Memorial Hall Library

I Found My Village! Now What?

Finding vital records for one's family in Poland is a critical step in exploring our Polish ancestry, but can sometimes be confusing. After a brief overview of the Polish partitions to introduce beginners to the history and geography of Poland, Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz will illustrate the use of church records, passenger manifests, naturalization records, and other documents from U.S. sources, to determine one's ancestral village accurately. She’ll suggest resources and strategies to help you decipher misspelled place names, and discuss the next steps in your research: determining the parish and civil registry office using gazetteers, and obtaining birth, marriage and death records. Julie will rely heavily on online sources throughout her presentation, and show how you can trace your Polish ancestry without having to cross the ocean.

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