Village/Town Record (Ewidencja)
of Repatriates and Resettlers
letters concerning individuals
memos about the living situations, transportation, and conditions of the
statistics regarding the population, number of transports, amount of
farmland, livestock and equipment both preexisting on the land and brought
in by the new Repatriates and Resettlers.
Of course, all items are of interest to the genealogist. However, the most
important and informative documents are the Registration Lists and the
Village/Town Records (Ewidencje) of Repatriates and Resettlers.
The PUR Collection is not found in one place. The collection of papers
is found all over Poland, mostly in the various State Archives. The PUR
documents are usually housed in the State Archive nearest to the location to
which the documents pertain. The key to the PUR collection is that they
are sorted by county (powiat) and not by individuals’ names.
Therefore, the most important (and challenging) part of using the documents
of the PUR
collection is determining the powiat where someone settled after the war.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to make this determination. Often, most
people from one village in the Eastern Territories settled into one new village
in western Poland. However, this is only a generalization and certainly not the
rule. While examining the Registration Lists of Repatriates and Resettlers, I
could easily see that people from a particular village in the Eastern
Territories were relocated to many different villages and towns. This fact will,
of course, make your job much more difficult. However, I have put together some
research techniques to help you find your repatriated and resettled ancestors.
Additionally, one must keep in mind that the internal boundaries of the
powiaty (counties) and województwa (provinces) changed over time. In
some cases, these changes caused documents from a particular county’s PUR
collection to move from one state archive to another. For more
information, visit PUR: Finding Location of
Resettlement and Finding the Records.
The main point to always remember is to keep your initial search for the
location of the resettlement to be as broad as possible. Of course, one need not
restrict your search for direct ancestors. Broaden your search to collateral
relatives, that is siblings of your parents, grandparents and great
grandparents. Extend your search to cousins, even distant cousins. You should be
searching not only for your own ancestors and family members, but for anyone who
came from your ancestral village in the Eastern Territories and who resettled in
western Poland. Finding a fellow villager’s relocated home may lead to the
finding of your own ancestor. To get even better results, search for any
surnames you know to have been prevalent in your ancestral village or parish.