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Q. Ive hit a temporary brick wall in tracing my Polish roots. How do I access Polish censuses?
A. Unfortunately, Polish census records arent very useful tools for getting around your brick walls. Few of the censuses taken by the various governments of whats now Poland have survived. Those that are still in existence are kept in the Main Archives of Ancient Documents in Warsaw, or in district and municipal archives, or in local parishes.
Before you start packing for Poland, make sure you can actually access these records, as not all of them are available for public inspection.
But maybe youll be among the fortunate Polish researchers whose ancestral census records have been microfilmed by the Family History Library. These records are cataloged by town. Or if your Polish ancestors were Jewish, they might be found in the Bedzin Jewish Census of 1939, which can be searched for free at JewishGen.
You can find more tips in the Family Tree University course Trace Your Polish Roots, taught by Polish genealogy expert Ceil Wendt Jensen.