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Finding the Record Images


The Family History Library (FHL) and its website FamilySearch have discontinued microfilm distribution services and are digitalizing their microfilm collection.  Most of the microfilm indexed on this website is now available online.  Some of the records you can view at home but the majority of them you will need to visit a Family History Center to look at.  You can learn more about it here:



About the Records


This index comes from 2 sources, Church Records and Civil Registration Records.  The Church Records are written in Latin (for Roman Catholic records) or German (for Protestant records) and the Civil Registration Records are written, depending on the year, in either Polish or Russian.  The Latin is fairly easy for English readers to decipher but they are very brief and have limited genealogy data.   Despite the Civil Registration Records being more difficult to read, they are longer and usually contain more family data.  The Church Records often only have a name, date, and place.  The Civil Registration records will often have bride and grooms’ parents, their mother’s maiden names, places of birth, ages, and a great deal of genealogy information concerning the event.  It is well worth your time to use the Civil Registration records.


There are several books that can make this a little easier.  The Useful Books section is further on this page.


The early Church Records often only have first names, no surnames.  There are also some records where the writing is difficult to read.  In these instances UNKNOWN is used and you may want to try searching on that as well.


The day and month are fairly easy to read on the Church Records.  If the Church record doesn’t have a day and month it usually means that the date from the previous record is the same.  If you see 8bris, it means October (8=oct in Latin), not August (the 8th month).  This applies for months September through December.


The date is written out in longhand on the Civil Registration Records.  When there are multiple Civil Registration books, on occasion the record numbers will not be the same from one Civil Registration record to another for the same event.  Please search the surrounding records if the numbers do not match.  Your record is probably still there, but it will have a different number than it did in the other Civil Registration book.


The records are written in cursive.  You will need a chart of Russian cursive letters, there are many different sources for this.  The Polish and Latin letters are written similar to English letters from the same time period.  If you can read a will from 1850 America, you should be able to make out the letters in a Polish record from 1850. 


About Slupca


The town of Slupca has a delightful website that everyone should see. It can be found here (as translated by Google):


Here is another Slupca website translated by Google:



Google Translate does a better job with some web pages than it does with others.



Name Structure


The given names differ from the Latin to the Polish records.  I have used the Polish spellings (Wojciech instead of Adalbert, Jadwiga instead of Hedwiga) as much as I could in an effort to keep the records as consistent as possible from one source to the next.  I have tried to keep the surname spellings consistent.  Sometimes that is difficult as well.  In the earlier records, Y was common but became J in the later records (Heyna became Hejna, Bleywas became Blejwas).  I have also only used the male spelling for both male and female surnames (only Kwitowski, instead of both Kwitowski and Kwitowska).  This makes searching surnames a bit more consistent.  Sometimes Ch will be interchangeable with H, so names such as Hajewski and Chajewski are usually the same names.  On occasion a W will be dropped, so names such as Kuzniewsk and Kuzniecki are typically the same name. 


Useful Books


I can’t read Polish, Latin or Russian and needed help to decipher these records.   These are the books I used.  All the records are written in the same format.  Once you figure out the format, you will only have to translate some of the words in the record.


For Polish records, these are the books I found most useful:


A Translation Guide to 19th-Century Polish-Language Civil-Registration Documents (Birth, Marriage and Death Records), Compiled and edited by Judith R. Frazin.  The current edition was recently published and information about the book can be found here:


Polish Roots By Rosemary A. Chorzempa

Published by Genealogical Pub., 1993

ISBN 0806313781, 9780806313788

240 pages

This book has many handy chapters, but I most frequently used Common Polish Names (it gave both the Polish and Latin versions of common first names) and her Russian Alphabet chart, which includes typed and cursive Russian letters and their English equivalent.  You can get comparable Russian Alphabet charts elsewhere, but hers fit on 1 page.


Russian language documents from Russian Poland : a translation manual for genealogists

Author    Shea, Jonathan D. 

Edition    2nd ed. 

Publisher    Buffalo Grove, Ill. : Genun Publishers, a division of Genealogy Unlimited, Inc., 1989. 

Description    ii, 73 p. : facsims., maps ; 28 cm. 

Subject(s)    Genealogy Poland.  Bryzgiel

This book may be out of print.  You may want to try Interlibrary Loan.


Poland: A History by Adam Zamoyski.

This is an excellent history book that will help you understand where your ancestors came from



Useful Websites




Maps are very useful when doing genealogy.  The marriages and family relationships make more sense when looking at a map.


This website has some of the most detailed Polish maps around.  The town of Slupca is on map number P39 S26.  The town is in the lower left corner and in order to get all of Slupca district you will need to get the 4 maps that meet at the corner; Slupca, Konin, Pyzdry and Wrzesnia.  You have the choice of maps from 1933 and 1935.  These are large maps, so be patient while they download.


From the same website, but not quite as detailed.  Slupca is on the Poznan map, number 53.


Poland: The 49 Provinces, 1975-1998


Polish Alphabet


The Polish alphabet uses more letters, with accent marks, than does the English alphabet.  This website has the Polish alphabet and pronunciation.


Russian Cursive


Often, in the Polish records written in Russian, the Polish names will first be written in Russian cursive and then, in brackets, written in Polish.  This makes finding your record a bit easier.  However, you may still have to find your name written in Russian.  Here are some websites to help recognize Russian cursive letters.


Help with Translating


Translation Aids:


You may need help translating these records. If you can read the letters in the record well enough to type them, try Google Translate:


There is a genealogy website in Poland frequented by people who can read Polish, Russian, German, and English.  They are very helpful when asked.  It is here:


The website Polish Origins can help with translations:


The State Archives in Poland can also help with research and translating.  They have a set fee for services.  There are several different branches of the State Archives.  The Poznan State Archives are here: