The Polish Genealogical Society of America, with headquarters in Chicago, was founded and incorporated in the state of Illinois on August 23, 1978. The Society exists as a national 501(c) 3 tax exempt organization to collect, disseminate and preserve information on Polish and Polish-American family history and to help its members use that information in their own research.
The Society is open to anyone doing research within the borders of the old Commonwealth of Poland. It attempts to assist members in doing their own genealogical research by providing books, newsletters, bulletins, printed information, regular Society meetings, and an annual workshop. With 2000 members in all of the United States and ten countries around the world, the Society also encourages its members to communicate with each other and share leads, research sources, and any other information that may prove mutually beneficial.
The PGSA Mailing Address:
984 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642-4101
The 984 N. Milwaukee address is actually the headquarters of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. This building houses the PRCUA’s main office, as well as the Polish Museum of America and its Library. The PRCUA and Museum allow the PGSA to use their address as a mailing address; several PGSA volunteers are available one day a week to answer mail, phone calls, and assist visitors with their research.
The PGSA is an all-volunteer organization, and has no office or staff. The preferred way of contacting PGSA is by standard postal mail or E-mail to the addresses given above.
Since the PGSA has no office or staff, we ask everyone to be patient when they contact us and don’t get an answer right away. We all have families and occupations that need our first attention; we all do our best to take care of Society business in a timely manner.
Although our part-time volunteer staff can provide general information to assist you, we are not able to do specific individual research. The Society does not possess any stores of records, other than those published in our books and periodicals and offered our members via databases — so we are not in a position to do your research for you. But we can hope to offer assistance that will enable you to do your research successfully.
The Society’s quarterly publication, the Rodziny, provides 112 pages of helpful and fascinating information annually. It is designed to share information with Society members that will prove useful in their research. It presents a broad range of timely material and emphasizes well-researched articles and items usually not available to Polish researchers. Among the features found in the Rodziny are:
Articles written by professional and amateur genealogists sharing their personal experiences and techniques.
Translations by European experts and original material not easily accessible.
An Information Exchange section where members may place free inquiries regarding information wanted, requests for help, offers to do research or translations.
Lists of useful websites and other resources.
Book reviews of publications related to genealogy in general and Polish genealogy in particular.
Letters to the Editor giving readers the opportunity to voice their opinions and make their wishes known.
Information on other societies and their events.
In addition to the Rodziny, the Society sponsors ongoing publishing projects to supply reference material directly related to Polish genealogical research. A number of valuable PGSA publications are already in the hands of researchers as well as on the shelves of public libraries.
Members receive a 10% discount on all new or current publications and special reference material.
Meetings & Conferences
Meetings, with interesting speakers or presentations and discussions on genealogical problems and practices are held four times a year usually on the third Sunday of February, May, August, and November unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors..
Annual conference featuring experts in the field with genealogical books available for purchase.
The PGSA maintains a home page on the World Wide Web which is constantly monitored and updated as new information becomes available.
The website offers a number of databases which include: an index for the obituaries found in the Dziennik Chicagoski; indexes of parish Jubilee Books from Polish parishes in a number of U.S. cities; an index of insurance claims for the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America; marriages at Polish parishes in Chicago. The list continues to grow as new databases become available.
The site also provides Society information (PGSA and other groups), book reviews, opportunities to connect with others researching the same family name by reviewing or adding to the ancestor file. The PGSA website is also linked to numerous other Polish and non-Polish genealogical organizations and resources.
The Polish Museum of America Library, 984 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642-4101, is the repository for the various genealogical references the Society collects as well as a collection of some 60,000 books on Polish history, art, culture, reference, etc. The library is open to the public. Please phone 773-384-3352 for current hours.
Society volunteers offer a limited research service to members for a reasonable donation. Donations are used to cover postage and handling expenses, purchase additional books, and maintain equipment used in the library. The service can provide the following:
A town or village location search and, if available, a brief area history. Copies of obituaries and death notices found in the Dziennik Chicagoski, 1890-1971. Information on surname meaning, frequency, and distribution in Poland. Copies of Haller’s Army Records.
Copies of insurance death claims from the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America.
The Society has prepared a Guide to the Genealogical Holdings of the Polish Museum Library.
The Society is governed by the PGSA Bylaws as approved in 13 August 2016.
To join our Society, please fill in the membership application and mail it to the membership Chairperson.
2019-20 PGSA Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs