1) Bring someone who speaks Polish with you.
2) Be patient and prepared. There are many policies and procedures.
3) Vital records in Poland are recorded in each town's Civil Records Office (in Polish, "Urzad Stanu Cywilnego", abbreviated "USC"), and records less than 100 years old are still kept there. USCs are typically located in the City/Town Hall. (To obtain birth, marriage and death records of about 1911 and later, write to: Urzad Stanu Cywilnego (next line) [YourTown], POLAND. The USC will provide only typewritten abstracts of the vital records in their possession, as photocopies of records less than 100 years old are not permitted. The response will usually come back through the Polish Embassy or nearest Polish Consulate, and they are now asking for around $30 per record.
For data less than 100 years old, contact information is provided for some communities in the Lublin district, as follows:
20-068 Lublin, Poland
Hours: Monday and Tuesday: Closes at 5pm
Wednesday - Friday: Closes at 3:30pm
Tel: +48 825652070
Mjr. H. Dobrzanskiego 1
Open Hours: Mon - Fri 7:30 - 15:30
Tel: +48 (82) 576-52-1113, +48 (82) 576-72-8688
Open Hours: Tues 8:00 - 16:00; Mon, Weds - Fri 7:30 - 15:30
Aleja J. Pilsudskiego 41
22-200 Wlodawa, Poland
Phone: +48 82 546 16 00
ul. Rynek Wielki 13
22-400 Zamosc, Poland
Phone: +48 (84) 530 03 60
4) Records older than 100 years are held at the various branches of the Polish State Archives. To determine the branch with your town's records, see the Polish Archives Holdings of Jewish Vital Records list.
The archives require a $30 deposit to initiate a research project, and charge an hourly fee of $15. You will be advised what records were found, and you will receive a request for payment for the research. To purchase photocopies of the records, there is an additional fee of $10 each. The two southeast Poland archives that are the branches of the State Archives are as follows:
State Archives in Lublin (Archive 35)
Actual address: ul. Jezuicka 13 (Entrance on Cathedral Square), Lublin's old town
Address for correspondence: PO Box 113, Lublin, 20-950
Tel. +48 (81) 5328071-2, +48 (81) 5286140
Open Hours: Mon 9:00 - 17:00, Tue - Fri 9:00 - 15:00 (July and August: Mon - Fri. 9:00-15:00)
- Arrive well before closing time.
- Come with a priority list, because you will be limited in items you request from the reading room. It also takes a long time for those items to arrive to you.
- No food or drinks are allowed inside, but the archive is very close to a lot of food shops or restaurants.
- Some of the staff speak English but the (many) forms are in Polish and the staff will not sit with you unless booked in advance.
State Archives in Zamosc (Archive 88)
ul. Hrubieszowska 69A
Tel: +48 (84) 6389382
Open Hours: Mon - Fri. 8.00-15.00
- See Lublin tips above, plus:
- Fewer staff here than in Lublin and they may not speak English.
- The (many) forms are in Polish.