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.

I found some information on this website useful and want to support its mission. How can I donate?

You can send money to Polish Family Information via PayPal (paypal.com). Use the following email address in PayPal as the recipient: donateto@polishfamily.info That's all there is to it.

What are the terms and conditions that apply to using this website?
1. Data harvesting (the downloading and saving large portions of a database for any purpose) is forbidden.

2. Any submissions by you should represent your own work. If you used copyrighted works in your research, be sure to cite them. Copyrighted works of others will not be posted.

3. Be careful about submitting personal information about other living people. They may object.

4. You may submit comments, content, corrections, family trees, etc. but the management of the site will make the determination of its disposition: use it as is, edit it, or not use it at all. It is understood that all submissions you make may be used on this website indefinitely even though you retain the copyright.

Familysearch.org has many indexes of the same records. Why is THIS site relevant?
This site's indexing efforts began before familysearch.org had done much of their work. The site is still relevant because it provides indexes based on an experienced alternative reading of the record. Some indexes at familysearch.org are poorly done and you might not find what you are looking for there.

How do I know if this site contains anything I might be interested in?
The sources used in creating an index are described in the introduction to each index. Lists of indexed parishes and the dates of inclusion are here for births, here for marriages, and here for deaths.

How do I contact someone at Polish Family Info with a question?
Send an email to help@polishfamily.info Good general questions will be included in the FAQ here or in a separate article.

When I use the search box (the box next to the magnifying glass icon at the top of the opening photo) for a name, I don't get any information on it. Does that mean that family is not included on this site?
Not necessarily. You are probably searching in the wrong place. The top search box is generally for broader TOPICS discussed on this site rather than family names (unless they happen to be part of an article). To search for family names, click on Databases on the menu bar and search for the names in a database. You are more likely to have success doing that because the database contents are stored separately from general website content.

Why don't all the records have an entry in the LDS Image column of the database results page?
Many database entries were prepared by reading microfilm copies of the records. If those images are not online there is no LDS Image to reference. You will need to locate the record on microfilm.

If the LDS Image column has an entry, the image is online. Yes, you can always look it up on microfilm using the reference given in this index, but it's much easier to pull the image up online. Follow the instructions in the Links to Online Images article for easy access.

The image numbers in the index are not right. What's going on?
The image numbers in the index correspond to one specific method of pulling up an image. Follow the instructions in the Links to Online Images article for easy access and you will be successful. While each image has a unique URL, the URL in the index is only giving you an entry point-- not the unique URL itself. The image number given in the index is relative to a specific entry point. So, using a different entry point will throw off the image numbering.

There are other methods to pull up images and while logical, the numbering of their images do not correspond with the image number given in the index. This makes it seem like an error. Check the page number in the index and check it against the page number on the document in the image. You may need to advance to the next image until you get to the proper page number to the record of interest. That's a work-around if you elect not to use the method provided in the previous paragraph.

The website has diocesan maps showing the locations of Polish parishes. Does that mean those parish records are indexed (and on this site)?
The maps serve only as a reference to where Polish parishes exist or existed. That does not mean the parish has been indexed.

Images for most of the parishes are not readily available to permit indexing. Images for some parishes await being indexed. If you have access to images for a Polish-American parish that has not been indexed, perhaps we can work together to get them indexed. Contact me at help@polishfamily.info While virtually all the images indexed so far were filmed by the LDS, some diocese barred them filming their records.

I sometimes see the phrase "surname was" or "given name was". What does that mean?

It usually means that the recorder of the record made a mistake and corrected the record. This involved crossing out the old information and adding the new nearby. Since this index can't show a cross out, the past tense "was" shows what was originally in the record. If the record was corrected, why should I care about the old information? While in most cases, you needn't care, in some instances the old information may suggest a spelling variation that may be useful for finding a record of a parent or sibling. For example, Szpotek may have been corrected to Spottek. These potential clues have been preserved in this index.

What does cf before a name in the notes field mean?
This cf is a shortened version of cf. that often appears in footnotes or endnotes of research papers. It is an abbreviation of the Latin word for 'compare'. It is telling you to compare the name after it with one of the names appearing elsewhere in the record as it is probably a spelling variant that you might want to check out.

I sometimes see in the index a reference to the parents marriage record. Where does that information come from? I don't see it in the original image.
Most of these marriage references come from the Poznan Project Marriage Index. They are intended to help you locate ancestors in Poland, particularly when the American records do not include Polish locales. These references only occur for certain select persons I am researching or I have looked up to check spellings.

What is this Enum column I see in many of the search results?
Enum is short for enumeration number-- the order records appear in on a page. Most often the first record of the year starts with 1 and the numbering continues sequentially until the end of the year. These numbers are included in the index to help you locate a record on a page quickly without having to read the whole page. It also helped in creating the index. If I knew the last record on a page was 37 but I ended up at 36, that told me it was time to see if I skipped a record. More commonly, the errors were caused by the record custodian not counting correctly. Some numbers may get skipped or others duplicated. Duplicate numbers may force you to read the whole page to find the duplicate if the first one you encounter does not refer to the record you are interested in. When records were not numbered or numbering suddenly stopped mid-page, I added a number to the index to reflect its position on the page. The first complete record on a page is assigned a 1 and numbering continues from there.

When I first started indexing, I fixed the numbering errors I encountered but stopped after I realized I was only making it harder to find records on the page. While very rare, you might still find my 'fixed' numbering.