Posts Tagged ‘Poland’

Registration questionnaires of the First and Second General Censuses of Poland in 1921 and 1931.

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021


The article written by Piotr Zelny – genealogist, historian working in the Historical Museum in Sanok, tourist and genealogy guide in PolishOrigins.

Proofreading: Aleksander Zawilski.


When World War I had drawn to an end and Poland was regaining its sovereignty, the Polish authorities faced a very difficult task of reunifying the country. For over a century, the individual parts of the state remained within the borders of foreign countries. Several generations of people grew up in three different countries, three different political, administrative and economic systems. In addition, the First World War that swept through the country completely changed the picture of reality.


The last census in the Prussian and Austrian partitions took place in December 1910, in the Russian partition in February 1897. Although Austria-Hungary and Germany conducted censuses during the war in 1916 and 1917, and Poland in 1919, they took place only in some parts of the country. The authorities of the reborn Poland, who had to rule over the divided country, had just a rough idea about demography, social and economic conditions of its own state. Without this knowledge, it was impossible to effectively manage such a diverse country.


Filling out registration sheets by village women from Bronowice near Krakow. The Second General Census 1931. Photograph from the collection of the National Digital Archive.



Do you know to which parish your ancestor’s village belonged?

Thursday, May 28th, 2020


A while back we have started sharing our genealogy knowledge throughout a series of Genealogy Pro Tips that are published on our Facebook page. You can find short and practical advice there, for example on how to find a place of your interest, the graves of your ancestors, or check the geographical occurrence of a specific surname.

Today, we would like to share something bigger with you. We created a video that can help you in establishing to which parish your ancestral village belonged. The history of vital records in Poland is different in each of the three partitions. The main thing they have in common though is that it was the parishes that developed vital registration first and that their documents remain the most important when beginning your adventure with genealogy.

In this video, we are presenting you three tools that we regularly use to determine to which parish a certain village or town belonged. Some of these sources are in Polish only, but inside the video we try to guide you through each step and help you to learn how to obtain the information you need from them. We hope that thanks to our film you will be able to kick start your adventure with genealogy.



Through Patrick’s lenses – a Genealogy Tour to Poland

Friday, March 6th, 2020

blog by Patrick McCabe


In September 2019 the country of Poland became our family’s latest destination for
sharing a vacation together. The majority of our trip was indeed sightseeing,
however, the genealogy aspect of our family was the driving force for our visit to
Poland. Specifically, it focused on our mother’s side of the family…the Pilarski and
the Borkenhagen families. In 2015 we traveled to Ireland exploring our father’ss side
of the family. In essence, we have now completed an initial “full circle” of our
ancestors’ homelands.




Follow the oak trees (part 1)

Friday, June 28th, 2019

My trip actually started out in Ukraine, where my daughter and I went to see the villages, where my family were born and lived in Volhynia. At that time the villages were part of Russia. I had booked a tour with Volhynian Adventure Tours with Alex Brzhezytsky being our tour guide.

Prior to my Polish trip, I found information that my relatives were Masurian, Polish Lutherans, (Evangelical) who lived in the northern part of Poland dating back to the late 1700s. At first, this confused me, as Poland is mainly Roman Catholic, and I knew that my family were Lutheran, yet we were Polish, so that took some research to figure out. Hence my trip consisted of cemetery tours, seeing my villages, and also diving into the Archives.

Upon the appointed day of our arrival in Poland, Alex drove us across the Ukrainian/Polish border where we had to meet up with our tour guide Daniel Paczkowski from Polish Origins, who was going to drive us to all of the villages in Poland that were decided upon prior to our arrival. This trip was personalised to suit whatever and wherever I wanted to go, and was 14 days long. So much preparation went into this trip via Aleksander Zawilski, (from Polish Origins) who organized my tour based on my family villages, and which ones; as come to find out there are many villages in Poland with the same name.