Posts tagged ‘Chotel Czerwony’

November 11, 2015

Dobrowoda & Fras/Frass Genealogy — #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dobrowoda Dobrowoda, “Good Water” indeed. Its about 15-16 km from my paternal grandmother (babcia/Busia), Waleria’s ancestral village (Biechow). Waleria Leszczynska’s (half-)sister, Agnieszka married her 2nd husband, Wladyslaw Fras … somewhere (I am still looking for that marriage). Agnieszka & Waleria (the Leszczynscy) were born in Biechow so you might expect their marriage was there in the bride’s village as is custom.  But let me start this genealogical story from the beginning.

A few years ago, my family tree on the Internet caused someone to email me about my Leszczynski. For years, other genealogists had emailed about LESZCZYNSKI, so I was used to saying, “Its a popular name and we are not related or are so distantly related that we cannot prove it.” But this person had a name, Agnieszka Leszczynski, which I had one too in my tree, but she was born so long ago (1866) that I only had a birth record and nothing more for Agnieszka Leszczynski. But she had a Russian Passport (which she could not read). I had never seen an actual Russian Passport before, so I told her I would look at it and help translate what info I could and perhaps that will tell us whether there is a chance that her ancestor (great-grandfather), Jozef Fras, was son of my Agnieszka Leszczynski or not. Long Story-Short, the passport gave clues to the same area, tantalizingly close to Biechow — so I could neither prove nor disprove the relationship, but it was an avenue for research. So I started researching her Fras/Frass from Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. They were close to where my grandparents and my grand-aunt, Antonina Leszczynska Sobieszczanski lived. Ok that added a very tenuous connection.  I found a church baptism where Jozef Fras’s wife, BENIGNA (not a common name) was a God Mother to one of my dad’s Sobieszczanski cousins. Ok. that is a pretty good connection. Next I found Jozef’s ship manifest and that his father was Wladyslaw Fras living in Piersciec, a village in the same parish as my grandmother’s family. Ok that is a great connection. Oh, look Jozef went from his father, Wladyslaw, to his uncle Teofil Leszczynski (my grand-uncle) in Depew, Erie County, NY. Ok that is a solid family indicator. So I emailed Mindy to tell her that we were probably related and I added Fras to my family tree.

So Mindy sent me family photos of other Fras family from Poland. So I knew Jozef had two brothers and a sister (maybe) and I had their names. From the passport I had a birthdate / birthplace for Jozef (Zborow – which I initially mistook for Zborowek, but later realized he meant the Zborow near Solec, at any rate both were in Kielce gubernia. So I had Biechow and Solec as possible parishes to research. Eventually GenBaza published images online and I could progress, I did find Jozef’s siblings: Teofil & Wincenty(and two sisters born in Piestrzec/Piersciec). But I could not find Jozef and I also could not locate Wladyslaw and Agnieszka’s marriage record in Biechow or Solec (nor in Stopnica). I began to research in nearby parishes (cluster genealogy) looking for either the birth or the marriage record. Years went by and no luck.

Did I mention that GenBaza went offline due to technical problems? It did and when it came back I noticed a few new parishes, hence Dobrowoda (which was >= 15km away) and I doubted that a parish at such a distance might yield any new clues. However, earlier I had found a church record in Stopnica of a Fras birth, where a Wladyslaw Fras was God Father. I then found the marriage and alegata for the couple whom Wladyslaw was God Father for. It turned out that Fras was originally from Silesia [Uiejsce, in Wojkowice Koscielne parish, in Piotrkowskiej Gubernia, Poland]. I found this Fras’ birth record and now had his parents (possibly Wladyslaw’s parents or maybe just uncle/aunt). Using Geneteka as an index, I found other children for Jan Fras & Maryanna Bialas, besides this Stopnica Fras. This family went from Wojkowice Koscielne parish in Piotrkowskiej Gubernia to Holudza village in Chotel Czerwony parish, in Kielce Gubernia. OK now we are getting close. I found Jan Fras’ death record in Kikow village in Dobrowoda parish (also Kielce Gubernia). So when Dobrowoda came online, I decided I would look there once GenBaza came back online.

That is where this blog entry starts. There were many years and I was not expecting any Fras really. So I started in Zborowek instead which now had metrical records and not just alegata like before. Some minor advances, but nothing really. So I looked at Dobrowoda. There were many years in Dobrowoda and my eyes went right to a book that ended in ‘rejestr’. These ‘rejestr’ tend to be church censuses, sometimes just an annual census, sometimes a decade, sometimes two-three generations. So I thought I could quickly scan and see if there were any Fras or not in this parish.

It was just an annual census (my hopes were lowered) for 1895 sorted alphabetically with Birth Marriage and Death records indexed together (in a funky Polish handwriting – that I had to train my eyes to read). Ok there was a Fras, a Teofil Fras. But I had already found my Teofil Fras born in 1903, so this Teofil Fras born in 1895 must be for another family. Nonetheless, I wanted the record to see if Wladyslaw or Agnieszka Fras were a God Parent or witness. So I was shocked to find that this Teofil Fras was also a child of Wladyslaw Fras and Agnieszka Leszczynska. This Teofil must have died and thus the second Teofil was born in 1903 (who is the one in my picture with Wincenty). Ok this parish had my Fras. Maybe I can find the birth of Jozef and/or the marriage of Wladyslaw & Agnieszka here. From the passport, I knew that Jozef was born in 1893, so I went to that year. Guess what I found? Yes, I finally found Jozef Fras’  birth record and the date matched as well as the parents.

Alas, I still did not find the marriage record of Wladyslaw and Agnieszka, but now I have hope. I hope I can find their marriage and also Wladyslaw’s birth (once I confirm that his parents are indeed Jan Fras & Maryanna Bialas). You must persevere. These affiliated families (like Fras) can indicate parishes to research in for your main lines and shorten your cluster genealogy search. But as you saw, Dobrowoda was indeed good water for Stanczyk.

Jozef Fras birth record:

Jozef Fras Akt #23

Jozef Fras Akt #23

May 30, 2014

Maps & Gazetteers in Genealogy — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

imageStanczyk, long ago realized the value of knowing the terrain of his ancestral villages as an aid in reading and understanding records and in how these data points, just like family names and dates.  In fact genealogy is all about “who” did “what” at the “where” on “when”. We are practically journalists. In fact, we collect those four data points (who, what, when, and where) precisely so we can can infer the “why”.  Then we write these journalistic facts down in a family tree or a family history, etc. So today’s blog is about where.

Two blog posts ago, on May 27th, this jester wrote about PIESZCZOCHOWICZ.  I was trying to learn about Boleslaw Pieszczochowicz who along with a Stanley (a brother ?) lived at 3224 Maple Street, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio.  When I examined Boleslaw Piesczochowicz ‘s  World War I Draft Registration card, I was rewarded with S???rajowice (or S???rajowiec), Russian Poland. Unfortunately, I could not read the handwriting and, it was a village I was unfamiliar with.

So I had made a logical leap. If this PIESZCZOCHOIWCZ was mine then this village would be near my ancestral villages. Keep in mind that this works further back in time when social mobility was a lot less than the present time. So in 1917/1918 this idea is viable. So I went to my Atlas:  “Marco Polo  POLSKA Atlas Drogowy” [Polish Road Atlas, which is 1:200,000 scale],  on page 196. Anything with that scale  would work. You do not want it so “zoomed in” [say 1:50,000] that your field of view is too small. Now, as I said, page 196 because, almost every village where I have found records of my family is on that page — hence my idea. So I scanned that page starting close to Biechow and Stopnica (my locales for Pieszczochowicz). Knowing that  Konstanty Pieszczochowicz (the most mobile) also had residences in Strozyska and Chotel Czerwony. Nonetheless, all four of those villages were on page 196. So I scanned all areas around these villages and what do you know? I found SUSKRAJOWIEC. I went back to the WWI Draft document and yes, I could see that was what the clerk was trying to record.

Now I had to find what parish it belonged to. The Road Atlas clearly marked the surrounding parishes for me. No surprise, there were more than a handful of possibilities. OK, now it was time to use a Gazetteer that provides the mapping of a locale to its parish. I turned to my trusted source: Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej [Index of Placenames of the Republic of Poland] circa 1931. I looked up ‘Suskrajowice’ and quickly determined that the only Suskrajowice in an area that was previously the Russian Poland partition (and furthermore was in Kielce Gubernia or wojewodztwo) was mapped to a parish named BALICE. OK, now to see if I had any records online for Balice and maybe I could find Boleslaw in his birth year. In fact, when I went to the PRADZIAD database to check what was available, I saw that the Balice parish, I was researching (there were two) only had birth data 1900-1905. So now I went Googling for Balice Mertyki. I found the Balice parish page. Turns out that Balice was erected as a parish only in 1923; early enough to make my Gazetteer, but Boleslaw was born in 1880’s/1890’s so his parish would not have been Balice. The Balice parish page said it was made up from Gnojno and Janina parish territories. OK those were two of the villages I had noted as possibilities for Suskrajowice. Back to the online records: and success both had online records. Now I just had to find which one had Suskrajowice listed in its birth records. I found out that GNOJNO was the one. The year range I needed was not online so I could not verify Boleslaw’s parentage yet. But I know where to look. So if you are seeking Boleslaw Pieszczochowicz (and probably a Stanley/Stanislaw too) then you need to seek in Suskrajowice  in: wojewodztwo: Świętokrzyskie (made from Kielce Gubernia), powiat:  Kielce,  gmina: Chmielnik, parish of GNOJNO (1923 forward in Balice).

The takeaway from this article is that a Map and a Gazetteer, along with a little Googling and some PRADZIAD data can get you the ‘WHERE’ with certainty. But you have to have a methodology for the search of parishes. So I detailed my thought process for you to use. Notice also that I used the ‘Russian Poland’ to limit possibilities when you are seeking a  village name that frequently occurs in Poland. I also knew the rough area from prior data points and I used these all  to understand a poorly handwritten document.


I forgot to mention two comments. First, when I find a parish in the Gazetteer, it is very uncommon that the parish was erected after the Great Immigration era that brought our Polish ancestors to the USA. The second comment I should have made, was that I made a 2nd leap when I did not find any Kielce Gubernia metryki online for Balice. I thought the reason for that must be that there was none and that either the parish was new or the data was destroyed (more uncommon than believed to be).

Gazetteers –  See my Gazetteers page (on right).


May 27, 2014

Pieszczochowicz — An Affiliated Family to LESZCZYŃSKI — #Genealogy, #Polish, #SNA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Pieszczochowicz – 20 people in Poland

Stanczyk is working out a rather difficult piece of analysis. This jester uses Social Network Analysis (#SNA)  to assert a familial relationship or connection. It is labor intensive / data intensive process. Prior analyses have been very excellent at predicting valuable lines of research that have led to many further finds.

The tool for mapping names (shown in the image above) — shows that Pieszczochowicz is a rather rare name and only exists for some 20 people. The locales, I cannot draw conclusions from, but the numbers say that most if not all PIESZCZOCHOWICZ are closely related by its scarcity. So the name Pieszczochowicz enters my family tree in the following way:

Leon Pieszczochowicz (b. 7-NOV-1865 in Górek, Strożyska, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), son of Konstanty Pieszczochowicz & Maryanna Rzepała. Leon married Jozefa Leszczyńska (b. about 1861 in Biechów, Kielce Gubernia, Poland), daughter of Tomasz Leszczyński & Julianna Kordos. I am sur ethey many children, but I only know of one child: Edward Pieszczochowicz. Now, Edward, comes to the USA from his father Leon in 1910 (who was living in Busko) to his uncle Jan Pieszczochowicz in West Seneca, NJ. Edward, continues onto to Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. He will move on to Lackawanna, Erie County, NY in later life. But while in Toledo, he becomes the God Father of my own uncle: Stephen Edward Eliasz (son of Joseph Eliasz & Waleriya Leszczynska) at St Anthony’s Church on Nebraska Ave.  in Toledo, OH in 1916. Edward Pieszczochowicz’s own God Parents were: Wladyslaw Fras (husband of Agnieszka Leszczynska)  & Antonina Leszczyńska (probably nee Sieradzka, married to Jan Leszczyński). So what we see from this one affiliated family is what I considered a very highly connected value to my LESZCZYNSKi research and even so far as to connect my own ELIASZ line as well. We also see the FRAS (aka FRASS) affiliated family and the I believe the SIERADZKI affiliated family.

When I first captured Edward Pieszczochowicz at the birth/baptism of my uncle Steve, I had no idea who Edward was and had thought him a family friend [not a family member]. So you see over the span of time the collected data and SNA analysis of other data can connect disparate data points and prove  out relativity.

Let me end today’s blog article, by returning to the fact that since PIESZCZOCHOWICZ is rather rare, that I am now seeking out Jan Pieszczochowicz and two others: Boleslaw & Stanley Pieszczochowicz (these two also show up in Toledo, OH at  3224 Maple Street).  Will this family lead me to my LESZCZYNSKI roots? Time will tell.



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