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Zenon
PolishOrigins Team Leader


Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Replies: 1481
Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:55 pm      Post subject:
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KKempa wrote:
I thought I asked (but see I didn't) what "Spis Famille" means.


What kind of records have you been looking through? "Spis" means "list" but it can also be a surname. "Famille" is a variation of family. If you wrote about context if this phrase (what kind of records you looked through, where it was - in content of records, records description of column or inside a column) or paste a scan, the advise could be more valuable.
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Shellie
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Replies: 981
Location: Atlanta, GA

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:55 pm      Post subject:
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Hi James,
I am curious about your experience with the Polish State Archives. What was that experience like? When you emailed your request to the archive, did they respond for free, or did they ask you to send money to cover the research fees? If so, how did you get the money to them from the US?

James, you have probably already done this, but I'll mention it for others who might read this:
Since I also live here in the United States, the first place that I look for church records is the LDS family history center.
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp

I use a KEYWORD search, not a place search. I have had better luck finding place information using the KEYWORD search.
The first time that I ordered films, I was a little intimidated by the whole process, but it turned out to be quite easy.

Once I determined that there were some church records for my village at the LDS Family History Library, I printed out the film notes with the details and film numbers. I then searched for my nearest LDS Family history center: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHC/frameset_fhc.asp

I called my nearest center and spoke the volunteer who instructed me to come in and order my films in person. The fee was about 6 dollars per film. After a few weeks, the films go back, unless you renew them for the same price. After you pay to renew them 2 times, the films become "indefinate" and stay at your local center.

Within a few weeks, the films arrived at the center and I was allowed to view them for free on their microfilm viewer.
My church records were in Latin with some notes in Polish. However, it didn't take long to figure out the basic information. The dates are quite clear and the last names are not hard to find. I also met several nice people there who helped me and shared some valuable hints.

By the way, you do not have to be Morman to visit the LDS Family History Center. Their collection has more than just church records on microfilm.
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James
PolishOrigins Team


Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Replies: 226
Location: WEST VIRGINIA , USA

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:30 pm      Post subject: research in Poland
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Shellie,

Research at the Polish State Archives ( Archiwum ) has become relatively easier now , then it was 5 - 10 years ago.
The internet has provided a faster means of communicating with the Polish archives. I believe that every state archive has its own web site and email address. In the past, you never knew if your letter made it to the archive, until you received a reply back from them, which could be several months later.
The usual process then was that the archive could perform a search , once you deposited the fee into a Polish bank account, which they provided to you. (I had a friend in Poland who helped me with the deposits ) If the archive found info, it would cost you a certain amount to have copies made and sent to you. The initial search fee was about $ 25.00 US , and the copies varied, but usually only a few dollars each.
With the internet access today, everything is much faster.
You email an archive with your request, and all the info you have, and you will receive an email reply, as to weather they have any info or not, and what it will cost. The time frame for their reply varies greatly. I've heard back in less than 5 days, and as long as 1 month, but it is a lot better today than it used to be.

You can find most of this information , here in Polish Origins, about all of the state archive web sites and email address'.
When I'm writing to an archive, this is my resource for address'.

James
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James
PolishOrigins Team


Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Replies: 226
Location: WEST VIRGINIA , USA

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:56 pm      Post subject:
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Shellie,

If you go to the " Menu " on the left hand side of the main page, here on Polish Origins, and place the cursor over " Tips and Resources " , 3 options appear.
Clik on " Polish State Archives" .
On the new page , clik on " Remote Research in Polish State Archives - Practical Hints ", that will bring up a letter all about research via mail, with some examples of letters received from the Polish State Archives.
At the bottom of the page clik on " Useful links, including Polish State Archives " , this will give you a list of all state archives and their address'.
I hope this helps.

James
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jldwrite



Joined: 02 Apr 2011
Replies: 1

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:22 pm      Post subject: Continuously struggling with Szczecin and Inowrocław Archive
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Hoping someone can have some input.

My first problem, I have never received a response, either by email or postal mail from the Inowrocław Archive. I have tried to be respectful, and have only sent 3 emails and 3 postal letters in 2 years, requesting one document I am 100% positive exists--fully documented with names, parents names and exact date, as well as 2 other documents that would require some research in a span of deaths for about 2 years.

I have never received a response to any of my inquiries. I eventually made a donation to the Posen Marriage Database and the owner of the database was able to acquire the one document I was sure existed. While the other documents would be nice, they aren't part of my direct line and were not critical to my research.

The Szczecin archive I have had mixed results. Again, trying to be respectful, and knowing that my request is one of hundreds, I have tried not to send too many messages or complain, but after paying hundreds of dollars for an extensive list of documents, I still have not received the latest documents.

My first request of about 5 records that were specifically documented with full names and dates took 6 months to receive, and only after I had to ask for a status of my request 3 months after it was acknolwedged as received. Money was deposited with wire transfer within 3 business days and submitted all tracking information, after 3 months I had to submit a request for a status, and only after I did this did I receive my documents.

Next request was sent over 9 months ago. I was told I would have a response in a month. 5 months later I had to inquire about the status again. They were obviously confused and resent me the documents (via email) from my first inquiry. Resubmited the second inquiry. 2 months later I received the cost for 1/2 of my request, and a request for additional money for 5 hours of research for the other 1/2 of my request. Again submitted money via wire transfer and tracking information. I included money for additional scans for the remaining 1/2 of my order as well as the additional research fees. It was over $400 in costs.

I was told my documents were mailed to me (was not expecting them to be mailed via postal) 2 months ago, and I still don't have them. I submitted a request for assistance at the month mark, with no response.

There is no doubt as well that I will need to submit at least one, if not more, requests based on the documents in the second inquiry with the Szczecin archive, but at this rate I'll never be done with my research. Again, trying to be respectful and polite, as I need to engage their services in the future, but I am getting frustrated. Unfortunately the documents simply do not exist outside of the archives.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!
Jen
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SZABATROOTS



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Replies: 1

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:18 pm      Post subject: Catholic Diocese Archives in Bialystok
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I am trying to confirm the birthplace of my mother's paternal side, and after
much triangulation of family ship manifests, and handwriting analysis, believe it
to be the town of Moniuszki in North East Poland. I need now to find some
vital record that would confirm my belief.

Does anyone have any experience in dealing with Catholic Diocese Archives
in Bialystok? Do they offer research assistance? Alternatively, do you know
of any researcher in Bialystok who could help me do local research there?

I have also sent inquiries to the Bialystok State Archives, but as has been pointed out,
it is a slow and unpredictable process!!
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Squirrel6s



Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Replies: 11
Location: East SF Bay Area, CA

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:00 pm      Post subject: What to do next and how to proceed?
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I received an email reply back from the archives (Wloclawek branch in Torun) quite some time ago (June). I am just now getting to it again. I am not entirely sure how to proceed from here. It does indicate that an inquiry could be made for the family name I mentioned. There is no reference number back to the email I oroginally sent. I would like to go ahead and have them do the search but I cannot quite understand how to make the deposit. It is difficult to tell where the address ends and the account number begins. I am attaching an image of the translation as done by an acquaintance of mine. Thank you! Susanne


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dnowicki
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Replies: 2145
Location: Michigan City, Indiana

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:33 pm      Post subject:
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Susanne,

What the archive is asking for is a deposit of 25 Polish zloty before they begin the research you requested. You can't mail a check to the archive. Payment has to be made by wire transfer directly to the bank account of the archive. The section which begins "NBP" and ends with a series of numbers is the account information. This information contains a "swift code" which allows a bank or credit union in the USA to transfer the funds from your bank to the account of the archive in Poland. The archivist is asking you to email a copy of the proof of transfer (which you will receive from the bank here) to the archive to speed up the whole process. (Otherwise it seems the archivist would have to wait a considerable time before he would learn of the deposit of your fee. Keep in mind that speeding up the process is a very relative thing. It may still take months before anything happens.) I've dealt with Polish archives (and the Wloclawek branch of the Torun archive in particular) and waiting for results does require a good degree of patience.

The fee of 25 Polish zloty to begin the research is very reasonable---somewhere around $8.00 American, depending on the rate of exchange. However, what is far from reasonable (at least in my opinion) is the fee banks charge here to transfer the funds---about $40.00. It just doesn't seem right that the bank should collect 5 times the amount being transferred as their fee, but there is no choice but to play by their rules. I've found that the price the banks here in Northwest Indiana charge varied between a low of $40.00 and a high of $80.00 so it may pay for you shop around a bit before using any particular bank. I've also found that a locally owned bank generally charges a smaller fee than a big corporate bank.

I've always communicated with the archives in Polish and all the correspondence from the archive included a "Znak sprawy" ---kind of like a work order number---which made the subject matter of the correspondence very clear. Since what you received has no such number, I would recommend that you attach a copy of the original email from the archive, unless when you look at the original, there is a "Znak sprawy" at the top of the page. Anyway, your next step would be to do the wire transfer and then attach a copy of the paperwork from the bank here (and probably a copy of the original Polish email you received to your next email to the archive. If there is a "znak sprawy" number on what you have received, you should use it on all the emails you send to the archive.

Best of luck and if you should have any more questions, please post them and I or someone else who has dealt with the archives will certainly try to answer your questions.

Dave
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