Finding information on ancestors who lived in the Polish Borderlands (Kresy)


I have been trying to find more information on one of my family lines which is from the Grodno region in present-day Belarus.

A little background information:

My paternal grandfather's line is from Grodno, and that's as much as I can tell you. He was born in Nowosiółki (Navasiolki), and his brother was born in Dorguń (Dorhuń), about 4km from the present-day Polish/Belarusian border.

I have a scanned copy of a shortened copy of his birth certificate, which states his father and mother's names (although I already had that information), and that he was born in Nowosiółki in 1921 (actually 1923, lied to fight in WWII).

Recently, I was given the names of my great-grandfather's parents, thanks to a relative.

I guess my question would be: Where would I start and which government agencies should I be contacting? Polish or Belarusian?

I do not have much past my grandfather, just his parents names and his grandparents names.


Posted 2015-05-20T02:08:29.513

Reputation: 143

I suspect that the more specific question that you are trying to answer is whether you can locate the marriage and/or birth/baptism records for your great grandparents. These people (unlike your grandfather) would have been born more than 100 years ago, and so you should feel free to provide their names (if you wish) without having to worry about the privacy issues mentioned in our [help/on-topic]. – PolyGeo – 2015-05-20T04:20:50.207

1Sorry for repeating the above - I had not recognized your username from yesterday - but it is probably good to have it written under any question that is getting close to the "privacy may be an issue" time frame. – PolyGeo – 2015-05-20T04:23:09.243

1@PolyGeo that and who I would have to contact in order to retrieve these records. Belarusian government agencies or Polish government agencies? Feel free to edit my post if it's confusing! – Anon123 – 2015-05-20T04:23:39.860

2I think it is fine as it is - I just like to try and distill any questions down to one (whenever possible) specific question. Usually lots of related information comes out of trying to answer that anyway. It's great that you are keen to ask questions here and I hope you find that the way the site works suits you. – PolyGeo – 2015-05-20T04:27:10.350

@PolyGeo thanks! I see a lot of English-related questions, which is much easier to search for. It has been very tough finding information on my family since I am 100% Polish. My main source for one of my lines is a book someone wrote on all of the families in a small village. Thanks to the book, my tree goes back to my 5th great grandfather (1760) and I met my 5th cousin, once removed. – Anon123 – 2015-05-20T04:36:47.740



If you can read Polish, this pdf from is a huge trove of information as to where given documents go relocated to after WWII. There is some data that got transferred to Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, but that seems to include relatively few civil law records.


Posted 2015-05-20T02:08:29.513

Reputation: 586


You could try to contact the church in Navasiolky.

I went there in July 2016.

My grandmother and grand father married in that church which was built in 1881.

My grandmother's lady name: Saharchuk, O Sajarchuck my grandfather: Fiedynycz

Clelia Torres Fedinich

Posted 2015-05-20T02:08:29.513

Reputation: 11


A good place to start when looking records that are more than 100 years old is the szukajwarchiwach site (the name means 'search in archives').


Posted 2015-05-20T02:08:29.513

Reputation: 778