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Dziennik Polski - The Polish Daily News (Detroit)                                

Historical Newspaper Vital Records

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Feb 25, 1924 Masthead

Dziennik Polski - The Oldest Daily In Michigan

According to "The City of Detroit, Michigan 1701-1922", by Burton , et. al. published in 1922, Dziennik Polski was established in 1903 [Ed. others say 1904]. What is clear is that the newspaper was first sold in March of 1904. When it came out it was every day but Sunday. Thus it was the first and was the oldest published daily newspaper in Detroit, MI. If we examine our calendar we see that the Dziennik Polski is now over 100 years old. Yes, that is correct it is still published today, although weekly now and is still in Polish. When the Dziennik Polski turned 100 years, this event was noted by the U.S. Congress! The 108th Congress commemorated the 100th aniversary of Dziennik Polski in the Congressional Record on 9/29/2004 [page S9931].

During its 100+ years the Dziennik Polski has made its mark in Detroit. Like the time in December 1955 when all three major Detroit newspapers (Free Press, News, and Times) were out on strike and the Dziennik Polski stepped into the void to feed a news starved city. "The Dziennik Polski jacked up its press run from 48,600 to 150,000 copies daily, wrapped an 18-page English section around its ten-page Polish editions," according to the Time magazine website.

Types of Vital Records Found

This newspaper can aid genealogists in their search for source materials or lost dates for common events that every newspaper once published. Namely birth announcements, wedding announcements / marriage licenses, death notices. Beyond these common sources of vital records data, you will also find the Polish Consulate publishing valuable clues to our ancestors (see the Eaglet Index). Beyond, death notices, you will also find Funeral Cards (or Funeral Ads) published. Often times these two sources (Consular and Funeral Ads) will provide birth data, sometimes including the village or province, often family members names/relationships are listed and of course many times a street address or city is listed. Therefore, the Dziennik Polski provides yet another means for determining your ancestral village (beyond the normally used: Ship Manifests, Naturalization Papers, SS5 forms, Hallers Army registrations, etc.)
Was your ancestor a politician, did s/he graduate from a local High School (class pictures appeared for High Schools near to the Dziennik Polski in Hamtramck and Detroit), or a police/fire man, possibly a gangster or a merchant or a member of various fraternal organizations. Their names appear in the stories or in the ads. Every page might yield a clue to your ancestry. And even if you do not read Polish, you can recognize the names, the addresses, and the dates.
          Funeral Cards | Birth Samples | Death Samples | Marriage & Divorce | Polish Consular Samples | Polish Language US Newspapers | Library of Congress Chronicling America

Birth / Marriage / Death What do you look for? The Polish words you must keep an eagle eye out for are: URODZINY (births), Zmarli (deaths).  Pozwolenia na Sluby(marriage licenses) or Slubna (for marriages). The births sometimes had a Stork . Often the section of the page would have some border around the word(s) to separate the vital records from other news stories:  urodziny, zmarli, sluby. Besides normal death notices, you would also find funeral ads. These "ads" looked like the back side of a prayer card / funeral card and they sometimes had birth data including village or the local wojewodztwo (or even a powiat or gmina) .

When looking at the births, you will notice two columns. The name listed is usually the mother (or during some periods of time the father), but not the baby. One columns is for boys (chłopcy) and the other is for girls (dziewczęta) .  I have also seen synowie/córka (sons/daughters) used. So the column titles were mothers who had boys (or girls) and the order of the columns varied: sometimes boys first, sometimes girls. If you see the same woman's name in both columns, it means she had fraternal twins. How do you know she had identical twins? You will see a word ( bliznięta) usually by the address.

Cartoons The Dziennik Polski (The Polish Daily News) from Detroit had comics just like todays papers do. In 1941, Blondie, Mandrake the Magician and Felix the Cat were typical. Other comics appeared at other times. The interesting things was, the comics were more often in English than in Polish -- although they had cartoons in both languages.

Cartoons (circa 1924) were not politically correct as in present day newspapers. By that I mean, one could find Felix the Cat, pulling out his whiskers to make strings for an instrument for Uncle Tom (an African American character), because the evil Simon Legree had broken Uncle Tom's musical instrument.   Which would shock/offend today's readers.

Repositories / Libaries - Microfilm Microfilm of the historic Dziennik Polski newspapers can be found in the following locations:

The Michigan State Archives & Library 702 W. Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48915 Phone: (517) 373-3559. [Has 1904-1941]
The Detroit Public Library(Burton Collection) Main Branch- 5201 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 Phone: (313) 833-1000. [Has 1904-..]
Bentley Historical Library - 1150 Beal Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113. Phone:  (734) 764-3482. [various: betw. Dec 1947 - Nov 1971, Jun 1988 - Apr 1990]
PGSA, Chicago- 984 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL. 60622. Phone: 773-384-3352. [Has 1944-1954 - 1965]
Library of Congress - 101 Independence Ave. SE, Madison Bldg, Room LM-133, Washington, D.C. 20540-4760 [1941:Apr.14 - 1989:June 27]
Univ. of MN-Elmer L. Andersen Library, Suite 311; 222 - 21st Ave S.; Minneapolis MN 55455 Phone: 612-625-4800 [Has 1904-1941]
NY Public LIbrary - [Jan 3,1967 - June 27, 1970,  Jan 4, 1971 - Dec 31, 1983].
Central CT State Univ. - 1615 Stanley St., New Britain, CT 06050; Elihu Burritt Library-4th Floor; 860-832-2086 (Ewa Wolynska) [March 1904-June 1939]
Duke Univ. - [Has 1947-195? - Wrapped bundles] .
Other Locations: (source: Library Of Congress )
Mercyhurst Col. Hammermill Libr, Erie, PA - [1935,1938,1940,1948]
Suny At Albany, Albany, NY -  [1941- ?(at least 1983)]
Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - [1944-1949,1960,1967,1970-1988]
Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI), 3535 Indian Trail, Orchard Lake, MI 48324 - [1904-1920 microfilm, 1930's-? bundles]

Mastheads / Newspaper Art / Ads   Funeral Cards:  Jan Krol (01/24/1930)06/14/1941 ,
  06/16/194106/18/194106/19/194106/20/1941,
  06/21/194106/23/1941
  Miscellaneous:
  St Ladislaus H.S. Class 1940,   Class Officers only
  St Josaphat  H.S. Class 1941
  Stroh's Beer Ad
  Detroit Edison Ad
  Dziennik Polski on a Sanborn Map
  Dziennik Polski Masthead:1904, 1910, 1920, 1924, 1930, 1940, 1941
  Charles Lindbergh Marriage Certificate
  Wladyslaw and Bronislawa Torzewski 50th Anniversary

VOLUNTEERS Needed !!! Would you like to support this project. The project is to collect our ancestor's names from the pages of the historical Dziennik Polski newspaper. Even one week or one month or one microfilm is helpful. Do whatever you can. To help I would need you to do the following:

(1) Go to one of the repositories/libraries listed above and read microfilm (in the years Feb 1907-Dec 1949 except for the few months we already have (see above left). Or do an act of genealogical kindness from the Wants & Needs section --->

(2) Take digital pictures (color, high res -- or 300dpi) of the birth/marriage/death/funeral cards or other useful vital records. Not the whole pages, just the column(s) with the info. If it is not readable shoot a fews pictures of parts of the column(s) with the data that is readable. Do not use a flash! You take picture of what the microfilm reader displays onto the base/pad-- the image that you look at (not the film). All libraries allow this .

(3) Send the newspaper date (and page #'s where appropriate)  of the digital picture. If you cannot take digital pictures, write down (transcribe) the information, including the newspaper date.  Be exacting in the names/dates, close is good enough for addresses. When transcribing birth data from Poland -- please be extra exacting. Village names or Wojewdztwo/Powiat/Gmina names are hard to come by so be precise.

(4) Send emails to: DP@eliasz.com  [one digital picture per email]. Emails must be less than 10MB [which is more than big enough for a single uncompressed digital picture]. Put transcriptions or notes in the email body. Pictures should be attachments. If you do not have email, then mail your contributions to; C. Michael Eliasz,  PO Box 1401, Southeastern, PA 19399-1401.  THANK YOU!  [Volunteer Page]

Dziennik Polski - Wants & Needs... This section is a list of recommendations for volunteers who may want to focus on something specific:
 Haller's Army era: 1917-1922 Polish Falcons / WWI / Returning Falcons
 Jan/John Eliasz (aka Elliasz, Eljasz, Elias, sometimes a middle name of Marcin) died: Jul 17 1936
 John Sulkowski who died on 12/05/1916, please search 12-5-1916(plus 2-3 days following): for name: Arlene ?]
 Adam Gawlikowski/Rosa Wlecial Married 8/19/1912 [please check 1 month prior to a fews days after for marriage notice].
 Mary Eliasz/Wlaydslaw Gronek Married 11/09/1912 [please check 1 month prior to a fews days after for marriage notice].
 Antonina - Joseph Pietryka Murder: May 31, 1916 - thru 11/20/1916 (incarceration). [for JJ Krawczyk]

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