Helpful Books on Polish Genealogy

Basic Research

Polish Genealogy: Four Steps to Success by Stephen Szabados: Offers a logical process to approach Polish genealogical research. This book is designed to give the researcher the tools needed to research their Polish ancestors and find possible answers to the origins of their Polish heritage. The book also lists many sources of information that will add to their family history; identify where their ancestors were born and where to find their Polish records.

A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy; by Cecile (Ceil) Wendt Jensen: The author offers a plan for researching at least one hundred years of family records, and is a compilation of the author’s techniques. Common research questions are answered and suggestions are offered to help novice and advanced researchers find ancestors in both North America and Poland.

A Guide To Chicago And Midwestern Polish-American Genealogy by Kruski, Jason

Long-term Reference

Going Home: A Guide to Polish American Family History Research by Jonathan Shea:

An indispensable reference book that covers every possible topic on Polish genealogy: history, gazetteers, maps, vocabulary lists, Polish surnames, archives.

POLISH ROOTS, 2ND ED. by Rosemary A. Chorzempa: This book examines Polish-American resources such as family papers and standard records employed in genealogical research. Also, lists libraries and archives where information can be found.



In Their Words by Jonathan D. Shea and William F. Hoffman: This is a three book series covering the three of the languages used to created Polish records (Polish, Latin, and Russian). The records reviewed are not just birth, marriage and death records but also passports, obituaries, population registers, and military service records. Also includes information on the different alphabets, spelling, pronunciation, and standard handwriting for the three languages.

A Translation Guide to 19th Century Polish-Language Civil-Registration Documents by Judith R. Frazin: The 472-page book includes a step-by-step guide on how to divide each narrative document into a series of “mini-documents”; seven sample documents with important words and the information which follows these words highlighted; and fifteen topical vocabulary lists.

Additional books that I have found useful in my Polish genealogical research and writing my family Histories include:

  • The Study of Obituaries as a Source For Polish Genealogical Research by Thomas E Golembiewski
  • Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab
  • God’s Playground: A History Of Poland: In Two Volumesby  Norman Davies
  • Trail of Hope: The Anders Army, An Odyssey Across Three Continents, Nov 24, 2015 by Norman Davies
  • Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw, Oct 4, 2005 by Norman Davies
  • Forgotten Holocaust, Third Edition, Sep 1, 2012 by Norman Davies and Richard Lukas (about non-Jewish Poles killed during WW II)
  • No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II, Feb 15, 2011 by Kenneth K. Koskodan
  • The Jews in Polish Culture (Jewish Lives), Aug 1, 1988 by Aleksander Hertz and Lucjan Dobroszycki
  • Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers On The South Side, 1880-1922 (1991) by Pacyga, Dominic A
  • Forgotten Doors, The Other Ports of Entry to the United States edited by M. Mark Stolarik
  • Daily Life in Immigrant America 1870-1920 by June Granatir Alexander, Ivan R Dee
  • Daily Life in Immigrant America 1820-1870 by James M. Bergquist, Ivan R Dee
  • Ellis Island a pictorial history by Barbara Benton, Facts on File Publications
  • Polish Arrivals At The Port Of Baltimore, 1880-1884 by Davis-White, Jeanne
  • Baltimore Harbor: A Pictorial History by Robert C. Keith
  • Polish Immigrants by W. Scott Ingram
  • A History of the Polish Americans by John J Bukowczyk
  • The Polish Way: A Thousand-year History Of The Poles And Their Culture by Zamoyski, Adam
  • Our Grandfather’s Axe by Buse, Adolf and Dieter

Also, do not forget books on Polish communities and neighborhoods·

  •  Chicago’s Polish Downtown (Images of America) by Victoria Granacki
  • Chicago’s Southeast Side (Images of America), October 26, 1998 by Rod Sellers and  Dominic A. Pacyga
  • Avondale and Chicago’s Polish Village by Jacob Kaplan, Daniel Pogorzelski, Rob Reid, Elisa Addlesperger, Dominic Pacyga
  • Polish Community of New Britain (Images of America) by Jonathan Shea and Barbara Proko
  • Toledo’s Polonia (OH) (Images of America) by Rev. Richard Philiposki and Toledo Polish Genealogical Society
  • Detroit’s Polonia (MI) (Images of America) by Cecile Wendt Jensen
  • A History of Polish-Americans in Pittsfield, Mass., 1862-1945 by Florence Waszkelewicz Clowes

Now sit back, read, and enjoy your Polish Heritage.

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