Flash Sale – 20% off select Family Tree Books

The following books are all on sale at 20% off, through July 5 or while supplies last.

The Family Tree Polish, Czech And Slovak Genealogy Guide, How to Trace Your Family Tree in Eastern Europe; by Lisa A Alzo

Trace Your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites; by James M Beidler

Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com, How to Find Your Family History on the No. 1 Genealogy Website; by Nancy Hendrickson

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book, A State-by-State Atlas of US History, 1790-1900; by Allison Dolan

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book – Europe, A Country-by-Country Atlas of European History, 1700s-1900s; by Allison Dolan

How to Archive Family Photos, A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally; by Denise May Levenick

Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org, How to Find Your Family History on the Largest Free Genealogy Website; by Dana Mccullough

The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors; by Marsha Hoffman Rising

The Genealogist’s U.S. History Pocket Reference: Quick Facts and Timelines of American History to Help Understand Your Ancestors; by Nancy Hendrickson

The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe; by James Beidler

Family Tree Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition; by Diane Haddad

From the Family Kitchen, Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes; by Gena Philibert-Ortega

The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe: Your Essential Guide to Trace Your Genealogy in Europe; by Allison Dolan

Tracing Your Eastern European Ancestors

mm016Over the past few years, the folks who publish Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, and the History Magazine have created a series of journals offering a collection of previously published article, gathered together on a single topic. Here are some of the publications we have already seen:

The same group, Moorshead Magazines, has now brought us Tracing Your Eastern European Ancestors. At 82 pages, this new journal offers 15 articles written by a collection of professional researchers and genealogists.

Publisher and editor, Edward Zapletal, does an excellent job in describing the difficulties of Eastern Europeans research:

“For many of us ion the genealogy world who are researching ancestors from countries in Eastern Europe, it’s a know fact that research in the region can, at times, be very difficult. We often start out searching for an ancestor in one place, but end up locating them in a completely different places the reasons are numerous, but several centuries of wars, famines, disease, floods, and fires, to name a few, contributed to migration and emigration, and to the destruction of many valuable records. Still, many records survived, including parish books, censuses, and gazetteers. For those who emigrated to distant lands, many records were created along the way at various ports of departure and arrival. Those, and many other documents that were carefully stored, are now being digitized, indexed and made available to eager family historians all over the world. The Internet has made searching much easier, but it’s not always the answer. Only a relatively small portion of all records have been digitized. Writing to, or visiting, local archives, records offices, churches, etc. still may be the only way to find that elusive Eastern European ancestor. Be patient. Be vigilant. Enjoy!”

Answers to many of your research questions can be found in this collection of professional articles. Just look at the contents list below to get an idea of all that is covered here.


10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Eastern European Research!

Lisa A. Alzo shows you the steps to track down your Eastern European roots

Using Maps & Gazetteers

Dave Obee show us how to use maps and gazetteers to locate where your ancestors lived

Online Resources for Researching Eastern European Ancestors

Lisa A. Alzo reviews some of the best websites for learning about your East European ancestors

Meet Your Matches: Helpful Tools from MyHeritage.com

Lisa a. Alzo discusses how to use some great tools from MyHeritage.com t o research East European ancestors

Top 10 Websites for Finding Your Polish Ancestors!

Donna J. Pointkouski looks at ten websites to help you locate your Polish ancestors

JRI-Poland Expands Access

Lisa A. Alzo reports on a new agreement between The Polish State Archives and Jewish Records Indexing-Poland

Online Hungarian Research

Lisa A. Alzo reviews the latest online resources for Hungary (With special thanks to Beth Long)

Researching the Hungarian Census

Smiljka Kitanovic explains the resources available for researching your Hungarian ancestors

Start Researching Your Czech Ancestors

Scott Phillips outlines the sources you’ll need to start on a successful journey to find your Czech ancestors

Five Great Sites fro Researching Your Slovak Ancestors!

Lisa A. Alzo discusses the key websites you need to know to research your Slovak ancestors

Researching Your Ukrainian Ancestors

Matthew Bielawa discusses taking the first “steppes” to finding your Ukrainian ancestors

Researching Your Russian Ancestors

Rick Norberg explores five websites that will be helpful for researching your Russian ancestors

Benefits of Joining an Ethnic Genealogical Society

Lisa A. Alzo discusses the role of ethnic genealogical societies in family history research

Five Simple Ways to Share Old Favorites

Lisa A. Alzo discusses five ways you can share Eastern European recipes and traditions online

Copies of Tracing Your Eastern European Ancestors can be purchased from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $9.75.

The History of the Polish Panorama

mp02There is a great new book that has made its way to the genealogy market, The History of the Polish Panorama. However, to understand what this book is, first requires a basic understanding of what the Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools is, along with a background to the Panaorama.

Let the Polish Mission describe itself (from the groups website at: http://www.polishmission.com/):

“The purpose of the Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools, which were founded in 1885 by Polish immigrants, is to preserve and promote Polish and Polish-American culture, tradition, and history for present and future generations. The Polish Mission organizes programs, courses and events that highlight Polish and Polish -American culture and accomplishments, and ensures a repository for artifacts, archival materials, works of art, and publications.

The Orchard Lake Schools, originally known as the “Polish Seminary,”were founded in the late 19th century when the need arose for priests to care for Polish immigrants.”

The Panorama is a unique theatrical (after a manner) presentation of Polish history, customs, and traditions. 30″ tall, carefully-crafted figurines dressed in the period-based traditional garb of the Polish people, reside in a special room, called simple the Panorama room, at the Overlake Schools. A custom-built motorized track carefully moves the figurines on and off the stage in a procession of Polish history. A narrative plays as each character moves into the spotlight, declaring the historical significance for each of the 106 figurines.

The Panorama was first put in place over 30 years ago. It was recently updated and refinished. The original work was the result of years of research and careful planning. By all account, just as much care was put into the restoration.

Now for the book

The History of the Polish Panorama was produced effectively an commemorative for the renovatoin of the Panorama. However, there is actually very little “commemoration” and a whole lot of Polish history. In fact, after a few pages of historical notes on the organization and the panorama, the reader is treated to an expose on each of the figurines and their historical representation. For example, the first two figurines presented are a Female Peasant, with baby, and a Male Peasant in clothes as they would have appeared in the 9th century when Polans united several West Slavic tribes into the Kingdom of Poland. The presentation passes through the centuries covering significant historical figures, tradition clothing, and historical fact of key interest. Any Polish descendent is likely to find this presentation highly interesting and pertinent to their research.


Table of Contents

Historical Background of the Polish Panorama

Panorama Figures

Early Poland

Jagiellonian Dynasty

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

18th Century Turmoil

19th Century

Immigration to the United States

Regional Dress

World War I

World War II

Communist Era







Presented in full-color, with nice thick pages little fingers are less likely to easily tear, The History of the Polish Panorama can be obtained for your family or library from Family Roots Publishing for only $19.60.

This book makes an excellent companion to Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy

Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Research

mp01Sto Lat? I have to admit, most of my ancestry comes from western Europe. For other reasons, I have studied German and Spanish. However, I have little experience in Eastern European languages. So, when I read the title Sto Lat, I was clueless as to the meaning. Thank goodness for Google Translate. I found the translation, simple and straight forward as can be: One Hundred Years. Of course, if I had opened the book first I would have instantly known the meaning.

Author Cecile Wendt Jensen introduces her book, Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Research, with a quote from a Polish celebration song: “Sto Lat! Sto Lat! Niech zyje, zyje nam” (May you live a hundred years). Jensen offers the hope that through her 30+ years of expertise, genealogist of Polish descent may find at least 100 years worth of family history using the techniques taught in this book.

Sto Lat incorporate research practices for both tradition resources as well as those found on the Internet. The volume is a lavishly illustrated. Common research questions are answered and suggestions are offered to help novice and advanced researchers alike. Answers are also given to more difficult questions, like: What do I do when the village name is not on a map? Jensen helps family historians find their ancestors both in Poland as well as those who emigrated to the United States.

The book is highlighted by a plethora charts, sample documents, and illustrations; as well as, the author brings the content alive through numerous case studies.

About the Author

Cecile (Ceil) Wendt Jensen is a native Detroiter. Her grandparents arrived in Detroit in the 1880s and 1890s from Russian Poland, West Prussia, Posen, and Galicia. Cecile has taught in public schools for 30 years in traditional and electronic art, art history, and social studies. She is a certified genealogist and develops Web sites, videos, CDs, DVDs, and databases for genealogists of all ages. She is also an International speaker and serves with the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan.

Table of Contents

Polonia: Communities and Societies

  • What do Polish Genealogy Societies offer?
  • What if my Polish ancestors were not Roman Catholics?

Foundation Research

  • What were my ancestors’ Polish names?
  • Where did they live?
  • How do I read the records?
  • What should I look for in the U.S. Census?
  • What genealogy information is in the City Directory?
  • Finding birth records
  • How do I find my parents’ birth certificates?
  • How do you find marriage records for genealogical research?
  • Government and Society Records
  • Religious Records
  • Where do I find death records?
  • What information was asked on a Social Security application?

U.S. Military Records

  • Surname Study
  • What was the Blue Army (a.k.a. Haller’s Army)
  • My grandfather was a Polar Bear!
  • What if our soldier was buried overseas?
  • A U.S. military gravestone in Poland?
  • What is the Old Man’s Draft?
  • Polish Army Veterans Association of America, Inc.
  • Immigrations and Naturalization
  • Where can I find Manifests and Naturalization Records?
  • How do you find your ancestors’ passenger ship manifest?
  • Where can I find passenger list information?
  • Steve Morse One-Step Webpages
  • Are there departure port records?
  • The voice of Edmond Stachurski (1892–2000)
  • Interpreting Passenger List Annotations
  • Are there any other stories about the passage?

Geography, Gazetteers, and Maps

  • What was my ancestors’ village like?
  • Where is Pacanow?
  • Where was Russian Poland?
  • Where was Prussia?
  • Where was Galicia?
  • What part of Poland does my surname come from?
  • What do I do when the village name is not on a map?
  • What is a Gazetteer?
  • Are there maps of landowners?
  • How do I find maps for pre-Wold War II?

Record Keeping and Handwriting in Poland

  • History of Sacramental and Vital Records in Poland
  • Are the records different for the 20th Century?
  • I can’t read the handwriting!
  • Are there sample translations of Polish Napoleonic Records online?
  • How do I read an old German document?

Case Studies and Historical Documents

  • Case Study: Who was the rich man in the Adamski family lore?
  • Will the archives have records about the Adamski family?
  • What can be found in the budget books?
  • Are there any other records regarding peasants?
  • Does the manor still exist?
  • Case Study: What types of local resources are available in the region?
  • Case Study Borderlands: What happened to the records?
  • Case Study Russian Poland: Do Jewish Records still exist?
  • Case Study Galicia: How do you find records for Austrian Poland?
  • Case Study of World War II: Who are Displaced Persons (DPs)
  • Case Study: Concentration Camps

Heirloom, Documents, and Collections

  • What is the best way to store old paper items?
  • What if your documents are curled or rolled up?
  • How do I protect Photographs and Negatives?
  • How do I care for Fabrics?
  • How do I safeguard my Digital Data?
  • How do I select an appropriate museum or archive to donate my collection?
  • Are there donation guidelines?
  • Are there any Polish-American repositories interested in Genealogy?
  • What type of records does PARI hold?
  • What type of records does PARI collect?

Research—Digital and Traditional

  •  How can I find people who would like to collaborate on research?
  • Are there other online resources for genealogy?
  • What do I do when I come to a “dead end” in my research?
  • Are there any software programs for genealogy?
  • Is Martha Steward my Cousin?

Web Addresses



Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Research is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: MP01.

Genealogy at a Glance: Polish Genealogy Research

1795 “Austrian Empire, Russian Empire, and Prussia (Germans), leaving no “Poland” for 123 Years”

1854-1856 “The Great Cholera Epidemic, poor crop yields and starvation; Crimean War (Russian); 100 Silesian families from Pluznica area arrived in Galveston, then walked to the junction of the San Antonio River and Cibolo Creek, founding the first permanent Polish settlement in the U.S. at Panna Maria, Texas, in 1854.”

1918-1939 “Second Polish Republic (Free Poland)”

These are just a few of the Quick Facts and Important Dates that open Rosemary A. Dembinski Chorzempa’s Genealogy at a Glance: Polish Genealogy Research guide. Chorzempa is an expert on Polish genealogy and authored the book Polish Research. She takes a difficult research subject and boils it down to its essence.

Like most European countries, Poland’s borders have swelled and shrunk many times over the centuries, even ceasing to exist at times. Town and city names may be found in Polish, German, and Russian, depending, in large part, on the ruling government at giving time. Also, like many European countries, Polish emigration was spurred at time by both political and economical issues; especially, when droughts caused lapses in food production.

Researching Polish genealogy is made easier with this easy to read and follow Genealogy at a Glance guide. From useful historical data to new online resources, Chorzempa creates a research trail for genealogists. The author expounds on the importance of locating on an immigrants town of origin, with tips on finding alternative location names. Using maps and gazetteers, civil records, and parish records are all part of the discussion. Chorzempa even adds plenty of tips and further references to keep the researcher busy for some time.

Like all the Genealogy At A Glance sheets, this guide is a four-page, full-color limited brochure meant to be easily stored and sized to take with you when conducting related research outside the home. The Contents of this sheet include:

Quick Facts and Important Dates

Polish Names

Polish History and Emigration

finding the Hometown


Online Databases from Poland

Other Resources

Areas in Polish Lands


Find the help you need, and carry it with you, with your own copy of Genealogy At A Glance: Polish Genealogy Research available at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $8.77.


Other guides in the Genealogy at a Glance series:

Reading Non-English Records

Tracing one’s history in their own native language offers plenty of challenges. Changes in writing styles and in handwriting, problems with damage and discoloration, both added to transcription and indexing errors can make record finding and reading difficult at times. However, at some point most researchers find themselves with an even greater challenge: finding and deciphering records in another language. Once a genealogist traces his/her ancestral roots to another country, language barriers add to overall complexity in research. Following the Paper Trail: A Multilingual Translation Guide by Jonathan D. Shea and William F. Hoffman was written to help researchers with this very problem.

Following the Paper Trail not only acknowledges the need for language assistance, but recognizes that many researches will need help in more than one additional language. This book looks at many languages, dividing them into linguistic families. Similarities within a single family make it easier to identify words and commonalities in other associated languages. For example, the Latin or “Romance” language include French, Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish, which together make up one section of the book.

Each language appears in the book with their alphabet in both printed and cursive forms. Sample documents are provided with an analysis, including translation to English, of their components. Selected vocabulary terms round out each language. All the documents are representative of the typical records genealogist seek or that their immigrant ancestors may have had in their possession. The authors refer to this volume as “an introduction to the translation of such documents.”

As such an introduction, this book makes an excellent resources for those just starting out with their immigrant ancestors research, or as a volume for regular reference.


Table of Contents

About the Authors


The Germanic Languages


  • The German Alphabet
  • The German Language
  • German Pronunciation
  • Document #1: A Family Record
  • Document #2: A Birth and Baptismal Certificate
  • Document #3: A German-Ukrainian Military Passport
  • Document #4: A Death Certificate
  • Document #5: A Contract for Passage on a Ship
  • German-English Word List
  • Personal Names


  • The Swedish Alphabet
  • Swedish and the Other Scandinavian Languages
  • Document #1: A “Moving Certificate” (Exit Permit)
  • Document #2: A Report Card
  • Document #3: A Swedish Passport
  • Document #4: An Emigration Contract
  • Document #5: A Swedish-American Baptismal Certificate
  • Document #6: A Confirmation Certificate
  • Document #7: A Marriage Certificate
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Selected First Names

The Romance Languages


  • The French Alphabet
  • Document #1: A Civil Birth Certificate
  • Document #2: A Baptismal Certificate
  • Document #3: A French Passport
  • Document #4: A Steamship Ticket
  • Document #5: A Death Certificate
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • French Personal Names


  • The Italian Alphabet
  • Document #1: A Steamship Ticket
  • Document #2: A Civil Family Registration Booklet
  • Document #3: Parish Family Registration Documents
  • Document #4: Civil Family Registration Documents
  • Document #5: An Italian Passport, Booklet Form
  • Document #6: A Long-Form Birth Certificate
  • Document #7: A Short-Form Birth Certificate
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Italian Personal Names


  • The Latin Alphabet
  • The Use of Latin in Genealogical Records
  • Document #1: A Slovenian Birth Certificate (Latin-Italian)
  • Document #2: A Polish Baptismal Certificate
  • Document #3: A Slovak Baptismal Certificate
  • Document #4: A Ukrainian Baptismal Certificate
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Selected Personal Names


  • The Portuguese Alphabet
  • Document #1: An Identity Card from the Azores
  • Document #2: A Birth Certificate from the Azores
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Selected Portuguese First Names


  • The Romanian Alphabet
  • Document #1: A Romanian Birth Certificate
  • Document #2: A Romanian Passport
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms


  • The Spanish Alphabet
  • Document #1: A Civil Birth Certificate
  • Document #2: An Identity Card
  • Document #3: A Consular Records
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Selected Personal Names

The Slavic Languages


  • The Czech Alphabet
  • Czechs, Bohemians, Moravians, Slovaks, and Their Languages
  • Document #1: A Czech Birth and Baptismal Certificate
  • Document #2: A Parish Family Registration Document
  • Document #3: A Slovak Passport
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Selected Personal Names


  • The Polish Alphabet
  • The Polish Language
  • The Format of Long-Form Documents
  • Template for Birth Records
  • Template for Death Records
  • Template for Marriage Records
  • Document #1: A Long-Form Polish Birth Certificate
  • Document #2: A Short-Form Polish Birth Certificate
  • Document #3: A Jewish Birth Certificate (Polish-Hebrew)
  • Document #4: A Polish/German Birth and Baptismal Certificate
  • Document #5: A Passport Application
  • Document #6: A Republic of Poland Passport
  • Document #7: A Polish/German Passport from the Austrian Sector
  • Document #8: A German/Polish/Ukrainian Employment Booklet
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Selected Personal Names


  • The Russian Alphabet
  • The Russian Language
  • Document #1: A Russian Orthodox Birth Certificate
  • Document #2: Long-Form Roman Catholic Birth Record
  • Document #3: A Short-Form Certificate
  • Document #4: A Jewish Birth Certificate
  • Document #5: An Islamic Birth Record
  • Document #6: A Russian Booklet-Type Passport
  • Document #7: A Single-Sheet Russian Passport
  • Document #8: A Ship Ticket
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Selected Personal Names

Other Languages

Hungarian (Magyar)

  • The Hungarian Alphabet
  • The Hungarian Language
  • Document #1: A Hungarian Birth Certificate
  • Document #2: A Hungarian Passport
  • Selected Vocabulary Terms
  • Personal Names


  • The Lithuanian Alphabet
  • The Lithuanian Language
  • Document #1: Lithuanian Baptismal Certificate I
  • Document #2: Lithuanian Baptismal Certificate II
  • Document #3: A Lithuanian Passport
  • Additional Useful Terms

Appendix A: Bibliography

Appendix B: A List of Genealogical Organizations


Following the Paper Trail: A Multilingual Translation Guide is available from Family Roots Publishing for $28.42; Item #: AV346.