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Introduction to Polish Genealogy: Polish Resources

Strategies and resources to research your Polish family history.


Accessing international records can be the most challenging part of genealogy research, but once you've exhausted U.S. records and identified your family's place of origin in Poland, you are ready to explore these records.

Poland has many freely available digital libraries and archives which among other things offer access to materials important to genealogists. 


Church Records

Church records can serve as census-like registers of the members of a parish. Other key records like christenings, marriages, and burials provide valuable genealogical information. The language of the records depends on the denomination, time period and partition.

  • Roman Catholic- remains the dominant religion, contains Jewish and Protestant entries, Polish, Latin text.

  • Greek Catholic- Southeast area of Poland (Galicia). Latin, Ukranian, Polish text

  • Orthodox- limited members of Russian or Belorussian ethnic background. Russian text

  • Protestant- Anabaptists, Baptisms, Bohemian Brethren, Calvinists, Lutherans, Mennonites. Popular among German population, German text.

Records available digitally can be found in online databases. If the records are not available digitally, you may have to write to the archives directly.