Posts tagged ‘Kielce’

May 7, 2018

Searchin’ for Sobieszczanski — #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Sobieszczanski ( собещаньский )

   114               Sobieszczanski        Jan

A ponderously long search for an ancestral parish is over!

Stanczyk was humbled. This jester could always find someone’s ancestral parish in the Russian-Poland partition (zabory). Yet in his own family tree the Sobieszczanski (aka Sobb) I was unable to locate.

Doubling the frustration is I had Stanisław (Stanley) Roman Sobieszczanski ‘s Naturalization papers. It plainly said Lesnik, Russian Poland.

Declaration of Intent

The problem? In the Skorowidz Miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej there were 19 Lesnik/Lesniki and in the Russian-Poland Gazetteer there were another handful (some possibly overlapping as they were different time periods. There were no LESNIK. I had to consider diacriticals (accents). The L could be Ł and the e could be ę and the s could be ś and the n could be ń. Thankfully, the i and k did not have diacritics. But that still left a lot of combinations. But one-by-one I searched. I looked up in the gazeteers and found parishes. Some were not online, but many were. Alas, those online did not have any Sobieszczanski. I searched  (Lubgens)  and there were Sobieszczanski, but I could not confirm they were mine. No Lesnik. I searched in too and again I found Sobieszczanski but again no good matches and not good enough locations to believe that is what Stanley meant.

That’s when I thought to look at a map that indicated parishes. I still thought Lesnik was a parish. So I went to: . I looked at the Lublin powiat (map 31); nothing promising, but I did see a village on the border of an adjacent powiat named Sobieszczany, so I thought perhaps they came from there. So I looked in the adjacent Janow (map39) and I found a couple of Lesnik (duzy/maly) villages in B3 quadrant.

I could not find Lesnik Duzy or Maly in any gazetteer???. Frustration. In looking at map 39, I saw Marynopol looked to be near a circle with a cross that indicated a parish. But I could not find Marynopol in the gazetteer. Very puzzling. I tried to  find nearly named towns and I did find one but it was in Kielce gubernia, not Lublin. So I looked and saw GOSCIERADOW. I quick checked and saw they had GOSCIERADOW in Kielce-AP Sandomierz. Only 1890-1901 but at least I could see if there were any Sobieszczanski and get my bearings as too what Sobieszczanski looked like in Russian/Cyrillic and in cursive handwriting. My first try I found Jan Sobieszcanski in 1891 (see top pic).  His record indicated he lived in LISNIK. Well what do you know Jan’s parents were Michal Sobieszczanski & Stanislawa Kowalska and these were the names I had from Stanley’s first marriage record in USA (Depew, NY). So I was pretty sure (99%) that I had my parish. But they did not go back before 1890 and Stanley clearly enumerated many times his birth year was 1886. However, his younger brother Tadeusz had come to the USA as well and I had his info, so I looked up the birth year and it was 1896! Ok, they had that year in the range 1890-1901, so I should find a Tadeusz in 1896 (+/- 1 year).  Ok, his birthday was in October (not December), but the year and the parent names were exact matches, the village a very close match. I was now 100% certain I had my parish and my family. Success!


LISNIK DUZY was in the gazetteer and GOSCIERADOW was the parish.

March 24, 2018

Polish Genealogy Blog — #RussianPoland #partition #KielceGubernia

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Stopnica and surrounding areas: Pacanow, Biechow, Olesnica, Zborowek, ...

Click for Full Size image

The parishes on this map (large) are the predominant parishes that Stanczyk writes about. So If you ancestral villages are here or more generally in Kielce (Kieleckie) Gubernia /  Wojewodztwo  (now SwietoKrzyskie) then you can learn some useful information to help you in your genealogy research. Feel free to email questions too!

Parishes (partial list) / Parafia (Russian-Poland partition):

Beszowa, Biechow, Olesnica, Ostrowce, Pacanow, Polaniec, Ruda, Solec, Stopnica, Swiniary, Szczebrzusz, Zborowek

Below the Visutla River / Wisla  Rzeka (Austrian-Poland partition):

Slupiec, Suchy Grunt, Szczucin, Wadowice Dolny, Wolka


January 4, 2016

Kielce Holdings Possible in GenBaza … — #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kielcach Archive Holdings

              partial pdf table of Kielce church/synagouge books

Stanczyk, was looking at the GenBaza news of what was being indexed and loaded in order to see what was coming online (… eventually). This jester noticed a PDF document of the inventory of books at Diocessan Archives (AD), State Archive (AP) and in some of the parishes too.

Now let me hasten to add that this is NOT an inventory of online records/images. It is only a list of what may yet come and of course some of these are already online, but many more are just potential data available to be indexed and loaded.

The actual PDF document is here . A final note the Fond# is similar to what the Library of Congress calls a Record Group. It is the identifier for requesting the resource inside the archive. Only State Archives have a Fond#, not the church archive nor the church parish.


 Fond #  Place Name Date Range Books Count Count of Images     NOTES
Bebelno 1787-1864  13 1,174  AD
Bejsce 1586-1862  37 3,966  AD
Biechów 1674-1855  50 3,598  AD
355 Pacanów 1875-1908 64 3,703  AP
373 Pacanów moj 1875-1912  55 1,957  AP (jewish)
399 Pałecznica 1861-1911  77 3,235  AP
December 7, 2014

1772 Map of Poland’s Wojewodztwo (Provinces) — #Map #Genealogy #Poland

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Today, Stanczyk was surfing the Internet when I came upon a map from 1772. This map was just as the first partition of Poland had occurred. This segment of the map was part of a PDF document from:

Entitled: “Map of Poland: Outlining Its Provinces and Voivodeships, 1772“. The document if 40.5MB and is 59 pages (about half of whom are blank pages). In 1772 the map segment shown above was in Sandomierskie wojewodztwo/voivodeship. The map is a bit blurry/grainy, so I had to annotate the section to show Pacanow and Szczucin and the river Vistula/Wisla between them. This segment is from the upper left of  page 43 of the PDF.

This map encompasses a large part of the area that blogs emphasizes from my genealogical research in the Russian-Poland partition (zabor). The area north of the Vistula will become part of the Russian Gubernia Kielce. The area below the Vistula becomes part of the Austrian-Partition, known as Galicia.

Knowing the geography of your ancestral villages (in my case Pacanow) can aid you in your genealogical research by identifying the civil administrative hierarchy that records the births, marriages, and deaths of the people. It can also help to locate parishes and in planning a proximity search for adjoining parishes that may also have records of your ancestors. So knowing the maps/geography can help the researcher locate data and the skilled use of Gazetteers can get you to your ancestral parish or parishes. Maps also show the changing borders over time and how the civil administrative hierarchies change over time.

A good genealogist will also be good at geography (as well as many other skills) in order to locate and read records of your family’s history.

July 18, 2014

Family Search – An Inventory of Kielce Gubernia/Wojewodztwo

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk,  frequently has written about the online inventories where the Kielce Gubernia/Wojewodztwo parish records, scanned images or indexes  exist. I have written about Geneteka, GenBaza, etc. But did you know that Family Search also has some?

Buried within:

You can find the list of parishes at:  Family Search (Kielce) 

At present we find parishes have some online scans:



February 27, 2014

Guide (Poradnik) for Using Metryki.GenBaza.PL — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wrote about two months back and the fact they were posting online the state archives (civil) and church archives (diocese) and many people have asked me to write a guide (poradnik) on how to use  .

In this guide, I will be using a Macbook laptop with the Safari browser, but you should see just about the same thing with your PC or your browser. Obviously, if you are using a mobile device you user experience will be slightly different may not work if your smartphone is too small.


Step By Step

Step 1

Step One

            Go to the website: 

You should see the web site with just the GRODZISK archive shown …

01_Metryki.GenBaza_plYou will need to register for a free account in order to see of the available archives on . The link to create a free account will take you back to and you will need to fight your way through their poor user interface. Their interface (web app) did not indicate to me when it had created the account. But if you go back to and click on the Login, you should be able to login to genbaza (using your email and your newly created password). If you are on a mobile device or a small/minimal browser window and do not see Login , then you should see a graphic button with three horizontal lines in upper right corner click on this followed by clicking on Login .

Now that you are logged in to genbaza you should see the following archives …


Step Two — Select An Archive

            For this guide, we will be working with AD_Kielce and AP_Kielce and the parish named Biechow. From the above screen shot you can see that we will be using the 1st and the 3rd archives. So if you are following along, then click on AD_Kielce (the church archive -or- Archiwum Diocesan).

You should see …


Notice it gives you the feedback that you are working with the AD Kielce “Album” contents. Think of this as an iPhoto photo album. Down the left side you will see a list of all available parishes that they have scanned images for. This is NOT a complete list of all parishes in the old province (wojewodztwo or Russian Gubernia) of Kielce, but just the ones they have some subset of images from the Kielce church archive.

The blue words, Bebelno, Bejsce, Biechow … etc. are just parishes. You will need to know the parish of your ancestral village to select the appropriate parish, but that is another blog or two. Let me take one step back, I said parishes, but there are also Jewish congregations / records  too in these online images. These parishes are just sub-directories of the AD Kielce Album. If there had been an image file also, it would be listed on the right side under the Album (or sub-directory) as a set of JPG (graphic file) files that viewable in a browser.

Step 3
Step Three — Select A Parish (Congregation)

Let’s click on Biechow . You should see …


You will notice that I have scrolled down a bit from the top. At the top it lets you know that you are in the Biechow Album (sub-directory). There are no files here either. But down the left we see more blue text (that are clickable). Ignore the leading number before the underscore. The middle part is a year or a year range.  The last part, when it is present, is a set of letters.

The latest birth I can get from the AD Kielce (church archive) is 1855. [see 22_1835-1855_ur]. So please excuse me while I switch over to  AP_Kielce in order to work with Biechow births (ur) for 1886.

Decoding the ‘Letters’

These letters (or suffixes if you prefer) are fairly standard (with exceptions). If you see a suffix of,  “_ur”,  that is an indication that when you click on that sub-directory you will find online scanned images of Births (urodzony). So these suffixes are Polish abbreviations for Birth (ur), Marriage (sl), Death (zg) or Alegata (al). Each describes the type images you will see. What if there is no suffix? Then you will probably see  all of the event types: Birth, Marriage, Death and possibly Alegata too.

What is an Alegata (al)? These scanned images are requests to the church for a transcription from the church book or to lookup something like a birth or death possibly or most commonly to support a person’s need to re-marry by showing that s/he is widowed. These are transcriptions copied from the actual church register, by the current pastor of a past event (birth/marriage/death). These are usually accompanied by a fee, collected via stamps on the actual page. If these are present with the other event types, then they are at the end of the images.  Alegata are almost as valuable as the actual church entry. But the alegata can substitute when you do not have the actual church register (or image) available to you.

By the way the final set of letters that I want to mention are, “_moj”. If you see “_moj” as a suffix then that directory’s scanned, online images are of Jewish denomination records. The Moj. is an abbreviation for  mojżeszowe (Mosaic denomination as in Moses),

If you are following along, then you will need to click on the following to switch to 1886 Biechow parish in AP Kielce Archive:

At the top click on “Main page” at the top, then click on AP_Kielce (on left the next page), followed by  clicking on Biechow,  and finally clicking on 1886_023. After all of those clicks you should see …


Notice the website gives you a nice trail of breadcrumbs to find your way around all of these directories.  You should see between the top level and the “Album contents”, a line of clickable text:

GenBaza | AP Kielce | Biechow | 1886_023

These are your breadcrumbs that allow you to find your way back. Keep in mind that “Main page” at the top will always bring you back to the original set of Archives to pick from.

 Step 4
Step Four — Working With A List of Images

            On the right side you see Album Contents: 1886_023 with a list of scanned images named like :

_k_??????.jpg — where the ?????? are replaced by some consecutive numbers. These files contain one scanned image each. Typically the set of images is a parish register, including the front and back covers, such as they may be. So in practice I seldom look at the first or the last image, because I am too busy to look at book covers.

The images are number consecutively from front cover to last cover with all the pages in between as they are. There are a few possible arrangements of pages. Typically it is Births, then Marriage, then Deaths if the particular register you are looking at has two or more event types. I also see Marriage, then Birth, then Death. Death comes last always. In some parish registers you will also see Alegata and these come after Death if they exist.  Many times Alegata are in their own directory apart from the other vital record events.

Our goal is to avoid having to look at all pages one after another. To do that we must find the indexes that follow each vital record event. For example, after the Births, you usually find a page or two (or more) of an index of all of the births for that year — hopefully in alphabetical order. Sometimes the indexes do not exist. Sometimes the indexes have errors and sometimes a mistake is found and added at the end of the index. Always seek  out the index and look at ALL index pages for your surname(s) to catch these errors.

For this exercise I am going to click on the 27th file, named: _k_088054.jpg . I knew that this file contained the birth index scanned image. It is here that I want to say a few things about working with the scanned images. So clicking on _k_088054.jpg, you should see …


OK the text is in RUSSIAN/Cyrillic handwriting. Many of you cannot read this image. But some images are in Polish and a few are in Latin. So you can usually find somebody who reads these if you cannot read them yourself. But I do urge you to get the Jonathan Shea/Fred Hoffman book, “In Their Own Words” books and learn to read these church records.

In the upper left you will see two tool pallets. The top tool is for adjusting (from top to bottom):  Contrast, Brightness and Zoom. Mostly, you will not need to adjust Contrast or Brightness, but they are there for those who know how to use them to make the scanned images more readable. I do use the Zoom adjustments all of the time. The zoom tool (the bottom pick with a ‘magnifying glass’), you can zoom in (+) or zoom out (-). Depending on the scale of the image scanned and the health of your eyes, you will need to zoom in (+) 4 – 6 times to get a comfortable level of reading. Your eyes may differ.

As you zoom in, you will notice that a gray box in the preview too pallet  gets smaller.  This gray transparent rectangle is the area of image displayed in the viewer window. You can drag this gray square to quickly navigate the viewer window to area of the page I have focused on. The other method of navigating the image is to click on the image viewer, click-and-hold-and drag the image around. So whether you drag the gray box in the preview or click-drag (common called grab) the view image around make it so you can see the Russian ‘L’ and possibly Russian M on the index screen.

NOTE: You can scroll the viewer left-right and up-down, but I would not do that as you may not realize that you have NOT reached the image’s edge and that you need to click-drag some more to move the image to see the remainder of the image that scrolling cannot show you.

Now you my dear reader of this tutorial must indulge me. I want to call your attention to the 4th ‘L’ name in the image (лещунъска  виктория) — yeah, I know cursive Cyrillic does not look much like block letter Cyrillic characters, especially pre-1918 cursive Russian, which were before Bolshevik language reforms. It says, “Leszczynska Wiktorija” 118 (akt#) / 20 (Kart #). We use the Akt # as the record number in the parish register to find this record. This record is my grandmother!

Click on the 23. Do you see where it says “First photo  << 23  24  25   26  27 …  >> Last photo”? Click on the 23, which will take us 4 images before the image we are on (the gray highlighted 27 in the middle). You should see an image with a 124 in the upper left.  If you drag the image around in the viewer (or I find dragging the gray rectangle box in the preview tool) around the page you will see a total of 6 births on this page, number 124 through 129. The image looks like two pages of a parish register (book). The left page has records (akts) 124, 125, 126 and the right page has records 127, 128, 129.

We are looking for my grandmother who is act# 118. 118 is exactly 6 records before the first birth record shown on this page. Since we six births per page, my grandmother’s birth record should be the 1st record on the previous page. So let’s click on the 22 in the: “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo” near the top. After clicking on 22, you should see …


Do you see the Akt #118 at the upper left? We have found our record. These particular birth records list the baby’s name at the top. Do you see: Leszczynska Waleryja ? Wait a minute the index said, Wiktorija??? I said before the indexes contain errors. Waleryja Leszczynska is indeed my grandmother and I knew she was born in Biechow parish in 1886,  but it was not until GenBaza put the AP_Kielce images online that I actually could prove her birth date / place.  You can imagine my joy. Now imagine what your joy will be when you find your grandparents!

Notice there is a button at the top,  “Download photo” (Pobierz zdjęcie). The last thing you need to do is download this keepsake image you found.  On a Mac when you do this the image is downloaded to your “Downloads” folder. It also brings up a Preview of the image when the download completes. Close out of of Preview. In your browser is a new tab, “Untitled” with nothing in the window. Close this tab and you will be back in the image viewer tab.  In Windows you get a new browser window (named Untitled), your downloads  window opens and the images goes into whatever Windows directory you download into (typically called Downloads). Likewise, close the Untitled browser window and return to your previous browser window. One note, on the mac the image download is TIFF by default and in Windows it is JPG. So on the Mac when your Preview comes up … click on File menu, then Export menu item and select either PNG or JPEG to get a file format that you can use on the Internet (like on for example. The Internet browsers natively work with: JPG/JPEG, GIF or PNG (or PDF too). Keep your images in one of those formats.

There is one more thing I have yet to emphasize. I was trying to teach you that you can jump around the images by doing simple math. We were on Akt# 124 (of records 124 through 129) of six records per page. If my grandmother’s akt# had been 100 (instead of 118) then I would have had to click 4 pages left of page 23 or page 19 on the line,  “First photo  << 19  20  21   22  23 …  >> Last photo”. This little math tip can save you the time of scrolling page after page. I use this tip to navigate more than 4 pages at a time too, but I will leave that exercise for the reader to figure out.

January 23, 2014

GenBaza Has Kielce Gubernia / Wojewodztwo Records Online ! — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Kielce

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GenBazaDateline: January 6th, 2014  — Stanczyk knows this is over two weeks old. First, I had to be alerted to the fact, then I had to verify the accuracy and availability. Finally, I had to see how much data is now online.

That is where the delay came in. Our Polish cousins in genealogical societies in Poland have succeeded into digitizing images from both the State Archives & the Diocessan Archives for the Gubernia / Wojewodztwo of Kielce. In truth they have done a bit more than Kielce (former woj. replaced by SwietoKrzyskie in today’s administrative structure in Poland).

It took me over two weeks to get the info and write this blog in large part because there was so much online and I found dozens of records of my direct line and their siblings. In fact this jester found his grandmother’s birth record — which was the biggest jewel I found in the pile of gems online (see picture at the end of the blog).

Please make yourself get access to this treasure and please think of donating to genealogical society:

Swietokrzyskie Genealogical Society /  Świętokrzyskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne

The list is too lengthy to provide in this blog post, but perhaps I will provide it in a future post. But the counts are below and those are just Kielce archives !

Details – (URL:,list,62658,1 )

State Archives (AP) of Kielce – 91  parishes or miscellaneous curia errata available (23-JAN-2014)

Church Archives (AD) of Kielce – 126 parishes or miscellaneous curia errata available (23-JAN-2014)

— — — — — — — — — — — — —


You must register, which is free, to even see the data that is online and to access it. Otherwise you will only see:

  • AP Grodzisk

But, if you register and login to GenBaza, then you will see:

Today’s blog is about AD Kielce (the church archives) and AP Kielce (the state archives). The data encompasses the timespan of the individual holdings at the particular archives for that particular parish (or synagogue), but most data is in the range:  1875-1908. The records are in Russian (Cyrillic) in this time period. But often, you will find Latin records (in the Latin Box/Table format) and those are easier to read. The records are the birth / marriage / death (urodziny /malzenstwo / zgony), but there are also alegata.  The alegata are various church inquiries or interactions between parishes to confirm a congregant’s  standing or to provide/validate a birth/marriage or death event. These were documents that required fees of some sort be collected, so you will see colorful stamps in various amounts of various empires in these records ! Stamp collectors will relish the alegata for these images alone.

This range typically overlaps with the Polish immigration that took place during the Great Immigration period of the USA. So this is the bridge data that will connect your first generation American ancestor to his/her roots back in Poland !

It looks like I will be busy for a few months. But I will leave you with a sample church birth record of my Busia (babcia), Waleryja Leszczynska born in Biechow (Akt #118) .


April 17, 2013

The Fifth (5th) Cholera Epidemic [1881-1896] — #Genealogy, #History, #Morbus, #WordlessWednesday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Another Wordless Wednesday blog post. (Hmmm… somewhat wordless).

1892 Cholera Epidemic  … Russian Empire lost > 250,000 people (note the red boxes)…

Newspaper / Book Clippings:

1892 September Cholera Newspapers


Google Books – The Cholera Epidemic of 1892 in the Russian Empire: With Notes Upon

Fulton History – Mount Vernon NY Daily Argus September 27th, 1892

Trove Digitised Newspapers – Brisbane Courier September 14th, 1892

September 1, 2012

Gazetteer, PGSA, Gen Dobry – A Good Day For Sure — #Genealogy, #Newsletter, #Gazetteer, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

September 1st is such an inauspicious day for Polish genealogists. Stanczyk recognizes the memory of WWII starting today in 1939. That being said, it is a good day when the Gen Dobry! newsletter  (uh, e-zine) comes in the email box. I was perusing the e-zine and when I got to “More Useful Web Addresses”, one of my favorite sections.

Stopnica powiat (pow.) of Kieleckie gubernia (gub.)I noticed a link (URL) to the Internet Polish Genealogical Source, their 1907 atlas, also known as, “Atlas Geograficzny Illustrowany Królestwa Polskiego” [ Illustrated Geographic Index of the Polish Kingdom]. Now this is a gazetteer/atlas that I have long enjoyed for its beauty as well as its usefulness for locating the parishes.

It took this jester back about 5-6 years to when I volunteered for the PGSA and helped them partially index the very same gazetteer. The PGSA has built a searchable database on their project. So having worked on that effort, I thought I would compare the two web resources. For the record, this jester worked on the STOPNICA (Stopnicki) powiat of the PGSA project. I would recommend my readers volunteer for genealogy projects as they are a great way to meet other expert genealogists and to further become acquainted with some resource that may help you in your research. So it was for me — I was able to locate all of the parishes near my ancestral villages.

As I noted above this is a 1907 map, so it reflects the Kingdom of Poland as an occupied territory of the Russian Empire. So we see the provinces (województwo) are called “gubernia”, the Russian term. My ancestors were predominantly from Kielce gubernia, Stopnica powiat. So I will use that to compare since that is my area of expertise. That would be map number 28 (from the main  index map).


The iPGS has done a nice job on presentation and navigation. They provide 1907 names vs 2005 names of villages/towns. They have a nice index to each powiat map and show other info like today’s powiat. Their project also looked to be complete. Now I did not work on the iPGS project, so I hate to be nitpicky, but they were not complete and accurate. On map #28, STOPNICA, I noticed that Piasek Wielki was not marked as having a parish, yet the map image clearly indicates a cross on the circle that represents Piasek Wielki. When I compared it to my work on PGSA, it did in fact list a parish. So now I had to know which was correct. So I went to and used their library catalog to do a place name search for Piasek (choose the one for Kielce) .  Clicking on all links to expand upon results leads you to this page, which shows there are two microfilm for the parish spanning the years from 1875-1884  — so indeed it is/was a parish and therefore the PGSA was the correct project.


The PGSA project of which I was a member was a substantial effort. Yet, this project was not complete. The PGSA built a small database look-up web-app. That is nice if you want to see a list towns that begin with ‘Bialy’ so you can compare if you do not quite know which ‘Bialy’ town you need. The PGSA also has a powiat map list page listing the volunteers. The navigation probably should be more like iPGS, but the iPGS should probably implement a search form like PGSA.

I cannot offer a comparison of which web site has more accurate data / complete data; The effort would simply be too great for one person. I can only recommend that you look at the map and see if you see a cross on the circle of a town, then you should see a plus in the data results. Of course, the final resolution if you see difference is to look at and see if they have microfilm or not. You could look at a Polish web site for a listing of Polish Catholic parishes — but there again parishes may have closed or towns vanished, so there is not one complete index anywhere. Even the may not have a microfilm for a perfectly valid parish. PRADZIAD, the Polish National Archive web site for parish / civil records may not have data if data was lost (like in WWII), so it may not be possible to ever really have a complete list of parishes of all time nor know which data is missing/lost. Absence of data does not mean anything (or possibly could mean any of a few things). Never forget that there may be diocesan data in the church archives. Also please note that most sources are CHURCH oriented, so if you are looking for synagogues you are limited to PRADZIAD or to the use of an excellent gazetteer like Brian Lenius’ Galicia Gazetteer.

But at least this new iPGS gazetteer is online and available for all of us to use. Keep in mind there may be limitations on the data you see, but you must not have limitations upon your reasoning ability. Do not assume because you do not see something that it does not exist. Keep looking. Also,  verify what you think you know.

October 7, 2011

#Genealogy – Russian – Poland Administrative Regions

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In my last article, I spoke about UKASE = Decree. Today, I wanted to write about another Ukase. By the edict (ukase) of Czar Peter the Great on December 18, 1708, he divided Russia into eight guberniyas. A Gubernya (aka Gubernia) is roughly equivalent to a State in the USA or a Province in Canada and is very equivalent to a Wojewodztwo in Poland. Gubernya is a Russian word and is written in Cyrillic as, губерния .

The number of Gubernya and the area they covered changed over time. So if you check out the map from my MAPS page from 1820, my ancestors would have lived in the Krakow gubernya. But by my grandparent’s time they lived in the Kielce (aka Kieleckie) gubernya — no their village of residence did not change, but the Russian Administrative regions had been  re-defined a few times.

A good Gazetteer should be able to give you the Gubernya for your ancestral village. Knowing the administrative region may help you locate where the records are for your ancestors. Obviously, you should check their parish first. But you will also want to know the region to locate the civil or religious archive that might have backup records (vital records, court records, military records, voter lists, etc) for you to research.

Also you should know the Russian, as well as the Polish words and spelling of your ancestor’s residence(s). If nothing else, so that you can Google for data on the Internet. The results you get from Googling “Gubernya” will be different the results you get from Googling, “губерния“.

If your family is from the same area as Stanczyk’s then you may see …

Келецкая губерния = Kielecka Gubernia

Trust me the “orange-ish” area is Kielecka Gubernia.

Near the bottom-right you will see Stopnica and Pacanow (стопнйча, пачанов).


September 7, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy #Maps – Just Another Manic Map Day

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Kielce - Radom (Stopnica pow. - Sandomierz pow.)

Stanczyk has a new meme: “Just Another Manic Map Day”.

The map with this article is a cross section of the old Kielce province (aka Wojewwodztwo, Gubernia). I was looking at this because of an email I received from Jonathan B. His ancestors are from Kloda with perhaps a tie to my village of Pacanow. Hence this map shows both. [Click on image to see full image]

I noticed that Jonathan’s village was JUST across the Kielce border into Radom gubernia. At one time these were both in the original Sandomierz gubernia from which the Kielce and Radom gubernias were formed from. That caused my mind to think about other resources I have stumbled across on the Internet. So let me take today to introduce a useful link for Polish researchers of Kielce / Radom gubernias (wojewwodztwo).

This is a part of the website. They have copies of a Journal (which I have seen in libraries) named appropriately: Kielce-Radom Journal. The journal has now been defunct for a few years — so this Special Interrest Group (SIG) is no more, but its journals can be read online (in PDF format). Click on the link to see the list of journals.

That is my tip. Go look at their back issues. There are many useful methodology articles. It is mostly a Jewish centric journal, but the methodology applies to all genealogists who have ancestors from KielceRadom areas.



I thought I would add a post script. In order to place this map visually, you need to know that Krakow is further south-west along the Vistula river [at the bottom]. Just off the north edge is the town of Staszow. Off the bottom edge, across the Vistula river is Szczucin [follow the road from Pacanow south across the bridge].

July 24, 2011

Ecclesiastical Archive for: Biechow, Ksiaznice, Zborowek … and Pacanow?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk said a week ago he would show a series fonds in the Catholic Church Archive in Kielce, Poland. These fonds are microfilmed church books of the various parishes in the Kielce Diocese. Sadly, the church does not publish a library catalog of its holdings. Let’s review these images which I collected a long time ago and do not seem to be available any more upon the Internet. I also hope to beseech my readers (in Poland — I know there are a few of you tanks to my Flag Counter), to help me acquire at least Pacanow and I also hope for Swiniary too. Please email Stanczyk if you can help me locate Kielce Diocessan Holdings for: Pacanow and Swiniary parishes (parafii). I can accept a text file of the details or even an image (JPG, GIF, TIF, BMP, PNG) or even a PDF document.

Now lets take a look at what I have (and what I am seeking) …

Biechow Holdings in Kielce


Biechow Parish Holdings

These birth/baptismal , marriage/marriage banns, and death church records have been microfilmed by the LDS (aka Mormons).

The LDS also have three microfilm covering the years 1875-1884 which are church records written in Russian that do not appear in this image of their holdings. Now to be fair the image is a few years old and perhaps the Diocessan Archives has been updated since this was taken.

A careful comparison seems to indicate that the LDS microfilm are missing some things that Diocese has and that the Diocese may be missing some things that the LDS have. If this is true then it would appear this is not the source of the LDS microfilm.

You can find the LDS microfilm for my Biechow parish here  and also here too .

If anyone knows if the Diocessan Church Archives in Kielce has microfilm for Biechow from the years 1861-1910, please email me (see above for my email link),  so I can do complete research plans.

I also hope someone out there in the Internet can answer why there is not alegata listed in the Kielce Diocessan Church Archives. Poland’s  State Archives (PRADZIAD) has alegata mcirofilm. Why would the Kielce Diocessan Church Archive be lacking in this manner? I hope this present somewhere in their holdings. I have had excellent success with alegata records giving me missing data.

Finally, my last question is, does the Church Archive also have physical books or only microfilm? If the books exist, can you take photographs of the books themselves?

Now lets look at Ksiaznice. Most people are not aware that Ksiaznice was ever a parish or possibly they were not aware that microfilm existed for Ksiaznice separate from other parishes. I think people just think that Ksiaznice’s church records were added to either Zborowek or Pacanow.

Ksiaznice Holdings in Kielce

Ksiaznice Parish Holdings

The LDS does not have any microfilm of my Ksiaznice which is from the area around Pacanow. Now I did notice some scant records in the Pacanow(Zborowek?) microfilm for Ksiaznice. But look at all that Diocese’s Archive has in Kielce !

I will have to spend a lot of time here to figure out if any of my missing records are here or not. But the holdings looks very complete indeed  — very few gaps !

There is no LDS microfilm for my Ksiaznice, so I have no link to post for you. Clearly, LDS does not get their microfilm from the Diocessan Church Archive. I guess its microfilm  comes directly from the parish books. Again this is probably why people never think of Ksiaznice as a parish separate and apart from Zborowek. Yet look at all of the data they have.

Back at the beginning of July, I talked about this book I used about Biechow parish, from the SwietoKrzyskie Digital Library, in the book,
Historical Description of Churches, Cities, Monuments, & Memorials of Stopnica“, written by Jan Wisniewska in 1929. This book describes all of these parishes in today’s posting too, plus more. That is how I knew about Ksiaznice.

And now lets review the third parish that I have, Zborowek.


The LDS does have microfilm for Zborowek. To be precise, they have one microfilm covering the years  1878-1884 for birth, marriage and death church records.

The Zborowek LDS microfilm can be found here. But look at the holdings in the Diocessan Archives ! Their records span the years 1736-1887 ! That is again a lot more than you can get from your local Family History Center which has only 6 years I spoke of above.

Again, Stanczyk has his work cut out for him to review the records in Zborowek. I can only dream about the possibilities.

So now gentle reader you know why I am seeking the holdings for Pacanow and Swiniary in the Kielce Diocessan Archives. The potential to close the holes in my family tree and answer all questions back to just before the three partitions of Poland for my Elijasz, Leszczynski, Wlecialowski, and Kedzierski lines is almost more than I can bare. You see I am hoping to plan the search beforehand, so I am prepared for a rather lengthy visit to the Church Archives.

Zborowek Parish


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