Poland Jewish Records
Historians estimate that during the 19th century more than 85 percent of the world’s Jews lived in Europe.
Most of these lived in Poland and Russia. Many books have been written about Jews in Poland. You can often find these in a public or university library.
The Family History Library has microfilmed many Jewish records in Poland and is continually adding to the collection. There are extensive records from the former Russian and German areas of Poland, but fewer for the Austrian areas of Poland. For those areas not yet microfilmed, you may write to the local civil registration office.
At first Jews were included in Catholic civil registers. The earliest civil registration of Polish Jews was in the former Austrian territory of Galicia in 1787, but it was not enforced until the mid-19th century. The Duchy of Warsaw, which later constituted the Russian territory of Poland, began civil registration in 1808. In areas of Prussian rule, Jews were required to prepare transcripts of vital records beginning in the early 1800s. Microfilmed civil records are usually available to 1875. You may obtain information regarding records not filmed that are still in Poland by writing to the headquarters of the Polish State Archives (see Poland Archives and Libraries). Here is a fast link to all Jewish records found in Polish State Archives.
For further information about Jewish research see the Internet site:
Also see Jewish Genealogy Research.
For information regarding locations of Polish Jewish records, see:
Weiner, Miriam. Jewish Roots in Poland, Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories. New York, New York: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, 1997. (FHL book 943.8 F2wm.)
Jewish Vital Records in Russian Poland (Congress Poland, Kingdom of Poland)
Catholic Civil Transcripts were written in the Polish language.
Separate Jewish Registers were written in the Polish language except for the 1868 -1917 time period in which they were written in Russian.
Records older than 100 years are kept in regional branches of the Polish State Archives [Archiwum Państwowe]. Many of these records, usually up to around 1865 or later for some towns, have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Records less than 100 years are kept in the town's civil registration office [Urząd Stanu Cywilnego].
Szukaj w Archiwach (English: Search the Archives)
Contains information about Polish national archive resources kept at state archives in Lublin and Poznań and their branches. Digital copies of some of archive materials from these and other archives are also available in the service. Additional scans will become available as the website develops.
Its primary purpose is to provide online descriptions of archival material from state archives and other cultural institutions. Selected archival descriptions are presented in parallel with the scans, the number of which is steadily growing. Using the service is free and does not require a log in.
- The Polish word used on this site to identify Jewish records is "mojżeszowe." For example, use that term to search all cataloged records at the site by clicking here. At the time this Wiki entry was created, this search resulted in 3,422 catalog entries.
- Each catalog entry includes the collection name. For vital records and civil registers, the catalog entry includes the locality (e.g., town) where the record was made.
- The Polish identifier for birth records is "urodzenia."
- The Polish identifier for marriage records is "małżeństwa."
- The Polish identifier for death records is "zgony."
- Search Example: To find Jewish marriages in the city of Radom, enter "mojżeszowe małżeństwa radom" in the search field at Szukaj w Archiwach. To perform this search, click here. Note that best matches come first.
- If scans of the records have been made, then the "Digital Copies" number will be greater than zero. After opening the catalog entry by clicking on it, look for "Digital Copies" to the right of the very red arrow towards the top, and click there. At that time, you will see the online viewer options.
- If scans are not available then contact the archive that holds the records.
- Begin searching at Szukaj w Archiwach by clicking here and closing the pop-up.
- Switch to English as necessary (unfortunately, not everything will be translated).
- Choose to search "Everything," "Files," or "Vital Records and Civil Registers."
- Enter desired search terms.
For many years, the Kielce-Radom Special Interest Group has been indexing Jewish vital records from that area of Poland, publishing the data in their printed Journal. There are plans to merge all of their indexing effort into the Jewish Records Indexing - Poland database which now contains more than 3.7 million records. It is estimated that the Kielce-Radom data will add more than 50,000 records.
A list of all the towns indexed and which years and record types, can be found at http://jri-poland.org/kr-sig/krsig_town_records_in_all_issues.htm.
Given Names Data Bases (GNDB)
Jewish Records Indexing - Poland
JRI - Poland is the largest fully searchable database of Jewish vital records accessible online. 4 million records from more than 500 Polish towns are now indexed. More are being added every few months.
Researchers can order records indexed as part of the JRI-Poland/PSA (Polish State Archives) Project directly from the Regional Archive where the records are maintained. Instructions and further information are found here. Use the Order Form for your inquiry.
Shabbat goy A new website Shabbat Goythat provides information about more than 200 concentration camps, Jewish synagogues and cemeteries in Poland. The site is in French, but the home page provides a link to Google Translate so that it can be read in any language. To read the locality list in your native language, invoke the language conversion feature on the home page and then click the words “All Sites” on the black bar near the top of the page. The list of localities is not in alphabetical order, so an alphabetical list appears below:
Annopol, Auschwitz, Bedzin, Belzyce, Biala, Biala Podlaska, Biala, Bialystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Blechhammer, Bochnia, Bojanowo, Buk, Byczyna-Biskupice, Chelm, Chelmno, Chrzanow, Czeladz, Czerniejewo, Czestochowa, Dabrowa Tarnowska, Debica, Drawsko Pomorskie, Elk, Gdansk, Gliwice, Glogowek, Glubczyce, Gogolin, Goleniow, Gryfice, Jarocin, Jaworzno, Jedwabne, Karczew, Katowice, Kazimierz Dolny, Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Kepno, Klimontow, Konin, Kornik, Koscian, Koszalin, Kozmin, Krakow, Krapkowice, KraSnik, Krasnystaw, Krotoszyn, Kuznica, Lancut, Leczna, LeSnica, Leszno, Lodz, Lomza, Lublin, Majdanek, Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Mikolajki, Milowka, Miroslawiec, Mosina, Mszczonow, Niezdrowice, Nisko, Nowy Dwor, Nowy Sacz, Opatow, Opole Lubelskie, Orla, Ostrow Wielkopolski, Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Oswiecim, Otwock, Ozarow, Piaski, Piotrkow Trybunalski, Plaszow, Pobiedziska, Pogorzela, Polczyn Zdroj, Poznan, Prudnik, Przeworsk, Przysucha, Pszczyna, Pyskowice, Radymno, Radzyn Podlaski, Ropczyce, Rozwadow, Rymanow, Rzeszow, Sandomierz, Sanok, Sawin, Sedziszow Malopolski, Sejny, Skoczow, Slomniki, Slupca, Smigiel, Sobibor, Sokolow Malopolski, Sosnowiec, Stary Sacz, Strzegom, Strzegom, Strzelce Opolskie, Stutthof, Sulawki (sic), Swarzedz, Swidnica, Swidwin, Szczebrzeszyn, Szczucin, Szczuczyn, Szydlow, Tarnobrzeg, Tarnow, Tarnowskie Gory, Toszek, Toszek, Treblinka, Trzebinia, Tuczno, Tyczyn, Tykocin, Ujazd, Ulanow, Uzarzewo, Warszawa, Wieliczka, Wlodawa, Zabrze, Zamosc, Zary, Zator, Ziebice, Zyrardow.