Saturday, February 10, 2007

Five Best Tips for Polish Genealogy Research in Detroit

Here's my 5 best tips for Polish genealogy research in Detroit:
  1. This Polish genealogy web site was designed specifically for those researching their Polish immigrant ancestors in Detroit. It has a large collection of informational pages about the various Polish churches in the metro Detroit area as well as detailed resource pages about Detroit area cemeteries, historic street maps, and much more.
  2. Burton Collection at the Detroit Public Library. The Burton (Genealogy) Collection has a very valuable collection of microfilms contributed by the Archdiocese of Detroit. These films contain sacramental records for baptisms, marriages, and deaths for over 70 Detroit area Catholic churches and institutions including most of the Polish parishes.
  3. Polish Detroit and the Kolasinski Affair by Lawrence D. Orton. This book is no longer in print but you can still find it from time to time on used bookseller web sites along with and If you want to understand the lives of your Polish immigrant ancestors in Detroit this book gives a wonderful description of the ups and downs they faced in adapting to their new life in America. A must read for family historians.
  4. Jim Tye's Bibliographies of Polish Detroit. Jim is a local Polonia historian who has created a couple of wonderful bibliographies of articles concerning Detroit's Polonia from the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press (and other local sources) from the late 1800s through much of the 1900s. These are wonderful resources (each bibliography is >100 pages) that can't be bought in any stores but is available directly from Jim. You can contact him by email at:
  5. Web sites for the "trinity" of Polish parishes on Detroit's east side, St. Albertus, Detroit's first Polish parish, Sweetest Heart of Mary, the Archdiocese of Detroit's largest church which also happens to be a Polish parish, and St. Josaphat, the third and youngest (founded in 1889) of the Polish churches on Canfield Ave.
These aren't the only good resources for researching your Polish immigrant ancestors in Detroit. Stay tuned for a second 5 tips coming soon!

Only 4 more days until the deadline for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Got any tips for specific area research to share?