Posts tagged ‘Poland’

July 19, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Biechow Church Records an Inventory

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is trying to digest Debbie G’s (from TX and Yahoo Group Polish Geniuses) insight and observations. I will need to analyze her feedback in relationship to the data I have seen (which is just about everything extant). So first, I would like to speak about the LDS microfilm, then I want to speak about Pradziad (Poland’s State Archives which contains civil and ecclesiastical data), and finally the  Ecclesiastical Archive for the parish of Biechow. I have in my possession a complete list of all microfilm — that would leave only actual physical books in the parish and possibly the civil and ecclesiastical archives. This discussion is just to convince  myself (and others) of what exists and to compare the sources available to me and draw up an action plan of what I have yet to view.  A further article will compare Debbie’s House Number experiences (which I know include many trips to Poland and its parishes and archives — sadly none in my area) with my data from Biechow. Today’s posting is a long one, but if you stick with it, you should learn where to find sources of data for your ancestral parish.

LDS Microfilm – Family History Library (Salt Lake City)

URL: Biechow microfilm       Family History Library Catalog:

First off, I need to admit, I still use the original web user interface, so if you do a place name search from their Library Catalog in their new beta-web interface it will look different, but the data will be the same — I have verified that.

The second line is a single microfilm (LDS Mf# 936665) which says it is a microfilm of the original church records from 1674-1847 inclusive, but many gaps exist. The records are all in Latin. Before 1797, the records are what I call Latin Paragraph Form (the earliest are more like Latin sentence or two, than paragraph). From 1797-1847 the data is in the Latin Box Form with standard columns that seem to vary little across all of Poland. Prior to the Latin Box Form, which includes, the column, ‘Numerus Domus’ (or in some areas an abbreviation of those words), I can state unequivocally, there are NO house numbers recorded. If these really are the actual church records and not a copy then house numbers were not recorded in the Latin paragraph form. After the introduction of the Latin Box Form, the house numbers are used (although not always in the years where they are collected). After reading Debbie G’s comments I will go back to the Latin Box Form and confirm the years they have recorded house numbers. I do know that house numbers are also present in the Polish Long Paragraph Form for the early years of Polish records. I will confirm these dates too. I can also state unequivocally, there are NO house numbers recorded in the Russian Long Paragraph Forms.

The top line resolves in the microfilm notes into 8 separate microfilm: 936660-936664 (five film),  and 1257788, 1807660, 1807661. These last three are for the years 1875-1884 and as such are in Russian (using the Cyrillic character-set). The first five microfilm are written in Latin until 1797, then in Polish for the years 1797-1847. There are no microfilm for years 1848-1868 which would be in Polish, nor are there any for 1869-1874 which would be in Russian. These eight microfilm are supposed to be copies of the original church records. 1868 is usually a cross-over year, part Polish records and part in Russian.

You can view these nine total microfilm at the Family History Library for free or rent copies and have them sent to your local Family History Center to view. I have done both for all nine microfilm. If you have followed my blog, I have taken pictures of these microfilm records and used them in my family tree and in this blog to good effect. I have analyzed these records and inventoried and built indexes of the details of what is present on each microfilm. So I am more than conversant about these nine microfilm. I can say unabashedly, that I have an expert level knowledge of these nine microfilm and derived my own data in summaries or studies I have undertaken from the detailed records. So it should be understood that I have acquired the ability to read Latin, Polish and Russian. I am self-taught and did so in order to trace my genealogy in the Russian-Poland partition (although, as I have said these villages went from Poland to Austria to France to Russia back to Poland autonomy).

Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (USC) – Civil Registration Office

A real secular civil registry did not exist in Poland until after World War II (1945/1946). Before that vital records were maintained by religious adminstrators. In Catholic churches from the 16th century by Papal edict, but it took many decades and future edicts before Church record keeping became reliable and consistent. Since Poland became partitioned in the late 18th century, there arose three ways of civil registration. So I believe the local USC will only have from 1945-forward. I will refer the reader to a couple of Wikipedia pages that offer the details:

Suffice it to say that the religions (protestant churches / synagogues) did not gain individual official recognition as civil registrations until:

In the Austrian partition in 1782, in Prussian partition since 1794, and in the Russian partition in 1825. Napoleon by his civil code established a standard for civil registration and in lieu of any civil office, had the Catholic priest serve in this capacity (1808-1815), such that from 1808-1825 officially in Russian partition, although 1828-1830 may have been when Protestant and Jewish religions were able to finally get control of their own civil registrations and not be recorded in the Catholic Church registers. In my Biechow records, I think I see Jewish records recorded from 1810-1828 in the Catholic register. However, the fact it went past the official 1825 date, is probably more indicative of the rural nature of the region and the scarcity of Jews in some areas. Keep in mind that Napoleon (and his Codex Napoleon) and Russian Czars dictated the civil registration rules in Biechow for most of its records [1808-1918]. During the few years when Biechow was in the Austrian partition (1772-1807) there was probably no change in church registrations, since this era was largely Latin to start and the Austrians maintained the Latin record keeping.

PRADZIAD – Poland’s State Archives

URL:  [ link to my Biechow]     PRADZIAD Database:

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         alegata              1875-1886, 1888-1893, 1895, 1897-1898, 1901, 1904-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         małżeństwa       1875-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         urodzenia          1875-1905

Biechów           rzymskokatolickie         zgony                1875-1905

The above table shows my Biechow village. The second column is the Polish word for Roman Catholic. The Third word is record type.

małżeństwa = Marriages ;  urodzenia = Births (usually also has baptisms) ; zgony = Deaths   [your basic vital records]

alegata   =  addendum [often used to show that someone can be married in the church or has converted religions]

Well pretty much it is just 1875-1905, which is good for my grandparents and their siblings (births and marriages maybe). It also means reading Russian since 1868-1918 the records are kept in Russian. So if I view these in the regional Archive in Kielce, then I could add info to the microfilm I have already viewed,  for just the years 1885-1905 inclsuive. That is helpful, because I need my grandmother (Busia) Walerya Leszczynska’s birth record from about 1st-November-1886 in Biechow? I also want to search all of the alegata for: Elijasz, Leszczynski, Kedzierski, and Wlecialowski.

Kielce – Ecclesiastical Archive


The Church too has copies of the parish books/records that it keeps. Biechow is in the Kielce Diocessan Archive in the city of Kielce itself. I once found this image on the Internet on a Polish genealogy forum (now long since gone). Goes to show, you should keep the static web pages you find on your local hard drive.

Most of these are in the LDS microfilm: 936660, 936661, 936662, 936663, 936664, and 936665. Following the record groups are little notes, that I believe represent the fonds within the Church Archive that  hold those records. There are a few that are NOT in the LDS microfilm. Likewise there are a few in the LDS microfilm that are not in the Church Archive. SO I will need to look at these microfilm in the Church Archive in Kielce.

I have a similar image for Ksiaznice and Zborowek. My heart is heavy because I have never been able to find a similar document (text or image) for Pacanow. PLEASE can someone in Poland help me? It requires a visit to the Church Archive in Kielce to get this info (possibly a phone will get it). At any rate, if can get Pacanow, please can you email Stanczyk at

So once you find your ancestral parishes, this is what you should do. Build an inventory (a to do list) and a plan to get access to these resources for your family genealogy. Finding your ancestral parish is a process. I need to document my ideas, but that is another posting or two.

Lastly, plan to visit the parish office and the local priest. Be nice (obnoxious Americans please skip this step) and bring a gift of thanks for the priest and his office. When you leave, perhaps you can make a religious offering to the priest for a having a mass for your ancestors. What better way to honor your family and the local parish (or synagogue)! Please make the path easier for the next genealogist by being kind and respectful and generous. There may also be monuments and/or cemeteries in the area or at the church. Do not forget those too.

July 7, 2011

Ancestral Villages – Poland, Kielce (old woj.), Stopnica (pow.)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stopnica Pas 47 Slup 32 Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny 1938 (scale 1:100,000)

This picture is a map of the villages that Stanczyk’s ancestors were from. The river in the South-East corner of the map is the Wisla / Vistula river. To the South-central area are a few more villages that could not be shown: Oblekon and also Szczucin (across the Vistula). North of the Vistula, was the Russian-Poland partition. South of the Vistula was the Austrian-Poland partition. These partitions arose from Austria (aka Austrian-Hungarian Empire), Prussia, and Russia colluding in 1772, 1792, and finally in 1794 to divvy up the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until Poland had vanished from the map of Europe for about 125 years, until it reappeared in 1918. Between 1797 and 1815 various ex-expatriate Polish legions fought along side Napoleon, so the final boundaries of the three partitions continued to evolve until 1815 when Napoleon was finally defeated for good. It is ironic to me that this region on the map above changed hands so many times and that I had ancestors in two kingdoms who would marry across parishes (and indeed national boundaries).

So it was not really surprising to me that my Busia (grandmother) spoke: Polish, Russian and German and most Catholics prior to Vatican II did know a smattering of Latin since church masses were often in Latin. Indeed, my father related to me that my grandmother was fluent enough to make money during the Great Depression by translating letters to/from English to/from  Polish/Russian/German for Americans to be able to carry on correspondences in the old country.

Stanczyk remembers my grandmother speaking to me as a child in perfect English (with the lovely/charming Central European accent). I also vividly remember that after her stroke, she could only speak Polish (her native language). I would converse with my dad acting as translator between us in her kitchen over percolated coffee (ye gads — has it been nearly a half century of coffee drinking for me) from when I was about five or six years old.  My dad laughingly relates how when he was a boy, my grandmother would chastise him that his Polish was no good and that he should speak to her in English. Obviously his Polish was good enough that years later,  the three of us could chit-chat over coffee quite comfortably.

Stanczyk’s remembrances have caused me to digress. The point of this map was to list the villages where I have found vital records / church records for my Eliasz / Leszczynski / Wlecialowski / Kedzierski families. So here is my list (anyone else from here?):

Biechow (parish) – Biechow, Piestrzec, Wojcza, Wojeczka, Chrzanow

Pacanow (parish) – Pacanow, Zabiec, Kwasow

Various Other Parishes/Villages – Zborowek, Ksiaznice, Swiniary, Oblekon, Trzebica, Szczucin and I am sure many of the rest of villages surrounding these villages, but I have yet to see or connect the records to main branches of the family tree.

Now excuse me,  I must go get some more coffee.

June 25, 2011

Polish Genealogy: Useful Websites #2 … Digital Archives, Libraries, Church Archives

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday I wrote about Poland’s great website resources that we in the English speaking world should be using. I was thinking of the State Archives (national/regional), Libraries, and Ecclesiastical Archives. Now these are not the civil registration offices (USC) nor are these the parish church books. These are the duplicate records in the archives.

Furthermore, I was emphasizing the resources that have online resources, like a catalog (in the case of the PRADZIAD database) or even better digital images of documents or historical items. Yesterday’s article was already running long. So today, I am including a sampling of these resources (while I test/cleanup the others). With these you should be able to find the others yourself. I also apologize that these are heavily influenced by where I have ancestors.

A word of note to my cautious readers. The digital libraries all use a product called Dj Vu ( a browser plug-in) from LizardTech. I strongly urge you to utilize this software! I have used it for years with no worries. It works in both MS Windows and in MAC OS. I have used with many types of browsers and can usually get it to work as an add-in/plug-in to the browser or as a local applet that runs on the PC.

As for the websites, I have some advice there as well. First off, if you are comfortable working in Polish (język polski) then you should use this language. The reason is some sites offer more content only in Polish. If you are language challenged, then your next best option is to look for a little flag. The flag looks like the UK’s Union Jack or the USA’s Old Glory or sometimes a hybrid of the two. Clicking on that icon usually translates a page’s content into “mostly” English. Some button or menus or other user interface features may still be in Polish. For the most part, the websites do not force you to use the accented letters (diacriticals). You should test to verify you get the same results in your searches by doing it both ways. Some websites offer a little keyboard to help Americans enter the diacriticals when they are necessary. The GenealogIndexer website actually had a nice keyboard (see image above) that included the Cyrillic characters (in case you are searching in Russian/Ukrainian/BeloRussian/etc.), Hebrew characters and other Euro/Slavic characters.

Stanczyk wishes to thank Poland and its many archives and museums for providing these resources. I promise to come visit as a tourist and a RESEARCHER because you so kindly made it possible for me to extend my vacation/holiday to do some historical/genealogical research by providing these resources ahead of time while I am still at home and can prepare. Final word of advice, to those planning a research trip to Poland; Try these websites out to help you on locating the resources and their locations and even the details (i.e. FONDS, etc.). Make yourself familiar with access rules or have your guide do the leg-work so you can walk right in and begin your research without delay. Do not forget or ignore the parishes or the USC offices (civil records authority, like county-clerk in USA) or cemeteries; make time for parishes and archives both to ensure you see as much as you possibly can in one trip.

Now my sample resources are in the table below:

Digital Content from Poland’s Archives / Museums / Churches English Translation Websites
Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Państwowych The Head Office of State Archives
MaloPolska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Malopolska (LittlePoland)
WielkoPolska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Greater Poland in Poznan
Slaska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Silesia
Podlaska Biblioteka Cyfrowa Digital Library of Podlaska
Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych AGAD – Central Archives of Historical Records
Archiwum Państwowe w Kielcach State Archive in Kielce
Archiwum Państwowe w Rzeszowie State Archive in Rzeszów
Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (NAC) National Digital Archives
NAC – Search Archives link Search the Archives (Lublin, Poznan, Warsaw, Hoover Inst.)
Archiwum Diecezjalne – Kielce Kielce Diocessan Archives
Archiwum Diecezjalne – Tarnów Tarnów Diocessan Archives
June 24, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #2

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Donna Pointkouski ‘s question (about the Shoemaker’s Guild) reminded Stanczyk that he has needed for a while to collect his bookmarks/favorites/URLs together on the useful websites in Poland. In particular, the Online Archives.  Some of the nifty historical images in this blog have been gathered from these valuable resources.

Most genealogists know that you can use the LDS website and search for microfilm of Polish parishes or synagogues. But what if you wanted to search what was available in Poland itself as a way to see what else is available if you go to Poland to search its civil or ecclesiastical archives. Well, Stanczyk uses The Head Office of State Archives (the state archives of Poland) and in particular, I search the PRADZIAD database. You may also want to look at SEZAM, or ELA databases too.

But my images have been coming from Digital Libraries (in Polish = Biblioteka Cyfrowa). I have been collecting a spreadsheet of these digital libraries. They frequently use Dj Vu plug-in to display the scanned images of the books (or other materials). Some regional genealogy societies also have digitized books  (Książki Bibliotek Cyfrowych) on their websites. The one Stanczyk uses for his research is:  Digital Library of Malopolska (LittlePoland) .

The National Digital Archive has 15 million photos and thousands of audio files too. Recently they also implemented an interface (which seems to be implemented at a handful of Polish Archives) to search multiple Polish Archives. The image at left is “Search in Archives” in Polish.

So I have compiled a spreadsheet of Poland’s Archives and their websites. I believe most have an online catalog and some have also digitized some collections and placed those online too. So I have a TAB for Digital Libraries. Finally, I have compiled the Eclesiastical/Diocessan Archives. Since collecting these from Polish websites, I have determined that Poland and its websites are very dynamic and many links are broken. I have been researching them and correcting them where possible. Since this article is already too long …   tomorrow  a partial sample of the spreadsheet to enlighten people on what to search for.

May 23, 2011

President O’bama

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This Jester does not recall so much discussion on a president’s genealogy / vital records before. So as the President goes off to Europe, we once again hear about his ancestry ( Kenya, Hawaii,   IRELAND). President O’bama through his mother has a 3g grandfather named Falmouth Kearney (and 3g grandmother  Charlotte Holloway  — let’s not forget the women) from Moneygall, (County Offaly), Ireland. The President’s direct ancestry back through the Dunham lineage can be proudly found at Moneygall’s website.

Apparently the good genealogical research is due to the village’s Anglican priest, Stephen Neill (a muse himself), who barely has any parishioners in the overwhelmingly Catholic area but is arguably its most popular figure.

It was he who, in 2007, pored through birth and baptism records of the Templeharry Church of Ireland, 3 miles (5 kilometers) outside Moneygall, and made the fateful discovery of Falmouth Kearney’s baptism. He had received calls from American genealogist Megan Smolenyak who was pursuing the many branches of President Obama’s family heritage. Megan, too, will be in Moneygall to meet the president. [see also “Finding O’Bama” ]

Stanczyk also awaits the President’s visit to Poland on Saturday. Let’s change the VISA requirements for Polish people to come to the USA to match the rest of the EU nations. After-all, Poland has been a part of the coalition in Afghanistan. Let’s reward this loyal ally with the same privileges as the UK or France or Germany! I would like to remind people that Poland was the nation who upon being restored to its rightful borders after World War I, took the time to honor America’s 150th Anniversary with their Emblem of Friendship in 1926 from the children of Poland to the citizens of America (see prior Stanczyk musing here).

May 1, 2011

Santo Subito – The Blessed John Paul II (Part Two)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

✠ The Blessed John Paul II ✠

Today this Jester was moved to tears at the Mass of Beatification for The Blessed John Paul II. The Mass just completed was beautiful ! Bless His Holiness, Pope Benedict and all others whose preparation and works made today such a moving mass.

Today is Part Two – This is where Stanczyk wanted to write about Karol Józef Wojtyła‘s genealogical lineage. Blessed be those whose long lineage gave us this magnificent man.

Karol Józef Wojtyła b. 18-May-1920 in Wadowice. He was youngest of three children born to Emilia Kaczorowska + Karol Józef Wojtyła Sr. His beloved mother died in childbirth in 1929 and thus the 4th child within her too must have perished.

Karol Józef Wojtyła’s parents were as named above. Karol Józef Wojtyła Sr. was born 18-July-1879 in Lipnik (near Bielsko). His mother, Emilia Kaczorowska was born 26-March-1884 in Krakow. They were married 10-February-1906 in Wadowice. Karol Józef Wojtyła’s family died in 1914 (sister Olga), 1923 (grandfather Maciej Wojtyła), 1929 (mother Emilia), 1932 (brother Edmund), 1941 (father Karol) leaving him  a solitary pilgrim throughout his life.

Maciej WOJTYLA (paternal grandfather) was born 01-January-1852 in Czaniec. Anna PRZECZEK (paternal grandmother) was born 03-September-1878. Maciej also had a second wife: Maria ZALEWSKA born: 01-February-1861 in Lipnik , the daughter of Jozef ZALEWSKI. Feliks KACZOROWSKI (maternal grandfather) was born 26-June-1849 in Biala. Maria Anna SCHOLTZ (maternal grandmother) was born circa 1853.

The Wojtyła line continues backward with: Franciszek WOJTYLA + Franciszka GALUSZKA and one final generation: Bartlomiej WOJTYLA born circa 1788 Czaniec +  Anna HUDECKA born 1792 Bulowice. The Wojtyła family are purported to be from Czaniec originally (near Biala in the south of Poland).

As a genealogist, I should point out that all of this information is not sourced and should be verified by church records.

April 30, 2011

Santo Subito – John Paul “The Great” II (Part One)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk honors, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, who is being beatified tomorrow (1st-May-2011).

I want to write two parts upon this pope. Part One, is I want to write about his religious lineage. Part Two (on 5/1/2011), I want write about his genealogical lineage. The parallels to that statement should  be obvious, so I will not draw it. If you do not get it, then read a good book.

Both parts will start with Karol Józef Wojtyła‘s birth. If you look at the prayer card to the left, you will see:

Birth-Priest-Bishop-Cardinal-Pope-Deceased-Beatified. That is the timeline: 1920-1946-1958-1967-1978-2005-2011, a period 91 years. If canonization occurs then we may well be speaking about a century or more. The dates are to the left (uh, or above) on the prayer card. But that is not what I meant by the great pope’s religious lineage. What I mean is right here ( So here is his religious lineage:

Episcopal Lineage / Apostolic Succession:

There is also another religious lineage. The great pope is the 264th pope in direct line back to Saint Peter (the Apostle). John Paul II, was not the longest reigning pope, nor was he the oldest pope. That is his papal lineage (also a religious lineage).

The known Catholic lineages are:

1. The Patriarchate of Constantinople claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Andrew.
2. The Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Mark.
3. The Russian Orthodox Church claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Andrew.
4. The Armenian Apostolic Church claims unbroken succession to the Thrones of Saint Bartholomew and Saint Thaddeus (Jude).
5. The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Mark.
6. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian) claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Thomas.
7. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus claims unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Barnabas.
8. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims succession to the Throne of Saint Philip.
9. The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem claims succession to the Throne of Saint James the Just, although this line includes Patriarchs in exile.
10. The Roman Catholic Church claim unbroken succession to the Throne of Saint Peter called “Prince of the Apostles”. This is the papal lineage of John Paul II.
Interestingly, the only religious lineage that does not go back to an undisputed Apostle is  #9 above (the Patriarch of Jerusalem). Saint James the Just was not the Apostle James (brother of Saint John the Apostle), but the hotly disputed brother of Jesus. Having said that why are there no  Orthodox Churches with lineages back to the two Apostles (and brothers), James and John? Stanczyk does not know! If anyone does, please email me.
April 24, 2011

Happy Easter ✞ Wesołych Świąt

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Happy Easter    Wesołych Świąt

April 23, 2011

1926 – Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In 1926, on the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, the children and government of Poland had undertaken a massive effort of friendship with their Polish Declaration of Admiration & Friendship for the USA. Poland had only re-emerged 8 years earlier at the end of World War I, from nearly a 150 years of occupation! Imagine if you will, a nation occupied nearly the entire history of these United States of America who with the help of the Allied Powers in World War I (including the USA) and with the aid of Americans (USA and Canadians) who formed an expatriate army, known as Haller’s Army or the Polish Army in France.  These Allied Powers through 1918 and Haller’s Army through the early 1920 skirmishes, re-established the borders of Poland between the two World Wars and bottled up Communism for another two decades.

You will be forgiven gentle reader if you have never heard of this gift from the people and government of Poland to the people and government of the USA on their 150th Anniversary of our nation’s founding. President Calvin Coolidge received the gift and placed it into the Library of Congress  (LOC) where it was forgotten until 70 years later in 1996 when it was re-discovered. The LOC has digitized 13 of the 111 volumes which has the signatures of approximately 5.5 Million Polish school children. There is also an index to the location names of the schools in the other volumes that have not yet been digitized. The main LOC page (also reachable from the index page above is here):

The LOC has not produced a searchable index person names from the digitized volumes. Fortunately, there exists a web app with nearly 3,000 pages scanned to produce a person name index of nearly 250,000 people by the the PTG (Polish Genealogical Society) with a summary of the project so far here. The PTG searchable index is reachable from their main page:

and clicking upon ‘Declarations‘ on the left side of the main page. The page is in Polish.  ‘Tom’ = Volume (type 1 – 13) and ‘Strona’ = Page. You can use the LOC website to locate the volume and page of  interest to you and reach the same page here at PTG. You enter the TOM and the STRONA and click on the ‘Pokaz’ button to go to the image of that volume and page to read the names. Remember that most schools have more than one page. PTG however, also has a way to search on the names. In the first field (no name) you can type a last name and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search on the name. The check box (‘dokladnie’) should be left unchecked (to avoid having to enter diacritics) for the name you are searching on. Many American Polish names are spelled differently from their original names in Poland. You  can overcome this somewhat by using a wildcard character at the end. For example, if Stanczyk wanted to search for ELIASZ or ELIJASZ or ELJASZ, he could enter ‘EL%’ and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search for those possible spellings.

The wildcard can also be used in the middle as shown in the picture below:

Stanczyk got all good matches except for number 2. In particular,  matches 3,4,5 are probably Stanczyk’s ancestors, since Tom/Volume 13, Strona/Page 419-420 is for the school in the village of Pacanow from whence Stanczyk’s direct lineage comes from. Now I could use those Tom’s and Strona’s to bring up the image of the page with those signatures and save the image in my family history.

There is also a nice web page in the LOC, called Emblem of Goodwill with many details of the friendship between Poland and the USA. It also includes pictures of the artwork in the volumes and even a few photos of two classes.

March 1, 2011

Stan “The Man” Musial – Presidential Medal of Honor

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester always eagerly awaits, Fred Hoffman‘s Gen Dobry newsletter every month. As usual I was intrigued by an article. They wrote about Stan Musial and how on February 15, 2011 how President Obama presented him (along with others) the Presidential Medal of Honor. Like moje zona, I keep a database of my ethnicity in my head. This also intrigued me as the MUSIAL (or more likely, MUSIAŁ) name is also found in my grandparents parish and it is found in some abundance in Detroit / Toledo areas. In fact, there is at least one Musial-Eliasz combination from Detroit/Toledo, so I mused, “Was Stan the Man’s family from my ancestral villages?”.

That is the premise of today’s blog. I went to the Wikipedia link above and found out that Stan’s father was Lukasz and that Stan was born in Donora, PA (nestled on the banks of the Monongahela River in South-West corner of PA). Since Stan was born in Donora, PA, then perhaps it was his father who emigrated to the USA. So I went  to and searched their Immigration records for Lukasz. Of course, as most Polish names are, it was misspelled (Musial was correct, but Lukasz was spelled/indexed as Lukacz). Lukasz came from Myslowa and arrived in the US on 30th-January-1910 on the President Grant ship at the age of 16 (implies a birth year about 1894)!  He was heading to Donora, PA. I’d say, I found my man. Oh Stan,  if you are interested, your grandfather’s name is Piotr. Lukasz’s ship manifest said he was born in Myslowa. Stanczyk did not know the name of Myslowa, so I went to the website tried to locate it. It came up with three possibilities in present day Poland and all were spelled Myslow. I did check the excellent reference by Brian Lenius and it did show a Myslowa and indicated its parish was:  Podwoloczyska [the ship manifest did indicate Austria-Polish].  So no matter which of the four locales are correct, the MUSIALs were NOT from my ancestral villages.

But if you are related to “Stan the Pan” Musial, then perhaps this is the lead you need to follow up on. Congratulations Stan Musial on your well deserved Medal of Honor.

January 15, 2011

1797 Marriage in Swiniary parish, Jakob Eliasz & Zuzanna Paszenska

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

January 8, 2011

Biechow – Births in 1753 & 1754

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 4, 2011

Biechow Parish 1814 Marriages

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

1814 Groom Age Bride Age Rec#’s Notes Widowed Galician Village ~Birth Yr, Groom ~Birth Yr, Bride
1 Wincenty Sardela 24 Maryanna Zarazionka 25 115,116,117 1790 1789
2 Wincenty Rayczowski 19 Maryanna Kaminszczonka 19 112,113,114 1795 1795
3 Ignacy Maychra 25 Franciszka Sobonka 24 109,110,111 bride was a widow 1 1789 1790
4 Piotr Orlowski 23 Katarzyna Kotanska 22 106,107,108 1791 1792
5 Marcin Grzywacz 23 Maryanna Zmyslowna 24 103,104,105 1791 1790
6 Michal Watroba 22 Franciszka Czaplonka 16 100,101,102 1792 1798
7 Jan Luszcz 18 Katarzyna Mrzyglodowna 15 98,99 no marriage record 1 1796 1799
8 Jakob Bayka 24 Anjela Maychrowna 20 96,97 groom was a widower; no marriage record 1 1790 1794
9 Gabrych skladzien 28 Elzbieta Jurkowska 17 93,94,95 1786 1797
10 Jan Fosara 25 Giertruda Stefanie 18 90,91,92 1789 1796
11 Piotr Prukop 23 Magdalena Zmyslowna 36 87,88,89 bride is a widow (maiden name Fortuna) 1 1791 1778
12 Maciej Wrobel 23 Malgorzata Domin 20 86 only marriage record (no banns) 1791 1794
13 Jan Kanty Woycika 40 Elzbieta Cepilka 34 83,84,85 both were widowed. 1 Szczucin 1774 1780
14 Jozef Obara 32 Malgorzata Wieczorkowa 30 80,81,82 bride was a widow 1 1782 1784
15 Marcin Piopzona 27 Maryanna Stracka 29 77,78,79 1787 1785
16 Maciej Wrobel 23 Malgorzata Domin 20 75,76 see marriage record #86 1791 1794
17 Jakob Dydysia 40 Franciszka Czaplonka 24 72,73,74 groom was a widower 1 1774 1790
18 Lukasz Wodziak 19 Maryanna Poniewierczonka 21 69,70,71 1795 1793
19 Grzegorz Smydra 41 Dorota Kaminszczonka 20 66,67,68 groom was a widower 1 1773 1794
20 Jan Szydla 19 Marta Goleniowna 18 63,64,65 1795 1796
21 Jacenty Fortuna 26 Maryanna Pawelkowna 16 60,61,62 1788 1798
22 Grzegorz Ziemba 34 Maryanna Maychrowa 43 57,58,59 bride was a widow 1 1780 1771
23 Stanislaw Materna 23 Agnieszka Pekaciczka 34 54,55,56 bride was a widow (maiden name Lutego) 1 1791 1780
24 Benedykt Blayda 22 Agnieszka Zielinszczonka 17 51,52,53 1792 1797
25 Jan Zdrala 34 Helena Stoykowa 30 49,50 bride was a widow; no marriage record 1 1780 1784
26 Jakob Maychra 44 Teresia Karamanaczyna 46 46,47,48 both were widowed. 1 1770 1768
27 Maciej Bebel 21 Maryanna Pireczka 21 43,44,45 1793 1793
28 Franciszek Garstka 30 Malgorzata Zaraszczonka 25 40,41,42 groom was widower 1 1784 1789
29 Marcin Juda 41 Maryanna Salaszyna 30 37,38,39 both were widowed. 1 1773 1784
30 Jakob Domin 40 Agata Wroblowna 25 34,35,36 1774 1789
31 Piotr Ragana 29 Kunegunda Blaydowna 24 31,32,33 1785 1790
32 Kazimierz Walaska 54 Malgorzata Maychrowa 35 28,29,30 both were widowed. 1 1760 1779
33 Maciej Luszcz 41 Barbara Leykowna 22 25,26,27 groom was a widower 1 1773 1792
34 Woyciech Omyla 30 Helena Zarazionka 16 22,23,24 groom was a widower 1 1784 1798
35 Woyciech Zdybia 33 Jadwiga Cyskowa 25 19,20,21 both were widowed. 1 1781 1789
36 Jozef Kosiolka 53 Maryanna Gorszczonka 27 16,17,18 groom was a widower 1 1761 1787
37 Stanislaw Dalackowski 60 Helena Goleniewska 44 13,14,15 both were widowed. 1 1754 1770
38 Kazimierz Kordos 56 Maryanna Stokarzka 38 10,11,12 both were widowed. 1 1758 1776
39 Jan Kaminski 56 Elzbieta Nowakowna 29 7,8,9 groom was a widower 1 1758 1785
40 Grzegorz Kopcia 46 Helena Nowakowa 24 4,5,6 both were widowed. 1 1768 1790
41 Bartlomiej Obara 45 Maryanna Wroblowna 20 1,2,3 groom was a widower 1 1769 1794
Counts: 24
Avg Male Age 32.59 Avg Female Age 25.44 Percentage of 2nd Marriages: 58.54
January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011 – Where Are My Roots ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


December 28, 2010

1810 Biechow (powiat Stopnica) Births Index

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon








The image above and the second image below are the top and bottom digital picture of the 1810 Birth Index page from Biechow parish (of Stopnica powiat).

A Transcription of names is as follows:

Birth Record    Name
15        Balicki, Jan Kanty
16        Bugay, Katarzyna
3        Ciosiowna, Rosalia
18        Czapla, Andrzey
1        Domin, Jadwiga
13        Fitas, Franciszek
11        Gladysz, Franciszek
12        Gula, Marcin
28        Golen, Mikolaj
4        Koziol. Michal
22        Krzemienski, Barbara
2        Luszcz, Rosalia
23        Lukasik, Tomasz
24        Pinkiasz, Hercyk (Szmulowicz)    Jewish
25        Pekacik, Ewa
10        Resil, Katarzyna
21        Rzand, Barbara
5        Siuda, Jadwiga
6        Sobon, Tekla
26        Stefanie, Kasper
7        Wrobel, Michal
9        Wach, Jadwiga
17        Watroba, Salomea
8        Zdrowski, Antoni Michal (dwoyga Imion)
19        Zmysla, Stanislaw i Andrzey (bliznieta=twins)

Tags: ,
December 27, 2010

News From … The Head Office of State Archives (Poland)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Digitalization of  Leszno  Archive
21 December 2010

The State Archive  in Leszno and Poznan invite you to promote the project “Digitalization of Leszno  Archive. ” The meeting will be held on Wednesday 22 December this year(2010) at  11.00 at the headquarters of the State Archive in Leszno,  Street:  Solski 71st Promotion will be accompanied by the opening of the exhibition “The History of Leszno in the Archival Documentation. ”

The project was implemented under the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage “Digital Resources” priority “Digitisation of Archival Heritage” with the cooperation of the City of Leszno.

Source: The Head Office of State Archives

January 16, 2009

Hello Internet… are you there?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

w_blueelcome to my blog!

If you read the About you will see that I am Stanczyk. As a jester, I will try to be amusing while I am musing.  Do you like my picture (I was painted by Matejko)?


What you cannot tell is that I am Polish and I am sitting in a library.  I have been employed by three Polish kings: Alexander, Sigismund the Old and Sigismund Augustus. I am an unabashed bibliophile hence why I spend so much of my free time in libraries. I like to trace my less than regal family lineage which can be found hither and yon about the Internet. I also tend to wander for work and what not.

I have wandered to many libraries, like The Library of Congress, the Family History Library (in Salt Lake City), and recently to a rather interesting bookstore. My wandering jests took me to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where I visited Baldwin’s Book Barn. This bookstore amused me and I easily whiled away more than an hour combing through the barn and its four floors with 300,000 books! Genealogists and bibliophiles make haste to their store.


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