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.

Gazetteer of Poland 1933

This gazetteer of the Republic of Poland from 1933 is valuable because it is a single resource for all of Poland back then. Prior to the restoration of the Polish state, you often needed a different gazetteer specific for the partition you were working in. Furthermore, modern gazetteers do not include the eastern territory that was taken from Poland after World War II. This gazetteer includes the parish that a locality belonged to so you know where to looks for parish records.

Finding More Sources by Changing Names

If you have used Family Tree at familysearch.org, you know how great it is to have potential sources found for you to evaluate. Sometimes it takes a bit of prodding to get it to find new sources. Here's a couple of examples of how I did this today.

Website Winter 2020

The contract with the hosting company that hosts this website was scheduled to end in early January 2020. I explored using a different hosting company that was cheaper and which seemed to have up-to-date features the current host does not have. I had trouble with the new company from the start and decided it wasn't worth the hassle. I renewed the contract with the old hosting company for another year. I hope to find later this year a new company that can transfer the site without problems.

Limited Index Editing in Family Tree of familysearch.org

As of about mid-July 2019, the Family Tree of familysearch.org has added a feature which allows you to edit some of the names in their indexes of various record collections. This has been a desirable feature for a long time since many names were badly indexed either due to bad information in the original document, bad writing of correct information, or bad indexing (the indexer did not have the skill to read Polish names). When you edit a name, you are asked if it was an indexing problem or if the original document was incorrect.

Family Search Family Tree

I had always been hesitant to share my family history research because I didn't want it appearing on for-profit websites where it is then sold to others. I also question sometimes whether what I have seen on those sites is a rehash of what I gave to a relative and has been passed around, or did someone do the same research and verify that the facts I recorded are valid. The inclusion of sources is lacking.

Early Chicago Polish Newspapers Online

In an older posting, mention was made of online access to copies of early Dziennik Chicagoski newspaper issues for select dates. There is now even more available online. As of this writing, it appears that the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) has digitized its collection of Dziennik Chicagoski through 1942. Access can begin here. Just select the year and the date.

Finding Ancestral Villages in Poland

It can be difficult to find the ancestral villages of our ancestors in Poland. The first difficulty is finding documentation that even attempts to provide the place name. Some church records and immigration/naturalization records provide this information, but not always. The next hurdle is the spelling. The person who filled in the record probably did not have knowledge of the geography (or maybe even the language) to complete the record correctly. While we may have some familiarity with our own city or state, few of us know all the cities in all the states.

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Early Dziennik Chicagoski Issues Online

Newspaper death notices are very useful for establishing family relationships. A death notice index for the Dziennik Chicagoski is on this site. If your relative had a death notice published from the newspaper from December 1890 through March 1913, you can now look it up online. Some years and months within that range are missing. Death notices are usually set off in black lined boxes.

Using the Castle Garden Index

I have used the Castle Garden Index to find information on immigrant ancestors. Over the years I have encountered several oddities which will be treated separately.

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