Tracing Polish Ancestors
If you would like to receive this information in Polish, please contact Staffordshire Record Office, Tel 01785-278379
The purpose of this information is to assist people whose families settled in the United Kingdom from Poland and who may wish to trace their ancestors.
Some immigration from Eastern Europe to Britain began in the late 19th century. By the end of the Second World War, the largest group of Europeans who were settled in Britain was the Poles. A large number of Polish soldiers who had served in World War Two did not wish to return to post-war Poland. Staffordshire now has many people of Polish origin living in the county.
Anyone wishing to trace Polish ancestors is recommended to use the excellent web site www.polishroots.org| which provides a great deal of background information, history, advice and contact details.
When writing to make enquiries about family history in Poland, it is necessary to write in Polish. The Polishroots website provides useful advice on making enquiries relating to records held in Poland.
This is not an exhaustive guide but will provide some pointers which will help you to make a start on tracing your family.
As with any family history research, it is important to find out as much as you can from your relatives, particularly older members of the family. The information which they provide can be invaluable in pointing you in the right direction. As well as recording any family stories, you also need to ask about place of origin and religious denomination or faith. Poland's history is very complex and so any information which you can glean, in particular the name of the town or village of origin, is most important.
It is essential to record all the details which you are given accurately so that you can check them and use them as you begin to trace further information.
You should also collect together any documents which may be within the family such as certificates of birth, baptism, marriage or death as well as information about work, immigration and education. These will be invaluable in helping to put together an initial picture.
It is helpful to have some knowledge of Poland's history. The many changes which have taken place over time have affected the organisation and the location of surviving records.
Depending on when your family came to this country, there may be records in the United Kingdom which can also help you to make a start.