Poland has had many minorities, including Jews, Gypsies, Brethren, Calvinists, and Mennonites. You should learn the history of the ethnic, racial, and religious groups your ancestors belonged to. This historical background can help you identify where your ancestors lived and when they lived there, where they migrated, the types of records they might be listed in, and other information to help you understand your family’s history.
For some minorities in Poland there are unique resources available, such as histories, gazetteers, biographical sources, settlement patterns, and handbooks. The Family History Library collects records of these groups, especially published histories. These are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under:
POLAND - MINORITIES
POLAND, (COUNTY) - MINORITIES
POLAND - JEWISH HISTORY
Other sources are also in the subject section of the catalog under the name of the minority, such as Jews, Germans, or Mennonites. Some sources are listed under:
JEWS - POLAND
An example of the type of book you might find is:
- Hagen, William W. Germans, Poles and Jews: The Nationality Conflict in the Prussian East,1772–1914. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1980. (FHL book 943 F2hw.)
The Family History Library also has several books about Poles in other countries. These are listed in the Place and topic sections of the Family History Library Catalog under:
(COUNTRY NAME) - MINORITIES
POLES - (COUNTRY NAME)
In the United States, Germany, and other countries where members of these ethnic groups migrated, various local and national societies have been organized to gather, preserve, and share the cultural contributions and histories of Polish minority groups.