Polish family detective on line

Aug, 2021 | Bez kategorii

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

  • 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

Resources for historical civil and church affiliation are different for each partition and will be presented later.

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/

Polish digital library, which provides digitized books, magazines, graphics, maps, music, fliers and manuscripts from collections of the National Library of Poland and co-operating institutions.

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:

Web Cmentarz:


Cmentarze 24




In all websites Polish diacritics are needed. No English version.

Tip words:

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:


War cemeteries






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/

Russian Partition

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


language tips:

województwo:   voivodeship

obwód:               district

powiat:               country

gmina:                commune

parafia:               parish

własność:           ownership

ilość domów:     number of houses

ludność:             number of inhabitances

poczta:               post office

sąd:                    court

odległość:          distance

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

Podlasie Project


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.

Lubelskie Korzenie


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

old maps:

galleries of pictures

Katalog Szlachty

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

Private websites

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.