General tips and Russian partition
by Aleksandra Kacprzak
Center for Genealogical Research Service Genoroots, Poland
New times, new possibilities and new challenges! Let’s not get lost in the net and do effective research on Polish websites. Genealogical research in Poland is extremely interesting because of its complexity. There were three partitions and in each of them had a different administration system, language, religions and the type of available documents are different. There are some websites and projects that cover the whole territory of Poland. There are also special online websites and projects that are dedicated to each partition. Over 95% of presented websites are free of charge.
Websites run by genealogical organizations would appreciate donations. Registration is not necessary to do research but to contact administrators or other users you have to be registered.
It’s very important for the whole research project to have a general understanding of the Polish Archival system.
In the general Polish Archival system we can divide into National Archives and Church Archives.
National Archival system
- State Archives https://www.archiwa.gov.pl/pl/
- 3 Central Archives
- 30 State Archives
- plus 42 branches
- Special Collections
- Municipal and District Archives
- Archives of Societies and Organizations
Church Archival system:
- Archdiocesan Archives
- Diocesan Archives
- Parish Archives
While doing research remember to check the inventory of both: national and church archives.
First step in research is finding civil and church administration districts. It might be a challenge because they are not equal and they could change over time.
Mapa szukacz: https://mapa.szukacz.pl/mapnik.html is very handy in finding recent civil administration district. Polish diacritics are not needed.
woj. – voivodeship
pow. – county
gmina – commune
List of place names in Poland: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranking_nazw_miejscowo%C5%9Bci_w_Polsce
Historical maps can be found here:
Map Archive of Polish Military Geographical Institute 1919-1939 http://english.mapywig.org/news.php
Library of Congress
Szukaj w Archiwach – Search the Archives https://www.szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl/en/strona_glowna
The database contains an inventory of historical materials collected in Polish Central archives, State Archives, libraries, foundations, museums and other institutions, not only from Poland. This service also offers many scans of documents. Scans are added periodically, it’s reasonable to check this website from time to time.
Tips for users are available in English https://www.szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl/en/-/jak-dziala-serw-1?redirect=%2Fen%2Fjak-szukac
Institutions publishing inventory on the side: https://www.szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl/en/o-serwisie
Pradziad – metrical books inventory.
Geneteka – https://geneteka.genealodzy.pl/?lang=eng
Project run by Polish Genealogical Society. Indexes are done by hundreds of volunteers.
In total it contains over 38 million indexes. It covers the whole territory of recent and former Poland. Databases offer many research possibilities in metrical indexes, pictures of books not published in any other places, the possibility to contact people researching the same parish or names as you do and much more.
Polona – https://polona.pl/
Grobonet – https://grobonet.com/
The most popular website containing indexes and pictures of graves. Contains indexes of over 1300 cemeteries. The database is updated with new burials by cemetery administrators.
Check if the cemetery from your town is indexed in Grobonet: https://polskie-cmentarze.com/
Other cemetery search engines for cemeteries:
In all websites Polish diacritics are needed. No English version.
cmentarz – cemetery
imię – first name
nazwisko – last name
napisz życiorys: write a story
zapal świeczkę – light a candle
rocznice – anniversaries
nekrologi – obituaries
grób – grave
Private websites with cemetery indexes:
szukaj osoby – search the person
szukaj miejsca – search the place
Institute of National Remembrance project
Index of the repressed in USSR https://indeksrepresjonowanych.pl/int/wyszukiwanie/94,Wyszukiwanie.html
Private website of Aleksandra Kacprzak, Genoroots
List of drifters: https://genoroots.com/list-of-drifters/
Civil and church district affiliation can be found in publications available in digital libraries:
Tabella miast, wsi, osad, Królestwa Polskiego vol.1 published 1827
Tabella miast, wsi, osad, Królestwa Polskiego vol.2 published 1827
ilość domów: number of houses
ludność: number of inhabitances
poczta: post office
Skorowidz Królestwa Polskiego, published 1877
Słownik Królestwa Polskiego i innych Krajów Słowiańskich
Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Countries
Projects run by State Archives:
State Archives in Bydgoszcz and Toruń
Genealogia w Archivach (covers Russian and German partitions)
The project offers scans of metrical records. Some of them are indexed.
State Archives in Warsaw branch in Pułtusk
The project offers indexes of some metrical books
State Archive in Płock – database Genea
The project offers indexes of some metrical books.
“Bazy, zbiory i wystawy” —- „baza Genea” — „pliko do pobrania”
Inventories of Diocesan Archives
Diocesan Archive in Toruń (Russian and German partitions)
Archiwum Akt Dawnych Diecezji Toruńskiej
Liber baptisatorum – baptismal records
Liber copulatorum – marriage records
Liber mortuorum – death records
Diocesan Archive in Włocławek
https://archiwumwloclawek.pl/katalog/ – page under renovation, inventory was well done on the
previous one, we can expect even better on the new one.
Archive of Warszawsko-Praska Archdiocese
click: „spis zasobów” – inventory in PDF
This project offers indexes of metrical books from the territory of Podlasie and Mazovia
indexes of court records.
DNA Podlasie Project
This project is focused on noble families from Podlasie and Mazovia.
This project is run by genealogical society Lubelskie Korzenie and contains many indexes mostly from Lublin district but not only. To some indexes scans of records are attached. Many research possibilities makes this project easy to use.
Jamiński Zespół Indeksacyjny
This website offers indexes from the area of Podlasie
galleries of pictures
This project offers indexes of metrical books, biographies and lists of noble families.
Radzima – https://www.radzima.org/eng/
Concerns east part of Podlasie and former territory of Poland that now belong to Lithuania and Belarus. Many information and pictures of towns and villages, information about availability of records, possibility to contact people interested in the same villages and names. To have full access you have to register and pay small donation.
Świętokrzyskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne “Świętogen”
indexes cover the region of świętokrzyskie voivodeship and around
Szpejankowski family – https://www.szpejankowski.eu/
You can find here a lot of information about families from Dobrzyń area, family trees, many indexes and other useful for genealogists information.
Kielak family – https://kielakowie.pl/searchform.php
This website is searchable by last names, here you can find many family connections, cemetery indexes and much more.