Posts tagged ‘Family’

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

May 29, 2014

Hajek – Elijasz Family — Pacanów

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon



This is the family tree in question via your email.  I have Stanislaw’s birth record from the Church in Pacanow, Kielce Gubernia, Poland (Russian-Poland) from 18-APRIL-1890, it was Akt #59 (Record #59).

In that record we see both Parent’s names & ages: Jozef Hajek, age 55, Maryanna Piotrowska age 21 and that they live in Pacanow.

We also get the God Parents: Antoni Poniewierksi & Wiktoria Pawlowska

The Poniewierski family is a VERY strongly affiliated family with the ELIASZ (aka Elijasz) family.

I also have Jozef Hajek’s death record too. He died 26-APRIL-1908 (age about age 72) and it lists his wife’s name: Maryanna Piotrowska — to confirm it is him. It also listed HIS parents (Stanislaw’s grandparents): Teodor & Katarzyna Hajek. Jozef was born in either 1835 or 1836 when we factor Stanislaw’s birth record and Jozef’s death record together.

I wanted to mention that even though this is Poland, it is the Russian partition in 1890 & 1908. Hence the records are written in Russian/Cyrillic. You can trust my translations. But I wanted to include two more pictures for you. The first picture shows you what HAJEK looks like in Cyrillic (also ‘Stanislaw’ and ‘Pacanow’ too). It is from Stanislaw’s birth record. The other picture is a margin note from Stanislaw’s birth that indicates he got married to an Agnieszka Elijasz  August 25, 1913 in CLEVELAND, St. [Cm — in Cyrillic] Ohio [also some note about it being recored in Pacanow parish as Akt #151 on 31-December-1913]. So I am uncertain as to whether they had a 2nd marriage ceremony in Pacanow or not. I think so, since it is recorded as Akt #151, which indicates that the event took place and was recorded in the parish register.


#59 – Hajek – Stanislaw – Pacanow

Marriage Note in the Margin - Kleve- land  St. Ohio

Marriage Note in the Margin – Kleve- land St. Ohio

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December 30, 2013

Family Legacy …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

BooksThe Junior Classics – 1938

As a genealogist, and many of Stanczyk’s readers are genealogists, we are of course leaving a legacy in our research. As a Polish-American, I also leave cultural legacies related to Thanksgiving or 4th of July or Easter or Christmas.

But I wanted share yet another personal legacy that I am sharing. You see those colorful books at the top of the blog? They are a series of ten books by COLLIER — The Junior Classics. It was a series of hardback books filled with stories & poems across a spectrum of genres from 1938!

My parents bought me this set as a child. I was not a good bibliophile as a child and our books became gradually marred. I kept one book (orange) of poems. The picture is of a set I was able to locate via the Internet and purchase to share with the children from  Teréza & my marriage. I wanted to share my love of reading with our children as my mother & father had done for me. So a legacy of reading, learning, and exploring and also a love for bound books … as anachronistic as that may be today or in the future. Thank God that someone else had preserved such a cultural treasure from the past — these books are 75 years old! I hope my and Tereza’s kids can maintain this legacy and the act of reading stories & funny onomapoeiatic poems to their children too.

That is a legacy that connects our generations.

P.S. – kids,  my favorite volumes were #1 & #3 and because of my father and his readings, also #10 .

April 25, 2013

Boston suspects’ father (Tsarnaev) — says he’s returning to US

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Sad Saga of Tsarnaevich continues …

Boston suspects’ father says he’s returning to US [According to AP].

Read the AP article and it is apparent that the father and mother are still speaking ill of the USA. The mother goes so far as to blame US as the cause for the family’s woes!  Huh??? 

This is the backwards thinking of criminals who commit an heinous crime then blame witnesses or authorities who arrest them. REAL people are dead, maimed, property destroyed, many others were threatened, hijacked, kept prisoner/kidnapped, stolen from, RUN OVER (vehicular homicide? — still waiting on the coroner report), etc.

The citizens of the US are the victims of the Anzor/Zubeidat Tsarnaev (Царнаев) family NOT the other way around as the mother tries to twist the blame!

Believe Stanczyk when I say this. I have personally known others who victimized productive citizens then blamed those productive citizens when they are caught/arrested for their own actions / crimes that were committed with full intent to harm. Twisted Logic needs to be opposed. It is nothing more than being a troll!

Previous Articles:

The Sad Saga of the Tsarnaevich

1st Court Appearance of Tsarnaev

April 21, 2013

The Sad Saga of the Tsarnaevich — #Family, #Law, #Terrorism, #Boston, #Tsarnaev

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has not been riveted by a story since the DC Sniper story of October 2002. So today, I chronicle the sad saga of Tsarnaevs (царнаев Tsarnaev in Russian Cyrillic). My story source materials are listed at the end. There are similarities to the DC Sniper story, both were on the east coast. Both had an older man and a younger man dynamic (Allen/Boyd, Tamerlan/Dzhokhar). Both were senseless killings of people. Let’s see what motive Dzhokhar ascribes for his and his brother’s actions. John Allen Muhammad (JAM) said his motive was an Islamicist jihady-thing.

Possibly estrangement played/plays a role in both stories. The DC Sniper case was not allowed to prosecute a case based upon JAM’s estrangement from his wife/kids. Tamerlan/Dzhokhar seemed to be separated from their father and estranged from an aunt and two uncles in the US/Canada. Tamerlan said he was estranged from America, unable to form any friendships (except for a murdered friend?). That estrangement of the brothers Tsarnaev may have been felt more strongly when their father left America to go have a brain hematoma operated on … in Russia. Why not the US? Was it a stroke or a tumor. Someone said it was brain cancer — albeit a tumor could be interpreted as an early stage of cancer. Certainly Anzor, thought he was going to die [perhaps he wanted to die on Russian soil], perhaps the sons thought he would too. In 2011, the FBI asked questions of Tamerlan, at the behest of some foreign nation, if he was involved with a terrorist organization (which the FBI had cleared him and his family of). Perhaps an aunt who is(or will be) a lawyer and two uncles who are doctors made the brothers Tsarnaev feel inadequate (or maybe only Tamerlan). Perhaps Tamerlan was feeling angry and tied down by a wife and daughter and rueing his inability to compete in Olympic boxing.

Anzor (Анзор) Tsarnaev (Царнаев) fled Chechnya for the neighboring safe-harbor of Kyrgyzstan. After a few years of this self-imposed exile, he moved his family to Dagestan, and a year later he comes to the USA in March 2002, under refugee status; This was with help from his sister, Maret (a lawyer or studying law in Canada). Ruslan & Alvi the two brothers of Anzor are doctors (MDs) living in Maryland. In 2003, Tamerlan and his sisters (Bella & Ailina) emigrate to the US and rejoin their family.

The Tsarnaev (Царнаевых) Family (Father, Mother, Tamerlan (Тамерлан), Dzhokhar (Джохар), and two daughters, Bella & Ailina) relocated to USA in 2002/2003 under refugee status with the aid of the aunt (Maret).


October 1986 Tamerlan Tsarnaev born, Kyrgyzstan

About 1987 Bella Tsarnaev born, Kyrgyzstan

About 1990 Allina Tsarnaev born Kyrgyzstan

22 July 1993 Dzokhar Tsarnaev born, Kyrgyzstan

Before 1993 Ruslan Tsarnaev (brother of Anzor, uncle to the alleged bombers) emigrates to US

2001 Family moves to Makhachkala, Dagestan (Russian Federation)

2002 Maret Tsarnaeva – after she helped them [Anzor, her brother and his family] apply for refugee status to the US. [source: Maret’s words, from Wash. Post article 4/19/2013]

March 2002 Family moves to US, apply for refugee status (Exact Location unknown), Except Tamerlan & two sisters; [Dzhokhar’s principal said they left March 2002 for US; source:]

2003 Tamerlan & two sisters come to US

2003 Tsarnaev family move to Boston area (source: uncle Ruslan in MD)

2006-2008 Tamerlan at Bunker Hill Community College; 2007 Tamerlan becomes legal permanent resident [source: NBC].

2011 Dzokhar graduates Cambridge Rindge & LatinSchool, Receives $2,500 Cambridge city grant, enrolls in UMASS-Dartmouth pre-med program.

about 2011 Anzor returns to Russia [after treatment in Russia for brain cancer or a brain hematoma?]

September 2011 Tamerlan’s friend Brendan Mess is murdered in Waltham, MA

January 2012 Dzokhar visits Dagestan [his father? for operation ??]. It appears Tamerlan went too and stayed for six months in Dagestan area.

13 June 2012 Mother (Zubeidat Tsarnaev) is arrested for alleged shoplifting at Lord & Taylors store

11 Sept 2012 Dzhokhar becomes a Naturalized US citizen (at TD Banknorth Garden, Boston)

15 April 2013 2:50PM Tsarnaevs are alleged to have planted and exploded two bombs at Boston Marathon.

18 April 2013 Photos, Videos place both brothers at scene of crime, Eye Witness and Victim Jeff Bauman witnesses a suspect (Tamerlan) drop bag which blows up 2 minutes later and identifes him to FBI. FBI releases photos & video of two suspects.

19 April 2013 1:35am Tamerlan Tsarnaev dies of wounds: gunshots, explosive burns, injuries from being run over and dragged by car by his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev according to eye witness accounts.

19 April 2013 8:45pm Dzhokhar is captured after a final shoot-out at his hide-out in boat; Captured alive, conscious & transported to hospital.

What does the father say?

Анзор Царнаев, отец Джохара и Тамерлана Царнаевых (Aznor Tsarnaev, father of Dzhokar & Tamerlan — the brothers Tsarnaevich).

The father is sowing the seeds of misinformation in the Russian Federation in a predominantly Muslim state. He has claimed the US has framed his sons (a charge echoed by the Canadian aunt, Maret). Read the Interview from Izvestia. The FBI should, look at the timeline of the father’s comments and the phone records and translate them. Notice the father never came back to the US and supported his children (who had become adults, though Dzhokhar was too young to live alone with an older brother, who was young and married and had a baby, with no adult relatives for support). Stories of 20-April-2013 indicate the mother is in Dagestan. I did not see whether the charges against the mother were resolved (was she innocent or guilty of the crime? Was she deported?). Now the father wants permission to enter the US again??? After his fomenting dissent abroad, I do not think we can risk the father coming back to the US. What crime might he commit because his one son is dead and his other son faces numerous capital crime charges. There is a reason that the doctor brothers have disassociated from the rest of the family. These men are doctors. We must think about their safety too. Who knows what the father might do. The father spoke poorly of our nation to his nation/peoples. We cannot let that kind of radical inside the US, not under the present circumstances. Every American needs to write/call/email their Congressperson and let them know we do not want ANZOR TSARNAEV back in the USA. I also think that MARET TSARNAEV should not be allowed back in for similar reasons, even though she appears to live in Canada. (Youtube of father, see translated Interview [below] in Izvestia newspaper with the father from 19-April-2013 about 5:00am EST). The father is either lying or woefully misinformed about his family. Sad.

Izvestia newspaper interview (URL:, translated:

Father of Tsarnaevich brothers, some years living in Dagestan, is confident that his sons were not involved in bloody events that took place a few days ago in Boston in the United States. The eldest son of Tamerlane, he said, was happily married – with his American wife, that he raised his daughter. And the younger Johar – honors and pride of the family. Tsarnaev Anzor, who lost one son, fears that security forces would kill both.

[Anzor] – My children just set up. One killed, how could they? The same intelligence agencies. They had to hold it simple. Now I’m afraid for the second son. I keep in touch with them. Yes, I live far away, but I know what my kids are doing.

Q: When was the last time you spoke with your sons?

– With Tamerlane, immediately after the terrorist attack in Boston. As soon as I heard on TV, how awful it happened, I immediately dialed the phone the elder son answered, I asked, “Were you there? Since you did not happen? “He said, ‘Dad do not worry, we did not go there. Weare alive and well. “

Q: When you last saw sons?

– A year ago. But all the time we called each other. They talked with myself, I know what my kids are doing. The elder son – a boxer, four-time champion of America, one of the versions[twice Golden Gloves]. In the U.S. everyone knows he is a celebrity [before the Boston Marathon bombing]. Tamerlane is also a musician, playing the piano jazz. Once wanted to become a professional boxer, we tried to dissuade him, we said, what about permanent injury, why do you need it? And then he got married and had a daughter, now she is three and a half years. And he changed his mind to go to the professionals [actually dropped out from accounting studies at Bunker Hill Community College].

Q: He worked somewhere?

– No, he studied at the acting school, and sat with the child. He has worked as a wife. In a social institution – do not remember the name – took care of the disabled. My son did not have any free time. Always is on the clock.

Q: And Johar? When did you last talk to him?

– Three days ago. I Called and asked how things and said that he should come here for a vacation. He agreed. After all, he is the last time the child was, when we left, so he never returned. I briefly talked to him, he was in a hurry to go to class.

– It is known that he went to Cambridge?

– Yes, my youngest – the pride of the family. Always straight A student, dreamed of becoming a great doctor. He received a scholarship to study as the most talented. Never in any radical groups did not participate, hate talkers. With the money he has, of course, there were problems. But I helped him, sent a little bit, and he himself worked. In his free time, got a job as a pool lifeguard. He did not have time for all sorts of nonsense. And then, he could not go for it against the will of Tamerlane and his older brother would not allow to deal with such things.

– You yourself why left the U.S.?

– I went back home to die. I had a hematoma of the brain. I was sure – this is the end. But it has taken out, literally at my grave. And my sons were there.

– They became citizens of the United States?

– No, both of them – the citizens of Russia. For Tamerlane, his wife – an American, but he himself Russian. And Johar too. I fear for my second son. I am afraid that they will kill him, too. But I know – they[my sons] are not to blame.

My Opinion

Neither the mother, the father, nor the aunt should be granted access to travel to the US. The father and mother both have sown the seeds of dissent against the US in a predominantly Muslim state of the Russian Federation. The aunt in Canada (Maret) I am on the fence about whether the aunt should be allowed into the US for access to the trial or to support Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Her rhetoric is inflammatory and this trial will already be a sensation and tension-filled event wherever it is held and we will have to have extra security if the aunt is allowed in her due to her remarks.

I think the presence of the father, mother, and aunt presents an element of risk and the potential to foment further violence, if not actually commit actual crimes [in the case of the parents].

I think Ruslan and his brother Alvi are fine/decent/honorable Americans and we should protect both of them as valuable members of American society who are estranged from their brother Anzor (and his sons). The presence of these other Tsarnaevs on US soil, risks injury to these two valuable Americans who are medical doctors. The two daughters might also be harmed by violent rhetoric if these Tsarnaevich are allowed to re-enter the US. The safety and the protection of our society will be at risk throughout the resulting trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; There is no need to increase that risk further.

I wish Ruslan and Alvi and their families well. I feel empathy for Tamerlan’s widow and 3 year old daughter. I hope for the best for the two sisters who remain in the US.   The rest of the sad Tsarnaevich in this saga we should not support or entertain upon US soil. Dzhokhar the naturalized US citizen is due his legal rights — but those rights do not include the support of those who foment dissent against the US in nations abroad and then wish to egress to our nation afterwards and use the media focus of a sensational event for their own purposes.

What do you say, my fellow Americans? Say it loud enough to be heard in Washington D.C. !

Source Materials

  1. A Quick Search of for “Tsarnaev
  2. Google.RU search on Анзор, джохар , царнаев (Anzor/Dzhokhar , Tsarnaev) in Russian Cyrillic
  3. NYT/USA Today articles
  4. Washington Post/Baltimore Sun articles
  5. Boston Globe articles, timelines
  6. Izvestia Interview, Youtube Videos (Anzor, Ruslan)
  7. pages on Tsarnaevich with public declared names, ages
April 29, 2011

Metal Id Card ? ? ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has a question for the vast army of Genealogists out there on the Internet. Today’s blog has a picture of my deceased grandfather’s social security card. This card is brass (I think). Here’s the question:  Did the U.S.A. ever issue metal social security cards ? Does anyone else have a metal social security card ?

Does anyone else have an oddity from an ancestor that you are puzzling over? Send me your comments and pictures.

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter ✞ Wesołych Świąt

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Happy Easter    Wesołych Świąt

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):

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:

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.

March 24, 2011

Memory Lane – Aleksander & Chase

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

When I was born, life was simpler. In fact, Life was a magazine. The day I was born, the cover of Life, was as shown on the left. Marilyn Monroe greeted my birth (unbeknownst to her).

I will save a newspaper or magazine from your birth day, my sons, for you to reminisce about (G-d willing). I will also plant two oaks for my twin sons to grow along with you. Your matka (mother), will commemorate your birth in so many more ways, including planting trees in the Middle-East (i.e. Israel).


March 15, 2011

Historical Ethnic Newspapers – Balch Collection in READEX

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Balch Collection is a Philadelphia genealogy resource. Back in 2002 it merged into the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP). The HSP is one the finest genealogical repositories in Philadelphia, if not in the country. The Family History Library is still far and away the best, but this fine resource is invaluable, especially if your ancestors are from Philadelphia and/or are from the colonial families — particular those of historical prominence. This Balch Collection resource contains an enormous collection of ethnic resources — hence the Ethnic Studies that it is known for.

So this morning,  as Stanczyk read the online newsletter of the PGSA , I noticed this news item (mentioned in the subject). Now this jester has a soft spot for historical newspapers (see my Dziennik Polski fetish). So the Balch Collection being available electronically caught my eye, especially because I noticed the list of languages included the Język polski (Polish Language) newspapers.

The Balch Collection Inventory for Polish language historical newspapers includes:

Newspaper/Serial Publisher Location
Czas Times Brooklyn
Dziennik Zjednoczenia, City Edition Chicago
Dziennik Zjednoczenia, Country Edition Chicago
Dziennik Zwiazkowy (Polish Daily Zgoda) Chicago
Glos Polek (Polish Women’s Voice) Chicago
Gwiazda Philadelphia
Gwiazda Polarna Stevens Point, WI
Jednosc (Unity) Philadelphia
Jutrzenka (Morning Star) Cleveland
Narod Polski (Polish Nation) Chicago
Nowiny Polskie Milwaukee
Ognisko New York City
Ognisko Domowe Detroit
Patryota Philadelphia
Pol-Am Journal (Association of the Sons of Poland) Scranton, PA
Pol-Am Journal (Chicago Edition) Scranton, PA
Pol-Am Journal (National Edition) Scranton, PA
Pol-Am Journal (Polish National Alliance of Brooklyn, USA) Scranton, PA
Polish American Journal Scranton, PA
Polonia w Ameryce Cleveland
Republika-Gornik Pensylw anski Wilkes-Barre, PA
Sokol Polski New York City

Here is the READEX press release for more info. I promise to update you, my faithful readers,  when I have some more info on this announcement.

March 11, 2011

Portable Genealogy …’s iPad/iPhone App … An Update

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In the last week has updated their iPad/iPhone App. In the prior release, I could never get the edits to work (i.e. to edit on the portable device) or to have the edits synch without error. I am happy to report that you can now edit on the portable device or you can edit on the Internet at the Ancestry web site. In both cases, it works and it synchs.

I did find that editing on the portable device resulted in immediate or nearly immediate synch with the web site. Edits on the web site were slower to be synched back to the portable device.

I am rather fond of the UI and find it is very usable even on the iPhone’s small screen. Now I may even leave the laptop at home when I go researching as I can bring prior research with me and even collect and edit the new research into my family tree. So now like  Jack’s beanstalk, my family tree is in the cloud.  This gives me easy access everywhere and a nice offsite disaster backup in addition to my portable freedom of bringing all my ancestors with me all of the time.

Nice job Ancestry. I next hope I can try out the Mac software, Reunion, and get their Reunion iOS device App (when I get some discretionary income) to review. After that I will compare the two products side-by-side.

Prior Review -> here .

March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday – A Time For Preparation

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is a Latin Rite (i.e. Roman) Catholic. Stanczyk does not wear blinders. I also observe what the Eastern Rite Catholics follow and think and try to be integrative of their tradistions, as I have with moje zona’s Jewish Traditions. Lent is a season of 40 days. It is assigned a symbolism as roughly equivalent to Jesus’ 40 days of fast and temptation. The count of days to be 40, also matches the count of years that Moses and the Israelites roamed the deserts in their exodus from Egypt to the Holy Land. Going further back still we see that Noah’s Flood, The Great Deluge, lasted 40 days.

It therefore should be understood, that the number 40, symbolically equates to “Preparation”. Stanczyk will leave  it as an exercise for you the righteous reader to reflect and to understand what was the preparation in each of those three events. So what are we preparing for in Lent? From the Coptics, they declare it is a time of spiritual struggle or a time to draw closer to G-d. It is funny that those two phrases make me think of Israel (the person,  not the nation). His name means, ‘Wrestles with G-d”. Spiritual Struggle, Drawing Closer to G-d. So perhaps this is a time for Israel (not the person, not the nation, but the collective of all G-d’s people) to prepare.

Let me end this musing with the Coptic tradition of the six weeks of Lent (they also have a preparatory week and a Holy Week) so they actually celebrate 56 days (40 days of Lent, 9 other days of fasts, Holy Week[Monday after Palm Sunday through Saturday the eve of Easter], plus EASTER, the Great Day). Here are how they observe their six weeks of Lent:

  • Week 1 – “Struggle”, ends with the Sunday reading of the “Temptation in the Wilderness”
  • Week 2 – “Repentance”, ends with the Sunday reading of the “The Prodigal Son”
  • Week 3 – “The Gospel”, ends with the Sunday reading of the “Samaritan Woman”
  • Week 4 – “Faith”, ends with the Sunday reading of the “Healing the Paralytic”
  • Week 5 – “Baptism”, ends with the Sunday reading of the “Healing the Blind Man”
  • Week 6 – “Salvation”, ends with the Sunday reading of the “Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem on Palms Sunday” [Palm Sunday]

Each of the days has a reading associated with it [not just the Sunday reading which is the emphasis of the week]. Many good readings and blessings of the season to those of faith.

March 9, 2011

I Love My Wife !

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Я люблю свою жену, Тереза!

Kocham moją żonę, Teresę!

I love my wife Tereza!

♥ x ♥ o ♥

February 27, 2011

Genealogy and Antiques

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

German Fraktur - Birth & Baptism

Stanczyk wishes that the Poles would create artwork of this style for their births. How beautiful this German Fraktur artwork of a family Birth and Baptism. Now I would hasten to add that this is not my family, but none the less it drew my attention and I had to take a picture, so I asked the proprietor if I may take a picture of this lovely piece and obviously he said yes.

This baptism and birth record is yet another example of the places we genealogists can find our answers. This lovely record surrounded by two angels and topped by an American Eagle and covered with detailed ornate borders and ended with four birds that would make John James Audubon proud … Hmmm I wonder is he was  ever inspired by these contemporary PA Dutch treasures.

The picture on the left is a record of Joseph Carl Rupp’s birth/baptism. Birth 5/19/1848 and Baptism in July 23rd of the same year in Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA. It is all in German.

This jester loves the beauty in such art. You,  my faithful readers, can find further information and enjoyment in  other examples online at our own local Philadelphia Free Library at the following link on Fraktur:

Takle a look at this jester’s favorite Fraktur, of Michael Groff’s Birth/Baptism.

January 15, 2011

1797 Marriage in Swiniary parish, Jakob Eliasz & Zuzanna Paszenska

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Today, as I await the arrival of Aleksander & Chase, I was reading some Polish / Latin microfilm from the parish of Swiniary (south eastern Poland of today). I was searching for a marriage record for Tomasz Leszczynski & Julianna Kordos. No success in that hunt.

But I did find Julianna’s parent’s marriage record (in 1832) !  So that was exciting. Previously, I had found Julianna’s birth record  in the year after her parents were married. But I found a bonus piece of data in an index and again in the Latin Box format of an ancestor of mine. This excited me, because this was the earliest Eliasz found in the parish of Pacanow. His name was Jakob Eliasz, yes, that is E-L-I-A-S-Z (not ELIJASZ as is the Russian form). Jakob was a 40 year old widower from Pacanow who married Katarzyna Paszenska of Oblekon, who was only 23 years old. House #1! That is usually the first house in a village and was most likely the house nearest the church.  I am uncertain whether this was house number one in Pacanow or Oblekon ( I am, leaning to Oblekon since this is the Swiniary parish). But that is a bit surprising that a man from Pacanow ventured a bit up stream along the Vistula river to Oblekon to marry a woman. This was marriage on 4th-October-1797, so Jakob must have been born about 1757. So this the only record of I have of an Eliasz in Pacanow in the 18th century. The LDS microfilm for Pacanow spans only the years 1875-1884.

Jakob pre-dates Stanczyk’s 2nd-great-grandfather Marcin Elijasz, who was born about 1819 and who I know died in 1879 at the age of 60 (oh how Stanczyk hates those ages that end in zeroes). On that basis, I assume that Marcin was born in Pacanow in 1819. So Jakob predates Marcin by about 62 years. That makes Jakob about 2 or 3 generations earlier than Marcin. Perhaps, I will be able to add that many generations to my family tree in my lineal descent line.  Does anyone out there have a marriage record for Marcin Eliasz (or Elijasz) married to Anna Zasucha?

January 8, 2011

Biechow – Births in 1753 & 1754

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Biechow parish Stanczyk keeps writing about was shuffled amongst many administration units that changed as the borders changed, which in Europe was often.  After the partitions started in 1772, my ancestors were briefly in the Austrian partition. In the Napoleonic era, they were a part of the Duchy of Warsaw and were in the Departmente of Krakow. Post Napoleon, they were in the Kielce wojewodztwo of  the Congress Kingdom of Poland.  My ancestral villages pretty much stayed put after that point and were in Kielce wojewwodztwo or gubernia depending on the whims of the czar until about 1918. Today, they are in wojewodztwo of SwietyKrzyskie.

The records were originally kept in Latin. The earliest Latin records were scant/terse, let me call them blurbs, like little Power-Point bullets scrawled upon the pages of the church books. Eventually they became more formulaic and I’d see what I call the Latin paragraph form (really a few sentences). Copies would be made and shipped to the Archdiocese Archives and these were often recorded in the Latin Box form that was prevalent in the Austrian partition. Napoleon while he was briefly in charge, instituted a format according to the Napoleonic code, that was written in the lingua franca of each locale. So about 1805, we see the church records being kept in a Polish paragraph form (quite long) as specified by the Napoleonic Codex. In 1868, the Czar decreed a change from Polish to Russian, but the Napoleonic format stayed, so the records switched from Polish paragraphs to Russian/Cyrillic paragraphs. So this jester since he was forced to, has acquired the ability to read enough Latin to read the genealogical blurbs of Catholic priests and is quite skilled in reading the Polish paragraphs and is still increasing his knowledge of Russian paragraphs, but has long since been able to pick out the salient facts of the vital records even in Russian with Cyrillic character set (as opposed to Polish language written in the Latin alphabet).

Now let me hasten to add, that this was true of Catholic church records. Obviously if your ancestors were Jewish, then you have additional burdens in your research, including reading Hebrew.  The format of recording vital records also differed amongst the three partitioning / occupying Empires. Stanczyk writes from a Russian-Poland partition experience.

Having said that, in a very long preamble, today’s post is about the pre-partitioned, Polish vital records. In 1753 & 1754 these were Latin paragraph form (very terse still, but better than those of the 17th century). I want to examine a couple of these records for today’s discourse and ask for some help.  Here is what we are dealing with …

Stanczyk’s eyes weary fast when trying to read these early Latin blurbs. Handwriting had not been perfected in those days. Also I find a good many misspellings on the family names or sometimes even the village names. This is still better than what was present in the 17th century. Each line starts with a day (month, year are usually assumed). These are really baptismal record (as opposed to birth), so it records the baptism, the parents and the God Parents of the baby and the villages of the people involved.

Now here is where Stanczyk is looking for help. Please take a look at the next image (click on it to see a full size copy) and help this jester understand the concept of ‘alias’. In this record we will see a surname of  Michałek as an alias for Materna. Is this some kind of case of name “evolution”. The Michałek family name disappears and the Materna family name becomes a common village surname. Why would a surname become aliased? In these early Latin records, it happens a few times and Stanczyk is trying to understand what is happening and why?

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011 – Where Are My Roots ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Happy New Year, genealogists (and others)! This year Stanczyk wanted to start with a posting of where his roots are from and hope that another genealogist with similar roots may have leads or other info for me.

Biechow – the original parish I knew of from Ellis Island ship manifests. Many Eliasz and Leszczynski came from here. Moje Busia said she was born here as did my eldest aunt (Alice, aka Aleksandra). I need to find their birth records to confirm. All Leszczynski birth records have been found here.

Pacanow – this is where my grandmother, Walerya emigrated from. In 1913 she said she came from her father, Tomasz Leszczynski in Pacanow. My grandfather and all of his siblings whose birth recorsd have bee found were born here. I also have my great grandfather (Jozef) ‘s marriage record to Marianna Paluch [followed by the birth records of my grandfather, et. al.]. My great-great-grandfather (pra-pra-dziadek) died here in 1919 and as per his death record he was 60(ish). Alas no listing of his parents and I have not located his birth record or his marriage record to Anna Zasucha.

Now Stanczyk, has been speaking of parishes, but also these were the villages of record too. In the Biechow parish, many Eliasz (or Elias, Heliasz, Elijasz) have been born/married/or died. These events happened in: Piestrzec (most common),  Wojcza, and Chrzanow. The village of Piestrzec, was my great-grandmother, Aniela Major’s birth place.

Kwasow – The village of the Wlecialowskich family births. Kwasow is in the Pacanow parish. Maciej Wlecialowski married my great-grandfather’s sister, Katarzyna Elijasz. Rozalia Wlecialowski was a god-mother to at least one of grandparents’ children (Wladyslaw Jozef Elijasz). Rozalia Wlecialowski came to Detroit and married Adam Joseph Gawlikowski. Roza (aka Ciotka Rosie) would be a life-long friend to moje busia, Walerya.

Zabiec – This village is also in Pacanow parish. My grandfather Jozef said he came from his wife Walerya who resided in Zabiec in 1910. Oddly enough, little Wladyslaw Jozef was born in Biechow parish in 1908 (record #42).

Zborowek and Ksiaznice – These villages were once parishes (of some kind) and are now a part of Pacanow parish. Some Elijasz were born or married here.

Swiniary – This parish and the village was the birth place of my great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski’s first wife: Julianna Kordos. Might this be the place he was married in too? Perhaps 2011 will bring an answer to this question.


This jester is searching for: Eliasz/Elijasz/Heliasz, Leszczynski, Wlecialowski, Paluch, Major, Zasucha, Kordos, and Kedzierski from these villages. Many other families from these villages are represented in our family tree:

Bugay, Czapla, Fortuna, Grudzien, Mizdrak, Janoski/Janowski, Baran, Podolski, Wrzesnia, Wrobel, Bebel, Bordziak, Kostyra, Gadawska, Gula, Gawron, Garztka, Kopra, Maliga, Maicher, Nalepa, and too many others. Eventually most families from the above villages inter0married over the centuries. Please write to me if you a family name above or a village from above.


December 18, 2010

New Years Resolutions (genealogical)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is waiting for the New Year 2011 to be born. As I have said previously 2010 belongs to Auld Lang Syne. If you have followed Stanczyk, then you may know he is expecting twins (or at least moje zona is expecting, — I am only expecting.). Twin Sons, God Willing, healthy, happy boys who we will name: Aleksander & Chase. We are busy feathering our nest and awaiting the new arrivals. Like the years, genealogy marches on.  Fly true monsieur stork. The jester’s branch grows some more. Well as tradition demands, here are my 2011 Resolutions (genealogically speaking).

1. Find Tomasz Leszczynski’s 1st marriage certificate (circa 1859), in either Biechow or Swiniary parishes
2. Compile a detailed list that I could give to a Polish researcher to work on for me
3. Explore new avenues besides Birth, Marriage, and Death Records. For example: Alegata, court documents, land maps(cadastrals)
4. Learn about military records in the Russian Empire (1868-1918) for Russian-Poland Guibernias
5. Get a better Russian-English dictionary
6. Do some more gathering of Dziennik Polski images (July 1936, Jan 1923, Polish Consulate Images)
7. Build a Timeline for Tomasz’s Lifetime
8. Find Marcin Eliasz and Anna Zasucha’s marriage record  late 1840’s (in Pacanow?)
9. Find Jozef Elijasz birth record in Pacanow circa 1848 and his siblings
10. Find my paternal grandmother’s birth record and her brother Mikolaj Leszczynski’s birth record
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December 16, 2010

Tomasz Leszczyński de Biechów (part two)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The 2nd Marriage of Tomasz Leszczynski

The 2nd Marriage of Tomasz Leszczynski

This is the second part of my search for Tomasz and family. The first aritcle is here . This amazing find was done by my equally amazing friend from Krakow, Jacek.  Stanczyk prized his great-grandfather Tomasz so much, Jacek made an extra effort on my behalf. Thank You Jacek (researcher / genealogist of the Sokolowskich from Swiniary/Biechow/Pacanow/Zborowek parishes).

This document is an alegata. Let me review a bit of Polish genealogical terms to help other new-to-Polish-genealogy researchers. The Polish archives have a few databases ( I have written of them before ), but the most critical to me so far has been Pradziad. If you search their database for Biechow (do not bother with diacriticals), you will find:

urodzenia – Births

małżeństwa – Marriages

zgony – Deaths

and … alegata – Addendum (other, miscellaneous).

So this is an addendum … to something. Now this alegata is fascinating on many levels to me. First off, it is from 1885 and it is testimonial from 1863 !  So this document recounts the events of 22 years ago (from 1885).  Second, since it is the era from 1868..1918, it is written in Russian as is required and … also in Polish. Take a closer look…

Alegata from October 1885 about ...

This portion is written in Russian (old style Cyrillic). Notice the stamp which shows that a fee/tax was paid and the date: 4th-October-1885. The last words (bigger than the rest) mean.. BIRTH RECCORD. Oh, so this recounts a birth from 1863. To give you a place we read the first three lines …

Gubernia Kieleckie

Uezd Stopnickie

Parish Biechow

This is from the Russian Empire era where this portion of Poland is one of ten gubernias previously from the Duchy of Warsaw (Russian- Partition of Poland also known as Congress Kingdom of Poland before the czar made it direct territories of the Russian Empire which would last until 1918).

The three pages go on to describe the birth of a female child to Marcin Major &  Katarzyna  z  Ozarowiczow. I like that this birth was originally recorded at 7pm (in 1863) and describes a birth from 5am. Such detail! It is commendable that their bureaucrats worked late into the evenings. Oh this is a quote of the birth record of my great-grandmother Aniela born Piestrzec (part of Biechow parish)! Oh so the Polish is a direct transcription from the church record of 20-July-1863.

All that was great! But the third page was a Marriage Certificate. I had waited so long to see my great-grandfather’s marriage certificate. Now I would have a definitive age and his parent’s names. I was disappointed that his age was not listed in the record?? Oh, well I know he was born 1835 +/- 2 years, so his second bride was as young as his children from his first marriage. My 50-ish great-grandfather was married again and I know in 1886 what happens (Stanczyk’s babcia comes along).  It appears Tomasz is the town burgher and a farmer and now Aneila lives in Pacanow, while Tomasz still lives in Biechow. Wait a second, neither set of parents are listed. I know Aniela’s from the first two pages retelling her birth. But I had hoped to learn Tomasz’s parent’s names. Oh, this IS a disappointment!

Now I will have to track down his marriage record from his first marriage and that would be the late 1850’s, an era where no microfilm exists in Biechow. I do not even know where Julianna Kordos was born; I do know her parent’s names and her approximate age — so if I do find her record I will know it is her.

December 11, 2010

Tomasz Leszczynski & I, Post Cards, Swiniary – A Hodge Podge

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stancyzk inherited much from his great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski and is happy with his legacy. Today Stanczyk was speaking with a genealogist friend and as I told him I was expecting twin sons in my 50’s;  He then asked has that happened before in your family tree. Stanczyk thought for a second and said, yeah , but not since the 19th century.

Stanczyk had one Eliasz ancestor who had three wives and somewhere just shy of 20 children by the three of them. But I have been thinking about great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski recently. I am his descendant via Tomasz’s second wife, Aniela Major. Tomasz’s 1st child with Aniela was Walerya (Stanczyk’ s Busia) at roughly 50 years of age. He went on to have  at least five more children with Aniela, so I guess he had children until he was sixty (plus or minus a couple of years). So Stanczyk realized he now has something in common with the great Tomasz, children born unto him in his 50’s.

Stanczyk, finally received a post card from his Dziennik Polski database, from someone who found an ancestor in my web pages. I had done that as a lark. It has been so many years, that I had forgotten that I asked for postcards. So April, I will post your contact by Helen Steba (and Alojyus Heyza) with your email for others,  related to you to find via the indexes. Thanks April for the first postcard!

Swiniary is a parish in Southern Poland (above the Vistula River, north-east of Krakow). It is very near to Biechow where my grandmother, Walerya was born. So I was searching for some Leszczynski family there (and possibly some Eliasz too). Well I have found Tomasz Leszczynski’s first wife, her birth record in Swiniary!  I am elated to find another clue to my great-grandfather’s life. Now that is great news, but I also wanted to share my largess with other genealogists with family from this parish. In my next article, I will list some family names and the villages that made up the parish. Stanczyk has Birth Indexes for the years 1826-1852 (some missing, some blurry), so if you have an ancestor, drop me a line and I will search these indexes for you. Eventually, I hope to compile another index similar to what I have for Biechow and Pacanow parishes. This Swiniary is located at:

Świniary – 409 osób(people) woj.:  świętokrzyskie,   powiat: buski,  gmina: Solec-Zdrój,    Polish Postal Code: 28-131
It’s close-in (12km) map looks like:
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December 6, 2010

Auld Lang Sine…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

As the end of 2010 draws near, Stanczyk feels the need to recall his family to mind. The duties of the family historian are felt most keenly. Joys are larger and the sorrows are most burdensome.

Please say a prayer for the loved ones lost to us this year:

9-JAN-2010Stephen E. Eliasz, my god father died. I miss his strong wisdom

25-FEB-2010Phyllis M. (nee Darbe) Gawlik – my 2nd cousin’s mother. My father was their best man at their wedding

Peace be with them. God grant Stanczyk a respite from the sorrow.

There is an old saying…

When a man dies, his wife is a widow,

likewise, when a woman dies her husband is a widower

If a child’s parents die, that child is an orphan,

But if a man’s child dies, there is no word for that,

for God could not bear to hear it

So a bitter adieu to 2010 as it joins the days of long ago. Stanczyk is looking forward, but like Orpheus, I could not help myself from   sneaking one last peak backwards.

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December 5, 2010

Tomasz Leszczyński de Biechów (part one of many)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tomasz Leszczynski It was said by my elders and confirmed by distant cousins who had heard the same story, that Tomasz Leszczynski lived to the ripe old age of 104! For me as it was for Tomasz, I am sure that is a mixed blessing. Now perhaps my grandmother, my father (and his siblings) and perhaps even myself have inherited that longevity. That would be, should be  a blessing. In 104 years of life on this planet, you could generate a whole  lot of genealogy and played  a large role in that genealogy. Tomasz outlived his first wife (Julianna) and took a second wife (Aniela). It is from Aniela and Tomasz  that my grandmother comes, the first born child of that second union.

Tomasz was a shoemaker and an innkeeper, those are facts recorded in the church records of Biechow. There are family stories about Tomasz (was he or was he not descended from royalty). How did my grandmother, Valeria, inherit a mill (not certain what kind of mill) in Łodz ??? In an era of limited literacy, my grandmother was fluent in Polish (undoubtedly her native language), Russian (Biechow was in Russian-Poland partition), and German (the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was just across the Vistula river). Plus she learned English when she arrived here in America, so four languages she was fluent(read/write/speak) in.

The picture that was given to me by Carol (my 2nd cousin, who I have never met in person). The picture is hard to see, it so old (perhaps a century old). But it appears that Tomasz wears a tie and he is seated outside with his wife Aniela [see full picture at end]. I was told that my Busia (Valeria) was one of 12. Well so far I have info on Tomasz having 14 children across his two wives. Indeed two of those children died in infancy (so 1 of 12 cannot be said to be incorrect info). But he lived to be 104. So I have not found his death record (circa beginning of World War 2), but I am fairly confident when I find it, that it will NOT list his parents (as many church death records do), the curse of a long life, your survivors no longer remember that far back. I was never able to find the Leszczynski records in Biechow, except for one record that I believed at the time was my great-grandfather Tomasz’s first wife (Julianna Kordosów). So I recorded the fact, uncertain as I was (time will tell). This jester later joined a Polish social network (Nasza Klasa) and eventually I traded emails with a kind woman who spoke no English. Her maiden name was Heliasz and was from Biechow parish. We realized that we were still too far apart with too many missing links to connect our family trees (although we are very close to connecting them). Unbeknownst  to me she went to Biechow and got the marriage record of my grandparents! So it was true. My grandmother was from Biechow and her father was Tomasz Leszczynski and her mother Aniela Major. So now I had confirmed many US documents listing these two whose names were spelled many ways. Well I was elated for sure. Still why so little info on the Leszczynskich  from Biechow when I had so many microfilm from the LDS spanning decades/centuries even. Well I had also joined a Polish Genealogical Society website ( From there I met a genealogist (Jacek of Krakow) whose family also came from Biechow. I lamented to him my problem of not finding Leszczynski when I had so much evidence that this where they were from. Well Jacek, was also very kindly and he found a few early records from Biechow born to Tomasz Leszczynski and a Julianna Kordos from the early 1860s (not in the LDS microfilm I had seen). So now I had a pretty strong confirmation that the death record of Julianna Kordos from Pacanow parish, was indeed my great-grandfather’s first wife. But I do not have a marriage record for Tomasz and either wife nor do I have any birth info on Tomasz other than an indication he was born in the mid 1830’s. So I cannot go further back. If only I could find a marriage record of Tomasz and one of his wives, then I would know his parents’ names.

Aniela Major & Tomasz Leszczynski

Let me end this posting at this point, but the story continues…

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 8, 2010

October is National Polish Heritage Month

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

October is our National Polish Heritage Month in the USA. So I thought, how about talking about Polish Name Days. Each day in the calendar is associated with one or more (always more) names. In fact this day is more celebrated than the person’s birth day, in Poland?? It may be more prevalent in Western Poland. A Person may celebrate his birthday, but that is usually a private matter. Whilst,  the name day celebration,  he celebrates with friends or co-workers. This used to derived from the church calendar and its Saints and their feast days. But now name days are largely separate from church calendar.

For more information, please see this Wikipedia article .  Here is the list for October…

Polish Name Days – October

1 Benigna, Cieszysław, Dan, Danisz, Danuta, Igor, Jan, Remigiusz
2 Dionizy, Leodegar, Stanimir, Teofil, Trofim
3 Eustachiusz, Eustachy, Ewald, Gerard, Gerarda, Gerhard,
Heliodor, Józefa, Kandyd, Sierosław, Teresa
4 Edwin, Franciszek, Konrad, Konrada, Manfred, Manfreda, Rozalia
5 Apolinary, Częstogniew, Donat, Donata, Faust, Fides,
Flawia, Igor, Justyn, Konstancjusz, Konstans, Placyd
6 Artur, Artus, Bronisław, Bronisz, Brunon, Emil, Fryderyka,
7 Amalia, Justyna, Marek, Maria, Rościsława, Stefan,
8 Artemon, Bryda, Brygida, Demetriusz, Laurencja, Marcin, Pelagia,
Pelagiusz, Symeon, Wojsława
9 Arnold, Arnolf, Atanazja, Bogdan, Dionizjusz, Dionizy, Jan,
Ludwik, Przedpełk
10 Franciszek, German, Kalistrat, Lutomir, Paulin, Tomił
11 Aldona, Brunon, Burchard, Dobromiła, Emil, Emilian,
Emiliusz, Germanik, Maria, Marian, Placydia
12 Cyriak, Eustachiusz, Eustachy, Grzymisław, Maksymilian,
Ostap, Salwin, Serafin, Witołd, Witold, Witolda
13 Daniel, Edward, Gerald, Geraldyna, Maurycy, Mikołaj,
Siemisław, Teofil
14 Alan, Bernard, Dominik, Dzierżymir, Fortunata, Kalikst,
15 Brunon, Gościsława, Jadwiga, Sewer, Tekla, Teresa
16 Ambroży, Aurelia, Dionizy, Florentyna, Galla, Gallina,
Gaweł, Gerard, Gerarda, Gerhard, Grzegorz, Radzisław
17 Lucyna, Małgorzata, Marian, Sulisława, Wiktor,
18 Julian, Łukasz, René
19 Ferdynand, Fryda, Pelagia, Pelagiusz, Piotr, Siemowit,
Skarbimir, Toma, Ziemowit
20 Budzisława, Irena, Jan Kanty, Kleopatra, Wendelin, Witalis
21 Bernard, Celina, Dobromił, Elżbieta, Hilary,
Klemencja, Pelagia, Pelagiusz, Urszula, Wszebora
22 Abercjusz, Filip, Halka, Kordelia, Kordula, Przybysława, Sewer
23 Iga, Ignacja, Ignacy, Jan, Marlena, Odilla, Roman, Seweryn,
Teodor, Włościsław, Żegota
24 Antoni, Boleczest, Filip, Hortensja, Marcin, Rafaela,
Rafał, Salomon
25 Bończa, Bonifacy, Chryzant, Daria, Inga, Kryspin, Maur,
Sambor, Taras, Teodozjusz, Wilhelmina
26 Dymitriusz, Ewaryst, Eweryst, Łucjan, Lucyna, Ludmiła,
27 Frumencjusz, Iwona, Sabina, Siestrzemił, Wincenty
28 Juda, Szymon, Tadeusz, Wszeciech
29 Euzebia, Franciszek, Longin, Longina, Lubogost, Narcyz, Teodor,
30 Alfons, Alfonsyna, Angel, Angelus, Edmund, Klaudiusz,
Przemysław, Sądosław, Zenobia
31 Alfons, Alfonsyna, Antoni, Antonina, August, Augusta, Godzimir,
Godzisz, Lucylla, Łukasz, Saturnin, Saturnina, Urban, Wolfgang
September 19, 2010

Black Sheep Sunday: “A Bullet Sings Goodbye”

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This is my first blog, in conjunction with GeneaBloggers. So hello other GeneaBloggers!

I think most genealogists seek an ancestor who was a king or queen, maybe relationship to a historical figure or a Pilgrim. Some of us even seek ancestor of some notoriety like Jesse James of John Dilinger. It offers relief from the many leafs in our tree that are just mundane. Now I would not mind a king or Daniel Boone or being a Polish Genealogist maybe Kasimierz Pulaski. I was not seeking a notorious, Black Sheep to liven up the old family tree, but alas these things do happen.

OK, my Black Sheep is from Detroit, MI. Actually, Stanley Gawlick [sic], really born Stanislaw Gawlikowski, was a street tough during the roaring 1920’s and a member of the “Shotgun Gang”. Stanley was born about 1902 in Poland and came along with his Father Antoni & mother Katarzyna through Ellis Island. I do not know how Stanley went bad.

“Well, Here’s Stanley”

That was Stanley’s MO. He liked to introduce himself that way at the bank robberies. A tad narcissistic, n’est-ce pas? Apparently, that was par for the times. As you can see, his headline is entitled, “A Bullet Sings Goodby[sic]”

Well here is his mug, printed in the Detroit News,  that fateful day, the 5th of August 1924. Now this newspaper clipping was saved by my cousin’s parents. When I asked my father, who was not born at that time, he said he never remembered anyone in the family speaking of this.

This goes to show that historical newspapers can provide you with vital record info too, such as date of death and cause of death (gun shot wound). I am an aficianado of the Polish Daily (Detroit), named, Dziennik Polski.  They provided an even longer article !

Well I said it was probably just a local story. Then a year later, I found another article on this crime in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that describes the crime. From the article in the Dziennik Polski, I am wondering whether the female  robber may have been a common-law wife or whether she was just a gun moll. Along for an exciting ride.

That’s my Black Sheep meme and I am sticking to it ! Let me hasten to add that Stanley and I share no blood. We are merely related by marriage.

September 19, 2010

What Do You Know?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

What Do You Know?

This jester has been a trusted advisor at the court of two kings and many companies, both large and small. As a matter of course, you develop a book of precepts to deal with a great many situations and to provide yourself with a context in which you ferret out a truth when you only have partial information. You also develop a toolkit and like the proverbial Felix The Cat, you pull something out of your bag of tricks, when the situation arises.

I want to talk today about timelines and facts. As I was saying last paragraph, I had some precepts and platitudes to carry me through uncharted waters. One of my favorites was, “The man with one clock always know what time it is, but a man with two (or more) clocks is never certain what time it is.” Whilst I knew my ojciec (father) was one of seven children, I was fine. But imagine my confusion, as I was chiding my god-father (my Uncle Steve) that he did not know his birthday and that the Diocese of Toledo said, he was born a month earlier – as an aside, my uncle was correct and the Diocese of Toledo was wrong.  A week later my uncle mails to me his birth certificate from Lucas County, OH and it does show his birthday as we always celebrated it. So it was good that I received another source fact for his birth. Now this is not a diatribe on whether the church was correct or the state (of OH) was correct on recording vital records. No,  the state certificate had other “facts”. On it was a question, “Number of children for this mother”, with three parts.

  • Part A. Born alive and still living: 3 (of course, Aunts Alice and Catherine and now uncle Steve)
  • Part B. Born alive, but now dead: 1 (Hmmm??)
  • Part C. Stillborn:                                  0.

But clearly at the time Uncle Steve’s birth, he was the fourth child, not the 3rd. So my father was one of 8 (not one of seven). Ok, so there was another child who was born and died before my father was born. I could not expect him to know of this fact. I also knew that this child was not stillborn. So I mentioned this bit of unexpected news to my father. Now this triggered a conversation that we had never had. He said he was born at home (not in a hospital) and that in 1926 this was not uncommon. Well Stanczyk always knew things were “different” in the olden days. Then he proceeds to bring out his “delayed birth certificate”. Ok since there was no official record of his birth, he had to have a copy of his baptism and a witness swear that they knew his true birth date. Not too surprising, but interesting as I scanned his “delayed birth certificate”. A fascinating birth certificate from 1943 (showing my dad to be one year too young to serve in the military in 1943). But this birth certificate from Wayne County, MI had two questions on it: “Number of children born alive to this mother” and “Number of children still living”. Now with answers nine and seven respectively. Now hold on here a second, my father was the 9th child, not the 7th as he had supposed.

But this goes to show. A few months ago I was certain my dad was one of seven children. A few weeks later I was disabused of that long-held fact and “knew” he was one of eight. Now I was confronted with the fact he was one of nine. So I am like the man with 3 clocks in his house. Who were these other two children, that we had no knowledge of? Let’s start with when were they born…


Fortunately, I had learned of the marriage date of my grandparents and had the church record from Poland. They were married, the 28th of January, 1907 in Biechow, Poland. So lets start with that date in our timeline.

Dates Description of Event Children Alive

1/28/1907          Jozef Elijasz & Walerya Leszczynska marry in Biechow                                                                    0

1909 or 1910    Alice (aka Aleksandra) Eliasz was born in Poland.                                                                                 1?

5/31/1910       Josef Eliasz arrives Ellis Island on SS Finland from wife Walerya in Zabiec to

brother-in-law Teofil Leszczynski@41 Neoga Street, Depew, NY

9/15/1913      Valeria(Waleria, age 27) Eliasz arr. in USA with Alice(Alexandra, age 4) in Phila.

on SS Prinz Aldabert; Sailed 9/2/1913 from Hamburg, Germany                                                      1

8/27/1914    Catherine Eliasz born in Depew, NY (see birth cert+baptismal cert);                                                 2

10/5/1916    Stephen E. Eliasz born in Toledo, OH baptised 11/8/1916 St Anthony                                               3

3/14/1919    Joseph S. Eliasz born in Toldeo, OH (1108 Campbell Street)                                                                   4

11/27/1920 Bernice Eliasz born in Toledo, OH and baptised in Detroit.                                                                      5

2/11/1924    Ted Eliasz born in Detroit, MI                                                                                                                               6

8/18/1926   Chester S. Eliasz born in Detroit, MI at home.                                                                                                7

So we have “gaps” in the timeline in: 1908,  and 1909 or 1910, [ignore 1911-1912 when apart], 1915 as possibilities for Baby#1. This baby must be born before Steve in 1916. Baby #2 must be born between 1916 and 1925. We have “gaps” in: 1917, 1918, 1921, 1922, and early 1923, technically even in late 1924 could be another birth. Finally 1925 was possible.

Now fortune smiled down upon me when I was searching Mt Olivet’s cemetery records for a missing uncle. They had a Henry Eliasz who died in January 1923. So I sent away for the death certificate and was shocked to find that Henry, was Baby#2 (of the two unknown siblings of my father). He was born to my grandparents, prematurely in December 1922 and died one month later in January 1923. One mystery solved.

Now my aunt Alice maintained until her dying days, that she was born in 1910. I have no proof to the contrary other than the Ship Manifest on 1913 saying she was four in 1913, implying a birth year of 1909. As luck would have it, a genealogist in Poland whose family came from my ancestral villages agreed to perform some research for me. I was seeking my grandparents and any other born in Poland, their birth certificates. In the package I received was church record of a birth of a Wladyslaw Jozef Eliasz born on the 31st of March 1908 to my grandparents. So now, I had unknown baby #1’s birth and my timeline is now almost complete. I still need to find aunt Alice/Aleksandra’s birth record, but now I know, my dad was one of nine children (and that he was the ninth child born to Jozef & Walerya).

September 12, 2010

Odds & Ends …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester was gamboling through the ancient graveyards of Philadelphia again. In case, inquiring minds want to know.  This time it was in the Mt Peace Cemetery on Lehigh St.  You have the historic Laurel Hill, the Mt Vernon and Mt Peace cemeteries in very close proximity to each other. Many of the old tombstones are now illegible and the one I went to visit was disintegrated and is now just an empty lot. Genealogists and Historical Societies need to define projects to preserve the images before they disappear.

I have begun to try and use this windows PC to post to the Internet. Besides, visiting cemeteries, I have an affinity for historical news papers. So I am back compiling my index of vital records and other genealogical materials from the Dziennik Polski of Detroit, newspaper. My website for Dziennik Polski is a Rootsweb free page . At present I have an index of names (mostly Polish) of over 20,100 to search and a summary that spans over 41,500 collected extractions from the Dziennik Polski.  Now this was made possible by Genealogical Newsletters, such as the Eaglet published by the PGSM . A large number of names come from a list in the State of Michigan Library in Lansing, MI,  composed by a good friend James Tye (“Jim”), a long time member of the PGSM. An overwhelming number of names come from a project done (and still ongoing) by the PGSCTNE .  My own individual efforts have amounted only to about 2.4% of these totals. Perhaps one day, I will have amassed a database of 100K Polonia from Detroit, MI.

September 7, 2010

Komunikat z Konsulatu Polskiego

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Communications with the Polish Consulate

Communications with the Polish Consulate

Stanczyk, apologizes for being derelict of duty. Has it really been 2.5 months? Much has happened since my twin daughter Valeria died, that required Stanczyk’s attentions.  Oddly it is another death that happened 80 years ago that caught my attention, as I try to muse along.

I was reviewing some digital pictures I took years ago of a January 22nd, 1930 newspaper page that contained some columns posted by the Polish Consulate in Detroit. Stanczyk has long been a fan of the Dziennik Polski and I have just this Labor Day weekend, posted an update to my index of Polish peoples whose names appeared in the Dziennik Polski newspaper in various columns (birth announcements, funeral cards, marriage announcements, divorce announcements, class pictures from local High Schools, and even Polish Consulate postings). So this muse added another 64 names to my index (over 20,100) people now:

It has been two years between updates (this fool’s Mac died, just before the economy died). So I have finally gathered a sundry of  open source (i.e free) tools to edit/post files to web sites on an MS Windows laptop (distasteful). So look for future updates.

At any rate, I found a Kędzierski who may or may not be related to a family that my grand-uncle Jan married into listed. This caught my eye and also a communique about a Marjanna Skowronkówna. It appears her family in Poland (via the court in Jaslo in Krakow area) are trying to determine for certain her death. This woman was the daughter of Jan Skowron and his wife Barbara nee  Filasow, was born 1st October 1866. She came to America the second time in March of 1913 (remember this is a 1930 newspaper posting) and the family has heard nothing since 1914 when she was last known to be a housekeeper for Greek-Catholic priest, V, Dobry in Uniontown, PA. As I said, this was posted 22-January-1930 issue of Dziennik Polski, in Detroit, MI [in case an ancestor reads/Googles this blog].

Now the above was written in Polish (I used Google Translate to help me), so it was not the fact of a daughter being deceased unbeknownst to her family that caught my eye, but the fact that her birth date, her parents’ names and  her birth place were given. What immensely valuable genealogical data can be found in these Polish Consulates communiques!

Now as for Pawel Kędzierski,  a relative of his living in France, named Michal Kędzierski, was looking for him. They gave Pawel’s last known address as the state of Ohio. Note to Fool, check to see if these Polish Consulate postings appeared simultaneously through out USA Polish newspapers; I say this since we see Ohio and Uniontown, PA being written about in a Detroit, MI newspaper.

For those who read Polish fluently here is the clip of Marjanna Skowronkowna’s communique:

June 6, 2010

From Pacanow, Russian-Poland to Cleveland, Ohio

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

As you must know by now, Stanczyk’s  paternal family is from Pacanow. I like to use the website: very valuable. It helps you distinguish between same name villages by providing valuable info, like Pacanow’s, gmina, powiat, or wojewodztwo. It also says that is has a population of  1,275 people. If you read the church records from 1868-1918 (which are in Russian/Cyrillic) they describe Pacanow as a settlement.  So in my mind’s eye, it is a small place.

So, when I find records of an Elijasz or other family from that village/parish (Pacanow is also the parish locale), I think they must be related to me. How then, can there be this whole little community of Pacanow  Elijasz/Elyasz/Eliasz/Heliasz who came to be in Cleveland, Ohio and I and my family have no collective memory of them?  So I have used the LDS resource, ,  and also the Cleveland Public Library’s Necrology database and collected much info which I have augmented with and data. With that info I have built a profile of these people which I will list today in hopes that somebody who lives on the Internet will see their ancestor and contact this jester.

Let me start with Agnieszka Elijasz (aka Eliasz). She came to Cleveland (which is true of the rest, so I will not mention this again). She married a Stanislaw Hajek. She came from her brother Roman Eliasz to a cousin Zwolski in the Pasaic, NJ, USA. So we have Elijasz, Zwolski, and Hajek and all of these are families from Pacanow.  Because she names Roman Eliasz, my theory is her parents are: Jozef Elijasz (aka Heliasz) and Theresa Siwiec. She became more interesting recently because I received an email from a genealogist who named Roman Zwolski of Pasaic, NJ as a son of Petronella Elijasz (and a Jan Zwolski). I did find the birth record for this Roman Zwolski and confirmed that his mother was indeed Petronella Zwolski (a previously unknown Elijasz)! So Hajek-Elijasz from Cleveland let me hear from you.

One final aside,  the Roman Eliasz named above from Agnieszka’s ship manifest, his granddaughter, Elzbieta (nee Heliasz) Kapusta, whom I met on the Polish social networking website,, out the kindness of her heart, without any prodding from this jester, drove back to Biechow, and retrieved a copy of my grandparent’s marriage record from the church and also a copy of the civil record and mailed them to me — forever endearing her to me.

Now I have a long list so I will skip all the stories of the rest. But this next one is interesting because a L. Baran (from emailed me from Poland having knowledge of Elijasz from Pacanow and she named an Anna Elijasz.  This Anna I believe is the one that married Stanislaw Domagalski. I also think Domagalski is a Pacanow family too. So Domagalski from Cleveland let me hear from you.

I hope all of the rest also contact me.  Tekla Eliasz & Alexander Musial. Musial is another Pacanow family name and some went to Michigan too. Antoni Boza & Franciszka Eliasz, or Paul Budka & Elizabeth Elijasz, or finally Ignacy Elijasz & Augusta Ciaplenska.

Now as you may have noticed, most in this blog were female Elijasz, meaning the family name going forward is something else. Indeed, even Boza, Budka, Hajek, Musial or Domagalski may not remain, but they are links in the chain. Those elusive female ancestors!

Just for good measure will the ancestors of Stanley Elyasz of Detroit (a first cousin of my grandfather) or the Stanley Eliasz (aka Ellis?) of Buffalo who are also Pacanow Elijasz also contact me. I won’t even go into the Elijasz from Massachusetts who I believe are a very far branch (and for the most part not from Pacanow, although I saw a Szczucin Elijasz in Massachusetts) of the family.

Jak się masz, Elijasz?

P.S. – I hope you noticed  the several Polish websites mentioned. American genealogists need to get on these Polish websites and search for their families in Poland  there too.

May 15, 2010


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.

May 12, 2010

Dziennik Polski [Detroit]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dziennik Polski 1924Dziennik Polski (“Polish Daily”). Many times this has been used as a title for a local  Polish language newspaper. This jester originally came from Detroit, MI where we too had such a newspaper. One day I was having a meal  with mój ojciec (my father). I had decided to go to the Library of the State of Michigan in Lansing the next day and I was going to do my first foray into reading an historical newspaper on microfilm. The newspaper I selected was Dziennik Polski; I am not even certain why I chose that newspaper, perhaps it was an article I read in the PGSM’s Eaglet newsletter. Now Michigan was blessed with many Polish language newspapers:

And those were just from Wayne County. I was going to try and find the birth announcements for my father and his siblings and perhaps I’d also find some death notices too.


At any rate, as we eat a meal together I told my father that I was going to the State Library and perhaps read some newspapers. Out of the blue and for the first time, my father tells the family how his mother, Walerya, used to read the Dziennik Polski newspaper! What serendipity he mentioned the exact newspaper I was going to research. So I was armed with birth dates and off I went secure in the knowledge that my new idea would be successful. For if my busia read the newspaper, then surely she must have put announcements into to it too. Now the more experienced genealogists are probably laughing at that naiveté. Well I did not find my father’s birth being announced. However, I did find my uncle Thaddeus’ birth being announced and the street address was one my father had recalled to me in an earlier conversation. Well you can imagine I was hooked on this charming little Polish language newspaper.

I was certain, that I’d find my great uncle Jan’s death announcement – but I did not have the date, just that it was after my grandfather’s death (06-January-1930). So I would just gut it out and search this newspaper for all of the 1930’s decade until I found him. By now you must realize that this  is a daunting task. Each microfilm contains about 2-3 months of newspapers and I found I could do one microfilm in a single day. By my math I would need 40 days at the Library or possibly on average maybe only 20 days. Of course, I no longer lived in Michigan, so that posed a problem. Of course, they also did not have every day on the microfilm either, so it just might not be on the microfilm. Finally, it was during the Great Depression, so death announcements would not be there unless you paid for them; That was certainly going to be a problem for my widowed grandmother with 7 kids to feed.

Well Stanczyk is still pursuing this enterprise, albeit more slowly due to the tough economic times. I enjoy the genealogy and also the history preserved in these newspapers. I also get some kind of surreal connection to my grandmother by putting myself in her place and reading these historical newspapers in her native tongue. I have painstakingly gathered some expertise on this newspaper and gathered info the PGSM Eaglet, my own research and the work of the PGSCTNE and have built an index now with over 20,000 names. Because this is a Polish language newspaper, it is largely a story of the Poles who settled in Detroit, MI (and of course Hamtramck). I have that index and my collected research available here on Rootsweb website:  Dziennik Polski .

Read your local newspaper or that of your grandmother’s. Read the Second World War, through your grandmother’s eyes. It is horrific to see Hitler and Stalin splashed across the pages of the 1920’s and 1930’s and to know that they eventually will collectively kill nearly 40 million people – back then, for busia  it was news, now for this jester it is history. History carries a much greater impact when read through the context of your ancestors and the newspapers of their lives.

May 2, 2010

Biechow & Pacanow databases…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday this jester wrote about an interaction with another genealogist and how it caused me to do my research in a different way and how by doing this survey, I was able to find two small related Elijasz facts buried in another family’s church record.

The blog was not suitable for three column (or even nicely viewable in single column). So I wanted to publish the database on my Rootsweb page. So here is Pacanow 1883 Births .

I have done surveys of some years records and published them onto the Internet. The reason I do this is draw other genealogists to me, by their Googling their family tree and finding my pages and then querying me to see if we are related in some way. Over the years I have run into many genealogists and/or distant cousins who have supplied vital or emotionally  priceless photos.

Here are my Biechow parish databases too:

1810 Biechow Births

1811 Biechow Births

1812-1831 Survey

So if your ancestral village was in Biechow parish or Pacanow parish send me your query. Perhaps we are related somewhat closely. Or if your name is the following list (these are just Biechow/Pacanow family names):

Eliasz, Elijasz, Heliasz, Leszczynski, Wlecialowski, Paluch, Zasucha, Zwolski, Odomski, Kedzierski, Kalucki, Kordos, Siwiec, Wojtys, Gawron, Fortuna,  Grudzien, Piotrowski, Juda, Bebel, Bordziak, Bugaj, Kostyra, Podolski, Wrobel, Wrzesnia, Watroba, Gula,  Janicki, Kapusta, Baran, etc.

Why not send me a query?

May 1, 2010

Pacanow 1883, A Survey of Births

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to take another look at the church records in Pacanow. Recently, I was emailed  by a Zwolski ancestor whose Jan Zwolski had married a Petronella Elyasz[sic]. So I went combing through the Zwolski records and sure enough I found a Petronella Elijasz married to a Jan Zwolski. There was a lot of synergy in the names of witnesses and God Parents too.

So I decided to do a survey of the 1883 Births of Pacanow for these “marker” families to see if I might find some female Eliasz/Elijasz ancestors and possibly some male Eliasz/Elijasz witnesses. At the end of this article I put together a table of people, places and dates of this little synergistic community within the Pacanow parish.

I was surprised at how well this little experiment had worked. Now wrapping my brain around the translation/transliteration of proper nouns from Russian/Cyrillic to Polish (or English) is not my idea of fun so I never did a survey of the Russian church records, like I did for the pre-1868 Polish records of Biechow (Pacanow does not have any pre-1868 records that have been microfilmed by the LDS).

So here is what I did. I looked at Elijasz (or Heliasz if any) in the indexes as usual, but now I also noted the records with: Zwolski, Siwiec, Odomski, Pytka, Zasucha, Paluch, Wojtys and for good measure, Zdziebko. Now that last one I added for my good friend, the famous genealogist Ceil Jensen, whose ancestors just happen to inhabit the same parish as my ancestors. Now keep in mind that this survey was just one year and just for the births.

The experiment worked, I found an Elijasz female and one Elijasz male mentioned in records that were indexed by the other “marker” families. Some people call these aligned or affiliated family names. I prefer the analogical thought that these are genetic markers for Elijasz (and on some deeper level this is true). I have joked for a few years now that the Elijaszow are related to all of the families in Biechow and Pacanow parishes. I even take note of these “parish names” when I come across them in the USA records in Buffalo, Toledo, and Detroit in particular, but other US cities as well. They are still good genetic markers for Eliasz/Elijasz even in the USA even more than a century later.

I did not find any Leszczynski or Wlecialowski, but to be fair, I seldom find them in the LDS microfilm. I did find a few other “marker” families that I had neglected to survey in the go around. I found Janicki, Janowski, Luszcz, Major and Kordos too. So these family names are also heavily intertwined with the original list. In fact, I think I found a few misspellings that are actually really in my list, but were misspelled. Now I cannot prove this, but I will build a little database and publish it to my website and see if any genetic marker families ping me about being related.

So I guess when you look at indexes, do not just fixate on your direct descent family name. At some point go back and look for your “marker” family names in the indexes and search those records as well. You too may find some extra nuggets of family gold. At the very least you may find some female ancestors who tend to get lost when they marry.

Oh, that Zdziebko experiment. It appears that Ceil’s Wojciech Zdziebko married one of my “marker” families, Jano{w}ski, and he had a child with Marianna Janoska. So even the Zdziebko’s are just one degree away from my ancestors – but no direct connection.


Pacanow Parish, 1883 Births, a small Survey Total Births: 203
Surname Given Name Age in Yrs Approx. Birth Year or Birthdate Birth Place Church Record Relationship to Baby Baby Name Notes / Marginalia
Czylanka Antoni 36 abt 1847 25 Witness Roman Elijasz
Elijasz Jozef 23 abt 1860 n/a 25 Father Roman Elijasz
Elijasz Marianna n/a 169 God Mother Jan Kanty Zasucha
Elijasz Martin n/a 186 God Father Marianna Zasucha
Elijasz Roman 0 8-Feb-1883 Pacanow 25 Baby Roman Elijasz
Grudzien Walenty n/a 169 God Father Jan Kanty Zasucha
Grudzieniszkow Stanislaw 46 abt 1837 25 Witness Roman Elijasz Grudzien?
Janicki Teofil n/a 85 God Father Antoni Odomski
Janoska Marianna 30 abt 1853 n/a 111 Mother Tekla Zdziebko
Janoska Zofia n/a 19 God Mother Apolionia Paluch
Katarzyna Zhigliczka n/a 186 God Mother Marianna Zasucha
Kodos Walenty 30 abt 1853 124 Witness Bronislawa Wojtys Kordos?
Korczynska Zuzanna n/a 162 God Mother Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jadwiga 0 7-Oct-1883 Rataje 162 Baby Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jan 38 abt 1845 162 Witness Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Jan 1845? 162 God Father Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Michal 28 abt 1855 n/a 162 Father Jadwiga Kordos
Kordos Stanislaw 50 abt 1833 162 Witness Jadwiga Kordos
Kuczka Maciej 56 abt 1827 111 Witness Tekla Zdziebko
Lewinska Franciszka 47 abt 1836 124 Mother Bronislawa Wojtys
Lewinski Michal n/a 124 God Father Bronislawa Wojtys
Lewinski Piotr n/a 170 God Father Leopold Pytka
Lewisnka Julianna n/a 85 God Mother Antoni Odomski
Lewisnki Michal 36 abt 1847 170 Witness Leopold Pytka
Lewsinski Stanislaw 45 abt 1838 186 Witness Marianna Zasucha
Luszcz Ignacy 52 abt 1831 10 Witness Agnieszka Wojtys
Luszcz Kasper n/a 25 God Father Roman Elijasz
Luszcz -owa Marianna n/a 10 God Mother Agnieszka Wojtys
Major Magdalena 22 abt 1861 n/a 19 Mother Apolionia Paluch
Mondra Wiktorya 22 abt 1861 n/a 162 Mother Jadwiga Kordos
Nowakow Antoni 46 abt 1837 170 Witness Leopold Pytka
Nowakow Katarzyna 22 abt 1861 n/a 170 Mother Leopold Pytka
Odomski Antoni 0 27-May-1883 Pacanow 85 Baby Antoni Odomski
Odomski Antoni 48 abt 1835 n/a 85 Father Antoni Odomski
Odomski Antoni 45 abt 1838 124 Witness Bronislawa Wojtys
Orzechowek Tekla n/a 169 Future Wife Jan Kanty Zasucha Pacanow Marriage Rec #16 for 28-Jan-1914
Paluch Apolionia 0 21-Jan-1883 Pacanow 19 Baby Apolionia Paluch
Paluch Marianna n/a 25 Future Wife Roman Elijasz Pacanow Marriage Rec #144 for 24-Nov-1913
Paluch Walenty 27 abt 1856 n/a 19 Father Apolionia Paluch
Piotrowska Marianna 22 abt 1861 n/a 25 Mother Roman Elijasz
Poniewirska Anna n/a 170 God Mother Leopold Pytka
Poniewirska Jozefa 40 abt 1843 n/a 85 Mother Antoni Odomski
Pytczyka Eleonora n/a 25 God Mother Roman Elijasz Pykta?
Pytka Andrziej 50 abt 1833 19 Witness Apolionia Paluch
Pytka Leopold 0 18-Oct-1883 Pacanow 170 Baby Leopold Pytka
Pytka Michal n/a 10 God Father Agnieszka Wojtys
Pytka Tomasz 38 abt 1845 10 Witness Agnieszka Wojtys
Pytka Wladyslaw 23 abt 1860 n/a 170 Father Leopold Pytka
Siwacz Tomasz 46 abt 1837 169 Witness Jan Kanty Zasucha Siwiec?
Sliaska Marianna 25 abt 1858 169 Mother Jan Kanty Zasucha Eliaszka?
Sowowa Marianna 25 abt 1858 n/a 10 Mother Agnieszka Wojtys
Strykarz Jakob n/a 19 God Father Apolionia Paluch
Wieczorek Antoni n/a 111 God Father Tekla Zdziebko
Wojtys Agnieszka 0 13-Jan-1883 Pacanow 10 Baby Agnieszka Wojtys
Wojtys Aniela n/a 124 God Mother Bronislawa Wojtys
Wojtys Antoni n/a 85 Witness Antoni Odomski
Wojtys Bronislawa 0 31-Jul-1883 Pacanow 124 Baby Bronislawa Wojtys
Wojtys Jozef 50 abt 1833 19 Witness Apolionia Paluch
Wojtys Jozef 50 abt 1833 169 Witness Jan Kanty Zasucha
Wojtys Mateusz 45 abt 1838 n/a 10 Father Agnieszka Wojtys
Wojtys Tomasz 66 abt 1817 124 Father Bronislawa Wojtys
Wtorka Tomasz 60 abt 1823 186 Witness Marianna Zasucha
Zagoczec Elzbieta n/a 111 God Mother Tekla Zdziebko
Zasucha Adam 26 abt 1857 169 Father Jan Kanty Zasucha
Zasucha Jan Kanty 0 19-Oct-1883 Pacanow 169 Baby Jan Kanty Zasucha
Zasucha Marianna 0 12-Nov-1883 Pacanow 186 Baby Marianna Zasucha
Zasucha Martin 23 abt 1860 186 Father Marianna Zasucha
Zawada Jan 60 abt 1823 111 Witness Tekla Zdziebko
Zdziebko Tekla 0 1-Jul-1883 Rataje 111 Baby Tekla Zdziebko
Zdziebko Wojciech 36 abt 1847 n/a 111 Father Tekla Zdziebko
Zhigliczka Katarzyna 20 abt 1863 186 Mother Marianna Zasucha
Zhigliczkow Teodor n/a 85 Witness Antoni Odomski
April 25, 2010

Memes & Things

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester was listening to NPR this morning on the way to the market. The show on “Speaking of Faith”:

Spoke of the subject’s need to capture Alzheimers patient’s memories before they were gone. A tragedy that tugs at my Slavic soul. My aunt/God Mother Kitty suffered and died from Alzheimers, as did my younger brother’s, father-in-law. An awful fate, the loss of your memories. Now this jester has had many talks with his elders, some of whom were in their eighties and nineties. Another aunt died before she could capture her memories of my Busia. I had encouraged Aunt Bernice for years to write and to send me her drafts for me to edit for her. Alas it never happened and they were lost.

So this show tugged at my genealogical mind. I am sure all genealogists mourn the loss of valuable document or artifacts of their family’s history. I just want to encourage genealogist to do a few things:

  • Capture the memories of your elders onto the page (or the computer)
  • Backup your research; a backup copy onsite and another copy offsite.
  • Write your Family History and publish it (to book would be best, but to the Internet at least, both is best).

In many ways we are recording the dying memories of our family, the same as NPR’s guest. The entropy of time acts as Alzheimers to each of our genealogies. We must work swiftly and surely to record the memories before they are lost. Feel free to edit and revise your “final work” to incorporate the latest research until you too can no longer do the work.

Our history and our blogs are memes that function in much the same way as DNA does for life. We try to preserve biological diversity of animals or food crops by saving these “scraps” for a future so they will not be lost and can be enjoyed by the future. Does anyone backup the Internet? Are we just heading for another Library of Alexandria catastrophe? Write books on your family history; The books will last 500 years; The Internet or your computer media will not last anywhere near that long. Food for thought!

March 20, 2010


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 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!

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