Poland Holdings of the Polish State Archives

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In many cases, one can know what exists in Polish archives without ever going there. For databases created by the Polish State Archives permit one to look up this information online. This article will explain the four databases which contain descriptions of the records founds in the archives. None of these databases link to images of the records so one must still visit, employ an agent, or correspond to obtain a copy of an original record. There is one major exception. Some of this material found in PRADZIAD was microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah between 1968-1998 and can be searched for in the Family History Library Catalog


Baza danych Program Rejestracji Akt Metrykalnych i Stanu Cywilnego/The Program for the Registration of Records from Parish and Civil Registration Offices

  • A database that comprises information on parish and civil registration registers preserved in all branches of the Polish State Archives and some Roman Catholic diocesan and archdiocesan archives.
  • It does NOT contain any lists of names or information on specific places.

Click here to access the database.

How are the records arranged on PRADZIAD? 1. Name of the town – includes both the current and former name of the village in Polish, in addition to the former name of the village in any foreign language. 2. Administrative jurisdictions – a. Towns now located within territory of Poland – communes and provinces according to years 1975-1998 b. Towns which no longer exist, or which now are located on the territory of another State – administrative location from the time the records were generated c. Towns which belonged to Poland pre-1939, and are now located in Ukraine or Lithuania – counties and provinces d. Towns which belonged to Germany pre-1945, and are now located in Poland – counties and districts 3. Religion – there are numerous religious denominations in the holdings of the State Archives 4. Event Type – there are numerous event types which are available, including: baptisms, confirmations, births, marriages, deaths, divorces, banns, etc.

How does one search PRADZIAD? Several options are listed at <http://www.archiwa.gov.pl/?CIDA=378> 1. Name of a town – Enter the name of the town where the parish, the civil registration office or the religious community were located. 2. Commune – Enter the name of the commune on the territory of which the town searched for is located, or the county on the territory of which it was located before the war. 3. Province – Select the name of the province within the 1975-1998 or 1918-1939 borders. 4. Creed/Religion – Select the creed or religion in respect of which the register was kept. 5. Types of records – Select the type of event.