Joined: 03 Oct 2014
Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:29 pm
Post subject: Census records in Poland
Forgive me if I've put this in the wrong spot. Recently I have been trying to do some additional searching on my own. Someone recently made a post elsewhere in my research sites for http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/. Playing around, I found what I learned was a census record for Lodz 1916-1921. The crazy questions I am going to pose are the following:
1. How often were census or fonds as I have heard them called were taken?
2. Is there a way for me to find earlier fonds prior to 1916 for the city of Lodz?
2a. The reason I ask is I am still trying to find what happened to my Great Uncle Franciszek Jelinek, born 1891 in Lodz to Pawel and Regina Jelinek and trying to figure out where he is.
What other things are available on http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/ ?
I welcome a response when time allows you. I know we all have busy lives, and I do appreciate the time and assistance being put forth in providing information.
Thanks again, have a great evening!!
Joined: 18 Jan 2017
Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:31 am
My comments, which others may wish to add to based on their experiences.
Fortunately for those of us researching the Łódź area, the Łódź Archives office is one of the more active branches of the Polish State archives when it comes to digitising their holdings.
The most recent catalogue of their digitised holding was published on the 14th of April.
At the start of the catalogue they point out that all of the listed items are accessible (via computers) in their readings rooms (at the address "plac Wolności 1" in Łódź), but that only some of the items are available via the Internet at Szukajwarchiwach or Genealodzy. Please note that none of these census documents have been indexed in the same way that the BDM records have been on Genetyka (by an army of amateur volunteers), so you will need to scroll through page after page.
If you scroll down to item 221 in the catalogue, you will see the term “księgi ludności stałej” which literally translates as the “registers of the permanent population” of the town. The term “skorowidze” means “indexes”, which is very handy as otherwise you will need to view the source document page by laborious page. There is also the term “księgi ludności niestałej” which means “registers of the non-permanent population”.
There is also a very useful 2011 written article: “Ewidencja ludności przechowywana w Archiwum Państwowym w Łodzi” = “Population records stored in the State Archives in Łódź”
Unfortunately, the embedded hyperlinks to pictures of the various registers no longer work.
The listing at the end of the articles provides a useful index of records available and as you can see they go back in various forms to the early 1800s, not only for Łódź but also for a couple of surrounding towns.
Many years ago I had reached a roadblock in my research. According to family anecdotes, one of my ancestors had come to the Łódź region from Bohemia in the 1830s, when the textile industry was taking off in the Łódź area (“the Manchester of Poland”). The marriage and death records simply stated that he and his wife had both come from Czechy (i.e. Bohemia) but no town was specified. I invested in an airfare to Poland and went to the Łódź archives, where I examined the relevant mid-1800 census records and discovered that the place of birth was listed for both of them including dates of birth and their parents' names. Armed with this I was then able to access the extensive online Czech State Archives records (scanned images) and have traced the family back to the mid-1700s so far (fingers crossed, I can get back to the start of their records in the mid 1600s). I also got a wonderful holiday in Poland out of it. Equally, you can just pay a professional researcher to go and trawl the archives for you.
Regarding your question about what else is in Szukajwarchiwach. BDM records of course, town census records, and like all good National Archives institutions an absolute mountain of regional government and town council administrative records. I understand that Łódź also has a lot of records generated by the occupying force during WW2. See also:
Good luck and happy hunting