Search Advice for CRARG Search Engines

Searching can be a challenge because of the different languages that appear in Poland (including Polish, Russian, German, Hebrew, and Yiddish), the great variety of different spellings used for names (for example, Zylberberg, Silberberg, Zylberg, Zylber, etc.), and the messiness of handwriting in original documents. Here are tools to help:

Search advice for the “Surname” field

Search for more than one name.

Force letters to appear.

Include wildcards.

“Sounds like” search is Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex with refinements to reduce false positives (that is, results that are not relevant to your search).

Results automatically include adjacent related records. Example: in books of residents, records from the same house number are displayed.

“Sounds like” search drops Slavic name endings like -ow, -owna, -aja, -iego, and -skich. Examples:
    A search for Goldberg also includes Goldbergow & Goldbergowna.
    A search for Krakowskaja also includes Krakowskaja.
    A search for Lublinskiego also includes Lublinska.
    A search for Poznanska also includes Poznanskich.

Most records in Poland from the late 1860s to about 1914 were in Cyrillic, which has no letter h. Instead, g or ch was used.

The letter ę sounds a bit like en. Therefore, a surname like Lęga can also appear as Lenga. Search for both at the same time, like this: Lęga / Lenga

The letter ą sounds a bit like am. Therefore, a surname like Ząbek can also appear as Zambek. Search for both at the same time, like this: Ząbek / Zambek

"Sounds like" searches work for Roman letters (like the ones you are reading now), Hebrew and Cyrillic scripts, and even Chinese and Korean and other scripts.

Search advice for the “Any text” field

Search for more than one name or word.

Search for specific projects.

Search for exact text.

Exclude certain words.

Use wildcards for unknown characters.

Limit your search by year.

Searches automatically handle such things as plurals. For example, a search for butcher will also yield results for butchers, and vice versa. Unimportant search terms (like “the”) are ignored.

Even for exact searches, CRARG searches will treat ss and ß as equivalent, as well as ue and ü (e.g, Duesseldorf  & Düsseldorf).

Learn more about CRARG search capabilities here.

Learn about your family…

Begin by trying our search engine for Holocaust-era records.

Read other topics regarding Polish Jewish genealogy.

Thinking of joining CRARG? Feel free to write to me ( to ask if we have records for your family! —Daniel Kazez, CRARG President (a volunteer/unpaid position)

If you are ready to join CRARG, visit our Pre-Holocaust Database page.