|Poland Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- It is highly recommended that you watch this class: Course: Research in Prussian Poland.
- 1 Civil Registration and Church Records
- 2 Search Strategy
- 3 Historical Geography
- 4 Online Databases
- 5 FamilySearch Records
- 6 Writing for Records
- 7 Reading the Records
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.
- 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 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.
Because of this history of changing nationality, records for Greater Poland are found in the FamilySearch system under both Posen, Germany and Poznán, Poland. Use the gazetteer, Kartenmeister - German/Polish Place Name Conversion to find the name of your town in both languages.
There does not exist one central online database for Poland, rather many independent projects by many different organizations. So you will need to search several databases.
1.*Geneteka: a collaborative effort by numerous volunteers who index church and civil records all over Poland.
2. *Metryki GenBaza: scans from a few different Diocesan Archives and State Archives. Requires free registration.
- Geneteka: a collaborative effort by numerous volunteers who index church and civil records all over Poland.
- Szukaj w Archiwach: collections from all over Poland, continuously updated.
4. Family Search
5. *National Archives in Krakow: online collection of census, church books, civil registers.
6. *Lubgens: large index of the church books of Lublin
7. *AGAD (Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie) Lublin, Subcarpathian Voivodeship
8. *Poznan Project marriages from the 1800’s
9. *BaSIA Greater Poland and Kuyavian-Pomeranian
10. *Genealogia w Archiwach: Torun and Bydgoszcz State Archives withscans from 450 registry offices, mostly in Kuyavian-Pomeranian area.
11. *PTG (Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne): online indexes to birth, marriage and death records for the Pomeranian area
::Go to "PomGenBase". > Search "PomGenBase". > Select "Christenings", "Marriages", or "Deaths”" > Use drop-down menu to see list of locations. > Select a locality or search in all localities. > Restrict your search using "Years". > Enter at least a "Surname". > Change "Search Method" to "similar". > Click "Search".
12. *Archiwum Państwowe w Przemyślu: State Archive in Przemysl, Podkarpackie
13. *Archiwum Państwowe w Katowicach: Record books of Katowice, Silesian voivodeship, Lesser Poland
14. *Archiwum Państwowe w Olsztynie: State Archives in Olsztyn, church and civil records, Warmia-Masuria and Podkarpackie
15. *Archiwum Państwowe w PoznaniuState Archives in Poznan, Greater Poland
16. *Archiwum Państwowe we Wrocławiu: State Archives in Wrocław
17. *Archiwum Państwowe w Szczecinie:State Archives in Szczecin, church books and civil records, West Pomerania
- JewishGen Poland Database
- Archion: Evangelical Central Archives in Berlin ($)
- Eastern Prussian Provinces, Germany (Poland), Selected Civil Vitals, 1874-1945, index and images, incomplete.
- Pommerscher Greif e. V., Association for Pomeranian Family and Local History.
- Go to Forschung > Famillienforschung > Standesamt online or Kirchenbuch online > Find your Kreis >Parish
- Index of Polish marriages until 1899
- Search Rzeszów Vital Records: An extracted records database from the Rzeszow area.
- Metryki Genealodzy Roman Catholic records indexing
FamilySearch Historical Records
- 1226-1950 - Poland, Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1226-1950., images, no index.
- 1700-2005 - Poland, Evangelical Church Books, 1700-2005 , images, no index.
- 1784-1964 - Poland, Lublin Roman Catholic Church Books, 1784-1964, images and index.
- 1587-1966 - Poland, Radom Roman Catholic Church Books, 1587-1966, images and index.
- 1612-1900 - Poland, Tarnow Roman Catholic Diocese Church Books, 1612-1900, images and index.
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. In 1967, voivodeship was known as To search the catalog:
- a. Click on the records of Poland, ].
- b. Click on Places within Poland, 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. . 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 Addresses
- Technika Platform of Civil Registry Services: Polish civil registration offices mailing addresses and phone numbers, web addresses and email addresses, when available. Parish information is also on this site.
Church: Parish Addresses
- The Catholic Directory, Poland
- Luteranie.pl: Polish Evangelical website with all diocese addresses and individual parishes and email addresses.
- Technika Platform of Civil Registry Services: Parish information is also on this site.
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.
See also, Jewish Records Indexing-Poland and JewishGen Poland Database
Church Diocese Archives Addresses
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.
Reading the Records
The language of the records depends on the controlling government. Most of Poland was part of Austria until 1918, and church records are in Latin. The parts of Poland which belonged to Prussia (Germany) used German until they were ceded back to Poland (after World War I or II). Records in parts of Poland controlled by Russia can be in either Russian or Polish.
- Polish Genealogical Word List
- German Genealogical Word List
- Russian Genealogical Word List
- Latin Genealogical Word List
- Reading Polish Handwritten Records
- Lesson 1: Polish Letters
- Lesson 2: Polish Words and Dates
- Lesson 3: Reading Polish Records
- Reading German Handwritten Records
- Old German Script
- Reading Russian Handwriting
- Latin for Genealogists