Poland Jewish Records
Historians estimate that during the 19th century more than 85 percent of the world’s Jews lived in Europe.
Most of these lived in Poland and Russia. Many books have been written about Jews in Poland. You can often find these in a public or university library.
The Family History Library has microfilmed many Jewish records in Poland and is continually adding to the collection. There are extensive records from the former Russian and German areas of Poland, but fewer for the Austrian areas of Poland. For those areas not yet microfilmed, you may write to the local civil registration office.
At first Jews were included in Catholic civil registers. The earliest civil registration of Polish Jews was in the former Austrian territory of Galicia in 1787, but it was not enforced until the mid-19th century. The Duchy of Warsaw, which later constituted the Russian territory of Poland, began civil registration in 1808. In areas of Prussian rule, Jews were required to prepare transcripts of vital records beginning in the early 1800s. Microfilmed civil records are usually available to 1875. You may obtain information regarding records not filmed and still in Poland by writing to the headquarters of the Polish State Archives (see the “Archives” section in this outline).
For further information about Jewish research see the Internet site:
Also see the Jewish Research Outline.
For information regarding locations of Polish Jewish records, see:
Weiner, Miriam. Jewish Roots in Poland, Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories. New York, New York: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, 1997. (FHL book 943.8 F2wm.)