Poland is far away and the language is difficult to read, but this Polish research guide will help you overcome these obstacles as quickly and easily as possible. In just four pages, Rosemary Chorzempa, author of the famous textbook Polish Roots, lays out the basic elements of Polish genealogical research, boiling the subject down to its essence and allowing you to grasp the fundamentals of Polish research at a glance. In keeping with the “Genealogy at a Glance” theme, the four specially laminated pages of this work are designed to give you as much useful information in the space allotted as you’ll ever need.
Starting with a discussion of names, the guide focuses on the basic elements of Polish research. These include history and emigration, locating the hometown, maps and gazetteers, geographical areas, and online databases. With a look back at the history of Polish emigration, Chorzempa explains the importance of locating a town of origin in the various countries that make up modern Poland. From there, with the use of online maps and gazetteers, it is a quick jump to locating the civil records and parish records that are key to finding your ancestors. Like other publications in the Genealogy at a Glance series, this guide contains a list of the most helpful online sources and the best reference books in the field. In addition, it provides information on surname maps and genealogical societies, and even guides you to an animated video on the history of Poland.
Finally, with historical Poland divided among so many countries, language itself is a serious problem in Polish research. To overcome this problem, Mrs. Chorzempa provides a chart giving the English, Latin, Polish, and German names of important places in Polish lands. This is especially useful when looking at documents that mention birthplaces or hometown origins, and it is an important tool for the 10 million Americans who are of Polish descent.