|Logan Kleinwaks has created a cross reference between names and pages
using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for many Polish and Galician Business
Directories. You can use his Genealogy Indexer
to locate names of interest in this 1929 Directory.
The 1929 Polish Business
The Polish Business Directories of the 1920s and 1930s
have thousands of pages of information about people in current and former areas of Poland,
including regions now part of the Vilna area of Lithuania, the Grodno area of Belarus, and
Volhynia and East Galicia, now parts of the western Ukraine.
Click to view full size
These listings not only tell us how our
families earned their living but often they are the only accessible source of 20th century
information about our relatives.
Entries typically include the name of the business or
proprietor, and the address or street name. The directory has an section with a list of
Industries/Businesses with translations from English to Polish, French to Polish, German
to Polish and Russian to Polish. Within the directory pages, Industries/Businesses are
listed in Polish with a French translation, and range from doctor and banker to midwife
and stall-operator at the weekly marketplace. Each town listing starts with information
about the town, the larger the town, the more comprehensive the description.
Researchers having access to this business directory
from other years are encouraged to check them against the data for their towns in the 1929
directory and to provide a list of entries that are not included in the 1929 edition. Data
from other years will be identified by the year of publishing of the directory.
Sample of Polish Business Directory page
Information available in business directory Searches
The business directory database will be searchable on
the following fields or combinations of fields:
Surname with Given Name (or first initial)
A wojewodztwo (voivodie) was the geographic designation of
Poland between World War I and World War II, roughly equivalent to a state in the United
States or province in Canada. Powiats were districts, similar to U.S. counties. Powiats
were divided into Uchastoks, more or less equivalent to U.S. townships. Searches may be
made using Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex.
Table of Industry/Business
Using the official translations provided in the
directory, JRI-Poland has created a Polish/French/English Table
of Industry/Business types. The table may be downloaded for personal research or used
for the data entry referred to below.
Researchers should note that the exact meaning of an
Industry or Business and/or the way it is translated can change over time; it the industry
or business is unclear, secondary sources should be consulted. English speaking
researchers should be aware that the translations from the Polish are British English not
North American English. Thus Elektromonterzy which is translated as Electrical Fitters in
the directory, would be known as Electricians in the U.S. and Canada.
Searchable Town Index
Click here to search the database. Click here
for a list of all volunteers who helped with the data entry.
The evolution of the project
The JRI-Poland Business Directory Project was announced
at the Annual Conference on Jewish Genealogy in July, 1998. However, due to unanticipated
administrative difficulties and associated costs with the original plan, the decision was
made -- following the Jewish Genealogy Conference in August, 1999 -- to scan
the microfilms of the directory and convert them to Adobe PDF.
In a further step to simplify the project, JRI-Poland
and JewishGen reached an agreement to work in cooperation on the project and to post the
entire directory on the web. This agreement was announced at the International Conference
on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City (July 2000). This approach made the directory pages
immediately available to researchers around the world.
The initial contributions
While the project was in transition, copies of
some pages were made available to several volunteers so that various approaches could be
tested. The following areas/towns were part of the initial database.
NOWOGRODEK WOJEWODZTWO: The indexing of the 40
pages for this area of former Poland (now in western Belarus and southeastern Lithuania)
was done by Ellen Sadove Renck. There are more than 15,000 entries from towns and
villages. The entire list of entries for this area may be viewed on the Nowogrodek Business
Directory web site.
KRAKOW: Data entry by Julian Schamroth
(Jerusalem). There are 9600 entries for more than 600 Industries/Businesses.
OSTROW MAZOWIECKA: Data entry by Judy Baston.
JRI-Poland Business Directory Project, Data Coordinator