Mission & FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

The goal of this website is to develop resources (mostly indexes) for genealogists doing research on Polish ancestors here and abroad. Genealogical societies, sadly, often do not provide the vision and leadership to initiate and sustain projects of this nature. Ideally, the resources of this site will include records of Polonia nationwide.

Beware of "Selected record" Transcripts

It is fairly common practice for family researchers to view records and extract information for not only their known family members but also "same surnamed" individuals that they haven't had the time yet to sort through. These lists are shared on the web in the hope that someone else might benefit from them and that someone will connect to their family. Some of these lists are fairly extensive and might give the impression that someone took the time to index a complete volume of records. Be sure to read the description of the list.

Online Images and Cataloging Problems

I am very happy that the LDS has been putting images of records online. But, I don't like their cataloging of the online material. For example, images of catholic parish records for the Archdiocese of Chicago are online. Most of these were originally on microfilm and were scanned to create digital images.

Duncan, Platte County, Nebraska

Duncan is a town about 8 miles west of Columbus. Early on, its post office was known as Cherry Hill. The Union Pacific Railroad ran through the area and named it Jackson.

Polish Roman Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Joliet, IL

The Diocese of Joliet was formed in 1948 from what had been a part of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Harrah, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma

According to a St. Teresa Church parish history, the parish was founded by ten Polish families who were dissatisfied with the land in Marche, Arkansas where they had originally settled. They participated in the land rush of 1891 to secure new homesteads. While numerous sources repeat the same information, none list the family names or can confirm they were all from Marche, AR. In comparing the 1880 US Census records for Marche against headstone inscriptions in the St. Teresa Cemetery in Harrah, OK, it appears that the Blochowiak, Chicoraske, Jorski, and Malaske families were from Marche.

Marche, Pulaski County, Arkansas

Surprisingly, there was a Polish community in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It's founder was Timothy Choiński who came to the US in 1873. Initially settling in Milwaukee, he thought that Poles might want to get back to their farming roots away from the urban scene. Furthermore, he wanted a site where the winters would not be so harsh. He started his settlement, Marche (French for marketplace), in 1877 in section 26 of what was to become Worthen Township. It was Pyeatt Township at the time. Like some other Polish farming settlements, there were complaints about the land not being cleared or being of poor quality for farming.

Enhanced Search Options for Subscribers

In addition to seeing the content of all the fields (if the record provided that information), subscribers have had some additional search options besides the wildcard options that everyone is free to use. Generally the default options along with usage of wildcard characters is all that's needed. But some new options have been added and are the subjects of this article. At the bottom of each search form, there are three options, Normal, Soundex, and Look-alike.

Hey, that's not right! -- Correcting Database Errors

Regardless of one's best efforts, errors in indexing are inevitable. As mentioned in another article, reading bad handwriting is probably the biggest source of errors. Then there are also data entry errors (typos) of the indexer and errors in fact created at the time the record was originally written. Many indexes in genealogy-land are regarded as transcripts-- faithful and accurate copies of the original records.

Upgrade Completed

The basic upgrade in website software has been completed. Now it's a matter of ironing out some of the bugs! The look and feel of the website should be pretty much the same (I hate it when designers move stuff around just so they can claim it's new). Let me know (email to subscription@polfamily.info) if you run across problems. If they are minor, they'll be added to the "to do" list. If there are major problems, we can always roll back to the old software. Again, thanks for your patience.


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