[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Other online church records (CWW)

Paul Rakow 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,
 near Radom.


  (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
 in Poland.

  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
 Lutheran parishes.

 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,
 Sikawa, Stoki

  Lists give the head of the family, and the number of
 children in each family.

 1854    1302 families
 1855    1569
 1856    1477
 1860    1181

 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.

        Good Luck!

             Paul Rakow

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