Polish Handwriting Helps
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. It should be noted however that seldom does not mean never. Some place names that use double letters: Rossosz, Jagiellońska and Radziwiłłów. Also, Many names may be of foreign origin (especially from Germany), that will indeed have a double n.
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:
SPECIAL NOTE for World Archive Keyers:
UPDATE: The International Characters in the keying tool now support the kropka ( Ż ) Please only use the keying tool to enter this character.
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 meantime 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.
The International characters dialog with Polish letters highlighted in green, and look-alike mistakes struck through with a red x.
Source: Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy; Published 2010 by Michigan Polonia, LLC; Author: Cecile Wendt Jensen