[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Registration of deaths by Germans

Richard A. Stein ra_stein at telus.net
Fri Dec 12 13:56:20 PST 2003

I have been looking at Polajewo Catholic records on LDS film 2065552/5
covering the period from 1653 to 1799.  Polajewo is located about 15 km
northwest of Sompolno. Germans started to settle in the area around 1780 and
registered their BMD in the Polajewo Catholic church.  The earliest German
villages in this parish were Rucko Wielki, Przewoz Maly, Kaczewarta, and

For the period 1782 to 1799, I identified German people as follows:  130
births, 12 marriages, 5 deaths.

In view of the normally high infant mortality rate prevalent then, I would
have expected many more deaths.  I can understand the low number of marriages,
because most were young families with few children of marriageable age.

I have several questions:

1. Were the people compelled to register BMDs before the annexation by Prussia
in 1793?  between the annexation and the arrival of Napoleon?
2. Did they register births because they were compelled to, or because they
wanted to christen their babies?
3. Did the Germams simply not bother to register their deaths, or is there
some other reason?

Thanks for your help.

Best wishes for a happy and safe Christmas

Dick Stein
Calgary, Canada

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