Index to 4.5 million Jewish records from Poland online Special

Posted Nov 30, 2012 by Mark Steinberg
A website with a name searchable index to birth, marriage and death records of Jews from Poland from 1808 to 1911 exists through the efforts of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Stanley Diamond of Montreal, and an international group of volunteers.
From left to right  Deputy Director Andrzej Biernat  General Director Jerzy Skowronek  Stanley Diamo...
From left to right, Deputy Director Andrzej Biernat, General Director Jerzy Skowronek, Stanley Diamond, Michael Richman, October 1995
Stanley Diamond
The project to index all of the Jewish records of Poland grew out of Stanley Diamond's desire to trace his roots in the Ostrów Mazowiecka area of Poland to find and warn living descendants about his discovery that members of the family carry the beta thalassemia genetic trait, almost totally unknown in Ashkenazic populations. For unsuspecting carriers, this rarity creates a potentially dangerous scenario for their future generations. There is a one in four chance that the offspring of two carriers will inherit thalassemia disease (thalassemia major), which towards the end of the 20th century was usually fatal by early adulthood.
From just the 70,000 records of Ostrow Mazowiecka and nearby towns in 1996, the freely searchable database - supported by donations - now contains more that 4.5 million indices to Jewish birth, marriage, death and other records from which family connections can be determined. According to the website, the vast majority of indices are from the current boundaries of Poland and the part of Ukraine that was once Galicia.
As reported on its website, a very interesting factoid is the role that Stanley and Jewish Records Indexing - Poland played in helping former Bare Naked Ladies' lead singer Steven Page learn about his Jewish ancestry in Poland as part of the Canadian "Who Do You Think You Are" series.