June 24, 2011
Stanczyk has been searching for Shoemakers Guild (Chechy Szewskiego) books. I was in the Silesian Digital Library (aka Śląska Biblioteka Cyfrowa). I found this amazing guild book. It had nearly 360 pages to comb through and in Polish (with some Latin); so this will take a good bit of time to peruse. It seems to span about a century (1799-1899). The book as you might guess is mostly about Shoemakers and their various helpers. It also seemed to have another guild: the Tanners (Garbarskiego) in one part. Mostly it is about men ( a few women too) and their jobs. They seem to be very religious as I see many notes related to the church and/or it societies.
While there are many family names, I would have to say that the founding and sustaining family are the Miodonskich (Miodonski). It starts in the 1860’s and 1870’s. But after a few pages there is a colorful page with a drawing and then a good many pages with in an ornate border all in color detailing the people, works, and traditions of this guild’s brotherhood (and sisterhood). The colorful and ornate bordered pages (all hand drawn) start in 1799 and it is clear that a Miodonski is the founder of this guild.
Take a look for yourself here. The expanded book notes indicate a village named: Żywiec . I do not know about shoes, but today they seem to be known for beer. Just a quick note tonight.
June 22, 2011
Pretty nifty poster or book page huh? Stanczyk found this in a Polish Digital Library. This masonic-looking page, with the all-seeing eye in the clouds with cherubs, etc. is a notice of a Shoemaker’s Guild from the “Year of Our Lord 1842” in the gubernia of Kielce.
Now this is of interest to me because my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski listed his occupation in the church birth records on the 1860’s, as shoemaker & innkeeper — which I always thought was a rather clever combination as travelers would need shoe repairs and why not get those while you are staying at the inn. So this image is contemporaneous (roughly) with my great-grandfather and the thought occurred to me perhaps I can find records in a Guild Book about my great-grandfather.
So here is Stanczyk’s million dollar question: “Has anyone done any research in Poland and located these guild books in any Archive or Library and been able to locate ancestors?” Question two, “Was the search worthwhile — what kind of info did you find?”
Come on genealogists, let’s crowd-source, collaborate, or social network a solution here. OK? Anyone near Biechow parish, Pinczow Archive or Kielce Ecclesiastical Archive or a Library in or around one of those three cities in Poland? Can you help a Polish-American jester out? Email me or even comment on this blog… I’ll be waiting.