Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     First published in 1993, POLISH ROOTS by Rosemary A. Chorzempa was one of the pioneering works on the subject of forebears from Poland. Since that time, many advances in the field of Polish genealogical research have occurred. Chorzempa’s new second edition of her work reflects the many changes that have been made during the past twenty years.

     Perhaps the foremost transformation in the area of Polish family research is the popular utilization of resources available on the internet. In addition, a marked rise in interest in genealogy in Poland resulted in an increase in the number of genealogical societies in that country. The growth abroad, in turn, led to the flourishing of the Polish genealogical societies established in the United States. Those factors naturally aided in the dissemination of information, which makes locating Polish ancestors much easier today. In her second edition, Chorzempa describes these exciting developments with a new introduction, four more chapters, a completely rewritten chapter, numerous updates scattered throughout the original text, and several new maps and charts.

     As the author points out, Poland has been “foster mother” to many different nationalities, especially Austrians, Germans, Lithuanians, Russians, and Ukrainians—people who belonged to the nation states that exercised dominion over the area at various times. In fact, Poland has also been host over the centuries to Balkan and Carpathian Slavs, Jews, Gypsies, Dutch, and even Scots. In other words, the country is a genealogical mosaic.

     These diversified peoples often maintained their own religious beliefs, making Poland home to an assortment of denominations, including Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Evangelical (Lutheran), Mennonite, Reformed (Protestant), and Jewish. Chorzempa explains the overlapping boundaries of geography, history, language, and religion so that genealogists—regardless of the ethnic or religious background from which their ancestors from Poland descend—can successfully locate and understand how to use the resources they need to extend their pedigree. As a bonus, she provides at the end of many chapters a bibliography of suggested reading for individuals wishing to know more about a particular topic.

     Chorzempa’s POLISH ROOTS remains perhaps the best manual pertaining to the subject. Due to the new and updated material, family researchers with ties to Poland will welcome the helpful information offered in the second edition. If any of your relatives are seeking ancestors in this European country, a copy of this publication will make a perfect Christmas gift for them.

     The 270-page book has soft covers, an introduction with footnotes, maps, tables, and facsimiles of documents. To the book's price of $24.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #981) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website at

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