Information for Genealogical Research


If you are looking for civil records from Zelow and go the usual way through the JewishGen links you will not find anything. The record books, as well as all the duplicates were destroyed by the Nazis during WWII.


Fortunately, not everything is really lost. Knowing that the Jewish community in Zelow was officially established in 1905, a genealogy researcher should look for the documents on LDS microfilms from Lask, the larger community to which Zelow and surounding villages belonged.


BMD 1827-1831 -  FHL INTL Film [ 808471 ]
BMD 1832-1841 -  FHL INTL Film [ 808472 ]
BMD 1842-1850 -  FHL INTL Film [ 808473 ]
BMD 1851-1859 -  FHL INTL Film [ 808474 ]
BMD 1859-1865 -  FHL INTL Film [ 808475 ]
BMD 1866-1869 -  FHL INTL Film [ 767128 ]


The original documents are stored at the Polish State Archives in Lodz ( in the group No 1554/0. The same archive, has a census from Zelow (including all Jewish inhabitants) taken in about 1930, where you can find much important data about your ancestors. My article about Jewish life in Zelow before WWII is based on this information. Look what kind of a family tree for Goldsztajn was I able to create using these documents. (If you need my assistance in genealogical projects, please, contact me direct).


Civil records newer than 100 years are stored at the Urzad Miejski (city hall) Zelow (USC office for civil administration). According to my information, documents from 1908 to 1923 are available there. Polish law about the protection of personal data allows ordering copies of those documents for direct descendants only, and the procedure is quite complicated.


The next source for documents from Zelow is lists of inhabitants from the Litzmannstadt ghetto, to where many Jews from Zelow (sometimes after a short intermediate stay in the ghetto in Belchatow) were deported. The majority of them were murdered in the Kulmhof concentration camp (Chelmno nad Nerem) before 1942. (


The Zelow Yitzkor Book (in Yiddish) also exists and is another important source of information, including dozens of old photographs (link to a list of English captions – courtesy of Mrs. Hanna Tal). The Bussiness Directory Poland 1929 also delivers much data from Zelow.


Have a look at the Goldsztajn family tree!


February 2011