Polish Genealogical Resources in Pittsburgh PA

The following list is not exhaustive. If you know of other suitable resources in Pittsburgh send email to ropelews@pmw.org and I'll add them to the list.

I started this list to aid me in keeping track of the various Polish resources availiable in Pittsburgh PA that I have needed to use for my personal geneological research of the Ropelewski family. A few national resources that are availiable in Pittsburgh are also included on the list. I hope you will find the list useful for your own research.

US District Court Naturalizations
This is a card-file index of all US District Court naturalizations that took place in the Western District of Pennsylvania after 1906. The index is located at Clerk of Courts Office in Room 829 on the 8th Floor of the U. S. Courthouse in Pittsburgh. It is availiable for searching during normal business hours. Declarations of intent can be obtained for individuals listed in the index from the national archives in Philadelphia. (The fee is about $10)

The Russian consular records index and catalog by Sallyann Amdur Sack et. al.
Many people living in the USA from the Russian occupied areas of Poland corresponded with the Russian consular offices in the USA. This is a SOUNDEX index to those records. The index is at the Hillman Library (Call # CS856 J4S23 1987). Microfilmed copies of the original records can be obtained from the National Archives.

U.S. Census Records for Pennsylvania.
US Census Records (up till 1920) availiable at Carnegie Library and Hillman Library.

WWI Selective Service Draft Registration Records for Allegheny County Pennsylvania.
The WWI Selective Service Draft Registration Records for all of Allegheny County, including the City of Pittsburgh is availiable on microfilm at Hillman Library. (The call number is UB1)

Polish Family Tree Surnames by Thaddeus Obal
This might help you locate someone researching the same family name, although the libraries have dated copies. (WPGS # 929.1 O, Hillman #CS 21.02 P6 v.5)

General Books and Book Collections

Alliance College Polish Collection
This is the name of an excellent Polish collection, donated to the University of Pittsburgh by The Polish National Alliance (PNA), when the PNA closed the Alliance College. The collection is mainly in Polish, and contains approximately 35,000 cataloged and 15,000 uncataloged volumes. The collection is filed in the Hillman Library, according to the appropriate library of congress categories. If you want to get a particular polish book; this is the best place to look.

Polish Parish Records of the Roman Catholic Church, their use and understanding in genealogical research by Gerald Ortell.
This book helps to guide one through and interpret polish parish records. Availiable at the Hillman Library (Call # CS873 077 1979) and the WPGS Library (929.107 POLAND O)

Polish Roots by Rosemary Chorzempa
This book is availiable at the Carnegie Library, WPGS Library, and at Hillman Library. It is "the bible" for how to research your polish ancesters at home in the USA and Abroad.

Russian language documents from Russian Poland: a translation manual for genealogists by Johnathan D. Shea.
This book is an excellent guide in understanding passports, birth marriage and other documents written in the Russian language during the partitioning of Poland. Contains many unique insights, such as why the Russian documents contain middle names while Polish documents do not. It is availiable at the Hillman Library (Call # PG2498 S49 1989).

Maps and Gazetters

Army Map Service Maps
In the 1940's the US ARMY mapped several countries around the world, including Poland. The University of Pittsburgh's Hillman library contains many of these international maps. The library has 1:300000, 1:250000 and 1:100000 scale maps of Poland. The call numbers for the 1:100000 scale maps of Poland are: G6520 1945 U5. Since several maps are needed to cover Poland, to find the map that you need, you can either "guess" or look through a red index book availiable at the reference desk. Caution: The index book is not in any particular order; you will have to search through the book to find Poland. The Poland index is approximately half way through the book. If you want to "guess" which map you need, I will give you three points of reference. The Ciechanów region (North of Warsaw) is map M15. The Suwalki (North Eastern Poland) is on Map K17 while Sejny (East of Suwalki) is on Map K18.

Gazetter of Poland: names approved by the United States Board of Geographic Names by the Defense Mapping Agency.
This microform contains about 57,000 entries for places in Poland. It is useful to find the latitude and longitude for many ancesteral villages in Poland. Availiable at Hillman Library, call number D 5.319: P 75

Samochodowy Atlas Polski (Road Atlas of Poland)
This resource, availiable at the Hillman Library is a series of maps that contain most large towns and villages in Poland. (Many small villages are not listed however.)

List of places cited above:
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Avenue, 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 
Phone: 412-622-3114 

Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (WPGS) Library 
C/O Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Avenue, 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 
Phone: 412-622-3114 

Hillman Library
University of Pittsburgh
3960 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15260
Phone: 412-648-3330

U. S. District Court, 
Western District of Pennsylvania
PO Box 1805, 
Pittsburgh, PA 15230
Phone: (412) 208-7500