South Bend Area Genealogical Society
"Serving South Bend, Mishawaka and Surrounding Areas"
Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library
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Mishawaka, IN 46544

Province of Posen Marriage Records Introduction

Polish Wedding Couple
Courtesy of Jim Piechorowski

There were three major reasons for the migration of Polish families to America in the late 18th century.

First and foremost was the 'Kulturkamph' or Germanisation of the Province of Posen led by Otto von Bismarck who in 1861 already wrote that he believed Poles to be 'like animals that need to be shot and exterminated' (by physical genocide), and while he did not go as far as biological extermination of Poles after finding himself in position of power, he engaged in 'cultural genocide' against Polish nation. He would later engage in policies that were precursors of 20th century ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Second was the introduction of mechanized agriculture to the province which led to the elimination of jobs for the Polish working class, leading to widespread poverty and hunger among the peasantry.

Third was the active solicitation of Polish laborers and tradesmen by St. Joseph County industry such as Studebaker, Oliver, Singer,, who would provide third class passage and in some cases company housing depending on skill levels on an 'indentured' pay back over time basis.

The 9,500 marriage records of the Polish Churches described below were transcribed to assist in the research of families related to my line. In many cases nearly entire villages would migrate to the same regional area as letters returned home telling of the 'streets paved with gold'. I hope the researcher will find family members and a path to deeper research in Poland in these records.

Churches Included in this Data Base:

Sw. Katryzna of Alexandria
Brzyskorzystew, Znin, PL
1844 - 1884
Sw. Catherine Rynarzewo, Szubin, PL 1836 - 1874
Sw. John the Baptist Panigrodz, Wagrowiec, PL 1834 - 1889
Sw. Joseph Kozielsko, Wagrowiec, PL 1828 - 1880
Sw. Martin Pawlowo, Gniezno, PL 1830 - 1865
Sw. Marcina Mieszkow, Jarocin, PL 1830 - 1889
Sw. Marcina Dziekanowice, Gniezno, PL 1846 - 1865
Sw. Martin Swarzedz, Poznan, PL 1838 - 1888

Transcriber: James F Piechorowski
Elkhart, Indiana

Copyright 2016 James F. Piechorowski. All rights reserved.
Used by SBAGS with permission of the copyright owner.

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