more on kolędy (Polish carols)

At the moment, most hits on this blog is from people looking for info on Polish Christmas carols.
I found four interesting websites:
Śpiewnik kolęd by W. Gajda offers for download .txt files with lyrics, as well as notes in .pdf and .mus formats for those of you who can play a guitar.
If you can’t read musical notes but still like to sing, you might like this website, called Polskie kolędy that gives, apart from lyrics, also .mid files of best Polish carols.
This website gives lyrics in Latin, as sung in Polish churches until 1960s.
For those of you with Kashubian roots, here‘s a bunch of carols in Kaszubi dialect.

Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia – Merry Christmas!

Published in: on December 19, 2006 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Polish Christmas Ornaments

The December issue of the Polish American Journal had a wonderful story about the “Traditional and Custom Creations of the Old World Christmas Tree” and ornaments. Included in the story written by Staś Kmieć, is the history of the “Polonaise Collection by Komozja” glass ornaments which are imported by Kurt S. Adler Inc. and the Christopher Radko ornaments. Both companies have factories in Poland.

While Christopher Radko may be more famous not only for his ornaments but for his philanthropy, the story behind the Polonaise company is incredible. A true testament to Polish perseverance through the communist days. A must-read story about what some Poles accomplished through decades of oppression.

The story can be found here – click on FEATURE “Stas Kmiec looks at Polish Christmas Ornaments past and present.”

Radko ornaments

Polonaise by Komozja (Kurt S. Adler Inc.) Click on POLONAISE in the left column.

posted by Debbie

Published in: on December 19, 2006 at 12:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Learn Polish

Learn Polish online (for free):

Polish lessons for beginners

Polish language course


PWN (for upperintermediate speakers)


Oxford-PWN Polish-English English-Polish Dictionary

Berlitz Polish Phrase Book

Conversational Polish: Learn to Speak and Understand Polish

Published in: on December 17, 2006 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to write a letter in Polish

Polish genealogical research often requires writing to Poland for information. This is especially true when the Genealogical Library does not have records for the locality where your ancestor lived or when the microfilmed records at the library do not cover the time period you need.

In order to get information from local parishes, you must write directly to the parish. When writing to local parishes, it is best to write in Polish. All Polish state archives can be reached by writing in English to the Directorate of State Archives. You can also get information from local civil records offices by writing in English to the Directorate of State Archives. The Directorate will forward your request. If you wish to write directly to the local civil records office, you should write in Polish.

Polish Letter Writing Guide

Published in: on December 17, 2006 at 7:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Irena Sendler – candidate for Peace Nobel Prize

President Lech Kaczynski, currently on an official visit to Israel, proposed that Poland and Israel should jointly apply for the Peace Nobel Prize for Irena Sendler. During World War 2 Irena Sendler saved over 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto as a member of the resistance organization Zegota.

Irena Sendler in 1943, after escape from Pawiak prison

visit Irena Sendler website

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Polish Roots by R. Chorzempa

This pioneering work on Polish family history is designed to provide the American researcher with the kind of information he needs in order to succeed in his genealogical research. Written by a national director of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, it throws cold water on the myth that successful Polish genealogical research is beyond the powers of ordinary people. Mrs. Chorzempa begins with an examination of Polish-American resources, touching first on records kept by the Polish-American family, then veering off into a discussion of the standard records employed in genealogical research, such as census and naturalization records, ships’ passenger lists, vital records of birth, marriage and death, records of fraternal societies, newspapers, church records, and military records. She treats each of these record groups in the context of Polish-American research, setting a framework for her discussion of the records held by the LDS Church in Salt Lake City. She also provides a breakdown of libraries and archives with Polish genealogical materials and a comprehensive list of Polish genealogical societies.

The bulk of the book is focused on research in Poland, as the author shows the reader how to find and use church and civil records; how and where to locate research services, libraries, and archives; how to make sense of Polish names and the naming practices of the major ethnic groups; and how, ultimately, to deal with the Polish language. To clinch it, there is even a letter-writing guide, a transliteration of queries and requests to be sent to Polish churches, civil record offices, and institutions for purposes of obtaining assistance.

more info

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Poles to Siberia – Diary of a young girl

This link is to part of a diary written by a female survivor, Danuta, who, with her family, was forced from their home in Poland and taken to Siberia in 1940. This is not a novel. It is a true story. A story of survival.
One of Danuta’s daughters helped put a section of the diary on line. I suggest everyone read it. This is the history seldom talked about, the “Forgotten Holocaust.” It behooves every Pole to know the facts of the atrocities committed against Poland by the Soviets. These would of course, include Katyn.

Danuta ended up in England so some of the wording used may be unfamiliar to those in the U.S. Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the effect this story will have on you.

posted by Debbie

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Haller’s Army book

A new book about Haller’s Army was introduced in the November, 2006 issue of the e-zine, Gen Dobry! My review of this book is provided in the e-zine. If you would like to read the whole magazine go to, “Polish Roots The Polish Genealogy Source”: Click on NEWS! and Gen Dobry!

To order the book contact Dr. Valasek:

posted by Debbie

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 9:56 pm  Comments (1) free access announced it is providing free access to the most extensive immigration records collection online through December 31, 2006.

You will need to register at the Ancestry site. On November 9, Ancestry released the most comprehensive collection of US passenger list records from 1820 to 1960. The offer of free access is to mark the expansion of the passenger list collection which
now covers almost all US immigration records. Immigration database additions include Detroit border crossings (1905 to 1957), emigrants from Baden-Wurttemburg (1735 to 1930), more years for the ports of New York and Boston, and more.
To compliment the immigration collection, Ancestry also introduced an interactive site on the immigration experience. The site delves into the details of the immigrant experience, illustrating the story of immigration from start to finish through photos, maps, and oral histories. Users can access the site at

posted by Elaine

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Polish Christmas songs

Del recently asked about Polish Christmas songs – kolędy

The Polish Christmas carol or koleda is derived from the Latin word Calendae, meaning “first day of the month”. Polish Christmas carols are almost all anonymous, having been composed by the people. Their origins date from the fourteen century, and many from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. W Zlobie Lezy, believed to have been composed in the fourteenth century, is considered to be the first Polonaise.

The Polish carol has an essentially folk song quality which makes it specifically national. The melodies are characteristically Polish – cheerful, tender, and even humorous – typical of the Polish peasant or mountaineer. The Infant Jesus, poor, homeless, and born in a stable surrounded by the familiar domestic animals, appeals to the hearts and imaginations of all peoples. Koledy are very joyful songs announcing the coming of Christ on earth and through His grace, the rebirth of our souls.

Some of the more popular Christmas carols are: “Jesus, Heaven’s Infant” (Jezus Malusieńki), “To the Town of Bethlehem” (Przybieżeli do Betlejem), “Let Us All Go ” (Pójdźmy Wszyscy), “Rejoice Bethlehem” (Dzisiaj w Betlejem), “God is Born” (Gdy sie Chrystus rodzi), “Midst Quiet Night” (Wsrod Nocnej Ciszy), “Hush-A-Bye Little Jesus” (Lulajże Jezuniu).

Lyrics and more about Polish carols can be found here

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment