Databases

Displaced Persons — Metro Detroit (1948-1959)

Displaced Person_index cardTwo years after the end of World War II in Europe, some 850,000 people lived in DP camps across Europe, among them Armenians, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Yugoslavs, Jews, Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians and Czechoslovaks. This is according to author Mark Wyman in his sensitively written book DPs: Europe’s Displaced Persons, 1945-1951. Generous people, mainly from the Metro Detroit area, served as sponsors for hundreds of Polish displaced persons to be brought here to the United States. Often referred to as the Home Offerer, sponsors had to provide housing and employment for the DP without taking away from an American citizen’s job. Although there may be some duplication in the extraction because of the method records were designed and maintained, The Polish Mission has in its collection over 2,000 index cards created for over a decade recording a part of history for these refugees and many of their most benevolent sponsors. Former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) have extracted the names and pertinent information from these cards.

The names on the cards have been categorized in 5 different sections as they seemed to have been maintained in that fashion. About half of the cards in the collection show not only the name of the Displaced Person and the camp from whence they were arriving; but, also the name and address of their sponsor. (searchable pdfs)

DP_1948-1951
DP_1950-1959
DP_1956-1957
DP_too
Refugees_1951-1958

Holy Card Register (Early 20th Century)

mackowiak_holy-card-register

With the efforts of former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI)— Bernadette Drobot and Lee & Sharon Deceuninck — over 2,500 Remembrance Cards were alphabetized and extracted from funeral, ordination, and religious anniversary events. (searchable pdf)

mackowiak_holy-card-register_p-2

 

Holy Cross Cemetery — Detroit, MI (1906-2015)

Holy Cross Cemetery_Porcelain PortraitHoly Cross Catholic Cemetery, located at 8850 Dix Avenue, began in the 1830’s as a mission settlement known as the Dix Settlement. Although the original two acre cemetery was not dedicated until 1840, burials occurred adjacent to the log cabin where religious services were held in Dix Settlement. In 1906, the cemetery was expanded and now boasts 40 acres. The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit oversees this and four other area burial properties that include Holy Sepulchre, Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Hope, and St. Joseph. During the Spring of 2015, PARI was granted permission by the Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services, a Ministry of the Archdiocese of Detroit, to digitize their index cards utilized for maintaining burial records for Holy Cross. Inspired by the Downriver Genealogical Society, former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) are creating this online database of burial records for Holy Cross Cemetery which now allows the staff of the Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services to serve its patrons more efficiently. We offer our heartfelt thanks for both the inspiration from the Downriver Genealogical Society; and the embracing reception and assistance from the Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services staff. (searchable pdf)    This database is still in development.

Kulwicki Funeral Home — Detroit, MI

Late in the yeSister Mary Edward Jasinski_1947_Death_Burialar of 2013, Jeanette Kulwicki had been persuaded by Dr. Hal Learman to loan us her collection of Kulwicki Funeral Home records for digitization purposes. Kulwicki Funeral Home was regarded as the earliest Polish undertaker business in the state of Michigan having been located in Detroit at 4186 St. Aubin (the original numbering for this same location was 816). The volumes and individual records included information for the business spanning nearly 100 years (1890-1988) reflecting three generations of the family business. The early ledger books (prior to 1928) tend to contain only hand written entries of income and expenditures. Beginning in 1928, pre-printed forms were filled out in detail with the use of a typewriter. Upon completion of the scanning of all of the documents, phone communications with Jeanette were made to return the compilation. Unfortunately, Mrs. Kulwicki passed away two days later before the collection could be returned. Her daughter, Constance Paduchowski, a mortician by profession, donated the entire collected works to the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) and they are now housed in the archives section of The Polish Mission of Orchard Lake Schools. Former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) organized and extracted names from the collection; and created the database below.

The table has thousands of entries; therefore, it may take a few seconds for it to load for research purposes. Even partial names can be searched if there is a question how the name may have been spelled. If you find the name of someone for which you would like to acquire an image, simply copy and paste the line of information in an email. For example:

Send your request to: heyhal@hotmail.com
In the subject line put RE: Kulwicki image so that your request is easily screened from junk emails. There currently is no charge for this service.

Mount Carmel Cemetery – Wyandotte, MI (1890-2015)

MCC_page_imageMount Carmel Cemetery was established in 1865 and is located on Ford Avenue in Wyandotte, Michigan. The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit oversees this and four other area burial properties that include Holy Sepulchre, Holy Cross, Our Lady of Hope, and St. Joseph. During the Spring of 2015, Ceil and Hal — with the help of a number of volunteers — were granted permission by the Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services, a Ministry of the Archdiocese of Detroit, to digitize their index cards utilized for maintaining burial records for Mount Carmel. This enabled former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) to create an online extracted index of the burial records for Mount Carmel Cemetery. Our gratitude goes out to the entire staff of the Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services. Early burial records for this cemetery were destroyed in a fire and only a few documents prior to 1900 were recreated. (searchable pdf)

Orchard Lake Schools Enrollment (Early 20th Century)

wotta_andrew_ols_school-enrollmentSt. Mary’s Preparatory is a Catholic, all-boys, college preparatory high school. St. Mary’s was founded in 1885 on Detroit’s east side by Reverend Józef Dąbrowski as a school for Polish-American boys to train for the priesthood. The school moved to the 125 acre campus of the former Michigan Military Academy on the shores of Orchard Lake in 1909 and is still there today. Once hosting St. Mary’s College which closed in 2002, the campus is still shared with SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary. Former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) had extracted the names of over 5,400 students who attended the high school during the earlier half of the 20th century (noninclusive). Birth dates and home cities were identified as well if they were provided in the school records. As there were numerous volunteers involved for the compilation, dates are sometimes mixed in presentation with European style being utilized the most. Occasionally, a name may be appear a second time as there were multiple cards maintained. (searchable pdf)

Orchard Lake Schools Seminary Records (1905-1919)

seminarian-school-recordSt. Mary’s Preparatory is a Catholic, all-boys, college preparatory high school. St. Mary’s was founded in 1885 on Detroit’s east side by Reverend Józef Dąbrowski as a school for Polish-American boys to train for the priesthood. The school moved to the 125 acre campus of the former Michigan Military Academy on the shores of Orchard Lake in 1909 and is still there today. Once hosting St. Mary’s College which closed in 2002, the campus is still shared with SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary. Former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) had extracted the names of over 3,000 entries of seminarian records for the time period of 1905-1919. (searchable pdf)


Otto Schemansky Sons Monument Order Books — Detroit, MI

Schemansky_page_imageSchemansky Sons Monuments began business on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit in 1883. The business moved to its current Detroit location of 13702 Van Dyke Street in the early 1940s. The current owners graciously offered Ceil and Hal the loan of their earliest available order books dating from 1906-1977. All of these 46 volumes have been digitized; and with the diligent efforts of former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI), over 26,000 orders have been extracted. The index lists the surname of the purchaser and/or the surname on the headstone; and the volume and page number in which the information appears. If you find the name of someone for which you would like to acquire an image, simply copy and paste the line of information in an email. For example:

SURNAME(s) of Purchaser SURNAME(s) on Monument BOOK Volume PAGE
Kowalski Kowalski; Kloss; Tosch 20 28

Send your request to: heyhal@hotmail.com
In the subject line put RE: Schemansky image so that your request is easily screened from junk emails. There currently is no charge for this service. (searchable pdf)

Polish Military Mission in Canada (1941-1948)

Polish Military Mission in CanadaHaving formally agreed a month earlier, the Polish government-in-exile and Canada established The Polish Armed Forces Military Mission to recruit North American volunteers of Polish descent by opening an office in Windsor in May of 1941. The Polish Mission has in its private collection records of over 1,200 of these male recruits who stepped up to serve. Former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) orgnaized, scanned, and extracted the names of recruits in this unique database.

If you find the name of someone for which you would like to acquire an image, simply copy and paste the line of information in an email. For example:

Surname Given Name Birth Date First Name – Father Mother Collection # Folder # Page #
Abernethy Samuel July 3, 1917 Samuel Ellen Z 30 18 1

Send your request to: heyhal@hotmail.com
In the subject line put RE: Polish Military Mission in Canada so that your request is easily screened from junk emails. There currently is no charge for this service. (searchable pdf)

Polish Priest Directory (1959)

Polish Priest Directory_1959Extracted from the 1959 publication Sacrum Polonia Millennium – Tom VI by R. Domanski, Peszkowski, M., Swastek, M., Tullia, M., this list includes the names of over 5,500 U.S. priests of Polish decent and a location where they may have once served; and covers the years from the mid-1850’s through 1959. This database, which was created by former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI), may help researchers discover the parish where other sacramental records may be located. The name of the priest who may have performed a family marriage might initially be found by way of civil records which could lead to this church discovery if other means of unearthing the family parish affiliation have not worked. (searchable pdf)

SS. Cyril & Methodius Enrollment — Orchard Lake, MI (1885-1935) album

 

SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary Attendees — Orchard Lake, MI  (1899-2009)
noninclusive

 

St. Albertus Baptismal Records — Detroit, MI (1872-1903) noninclusive

St. Albertus_BaptismSt. Albertus Catholic Church, located at 4231 St. Aubin Street in Detroit, was built in the 1883-1885 era; although the parish itself was founded in 1872  by Fr. Szymon Wieczorek to help serve the religious needs of a rapidly growing metro area Polonia. Former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) put in thousands of hours to develop this ever growing data base which currently lists over 12,000 baptisms accounted for through this parish. Our goal is to create an index to include a partial extraction of data from the baptismal records spanning 1872-1908. Currently we have July, 1872-December, 1896; and January, 1900-September, 1903. Polish and German diacritics have been used periodically when they appeared in the ledgers, although you will see a presentation of mixed  ethnic influence  especially with given names. There are definitely extraction difficulties; but, because this is searchable pdf format, you can use parts of a name to try and glean family members. Dates have been written in the European style of dd/mm/yyyy. (searchable pdf)  This database is still in development.

St. Albertus Marriage Records — Detroit, MI (1872-1912)

Marriage_St. AlbertusSt. Albertus Catholic Church, located at 4231 St. Aubin Street in Detroit, was built between 1883-1885, although the parish itself was founded in 1872  by Fr. Szymon Wieczorek to help serve the religious needs of a rapidly growing metro area Polonia. Former volunteers of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) put in countless hours into the development of this database which lists over 3,000 marriages that took place through this parish. As with any extraction project, there may be interpretation and/or entry errors. Polish diacritics may be used with variations of especially given names. The images from which this database were not always the best; but, they do document the event. Dates have been written in the European style of dd/mm/yyyy. (searchable pdf)

If you find the name of someone for which you would like to acquire an image, simply copy and paste the entire line of information in an email.
Send your request to: heyhal@hotmail.com
In the subject line put RE: St. Albertus Marriages so that your request is easily screened from junk emails. There currently is no charge for this service.

The Upper Peninsula Catholic — Diocese of Marquette (1985-1995)

the-upper-peninsula-catholicThrough the collection efforts of J. William Gorski and the extraction skills of former volunteer of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI), Sharon Deceuninck, this database offers marriage record information for the 10 year time frame of 1985-1995 for the Michigan Diocese of Marquette. This is a noninclusive database in that it comes from a Catholic affiliated publication. We do not have the original images. (searchable pdf)