About the Records
This Index should
be used as an index and not a primary source.
I strongly encourage anyone who thinks they found their family to go to
the original source and look at the record.
I am certain that some of these names are misspelled, and some of the
data may be wrong, so please check the original source.
This index comes
from 2 sources, Roman Catholic Parish Registers (Church Records) and Civil
Transcripts of Roman Catholic Parish Records (Civil Registration Records). The Church Records are written in Latin 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
have a great deal of 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.
Because of this, the day and month on the index applies to these
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 I couldn’t find a date,
that is the date I used. Also keep in
mind 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 and translating each
date would have slowed down the indexing process. However, each Civil Registration record is numbered along with
the town name. The Record Number on the
index applies to the Civil Registration Records. 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.
The town of Slupca has a delightful website that
everyone should see. It includes a
section on the history of Slupca, beginning with the Lusatian Culture
(750-400BC). It can be seen here
(as translated by Google):
Be sure and look at their photo gallery and read
about the Slupca Regional Museum (listed under Culture on the column on the
If you do an internet search for Powiat Slupecki,
or just Slupecki, you will find many websites about Slupca district. A couple of the more entertaining
websites are here, translated by Google:
Google Translate does a better job with some web
pages than it does with others.
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. Russian spelling of a name will
sometimes add an N to a name, so a name like Letowski and Lentowski are often
the same name when written in Polish.
I can’t read
Polish, Latin or Russian. I needed help
to decipher these records. These books
are what 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
You will need
Latin/English, Polish/English and Russian/English Dictionaries. I prefer the dictionaries published by Langenscheidt,
but any would probably work.
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:
This is the most useful
book of them all.
Polish Roots By Rosemary
Published by Genealogical
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.
For Polish records
written in Russian:
Russian language documents from Russian Poland : a
translation manual for genealogists
Shea, Jonathan D.
Buffalo Grove, Ill. : Genun Publishers, a division of Genealogy
Unlimited, Inc., 1989.
ii, 73 p. : facsims., maps ; 28 cm.
Genealogy Poland. Bryzgiel
It looks like this book
may be out of print. You may want to
try Interlibrary Loan.
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.
The 49 Provinces, 1975-1998
The Polish alphabet uses
more letters, with accent marks, than does the English alphabet. This website has the Polish alphabet and
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
You may need help translating these records. 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
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
Information about the records
Vital Records in Poland
Finding Your Cousins
One of the best parts of genealogy is finding
cousins who are also researching the same families. I don’t have the capacity on this
website to host a message board for cousins to find each other, but Rootsweb
does. Probably the best place to
post a query looking for Slupca cousins is under Poland Boards, Wielkopolski. The message board is here:
Many of the people
settled in the Slupca region are called Hollanders in the records. These are Dutch, and later German, Protestants
who eventually became Catholics. They
settled Hollander towns, often with the name Holandry as part of the town name,
such as Holendry Giewartow. The town
Niezgoda is also a Polish word that means disagreement or dissent. Sometimes the Protestant will be described
in the Catholic records as Orthodox, meaning the person is of a closely related
faith, but not a Catholic, such as a Lutheran.
More on Orthodox here:
More on Orthodox
More about Hollanders
How to Order the Microfilms
Last but not least is how
to rent and view these microfilmed records.
I do not own these rolls of microfilm and had to rent them, just as you
will have to do. I can’t do your
research, you must do your own. It is
not as difficult as it looks. More
information about renting the microfilms is here:
To search the Family
History Library holdings