In February we’ve had our annual meeting This time we’ve chosen the Białowieża forest. Those of you, who participated in our Kingdom of Poland tour know, that this is an extraordinary place and a real gem of Europe’s nature. It was a weekend full of walks, talks, delicious food and relaxing, before the Spring and Summer full of the hard work. It‘s only a pity that all bisons got hidden somewhere...
We came back with new ideas, inspirations, and enthusiasm before your arrival in Poland!
We have even recorded some small greetings for all of you
A few days ago, State Archives published the update on their online collections. Almost 3.5 million of new scans were added to Szukajwarchiwach website! Currently, there are over 37 millions of the documents available online: https://szukajwarchiwach.pl/
This is my personal selection of some great reads. I am aware that some of them might be hard to reach, but on the occasion, check the library in your local Polish community - you never know, what treasures are hidden there.
Last, but not least: We have a record number of queries for genealogical trips and only last few vacancies left for our September Galicia Tour! We are still collecting a group for Prussian Poland Tour.
Thank you for being with us, for all your kind words and emails that we receive after each newsletter. This means a lot.
We are wishing you a beautiful Spring and see you very soon in Poland!
Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:37 am
Post subject: Another look at the emigration - newsletter July 2019
"You often ask questions on how to better understand your ancestors. What history, emotions, and dramas are standing behind their decisions and choices.
Why they did not want to talk about the past? Why did they build their new life in a certain way? What were the reasons for their failures and what was the price of success?
I strongly believe that the key is to have deeper knowledge about the context. You have to escape from the records, papers, numbers and dry facts and think about the historical and cultural background.
Knowing the everyday life in Poland, its upsides and downsides, their way to settle in the new country and the hardships they endured at the beginning of building their new life."
This is the entry to our latest emailing. You can read there:
- reminder of our articles regarding the emigration on PolishOrigins' blog
- recommendation of a book about Parisville, the first Polish settlement in Michigan
- a few words about our new mini-series on social media: PolishOrigins field reports.
Last week we have released our monthly newsletter.
You can read there:
- What will be happening in PolishOrigins in the upcoming weeks?
- That we have planned the two editions of our Galicia Tour in 2020:
Spring Galicia Tour: April 19-29, 2020
Fall Galicia Tour: September 20-30, 2020
- What about Prussian Poland and Kingdom of Poland Tours?
- our latest idea: Polish Christmas tour that is planned for mid-December 2019
Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:04 pm
Post subject: Wesołych Świąt from PolishOrigins!
Traditional Polish “wigilia” (Christmas Eve) begins with the appearance of the first star, which is a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem.
Before we will share the Christmas wafer with our loved ones and seat at the tables with pierogi, barszcz, and carp we want to send our wishes to you…
May you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!
As usual, we would like to share with you a small summary of the past year.
In 2019 we started our Genealogy Tours very early, already in February. Since that time, until the end of October, we hosted 180 guests, during over 60 genealogy and history tours. We worked with Americans of Polish heritage, Canadians with German roots, Australians with Jewish ancestry, and many, many more.
We traveled from North to South, from West to East. We have been uncovering family histories in Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Lithuania.
There were so many memorable moments: preparing an intergenerational trip for grandparents and granddaughters, taking our guests straight from the airport to a huge (120+ family members) and festive family reunion with their newly found relatives, reconnecting the first cousins, who did not know about their existence (read about it on our blog: https://blog.polishorigins.com/our-genealogy-trip-to-poland-by-chris-cronk/) or discovering our guest’s ancestors’ matzevah that survived the Holocaust. Apart from dozens of meetings with relatives and hundreds of kind strangers, we organized meetings with the local media, historians and activists.
I am sure that after each touring season, we could write a book
We wish you and ourselves, that the next one would be equally interesting, adventurous and successful!
Agnieszka and the whole PolishOrigins Team
"Do we conduct research now, during the lockdown?", "Do we carry out research outside of Poland?", "How much will it cost?" These are some questions repeating since we have introduced our Genealogy Services.
We are currently working on over a dozen research projects, several others are already completed.
There are many new queries and we have our hands full. Each family story is interesting and we always feel joy and excitement when it turns out that we can help in some way.
During this month of our communication with you, there are some questions that are often repeated. Therefore we have decided to answer the most popular and important.
• Do you do the research now, during the lockdown?
Yes, sometimes we do. It depends on the area of interest and the scope of the project. In some cases the resources are available online. Sometimes, the initial stage requires only a few phone calls or checking our databases, which we can also do now. The archives and most of the institutions are closed for visitors, but their employees are present, so we can consult with them on some basic cases.
We have quite a large number of research projects which are already booked and we will complete them as soon as it will be possible. Of course, the services which are paid earlier will be handled first.
• Do you do the research outside Poland?
Yes, our genealogists have experience in researching all neighboring countries which used to belong to the Polish territory: Western Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Lithuania. If necessary, we might also cooperate with locally based, experienced genealogists.
• Who will do the research for me?
We are a close-knit team working together for years. We have a network of researchers specializing in particular regions. We operate locally and this is one of our greatest strengths. Our research managers will take care of your project, coordinating it as a whole from the first contact, through preparing quota and directing the best researcher to a specific archive. Here you can read more about our team (recently updated ) https://polishorigins.com/our-team/
• What does the process before and during the research look like?
We will get back to you within 5 working days. It is free of charge up to this stage. In the email you will receive information about possible direction and scope of the research with costs and links to the online payment form. We will be waiting for your decision for 21 days.
After receiving your positive decision and payment, we will start the research. If it is a large project you will be informed about the progress of the whole process regularly. After the research, you will receive a detailed report.
• What will I receive as a result of the research?
The research is completed with a Research Report. It includes all the details of our discoveries, scans of the records (if there was no restriction on the Archives side), all the most important data noted from the record, and a research summary. In the report we also describe the next possible steps. Here you can see how such a report may look like.
• How much will it cost?
We approach each request individually and the cost is dependent on the region, location of the resources, scope of the project, and many other factors.
For the most basic queries, we might suggest the First Leads stage. This is a stepping stone project – an initial work that needs to be done by our genealogists within 3 working hours. Results of this project may include: confirmation of place of origin of your ancestors, availability of given kind of records for given place we know we can use to do thorough research, finding a specific record of your ancestor, or in case of relatives search, it may be the confirmation that people bearing your forefathers' surname still live in their town.
At this stage we can also verify if there is a chance for you to be able to confirm your Polish citizenship.
As the outcome of this stage, we will know about the further possible direction of the research. You can then continue the research by yourself or ask us to help you in the next stages. The cost of the First Leads packet is 750 Polish zlotys.
The other service options are Basic, Standard, and Advanced Research. They are described on the site: https://polishorigins.com/genealogy and quoted on request after analysis of your specific case.
• Why am I supposed to pay in Polish zlotys?
The same we in case of our tour services, for genealogy services we accept payments in Polish zloty currency. We are from Poland and we are a Polish business entity. We do accounting in Polish currency – Polish zlotys (PLN or zł). For you to have an orientation about the value of your payment click here to check the current average currency exchange rate between the US Dollar and Polish zloty USD/PLN. This is an average currency exchange rate and it is usually distorted by commissions charged by all the financial intermediary institutions.
• Is this online payment safe?
To collect payments we use the payment platform - Stripe. You can pay using your credit/debit card. Stripe is a safe, global, well-known company, that provides online payments all over the world. Stripe is a leader among other similar companies not only because of its scope but mostly because of its care for safety.
If you prefer you can us PayPal or wire transfer.
• What information should I already have to start?
We often emphasize that starting with checked, structured data and having precise goals and expectations are the fundamentals for successful research. If you have the place name but are not sure where this is located or do not know how the surname should be written correctly - do not worry. We might be able to help. The absolute minimum we need is name and surname, year of birth or immigration, any relative’s names (spouse, parents, children - especially all who were also born in Poland), place of birth or residence. It is good if you can share with us the sources (records, censuses, passengers lists etc.)
Prepare what you have and fill out the request. We will be honored to help you in uncovering your roots in old Poland! Maybe now, when we all are forced to spend more time at home, you can finally devote it to genealogy?
A while back we have started sharing our genealogy knowledge throughout a series of Genealogy Pro Tips that are published on our Facebook page. You can find short and practical advice there, for example on how to find a place of your interest, the graves of your ancestors or check the geographical occurrence of a specific surname.
Today, we would like to share something bigger with you. We created a video that can help you in establishing to which parish your ancestral village belonged. The history of vital records in Poland is different in each of the three partitions. The main thing they have in common though is that it was the parishes that developed vital registration first and that their documents remain the most important when beginning your adventure with genealogy.
In this video, we are presenting you three tools that we regularly use to determine to which parish a certain village or town belonged. Some of these sources are in Polish only, but inside the video we try to guide you through each step and help you to learn how to obtain the information you need from them. We hope that thanks to our film you will be able to kick start your adventure with genealogy.
This is the first video in a series that we want to publish regularly. If you would like to see any other topics touched by us in our videos, please let us know!
It also has been two months since we introduced our Genealogy Services. Since then, we have received multiple messages and research requests from you and have been already working on a couple of dozen research projects.
So far, due to the current COVID-19 situation, our work has been mostly limited to researching documents that are available online. However, this month many cultural institutions, including the State Archives, are slowly coming back to life.
Of course, things are not completely back to normal yet. Reading rooms have limits of how many researchers they can allow inside, the archives’ staff needs to be physically separated from the visitors, and people need to make appointments to enter the previously open-to-all study rooms. Even documents need to be quarantined and after being researched, they need to take a break before another person can access them.
Our team of genealogists and research managers is ready to help you with your genealogy projects. It may take some time if it requires our visit in the archives but the sooner we know that there is such a need the sooner we make a reservation. If you would like to find out if there is anything could we do to help you now or in the near future, fill out our research request form.
I am copying here the content from our latest emailing (from July 3, 2020):
We all have been following the developments in the world for many weeks with bated breath.
We are pleased that Europe is slowly lifting its restrictions. We know that some of you are waiting impatiently for the opportunity to come to Poland. We are also looking forward to seeing you!
From July 1st Europe has restored flight connections with a number of countries, among them is the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Internal borders in the Shengen zone, between the countries in the EU are already open from the middle of June.
The list of countries allowed to enter the EU will also be updated every 14 days, with some being added or taken off depending on the current situation.
If you are considering arrival in Poland, we are ready. Our guides are available, most of the hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are open, of course with some restrictions, but travelling in Poland is possible again.
The State Archives and other institutions (civil registries, parish offices) are working. Some of them will have the usual summer break, but in most cases, with earlier preparation, we can normally conduct the genealogy research.
Of course, we are aware that these are only the beginnings and that each of your countries has some additional, internal regulations. Also, most of our guests are from the USA, so we know that travelling between our countries won’t be possible for some time yet.
That is why we want to offer you the Genealogy Virtual Tours in Poland https://polishorigins.com/tours/virtual-tours/. Our genealogists are here for you. They might visit your ancestral village, photograph the church, cemetery, try to locate where the old house of your ancestors used to stand and look for some living relatives. We are also open to any other challenges and your special wishes like, for example, recently coordinating a project of building your family memorial at the local cemetery. Sometimes, the church records can be found only in the parish archive, so there is no other way to obtain the documentation for your ancestors than a local visit.
We’ve been doing trips of this kind before, and we can confirm that sometimes hours and days spent over the documents and hundreds of phone calls are not as efficient as short visits to a specific place and reaching out to local people.
Even in the times of the hyper-connected world the personal contact will always be more fruitful than even the best letter or email.
Watch the short video we have prepared to introduce you the Genealogy Virtual Tours.
For many years we have been getting questions about becoming a Polish citizen. We reply to some of the questions regarding conrfiming Polish citizenship by descent and about possibility of living in Poland without having Polish citizenship in the recent newsletter and blog post: Do you need Polish citizenship to live in Poland https://blog.polishorigins.com/live-in-poland/
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