Genealogical research in Poland

Nearly 20 million Poles and people of Polish origin live outside Poland what makes this diaspora one of the largest in the world.

Being a second or third generation born outside Poland might make the root tracing process a bit challenging. Most likely your family name has been misspelt or even changed, you have no clue where your grandfather was born as sometimes it was said that he was born in Poland, then in Russia and suddenly you find out that he considered himself to be German – all due to European, historical turmoil. Average person doesn’t know much about their family heritage usually because of a belief repeated by the relatives, along the lines of: “it is not possible”, “the documents were burnt”, “grandparents did not want to talk about their lives, we should respect their decision”, etc.

Good news is that many various documents have been preserved until this day. Including vital records, censuses, military and student files, address books, ID applications and many more. Thanks to those files we can learn the names of our ancestors, their pre-war addresses and in some cases find a photograph or hand written letter of theirs. All of the above enable us to imagine what their daily life was like.

For many years I have been professionally involved in genealogical research and have solved hundreds if not thousands of cases already.

Here’s the specific list of things I can help you with:

  • search for ancestors and building a family tree or extending an existing one
  • finding out the proper spellings of your family’s name
  • locating the place of your family origin
  • translating Polish, Russian, German and Latin records often written in their old form to English
  • finding living relatives
  • finding out and understanding your identity

What can you gain?

Effective genealogical research requires the know-how and time. Often plenty of it. Thanks to many years of professional experience, a search result that can take you years to find I can probably achieve in a few weeks time.

In this work it is necessary to know several languages and also own a skilled eye to read Cyrillic, Kurrent and Latin manuscripts, and in some cases the Hebrew alphabet comes in handy. Historical knowledge, efficient navigation in many databases, experience in working in archives and the ability to analyse the acquired information are equally important here.

By commissioning me to do your research, you will:

  • save a lot of time
  • avoid frustration
  • receive the copies of original documents and accurate information about your ancestors in the form of a report
  • discover yourself through the lens of your family history

Who is this service for?

If you want to discover the history of your ancestors, learn how they lived, you’re looking for documents, living relatives, you are trying to unravel a family secret or you need translation of birth records (from Russian, German or Latin) – then my services are directed to you.
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner and want to commission your first search or you’re stuck in with your already ongoing investigation – reach out to me and together we will find out the possibilities and plan the next steps.

How does it work?

1. Gathering data stage

In the first step, I will ask you to share everything you know about your ancestors. The more information, the better. I will reply to your inquiry within 3 working days and this stage is free of charge.

The most important are:

  • Names and surnames of ancestors and relatives
  • Places of birth and residence
  • Dates of birth, marriage and death (at least approximately)
  • Information about emigration
  • Legends and family stories
Don’t worry if you have very little information, I will do my best to find a solution in that case as well!

2. The offer stage

Based on the initial research, I prepare a plan and estimate the total cost. If you accept the offer, I will start the research after receiving a down payment of 50%. The research process usually takes between 4-6 weeks.

3. Delivery stage

After couple of weeks the final report is ready. It will contain everything I managed to find. The copies of found documents, translations, checked sources and detailed summary. If it is possible to continue with the research, I will also describe possible further steps.

Please note that I can’t promise anything. Sometimes the specific document I look for may not be found. It can be either misplaced, missing or even worse, non-existing anymore (i.e. destroyed in an archive fire decades ago). Unfortunately, I can’t predict it before the research starts, as I often find out about this many hours into the research. This fact doesn’t affect the price we agreed on.

The reports may differ a bit. There are no two reports that look the same. Depending on the place of your family origin the birth, marriage and death certificates (from the Prussian, Austrian and Russian Partitions) are different regarding the form and content.

Do you need help with tracing your Polish ancestors? Send me a message!

By sending this email you accept my privacy policy.

The final report consists of  copies of documents, translations, maps and a summary. I describe the whole process, explain the connection between certain people, mention the sources and the historical context. I also present further possibilities.

Sometimes a specific act may not be found for various reasons – migrations, gaps in the records, destruction of documents in a fire or during wars. In such cases the price doesn’t change as the same amount of effort is put in a research regardless the final result.

The reports may differ more or less depending on the place where the family came from (e.g. documents from the Prussian, Austrian and Russian partitions differ in form, language and content).

Based on the gathered information (yours and mine), I will prepare a plan and a quote – if you accept it, I will ask you to send me the down payment and I start the research. Usually it takes about 1 month and if takes longer, I keep you updated.

I will reply to your inquiry within 3 working days and this part is free of charge. Perhaps I will ask you a few additional questions or will present a research plan.

The more details you provide, the more things I can discover so I please share everything you know, especially:

  • Names and surnames of your ancestors
  • Places of birth and residence
  • Dates of birth, marriage and death
  • Information about siblings, cousins and other relatives
  • Emigration details
  • Family stories

And most importantly – if you have little information, don’t worry. I will find a solution in such situations as well.