Polish Genealogy

Poland (Polish) was ‘Polanie’ and derived in the tenth century from the name of a Slavonic tribe near Poznan. It means dwellers or people of the field, meadow, or plain.

The nation of Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea within Central Europe. It has a population of about 40 million, with millions more living in other countries and as descendants of Polish immigrations.

The Polish language is a Slavic based language in the Indo-European family. There are five Polish regional cultural traditions with associated dialects, a significant note in Poland genealogy. Within the country there are several dialects including Great Polish in the northwestern end, Little Polish to the east and Kashubian along the Baltic coast. Many Polish words are originally from the German language.

An emotional bond exists between the Roman Catholic Church and Poles. This relationship was formed because for the last several centuries Poland’s main enemies were Orthodox Russian and Protestant Germans.

The people of Poland love their food and enjoy having lots of food available. When a meal is prepared, there is enough for the whole neighborhood. They are known as excellent cooks, making something out of nothing. The Polish diet will have meat, bread, and potatoes. For many Poles, dinner is not dinner without meat, primarily pork. Bread is consumed and treated with reverence and respect. Vegetables include beets, carrots, cabbage and legumes (beans, peas, lentils). Another source of nutrition is milk in various forms such as fresh or sour milk, buttermilk, sour cream, whey, cheese, and butter. Tea is the main beverage.

The Polish people offer great hospitality; with big hearts, very welcoming and loving. They are respected as very hard-working. They love celebrations such as a wedding where typically food is the most important with poultry, cakes and other party foods.

Poles consider themselves to be members of a community. Over the many decades, especially when occupied by other nations, like Germany in different centuries, they have felt that Poles have been suffering unduly.

Work includes producing agricultural products, minerals, coal, salt, sulfur, copper, manufactured, goods, glass, textiles, beverages, machinery, and ships. Polish farms tend to be small.

Poles recognize kinship through both genders and use the same kin terms for both father’s and mother’s relatives, but differentiate between genders and generations. Groups of relatives assemble for formal occasions, especially for funerals and weddings.

Today when looking at Poland genealogy, the popular feeling is that a Pole is anyone who has Polish ancestry and exhibits Polish cultural traits, speaks Polish, and acts according to Polish norms.

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