Journal      Catalog      Books      Maps       CDs      Recommendations      Contact Us      Privacy Statement      Home

For phone orders call 1-800-AVOTAYNU (286-8296)

In Their Words - A Genealogist's Translation Guide - Polish
edited by Jonathan D. Shea and William F. Hoffman

More than  60 Polish-language documents and extracts from American and European sources, analyzed and translated; they include extracts from birth, death, and marriage records of various formats; gazetteer entries; revision lists; obituaries; population registers; military service records; passports; etc..
     * sections on Polish grammar, phonetics, and spelling
     * information on how to locate records in America and Europe, including contact information for various archives in Poland and neighboring countries
     * a chapter on gazetteers and how to use them, with 12 maps showing Poland's changing borders and administrative subdivisions
     * a vocabulary list with over 2,500 entries, featuring terms most likely to be found in records, including many overlooked by most dictionaries
     * a 14-page index to facilitate looking up specific items.

8½" x 11" 388 pp. softcover $35.00 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Click here for PDF Version)
Introduction  vii
I. Phonetics and Spelling Rules  1
  Polish Sounds and Orthography  1
  Vowels  2
  Consonants  3
  Phonetic Miscellanea  3
  Devoicing and Assimilation  4
  Possible Common Errors  5
  Dialect and Regional Considerations  7
  Suffixes  7
  Handwriting  8
  Alphabetical Order  8
  Linguistic Interference from Languages Other Than English  9
II. Structure: Grammar & Vocabulary  12
  Nouns and Adjectives  12
  Sample Paradigms  14
  The “Chopping Block”  15
  Dropping the Kreska  16
  Vowel Shifts and Alternations  17
  Consonant Alternations  17
  Endings and Compound Names  17
  Verbs  17
  Date and Time Expressions  18
  Time  18
    Dates and Numerals  19
    Months  19
    Numbers  20
    Days of the Week  21
  Terms for Family Relationships  21
  Terms for Occupations  24
III. Locating Records in America That Lead Back to Europe  29
  A. Church Records  29
  B. Civil Vital Records  30
  C. Naturalization Records  30
  D. Passenger Lists  31
  E. Social Security  33
  F. Probate Records  33
  G. Polish Fraternal Organizations  33
  H. Parish & Organizational Histories  33
  I. Obituaries and Cemetery Inscriptions  34
  J. Consular Records: Passport Applications  34
  K. Military Records  34
  L. Insurance and Fraternal Organization Death Claim Records  34
IV. Polish-Language Records Originating in America  35
  A. Records of Polish Organizations  35
    1. Document IV-1: Membership Roster of a National Fraternal Insurance Organization  35
    2. Document IV-2: Receipt for Membership  37
      Document IV-3: Organizational Constitution  38
    3. Document IV-4: Parish and Organization Histories  39
      A Sampling of Saints’ Names and Religious Events Often Used in Church Names  40
  B. Obituaries  41
    Document IV-5: Obituary from the Przewodnik Katolicki, New Britain, CT  41
    Document IV-6: Obituary from the Dziennik Chicagoski, Chicago, IL  44
    A Few Points About Obituaries  47
  C. Cemetery Inscriptions  48
    Cemetery Vocabulary  48
      Introductory Phrases  48
      Phrases Referring to Death  48
      Phrases Referring to Age  49
      Phrases Referring to Birthplace and Origins  50
      Phrases Referring to Relationships  50
      Phrases Referring to Priests and Nuns  51
      Phrases Referring to Military Men  51
      Miscellaneous Phrases  52
    Sample Inscriptions  52
    Translations of the Sample Inscriptions  55
    Booklets with Information on Grave Sites, Document IV-7  56
  D. Consular Record—Passport Application, Document IV-8  57
  E. Polish Army in America Registration Documents  63
    Document IV-9: Form C of the Haller’s Army Registration Papers  64
    Document IV-10: Form A of the Haller’s Army Registration Papers  67
  F. Insurance and Fraternal Organization Death Claim Records  69
    Document IV-11: Death Report from a PRCUA Death Claim File  70
    Document IV-12: Local Pastor’s Certificate from a PRCUA Death Claim File  72
V. Finding the Right Place, and Writing the Found Place  73
  A. Gazetteers: “Now That I’ve Found It, Where Is It?”  73
    Document V-1: Sample from Skorowidz miejscowosci Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej  73
    Document V-2: Sample from Spis miejscowosci PRL  74
    Document V-3: Sample from Wykaz urzedowych nazw miejscowosci w Polsce  75
    The Slownik Geograficzny (Geographical Dictionary)  75
      Adjectival Forms vs. Noun Forms Seen on Maps  76
      A Sampling of Abbreviations and Vocabulary in the Slownik Geograficzny  80
      Measures of Area  83
      Measures of Length or Distance  84
      Sample Slownik Geograficzny Entries: Document V-4: Dobrzyjalowo  84
        Document V-5: Kloniczno  85
    Other Polish-Language Sources  86
      Document V-6: Statistics from the 1921 Polish Census  86
      Document V-7: Sample from Jan Bigo’s Gazetteer of Galicia  87
      Document V-8: Alphabetisches Orts- und Gemeindelexikon … Warschau  88
      Document V-9: Nazwy Miejscowe Polski  88
      Guidebooks and Church Directories  89
        Document V-10: Guidebook for Jedwabne  89
        Document V-11: Entry from Church Directory  90
        Document V-12: List of Localities from a Book on Polish Folk Customs  90
    German-Language Gazetteers  91
      Document V-13: Sample from Meyers Orts- und Verkehrslexikon des Deutschen Reichs  91
      Document V-14: Sample from the Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen  93
      Document V-15: Sample from Barthel’s Gazetteer of East and West Prussia  97
    Gazetteers for Former Austrian Territory  98
      Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreicher und Länder  98
      Document V-16: Sample from Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia, Brian J. Lenius  99
    Gazetteers for Former Russian Territory  99
      Document V-17: Belarusian Toponymic Dictionary  99
      Document V-18: Dictionary of the Names of Settlements in the Province of Minsk  101
      Indeks alfabetyczny miejscowosci dawnego Wielkiego Ksiestwa Litewskiego  101
      Document V-19: Sample from the Poltava Directory of Populated Places  103
    Selected Maps of Poland’s Changing Borders  104
      Map One: Poland Before and After the Partitions  104
      Map Two: The German Partition  105
      Map Three: The Russian Partition in the Mid 19th-Century  106
      Map Four: Grodno gubernia  106
      Map Five: Wilno gubernia  106
      Map Six: Galicia  107
      Map Seven: Poland, 1921-1939  108
      Map Eight: Poland, 1945-1975  109
      Map Nine: Poland, 1975-1998  110
      Map Ten: Poland, 1999-  111
      Map Eleven: Podlaskie Province, 1999-  112
      Map Twelve: Major Regions of Poland  113
  B. Writing to Institutions in Poland  114
    Parish Archives  114
    Diocesan Archives  115
    Vital Records Offices (USC’s)  115
    Polish State Archives  115
  C. The Polish State Archives System  117
    Regional Archives: Mailing Addresses, Websites and E-mail  118
  D. Ecclesiastical Archives  130
  E. Other Polish Archives of Interest  134
  F. Archives in Other Countries  134
  G. Addresses of Polish Genealogical Societies in America  137
  H. International Societies  138
  I. Guide to Writing Letters in Polish  138
  J. Guide to Reading Letters from Archives in Polish  142
    Document V-20: Sample Letter from the Polish State Archives  143
    Selected Expressions Likely to Appear in Archiwum Panstwowe Letters  144
VI. Polish-Language Records Originating in Europe  151
  A. Guides to Archival Holdings; Document VI-1: Excerpt, Bialystok State Archives Guidebook  151
  B. Indices to Vital Records  152
    Document VI-2: Birth Index, Parish of Jedwabne, Province of Lomza, 1860  153
    Document VI-3: Marriage Index, Parish of Jedwabne, Province of Lomza, 1860  153
    Document VI-4: Marriage Index, Parish of Kobylin, Province of Lomza, 1870  154
    Document VI-5: Death Register, Parish of Umierzyz, 1864  154
  C. Birth and Baptismal Records  155
    1. Pre-1826 Birth Records, Russian Partition  155
      Keywords for pre-1826 Birth Records  155
      Document VI-6: Sample Paragraph-Form Birth Record, Pre-1826  155
      Document VI-7: Another Sample Paragraph-Form Record  160
      Administrative Divisions of Russian Poland  161
    2. Post-1826 Birth Records, Paragraph Form  166
      Document VI-8: Extract of a 1921 Birth Paragraph-Form Record  166
      Document VI-9: Another Paragraph-Form Birth Record  169
      Document VI-10: Attestation-Type Birth Record  171
      Document VI-11: Birth Certificate with Later Marginal Notations  174
    3. Columnar Format Birth Registration — Galicia  175
      Document VI-12: Birth Register of a Jewish Vital Statistics District  175
    4. Post-World War II Birth Records  178
      Document VI-13: A Replacement Birth Certificate  178
      Document VI-14: A Modern Short-Form Civil Birth Certificate  181
      Document VI-15: A Modern Short-Form Church Baptismal Certificate  182
      Document VI-16: An Alternative Short-Form Civil Birth Certificate  183
  D. Marriage Records  184
    1. Premarital Announcements and Examinations  185
      Document VI-17: A Wedding Announcement  185
      [Translation of Document VI-16 on page 184]  186
      Document VI-18: A Premarital Examination  189
    2. Pre-1826 Paragraph-Form Marriage Records  195
      Keywords  196
    3. Document VI-19: A Sample Pre-1826 Paragraph-Form Marriage Record  196
      Document VI-20: Another Sample Pre-1826 Paragraph-Form Marriage Record  206
    4. Post-1826 Paragraph-Form Marriage Records and Keywords  215
      Document VI-21: Sample Post-1826 Paragraph-Form Marriage Record  216
    5. Jewish Paragraph-Form Marriage Records: Document VI-22, Jewish Marriage Record  220
    6. Columnar Marriage Records— Document VI-23: Columnar-Form Marriage Record  226
    7. Modern Short-Form Civil Marriage Records: Document VI-24  231
    8. Modern Short-Form Church Marriage Record: Document VI-25  232
  E. Death Records  234
    1. Components of Pre-1826 Paragraph-Form Death Records and Keywords  234
    2. Pre-1826 Russian Partition Paragraph-Form Death Record: Document VI-26  234
      Document VI-27: Another Sample Paragraph Form Death Record  238
    3. Post-1826 Russian Partition Paragraph-Form Death Record: Document VI-28  241
      Keywords  242
    4. Post-1826 Russian Partition Paragraph-Form Death Records: Jewish Records, Document VI-29  244
    5. Columnar Records: Document VI-30  247
      A Tip on Adjectival Forms of Place Names  249
      Document VI-31, A Bilingual Galician Death Record  250
    6. 20th-Century Military Death Record: Document VI-32  254
    7. Modern Short-Form Civil Death Records: Document VI-33  257
      Document VI-34, A Short-Form Transcript  257
    8. Modern Short-Form Church Death Records: Document VI-35  259
    9. Terms Found in Death Records as Causes of Death  260
  F. Other Documents  263
    1. Revision Tax Lists (Revizhskie Skazki): Document VI-36  263
    2. Population Registers: Document VI-37, A List of Residents of Brzeziny  268
    3. A School Diploma: Document VI-38  272
    4. A Military Information Sheet: Document VI-39  274
    5. A Passport Application: Document VI-40  276
    6. A 1923 Republic of Poland Passport: Document VI-41  279
    7. A Certificate of Guild Membership: Document VI-42  283
    8. Miscellaneous  284
      Document VI-43: An Address Book  284
      Document VI-44: A Permit to Own and Carry a Gun  285
      Document VI-45: An Excerpt from a Tarnow Telephone Directory  285
      Document VI-46: An Excerpt from an 1869 Warsaw City Directory  286
      Document VI-47: An Excerpt from a 1920s Bialystok Province Business Directory  287
      Document VI-48: A Page from a Parish Census for Kornik, near Poznan  288
      Document VI-49: A Sample Page from a Personal Letter  290
      Document VI-50: A Court Order Recognizing a Widow’s Inheritance  291
VII. Polish Vocabulary  293
  Titles Indicating Noble or Commoner Status, and for Clergy  293
  Nouns Differentiating Various Classes of Commoners  294
  Symbols and Abbreviations  294
  Vocabulary List  295
VIII. An Index of First Names  340
IX. Acknowledgements and Bibliography  360
X. Index  363

Copyright © 1995-2007 by Avotaynu, Inc.
Avotaynu and its logo are registered trademarks of Avotaynu, Inc.