Posts tagged ‘Genealogy’

September 15, 2011

Searching for Clues in 1913 Immigration

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In Stanczyk’s last post I was pondering why my grandmother did not disembark in NYC, but disembarked from Philadelphia instead heading to Buffalo area by train.

So I brainstormed two possible explanations:

  1. Hurricane
  2. Dock Strike

Sorry my brain is tired these days I am sure there are even more besides the obvious, “Maybe she just missed her embarkation point in NYC.”

As the picture shows, a mild season, but Tropical Storm (#4 — no names in those years) may have influenced the ship crossing as it was in the same time frame. But coming from the south I would have thought it may have driven the ship to NYC, not to the more southerly Philadelphia in an emergency. So perhaps a hurricane is not the explanation. I will have to keep searching.

I guess it was Hurricane Irene that came by this season with its horrific floods in the north-east (and here in PA and NJ as well as the VT pics we have all seen) that made me think of and search for that. After I wrote the article I realized it is exactly 98 years today (9/15), since my grandmother arrived in Philadelphia.

In my searches, I also found out about the Hurricane of 1913 on the Great Lakes (called the “Big Blow”). Check out these Ohio Historical Society Newspaper pages. This may at least partially explain why my Aunt Kitty was born in Depew (St Augustine parish) in 1914 and not in Toledo, OH, as her next three siblings were. This “Big Blow” caused a blizzard,  wreaking havoc in Ohio/Ontario and eliminating chances to migrate further west (by train or Lake Steamship) for many months. Something like 250-300 men lost their lives upon 14 vessels that were lost on the Great Lakes during this EPIC storm of 1913. Even the trains were stranded and food left undelivered for a long time — causing food shortages.

I wonder if my KUSCHWANTZ (Toledo) blogger pal has any posts about that 1913 winter in Ohio. See my blogroll for Donna’s very well done blog about Polish genealogy in Toledo area.

On to the next possibility …

[To see what Donna from the Kuschwantz blog wrote, click on read more]

read more »

September 12, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – Revisited With A Documented Methodology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk got one comment recently. It was the first one I ever deleted. It was rude and was in reference to my rant at Genealogy Rankings posted by EOGN. Eastman, had just reposted some blogger’s effort without checking the results (a genealogical mistake — which we all make at some time or other).

Stanczyk, however is a natural skeptic. So when I looked at the results and they differed from my experience … WILDLY. I knew they were wrong or at least that the methodology employed was flawed and the info was misinformation. So I searched for another more credible ranking — which I did find and repost myself. This info was more representative of the real world and while a methodology was also not documented for this, I did cite my source of data.

However, bothered I was by my comment that I deleted for its obvious bias and rudeness, I had to admit I needed to study this and document my methodology. The commenter proffered that ALEXA.com be the source. So I obliged. I used Alexa.com and made the following search for data:

  • All countries (hint hint)
  • Society->Genealogy [the topic]
  • All languages (although come on, Genealogy is only genealogy in English)
  • All rankings
  • No filter
  • I eliminated results without any numbers (how could they be ranked)
  • I added a handful off the top of my head to see where they fit
  • I used Global Ranking (since I wanted all countries/languages)

My Additions

I added FamilySearch.org,  I knew this must be big! I added Genealodzy.pl which most people probably do not know (unless they read my blog), because it was a credible Genealogical Society Website (and probably not the most popular genealogy website in Poland). I added Footnote (now Fold3) — I was sure this was huge too. I also added CastelGarden, SteveMorse, and my own humble blog for reference — I am sure many other Polish Genealogy blogs are higher ranked. My additions are  bolded and in RED.

I could not compare my results to his results because he used the URL instead of the name so I am not certain which of mine are his and vice-versa. Also since we did these studies at different times, our results differ slightly in numbers. I am also puzzled as to how he got so many .UK or .CA websites. These did not get returned by my Alexa.com search — perhaps he limited his methodology  or added in many websites that he knew. I think Alexa.com needs to return a consistent set of websites so rankings can be compared. I also think that some websites need to describe or META tag their website better so sites like Alexa.com and its competitors can do a better job of collecting statistics. I think GENEALOGY as a topic is MUCH more popular than Alexa.com shows. Also, perhaps Alexa.com data is NOT reproducible.  So maybe my critique of EOGN is unwarranted and the Anglo-Celtic blog is also correct (as I am too). That would not be a good thing for Alexa.com. I wish other competitors in Web Analytics would publish a Genealogy/Family History Ranking study. I hope they include genealogia or other foreign renditions of the English ‘Genealogy’ so we can get a true World-Wide study. I also question whether Ancestry.com (and Ancestry.ca, Ancestry.uk, Ancestry.de, etc) should be separate or combined.

When you view the rankings, the lower the number, the better. It means there are that many websites (-1) that are more popular. So for example, my blog that you are reading has 12.8 Million other websites (like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.) ahead of me in popularity in the WORLD. Pay close attention to my additions, they are in bold/red and for the most part are near to the top.

Genealogy Websites top 113 (I am number 106 — come-on readers)

# Website Ranking
1 Ancestry.com 1,073
2    Familysearch.org 8,331
3 Genealogy.com 11,875
4 GeneaNet 13,684
5 The British Monarchy 53,320
6 Family Tree DNA 57,911
7 RootsWeb  62,662
8   Footnote.org (now fold3) 76,309
9 JewishGen 85,873
10 What’s New in Genealogy Today  116,942
11 Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Resources on the Internet 124,819
12 TribalPages 125,404
13    Stevemorse.org 137,026
14 Eastman’s Online Genealogy News  138,037
15 Access Genealogy  140,165
16 GenoPro 164,723
17 World Vital Records 186,504
18   Genealodzy.pl 187,329
19 One Great Family 203,284
20 Polish Genealogical Society of America 203,550
21 ProGenealogists, Inc. 230,037
22 Genealogy and Family History Data at DistantCousin.com 240,451
23 AncientFaces 271,220
24 Kindred Konnections 273,644
25 National Genealogical Society 300,259
26 Family Tree Magazine 304,602
27 Family Research 317,401
28 Legacy Family Tree 334,708
29 British Royal Family History 337,957
30 Curious Fox 450,455
31 museumsusa.org 478,027
32 Olive Tree Genealogy 478,202
33 GenealogyLinks.net 526,395
34 NCGenWeb 529,784
35 Family Tree Guide 540,734
36 Oxford Ancestors 540,969
37 Irish Genealogy 542,221
38 RootsMagic 546,245
39 CousinConnect.com 556,154
40 Family Tree Circles 560,472
41 Monmouth County Library 664,876
42    Castlegarden.org 736,651
43 Avotaynu 790,666
44 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
45 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
46 Genealogy Articles, Tips & Research Guides 867,921
47 CensusDiggins.com  903,350
48 Genealogy Blog 981,796
49 Reunion 988,538
50 Obituary Links Page  1,080,372
51 Dear Myrtle 1,084,424
52 Dead Fred’s Photo Genealogy Archive 1,149,953
53 GeneaLinks 1,168,516
54 Ultimate Family Tree 1,527,831
55 Holmes, Doug 1,569,874
56 RoyaList Online 1,608,515
57 Kerchner 1,624,302
58 phpmyfamily – Genealogical website builder 1,635,669
59 Jewish Web Index 1,713,993
60 Couch: USA 1,766,283
61 The Ohio Genealogical Society 1,792,377
62 Board for Certification of Genealogists 1,854,544
63 Ancestral Quest 1,856,546
64 GenealogyPro.com 1,892,255
65 Scot Roots 2,170,754
66 Genealogy Magazine 2,175,330
67 Black Sheep Ancestors 2,243,157
68 Eneclann 2,298,226
69 Sephardim.com 2,456,171
70 Odessa German-Russian Genealogical Library 2,531,031
71 Journal of Genetic Genealogy 2,585,838
72 Genealogical Journeys In Time 2,780,736
73 Colonial Ancestors 2,932,587
74 Genealogy Register 3,016,245
75 The Genealogue 3,033,136
76 Winslow 3,189,607
77 Family Chronicle Magazine 3,248,384
78 GEDitCOM 3,527,586
79 Gen Source 3,718,359
80 Brother’s Keeper 3,788,856
81 Surname Site  3,854,351
82 GenealogySpot.com 4,028,763
83 GenSmarts 4,070,308
84 Palatines to America 4,161,788
85 Looking 4 Kin Genealogy Links and Chat 4,650,889
86 Genealogical Forum of Oregon 5,079,038
87 Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox  5,229,636
88 Family Origins 5,240,600
89 Genealogy Research Associates, Inc 5,416,307
90 Surname Genealogy Archive 5,462,264
91 Spansoft – Kith and Kin Genealogy Software 5,477,484
92 Historic Genealogy in New England 5,550,789
93 Ancestor Genealogy Photo Archive 5,999,968
94 Genealogy Roots Blog 6,048,790
95 Lineages, Inc 6,852,004
96 Surname Guide 7,252,646
97 Debrett Ancestry Research 8,431,123
98 Geneabios 8,649,736
99 MudCreek Software 9,461,331
100 Family Tree Connection 9,693,244
101 Association of Scottish Genealogists and Record Agents 9,785,665
102 nbgs.ca 10,632,352
103 Scottish Roots 10,912,588
104 Georgia Genealogical Society 11,944,069
105 Rogue Valley Genealogical Society 12,287,030
106   mikeeliasz.wordpress.com (Stanczyk) 12,805,138
107 Genealogy Software News 15,592,001
108 Wheelock 20,518,710
109 FamilyWebHost 20,769,903
110 Genealogy Home Page 23,241,140
111 Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society 25,363,263
112 Upper Canada Genealogy 26,691,115
113 GenDesigner 26,900,547

It is clear that Great Britain is much more genealogy crazy than the USA. If I were to do this again, I would probably go through my favorites/bookmarks and add in a few blogs (Polish Genealogy), Polish Genealogical Societies (US & Poland), FindAGrave.com, Interment.net, and Everett Genealogy Magazine. What would you add?

–Stanczyk

September 10, 2011

#Meme – Things I Find While Looking Up Other Things (Heraldic Genealogy)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Bohemian Nobility

The Bohemian Nobility

Stanczyk, in one of my continuing memes, offers my latest account of ADD researching. What is ADD researching? It is a case of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), whereby I become distracted by curiosity into something more interesting than what I am actually looking up. Today’s ADD Researching brings me to Heraldic Genealogy. Something in Stanczyk’s DNA can be distracted by colorful, Germanic graphic images — hence “The Bohemian Nobility” cover image was what distracted me in my latest adventure. Let me hasten to add, that as yet, I have not located any Bohemian branches of Eliasz (although I believe there are some).

Many genealogists become fascinated by the notion of tracing their family back to a Royal Lineage. Stanczyk too has a family folklore, shared by distant branches (2nd, 3rd cousins) all telling the same tale that we are related to royalty, but nobody seems to recall the Royal from whom we are all related ???

In Stanczyk’s case, the connecting and convergent point seems to point to the Leszczynski line, though try as I may, that Royal Line seems to end with women and thus the Leszczynski line should not continue down to us via the Leszczynski name, but that is what all of our families that share the family folklore, share as a family name. Alas, I fear that I shall have to content myself with having jestered for three kings.

I found the “The Bohemian Nobility” in one of Poland’s Online Digital Libraries. The link is via the SBC here. This digital book is 464 “pages”. It starts with an index of family names. I scanned the list of names and did not find any from my family tree. Heavy Sigh! So I then looked for a connection to me in some fashion to keep my curiosity piqued. I found one: Hoffman in the index.

So my example and an homage to the great Polish Genealogist, Linguist, and All-Around-Amusing-Curmudgeon, Fred Hoffman, author of many books/treatises on language and genealogy. I found a Hoffman — perhaps this is where Fred’s line comes from (but Stanczyk does not know Fred that well). So the book follows the index with pages of descriptions about the families and then pages (aka “Tafels”/Tables) of Heraldic Symbols (sheilds). So each family name is in three places: index, description, heraldic symbol.

Hoffman

You can click for a larger, more readable version of the Hoffman description and I cannot do it justice as it is written in German and Stanczyk lacks his grandmother’s acumen for German (and Russian and Polish, although my Latin and English are better).

Notice it has a reference to ‘Taf 9’ in parentheses after the family name. The Heraldic Symbols start on page(uh image) 313.  So by adding nine (and subtracting one) we get to page 321 where ‘Taf 9’ is found. This algorithm should work for all names.

The name, Hoffman, is found above the heraldic symbol for that family. I found the heraldic symbol interesting  and ornate (as most usually are). The Hoffman family crest seems to include an anchor (and a castle)  — I seem to recall that Bohemia is landlocked, so the anchor is interesting indeed. There must be a story behind that heraldic symbol (shown below):

I did find some other digital books on the Polish Nobility (Szlachta) you may want to peruse:

You may not recall, but the Polish Digital Libraries require a DjVu plug-in for your browser (or a DjVu applet, written in Java) to view the above digitized books — indeed all digitized content in Polish Online Libraries and Archives use this software. DjVu software is here . Do yourself a favor and download this software(I have used on MS Windows and on MACs).

September 8, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1820

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow  (an homage to moja dobra żona, Tereza) during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority for all parties/religions.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1819  inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1820 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1820 inclusive. The prior post is here .

As per usual, I give permission for all Jewish data that I have been posting to be included in the JRI project. In 1820, there were four Jewish births out of a total of 111 births recorded in the Biechow parish. That works out to be 3.6% of the total.

Year: 1820      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      111 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Record #8     Date: 1/24/1820

Father: Szmul  Abramowicz,  Handlarz, Age 30, Piestrzec   House #77 (recorded as Karol Jaworski’s house)

Mother: Wiktula z Berkow, age 36

Baby: girl Chanka

Witnesses:  Leyb Berkowicz, Handlarz, age 26 Piestrzec & Judka Moskowicz, Handlarz,  <no age>, Piestrzec

—-

Record #13     Date: 2/5/1820

Father: Leyb  Szlamkiewicz,  Szkolnik, Age 50, Wojcza  House #2

Mother: Faydosz z Herszkow, age 30

Baby: boy Szlama

Witnesses:  Walsa  Jaskowicz, Pakiarz, age 40 Biechow & Mendla Moskowicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Record #54     Date: 6/30/1820

Father: Mendel  Moskowicz,  Pakiarz, Age 36, Wojcza  House #64

Mother: Serla z Lewkowiczow, age 36

Baby: girl Rucka

Witnesses:  Moska  Szymolowicz, Pakiarz, age 36 Wola Biechowska & Zelman Majorkiewicz, Pakiarz,  <no age>, Biechow

—-

Record #79     Date: 8/2/1820

Father: Zelman Steyberg,  Handlarz, Age 29, Biechow  House #46

Mother: Malka z Jaskowiczow, age 24

Baby: boy Herszla

Witnesses:  Jaska Wolfowicz, Pakiarz,  44, Biechow & Moska  Szymolowicz, Pakiarz, <no age>,  Wola Biechowska

–Stanczyk

September 6, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona – Biechow 1819

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority.  My previous postings were for the years 1810-1818. inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1819 recorded in Biechow parish. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1819 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Before I begin, I have been watching the evolution of names in the church register and I thought I would offer a few observations. First off, I am a gentile genealogist. So my treatment of Jewish names as rendered in the Polish language with its complex grammar is suspect — but I am learning.

So earlier I have been struggling with the surname: Golbarka or Goberka (also rendered as Golbarkow). First off, the assumption of ‘bark’ vs ‘berk’ due to poor writing and page condition is definitely off. I now know the name is Golberg (or we would probably render in 20th century English as Goldberg/Goldburg). I think I will keep the Golberkow ending as this is the grammatical construct for referring to the family as when writing the woman’s maiden name.

Notice I have decided to drop the ending ‘a’ on men’s names — which I am also thinking I should do on many first names as well, but my lack of experience with Jewish names of the 19th century Poland causes me to wonder how to apply what William Hoffman calls, ‘The Chopping Block’ to both first and last names when Jewish. So forgive me when I write: Moska, Mendla and Herszla(which in 20th century America I’d write as Herschel as in Herschel Walker). I know I need to drop the ending ‘a’, but I am not certain as to how to write those names, so I leave them as I find them for someone more expert than I to correct. My apologies in advance.

We see three births out of 104 total births. That represents a population of about 2.88% of the total parish population. So we are in the range of 3% +/- 0.25% which seems to be what I have seen in previous years. Again realize I am trying to give an in idea of the Jewish population in proportion to the entire population of the parish in (not intimating that the Jewish peoples are participants in the church parish activities). The 3% represents a modest growth from the 2.6% in Biechow census from 1787. [See Parish Census at the top of this blog]. According to that same census, the entire set of parishes in the surrounding area was about 6.4% Jewish.

My reason for doing this assessment is to convince the JRI, that it should at some point visit all Catholic parishes to pull out the remaining Jewish people without looking at the amount of effort required to yeild such tiny results. We know they are there  — do not leave them behind. After my Social Network Analysis, I am thinking that these non-shtetl Jews are a kind of glue between the surrounding towns/shtetls.

The assessment also shows that Jews and Catholics lived side by side and not segregated [in this very rural area very near to the Austria-Poland partition]. Now this may only be true in Poland and not the rest of “The Pale of Settlement” as defined by the Czars of the Russian Empire. According to Wikipedia,  Jews (of the Pale) were not forbidden by the Czars from rural areas until 1882.

Year: 1819      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      104 Total Births     LDS Microfilm#: 936660

Record #38     Date: 4/17/1819 [about 1 month earlier than the 5/15/1819 record date]

Father: Mosiek Golberg,  Arendarz, Age 34, Wojcza   House #60

Mother: Fraydla z Jakow, age 32

Baby: girl Cyra

Witnesses:  Moska Samulowicz, kaczmarz, age 36 Biechow & Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  <no age>, Wojcza

—-

Record #53     Date: 7/7/1819

Father: Nat Belel,  Mlynarz, Age 25, Wojcza   House #3 (listed as Jozef Pawelec ‘s house)

Mother: Rucha  z Golberkow, age 22

Baby: girl Eydla

Witnesses:  Mendla Abramowicz, pakiarz,  28, Wojcza   &  Moska Szmulowicz, pakiarz, <no age> Wola Biechowska

—-

Record #104     Date: 12/23/1819

Father: Jasek Wolf,  pakiarz, Age 45, Biechow   House #48

Mother: Blima  z Chaymowicz, age 38

Baby: boy Herszla

Witnesses:  Zalman Stemberk(Stemberg??), pakiarz,  28, Biechow   &  Berka Chaymowicz, Handlarz, <no age>  Biechow

–Stanczyk

September 6, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – 2011

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk just read EOGN (Eastman Online Genealogy Network) and could not believe what he read. So I followed the source and read that and still did not believe. So I checked further – because I could NOT locate the benchmark/methodology of the survey which is NOT credible. I  then Googled and found this source here:  http://www.progenealogists.com/top50genealogy2011.htm .  I certainly would agree with these rankings as these are what I use most often throughout the year.

Perhaps I am not Canadian as the source EOGN quoted was and perhaps the methodology was geographic based (in Canada, with UK add-in). Dick Eastman should do some extra checking rather than just re-broadcasting bogus news. That is my expectation for EOGN. Read the EOGN blog post that  I am railing against here: http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2011/09/genealogy-site-rankings.html

Certainly if I surveyed Polish Genealogy websites, my list would look differently too.

Here is the only credible 2011 Rankings:

Rank    Website                     Coverage/Content

  1. Ancestry.com $ – Ancestry.com is the leading genealogical data site, and includes articles, instruction, and reference help.
  2. MyHeritage.com – Focuses on genealogy community building and networking.
  3. FindAGrave.com – This database of 57 million cemetery inscriptions adds about a million per month and often includes tombstone photos.
  4. FamilySearch.org – This major data website sponsored by the LDS Church includes the IGI, census records, the library’s catalog and a growing collection of historical records from throughout the world, along with instruction and reference help. (4>5>5)
  5. Genealogy.com $ – A major data site, includes family trees, instruction and reference help. (5>2>4)
  6. Geni.com – Free, with the world’s largest collaborative family. (31>8>18)
  7. MyFamily.com – Hosts family websites for sharing photos, genealogy, and more. (33>5>5)
  8. FamilyLink.com $ – One of the most popular FaceBook applications helps people identify and network with their family and search billions of records. (2>80>72)
  9. RootsWeb.com – One of the largest, free, user-contributed data sites, includes 575 million names in family trees, also instruction and reference help. (6>4>2)
  10. AncestorHunt.com – Free genealogy search engine linking to free data. (11>11>12)
  11. AccessGenealogy.com – Millions of names in 250,000 pages, along with links to free data; especially useful for Native American information, and some data. (13>14>13)
  12. SearchForAncestors.com – Interactive directory of free genealogy websites and data. (12>19>21)
  13. GenealogyBank.com $ – 1 billion exclusive records from 4500 newspapers and historical books. (19>31>41)
  14. USGWArchives.net – A large collection of free data, arranged by state and searchable across the entire collection. (8>not ranked)
  15. CyndisList.com – The best subject catalog of genealogy webpage links. (14>17>15)
  16. Interment.net – Transcribed and indexed cemetery inscriptions. (16>16>16)
  17. OneGreatFamily.com$ – A family tree sharing and collaboration website. (9>11>9)
  18. GenealogyToday.com – Includes instruction, reference articles, and some unique data collections. (10>12>11)
  19. SurnameWeb.org – A collection of surname website links; online since 1996. (48>62>26)
  20. FindMyPast.co.uk$ – (Back in) 650 million British records of many types [formerly FindMyPast.com]. (57>46>50)
  21. Geneanet.org – (Back in) A European collection of 400 million names in family trees, community, and submitted records. (58>42>36)
  22. DeathIndexes.com – Lists of links to United States death records, by state. (23>25>31)
  23. Linkpendium.com – Nine million genealogy links organized by state/county and surname. (24>24>35)
  24. EllisIsland.org – Database of 24 million New York passenger arrivals that is free to search. Actual passenger list images can be printed or purchased. (15>20>14)
  25. GeneBase.com – A DNA ancestry cataloguing project with 675,000 users. (21>24>24)
  26. GenealogyTrails.com – Five year old site with free U.S. data contributed by volunteers. (25>35>NR)
  27. GenealogyBuff.com – A free genealogy search site with hundreds of data sources. (27>134>NR)
  28. FamilyTreeMaker.com – Homepage for Ancestry.com’s genealogical software. (28>21>20)
  29. USGennet.org – Historical and genealogical web hosting service. (18>15>17)
  30. WorldVitalRecords.com $ – The data collection provided by Family Link, with over a billion records, as well as instruction and reference help. (17>13>10)
  31. FamilyTreeDNA.com – DNA testing service focused upon family history test types. (20>26>27)
  32. Footnote.com $ – In conjunction with the U.S. National Archives, Footnote offers data, original records images, and more. (37>9>8)
  33. KindredKonnections.com $ – Grassroots created data site with compiled family trees, and some extracted records. (29>22>19)
  34. CensusFinder.com – Links to free census records. (22>29>40)
  35. Archives.com $ – A major new subscription data site, launched in July 2009 and already with more than a billion names. (41>New)
  36. DistantCousin.com – An online archive of genealogy records and images of historical documents. (34>23>22)
  37. FamilyHistory101.com – Less than four years old and full of instruction and guidance for genealogists. (38>47>107)
  38. ThePeerage.com – A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. (44>53>58)
  39. TribalPages.com – Family trees hosting with 300,000 members and 80 million names. (35>28>25)
  40. RootsChat.com – (New) Free family history messaging forum with almost 3 million mostly UK messages. (57>54>NR)
  41. HeritageQuestOnline.com $ – Census, PERSI (the periodical index), books, all free to you at many libraries. (32>39>39)
  42. NewspaperObituaries.net – (New) A directory of obituary databases and archives on the web. (91>84>126)
  43. AncientFaces.com – Share genealogy research, community pages, family photos & records more for free. (46>48>38)
  44. JewishGen.org – Jewish, reference, instruction, coordination, and databases. (26>32>28)
  45. PoliticalGraveyard.com – Comprehensive source of U.S. political biography that tells where many dead politicians are buried. (36>33>34)
  46. CousinConnect.com – A large free queries website. (39>27>23)
  47. DAR.org – Site of the largest lineage society; includes their library catalog and 32 million name index. (43>49>67)
  48. FamilyTreeMagazine.com – (New) Website for popular magazine that includes shopping, links, and research tools. (55>67>47)
  49. AmericanAncestors.org $ – (New) The new name for the NEHGS website and their 3,000 databases.  (73>89>87)
  50. GenealogyLinks.net – 50,000 links to free sites, arranged by state and county. (53>50>43)

Dropping out of the top 50:

  • GenWed.com– Online marriage records, where to order, some indexes, and more. (42>43>42)
  • ObitLinksPage.com– State-by-state directory of obituaries and obituary resources. (47>not ranked)
  • Genuki.org.uk– Large collection of genealogical information pages for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. (50>34>32)
  • GenoPro.com– Genealogy software that produces genograms (40>37>53)
  • US-Census.org– Census abstracts (U.S. GenWeb Census Project) (49>45>37)
  • Genealogy.org– (New) A listing of 400+ registered websites, ranked weekly by hits. (45>69>56)
  • FamilyTiez.com– (New) A site where families can establish their own pages to share news, photos, events and genealogy with each other. (30>not ranked)

Send Me your  top 10 Polish Genealogy Websites. This will be a non-scientific survey and I will only publish my findings if I can get 36 emails and I will add in my own top 10 Polish Genealogy sites too. Do not include from the above “generic” genealogy sites. I will allow only Polish (or German, Russian, Austrian, Slavic, Czech, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Jewish, or Hungarian genealogy websites that have ties to Poland).

Email your top 10 to: Stanczyk Email

September 2, 2011

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

Record #3     Date: 1/1/1818

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

Mother: Sorli z Lewkow, age 24

Baby: boy Herczyk

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

—-

Record #12     Date: 2/1/1818

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

Mother: Estera z Nutow, age 36

Baby: girl Ruskla

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

—-

Record #15     Date: 2/14/1818

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

Mother: Setla z Slorkow, age 36

Baby: girl Esterka

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

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

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

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

August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene & Genealogy … Protect Your Valuables

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to wish the East Coast Genealogists good Luck with Hurricane Irene. Be Safe Out There on the Internet –Surfing the Net You May Encounter RipTides!

  • Put your Documents in Sealed Bags (Waterproof)
  • Backup your  Family Tree (GEDCOM) to a thumb drive or the Internet (Cloud/Website)
  • Keep Yourselves Safe – Your Are the Living Family Tree – Remember How Rare It Is That Any of Us Are Here At All

Stanczyk’s prayers go out to all of you.

 

August 25, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Tech Notes & Ideas

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

You may have noticed that Stanczyk’s Blog Roll is heavily Polish Genealogy Blogs. That is because we should try to keep the pulse on news and ideas that other Polish Genealogists know or are struggling with. Polish Genealogy Blogs can be a valuable Reference Source for beginning Slavic genealogists as they struggle to come up the learning curve of dealing with Central/European branches in their family tree.

How can you Find  Blogs of Interest to Your Research?

  • Use search engines like Google or Bing – try searching on ‘Polish, Genealogy, Blog’
  • Word Press has a tool called Tag Surfer – try using the tags: ‘Polish, Genealogy’ or use ancestral village
  • Use Genealogy Blog Finder 
  • Use Yahoo Groups and visit ‘Polish Geniuses‘ [recently(August 2011) celebrated 10 year anniversary]
  • Save the links to these Blogs in your Favorites or Bookmarks or at  Delicio.us
August 14, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army (aka Blue Army / Polish Army in France) [part 2]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Gentle readers, today’s article is about the many genealogical or personal ties to the history of Haller’s Army. The focus is on what the genealogist may want to pursue to flesh out his/her family tree.

Background

The era was World War I  (1914-1918) and the world was mad with war and carnage and pestilence. There were 16.5 million deaths and 21 million wounded making it the 6th deadliest conflict (or possibly 2nd/3rd worse if you include the Flu Pandemic deaths). [See: this cheery web page on the estimate of Wars, Pandemics, Disasters,  and Genocides that caused the greatest number of deaths.] Out of this madness, was an army of diaspora Poles formed, of which over 25,0001

came from the US via a US sanctioned formation of a foreign force, which had to be constituted in Canada due to USA fears and its isolationist policies that limited President Wilson.

These brave 25,000 men were added to another contingent of 35,000 Polish men formed largely from prisoners of war from the German and Austria-Hungarian armies inside France,  who were now willing to fight against Central Powers as a part of the Allied/Central Powers.  They fought bravely in World War I,  before the USA entered the war and for nearly four more years (1918-1922) after World War I officially ended in the Polish-Bolshevik War (aka Polish-Soviet War).

Poster — from wiki

More Background can be found here (Haller’s Army website) or at the wiki page (Blue Army).

Registration Centers

The recruitment centers were in the Polish Falcons centers. The Polish Falcons were called the Związek Sokołów Polskich w Ameryce (ZSP)  and this is what you will find on Haller’s Army enlistment forms. The Polish Falcons still exist and are headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. There are reportedly 115 Polish Falcon Nests across 15 states. Each Nest has its own history that it maintains.

PGSA Database

The Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA.org) maintains a database of the Haller’s Army registrations that can be searched for your ancestor(s). It is free to search and there is a modest charge to get a copy of the actual documents. The search page is here: (http://www.pgsa.org/haller.php) . These documents are archived by the Polish Museum of America in Chicago. This data is also on LDS Microfilm by region see this page for details .

There are three types of forms. These forms are in Polish. You need not worry about that as the PGSA offers example forms in English (FormA | FormC) in PDF format.  On the forms you find the following info:

  • Form A is an intention to volunteer and contains the name, address, age, and marital status.
  • Form B is a medical examination report for the volunteer.
  • Form C is the final commitment paper. It includes date and place of birth and usually the name and address of a parent or other close relative.  The Form’s family notes include close family in USA and in Poland.

Returning Soldiers

The Allies issued medals to their victorious soldiers so you may have in your family heirlooms one of these. This website has an index of the various medals (with images). Many of the websites whose links are in this article also have pictures of men in uniforms — which included their distinctive hats.

We tend to think the soldiers were all Polish men and that these men were Catholics, but our Polish-Jewish brethren also served in Haller’s Army. This page from Polish Roots is about the Jewish soldiers who served and provides a table of many of the men known to be Jewish.

The ship manifests in Ellis Island record the return Haller’s Army soldiers, who returned en masse. You can see the soldiers who are listed on pages together with a note on the bottom, “Reservists”. That notation should eliminate any confusion with other possible passengers/crew members. The soldiers returning from the European theater are known to have arrived via Ellis Island on the following ships:

  • SS Antigone (from Danzig – April 18, 1920)
  • SS Princess Matoika (from Danzig – May 23, 1920)
  • SS Pocahontas (from Danzig – June 16, 1920)
  • SAT  Mercury (US Army Transport), from Danzig, June 16, 1920 / arrived in New York, June 28 1920
  • SS President Grant (from Danzig) – February 16, 1921
  • SS Latvia  – August 17, 1922

 Links to the Ship Manifests

http://bit.ly/rlVaaQ  SS Princess Matoika from Danzig in 1920 [more dates than shown above] 4253 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/p3ViM2 SS Pocahontas from Danzig  in 1920 [please note the ship name is P-O-C-A-H-O-N-T-A-S. It was misspelled on the PGSA.org website].   4199 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/nwYwsx SAT Mercury from Danzig June 1920.  2074 Returning Troops

http://bit.ly/n6YRot SS Antigone from Danzig April 1920. 1628 Returning Troops

http://goo.gl/F48dg5 SS President Grant from Danzig February1921. ~1900 Returning Troops3

http://bit.ly/pGwQa5 SS Latvia from Danzig  August 1922. 1517 Returning Troops

Returning passage – Payment of passage was split between the Polish and United States Governments. [see column 16] on ship manifest. It appears some soldiers returned with wives and children too [so those numbers above are not all soldiers].

One more connection. Similar to  the VFW for US veterans, there is a Polish-American organization in NYC called POLISH ARMY VETERANS ASSOCIATION2

They (PAVA  or SWAP) have genealogical data from their membership forms. According to Dr Valasek, the membership application for the association has the usual, date, place of birth, current address, and occupation; It also had something most descendants of Hallerczycy desperately want to know:  the unit in which the man fought, and his rank upon leaving the army. There is also the identification of which post the soldier joined.  Each post has its own history, as well as photos, banquet books, anniversary booklets, etc. All valuable adjuncts to your research once you identify the correct post, (or, as it’s known in Polish, placówka). There is also a question on the form, Do jakich organizacji należy? , to what organizations does he belong. More avenues for research.

Fallen Soldiers

In any war, there are casualties. Haller’s Army is no different. Stanczyk likes this Polish Genealogical Society (http://genealodzy.pl/name-Straty.phtml) named aptly, The Polish Genealogical Society. They have many databases, but they have search front-ends for two related to Haller’s Army. The one from the link above is for:  List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920.

With this link I was finally able to determine that one of my ancestors who was in America up through the 1910 census, but was missing from the 1920/1930 censuses, whom I had previously thought had returned to Poland — had really died while serving in Haller’s Army. I found his Haller’s Army Forms at PGSA and then from this Polish website I found a scanned image of a Polish book listing his name, date/place of death.

Soldier Benefits

Some soldiers who came to America who served in Haller’s Army, earned benefits from the new Polish nation. I have seen land grants awarded (not to my ancestors). They often had to be contacted through the Polish Consulates in America. This leads to my final recommendation — using Historical Polish Language Newspapers from that era to find out about your soldier. The newspaper may write about the returning units in a story and possibly a picture. I have also seen that the Polish Consulate took out listings in the newspaper and referred to Haller’s Army veterans they were seeking to inform them of their veteran benefits. See my Dziennik Polski (Detroit) page at the top menu-tabs for an example what these Polish Consulate ads might look like.

Let me finish today’s article by mentioning Dr. Paul S. Valasek’s book on the subject matter: Haller’s Polish Army in France http://www.amazon.com/Hallers-Polish-Army-France-Valasek/dp/0977975703 and also another book entitled: Remembrance http://www.hallersarmy.com/store/Remembrance.php. written by Charles Casimer Krawczyk.

Tomorrow … Haller’s Army in My Family Tree

–Stanczyk

Notes:

1=Polish Falcons History page . Paul Valasek says the number is above 24,000. The wikipedia says the number is 23,000.

2=PAVA,   address: 119 East 15th Street,  New York,  NY 10003   –   e-mail:  <info@pava-swap.org>,  telephone:  212-358-0306

3= The addition of the President Grant came about from a Newspaper Article mentioned by Daniel Wolinski. A picture of the article has been appended after these notes.

FortDixNJ_HallersArmy_Returnees_1921

August 10, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Finding a 3rd Cousin …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Petronella Elijasz Zwolska

 

Subsequent to writing my posts upon Social Network Analysis (SNA) in which my research predicted three siblings of my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz (son of Martin Elijasz & Anna Zasucha). The three new siblings (proposed and which will now be researched) are: Ludwik Elijasz (most likely), Petronella Elijasz Zwolski, and Tekla Elijasz Wojtys.

In one of those cognitive resonance situations, a 3rd cousin, a genealogist from Ancestry.com contacted and sent me some pictures of my 2great-grand aunt Petronella Elijasz.

I would dearly like to thank, Marilynne for her kindness in sending me her ancestor’s picture.  Since our common ancestor is Martin (aka Marcin) Elijasz, that makes her my third cousin. I do not believe that Marilynne actually read my blog and found me via the SNA postings. So as I maintain this is just one of those cognitive resonance happenings. But this is why not just pursing the direct lineal descent line, but some  parallel branches is also important. Genealogy is a fascinating way to find out, “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

–Stanczyk

August 7, 2011

#Polish, #Genealogy – The Pillars of the Eliasz Social Network of Pacanow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

tanczyk,

was very sleepy/tired when the last posting was written! As I looked at this Social Network Analysis  (SNA) that I performed and the resulting diagram from the data I realized two more things.

There were five old men, the pillars of this Social Network who were the progenitors of this data, if not literally, then at least figuratively. These august gentlemen, were Marcin Elijasz (about 1819),  Pawel  (abt. 1825) & Antoni (abt. 1830) [undoubtedly brothers] Odomski, Antoni Wojtys (abt. 1823) and Franciszek Zwolski (abt. 1823). In fact, Franciszek Zwolski & Antoni Wojtys were the witnesses at my 2great-grandfather Marcin Elijasz ‘s death in 1879. If you have one of those five men in your family tree, then welcome, for  we are surely relatives. Indeed it is true for just about everyone in the diagram.

Second, this SNA diagram – that messy scribble from my last posting, with the nodes and the connecting lines is properly viewed in two ways. First off, the SNA diagram is a road-map for reading these church records (in Pacanow and to some degree the adjoining parishes) and providing a much richer/complete context for understanding the families: Elijasz (Heliasz), Zasucha, Wojtys, Zwolski, Odomski, Siwiec, Paluch, Lewinski, Piotrowski and Major and Wlecialowski. However the SNA diagram is a bit unwieldy in being able to quickly read/find any single individual. So the Second view is that it is a database. Now Stanczyk is database architect and data analyst by trade. So I will reorganize this data from its visual representation into a more “tabular” data friendly representation that is searchable/sortable. I will also redraw the diagram and organize its visual presentation because that visual road-map is invaluable. It is easy to count the hops between nodes (people) and get a sense of connectedness or remoteness between two individuals in quick fashion.

I urge people to incur the pain of producing such a diagram and then re-viewing your church records and/or family group sheets again.  It also shows the clear import of transcribing witness names and AGEs, as well as the mother and father’s ages and the God Parents names. It is too bad that the GEDCOM, file format of our family trees,  mostly buries this info in NOTES/COMMENTS because it is hard to query/report/analyze these pieces of data that link/glue nuclear families together.

My family tree never indicated to me that it was important to take note of the ODOMSKICH. Nor really the Zwolski or Wojtys and certainly not the Zasucha. The Lewinski and Piotrowski were not even on the radar before. The SNA diagram really shows the rich/complex tapestry of the social network in Pacanow for my ancestors.

August 7, 2011

#Polish, #Genealogy – Social Network Analysis Project Complete

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Social Network Analysis Diagram

Ok, Stanczyk does not think you can make heads or tails out of the SNA diagram (even though at full size / resolution it should be readable).

I started this experiment to see if I could convince myself if some people living contemporaneously with my great-grandfather were siblings or not. I did NOT have the marriage or birth records for four ELIJASZOW (Franciszek, Ludwik, Petronella, and Tekla). SO I lacked the conclusive proof.  In fact, before I started this study, I did not even have Tekla.

I have used a previous analysis of Affiliated Families and surveying all records of these “Afffiliated” families. What I did was to check these families on birth records or death records where they record the woman’s maiden name to see if I could find female relatives whose married names I did not know. That worked moderately well with my limited set of data/microfilm to look at. So it occurred to this jester that I could apply a technique called Social Network Analysis to the field of genealogy — by using Church Records where they list witnesses and God Parents. This technique is similar to what police use when examining mobsters and their network. You may have seen it on TV police shows or movies that try to break up a crime ring. The idea is that the same names (i.e. people) will show up repeatedly in the list of witnesses (where I have ages) and in the list of God Parents (where I do not have ages). My theory is that I can PREDICT if any of these four ELIASZ ancestors are related to my lineal descent line by examining all of the affiliated families and plotting all people involved in a diagram with Node (the circle) and lines connecting the nodes (denoting a familial relationship). By seeing many connections between groups I could determine/PREDICT  nuclear families.

I think it works. I will now need to get access to Polish Archives or Parish books to confirm my work. But here is what I found. My conclusion is this:

Franciszek does not appear to be a sibling of my grandfather (or his other presently known siblings). Why, he does not share the same connections to critical people that Ludwik, Petronella, or the newly found Tekla do.

I do believe this technique predicts that Ludwik, Petronella and Tekla are my great-grandfather’s siblings. Their birth years do fit the gaps in between the other existing siblings without conflict — another possible confirmation. To be honest even Franciszek fits the gaps too (even with adding Ludiwk, Tekla, and Petronella). So he is still possibly a sibling but the technique says ‘NOT‘ because he does not hang with the same network of people.

Now here are some observations. I chose ZASUCHA and ODOMSKI as affiliated families for this survey (and not in the prior survey). I did not choose them previously because they occur so little in my family tree — usually just a female who marries a male ELIASZ and her just her parents (or in the case of ZASUCHA, just the woman who married my great-great-grandfather). The WOJTYS family name was added too. Now I know this name was affiliated, but only to a remote branch of ELIASZ/HELIASZ that I have not been to connect to the lineal descent line. So again they have NOT been used in any other analysis but as I went along, I added this name to the study (particularly after I found TEKLA ELIASZ WOJTYS).

What I found was that ODOMSKI and WOJTYS are the ‘glue’ in the ELIASZ social network. Also true for ZASUCHA and a bit less to ZWOLSKI and  PALUCH or MAJOR still less and just a tiny bit to Lewinski and Piotrowski (these two families will need a further follow-up analysis by themselves). What I found to a large degree was that a handful of individuals in these “glue” families showed up over and over in the network. Now I call these families and indeed these handful of people the glue, because they glued the disjoint groups together into one cohesive group.

If you remember the Kevin Bacon movie, ‘6 Degrees of Separation” then you get the premise that  we are all connected. What these handful of ‘glue people’ did was to show that my hypothetical siblings were two degrees apart (or their children).

So I will proceed on my assumptions. But beyond giving me a set of assumptions that have become more than just little  hunches, I have other new “findings”.  I believe the ELIASZ-HELIASZ family connection is so strong that I think I could convince my distant cousins to give up their notion, ‘They (the HELIASZ) are not related to us’. Now I have written about Elzbieta HELIASZ Kapusta who has kindly aided my genealogy so graciously of her own accord. She too did not think we were related. But I thought otherwise, even though I could not prove it, I still cannot “prove” in any sense that a professional genealogist would accept — it juts goes against the common “Standard of Proof”. However, the study has shown that even the HELIASZ are in the Social Network and strongly in it. So much so, that this Michal HELIASZ I think is a brother to my great-great-grandfather. I truly believe that at most he is a first cousin to great-great-grandfather, Martin Elijasz. If that is true then Elzbieta HELIASZ Kapusta and I are 5th cousins (or 6th cousins if Michal HELIASZ is 1st cousin to Martin Elijasz).

The HELIASZ family (of Elzbieta’s line) have connections to the same Wojtys and Zwolski. Both Elijasz and Heliasz have SIWIEC too. Indeed, the Wojtys, Zwolski and Siwiec have intermarried into both Elijasz and Heliasz. I will need Michal Heliasz’s marriage record to Anna ?uknown-maiden-name and Martin Elijasz’s marriage record to Anna Zasucha to see if they share the same parents or if their parents share the same parents.

I also believe this new TEKLA is a sibling of my great-grandfather and not the TEKLA, daughter of GASPAR ELIASZ. Earlier in the study I was considering both possibilities equal. But the social network says differently. Indeed TEKLA and PETRONELLA are clearly sisters and it looks by their birth years that they were probably consecutive born siblings of their father, my 2g-grandfather, Martin Elijasz.

I would recommend this technique to people where they are missing information/records. I do not propose this to be an end around of the”Genealogical Standard of Proof”. It is not that. It is a method to predict further research. This is helpful if you need to write to a Polish Archive (or a Polsih Parish) because it allows you to ask the correct question. For example in my case, I should write to Poland and ask the authoritative source(s): …

Does TEKLA ELIASZ have a birth record from about 1853 in Pacanow or a marriage record to Franciszek Wojtys from the 1870’s in Pacanow. I am looking for a TEKLA Elijasz wife of Franciszek Wojtys(born about 1843) and whose parents are Marcin Elijasz and Anna Zasucha.  Likewise, I would also ask similarly for Ludwik Eliasz (born about 1844) and for Petronella Eliasz (born about 1856). I could just ask the local Polish Archivist for all children born to the marriage of Marcin Elijasz and Anna Zasucha of Pacanow [whose children should all be born in the range  1847-1866], (their birth records and their marriage records). Then I would expect to see in the results: Ludwik, Tekla, and Petronella right along with my: Jozef,  Martin, Katarzyna and Jan Elijasz.

If I get the answers I expect (that Ludwik, Tekla and Petronella are siblings of my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz), then I also get confirmation that my new theory and indeed the application of Social Network Analysis is useful in predicting nuclear family members.

This is a tedious study technique and requires some bookkeeping and compact notation to carry out effectively. I finally stopped my data collection with 1-2 years of data still left because I had too much data and too little space. Fortunately, the trends were obvious. I would also recommend using one village (or if you use other adjoining parishes) that you just indicate with a non-circle symbol ONLY for those records that are not a part of the “default” parish — you can just assume the rest are from the default parish and not clutter your diagram further than is necessary.

August 4, 2011

#Polish, #Genealogy – Social Network Analysis work is progressing…

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

My Social Network Analysis is progressing, albeit slowly. Stanczyk is drawing his diagram and the bookkeeping is terrible. How do you distinguish one dot (person) from another? It is forcing me to make each dot much bigger so I can record a distinguishing bit of info. I have more lines than I thought because …

You have a father, a mother, a baby, 2 wtinesses, 2 God Parents (sometimes more) [in birth records], 2 sets of parents [in marriage records].

So here are my family names that I am working with: Elijasz, Zasucha, Paluch, Odomski, Wlecial, Miklaszewski, Zwolski, Major, Wojtys, Siwiec, Piotrowski, Lewinski, and my discarded names ( Grudzien/Grudnia, Poniewirski, Janicki, Pytka, and Kordos). The surprises  are that I needed to add Piotrowski and Lewinski and that I had to discard Janicki. We had no family knowledge or record of Piotrowski or Lewinski and I did have knowledge of Janicki (various spellings). Now dropping a name means less work. But adding a name means going back to the beginning and searching for them too. A lot more work.

Early on I have already found a new female (Tekla Elijasz) relative under her married name (Wojtys). So there is some fruit. But I can see some foreshadowing from the research already. First off my research is already predicting two new siblings(Ludwik and Petronella) for my great-grandfather Jozef Elijasz (as I suspected), one person inconclusive,(Franciszek) and the new TEKLA is an issue. If she is truly a new relative then she is most probably a sibling of my great-grandfather. However, there is another TEKLA in that era (although  the birth years are 3-5 years apart) and the looseness of ages in the Polish church records is presenting a challenge. If TEKLA is the exisiting TEKLA, then the research is telling me(predicting) that my great-great-grandfather (Martin Elijasz) has another  brother Gaspar/Kasper. The age of the “new” TEKLA fits in the gaps of my great-grandfather’s siblings so I cannot eliminate her on that basis. In fact the ages of all the “new” predictions seem to fill in the gaps of my great-grandfather’s siblings.

One of my candidate relatives also has church records in the adjoining Biechow parish, so I will need to look at her family name (and the new Tekla) in those parish records too, so more of my research parameters are being tweaked. I also had a finding of one social network dot having a Kalucki God Mother. Now this Kalucki is exceeding rare in the records I have access to. My Kalucki fixation is because my grand-aunt Genowefa Leszczynski married a Kalucki (source from an obituary of my grand-uncle Michael Leszczynski). Also, the lady in Poland who sent me my grandparent’s marriage records (Elzbieta Heliasz Kapusta) has her great-grandfather showing up in my research and he is connected to some of the same families she mentioned (Siwiec,  Zwolski) and I know Wojtys from American relatives of Elzbieta. So once again another reconfirmation that Heliasz are really Elijasz (and both are really ELIASZ, i.e. that all three are the same family name) .

August 2, 2011

The Social Network Experiment

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The last time I did a survey of “genetic marker” families in search of female Eliasz and was modestly successful. That article on affinity had some data and one approach. This time I want to look at 1878-1884 in Pacanow using another approach I have watched Police use on Mobsters or the military use on terrorists — I call this technique, the “Social Network” (SN).  In fact, there is some theory behind this. What I am proposing is called formally, “Social Network Analysis”. (SNA)

My goal was to “prove” if some ELIJASZOW in Pacanow were siblings of my great-grandfather or not. My problem is that I have incomplete information so I cannot prove anything conclusively. But I have  a few theories that I want to test. Whatever I find, I will use to test against archive data in Poland and see if my theory pans out or not. Can this technique predict familial relationships or not?

Here are the S.N. Experiment Parameters:

  1. Birth Data in Pacanow parish
  2. Years: 1878-1884 [that is all I have to work with]. That is seven years.
  3. Even with ONLY seven years, I cannot read every record. There on average 190 births per year and all records are in Russian (Cyrillic character set), old style (pre-1918 reform) characters in abundance, and there are handwriting/paper/image/mistakes issues in the priest’s  writings to deal with.
  4. Index Issues. My favorite is the inaccurate index (missing data or wrong name or wrong record #).
  5. Select some family names that have an affinity with ELIJASZ and chase just those records.
  6. Prove a connection to the children of Marcin Elijasz & his wife Anna Zasucha ( at present I KNOW of Jozef, Martin, Katarzyna and Jan).
  7. My candidates are Ludwik and Franciszek and Petronella  Elijasz. Are they siblings of the KNOWN children?

My focus is on ELIJASZ and ZASUCHA, but I decided to include other family names that connect through wives or husbands that marry into ELIJASZ family of this era. As my study proceeded, I added/subtracted some families as I collected data (or didn’t as the case may have been). Give me a week to collect data and build a chart showing the social network connections (and re-arrange the chart a time or two).

My data points will be considerably less, but I envision an SNA diagram like this:

Social Network Analysis Diagram

July 26, 2011

#Jewish #Genealogy – A Continuing Homage to Moja żona

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am continuing my efforts to retrieve/extract the Jewish records from the Catholic parish of Biechow during the years when the Catholic Church was ordered to act the civil registration authority.  My last posting was for the years 1810-1815 inclusive.

These are the Jewish Births from 1816 in Biechow parish. For the record, there is not any record of 1817 on the microfilm. Ergo, this posting brings us upto: 1810-1817 inclusive. The prior post is here .

Year: 1816      Priest: Jozef Parzelski         Gmina: Biechow     Powiat: Stopnica     Departement: Krakow      93 Total Births

Record #11     Date: 1/31/1816

Father: Dawid Matusowicz, Pakiarz, Age 22, Biechow   House #23

Mother: Estera z Isserow, age 20

Baby: Jasek

Witnesses:  Jaska Walsowicz, pakiarz, age 38 & Rzelika Chaymowicz, kaczmarz,  <no age>

—-

Record #24     Date: 3/17/1816

Father: Layzar Kabmanowicz, Pakiarz, Age 38, Piestrzec   House #33

Mother: Rywka z Chaykow, age 40

Baby: Hima (40)

Witnesses:  Judka Faycer, arendarz, age 38 & Jaska Jaskowicz , arendarz, <no age>

—-

Record #38     Date: 5/23/1816

Father: Abram Menkier, Pakiarz, Age 40, Woycza   House #2

Mother: Channa z Fercykow, age 24

Baby: Icek

Witnesses:  Rzelika Chaymowicz, Kaczmarz, age 50 & Giecta Moska, pakiarz,  <no age>

That is it for 1816 only 3 out of 93 total  = 3.22% of the births in the “parish”.

JRI you are welcome to use this data and/or incorporate this into your databases.

Stanczyk

July 21, 2011

#Russian – #Poland #Genealogy : Swiniary Birth Index 1826

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Julianna Kordos - Birth (ur.) 04-May-1833

Stanczyk has a great-grandfather by the name Tomasz Leszczynski. Old Tomasz, whose hands were big as hams, was a shoemaker and an innkeeper. Old Tomasz lived to be 104 years old. All cousins, no matter how distant agree their parents/grandparents, said Tomasz lived to be 104. That is a lot. More than Sto Lat. He lived a lot of life (from about 1836 – 1940) and saw a lot of tumultuous events. He was also married twice.

I am related to Tomasz’s through his second wife,  Aniela Major (My-Yore or My-Yur, mispelled in America as Meyer). I have this Catholic church wedding record from the Alegata. So I know their wedding date and her parents (why are no parents listed for old Tomasz?). I also have the church records of Julianna Kordos (his first wife)’s death (zmarl) from 27-November-1881 in Pacanow. So I was searching the parishes around Biechow and Pacanow when I stumbled upon a dusty tome from Swiniary.  Lo and Behold, good readers,  I did find Julianna Kordosiowna’s birth record in Swiniary. I know it is hers, because her parents were listed in her death record and here they are as the proud parents of baby Julianna, who was born (ur.) 4-May-1833 in Oblekon, Swiniary parish, Swietokrzyskie, Poland (old woj. Kielce). As it turns out, Julianna was the first born child of this marriage (Wojciech Kordos & Wiktorya Chalastra). So it should come as no surprise to any genealogist,  that I found her parent’s marriage record the year before in 1832 in Swiniary parish.

Well I wanted to publish some Swiniary indexes to celebrate my good fortune and perhaps to locate others related to this line of Kordos and my Leszczynski line. So here is the Swiniary Parish Birth Index from 1826 (roku):

# First Name Last Name
1 Kasper Stanek
2 Kasper ?szyk
3 Agnieszka ?owna
4 Jozef P ?? l ? k
5 Maciej Szczepanek
6 Jozef ?
7 Sebastjan i Agnieszka Rosi?nscy
8 Maciej Kolodziej
9 Maciej Klosek
10 Dorota Gawlowna
11 M/ G?
12 Dorota Liebionka
13 Agata Sokolowszonka
14 Agata Gmyrowna
15 Maciej Skolbania
16 Jozef Dyrdul
17 Jozefa Turinowa
18 Ma?? Malik
19 Agnieszka Pokasianka
20 Katarzyna Wieczorkowna
21 Franciszka Banionka
22 Maryanna Orlowska
23 Maryanna Gadiewska
24 Franciszka Doroska
25 Kazimierz Biskup
26 Zofia Dudkowna
27 Jozef Janoski
28 Jozef Pisarczyk
29 Jozef Stanek
30 Jozef Jankowski
31 Jozef Plecka
32 Franciszka Kawionka
33 Jozefa Banasowna
34 Wojciech Mazur
35 Agnieszka Szufranowna
36 Wojciech Stanek
37 Maryanna Kloskowna
38 Wojciech Szurpala
39 Katarzyna Dynakowna
40 Katarzyna Kawina
41 Wojciech Kania
42 Wojciech Uchwal
43 Jozefa Biskupowna
44 Antonina Szekogorska
45 Franciszka Jos??owna
46 Katarzyna Sosionowna
47 Stanislaw Juda
48 Stanislaw Zaniej
49 Stanislaw Uzydlo
50 Zofia ?
51 Stanislaw Dyrdul
52 Stanislaw Kuron
53 Stanislaw Podzszen
54 Helena Ksiabiodowna (sp?)
55 Helena Nowakowna
56 Antoni Przybycien
57 Malgorzata Mislanka
58 Malgorzata Rybakowna
59 Antoni Kaszoski
60 Antoni Starosciak
61 Antoni Janusziewicz
62 Jan Durek
63 Malgorzata Dabielka
64 Malgorzata Skowron
65 Antoni Bzepecki (sp?)
66 Magdalena Kosior?
67 Anna Kossterzanka
68 Antoni Zioladkiewicz
69 Maryanna Woytalowna
70 Malgorzata Marzalowna
71 Magdalena Ztoadziowna
72 Piotr Habinas
73 Adam Czekiej
74 Anna Klionczakowna
75 Maryanna Skowronowna
76 Maryanna Dulakowna
77 Anna Sowianka
78 Franciszka Kloskowna
79 Katarzyna Izdneralowna
80 Wawrzeniec Durek
81 Helena Gmyrowna
82 Bartlomai Juszczyk
83 Bartlomai i Katarzyna Babina
84 Bartlomai Sobieczkada
85 Stanislaw Stanek
86 Roza Sikorzanka
87 Wiktorya Dydluka
88 Szczepan Wizbicki
89 Michal Mieswiodonski
90 Stanislaw Sakowna (sp?)
91 Jadwiga Skowronska
92 Jadwiga Dudayczykowna
93 Michal Uchwal
94 Jadwiga Gawlowna
95 Jadwiga Szu?
96 Jadwiga Zey?
97 Jadwiga Tomarska
98 ? Gad?
99 Marcin ?
100 Mikolaj Widoski (sp?)
101 Barbara Polakowna
102 Jedrzej Dabrowski
103 Mikolaj i Jedrzej Dal?ow
104 Jedrzej Byla
105 Maryanna Zaskowna
106 Katarzyna Juszczykowna
107 Helena Nowakowna
108 Jedrzej Scliga
109 Ambrocy Skolbania
110 Mikolaj Orzimek
111 Lucija Witorzynowna
112 Sebastjan Siwiek
113 Szczepan Kasperak
114 Tomasz Jadel
115 Szczepan Soja
116 Szczepan Witdoczyk
117 Szczepan Kasperak
118 Szczepan Gebala
119 Agnieszka Golkdunca (sp?)
120 Sebastjan Juda
121 Agnieszka Czekasiowna
122 Sebastjan Wawrzeniec
123 Agnieszka Plakowna
124 Franciszka Durziowna
July 18, 2011

#Polish, #Jewish, #Genealogical Research – Church Census

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Perhaps you sneaked a peak at some new pages I recently created. My blog stats indicate that is so. So you may have witnessed the data for this story. But lets take a step back  for a moment.

In Poland, most Gminas or Powiats or large cities (ex. Warsaw) have a website, much like our cities or counties in the USA. These are the basic administrative units: Gminas make up Powiats which make up Voivodeships . Comparable to Townships(Boroughs) -> Counties -> States in the USA. So an understanding of these units of administration and their historical changes is fundamental to tracing your genealogy. Like us, they also have a history and their history is long, VERY LONNNNG in duration. In Poland, the Church is also an organizing presence and like here, they have parishes, deaconates, and dioceses. These too have very long histories. Understanding these units of administration, both civil and ecclesiastical can aid you in finding records to research. So this long preamble leads to my next useful website, which is quite specific to the locale of my ancestral villages  and what you need to do is to find the one that corresponds to your ancestral village and do likewise. Mine is:

http://pacanow.tbu.pl/pa_online/tradycja/index2.html

So grab your Google Translator and follow along, please. Pacanow Gmina is the organizing unit for most of my ancestral villages (and the neighboring gminas cover the remainder). The above link (on a  line by itself) is an older web page that I have kept for years and it is now becoming buried in the official government page that is useful to residents. This page is useful to historians and family history researchers. It covers the history and tradition of both the civil and the ecclesiastical (i.e. parish) histories. Why do I or you care about these fine histories that a local historical society has produced — well if you have been a genealogist for a while you know that Historical Societies are the genealogist’s best friends. They have collected and preserved much of value that will further aid in our family history research. And so it is here. Pacanow is both a parish/deaconate (thus the ecclesiatical) and the civil gmina so they have both histories. From their pages, I have culled Church Censuses for this area covering circa 1340 through 1787 (not continuous, but snaphots at various times) that their local historians researched from church records. So on my Parish Census page is my resulting spreadsheet from a couple of their mages. These are statistical summaries, not individual records. So to be clear I am not talking about a Spis Ludnosci which contains a family and its names for generations in a parish. May we all be so lucky to find such in our individual researches.

Years – 1340, 1618, 1664, 1699, 1747/48, 1782/82, 1787

These are early years. In Biechow, one the parishes these censuses mention, my actual church records that LDS have microfilmed only go back to 1674-1675, then nothing until some deaths from 1697-1743. I have looked at these microfilm and the records are sparse (and in Latin). That being said, these censuses now allow me to evaluate what I have “detailed” records for. From the 1747/48 census I can see how Biechow has many more females than males. That explains why I can see men have many second wives (no doubt after their 1st wives die in child-birth or from the rigors of life with many children) to often much younger wives who can bear the man still more children. I have to wonder at the sizes of the homes. Even with the astonishing infant/child mortality rates of this era, families are large. Deaths are overwhelmingly people under 18 with the usual percentage of deaths for mature adults only a small percentage of the overall total. Populations are growing since the births outnumber the deaths, slightly.

All of these years are before the partitions  of Poland, except for the last two censuses (which come after the first partition of 1772). Now this last census(1787) is interesting for another reason. There was a census of Jews by parish. Now we cannot expect that the Jewish peoples attended the churches and the year 1787 was prior to the 1810-1830 years when the Catholic Church was also required to be the civil registrar and the Jews needed to register their births and marriages with the Catholic Church priest who was also the civil registrar. Like New Orleans which organizes its administrations by parishes, these early/rural parishes acted also as civil units of administration and collected censuses. The overall percentage across all parishes, was that Jewish peoples were about 6.44% of the total population. In Biechow, I see the percentage was 2.6% and that fairly closely matches the rates of Jewish records I see in the overall births from the years 1810-1830  in the Biechow parish church register.

Now that gives us a window into the first partition of Poland. Even though Stanczyk writes of Biechow/Pacanow being in the Russian-Poland partition, this early era was pre-Napoleon and these parishes were in the Krakow voivoide and Stopnica powiat, which were controlled by Austria  (more properly the Austrian-Hungarian Empire). At any rate, in the interest of the Blessed Pope John Paul II and his ecumenical efforts and to honor my own Jewish wife, I have included the Jewish census numbers here with the Catholic numbers to aid the Jewish researchers in their quest. I have collected some records in the early 1810’s that were in Biechow, since I noticed the JewishGen and JRI have not indexed Biechow. Now you know why. There were only 2.4% of the total population and  those scant numbers may have gone unnoticed so far by researchers. I would encourage JRI/JewishGen to take a look at my Parish Census blog page (in reality on Rootsweb).

Well this posting is too heavy on numbers and too slight on story, so let me end it here for today.

–Stanczyk

P.S. I am glad I put their numbers into a spreadsheet. I did find they had numerical errors (one total) and also an editing error, as the total for Jews was 1,000 more than the 821 they showed, thus they dropped the leading ‘1’ by some editorial typo. A spreadsheet quickly caught those errors.

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