Archiwa parafii polonijnych jako źródło do badań nad dziejami Polonii w USA

Bolesław Kumor


The present article is founded upon source materials provided by two Polish parishes in New Britain, Conn., the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Cross. The censuses regularly made by the parishes nearly every two years, in the years 1909- -1951 constitute an excellent source for studying demographic problems of Polish Americans in New Britain. Registers of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths make another set of records. As a rule they have been preserved in every Polish parish since ist foundation. Registers on marriages seem particularly valuable since they provide detailed information about geographical origins of Polish emigrants.

Registers of Confirmations and First Holy Communions as well as registers of Easter confessions and records of visiting the sick parishioners make a body of records of sacred functions. Economic affairs of the parish are revealed in well-preserved ledgers, records of parish bazaars, special collections etc. They provide information concerning financial resources of the parish, parish school, convent and monastery, presbytery, church servants etc. Records of religious and national fraternities and societies together with the minutes of Parish Council meetings form an extremely valuable complex revealing cultural, social and religious activities of the parish. '

The most important, however, seem the records of parish announcements, or, in the later period, the parish Bulletin. They provide an excellent current illustration of the life of a Polish parish with all its numerous aspects, religious, cultural, social and national. Records of parish announcements are usually written in Polish, while the parish Bulletin is published in both English and Polish. School records constitute a separate source of information.

It seems that any more profound research into the religious, cultural, social and national history could not be carried out without relying on such source materials and archives. Especially as the Polish parish in the U. S. A. used to be and still is the most important centre of social bond for our emigrants and their offspring.

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Studia Polonijne · ISSN 0137-5210 | eISSN 2544-526X

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