BASIC WORDS IN POLISH TRANSLATION
If your are only familiar with the English language and wish to translate a handwritten Polish church document, it can appear to be a daunting task. But it is not overwhelming if you consider these facts:
1. It only requires the knowledge of about 200 vocabulary words needed for the date of the document and basic words used in church documents.
2. Each type of document, birth, marriage, and death repeats the same format. If you have a good translation of one document, use it as a template for others.
3. Specific genealogical word lists are available on the internet that are commonly used in related documents. Print them out in a folder. Also, a pocket bilingual dictionary varies in prices generally at $8, $12, and $15. This is used for the unusual words in documents.
You will never know well how you will do unless you try. A method that works well for me is to first pick out the easiest words and write the translation. Then work on the harder parts and fill in the blanks. Below is the lengthy 1814 marriage document in my family for my great, great, great grandfather Antoni Samotyha. Anyone knowing Polish date terms and very few key words can locate and translate the basic genealogical data of any marriage document. These simple rules work well with Filipow church records. This example is shown by using colors.
BLUE- Key words to look for followed by critical genealogical information. Roku or Rok, Polish term for year and followed by the date of the document. Rok sometimes used with age of an individual. Lat or liczacy, meaning years old and followed by the age of the individual. Stawili sie, meaning before us and followed by the name of the person relating the information. Other terms to look for are ojciec meaning father, matka meaning mother, panna meaning maiden or Miss, wdowa meaning widow, and wdowiec meaning widower. GREEN- Date of document or individual's age. RED- Key names in document.
Applying the above mentioned key words, the basic information as it appears in this Filipow marriage document, page 1, is as follows:
Roku or Year: November 23, 1814(marriage date)
Stawili sie: Antoni Samotyha(groom) lat: 28 years old
Matki(mother of groom): Barbara Barcicka
Panna: Miss Rozalia Sarosiek(bride) Rok: 17 years old
Ojca(father of bride): Maciej Sarosiek
Matki(mother of bride): Rozalia Barszczewska
The second page of this marriage document mentions again Antoni Samotyha i(and) panna Rozalia Sarosiek. Further down page two is the age of the bride's father written as Majiec Sarosiek ... lat 50 years old, Ojca(father of the bride).
The above example sample is the basic genealogical information that can be derived quickly knowing only key Polish words. Below is the full translation of the above document into modern English.
Morsztynowizna Entry #21
On November 23, 1814. Before us, the Administrator of Filipow parish(priest), deputy officer of the civil state of Filipow commune, Sejnin administrative district at the Lomzynskim Department, appeared Noble Antoni Samotyha, based upon supplied birth certificate issued by Filipow Parish- 28 years old, living in Morsztynowizna, assisted by his mother Barbara Barcicka, as well as Miss Rozalia Sarosiek, proving with a birth certificate issued by Filipow parish that was presented to us that she at least 17 years old, living in parental home, assisted by her father, Noble Maciej Sarosiek, the Treasurer living in Filipow city, and her mother, Rozalia Barszczewska - Both parties appearing request that we start the marriage ceremony agreed upon before, which was announced in front of our community office: first on November 13th at noon, secondly on November 20th at noon. Since we were not notified of any obstruction to said marriage, and the parents approve of same, therefore in granting this request, after reading beforehand all above documents as well as chapter 6 of the Napoleonic Code about the marriage, we asked the future Husband and future Wife if they wanted to be joined by the marriage? Since Each of them separately answered that was their wish, we announce therefore in the name of Law that Noble Antoni Samotyha and Miss Rozalia Sarosiek are married. The act of marriage was written in the presence of Dominick Minkiewicz, 24 years old, and Stanislaw Chotynski, 43 years old, citizens, farmers, neighbors living in Filipow city, the groom Noble Antoni Samotyha, as well as Noble Maciej Sarosiek, 50 years old, father of the bride, as well as Noble Watilas Borowski, the Executor and Expeditor of the Filipow Border crossing, and neighbor of the bride Miss Rozalia Sarosiek. After this act was read and signed by all of us.