In the digital age, it almost seems like without leaving your house, you can find all the genealogy records you ever dreamed of. Millions are accessible online through subscription genealogy websites and many are even freely viewable with just the click of a mouse. But, as you progress deeper into the tangled branches of your family tree and, especially, as you make your way to the foreign lands of immigrant ancestors, you will find that many key records are simply not available online (at least not yet) and must be found in the archives themselves.

Most countries (including the U.S.), it seems, have begun the difficult task of digitizing their archival records, but it will be a while before all such records will be accessible from home. Nevertheless, although the records often can't be remotely accessed, the internet has made it easy and convenient to contact the archive staff to make requests. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, this is the method I would most recommend. Some archivists are more helpful than others but, in general, I have found them to be friendly and eager to help. They are often experienced with the records you are looking for and are familiar with their format and scope. Before you begin a long, exhaustive search, they might tell you that the information you seek is simply not included in a particular record set. Or they may be able to quickly point you to it.

Many of the archives in Poland have digital images online for free viewing. For example, from the

Czech Republic (Bohemia)

Familianten records (Fond 2098)
Vital records, part 1 (Fond 1073)
Vital records, part 2 (Fond 241)

Polish State Archive in Siedlce

Jewish records (1826- )
Stoczek Łukowski (no images yet)

Civil records (1810-1825)
Międzyrzec Podlaski
Stoczek Łukowski


Hemsbach (1810-1869)