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JRI-Poland Member Newsletter: For the Record

In this issue

  • For the Record: NextGen – opening doors to make more data available

  • Spotlight on: notarial records in Poland

  • JRI-Poland membership – a note of appreciation

For the Record: NextGen – opening doors to make more data available for JRI-Poland researchers

Through the years, the mantra that “every record counts” has been front and center in the thinking of JRI-Poland leadership. We have seen remarkable and often life-changing discoveries because of a single record, an identity revealed, a previously unknown living brother found 30 minutes down the road, or even cousins assumed to have perished, suddenly discovered.

“Every record counts” speaks directly to how our NextGen website and data management system will enable JRI-Poland to make available record sources – principally in branches of the Polish State Archives - that have not previously been revealed because of shortcomings of the old PSA website and limitations of our now out-dated legacy website. That has changed!

The new Polish State Archives website, four years in the development, has made it possible to cull sources of various types of records across the entire country. In this newsletter, we will be talking about notarial records, a largely untapped source that not only provides details of important events in our family history. Notarial records, wherever they may be, are potential sources of new information for you. But for towns where other records are sparse or have not survived, notarial records may provide detailed genealogical information you might have never expected to find.

That is why the following article by JRI-Poland Board Member and Assets Manager Howard Zakai is an important milestone in our journey and our mission to document all the records of Poland that can make a difference in your research as it certainly has for Howard.

Stanley Diamond, Executive Director

September 14, 2021

Spotlight on: notarial records in Poland

Researching family through civil vital records in Poland often requires navigation through elusive variables: patronymics, name changes, language variation, reporting errors, clerk errors, family relocations. It forces a researcher to be an investigator, developing theories and piecing together and reconciling evidence to confirm, support, or refute those theories. If a researcher is searching for family in a town for which all vital records registers have survived, there is generally a reasonable expectation of culling evidence and analyzing the variables. On the other hand, where vital records registers are missing or where individuals chose not to register life events, the exercise becomes significantly more challenging.

Our own Howard Zakai explains how notarial records can provide a powerful alternative research mechanism in this month’s featured article.

Read the article

JRI-Poland membership: A note of appreciation

Thank you to the more than 700 researchers who have become JRI-Poland members since we introduced annual membership for the first time in our 26 years (in late March 2021). We have been overwhelmed by the notes of appreciation we have received along with sign-ups, particularly from the many researchers who made their very first contribution to JRI-Poland by becoming a member. We are pleased that we’ve found another way for our users to show their gratitude for the database we provide them and the general public - at no cost.

If you haven’t joined the family of JRI-Poland supporters yet, please sign up today as a member. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your membership donation goes directly to help pay for the computer and accounting services that are vital to JRI-Poland operations. Membership donations are tax-deductible for US taxpayers as allowed by law.

Wishing the JRI-Poland community and their families all the best for 5782.

Shana Tova!

The Board and Executive Director of Jewish Records Indexing – Poland, Inc

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