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Genealogy & Poland on the Internet and elsewhere

Genealogy & Poland on the Internet and elsewhere


Section 10-12


(collected by Tom Wodzinski, Canberra, AUSTRALIA)


The purpose of this document is to bring together a range of Internet based information sources (as well as any other sources of information) which may be of interest to those with a specific interest in Polish (and related) genealogy. It is hoped that people just starting out in this field will find it a useful starting point.


A more comprehensive coverage of researching Polish genealogy can be found in the publications listed in section 6 of this document.


Contributions, suggestions or corrections are always welcomed.


This document is sourced from:
a) other FAQs (esp. soc.genealogy.slavic) which may be of direct or indirect relevance;
b) postings to the GENPOL, Poland-Roots-l (and other) Listservs, and Soc.Genealogy.Slavic (and other) newsgroups;
c) E-mailed contributions and suggestions; and
d) just surfing.

Given the dynamic nature of the Internet I do not claim that all of the resources and links identified in this guide are still current. I last checked all the URL's in September 1999.


Polish State Archives WWW home page

 A map of Poland with all the regional state archive locations.
Clicking on the city name displays information about that site (address, telephone numbers, opening times etc) as well as details of all branch offices in the region. You should refer to this site for the latest details about archive offices.


You can also refer to the Archives addresses compiled by PolishRoots 

 Letter writing guides are available via a number of publications listed in Section 6.


Byelorussian (Belarus) Historical Archives
Leninskaja a. 2
Belarus (Byelorussia)

Belarus (Byelorussian) Historical Archives
Kropotkinskaja 55
Belerus (Byelorussia)

You can also refer to the list of addresses PolishRoots has compiled for Belarus Archives and Ukraine Archives
Listing of WWW addresses of Roman Catholic Dioceses and Arch Dioceses in Poland

You can also refer to the Archives addresses compiled by PolishRoots

Archives of the Polish (Arch)Dioceses:

  • Archiwum Archidieczjalne w Bialymstoku
    ul. Warszawska 46
    15-077 BIALYSTOK


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Czestochowie
    Al. Najsw. Maryi Panny 54
    42-200 CZESTOCHOWA


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Drohiczynie
    ul. Koscielna 10
    17-312 DROHICZYN


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Gdansku
    ul. Cystersów 15
    80-330 GDANSK


  • Archiwum Archidiecezjalne w Gnieznie
    Katedra - ul. Kolegiaty 2
    62-200 GNIEZNO


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Katowicach
    ul. Wita Stwosza 16
    40-043 KATOWICE


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Kielcach
    ul. Jana Pawla II 3
    25-013 KIELCE


  • Archiwum Kurii Metropolitalnej w Krakowie
    ul. Franciszkanska 3
    31-004 KRAKOW


  • Archiwum Archidiecezjalne w Lubaczowie
    ul. Adama Mickiewicza 85
    37-600 LUBACZOW


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Lublinie
    ul. Prymasa Wyszynskiego 2
    20-950 LUBLIN


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Lomzy
    ul. Sadowa 3
    18-400 LOMZA


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Lodzi
    ul. Ks. Skorupki 3
    90-458 LODZ


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Olsztynie
    ul. Kopernika 47
    10-512 OLSZTYN


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Opolu
    ul. Kardynala Kominka 1a
    45-032 OPOLE


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Pelplinie
    ul. Biskupa K. Dominika 11
    83-130 PELPLIN


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Plocku
    ul. Abpa Nowowiejskiego 2
    09-400 PLOCK


  • Archiwum Archidiecezjalne w Poznaniu
    ul. Lubranskiego 1
    61-108 POZNAN


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Przemyslu
    Pl. Katedralny 4a
    37-700 PRZEMYSL


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Sandomierzu
    ul. Sciegiennego 2
    27-600 SANDOMIERZ


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Siedlcach
    ul. Swierczewskiego 62
    08-100 SIEDLCE


  • Archiwum Diecezji Szczecinsko-Kamienskiej
    Pl. Katedralny 8


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Tarnowie
    ul. Katedralna 3
    33-100 TARNOW


  • Archiwum Archidieczjalne w Warszawie
    ul. Swietojanska 8
    00-288 WARSZAWA


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne we Wloclawku
    ul. Gdanska 2/4
    87-800 WLOCLAWEK


  • Archiwum Archidiecezjalne we Wroclawiu
    ul. Kanonia 12
    50-328 WROCLAW


  • Archiwum Diecezjalne w Zielonej Górze
    Pl. Powstanców Wlkp. 1
    65-075 ZIELONA GORA


Spis parafii Kosciola Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Polsce
(List of Lutheran parishes in Poland)

Some other WWW sites worth looking at:

Archiwum Warszawskiej Metropolii Prawoslawnej
(Eastern Orthodox Church)
Al. Solidarnosci 52


In a GENPOL posted message dated 20 July 1997

D. Zincavage ( wrote on the following

three archives:


Lietuvos Valstybinis Istorijos Archyvas

Gerosios Vilties 10

Vilnius 2015


Fees were recently raised to $70 for initial research, but reduced from $20 per record photocopy to $5. The charges for translations are now $13 per page. (Previously, translations were automatically included, and a photocopy with translation cost $20.) I, and others, have in the past found their translations to be inaccurate and incomplete.

They are very slow. It can take nearly a year to receive a reply. I was informed, after ten months, once recently , that the delay was occasioned by their being "on vacation." Allegedly, their staff resources are under considerable strain searching for all the documentation necessary for Lithuanian nationals to get back property which had been collectivized. They can read and write in English. Payment in dollars by US Postal Money Orders was acceptable in the past. The quarterly publication of the Suwalk-Lomza Jewish Genealogical Special Interest Group, LANDSMEN, says that they will now accept personal checks.



Surviving records from the Staatsarchiv Konigsburg now form the XX.

Hauptabteilung of:

Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Archivstrasse 12-14

D-14195 Berlin

A small number of pre-1945 records survive in the Russian Archives

in Kaliningrad Oblast:

Gosudarstvennyj archiv Kaliningradskoj oblasti

ul. Komsomol'skaja 32

SU-236000 g. Kaliningrad obl.


I am reluctantly including this anglicized address, but whether non-Cyrillic correspondence is effective is questionable. Records from the Prussian Partition including locations currently in Poland are said to have been turned over to the Polish Archive is Olsztyn.


Catholic records from the regions of Gdansk, Olsztyn & Bydgoszcz:
Bischöfliches Zentralarchiv
St. Petersweg 11-13
D-93047 Regensburg

Lutheran records from former German provinces:
Evangelisches Zentralarchiv
Bethanienstraße 23-29
D-10997 Berlin

Zentralstelle fur Genealogie - Abteilung des Sächsischen Staatsarchives -
Schongauer Strasse 1
D-04329 Leipzig



St. Petersburg Archive:


Russian Baltic Information Center

907 Mission Avenue

San Rafael, CA 94901

(Ed Nute)

415 453-3579

415 453-0343 fax

provides research in St. Petersburg now, and will perhaps offer services at the Moscow Archives in the future. The Russian Czarist Government was addicted to bureaucracy, so they have more records (especially for noble families) in many cases than the Polish or Lithuanian Archives.

Because of the difficulty of corresponding in Cyrillic, it is necessary for most of us to use this kind of service for research in the archives of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. There are other services of this kind, but this is the only one I have had personal contact with. Mr. Nute is a nice fellow, but the work is done by employees at the Archives. Hiring their research has all the problems which one finds, inevitably it seems, whenever one employs agents to perform research at a distance. They have a strong tendency to research what they feel like, rather than what one requests. Mr. Nute has the same problems in directing the Russian researchers that his customers do.

It is inevitable that research arranged through an intermediary will prove more expensive than research arranged directly by yourself. I recommend against using their translating services, if you have any alternative. Their English is not terribly good, and their charges for translations are unusually high -higher -in fact- than my Americans translators charge. Recent reports indicate that charges are escalating.

There are currently no Polish White pages available via the WWW. Your best chance would be to post a request to the GenPol Email Listserv in the hope of someone obliging you.

In a GENPOL posted message dated 18 December 1996 Paul Binkowski ( wrote:

"NYNEX, the regional Bell operating company that services New York and parts of New England and is in the process of merging with Bell Atlantic, has an operation in Poland. As part of the operation, 16 telephone directories are published. Listed below are the directory names, numbers and price:

Directory Number Price

Bielsko-Biala 99001 $40

Bydgoszcz 99002 $40

Czestochowa 99003 $40

Gdansk 99004 $40

Kalisz 99005 $40

Katowice 99006 $40

Kielce 99007 $40

Lodz 99008 $40

Krakow 99009 $40

Opole 99010 $40

Poznan 99011 $40

Radom 99016 $40

Szczecin 99012 $40

Warszawa 99013 $40

Walbrzych 99014 $40

Wroclaw 99015 $40

For more information or to order any of these directories, call

Directory Central (in the USA) at 1-800-432-6657.

Contact me if you have any questions."

WWII Polish Internees - sources of information
In a GENPOL posted message dated 26 July 1996 R. Postula wrote:

 "You may be interested in the following information which I obtained at a meeting of the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan. It pertains to 'Information Forms on Labor Camp Internees in German Occupied Areas of Pre-world War II Poland 1939-1944.
Microfilmed records were originally in the custody of the "Einwanderungszentralstelle (Central Immigration Office), which was subordinate to the "Reichssicherheitshauptamt" (Reich Central Security Dept.), a major division of the:Schutzstaffel (SS or Security Police) of the Third Reich.
Microfilmed records are arranged by certificate number, and contain personal and family information forms on labor camp internees in German occupied areas of pre WWII Poland, 1939-1944. In addition to Poles, the records include some internees from Germany, Austria, and Lithuania. Information contained in the records includes, names, dates and birthplaces of the internee, his parents, grandparents and children: residence, occupation, and religion. Sometimes includes a snapshot of the internee. The internees were sent to Wartheland, other parts of Poland, Germany Czechoslovakia, and Austria.

Unfortunately, there is currently no known index to these records. The records can be found a under POLAND - MILITARY RECORDS at LDS. Film numbers are 1364501 - 1364556 and includes certificates 110004 - 529400. It appears that sixty-eight rolls of film are involved."

(specialising in research from Galicia)

The information below was provided by Kathi White in an (Aug/96) Email to the GENPOL Listserv.

The following article appears in this months publication of the "Polish American Journal":

Alleum Genealogical Archives - a member of Federation of East European Family Historical Societies (FEEFHS) specializes in research from Galicia. It's quarterly publication, "Galicia," is available in English, Polish and Esperanto editions. Yearly dues are $25.00 US dollars and $35.00 Canadian currency. Send check, international bank draft or US International Postal Money to:

Genealogical Archives "Alleum"
Wroclaw 2, PO Box 312

Featured in the January issue 1996 edition are "Arms of the Town of Grodek," "Administration Division of Galicia 1918-1996," "Part I of the Counties of Galicia," genealogical queries, and other useful information.
Search for information on an individual surname
Polish Surnames - Meanings and origins
In a posting to GenPol on 14 August 1996 William F. "Fred" Hoffman ( (Author, "Polish Surnames: Origins & Meanings") wrote (on the subject of surname origins and meanings"):

"If you'd be willing to spend about $20 to get a more informed opinion, there is a group of scholars connected with the Polish Language Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow that will check sources and try to give source-based answers on the origin of specific surnames. They don't do genealogical research, but they have access to massive amounts of info culled from ancient records, and can often come up with good, sound answers. They can handle correspondence in English, and the last I heard they would do 1-2 names for $20 (you send them money after the work is done). If you're interested, write this address: Instytut Jezyka Polskiego, Pracownia Antroponimiczna, ul. Straszewskiego 27, 31-113 KRAKOW, POLAND. I've heard from a number of people who were quite pleased with the results they got, so I don't mind recommending people try this group."

In a GENPOL posted message dated ?? November 1996

D. Zincavage ( wrote:

Dr. Aleksandra Cieslikowa
Instytut Jezka Polskiego
ul. Straszewskiego 27
31-113 KRAKOW

I suggest $10 per name (US Postal Money Order made out to Dr. Cieslikowa). She is an able scholar who can read and write in English.
Place names and name changes in Gorlice, Jaslo, and Krosno districts of Rzeszow Provinces, Poland
In a posting to GenPol on 5 Oct 1996,
James S. Spencer wrote:

 Yesterday, I went to the LDS FHC to look at some films that came in. I was impressed with what they had to offer so I thought that I would contribute this info to the list.

A book "Nazwy miejscowe dawnego powiatu bieckiego" by Kazimierz Rymut lists place names and name changes in Gorlice, Jaslo, and Krosno districts of Rzeszow Provinces, Poland. (For everyone trying to find variant name spellings for the places in lower Poland. I've gotten the impression that the U.N. had their hand in renaming the towns of Poland in 1964 to what they currently are known as. I believe this book may help the novice find the old name of the town and what it currently is) Be forewarned that it is all in Polish. An example of what it has to offer is for the place name Glinik Mariampolski in 1426 called Glinnik, Glynyk in 1486, 1855 called Glinik Mariampolski

(film #1181792 Item 8; other items on same reel are Item 4 Place names in the ancient principality of Mazovia, now the province of Warsaw Item 5 Place names of the former province of Sandomierz, now part of Kielce, Part 1 only, A-P Item 6 Place names of the southern part of Krakow Province, from the 12th century until now Item 7 Place names and name changes in the former Pilzno District, now part of Rzeszow Province, Poland Item 3 Geographical names ending in -izna and -szczyzna)
History of surnames in the district of Neumarkt, Galizien, Austria; now Nowy Targ District, Kraków, Poland from the 17th century to the present.
In a posting to GenPol on 5 Oct 1996,
James S. Spencer wrote:

 "In keeping with the excitement of the current surname craze on the list here is a book that I hope you will be thrilled with: "Nazwiska ludnosci dawnego starostwa Nowotarskiego" by Jozef Bubak. Okay, for those of you who can't understand Polish it means 'History of surnames in the district of Neumarkt, Galizien, Austria; now Nowy Targ District, Krakow, Poland from the 17th century to the present (film #1045486 Item 5 has Part 1 surnames A-M and Part 2 has N-Z). An example of the kind of listing this book has is as follows:

 on page 32 of Part 2 is listed
PLICHTA:Piotra Plichty( LW(NT) Plichta 1650, 1653 LN(NT), Piotra Plickty( 1656 LW(NT).(cf. slow. plichtif 'skradac sie')"
Dealing with Polish Archives
In a posting to GenPol on 19 Nov 1996,
Lukasz Bielecki wrote:

 "Well, I don't know if the Genpol list actually works or not? It is officially suspended but I'm still receiving messages. Among them there were questions about how to lead the genealogical research in the Polish state Archives.

You may ask the archive staff for doing this research. They charge 20 PLN pro hour (but not less than 50 PLN in total!). You pay this on account, so probably in the Pekao Bank which has its fillials also in the America. 1 PLN is about 40 US cents now but probably you have to pay about 1.5 times more than it would be if simply converted (I don't know why). The correspondence should be in Polish but at least in Poznan German and English are also accepted (it depends on what foreign languages are spoken in a given archive - in smaller ones they can simply not find anyone able to read English). They are likely to respond in Polish, however.

 The xerox copying is allowed but only larger archives possess the machines. I have once written about the xerox fees so I only add now that a normal A4 copy costs 2 PLN (A3 - 4 PLN) but if they qualify this as a "copy for genealogical purpose" they require 15 PLN (10 USD or 17 DM, you see the conversion rate is particularly unfair here) for an A4 copy. For property purposes it is even 60 PLN for an A4 copy!

The above fees are in force since June 12th, 1996 and are introduced for the entire Poland by the Head of Polish Archives in Warsaw (forgot the name, sorry).

For genealogical and property purposes office stamps (0.90 PLN) are also needed for each page."
Research tips for those starting out
In a posting to GenPol on 16 Dec 1996,
Kathi White wrote:

"When obtaining marriage records for the emigrant ancestors, I find that people often obtain only the marriage application itself. This is typically at the county level in each state. The document that I find more important is the actually recording of the marriage in the parish register. If the marriage application states only a priest's name, then a look up of the priests name in the city directory for the year of marriage should produce the name of the church.

The next step is to see if this parish has been microfilmed. If it is, you're in luck. When viewing a microfilm or register it is even more important to copy down all of the people with your surname of interest. Copy everything - the witnesses , the godparents names etc... If you find YOUR ancestors marriage, it may state where in Poland they were born. Always make a copy, do not simply hand write this information.

The next step is to always obtain the birth recordings for any child born to the emigrant couple. Do not just look for the children you know of, scan every entry and look for children born to "these" parents. There may be children who died that you are not aware of. I ran across a case such as this, and it was this childs baptism that contained the town names in Poland that each parent came from.

 Never limit your research to only your direct line. The reason the names of witnesses and Godparents are so important is that you may find a connection to a brother or sister of the emigrants, and it is through these people that you may find what you need to bridge the gap.

There are several other ways to find information, but I said I'd keep this short !"
More research tips for those starting out
In a posting to soc.genealogy.slavic on 26 Feb 1997,
Joanne wrote:

I just finished reading a few letters and felt I had to write and I probably will get a lot of feedback about this but I think it needs said to all those who are relatively new to doing genealogy. I have been addicted to genealogy for over 20 years and have done many lines of both my own and my husband's--some go back to the 1600 and some only go back to the late 1800's; we've covered England, Ireland, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. And I realize it is every genealogist's dream to get information from somewhere other than the USA BUT you can't until you have exhausted EVERY source here in the USA. And there are many. I realize it is not as exciting but it is necessary! There are archives in countries but they need information to pinpoint a document. You can't write to an archive in Slovakia with only a name and a date and expect a positive reply. It would be like searching for a needle in a haystack.. They don't have every document ever issued in their country alphabetized and waiting at their fingertips just to send you. And then sometimes we wonder why they get so negative when they receive a request from those "Americans" who are so impatient for a baptism record of a great grandfather who was born about 1880 somewhere in their country. (!!???)

There are many sources here in the US that are obvious--death certificates (but always remember these are "second hand" information), naturalization, census, etc. But also remember to also get the declaration of intention. Other things to try:

1. Check baptisms of their children here in the US. Many ethnic churches would also record the parents place of baptism on their children's baptism to "prove" their (i.e. parents) baptism. And look at ALL the children--my great grandparents had 10 children and only ONE had their church in Poland listed. And I might add this was the only document I found with their village listed and it wasn't on my grandmother's baptism!

2. Check who were godparents for their children, who they were friends with, talk to everyone who may have known them. Many times a census here in the US almost reads like the church records in the ancestral village--in other words many times more than one family came and settled in the same area here too. So if there is no information on your direct relatives try their friends records. This may at least narrow the area of you search down. My great uncle was a "runner" to Slovakia for the area coal mines--his son told me how his father had made at least 4 trip "back home" with the sole purpose of getting more men to come here to work the mines. And one row of company houses here reads just like the village in Slovakia.

3. Funeral homes are usually very good and helpful sources of a great deal of information. Plus most have exactly the same information that was supplied for the death certificate so you can save yourself a few bucks. We found one of my husband's "lost" greatx2 aunt's descendants because the funeral director gave me the name of the person who paid to have the grass on the grave mowed every year--a call to this person turned up her granddaughter. Plus I have found funeral directors to go out of their way with information. When I asked for some information on a relative, he also sent me all the funerals they had handled with the same surname. What a gift!

4. Also check the court house for unusual document--land transfers, wills, even disputes among neighbors, orphans, etc. My grandfather and his half brother filed a document in our local court giving up any rights they had to family land in Slovakia to their sister --there was her name and the address where the copy was sent in Slovakia.

5. And I can't say enough about the LDS. If you look at the baptisms, marriages , and deaths yourself you will find so much more than what is just recorded on one document from an archive. Plus some records also list house # and this can lead to relatives as you go back thru records. And the cost is minimal when you see what you can gain. Also PJkitty wrote that they could not find the man's name in the baptisms of the woman church. So I am assuming they have utilized the LDS microfilms. Did you also try marriages? Most times, but not always they were married in the woman's church. Also they usually did not travel great distances to marry so after I had looked at all the baptisms, marriages, deaths of my great grandparents and their ancestors in "their" village, I then ordered the records for the village churches within about a 10 mile radius. This led to the marriage record of my great X5 grandparents in 1812 in a village about 6 miles away from where they lived. Digging deeper in these records then gave me the family of my great X5 grandmother as this was "her" village--something I would not have know from the village records I initially looked at. So don't believe that all your records will be in just one location. So to pjkitty try neighboring villages too. Also remember "George" and " " are Americanized names. For example in Poland, the Latin church baptism will have "Adalbertus" , his family called him "Wojtek", his marriage had "Wojciech", the German ship's captain listed him as "Albert" and the records her in the US call him "George" and this is all the same man and please don't say "they changed his name".

6. Also talk with all the "Senior Citizens" in the US neighborhood. And please don't just ask specific names and dates. Let them talk about their lives and the lives of your relatives--record it if possible. Sometimes I have found that if you ask the elderly a specific date they will say they " don't know." Two very dear ladies in their late 80's helped me more than I can say by just telling stories... before I knew better I had previously asked if they knew if my great grandmother had any siblings here in the US they said they didn't know. But when they started remembering a funeral they attended as young girls the one thing that really seemed to impress them was a man who came in a "fancy buggy with a pretty horse". When I asked who this was they said "your grandmother's uncle". (in other words my great grandmother's brother). I got more names and relationships from the discussion of this one funeral then I would have every had from just asking specific dates and names. PLUS I learned so much of what life was like for my relatives which I believe is just as important to genealogy as a collection of names and dates.

7. I think I may have sent this before but when you finally find a village and it is a "large, famous" city don't just look at records there. Yes I know people were born in these cities and they immigrates too, but many immigrants came here to work coal mines and steel mills and weren't the "shop owners" of the cities. But when asked where they came from would give a town that would be recognized by the ship's captain, Ellis Island clerk (who didn't speak their language no less could they spell ) so it was easier to just say Warsaw. And don't shake your head--we travel alot thru the US ( our girls have been in all but 3 states) and when we are asked where we are from rather than say the small town we live near (about 100 people) we just say we live "an hour south of Penn State." We don't even use a town!! Everyone will just shake their head in understanding--but genealogist in a 100 years will have fun trying to locate this on any map! So if you don't find your relative in the records of the city you think you should branch out to neighboring vilages too.

I am sorry I have gone on so long but I hope this will make everyone see that there are lots of places to check before you can "get to (you fill in the country of choice!)".

And one last thing genealogy is so much fun and we can all share our ideas, research methods and it benefits us all----this is not a solitary hobby--I have made so many friends thru this pasttime and they have helped me so much I hope I have at lest help them too.

Distribution of surnames in Poland

Prof. Kazimierz Rymut's SLOWNIK NAZWISK WSPOLCZESNIE W POLSCE UZYWANYCH [Dictionary of Surnames Currently Used in Poland] includes 37 million of that nation's 40 million population in 1990. Published in Krakow between 1992 and 1994 by the Polska Akademia Nauk - Instytut Jezyka Polskiego [Polish Academy of Sciences - Polish Language Institute], the 10-volume work covers over 607,000 surnames!

Listings show the number of persons bearing that particular surname in Poland in 1990, followed by their location ONLY BY PROVINCE among Poland's 49 provinces [wojewodztwa]. The listings DO NOT show given names or location by city, town or village.


PGS of Conneticut (or North East) - specialising in Lomza/Bialystok


In a posting to soc.genealogy.slavic on 11 Mar 1997, J Bickers (jbickers@PRODIGY.NET) wrote:

I don't know if I have written you before, but I saw your email posted on genslav and thought I should tell you about the PGS of CT or the PGSNE as it is also called. The Polish Genealogical Society, in New Britain, CT has made the Lomza and Bialystok area something of a specialty. Many of the members' ancestors come from that area. If you are researching your ancestors, and you haven't yet contacted the Society, you really should.

Their address:

8 Lyle Road

New Britain, CT 06053

Phone: 203-223-5596


The "bible" of Polish cities towns and hamlets


In a posting to Poland-Roots Listserv on 30 Mar 1997, Fred Zimnoch ( wrote:

While many maps are detailed, you need a reference that has everything!

The "bible" of Polish cities, town, and hamlets is:

"Spis miejscowosci z podzialem administrayjnym"

by: J. Jodlowska, W. Pypno, E. Raczka

Warsaw 1966

This lists anything and everything plus county, post office, nearest railway station. With this you can get general location of small towns. For very small towns whose names appear frequently you need another point of reference.

This should be at large libraries. It's a reference book and doesn't travel. But towns are alphabetical, so you might get ref service to copy a page or two if you can't get see a copy locally. Be careful, Polish has diacriticals like "L", and "L" cross which are not intermingled but treated as separate letters. So if your towns have diacriticals be careful.

Then, you can go to US Army (Defense Dept Mapping Agency) world list of towns and get geo coord. This is especially usefull for small towns with same name, of which there are many in Poland.

With geo coord you can then get good topo maps at 1:100,000 or better. Many sources have them including the Library of Congress and below.

I had trouble with German/Polish names and found good help from reference librarians at Americam Geographical Society Collection at the Golda Meir Library, U of Wisc, POB 399 in Milwaukee WI 53201.


Polish-English Translations of first names


In a posting to GenPol Listserv on 10 Apr 1997, Dick Zelenski ( wrote:

One translation list that I find useful is the Polish to English translation of first names. It is accessable through the Polish Genealogical Society of America website. It is at

Look for the "Polish obituary word translations".

It also includes a number of other useful translations, such as names of days, months, relationships, ...


Galician Gazeteer's


In a posting to GenPol Listserv on 17 Apr 1997, Lindy Kasperski ( wrote:

I am re-sending my reply over Genpol as I have had a few inquiries of Lenius'gazetteer. Brian Lenius is one of founders of East European Genealogical Society in Winnipeg which used to be a branch of Manitoba Genealogical Society (until Jan/1996). The gazetteer lists about 7,000 Galician villages giving their powiat (administrative district or county), judicial district and parish (Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic or other such as Lutheran). For the period 1906-1914 there were 82 powiaty in Galicia. Except for some minor changes these district boundaries were very similar for the period, 1880-1906.

The place names are all the Polish because, for the most part, Polish was the language administration in Austrian Galicia. Brian's gazetteer does contain, however, a Polish-Ukrainian section for place names and a section on Galician villages with a significant German population.

After WWI all of Galicia became part of the Republic of Poland and existed as such until 1939. Eastern Galicia had a majority of Ukrainians. Under the Polish Republic this area became the wojewo~dztwa (provinces) of Tarnopol, Stanisl~awo~w and Lwo~w. This area was occupied by the Soviet Army when they invaded Eastern Poland 17 September 1939 and were subsequently incorporated in Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as provinces of Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk (Stanisl~awo~w was renamed) and Lviv. Most Polish people were deported in late 1945 early 1946 to former German territories which is now western Poland.

With the parish information you can check at your local genealogical society library for the any microfilm records of these parishes that have been done by the Mormons.

The contact information for Brian's book is also in a recent Genpol message from Tom Wodzinski who in a very informative, excellent, 3-part message lists the book in GenPoling on the Net - Part II. (Great work Tom!):

Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia

c/o Brian Lenius

Box 18 Group 4, R.R. #1

Anola, Manitoba

R0E 0A0

There is also another book by John-Paul Himka entitled: "Galicia and Bukovina: A Research Handbook About Western Ukraine, Late 19th and 20th Centuries", Historic Sites Service, Occasional Paper No. 20, March 1990.

Published by Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism, Historical Resources Division. This book outlines the various administrative divisions of Galicia starting with the First Partition of Poland in 1772 in the following time periods:







1876-late 1890s

late 1890s to 31 August 1904

1 September 1904 - 1906

1906 - 1914

Place names for Eastern Galicia and Bukovina are in transliterated Ukrainian while those for Western Galicia use Polish.

My family which was Polish came from the village of Trybuchowce (Trybukhivtsi) in the powiat of Buczacz (Buchach) a little south of your area. Our communities were all in Tarnopol province during Republic of Poland time period. (As an aside, Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow's parents came from Radziecho~w in 1927 to Saskatoon. Our family came to Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1927/28. If your ancestors came after WWI, there may be other genealogical information available from archives in Lwow (Lviv) which have recently opened up. Many emigrants from this time completed a Republic of Poland Emigration Form with useful family history information which can now be accessed.

Hope this information is of use. Contact me if you have any questions.


Administraive hierarchy in Poland


In a GENPOL posted message dated 6 July 1997 David Zincavage

( wrote:

"Before the Partitions (1772, 1793, 1795), there was Poland aka The Crown, _Korona_, and the Grand Duchy [_Wielki Ksie~stwa_] of Lithuania.

In descending order, one finds: the _wojewodstwo_ [Palatinate] --which, after 1868, in the Russian Partition becomes a _gubernia_ [Government], you then get the _powiat_ [county or district], then _parafia_ [parish], a _miasto_ [town] is sometimes mentioned, or a _mieszczanie_ [township]. A (peasant) village was called a _wies_, in early periods a _wies_ would be differentiated from a village of petty nobles _zas'cian_. A nobleman might own an estate _folwark_, and live in a manor-house _dwor_.

The Prussian Partition was taken away by Napoleon and made into the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807. After Napoleon's defeat in 1815, the Duchy of Warsaw became the so-called Kingdom of Poland, wherein the Tsar was supposed to function as a consitutional monarch. After the failed November Insurrection (1831-2), the Congress Kingdom was officially abolished, but one still sees references to "the Kingdom of Poland."

This was followed up by a GenPol posting by Rafal Prinke (, where he wrote:

"There always were (and still are) two different hierarchies of administrative divisions which do not overlap: state and church. The above explanation puts them into one sack and adds some more which are of a still different order. Plus a few errors and misspellings.

The state administrative division of pre-partition Poland can be found on my Web site. The "units" were:

1. Commonwealth members: Poland (Crown), Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and fiefs

2. province ["dzielnica"]

2. wojewo~dztwo

3. ziemia

4. powiat

but their use was not strict. There are cases with "ziemia" being independent (not in a wojewo~dztwo) or with no powiat subdivisions.

The church division is standard - as anywhere else:

1. archdiocese

2. diocese

3. decanate

4. parish

Then we have another distinction between "miasto" [town] and "wies~" [village] which I find is difficult to grasp for Americans. For a place with houses to be a town, it must get municipal rights and privilages from an authority - the king, a magnate or (now) the president. It is not just a matter of calling a place with three houses a "town" or a "city". It is the legal status of it. There are places in Poland which used to be town and then lost the status, and there are ones that have only recently been promoted to that status.

"Mieszczanie" does not mean "township" but "burghers" ie. Plural form of "mieszczanin" or citizen of a town. There were (and are) precise rights and duties connected with being one. It was the third social class - between nobles and peasants - and it was not easy to become a member of it."


Europe to USA Steamship records


In a POLAND-ROOTS-L posted message dated 13 Sept 1997, Janet Birkner ( wrote:

"If you know the name of the ship, and the date and port of arrival, you can write INS for a copy of the manifest page

To Write for Passenger Arrival Document

General Reference Branch

National Archives and Records Admin.

7th and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20408

Form 81 - for Ship Passenger Arrival Records

Cost $10.00

You must know the arrival date, port, and ship or go to your local LDS FHC library and look up the document on microfilm for about $3.25. Then you can send a form to Salt Lake City for a copy of the page your ancestor is on. For $2.00.

To order Form 81, (Passenger Arrivals), go to

There you can order all forms needed for research, including Military Service forms."


WW1 - Polish Officers in the Austrian Cavalry


In a GenPol posted message dated 7 Aug 1997, Tom Milke ( wrote

"The PGSA Newsletter had an article in the Spring, 1984 issue entitled "Great Grandfather Was in the Imperial Cavalry: Using Austrian Military Records as an aid to Writing Family History" You can probably get a reprint from the at PGSA, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago ILL 60622. My recollection is that it is/was very thorough."


WWW Maps of Russia and East Central Europe in SSEES Library, LondonEurope to USA Steamship records


In a GenPol posted message dated 4 Nov 1998, wrote:





Thanks to the allocation of a Non-Formula Funding (Follett) grant, a notable map collection at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London (SSEES), has now been catalogued. The collection comprises maps published in Russia and Western Europe. The maps cover Russia and the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. They date from the sixteenth to the twentieth century and the eighteenth century is particularly well represented. Among the 219 bibliographical items (representing 238 sheets) are maps published by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg showing the Baltic and the Crimea and an exceptionally fine range of maps of Hungary and Transylvania.

Many of the Russian maps were probably purchased by the School in 1958 as part of the stock of V. V. Baratchevsky's Russian Bookshop (located first in Hanway Street and later in Tottenham Street, London W1). The portfolio of maps of Hungary was donated some thirty years ago by Mr E. J. Groom who had learned Hungarian at the School. The source of other maps is unknown. However, the entire collection was professionally conserved between 1973 and 1975 and all sheets are now in excellent condition.

Probably one third of the SSEES collection is not held by the British Library Map Library. The highly important map of Hungary by Nicander Philippinus Fundanus (1595) is held by the British Library in facsimile but SSEES has an original. Within the limits of its area coverage, the SSEES collection has an excellent representation of the works of the major early cartographers: Mercator, Jansson, L'Isle, Moll, Senex, Blaeu, de Vaugondy, Sanson, Wit, Visscher, Homann, Hondius, Seutter and Jaillot. The collection is particularly useful in that it brings together maps for a given region.

The maps are included in the Library's on-line catalogue:

or via the School's Web Page:

and searches by cartographer, title or subject will reveal them.

The School is indebted to Ms April Carlucci and Mr Colin Bruce for their work in cataloguing the collection. Without Ms Carlucci's valuable report on the project this note would have been considerably less informative.


J.E.O. Screen

Librarian, School of Slavonic and East European Studies,

University of London Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E
7HU, England

tel: 0171-637 4934 ext. 4023
fax: 0171-436 8916


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