Poland Genealogy

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Guide to Poland ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

Country Information

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. Polish is the official language.[1]

Getting Started

Getting Started with Poland Research

Links to articles on getting started with Poland research.

See More Research Strategies

Poland Research Tools

Links to articles and websites that assist in Poland research.

See More Research Tools

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Finding Your Ancestors' Town in Poland

  • Genealogical records are organized by geographical locality. Civil registration (government birth, marriage, and death records) and church records (christenings/baptisms, marriages, and burials) were kept at the local level. Duplicates were sometimes sent to higher jurisdictions such as a diocese or voivodeship (province). Efforts to collect, preserve, and publish records online are generally carried out at a diocese or voivodeship level, or by archive jurisdiction level.
  • If you do not know your ancestors' town, follow the advice in the Wiki article Poland Locating Town of Origin to search a variety of records that might provide that information.

Town Details Needed for Finding Records:

Once you know the town where your ancestors lived, there are some important details you need to find to get into the records. Your town may not have its own parish church because of its small size. So you need to find out the town name where the Catholic, Lutheran, Greek Catholic, or Jewish synagogue your ancestor attended would have been. Likewise, your town or village might have been too small to have its own civil registration office, so you need to find where people in that village would have registered their births, marriages, and deaths.

  • Use mapa.szukacz to find the province, area, commune, and postal code of the town. Enter the town name in the "place" field in the right sidebar and click "Show". All information will appear at the bottom of the right sidebar.
  • Use Kartenmeister to find the Polish and German province, county, Catholic parish, Lutheran parish, and Standesamt (civil registration office), if the town was in the area of Poland once controlled by Prussia.
  • If the town was in the area of Poland once controlled by Russia or Austria, look it up in Skorowidz Gazetteer Online to find the parishes of various religions. Here are the instructions. Use the second option, "Viewing anywhere via the Digital Library of Wielkopolska".

Poland Map

A. Modern Voivodeships: Click on a province to find a
detailed article on research links for that area.

Pomerania VoivodeshipWarmia-Masuria VoivodeshipWarmia-Masuria VoivodeshipPodlaskie VoivodeshipWestern Pomerania VoivodeshipMasovia VoivodeshipKuyavian-Pomerania VoivodeshipGreater Poland VoivodeshipGreater Poland VoivodeshipŁódź VoivodeshipLubusz VoivodeshipLower Silesia VoivodeshipSilesia VoivodeshipSubcarpathia or Podkarpackie VoivodeshipLesser Poland VoivodeshipSilesia VoivodeshipLublin VoivodeshipMasovia VoivodeshipLower Silesia VoivodeshipGreater Poland VoivodeshipŁódź VoivodeshipŁódź VoivodeshipMasovia VoivodeshipOpole VoivodeshipOpole VoivodeshipSubcarpathia or Podkarpackie Voivodeship|Świętokrzyskie VoivodeshipWestern Pomerania VoivodeshipPodlaskie VoivodeshipMasovia VoivodeshipPoland map with English.png
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B. 1967 Voivodeships: Use these for FamilySearch
Catalog and Historical Records.
SzczecinKoszalinGdańskBydgoszczPoznańZielona GóraWrocławOpoleKatowiceKrakówRzeszówKielceLublinWarszawaLódźBiałystokOlsztynPoland 1967 map.png
About this image
C. Poland 1815-1918: Poland was

divided among Prussia,

Russia, and Austria.
West Prussia (Westpreussen)Pomerania (Pommern)East Prussia (Oustpreussen)BrandenburgPosenGalicia (Austrian PolandSilesia (Schlesien)Russian PolandPoland 1815-1918.png
About this image

D. Polish Archival Jurisdictions: Click here for a more detailed map of archive territories and voivodeship coverage. Use the PRADZIAD tool to discover which archive has the parish records you need.
Poland Archives.jpg

Provinces (Voivodeships)

Poland is currently divided into 16 provinces known as voivodeships (Polish: województwa, singular województwo).
Click on the link below for a Wiki article specific to the province.

More Poland Research Strategies

Research strategies give guidance on how to research or what records to search for first. Below are additional research strategy Wiki articles for the Poland.

More Poland Research Tools

Research tools can include resources that assist in locating correct records to search and determining the correct locality to search in. Below are links and Wiki articles to research tools in the Poland.

FamilySearch Resources

Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in researching your family.

Research Tutorials

Russian and Polish Transliteration Tools

How-to Guides

For all areas of Poland:

For areas of Poland that were once part of Prussia and Germany:

For areas of Poland that were once part of Russia:

Word-by-Word Reading Aids


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Poland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland, accessed 23 March 2016.