Przewodnik Handlowy Database

Compiled by Mike Drabik and David Newman

The Polonia of Buffalo is very fortunate to have two books documenting the early settlement of our people in Western New York.  The first book was published as a double anniversary album, celebrating the 50th anniversaries of the founding of St. Stanislaus B.M. Church and also the Polish community in Buffalo.  The album was edited by the renown Polish-American  historian Mieczyslaw Haiman.  The second book, “The Przewodnik Handlowy,” presents a contemporary picture of Buffalo’s Polonia and was written and published by Wincenty Smolczynski and Henryk Lokanski in 1906.  An additional album was printed three years later to complete the series.  Between these years, Smolczynski also published a smaller version of these business directories for the Polish community in Detroit, Michigan.  The Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan has been including translations of certain personalities from this album in their newsletters.

In the two directories for the Buffalo Polonia, 468 names comprise the body of the work.  Since these were paid ads, the information provided was supplied by the advertiser and in most cases include: the place and date of birth, name of spouse and year of marriage, names of children, and the organizations and/or parish the family belonged.  This is a treasure trough of genealogical information for anyone doing research in Western New York.  Information provided in this database will include the surname and given name of the individual, date and place of birth, if provided, and page number.  Note: all articles are in Polish.

We are presently in the process of making it possible for users to search this database directly from our website.  For right now, to search the database please contact: handlowy@pgsnys.org.  There is no fee to search the database.  For copies of articles found in this index, the charge for members is $3.00 per notice and the charge for non-members if $5.00 per notice.  Payment should be made by check or money order and should be mailed, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to:

Attn: Treasurer
PGSNYS
P.O. Box 984
Cheektowaga, NY 14225

Live in the Buffalo area?  You can avoid the fee by looking at microfilmed copies of the Przewodnik Handlowy at the following local facilities:

  • Archives of the Felician Sisters, Doat Street, Cheektowaga, NY (by special request only).
  • Downtown Buffalo Library, Special Collections on microfiche, Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY
  • Polish Seminary, Indian Trail Road, Orchard Lake, MI 48324.

Your Polish Genealogy Connection in Western New York