Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland Genealogy

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Pomeranian Voivodeship

Civil Registration and Church Records

Almost all of the research you do will be in civil registration (government birth, marriage, and death records) and church records (baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records). To understand these records better study the articles: Poland Church Records and Poland Civil Registration.

1. You will need to determine the name of the town your Polish ancestors lived in. If you do not now know it, use the Wiki article Poland Locating Town of Origin.
2. Find the voivodeship (province) for that town. To see a map of the town, and find out its voivodeshp, use mapa.szukacz. Enter the town name in the "place" field in the right sidebar and click "Show". Province, area, commune, and postal code will appear at the bottom of the right sidebar.
If the town was in the area of Poland once controlled by Prussia, use Kartenmeister and Meyer's 1871 Gazetteer to find parishes and synagogues. Click the "Map" feature in Meyer's 1871 Gazetteer to find both an 1871 map and the current Google map of the town and its vicinity.
3. You will find birth, marriage, and death records:
  • in online databases
  • in microfilmed records of the FamilySearch collections
  • by writing to request searches
  • from State archives where records have been deposited
  • from church archives where records have been deposited
  • from local civil registration offices
  • from local parish churches

Search Strategy

For records before 1874, you will use just church records. For records from 1874 on, civil registration records will be your main source, supplemented by church records, if possible.

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.

Historical Geography

Pomeranian Voivodeship is a voivodeship , or province, in north-central Poland . It comprises the bridge of Pomerelia (the easternmost part of historical Pomerania ), as well as the east of the Vistula River . The western part of the province, around Słupsk, belongsed historically to Farther Pomerania, while Pomerelia and the eastern bank of the Vistula belongs to the historical region of Prussia. The voivodeship was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former voivodeships of Gdańsk, Elbląg and Słupsk. From 1945-1975, Gdańsk , Elbląg and Słupsk made up Gdańsk Voivodeship. From 1950-1975, Słupsk Voivodeship was part of Koszalin Voivodeship. Bydgoszcz Voivodeship 1946–1975 was a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland in the years 1946–1975. Bydgoszcz Voivodeship was Initially called the Pomeranian Voivodeship, and it was created from the southern part of the pre-war Pomeranian Voivodeship and existed from 1946–1975. Source: Pomeranian Voivodeship and Wikipedia, Koszalin_Voivodeship

  • Prior to 1945, this was part of Prussia, so follow instructions for Prussian Poland throughout the Poland Wiki.

Information icon.pngThis may seem chaotic, but the bottom line is that records of towns now in the Pomeranian Voivodeship may be listed in:

  • Pommern, Preussen, Germany
  • Westpreussen, Preussen, Germany
  • Gdańsk, Poland
  • Bydgoszcz, Poland
  • Koszalin, Poland

Online Sources

Finding Aids

Poland finding aids have been created by a variety of state, church, society, and private organizations. Their goal is to inform what records exist and the repositories that hold them. Each finding aid has a different focus--a particular religion or geographical area or archive or collection. Be sure to search all that apply to your ancestors. Remember that churches often produced civil registration records. The church records might have been destroyed, but copies had been sent to the government and still exist. So we search for both church records and civil registration records.

Online Searchable Databases


FamilySearch Historical Records

Regional Databases

Online Browsable Images Databases

Go to Forschung > Famillienforschung > Standesamt online or Kirchenbuch online > Find your Kreis >Parish

Jewish Records

Some areas of Poland were predominantly Jewish settlements.

Because churches were frequently expected to act as civil registrars, Jewish births, marriages, and deaths can appear in Catholic records.

Online Town Genealogies

In German genealogy records, an Ortssippenbuch (town lineage book) or Ortsfamilienbuch (town family book) includes birth, marriage, and death data for all persons found in the local records during a specified time period, compiled into families. Sources may include the local parish registers, civil registration records, court and land records, and sometimes published material. In the printed book, this information is then arranged in a standardized format, usually alphabetically by surname and chronologically by marriage date. Family entries are identified by sequential numbers. Town genealogies are known by various names, including “town lineage book,” “local heritage book,” “one-place-studies,” “Ortssippenbuch (OSB),” and “Ortsfamilienbuch (OFB).”

In some cases, these books were written before the records were lost or damaged during the war.

A fairly large number of online OFB's are available on Genealogy.net (CompGen). Scroll down the page. The OFB's for modern Germany appear first, but after that OFB's for towns formerly in Germany, but now in Poland, are listed.

FamilySearch Records

Microfilms: The FamilySearch Catalog

  • Many church records have been microfilmed and can be viewed at the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Eventually, microfilmed records will all be digitized and available online. The records you need might have been digitized now. Check back from time to time to see if they have become available.
  • The FamilySearch Catalog is organized by the voivodeships as they existed in 1967. There are maps on the Poland Genealogy main page comparing those jurisdictions with the modern jurisdictions. Records of towns now in the Pomeranian Voivodeship may be listed in:
  • Pommern, Preussen, Germany (Use the gazetteer, Kartenmeister - German/Polish Place Name Conversion to find the name of your town in both languages.)
  • Westpreussen, Preussen, Germany
  • Gdańsk, Poland
  • Bydgoszcz, Poland
  • Koszalin, Poland

To search the catalog:

a. Click on each of the following until you locate your town. You should try to find it by its German name and the Polish name:
b. Click on Places within........ and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town.
d. Click on the "Civil registration" or "church records" topic, if available. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct record type and time period for your ancestor.
For records in German: "Geburten" are births. Heiraten are marriages. "Verstorbene" or Toten are deaths.
For records in Polish: Akta urodzeń are births. Akta chrzest are christenings/baptisms. Akta małżeństw are marriages. Akta zgonów are deaths.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.

Writing for Records

Poland Letter Writing Guide

This letter writing guide will enable you to write in the Polish language to parish churches and church and government archives: Poland Letter Writing Guide. Generally, the people you wrie to will appreciate your effort to use Polish and cooperate more readily.

Civil Registration Office Address

Write to the local civil registration office for records after 1900. Records prior to 1900 will probably be in the state archives. Records in the last 100 years will have some privacy restrictions where you will have to prove your relationship and/or the death of the person the certificate reports.

1. Use mapa.szukacz.
Enter the town name in the "place" field
in the right sidebar and click "Show".


2. Find the commune

at the bottom of the right sidebar.


3. Google: urzad stanu cywilnego
with the name of the commune.


4. From the list of hits,
find the official page of the
URC (urzad stanu cywilnego).
Click on the link.


5. Find the e-mail address.


6. Use the Poland Letter Writing Guide
to write an email
requesting the record.

State Archives Addresses

  • PRADZIAD This website can be searched by location (town or parish). It will then tell you which archives hold what records for the location. On the entry for the records you want, click on "More" at the far right, and it will give you the contact information for the archive.

Church: Parish Addresses

Church Diocese Archives Addresses

See the Catholic Diocese map on the Poland Church Records page. Use The Catholic Directory, Poland to find the diocese for your town. Click on "View Full Listing" for your parish.

Gdańsk Archdiocese

Archives of Gdańsk Archdiocese
ul. Bishop Edmund Nowicki 2
80-330 Gdańsk Oliwa

tel. (58) 552-00-51 (Kuria - ask for a call from the Archive)
e-mail: archiwum@diecezja.gda.pl

Pelplin Diocese

Archives of the Pelplin Diocese
E-mail address: archiwum@diecezja-pelplin.pl
tel. 58 536 12 22 w. 314

Elbląg Diocese

Elbląg Diocesan Archives
ul. Świętego Ducha 11
82-300 ELBLĄG

Tel. (55) 232 73 70
E-mail: archiwumelblag@elblag.opoka.org.pl

Bydgoszcz Diocese

Reading the Records

Word Lists

The language of the records depends on the controlling government. The parts of Poland which belonged to Prussia (Germany) used German until they were ceded back to Poland (after World War I or II). After that, records are in Polish.

Word-by-Word Reading Aids

How-to Guides