Ancestry Dna Test Poland

by | Jan 5, 2024 | Blog

Posen poland birth records

Researching birth records in Posen (now Poznan), Poland, is a fascinating endeavor, deeply intertwined with the region’s complex history. This task involves navigating through various historical, linguistic, and administrative complexities due to the region’s shifting governance over the years. Research can be a complex task due to historical changes in the region’s governance and the variety of sources available. The area known as Posen has been under different administrations over time, including Prussian and German, before becoming part of modern Poland. This historical context significantly affects how and where genealogical records are stored and accessed.

Historical Background of Posen, Poznań

Posen, historically a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, came under Prussian control in the late 18th century through the partitions of Poland. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was part of the German Empire, known as the Province of Posen. After World War I, the region was reincorporated into Poland, becoming Poznan. This changing political landscape significantly influenced record-keeping practices, languages used in documents, and archival locations.

History of Poznan: Quick Overview

Early beginnings

Poznań, one of Poland’s oldest cities, was a crucial political and religious center in the early Polish state in the 10th century. It is home to Poland’s oldest cathedral, which houses the tombs of the nation’s earliest rulers, Mieszko I and Bolesław I Chrobry. Poznań’s cathedral, the oldest in Poland, contains the tombs of the first Polish rulers, Duke Mieszko I and King Bolesław I Chrobry. In its early history, Poznań was the chief city of the Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) region. Despite the center of national political power moving to Kraków in the 11th century, and later to Warsaw, Poznań remained a significant regional center. From the late Middle Ages, it grew into one of the largest cities of the then Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, second only to Krakow in size and population.

Medieval growth

During the Middle Ages, Poznań grew into a significant city within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The city faced various challenges, including epidemics, fires, and floods. A notable Jewish community was established by the mid-13th century. The city endured various challenges, including frequent disease epidemics, fires, and floods. A significant Jewish community existed in Poznań since the mid-13th century, with the first documentary record dating from 1367. The city’s fortifications were strengthened in the 15th century, and the Lubrański Academy, Poland’s second institution of higher education after the Jagiellonian University, was founded in Poznań in 1519.

The Lubrański academy

The city endured various challenges, including frequent disease epidemics, fires, and floods. A significant Jewish community existed in Poznań since the mid-13th century, with the first documentary record dating from 1367. The city’s fortifications were strengthened in the 15th century, and the Lubrański Academy, Poland’s second institution of higher education after the Jagiellonian University, was founded in Poznań in 1519.

Wars and Epidemics of the 17th and 18th Centuries

The 17th and early 18th centuries were difficult for Poznań, marked by wars, a devastating epidemic in 1708-09, and occupation by foreign forces. However, the city prospered under Prussian rule in the 19th century, industrializing and undergoing significant development. This period saw the opening of the Raczynski Library in 1829 and the founding of the National Museum in Poznań in 1857.

Prosperity under Prussian rule

The 19th century brought industrialization and development under Prussian rule. Poznań saw the opening of significant cultural institutions like the Raczynski Library and the National Museum.

20th century turmoil and modern development

The 20th century was a tumultuous period for Poznań. It was part of the newly independent Poland post-World War I, but suffered severe damage during World War II. The post-war period saw Poznań under Communist rule, with significant worker demonstrations in 1956 against harsh economic conditions.

In modern times, Poznań has continued to develop culturally and economically. It is an important shopping center and home to various museums and theaters, reflecting its rich historical and cultural legacy.


Key resources for Posen birth records:

Expanding on the initial research about Posen (now Poznan), Poland birth records, several additional resources and strategies can be employed to enhance your genealogical research.

  • The Poznan Project: This project is focused on transcribing 19th-century marriage records from the Greater Poland region. It aims to make these records available online for all the parishes in the region, covering the period from 1800-1899. This is particularly useful for genealogists looking to trace family connections back to the area, potentially leading to birth records. The search engine for this project was created by Maciej Glowiak and uses the technical facilities of the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center​​​​.
  • State Archives in Poznań: These archives hold a significant collection of digitized records, including vital records from the region. The archives can be a valuable source for those looking for birth records specifically from the Poznan area​​.
  • Genealogy at State Archives: The Polish State Archives offer various types of records for genealogical research. This includes tax registries, residence records, censuses, and forms such as those for identity cards and passports. These records provide a wealth of information including names, professions, dates of birth, and places of residence​​.
  • Poland Records: This website lists several resources for Polish genealogical research, including the Poznan Project and Poland National Archives. It also provides links to school records and other relevant resources​​.
  • Polish State Archives’ Online Records: The Polish State Archives offer an online resource where you can search for vital records and civil registers. They constantly update their online collection with new records, making it a continuously evolving resource for genealogical research​​.
  • Polish Genealogical Society of America: This society provides an index of marriages from Catholic parish records in the U.S., which can be particularly helpful for those whose ancestors emigrated from Poland. They also offer various other resources like death notice indexes and surname usage databases​​.
  • Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych (AGAD): The Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw provides access to online registry books and digitized parish records, which can be instrumental for those researching ancestors from the Austrian, Prussian, or Russian partitions of Poland​​.
  • My Polish Ancestors: This site offers various resources like surname distribution in Poland, archival records from specific regions, and city directories that can help locate where ancestors resided at specific times​​.
  • Research in Posen/Poznan Province: The FamilyTree.com website provides insights into researching in the Posen/Poznan Province, including tips on navigating surname spellings and accessing indexing projects related to places and records in Poland​​.

By utilizing these resources, you can significantly deepen your research into birth records in Posen. It’s essential to consider the historical context of the region, the language of the records, and the evolving nature of online genealogical resources. Remember, patience and perseverance are key in genealogical research, especially in regions with complex histories like Posen/Poznan.


Researching birth records in Poznan is a multi-layered process that requires patience and a comprehensive approach. Utilizing online databases, consulting experts, and understanding the historical context are key to successful research. This guide offers a starting point, but in-depth research is often necessary for specific queries.

For more detailed information and to access specific records, it is recommended to visit the mentioned resources directly. Each of these resources offers a unique perspective and set of data that can be invaluable in genealogical research.

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