Thursday, February 21, 2008

This Is My Lucky Day!

Yesterday I was reading Steve's post about the Płock Diocese in Poland (which is an excellent article and is also featured in Jessica's latest edition of the Carnival of Central and European Genealogy) and it reminded me that I haven't checked the diocese, parish, or gubernia web sites for my family's ancestral villages in quite a while.

I made a comment on Steve's post to the effect that it has been interesting for me to observe the technological progress of web sites in Poland over the last 10 years and lamented that I wish I could read Polish because there are still no English translations of them. But almost every time I take the time to look I discover a new one pertaining to one of my family's villages. And more and more often the sites contain photos which can speak to you even if you don't understand the language. :-)

So today I thought I'd look up the Tarnów diocese web site to see if they'd added the dates of records for their parishes (the last time I'd looked they didn't have that). Low and behold, what did I find? A new web site of course! (New to me anyway.) This one is specifically about the Archives of the Diocese of Tarnów. And you know what? It's in English!!! Am I having a great day or what? First my mtDNA results come in and now I find an important (to me) Polish web site translated to English! Well, just color me happy!!! ("happy" is definitely pink, don't you think?)

OK, so the whole Archives of the Tarnów diocese web site isn't in English, but some of it is. And it looks to me like more translations may be forthcoming. I also noticed that they have added a page that lists the dates that records began for each parish. Wouldn't you know, this page isn't in English. :-7 But truthfully, there isn't much text on the page. The column headings are really all that need to be translated. My Polish-English dictionary helped me out with most of them but there is one that has me puzzled. The column heading is "Rok powstania". I initially thought this meant the year the parish was founded. But now I'm thinking not because in some instances the records started (next column to the right) before the parishes would have been founded. So I'm guessing that maybe "Rok powstania" refers to the year the current church building was erected.

I also noticed that in the right side column down near the bottom of the home page there's a poll you can vote in. I got out my handy-dandy Pol-Eng dictionary and it looks to me like the poll is asking if the parish records should be available online for a fee (57.8%), for free (40.4%), or only with archive work (1.8%). Do you think the diocese might be considering the possibility of getting a jump on the LDS' plans to put their vital records online? Interesting idea, eh?

This is a great discovery for me, finding the Tarnów diocese archives web site in English. I've long been envious of those who could look up a county history and instantly know about the area their ancestors were from. I haven't been able to do that. And while this web site speaks to religious events and people from a given geographical area it's still a history of sorts. And three of my four grandparents' lines originate in this diocese so it pertains to most of my ancestors. I'll take that with a smile on my face :-)

I feel like I'm on a roll here. Do you think I should run out and buy a lottery ticket?