Follow Friday: Poznan Marriage Project

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Follow Friday: Poznan Marriage Project

Follow Friday: Poznan Marriage Project is one of my favorite new sites. Essential for Prussian genealogy, the Poznan Project is a database of extracted nineteenth-century marriage records from Posen, Prussia, nowoznań, Poland.

Headed by Łukasz Bielecki, the Poznan Project contains 651,594 records from civil, Lutheran, and Catholic parishes within the former Prussian province of Posen, now Poznań, Poland.

The Poznań Project was primarily conceived as a way to resolve a problem common to many genealogists researching this area: the 19th-century records rarely provide the precise location of origin for people who left the Poznań/Posen province to settle in America, Australia or elsewhere. Instead, the short label “Posen” is usually all that is provided. As this name actually indicates the city of Poznań (being the capital of the Province of the same name, both in the 19th century, when it belonged to Prussia, and now – within the Republic of Poland), scores of researchers have spent needless time and resources searching for their ancestors within the parishes of the Poznań/Posen City. Predictably, few succeeded. The reality is that their ancestors could have originated anywhere within that region which included around 2 million residents as of 1900.

To overcome this problem we hoped to eventually make sufficient marriage records available on-line for all the parishes of the region, thus providing the information needed for researchers to pinpoint and order the appropriate microfilm(s). The period between 1835-1884 was initially chosen for practical reasons, corresponding to the period of greatest emigration and later, the timeframe was extended to 1800-1899. The sheer volume of microfilmed records made it impractical for one individual to search the records of the entire area. Our approach has always been for many people to split the effort, volunteering to transcribe one or two parishes per person. This undertaking was initiated in 2000 and we estimate that we have currently accumulated ca. 75 per cent of the region’s marriages (some of them might be no more available).

In addition to the search function available by surname, location, and date, the site also provides a wealth of information about what records are available for various villages and towns.

An example (for Rawitsch, the village in Posen where my ancestors are from) of the detailed record and repository information available:

Rawicz Rawitsch District capital

Roman Catholic parish

3701 souls (in 1888)
Includes: Christianchen, Drei Haeuser, Eckvorwerk, Hoppe Seidel, Karlsruhe, Kitzel Vorwerk, Lindenhof, Masłowo (Massel), Polskie Dębno (Polnisch Damme), Rawicz, Sierakowo, Sprette Vorwerk, Szymanowo, Zopter

Archdiocesan Archive in Poznan
B 1690-1899
M 1713-17731812-18311834-1900
D 1744-17751811-18311834-1912

State Archive in Poznan
B 1837-1874
M 1837-1874
D 1837-1874

Lutheran community

8565 souls (ca. 1900)
Archdiocesan Archive in Poznan
B 1890-1899
M 1880-1889
D 1893-1801
State Archive in Poznan
B 1701-1879
M 1707-1879
D 1701-18421848-1874
State Archive in Leszno
B 1830-1874
M 1830-1874
D 1830-1874

State Archive in Poznan
B 1845-1874
M 1845-1873
D 1845-1876

Katholisches Militärbischofsamt in Bonn
B 1840-1847

Lutheran community

B 1813-1915
M 1813-1915
D 1813-1915

State Archive in Poznan
B 1849
D 18371841-1856 

Lutheran community

State Archive in Poznan
B 1841-18551860-18711873
M 1856-185818601863-186618681871
D 1841-18731875

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”

2 Comments

  1. Eowyn Langholf 7 August 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Well, this was certainly a pleasant surprise to stumble across! I have lots of family from Posen 😀

  2. Sassy Jane Genealogy 8 August 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Good luck, Eowyn – I hope you find lots of ancestors.

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