Posts tagged ‘Poland’

May 26, 2015

Atlas of Sources & Materials of Old Poland, Part 2 — #Genealogy #Polish #History & #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

— — — — — — Diacriticals to Use (in search box):      ą   Ć  ć   ę   Ł  ł   ń   ó   Ś  ś   Ź   ź   Ż   ż

— — — — — — just copy/paste the above text characters as necessary in your search


Stanczyk, was talking about the interactive 16th century map of Polish Crown-Lands the last blog article.

We were talking specifically about a zoomed in search of Pacanów:



Now the last article mentioned:

  1. zoom / scale tool (lower left)
  2. search box (upper left which is closeable )
  3. map features like the square box being the parish, etc.

In this article I want to talk about a few more user interface / user experience (UX) elements:

  1. toolbar
  2. panel, with tabs [far right]
  3. tab, check boxes (for more details) [far right]
  4. “Materials” menu [upper right]

Here is the image (clickable) I will be addressing:


The place name search box has been hidden so we can see more of the map under the search box.


For the toolbar we find the following icons (top to bottom):

Show/Hide Panel (to show hide the layers/legend tabs), max zoom-out, previous map, next map, zoom at selection, zoom-in, zoom-out, pan,  info on selected map object, select rectangluar region to zoom in on, tool tip,  measure (distance, area), query editor, refresh map. Now I want to emphasize a few of the toolbar tools. Just hover over a toolbar icon to see the name of each tool. Click on an icon to select the desired tool (before interacting with the map).

The Show/Hide Panel tool at the top is to show or to hide the right-most area known as the Layers/Legend Panel (that contains the two tabs, “Layers” & “Legends”. This is again a way to show more of the map. I also like the Measure tool. The measure tool allows you to draw either a line or a polygon shape. Drawing a line will give you the distance between two points. Drawing a polygon will give you total area and the length around the polygon edges. To draw a line click on measure tool (3rd from bottom) and drag your mouse to the second location and double-click (to end line drawing). So if you  select the measure tool you will see an info box in lower right corner of your screen that gives the distance/area. So if you click on Pacanów and double-click on Biechów, the distance shown should be approximately 7 km (roughly 4.2 miles) between my grandfather’s village and my grandmother’s village. You can clear the distance info in the bottom corner and redraw your line(s) as necessary. The Pan tool (shown as a hand) is necessary to drag the map up or down or right or left to pan the map. You need to click on the pan tool before trying to move the map (or you will be doing whatever the last selected tool was). The last tool I wanted to mention is the, Tool Tip tool. The tool tip is a very nice tool that provides info on a village as you hover over its square/dot).

Panel / Tabs / Checkboxes

ThePanelThe Panel is the right-most part of the map and you can toggle on or off the showing of the panel via the top tool in the toolbar.  There are five layers for this 16th century map available (from the underlying data). The panel has two tabs, “Layers” and “Legend”.

Each layer has a box with a ‘+’ in it that you click on to expand (the box then contains a ‘-‘ which you click on to close). For this article we are only interested in “Ecclesiastical Borders”. This layer allows us to show the checkboxes for the boundaries for a parish or a deaconate (aka deanery) or a diocese. The two that can be most helpful for studying your ancestors are the parish boundary and/or the deaconate boundary. In the above map, I checked both parish and deaconate boundaries. Now keep in mind that these church boundaries are the way they were back in the 16th century and not for the current times and in most cases also do not match the 18th/19th centuries either. These borders can point out the relationship between nearby parishes and also show which set of villages make up a parish. Both of these visual clues are helpful to the genealogical researcher.

The checkboxes when checked show the boundary and when unchecked do not display the boundaries.

Materials Menu

MaterialsMenuThe Materials Menu  is near the upper right corner (above the map area) and it allows you to switch between collections whose data are map based. It shows the same map but the layers change to show the new details that can be displayed through the user interface.

I particularly found the “Libraries of Wislica”, “Protestant Communites 16th-18th centuries”, and “Religions / Confessions 18th century” to be VERY interesting !

Now using the Layers tab and the Info tool can be most useful. The objects on these maps open up rows of data via the info tool to show a lot of useful material that you must see to believe. This is one of the best uses of a spatial (i.e. map) user interface that I have yet seen. It may take some time to master the user interface, but I assure it is worth it if you want to go much deeper in your understanding of your family history in Poland. If you are looking for old synagogues or to find minority religious denominations that are uncommon this site is a treasure trove of help.

May 16, 2015

Atlas of Sources & Materials of Old Poland — #Genealogy #Polish #History #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, was combing through  (aka PTG). In their discussions they mentioned a new website with an interactive map of Poland from the 16th century. That was excellent and I will discuss it this blog article and continue in the next with examples. But I decided to see what else the website had and that is how this jester go to:

Atlas of Sources and Materials for History of Old Poland

If you see the polish language version, merely click on the British flag to see English language. This site has seven assets worth perusing and examining in depth, including the interactive map of the Polish Kingdom in the 16th century (16w).

  1. Polish Territories of the Crown in the 16th century.  Spatial Database
  2. Tax Registers from the Voivodeship of Kalisz in the 16th Century
  3. Tax Registers from the Voivodeship of Poznań in the 16th Century
  4. Religions and Confessions in the Polish Crown in the 2nd half of the 18th Century
  5. The Court Records of Wschowa, 1495-1526
  6. Register of Protestant communities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
    in the 16th-18th centuries
  7. Parish libraries of Wiślica praeposite in the second half of the 18th century


This blog is primarily about Kielce wojewodztwo (or gubernia) and some surrounding areas too. So while I dutifully inform my readers who are interested in other Polish Genealogical matters or Geographical area that there are Tax Registers for  KALISZ or POZNAN. There are also a statistical record of ALL religions in the Polish Kingdom of the 18th century (very useful for classifying your ancestral parish’s congregation or identifying a synagogue location). Likewise, the register of PROTESTANT congregations in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for 16th-18th centuries (16w-18w). This jester did not investigate the court records … yet. Lastly,  the parish libraries of Wislica is heavy Latin lifting, so while I did peruse and find some possible future gems, I will skip this too. So I will return to the 1st item in the list, the interactive map which is a treasure for all wojewodztwa (provinces/states/voivodes).


Here is the link (using English, clicking above link will lead to an intermediate set of choices which uses Polish map):

You should see:



Let’s type ‘Pacanów’ (no quotes, and diacriticals are needed). Since it is inconvenient to enter diacriticals, you can start typing and let the software, autocomplete for you (thus supplying the necessary diacritical). Keep in mind that this what Poland looked like in the 16th century! So that is why you see Wislica ‘District’ and the Sandomierz wojewodztwo in the pop-up box — which you should promptly close . Next we need to zoom as, all you can see is the blue-green box that represents Pacanów (not the actual text). So in the lower left of your screen is the zoom tool. Click on plus 2-3 times or drag the little slider arrow or you can do as I did and enter ‘100000’ (no quotes) into Scale field at the bottom.

You should see:



Now you notice villages with green boxes (ex. Solec, Swiniary, Biechow, etc.). These are parishes that existed in the 16th century.

— — — — — — Diacritcals to Use:

ą Ćć ę Łł ń ó Śś Źź Żż


Next time we will examine the map further.


February 1, 2014

Rzeszow Galicia Cadastral Maps – Online in June

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

CadastreMapsRZESZOWStanczyk, was perusing the Polish Genealogical Society Connecticut & NorthEast Facebook page recently and noticed that on 27-January-2014 their posting on digitized cadastral surveys from the State Archives in Przemyśl . The  full text of the Polish State Archive ( ) news is posted  here.

By the end of June, the Przemyśl state archives will complete the digitization of Galician cadastral maps started in 2012 of 63,000 pages of descriptive material to the cadastral maps of the villages . The 63,000 pages accompanies 9,084 digitized map sheets of 743 localities of the former province of Rzeszow and 29 more localities now in Ukraine.

Digitized copies of the documents so far will be at the Przemysl archive by the end of March for  study. Afterwards, the scans will be published online at the site: .

Also See …

Gesher GaliciaInventory of Galicia Cadastral Maps

September 7, 2013

Radom Roman Catholic Church Books, 1587-1966 — #Polish, #Genealogy, #Stanczyk

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

05September2013_FSFamily Search has updated their Polish Collection & Czech Census too on September 4th & 5th.

Poland, Radom Roman Catholic Church Books, 1587-1966;

Poland, Lublin  Roman Catholic Church Books, 1784-1964 was also updated:

Also Czech Republic Censuses 1843-1921:

Add  Family Search Wiki Page if your genealogy research area is Poland:

Images and indexes of church books containing baptisms and births, marriages, burials and deaths for the parishes in the Radom & Lublin Roman Catholic Dioceses of Poland.

Births end in 1912,

Marriages end in 1937, and

Deaths end in 1982    due to Polish privacy rules.

April 6, 2013

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) — #Genealogy, #Jewish, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RemembranceHolocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) 2013 begins in the evening of: Sunday, April 7
and ends in the evening of: Monday, April 8. In the Hebrew Calendar is 27 Nisan (see Stephen Morse’s Jewish Calendar Conversion tool) is Yom HaShoah and varies in the Gregorian calendar across the Months of April/May.

To honor my wife Teréza and our children let me add a Jewish Genealogy blog post. It is for a Polish village in the AP Grodzisk (Warsaw, Blonie) and is called: Góra Kalwaria. Góra Kalwaria can be found in PRADZIAD database. What is great about this news is that there is yet another project beyond the ones I have previously written about ( and Metryk in PTG). This village and its images can be found in: (AP Gordzisk) for :

This is just one of many congregations (Catholic & Jewish) that they have scanned. There appear to be about 110 villages in total so far this Polish National Archive in Grodzisk (a branch office of Warsaw).  I picked this village because it is all about the Jewish congregation (that I provided the Pradziad link for). The records run from 1826 – 1910 inclusive and there no missing years. This is a remarkably complete/intact record of a Jewish congregation in Poland. The scanned records from 1826-1867 are written in Polish and then starting in 1868 the records are written in Russian all the way through 1910.

So for the Jewish-Polish genealogists who read this blog, here is a treasure trove to research. In actuality, many of the 110 villages have Jewish records. Look for the abbreviation ‘moj’ (short for mojżeszowe). So I hope this is a joyful news for the remembrance of this solemn occasion.

Good genealogy to all my readers!



January 23, 2013

The Fourth Partition

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Duchy Of Warsaw SuperimposedA few days ago Stanczyk put forth his framework for discussing Polish genealogy, by enumerating the various eras of the many territories that had ever come under the aegis of  a Polish nation of some kind of government.  This blog tends to a focus upon “Polish” genealogy … in the greater ecumenical, greater geographic and greater ethnicity sense.  As I said, when you start upon Polish genealogy, “they” always say you need to learn about the three partitions of Poland. “They” mean the partitions imposed by the neighboring empires: Prussia, Austria, and Russia in the years, 1772,  1793, and 1795.

Over the years the phrase, “The Fourth Partition” has come to mean any annexation/occupation of Polish territories by outside nations. The years are long and getting longer still day by day. So the Fourth Partition can now be used to mean any of a good many events in history. But today I wanted to speak about Napoleon.

I have written with some fondness on the little, French, coffee drinking Emperor. What I most liked about him (besides the coffee drinking) was the suffrage and enfranchisement that he was able to bring about AND the fact that Codex Napoleon specified in detail how vital records were to be recorded and all of us genealogists benefited from his wisdom.  The Emperor had held out the hope of restoring the Polish condition, but alas, he used Poland as his pawn for his own ambitions, so Poland would languish for more than a century longer after Napoleon was ultimately defeated.

However, whilst Napoleon was having his madcap adventure upon the European continent, he inadvertently, partitioned “Poland” a fourth time. As a result of Napoleon’s early military victories, he was able to wrest wide swaths of Polish lands and fashion out a French protectorate, he named, The Duchy of Warsaw (notice he did not call it Poland). He carved this duchy out of territories on which the three Empires: Prussia, Austria, and Russia had previously partitioned three times already. So in effect, Napoleon manifested a Fourth Partition that lasted for the years 1807-1815, until the treaty of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 which broke the Duchy of Warsaw up into the Cracovian Republic and Congess Kingdom of Poland (under the hegemony of the Russian Empire). The CracovianRepublic was an independent city-state and included Krakow and some lands surrounding Krakow and this land was not returned to the Austrian Partition, called Galicia until it was folded into Austrian-Poland’s Galicia Crownland in 1846 after much upheaval in the 31 years of the CracowRepublic’s lifetime.

Stanczyk had never seen a map showing the original three partitions and then juxtaposing the Duchy of Warsaw (less the CracowRepublic) upon those areas. So I took an existing map and created a new map to see what it must have looked like. So today’s blog is about the Fourth Partition (by Napoleon) and the resulting  map. This jester would like to mention that the 8 years of the Duchy of Warsaw existence had negated the three Empires’ resolution to never have Poland reappear. Of course, after World War I Poland (2nd Republic) did reappear (and after World War II and in 1989 after throwing off the yoke of the Soviet Union, giving rise to the 3rd Republic). Enjoy the map!

August 30, 2012

Ohio – Cuyahoga County – Cleveland 1884 — #Genealogy, #Marriage, #Elijasz, #Budka

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is still trying to puzzle out these Cleveland, Ohio ELIJASZ. So I am hoping either a Budka or an Elijasz (aka ELIASZ) will see today’s blog and respond via an email.

Today’s image is from on a dangling leaf in my tree. On the 22nd-September-1884, one Father Kolaszewski of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) recorded a marriage between Elizabeth Elijasz and Paul Budka. That is pretty much it for useful genealogical info on the image (see above).

If you have access to ancestry it is here .

Many of these Elijasz came from Pacanów (Russian-Poland partition). Some Cleveland Elijasz also came from across the Vistula (Wisła) River (rzeka) in the Austrian-Poland partition. I am hoping a Cleveland genealogist researching Elijasz or Budka who can look-up a few things for me:

  1. What Catholic Church did Father Kolaszewski represent in 1884?
  2. Can someone get access to Cleveland Catholic diocesan records for September 1884 and get a copy of the church record of this marriage?
  3. I am seeking the parents’ names of Elizabeth (possibly Elzbieta) Elijasz and where she was born (Pacanów, Poland or some other village), and her birth date.

My thanks for reading today’s blog (plea).  If all you can answer is just the first question, that is still VERY helpful. So please do not feel you need to answer all of the questions.

May 3, 2012

Genealogy Indexer – Logan Kleinwak — #Genealogy, #Historical, #Directories, #Military, #Yizkor

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

     Stanczyk’s prior article on Genealogy Indexer – the Logan Kleinwaks’ website that indexes historical city directories or other historical lists (i.e. Yizkor Books, Military Muster Lists, etc.) covered this amazing genealogical resource who deserves a much higher rating than #116 on the current Top 125 Genealogical Websites.

Since my first blog article about GenealogyIndexer.orgLogan Kleinwaks has added virtual keyboard (a software icon) for generating diacritical letters (think ogroneks and umlauts) as well as non Latin characters (think Hebrew or Cyrillic) to make searching easier. This jester even uses that excellent piece of coding to generate the text for articles or data entry into genealogy software. You may remember, I wrote about that in “Dying for Diacriticals” or any of the other dozen articles (some of which cover GenealogyIndexer).

Well in the last month Logan has really outdone himself in adding material to the website! I give up trying to keep up with the huge amounts of data he is publishing. You really need to follow Logan on twitter (@gindexer). Thank You Logan for your amazing efforts.

May 2, 2012

May 3rd Constitution Day — #Poland, #Lithuanian, #History

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Tomorrow is May 3rd and in Poland and Lithuanian it is celebrated as Constitution Day (first celebrated jointly on May 3rd 2007). But Stanczyk is getting ahead of himself in this story.

This jester trusts by now that you know that Poland was country with the second constitution. I am also hopeful that you had read a prior blog article of mine: “Poland 1794, The Tempest, and Catherine The Great” . For the discussion on Poland’s Constitution, I’d like to try my hand at an even broader context.


Stanczyk maintains that 1732 was a very bad year for Poland. On 17 January 1732 Stanislaw Poniatowski was born in Wolczyn (which is in modern day Belarus). If the year had begun badly, then it would get much worse. On 13 September 1732, the secret treaty was signed at the Alliance of the Three Black Eagles. This was a secret treaty between Prussia, Russia and Hapsburg-Austria Empires (all three had Black Eagles as emblems — in stark contrast to Poland’s White Eagle). They agreed to maintain Poland in their “status quo” suffering from a non-functional szlachta with a Libretum Veto — meaning a single veto could derail any new law, further meaning that laws almost never got passed [sounds like 2009-2012 Washington D.C. does it not?]

Now let me narrate the rest of the story, before I give Constitution Day’s Timeline.

In 1750 Poniatowski met his mentor, the Briton, Charles Hanbury Williams . Williams was the British ambassador to Russia. They met again in 1753. Now while the Poniatowskich were a noble family, their family fortunes were not so great as the great magnate families. So they had to align themselves and hope for a strategic marriage for Stanislaw to a wealthier family. None the less, Stanislaw’s father was able to procure him some nominal titles. In 1755, the elder Poniatowski got his son Stanislaw, the title of Stolnik of Lithuania. Stolnik was a court office in Poland and Russia,  responsible for serving the royal table. Keep that image in mind.

So armed with his new title of Stolnik of Lithuania, Stanislaw accompanied the British Ambassador to Russia, where the young Poniatowski met the also young (but very formidable) Catherine who had not yet become Empress of Russia (nor yet earned, her appellation, “The Great”). Stanislaw Poniatowski was only at the Russian court for one year. By 1756 Poniatowski was ordered to leave the Russian Court amidst some “intrigue”. It is thought that this intrigue resulted in the birth of Anna Petrovna (by Catherine the Great) on the 9th December 1757. It is also said that Stanislaw always hoped his bedding of Catherine would result in a future marriage for him. This jester thinks that Stanislaw deluded himself to think he had successfully wooed Catherine and that marriage was possible for the two of them. This jester also further thinks that Catherine, used this virtual “apron string” to manage Poniatowski to do her Russian bidding in Poland.

In 1762 Catherine used her new position as the Russian Empress and she was able to get Stanislaw to be elected King of Poland on 6 September 1764. It has now been 32 years of managing Poland’s status quo by the Three Black Eagles. So by 17 February 1772 the Three Black Eagles agreed to partition Poland. On August 5th, 1772 the occupation manifesto was issued and foreign troops entered Poland’s sovereign territory and forced a cession Sejm to convene with King Poniatowski and agree to the partition manifesto (probably Stanislaw thought it was best to go along with Russia in this matter and that this obedience would be rewarded) on 9/18/1773. Not much leadership in this jester’s mind was exhibited, but opposition to three Empires was probably futile anyway.

Life goes on for another decade. Stanislaw uses what little wealth of the Kingdom to foster arts & science, but with Prussia’s control of the Baltic Ports,  and using its control to extort high custom duties from Poland on 80% of Poland’s economic trades to further collapse Poland’s economy and that limits Poniatowski’s wealth/power. Poniatowski also continues his hope for a noble marriage, but he does engage in a morganatic marriage to Elzbieta Szydlowska in 1783 and thereby maintains his options for a royal marriage.

In 1788 the Four Year Sejm convenes and Stanislaw thinks he can help Catherine The Great in her war with the Ottoman Empire by raising an army in Poland — which Catherine quickly squashes, but leaves the Polish Sejm alone while she wars with the Ottomans. Left to their own devices, this “Enlightened” body of lawmakers passes a constitution on 3rd May 1791. Even King Poniatowski celebrates this event. If you have read my prior blog article listed above, then you know this will NOT end well for Poland (or Poniatowski who is forced to abdicate the Polish throne 11/25/1795).

I think you can see that Poniatowski, Stolnik of Lithuania, served up Poland as a feast for Catherine The Great to enjoy repeatedly until even she was forced to make him abdicate and spend the remainder of his three years of life as a nominal prisoner in St Petersburg, Russia (so he could not meddle further in Russian affairs). Poniatowski died 2/12/1798 in St Petersburg, Russia. Poniatowski’s remains were removed and re-buried in Wolczyn, Belarus — until that church fell into disrepair. Poland reclaimed Poniatowki’s remains and he was buried a third time (14 February 1995) in St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw, Poland — the very site where he had celebrated the Polish Constitution on May 3rd 1791.

Timeline of the Constitution:

5/3/1791 – Constitution is Passed (2nd in the world).

May 1792 Constitution Day is celebrated.

July 1792 King Poniatowski  joins the Targowice Confederation against Poland and his own nephew (and Kosciuszko too) who were fighting the War To Defend The Constitution with Russia and Catherine the Great who was now freed up from warring with the Ottomans and now able to show her displeasure.

1793-1806 – Constitution Day is banned during the the 2nd/3rd Partition years.

1807-1815 – Constitution Day is celebrated in the Duchy of Warsaw thanks to Napoleon.

1815-1918 – Constitution Day is unofficially celebrated / discouraged in Congress Poland

April 1919 – The re-emerged Polish Republic celebrates Constitution Day again until 1940.

World War II – Constitution Day is banned again.

1945 – Constitution Day is celebrated.

1946 – The Communists cancel Constitution Day. They substitue May Day (May 1st) as an attempt to replace the Constitution Day celebration.

April 1990 – Poland out from under the Communist yoke celebrates Constitution Day again.

May 3rd 2007 – Poland & Lithuania celebrate Constitution Day jointly echoing their former Commonwealth days. This is the first jointly celebrated Constitution Day.

Perhaps one day, the USA will celebrate with Poland on May 3rd as the two countries with the oldest constitutions. [Now, please I know Polonia all over the USA, but most notably in Chicago mark May 3rd annually.]  Indeed you are reading this blog about May 3rd. So Polonia  still mark the day, the old country adopted the second oldest constitution.

Happy Constitution Day!

April 22, 2012

Alytus / Olita – Udrija / Baksiai — #Polish, #Lithuanian, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Recently, Stanczyk was asked about a Pennsylvania family and if I could find their ancestral villages, so they could make a family pilgrimage to get in touch with their Genealogical Roots.

See the red annotation (circle / underline) near the map center. This is region as shown from a 1757 map of the Polish / Lithuanian Commonwealth.

One of the immediate points of this region needs to be made explicit. Obviously, it was a part of the Lithuanian Duchy before, then Part of Poland, it became part of Prussian-Poland partition, then part of the Russian Empire, before becoming Lithuania in modern times.

That much border re-drawing causes a lot of languages / archives to come into play. Records can be expected to be found in Latin, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Hebrew/Yiddish and Russian.

The region is known in various languages. So I sought out JewishGen ShtetlSeeker to help me learn all of the various names and here is the pop-up if you hover over the Alytus name:

Most researchers will want to take note of it as Olita in Suwalki wojewodztwo (when in the Polish Kingdom) or as Oлита (Russian/Cyrillic) in Troki uyezd, Vilna gubernia.

Family Search has microfilm for both Catholic and Jewish metrical books:

Lithuania, Alytus – Church records (1)
Metrical books, 1797-1873
Lithuania, Alytus – Jewish records (1)
Metrical books, 1835-1914

Pradziad has some archival records too. Their records are for Jewish metrical records in the year range: 1835-1872 .

Obviously, if you visit the locale, then parish records may exist in Udrija or Baksiai parishes/synagogues in the Alytus region of Lithuania. Besides the Catholic records, there may also be Lutheran records too.

A more modern map (Olita/Alytus) can be found on the Polish map site . Please NOTE this is a large / detailed map. The area of this article is in the left-center area on the river.

December 2, 2011

Family Search Website – Free Central / Eastern European Records – #Genealogy, #Slavic

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was checking out the family search  European Holdings for Slavic record counts / images to see what progress was made up through 2011.

It is good if your heritage includes the Germanic peoples or locales which were previously under their dominion. Do not get me wrong. I am thrilled that there  now over a million Polish records/images online or indexed at

Records Percentage
Austria 196,940 0.37
Czech Republic 85,469 0.16
Germany 50,998,675 96.98
Hungary Browsable Images Only 0.00
Poland 1,002,155 1.91
Russia 303,146 0.58
Slovakia Browsable Images Only 0.00
Ukraine 14,143 0.03

We have the ability to better. Please consider volunteering as an indexer. You can start and stop and start again, your  volunteering at any time. Find out more at Every little bit helps. Stanczyk managed to do over 150 records this year. Genealogy is collaborative. Helping each other, we also help ourselves. Please pitch in — make this part of your Random Act of Genealogical Kindness efforts.

October 19, 2011

#Polish #National #Heritage Month – Continuing … James Michener “Poland”

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

James Michner's Poland 1st EditionWe always salute the famous historical heroic figures like Pulaski or Kosciusko or possibly scientists like Madame Skladowska Curie and Mikolaj Copernicus or maybe a musician like Fryderyk Chopin. But I do not want this month to go by without a listing of the literary talents and the artistic talents.

Polish Literature is richly nuanced and uniquely Slavic. If you have read this blog for a while, you will have seen a mention of Stanislaw Lem or Czeslaw Milosz and a few others. There are so many to choose from: Mikolaj Rej, Jan Kochanowski, Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Slowacki, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Stanislaw Wyspianski, Wladyslaw Reymont,  Stanislaw Witkiewicz, Wisława Szymborska or Slawomir Mrozek. For more information, please click on “Polish Literature” or my favorite website for Polish Lit: Staropolska .

Today’s article is on James Michener’s “Poland“. Michener may not be Polish (he never knew who his biological parents were), but he is another of those great local literary talents of my adopted hometown of Philadelphia. This book is a historic novel with some fictional literary devices utilized to stitch together a coherent  narrative around ten historical topics of Poland. These ten episodic chapters can be read straight through or sampled individually.

If you only read one chapter this month,  of this easy reading novel, then read chapter five (on Jan Sobieski and his heroic salvation of Europe at the Battle of Vienna).

They probably sung a hymn / poem from the early 14th century, called Bogurodzica (Mother of God) which is the oldest poem in the Polish Language. You can hear this fascinating hymn here . This poem has no Latin equivalent, so it roots are entirely Slavic.

By the way, you may want to read Czeslaw Milosz’s book, “The History of Polish Literature” for more background on today’s article, including Bogurodzica.

Tomorrow … A Selection of Artists.

— Stanczyk

P. S.

You may want to read Donna Pointkouski’s Top Ten More Ways To Celebrate Polish Heritage Month  for more ideas on this month of ours.

October 17, 2011

#Books, #Maps, #Documents – Home is Where the Hearth Is

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk,  is feeling very home-centric these days and many familial events (genealogy progresses). As the weather now turns to autumn, thoughts of baking and fine cooking come to mind — who does not revel in the warm, fragrant baked goods of the season.

Polish Bakery Food is good for the soul … and so is food for thought, good for the soul too. Stanczyk combs through the dusty catacombs of the Internet seeking. Seeking what … I do not know. But here are a few pictures to warm your thoughts. I have mentioned before that this jester is a bibliophile. So when I found a website  ( about Documents, Books & Lettersin a digital form, I was fascinated. It is written in Polish and other languages, but you can select ‘English’ at the top left and much of the text (including Tag Cloud) convert to English.I like this site enough that I am considering adding it to the blogroll. What do you think my faithful readers?I think I approve of this erudite author’s penchant for interesting and wide-ranging topics. I found that s/he chose. I was interested in the Ming Virtual Manuscript Room (University of Birmingham, England) and the collections of documents they have from the Middle East.If you go back to December 13th, 2010 you will find an article on “Ex Libris / Bookplates“. The link (URL) to that blog’s website, which was chock full of interesting articles — sadly none new since 2009. I loved it so much, I am considering “ripping the web pages from the defunct website??” to my hard drive so I do not lose that author’s research which was so rich and robust.Somewhere amongst the original website I was speaking of, is another link to a website of ancient French maps (rather ancient maps collected by National Library of France). I was intrigued (is there such a thing as cartophile — for map lovers) by a map purported to be from the 15th century that captured the Ptolemaic View of the World Map.

There was another fine article on the oldest documents in the Suwalki State Archive.

I will definitely have to check in on this blog and either add it to my blog roll here or at least add it to my iGoogle page for genealogy so I can keep tabs on the new articles of interest.

Oh, the artwork on the left side of today’s article — they are from You Tube videos on Poland or Yiddish Theater in Poland. But I felt they capture my mood for this autumnal Monday.

Enjoy with your morning coffee (how about some Sumatra) !

— Stanczyk

Russian Peddlers
Bagel Seller
September 25, 2011

#Genealogy #Polish – Searching ELA database, State Archives (Poland)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was visiting the State Archives in Poland website and he explained about the four databases:

  • PRADZIAD – For vital records, both civil and religious. Birth,  Marriage, Death and Alegata records.
  • SEZAM – A database containing  detailed descriptions of archival holdings preserved by the State Archives and a few related repositories. Some entries are rather lengthy.
  • IZA – A catalog of all (really slightly more than a quarter of all) fonds, by archive that holds them and indexed by Key Words. It includes the Archive’s contact info (for each fond). I hope they get around to indexing the other 3/4 of fonds.
  • ELA – A database of all population registers (Censuses, Lists, Indexes, etc.) in Poland’s State Archives.

When I wrote about ELA, I said it was not very useful. But I  wanted to correct my errant statement (due to my own misconception about what data they had available). By the descriptions, you can see that PRADZIAD is the most important to a genealogist, but that the ELA database with its population lists can provide additional opportunities to find an ancestor and in some context (a list of soldiers, those being deported, a census, eligible voters list, etc.) for some timeframe. Now let me hasten to add that in the Russian Partition of Poland you are not going to find much in the way of censuses — it seems you can find Russian Empire censuses in all Russian Gubernias, but the ten gubernias in the Polish Kingdom (of the Russian Empire, aka Congress Poland).

Using ELA

This is the English language version of the ELA database (click on link to go to ELA) search form.

You can leave “Town” empty and just search on the “Register’s title” field. Here are some possible search strings (enter Polish words):

  1. Listy osób
  2. Listy osób uprawnionych do głosowania w guberni kieleckiej
  3. listy osób deportowanych z Cesarstwa Rosyjskiego

The first is just the generic, “Lists of People”. All strings must be in Polish (get your Google Translator out). The diacriticals (accents) are not required. The second is the list of eligible voters (in Kielce Gubernia).  The third one is a list of people deported from the Russian Empire.

Leave town blank if you want to search all towns. Fill in town or gmina or powiat (if these are also town names) if you want to limit yourself to an area where you know your ancestors were from. You can also use “Register’s title” if you want to search a whole wojewodztwo (gubernia) and not just the town Kielce.

I have family from the Kielce Gubernia, so I clicked on “more” to find out what FOND and Archive has this data of interest to me (#2 of the list above).

So I should use the contact info to go to the Kielce State Archive and ask for FOND # 59 to see the list of eligible voters in Kielce Gubernia in 1906.

Perhaps I’ll find Elijasz, Leszczynski, Wlecial, and Kedzierski families listed among the eligible voters. From that era, my paternal grandparents are still there  and I expect  that I’d find my great-grandparents too. Now I do not know that I will find more than their names. But perhaps, I’ll get ages and addresses too. Who knows what else (military service, occupation, date of prior elections or number of elections voted — who knows).

There is no actual data or images online. It just a big library catalog file of what you can expect to find, if you visit or hire a genealogist to visit the State Archives.

August 9, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #5 Online Databases in Poland

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is a Data Architect by trade. So if it is one thing I love it is databases. This posting is all about some online Polish Databases. The Parish Church Books is a website that collects and indexes and keeps it up to date . It points you to the website, but it is written from a Poland point of view. So I have decoded the website index and made them into LINKS (URLs) so you can click on them and go to the resource from their list. Enjoy!

Parish Church Books

The above Polish website (from Poland and in Polish language) attempts to gather in one place index all interesting projects where Church Parish Indexes are being collected in online databases. This page is updated often. This makes it an excellent website for your bookmarks/favorites (or add it to delicious).

Index of Databases




Pomorskie TG

The Pomorskie Genealogical Society (Pomorskie TG) website needs some explanation. It has a menu named “PomGenBase“;  Click on menu, then on the submenu, “Search PomGenBase” and click on the final submenu (one of five: Christenings, Marriages, Deaths,  Cemeteries or Monuments) to search.

Poznan Project


July 30, 2011

#Poland #Chess – Krakow to Host FIDE General Assembly & Mikhail Gorbachev to Speak

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Where's the Details?

The World Chess Federation announced yesterday that Mikhail Gorbachev will speak at the upcoming FIDE General Assembly in Krakow, Poland. Full Story: . Now that is interesting!

OK, here is Stanczyk’s beef ! Where are the details? Missing from the announcement is the date of the Assembly or further details of the location. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room — No 2012 announcement for the Men’s 2012 World Chess Championship has been announced.

Previously, I wrote about the delayed selection here . That was the second time the announcement had been missed. So tomorrow (31-July-2011) is the day. Do we have a 2012 Chess Championship or is FIDE still snoozing? Perhaps FIDE needs to recognize the world economy and soften their requirements for the host. My hope is either Poland or the USA will host the 2012 Championship.
Will FIDE actually make the announcement on Sunday? Is Gorbachev making this announcement tomorrow in Krakow, in the middle of summer — what no Holidays for management? The Chess Clock is ticking …  or will FIDE forfeit on time constraints?

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.


July 25, 2011

Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations #1

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Welcome to a new Monday and a new meme.

In the year 1647, some 364 years ago in some Polish parish somewhere,  was a priest with some free time at the end of the year  1646 or the beginning of 1647 and of course a good bit of artistic talent.

Stanczyk laughs at the priest’s macabre sense of whimsy. Forgive me that I forgot last year to capture the note of where I found this “artwork”. I am sure it was in a Digital Library or Archive and not from some microfilm I was viewing (see the red border).

Here in the USA, we have had a long tradition of viewing the New Year as a baby and the Old Year as an old man (usually with a long beard). But skeletons, one of which holds the Grim Reapers scythe??? Of course, I approve the use of an hourglass as a metaphor for the passage of time. Such embellishments and details. Perhaps he was reminiscing the old year’s (1646) significant passings :

At any rate, as I was reviewing my collection of digital pics from Church Books, it occurred to me that I have a new repeating meme: Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations found in Church Metrical Books.

I foresee discussing priestly entries (if I can find them,) such a notation about a meteorite that struck in the local parish. I also will include examples of marginalia or possibly end of year notations that a priest makes — one of which affects my family tree.

Meanwhile … it is time for some hot coffee.  Talk to you later (God Willing) …



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