Language Classes for Genealogists – 2020

Language Classes for Genealogists – 2020


In response to member requests, the PGSCTNE is pleased to offer the following mini-courses which will provide language training to enable you to read nineteenth century birth, marriage and death records in Polish and Russian generated in the Russian partition of Poland and the Russian Empire including territory in present day Lithuania, Belarus and Northern Ukraine.

The classes will meet for four sessions for each language so you can choose to take one or both. The classes will be held on consecutive Monday evenings beginning on February 24, 2020 at 135 Day Street in Newington, CT from 6-715 p.m.

Please note that these are NOT conventional language classes that teach you how to communicate in Polish and Russian. Their purpose is to train you to READ documents of genealogical value in those languages.


  • Session I Introduction to the sound system and orthography of the Polish language. General description of the structure of the language and how it “works”
  • Session 2 Birth records. Students will examine the structure of birth records, learn key vocabulary and translate both columnar and paragraph style birth records.
  • Session 3 Marriage Records. Students will learn the structure and vocabulary contained in typical nineteenth century marriage records.
  • Session 4 Death records. Students will learn the structure and vocabulary found in representative death records and learn how to interpret what is written on gravestones.


The structure of this class will be the same as the Polish sessions. The Cyrillic alphabet will be presented in Session 1 which may require more than the allotted time so plan on staying a little longer.

There is a 20 dollar fee for each course.
Checks should be made out to PGSCTNE and mailed to
8 Lyle Road
New Britain, CT 06053-2104

To register your place in these classes or if you have any questions, contact

There is a limit of 12 people for each class. We are keeping the classes small so each student can receive individual attention from the instructor. If there is an insufficient number of students, the class will be postponed to another time.

The instructor for both classes will be Prof Jonathan Shea, co- author of several textbooks on translating a wide array of records from Polish and Russian to English.

We wish to thank Richard and Victoria Lamore of New Britain for providing the venue for these classes.

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