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.

Maple Grove Township, Shawano County, Wisconsin in 1898

Maple Grove Township is in eastern Shawano County in Wisconsin. It is close to Pulaski, Wisconsin and the nearest big city is Green Bay. John J Hoff was a land developer in the Green Bay area in the late 1880s. What had been timbered land was offered to settlers to be farmed. Apparently, he had not been particularly successful promoting his holdings to his Norwegian brethen and turned his marketing to Polish immigrants. His first venture was land near the community of Hofa Park in Maple Grove Township.

Dobrzyn (Golub-Dobrzyn) Records in the Dulsk Parish

I was doing some research on a family from Dobrzyń, now known as Golub-Dobrzyń after the merging of two towns on opposite sides of the river Drwęca. Dobrzyń was a part of the parish in Dulsk and part of the Russian partition of Poland. I was surprised the records were written in Polish as most of what I have worked with has been in Latin or German. I was puzzled by two dates always being given next to one another. I later realized that one date was the Gregorian calendar date we commonly use and the other was the Julian calendar date being used in Russia at that time.

Sharpen a Blurry Photograph

It can be difficult enough to read the writing in some parish records but it is made worse when the image is blurry. I noticed many LDS images of Buffalo area churches were blurry. Is there technology to sharpen such images and make them more readable?

Accessing Previously Restricted Records

Access to many genealogical records is restricted by date. Generally, if even one record out of a whole collection of records would be restricted, the whole collection is restricted even if the other records fall within the allowable date range. Now that records have been digitized, it should be possible to withhold the display of an image with restricted records on it while allowing the display of other pages that fall within the allowed date range. I heard a couple of years ago that the LDS was working on this feature.

Database Errors -- Why can't I find my ancestors?

Some folks are lucky! They can type a name in Family Search and get all kinds of records with event dates. Poles are generally unlucky because we live in an Anglo world. The problem is that records are often indexed by Anglos who do not have any knowledge of the Polish alphabet or language. When we can't find information, it is likely due to bad indexing. See Indexing Errors for a summary of the most common indexing errors. While some of the indexed material on Family Search allows users to correct errors, it is a lengthy process.

Early Chicago Polish Newspapers 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 in that newspaper from 1890 through 1942, you can now see the death notice online. Just select the year and the date. Death notices are usually set off in black lined boxes. This service is provided by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

Radom, Washington County, IL

Radom is a rural Polish farming community in Washington County, IL (map). St. Michael the Archangel is a part of the cluster of Polish parishes in the Diocese of Belleville. When the parish was begun, all records were recorded in different sections of the same volume.

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.

The Trouble with W's

by James J. Czuchra

Reading Polish names presents many challenges but two I want to address here are the troubles I have with the letter 'w' . The first trouble seems to be in surnames from the last half of the 1800's. Many surnames were written without the usual 'w' before the -ski and -ska endings and probably because it was not pronounced.


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