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Polish Genealogy Research
in the Russian State Historic Archives

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© copyright 1996-2004 by BLITZ ; all rights reserved

In the Russian State Historic Archives (Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Istoricheskii Arkhiv - RGIA) in St. Petersburg, there are materials on the history of the Russian Empire and Polish Kingdom for the period from the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 20th centuries (up to 1917). The RGIA contains fonds of all ministries and departments, except Military, Naval and Internal Affairs.

Included in these materials is information about the fate of participants of uprisings in Poland in 1794, 1830-1831 and 1863 and their exile or relocation to internal provinces of Russia. The kinds of information found in the RGIA include the following:

  • The Heraldry Department fonds contain documents on the history of Polish noble families including confirmation of coats of arms.

  • The Main Redemption Institution fonds contain files on the holdings of Polish landowners mostly in the Western and South-Western provinces of Russia.

    The Ministry of Internal Affairs fonds contain information about Polish emigration and changing of citizenship.
  • The Ministry of Justice fonds contain documents regarding crimes, including crimes committed by inhabitants of Poland, BLITZ, as well as files regarding the government's pursuit of them for their participation in the revolutionary movement.

    The Ministry of Finance fonds contain information about property holdings and tax payments including those who lived in the Polish Kingdom in the second part of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

  • The Main Management and Publishing Affairs kept reports of censors about the permitting or forbidding the publishing of literature and drama works, including those by Polish authors.

    The Court Department fonds contain information concerning various decorations, awards, honors and ranks; petitions to the Emperor concerning the adoption of children born out of wedlock, wards, and changing of surnames; the granting of private benefits; and other matters.

    In addition, the RGIA contains other fonds including a large group of private fonds, containing various service records and private correspondence. There are Private file of the

    • Polish artists who studied in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts

    • students who studied in other Russian institutions of higher education

    • activities of joint stock companies

    • activities of charitable and educational institutions

    • information on Polish Roman Catholic priests

      The Russian Baltic Information Center - BLITZ in St. Petersburg conducts genealogy searches using the RGIA as well as others archives of St. Petersburg, Moscow and former republics of the USSR. BLITZ provides reports of its findings with references to the archival documents, Xerox copies of archival documents including coats of arms, and translations into English.

      Genealogy Search Order Form

      W. Edward Nute, Coordinator
      Russian-Baltic Information Center - BLITZ
      907 Mission Ave, San Rafael, California, 94901-, USA
      Telephone: 415-453-3579
      FAX: 415-453-0343
      eMail address: enute@igc.org

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