Poland Civil Registration
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- Civil registration is the vital records (records of births, marriages, and deaths) made by the government. Civil registration records (zapisy cywilne) are an excellent source for information on names, dates, and places of births, marriages, and deaths.
- Legally, civil records were to be kept by state officials. Because there were not enough state officials, the clergy were frequently appointed as civil registrars. The clergy were required to make civil copies of birth, marriage, and death records. These are known as "civil transcripts of church records" (see Poland Church Records).
- Because the church was involved in early civil registration, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between civil registration and church records.
In 1795, the old Kingdom of Poland was conquered and divided among Russia, Austria, and Prussia. Civil registration coverage varied for each part of Poland controlled by Russia, Prussia, or Austria.
Because the time coverage, record content, and methods for accessing records are different for each part of the country three separate articles cover this topic. Select the article for the region where your ancestors lived.