Polish Handwriting Helps

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Image:Polish Alphabet.png 

Helpful notes about Polish:

You will seldom find a double letter combination in Polish – no ll as in Miller, no nn as in Hermann, no oo as in root.

Stanisławów Stanisławów
Stanisławów

Common problems arise from the diacritic ł and Ł. This is actually an L with a slash or stroke. It is found in both upper and lower case. It is commonly transcribed incorrectly to the letter T or t. One of the best ways to distinguish ł from t is that the stroke of the ł is frequently very high or above the letter. As in the sample images.

     • Władysław is commonly misspelled to Wtadystaw when transcribing.


Ƶ is not a regular alphabet letter in Polish but is a European style of writing the letter Z. It should be keyed as the letter Z. However, note that Ƶ is commonly transcribed incorrectly to the letter F.

     • Ƶdziebko is commonly misspelled to Fdziebko when transcribing.


Example of confusion regarding names. Be cautious of the letter W.

     • Władysław Wilmowicz was incorrectly transcribed to Nladislaus Nilmouriez.


Ancestry World Archives Project would like to thank the following for assisting in creating this Polish language tutorial:

Polonica Americana Research Institute

Michigan Polonia, LLC


SPECIAL NOTE for World Archive Keyers:


 Polish has a special diacritic that is not currently in the International Characters dialog of the Keying Tool. This is being remedied but in the mean time should you find a record that contains a kropka (ż), you will need to copy and paste it from this page into the keying tool.

Copy and paste the appropriate kropka (ż) below.

                          Ż      ż

Additional Helps

Source: Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy; Published 2010 by Michigan Polonia, LLC; Author: Cecile Wendt Jensen

Image:Polish Primer Explain.png  Image:Polish Primer 1.png  Image:Polish Primer 2.png 

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