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Polish Genealogy Search
Search the best family history sites of Poland brought to you by World Vital Records.
Related Keywords: Polonia, Poland, Polish genealogy, family history, international genealogy, Polska
Background: Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe, but Poland still faces the lingering challenges of high unemployment, underdeveloped and dilapidated infrastructure, and a poor rural underclass. Solidarity suffered a major defeat in the 2001 parliamentary elections when it failed to elect a single deputy to the lower house of Parliament, and the new leaders of the Solidarity Trade Union subsequently pledged to reduce the Trade Union's political role. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.
Polish people, or Poles (Polish: Polacy) are a western Slavic ethnic group of Central Europe, living predominantly in Poland. Poles are sometimes defined as people who share a common Polish culture and are of Polish descent. Their religion is predominantly Roman Catholic. The Poles can also be referred to as the inhabitants of the Republic of Poland and Polish emigrants irrespective of their ethnicity. A wide-ranging Polish diaspora exists throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the Americas and Australia.
There is no commonly accepted definition of the Poles. According to the preamble of the Constitution of Poland, the Polish Nation consists of all citizens of Poland. However, like in most European countries, many people limit the group to native speakers of the Polish language, people that share certain views or traditions, or people who share a common ethnic background originating from Poland. As to the ethnicity, the name of the nation comes from a western Slavic ethnic group primarily associated with Poland and the Polish language. Poles belong to the Lechitic subgroup of these ethnic people. The Polans of Giecz, Gniezno, and Poznan were one of the most influential tribes of Greater Poland and managed to unite many other West Slavic tribes in the area under the rule of what became the Piast dynasty, thus giving birth to a new state. The Polish name for a Pole is Polak (male) and Polka (female). [from Wikipedia]
Population: 38,518,241 (July 2007 est.)
0-14 years: 15.5% (male 3,070,388/female 2,906,121)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 13,639,012/female 13,761,154)
65 years and over: 13.3% (male 1,964,429/female 3,177,137) (2007 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 89.8% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3% (2002)
Ethnic groups: Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 2.7% (2002 census)
Polish Genealogy Search Info: This search engine currently searches 120 websites related to doing genealogy on Polish Ancestry.
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