Posts tagged ‘Polish’

February 25, 2018

The Other Things Found — #Historical #Polish #Newspapers

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

While Stanczyk was searching newspapers for military conscripts, he found many items useful to genealogy…

Today was a landholders chart for Niegosławice village, in Pacanów gmina, Stopnica powiat of 22-June-1933.

Found in Newspaper: Kielecki Dziennik Wojewódzki

Stanczyk would like to call your attention to one of his ancestors, on line 12 (Leon Wleciał).

This chart had four columns:

Line Number, Landholder(s), Plot Number, Plot area in ha (hectares).

So on Line #12 (col. 1), we see Leon Wleciał (col. 2), Plot #18 (col. 3), 6.1019ha (col. 4).

This Leon was not the Leon who came to America, but the Leon who was a witness/god-father in church records for the Wleciałowscy who came to America (and some who stayed in Poland too).

You want to search for:

Okręgowego Urzęd Ziemskiego

(Official District Land in <gubernia-name>).

April 29, 2017

Dziennik Polski (Detroit) — #Newspapers #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been very busy! A long overdue update to my Rootsweb page on Dziennik Polski has been done … more to come!

Also this jester has added 6,000 names to the Complete Index (nearly 42,000 Poles) including adding names (& relationships to deceased) listed on the Funeral Cards. The One-Step db app based on this data needs to be re-done. 

April 21, 2017

A Little Bit of Blog Bigos … — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This blog post became necessary because blog topics overran my ability to write blog posts … so here is a bit of Bigos (a mishmash) / hunter’s hodge-podge of blog topics in minature, some of which foreshadow a larger blog post (or two).

Ancestry.appAncestry released version 8.2. Security & some bugs were addressed … but the big news is image/record viewer! For a long time I despaired over the inability of the smartphone app to display the images at full resolution necessary for detailed analysis. So Stanczyk tried the image at top that this jester received from third-cousin that became a seminal document for both of us genealogists! Wow! The image viewer was great! 

In fact, I noticed a detail in the record as I was trying to detail the church record’s Polish for our shared ancestors. The image notes are below … (see Church Marriage Register)
One of the witnesses was a JAN ZASUCHA. It just so happened that I had an unfinished blog piece from mid December 2016 that was languishing in draft mode. It was upon Zasucha and how this affiliated family was related to me because my second-great-grandmother was Anna Zasucha.  So here was another example that 100 years ago the Pacanów families in America were very close and related at some level to my Eliasz/Elijasz/Elyasz/etc. family. I will finish that blog. I am hoping there is a 3rd/4th cousin in Poland with images or info about Anna Zasucha. [Editor’s Note – published Zasucha article on 20-April-2017; URL:  ]

Jennifer Holik
I also have a new blog post in progress about a new Ancestry database that was brought to my attention by Chicago genealogist, Jennifer Holik. She is an expert on Military (especially WWII) genealogy records. So she had a brief piece on US Army funerial Transport ships and I noticed the database had WWI Transports and I wondered if some Haller’s Army troops were transported via that. (Spoiler alert … yes!).

Church Marriage Register – Roza Wleciałowski & Adam Gawlikowski

Adam Gawlikowski – kawaler, 27, syn Marcina i Maryanny Lisów z Opatowiec, Kieleckie

Rozalia Wleciałowska – panna, 20, corka Maciej i Kat.  Eliasz z Pacanowa – Kiel.

sw. Marcoli Dusza, Jan Zasucha



sl. 19/8

o 9ty

Klęczu z.

— — — transcription above / translation below

Adam Gawlikowski – bachelor, age 27, son of  Marcin (Gawlikowski) & Maryanna z. Lisów of Opatowiec in Kieleckie (Gubernia of Russian-Poland)

Rozalia Wleciałowska – maiden, age 20, daughter of Maciej (Wleciałowski) & Katarzyna Eliasz of Pacanow in Kieleckie (Gubernia of Russian-Poland)

witnesses Marcoli (spelling uncertain) Dusza, Jan Zasucha


Marriage #4 (of 1912) at Sweetest Heart of Mary, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan

Marriage August 19th

9pm (time)


March 18, 2017

Stanley Babiarz from Pacanów — #Birth

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Akt#50 (lower left corner of church register image):

For Elizabeth E. (on ancestry).


Record Date: 21-March-1885   Parish: Pacanów

Father: Józef Babiarz of Rataje, age 30

Witnesses:  Walenty Madej, age 26,  Walenty Czapliak age 46

Birth Date: today? (21-March-1885)

Mother: Marianna (née) Smystek age 25

Baby: Stanisław

god parents: Józef Plakta(sp?) & Salomeja Wybraniowa

May 31, 2015

Meet Private Wojtek, the Nazi fighting Bear-Soldier — #Polish #History #WWII

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Private Wojtek

Private Wojtek


This article from has pictures and personal anecdotes that this jester has not seen before and I recommend you read this uplifting story (and my two stories for a complete picture of this hero-bear)!

Meet Private Wojtek, the Nazi fighting bear-soldier

Twice before has Stanczyk written about Private Wojtek, the Polish Army Bear:


May 10, 2015

Letter From Olivier – #Genealogy, #Polish, #Russian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Olivier, first thanks for reading/writing the blog …

I’ve been reading your genealogy blog for a year now and I’ve found some nice infomration from and a lot of good humour as well, thank you and good job.
I trying to research my in-law’s side of the family. They come from Lomza and Grajewo region of Poland, I believe it is the Podlaskie District. The names are Bruszkiewicz and Jurkowski, and Trepanowski (a cousin).

I registered with and and metryki but it doesn’t look as easy as how you made it look in your blog stories to find available scans. And then when I go to the Polish State Archives, well the short of it is I don’t read Russian (and I don’t read Polish either but I can read indexes, I can’t in Russian) and I don’t know how to spell Bruszkiewicz in Russian. So when I am faced with an index or i’m looking at a page of 4 birth certificates, i don’t even know what I’m looking at.

Then I will need to find help with translations.

Do you have any tips on how to translate a Polish family name into how it would be spelled in Russian? And written by hand in a civil register?

As anyone indexed these parishes?

Any encouragements or tips would be welcomed if possible 🙂 The whole thing feels like a brick wall!

Thank you for any help, and good job on the blog!

Best, Olivier

Ok let me see in what ways I can help you:

  1. First I am self taught in Russian and Polish from books written by William F. Hoffman and Jon Shea. So I’d recommend purchasing & reading their books, “In Their Own Words …” .  Volumes I & II.
  2. Also it is helpful to know Polish and learn the families and village names in Polish as this will help when you learn to read Russian. Translating names back & forth between Polish & Russian is more art than science.  So knowing family names  before tackling helps. Lets try a few names: Eliasz became Elijasz under Russian (1868-1918) in Russian-Poland partition. So I was expecting to see: елиашь  or элиашь but was surprised to see it as: елияшь  or элияшь in Russian/Cyrillic. So learn the Cyrillic “alphabet”  and the sounds of those letters so you can transliterate Polish/English/Latin letters into Russian/Cyrillic. has a good English-to-Russian (and vice-versa) tool at:

So if we try, “Bruszkiewicz”, we get (try the first one, but keep in mind that you are liable to see any below):

Брушзкивич, Брюшзкивич, Бружзкивич, Брюжзкивич, Брушжкивич, Брюшжкивич, Бружжкивич, Брюжжкивич, Брушзкиевич, Брюшзкиевич, Бружзкиевич, Брюжзкиевич, Брушжкиевич, Брюшжкиевич, Бружжкиевич, Брюжжкиевич

  1. You are correct about Lomza/Grajewo current wojewowdztwo. Both appear to be indexed in Geneteka. You can try the website:
  2. Grajewo is in Szukajwarchiwach (1890-1912): . Have you read my documentation for using Szukajwarchiwach?
  3. Let’s see what “Bruszkiewicz” looks like in 1890 index in Cyrillic cursive writing: … ok I could not find Bruszkiewicz in a handful of years that I searched in both Grajewo and Lomza. Perhaps you need to verify the locale.
  4. So I went back to Geneteka and found a Bruszkiewicz in the index that I could locate online. I wanted to show you what it looks like in cursive Cyrillic:



February 14, 2015

St. Stanislaus Cemetery — Hamilton, MERCER COUNTY, NJ — #Genealogy #Volunteer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk was taking a road trip last weekend.

I took a page out of Jonathan Shea’s book, “Going Home”. In an Appendix, he lists the Polish Cemeteries across the USA. So in a kind of RAOGK, and as a way to contribute to PGSCT&NE, I started to take pics of tombstones and transcribe the pics for an index.

In a single visit I was able to do about 40% of the cemetery. I of course, am sending my entire contribution to PGSCT&NE. But, two tombstones had pics attached to the tombstone and I admired these two tombstones so much, I also added them to FindAGrave.

#Volunteer genealogists; Its another way to collaborate.

Below is the one from the Maławski family (click to enlarge):


Marcin, Stanislawa Malawski

December 23, 2014

Christmas Wish #2014 — #Polish #Genealogy #Tradition

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

XmasWishStanczyk wanted to wish all the best of the Season’s Greeting !

— So today’s blog article is what I wish for us genealogists.



  1. That bloggers add, “#genealogy” and “#Polish” (or whatever specialty) to their blog titles and/or their body of their blogs, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets. You may have noticed this author adds “#Genealogy” at the end of my blog titles. The reason being is these articles are shared with: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, & LinkedIn. These hashtags help researchers find our stuff in Google/Bing/Yahoo search engines. I feel the #Polish is vitally important for other genealogy researchers  to find us. Please try and add this to your social posts.
  2. That people join Polish Genealogical Societies.
  3. That people try to perform one act of genealogical kindness or partake in one genealogy project each year. Genealogy is perhaps the one research that benefits most from “crowd-sourcing” or other collaboration.
  4. In Jonathan Shea’s book, Going Home , he lists in Appendix A, Polish Parishes around the USA. Almost every state has one or more. Can we all go around to the nearest local Polish church and photograph and index the names on the tombstones/headstones from the cemeteries with the dates? Email whatever you get to Stanczyk (click on image) and I will see it gets to PGSCT&NE for their project and/or post on the web in this blog or elsewhere as appropriate. This will enable all to find the data via web searches.
  5. That Polish bloggers, journals/e-zines and newspapers cross refer each other to their readers. I know I will do a Polish Newspaper column in January in this blog. Of course, my blog roll refers you readers to other Polish Blogs too.

Does anybody else have any good suggestions for wishes? Email me or Comment on this blog article.

Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku !




March 7, 2014

Another Alegata Article — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Russian, #Cyrillic

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

19070124_Alegata_Marr_Elijasz_Leszczynski copy

75 kopeks. The cost of that stamp on an alegata. In case, you cannot read Cyrillic or do not recognize it on the cancellation mark of the stamp — it says:

11/24 January 1907

This stamp appeared on an alegata document, describing my paternal grandparents, Jozef Elijasz & Waleryja Leszczynska. You can see from the civil and church records of theirs, that this is their marriage date.

So now I have three Polish  authoritative sources for their marriage (date/place).

I found this alegata a bit fascinating. First it had the stamp. Second it listed my grandfather & his parents, but only my grandmother (without her parents  — fortunately, the other two records listed those parents). Third and most puzzling is the marriage bann dates:

13th, 20th, 27th January [of 1907 implied]. But wait a minute, the date of the alegata is 11/24 January, 1907. That is three days before their marriage date. So this “official document” had listed a future date [of the marriage], I guess giving them permission to marry in the church assuming the 3rd bann was a foregone conclusion. The future date so messed with my mind and comprehension of Russian/Cyrillic that I had to check and recheck the three documents to assure myself I was reading it correctly and that they had used a future date in the alegata!

Oh, the 11/24 January 1907 thing?  That is just the custom of “dual dating”. The earlier date is the Julian date: 11-January-1907, as the Russian calendar was still using the Julian calendar. While the 24-January-1907 is the Gregorian calendar that we use today. Of course you can find liturgical calendars (Russian Orthodox for example) that still use the Julian Calendar for their religious events (i.e. EASTER). Why is it 13 days difference?  They were in the 20th century and another day difference between the two calendars, as compared to the majority of the church records (1868-1900 during when the Russian language  was the defacto language of administration records) in the Russian partition which were 12 days apart.

— — —  Alegata …

read more »

September 23, 2013

Map of Poland 1764 – Polish Coat of Arms By Province — #Polish, #Heraldic, #CoatOfArms

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Jozef Taran wrote over the weekend on Facebook about a website giving the coat of arms of the various provinces.

Stanczyk just loves the artistry and historicity of heraldic symbols.  But, it was a bonus! At the site was a 1764 map of the Poland/Lithuanian Commonwealth.

As a double bonus, I looked at the whole website: and it is a site dedicated to Szlachta (Polish Nobility). It has Polish/English text. Very nice find for those with blue blood coursing through their genealogical veins.

The 1764 Map is shown on the Maps Page.

August 30, 2013

Gesher Galicia — Tabula Register — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Jewish, #Ukrainian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GesherGaliciaGesher Galicia has really been adding content and also a website redesign of late. I am planning on joining this genealogical society. The reason is their projects and current databases, maps, and variety of resources that can aid all genealogists and especially Jewish Genealogists with family from the former Galicia region (now western part in Poland, eastern part in Ukraine) of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (aka Hapsburg). So Ukrainian and Polish genealogists take note!

This little tidbit was found because of a PGSCT&NE posting in Twitter/Facebook. So keeping tabs on events in social media (or reading this blog) can keep you informed on the latest contributions by genealogists, the world over. Follow these societies and join them and volunteer your time. I am sure Gesher Galicia members knew about this and active meeting goers may have been informed, but it is now the Internet/Cloud that keeps the vast majority of genealogists informed and involved. Keep up the good work!

The Gesher Galicia website has an article by Alexander Dunai. Alexander also has another, more complete article on his website which you should go read ( on Tabula Registers and their purpose, plus a list of towns is available with this genealogy resource at URL:

The list of towns from that article with Tabula Registers for the Villages and Towns of Galicia:

 Bandrow  Bania Kotowska  Belz (15 vols)
 Berwinkowa  Bialoberezka  Bialogora
 Bialy Kamien  Blyszczywody (incl. in Mokrotyn)  Bolechow
 Bolehowce  Brody (32 vols, 1794-1884)  Bronica
 Brzegi Dolne  Brzezany (12 vols)  Buda (incl. in Wysoka)
 Busk (5 vols)  Cholojow  Chorocowa
 Chyrow  Czajkowice  Dobra
 Dobrohostow  Dobromyl (16 vols)  Dobrzanica (incl. in Uszkowice)
Dolhopol  Dolina (10 vols)  Dolina area villages (incl. in Lopianka)
 Drohobycz & suburbs (81 vols)  Dunajow vicinity villages
 Dynow (3 books, 1780-1825)
 Engelsbruk  Falkenberg  Falkenstein
 Folwarki Wielke & Folwarki Male  Gaje Starobrodskie  Gerynia (incl. in Witwica)
 Gleboka  Gliniany (8 volumes)  Grodek Jagiellonski (11 volumes 1797-1880)
 Halicz (10 vols. 1753-1886)  Holowy  Hoszow
 Hoszow (incl. in Stankowce)  Hrusatycze (incl. in Strzeliska)  Hubice
 Huczko  Jagielnica  Jaroslaw (50 vols. 1792-1892)
 Jasien  Jasienica  Jasienica Solna
 Jaworow (9 vols. 1792-1893)  Jozefow  Kalusz (7 vols. 1758-1822)
 Kamionka Strumilowa (21 books)  Katyna  Kimirz
 Kniahinin (4 vols. 1801-1885)  Kniazpol  Kobasz
 Kolomyja (30 volumes)  Kolpiec  Komarno
 Korostow  Kotacin  Krakowiec
 Krasnoila  Krechow  Kropiwnik Nowy & Stary
 Krystynopol (7 vols. 1792-1883)  Kulczyce  Kulikow
 Kurowice  Kuty (18 vols, 1781-1888)  Kwaszenina
 Lacke  Liskowate  Liszczyny
 Lisznia  Lopianka  Lodyna
 Lopuszanka  Lopusznica  Lubycza Krolewska
 Makow  Mariampol (3 vols, 1807-1855)  Migowo
 Mizun  Modrycz  Mokrotyn
 Mokrotyn, Smerekow, Przedrzymichy, & Blyszczywody  Muzylowice  Nadziejow (incl. in Lopianka)
 Nahujowice  Nanow  Narajow
 Neudorf (incl. in Bolechowce)  Niedwedza  Nojdorf (incl. in Zawidowice)
 Nowe Miasto (1 volume)  Obersdorf  Olesko (3 vols, 1798-1882)
 Orow  Paprotno  Plebania
 Polana  Potylicz  Powitno
 Prochnik (14 vols, 1814-1874)  Przerzymichy (incl. in Mokrotyn)  Przemysl with suburbs (56 vols, 1799-1894)
 Przemyslany (11 vols, 1816-1881)  Radziechow (2 vols, 1827-1874)  Raniowice
 Rawa Ruska (12 vols, 1796-1882)  Rodatycze  Rogozno
 Rozenburg  Rozen Maly and Rozen Wielki  Roztoki
 Roztoczki (incl. in Witwica)  Rudawka  Rudki (4 vols)
 Rybno with Slobodka  Rybotycze  Rymanow with neighboring villages (6 vols, 1782-1888)
 Sambor & neighboring villages (69 volumes)  Sielec  Smereczna
 Smerekov (incl.  Mokrotyn)  Slobodka  Smolnica
 Smolno  Sniatyn (vols, 1791-1832)  Sokal (vols. with index)
 Solec  Sopotnik  Stainfeld
 Stanila with Stebnik and Kolpets  Stanislawow & suburbs (99 vols. 1784-1882)  Stankowce with Hoszow
 Stare Miasto  Stary Sambor  Starzawa Sanocka
 Stebne with Dolhopol  Stebnik  Strzeliska Nowe and Stare
 Sulukow (incl.  Lopianka)  Szmankowce  Tarnawa
 Tartakow (1 vol. 1817-1883)  Tarnopol city (50 vols.).  Trebowla (12 vols. 1803-1886)
 Truskawiec (incl. Tustanowice)  Tudiow  Tustanowice (1802-1889)
 Tyzlow  Uhnow  Ulyczno
 Untervalden (incl. in Uszkowice)  Ustrzyki Dolne (1855-1880)  Uszkowice
 Warez  Wierzblany  Witkow Nowy
 Witwica incl. Roztoczki & Gerynia  Wojnilow (3 vols, 1652-1839)  Wolica
 Wysocko  Wysoka & Buda  Wyzniany & vicinity
 Zablotow (3 vols)  Zaleszczyki (4 vols)  Zawidowice & Nojdorf
 Zbadyn  Zbaraz (8 vols)  Zloczow (50 vols)
 Zolkiew (24 vols)  Zoltantce  Zurawno (2 vols)
 Zydaczow (8 vols)

Thank You

Thank you, Alexander Dunai,  for this fine piece of research. I will be visiting your website and taking a further look at your other efforts too. Very nice website!

August 24, 2013

From The Mailbag … — #Genealogy, #Royalty, #Polish, #Szlachta

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

From the Post Office Department

From the Post Office Department

The minions in the Email-Room dropped off a missive at my virtual cubicle today. Today’s question is about Polish Royalty & DNA as it relates to genealogy …

Hi, I stumbled across your blog and thought you might could help me. We are searching for my father’s ancestry and think he is a Poniatowski. My grandfather Andrzej changed his name when he came to America in 1909. The story we always heard was that he was royal. So I have my father’s yDNA markers but cannot find a surname project online for the Poniatowskis or other Polish nobles. Do you know of any? Maybe you can give me some advice? I sure would appreciate it! Thanks in advance for sharing anything.
Kristian Krawford
—  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —


Welcome to the blog. DNA plays a role in genealogy in some ways, but it is NOT for every genealogist. It is due the certainty factor (I favor >97% certainty) takes you back beyond the number of generations that most people tracing Slavic/Polish genealogy can do UNLESS they have royal blood. Your question gives me yet another reason to endorse limited use of DNA in genealogy. I am in favor of using DNA in your case because, you want to determine if you have royal blood or not and specifically whether or not you are related to Poniatowski szlactha (nobility).

Now to the crux of your question. You have your family DNA and want to compare it. has some capacity, but perhaps because they have so little Polish emphasis in their data, their DNA may be lacking from Polish genealogists families. So…

You can Google:  

  Y-DNA project of Polish Nobility families 

That led me to:

This web page had a very extensive list of family names with their DNA markers. I hope you can find your markers in these that are available. Notice that is “Y-DNA”. The mt-DNA will not work for you as that is the maternal/mitochondrial DNA that is passed from Mother to all children (relatively unchanged, except by mutation) and the Y-DNA is the paternal DNA passed from father to sons (23rd chromosome). The rest of the DNA is called autosomal / atDNA (see  Genealogical DNA test). This link is a good link for introduction of DNA terms to the genealogist.

Good Luck!


August 22, 2013

#Meme — Things I Find Whilst Looking Up Other Things — #Genealogy, #Art, #GettyMuseum

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


The Getty Museum released on 14th-August-2013 over 4,000 images into public domain (i.e. free). According to the ArtObserved article on the museum’s  public release made public on their Getty Iris blog, this is part of their, “Open Content” commitment of their digital resources.

You can search these images using:  Getty Search Gateway .

Stanczyk, knows what you’re thinking, “I am too busy on my genealogy to search through museum images”. But I politely urge you to reconsider. While I was searching their images, I found a genealogical family tree, of Duke Ludwig I of Brzeg (amongst many other images he commissioned). A Polish noble of house Piast. So if your family tree intersects, get thee to the Getty Museum. For those curious, I have posted the images to this blog. The text is Fraktur looking, gothic, German script.



Other Duke Ludwik I, Family Tree Images …

DukeLudiwg_I_02 DukeLudiwg_I_03

May 3, 2013

Polish Lithuania Commonwealth Constitution

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Consitution-May3rdMay 3rd Constitution (see middle of Warsaw Gazette).

Click on picture to see another article.

April 14, 2013

A Church Register Novelty in Koprzywnica — #Genealogy, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Poland_1807_1815_AnnotatedIn another case of finding something interesting whilst researching something else, I found a type of Church Register Index that I have not seen before in any other parish. So today’s blog is about that novel index I found. See the Church Register in the picture (see below).

Dateline Koprzywnica parish, 1810 – In what was after the 3rd partition was Austrian-Hungarian territory (Austrian-Poland in green), has now been annexed by Napoleon in 1809 into the Duchy of Warsaw and in another five years will be Congress Poland (Vistulaland, Russian-Poland). But in 1810 we are speaking of Koprzywnica in the powiat of Staszow and the Departement of Radom. No, that is not wojewodztwo — it is the French, Departement that is the highest level of administration in the Duchy of Warsaw. The map shows that a huge swath of green from the  Austrian-Poland partition (zabior) was annexed into the Duchy in 1809. Stanczyk’s own ancestors once again switched Empires from Austria to France. So too did the citizens of Koprzywnica (and a great many cities, towns, and villages). Poof, now the records go from Latin, in the perfunctory Latin Box (Table) Format to the lingua franca of Polish paragraph with French-style two witnesses.

So Koprzywnica, like Stanczyk’s own ancestral Villages (Biechów and Pacanów) was briefly Austrian, then French (very briefly), then Russian until 1917-1918 whence it became just Poland again. We can find Koprzywnica in the gazetteer, Skorowidz Miejscowoscy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej as being in the powiat Sandomierz, wojewowdztwo Kielce (circa 1920’s/1930’s).

Indexes are so very helpful. It is always a let down when a parish book or a year within the book lacks any kind of index. That means I will have to look at each and every record to see if any are related to me / my research. Early Latin paragraph form church records often do not have any index  — they barely denote the year change. So that means you have to read each and every badly handwritten paragraph of Latin — very rare to find a priest with good Latin handwriting. That is why the Latin Box Format was more welcome. At least I could find the pieces of info and the handwriting was less of an issue. But the Latin Box format did not have indexes either.

So it was helpful when Napoleon implemented the Codex Napoleon in the Duchy of Warsaw. So by 1810 you see the records written in Polish (lingua franca) in a paragraph form that is specified by the Codex Napoleon. And these new records have indexes!

OK, the indexes initially are by letter: A, B, C, …, Z. So you have just under 26 pages of indexes. It is an improvement. Quickly the church realizes it can save paper by running the index all together with all letters on a single (or a few) page(s) in order alphabetically. Very efficient to scan these indexes for your families. And it was also easy to spot when a priest added a late addition to the index at the back after all other names (even though it was evidently in the wrong spot lexicographically speaking).

OK 1868-1918, we find Russian / Cyrillic indexes. In addition to priests not knowing Russian well and ordering names phonetically before later on,  we find the index in Cyrillic proper lexical order you will have to scan carefully. Cyrillic kind of forces that to those of us weaned on a Latin alphabet. But you sometimes find the Russian indexes sorted in Cyrillic lexical order … by the first name ??? That is not very useful. Sometimes the index is in chronological order (akt # / record # order) making it barely more useful then scanning every record.

But when we find a well formed index (or a not so good index) it is always for one event: Birth/Christening, Marriage / Marriage Banns, Death Records. One index for Births, one for Marriages and one for Deaths … assuming none are missing, 3 indexes. That is what makes the following index so very interesting …

The Index (Skorowidz)

1810KoprzywnicaINDEX_pg4_JewishNames_righthalf This was supposed to be a Marriage Index !! But it was five scanned pages! This would have to be an extraordinarily large city to have that many marriages! What are all of those columns ?? That is what I asked myself.

Let’s see what those columns are:  Record # (Akt #), Village Name, Person Name(s), Births (Urodzin), Deaths (Zeyscie), Banns (Zapowiedz), and finally Marriages(Malzenstwa) Kart # (you can safely ignore). This index is an all event index. Births-Deaths-Banns-Marriages all interleaved. In fact, when I look at each event (B/M/D) I see the same 99 event-record pages and the same five index pages. It appears that all events are in the same register! This is rather unique — as I said previously I have not seen this before in other parish registers I have seen.

So in this “combo style” index (which needs a proper name) you cannot have a single name  for marriage record, so marriage records have two names (as usual), but this requires two lines in this style of index — since we are multi-columnar. We also see that Banns are indicated ‘I‘ or ‘II‘ — the third bann being the actual marriage itself. The Roman numeral written above the word Zapowiedz. So since the index is in Akt# order, it is a chronological order too. It could be interesting from a demographic perspective (what time of year do most marriages occur or  do a higher concentration of deaths occur in winter months). If this style index had occurred during an epidemic year, then we could have seen all of the deaths occurring in a great streak without interruption by other events. 1810 in Koprzywnica was not such an epidemic year.

There is one more fascinating aspect to this index. In the Napoleonic era (1807 thru 1829) we find that Catholic priest acts as the civil administrator and that Jewish/Evangelic/Orthodox vital records are written in the Catholic register. How is this noted in the index — which again I have not seen elsewhere? Look at the scanned register image for this blog. Pay attention to Records #’s:

85, 86, and 91.

It so happens that each of these records is a Marriage Banns event type. But, notice that each begins ‘Zyda‘.  Żyd = Jew, hence Żyda is plural for Jews. Żydów = Jewish. This indicates that this is a Jewish civil record being recorded.  Now I know that Jewish vital records are recorded in the Napoleonic era Catholic registers. But it is unusual that it is indicated in the index (as opposed to being in the record itself).

So this was a very fascinating find after all. I was actually looking for a particular Leszczyński but I found a novel index and indeed a novel parish register overall.

Related Posts

The Fourth Partition (23 January 2013) – A Discussion of the Duchy of Warsaw, with a map

Historical Eras of Poland (21 January 2013) – A set of Stanczyk defined eras of Poland of particular use to genealogists. An historical definition of Poland’s eras (1569-present) based upon history’s impact on genealogical research.


Post Scriptum

The index from this column was found in the Polish website: (PTG) of which I written many times before. Their METRYK project of scanned church books is where I found the 1810 Koprzywnica Index.

April 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday … Polish Historical Calendar — #April, #Polish, #Historical, #Calendar

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  • 3 April/Kwiecień 2013 Dateline Philadelphia – Stanczyk,

Kalendarz Historyczny Polski (Kwiecień)

Polish Historical Calendar

April 1st – Death of Zygmunt I (King), 2nd – Death of Andrzej Leszczynski (Archbishop of Gniezno).

Hmmm, the month starts ominously. This jester likes that on the 20th- Krakow Cathedral (Church Blessing/Consecration, at founding?). A Good Day Indeed!

March 26, 2013

Cristobal Colon (Discoverer Formerly Known as Columbus) … Polish-Lithuanian & Italian Noble — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Lithuanian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Rosa_InPAStanczyk loves this story. That the discoverer formerly known as Christopher Columbus (who really should be known by his Portuguese name: Cristobal Colon) may be Polish-Lithuanian royalty.

Stanczyk has written a few times on this Columbus / Wladyslaw III genealogy-genetics-history riddle. The Don Quixote of this tale is Manuel Rosa (an an information technology analyst and amateur historian). Mr. Rosa’s claims of the Polish (or more properly Lithuanian, as in Jagiellonian) Wladyslaw III lineage date back to November 2010.

Prior Stanczyk Polish Columbus stories …

1. 02-December-2010 – Christopher Columbus Discovers … He Is POLISH!

2. 27-December-2010 – Wladislaw III – Father of Columbus

Plus a few mentions: 2011, & 2012 at the start of Polish Heritage Month (each October).

Well here is the latest update, from “the Lithuania Tribune“. You can read the lengthy article which is most informative.

Factual Claims:

  • Rosa has published two books (one in Spanish and one in Polish). NO English version yet.
  • Columbus married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo. Filipa was not only daughter of a high noble and Captain of the Portuguese Island of Porto Santo, but a member of the elite Portuguese Military Order of Santiago
  • Cristobal Colon’s noble wife: Filipa Moniz was one of the twelve elite “donnas” of the Portuguese Military Order of Santiago.
  • Colon was descended from legendary Roman General Colonius (not listed in wikipedia List of Roman Generals )
  • Columbus never wrote in Italian or Genoese [not even to his brothers]
  • Columbus’ writings were: rough Castilian punctuated by noteworthy and frequent Portuguese words
  • Prof. José Lorente’s DNA studies prove that the discoverer Cristóbal Colón’s DNA did not match any of 477 Colombo families from the Genoa area.
  • Colón was a royal prince, son of a Portuguese noblewoman from the Italian Colonna family and a man named Henrique Alemão (Henry the German) resident on the Portuguese island of Madeira
  • Henrique Alemão (Henry the German) = false moniker of Wladyslaw III used for hiding on Madiera Island (presumably from the Ottomans)
  • 1498 Will and later Genoese documents proved to be forgeries/fakes
  • Prince Georges Paleologue de Bissipat, an exiled Byzantine nobleman living in France nicknamed “Colombo the Younger”, said to be a relative of Christopher Columbus was also a relative of King Wladyslaw III

The author laments (“… it is lamentable that, up until now, there is little or no debate in America or Lithuania to either accept or contradict”) that only Portuguese and Polish academics have currently debated this topic. Well then Rosa needs to have published/translated the book in Lithuanian and English if he wishes for further debate.

Are there any historians out there? Can anyone refute or supply proof of the above factual claims? Columbus letters and their language should be easy to establish. What about these other people named: General[Roman] Colonius, Portuguese nobles related to Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, or Prince Georges Paleologue de Bissipat ? Come on European Historians help out this poor jester with some factual links or books/documents — so much is online these days.

The next Manuel Rosa appearance is: April 6, 2013, where Manuel Rosa will present a lecture at Boalsburg’s Columbus Chapel, ( where more evidence will be presented, in Boalsburg, PA which is North-West of Harrisburg (contact: contact 814-466-9266 or

I’d love to have this story proven true or false. It is time for the sensationalism to end. Did National Geo ever televise this story as reported earlier? This jester never saw it. What happened with the Colon DNA being compared to Wladyslaw III descendants? So far we only have that he is not related to Colombos who are Genoese. But since he had Roman heritage, I presume he has some Italian DNA. What about the Slavic DNA? Those pesky Slavic DNA markers are pretty different from Italian DNA markers. I am hoping we have Y-Chromosome DNA testing which should show Slavic markers and MT DNA testing which should show Italian/Portuguese markers.

I accept that Cristobal Colon must have had royal blood to marry a noble woman and have such access to European courts. I also accept that a noble man would have had the education that a peasant wool-worker could never have had. I am uncertain about the heraldic symbols. The rest I am unqualified to judge — hence the plea for help.

March 24, 2013

Gazetteers, Maps, and Genealogy — #Polish, #Genealogy, #Maps, #Gazetteer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Block_Stanczyk, has been busy revisiting the Metryk (metrical, vital records) images from of the various parishes/synagogues [hereafter I just use ‘parish’ as shorthand for ‘parish/synagogue’]. As my blog, Waiting For Polish Archives 2.4 M Scans (March 18th, 2013), indicated, I have been exhausting the possibilities for Biechow & Zborowek parishes in the Buski (Busko-Zdroj) powiat. The images are clearer, so I am replacing my existing images with these much better images. In some cases, I have found that the images of the Polish paragraph format provide me with additional details over what may have been available via only a Latin Box format copy that I might have previously had. At the very least, I have corrected a few mistakes of translation due to unreadable portions from prior microfilm I have read from/taken pictures of. So I strongly encourage others to make this effort.

I have been using the Metryk database and looking at the images/scans. Sometimes you have to look at dozens of images because there is NO index. But most of the collection (post 1812) have indexes. If you see SKU (that means index/skorowidz of births/urodziny), likewise  for SKM (for marriage), and SKZ (for death) indexes. Sometimes indexes spread across multiple pages, so you may see SK1, SKa (names begining with the letter ‘A’) or SKU1, etc. SO use these indexes to look for your family names, then just load up the scan of the akt (record) number for your ancestor — no need to search  through a multitude of images.

I have also used Geneszukacz as another kind of index to search for family names. These indexes are nice because I can catch ancestors getting married (or dying or giving birth) in another parish that I might not have known to check. If this previously unknown parish is one that has scans, then I go directly to the year/event for that parish and go to the akt specified in Geneszukacz!

So that is all great and I exhort you to do this.

But these new, previously unknown parishes. Where are they? How far away from the ancestral village are they? That is when I need a gazetteer (check out Stanczyk’s Gazetter page) or a map. If you have not been to the Polish War Map Archive (Archiwum Map Wojskowego), then today’s blog is your reason to do so. I have a map on my wall of my ancestral villages. The map’s name is: STOPNICA_PAS47_SLUP32. In fact, I use their MAP INDEX, 1:100,000 scale map tiled in squares ( Please NOTE these map images are from about 4MB to 7MB in size. Make sure you are at a Free WiFi cafe where you can use a high-speed and the large band-width for the map images you download.

When you see, PAS think ROW and when you see SLUP think COLUMN. This is a big Cartesian Grid (or computer types can think 2d-array). It turns out that STOPNICA_PAS47_SLUP32 has: Biechow, Pacanow, Ksiaznice, Zborowek, Swiniary, Szczucin, Beszowa, Olesnica, and STOPNICA. In fact, that one map has many more parishes than those that I enumerated. I have a small snippet of the Map Index below (you can click on the image and it will take you to the actual map index):


So I found an ELIJASZ ancestor in Koniemloty parish getting married, who was from PACANOW parish. Now from the Metryk web app, I knew Koniemloty was in STASZOW powiat. So I go to the Map Index and look at the grid near STOPNICA (P47_S32) and voila, STASZOW is the box due north of STOPNICA in PAS46_SLUP32. If you cannot locate you powiat that way, then you must drop back to (an interactive map that I have raved about before) and look for KONIEMLOTY (do not need to use diacriticals) to get the relative feel that it is north or east (or north-east). So any way, STASZOW_PAS46_SLUP32 is the map for KONIEMLOTY parish. Notice PAS46 is one row less than PAS47 (of STOPNICA). PAS decreasing is going north, PAS increasing is going south. Going east from STASZOW, we see the SLUP increases to SLUP33  (SANDOMIERZ) or going west the SLUP decreases to SLUP31 (PINCZOW). So now you can now work  with the Map Index using the cardinal directions by adding/subtracting to/from the rows/columns.

P.S. Since this is the Passover (Pesach) / Easter (Wielkanoc) season, let me honor my wife (Tereza) by pointing out that her paternal grandfather, Benjamin Solomon, had as a birth village, Proskuriw (aka PŁOSKIRÓW, Хмельницький/Khmelnitski — now in Modern Ukraine). This village is shown in the lower right-hand corner of my map snippet (PAS51_SLUP44).

February 11, 2013

Polish National Archives to post 2.4 Million Historic Church Records — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk ‘s position has been overrun! I was trying to write a blog, but the course of events has been running at EXTREME Internet speed so much of this blog post may be “old news” to you — but in case its not, this is very exciting news!

NAC Scanning 2.4 Million RecordsAccording to a Polish website (The National Digital Library of Poland) …


  • By mid-year (2013), they plan to digitize 2.3 Million  historical  (>100 years old) vital records.
  • This will happen in two phases: March,  June
  • This PDF file (see link) lists 40 pages vital records from MANY parishes (a few synagogues too):
  • It appears the plan is to digitize about 1.37 Million records by March and the remainder (another 1 Milliion) by the end of June.

These are actual church record images! I hope they plan on digitizing records from the Kielce Archive (please do PACANOW, BIECHOW, SWINIARY, BESZOWA, ZBOROWEK, KSIAZNICE and STOPNICA parishes).

Can anyone detail the plans for JUNE yet? Unfortunately, the 1.37 Million records in March are NOT from the KIELCE archive or any parish where Stanczyk’s ancestors resided?

Do not forget about GENETEKA database in the meantime:

Thanks in advance for any answers from our genealogists resident in Poland!

January 21, 2013

Historical Eras of Poland … For Genealogists

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has lived much history and God willing,  will live much more of it. So across the generations, you see the changing borders of Eastern / Central Europe and how it affects us genealogists (not that I am ignoring the plight of our ancestors that had to evolve with the changing landscape). From the beginning, I was always advised to learn about “The three partitions” and determine which of the three partitions my forebears came from  — good advice, but Poland’s history is a much richer tapestry than just the three partitions (zabory).

So today’s blog is about the Eras of Poland and the names I have chosen to call them going forward so that we can all “be on the same page”. Please forgive this jester as I will limit the discussion to the eras post-Piast dynasties, starting with the Polish-LithuanianCommonwealth. This roughly matches the Papal nuncios that dictated that churches must record the vital records of the parishioners. So we find the beginnings of genealogies for all peoples and not just for the magnate families or the royals.

Let me just utter the era names I wish to use going forward when I write about genealogies or histories. Let me get the mystery out of the way and also let the debates and arguments proceed. Some of these are overlapping eras, because not only are we discussing a vast span of time, but we are also talking about vast distances and a broad swath of peoples / religions / governments.



ERA Name Beg. Date End Date Synonyms / Alternate Names
AUSTRIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 GALICIA
PRUSSIAN POLAND 06/09/1815 11/10/1918 Bezirks: POSEN, POMMERANIA, DANZIG (GDANSK) etc.
POLAND 11/1/1918 9/1/1939 SECONDREPUBLIC
WWII ERA 9/2/1939 12/31/1946 Occupied Poland, General Government, German Occupied, Russian Occupied
POLAND 1/1/1945 6/30/1975 Post World War II Poland
POLAND 7/1/1975 12/31/1998 1989 is commonly referred to as the start of the THIRDREPUBLIC
POLAND 1/1/1999 Present Times THIRDREPUBLIC and beyond to the present

Some of the era names are well understood and some are controversial (for a lot of reasons). First off, I wanted to make a distinction between the PARTITION era (1772-1815) which I saw as including the Napoleonic wars and ending with Napoleon’s defeat and the Treaty of Vienna.

So I separate AUSTRIAN PARTITION from AUSTRIAN POLAND. The distinction is subtle but I believe defensible. The three Partitions and the Duchy of Warsaw (French protectorate) are separate because during these times there was at least a scrap of Poland in existence (excepting for a decade proceeding Napoleon’s victories). The AUSTRIAN/PRUSSIAN/RUSSIAN POLANDs represent the slightly more than one century that Poland had “disappeared” from European maps. That century coincides with the Great Migration of Poles (including Jews) to the USA – a significant genealogical event for the Slavic Genealogist.

You will note the CracovianRepublic which gets a lesser amount of attention and eventually is folded into AUSTRIAN POLAND. Also there is the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT (more about that in a bit).

RUSSIAN POLAND is treated differently than I have seen it handled before. My ancestors come from this area, so you will have to forgive me if this appears a bit chauvinistic. I delineated the RUSSIAN occupation finely. So you see a Russian Partition followed by a Duchy of Warsaw followed by  Congress Poland ( a TSARIST hegemony) followed by the Kingdom of Poland and finally resulting in RUSSIAN POLAND. The nuances in the RUSSIAN Zabor (partition) follow the changes in administrative boundaries that so affect genealogical research. Genealogists also should take note that vitals records in RUSSIAN POLAND are written in Russian/Cyrillic and use Gregorian Calendar from late spring 1869 through the collapse of the Russian Empire near the end of World War I in 1917. So, Polish language records are found before and after that period of time. Similarly, for Latin/Hebrew languages for religious records (although you do find Latin, Hebrew and even some Polish records during 1869-1917 timeframe in some limited ways). Since the Russian language edict almost matches exactly the above RUSSIAN POLAND era, I did not create yet another era specifically for that era of Russian language. I merely note it here.

PaleOfSettlementMAPThe JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT was created by the Russian Tsarina, Catherine the Great. She added to the PALE over the years as the Russian Empire acquired new lands. So as I refer to the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT, it is the 15 western Guberniya where Russian Empire Jews were forced to settle. In practice it also included the 10 Guberniya of the PolishKingdom (Congress Poland/Vistula Land). So Russian Jews had a total of 25 Guberniya where they could live (with some exclusions for large cities which were forbidden to most Jews) within the Russian Empire (European Portion). Most or all of the areas within the 25 Guberniya used to be a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1772), so I thought it important to include the JEWISH PALE OF SETTLEMENT in order to speak of the 15 Guberniya that underlie that geographic area and that era of time (1791-1918) as well as some minor forays on my part into Jewish Genealogical research.  The 15 specific guberniya are (roughly North to South):

Kovno,  Vitebsk,  Vilna (Wilno),  Grodno,  Minsk,  Mogilev,  Volhynia,   Kiev,   Chernigov,  Poltava,  Podolia,  Bessarabia, Kherson,  Ekaterinoslav,  and  Taurida (the Crimean Penninsula)

The astute reader will note four POLAND eras. These cover the two decades between World War I and the up to the time of World War II began. It  also covers the Post World War II era. They also overlap the Second and Third Republics of Poland. Finally, the fine-grain view of Post World War II Poland is coincident with the redefinition of  Wojewodztwo (Provinces) and their underlying powiaty (counties). Again, the emphasis is in order to support genealogical research.

I have not mentioned the WWII era (World War II) yet. I need to do some specific research to see how Nazi / Soviet occupations affected the administrative jurisdictions and what impact if any that had on genealogy during the war. I leave that for some future blog(s).

No mention of religious hierarchies and their administrative boundaries have been addressed, but obviously, that too has an impact on genealogical research. The religious boundaries reflect the changes caused by changing national boundaries, but overall the religious boundaries were more stable until modern times necessitated re-arranging or closing religious areas.

OK, that is my blog and those are my eras. You may now proceed to critique my choices. But I have now defined my terms for future “Polish” genealogical blogs.  As usual, I look forward to your comments and emails.

September 6, 2012

Fras | Frass | Frasowa | Frasskosz — #Genealogy, #Cousin, #NewLineOfResearch

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A week or two ago, Stanczyk got a bolt out of the blue. It was another genealogist; She was inquiring after my Leszczynski lineage — specifically Agnieszka Leszczynski.

Well a long time ago I got used to the fact that there were so MANY Leszczynskich out there that the possibility that any were directly related was infinitesimally small. Now to be sure a few second cousins have re-connected and it was good to get updates on the American branches. But in my 17 years as a genealogist — I had not received an inquiry on the line of Leszczynskich from my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski’s first wife or their children.

Old Tomasz lived a long time … to be 104 years of age from about 1835 to 1939 (give or take). He had two wives and bless his heart he had 14 children by them. From his first wife, he started to have children in 1860. Agnieszka (or Agnes as the inquiry was for) was born 9th December 1866. I had her birth record from the church in that lovely Latin Box format and I had deciphered all that was written. But I had no idea if Agnes made it to adulthood or married or even when she died.

Well this genealogist said her-great-grandfather had a mother named Agnes Leszczynski (from his death certificate). Yes, I said, but there are so many Leszczynski families, where was your great-grandfather from. She had a vague idea of the area and the names seemed to be close to a village that I had ancestors from but it was horribly misspelled if it was from that area at all. I was still skeptical, but she sent me an Ellis Island ship manifest (actually a tiny bit of transcription from one). So I thought I would go take a look and see if I could decipher where her ancestor was from — it would be an RAOGK. I was going to help her out.

Well imagine my surprise! Her great-grandfather was from an ancestral village of mine, coming from his father Wladyslaw Fras in Piesciec [sic  -> Piestrzec, today; Piersiec back then, although I had seen it spelled Piersciec many times too]. Now I had never seen any Fras before in those villages, maybe some Franc (Frąc) which was close. But then I went to page two of the ship manifest and he was going to Depew, NY to his uncle, Teofil Lezczynski!!! That was my grand-uncle. OK, I was now getting interested in Jozef Fras.

Now, I had to do some research, but I found him with his family in Toledo, Ohio. Well I had some family from Toledo. In fact, my grandmother’s sister Antonina Leszczynska Sobieszczanski lived there. Well this jester had a few St Anthony, baptismal register images that I could peruse. Now I was even more amazed. Jozef Fras’ wife, BENIGNA (not a common name) was the god-mother of one of Antonina’s sons. Benigina Fras was god-mother to Matthew Sobieszczanski. Those percentages kept going up. I said, perhaps the Fras had children baptised in St Anthony too. I examined their birth years and looked in the register images and there was their first child Helen Fras whose god-mother was my Antonina Sobieszczanski (to Jozef and Benigna’s daughter). Ok, in my head, we are now at 99+% related.

1 Wladyslaw FRAS d: 11 Feb 1919
  + Agnieszka LESZCZYNSKI b: 12/9/1866
    2 Josef Edward FRAS b: 16 Mar 1893 d: 08 Aug 1935
      + Benigna PALICKI FRASS b: abt 1897
        3 Helen FRASS b: 25 October 1917 d: 23 May 1982
        3 Joseph Radislaus FRASS b: 25 March 1922 d: 14 March 1934
        3 Eleanor FRASS b: 15 Jan 1926 d: 25 Oct 1988
        3 Melvin R FRASS b: 15 Jun 1930 d: 10 Dec 2006

So now my next goal is to find the church marriage record of Wladyslaw Fras and Agnieszka Leszczynski (probably in Biechow parish), since Jozef Fras’ ship manifest said he was born in Piestrzec. This would give me the certain Genealogical Standard of Proof — but I have already added the above to my tree.

Thanks second cousin, twice removed, Mindy! By the way, this line of reasoning I am leaning on is again the Social Network Analysis (what Thomas MacEntee calls cluster genealogy).

Don’t you wish you could search Ellis Island by whom people were going to or coming from? Better database search capabilites are needed and the GEDCOM standard needs to be enhanced to handle these social network/cluster analyses

April 25, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday – Toledo Parishes — #Polish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A Map of Toledo, Ohio.

The dark rectangles (with the year numbers) are the Catholic Churches of Toledo.

The Polish settlements are noted with the German given name for the region: kuhschwanz (cow’s tail). ELIASZ  –  MYLEK  –  SOBIESZCANSKI (SOBB) were St. Anthony parish members.  Saints (SS.) Peter & Paul was an an even older Polish parish !

April 8, 2012

RAOGK – Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This Passover / Easter weekend seems a good time as any to reflect on our family genealogy.

I know (or at least I think) that the website RAOGK/Random-Acts-Of-Genealogical-Kindness went defunct and that heirs/friends of the original website owner were trying to revive this website of genealogical service to others. I hope it does get a new life.

But even if it does not, we can still engage in RAOGK. Genealogy is the original collaborative / crowd sourced research field. For years, I have volunteered and also been the benefactor of other volunteers who have bestowed their time/efforts for a greater good. It is one of the reasons, I treasure genealogy as a past time, because of the general kindness of our fellow researchers who also share a passion for research, history, genealogy and family and a fondness for others who also engage in genealogy.

As my previous blog article chronicled, Steve Kalemkiewicz did his part this Holy Week. He went to the Detroit Public Library and did just a bit more research than just what he needed to do for himself. As a result we all have 14 new names that may benefit our research.

On Good Friday, I was able to get back to Holy Trinity Cemetery (Phoenixville) and take about 70 pictures of headstones. This I sent off to the PGSCT&NE for their cemetery databases. It should yield a good 100-140 new names for their databases. Holy Trinity is a mostly Polish cemetery, in fact its name on the two Gate Posts is written in Polish on one and English on the other. I thank Jonathan Shea and the others at PGSCT&NE who collect and post this info to their website.

As a side note, I’d like to mention that the PGSCT&NE is putting on a free seminar for researching your Slavic Roots.  You can register for this April 28th seminar, by calling 215-360-3422. The seats are limited and You Need to pre-register. This is another RAOGK.

Do yourself and others some good and perform a RAOGK soon!

Happy & Blessed Easter/Passover to all readers!


March 18, 2012

Dziennik Polski Detroit Newspaper Database App Search Page

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


was finally able to use his training from Steve Morse’s presentation at RootsTech 2012 to create a One-Step Search App for the Dziennik Polski Detroit Newspaper Database.

To search on 30,920 Polish Vital Record Events, just go to the new Dziennik Polski Detroit Newspaper Database App Search page (on the right, under PAGES,  for future reference).


For more background on the Dziennik Polski Detroit Newspaper click on the link.

You can search on the following fields:

Last Name – exact means the full last name exactly as you typed it. You can also select the ‘starts with’ radio button and just provide the first few starting characters. Do not use any wild card characters!

First Name – exact means the full first name exactly as you typed it. You can also select the ‘starts with’ radio button and just provide the first few starting characters. Do not use any wild card characters!

Newspaper Date – exact means that you need to enter the full date. Dates are of the format:

06/01/1924 (for June 1st, 1924). Format is MM/DD/YYYY. Leading zeros are required for a match.

You can use ‘contains’ radio button to enter a partial date. The most useful partial is just to provide the Year (YYYY). Do not use any wild card characters!

Event Type – exact means the full event type. This is not recommended. You SHOULD select the ‘starts with’ radio button and just provide the first few starting characters. Do not use any wild card characters! Uppercase is not required.

Valid Events Types: BIRTH,  CONSULAR,  DEATH,  or MARRIAGE

Indexer – exact means the full indexer exactly as you typed it. You can also select the ‘starts with’ radio button and just provide the first few starting characters. Do not use any wild card characters!

The Indexer is meant to be informational only, but you could conceivably want to search on this field too, so it is provided.

March 3, 2012

Library of Congress – Chronicling America — #Genealogy, #Newspapers

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is a Library of Congress (LOC) researcher. Mostly, I have done my research in the Madison building where they keep the Newspapers / Periodicals.

Today they (LOC) sent me an email announcing another 100+ newspapers digitized with another 550,000+ new digitzed pages available via their Chronicling America – Historical Newspaper program. I have written about this worthy program before. Whether you research history or genealogy, these newspapers can be of help and providing evidence or even just adding a context to your ancestors.

Did you know that the LOC has over 220 Polish language newspapers on microfilm (and/or digitized)? To help out the Polish Genealogists, I have  compiled and published a list of the LOC’s Polish Language Newspapers:  here .

Make newspapers a part of your research to fill the gaps or to provide context!


February 21, 2012

Pączki Day – A Fat Tuesday Remembrance — #Polish, #Culture

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pączki Day – In the Detroit area suburbs, we always waited for Fat Tuesday to come around. Because, on the last day of Mardis Gras (Fat Tuesday) we would queue up in long lines — typically at an Oaza Bakery to buy our Pączki Donuts.

Now it has been over two decades since then and we do not have any Oaza Bakeries out here on the East Coast and there are few and far between Polish bakeries/delis of any kind around and none near where I live. I used to buy a few dozen Pączki Donuts and bring them into work to introduce the non-Poles to some Polish culture. Always a hit!


Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday,  is the beginning of the austere Lenten season. The forty day season of preparation celebrating the arrival of God’s Good News & Holy Spirit  into our midst that culminates in Easter. Alleluia !


I miss the Pączki Donuts. Fastnachts are just not the same. One year, I thought I would make Pączki Donuts for the family, so I gathered an authentic,  “Old Busia”, recipe and bought a fryer and made my dough for the Pączki.   I picked out my favorite fruit fillings and fried my little masterpieces and sprinkled the warm donuts with powdered sugar.  These were passable  substitutes for the beloved Polish culture that I had left behind in MI. For a few years I carried proudly my scar of an oil burn caused by one of my over zealous little Pączki helpers. The scar has long since disappeared, but the memory remains.


Have A Blessedly Happy Lenten Season Everyone!

November 23, 2011

Genealogy Journals / Magazines – AVOTAYNU — #Polish, #Jewish, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is always seeking out high quality resources that provide context for understanding and/or to provide ideas for new avenues of research. One of the great resources since about 1985, has been Avotaynu. Besides their journal of the same name which is the largest circulation magazine of Jewish Genealogy, they also publish many reference books for Eastern Europe that are of aid Jewish and Non-Jewish researchers alike.

They maintain an index of their published issues (1985-2008) here ( It is broken down by various countries. This material can also be found in back issues, libraries, and they offer a CD covering the entire 24 year span. This jester sat down to produce a Polish Index for Polish Genealogists of all stripes (Enjoy!):

# Title / Description ISSUE YEAR
1 Jewish records at the Genealogical Society of Utah II/1/03 1986
2 Index to Polish-Jewish records at Genealogical Society of Utah II/1/05 1986
3 Book review: The Jews in Poland and Russia–Biographical Essay III/1/38 1987
4 Origin of Russian-Jewish surnames III/2/03 1987
5 Breakthrough in access to Polish-Jewish records IV/1/10 1988
6 Book review: Jews of Posen in 1834 and 1835 IV/2/26 1988
7 Update on project to microfilm Jewish records in Poland IV/3/12 1988
8 Doing research in the Polish State Archives IV/3/21 1988
9 Jewish Historical Institute in Poland V/2/07 1989
10 Jewish genealogical research in Poland V/2/08 1989
11 Trip to Poznan: The Poland that was not V/3/16 1989
12 Professional genealogists in Poland V/4/04 1989
13 List of former Jewish residents of Lodz V/4/15 1989
14 Caricatures in Polish vital statistic records VI/1/16 1993
15 Polish trip for Jewish genealogists planned VI/1/41 1993
16 Using Prussian gazetteers to locate Jewish religious and civil records in Poznan VI/2/12 1993
17 Sephardic migrations into Poland VI/2/14 1993
18 A genealogical tour through Poland VI/3/16 1993
19 Program Judaica to document Jewish history VI/3/19 1993
20 Jewish researcher in Poland VI/3/39 1993
21 Jews in Poland today VI/4/63 1993
22 Polish maps available in the U.S. VIII/1/58 1993
23 Weiner discusses developments in Poland and Ukraine VIII/3/64 1993
24 A 1992 research trip to Poland VIII/4/12 1993
25 Survey of Jewish cemeteries yields results VIII/4/17 1993
26 Cites Polish “rip off” IX/1/65 1988
27 Asks why survey of Polish cemeteries does not include all regions IX/1/67 1988
28 Polish-Jewish genealogical research–A primer IX/2/04 1988
29 More on the survey of Polish cemeteries IX/2/13 1988
30 Book review: Korzenie Polskie: Polish Roots IX/2/61 1988
31 Polish-Jewish heritage seminar planned for July in Krakow IX/2/65 1988
32 Asks for clarification (of Polish-Jewish records) IX/3/66 1988
33 Stettin emigration lists found IX/3/67 1988
34 Head of the Polish State Archives clarifies policies IX/4/04 1988
35 Book review: Jews in Poland: A Documentary History IX/4/69 1988
36 More on Polish-Jewish Genealogical Research X/1/12 1994
37 Directory of Polish State Archives X/1/14 1994
38 Archives of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw X/1/41 1994
39 Jewish genealogical research in Polish archives X/2/05 1994
40 Jewish surnames in the Kingdom of Poland X/2/15 1994
41 Polish sources at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People X/2/21 1994
42 Success in dealing with Polish archives X/2/48 1994
43 Gleanings from a symposium on bibliographies of Polish Judaica X/4/56 1994
44 Polish name lists sought XI/1/67 1995
45 Nineteenth-Century Congress Documents and the Jews of Congress Poland XI/3/24 1995
46 Polish Vital Records for the Very Beginner: The Polish Language Challenged XI/4/29 1995
47 Alternate surnames in Russian Poland XII/2/15 1996
48 Census records and city directories in the Krakow Archives XII/2/27 1996
49 Book review: The Jews in Poland and Russia: Bibliographical Essays XII/2/63 1996
50 Alternative research sources in Poland XII/2/65 1996
51 Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw XII/3/51 1996
52 Director General of the Polish State Archives dies XII/3/55 1996
53 An interview with the new Polish State Archivist XII/4/03 1996
54 On-site Jewish genealogical research in Poland: an overview XII/4/04 1996
55 The Jewish cemetery in Warsaw XII/4/56 1996
56 Book review: Polish Countrysides: Photographs and Narrative XII/4/81 1996
57 German and Polish Place Names XIV/2/33 1998
58 List of More than 300,000 Polish Holocaust Survivors Received by USHMM In Wash. DC 19th- and 20th-Century Polish Directories as Resources for Genealogical Information XIII/1/25 1997
59 Hamburg Passengers from the Kingdom of Poland and the Russian Empire XIII/2/63 1997
60 Lw¢w Ghetto Records Being Indexed XIII/3/66 1997
61 Cites Location of Polish Directories XIII/4/98 1997
62 Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories; And I Still See Their Faces: Images of Polish Jews; Guide to the YIVO Archives; Luboml: Memorial Book of a Vanished Shtetl XIV/1/63 1998
63 Comments on Jewish Roots in Poland XIV/2/65 1998
64 Report on Jewish Communities in Poland Today XIV/2/65 1998
65 How I Found a New Ancestor in Krak¢w, Poland XIV/4/65 1998
66 18th-Century Polish Jewry: Demographic and Genealogical Problems XV/4/9 1999
67 Tips on Translating Entries from Slownik Geograficzny XVI/3/49 2000
68 The Polish Concept of Permanent Place of Residence XVI/3/12 2000
69 More About Polish Books of Residents’ Registration XVI/3/14 2000
70 Can Jewish Genealogists Successfully Research 18th-Century Poland? XVI/3/16 2000
71 History Book Illuminates Jewish Life in Poland XVI/3/40 2000
72 Book Review: History of the Jews in Poland and Russia XVI/3/65 2000
73 Book Review: In Their Words: A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Russia Documents. Volume 1: Polish XVI/4/87 2000
74 Breaking New Ground: The Story of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland Project XVII/1/7 2001
75 Documenting the Fate of the Jews of Ostrow Mazowiecka XVII/3/19 2001
76 German and Polish Archival Holdings in Moscow XVII/4/11 2001
77 Internet Site Names Polish Towns XVII/4/79 2001
78 Researching Pre-1826 Vital Records in Congress Poland XVIII/2/19 2003
79 Book Review: Jewish Officers in the Polish Armed Forces, 1939-1945 XVIII/3/62 2003
80 Ashes and Flowers: A Family Trek to Jewish Poland and Romania XVIII/4/11 2003
81 Two Polish Directories Online XVIII/4/91 2003
82 Polish Passport Policy 1830-1930: Permits, Restrictions and Archival Sources XIX/1/21 1998
83 Book Reviews: Zród a archiwalne do dziejów Żydów w Polsce XIX/3/65 1998
84 Jewish Surnames in Russia, Poland, Galicia and Prussia XIX/3/28 1998
85 Using Polish Magnate Records for Posen XIX/3/25 1998
86 Avotaynu Online Database Lists Nobility Archives XIX/4/21 1998
87 Hidden Jews of Warsaw XX/1/47 2004
88 Polish archives in Bialystok, Knyszin and Lomza XX/2/50 2004
89 Polychromatic Tombstones in Polish-Jewish Cemeteries XX/2/39 2004
90 Tracing Family Roots Using JRI-Poland to Read Between the Lines XX/2/15 2004
91 Biographical lexicon of Polish rabbis and admorim XX/3/47 2004
92 Flatow Jewish Cemetery Tombstones Discovered XX/4/79 2004
93 Polish City Directories Now Online XXI/3/67 2005
94 Morgenthau Mission to Poland to Investigate the 1919 Pogroms: A Genealogical Resource XXII/2/14 2006
95 What Can We Learn from Slownik Geograficzny? XXII/2/31 2006
96 Spiritual Genealogy: A Look at Polish Notary Documentation XXII/2/38 2006
97 Notes Polish Book and Magnate Records  XXII/3/63 2006
98 Exhibit of the Jews of Poznán, 1793–1939 XXIII/1/71 2007
99 Strategies for Assigning Surnames to Early JRI-Poland Records XXIII/2/22 2007
100 Book Review: Posen Place Name Indexes XXIV/1/51 2008
November 14, 2011

#ThingsIFind Whilst Looking Up Other Things … Polish Libraries in the USA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In one of Stanczyk’s continuing memes, Things I Find Whilst Looking Up Other Things, I was combing the Internet and was rifling through Polish Genealogical Societies. I hopped from the to (Polish Genealogical Society of New York State), when they mentioned, The Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle. Apparently, they had a Reopening of their Library on September 17, 2011. The library is located at: 612 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, New York 14212.

That got this jester to thinking, so here is my list of Polish Libraries in the USA:

Does anyone else know of any other Polish libraries that I need to add to this list? If so, please email me.

November 2, 2011

Dziennik Polski, Detroit, MI – Index, Summary Update #HistoricalNewspaper

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Well Stanczyk have been busy for a few days, trying to update the Rootsweb page dedicated to the Dziennik Polski, Detroit, MI Polish Language Ethnic Newspaper.

The Index page with the names has been updated with nearly 7,000 new names / dates from 1936.  The Summary of all Dziennik Polski transcriptions now totals 48,217 of which 26,745 of those names are indexed and the summary page is here.

The Index page is alphabetical by Last Name, First Name, Date of Newspaper (when the name appeared).  Use your browser’s FIND capability (Ctrl-F in Windows, Cmd-F in Mac) to search for a name or just scroll the page.


October 27, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Useful Websites … #7 Prussian Army’s Personnel Losses in World War I

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was reading  his emails, when he noticed Ceil Wendt-Jensen  has published a useful website on the various Polish / Michigan genealogy mailing lists.

As the Article title suggests this is another database of military personnel from World War I. This one is unlike the ones you’d find at . It is however, similar to these databases and even links to the same Fallen in World War I website. But as I said this website/database is different from those.

The aim of the Prussian Army project (link: is to provide an easy way of searching through the Deutsche Verlustlisten. This is the Prussian Army’s Personnel Losses during World War I .

The authors of the project: Aleksandra Kacprzak  and  Mariusz Zebrowski. They are still updating so check back from time to time. If you click on the “Prussian Army project” link above it will take you to its databases page. There  under the ‘Prussian  Army’ Heading you will see a link ‘Search’. Click on ‘search’ link. You should see the following search form:

Fill in a name and click on the ‘Search’ button. That is it. Should you find an ancestor, you can email them for more info. There is a very modest charge for this follow-on service (the search is free, the detailed info is where the cost is). So if you find someone, then …

e-mail: When asking for further information, you must provide the ordinal number (‘L.P.’), the first and last name and the rank of the person in question. The additional information costs 2 Euro per name (=$2.82 as of 10/27/2011), payable via PayPal (to ). Stanczyk is not affiliated and has no conflict of interest in these entrepreneurial Poles. I did not find any of my ancestors, so I cannot tell you what details you may find. My ancestors were from the Russian-Poland partition (and hence would have been in the Russian army) — keep in mind this Prussian army (not Russian, not Austrian).

Good Luck! Please send me an email with a sample detail if you send for it. Thanks!

October 6, 2011

Ukase – Decree … #Genealogy, #History, #Russian, #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester thanks my Slavic readers from: Poland, Russian Federation, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Slovakia, etc and of course their American emigres and American born of that heritage. This is after all predominantly a blog of genealogy that focuses on its Slavic Heritage and especially the heritage of Stanczyk‘s paternal grandparents who were born, married, had children and emigrated from Poland … Russian-Poland also known as Congress Kingdom of Poland and to a lesser degree, Vistulaland (a collection of ten gubernia in the czarist Russian Empire). Poland was occupied and partitioned between three Empires: Prussian (German), Austrian (Austro-Hungarian / Hapsburg), and Russian from 1792-1918. As such, in the Russian partition, they were subject to the Czar’s ukases (decrees).

A UKASE (указ) is formally an “imposition” , usually by the czar, but possibly by an Orthodox Patriarch. But ukase is usually translated as decree or edict.

My ancestors were from the Russian-Poland partition, but just across the Vistula (Wisla) river from the Austrian-Poland partition — which had, to me, a surprising number cross-Empire interaction in vital records. The Russian-Poland nominally a fiefdom of the Russian Czar, who was also titled as King of Poland, as well as Russian Emperor.

There were many Ukases from each czar/czarina. So many so, that Czar Nicholas in 1827 ordered a collation of these edicts (a kind of codification Russian law). The result was a 48 volume collection of ukases. Some notable ukases …

  • Created (1791) and others amended the Pale of Settlement
  • 1821 Territorial waters off Alaska (affecting British Empire and a young America)
  • 1861 Freeing the Serfs
  • 1868 Decreed that vital records in the Kingdom of Poland be recorded in Russian

Stanczyk is fascinated by the last one. It is said that it is in the Polish DNA to be multi-lingual. Certainly, my grandmother was capable of four languages (Polish, Russian, German, and finally English). But how did the Catholic priests do this? Switching from recording vital records in Polish to recording them into Russian? The year of the switch-over was 1868. The records start out in Polish but switch during the year to being in Russian ??? Admittedly, the Russian in most cases was a bit … uh “problematic”.

Can you imagine that happening in America? Most of the world thinks of the USA as being linguistically challenged. This jester is fluent only in English. I did receive much French tutelage and can read French. With my genealogy, I have been self taught in Polish, Russian and Latin. Thankfully, Google provides the Google Translator, flawed as it is, for Polish. Still as it was, I was able to use it communicate with a distant cousin in Poland who could not speak any English and my ability to write Polish was so very limited. Yet we overcame and I was blessed with the gift of my grandparent’s marriage record from Biechow church and a civil record of their marriage from a local USC office.

And it was a good thing my cousin sent me both. As the USC mistranslated the Russian language church record on my grandmother’s age. They had accidentally added five years to my grandmother’s age, which I would not have known if I did not have the original church record in Russian (which apparently the local USC could not read as well as I could).

So here is Stanczyk’s UKASE …

All Polish Genealogists must be able to read Latin, Polish, and Russian. (Who can read that German handwriting?)

September 27, 2011

Family Search Indexing Tool – #Genealogy – #Polish Radom 1866

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to take a moment to say, “Thanks”. You may recall I did my due diligence on the Genealogy Website Rankings. I added my own blog website for reference. At the time of the survey I was a little over 12.8 Million-th most popular website on the Internet. Out of the billions of pages, I thought that was a great start.

For kicks, I went to and inquired if my ranking had changed. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was now the 10.3 Million-th most popular website. That is an improvement of 2.5 Million in about one month !   So I just wanted to say thanks. I am hoping to eventually crack the top 1 Milliion (with perhaps a dream of being in the top 100,000 some day). I asked for your support and I can definitely see that I received it. Thank You very much for lending me your eyes.

I am also looking for people to help me in my volunteer efforts. If you can read Polish (or even Russian, I saw two projects for Ukraine-Kiev church records), then you can join with me on one of two projects: Lublin and/or Radom. I chose Radom as it was close to my grandparent’s ancestral villages (Biechow/Pacanow).

Most projects are for English language records. Of those, many are in the USA, so you could pick your local area and get a local genealogy society or historical society to pitch in. It will provide more data for all of us to research. If you want to thank me, but only read English then perhaps you can pick from a project for: Philadelphia, Buffalo, Toledo, Detroit (or Michigan in general). This is another way you can lend me your eyes and feel good about doing some volunteer work (Random Act of Genealogical Kindness, anyone?).

Two Polish projects open at present.

As I said, I chipped in some effort to read one batch (of 12 birth church records). The records I was given in my first batch were from 1866 in the Radom diocese. This data (index and images) will be free to search from their website: (Europe Record Groups) .

Good Luck & Thanks again!

— Stanczyk

September 6, 2011

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mother: Fraydla z Jakow, age 32

Baby: girl Cyra

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


Record #53     Date: 7/7/1819

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

Mother: Rucha  z Golberkow, age 22

Baby: girl Eydla

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


Record #104     Date: 12/23/1819

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

Mother: Blima  z Chaymowicz, age 38

Baby: boy Herszla

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


August 25, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Tech Notes & Ideas

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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

How can you Find  Blogs of Interest to Your Research?

  • Use search engines like Google or Bing – try searching on ‘Polish, Genealogy, Blog’
  • Word Press has a tool called Tag Surfer – try using the tags: ‘Polish, Genealogy’ or use ancestral village
  • Use Genealogy Blog Finder 
  • Use Yahoo Groups and visit ‘Polish Geniuses‘ [recently(August 2011) celebrated 10 year anniversary]
  • Save the links to these Blogs in your Favorites or Bookmarks or at
August 17, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Haller’s Army in My Tree [part three]

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

y Family Tree has many heroic men and women or I would not be here blogging today. It is only by standing on the shoulders of giants that I can see farther — Issac Newton borrowed that quote from a much earlier time; But it is still true today. In today’s article, my third of three ( Article1Article2 ) on Haller’s Army and the heroic 25,000 men who volunteered from America to fight for Poland in World War I, by fighting in France’s army (and their blue uniforms).

There are three men in my family tree who volunteered and fought in Haller’s Army:

  • Boleslaw Wlecialowski
  • Wlodzimierz Kendzierski
  • Pawel Elijasz

I do not know how many people have such in their Polish genealogy, but this strikes me as a large number for one family. What is interesting is that the story for each is so different.


Last article, I mentioned that you use the database to look-up your ancestors and see if they volunteered. The results should look something like:

So armed with the Name and Location you should be able to tell if it is your ancestor or not without having to order the form(s). However, it is inexpensive enough that you can order multiple people when in doubt. Better yet, go to the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and then you can review the form in person before ordering.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski registered in Hamtramck, MI. on his Form C,  he mentions that his nearest relatives in Poland are Maciej and Katarzyna Wlecialowscy in the Gubernia of Kiecle, Gmina & Miasto of Pacanow. That is invaluable! Of the three forms, Form C is the most valuable because it asks for nearest relatives in both the US and in Poland. Form A has the basic info (name, address, etc.) and Form B (the medical form) is perhaps the least valuable form of the three. Form L is just the collection of all three forms.

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: A

Boleslaw Wlecialowski Haller’s Army Form: C

 When Boleslaw returned his ship manifest on the SS Princess Matoika said he was returning to his sister Rozalia Gawlikowski in Detroit, MI.

The above ship manifest is an image of the manifest header with lines 17-19 spliced in to show Boleslaw’s record on his return from Haller’s Army. He returned 21-July-1920 and his passage was paid for the by the US Government (on page 2 not shown).


Now Wlodzimierz Kendzierski (aka Kędzierski) is interesting on two accounts. First he registered twice. Once in Detroit and once in Pittsburgh! Now that was helpful because he listed different contacts in the US in the two documents. It was also interesting because I could not find his returning ship manifest (although I did find his brother Ludwik return — but who had not registered?). Genealogical mysteries! Now we know he served because we have a picture of Wlodzimierz in his Haller’s Army uniform.

Wlodzimierz Kedzierski

So he definitely served. I suspect the Ludwik Kedzierski returning (August 1922) to his cousin in Pittsburgh was really Wlodz. But this is interesting. Perhaps the two registrations are because one registration office said ‘no’ to his volunteering and the second office said ‘yes’.

Once again, it was invaluable that we ordered both sets of forms and both forms indicated he was the same person (naming a sister, brother, brother-in-law, and a wife with known addresses). Although Wlodzimierz is an uncommon first name and the complete combination is rare indeed. What it did do was show a family connection to the Pittsburgh Kedzierski which we did not previously know.


Now the third family member was interesting in yet another way. Both Boleslaw (who became Bill) and Wlodzimierz (who became Walter) returned to US and lived full lives as Americans. However, Pawel Elijasz was an enigma. I could never decide how he was related because I only had a ship manifest and a 1910 US Census from Depew, NY. So until I found his registering for Haller’s Army and finding out that he lived with a cousin of my grandfather’s who was Pawel’s brother I did not know how Pawel fit in. Then I found his birth record from Pacanow and his marriage record from Pacanow and the birth record of Pawel’s daughter and his being a God Father to a nephew all in Pacanow. So those church records which connected him with the Pawel in Haller’s Army and which connected him to the Eliasz/Elijasz in America answered many questions for me. Including what happened to Pawel after 1910. I now knew he registered in 1917 in Toledo, OH for Haller’s Army and that he lived with his brother Wincenty Elijasz at 1054 Campbell Street, Toledo, OH (down the road from my grandparents and next door to a married sister Wiktoria, Elijasz Mylek). So now I had a bit more timeline for Pawel. I just assumed he went back to Poland to live with his wife and daughter (and hence why no 1920 or 1930 US Census records). Imagine my shock when I found this last piece of data at a Polish Genealogical Society website. The link just preceding is to a database: “List of Casualties of the Polish Army, killed in action or died from wounds from the years 1918-1920” . I found out that Pawel had died, while serving in Haller’s Army ( 2/13/1920 in Łuck, Poland )  [see next image of a book page].

So now I knew the rest of Pawel’s story. But it was his Haller’s Army registration that answered so many questions and connected up church records in Poland with US Vital records.

As an aside, finding out that Pawel was a brother of Wincenty and Wiktoria Elijasz and not a brother of my grandfather was still a great find.  For Pawel’s sister Wiktoria is the only ELIASZ in the whole family tree with the following distinction.

Wiktoria has Vital records in US/Poland with her last name spelled as: ELIASZ, ELIJASZ and HELIASZ.

So now you know why the family tree acknowledges all three names as one family name.

I have had ELIASZ and HELIASZ combos (modern and historical). I have had ELIASZ and ELIJASZ combos in my own family. But Wiktoria is unqiue in that she was the only ELIASZ who has used all three versions of the family name at one time or another in her life.

Wiktoria is also God Mother to two of my uncles. Wiktoria is also related to the lovely Elzbieta Heliasz Kapusta who sent to me, my grandparent’s marriage records (both civil and church) from Poland where Elzbieta lives and who does not speak a single  word of English. So it is a small world indeed.

I do not have a Polish Consulate newspaper article saying any of my three ancestors earned land from Poland for their service. I also do not have any info from PAVA, but the next time I travel to NYC, I will look them up and see if Boleslaw or Wlodzimierz were ever PAVA members. I will try and find an example of the Polish Consulate messages to an American-Pole in a Polish Language US newspaper where they were seeking an Haller’s Army veteran now living in the USA and post it here for you my good readers to see. I hope this series of postings has motivated you the Polish Genealogist to seek out this unique Polish genealogical resource and then track down the other connecting pieces to this puzzle.

Let Stanczyk know!

August 14, 2011

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

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

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


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

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

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

Poster — from wiki

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

Registration Centers

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

PGSA Database

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

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

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

Returning Soldiers

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

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

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

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

 Links to the Ship Manifests  SS Princess Matoika from Danzig in 1920 [more dates than shown above] 4253 Returning Troops SS Pocahontas from Danzig  in 1920 [please note the ship name is P-O-C-A-H-O-N-T-A-S. It was misspelled on the website].   4199 Returning Troops SAT Mercury from Danzig June 1920.  2074 Returning Troops SS Antigone from Danzig April 1920. 1628 Returning Troops SS President Grant from Danzig February1921. ~1900 Returning Troops3 SS Latvia from Danzig  August 1922. 1517 Returning Troops

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

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

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

Fallen Soldiers

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

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

Soldier Benefits

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

Let me finish today’s article by mentioning Dr. Paul S. Valasek’s book on the subject matter: Haller’s Polish Army in France and also another book entitled: Remembrance written by Charles Casimer Krawczyk.

Tomorrow … Haller’s Army in My Family Tree



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

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

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


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