A detailed history of Poland and its partitions. Fascinating!
Newcomers to Polish genealogy often start with a few misconceptions. Many Americans have only a dim understanding of the border changes that occurred in Europe over the centuries, and in fairness, keeping up with all of them can be quite a challenge, as evidenced by this timelapse video that illustrates Europe’s geopolitical map changes since 1000 AD. So it’s no wonder that I often hear statements like, “Grandma’s family was Polish, but they lived someplace near the Russian border.” Statements like this presuppose that Grandma’s family lived in “Poland” near the border between “Poland” and Russia. However, what many people don’t realize is that Poland didn’t exist as an independent nation from 1795-1918.
How did this happen and what were the consequences for our Polish ancestors? At the risk of vastly oversimplifying the story, I’d like to present a few highlights of Polish history that beginning Polish researchers should be…
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