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Trace your Eastern European ancestors from American shores back to the old country. This in-depth guide will walk you step-by-step through the excitingand challengingjourney of finding your Polish, Czech, or Slovak roots. You'll learn how to identify immigrant ancestors, find your family's town of origin, locate key genealogical resources, decipher foreign-language records, and untangle the region's complicated history. The book also includes timelines, sample records, resource lists, and sample record request letters to aid your research.
In this book, you'll find
- The best online resources for Polish, Czech, and Slovak genealogy, plus a clear research path you can follow to find success
- Tips and resources for retracing your ancestors’ journey to America
- Detailed guidance for finding and using records in the old country
- Helpful background on Polish, Czech, and Slovak history, geography, administrative divisions, and naming patterns
- How the Three Partitions of Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire affect genealogical research and records
- Information on administrative divisions to help you identify where your ancestors' records are kept
- Sample letters for requesting records from overseas archives
- Case studies that apply concepts and strategies to real-life research problems
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
Table of Contents
Part 1 Linking Your Family tree to Polis Czech and Slovak Localities
Chapter 1 Your Polish, Czech, Or Slovak Heritage 9
Take pride in your Eastern European heritage. This chapter briefs you on why you should research your Polish, Czech, and Slovak ancestors.
Chapter 2 Jump-Starting Your Polish, Czech, and Slovak Research 17
Maximize your research time by planning ahead, This chapter outlines how to identify your goals, build a family tree, and apply key genealogical principles.
Chapter 3 Identifying Your Immigrant Ancestor 32
Unlock the two keys to European research: the name of your immigrant ancestor and his hometown. This chapter offers strategies for finding these crucial pieces of info that will guide the rest of your research.
Chapter 4 The History Of Poland 48
Dive into the turbulent history of Poland with this crash course guide to Polish history through the Commonwealth era, the partitions, the world wars, and beyond.
Chapter 5 The History of the Czech and Slovak Republics 59
Catch a glimpse of these countries' histories, from their time in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the formation of Czechoslovakia and eventual independence.
Part 2 Getting to Know the Old Country
Chapter 6 Understanding Eastern European Geography 69
Learn how geography shaped your ancestors' lives by using maps, atlases, and gazetteers.
Chapter 7 Languages, Surnames, and Given Names 85
Master the mother tongue with these resources for learning the basics of the Polish, Czech, and Slovak languages and naming conventions.
Part 3 Tracing Your Family in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia
Chapter 8 Vital Records 95
Discover the most basic "wheres" and "whens" of your ancestor's life with this guide to birth, marriage, and death records.
Chapter 9 Census Records 112
Reach into the past to find where your ancestors lived in a given year. This chapter outlines where to find (and how to use) census records in Eastern Europe.
Chapter 10 Military Records 120
Follow the tracks your military ancestors left behind with this guide to military records from Eastern Europe.
Chapter 11 Other Record Resources 129
Expand your research horizons with these resources you may not have thought to check. This chapter details how to use records like newspapers and local histories.
Chapter 12 Heritage Travel and On-Site Research 141
Walk a mile in your ancestors' shoes with these helpful travel tips.
Part 4 Advanced Source and Strategies
Chapter 13 Putting It All Together 150
Check out these case studies from genealogists who have tracked down their Polish, Czech, and Slovak ancestors.
Chapter 14 What To Do When You Get Stuck 161
Conquer your research roadblocks with this guide to resources for when your genealogical research comes to a standstill.
Appendix A Understanding Polish 170
Appendix B Understanding Czech 176
Appendix C Understanding Slovak 182
Appendix D Us Genealogy Archives and Libraries 188
Appendix E Civil Record Archives in Europe 191
Appendix F Church Record Archives in Europe 198
Appendix G Sample Letters to Request Records 205
Appendix H Polish, Czech, and Slovak Historical and Genealogical Societies 212
Appendix I Websites and Publications 216