Here are a few questions in reference to the Working Through a Problem blog post.
"How did you know where to look for the microfilm?"
I went to the Family History Library's Card Catalog and did a place search, first for Łódź and then for Zduńska Wola. You do not have to put in the diacritical marks, the catalog figures them out.
"Wouldn't you want BOTH records, the civil AND the church?"
Theoretically the answer is yes. You always want to get every available document there is. However, sometimes practicality takes over. Is it worth me spending $55 (minimum) for the civil record? I might want to bide my time on that one. If I get the church record, and it answers my research question of "What was Eleonore's maiden name?" then I will document in my notes that a 2nd document might exist at the Polish Archives. That doesn't mean I won't ever get it but right now I don't want to spend that kind of money on a single document. Since I am working on this family right now, I might find that I need other documents from the Polish Archives. Multiple documents can be had cheaper (set price for hourly research) so that might be how I end up getting it.
"Could you not write off directly to the county to get the records? It might be cheaper than the Archives."
So far my experience has been that the older records from the county level have been transferred to the archives for safe keeping. Granted, I haven't actually asked this particular office so it is possible that they have the mid 1800s in house. That would be something I would need to follow-up on. This brings up another topic. HOW would I contact the civil office if I can't speak Polish? I have a couple of options. If I email them, I can put my question to them in English AND Polish (using Google Translate) and hope that one of the paragraphs is understandable. If I feel I must call, I can try the call first in English. There is a decent chance that someone in the office speaks English. My second option would be to contact the nearest Polish-American club and ask if someone is willing to help me out. I don't know anyone personally that speaks Polish so this would be my best option.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis