West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland Genealogy

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West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland Genealogy

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

West Pomeranian Voivodeship is a voivodeship (province) in northwestern Poland. It was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former Szczecin and Koszalin Voivodeships and parts of other neighboring voivodeships. Szczecin Voivodeship was an administrative unit of Poland in 1945-1950, created after World War II from the Prussian-German province of Pomerania , which were granted to Poland. In 1950, it was divided into the Szczecin Voivodeship and Koszalin Voivodeship. Prior to World War II, it was part of Pomerania, Prussia (Preussen), Germany. Source: Wikipedia, Szczecin Voivodeship and Wikipedia, West Pomeranian Voivodeship

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

Information icon.pngBecause of this history of changing nationality, records for West Pomerania voivodeship are found in the FamilySearch system under "Pommern (Pomerania), Prussia (Ostpreussen), Germany", "Szczecin, Poland," and "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

Ancestry.com

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.

FamilySearch Records

FamilySearch Historical 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. In 1967, West Pomeranian voivodeship was made up mostly of Szczecin and Koszalin Voivodeships. Prior to World War II, it nwas part of Pommern, Preussen, Germany.
  • Use the gazetteer, Kartenmeister - German/Polish Place Name Conversion to find the name of your town in both languages.

To search the catalog:

a. Click on the records of Poland, Szczecin or records of Poland, Koszalin or records of Germany, Preussen, Pommern.
b. Click on Places within Poland, Szczecin or Places within Poland, Koszalin or Places within Germany, Preussen, Pommern,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".

Dynow1.png

2. Find the commune

at the bottom of the right sidebar.

Dynow2.png

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

Dynow3.png

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

Dynow4.png

5. Find the e-mail address.

Dynow6.png

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.

Szczecin-Kamień Archdiocese

Archdiocesan Archives in Szczecin
ul. Pope Paul VI No. 2
71-459 Szczecin
Poland

tel./fax +48.91.45.41.609
tel. +48.91.4542.292 ext. 132
e-mail: archiwum@kuria.pl

Koszalin-Kołobrzeg Diocese

Archives of the Koszalin-Kołobrzeg Diocese
ul. Seminaryjna 2
75-817 Koszalin
Poland

tel. (94) 345 90 27
e-mail: archiwum@koszalin.opoka.org.pl


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, the records are in Polish.

Word-by-Word Reading Aids

How-to Guides

Lessons