Are you trying to find a grave in Poland? For various reasons, you might want to visit someone’s grave despite not knowing much about its location.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Information Will You Need Before You Try to Find a Grave in Poland?
- Poland-Specific Resources to Help You Find a Grave
- Steps for Finding a Grave in Poland for Free
Perhaps you’re researching your family history and have an interest in visiting the graves of ancestors. You might also want to find a grave in Poland if you’re conducting any sort of local history project in general.
Don’t assume you’re out of luck if you don’t know where to start on your search. There are a number of ways you can find a grave in Poland without spending any money. This guide will cover said resources and explain the steps you need to take to find someone’s burial site.
What Information Will You Need Before You Try to Find a Grave in Poland?
Gathering as much information as you can about an individual and their death is key to increasing your chances of finding a grave in Poland. When conducting your initial research, try to find information about the following:
You need to know the name of the person whose grave you’re looking for. It’s also helpful to learn about other basic identification factors. Try your best to learn about where someone was living at the time of their death and how old they were when they died. Conducting this basic preliminary research will make the rest of the process much easier.
A person’s cultural identity can influence where their burial spot may be. For example, perhaps a person was very religious in life. If so, they might have been buried in a cemetery that caters to members of that religion.
This information won’t help you find the correct cemetery immediately. What it can do is help you better understand where you should focus your search.
Affiliations with special groups
Do some research to learn if the person whose grave you’re seeking was a member of any exclusive groups. For instance, perhaps they served in the military. It would thus make sense for their grave to be in a veterans cemetery.
Poland-Specific Resources to Help You Find a Grave
There are many different resources you can turn to when looking for a grave in Poland. The following may be among the more helpful:
Grobonet is an extremely useful tool if you’re trying to find a grave in Poland. This database and search tool provides information about graves in over 1,300 cemeteries across Poland.
The way Grobonet works highlights the importance of gathering as much information as possible during the research phase before using these tools. With Grobonet, you can simply search for the name of the person whose grave you’re trying to find. You should also specify which province you want to search in.
The tool will then search information from hundreds of connected websites. If there’s a match in the database, it will provide results letting you know which cemetery a grave may be in. Some results pages even include pictures of the graves.
Mogily is another option to consider when searching for a grave in Poland. It works in basically the same way that Grobonet does. You enter basic information about a person, and the results let you know where people with that name may be buried. It currently offers information on the graves of more than 600,000 people, so there is a fairly good chance it will help you find the specific grave you’re looking for.
Mogily also provides photos and map locations of the graves it has pages for. This can simplify the process of actually finding a person’s grave should you decide to visit it at the cemetery.
This is yet one more database and search tool that functions the way the above two examples do. It has pages for over 700 cemeteries and over 600,000 burials.
Here we have another database. You merely enter the name of the person whose grave you’re trying to find, along with the city where you think their grave may be. This search tool’s results don’t typically feature pictures of graves the way the other ones do, but they do offer certain key details such as both death dates and birth dates.
Depending on whether you know those dates yourself, this can help you determine if a listing genuinely corresponds with the individual in question or just someone else with their name.
Having access to four very similar tools may seem unnecessary, but it may not be. If one of these tools doesn’t provide the information you’re searching for, another one might.
Steps for Finding a Grave in Poland for Free
Finding a grave in Poland (and doing so without breaking the bank) doesn’t need to be a complicated process. All you have to do is follow these basic steps:
1. Look for an obituary online
The resources covered in the above section of this guide can certainly help you more easily find a grave in Poland. However, it’s important to be aware there’s potentially an even simpler method that does not involve consulting those resources at all.
These days it’s relatively common for funeral homes and newspapers to publish obituaries online. Thus, you could use Google to search for someone’s obituary before proceeding to any of the other steps on this list.
Using search terms like “[person’s name] obituary” or “[person’s name] death” could bring up a link to their obituary that may provide you with information about their burial site. If you’re not certain you even know how to find out if someone died at all, this method can also be helpful.
This method will naturally be more helpful if you’re searching for the grave of someone who died after the growth of the internet. However, it can even be effective in some instances when searching for the grave of someone who died in the pre-internet age.
Many old newspapers have created online archives featuring copies of their older issues they released before the digital era. Thus, even if someone died before the Internet existed, you still might be able to find their obituary by searching online.
2. Do your research
If the above method doesn’t yield results then it’s time to start doing more research. Make an effort to gather as much information as you can about an individual, but understand that you don’t need to know everything about someone and their life to find their grave in Poland.
3. Use the above resources
The resources in the previous section of this blog can absolutely increase your chances of finding a grave with relative ease. Start using them and keep track of any relevant information they provide. Even if these resources don’t specifically name where someone’s grave may be, they could give you enough evidence to narrow down the list of candidates to a few cemeteries in a few areas of the country.
4. Check for cemetery websites
Once you believe you have a list of strong candidates for cemeteries where a grave may be located, start by checking to see if they have websites. Browse them if so. Although this is not the case for all cemeteries, many cemetery websites have search functions.
You type in the name of an individual whose grave you’re searching for, and the website lets you know whether that cemetery is home to that particular grave. It may also provide information about the specific lot number. It may even have a map displaying where you can find certain lot numbers. For more information about this topic, refer to our guide on how to find a grave in a cemetery.
5. Contact the cemetery
Even if a cemetery’s website doesn’t have a search tool, it will still provide contact information. Additionally, cemeteries without separate websites usually have social media pages that let you know how to get in touch with them.
Gather information about the individual whose grave you are searching for. Contact the funeral home and provide this information. Odds are good a manager will be able to check and see if the grave you’re trying to find is one of theirs. If it is, they may also provide details about the specific location of the grave on the property.
If you’ve reached this stage you may also want to prepare to actually visit a cemetery when you find the right one. Consider how you’ll honor the life of the person whose grave you’ve spent so much time looking for.
Perhaps you want to make a simple gesture, such as leaving a special item at the grave. Our guide on what to leave at a grave can be useful if you’re struggling to come up with ideas.
Finding a Grave in Poland: What You Need to Know
Depending on the circumstances, you may not immediately find the grave you’re looking for in Poland. However, as this blog indicates, if you’re willing to do your research and leverage useful resources, you can eventually achieve your goal.