Genealogy in Silesia – Church and civil resources

Genealogy in Silesia

Genealogy is the study of family history and lineage. In Silesia, a region rich with historical significance and cultural diversity, tracing one’s ancestry can be both an enlightening and rewarding journey. This article delves into the fascinating world of Silesian genealogy, offering insights and guidance for those interested in uncovering their family roots in this unique region of Poland.

The Rich History of Silesia and Prussia

Silesia, a region that spans parts of modern-day Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, has a complex and diverse history. Over the centuries, it has been influenced by various cultures and nations, including the Polish, German, Czech, and Austrian. Additionally, Prussia played a significant role in the history of this region. This melting pot of influences has resulted in a rich tapestry of cultural and historical records, making Silesian genealogy a compelling field of study. For genealogists, understanding the region’s history is crucial as it provides context and helps navigate the numerous archival resources available.

How to find Church Records from Silesia Prussia?

Church records from Silesia are an invaluable source for genealogists and family historians. Churches were often central institutions in community life, keeping detailed records of important events. These include records of baptisms, marriages, funerals, and censuses of parishioners. For genealogists, these records are a rich source of information that allows them to reconstruct family trees and uncover important facts about ancestors’ lives.

Genealogy in Silesia

Church records from Wrocław (Breslau) Online

The most important sources containing documents for genealogical research are the collections in the State Archives in Poland, especially in Wrocław and Katowice. That is where we should direct our initial research.An online search engine is helpful in finding archives in Poland: www.szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl. Also, thanks to the help of volunteers and genealogical organizations, we can use data search engines such as “Geneteka” or “Genbaza”.

Registry offices in Silesia, Prussia

The registry offices are responsible for registering births, which include details such as the date and place of birth and the parents’ data. In addition, these offices document marriages by recording the date of the marriage, the names of the bride and groom, their occupations, and the place of the marriage. Registry offices also collect death certificates, which contain information about the date and causes of death, as well as personal information about the deceased. You can view these documents yourself by visiting the relevant office or by submitting a request (also online) for a full or abridged copy of the document you require.

Key Resources for Silesian Genealogy

One of the primary resources for genealogical research in Silesia is the extensive collection of church records. These include baptismal, marriage, and burial records that date back several centuries. Additionally, civil registration records, such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, are invaluable. Many of these records are housed in regional archives and libraries, including the State Archives in Wrocław. Online databases and digitized records have also made accessing these resources easier for genealogists worldwide.

Silesian church records online on FamilySearch

One of the best places to start genealogical research in Silesia is church records. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons, has one of the largest collections of genealogical records in the world. Much of this collection has been digitized and is available online.

Silesian church records online on the Mormon website

The Mormon-run website “FamilySearch” contains millions of records from all over the world, including church records from Silesia. This collection is a veritable goldmine for genealogists, and best of all, it’s completely free!