How to obtain a birth, marriage, or death certificate from a Polish registry office


On the 1st March  2015, a new electronic system in registry offices was launched. It means that every birth, marriage, or death certificate created after this date will be available in every registry office, not only in the one it was issued in. Also, the offices work on adding older documents to the system as well. But what about very old documents? Can we obtain them as well? And what if you don’t live in Poland and don’t have Polish citizenship? Can you receive, for example, your grandparents’ marriage certificate? The answer is YES. And below we describe how to do it.

Registry offices in Poland keep vital records for 100 (births) or 80 (marriages and deaths) years. After that time they send all the documents to the local national archives. So if the document you’re looking for is within those dates, then the registry office is the institution you should contact.

The first thing is to find the right registry office (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego). Usually, each municipality (gmina) has one, however, the biggest ones may have even a few of them. If you are looking for documents registered in a city, then all you have to do is to find the address of the registry office. All the data including the phone number and email address you can find on this website: Just write the name of the town in the searching bar.

But what if my ancestors lived in a small village that was too small to have its own registry office? Then find the gmina it belonged to. Here is the current list of gminas in Poland: Use the map and starting from the voivodeship, through the counties (powiats), you can find the municipality.

So now, when you have the right gmina, and the contact to the registry office, you can write them an email to verify if they have the record of your interest. Especially when the date of the event you’re looking for is close to the mentioned threshold of 100 or 80 years. Your email should have all the information that can be useful while searching for documents, such as first name, surname, maiden name, date of birth, place of birth, parents’ names.

Writing such an email in Polish will be more efficient. Not every clerk in the registry office can speak English. Below you have an example for obtaining a birth certificate (you can modify it for your purposes):

“Urząd Stanu Cywilnego [here you write the name of the town/city, where the seat of the registry office is],

Zwracam się z uprzejmą prośbą o potwierdzenie, że są Państwo w posiadaniu aktu urodzenia następującej osoby:

[first name and surname], urodzony (urodzona in case of a female relative) w miejsowości [place of birth] on (date dd/mm/yyyy). Imiona rodziców: [parents’ names]

Akt jest potrzebny do genealogii mojej rodziny.

Z poważaniem,
[your first name and surname, adress]


Therefore, your email asking for a birth certificate could look like this:

“Urząd Stanu Cywilnego Bydgoszcz,

Zwracam się z uprzejmą prośbą o potwierdzenie, że są Państwo w posiadaniu aktu urodzenia następującej osoby:

Adam Nowak, urodzony w miejscowości Bydgoszcz dnia 25.11.1956. Imiona rodziców: Paweł i Weronika.

Akt jest potrzebny do genealogii mojej rodziny.

Z poważaniem,
Jane Doe


The one asking for the marriage certificate could look like this:

“Urząd Stanu Cywilnego Bydgoszcz, 

Zwracam się z uprzejmą prośbą o potwierdzenie, że są Państwo w posiadaniu aktu urodzenia następującej osoby.

Adam Nowak, ślub w miejscowości Bydgoszcz dnia 25.11.1956. Imiona rodziców: Paweł i Weronika.

Akt jest potrzebny do genealogii mojej rodziny.

Z poważaniem,
Jane Doe

In case of a death record, just change the word “ślub” with “zgon”.


Of course not always we can provide all that information. If you don’t know the exact date, then just write the year, or use the word “około”, which means “around”. With a little bit of luck, the office will be able to find it. On the other hand giving a wide option, like “born between 1880 and 1890 somewhere near Białystok” can be too much. The offices do not conduct genealogy research. In this case, they will probably just check whether such a name is in their database, but if it’s not, then it’s rather unlikely they will check all the metrical books for 10 years in all those parishes. Try to be as specific as possible.

After receiving the confirmation that the office has the document you are looking for, there are two possibilities:

        you can order the documents personally,

        through an authorized person.

Which option is better? It depends on your preferences. If you don’t speak Polish and have someone living in Poland you can trust, then it’s easier to do it this way. Below you have the description of both ways.

Order documents personally

Documents that you will need is:

1) a filled out form;

2) payment confirmation;

3) any documents confirming your relation with the person whose documents you want to obtain.

Fill out the form

Unfortunately, each Registry Office has its own form. They are available on their website.

It can look like this (from Kraków Registry Office):

Like this (from Czosnów Registry Office):

Or like this one (from Lublin Registry Office):

As you can see they are all different. But for sure they contain few main points:

On the top right corner you may see the name of the town. After that, there is a place for the current date. Please remember about the date format used in Poland. 3.12.2021 is the 3rd of December 2021.

Then there is usually your name. Wherever you see any version of the word “wnioskodawca” (the applicant), that means it’s about you. So as you can see in the form from Kraków and Czosnów, the place for your data (first name, surname – “imię I nazwisko”, address – “adres zamieszkania” or “adres do korespondencji”, sometimes you may be asked for your phone number as well – “numer telefonu”. Usually it’s not required, but if you can speak Polish it can be helpful.

If you see that the form requires PESEL, then just leave it blank. PESEL is a number that every Polish citizen gets just after being born. If you don’t have it, then you leave it empty.

In the form from Lublin you can also see “typ wnioskodawcy”. You issue the document as “osoba prywatna”, which means you’re not an office or organization (a private person).

The next will be your request: “Proszę o wydanie odpisu…”. Now there are three options:

1) short copy – regular document with the most important information

2) full copy – contains more details

3) multilingual short copy – you may need this copy to use it in foreign offices. It doesn’t require translation or any other proof that it’s legitimate. However, you can use it in several countries only: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria.

Here is an example how the short copy looks like:

And below you have an example of the full copy:

As you can see, the short copy contains only the most important information.

The next step will be to choose the document we’re obtaining: birth, marriage, or death certificate. But read the documents closely. The form from Czosnów is a form for issuing birth certificates only:

Some offices will have specific forms for each kind of document, others will have just one form for every kind of document. Some of them will not have a template at all and it will be up to you to create one. 

Usually, the next thing is your ancestor’s data: first name and surname, birth/marriage/death date, place, and date.

Also, you may be asked to describe who this person is to you. Not everyone can ask for anyone’s documents. We can receive documents containing our data, our spouse’s, our children’s and grandchildren’s, our parents’, siblings’, grandparents’, great grandparents’, etc. But for example, some offices can disagree to issue our uncle’s birth certificate, because he doesn’t belong to our direct line. Each registry office can interpret the law differently and while some are helpful and go out their way to assist us, others can be very bureaucratic.
We usually have to write how are we related to the person of interest. In the form from Kraków, you can see the text: “Odpis dotyczy:” – the copy concerns. And the options are as above.

The forms also ask about the reason for obtaining the document. There can be several reasons: marriage abroad, divorce, for work, for insurance, for citizenship, etc. Also, it can be for private matters. If you won’t use this document for any official reason, you can just write “do celów prywatnych” or “do celów genealogicznych” – for genealogy matters.

What else you can find in the form:

“Sposób odbioru dokumentu” – how you want to receive the document. Using post office “listownie” or “pocztą”.

“Liczba odpisów” – the amount of copies.

Make sure there is your signature on the form.

After you fill out the form, now it’s time to prove that you are the person who has the right to receive it. So for example when you ask for your great grandfather’s death certificate, then you should also provide a copy of your passport, ID or birth certificate, your father’s birth certificate (if that’s your father’s line), and your grandfather’s birth certificate.

Note: it’s worth checking the preferred documents with the office while exchanging emails. Each office may have a little bit different requirements.

The last thing will be the payment. You have to prove that you already paid for the documents, so that the copies can be sent to you. Some of the forms already contain the bank account number, where you have to send the money (look at the example from Lublin, page 2). But in other cases, you will have to find the bank account number on the registry office’s web page or ask for it in your email correspondence. What doesn’t change is the cost. Each short copy costs 22 PLN and each full copy costs 33 PLN.

Our advice would be to check the costs of payments before you send any money. Wire transfers can be very costly especially when you send small amounts of money. 

If you already gathered those documents, then pack them together in an envelope and send them to the chosen registry office.

Now it’s time to wait. How long? If the document is already in the electronic database, up to 7 days. If it’s not, up to 10 days. The above doesn’t include the time to send you the documents, so add this to your calculations.

You can also receive a decline with the reason why the office refuses to issue you the documents. If you don’t agree with this decision you can appeal within 14 days.

Obtain through an authorized person

If you know someone you trust, who lives in Poland and speaks Polish it may be more efficient to ask such a person for help. In this case, all you need to do is to send this person a document authorizing them to represent you in obtaining the documents of your interest. It has to be in Polish. It usually doesn’t have to be printed out or written according to a template but it is also best to confirm it first. Some registry officers also require the authorization form to be notarized. 

The document can look like this:

Here is the translation:


Note: in some Registry Offices scan of such documents may be enough, but usually the original is required.

The additional cost for having a proxy who acts on your behalf is 17 PLN.

The rest of the documents stay the same: you will have to prove how you are related and proof of payment has to be added as well. But in this case, your representative will fill out the form.

Also, your representative will receive the documents and it will be their responsibility to send you either scans or the originals. 

This is the general procedure to receive copies of the documents in Polish registry offices. If I was to add any final advice here, it would probably be: remember that on the other side of the line or email there is a living person, who can have a bad day, not to be aware of something, didn’t ever deal with such a case as yours. Ask questions, and if you still have doubts – ask again. Check if someone had the same issue. Double-check the data you’re sending. And stay positive. If you have the right to receive the document you’re asking for, then you’ll receive it.


Aleksandra Matłaszewska
PolishOrigins Team


  1. Does Libzburge , Poland still exist?. My great grandmother,Josephine S.Litznerski, born 1859, Died 1929 in Cook,Illinois USA,is supposed to have been born there,but I can’t find any record of it anywhere!. There are 2 spellings of her husband’s name,Anton Seamone ,and Antoni Zyman ,born in Poland,1853-1966,died in Cook Illinois,USA. After leaving Poland,they immigrated to New Canada ,Lunenburg County,Nova Scotia,Canada,,then moved to Illinois,USA. Don’t know the date they moved to the USA?.

    1. Her last name would end with an ‘a’ because she was a female in Poland last names change according to gender/sex so maybe this will help find her info for u replace the i in the last name with an a. Hope this helps xoxo -Lucja

    2. Hello cousin! These are my great-great grandparents! I’m looking for more information as well. I have my great-grandmother’s birth certificate in front of me and it lists her dad as Anton Zyman from Wielun, Poland and her mother Josephine Litznerski born Lotenburg, Prussia. Hopefully my info showing Wielun helps you. I’m just starting my research and don’t have anything else at this time.

    3. Many of the city and town names changed from German to Polish after WWII. My grandfather was born in the Free German City of Danzig which became Danzig during the War then Gdańsk after the war. You will have to find out what the name changed to after WWII.

  2. Thank you for a date of passing for my grandfather Anthony Kolodziejski . I still would like to find data about his return to Lodz about 1920 and if there is any record of what he did during the some 13 years until his death
    Thank you

    1. Luc, you can find them in one of the national archives. But it’s always good to confirm whether the registry office already sent the metric books you’re interested in. If they are already in the archive, you may look for their scan online (but it may take some time to scan it). You can also visit the archive yourself, ask someone to do that for you or pay the archive to look for the document for you. I guess it’s a great topic for another blog post 🙂

  3. Hi! Amazing post, It was very helpful for my case. Nevertheless, i have a major doubt.. I need the birth and marriage certificates of my great grandfather, born in Poland territory (former Germany) to be presented to Germany for nationality application. The registry books should be in German, because at that time, it was Germany (1908-1938), so which form should I ask the certificates? Complete or multilingual? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Daniela, glad to hear that it was helpful! So if you plan to use such document abroad, than you should apply for the multilingual version – it won’t need any additional translation. In theory it should be enough. Good luck with your case!

  4. Hi looking for decree absolute from poland zary which form is best to fill in and would an aunt that speaks polish be able to be a representative.

    1. Hello Hannah, if you request for a marriage certificate of the divorced couple, there will also be a note about their divorce.

  5. I am trying to obtain a copy of my great grandmothers marriage certificate
    Only info I have is Mary lapkosky
    2nd March 1890
    Suwalki poland how do I go about this

    1. Betty, you should rather look for those documents in the archives. For example, Dobkowice belonged to Wierzbice parish. The metrical books from there are stored in the National Archive in Wrocław.

      1. Good day ,

        Can you help me please ??

        Where can I obtain a list online of which towns & villages belong to which Parish ?

        Kind regards , Denise

          1. hello, I live in canada and am looking for the birth records of my sons great grandfather Josef Bon born in Zamosc, we have little to no information except for the name of the town. can you assist me please? I have seen this conversation and took a chance that you may be able to help me.

            Faith Bon

            1. Hello Faith,
              this is indeed very little information. Do you know what year he might be born? I didn’t find any person with this surname in Zamość, however this surname appears in different parts of Poland. Where do you have the name of the town from? How reliable is the source?

              1. Hello Aleksandra! So kind of you to reply thank you very much. I have a passport of Josef’s son and it was issued in poland, but his birth place states Rosja. which is another name for Russia? his name is theodozjusz or theodoze born novemeber 28th 1917. Josef’s wife was katarzyna bon born 1890 the 13th day i cannot make out the month but she was born in the town siedliska maybe there is a wedding record for her and it states where Josef was born?
                I am curious how many places or how many ppl the bon surname belongs to in poland.
                thank you very much and maybe this information can aid me in this search.

    2. How do I find the email address of the Krakòw registry office as I w
      Ould like to get a copy of cousin’s death certificate
      We live in New Zealand and he was our last relative in Polamd

  6. My Uncle is alive and in need of a copy of his birth certificate, but has asked me to assist as he is not very good with things like this. I found the registry, emailed and they have confirmed it is there and available. Once I fill out the form, and have my uncle sign it, what documents need to be provided to show he is requesting this for himself?
    As we are in the USA, is it possible to email the completed application, proof of payment and required documents and to received the birth certificate by post, digital or both?

    1. Hi Tara,
      in theory your uncle doesn’t need to provide any additional documents, because he’s asking for his own documents. However it’s always better to confirm with the Registry Office you will cooperate with.
      There are two remote ways to obtain certificates from the Registry Office – via “Profil Zaufany” (it requires to have PESEL number) or by post. If you send the filled form by post, then the Registry Office will send you the documents by post as well.
      Good luck!

  7. I really hope someone can help because we keep hitting a brick wall. My father is Polish and he passed away mid 2015 in Wrocław. For the past year I’ve been trying to obtain a copy of his death certificate from Australia to be sent from Poland to Aus and I keep being told “sorry, we can’t help, you need to contact……” then I’ll contact whomever and told the same thing, we can’t help, you need to contact someone else. I need the certificate to be able to access money from his will that is currently being held in England where he resided for half his life. It’s a big messy situation given the 3 countries involved, but the hardest part has been actually applying for the death certificate to begin with. If anyone can give me a hint on what to do, it’ll be greatly appreciated. I’ve even contacted a few Polish interpreters to see if they can help with the process and they all come back with a no.

    1. Hello Katy,
      in theory, your case shouldn’t take that long. Your father passed away just a few years ago, so his data should already be in the database. So what you need to do is to send a filled-out form, confirmation of the payment for the certificate, and proof that you are your father’s daughter, so probably your birth certificate would be my first choice. Here you can find Wrocław Registry Office data: If you send your request by post, the answer will be sent by post as well.
      So this is a theory. Maybe there is something else, what makes your case so complicated? If so, it may be worth to hire someone in Poland, who speaks Polish and can do that for you.
      Good luck!

  8. Hi there. Thank you for all this great information… I’m seeking a birth certificate and have a problem not addressed…

    My Grandfather was born in Lida Poland in 1922. Lina is now Belarus (since like 1940’s). Any advice on what happens with the records when another country takes over? What should I do next?

    1. Hi Mike,
      this is the case for the archives in Belarus. Metrical books from Lida are stored in archives in Grodno.
      You can write an email (even in English, but probably they will reply in Belarussian).
      Good luck!

      1. Good day ,

        Can you help me please ??

        Where can I obtain a list online of which Metrical books are stored in which archives ?

        Kind regards , Denise

        1. Hi Denise,
          in my opinion, the best way is to search on Just write the parish you are looking for in the searching bar. By each document, there will be an information about the archive where it is stored.
          Good luck!

  9. What a great service this website is doing. My grandfather and grandmother were polish. His name was Chaskiel Berensztejn, born in OZDIUTYEZE, ( Volyn Province) in 02.01.1909. My grandmother was Lyba Berensztejn and was born in PORYCK in 02.12.1910 ( Volyn Province ). They married by letter of attorney in Wlodzimierz in 1937 ( also Volyn Province). Since Volyn Province are now part of Ukrania and since their birth dates are more than 100 years old and their marriage older than 80 years old where I should look for their Birth Certificates and marriage certificates? Thanks a lot.

  10. Sorry, For my grandfather the correct town is OZDIUTYCZE ( actual Ozyutychi), Volyn Province. And for my grandmother the town is PORYCK ( actual Pavlivka, in Volynska province ). They married in Wlodzimierz ( actual Volodymyr in Volynska ).

  11. Sorry, making more accurate some information. For my grandfather the correct town is OZDIUTYCZE ( actual Ozyutychi), Volyn Province. And for my grandmother the town is PORYCK ( actual Pavlivka, in Volynska province ). They married in Wlodzimierz ( actual Volodymyr in Volynska ).

    1. Hello Luciano,
      part of the metrical books from Ukraine is currently in Poland, however I didn’t find much about places you’ve mentioned. My guess would be to write to the Łuck archive. They definitely have some documents about Poryck and Włodzimierz Wołyński, but you would have to ask about it’s scope.
      Good luck with your research!

  12. At the bottom of the form for Gmina Chelm, there are two spaces for signing.

    One that says this:
    “pospis wnioskodawcy – stopien pokrewienstwa”

    And one that says this:

    data I czyteiny podpis wnioskodawcy”

    Could you please let me know what the difference is? I assume for the first one I sign and then write pradziadek (for my great grandfather’s birth certificate), and for the second I sign and date?

    Please let me know!

    1. Hi Lachlan,
      indeed, the first one is your signature and information how you are related. However, you write who YOU are for this person, so in your case it would be great grandson (“prawnuk” in Polish).
      In the second case “Powyższe odpisy otrzymałem(am)” means that you confirm that you’ve already received those documents you applied. So if you pick them up in person, you will be asked to sign in this particular space on the form. So while applying, please leave it blank.
      Good luck with your research!

  13. Thank you so much Aleksandra!

    As I am applying by mailing my documents to the registry office, I assume I still leave the second space blank?

    1. Exactly! Leave it blank now and the registry office will get your confirmation in a different way – this task is on their side.

      1. Hi again Aleksandra!

        I posted my documents to the registry office in February. Do you know how long it might take to hear back from them and in what form of correspondence – would they mail the certificate directly back? Or does each registry office have a different process?

        Thanks in advance!

        1. I would definitely ask them about your case to make sure if they received and are proceeding.

  14. Very informative post.
    Both of my grandparents were Polish and I’m looking for their details. However they were born in what is now Ukraine and Czechia, AND over 100 years ago.
    Where is the best place to start?

    1. Hello Mike,
      I would start with collecting all the information: where did your ancestors were born/married/died. Then determining which parish is that. There is a very helpful video you can watch about that:
      As for the sources – it all depends on the exact place. For example part of the documents from Ukraine can be found in Poland as well. With Czechia Poland didn’t overlap that much. The list of documents stored in Polish Archives (sometimes with the scans), you can find here:
      Good luck!

      1. Hi Aleksandra
        Thanks for your reply a few months ago and sorry I haven’t been in touch sooner. I keep failing every time I research this. Is there any service that perhaps does all the work for you? Happy to pay extra if that’s what’s needed?


  15. Thank you for this very helpful post.
    My father was born in Klukowicze in 1924. His birth record is in Mielniku, but I was told I can go to any civil registration office to request a copy. I plan to visit Krakow this year and am hoping I can just go to the civil registration office in Krakow and request copies. Do you know if this is the case? Do you know if I can request as many copies as I want? If I appear in person, what manner of payment do they accept? Cash? Major credit card? I will bring copies of documents confirming I am his child. Are copies sufficient? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hello Mary Grace,
      That’s true, you can request your father’s documents in any Registry Office in Poland. The only question is if the data is already in the system. What does it change for you? If the data is in the system, you will receive documents while your visit. But if the data is not in the system yet, the Registry Office has 10 working days to add this data to the system, so you can receive requested documents. It’s worth to check with the Registry Office before your trip.
      Yes, you can request as many copies as you want. You can pay both credit card or a cash.
      As for your last question, it depends what you mean by copies. If it’s for example a copy of your birth certificate you got from your office – it will be enough. But if by copy you mean xero copy of any document – it may not be accepted.
      Good luck!

      1. Thank you. I live in the US and do not speak Polish. Can you suggest how I might contact the Registry office in Krakow (via email?) to make sure my dad’s birth record is in the system prior to my visit? I will be in Krakow for less than 10 days so would like to ensure the birth record will be available in advance.

        1. Hello MaryGrace,
          I talked to the Registry Office in Mielnik. Indeed they found Michał Bubel born in 1924. His data will be in the system within two days (according the office’s info) and you will be able to obtain his birth certificate in any registry office all around Poland within minutes.
          Good luck!

          1. Hello Alexsandra,
            Thanks to your helpful information, I was able to obtain my father’s birth certificate.
            I now have questions about obtaining citizenship by descent. I’ve read conflicting information about eligibility based on naturalization status. My father was born in Poland in 1924, was in a nazi forced labor camp, eventually came to USA as a refugee, was naturalized in 1956 but never renounced his Polish citizenship. Is it still worth my applying for Polish citizenship?
            If so, can you direct me to a list of sworn translators that are acceptable, or guidance for me to determine how to find appropriate translators for my documents?
            Thank you!

            1. Hello MaryGrace,
              it’s great to hear about your father’s birth certificate!
              From what I understand, the main issues, which usually appear during the citizenship cases, are already solved in your case: your family emigrated after 1921, your ancestor who was born in Poland is male (what just makes things easier) and he was naturalized after 1951. It looks like you have quite a big chance to obtain Polish citizenship. But as we say in Poland the devil is in details, so it will all depend on documents you can provide and which can be gained. Usually there is also some list of citizens with your ancestors’ names needed.
              As for the translations, I don’t know anyone who could help you. If that was my case, I would probably just google and check recommendations. In Polish it will be: “tłumacz przysięgły języka angielskiego”, but for sure they will know English ;).
              Good luck 🙂

              1. Hello, I so appreciate all the helpful advice you have provided.
                In my goal of seeking Polish citizenship, I am now stuck. My father was born in Poland in 1924, out of wedlock. I have his certified birth certificate and there is no father listed. He did not have a Polish passport. There are no military records because he was, as a Polish citizen, taken prisoner by the Nazis to forced labor camps. I don’t have any other documents on my father and I have no documents on his mother. I have had searches done in attempt to find census records in Klukowicze (where he was born) and birth certificate or other documents related to his mother, without any success.
                I have been informed that my father’s birth certificate alone is not sufficient to apply for citizenship. Is this correct? Do you have any suggestions for other documents needed and how they might be obtained?
                Thank you so much!

                1. Hello Mary Grace,
                  from what I can see, the documents concerning Klukowicze are stored in the archive in Białystok. I would write to them an email (even in English) and ask them about it. There are documents listed which might contain what you’re looking for. Unfortunately there are no scans available. It’s also very important to describe your case: that you’re looking for those documents for obtaining Polish citizenship.
                  Good luck!

  16. He was born 22 October 1924 in Klukowicze.
    Mother-Mary (Maria) Bubel, unmarried.
    She was Russian Orthodox but likely not accepted in the church.

  17. My Grandfather was born in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland on 13 JUNE 1915 his name was Anthony Nowakowski. I am his grandson Anthony Nowakowski, I an trying to obtain a copy of his birth certificate. Could you please assist be in the rite direction?

  18. Hello Anthony,
    the question is what do you need your Grandfather’s birth certificate for. If it’s for your personal use, you can find it in the archives in Warsaw. Any other case should be checked. Sometimes scan is enough but not always. Also please remember that in 1915 documents were still written in Russian. Here is the link to the birth certificate of Antoni Nowakowski born in 1915 in Warsaw:
    Good luck with your research!

  19. Hi! Can you help me to find a birth certificate? The name of my grandfather is Jacob Nehemías Leder. He was born in Lublin on 8/1/1925

  20. Thank you for sharing this information. Do you have any advice for someone who is looking for their grandparent’s birth certificate but not sure which area of Poland they were born in? We have his full name and date of birth – other than that – not very much.

    Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated?

    1. Hi Ryan,
      not knowing the place will be very difficult, in some cases impossible. But there are some possibilities. It will also depend on when your grandparents were born. I assume that less than 100 years ago, so they will not appear on any list of indexed metrical books like Geneteka. Try marriage or death certificates. Or maybe their emigration papers. If the surname is not popular then you can try checking where it appears the most. It’s a long shot byt may help.
      Good luck!

  21. This is such a great post thank you!
    I have a question. When trying to prove you’re a descendant of the Polish person you’re requesting the documents for, do you have to send your docs translated to polish if they’re from a different country? Like if I was born in the US and my birth record is in English or something like that.

    Thanks, love the site!

    1. Hello Stanislaw,
      well, the isssu in your case will be that Warsaw is huge and has a lot of parishes to check. Some of them have year 1920 already indexed and are easy to check and others don’t. The first thing I would do is to find any address where he might live. Which part of Warsaw? Then I would contact the registry office responsible for this part of the city.
      Good luck with your research!

  22. Hi there,

    I was looking for my grandfathers birth certificate and have used this very helpful post.
    Karol Gruszka – Bielsko
    DOB 15 December 1921
    I emailed the Bielsko office but they advised no civil record was found. If this occurs is there anything else I can do?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Kind regards

    1. Hello Danielle,
      It all depends. How positive you are that your ancestor was born in Bielsko? Is it possible that he might be born in any of the surrounding parishes? What I would do is to find someone who could call the registry office to double check or find out more.
      Good luck with your research!

  23. Hi,

    I am hoping you can help me start searching for records of my grandfather and his family.
    His name was Mieczysław Jóźwiak, Date of Birth: 1910 in Lodz.
    I stumbled upon the Geneteka website and found a record however, i can’t make sense of some of it. are you able to help in anyway at all?

    Year Act Name Last name Father’s name Mother’s name mother’s surname Parish

    1910 3643 Mieczyslaw Jozwiak Charles Catherine Hedgehog Our Lady’s boat

    In particular i’m interested to know what the Hedgehog part and the Our Lady’s boat refers to??

    There is no town listed but there is a note stating it was the town of Baluty.

    Thanks in advance


    1. Hello Nanette,
      I’m guessing you had the Geneteka website automatically translated into English. This can be tricky, because it translates everything it recognizes. So Mieczysław’s mother’s maiden name was Jeż (also written as Jerz). The first one means hedgehog. The church’s name was NMP which stands for Najświętszej Marii Panny what could be translated as Blessed Virgin Mary. Somehow translator suggested Our Lady’s. And the “boat” word stands for the name of the city Łódź, which indeed means boat. Bałuty is the part of Łódź, north from the center. Looks like your ancestors must have lived there in 1910.
      I hope that helps!

  24. Is it possible to have documents sent by mail to the United States? Or do they have to be picked up in person in Poland? I am trying to obtain official copies of birth certificates for my parents.

    1. Hello Paweł,
      yes, you can obtain birth certificates of your parents from United States and the Registry Office will send you the documents to any address you will provide. Just send all the required documents to the Registry Office by mail and when birth certificates are ready, they will send it back to you.
      Good luck!

  25. Can someone please help me with the process on getting my birth certificate from Poland?

  26. My last name is Bistok. I’m fairly certain it’s spelled and pronounced differently in Polish. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Cole,
      I found quite similar surname “Bisztok” in one of the evangelical parishes of Łódź. But the truth is that until you do the research, you won’t be 100% sure of how the surname sounded in Polish. Please also keep in mind that your surname could have several versions due to priest’s mistake/translating from other languages/misspelling etc. It all can be revealed during the research.
      Good luck!

  27. Hi,
    I will be visitinig Krakow for a long weekend at the end of September, and was wondering if i will be able to get a copy of my grandfathers birth certificate while i am there from the registry office?
    His name was Stanislaw Bartosz Born 26/01/1936 in the area of Osowiec (the only lead we have on an area from his evacuation papers)
    Thank you

    1. Hello Sadie,
      so the best thing would be to contact the registry office, where the metrical books are stored. The office would check if the birth certificate is in the system and if not, they can migrate the data to the system. This would give you the certainty that while your trip to Kraków, obtaining your grandfather’s birth certificate will take as much time as printing it out. But to do that, first you have to know where your grandfather was born. I found at least two places named Osowiec. One is near Opole, the other one is near Warsaw. Do you know if it’s any of those?

    2. Thank you for responding Aleksandra, I think it was Osowiec-Twierdza due to his sister saying it was near the Belarus border, but he always told was Warsaw which means it doesn’t add up, but he was evacuated to Northern Rhodesia in WW2 so he just said somewhere people might have heard of I was told as a child.

      Thank you

      1. Hi Sadie,
        I think there is still hope. After all these are just two places. If it was Osowiec-Twierdza, then it belongs to the registry office in Goniądz. If it was Osowiec near Warsaw, then the nearest registry office is in Żabia Wola. Worth checking.
        Good luck!

  28. Hello Aleksandra,

    I am looking for the birth record of my great-grandfather, Frank Hyciek. I have 2 records of him in relation to his burial plot. One says he was born in 1897 and another says 1898.
    My grandfather (Casimer Stanley Hyciek) was born in 1926 in Jordanow, Poland (as well as a few of my grandfather’s siblings) so I’m not sure if my great-grandfather was also born there or not.

    Would you be able to offer help in finding his birth record? I’d be very grateful!

    1. Hello Amanda,
      Is it possible that Frank’s father was Melchior? If so, I found only one Franciszek Hyciek born on the 27th of August 1897 in Jordanów.
      So his birthday anniversary is in a few days!

      1. Hello Aleksandra,

        Thank you so much for this information! I called one of my relatives and asked them if they think that this information looks to line up with what they know about the family history.

        She is away on holiday at the moment, but it turns out that she had a family tree done and she will be able to check to see if it goes back far enough to confirm if Melchior is Franciszek’s father. So she is going to check a few boxes in the basement when she gets back home on Monday for the tree. 🙂

        But from her initial look at these details with what she knows about the family (Frank is her grandfather so since she is older than me she has heard more stories from the older generations) that this looks to line up correctly.

        Again I so appreciate you helping me out with this. Have a lovely weekend!

  29. Hi Aleksandra, I’m looking for the birth certificate of my father, Bernard Bronislaw Drewek, Born 17th August 1924, as far as I recall in Czersk. He arrived in England in 1946 and was still in the Polish Army I believe. He was naturalised in the UK on 19th August 1964. His family was located in Chojnice when I visited them in 1965 aged 8, but we did not maintain contact as unfortunately my parents decided I did not need to be bi-lingual so I only learned English, and the family we knew in Poland only spoke Polish. This is in relation to a Polish Passport application. Any guidance you can give me to find it will be greatly appreciated!

  30. Hi, I am in Poland for the next week but not sure where to start in my search for information on my Grandfather and ultimately my family that remained here after the war. His name was Alfred Rodziewicz and he had a twin sister Wanda and another sister as well (not sure if her name). I have German medical records as well as the passenger list of displaced persons where he sailed from Germany to Australia. They both have a few discrepancies with the spelling of his surname and where he was born but the same date. There was 1 record that has his surname spelt Radziewicz and born 28.9.25 in Rodnicze and the other is spelt correctly (at least I believe so) Rodziewicz and born in Rodziewicze. I don’t know where to look at searching from both of these places looks like they don’t exist.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for me please?

  31. Hello, I am trying to get a multi-lingual EU birth certificate, short form, for my Great Grandmother to present to an Italian Consulate here in the US. She was born in 1891. I am being told that because she was born over 100 years ago, a certified church/baptismal record (in Latin) is all that can be provided because only the state offices can provide a multi-lingual EU BC and her records are no longer with the state office and now in the archives. Does this sound like accurate information? Many thanks! Lisa

  32. To continue, this is the information I received with my certified copy of her baptismal record:

    During this short research there was ordered a certified copy of Teresa Fenczak’s birth record. The original birth books is kept in Archiwum Państwowe w Rzeszowie oddział w Sanoku (eng. ‘State Archives in Rzeszów department in Sanok’). There were ordered two copies of this birth/baptismal record from the archival collection ‘Akta stanu cywilnego Parafii Rzymskokatolickiej w Wołkowyi’ (eng. ‘Files of civil status of the Roman Catholic Parish in Wołkowyja’).
    Teresa Fenczak was born on 17 November 1891 in Solina, and was baptized 3 days later in the Roman-Catholic parish in Wołkowyja, podkarpackie voivodeship, Poland. She was a daughter of Wojciech Fenczak and Anna née Podkalicka.

  33. Hi, my name is Tamara. I need my birth certificate and I don´t speak Polish. Do you have information on how to complete the form in Polish for Warsaw City? I have the form but it is generic for full copy or short copy and I don´t know where to say that I want the multilingual one.

  34. I’m desperate to find some more information about my grandfather, Ernest Kupka. He was born in a town called tarnowskie gory. Will his information be easy to find? Any assistance would be gratefully appreciated!

  35. I am wanting to find death certificate of my father who died in Poland (Bydgoszcz area) on 4th December 1982. His name was Marian Severn Gawlinski.
    He was actually married to a Jadwiga with 4 or 5 kids there which I would like to find more info on but at the moment I don’t know how to go about this or if the info is right?
    But the death date is correct. Sorry don’t know his birth date.

    1. Hello Wanda,
      you can do that in the Registry Office as well. Contact the one in Bydgoszcz, fill out the form and pay for the document (22 Polish zlotys per one document). They will send you back death certificate of your father.
      Good luck!

      1. I do not speak Polish so how do I fill out form,
        Thinking that it will be in Polish that is or do they
        allow for Scottish folk? (Language)


        1. Hello Wanda,
          yes, the form is in Polish. Maybe there is someone you could ask to do that for you? Or hire someone? Still, in this article above, there is quite a lot of suggestions how to do that.

  36. Hey

    Thank you so much for the information above!

    I’m looking for birth certificate of my great-grandfather. i know that he was born at Deblin in 1896. his name Michael Gil Frainer. He married to Sara Luisa Szwarcman and had 2 boys in Deblin Enrique and Bernardo. They emigrated to Argentina at 1930 or 1932.
    Where should i look for his birth record?

    1. Hello Hen,
      The first thing would be to determine their religion. Were they Jewish, Roman-catholics or maybe they belong to Evangelical church?
      This information will suggest where to look for.

        1. Hello Hen,
          So for Dęblin (Irena) I managed to find the metrical books from 1896, but the only surname starting with F is Finkelstein. On the list of surnames from Dęblin, the closest would be Frajman. There is no Frajner, but we have to be aware of the fact that spelling of the surname could change. So what I would do in such situation, would be checking the date – what is the source, maybe in other sources there are other years mentioned.
          Good luck!

  37. Hi, I am looking for many relatives with the surname of Brasz from the town of Ciechanow. This includes my father Icek and his family. There does not seem to be very much online. I was wondering if there may be different spellings of Brasz. I have my father’s Polish passport, issued in Lodz and his name there is Zelek-Icek Brasz. I have seen these double first names sometimes. How are these used? He was known as Icek and Zelek seems to have disappeared.
    By the way, I think that you are providing a fantastic service here! Well done!

    1. Hello Danny,
      indeed, surnames might have been changed with time. Sometimes by a mistake – I can imagine that it was easy to change Brasz to Brosz. But also surnames were changed from other reasons. If the family was Jewish, then might change the surname to sound more Polish. In this case it could be Braszowski, Braszewski or similar. If the surname was officially changed, then there might be an information about it in metrical books – birth most probably, but unfortunately not always.
      As for the first names, giving two names (sometimes even three!) to a child, maybe wasn’t very popular, but it did happen. It also happened that the child was using only one of them later on. What could help you to solve this mystery is to look for the original documents of Icek, like birth, marriage or death ceritificate. They also may contain side notes concerning, for example, change of the name.
      I hope that helped at least a little bit.
      Good luck with your research!

      1. Hi there, I am trying to obtain my grandfathers birth certificate from Poland. He is 97 years old, born march 15, 1926 in dialoscyze, Poland, I have emailed the vital office but did not receive a response. What is the best way to request if a copy of his birth certificate exists me is available. I am stuck and do not speak polish. This would be the only record of his polish citizenship because of the war.

        1. Hello Jon,
          how long did it take them to response already? Sometimes it may take time. It could also happen that the person responsible for answering emails can’t speak English. Which Registry Office you were trying to reach? What is your father’s name?

          1. Hi, thanks for the response. I have not heard back but have just sent another in polish using a translation service. My grandfather was born in Dialoscyze, Poland, in 1926. He was taken during the war at 15 to Maunthausen for 4 years and the records we have are of no help, so I am trying to find his birth surname, because, long story short, his father died when he was 2 and his mother remarried to his current surname after that, then the war came and he never saw his family again, so with his birth certificate I can learn his background and possibly find relatives of his alive today that may have survived the war. I have found quite a bit of info so far from wartime archives but nothing that helps me find his birth surname.

            1. Hello again Jon,
              Dialoscyze sounds a bit like Działoszyce in Poland, but it’s just a guess. What I would do is to find your great grandmother’s marriage certificate. Most probably finding the second one will be easier. It may contain her maiden name as well as her first husband’s surname. Do you have any of her marriage certificates?

  38. Hi There, not sure if folks know but can you get a polish birth certificate for someone whose records are in the archives now (over 100 years old). they have copies of church records but they don’t want to or can’t make those into official certificates now.

    1. Hello Tania,
      indeed, documents stored in archives won’t have copies which look like certificates provided by Registry Offices (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego). What archive can do is to provide a scan of the certificate and add an official stamp confirming that its data is the same as in the original metrical book.

  39. Hello Dear people,

    My great grandmother name: Zinaida or Зінаїда or Зинаида surname: Kostowska or Костовський or Костовська (from father Eugeniusz or Євген and mother Віра or Bepa) was born in Kremenchuk CCCP on 03.08.1904. and she declared herself to be of Polish origin as per my grandmother Valentina, she then emigrated in Kingdom of Yugoslavia later. ( Zinaida’s Husband: Tihon or Тихон Жирников or Жирні from Bogdanovka, Russia born 27.06.1895).

    I wrote to registry office in Warsaw but they couldn’t find anything and they said to look up in State Archives in Dluga 7. I also wrote to Poltva region in Ukraine as I am guessing there could be also some metrics there but they don’t respond.

    Do you have any clue how can I find any record from Zinaida or her Father Eugeniusz so I can establish connection to my Polish roots?

    Thank you very much for any help.

    1. Hello Vladimir,
      I understand that Kremenchuk, you mean the one in Ukraine. From what I understand, it was Polish in XVIIth century. Since then it was usually Russian, and lately Ukrainian (more or less, because history was more complicated than that). Unless Zinaida’s parents came from other place?
      For now I would definitely contact Poltawa archive. If they don’t reply, then maybe try Kiev? I don’t think those metrical book will be anywhere in Poland.
      Good Luck!

      1. Hi Aleksandra, I know that my grandmother always talked about “Vladimir, great grandmother Zinaida is Polish” she was keep saying this proudly when I was really young 🙂 Do you know maybe any resources I can contact online in Ukraine for this kind of matter? Thank you.

  40. Hi, my father was born in Zagan in 1942. At that time it was a German territory but now it is Polish. I need to process an updated, legalized abd apostilled birth certificate but I don’t know who can give me information and help. Unfortunatlly I live in Mexico and it is very difficult for me.
    I would apprecite any help or information you could give me.

    1. Hello Stefanie,
      if you know Polish or you know someone who could help you, I would start with a phone call to the registry office in Żagań. Here is the phone number: +48 68 477 10 65. If not, you can write to them a letter (address: Urząd Stanu Cywilnego, Szprotawska 4, Żagań 68-100) or an email. Unfortunately I didn’t find an email directly to the registry office, but there is a general one, which should be fine: [email protected].
      First I would contact them. You didn’t give any details about your father, so I can’t help any other way. If they confirm they do have his birth certificate, I would just fill out the form, pay the fee and send it to them in a letter.
      Good luck with your research!

  41. Hi! I am applying for Family Reunification. My family is in the Philippines. After getting the certified and translated (English-Polish language) birth and marriage certificates, where and how should I get a confirmation of the vital records having been lodge in Poland? This is one of the documents I need to submit in the Voivodeship Office. I work and live in Warsaw.

    I’d be very grateful for your help.

  42. Hi,
    I’m looking to find my Grandfather’s birth certificate and his parents marriage certificate.
    His name was Waclaw Bromirski DOB 06/09/1927 in Lwow.

    The only information I have is from a booklet I found with his details in:
    I have what I think is an address of ‘Lwow, Rycerska no 31’ Obviously this is now within Ukraine so am unsure who to contact.
    He was in the Polish Army in 1945.
    He arrived in England in 1946 as part of the Polish Resettlement Corps.
    His father was Antony/Anthony (unsure of spelling) Bromirski, I don’t know what his Mum’s name was unfortunately.

    Where do I get this information from? Poland? Ukraine?

  43. My grandfather Mikel zachemski or Zahemski born in Austria in 1862. Died In Pennsylvania in 1945. Married aniela kollotja who died in 1905. Married Catherine rzegotho about 1906 in old forge, pa. That is the only info I have

  44. Hi,
    My grand father was born in Kielce, his name was Chaim Baruj Wainberg how can I get his born certifacate?. His father was born in chemielnik and I have his passport.
    Thank you

    1. Hello Johana,
      it depends on the year he was born. If it was more than a 100 years ago and the books were not destroyed at some point, you will find them most probably in Kielce archive. If it was less than a 100 years ago, contacting the registry office in Kielce will be a good start.
      Good luck with your research!

  45. HI I am wanting to apply for a birth certificate for my Grandmother – Maria Lina Skalska – Born 04 June 1922 Warszawa. Maria Lina Skalska Parents:- Jozef Skalski and Wladyslawa Lipinska.
    I am planning to go to Poland in June 2024 and I would very much like to obtain this birth certificate before I head off.
    Unfortunately I do not read or speak Polish and any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you Robert

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