Marriage Index Notes

The original marriage index was prepared to show only the names of the brides and grooms and date of marriage. Now, most of the parishes have parent names included as well. If that wasn't enough, the index may include the place the person was from-- a valuable resource for those trying to make the connection between the US and Poland. If images are available online, the LDS image number may also be given to speed up your lookup. The biggest parishes in the database are St. John Cantius, Holy Trinity, and St. Stanislaus Kostka in Chicago.

Arbitrator Obfuscation

Most recently, I have been working on indexing passenger lists from various US ports through Family Search. In a previous article, I gave a couple of examples where names get lost in the indexing process and how there is no mechanism for correcting known or suspected errors. This problem becomes worse when a well intentioned arbitrator is not familiar with the language and handwriting. I call this "abribtrator obfuscation".

Some Links for Researchers

There are many websites that deal with Polish genealogy, but I include here a few that I use:

Mapster: Old Maps of Poland Detailed maps (mostly from the 1930s) of Poland including regions no longer in Poland
The Milwaukee Polonia Project
Zarzycki Manor Funeral Chapel Database of obituaries of clients of this funeral home.

East St. Louis, St. Clair County, IL

St. Adalbert Church in East St. Louis, IL did not appear in any inventory of Polish parishes that I have found. Some Poles from St. Louis, MO, settled in East St. Louis and it seemed reasonable that they would go to a Polish church.

Dubois, Washington County, IL

Dubois is a rural farming communityin Washington County, IL (map). The parish church is St. Charles Borromeo and part of the cluster of Polish parishes in the Diocese of Belleville.

Scheller, Jefferson County, IL

Scheller is a rural community in Jefferson County, IL (map) with many Polish families. Its church is St. Barbara, founded in 1898. The parish is a part of the cluster of Polish parishes in the Diocese of Belleville.

Posen, Washington County, IL

Posen is a rural farming village in Washington County, IL (map). This should NOT be confused with another Posen which is outside of Chicago in Cook County, IL. The parish is a part of the cluster of Polish parishes in the Diocese of Belleville. The parish church is Our Lady of Perpetual Help founded in 1901.

Gazetteer of Poland

The gazetteer here is based on data from the Defense Mapping Agency, now the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Poland's administrative provinces have changed over the years -- the most recent occurring in the 1990s. This gazetteer of Poland is a fusion of two sections. One part is from 1988 and the other is from 2009 (after the change).

Community Indexing Projects

Both and have community indexing projects where volunteers all over the globe can contribute to the indexing effort. This distributed "share the work" concept leads to indexing millions of records in a short period of time. For example, the indexing of Illinois (midwest region) naturalization cards took less than a year. Another example is the 1940 US Census which took about six months.

St. Mary of Czestochowa Church, Cicero, IL

Volume 1 of baptisms suffers from bad design, and multiple entries per page. Missing portions of names were often inferred or corrected based on the volume index at the start of the volume. The page numbers in many cases are worn off so locating them by image sequence is a good strategy. The paper was probably brittle and the pages got out of order-- another reason to locate them by image sequence. So, some pages require two images to get the complete record. The links show photos of the combined images-- it's easier.


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