locate the metadata that describes the book in your collection. If that is all it did, it would be mostly useful to libraries and librarians — which it is useful for and they provide a way to bulk load their entire catalogs. But it is a kind of social-network for bibliophiles or for authors trying to sell books to readers of their genre. I like the Zeitgeist feature for understanding what is out there. I also like to compare my books to others and wonder about what others users whose books overlap with my book collection are like and what that says about me. There are also book groups and local ties to bookstores, libraries, museums and other book events. There are so many ways to use this website collaboratively.  Take a peak.
 
Enjoy the books and the other book readers too!
November 14, 2011

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

September 2, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1818

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1817. inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1818 in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1818 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Year: 1818      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      85 Total Births

Record #3     Date: 1/1/1818

Father: Mosiek Merzdal, Handlarz, Age 28, Wojcza   House #50

Mother: Sorli z Lewkow, age 24

Baby: boy Herczyk

Witnesses:  Jaska Jaskowicz, pakiarz, age 42 Wojcza & Moska Szymolewicz, kaczmarz,  <no age>, Biechow

—-

Record #12     Date: 2/1/1818

Father: Jasek Jaskowicz, Pakiarz, Age 42, Wojcza   House #2

Mother: Estera z Nutow, age 36

Baby: girl Ruskla

Witnesses:  Moska Golbarka, Arendarz, age 34 Wojcza & Moska Szymolewicz, szynkarz,  <no age>, Biechow

—-

Record #15     Date: 2/14/1818

Father: Mosiek Szymolewicz, Szynkasz, Age 36, Biechow   Biechow Inn #77

Mother: Setla z Slorkow, age 36

Baby: girl Esterka

Witnesses:  Moska Golbarka, arendarz, age 34 Wojcza & Simela Komnan, kaczmarzek,  56, Jastrzebica (parish Stopnica)

So we have 3 births in 1818 out of 84 total births, which is 3.6% of birth population. Also note that Mosiek Szymolewicz was in all three records with no age given in the first two records where he was a witness, finally we get his age as the father in the third birth record. Also note the visiting witness from Jastrzebica village which is identified as being in the Stopnica parish.

As usual, I give the JRI permission to use these Jewish records in their databases [if they ever get around to visiting my blog].

I can quickly pick out the Jewish records out  as they hand-write their names in Hebrew script. It is possible that my using this method may cause me to miss a Jewish record if the record was not signed with Hebrew [although let me hasten to add that very few records are signed, maybe another 4-5 beyond the Hebrew signatures and most of those other signatures I recognize as Catholic families that I have in my family tree.]

July 14, 2011

#Genealogy – #Historical #Newspapers : Library of Congress

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

       Stanczyk just loves books and if you are like me, then there is no greater place to go and see books, periodicals, or microfilm, than the Library of Congress (LOC). The Library of Congress is in Washington D.C. and is really a complex of three buildings  just off the National Mall.  When I visited the LOC, I was struck by the magnificent edifice that we hold the nation’s books in. Truly it is a Palace of Books. It has come a long way since it was just President Jefferson’s bequeathed book collection.

The LOC has some interesting online resources: reading rooms (genealogy), Chronicling America (previously written about), National Digital Newspaper Program, and Flickr Photo Stream. The newspaper & periodical reading room is in the Madison Building. Thankfully the LOC is tech savvy and so much material is available online.

I like it for its microfilm of historical newspapers or historical phone books — good genealogical sources. They do have my favorite Dziennik Polski (Detroit) newspaper – their holdings:

SUMMARY Dziennik Polski (Detroit) LOC HOLDINGS:

View more Polish ethnic language titles from this institution

Dates Available:

  • 1941-

Available as: Microfilm  – Dates:

  • <1941:4:14- >

Available as: Original – Dates:

  • <1981:1:2- >

Make the most of your summer combine your research with your vacation (or vice versa). Oh, just prepare for your research (which you should always do) before you go.

June 28, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday Czesław Miłosz

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Sto,  that is a lot.  Stanczyk is getting old, …  really, really old. Has it already been a century since the birth of Nobel Laureate, Czeslaw Milosz ?  Time flies when you are a royal jester. In two days, we will be celebrating Milosz’s 100th birthday. Milosz is near and dear to moje serce (my heart). When asked about his nationality, Milosz replied …

I am a Lithuanian to whom it was not given to be a Lithuanian.”  and “My family in the sixteenth century already spoke Polish, just as many families in Finland spoke Swedish and in Ireland English, so I am a Polish not a Lithuanian poet.”

A complex mind indeed. But I get Milosz. His family was from the era of the Polish-Lithuanian Commnwealth, literately Polish as were most in the circles of power or in the intelligentsia circles. So his thoughts were Polish, but his world view was Lithuanian where he was born. Of course this is in counter-point to Milosz being born into the Russian Empire. On June 30th, 1911 (Milosz’s birth) in the village of Szetejnie, his family was a member of the Russian Empire (Kovno Gubernia), just one of ten provinces in Russian-Poland (occupied Poland) inside the much larger Russian (still Czarist) Empire. Milosz however, was never Russian, not Czarist and no, not ever a Soviet.

I get Milosz. His Slavic soul still whispers to me and his way with words kept rapt, my attention. Much of his poetry/prose was indeed of his memory of Lithuanian places or experiences. That is not to negate his Polish experiences both pre and post Communism. His novel, “The Captive Mind”, a brilliant anti-Stalinist piece that made him well known, … in the Western, non-communist world. His works were unknown in Poland and the West thought of him as a political writer, not a poet. Milosz emigrated to the USA in 1960 and in 1961 started his tenure in Slavic Literature/Studies at  UC Berkley, and became a US citizen in 1970. In 1980, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Oddly, because his works were banned in Communist Poland, he was largely unknown as a writer in Poland until the award. Gradually, after the fall of Communism (by the 1990’s), Milosz moved back to Poland and lived and died in Krakow in 2004.

Crypt of the Meritorius

After a solemn mass at the Krakow Basilica of St. Mary’s, where a letter was read by the Pope, Blessed John Paul II,  of the Pope’s last correspondence with the poet. The funeral procession followed the Royal Road to the church of St. Michael the Archangel & St. Stanislaus on the Rock (na Skalce), where his sarcophagus is interred in its crypt. This crypt holds a Polish National Pantheon of literati.

Stanczyk only owns four works by Milosz:  The History of Polish Literature,  New and Collected Poems (1931-2001),  Road-Side Dog (two copies), and   Milosz’s Alphabet. I hope my readers will not think less of me, because I say, that the Road-Side Dog is my favorite. Milosz, I started writing far too late, but I assure you that there are many of your, Subjects, that I wish, To Let. Mój piesek (my little dog), Java, is not so little and seldom Road-Side, but her and I have a voice and your subjects To Let and some topics of our own to bark at visitors as they go by.  Milosz, bless me with your literate spirit.  I get you  Milosz and you live on in my,  and I assume many  minds and hearts,  forever. Pity you did not live to this era of blogging and Twitter. I doubt you’d have tweeted, but the blog would have been a fine media for your splendid thoughts.

Happy Birthday Czeslaw! Sto lat!

June 24, 2011

Shoemakers Guild Brothers, a Guild Book in Śląska Biblioteka Cyfrowa

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been searching for Shoemakers Guild (Chechy Szewskiego) books. I was in the Silesian Digital Library (aka Śląska Biblioteka Cyfrowa). I found this amazing guild book. It had nearly 360 pages to comb through and in Polish (with some Latin); so this will take a good bit of time to peruse. It seems to span about a century (1799-1899). The book as you might guess is mostly about Shoemakers and their various helpers. It also seemed to have another guild: the Tanners (Garbarskiego) in one part. Mostly it is about men ( a few women too) and their jobs. They seem to be very religious as I see many notes related to the church and/or it societies.

While there are many family names, I would have to say that the founding and sustaining family are the Miodonskich (Miodonski). It starts in the 1860’s and 1870’s. But after a few pages there is a colorful page with a drawing and then a good many pages with in an ornate border all in color detailing the people, works, and traditions of this guild’s brotherhood (and sisterhood). The colorful and ornate bordered pages (all hand drawn) start in 1799 and it is clear that a Miodonski is the founder of this guild.

Take a look for yourself here. The expanded book notes indicate a village named: Żywiec . I do not know about shoes, but today  they seem to be known for beer. Just a quick note tonight.

 

June 17, 2011

Genealogy Indexer – Historical Polish City Directories

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday, Stanczyk was extoling the virtues of the Genealogy Indexer web site. This site has OCR’ed Historical City Directories from Poland’s Digital Libraries and built a database of names from this OCR work.

I also recommended Americans not use diacriticals (accents) unless you can use them correctly as incorrect use will cause you to miss records. Using correct diacriticals or none gives the same results, so mis-used diacriticals is the only way you can miss data. So do NOT use diacriticals.

The image above shows the query screen, where Stanczyk queried on ‘pacanów, eljasz‘, using the keyboard symbol next to the query field to enter diacriticals (I know some of you will want to do this despite my admonitions otherwise). This is actually a handy tool for entering Cyrillic or other Slavic characters on our USA keyboards. Just cut/paste from this website to another website or form or document. At any rate, my query returned five results (only three shown above). I chose the second one to illustrate in this article. The links will take you to a digital image of the document (using Deja Vu browser plug-in) that matches your query result. How cool is that?

So I selected the second link (1930 above).

The resulting digital image was a City Directory Phone book. The language is Polish, but there is a second language (French) too! So if the image is unreadable in one language perhaps you can read the other and figure out what was unreadable in the other. It is also helpful in translating  too, to have two languages.  The first part is a description of the place-name (like a Gazetteer) written in both Polish and French.

The top two paragraphs are Polish, then French Gazetteer description of the place-name (Pacanow). We can see that 1930 Pacanow had 2598 residents an interesting fact to know. After these first two paragraphs we see, what we would call “Yellow Page” listings by business type. It starts with Doctor(s) (Lekarze) and then from there on it flows alphabetically (in Polish) with Midwife, Pharmacy, etc. Each business type is followed by one or more names. These names are your putable ancestors.

I was interested in Kolowdzieje (Wheelwright) business Eljasz M. [This is possibly my grandfather’s uncle Marcin Eliasz]. Also the Wiatraki (Wind Mills) business was VERY interesting because we find both Eljasz and Zasucha names. Now this makes Stanczyk’s day as my 2nd great grandfather   was Martin (aka Marcin) Elijasz and he married an Anna Zasucha. These Wind Mill owners are very likely close ancestors of Stanczyk.

There are many surnames from my family tree besides Eljasz and Zasucha, we find:  Poniewierski, Pytko, Siwiec, Wlecial, and Wojtys. Now I can put an occupation by my ancestors. Nice. Very Nice!

May 19, 2011

Doomsday Rapture – 21st May, 2011

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

☩ UPDATE (5/22/2011) ☩

Stanczyk has now written twice before on these doomsday sayers. This jester’s past two articles:

Doomsday is Regrettably Delayed

10/10/10 Doomsday?

Now we find failed prophet, Harold Camping (89 years old), predicting that Judgment Day is this Saturday (5/21/2011). They are even barnstorming across America trying to warn people and even buying billboards where possible. Now, I say failed prophet because, Harold Camping, once before predicted Sept. 6, 1994 as Judgment Day. The bible does tell us that any prophet from G-d would be correct in his/her prophecies and that failed prophecies are a sign of charlatans. Surely, they already know that the New Testament says in Matthew 24:36-44:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, …”

So here are some of the failed predictions (or pending failures?):

  1. 1-September-1994 [Harold Camping, FAILED]
  2. 21-May-2011 [Harold Camping, FAILED, 2nd FAILURE!]
  3. 1806 – [Hoax of Prophet Hen of Leeds, FAILED]
  4. 22-October-1844 [William MIller, FAILED]
  5. 1891 or before [Mormon Armageddon predicted by Joseph Smith in 1835, FAILED]
  6. 1910 [Media frenzy about Halley’s Comet return bringing cyanide poisoning, FAILED]
  7. 1982 [Pat Roberston 700 Club prediction, FAILED]
  8. 1997 Halle-Bop Comet return [Heavens Gate Cult, FAILED]
  9. 1999 August, [Nostradamus prediction, FAILED]
  10. 2008 Fall [Ronald Weinland prediction, including the fall of USA as a nation, FAILED]
  11. 10-October-2010 (i.e. 10/10/10) [FAILED]
  12. 21-December-2012 [Mayan Calendar runs outs ???, pending, probable failure as the mathematics are wrong]

So for those planning Rapture parties on 5/21/2011, you should move that up one day to make the sure the party happens and people can attend. Atheists and Agnostics can go ahead with their parties on Saturday. If the predicted calamity does not happen on Saturday, then perhaps, twice failed Harold Camping will be ignored by the Media (and indeed EVERYONE).

Here is a great page of failed doomsday prophecies from 30CE-present. It has more than I listed  above. Please read this page which includes references to some materials for the reader to go deeper.

One interesting note on the Halley’s Comet prediciton. Why did nobody believe it happened previously since it happens about every 75 years? Indeed the famous Samuel Clemmons/Mark Twain was born during the 1835 arrival of Halleys and then proceeded to die as he prophesied on the 1910 return of Halleys.

Stanczyk promises to update this post, if he is not Raptured on Saturday, to reflect the second FAILURE of H. Camping. Have a Great Weekend everybody!

Well it was not doosmday. We are still here;  even the cultists who promoted the latest doomsday fraud. Stanczyk’s heart goes out to the people who gave up their worldly possessions by believing this fraud. In California, one individual was going to euthanize his pets, before the local Humane Society intervened. Can you imagine if someone did this to their children or their elderly/invalided parents? I pray such a thing did not happen and never happens. I believe there is cuplability here and I hope people sue Harold Camping for inciting this madness upon a large number of gullible people.

May God Bless those who are in need:   Haiti, Japan, USA-Tornado victims, USA-Mississippi flood victims. As one of my beloved wife’s friends said, now that the Rapture has not arrived, take this time do a good deed.

April 23, 2011

1926 – Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In 1926, on the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, the children and government of Poland had undertaken a massive effort of friendship with their Polish Declaration of Admiration & Friendship for the USA. Poland had only re-emerged 8 years earlier at the end of World War I, from nearly a 150 years of occupation! Imagine if you will, a nation occupied nearly the entire history of these United States of America who with the help of the Allied Powers in World War I (including the USA) and with the aid of Americans (USA and Canadians) who formed an expatriate army, known as Haller’s Army or the Polish Army in France.  These Allied Powers through 1918 and Haller’s Army through the early 1920 skirmishes, re-established the borders of Poland between the two World Wars and bottled up Communism for another two decades.

You will be forgiven gentle reader if you have never heard of this gift from the people and government of Poland to the people and government of the USA on their 150th Anniversary of our nation’s founding. President Calvin Coolidge received the gift and placed it into the Library of Congress  (LOC) where it was forgotten until 70 years later in 1996 when it was re-discovered. The LOC has digitized 13 of the 111 volumes which has the signatures of approximately 5.5 Million Polish school children. There is also an index to the location names of the schools in the other volumes that have not yet been digitized. The main LOC page (also reachable from the index page above is here):

http://memory.loc.gov/intldl/pldechtml/pldechome.html

The LOC has not produced a searchable index person names from the digitized volumes. Fortunately, there exists a web app with nearly 3,000 pages scanned to produce a person name index of nearly 250,000 people by the the PTG (Polish Genealogical Society) with a summary of the project so far here. The PTG searchable index is reachable from their main page:

http://genealodzy.pl/index.php?&newlang=eng

and clicking upon ‘Declarations‘ on the left side of the main page. The page is in Polish.  ‘Tom’ = Volume (type 1 – 13) and ‘Strona’ = Page. You can use the LOC website to locate the volume and page of  interest to you and reach the same page here at PTG. You enter the TOM and the STRONA and click on the ‘Pokaz’ button to go to the image of that volume and page to read the names. Remember that most schools have more than one page. PTG however, also has a way to search on the names. In the first field (no name) you can type a last name and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search on the name. The check box (‘dokladnie’) should be left unchecked (to avoid having to enter diacritics) for the name you are searching on. Many American Polish names are spelled differently from their original names in Poland. You  can overcome this somewhat by using a wildcard character at the end. For example, if Stanczyk wanted to search for ELIASZ or ELIJASZ or ELJASZ, he could enter ‘EL%’ and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search for those possible spellings.

The wildcard can also be used in the middle as shown in the picture below:

Stanczyk got all good matches except for number 2. In particular,  matches 3,4,5 are probably Stanczyk’s ancestors, since Tom/Volume 13, Strona/Page 419-420 is for the school in the village of Pacanow from whence Stanczyk’s direct lineage comes from. Now I could use those Tom’s and Strona’s to bring up the image of the page with those signatures and save the image in my family history.

There is also a nice web page in the LOC, called Emblem of Goodwill with many details of the friendship between Poland and the USA. It also includes pictures of the artwork in the volumes and even a few photos of two classes.

December 2, 2010

Christopher Columbus Discovers … He Is POLISH!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Polonia, this jester is pleased as punch to tell you, that you can now celebrate Columbus Day as well as Pulaski Day, so get out there in September with the Italians and celebrate with pride our newest Pole, Christopher Columbus! Portuguese historian Manuel Rosa has spent the better part of two decades studying the Columbus myth and has now reached a new conclusion, that everything we thought we knew about Columbus was wrong.

First book up on the background articles:

Apparently Columbus’s grandfather was the founder of the Jagiellonian Line of Polish Kings. And his father was Wladislaw III . Wladislaw III was thought to have died at the Battle of Varna in 1444. Luckily for America he survived, found absolution in Palestine for his wrongs, and settled in Portugal, where the Portuguese King gave him land on  the island of Madeira,  and he married Portuguese aristocracy and had two sons (one of which was Columbus).

Now this story makes sense of why Columbus had access to no less than four royal lines who he could approach and propose such a venture of discovering a new path to the Orient (uh America, ummm, the Caribbean Islands). A Book is coming and National Geographic is also interested in the story. Manuel Rosa is now seeking access to DNA to prove his theory. In the mean time, lets see some Polish flags next September at the Columbus Day Holiday Parades and reclaim our prodigal son from the Italians. This will be a nice entre into October (Polish History Month, Pulaski Day celebrations) giving Polonia two months of pride. Also drink some Madiera wines. It appears we can thank our Polish son for this wine appearing in the Americas — a nice red wine. This also adds to the credibility that Columbus was born on the Island of Madiera (a Portuguese territory at the time) and not in Genoa.

November 24, 2010

Milosz, Dlugosz and Eliasz … Shhh

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Czeslaw Milosz (June 30, 1911 – August 14, 2004), the Nobel Prize author,  should have the 100th Anniversary of his birth commemorated, June, next year. I do not know why I took a fancy to this person who took my mind captive. It is probably because he was Polish (and a naturalized American) and his first name was the same as my ojciec (father). That got me to read this man’s works. But what kept me reading his works is his Captivating Mind and his way around the rhythm of language (quite extraordinary to be so  talented in two languages).  So I was reading a book of his, “The History of Polish Literature“; London-New York: MacMillan, 1969. When I read, I am rather immersive, so I read the text and Google the concepts or the author. It provides a richer experience for me. So I noticed that Milosz (or the concept that was Milosz) is about to turn 100!

This jester has many of this writer’s books in his personal library. I chose the Road Side Dog for a picture, because I am a long time dog  aficionado and I have made a reservation, “to let” some of Milosz’s ideas for my own writings. So from my readings today in The History of Polish Literature“, here are a few memes and things for you think upon:

  • Marcholt – The Polish Aesop, particularly the connection to the Wise King Solomon
  • Sowizrzal
  • Melusine
  • Jan Dlugosz ( 1415-1480)

In the above list, the first three are literary characters, while the fourth is a historical figure and writer. His historical writings are  a rich source. See Annales Poloniae.  Jan Dlugosz endeared himself to me by teaching himself Cyrillic in order to be to source info from the Letopisi. So this jester identifies with Dlugosz and his need to read Cyrillic texts to have ready access to Russian information.

Alas, in the partitions of Poland by the three black-eagled Empires,  my ancestors were  mostly in the Russian-Poland partition, so reading Cyrillic handwriting and Russian language (pre 1918 language reforms) became a necessary skill. I think I dislike the Russification of the ELIASZ name into Elijasz. I still remember my Busia teaching me that our last name was in the Old Testament and that we were named for the prophet Elijah. In Polish, it appeared as ELIASZ.  So when I got further into the genealogical research and I saw post-partition Catholic priests change the name into Heliasz and Elijasz, I saw something of a diminishing of respect for its biblical roots. But whether we are ELIASZ or HELIASZ or ELIJASZ or even ELJASZ or ELYASZ. I still see Elijah. In fact, amongst the Slavic peoples, other variations exist: Iliasz, Oliasz, and Uliasz. So now you know, that this jester’s family with the short name (6 characters) of which uncharacteristically,  half of them are vowels is very much Polish with  a very uncommon Polish name.

 

A Reasonably Complete Bibliography of Czeslaw Milosz can be found in the New World Encyclopedia  article.

October 27, 2010

Romanov Russian Royalty.. oh my

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester has a deep appreciation for Dr. Stephen Morse and his many works, especially those related to genealogy. I have used his One Step Web Page for many years. So it was thrill to meet him at various conferences and I was touched at his kind offer to help  moje zona read her grandparent’s tombstone (alas the jester struggles with his Hebrew language skills). I have followed his recent work to make yet a 3rd generation soundex algorithm (for us Slavics).

Originally, we had American Soundex, which you still see on Immigration documents (mine is E420). Then along came the most excellent Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex which was a vast improvement for those whose heritage was Slavic (mine is 084000) and you would see it on Russian Consular records.  Recently Dr Morse has developed the Bieder-Morse Soundex algorithm which further improves name matches (by eliminating false matches). So my family name would have Bieder-Morse soundex tokens of:  elaS elas [exact match tokens only] . I think only the JewishGen website has implemented that matching.

Now Dr Morse has an article(Genetic Genealogy Revisited) in the APG’s professional journal: “Association of Professional Genealogists QUARTERLY”. It was on the use of genetics in genealogy and he used the Romanov Family mystery as a demonstration of using genetics to solve a question. Now I read in the Current issue of the Smithsonian,  the Resurrecting the Czar, article. It too covers the latest background on murder mystery of Czar Nicholas II and his family and attendants. I found that the two aritcles read together give a fascinating account of the story.

Now this jester is not a fan of the Russian Empire (even though my grandparents and their parents were born into Russian-Poland partition).  The Rus betrayal of Poland not even a century after the great  King Jan Sobieski, the Savior of Vienna [indeed all of Europe],  the “Lion of Lechistan” and  their betrayal again in 1939 at the start of World War II sour my feelings for our brother Rus. So while I enjoyed the two articles read back-to-back, I was appalled by a few “royalists” who want to bring back the monarchy to the Russian Federation. One woman artist actually is hoping for a Russian fascist (to clean up the mess??) followed by a transition back to the monarchy. That would be quite a rewind of history huh?

Czech, Lech and Rus – there is a legend of three brothers that settled central and eastern Europe. Czech went on to found the Czechs and Rus went on to found the Russians. Lech and Lechistan became Poland. So we can see again that monarchies and the battles between them are really nothing more than family squabbles done on a grand scale. By the way both articles mention the British monarchy  and their family connection to the Romanovs (via Hapsburgs).  Canute the Great was a Grandson of Mieszko I (first king of Poland) and of course another ancestor of this jester, the twice king Stanislaw Leszczynski, had a daughter marry into the Bourbons. Alas all of Poland’s goodwill and family relationships could not prevent the Deluge and Poland’s slip from History’s main stage. We will have to content ourselves that Rus and their partitions, produced Kosciuszko and Pulaski and they in turn helped to produce America.

October 20, 2010

Doomsday has been Delayed Due to Unavoidable Circumstances

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has regrettably to be the bearer of bad news to this court (of public opinion).  Contrary to Tea Party (aka Teabaggers, until they understood the implications), the world’s demise will now be delayed. I felt compelled to blog about this, since in the recent past I have written on the topic:

Mayan Calendar – no more dates

10/10/10 – another doomsday (come and gone)

So I am now compelled to write again, since science has now weighed in on the topic. To whit the folks at LiveScience.com have released word, that the end of the world as we know it has been unavoidably delayed. This jester appreciated the uncommon good science in their thoughts. However, I was disappointed that they did not question the fact that the calendar is not over because the Mayan Long Calendar reads: 13.0.0.0.0 . Now for people with an aversion to the number 13 this may be a rare occurring unlucky date. It is still a rare astrological alignment date that occurs every 6500 or so years.

I urge people to read the book, “The Origin Map” if they now wish to switch from an end-of-world meme to the ever popular astrological-day-of-import meme. Actually, I found Dr. Thomas  Brophy more compelling than most horoscope practitioners. Particularly as he matched his calculations to an archaeological dig.

October 15, 2010

St. Stanislaus, Catholic Church, Philadelphia, 1905

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

For a brief history of the church, please visit the following link: Stanislawo , which also has a picture of the interior of the church. The church was founded: 1891 – St. Stanislaus (Polish), 240 Fitzwater St., 215-925-2631 [Source: Genealogical Society of PA ] .

This jester was doing some research and was given a copy from its Marriage register of 1905.  I am endeavoring to supply these random snippets I am given, as a random act of genealogical kindness.  So I am hopeful that someone can use this info.

The page had 5 couples, plus half a couple (the bride) of a sixth marriage. These six marriages ranged in date, from 4-February-1905 –  6-February-1905. I wanted to list these six couples in my blog in hopes that their ancestors can find them via Google or Bing or some other search engine. Email me for the full size image and a second page listing parents / witnesses.

  1. Groom: <cut off>                             Bride: Aniela Renska, age 18, Front Street, Philadelphia, PA
  2. Groom: Piotr Rozanski, 23            Bride: Anna Sento, age 17,  751 So. Front Street, Philadelphia, PA
  3. Groom: Jozef Dorczyk, 21              Bride: Maria Dudkiewicz, age 18,  735 So. Front Street, Philadelphia, PA
  4. Groom: Jozef Szelagowski, 26       Bride: Stanislawa Adamska, age 19,  502 Water Street, Philadelphia, PA
  5. Groom: Wawrzyniec Oszeiki, 30   Bride: Bornislawa Petkowska, age n/a,  11 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA
  6. Groom: Kazimierz Nowik, 28         Bride: Anna Zytkowska, age n/a,  Coatesville, PA

June 12, 2010

20-December-2012

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Mayan Calender

Many of you may recognize the title date, as the day the world ends. This popular notion is from the Mayan Long Calendar. On 12/20/2012 we will be: 12.19.19.17.19 and rollover to 13.0.0.0.0 on 12/21/2012. Pretty nifty, right on the winter solstice. Now according to Mayan stories the last creation was on 12.19.19.17.19 the previous time. But what is the Mayan Long calendar and what do the numbers: 12.19.19.17.19 mean?

The Mayans reckon their calendar into 5 parts (hence: 12,19,19,17,19). The last number is called a K’in and 1 K’in = 1 day. The Mayans being rather astute in their calculations use a system that is roughly base-20 (as opposed to our base-10). So they count from zero to 19. So K’in in their system would be the units. Next “digit” up is the winal which is equal to 20 k’in (or 20 days). After that, the next number is called a tun which is equal to … only 18 winals (or 360 days). Next, we have the K’atun which is equal to 20 winals (or 7200 days). Finally, we arrive at the B’aktun which equal to 20 k’atun(or 144,000 days). So, when they write the long date:

12.19.19.17.19 they really mean:

(12*144,000) +   (19*7200) + (19*360) + (17*20) + (19 *1) days = 1,871,999 days or 5128.76 years.  So they are counting from the date:  26-February-3117 BCE using the Gregorian calendar and projecting it backwards well prior to its creation. Ok, you might argue that is almost the vernal equinox.  Hmmm. Wait what is the date of 12/21/2012 in the Mayan Long Calendar: 13.0.0.0.0 .  This is not the end of their calendar, as has been commonly expounded by many people hyping new-age kinds of things or books or apocalyptic movies or Sara Palin as President. In fact, there are 7 full B’aktuns left in their calendar, meaning the human race can count on living another 33,139.73 yrs (no worries until the year 35,151 or so). While 12/21/2012 may appear to be an unlucky day to triskadecaphobiacs [people who fear the number 13], it does not mean an end to the Mayan calendar and certain doom.

Now wait a minute, the Mayan story said, that the last time, their calendar was 12.19.19.17.19 was the creation date. Ok, let’s ignore the fact that there must have been  1,871,998 prior days before creation (since we are not starting from 0.0.0.0.0). But lets go with it and see where we end up, shall we?

Let’s start at 12/20/2012 which will be the next 12.19.19.17.19 in the Mayan Long Calendar. Ok, we can now infer that the time prior must have been 38,268 years from 12/20/2012. So subtracting  38,268 from 2012 and allowing for the fact that there was no year ZERO, then in 36257 BCE,  at or near the winter solstice, the world was created. Assuming 20 years per generation (as we established in a prior blog), we find that we each have 1913 or 1914 prior generations, that we will need to account for in our family tree [direct line backwards].

Well I have about  another 1900+ generations to research, but at least I can now relax, now that I know the world will not end on 12/20/2012. I was feeling pressured to finish my research in the next 2.5 years. Now that I know the Mayan Calendar will not run out  for another 33,000+ years, I know I have plenty of time to research and publish the family tree.

I am not certain why they broke the base-20  on the tun (it being only 18 times the winal). But the 360 days in a year is only an error of 1.4% which is as good or better than the Julian calendar and if we consider they started using their calendar 2/26/3117 BCE, then I think we can say they were pretty good mathematicians and astronomers.

Why did the Mayans and Egyptians orient their pyramids to point to  Orion’s Belt? Could they possibly have known that our solar system is in the Milky Way Galaxy’s Orion-Cygnus spiral arm? Why did they pick 12.19.19.17.19 ( as the creation date)? That equates to  Sagittarius which according to NASA’s website,  the center of the Milky Way galaxy is in the general direction of Sagittarius constellation. Were they good astronomers or did they just believe that passing the winter solstice is when things get created?

I guess those will be musings for another time!

May 15, 2010

Struck!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today’s musing comes from three tragic stories. There is a thimbleful of genealogy here. Stanczyk was perusing a tome in his library of a Norse saga.  It struck me with the power of a missile how similar were these three stories  and this jester was astounded.

Here are my protagonists:

Odin and Frigg had a son the beloved and good Baldur. Baldur was so loved by all, including his mother, Frigg. So Frigg extracted an oath from all manner of things not to harm Baldur. All things gave an oath, but  mistletoe which was too young to swear an oath.

Genealogy: Odin + Frigg -> Baldur

Peleus and Thetis had a son Achilles. Thetis, the good Greek wife she was knew her son would grow up to be a warrior. So to protect her son, she took Achilles to the river Styx and lowered him into the waters whose miraculous properties would make Achilles impervious. Except, she dunked Achilles, by holding onto his left heel.

Genealogy: Peleus + Thetis -> Achilles

Adam and Eve had a son Cain. Cain after murdering his brother Abel was cursed by God to be ostracized and  Cain was marked so that no living thing would kill him. The curse had a time limit, until the 7th generation of Cain.

Genealogy: Adam + Eve -> Cain->Enoch->Irad->Mehujael->Methushael->Lamech->son

In all three cases, (Baldur, Achilles, and Cain), they were shot and died. Baldur dies when Loki ferrets out that mistletoe is the only thing that did not give an oath and he fashioned a dart of mistletoe. While the Norse were having fun throwing things at Baldur who could not be hit or hurt, Loki directed, Hod,  to fire the mistletoe dart at Baldur killing him. Achilles was killed by Paris with an arrow shot in the Trojan war, striking the only spot on him that was not impervious, his heel. Finally, we have Cain being shot by the blind Lamech, who was directed by his own son to fire at something in the woods. Therefore, Lamech’s son, the 7th generation of Cain caused Cain’s death. In two of the stories, a blind man is directed to kill the protagonist. All three protagonists die of a missile being fired at them. In all three cases, the protagonist was impervious except/until:  mistletoe, unprotected heel, or 7th generation.

As I researched this blog, I was astounded a second time, that the story of Cain’s death is NOT in the Bible. Just Cain’s curse and his generations are recorded in the Bible. It is funny how this jester had joined two separate stories in his mind and then sourced it solely from the Bible.

Striking parallels indeed. Please do not shoot me any emails over this blog.

February 14, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ironically Stanczyk could not write because he had laryngitis (which apparently affects blogging too) and a whole raft of issues to deal with and a couple of blizzards too for good measure  (re All Time Historical Record for seasonal snowfall — more yet to come).

I am looking for help on Ancestry.com. I was hoping for some Polonia to go to their World Archives Project:

http://community.ancestry.com/wap/dashboard.aspx

Please go there and request they start a Polish indexing project. I asked them to start one in my Russian Poland ancestral parishes (Pacanow, Biechow, Stopnica, etc.). I need people who can read the (Polish | Russian | Latin) church records to volunteer and/or demand some Polish indexing projects. Can you help this jester get the Polish Kingdom online?

It is also Valentines Day –  Happy Valentines Day, moja żona !

I have finally started to read, “Dracula – The Un-Dead”, the sequel to original Dracula book written by Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew Dacre Stoker (and Ian Holt too). Stanczyk must admit this literary genealogical connection was too compelling to ignore. I have started and the story feels true to the original (excellent). I have read the Author Notes and the Afterword and I was very much fascinated and impressed.

This jester just loves to wax genealogical over the literati. For example, I toyed with Ernest Hemmingway (due to his connection to Michigan) and on a lark took a foray into Nathaniel Hawthorne’s family tree (very interesting).  I loved the connection between Hawthorne’s ancestor and the Salem Witch trials and of course how those things became intertwined with Arthur Miller (another favorite of this jester) and his “The Crucible” and of course in Hawthorne’s famous “Scarlet Letter”.

So when I saw a Bram Stoker ancestor writing a sequel to the Dracula Novel, well I was hooked. It came out just before Halloween (nice touch) in 2009. Did you know that Bram Stoker was cremated? Or was he just exposed to sunlight? His (Bram’s) ashes are interred in the East Columbarium of  Golders Green Crematorium .

I,  being a jester in residence in Philadelphia, noted the connection to Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia which apparently holds Bram Stoker’s notes from the Dracula novel (some images were included in the book). By the way, Dacre if you read this, I am merely missing your father’s name to have a complete chain from you to your famous ancestor. For those are interested, Dacre descends from Bram’s youngest brother George Stoker (born about 1855) and George’s son  Tom (born about 1884).

This jester was once told that one branch (as yet unconnected) of ELIASZ are from Wallachia. I believe Wallachia was once a part of the Polish-Lithuanian  Commonwealth. So I am guessing that I am a cousin to the Count (but then who is not, if we add in enough generations).

Bye!

Tags: ,
December 16, 2009

Anioł Stróz – Guardian Angel

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

Anioł Stróz, once I translated this phrase and found it meant, “Guardian Angel”, I immediately had multiple themes (or is it memes)  for this blog.

How many times have you felt that a beloved relative who has passed, was aiding you in finding answers to your genealogical research? I know I have felt this to be the case and I have heard other genealogists say the same. That is one kind of guardian angel — for us genealogists.

I have also felt fortunate to be saved from a few “close calls”. Once, immediately after being saved from a collision with a deer. My radio played some music with the lyric “saved by an angel”. How spooky is that? That is the kind of guardian angel most of us think of. The benevolent, ethereal kind that saves us from harm.

Today, however, I have started blogging about my father’s prayer book, which had this title in Polish.  I will post a picture of the prayer book and the prayers cards I found inside it  — as soon as I replace my broken Mac. This genealogical memento is a treasure for me as it connects me to my father and his religious studies from when he was just a little boy.  Also, because of the cards and inscription, I have an extra memory of my paternal grandmother in the form of her handwriting.

It is not one of those fabled family Bibles that had many generations of ELIASZ or LESZCZYNSKI with birth, marriage and death dates.  It was my father’s prayer book, but it is my connection to him (bless his heart he is now 83 years old with two older brothers still alive — real family treasures) and it is my connection to his mother Walerya Leszczynska Eliasz.

Chester Eliasz was born at home, in Detroit, MI in 1926. On, 6/24/1928 he was baptised at Corpus Christi Church – 2291 East Outer Drive, Detroit, MI. This is the same church where my grandfather Joseph Eliasz built the Bell Tower. His  God Parents were: Wladislaw Gronek & Janina Leszczynska [I do not even know who Janina was/is). As a boy, Chester attended Immaculate Conception Church in Hamtramck as a boy. {near his Craig St home  — no longer existent due to Poletown Plant}. On 6/5/1938: he made his 1st Holy Communion, while he lived at 6468 Craig Street [from prayer book] @ St Johns Church on East Grand Blvd, Detroit. It is this Anioł Stróz that I hold and blog about now (12/18/2009).

As I draw to a close in 2009, I do think upon my genealogical guardian angel(s), who have helped me find, many Polish church records from the parishes in Biechow and in Pacanow. In 2009, my Anioł Stróz were many real people as well as the many spiritual kind, who helped me acquire amongst other treasures: my grandfather’s birth record from Pacanow (and a few of his siblings), my grandparent’s marriage record from Biechow  and other treasures that solved puzzles connecting the ELIASZ family to Gawlik {owski} family via the Wlecialowskich (i.e. Rosa Wlecialowski Gawlikowski — whose mother was Katarzyna Eliasz). That is nice!

Ciotka Rosie and her family lived across the street (Fairchild Rd) from my grandmother’s farm in MI. This time of year they would come Christmas Eve and sing a Christmas carol outside my grandmother’s farmhouse [when I was just a young, impressionable boy, circa 1960’s]. At the time, I was told they are friends of the family. Now in 2009, I find they too are part of the ELIASZ family and that my “cousin”, Kim Gawlik Kowalski, the genealogist from TN,  is actually a real 4th cousin of mine.

Merry Christmas, Eliasz, Leszczynski, Gawlikowski, Wlecialowski and even Gronek, Sobieszczanski, Mylek, and Mrozek too — wherever we all are this 2009! May our family trees cross in the coming year!

January 16, 2009

Hello Internet… are you there?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

w_blueelcome to my blog!

If you read the About you will see that I am Stanczyk. As a jester, I will try to be amusing while I am musing.  Do you like my picture (I was painted by Matejko)?

stanczyk1

What you cannot tell is that I am Polish and I am sitting in a library.  I have been employed by three Polish kings: Alexander, Sigismund the Old and Sigismund Augustus. I am an unabashed bibliophile hence why I spend so much of my free time in libraries. I like to trace my less than regal family lineage which can be found hither and yon about the Internet. I also tend to wander for work and what not.

I have wandered to many libraries, like The Library of Congress, the Family History Library (in Salt Lake City), and recently to a rather interesting bookstore. My wandering jests took me to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where I visited Baldwin’s Book Barn. This bookstore amused me and I easily whiled away more than an hour combing through the barn and its four floors with 300,000 books! Genealogists and bibliophiles make haste to their store.

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