If you have no prior experience of researching in a foriegn country it is essential that you spend some time checking out the various helps available on this site and its parent site (PolGenWeb). Things that you may take for granted can be completely different, and often it is the commonplace that catches you out.
This site is peppered with Polish terms, terms which you are going to need to know. Don't worry, lots of explanations are also given.
REMEMBER: If you ask for help, remember to quote what place, time period & religion you are interested in, plus the source of your information. It is very difficult to answer any question about place X or person Y without knowing, or guessing ALL of the above.
The 'Place Finder' is fairly clear to use, but remember that this site does not divide the province up by parish but by local government districts. The reason for this is obvious when you consider how many different parishes you can have with a nation of Roman Catholics, Jews, Othodoxy, Uniates, Protestants etc plus the number of times the parish borders have changed as national borders have shifted and dioceses have been created and destroyed.
A Polish wojewodztwo (province) is divided into powiats (counties), and each powiat into gmina's (local districts). The gmina is the smallest administrative unit that maintains records and it is here that Births, Marriages and Deaths are recorded and the record kept for 100 years (after which it is sent to the wojewodztwo records office).
The 'Powiat & Gmina Pages' are where information about specific locations is stored. As there are over 6000 separate places it will take some time before a good coverage of information is available. However, each of the 6000+ places are shown on a map on its relevant gmina page.
The index page for this part of the site contains a lot of information about terms used on the powiat and gmina pages plus a lot of help about what information on this site, and from other Polish sources, actually mean. Don't just bypass this page, as is easily done when using the Place Finder pages.
The 'Research Basics' page is the PolGenWeb Poland site and here you will find much useful information about how to go about your research in Poland. Just as important, it has help for when you get stuck.
- Lublin/Lubelskie/Lubelski/Lubelska/Lubelszczyzny/Lubelskiego - These words are all just different grammatical forms of the name 'LUBLIN' used in Polish. Districts in Poland usually have the same name as the 'capital' of that district.
- As the Polish alphabet is slightly different to the English one, names are given using both alphabets. The extra characters resemble English characters, with dashes etc, above and below letters: [POLISH(šæê³ñó¿Ÿ) = ENGLISH(acelnoszz)]. to display the Polish character set: NETSCAPE (Internet Explorer is similar): click on 'View' on the drop-down menu, select "Character Set", select "Central European (ISO-8859-2)". To return, repeat procedure, selecting "Western (ISO-8859-1)"
- If you wish to pursue research about Poland then you are going
to have to familiarise yourself with some Polish words. All Polish words
used here are explained and are essential basic words necessary to understand
the basic Polish documentation you will be trying to use. Latin, Yiddish,
German, Russian etc words will also be added where required.
No matter where you are in the site, if you try to bookmark then all you will get is a bookmark of the frame, which will always take you straight to the homepage. For example, at the moment you will see that your browser is displaying the address of this site as 'http://.... .../index.htm'. If you click on the menu and go to another page, it will still display the same address which is the frame address. If you tried to print a page then it would not do so properly either.
To bookmark or print an individual page then first you must open that page on its own, out of the frame it is in. To do this you need to click the right mouse button with the mouse hovering over the area you want. For a test click the right mouse button with the mouse over this text (NOT over the menu buttons on the left, nor the images at the top of the page!). A box will appear with a variety of shortcut commands in it, and near the top will be one something like "Open Frame in New Window". Click on this one, and then a new window will appear that contains this text, but no menu on the left nor any images at the top. Your browser will now be displaying a page address like 'http://... .../lubsiteguide.html', if you bookmark now then you can return to this page, and you can print the page out with no problem.
You can now close this window down and the original window will still be open. If you later return to a bookmarked page you can recreate the menu on the left etc simply by clicking on the blue diamond motif (next to the 'HOME' button) on the navigation bar at the bottom of the page. Note that you can also navigate around this site using the 'SITEMAP' button.