[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Other online church records (CWW)
paul.rakow at cantab.net
Thu Sep 18 05:48:24 PDT 2014
I want to tell you about the CWW, another collection of Polish
church records that have started appearing on-line. These are
administrative records, NOT records of birth, marriages and deaths,
but they are still interesting for family history. They often include
lists of all the families in the congregation, so they can act as
census substitutes. I don't think I've seen them mentioned here
I first saw these records when I visited the AGAD archive
in Warsaw in 2010, but now you can see many of these CWW records
without leaving home.
The inventory page is at
It's a long page, and takes a while to load.
As an example of what you might find, here is a list of
contributors in 1849 to the church funds in the parish Kozienice,
(I hope the links survive being e-mailed.)
Here is a report from 1804 on the school in Gross Bruzyca near
Lodz, perhaps you can find out whether your ancestor was a good
student or not. Also, some school records give ages and the
father's name, so they can establish relationships and birth details.
Here is a list from 1800 of the founding members of the
Gross Bruzyca congregation. This was initially a rural congregation,
the list tells how much land each member cultivated.
The index list of parishes is here
It looks like the items up to sygnatur 1240 are on-line,
those after are not yet.
Separation of church and state wasn't in the constitution
of the Russian Partition of Poland - several government
departments kept an eye on all the religious organisations
Fond 190: Centralne Wladze Wyznaniowe Krolestwa Polskiego (CWW)
Central Religious Authorities of the Kingdom of Poland
The most useful files I found in Warsaw were reports on the
administration of the Protestant parishes in 19th century
Congress Poland. This includes things like the calling of Pastors,
the sacking of misbehaving Pastors, building of churches, detailed
inventories of church property, and accounts.
Most of the first 1000 items in this Fond/Zespol concern Catholic
parishes, monasteries, nunneries etc., then from
sygnatur 1035 to 1402 a collection of files on Protestant parishes,
followed by a few files concerning a Mohammedan congregations,
and then a large number of Jewish synagogues.
At present the on-line material is from Lutheran congregations,
there are also CWW files concerning Mennonites, Moravians, and
Evangelical-Reformed Protestants, but these aren't on line yet.
Protestant Church Tax
Between the late 1820s and about 1850 the income side of the
accounts was from a Protestant Church "Income Tax" on the members.
The tax lists were updated every three years. They give a list
of the families contributing to the church, giving occupation
and tax class. It gives an idea of how much money your family was
making --- I was surprised that my Huebner ancestors in Ozorkow
were in the second-highest tax band, so they must have been making
quite a good living as cloth-makers; many other cloth-makers were
in the lowest tax band, class 5. Some congregations also list the
poor families who paid no tax; other parishes just miss them out
from the list. Sometimes the list says how many souls were in
each family. It looks like these tax lists exist for most
Gross Bruzyca Parish CWW 1232
Howard Krushel asked me to keep an eye open for any records
from Gross Bruzyca parish, the first Lutheran church in the Lodz
area. I found a thick volume (409 pages) of files concerning the
Gross Bruzyca parish 1800-1822. This includes a list of all the
members of the founding congregation, and the call of the first
Pastor, with a list of the congregation members who made their
mark on it. Possibly the most interesting find were the early
school reports. (Howard's ancestor Gottlieb Krushel was an
outstanding pupil, who worked very hard).
Protestants living in Lodz CWW 1980
(not yet on line)
Another interesting find were some lists prepared by the Lodz
magistrates of the Protestants in Lodz, 1854-1863 (Full lists,
1854, 1855, 1856 and 1860 - fragments early 60s.) As well as
the town itself, the lists include a few of the nearby villages,
in particular Nowasolna/Neu Sulzfeld, Lagiewniki, Chojny,
Lists give the head of the family, and the number of
children in each family.
1854 1302 families
Call number CWW 1980, length 533 pages
I hope some of you will find this useful. These files are
more work than ordinary church books. Once again, you are not
going to find many birth, marriage and death records here.
(There do seem to be some records about divorces and about
marriages that needed special dispensations from the church
authorities in Warsaw). But you might still find interesting
things about your family.
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