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Polish Cities,  Shtetls and Villages     Galicia     Lithuanian Shtetls

Ukrainian Shtetls


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(Note:  You may find additional information and sources in my Galicia and Ukrainian web pages)

Polish Markuszow Jewish Partisans

Five million people lived in Poland, an area slightly smaller than the state of New Mexico in 1938.  The population density is about 328 people per square mile, as compared to only 15 people in New Mexico. And some 3.3 million Jews lived here before the Holocaust. Three million were murdered.  As much as 80 percent of Jews in North America trace their ancestry to Poland.

Between about 1800 and WW i, there was no Poland.  It was partitioned between Russia, Prussia, and Austria.  There was a Kingdom of Poland which was part of Russia in the 1840-1900 period.

"Today's western Poland is what once was Eastern (or Farther) Pomerania, the Neumark and Silesia.  Eastern Pomerania was Prussian/German from 1653 until 1945. Prussia conquered Silesia from the Hapsburg Empire in 1742, and almost all of Silesia remained Prussian/German until 1945 as well.  The Neumark had belonged to Brandenburg, later Prussia and finally Germany, since the 13th Century."

"Western Poland as defined after WWI (when a new Poland was created from pieces of the Russian, German and Austrian empires) corresponds mostly to what had been the Grand Duchy/province of Posen since 1815. There are vital records, Jewish and otherwise, from all of these places, from many different periods and in various languages." From a posting by
Roger Lustig

During the late 18th century, Poland was overtaken and was partitioned among the nations of Russia, Prussia and Austria.  It regained its independence in 1918, but 21 years later, WWII was initiated by Germany and Russia dividing the country between them.  The Germans took over the western part and the Soviets controlling the eastern.  Poland became a free democratic and independent nation in 1989, when the Wall fell.

Education is a priority in Poland and Warsaw holds the distinction of opening the world's first public library in 1747.  About 91,000 scientists reside in Poland which has a literacy rate of 99.8%.

More than six million Polish citizens lost their lives in WWII, the highest percentage of any of the countries involved in the war.  Half of this number were Jews.  Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, is now a museum and memorial visited by over half a million people each year.

Poland was home to the largest Jewish population in Europe and served as the centre for Jewish culture.  A diverse population of Jews from all over Europe sought refuge in Poland, contributing to a wide variety of religious and cultural groups.  Before WW II, more than 3.3 million Jews lived in Poland, the second largest Jewish community in the world.

The Jewish presence in Poland goes back a very long time.  Even before the Union with Lithuania in 1386, there was promulgated a Statue of Jewish Liberties at Kalisz in 1264.

Poland, Polonia, Polska has two Hebrew names, which read like a
Midrash wherefrom the name drives:

1. Po lan jah = "Here is God living (lodging)" or:
2. Po lin       = "Do live here!" or: "you may live here"

Is it then a wonder that this country became the homeland of the majority of the Jews for many hundreds of years (before USA and Israel)?  Posted by Ruben Frankenstein on JewishGen

Before World War II, Poland had a vibrant Jewish community of 3.5 million - 10% of the country's population -- but most were killed in the Holocaust. It was the second largest Jewish community in the world. Only 10% survived! Many of those who returned following the war, fled again after pogroms and the official anti-Jewish measures of 1968. Today, it is estimated that there are between 5,000 to  20,000 Jews living in Poland.

From the following web page links, specifically linked to Polish Jewish genealogical informational sites, you can unleash your passion for discovering your past. The marriage of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the Kingdom of Poland stretched almost to the Black Sea in the 16th and 17th centuries. From the early 1800s to 1815, France owned Poland as a result of Napoleon's army.  Jews were in Poland for more than 1,000 years after they were encouraged to settle there by Polish kings, who offered protection from persecution in Western and Central Europe.

The uprising of Ukrainian Kazaks, and the peasantry, in the 17th century  meant trouble for the over 300 Jewish communities.  Thousand of Jews were murdered and communities destroyed in Poland, Volhynia, Moldavia and adjacent areas.  The 17th century, by the way was called "Golden Age" in Poland.  During this time, many foreigners found a new homeland in Poland including some Scots (in Polish Szkot) and Dutch known as Holendry.  You can find some villages in Poland named Olendy and many people with the name Olendzki.  It is the heritage of Dutch settling in Poland.

In the Kingdom of Poland (aka Congress Poland or Russian Poland) Jews were listed in separate registers from 1826.  Beginning around 1808 vital records for Jews were included in Roman Catholic Civil Registers.  Jews were not included in church parish registers. Poland ceased to exist as the political entity at the end of the 18th  century, and reestablished again in 1918.  Lands of The Poland-Lithuania  Commonwealth has been divided (in three sequences) by the three Empires: Austria, Prussia and Russia. Usually when Poland is used before 1919, it refers to Russian Poland. Actually, Poland did not exist from 1795 until 1918. 

The problem with finding records in Poland is that the country has had many turmoils  and not a lot of documents have survived. Those records that did survive, generally cover the years 1808 to 1865, and have been microfilmed by the Mormons. A set of LDS microfilms, covering Poland, is at the Douglas Goldman Genealogy Center (formerly DOROT) at the Diaspora Museum in Tel-Aviv.

It was noted in a discussion between Doug Cohen and Gayle Schlissel in 2002 in a posting that "Polish documents are kept at the local town hall for 100 years, then transferred to the regional archives site."  Gayle states: "not always.  In the Tarnobrzeg USC you will find birth records for 1889 up until 1935 ... and I found a death register held in private hands for 1903-1928, now on my ShtetLinks web site.  So maybe they can be found elsewhere do not give up hope try everything you may get lucky. "During the 1930s, keep in mind in your research, that all of western Ukraine was either located in Poland and/or Czechoslovakia.

After Poland-Lithuania no longer existed as an independent state, its inhabitants (Lithuanians, Poles, Jews, gypsies, etc.) automatically became subjects of whatever ruler whose government controlled the area where they lived.  No naturalization was necessary.

Those calling themselves Russian Polish subjects were Russian subjects of Polish ancestry.  People born in Prussian -  or Austrian-controlled Poland would similarly have been called Prussian (Polish) or  Austrian (Polish) subjects.  Boundary shifts also occurred because of the Napoleonic Wars, Polish and Lithuanian uprisings, internal government policies, and  WW1 and WW2.

Hadassah Magazine - October/November 2013 article by Ruth Ellen Gruber

In the 1930s as the shadow of history was lengthening over the Jews of Europe, several thousand Polish Jews managed to emigrate to what was then British Mandate Palestine.

The 'Passports' collection in the Archives of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland (Warsaw) consists of 3,754 Polish passports issued primarily during the 1930s to Polish citizens going to what was then British Mandate Palestine.

The data in this passport file has been added to the Jewish Records Indexing-Poland database and is searchable by surname. This is the first information to be added to the JRI-Poland database that is not based on a town or other geographical area.

Therefore, if you want to search for a particular surname from the Passport File, you must search the entire JRI-Poland database (All Guberniyas/All Provinces). If you limit your search to a Guberniya, Province, Town, or distance from particular geographic coordinates, you will not be able to retrieve the Passport File information for your surname.

Because of 100-year Polish privacy laws, the JRI-Poland on-line index will only contain the basic information for each individual. Researchers with an interest in passports that may be for family members must identify themselves as relatives when requesting copies of the passports from the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation Genealogy Project at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

Copies of these records may be ordered from the Jewish Historical Institute. Refer to the order form.

There are more than 2600 different surnames represented in the Passports.

JRI-Poland had developed a list of all Surnames in the Polish Passports file, correlating each surname to the towns of birth and residence associated with that Surname in the file. Checking this Surname/Town list may refresh your memory about the names of family members you may have forgotten and for whom you can now search. The surname list may be found at

If you find a surname of interest, you can enter it and choose "precise spelling" but remember to search the entire database to get the JHI Passport Data among your search results. Judy Baston, Coordinator, JRI-Poland Aliyah Passport Project

The above was posted to the JewishGen Discussion Group by Judy Baston Jrbaston@aol.com 

"One response to the search for older Polish town names is to look at the 18th century place names and their corresponding 19th and 20th century place names on our list at the Jewish Family History-Grand Duchy of Lithuania website, under 18th century districts  and alphabetical list of Kahals. This list is incomplete. As we translate and transliterate more GDL lists (which include all of Lithuania and Belarus, as well as western Poland and Northern Ukraine) which you can find at 

Return to this website and the lists frequently since we are in the process of using volunteers and professional translators to identify 18th c places and their 19th c equivalent names.

If you are able to transliterate Old Polish names (which are  written in Latin letters), and wish to volunteer for a specific area, please contact us. Also you may be able to help organize a group of researchers with your common interest to help in this process."  From a posting by David Hoffman Jewish  Family History Foundation Grand Duchy Project on JRI-Poland forum

Procedure to ordering documents from JRI-Poland / AGAD

Do a search at the JRI-Poland web site

then print out the table that resulted.  Highlight the documentation you want and then follow the link provided in the search results to complete the order form

Follow the link to create the order form including the mailing address.  Cost is approximately $11 per record as last reported.

In 1939, at the start of WW II, there were 3,300,000 Jews existing in Poland, (roughly 10% of the population) but after the war, most survivors refused to return to or remain in Poland for various reasons, but mostly because of anti-Semitic outrages.  Jews made up about one-third of the population of cities in central Poland.  They made up about 50%, and in some cases even 70% of the population of smaller towns, especially in Eastern Poland.

Today there are about 8,000 out of a total population of over 38,600,000.

Poland was the first country to oppose Hitler's demands and the first to stand against his aggression.  Poland never had a Quisling.  No Polish regiment fought on behalf of Germany.  Betrayed by the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, Poles fought alongside the anti-Nazi forces from the first day until the last.  And inside Poland, armed resistance to the German occupation was widespread.  While under occupation, Polish nationalists and anti-Semitic right didn't collaborate with the Nazis, as the right wing did elsewhere in Europe, but actively participated in the anti-Hitler underground.  Polish anti-Semites fought against Hitler, and some of them even rescued Jews, though this was punishable by death.  Here we have a singularly Polish paradox; on occupied Polish soil a person could be an anti-Semite, a hero of the resistance and a savior of Jews. Ironic?

In accordance with the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, the Soviets occupied a large part of eastern Poland, as well as the Baltic countries.  Bessarabia and part of Finland, areas that were held until the German invasion of those areas in 1941.  More than 130,000 residents of eastern Poland - both Jews and non-Jews alike - were deported to locations within the Soviet Union and were not living in Poland when the Germans invaded the country.  The names of the deportees and information on their fates where known, have been collected by Karta and is in their books and on Karta's website which is in Polish but Google will translate the site for free.

History At Hand

An Inventory of Surviving Jewish Vital Records of Poland Records

Many researchers have the belief that Jewish records in the old country were destroyed.  The JRI (Jewish Records Indexing-Poland) is proving that this is not the fact as they have already indexed over 2,00,000 Jewish Vital records.

There are two main sources for the available records, the microfilm archives of the Family History Center of the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormons) and the non-microfilmed records of the Poland State Archives (PSA). 

Records from 1810 to 1865 - and in some cases beyond - have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons) and you can view them in LDS Family History centers worldwide.  JRI-Poland is indexing these records for 280 out of 500 towns in the Kingdom of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.  The records exist from 1808 to 1942 and were in Polish or Russian-Cyrillic, depending on the year.  The only records that are available to be indexed are over 100 years old, due to Polish privacy laws.

The LDS records include 2,200 microfilms containing over 3 million Jewish vital records of more than 400 Polish cities and towns. These are almost all indexed, and the microfilms can be ordered from Salt Lake City for viewing at your local Family History Center.  In addition, there are about 5 million records in the Polish State Archives.  These records are being indexed as the money to pay for the indexing is raised.

Original Inquiry: "I have a few comments to add to the discussion regarding the subject of early 19th century Jewish records in Poland:

1) Civil registration in most parts of Poland began in 1808. Until 1825, *All* records (including Jewish) were kept in Catholic parish registers. Parishes often covered large areas & could include a dozen or more towns. These registers are relatively easy to use as they had four columns on each page: royalty, peasants, merchants and Jews (Zydzi). If it was a Jewish vital record, then the Zydzi column would be marked with a sequential number and the name of the town." From a posting by Randy Stehle

"Of course Randy was referring to the area of 'Russian Poland', not Austrian 'Galician Poland' where the situation was much different - no Jewish records have been found in Catholic records, separate Jewish records with surnames exist back to at least 1790 for many towns, almost no LDS microfilms and most early records stuck in Lvov Archive in Ukraine, later records in Warsaw AGAD Archive, records in column 'fill in the blank' forms in German or Polish, no Russian or Hebrew (except occasional signatures). I just wanted to clarify that in the 19th century there was no independent nation of Poland, so discussing "19th century Polish records" can include more than Congress, or Russian Poland."  Posted by Mark Jacobson mark_j1_2000@yahoo.com

Polish Jewish Records

Created from microfilm from the "Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah"

LDS catalogue of films

Click on "Family History Library Catalogue" and search by town name or keyword.

If you find a microfilm of your town, check to see if your local Mormon Family History Center has it.  If not, it can be ordered for a small fee.

Keep in mind that in many towns, Jewish vital records occurring until 1825 were recorded in Catholic Church Registers, but can easily be researched.  Most of these metrical books had alphabetical indexes of all the surnames, with four columns:  Christian male/female, Jewish male/female, with an associated Akt. (record) number.

You can easily* find the appropriate page and copy the record.  You can also tell which records are for Jews because there is Hebrew written at the bottom, exciting because you will be seeing the actual signature of your relative as they were required to sign these records--as opposed to those down in columnar format.

If a town is not represented on the Jewish Gen list (URL given above), they caution that you do not assume there are no Jewish records for the town. What is shown below is a listing of only those records classified as "Jewish Records". It is possible that the town of interest has church records, land records, or civil registrations that include information about the Jews of the town. Microfilms on this list with a * are Catholic Parish Register microfilms which have been determined to include Jewish records, but is not a complete list of such Catholic Parish Registers. If you discover more Jewish records in any other type of record, they ask that you let JRI-Poland or JewishGen know so they can add to this list.

Also keep in mind that Poland adopted the Gregorian Calendar (the one we use today) in 1582 while the Russian Empire, which kept the Julian Calendar until 1918. In many later "Polish" records the a birth date was listed both ways (often occurring in two different months) and, depending on the year, there was about a two week difference between the two calendars.  Another reason why our ancestors, in coming to this country, were confused about exactly when they were born -- and often chose to orient their date of birth to how close it was to a Jewish holiday!"
From a posting by Pamela Weisberger pweisberger@hotmail.com

* "Easy" is relative, of course.  Bring a Polish-English translation guide or Judith Frazin's book: "A Translation Guide to 19th-Century Polish-Language Civil-Registration Documents (Birth, Marriage and Death Records)," (which many genealogical libraries will have) and don't give up at first.  It becomes easier over time until you swear you can read Polish!

In order to locate the name of your ancestral town, you first need to go to the "Routes to Routes" website

If you search the database using the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex search, you will find the correct name for your ancestral town.  You can also review my Polish Shtetls page.


Note: one of the problems is the frequent name changes, not just of families, but of towns in which they lived.  Check out this site that Miriam Margolyes wrote about  which contains a list showing most of the hundreds of town name changes from German to Polish in 19th Century Posen Province




On the JRI web site at

you should click on "Your Town" and search the alphabetical list for your town's name.  The town's listing will provide you with a link to a map, a list of surnames in that town and a list of available records.  Andy indexing that is complete is indicated.  You can also search by surname using Soundex, and you can limit the search by Guberniya, province or town.  The previous information was obtained from the Winter 2003 issue  of The Gatherers - a publication of the JGS of Northern New Jersey.

Altogether, the JRI-Poland reports that they have indexed more than 1.8 million records.  The goal is to create a searchable on-line database of the indices of all 19th century Jewish records from current and former territories of Poland.  When all of these indices are on-line, researchers will then be able to quickly find the records for their families and - using an on-line order form -- send for copies of records from branches of the Polish State Archives.

Further information about the project can be found at  

Another interesting site is Ada Holtzman' s site 

To obtain genealogical information about your family, you need to contact, at the minimum, three locations.

1. Check the Mormon Family History Library (FHL) to see if they
    have microfilmed the vital (birth and death) and marriage

2. If the FHL has nothing, then you need to contact the archives in
   Poland (for older records) and the registry of the town (for more
   recent records
).  A Registry Office is called Urzad Stanu

Ordering Records from Polish State Archives
All Archives and branches where Jewish vital records have been indexed and are included in the "Shopping Basket" order processing system.  Records available through the Shopping basket System are only those indexed as part of the JRI-Poland/PSA Project.  Records indexed from LDS Microfilms or other sources are NOT included in the Shopping Basket System. For questions about the Order Processing System:

PSA Archive Branches Using the System










Tomaszow Mazowiecki



Piotrkow Trybunalski



Grodzisk Mazowiecki




















Each record ordered will cost the researcher $10.  However, there is a minimum charge per branch of $15.00.  Therefore, if you order one record from Lodz and one from Pultusk, the total charge will be $30.00

Links of value:
JRI-Poland / Polish State Archives Project 


Ordering Records from the Polish State Archives

Order FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

PSA Branches on the Order System

Step-by-Step Guide to Order System

Express Service Pilot Project

Additional links and information may be found at my Galicia web page. 

Autonomous Kehilot in Second Polish Republic  (was: Children assuming the mother's surname)

On 19 Nov. 10 2010, Suzan Wynne wrote:
"The civil marriage laws apparently continued in the territory that had been Galicia until Jewish record keeping ceased in 1942-3. In fact, the Jewish self governing structure that existed under Austrian rule in Galicia continued on in some fashion [...] after Poland became independent between the wars. It is not clear to me why Poland thought it advantageous to continue this system, particularly because the system only pertained to the part of Poland that had been Austrian from 1772-1918. Perhaps someone who is able to read Polish and is familiar with post WWI Polish history could enlighten us about  why the Polish authorities maintained this system. I have read that, officially, the Kehilla ceased to exist in about 1927 due to internal dissension and it's terrible financial state. And yet,  clearly remnants continued on.">>

"Hello Susan and everyone else who is interested, I am glad I can provide some info as this falls right into my field of historical (as opposed to genealogical) research."

To start with, concerning the institution of autonomous (financially, administratively and religiously) Jewish Kehilot it is not Poland that continued something that the Austrians started, but the other way around. The autonomous Kehilot existed in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and were abolished by the respective occupying forces after the Partition. They were re-instituted in Austria, but not in Russians and German Occupied Poland. Given that Galicia was under Polish autonomy since 1875, there was no problem for either the Jews or the Poles to now.

The Polish constitution of
 March 1921 included 3 articles pertaining to national minorities rights, namely articles 109, 110, and 115. Article 109 stipulated that "Special statutes of the state will guarantee to minorities [...] the full and free development of their national characteristics;" article 110 specifies that Polish citizens belonging to national minorities have the same rights as any other Polish citizen to found, supervise and administer, at their own expense, any "charitable, religious, and social institutions, schools and other educational institutions, and of using freely therein their language, and observing the rules of their religion;" and article 115 stated that "The  churches of the religious minorities and other legally organized religious communities govern themselves by their own laws, which the state may not refuse to recognize unless they contain rules contrary to law." (The 1921 Constitution Of The Republic Of Poland, available from

It is important to know that in the Sejm of 1922 the Jews were, in fact, represented by two ideologically/politically opposed groups. The first was the Minorities Bloc, a political party created for these elections at the initiative of Yitshak Gruenbaum (from the Central Poland Zionist Federation), the second was the Kolo Zydowskie, [literally: Jewish Circle] "the National Jewish Representation in the Sejm and the Senat," led by Leon Reich (Head of the Zionist Federation of East Galicia), and seconded by Osias Thon (from the Zionist Federation of West Galicia).

It is also important to know that the three Jewish Federation were separate administratively and ideologically mainly on the most important issue of Jewish policy in Poland while we live in Poland. Gruenbaum, representing the Central (formerly Russian occupied) Poland Zionist Federation, hoped that a bloc of the
four major ethnic minorities, representing almost one third of the country's population, will hold the political balance in the parliament and will force Poland to change from a "state with ethnic minorities into a state of several publicly recognized autonomous nationalities." The initiative was controversial among Polish Jews.

Both Zionist Federations of Galicia (East and West), under the leadership of Ignacy (Yitshak) Schwarzbart, rejected the initiative and chose not to participate in this bloc when it was created. The Bund and the PZL, of course, rejected it, too. Ultimately, although presented as a victory by Gruenbaum and his followers (to this very day), the Minorities Bloc won only 20% of the seats of the Sejm instead of the one third hoped for, all the other political Parties represented were, to the least, wary of the Bloc and even the Polish Left was somewhat reluctant to be identified with it. On the other hand, it were the East-Galician deputies who won the majority in the Kolo Zydowskie.

In July 1924, the Commission of National Minorities of the Polish Government turned to debate on specifics concerning the rights of the Jewish minority. Reich and Thon led, on behalf of the Kolo, secret negotiations with Stanislaw Grabski, minister of Cult and Education and Aleksander Skrzynski, the foreign minister. The Ugoda (literally: settlement, compromise) was signed on July 4, 1925, granting the Polish Jewry "rights in the cultural and religious spheres" all over Poland, such as the "democratic reorganization of Jewish communal bodies (the kehillot), authorization for such communal boards to conduct their affairs in Hebrew or Yiddish" and the establishment of the Sabatowkas (Polish State schools closed on Saturdays rather than on Sundays).

In conclusions for our particular thread:

1. Kehilot were autonomous bodies all over the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and were abolished by the
occupying forces in their respective territories in 1792.

2. Kehilot in Galicia were re-instituted by the Austrians to their original Polish-Lithuanian function when Galicia was under Polish autonomy.

3. The Kehilot were granted autonomy in the Second Polish Republic by the Constitution of 1921 nationwide, but this was not applied in formerly Russian occupied Poland until the Ugoda agreement of 1924. In Galicia, things simply continued as they have always been since Polish autonomy was granted to Galicia in 1875. In a way, one might say that the Ugoda made formerly-Russian-Occupied Poland align itself along the east Galician (i.e., the Historical Poland) lines of Polish-Jewish relations.

4. The autonomy of the Kehilot refers to the elections of their bodies (as opposed to the formerly Russian system where a or some representative was appointed by the governor and not a body elected by the community); they were, as all religious bodies in Poland, including Catholic bodies, to be
auto-financed and not government financed.

5. Kehilot never ceased to exist until WWII -- internal dissensions did exist and were apparent in each election to this democratically elected autonomous body but this is nothing new -- you take two Jews and you have three opposing political Jewish parties. Financial difficulties were both a result of these internal political dissensions (how should the money be distributed and for what purposes, and some of the tax-payers refusing to pay their dues) and of objective difficulties (some of the tax-payers being unable to pay, general economic crisis). In case the financial crisis was too big, either the Kehila appealed to the US Landsmanshaft for donations or (rarely) it ceased its autonomous existence and became a branch of a larger neighbouring Kehila.

6. As for the specific function of the "official or authorized rabbi" I have not researched this specific issue, but I would presume, from the research I have done that it had a lot to do with (a) the overall financial situation of each individual Kehila and, mainly (b) the need of the Kehila for such rabbi. I presume that in Kehilot where the majority belonged and voted Agudat Yisrael, for example, there was no need for a budget line for a local Polish speaking rabbi, and those who absolutely wanted to officially register their marriage went to the departmental or regional one. It might be interesting to compare the results of the internal elections of the Kehilot (details are given in Pinkas Hakehilot) and try and compare the results of these elections to the number of vital records where children bear the name of the mother, i.e., linking the result of the internal elections to the apparent absence of local "authorized" rabbi. But this is a full PhD in itself and I don't have time (nor energy) for it right now.
I hope this clarifies a bit the issue.

Bibliography and Further Readings for those interested:

Rothschild Joseph, “Ethnic Peripheries Versus Ethnic Cores: Jewish Political Strategies in Interwar Poland”, Political Science
Quarterly, vol. 96, no. 4, Winter, 1981-1982

Melzer Emanuel, “Hashpa’ot hakhevra hasovevet al hatzionout be Polin beyn shtey mikhamot ha’olam" (The Influence of the
surrounding society on Zionism in Poland in the period between World War I and II)”, Massuah a Yearbook on the Holocaust and Heroism, Tel Yitschak – Tel Aviv, vo. 16 April 1988

Landa Moshe, “Mekoma shel ha Ugoda mishnat 1925 bemasekhet hayakhasim ha hadadidyim ha Polanim-Yehudim" (The place of the Ugoda of 1925 in the Polish Jewish mutual relations)”, in Zion: A quarterly of Research of Jewish History, no. 37, 1972 From a posting by
Rivka Schirman nee Moscisker Paris, France

Books and Documentaries 

"A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames From the Kingdom of Poland"
Authored by Alexander
Beider offers a compilation of more than 32,000 Jewish surnames with origins Buy from Amazon.com Buy from Amazon.com

"A Guide to Jewish Lodz. Warsaw:"
Authored by Jerzy Malenczyk and published by the Jewish Information and Travel bureau 1994.  Describes the history of the Jews of Lodz and offers brief biographical sketches of famous Jews from the community.  Also offers four different self-guided walking tours with maps and illustrations.

"A Jewish Boyhood in Poland'
Authored by Norman Salitz describes his life in Kolbuszowa

"American Jewish Yearbook, 5667, 1906-07"
A list of 254 pogroms is included with the name of the town and the Guberniya where the pogrom took place, date of pogrom, general and Jewish population for the town, damage incurred by the Jews of the town, general remarks on the pogrom.  The American Jewish Yearbook is published by the Jewish Publication Society.  This is a good source for genealogical information.  A copy of this Yearbook is located at Asher Library in Chicago, Illinois.

"A Brief History of Poland"
In the last 200 years


"And I Still See Their Faces"
A book, like a family album of Jewish life in pre-war published by the Shalom Foundation.

"A Peek Into The Polish Past"
Author Judith Samson and printed in the December, 2000 issue of SHEMOT and published by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain.

"A Tale of Two Survivors"
Authored by Norman Salitz

"A Translation Guide to 19th Century Polish Language Civil Registration Documents"
Authored by Judith Franzin.  There is a sample document translation from this book on the JRI-Poland site.

"A Vanished World"
Authored by Roman Vishniak offers a wonderful collection of old photographs.

"The Black Book of Polish Jewry: An Account of the Martyrdom of Polish Jewry Under the Nazi Occupation,"
Edited by Jacob Apenszlak

"The Chronicles of the Lodz Ghetto 1941 to 1944" 

"Death in the Forest; The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre"
Authored by J. K. Zawodny in 1962 - the story of the Katyn Forest killings by the Soviets - not the Nazis as originally thought. 


"Do Not Go Gentle"
A Memoir of Jewish Resistance in Poland, 1941-1945 by Charles Gelman and published in 1989 by Archon Book. 
ISBN 0-208-02230-9  

"Evreiskaya Entsiklopedia"

Printed in Polish, contains a lot of information, if you can read the language

"Finding Your Roots In Galicia"
Indicates that some 85% of rural Polish Jews were engaged in the
liquor trade
, according to author Suzan Wynne's bookAnd confirmed "In Economic Origins of Anti-Semitism" by Hillel Levine, Yale University Press.   But in 1910, Jews were forbidden to sell alcoholic beverages, so 15,000 suddenly lost their source of income and probably triggered the subsequent emigrations to the United Kingdom and the US.

"From a Ruined Garden"
Translations of 6 Yizkor book chapters from this book: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewry


"Gen Dobry"
An e-zine of PolishRoots™.  The Polish Genealogy Source this site is in English. For issue 2, change the last part of the URL (address) to "_no2.htm" and so on.

"Genealogy and Poland"
An on-line guide authored by Lukasz Bielecki

"Geographic Dictionary of the Polish Kingdom and other Slavic Countries"
("Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego Innych Krajow Slowianskich") edited by Bronislaw Chlebowski in Warsaw in 1892.  A historical source on shtetls in Galicia.

"Ghetto Fighters' House"
The story in photos and biographies of about 1,000 fighters and Jewish heroes during WWII including biographies and photos.  Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum (Beit Lochamei Hagetaot) available on line. Click on the "Partisans Database" button on the left side of the page to access the data.


"The Gleiwitz Case"
In 1961, East German filmmaker Gerhard Klein relates, in striking, experimental style, t
he true story of how Germany provoked war with Poland.  First Run Features DEFA Collection

"Hidden Treasures in Polish Vital Records"
Authored by Lauren B. Eisenberg Davis offers hints on various tidbits of information that can be found in the vital records of the Kingdom of Poland.


"Hippocrene Insider's Guide to Poland's Jewish Heritage"
Authored by Joram Kagan and published in New York by Hippocrene Books, Inc. in 1992.

"House of the World" 
A film that presents a portrait of Jewish Poland before and after WWII.  The author and director is Esther Podemski. Contact the Discovery Channel for further information

"I am Drenched in the Dew Of My Childhood, A Memoir"
Authored by Henry Lawrence Gitelman and published in Montreal, Canada in October 1997.  Mr. Gitelman was born in Slawatycze and one of his sources for his book was the "Folks-Sztyme",
a Polish-Yiddish publication from Warsaw.

"Image Before My Eyes"
A photographic history of Jewish life in Poland from 1864 to 1939, authored by Lucjan Dobroszycki and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.  Published by Schocken Books in 1977

"In Their Words - A Genealogist's Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Documents"
Authored by William Hoffman and Jonathan Shea, is an excellent resource.  Ordering information at


"Jewish Bialystok"
Authored by Tomasz Wisniewski

"Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe"
Authored by Ruth Ellen Gruber this is an article published in National Geographic


"Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War II"

History, names and burial places of the Jewish soldiers in the Polish armies, including those who fought in France.  Authored by Benjamin Mertchak - a 5 volume set.  Published by the Association of Jewish War Veterans of the Polish Armies in Israel, 158 Dizengoff, 63461 Tel Aviv - Phone 03 522 5078. For more information check out 


While researching the Jewish presence in the "First Polish Armored Division", I came across a number of names of Polish Jewish soldiers killed in action in France and are mostly buried in the military cemetery in Langannerie, France.  Perhaps these names have a meaning to somebody. The 60th anniversary of the Normandy landing was commemorated in June (2004) in many towns of Normandy. From a posting on JewishGen by Willie Glaser, Montreal, Quebec Canada willie.glaser@sympatico.ca

Biezuner, Szoel b. May 6, 1921 Zuromnia p.Sierpc
Goldstaub, Gustaw b. May 10, 1922 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Goldin, Michal b. August 8, 1922 Warszawa
Hertz, Leon Ignacy b. February 12, 1911 Lodz
Hirsz or Wilk, Wiktor, b. October 10, 1909
Hudes, Feliks b.December 15, 1921 Tyszowce p. Tomaszow
Iglewicz, Lebj b. December 26, 1909 Bialystok
Kneppel, Salo b. October 1, 1922 Berlin Germany
Oberklajd, Izaak b. July 17, Kock p. Likow
Simon, Henryk b. February 5, 1913 Warszawa
Sirota, Igor Jerzy b. January 1, 1922 Rowne
Strawczinski, Judka b.August 8, 1905 Kielce
Trocki, Adolf b. March 24, 1915 Wilno
Wajnkopf, Roman b. February 5, 1913 Mogielnica p. Grojec

Re: non-Persian Jews in Iran,
it might interest to know that there is a list of hundreds of Polish Jewish soldiers who perished in the USSR, in Iran, Iraq, Mandate Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Italy etc. during World War II in the memoirs of Polish Army chaplain Rabbi Pinkas Rosengarten.

The Hebrew original was entitled "Mi-Yomano shel Rav Tzevai"; the Polish version -- of which we have a copy -- is Zapiski Rabina Wojsko Polskiego [Warsaw, Stow. "Pamiec Diaspory", 2001].

Rabbi Rosengarten gives names, ranks, birthdates and birthplaces, parents' names, date of death and place of burial in the USSR, the Mideast or Europe. 
From a posting by Anna Przybyszewska Drozd & Yale J. Reisner The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation Genealogy Project at the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland (Warsaw) laudergen@jewish.org.pl 

"Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories"
Authored by Miriam Weiner. Published by the Miriam Weiner Roots to Roots Foundation, Inc. The book lists the records on a town by town basis in the various branches of the Polish State Archives and town Civil Records Offices (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego).

For information on available records of various types, on a town-by-town basis, check the Polish State Archives "SEZAM" database

"Jewish Trade in Krakow at the end of the XVI Century & in the XVII, 1593 to 1683" 
Selected records from Krakow customs registers and published in Krakow in 1995.

"Jews-Officers and Enlisted Men in the Polish Army, Prisoners of War in German Captivity 1939-1945"
Authored by Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak and published in Israel by the Association of Jewish War veterans of Polish Armies In Israel.  More details

"Konin - A Quest"
Authored by Theo Richmond, published by Jonathan Cape Ltd in England in 1996.  Later published by Vintage, Random House, in paperback in 1996 and also in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. ISBN 0-09-940981-X.  The book contains fairly detailed local history including history of the town from its founding.

"The Lords' Jews, Magnate-Jewish Relations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the 18th Century"
Authored by M. J. Rosman.  It an informative work of research on the "Arrendator" or lessee system.

"Modern History Sourcebook:  Jan Slomka: The Life of a Polish Peasant, c. 1900"

Photos of Jewish Life In Eastern Europe
The collection can be viewed at

Another source that offers a list of business owners (mostly Jewish) from circa 60 shtetls - cities in Eastern Poland (1919 - 1939 ) from years 1923, 1925, 1928 and 1933.  In this collection there are also views pre-1939 (on old postcards, photographs, or negatives) of many places especially from Eastern Poland including some with synagogue postcards.  Contact: Tomek Wisniewski 15-001 Bialystok, Poland  

Editors Note:  This information was taken from a 1996 JewishGen Digest.

"Pinkas ha-Kehillot" of Poland"
Volume 6 describes the regions of Posen, Pomerania (Pommern) and Danzig (Gdansk).  It was published in Jerusalem in 1999 by Abraham Wein of the Yad Vashem Institution and describes thoroughly the main 66 communities of both north western provinces of Poland and a short summary about the 25 smaller communities.

Authored by James A Michener and published in 1983 by Fawcett Books in New York
ISBN 0-449-20587-8

"Polyn: Jewish life in the old country"
Authored by Alter Kacyzne - many Warsaw photos along with photos of scenes in Makev; Lublin; Rayshe; Vashe; Vilna and more.

"Preserved Evidence: Ghetto Lodz" 
Volume 1 authored by Eilenberg-Eibeshitz of Haifa in 1998 indicates in 368 pages, evidences, events, notes and those surviving and dying in the Ghetto of Lodz.

"Return of the Jew"
Authored by Katka Reske and published by Academic Studies Press.

"Slownik Geograficzny"
Originally published in 1880 and reprinted in Warsaw in the 20th century.  It is a dictionary of Greater Poland (includes modern Poland, Ukraine, Galicia, etc.) covers every farm or group of houses that had a name

"The Jewish Tavern-Keeper and His Tavern in Nineteenth Century Polish Literature"
Authored by Magdalena Opalski and published by The Zalman Shazar Center for the Furtherance of the Study of Jewish History in Jerusalem in 1986.  See also the Encyclopedia Judaica.

Those in the alcohol trade were known as Propinacjz (small production, transport, inns often all together).  Usually when vital records use the term "leaseholder" (arendar) this involves inn keeping in the alcohol trade.  It is a common (and often not necessarily flattering image) of the rural Jew in Polish literature and art.

"The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835"

"The Political History of Poland"
Authored by E. H. Lewinski-Corwin and published in 1917.  A preface in available at

"Silent Places: Landscapes of Jewish Life and Loss in Eastern Europe" (Overlook, $50) collects photographs by Jeff Gusky, a doctor of emergency medicine who revisited the homes, cemeteries and synagogues of the vanished Jewish community in Poland. Gusky's haunting black-and-white images testify to a vibrant community of Jews who lived and worked in these places for nearly 1,000 years before the Holocaust. Gusky, now of Dallas, attended Washington State University and got his medical degree at University of Washington.

"Studies in Polish Jewry - Volume 8: Jews in Independent Poland 1918-1939
Authored by Antony Polonsky and published in Washington, DC by The Littman library of Jewish Civilization in 1994.

"Translation Guide to Nineteenth Century Polish Language Civil Registration Documents"
(Birth, Marriage & Death Records) - a book by the Jewish Genealogical Society


"The Vatican and the Jews"
Authored by Arieh Doobov and published by the Jerusalem/World Jewish Congress in 1998. Memory or reincarnated responsibility?
ISBN 0793-2596 (Policy Forum, 15). 

"Warszawa Business Directory - 1870"

"Words to Outlive Us" ; Eye Witness accounts from the Warsaw Ghetto"
Of great interest in particular is a register of about 200 names of prisoners in Pawiak Prison together with their places of residence prewar throughout Poland.


Contains hundreds of postcard reproductions and many show names of shops.  The book is available on-line at major on-line book stores. 

"Yizkor Books for our Region"

Authored by Warren Blatt. A complete bibliography of all Yizkor Books published for towns located in Kielce or Radom Guberniya.

There are many more publications available relating to specific Polish subjects, Archive holdings  and cities.  A list of these publications can be found at  

Poland  Genealogy


The 1784 Polish Census
Located at the Historical Archive in Vilnius, Lithuania according to
Galina Baranova, Head Archivist. From a posting by Howard Margol on JewishGen

List of towns whose 1790s census data in the at Warsaw's AGAD (Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych; Central Archives of Historical Records) include lists of Jewish names:

"Finding information from one of the 1790s census collections is no easy job!" Even if one does find the material for a town of interest, it is possible that the records will have no names--but instead just general information on the town and its population."

The first census for the independent Poland was taken in 1921 and a second census was taken in 1931.

In reviewing the Oswiecim (Oshpitzin) Yizkor book, there is a reference made of these censuses.  The Oswiecim Jewish Center indicates that in the State Archive in Oswiecim, there are documents (forms with the information about the people) regarding the 1900 and 1910 Austro-Hungarian Census.

I would suggest to the researcher of the following sites, to also check the other two Baltic Country sites, including Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Belarus and Russia as there may very well be some cross references as the country borders changed many times between wars.

A valuable site to help find a person, maps, etc. - and type in the name of any country you wish to research. This service is free.

Global Gazetteer
A great web site. It is a directory of  2,880,532 of the world's cities and towns, sorted by country and linked to a map for each town.  A tab separated list is available for each country.


List of Polish Towns

1890-1891 Index of New York Immigrants from Austria, Poland and Galicia.


1929 Business Directory



Polish when searching towns in Poland:

Powiat = district and is usually followed by the gmina (township) and parafia (parish




















State Archives in Warsaw
AGAD (Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych)
00-263 Warsawa, uk. Dluga 7

Before writing to the Polish Archives, Irene Newhouse newhoir@mail.auburn.edu  suggest that one should be aware that the easy sources of vital records for individuals have already been microfilmed by the Mormons.  There is only one class of vital records for individuals not microfilmed, according to Irene, and that's the duplicate church registers that were filed in lieu of civil records pre-1874 in those parts of Poland under Prussian/German rule.  Some of these have survived when the originals, which have been filmed, have not.  Also, Irene notes that Jewish vital records in Poland were often not in Polish.  Note that to write to the Archives, you can write in English.  To a registry office, local official, etc., write in Polish.  Writing in the language of the person that you are writing to is always best ... it exhibits respect and courtesy.  Make it as easy as possible if you want the quickest response.  Six to eight months for a reply, is not uncommon.

Addresses For Archives in Western Ukraine and South-Eastern Poland

A description of the holdings of the Polish State Archives in available on-line in their new searchable SEZAM database.  To view the fond descriptions of interest to you, follow these steps:

  • 1. Go to the Polish State Archives web site


  • 2. Scroll down to the 'Enter' button and click once
        The page will be headed SEZAM (Archival Holdings
     Registration System SEZAM)

  • 3. Scroll to the bottom and Click on SEZAM

(You are at the SEZAM database whose purpose is to gather information on the national archival holdings preserved by various institutions).  It includes all elements of a traditional list of Fonds to be found at State Archives as well as additional data, which have been, up until now, included into a fond card or neglected in current finding and registration aids.)  Additional information about SEZAM can be found at

4. Under 'Fond Name' enter the town name you are interested in

    (Note that the results will be in Polish)

To have the Archives do the research for you, click on 'Intro' from the menu on the left side of the web page, then Click on the "How to Get Access to Archive Collections?'  Note that inquiries commissioned by private persons (and pertaining to genealogical and property records) are subject to payment according to a standard price list binding in all state archives.

To get the addresses of Polish archives, simply go to Google and type in Archiwum (town name) in the search box

Further information on how to order research can be found at Poland Vital Records InfoFiles on JewishGen at

There is no need to obtain the permission of the General Director of State Archives for the foreigners wishing to use certain records re genealogical and property matters kept in the state archives.  In such cases the permission is given by the director of the certain state archives (from July 3, 2000).

Also, note that before you commission research at the Polish State Archives, be aware that there are more than 2,000 microfilms of  Jewish vital records of Poland in the LDS collection -- mostly from 1825 to 1865/1875.  These can be ordered and viewed at the LDS Family History Centers around the world.  About half of these films, mostly from pre-1865, are available at the Douglas Goldman Genealogy Center at Beth Ha'tefutsorth, Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv.

Should you contact the Polish State Archives, the following information should be of value.  Len Markowitz priluki@voicenet.com offered the following in a posting at Gesher Galicia SIG: 'I guess that it is time to repeat the method that I have used successfully to send money to Poland.  Admittedly, it has been about five years since I have last done this, but it was done on at least 4 occasions.
To pay for information from the Polish State Archives, purchase a Postal Money Order at your local post office for about $1 - not an International Postal Money Order, which costs about $8.50 (five years ago).  Address the Postal Money Order to the bank, including the bank account number, suggested previously by the Polish State Archives.  Also make a copy of the Postal Money Order and send it with your next letter to the Polish State Archives' 

Another method of handling payment to the Polish archives is to check out a personal PayPal account

This commercial service offers a wide variety of payment options, including electronic transfers from your bank account to another.  PayPal sends you a confirmation of your transaction.

Letter Writing Guide to Archives

AGAD Archives
Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych (The Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw - Ancient Acts archive of Poland) (see also below "Jewish Record Indexing) -  this site will provide you with the ability to order records from their archives.  This is a repository of 2,010 Jewish metrical books for the area of the former L'viv, Stanislawow, and Tarnopol Voyevodship (now L'viv, Ivano Frankiv'sk, and Ternopil oblasts in Ukraine).  These registers are mainly for the period from 1877 to 1899 when these areas were a part of the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia.  Other Jewish metrical books for this area will be found in the L'viv branch of the Ukraine State Archives.  While the number of records in each volume varies widely, the overall total is estimated to be close to two million.  The web site is

AGAD/PSA Archives page
Scroll down a bit for a map where you can click to view a list of towns with records

JRI-Poland database has added more indices from these records - over 20,000 - which include Tarnopol birth and marriage indices and Trembowla birth indices.  Also included are Kozowa births from 1877 to 1892; Tarnopol births from 1866 to 1897, Marriages from 1878 to 1897 and Trembowla births from 1877 to 1891.

Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych
ul. Dluga 7
Polska (Poland)

The Archives is the repository of 2,010 Jewish metrical books for the area of the former Lwów, Stanislawow and Tarnopol Voyevodship (now known as L'viv, Ivano Frankivsk and Ternopol Oblasts in Ukraine).  These registers are mainly for the period from 1877-1899 when these areas were a part of the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia.  Other Jewish metrical books for this area will be found in the L'viv branch of the Ukraine state Archives.  The overall total of records is estimated to be close to two million and are generally written in Polish.  There are separate books for births, marriages and deaths.  Information about the JRI-Poland AGAD Archives Project can be viewed at 

There is an Excel spreadsheet that includes a good deal of information about the records of these 90 district and sub-district towns and a status report for each town is constantly being updated. 

Each year, the Warsaw Srodmiescie USC Archives transfers vital records registers to AGAD.  These are registers that only include vital records that have now become more than 100 years old.  This transfer occurs in compliance with Polish privacy laws that permit public access to vital records only after 100 years.  Recently, AGAD had received many registers that contain records mainly for 1898 and 1899.  These registers will be available for indexing about September 2001.

Database of 400,000 Jewish names from Poland


Polish Archives CD
The CD will not only contain data on basic facts such as births, marriages and deaths, but also on remaining series of documents preserved in Polish State Archives and will include Jewish records


The CD will be searchable by town name, religious group and other methods.  There will be two language modes: Polish and English.  Check this web site for further information http://www.incor.com/avotaynu.htm 

http://www.archiwa.gov.pl/index.eng.html (in English)

CCW Collection
A collection of the 'schedule of payments to maintain the synagogue in many Jewish cities and these rosters exist in the Main Archive of Old Acts (AGAD) in Warsaw as well as in regional archives.

The Polish Archives web site is in Polish, although there is a link shown to convert it to English, however, it does not work at the present time.  At this site, though, you can discern Names and phone numbers for various personnel at the Head Office of the State Archives including email address

Archives of Poland
A list and a map of Poland with all the regional state archive locations including address, telephone numbers, opening hours, etc.



You can also use LeafSeek: A free, Open Source genealogical search engine to find phone numbers, addresses and more.

Central State Historical Archives L'viv
Tsentralny Derzhavnyi Istorychnyi Arkhiv (TsDIA-L)
290008, L'viv - 8, pl. Sobornosti Square 3-a, Ukraine  
Phone/Fax: (0322) 72 35 08 or 72 30 63 

Director is Orest Laroslavoych Matsiuk; Deputy Director (Directress) is Diana Peltc who, it has been noted, forwards personal researcher requests to a "freelancer"  who then increases the price, but the cost is still relatively reasonable  

Hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 3 pm.  
  then select Genealogy and then Archives

A short article quoted individuals who state that the L'viv State Archive will be closed for an indefinite period beginning May 30, 2005 and was caused by a problem with the theft of documents from the Archive. A press release in English can be found at

Director of the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine
110 Solomianska Street, 24, 252601 Kiev, Ukraine

It is recommended that both addresses be also written in Ukrainian.  A sample of how to address the Archive can be found

Here you will also find 'Vital and Marriage records from Greek Catholic and Orthodox Parishes in former Austrian Galicia, former Malo Rus, Ukraine, Poland and Belarus.'

Polish Archives
Note that if you don't read Polish, you can select 'English' as an alternative.

State Archives
- (in Warsaw)  

List of archives in former German or German occupied territories. The list includes:
Danzig-Westpreussen; Elsaas (Strassberg, Hagenau, Kolmar, Muehlhause); Eupen-Malmeny; Lothringen; Luxemburg; Memel (Klaipeda, Lithuania); Niederschlesien (Breslau, Liegnitz); Oberschlesien (Kattowitz, Oppeln); Ostpreussen (Koenigsberg, Allenstein); Pommern (Stettin, Koeslin, Schneidemuhl); Sudetenland; Wartheland (Posen, Hohensalza, Litzmannstadt [Lodz]); Aussig; Boehmisch Leipa; Bruex (Most); Brunntal; Falkenau (Sokolov); Freiwaldau (Jesenik); Gablonz an der Neisse (Jablonec nad Nisou); Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary); Karwin; Komotau; Leitmeritz; Maehrisch Ostrau (Ostrava); Pilsen; Reichenberg (Liberec); Teplitz-Schoenau; Tetschen (Decin); Troppau (Opava) and Troppau (Opava. 

General request or uncertain cases can be directed to the Central
State Archives in Prague
Ministerstvo vnitra Ceske Republiky
Statni ustredni archiv v Praze
11801 Praha 1 - Mala Strana
Karmelitska 2

Phone (0042-2) 57 32 03 38
Fax: (0042-2) 57 32 02 75
Email: : sua@mvcr.cz


See also JRI-Poland Polish State Archives Project below

Aliyah Passport of the 1930s

Surname List and Town List


The American Jewish Historical Society

Federation of Polish America
Has some records of the

Andres Forces

Jewish soldiers who were in Iraq during 1942-43.  Information about and between members of this group and the Jews of Iraq who befriended them

Anti Semitism in Poland

Check these web sites:

The daily Gazeta Wyborcza

The Jewish monthly



Tygodnik Powszechny
The monthly  (very slow loading)


Branches of the Polish State Archives house Jewish vital record registers for a number of towns. To determine whether your town is in one of the archive projects, click the above menu to select an archive. The archive number beside the archive name is the official number used by the Polish State Archives




Information about an Arenda Contract can be found at

Birth Records Information

Contact the Registry Office (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego, USC) in Poland directly, rather than a Consulate.  The USC will perform the search for records and will send it to the Polish Consulate nearest to your residence.  You will be billed for their efforts,  Upon payment by money order or certified check, the Consulate will then send any material that the Registry Office has.  Request from the manager of the USC a complete extract of the entry, rather than a brief certificate






    Liquor labels from a distillery owned by M. Rajzman and K. Kopelzon, Luboml, Poland
    (now Lyuboml, Ukr.), 1920s–1930s. (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)

Tarnobrzeg had a brewery. I have a postcard of it. There is a very small book, in Polish at the FHL in Salt Lake about the Breweries in Poland, only part two. I do not remember the name of the book from a posting by Gayle Schlissel Riley key2pst@pacbell.net



Business Directories

1891 Polish Directory

On-line on the Library of Congress website
Language Image Numbers
Polish 38-65
French 66-83
German 84-117
English 118-134
Czech 135-155
Russian 156-175
Other Cyrillic 176-191

"Handlowa ksiega adresowa Polski i Gdanska"
A 1923 commercial directory for the entire country, including Gdansk (Danzig), totaling about 700 pages.  Includes Timeline of Polish history; map of Polish railroads, Officials of the republic of Poland, statistical data, etc.

"Spis abonentow warszawskiej sieci telefonow"
This is a 540 page white pages directory of Warsaw and environs on the eve of WW II, along with a listing of businesses and advertisements arranged by product or service.  This directory would be of interest to researchers who lost relatives, friends, and/or property during the war.

Cemeteries in Poland

List of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland (In Polish)



Polish shtetl's burial ground.


Ada Holtzman's has posted her article title: " My Heart Breaks With Those Broken Stones..." about Matsevot in Jewish cemeteries in Poland. It was translated from Hebrew by Ellen Stepak from the IGS (The Israel  Genealogical Society).

Cities in Poland   (Polish Shtetls)

"We Remember The Jewish Communities of Poland!" - Here is a list of Jewish communities destroyed in the holocaust on 1.9.1939.  Editor: Avraham Klevan.  The site lists the names of 4,500 Jewish communities which were destroyed in the holocaust.  They are recorded according to the geographical boundaries of 1938, before the territorial changes which were caused by the expansion of Nazi Germany.  Included are the names of the settlements in which the number of Jews exceeded several dozen, and in which there were Jewish communal services and institutions.  Thousands of settlements in there lived a smaller number of Jews are not mentioned here.  In Hebrew, the names of the communities are spelled phonetically.  However, some names are written as they were pronounced by the Jewish inhabitants themselves.

"Dorf is the German and Yiddish word for village. Shtetl (spelled Staedtel in German) means "little city" or "little town," where "city" has a particular meaning in terms of medieval law (walls, burghers, a charter, independent government, etc.). It's the diminutive of Stadt (German) or shtot (Yiddish). In Polish the term for city is miasto, with the diminutive Miasteczko meaning about the same thing as shtetl.

Polish for village/Dorf is Wies, which is why there are over 100 places in Poland called Nowa Wies. And you thought we had it rough with all the Clintons and Springfields!

In my father's region of origin--Silesia, now part of Poland -- there was one Jewish community that was probably founded by Polish refugees around 1650. It was one of the few villages in that part of the world to have a synagogue very early; and the only non-city in Silesia with a large--possibly majority--Jewish community for many years. The name of the place: Staedtel." From a posting by
Roger Lustig

Consolidated Jewish Surname Index 

The site includes the Jewish Records Indexing - Poland; All-Lithuania Database; All-Belarus Database; All-Latvia Database and JewishGen Family Finder is available at


Death Certificate

Click on the forward arrow to see additional slides




Meest-Boston delivers US dollars, sea and air parcels, food parcels, equipment and electronics, letters and small packages to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Poland and other countries. More services are available

East European Genealogical Society


Emigration to British Mandate Palestine in the 1930s

The names of many of these Jews who were able to leave Poland for Palestine are available on an index of the passports issued at that time.  The are taken from the holdings of the Jewish Historical Institute (JHI) in Warsaw.  Eventually this index will be searchable as part of the JRI-Poland on-line database.  Because Inter-war Poland included areas that are now part of Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine, there are passports from towns such as:

Ejszyszki (Lithuania)
Grodno (Belarus)
Kobryn (Belarus)
Lida (Belarus)
Lwów (Ukraine)
Nowogrodek (Belarus)
Pinsk (Belarus)
Slonim (Belarus)
Stanislawow (Ivano Frankiv'sk) (Ukraine)
Swieciany (Lithuania)
Troki (Lithuania)
Wilno (Lithuania)





Business 2 business company directory and business in Europe, yellow pages access, international and European business directory (professional services, addresses and business classifieds

Extermination of the Jews of Galicia (Poland)


Finding Relatives Living in Poland Today

Write a simple letter request in English and address it to:

Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnetrznych i Administracji
Biuro Adresowe Centrale
ul. Kazimierzowska 60


A weekly publication of the Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland.  It is now "Dos Yiddishe Vort".  The editor is Mr. Adam Rok

or for the Yiddish web page


Foundation for the Preservation of Polish Jewish Heritage


Gen Dobry

An e-zine developed for PolishRoots researchers and may have value to your Polish research at


to manage your list membership.  All you then need do is enter the Email: address where you want your copy of Gen Dobry sent.  Reply to the automated confirmation Email: .  Be sure to read and reply to this confirmation Email: .

Genealogy and Poland A Guide

An excellent site to start your Polish ancestral search 

Genealogy & Poland on the Internet and elsewhere

A fabulous place to start your search for ancestors from Poland

GenPol - a Polish Genealogy Discussion Group

You will need to register to use this site.  It appears to be information that would be of value to a Jewish genealogist researching efforts.



Ghetto Fighters' House

The story of about 1,000 fighters and Jewish heroes during WW II, including biographies and pictures.  Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage  Museum (Beit Lochamei Hagetaot) is available on-line

Ghettos - List of in Poland



A Guberniya was an administrative divisions of the Russian Empire: the Polish territory annexed by Russia during the partitions was divided into Gubernii.  The word is most often translated as "province" but a Guberniya was not the same thing as a modern województwo of the Republic of Poland, though that term also usually is translated as "province"


Guberniya Military Police Department

One section of this institution deserves particular attention: the one that dealt with the census, population registers, granting of Russian citizenship to foreigners, and the issuance of permits for leaving a Guberniya, settling elsewhere and returning to Poland. This department issued passports, but the passports themselves are not found in the files: they, of course, remained in the possession of those who left the country. It also issue and kept files on missing persons being south, and criminals suspected of crossing the border illegally; it also issue permits for restaurants, hotels, trade and even for leasing and buying landed estates.  An article on this subject which contains information on what might be available in the files, was written by Iwona Dakiniewicz and translated by William F. Hoffman is in the Avotaynu Spring 2012 issue

History of Poland in the last 200 years

This site, which includes a number of maps from 1772, 1795, 1815, 1920 and 2000 as well as a very clearly defined history









Jewish 19th Century Vital Records from Poland

This site is "in process" to create a computer database of indices to the 19th century Jewish vital records of Poland.  It is a joint effort between the Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI-Poland) and the Polish State Archives (AGAD, the Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych - The Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw).  Over half a million Jewish Vital Records of Poland and data from more than 115 towns are now searchable 

Jewish Cemeteries in Poland 

Jewish cemetery in Remuh

A message to the Israeli youth,

The web site contains  some beautiful photographs of typical Matzevot in Poland.

Jewish Community in Poland

A web site is in Polish

Association of Polish Jews in Israel
(Center of Organizations)
158 Dizengoff St.
63461 Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel: 00-972-3-5225078
Fax: 00-972-3-5236684

Social & Cultural Association of Jews in Poland
Warsaw 00104, Poland

The Union of Jewish Congregations in Poland
Warsaw 00950, Poland

Jewish Demographics

"In a statistical studies of Jewish demographics in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth during the 18th century, it shows that early teen marriages were the norm among one-quarter of the Jewish population, ostensibly the more affluent class, i.e. it was in those families best able to support grandchildren while they still had children to support that the mother's age at first birth tended to be lowest."

"The traditional ages for Jewish marriages were 18-20 for boys, 16-18 for girls.  The couple was billeted in their parental home, usually the bride's, at least until the husband was old enough to support his family on his own." From a posting by Norman H. Carp-Gordon


Jewish History of Poland

From ancient times until WW II can be found at

and includes these links: 

The Early Settlements
Jewish Legal Status  
Economic Activity  
Cultural and Social Life
Colonization of the Ukraine

Internal Jewish Life  
From Chielnicki to the First Partition
After Partition
Independent Poland

Jewish Historical Association

Established about fifty years ago as Poland's Jewish community sought to re-establish its institutional life after the Holocaust.  The Association owns a vast archival collection, rich with primary source materials on the lives and deaths of Jews and Jewish communities throughout Poland and in adjoining regions historically connected with Poland.  

These holdings, ranging from the 18th century to the present day, survived thorough a combination of luck, ingenuity, the heroic deeds of historians and archivists (i.e. the Warsaw ghetto historian Emanuel Ringelblum his 'Oneg Shabbes' conspiracy to preserve the history of the Holocaust experience), the compulsive record-keeping of Nazi operatives and deliberate post-war efforts of scholars and communal institutions.

Now, times have changed and it is possible in theory to research Jewish history and Jewish family ties freely.  Further information available from:

Yale J. Reisner, Director of Research & Archives,
Ronald S. Lauder Foundation 
ul. Tlomackie 3/5, 00-090 Warsaw, Poland
Telephone/Fax (48-2) 625 0400; 
Email reisner@plearn.edu.pl


Jan Jagielski, Director of History and Documentation. He is the "heart and mind" of the Institute. Jan has an amazing amount of information in his head as well as in his office, and he is very well organized according to Ron Doctor

There are Youth Centers in Gdansk, Krakow, Lodz, Warsaw and Wroclaw and a summer camp and educational retreat in Srodborow that is sponsored by the Lauder Foundation.

Jewish Museum in Warsaw


The Museum contains many items from the Holocaust.  One of the main instigators in developing this Holocaust Memorial Museum was Dr. Emmanuel Ringelblum.  He is noted for his thesis on the Jewish community of Warsaw during the Middle Ages.

During the war, Ringelblum was in charge of soup kitchens for distressed Jews in Warsaw.  In May 1940, this became a full-fledged underground organization.  In November, 1940 he created an archive project known as "Oneg Shabbat," because meetings were held on the Sabbath.  Members of the group began to record current events and those who escaped from concentration camps also recorded their experiences.

The group recorded various aspects of life including mutual help, cultural and religious life, relationships between Poles and Jews, and between Germans and Jews.  In August 1942, when massive deportations escalated, the first part of the archives was hidden in ten tin boxes in the cellar of a house.  On the eve of Pesach in 1943, the second part of these documents were hidden in the same house in two aluminum milk cans.  The third section was hidden days before the final destruction of the ghetto, somewhere near 34 Swietojerska St.

The first two sections of the archives have been found and the third lost section is now believed to be buried in the ground of what is now the Chinese embassy in Warsaw.  An attempt is being made to recover these important documents.  This information was obtained from an article published in The American Jewish World (Minneapolis) on May 2, 2003 and authored by Rabbi Bernard Solomon Raskas.

The Museum faces the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes which was erected in 1948 atop the rubble left when the Nazis crushed the uprising. The Museum depicts the 1,000 years of Jewish presence in Poland, from early medieval times to today.  An article about the Museum appeared in the October/November 2013 edition of Hadassah Magazine.


Jewish Music in Poland Between the World Wars

Muzika Yehudit B'Polin Bein Shtei Milchamot Haolam. It is listed under the Miscellaneous category in the Index

Jewish Occupations/Professions in Poland


Jewish-Polish Heritage

Mike Rosenzweig, Ph. D. Check out his web site re Jewish-Polish Heritage; Early History of the Jews in Poland; Jewish History in Poland  from 1800 - 1939; Jewish History in Poland - from 1939-1945; Synagogues in Poland; Synagogues in Eastern Europe; Poland Revisited Tips;



Jewish Records Indexing (JRI - Poland) 

A searchable database of indices to 19th century records from current and former territories of Poland

Indexing of 45,000 records from 14 towns in the Suwalki region was completed. Comprised are records primarily from 1826-1880. The towns are (current Lithuanian name is in parentheses) Bakalarzewo, Berzniki, Filipow, Krasnapole, Lozdzeije (Lazdijai), Olita (Alytus), Przerosl, Punsk, Sejny, Sereje (Seirijai), Suwalki, Szaki (Sakiai), Wiejsieje (Veisiejai) and Wizajny. Also eight Polish town indexing projects are completed: Bialobrzegi, Daleszyce, Jozefow Ordynacki, Konskie, Pakosc, Polaniec and Radoszyce. Additional data has been added for Bytom, Checiny, Gliwice, Gliwice County, Karczew, Ozorkow, Sobkow and Wlosszczowa.

Over 1,200,000 vital records from towns are now indexed and more are added every month  


To determine if your shtetl has been microfilmed, check the 'LDS Film List' on this site.  It is color coded to indicate the status of the indexing.  Then check the 'Database Center' which records have indexed.  Bear in mind that this is a project in progress and perhaps only 15% percent of all records that exist have been indexed to date (10/25/01), so don't get discouraged if your search fails.

There are 2,010 Jewish Vital Record Registers for 90 towns in the AGAD Archives and includes 87 Administrative District towns in the Eastern part of the former Austrian province of Galicia.

A volume number and 'akt' is the document number inside a specific volume.

If you are able to determine that a record exists for your shtetl, you can then order the microfilm listed on the JRI-Poland site.  It costs about $3 and requires about 3 weeks to wait.  When it is delivered to you, view it and print the record of your interest and then extract relevant information.  In some cities, one can order these films via public reference library.

Jewish Records Indexing
Indexing all Jewish vital records available in their Bialystok Branch of the Polish State Archives

In recent years, the LDS (Mormons) have made many updates to their catalogue.  As a result, when Jewish records are included in Catholic Civil transcripts or other non-Jewish records, the catalogue typically so indicates.  For areas covered by the former Kingdom of Poland (Congress Poland), this almost always applies only to pre-1826 records.  After 1825, in the Kingdom of Poland, separate civil registers begin for each religious community i.e. Roman Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Russian Orthodox, etc.

JRI-Poland Polish State Archives Project
A database of current projects, by town name

To post an inquiry jri-pl@lyris.jewishgen.org

Jewish Social-Welfare-Education-Health and Refugee Aid Organizations Records

Also Zionist and Labor Movements, including photographic documentation are stored at

The Jewish Historical Association  
ul. Tlomackie 3/5, 00-090
Warsaw, Poland
Telephone/Fax (48-2) 625 0400; 
Email reisner@plearn.edu.pl


Jewish Survivors

Collected some fifty years ago in card catalogue form, which are used daily in search of documentation of wartime experiences, are stored at
The Jewish Historical Association  
ul. Tlomackie 3/5, 00-090
Warsaw, Poland
Telephone/Fax (48-2) 625 0400;
Email reisner@plearn.edu.pl


Jewish Vital Records From Poland

This site is 'in process' to create a computer database of indices to the 19th century Jewish Vital records of Poland 

For information on available records of various types, on a town-by-town basis, check the Polish State Archives "SEZAM" database

Jewish vital records of Poland
Can be found at Warren Blatt's "Polish Vital Records" InfoFile on JewishGen

Jewish Websites for Poland

A good place to start

Finding Polish Records online

JewishGen ShtetlSeeker

Locate your town (shtetl)

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project


Another promising site to research "The Polish Jews"

This site offers The History of the Jews in Poland; Concentration and death camps; Family searching; Jewish names searching; Photos and more.

Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw

The Jewish Historical Institute focuses entirely on the study of the history and culture of Polish Jews. It is the largest depository of Jewish-related archival documents, books, journals, ritual and art objects.

The preservation of collections that document ten centuries of Jewish experience in Poland allows for research and education to be carried on. We believe that education makes people aware of the history that Poles and Jews shared and helps to overcome stereotypes

Jews In Present Day Poland

Including commentary about a number of towns and their synagogues including Chmielnik, Gora Kalwaria, Kazimierz Dolny, Kielce, Tlomackie, Tykocin, Lasko, Zamosc, Lancut, Rzeszow and several others.

Jews in WW II

Lots of information about Polish Jews during the 1939 period

Jews who Emigrated to British Mandate Palestine

Several thousand Polish Jews managed to escape Poland just before WW II.  The names of many of these Jews is now available on an index of the passports issued between 1929 and 1939 at this crucial time in Jewish history. The index are in the holdings of the Jewish Historical Institute (JHI) in Warsaw. 

Because inter-war Poland included areas that are now part of Ukraine, as well as Belarus and Lithuania, there are passports from many towns that were part of Galicia.  The 'Aliyah Passports' collection in the Archives of the Jewish historical Institute of Poland (Warsaw) consists of 3,754 Polish passports issued primarily during the 1930s to Polish citizens going to what was then British Mandate Palestine.  There are 1,250 towns listed as "place of birth".

Emigrating Polish citizens, upon receiving identity documents in their new homeland, were supposed to turn in their Polish passports to the Polish Consulate at their destination.  These invalidated passports were then sent by the local Polish Consulate back to the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw, where they were filed away in government archives.  Some Polish Jewish emigrants to Palestine may have kept their passports, despite the regulations of the time, so if you do not find a particular name in this index, it does not mean that the individual did not emigrate.

Passports include date of birth, place of birth, last place of residence, occupation and civil status (single, married, etc.).  The name of the child or the number of children appear in some instances.  The photographs sometime include a husband and wife, or a husband and/or wife with the children. 

JRI - Poland

A compilation of family names appearing one or more times in the vital records of a town.  Transliterations of all variations in the spellings, as they were written by the town registrar in the civil records, are included in each surname list.  The JRI - Poland List provides an aid to researchers who may not recall initially, nor search for all the names in their various family branches, but whose memories may be sparked by scanning the list.

The JRI-Poland Database is constantly being upgraded. For the searchable database.

Judenrat (Jewish Councils)

Records of this organization from various ghettos are stored at
The Jewish Historical Association
ul. Tlomackie 3/5, 00-090 Warsaw, Poland
Telephone/Fax (48-2) 625 0400;
Email reisner@plearn.edu.pl


Land Owners

Polish landed gentry (often absentee landlords) from the joint Poland/Lithuania Commonwealth, which ruled the area for hundreds of years (1550-1795ish), actually *owned* whole towns, cities, and manorial estates; had private armies; and often offered protective charters for Jews whom they contracted with to run distilleries, inns, collect taxes from the Belarusian peasants, provide services like shoemaking, etc., and basically act as middlemen between the Poles and the natives.


Land Records - West Prussian Land Records

Covering the years 1772/73, including Polish partition lands

Landsmanshaftn In Israel

Authored by Ada Holtzman


A quarterly published magazine of the Suwalk-Lomza Interest Group for Jewish Genealogist
Box 228
3701 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, DC 20008

Latin Dictionary

Words and phrases that are found in old documents


Lauder Foundation

The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation Genealogy Project at the
Jewish Institute of Poland
ul. Tlomackie 3/5
00-090 Warsaw, Poland
Telephone/Fax (48-2) 625 0400;
Yale J. Reisner is the Director of Research. 
Email reisner@plearn.edu.pl

Lesser Poland area Photos


Letter Writing Guide

The Polish Genealogical Society has a web site that has a Polish Letter Writing Guide  

List of Polish Surnames



A searchable database put together by a Polish NGO called Karta. It contains the names and a few vital details of Poles and other Polish Citizens (i.e. Jews) detained by the Soviets in the 1940's, after the Soviets invaded the western half of Poland. It is based on information recently released from Soviet archives.  The database includes many who were later were in Ander's Army.

Osrodek Karta (Karta Center) is a non-profit, Polish historical research center in Warsaw, whose work focuses largely on the often hostile relationship, including shifting borders, between Poland and Russia.  They produced a publication Indeks Represjonowanych (Index of Victims of Soviet Repression), a 23 volume series that identifies Jews and non-Jews deported from eastern Poland during the 1939-41 Soviet occupation as well as Poles held in Soviet prison camps as late as 1950.  The series also includes lists of persons who were executed in various places in the Soviet Union, including the Katyn Forest.  Individuals are not identified by religion. An article entitled
"East Poland Records - "The Karta Collection"
Authored by Peter Lande, appears in the Spring 2011 issue of Avotaynu.

You can search by any of the following:


Last Name


First Name

Imie Ojca  

Father's First Name

Data Urodzenia

Date of Birth


Category of Repression














Help (in Polish)




"Apparently, the country had an intensely feudal character for hundreds of years, the effects of which have not completely worn off.  Polish landed gentry (often absentee landlords) from the joint Poland/Lithuania Commonwealth, which ruled the area for hundreds of years (1550-1795ish), actually *owned* whole towns, cities, and manorial estates; had private armies; and often offered protective charters for Jews whom they contracted with to run distilleries, inns, collect taxes from the Belarusian peasants, provide services like shoemaking, etc., and basically act as middlemen between the Poles and the natives. 

The landed gentry were called "magnates" and were often princes and counts and other kinds of lesser nobility. After the Czar took over this region (1795-ish), many Jews performed the same services for the Russian nobility who had simply exchanged places with their Polish peers.  Interestingly, there was an unusual urban-rural split in Belarus: towns and cities were populated almost entirely by the landed gentry and Jews (the only groups allowed to travel in the region), while the countryside was populated almost exclusively by the native Belarussians who spoke their own language (Belarusian, rather than Polish or Russian) and had a different religion (Greek Orthodox, rather than Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, or Jewish), and were mostly involved in agricultural activities." 
"According to a Google search, the term "Korchma" is currently a kind of restaurant.  Perhaps your relative ran an inn or a distillery for the prince for whom he may have worked.  I hope this helps. If I'm wrong about any of the info above, I hope that someone will correct me."  From a posting by Laura Moss Gottlieb Wisconsin, USA


Central and Eastern European Magnates and Their Archives
Compiled by Edward David Luft


Malopolska Museum Collection

The most valuable exhibits from across a number of museums in Poland's southern Malopolska region are to be digitally archived and presented in a dedicated web serve.


1939 Maps of Poland with Danzig Corridor

Lemko area maps
Of former part of Poland. You have to drill down to get to the map site, but it is worth it.

Lwów Street Map - 1938

Map of Galicia 1875
Some maps will show the administrative divisions.  Once connected, select 'Site Search' from the left hand side menu, type in Galician Maps and note the several maps displayed.  The first one is the administrative map.  You can save the map image to your computer by using the right click button on your mouse and saving the image/target as a bitmap file.  Then you can print it enlarged for easier viewing.


Map of Poland 1920 to 1939
In color - by Administrative Districts - Second Republic of Poland's Polesie Woj: (Polesie, the political/administrative woj., is the area colored tan, where Bres'c'n. Bugiem is labeled)  


Map of Poland in 1939

Map of Poland
19,500 locations in Poland and includes street maps and coordinates.  You can zero in on almost any Polish city and in addition there are over 9,100 European place names, unfortunately the information is in Polish, but it seems easily understood.

Map of Russian/Poland Guberniyas

Maps of Poland

Open Street Maps
The crowd-sourced mapping project 
OpenStreetMap has amassed a million contributors since its inception in 2005 and, according to navigation app maker Skobbler, boasts greater accuracy in England, Russia and Germany than rivals such as Google Maps.  I tried the site and found an accurate drawing of my father's ancestral town Tal'ne, Ukraine.  Almost every country is available as is most towns

Other Map Sources






Map of Russian/Poland Guberniyas




Polish Guberniya Map - 1921 to 1939

Polish-Lithuanian State at Europe 18th Century Map 

Polish Maps

This site offers the Hofer series of maps, scale 1:200,000, with German/Polish place name equivalents right down to the small villages and an index.  At present, the series covers only the former northern Prussian and southwestern Silesian regionsPosen is promised in a few months and others are coming

Polish Map Site

Polish Travel Maps

Regional Map of Poland 

Russian Empire Map
1902 map of Russia's Polish Provinces -

These are the major Towns of Polesie

Polesie = Polish  Polisia = Ukrainian 

The physical-geographical region, is a region lying between the Belarusian Upland to the north, the Volhynia-Kholm Upland and the Dnieper Upland to the south, the Buh River and Podlachia to the west, and the Dnieper Lowland to the east.  Click on any one of the town names below to be taken to an informational page site

Materials in Polish State and Other Archives in Przemysl  

Old Polish Torah

This site refers to "records of the Austrian empire in the counties of Gorlice (1901-1918); Jaslo (1853-1918); Sanok (1873-1918); from inter-war Poland: Gorlice (1918-1939); Jaslo (1918-1939); Sanok (1918-1939).  Also from the Nazi occupied Sanok County (Der Kreis Hauptmann-Sanok) from the years 1939-1944 in the Polish State Archives in Przemysl.

Archivist of the Przemysl Archdiocese
ks. dr Henryk Borcz
Dyrektor Archiwum Archidiecezjalnego
Archiwum Archidecezjalne
Pl. Katedralny 4A
37-700 Przemysl

"Messages from a Lost World"

From  The Hoover Institute  in the Hoover Digest. The article, with images, is about a collection of thank-you letters from Polish children to Herbert Hoover following World War I, offering a glimpse into a lost world of European Jewry.

Some of the letters cited in the Hoover Digest article were posted a previously on the Bielsk Podlaski ShtetLinks site at

In addition to images of the letters themselves, the ShtetLinks site shows the mostly Yiddish signatures on the letters with translations provided by Mindy Crystel Gross.  The signatures and translations are not shown in the Hoover Digest article, but it does provide a reference and a URL to the Bielsk Podlaski ShtetLinks site.  From a posting by Andrew Blumberg on JewishGen


 Polish Military Blouse

In 1937, there were 13,500 Jews in the Polish Army, and during WW II, some 130,000 Jewish Poles fought alongside their countrymen in various formations, including forces based in Britain, in the Polish resistance movement and alongside the Soviet Army.

The 5 volumes of the book of Benjamin Meirtchak: "Jewish Military Casualties in The Polish  Armies in World War II" are posted in my web page at:


The lists with about more than 7000 names are not included in the web page.

The author also published recently another book:
"Jewish Officers in the Polish Armed Forces 1939-1945"
with more than 4000 names.

Eng. Benjamin Meirtchak who was born in Wloclawek, Poland is the President of the Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Association of Disabled Veterans of Fight against Nazism in Israel, and the Secretary General of the
Association of Polish Jews in Israel

Central Library of the Polish Army  

Military records
can be a useful source of genealogical information. In the context of Galician Poland (1772-1918) many of our male ancestors  undertook military service freely, while others were obliged to go on active duty for 2 or 3 years, followed by perhaps 8-10 years in reserve units.  The army kept detailed records on its personnel at all levels and useful information can be gleaned from these.  Records for the period up until 1869 were retained in Vienna at the Vienna Kriegsarchiv and has also been extensively filmed by the Mormon Church and can be traced through the Family History catalogue.

If your ancestor served in the Polish Army (post 1917), you can send inquiries to this address:

Major Zdzislaw G. Kowalksi, M.A.
Chief Archival Information Department
Centralne Archiwum Wojskowe
00-910 Warszawa, Poland

They do not have a name card-index of soldiers, however, they do have an incomplete name card-index of officers.  In order to improve your chances for a successful search, you need to provide them with the following information (to the best of your ability).  Reply time is approximately two months.

Full Name
Name of Father
Date of birth
Place of birth
Date of joining the Army
Name/Number of Regiment
Progress of Military Service (other units, ranks, town of service)
Date of leaving the Army

It is also possible to write for copies of personal records from years up to 1869 to the Archive in Vienna
Kriegsarchiv Nottendorfergasse 2, A-1030
Wien Austria.
Further information can be found at
Here you will find an "Austrian Recruitment Search"

for additional information

Names of Jewish Soldiers Database
This list includes names of all Jewish servicemen from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

Polish Army pre - WW II
Every young, healthy man was obliged to common military service; Registration was required at 18, and men were called up at 21.  Total length of required service was for two years.  The reserve obligation was after active service (6 to 8 weeks per year) for soldiers and non-commissioned officers to age 40 - for officers to age 50; assigning to geographical units was changing in time before the Second World War.  The reserve service not always assigned to local geographical units.

At the outbreak of WW II some 100,000 Jews served in the Polish army. Mr. Benjamin Meirtchak, president of the "Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel" has compiled several thousand names Jewish soldiers of the Polish army killed in action. The address is:
158 Dizengoff Str.158
Tel: 3 5225078

For  better insight in the Jewish presence in the Polish army,  visit Willie Glaser's war memoirs:

Polish Military Information
Association of Jewish War Veterans of Polish Armies in Israel,
Attn: Mr. Benjamin Meirtchak,
158 Dizingov St., Tel Aviv, Israel
Phone: 972 3 522 5078

Physicians - Jewish in Poland

About 5,000 Polish doctors and 2,500 dentists were murdered by the Nazis in WWII.

Polish Jews in World War II

The graves of Jewish officers and enlisted men - soldiers of the Polish Army who lost their lives in the defense of Warsaw in 1939, as well as a mass grave for 300 victims of the Nazis are located in the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery

Was there a relation between Polish partisans and the Russian military?  That relation was generally one of extreme hostility. The Polish resistance during the war was largely in the form of the anti-Communist Home Army (AK), which hated the Russians as much as the Germans.  Anti-Semitism was another general characteristic of the AK, and the Yizkor books are thick with the Jews who died at the hands of the AK.

When Jews fled to the Ukraine and were in a partisan unit, it would not have been in the context of being a Polish serviceman but as a Jew whose prior military experience probably made him a useful member of a Communist partisan band that operated behind German lines in the Ukraine. These very effective groups were essentially controlled from Moscow, and unlike the AK would have welcomed an able Jewish fighter.  From a posting by Alan Rems aprems37@hotmail.com

     General Haller's Army (GHA)

The GHA was originally formed in 1917 as the Polish Army in France.  It was also known as the "blue Army" for the color of its uniforms.  Many of its soldiers were Americans of non-Jewish Polish ancestry.  They fought on the Western Front.

After the end of WW I, the GHA participated in the liberation of parts of Poland and the western Ukraine from the Red Army and Ukrainian forces.  For that campaign, it recruited from among captured members of the Polish contingents of the Austro-Hungarian Army held in Allied prisoner-of-war camps.  There is anecdotal evidence that many Galicians, including Jews, enlisted in the GHA.  This information offered by Edward Goldstein, Editor, The Galitzianer

Months in the Polish Language

























Naming customs in Poland and Ukraine


When visiting Israel  visit the Kibbutz Lochamei Hagethaot (Kibbutz of the Fighters of the Ghettos) located outside of Nahariya in the north of Israel. They have a wonderful museum called Beit Lohamei Hagethaot which is also a research center of the Shoah and Gevura (Heroism i.e. resistance). Here you will find information about the history of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Nasz Przeglad

This newspaper was published daily in Warszawa from 1923 until August 1939.  There is a database of Death Notices, 1923, 1937-1938. The Warszawa Research Group has indexed the death notices from Nasz Przeglad, which was published from 1923 to 1939.


Nashe Slowo

This is a newspaper that accepts ads for those who are looking for anyone who had Ukrainian family in southeast Poland which was dispossessed by the Poles in 1946-7 and sent to either western Ukraine or Northeast Poland.  Email: nslowo@free.ngo.pl  
Nasze Slowo, ul
Nowogrodzka 15,00-511 Warszawa
Telephone:621 37 55 Fax: 621 37 50


Newspapers, Polish Jewish

A good resource for Polish Jewish newspaper information is contained in an article by Michael C. Steinlauf, "The polish-Jewish Daily Press", in Polin - A Journal of Polish Jewish Studies, Volume 2, 1987 (Oxford, England Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies)
ISSN #0268-1056. 


Other known newspapers were: "Yidishe Tog Blat" and Folkscaytung"




NOT (Naczelna Organizacja Techniczna)

The Main Technical Organization in Poland was established back in Warsaw in 1935.

Old Polish City and Telephone Books 

Muzeum Poczty
i Telekomunikacji 50-954 WROC-A3AW
ul. Krasinskiego 1 

Polish White and Yellow Pages

"I am informed by a very reliable Jewish source in Poland that the White Pages were removed from the web for reasons connected with privacy concerns. I am looking for an alternative access. From a posting by Jacob Rosen in Israel


No partitions of Poland occurred in the 1800s.  The third and last was in 1797.  Since the partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, and the Congress of Vienna of 1815 and up until the end of WW I, large parts of Poland belonged to the Russian Empire.  Even "Congress Poland" was a semi-autonomous territory annexed to the Russian Empire and its inhabitants were Russian citizens.

Map Showing Partitions

Photo Services 

This service will photograph any locality in Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine at a pre-arranged charge.

Poland Before WW II

Here is a listing of documentaries and films about this subject.

Poland Border Surnames

A list of surnames for researching genealogy in the former historical borders of Poland, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Moravia, Hungary, Russia, the Balkans and East Prussia

In addition, this site has many, many links including Dictionaries, Jewish Research, Maps and Towns, Passenger Lists, and more. Also look at

Poland Gen Web

Offers many important links and includes a map of the province page for resources specific to that province.

Poland Provinces



Polish Genealogy

Lots of interesting links


Polish - Jewish Relations


Polish Jews

Beginning in July, 1942, thousands of Warsaw Ghetto Jews were forced to board railcars bound for the Treblinka death camp.  Photo from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum newsletter.



Polish Mailing Lists


Polish Professional Genealogical Researchers


2D-3D Company conducts historical researches concerning family ancestral roots. They will locate and investigate present and late relatives, ancestors, heirs and missing family members and store and verify genealogical documents.  Poland, 92-751Lodz, Chalasinskiego 10.  Telephone: +48 42 / 671 31 88, +48 / 693 66 99 33 -


Historical and Genealogical Studio
A group of young scientist from Wroclaw with a third degree of
academic studies at University of Wroclaw.  Offers  co-operation in the wide range of archival, library and regional research. Specializes  in the studies focused on the former German area: Silesia, Pomerania, East Prussia and Greater Poland.

Poland Provinces

Links to 421 localities in Poland by Province is at

New Provinces of Poland
Compares visually the old and the new current provinces.


Poland Research Index

An impressive variety of Polish connected information

Also try this site which has been designed to assist those researching Polish ancestors with information on specific villages

I noted in a posting by Steve Gold  that Gayle Riley has a contact to do research in Krakow and she may be able to put you in touch with that researcher 
Email: Gayle at

Polish Aliyah Passport Project

Judy Baston JRBaston@aol.com is the project Coordinator of this Excel file of the Aliyah Passport list

These passports - issued between 1929 and 1939 -- not only bear photos and signatures of the bearers (in most cases) but the various official stamps and seals trace the entire route taken by the emigrant and (on occasion) onward travels to other countries, providing precise dates for each leg of the journey. Passports include date of birth, place of birth, last place of residence, occupation and civil status (single, married, etc.).  The name of the child or the number of children appear in some instances.  The photographs sometime include a husband and wife, or a husband and /or wife with the children.

For a list of towns and villages mentioned as places of birth in the Polish Passports file:

The Polish Passport Project as published in the Jewish Post - requires a log-in and a search

Polish American Historical Association

Open to anyone with an interest in ethnic studies or the Polish experience in America.  Members receive the quarterly newsletter, the biannual scholarly journal Polish American Studies and more. 

Polish Cities

This site leads to much information, but written in Polish

Polish Citizens Sent To Siberia

There is 'The Siberian Group' made up of people who were taken to Siberia from Poland during WW II.  They celebrated their 50th anniversary in Perth, Australia last year.  For further information contact Barbara Johnson bbjohnso@chmail.ch.ecu.edu.au




Polish Currency 'Zloty'


Literally means gold (probably from golden or guiden) and is divided into smaller values of groszy (cents) One zloty is equal to 100 groszy.  Naming currency dates to the 15th century.  From the 15th century until the end of the 18th century, the Polish zloty was divided into groszy or 30 copper groszy.  Poland lost its independence in 1795 and local currency became the currency of the occupiers: Russians, Prussians and Austrians. 

From 1845, the Zloty had this much purchasing power in Krakow: Sofa = 27 zloty.  At that time, the Zloty was divided into 30 groszy.  In 1918, after independence, the country introduced currency called 'marka'.  The Zloty was re-introduced in 1924.  One zloty equaled 100 groszy and Zloty equals grams of the market value of gold.  In 1924,  1 US Dollar = 5.18.  In 1925, 1 US Dollar = 6.90 zlotys

What could a Zloty buy in 1845?  A Zloty, at that time was divided into 30 groszy.  An Ash wood table with a drawer would have cost 27 zlotys.  Today it is divided into smaller values of groszy (cents)  One Zloty is equal to 100 groszys.

Polish Genealogical Society of the USA

Offers maps, history, databases and more at 

Polish Genealogical Society of America
984 North Milwaukee Ave.

Chicago, Il 60622

Polish General Genealogy Resource

Offers many links of volunteer and paid searches of ancestor sites.  Worth a look. 

Polish Greek Catholic Records

Information concerning the proper spelling of many of the towns , along with information on the name of the "former district" and the "current district" and an indication of the record years available are on-line.  They were microfilmed by the FHC (Family History Center)  and the original records are at the Roman Catholic Diocesan Archive in Tarnow.  The majority of these records are in Latin and represent the Lemko Region.

Polish Jews

From this website you may research your Jewish roots, find info about Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, find info about the Holocaust, find photos of towns and Jewish places in Poland, use translation services (Polish-English) and read the history of Polish Jews

Polish Letter Writing Guides

Several different templates, both in English and in Polish, allowing you to write to Archives, etc. This site also offers good information on searching and definitions of popular words in the  Polish Language.





Polish Money Transferring

This company handles money transfers from dollars to Polish currency 

Len Markowitz priluki@voicenet.com offered the following in a posting at Gesher Galicia SIG: 'I guess that it is time to repeat the method that I have used successfully to send money to Poland.  Admittedly, it has been about five years since I have last done this, but it was done on at least 4 occasions.  To pay for information from the Polish State Archives, purchase a Postal Money Order at your local post office for about $1 - not an International Postal Money Order, which costs about $8.50 (five years ago).  Address the Postal Money Order to the bank, including the bank account number, suggested previously by the Polish State Archives.  Also make a copy of the Postal Money Order and send it with your next letter to the Polish State Archives'  

Polish Museum of America

984 North Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
Telephone: (773) 384 3352. 
Hours: Daily 11 am to 4 pm Email: pma@prcua.org

Polish Language Newspapers


Polish Occupations Translations


Polish Order of the Virtuti Militari Recipients List of Surnames from 1792 to 1992 


There is also a map of Russia partition and other maps are at this site. Also check out

Polish Passports

A collection of thousands of pre-war (late 1930s) Polish passports of intending Jewish emigrants to Palestine, whose plans were dashed by the outbreak of the war in 1939 are stored at
The Jewish Historical Association  
ul. Tlomackie 3/5, 00-090
Warsaw Poland
Telephone/Fax (48-2) 625 0400; 
Email reisner@plearn.edu.pl



Polish Postal Codes


Check out this site for the correct spelling of most Polish cities by selecting the first letter of the town's name.  Another site for postal information is

then select or ad this additional URL kody/kody.html to the address bar

Poland from 1921 to 1939

Polish Provinces

This is a list of links that will get you directly to the locality details pages for 421 Polish cities and towns

One of the problems facing a researcher, is the frequent name changes, not just of our families, but of the towns in which they lived.  This URL: 

Contains a list showing most of the hundreds of town name changes from German to Polish in 19th Century Posen Province.  Be aware that Jewish families are also listed often in the Catholic and Evangelical registers.  This information posted by Miriam Margolyes

An excellent site to find information about most European countries

and type in the name of the country you wish to research in the search field.  This site is a great source to find information for almost every European country

Polish State Archives

Addresses for Archives in western Ukraine and southeastern Poland. Director: Daria Nalecz

The Main and Regional Archives of the Polish State Archives System
Can respond to inquiries which are written in Polish.  However, if you contact local registry offices (known as Urzad Stanu Cywilnego, USC), you can write in English, French or German.  The Archives and USCs will always respond in Polish.

When you contact the Polish State Archives, they always state what relevant records they believe they have.  If you send them money, and they cannot produce any records, they will not refund.  The Director is Dr. Daria Nalecz. The Archives charge $15.00 per hour research fee which does not apply when your order specific records by their Year and Akt (record) number. Using the link, you will obtain the search results and it will also include a link to the order form, pre-addressed to the Polish State Archives.  Each record copy is $10.00

Len Markowitz priluki@voicenet.com offered the following in a posting at Gesher Galicia SIG: 'I guess that it is time to repeat the method that I have used successfully to send money to Poland.  Admittedly, it has been about five years since I have last done this, but it was done on at least 4 occasions.  To pay for information from the Polish State Archives, purchase a Postal Money Order at your local post office for about $1 - not an International Postal Money Order, which costs about $8.50 (five years ago). Address the Postal Money Order to the bank, including the bank account number, suggested previously by the Polish State Archives.  Also make a copy of the Postal Money Order and send it with your next letter to the Polish State Archives'  

Materials in the Polish State and Other Archives in Przemysl - this site refers to 'records of the Austrian Empire in the counties of Gorlice (1901-1918); Jaslo (1853-1918); Sanok (1873-1918); from inter-war Poland; Gorlice (1918-1939) Jaslo (1918-1939); Sanok (1918-1939).  Also from the Nazi occupied Sanok County (Der Kreis Hauptmann-Sanok) from the years 1939-1944 in the Polish State Archives in Przemysl Want to see Przemysl today - live?

Polish Synagogues

At one time there were over six thousand synagogues scattered throughout Poland.  There are only two synagogues in all of Poland where religious services are regularly conducted, one in Warsaw and the other in KrakowInformation obtained from

A presentation of some of the synagogues visited by David M. Dickerson in April 1995


The exhibition of Moshe Verbin' models of the destroyed wooden synagogues of Poland in the 17th and 18th Century, is now on a permanent display at "ORT"  College in Givat Ram Jerusalem, Israel. The models and the documentation about each synagogue are in two display windows in the main corridor of the college, which is situated on the right side of the entrance to the Hebrew university. The address is:

Ort College
Givat Ram
Jerusalem 95435
Telephone: 02-6754602


The synagogues are of the following towns:
Bzhozdovtse, Gombin (Gabin), Grodno, Gwozdziec, Jablonow, Janow Sokolski, Jurborg, Kamionka, Strumilova, Khodorov, Konskie, Kornik, Lutomiersk, Narowla (Narovlya), Nasielsk, Odelsk, Olkeniki, Pechenizhin, Pogrebishche, Przedborz, Shukyany, Sniadowo, Suchowola, Uzlyany, Warka, Wilkowishki, Wolpa, Wysokie Mazowieckie, Wilkowishki, Zabludow.

Polish Telephone Area Codes

Polish Telephone Area Codes

Polish Universities before WWII

1. krakow (yagiellonian university) - uniwersytet jagiellonski
2. Warsaw University - Uniwersytet Warszawski
3. Lwow - Uniwersytet im. Jana Kazimierza
4. Wilna - Uniwersytet im. Stefana Batorego


Polish Web Sites of Interest to Jews

Plenty of links such as Dictionaries; Jewish Research; Libraries; Maps and Towns; Passenger Lists; Surname Search Online


Post Offices of Former Austrian Territories

Includes Base post offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bohemia, Hungary, Levant, Lombardy, Mantua, Moravia, Silesia, Prague, Poland (Galicia), Venetia and Yugoslavia - all places are in alphabetical order, with provinces prefixed  

Property Information Records

"Without regard to the fact whether with building or not, all parcels in Poland are registered in so called ground books. The ground books are run by proper departments of the regional courts. It would certainly be better if you knew the register number of that parcel (LWH or KW) but even without it, although it takes a while, you may check the current state of the property - to whom is it currently registered etc."  G. Gembala Krakow, Poland

Rabbi Information

Chief Rabbi of Poland in 2005 is Michael Schudrich.

Rabbi of Krakow - the first since WW II is Avraham Flaks

The chief Rabbi of Slonim was Rabbi Yehuda Leib Fein who served as the Vice Chief Rabbi of Poland until the occupation of Poland by both Germany and USSR in 1939.  He was killed in the Slonim Ghetto with 1,200 men of this community on July 17, 1941, the first massacre of Jews and the beginning of the destruction of the Jewry in Eastern Europe.

List of Polish Rabbis

Rabbinical Genealogy

Registry Office in Poland

The local registry offices in Poland (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego) issue very brief certificates (parents names and date of birth of the child).  You can obtain a photocopy of the entry in the parish register.

Research in Poland

Research Suggestions in Poland

Pawel Dorman - recommended by Craig Hillman ch221@hermes.cam.ac.uk


The magazine of Polish-American genealogy

Russian Era Indexing of Poland Project 

LDS (Mormon Church) microfilms of the Jewish vital records 

Researchers should subscribe by sending the message:
Subscribe reipp to listserv@mail.jewishgen.org

Search Engines

Search Engines Tip:
If there is a site that you are interested in, but it is written in Polish, I can suggest cutting out the site or a phrase from the page and paste it into the search engines.  This gives a larger range of hits since the search engines look at the way a word is structured, not necessarily what it means.  Here are two search engines that I have used successfully:

(This is a program that you will love, once it is installed on your computer and can be used for many searches). 




Search Engines for Poland
Scroll down to 'Search Engines'


An organization dedicated to the preservation and propagation of information relating to the Jewish communities of Poland ... be it genealogical and historical data of the past, or be it current events of today and projects for the future. Shoreshim is a non-profit organization run by individuals who are devoted researchers in genealogy and Polish Jewish history.


A comprehensive guide to Internet resources on Russia and Central/Eastern Europe 

Stutthof Museum

Information is available concerning the Stutthof camp.  Write to:

Muzeum Stutthof
Dyrektor Mrs. Janina Grabowska-Chatka
Ul. Muzealna
6 82 - 110 Sztutowo
Woj. Elblaskie 0276110

Surnames   (see my  Names - All About Them  page)

Polish Order of the Virtuti Militari Recipients from 1792 to 1992
A list of surnames.

Surname Search Sources
Read and post to the Surnames boards



Polish Translations   (Languages)

Letter Writing Guide
The Polish Genealogical Society has a web site that has a Polish Letter Writing Guide 

The Mormon Family History Library Center
Sells a 'Resource Guide for a reasonable price ($1?) that contains a fairly long listing of Polish phrases.  This is not on the web but is handy to buy and carry around with you.

A universal on-line dictionaries for scores of languages, including Polish

No recommendation is made or implied, but you can try to negotiate with Yuri Slisaruk, Kyiv, Ukraine at eetrays@ukrnet.net Yuri is a Ukrainian and can read and speak Polish, as well as Russian and Ukrainian.

Just in case you didn't think of it, contact a nearby university or college's foreign language department.  They may offer to write letters and translate letters into English.  A nominal fee is usually charged.

Polish Translation Sites
is a free service, however you can only expect receiving the "gist" of the word translation.  Sometimes the translation is frustrating. Also for links to on-line dictionaries for many languages, including Polish


Also try these free sites:


Another site to find research volunteers of Polish Names, translators, etc.

Polish Translation Site


A commercial service that offers to translate Polish words into English or English words into Polish  

Translating Services - Languages

Translation Service - a commercial site offering many language translating programs 

Translation Service - this is a pay per translation service called World Lingo http://www.worldlingo.com/microsoft/computer_translation.html

Translation Tip: Contact a Polish Museum or a Polish Language Newspaper.  They may be willing to help you translate documents.

Just in case you didn't think of it, contact a nearby university or college's foreign language department.  They may offer to write letters and translate letters into English.  A nominal fee is usually charged.

Polish   Languages

Letters (s)      English Sound






guttural 'kh'







Polish Word Meanings




Merchant, dealer, sometime a general description of any businessman



Wlasciciel domu

Building owner, house owner

Occupation Translations
For a complete list of

"In Their Words: A Genealogist's Translation Guide to Polish
German, Latin and Russian Documents"
Volume I: Polish
Authored by Jonathan D. Shea and William F. (Fred) Hoffman has been reviewed by Leonard F. Jakubczak, PhD

and do a search  According to its web site

The Language and Lineage Press is an informal collaboration between Hoffman and Shea to publish information on Eastern European, and especially Polish genealogical research.  This volume can be ordered from the Language and Lineage Press, 737 Hartfield Drive, North Aurora, IL 60542-8917, for $30, plus $5 postage and handling for delivery to addresses in the US via the

State Archives of Poland List

A listing and links to all State Archives in Poland and other links



Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland

Jerzy Kichler, President who is from Wroclaw in southwest Poland.  He was chosen for a second term by 74 delegates representing eight organized Jewish communities around the country and several local communal branches.  The Union is located in Warsaw.

Vital and Marriage Records From Greek Catholic and Orthodox Parishes

In former Austrian Galicia, Former Malo Rus, Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus (former Byelorussia)

Available through The Mormon Family History Library (FHL)

Yizkor Books

ZSSR  (Zwiazek Socjalistycznych Republik Radzieckich)

A Polish abbreviation for the Soviet Union meaning "old good" USSR

  Travel Information 

Additional information available at my 'Traveling Roots' page and books on traveling are available at my link to Amazon.com

All Hotels in Poland
Best choices for hotels throughout Poland

Another Travel site is

Help to plan your trip to Poland   

In an article in the 5/20/01 issue of the Los Angeles Times Travel section, three hotels were mentioned; the modest, but clean Hotel Rezydent  Grodzka 9 Street (011 48 12 429 5410 - Fax: 011 48 12 429 5576) and close to Market Square; Hotel Copernicus on winding Kanonieza 16 Street (011 48 12 431 1044 - Fax: 011 48 12 431 1140)  located in a 14th century brick building; and the Francuski Pijarska 13 (Phone: 011 48 12 422 5122 - Fax: 011 48 12 422 5270)  in a demure 1912 building with a sweeping central staircase on the north side of the old Town.  

To be in the heart of Kazimierz, the old Jewish Quarter
Hotel Eden
Ciemna 15

A Tourist Information site is located at Pawia 8, just west of the train station. 

Jewish Travel Guide
Edited by Stephen W. Massil and published in association with the
Jewish Chronicle, London.

Alicja Marmol
I received this message, and although it is of no personal value, it might be for someone else.  "Hi, My name is Alicja. I live in Poland. I would like to learn Yiddish very much but I don't know how.  I am a fan of Klezmer music.  I can speak English and Polish of course.  Best regards from the most beautiful country in Europe - Poland.  Alicja Marmol

Judaism and Jewish Recourses: Jewish Communities 
Andrew Tannenbaum 

Plan a trip to Poland 

Polish Guides
Andrzej/Andrew, a genealogist from Rzeszow,

Polish National Tourist Office

The Jewish Traveler
Hadassah Magazine's Guide to the World's Jewish Communities and Sights, edited by Alan M. Tigay


Travel Stories

Jeff Donsky's Przedborz, Poland 1988 trip including photos of the Jewish Cemetery 

Lauren B. Eisenberg authored "Nineteenth Century Occupations"
A statistical analysis of the distribution of the occupations of our ancestors, based upon the occupations of the fathers listed in the birth registrations of selected towns in the Kielce-Radom region for 1826 to 1835. 

Jack Goldfarb's "Kin's Lost Gravestone Unearthed in Polish Town".
This is the author's story of the discovery of his grandfather's
tombstone dug up from a courtyard during construction in Staszow, November, 1998

Rita Permut's Poland Trip 1998.
Her trip information may be shared by contacting her at ritapermut@erols.com

Marc Weinman - "A Journey to Radom"
A travelogue of a visit to an ancestral home town 

Yizkor Books

Zaglembia (Region), Poland

more to come ...

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