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Information on how/where to search to find out my father's history

awoj21 1 | 1
29 Jul 2014 #1
Hi there,
New to the forum, hoping to get some direction on where to look for information on my fathers history.
To cut a long story short, he was born in Poland in 1914 and was a POW during WWII. Once he was freed he moved to Australia where he stayed until he passed away many years ago.

I just don't know where to start to try and find out information.
Thanks in advance
ewap34 - | 11
30 Jul 2014 #2
Hi Antony.
For any exploration in Poland, you need to have information about the location where your ancestor was born. Later, you can look for a birth certificate by the registrar's office, or in the church. If you do not know the Polish language will be difficult to look for yourself. Can then use the help of a genealogical office.

TheOther 6 | 3,692
30 Jul 2014 #3
he was born in Poland in 1914

First of all, make sure to base your research on facts. Your father was not born in Poland, because such a country didn't exist in 1914. Having said this, depending on which country and city he was born in, you could start to contact the local civil registration offices and archives of that area and ask for birth and marriage certificates of your father. Churchbooks help for data pre-dating the early 1870's - try the LDS or any other online database. Once you've found the marriage/ birth certificates (which list details about your father's parents), you can go back one generation and research your grandparents. And so on and so forth. Be prepared to spend decades for your genealogical quest - it's addictive once you've started... :)
gjene 14 | 204
2 Aug 2014 #4

Who dealt with his funeral and his estate? If he emigrated to Australia, he would have needed some kind of paperwork in order to travel from Poland and to enter Australia. Upon arrival he would have had to file for his intention of becoming a landed immigrant in order to become a citizen. So start with any legal papers the executor/executrix may still have in their possession. Failure on this part, the next step would be to contact the immigration department for Australia and put in a request for copies of documentation they may have on your father.

Do you actually live in Australia yourself? If so, try and think of yourself as an immigrant and what the main point of entry would be for Australia. For example, was it Sydney or Perth? Where do they keep records upwards to 50 years old and do they have a central archives for records older than 50 yrs of age. Prior to 1918, Poland was partitioned by 3 countries, Russia, Austria, and Germany. If your father was born in the Russian partition, chances are any documents that still exist after all this time may be in Russian. So do not be surprised if you may be able to obtain copies of them. Hopefully this will give you a starting point since the others have not done so.
TheOther 6 | 3,692
2 Aug 2014 #5
Hopefully this will give you a starting point since the others have not done so.

Excuse me? You essentially repeated what ewap34 and I told the OP, plus that little bit of guessing about Oz.
gjene 14 | 204
2 Aug 2014 #6
No you did not. The original poster just knew that his parent was born in Poland but did not indicate if he knew where. Your information, albeit somewhat limited, was going on the fact he or she already had something to work with. You two were already assuming that this individual had something to work with. The impression I got from the posting that this person did not have anything at all but just guesswork.
OP awoj21 1 | 1
3 Aug 2014 #7
Thanks for everyone's help so far.
He went to Australia after the end of WWII. From what I have heard, when he was released from being a POW, he was given the option of moving to Australia, UK or USA. I am sure there are papers somewhere.

I live in Australia.
9 Mar 2015 #8
Hello awoj21

Once he stepped off the boat in Australia, that's where you need to search. For his military career you should still look in England where most wartime Polish records are kept - depending on which service he was in.

The British National Archives and the Sikorski Institute are good places to start. The Australian National Archives are a great place to start on his time in Australia especially if you know which boat he travelled on.

They were given far more choices of places to settle than just Australia, UK or USA but many of the skilled Poles who went to Australia went to work on the vast Snowy Mountain hydro electric scheme or a similar, but much smaller one in Tasmania.

Give me his name and whatever details you can and I will try to advise you - send it direct to Neville.bougourd@yahoo

email in last post was wrong - the first letter should not be a capital
7 Mar 2021 #9
I'm looking for information on my grandfather, Bernhardt Degen. He said he lived in Paproc Russia:Poland and left Poland in 1908. I see many Paprocs - Paproc Duza? Paproc Mala and others. He was born between 1896-99. Ship register says he was 10 when he left Poland. He left with Maryanna (Marian) Degen, 28, Albertina Degen, Valentina Degen, and Wilhelmina Degen, 3. His fathers name is August. Also a Frederika Schroeder was mentioned as remaining in Poland. Can someone give me advice on where to start finding his birthplace and more information?

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