Customer Reviews: Polish Roots
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on June 21, 1998
Polish Roots is exactly the book I have needed while researching my Polish ancestry. Rosemarie Chorzempa explains family history research for Polish descendants, with emphasis on Polish family, Polish history, and Polish research, both in North America and Europe. She clearly and concisely answered the questions I've encountered, explaining why my Polish grandparents' papers said they came from Germany/Prussia/Borussia (there was no "Poland" in the nineteenth century!), Polish customs and names (with English translations), and where and how to go for more information, in civil, church, and historical records. If you are interested in learning more about your Polish ancestry, buy this book!
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on November 17, 2001
This is an excellent book for anyone who is attempting to find their Polish ancestors here in the USA or abroad. Rosemary gives you all the resources you need, and then some,to begin tracing down those elusive Polish immigrant relatives. She even has sample letters in Polish to use in writing for family record; such as baptismal, marriage, and death records using both religious and civilan sources. She even provides the addresses.
Rosemary gives lists of Polish names and what they may translate to in English. A list of the months in Polish also is a great help in determining which month a date means. Another wonderful asesst is a guide to translating church records, as all of the Catholic parish registers were written in Latin. Rosemary also makes mention of Jewish and Protestant records. Get this book and refer to it often, it is a treasure !
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on March 2, 1999
I found this book to be highly informative and loaded with how to's and where to go's. This author's recommendation lead me to purchase a book that was used as a reference for her work. I would not be without this book as an aid for searching your Polish "roots".
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on January 29, 1998
Good introduction to genealogy in general, the LDS collections, North American sources, Polish sources, and other relevant European sources. Good attention to non-Polish ethnic groups of Poland and their churches. I find the book so useful that it has travelled with me to Salt Lake City and Poland.
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on May 16, 2005
Mrs. Chorzempa explains step by step how to do the research through the archives available in America and in Poland, giving any necessary and useful addresses including the information where one can find the passengers lists. She uses the example of her own search - showing the photocopies from the archives.

This book contains a brief course in Polish history, geography, class hierarchy, ethnic minorites as well as a short course in Polish (and Latin) languages, Polish surnames, Polish, Ukrainian, German and Jewish first names. This all is done for one reason - to help a person learn something about Poland before starting its roots search. The sources are often given in other than Polish languages since Poland did not exist as a country for almost 150 years. This knowledge is necessary for anybody who wants to understand his/her Polish roots! Interesting to read and quite concise! I recommend it to all who want to start to do their genealogy search in Poland!
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VINE VOICEon February 21, 2005
you'd never be able to find out anything about your Polish (in my case, Russian Polish) roots, Rosemary Chorzempa gives us a little hope that all is not lost for Polish genealogy.

I soaked up the information about Poland's history (although I beg to differ on the part about Poland being "mother" to Russia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, etc. I'm sure those countries don't feel that way) and was always curious to know why the country suffered through so many partitions and wars. My curiosity was satisfied history-wise.

Genealogy-wise, I'm a tad more hopeful than before that I'll be able to locate something, anything, on my great-grandparents (who were the immigrants). As it stands now, I only have their names but I'd like to put plenty of personality to those names.

Great read and practical advice for the beginning and experienced genealogist alike.

Unfortunately, this is yet another genealogy book that could use some serious updating.
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on June 21, 2012
Polish Roots is printed in two Parts; part 1 (45 pages) offers basic information and advises which records in the United States are likely to produce the best results for Polish-American research, while part 2 (190 pages) moves the researcher across the ocean to resources available in Poland. The book provides a good compilation of information sources in the United States and Poland, but it is especially helpful in providing a path to access people and information in Poland. It is also helpful in interpreting and understanding genealogical records that you might retrieve from Poland.

The main shortcoming of Polish Roots is that it has not been updated since it was first published 19 years ago in 1993. The book contains no reference to the vast genealogical resources available through the internet. We have been researching our Polish ancestry for the last 2 years and have found many useful sources of genealogical information on the internet. Through various internet websites we have also found about a dozen folks in both the United States and Poland who share our family research interest with whom we exchange regular email correspondence. Our research and contacts through the internet have been the most fruitful part of journey to discover our family history!

Overall, Polish Roots is a good starting point for beginning your journey to discover your Polish family history, but do not expect this book to provide the complete map for your journey.
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on May 14, 2011
This work is chock filled with data on genealogical societies, major archives all over the world, the Mormon Church project, etc. The reader is even taught how to write letters to Poland to obtain church records, archival records, etc.

This book presents data on various nationalities and their influence on Poland. This includes not only obvious ones (such as Germans, Russians, Ukrainians, and Jews), but also ones such as the Armenians, Tatars, Gypsies, Italians, Dutch, Irish, and Scots.

This work provides fascinating information about the origin of various names. For instance, and -SKI or -CKI ending in Polish names originally denoted nobility, but had subsequently been adopted by the peasants living on the manor owned by the noble of that name. (p. 58, 157). The -UK, -CHUK, and -UIK suffix in Ukrainian names denotes "son of", as does the -EV, -OV, -OVYCH and -EVYCH in Russian names. (p. 162). The -IAN or -YAN ending in Armenian names denotes "of the tribe of" or "descendant of". (p. 164). Information is given on Polish-specific names and their Latin equivalents: Czeslaw/Ceslaus, Mieczyslaw/Miecislaus, Boleslaw/Boleslaus, Stanislaw/Stanislaus, Wladyslaw/Vladislaus, Kazimierz/Casimir, Wojciech/Adalbert, etc. (p. 170). A list is given of common Polish names and their feast days in the Catholic Church.

Finally, this book gives the reader lessons on the geography and outline history of Poland. There is quite a lot of information in such a small book! As if all that was not enough, extensive lists of books are provided for further reading.
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on December 19, 2013
This is a great starting point for those just beginning to understand Polish ancestry. I would have to say now with & more ancestry records being added online, you can do more research online, than by paper and mail, but with Polish names it is exhaustive to cross reference families to ensure you have the correct family with names spelled differently in every record. I have found a Posen database where once the family came to America they referred to their 'hometown' as Posen, but this is technically a very large district in Poland, which they are now putting records online to research that if you do find you can order. Her book is a great research tool & resource in understanding some of the basics for our unique Polish genealogy!
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on May 3, 2015
Covers almost everything you would ever need to know about delving into Polish genealogy, helping you understand the history, as well as geographic and ethnic divides that may be stumbling blocks in your research. Though it does feel a bit dated with the advent of so much genealogy research being done online these days, it's still an excellent resource.
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