How to obtain polish birth certificate
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- Kolegium Heraldyczne
ul. Narutowicza 4
Roman Catholic Church
Polish parishes began recording births, marriages, and deaths in the late 1500s and early 1600s as dictated by the Council of Trent in 1563. The Council required baptismal registers be kept, which were necessary to prove couples were baptized Catholics before they could be married. In 1614, a formal mandate required that all baptisms, marriages, and deaths be recorded. However, some parishes kept records before the Council established the requirement, and some parish registers kept communion and confirmation lists and marriage banns.
There was often more than one original copy of the registers. At the end of the year, the priest was required to copy all entries and send them to the local bishop or to the local civil records office. So, if you don't find the record you seek in the local parish, try the diocesan or archdiocesan archives and the state provincial archives for civil records. Some registers were taken to Germany during World War II and are still there.
Registers were usually written in Latin until Poland was partitioned, when they began being recorded in the language of the rulers of the partition (Austrian, German, and Russian).
See Finding Parish Addresses to help you locate the name of the parish to which your ancestor belonged, or you can write to the following address to find the name and address of the Roman Catholic parish for a specific village or town:
- Biblioteka Uniwersytecka
Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego
20-950 Lublin 1
ul. Chopina 27
PolandGenWeb Records Transcription Project -- online records from Polish parishes
Greek Catholic Church
Record began being kept in the early 1600s. The registers were written in Old Church Slavonic, Ukrainian, Polish, or Latin. The information contained is nearly the same as that recorded in the Roman Catholic registers. Recent records
(those less than 100 years old) can be found at the parish or local civil records offices. The state provincial archives and the Main Archives of Ancient Documents also keep these church records. Some have been microfilmed by the LDS.
Russian Orthodox Church
Record keeping began in the 1600s. The registers were in Old Church Slavonic or Russian. The information contained is about the same as the Roman Catholic registers. Recent records are held at parishes or local civil records offices. They also can be found at the Main Archives of Ancient Documents and state provincial archives. Some have been filmed by the LDS.
Evangelical (Lutheran) Church
The church began keeping records in the early 1600s. Births, marriages, deaths, and some confirmations were recorded. The information recorded was much the same as that of the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the registers were indexed. The entries were written in the language of the people: thus, German for the German-speaking inhabitants, etc. The records can be found in the parish if it is still active, in the local civil records offices, and also may be found in the state provincial archives or Protestant or Catholic archives in Poland and Germany. Many registers have been microfilmed by the LDS.
For a map of the diocesan boundaries and links to each diocese's web site, visit the Poland's Evangelical-Augsburg (Lutheran) Dioceses page.
- Lutheran Churches in Poland -- in Polish and other languages; click on the DIECEZJE I PARAFIE button to see diocesan boundaries and diocesan addresses
A church-book information center was founded by the Society of Eastern German Family Researchers. They may be able to assist you in finding the present location of the church for which you are searching:
4236 Hamminkeln 4
NOTE: this address is most likely outdated, since the zip code is the old four-digit zip code format used before the re-unification of Germany.
If your ancestors were from Pommerania, you can write to the Pomeranian Evangelical Church Archives in Greifswald, Germany:Source: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com