Due to the heavy volume of inquiries we receive, we are unable to conduct searches in parish registers. Find out how to access the records.
Our holdings can be identified by using Archives Search. Select "Textual material" to limit your search.
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Some of the church records have nominal indexes. To provide better access to those indexes, the information they contain has been entered in a database that will expand slowly over the next few years.
Some genealogical societies, mostly those in the province of Quebec, have undertaken projects to index entries from parish registers, mostly for marriages. Many indexes covering extensive geographical areas exist for marriages. Those indexes can be consulted at Library and Archives Canada and in many genealogical societies , religious archives and provincial and territorial archives and libraries throughout Canada. Church records parish registers and indexes Page Content. With that in mind, and with Christmas right around the corner, here are some of my favorite online resources for Polish genealogy.
Happy hunting! Jewish Gen Gazetteer www. However, existing census records may not be indexed by surname, meaning that it will take more effort on the part of the researcher to find these records, since one might have to browse through them page by page. So where can one find these records? Meldunkowe is a sister database to the popular databases Geneteka and Metryki , and at present, it only includes records for 37 locations, 31 of which are in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province.
There are an additional 3 sets of records from the Wielkopolskie province, as well as 3 more collections from a handful of parishes in Ukraine. The collections from Ukraine are all parish census records.
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Another possible source for online census-type records is the old standby, Szukajwarchiwach. There are a number of different ways to search for records. Polish diacritics are not required with this site. As discussed previously, census-type records can be called by different names, e. Keep in mind that there might be more than one place in Poland with the same name. You might be lucky enough to find some census records for your town of interest at one of the Polish digital libraries.
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Another good search engine for digital libraries is Europeana. It should be noted that Europeana taps into FBC, so search results for Polish census records might not vary too much between the two sites. You will need to have a DjVu reader installed on your computer, however, which you can download here. Many of these records tend to be from the early 20th-century, rather than the 19th century, but you might find something of interest. Finally, you might get lucky and find census records for your parish of interest via a Google or Google. Over time there might be more websites like this cropping up hey, a girl can dream….
Until next time, happy researching! In my previous post , I gave an overview of the history of vital records in Poland. It sure would be nice if there were, but just as in the U. Theoretically, church records more than years old are supposed to be transferred to the appropriate diocesan archive, just as their civil counterparts are supposed to be transferred from the registry office to the appropriate state archive.
Because of this, you may have to get creative in order to get full coverage for your parish of interest, and check a variety of sources. Coverage differs dramatically in different parts of Poland. Researchers in Mazovia might have a different experience, however. All of them. The point here is that your mileage may vary quite a bit when it comes to the availability of records for your ancestral parish of interest.
Records may exist dating back to the s, or the only existing records may be relatively recent. Instead, I have to use a gazetteer to determine the parish, which is Kowalewo-Opactwo in this case. Records from Russian Poland and Prussian Poland typically note the home village s of the key participants within each record, but all the records are bound in the same book. As new parishes are created in Poland to serve the evolving needs of the community, parish borders change. When a village that belonged previously to one parish is reassigned to a new parish, all the old record books for that village are transferred to the new parish.
Mary Magdalene parish in Szczucin, so that is the church in which he was baptized. Of course, in this case the problem is somewhat academic, because these records are also available on microfilm from the LDS. However, it does frequently happen that the desired parish records that are not available online or on microfilm, and in that case, it is incumbent upon the researcher to determine the correct parish to write to before making an inquiry. Godparents are also named. All parties mentioned in this Act were of the Catholic religion. This act was read aloud to the declarant and witnesses, but signed by us only, because they do not know how to write.
Although the key facts are identical between these two records, the civil version includes the names, ages, occupations, and places of residence of two adult, male, legal witnesses in addition to the age, occupation, and place of residence of the father. This particular record provides the address of the house where the child was born, although this information may be omitted, depending on the parish. The second date Gregorian is the one we use today.
In Russian Poland and Prussian Poland, the civil transcrips were created in parallel, at the same time as the church record. If a discrepancy were found between the civil transcript and the parish register for a vital event from Galicia, I would be inclined to trust the parish register over the transcript. In many cases, only one set of records church or civil is available, so you may not have the luxury of comparing the two. Since her death occurred more than 80 years ago, it is classified as archival, and therefore anyone may request a copy whether or not they are a direct descendant.
However, If you check the holdings of the state archives e. You may have better luck with hiring a local researcher to visit the USC in person to obtain records for you. In the meantime, happy researching! Finding vital records in Poland can be a little confusing to the uninitiated, and sometimes even to more experienced researchers.
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Understanding how and why they were created can give you some insight into determining where to look for them. Vital records, by definition, are records of life events — primarily births, marriages, and deaths — and the keeping of vital records began with the Roman Catholic Church. In , Pope Paul V further defined the rites pertaining to the administration and recording of sacraments in his Rituale Romanum The Roman Ritual and introduced a requirement for priests to record deaths in their parishes as well.
At the same time, priests were required to maintain a register of souls Liber Status Animarum in their parish, for the purpose of ensuring that all their parishioners were receiving the sacraments as appropriate and were being duly catechized. These parish census records later came to include additional information about each household in the parish, such as home addresses, and the ages and relationships of household members.
Over time, civil authorities came to recognize the value in these vital records as well, primarily for their use in documenting the local population for taxation and conscription. During the years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth , church records were the only vital records in existence. The very earliest church records are more informative for the nobility than they are for peasants, as surnames for peasants did not come into general use until the second half of the 18th century or even later, depending on the area. In , the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II gave official status to Catholic parish registers, and authorized Catholic priests to act as civil registrars for vital events pertaining to all people in their parish, regardless of faith.
At that time he also prescribed the use of the columnar format for parish registers, and the use of individual records books for each village within the parish, replacing the practice of combining vital events from every village within the parish into one parish register. These records were required to be kept in Latin. A duplicate copy of the parish vital register was created at the end of each year, and was required to be sent to the civil authorities. The format of these civil vital records, prescribed by his Napoleonic Code, was quite different from the earlier Latin church records.
They were written in Polish, in a very flowery, legalistic style, and often included quite a bit more information than the Latin church records. In , the true Napoleonic format was replaced by a modified form, and at the same time, other religions were granted the authority to maintain their own civil registers distinct from those created by the local Catholic priest. Civil records from this period were written in Polish until about , when Congress Poland, which was a Russian puppet state since its inception, was absorbed entirely into the Russian Empire, erasing any semblance of autonomy that existed previously.
Both church and civil records were required to be kept in Russian from this time, making the two types of vital records virtually indistinguishable. The use of Russian continued until the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in , when civil records were recorded in Polish once again. In Prussian Poland, civil transcripts were created from church records starting in , based on a proclamation by Emporer Friedrich Wilhelm II. Both Catholic parish priests and Lutheran ministers were required to send these transcripts Kirchenbuchduplikate to the local courts.
I n , civil registration began in Prussian Poland that was independent of any churches. People were required to report all births, deaths and marriages to a civil authority Standesamt , the territory for which might be different from the territory of the local Catholic or Protestant parish.
Records were kept in German. Since the end of World War II, civil registration in Poland has been carried out in local civil registry offices. Official recognition was also given to civil marriages that take place independently from church ceremonies. Until recently, any vital records that were less than years old were protected by Polish privacy laws, and only immediate family or direct descendants with proof of relationship could request copies. However, since , a new law was enacted that makes marriage and death records available as archival documents after only 80 years, although births are still protected for years.
Records older than years are supposed to be transferred from the USCs to the appropriate state archives, and stiff penalties are in place to ensure that this happens on schedule. However, in cases where the births, marriages and deaths are all bound in the same volume, it might happen that the USC retains possession of the volume for years, but provides copies of the marriage and death records after only 80 years, as permitted by law.
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