Genealogical Word Lists

Many people have approached me and stated a reluctance to search for the European records of their ancestors because they fear they will have problems translating the documents. I found that translating my ancestors’ records was a challenge but it was not insurmountable or costly to overcome.

Most of the records that I have found were in a tabular format and this allowed me to use the genealogical word lists to easily translate most records. The column heading were typed and therefore easily read. I could then look through the wordlist for the appropriate language and find the translation for each column. The information found in each column was normally a name or a date. If it was not one of these it was the person’s occupation. I was able to find most of the terms found in the documents listed on the word lists. Remember that early Catholic Church records were recorded using Latin and not the native language.

There are various genealogy books that include a word list for their language but the most convenient resource that I use is the wikis found on

New Portal for Polish Research has announced its new web page that lists 46 domestic and international web sites that are related to Polish Genealogy research.  Some you may already know and have tried some of these. However there are many that are new in the last few years and may help unlock the door to your Polish heritage. The most interesting new pages are sponsored by Polish Genealogical groups that have indexed many records and are committed to adding scanned images as soon as possible. Volunteers in Poland have been visiting archives and churches collecting images to be indexed and uploaded to their new sites.  The Polish groups also make this information for free. None of the sites require a subscription fee to gain access.

This is PGSA’s first step to increase awareness in the resources that are available in Polish Genealogical research.

Go to and click on the link under “Compendium of Polish Digital Web Sites.”  This is a great site to get started or to renew your efforts to find your Polish roots.


Polish Genealogy – new book announcement

My new book – Polish Genealogy: Four steps to success is now available on I have outlined a simple process that will identify where your ancestors were born and where to find their Polish records.  Traditional sources are covered but I also discuss many new and exciting sources for Polish records that have been implemented by genealogy societies in Poland. This book should prove invaluable when doing Polish research.