Fw: Gen Dobry!
- ----- Original Message -----From: Don SzumowskiSent: Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:46 AMSubject: Gen Dobry!
----- Original Message -----From: Don SzumowskiSent: Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:46 AMSubject: Gen Dobry!
* * * * * * * * * G E N D O B R Y ! * * * * * * * * *
Volume IX, No. 5 -- 31 May 2008
ISSN 1555-774X. Copyright (C) 2008, PolishRoots(R), Inc.
Editor: William F. "Fred" Hoffman, E-mail: <wfh@...>
My Trip to ITS (International Tracing Service)
Letters to the Editor
The Origins of the Greater Pittston, Pennsylvania Area
Call for Writers
S. S. Aurigny Passenger List 1936
Polish Pioneers of Calumet, Michigan
More Useful Web Addresses
You May Reprint Articles...
*** WELCOME! ***
to the latest issue of _Gen Dobry!_, the e-zine of PolishRoots(R). If you missed previous issues, you can find them here:
If you'd like _Gen Dobry!_ in PDF form, this issue is available for downloading here:
*** MY TRIP TO ITS (INTERNATIONAL TRACING SERVICE) ***
by Tom Sadauskas
[Editor -- At Tom's request, I am not posting his e-mail address; but if you have any comments, you can send them to me, <wfh@...>, and I will forward them to Tom.]
My recent trip (5-9 May 08) to the International Tracing Service (ITS) was quite successful. I had requests from nearly 30 people to do research for them while at the ITS. Unfortunately, I was not able to find information for everyone who requested help.
I was part of a group of 42 genealogists, the majority of whom were researching their Jewish ancestors who were killed in the Holocaust. Below is the URL for an AP story about our trip that was printed in _USA Today_:
The ITS news story about the visit can be found at the following URL:
It was amazing to see how much information the ITS has already been able to digitize, though they still have a number of documents to work on. The expanse of their archive collections is amazing: nearly 100 million documents dealing with 17 million individuals.
For example, they were able to find a hard copy of a DP camp roster from 1948 which listed my father as one of the camp inhabitants. For some of the people born in DP camps after the war, the ITS was able to provide me with copies of their birth certificates.
One surprise was that I found out what happened to my grandfather's nephew, Kazys Baltramonaitis, who was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1913 after his parents and infant sister emigrated to the U.S. in 1912.
Kazys' father took the family back to Lithuania after World War I ended because Kazys' mother died circa 1916 in the Chicago area. I still have to find where his mother, Agota, is buried. Kazys lived in Virbalis, Lithuania until fleeing the advancing Russian army in summer 1944. By a fluke, I found Kazys' refugee card, filled out in Lithuanian and completed on 2 July 1945 while he was in an American DP camp in Wiesbaden, Germany.
He indicated he was born in "Cikaga JAV" (Chicago, United States of America) and that he did not want to return to Lietuva since it was controlled by the Bolsheviks. He only listed "Lithuanian" under "language spoken"; he would have been about 7 years old when his father took the family back to Lithuania from the U.S., and likely he had forgotten most of the English that he had known at one time. The card indicates that he was returned by the American authorities to the SSSR (i.e., Soviet Union) on 17 August 1945 and spent the rest of his life behind the Iron Curtain in Lithuania, despite being a U.S. born citizen. This is a family story that no one had ever spoken about.
Using Facebook, I was able to find Kazys' granddaughter, who currently is working in the UK and gave me information on how to contact her father (Kazys' son), who still lives in Lithuania.
I'll let you know what else I find out.
[Editor -- Those who'd like to learn more about this trip and ITS can read this edition of _Nu? What's New_, a free e-zine devoted to Jewish genealogy.]
*** LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ***
Subject: The Catholic Church and the LDS
[Editor -- There's been a lot of attention paid lately to a decision by the Vatican to refuse the FHL's filming agents access to Church records. While I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude, I wanted to share with you this thoughtful note I received on the subject:]
I just noticed this article while doing some research regarding "legal" saint's names for someone. As soon as I saw it, I recalled that my sister mentioned something about it to me last week, and at the time, I did not know to what she was referring.
Essentially, the Vatican has instructed Catholic Churches worldwide to not provide access to church record registers to the Mormon's Genealogical Society. I must admit that this decision is disturbing, although I also understand, to some degree, their concern. I am a Catholic, I should add.
The efforts of the Mormon church in the past, working in the area of Poland from which my ancestors originated, have been of almost immeasurable value. Without the microfilmed records which can be borrowed from them, I would never have been able to trace my family roots. Everyone in my family who would have known anything about that is long gone, with no records left behind. The only alternatives would have been trips to Poland or contract services, both of which would have been prohibitively expensive and lengthy. There is something about actually seeing a picture of the original records of family from hundreds of years ago that makes all of the effort of analyzing the difficult writing and languages supremely worthwhile.
It is unlikely that there is anything we ordinary folk can say or do about this, but I sincerely hope that they can reach some manner of workable agreement so that the microfilming effort can continue. It is fortunate that most of my family stayed in the same area of Poland, and that most of that area was recorded already. I do still have some holes which I hope to fill in eventually.
I just thought that this may be something that others may also find of interest.
Tom Pajak <tspydert@...>
Subject: Web sites with Surname Data
Thanks for the new link to "Rymut," Fred, and to the colored maps.
I found a link that makes it really easy to insert a Polish character into a word. All you have to do is type the word, Marszalkiewicz, for example, and then copy and paste the "slashed l" into position and remove the "other l." Voila! Then you can insert it into the Moikrewni.pl database.
It's also available for other languages: Czech, French, German, IPA (English), Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
Ray Marshall <raymarsh@...>
[Editor -- This is definitely worth passing along. I also like the tool mentioned in the last issue on the Morse site, www.stevemorse.org. Personally, I just install Windows keyboard support for whatever languages I need to use at any given time. I currently have support installed for English, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Lithuanian. I used to have Arabic and Hebrew, too, but I deleted them because I don't need them that often. Also, on more than one occasion I hit the wrong keys while typing; I looked up five minutes later, only to realize I had changed the active language and now had an entire page of gibberish in the Arabic alphabet!]
Subject: Web sites with Surname Data
[Editor -- This is a response to my comment "But again, there's a catch. You have to be able to input the right URL to get the 'real' data: http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/kami%25C5%2584ski.html. That's the coding the Web site requires; for some reason, http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/kaminski.html won't work."
I would have thought you knew the answer to your remarks. It's not the Web site that has restrictions. URI syntax standards require use of a subset of ASCII for the character set of a URL. See, for example:
Compatibility with transmission systems might be the main factor.
Roman Kaluzniacki <romanka@...>
[Editor -- Very interesting. I must admit, this is not a matter to which I'd paid much attention. I think I understand a little better now.]
Subject: DVD of _Katyn_
[Editor -- This is a follow-up to mention in the last two issues of sources for buying the DVD of this highly-regarded movie.]
I have already placed two separate orders with Polbook.com for the DVD of _Katyn_ plus a book. They were delivered in a very timely manner. When I placed my first order, it was through the Polbook.com Web site. That first order arrived along with a catalogue. I then called the 1-800 number on that catalogue to place my second order. I believe the 1-800 number is in New York. The gentleman I spoke to was fluent in English and very helpful. It might actually be easier to order by phone. With the link you must first select movies; then at the far left you select DVD's, and the word Drama -- I think it was on the second page. So it involved some searching. Plus the fact that you will be filling out the boxes of info.
If interested in books, try Polbook's prices in comparison to Amazon.com; the latter seemed to be higher (I purchased _In the Shadow of Katyn_ at a considerable saving). Amazon.com did have a considerable amount of various priced books on the subject of Katyn. Some of these books can be purchased as used. They will even rate some of the books.
The DVD has English subtitles and was definitely compatible with my DVD/VCR box.
Hope this helps anyone interested in purchasing these items.
[Editor -- Thanks for the info, which I'm sure many of our readers will appreciate.]
Subject: Death of Irena Sendler
[Editor -- Armela Hammes kindly sent me this link, where you can read an obituary for Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who helped save some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto and giving them false identities. She should be remembered for resisting evil in circumstances where the rest of us can only hope we would have had the courage to do so.]
Armela Hammes <armelahammes@...>
[Editor -- While we're mentioning this, Ellen Moshenberg posted a URL to the Polish Genius list, for a YouTube clip of a presentation honoring Irena Sendler:]
Subject: Documentary on a Slovak Village
I wanted to let you know about a Los Angeles documentary film company named Timeline Films. It recently produced a YouTube film on East Douglas, MA, and its ancestral village, Velka Lesna, in the Tatra Mts. near the Polish border. Many of the inhabitants came from there and settled in Douglas, including my husband's grandfather, Andrew Michna.
The location of the video requires going to YouTube and typing in "Douglas Lesna." This will allow you to see the film. An article also appeared in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette on Thursday, April 17, 2008. This article also listed many Polish family names.
Not sure if this helps anyone beyond the N.E. area, but did want to share the info with you.
[Editor -- Here's the direct link to the YouTube clip:]
Subject: More on "Bubba" as a Nickname Meaning "Baby"
[Editor -- In the last issue we had a Letter to the Editor asking if anyone was familiar with a word that sounded like "bubba" and was a nickname meaning "baby" or something along those lines. Gary Mokotoff sent a very interesting answer.]
_Bubbe_ or _Bubeleh_ is a Yiddish term of endearment for a young child. It is also the word for "grandmother." I have been trying to track down the origin of the word since Yiddish invariably is derived from German or some Slavic language. Someone once told me it literally means "doll" but I cannot prove it. The German word for doll is _Puppe_, which could easily be mispronounced "bubbe."
Leo Rosten's _Joy of Yiddish_ states "From Russian/Hebrew. In Hebrew, _buba_ means 'little doll.' But the Yiddish _bube_ and _bubeleh_ seem independent of the Hebrew, say the experts." ... _Baba_, which means midwife or grandmother in Russian and other Slavic tongues, was often used in addressing any old woman, whether one's grandmother or not."
My best guess is that using _bubbe_ as a term of endearment for a child comes from the German word for "doll," which is close phonetically to the Hebrew word for "doll" and therefore used by Jews. The term was picked up by the Polish people from their Jewish neighbors. I know Polish includes some Yiddish words because of the interaction between Jews and Poles.
Gary Mokotoff <mokotoff@...>
[Editor -- Thanks for the info on _Bubbe_. I knew it was a term for "grandmother"; anyone who ever watched Reizl Bozyk's performance in _Crossing Delancey_ can't forget that! But I didn't know it could be a term of endearment for a young child; that's news to me. As you say, so many Yiddish words derive from either the Germanic or Slavic languages that it's always relevant to ask whether a specific word in Yiddish sheds light on the word as used by non-Jews.]
*** THE ORIGINS OF THE GREATER PITTSTON, PENNSYLVANIA AREA ***
by Tony Paddock <tcp10@...>
[Editor -- Tony offered this article, and I was glad to get it. I realize, of course, that not all our readers need historical information on the Wyoming Valley region. But this area played a much larger role in America's Polonia at the turn of the century than most people realize. It deserves to be better known, and Tony's the guy to help with that.]
First settled in the late 18th and early 19th century, largely by colonists from New England who erected small settlements and farms near local streams, the Greater Pittston Area, situated in the northeastern corner of Luzerne County, forming the northern boundary of Wyoming's historic vale, consists of 14 municipalities created from the original townships -- Pittston, Exeter and Kingston, initially founded by the colonists. With the discovery of coal began the great influx of immigrants -- mostly from Eastern Europe, Italy and Ireland -- that make up the heterogeneous population as it is found today.
Avoca - First named Pleasant Valley by Albert McAlpine, who constructed a box factory here in 1837. On October 10, 1888 an excursion train was returning tired passengers from a picnic in Hazleton. While emerging from the curve at Mud Run near White Haven, the sixth car of the train ran into the rear of the fifth car making an accordion of the three end cars, killing one hundred. Thirty-three fatalities were residents of Pleasant Valley. It was renamed Avoca, Gaelic for "Vale of Tears or Sorrow." The borough incorporated in 1871.
Dupont - This hamlet was first known as Lidy in honor of a local family. It was renamed Heidleburg and sometime later christened Smithville after a supervisor at the village's Heidleburg coal breaker. When the town applied to Washington, D. C. to open a post office in the early 20th century, it was discovered there was another Smithville in the state. There are two schools of thought as to how the name Dupont was selected. The first, and legend considers it more accurate, is the town was named for its first postmaster. The second suggests the town was named for the Dupont family, who owned the nearby powder mill that supplied dynamite to the mining industry. It was incorporated as a borough on April 12, 1917.
Duryea - Originally known as Babylon for the variety of languages spoken by its residents, it was later called Marcy Township after Zebulon Marcy, one of the first settlers in the area. Incorporated as the borough of Duryea in 1901, it was named after Colonel Abram Duryea, a mine owner and resident.
Exeter - Initially designated Sturmersville after Colonel Solomon Sturmer, who laid out the village in 1874, it was renamed Exeter when it was incorporated in 1884.
Exeter Township - One of the original five townships formed under Connecticut dating back to 1768. The township was named for Exeter, RI, the original home of some of the early pioneers. The Harding section of the township was named for a family bearing that name.
Hughestown - Established in 1810 as Hamtown and incorporated in 1879, then renamed for the Hughes family, initial residents of the hamlet.
Jenkins Township - Named for Colonel John Jenkins who carried out the first survey of the Wyoming Valley in the 18th century. The Port Blanchard and Port Griffith segments of the township, named for early pioneers, were established at the ferry ports on the Susquehanna River. How the Inkerman section was named remains a question, and legend holds the Sebastopol section is named for a Black Sea port in Crimea. The township incorporated in 1852.
Laflin - The first homesteaders, Isaac Gold and Joseph Gardner, arrived in 1794, settling near Gardners Creek. First known as Nash, then White Oak Hollow, Laflin is named for the company that manufactured blasting powder for the area mines. It incorporated as a borough in 1889.
Pittston - Like Pittston Township, it was named after Sir William Pitt an English statesman and member of the British Parliament. Originally spelled Pittstown and called Pittstown Ferry as it was a port for a rope drawn ferry that linked the two river banks. Chartered as a borough in 1853 and incorporated as a city in 1894.
Pittston Township - Formed and surveyed in 1768 under Connecticut, it was one of the five townships of the Susquehanna Land Company.
West Pittston - Nicknamed the Garden Village, it was first known as Fort Jenkins. Christened West Pittston when it incorporated in 1857.
West Wyoming - First known as Carpenter Town, then Carpenter's Hallow for a landholder who constructed a grist mill on Abraham's Creek, so called for an Indian Chief, in 1780. Later called Shoemaker's Hallow when ownership of the mill changed hands. In 1898 it was named West Wyoming, after breaking away from Wyoming, and became its own borough.
Wyoming - In the late 18th century most of the village was owned by Jacob Bedford and initially known as New Troy and later Troy Hollow. It was designated Wyoming in 1839, the name given to the entire valley by the Lenni Lenâpé or Delaware Indians. It is impossible to state with any certainty when the name Wyoming, considered in any one of its various forms, was first applied. According to John Heckewelder*, the word Wyoming is a corruption of Maugh-wau-wa-me, the compounded words of _maugh-wau_, meaning "large or extensive," and _wa-me_, signifying "plains or meadows," and may be translated "The Large Plains."
* John G.B. Heckewelder, born in England in 1743; died in Bethlehem, PA in 1823. From 1765 to 1771 he was employed as a teacher at the Moravian missions at Friedenshütten and Sheshequin, PA. He then became an evangelist and was appointed assistant to David Zeisberger, with whom he labored in Ohio. He studied carefully the language, manners and customs of the Indians, particularly the Delawares. In 1810 he returned from Ohio to Bethlehem, where he engaged in literary pursuits until his death. Among the various books concerning the Indians which he published was one, in 1822, titled _Names which the Lenni Lenâpé or Delaware Indians gave to the Rivers, Streams and Localities within the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia; with their Significations_.
Yatesville - Named for Francis Yates, an early pioneer miner. Yatesville incorporated as a borough in 1878.
Oscar Jewell Harvey. _A History of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County - Early Wyoming Valley History_. Wilkes-Barre, PA 1900
Luzerne County Recorder of Deeds
Pittston, PA: _The Sunday Dispatch_
Wilkes-Barre, PA: _The Times Leader_, _The Sunday Independent_
The Wyoming Historical Society and Geological Society. Now known as the Luzerne County Historical Society.
*** CALL FOR WRITERS ***
by James S. Pula <jpula@...>
The editorial board of _Polish-American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia_, to be published by McFarland Publishers, seeks contributors to author biographical (250-500 words) and topical entries (500-1,250 words). Interested persons should e-mail the editor, James S. Pula, at <jpula@...> with an expression of interest and an indication of the general fields of expertise or specific entries of interest. Contributors will be encouraged to undertake multiple entries. Those who express an interest in being contributors will receive a list of available entries, contributor guidelines, and deadlines. Compensation is available for acceptable entries.
[From info forwarded by John Drobnicki, Professor of Library Services & Acting Chief Librarian, York College/CUNY]
*** PRESERVING ARCHIVES ***
by Alan J. Kania <ajkania@...>
[Editor -- This is a note Alan posted to the Poland-Roots mailing list. I can't say I'm optimistic about the chances anything will actually come of this. But Alan's suggestions are good ones, and deserve more attention than they're getting. I can do a tiny little bit about that....]
I'm not a decision-maker with any of the genealogy groups, but I suppose there are those on the list who are. I would like to encourage them to enter a dialog with any of the following organizations to come up with a marketing program that can be presented to Polish churches and civil archives. I strongly believe they need help in preserving their valuable heritage before those
paper documents are lost forever.
Some of the societies that work with archivists include:
1. The Society of American Archivists (www.archivists.org), headquartered in Chicago, IL
2. The Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers (www.acarm.org)
3. Council of State Archivists (www.statearchivists.org)
4. Association of Canadian Archivists (http://archivists.ca/home/default.aspx)
5. Association of Librarians & Archivsits at Baptist Institutions (http://alabi.org)
I believe someone within these associations for archivists may have some ideas how the Polish Roman Catholic administration can learn how to preserve their records without closing access down to legitimate family historians. I would document the problems people are having and invite a dialog to find a solution that is agreeable to the Polish churches and family members who would like access to those records.
Most important, those papers will not last forever. If the parishes and/or archives are responsible for preservation of those church documents, it's important to preserve those records before they become too fragile for anyone to use -- including those priests responsible for being the caretakers of those documents.
[Editor -- These are good points, and should be considered. If any of you have ideas on how to make this happen, please do something!]
*** S.S. AURIGNY PASSENGER LIST 1936 ***
by Paul S. Valasek <Hallersarmy@...>
Here's another in a series of data from passenger lists. This is from the S. S. Aurigny, and appears to include Poles, Jews, and Rusyns/Ukrainians, but all list "Polish" as their nationality.
First some info on the ship:
S.S. Aurigny - Belonging to the Compagnie des Chargeurs Reunis. Single stack transatlantic steamship serving the South American trade. This list of passengers is extracted from a sailing in July 1936. Though the home port of the Aurigny was Havre, this voyage appears to have started in Gdynia, then on to Hamburg, Havre, La Coruna, Vigo, Casablanca, Rio de Janiero, Santos, and finally Buenos Aires. A total of 230 passengers traveled aboard, which included 11 Argentinians, 1 - 1st Class, 1 - 2nd Class and 9 - 3rd Class as well as 218 foreigners to Argentina. This larger group included 16 - 1st Class, 2 - 2nd Class, and 200 - 3rd Class. Thee was one Clandestino (stowaway) who claimed Argentine citizenship and boarded at Casablanca.
Copies / scans of pages of the manifest are available for a fee. This helps to keep our Web site running.
Surname, First Name - Age - Comment
Bak, Ludwik - 31
Bak, Helena - 24
Bak, Marja - 2
Bak, Antoni - 1
Bebczuk, Szloma - 36
Bielinis, Zygmunt - 47
Bikel, Szmul - 27
Bogdan, Lukjan - 24
Bogdan, Juljanja - 24
Bogdan, Anna - 2
Brojder, Lejb - 50
Chropot, Ilarjon - 30
Chropot, Aleksandra - 28
Chropot, Marja - 9
Chropot, Lubow - 4
Chropot, Sergiej - 3
Demel, Abam - 31
Dolba, Zofja - 27
Dziurek, Andrzej - 33
Ezrylowicz, Jankiel - 27 - lined out
Ezrylowicz, Jankiel - 27
Fajden, Fajwel - 19
Fajfer, Israel - 25 - Le Havre- Polish
Fedenczuk, Stefanida - 38
Fedenczuk, Stefan - 13
Fedenczuk, Leon - 11
Fedenczuk, Jozef - 17
Finkler, Chaja - 61 - lined out
Gaik, Marjanna - 31
Gielle, Izaak - 31
Gieller, Rochla - 30
Gieller, Fejga - 3
Gierman, Gitla - 28 - lined out
Gurwicz - Gurewicz, Jankiel - 29
Guz, Leja - 26
Hochman, Awrum - 30
Hochman, Chana - 25
Hochman, Icko - 3
Hofman, Lewek - 30
Iwanczuk, Aleksander - 32
Iwanczuk, Justyna - 28
Kalb, Marjem - 30
Kalb, Jakob - 10 m
Katz, Ester - 29
Kazimierski, Eljasz - 18
Kiciuk, Mikolaj - 31
Kmytko, Polikarp - 31
Kmytko, Anisja - 28
Kmytko, Anatolij - 4
Kmytko, Aleksander - 2
Kodzis, Franciszka - 24
Kondratiuk, Jakob - 34
Kondratiuk, Aleksandra - 28
Kondratiuk, Aleksander - 8
Kondratiuk, Halina - 1 m
Kostrzewska, Sura - 26
Ksiendzuk, Eutemjusz - 30
Ksiendzuk, Anizja - 27
Ksiendzuk, Halina - 1
Ksiendzuk, Lidja - 22
Kulak, Aleksy - 68
Majles, Welwel - 25
Marycki, Grzegorz - 34
Matysiak, Stefan - 42
Matysiak, Justyna - 37
Matysiak, Ryszard - 12
Matysiak, Klotylda - 11
Matysiak, Matylda - 9
Muczak, Jemiljan - 29
Muczak, Tatjana - 29
Muczak, Maksym - 5
Muczak, Wlodzimierz - 1
Nedilski, Aleksander - 36
Nedilski, Anna - 39
Nedilski, Jaroslaw - 6
Nedilski, Olga - 4
Nedilski, Eugenjusz - 3
Nedilski, Stefanja - 17
Nikonczuk, Katarzyna - 27
Ochman, Mojsze - 33
Ochman, Mindla - 26
Okowita, Dworja - 29
Ostrowoj, Natalja - 45
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