An estimated 20,000 Polish persons answered the call to fight for freedom and the opportunity to regain Poland’s independence during World War I in the Polish Army in France (in Polish, Armia Polska we Francyi). They were recruited from among the Polish immigrants who came to America to fight with France.
This online index is a compilation of recruitment records of those.
The Polish Army in France was also called “Haller’s Army,” after the general who commanded it, or the “Blue Army,” for the blue uniforms the soldiers wore.
For more information, see:
Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. X, #1, Spring 1987, pages 1, 3-4.
“World War I Polish American Military Records,” by Joseph T. Hapak, a brief history of the Polish Army in France
Searchers, the Newsletter of the PGS of Western New York, #8, January 1993, pp. 17-20. “Buffalonians in Polish Army,” compiled by Ted Smardz, a listing of Buffalo recruits.
About the Records Index
The city and state give the place the person was from when volunteering. This is helpful to narrow the choices if the person of interest has a common name. The last column is labeled “Form” but serves as a location code. It describes which record group the information will be found in.
Group A is a collection of form A papers (described below).
Group C is a collection of form C papers.
Both of these collections are bound into volumes. To locate the record, the page number, volume, and record group must be provided.
Group L is a collection of loose papers. They are duplicates of those in Group A and Group C. If you order Group L you do not have to order Group A and C.
The page column of the index tells you which forms you can expect to find among the loose papers. A single individual might appear in the index three times– having paperwork in each collection.
Form A is an intention to volunteer and contains the name, address, age, and marital status. See an English translation of a blank Form A.
Form B is a medical examination report for the volunteer.
Form C is the final commitment paper and the most genealogically significant for researchers. Form C includes date and place of birth and usually the name and address of a parent or other close relative. See an English translation of a blank Form C.
The forms are typically carbon paper copies of the original and in some cases do not provide a quality photocopy.
exact match: enter the name exactly the way you want it found (e.g., Adam will find ONLY Adam).
match first: enter the first part of name to be matched (e.g., Adam will find Adam, Adamik, Adamowski).
wildcard search: enter any part of the name (e.g., Adam will find Adam, Adamik, Adamowski, and Hadam).
Provided you are using "match first" or "wildcard search", you may use the % character to represent any number of letters and the _ (underline) character to represent one specific letter. Additional explanation here.
by James J. Czuchra
Recruitment for Haller's Army took place during World War I.
The Surname, Given name, City, State columns are self-explanatory as to what they are. The City is the location of the recruitment center and not necessarily the recruit's place of residence. The other column headings will now be explained.
A numeric entry in the Page column indicates a record in Volume of Form Type. Access to the record would require having all three pieces of information.
An alphabetic entry in the Page column indicates the type of form or forms available for that person. Volume will be '0' and Form Type will be 'L'. Access to the record would require having all three pieces of information. Form A is a simple form. Form C includes much more information. 'L' stands for loose papers (as opposed to being in a bound volume).