Finding Parish Addresses
The addresses for parishes in Poland can be dificult to find. Parish boundaries do not respect province boundaries. If the town you are researching lies near the border of one province (present or former), the parish may belong to that of a nearby district in the neighboring province. Confusing? Yes, most definitely it can be!
Here are some wonderful web sites to help you find the name of the parish to which a specific town belongs:
Poland's Roman Catholic Dioceses -- this page contains a map displaying the current Polish diocesan borders and links to the official diocesan web sites - from PolandGenWeb
Diecezje Kosciola Katolickiego w Polsce -- in Polish; a list of all the R.C. Catholic Dioceses in Poland; mailing addresses for each diocese, e-mail address, web site address (if available), and more.
Polish Yellow Pages -- type the place name in the town/city box and "Churches" in the products/services box; leave the voivodship box empty; for English language, click on tab at top right of screen
Locating Parishes-- Polish and English version available (click on the button at top to enter the English version); enter the numbers 866101 in the box labeled SIC (this is the code number for Churches, Temples, and Shrines); for Lutheran Churches, enter the numbers "91.31.2" in the NACE box as well - leave this blank for Catholic parishes.
If you want to see all parishes within a province (new or old), click on the Select button to the right of the row labeled Voivodship (this will take you to another page); on the new page click on the Reset button; this will uncheck all the boxes; once the check boxes are reset, select the name(s) of the province you want to search and click on the Return button at the top right of the page (this will take you back to the first screen).
If you want to see all parishes within one specific town, enter the town name in the text box at the top.
To display the results of your search, at the bottom right of the page under Results Format, there are three choices: Report, List, Statistics; select List and click on the Search button below; this will show you a list of parishes in the province(s) or town you have selected; click on the parish name to find their mailing address.
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Now, what do I do with the address once I find it?
Once you have the address of the parish your ancestor's town belonged to, you can write to the church for records. Letters must be written in Polish (requests in other languages will most likely go unanswered). Here are a few suggestions how to write your letter, if you don't read/write Polish:
Send a copy of your letter written in English to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the body of the message type #ENG>POL (this code informs the translator that you wish your message to be translated from English into Polish). The message should have a maximum length of 40 lines. If you need to break up the translation to fit it into 40 lines, then just send it in pieces. This service is free. You must include your full name with your request.
Polish Letter Writing Guide -- this page, from the Polish Genealogical Society of America, translates several sentences that can be strung together to form your letter
A sample letter to a Polish parish -- a copy of a letter written to a Catholic parish in Poland
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