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Polish Roots - Korzenie Polskie

Reviewed by Joan Schmidt, PGSA Summer 1993

By Rosemary A. Chorzempa, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202. 262 pp., paperback, with maps and illustrations. $17.95 per copy, postage and handling $3.00 for one copy, an extra $1.00 for each additional copy. Can be ordered with VISA or MasterCard by calling 1-800-296-6687, Maryland residents add 5% sales tax, Michigan residents add 4% sales tax.

Polish Roots gives an excellent overview of how to approach Polish genealogical research. Written in a manner easy to read and understand, it is excellent reading for the beginner and a valuable reference for others. Each chapter ends with a list of sources and additional reading references.

The first part of her book deals with beginning research in America - the many types of records and where and how to obtain them. She lists the addresses of all the regional archives, Polish Genealogical Societies and many Polish Fraternal Societies in the U.S.

The second part of the book deals with research in Poland. She gives a synopsis of Polish history, the different ethnic groups in Poland and the areas in which they lived. Also mentioned are the various boundary changes and how they affected the Polish people, the different religions, and the types of records found in each area. Some photo examples of actual documents and their translation give one the feet of what to expect when doing one's own research. Listed are addresses of the diocesan and regional civic archives, and the types of records available.

She concludes with a history of development of Polish surnames and how familiarity with knowledge of naming children after saints' feast days can help in finding an ancestor's birthday. Listed are many Polish saints' feast days, terms and definitions of words and phrases found in Polish documents, including illnesses. Last, but not least, is a Polish Letter Writing Guide - a must for those who don't speak Polish trying to obtain information or documents from Poland.

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Last Updated on May 29, 2001