Polish State Archives continue to digitize and publish their records online. As for today nearly 26 million scans including vital records have been made available to view for everyone. Since majority of the records have not been indexed the database will be more useful when searching in a particular location – therefore you will need to know the name of the parish your ancestor came from.
How to use the database?
- Go to the website www.szukajwarchiwach.pl and click on the British flag located in the upper right corner of the website. Some information is available in English.
- Choose “vital records and civil registers” button located above the search field and type in the name of your ancestor’s parish, then press the Search button.
- Within the results choose the records of your interest – taking into account dates, religion and type of record (births, marriages, deaths)
- Click the box to see more details.
- Click the link “see units from this period” located in the dates’ line to get a listing of separate units with information on the number of available scans.
- If scans are available click on the name of the unit and then the button labelled “digital copies” [with a number in brackets] located on the bar at the top of the page. This will take you to the scans collection for the selected unit.
When viewing images, for the full screen press a round icon with a square shape inside located in the bottom right – hand corner of the image.
- do not tick both “vital records and civil registers” and “only units/collections with scans” boxes in one search, for some reasons this combination doesn’t work
- no results may mean the name of the parish has a different spelling or that the records for the parish are not stored in State Archives
- if digital copies of the records are not available, check again after some time as the on line collection is constantly updated and new records are added every few months
- since some records have been indexed you may try a surname search – instead of “vital records and civil registers” button choose “everything” in the main field
- it may be helpful to get the site translated using google translator