In the long, dark evenings of the month of November you surely have more time to sit quietly in front of your family history documents, collect your thoughts and maybe even make some progress: complete the family tree that you begun some time ago, write a letter to the archive that you?ve been postponing since the last winter. Maybe this has been a month of breakthroughs in your research and overcoming some brickwall? If not, it is never too late for the new discoveries.

Our guide and researcher Zbyszek prepared for you an article about cadastral maps from Galicia that have been recently published online by the Polish State Archives. Since many of your ancestors came from this part of Europe we decided to write you a little more about this source of information. Cadastral maps are used less often in genealogy search than, for example, church records but they may be a very useful source of information and give you more context to your ancestors? life. Maybe this will help you to learn about missing siblings of your grandparents? Maybe you will get closer, at least virtually, to your ancestors? old piece of land..?

Cadastral records for Galicia online

?Cadastral records were used by Austrian authorities for the tax reasons ? they recorded size of each property, category of the land, number of houses, changes in ownership and other information useful for tax reasons. They consists of a very detailed (scale 1:2280), colorful map of each village showing each plot of land and each building in a village.

Second part of a set is so called operat - that is a set of documents and tables describing a village and properties. The most interesting for genealogical reasons are alphabetical listings of house and land owners. Each entry for each owner contains: house number (this is the same number that you can find in metrical records but not on the map), building plot number (you can find it on the map), numbers of plots of land that belonged to this owner and later changes in ownership.(...)?

 Read the whole article about cadastral records here. You will find there more information about cadaster from Galicia, including instruction how to find map of ?your? village in the online database.


As the winter approaches slowly we have time to reflect on the passed tours, adventures, discoveries and wonderful people we met. We have 2 new blogs which our guests shared with all of us.

?My Borek Family 7 Discoveries. Poland Trip Story? by Richard Borek

?We left the museum late in the afternoon to prepare for dinner with my newly found family. I was very nervous! (...) We were welcomed into their home and presented with a fabulous feast of many traditional Polish dishes. I think they were determined that we try them all. I lost count of the number of courses served but every one of them was fantastic! Over the course of the evening we exchanged many pictures and stories as we got to know each other.?

Read the whole story here.


?Polish Origins Adventure?

by Andie Criminger

This blog is currently being published:each day new part is added, you can follow the story.

?This trip was taken in honor of my mother, Wanda Wierzbicki Fortenberry. I wish she had been with me. Between 1976 and 1984, my father and mother, with help from for rest of the family, researched and published a family history on my dad?s family, the Fortenberrys. During this time, mom would periodically attempt to research her parents? Polish roots.

Because the internet and digitized records were still in the future, not much could be accomplished. So instead, she wrote the stories she had heard as a child. This is the story of my attempt to find the Polish roots of my grandmother, Pelagia Jaroszewska, from north of Płock and my grandfather, Rajmund Wierzbicki, from north of Łomza.?

This blog is currently being published: each day new part is added, you can follow the story here.



Bobbin Lace making workshops

This is our new proposal prepared for you. It will be combination of 25 hours of Bobbbin Lace making handicraft workshops and a tour, including historical and other tourist attractions of the old, western Galicia.

The workshops will take place in the beautiful surroundings near Zakopane and Krakow, in southern Poland.

Every morning we will have a few hours of practice, and in the afternoons we will show you the most interesting tourist attractions, including Krakow itself, Wieliczka, Zakopane, along with a few less known places. If you want to participate in the workshops and want your husband (or wife, or a friend) to come with you, our guide will organize a time for him (or her) while you will be experiencing the pleasure of lace making.

Here you can read full offer with more details and see some nice pieces of bobbin laces.


Tours to Poland are significantly less expensive now!

As the US dollar exchange rate is strong now, the tours to Poland, and Europe in general, are less expensive.  

Just have a look on this PO Galicia Tour example:

Last year, when the average USD exchange rate for Polish zloty was 3.18 you would have to pay for PO Galicia Tour 6900 Polish zlotys = about $2170 USD

Currently, with the exchange USD/PLN 3.38 it would be only about $2040 and what is even better, till the end of 2014 we have special, first minute rate for PO Galicia Tour: 5900 Polish zlotys. It is equivalent of only about $1745 at the moment!

If you hesitate maybe this is another argument in favor of coming and visiting your forefathers land?

You can see more details about our tours on our website. 


The end of November with its Thanksgiving holiday and approaching Christmas are the best opportunity for family meetings, reunions, conversations, just being together. Do not miss this chance and interview your relatives!  

We are thankful for having the privilege to know you either personally or just via Internet and assist you in your family history quests and tours.

Greetings from Poland!

PolishOrigins Team