After a long wait, the Pommerscher Greif has finally released its GreifX (also known as the Greif-Index from our previous coverage) database to the public. At first glance, the search function is quite intuitive. One can search for a person by birth, marriage, or death, and information about spouses and parents is readily available in the search results. By clicking on the entry, you can obtain more information about names in the register. Conveniently, the year and document number are present on both pages for easy reference with Metryki Genbaza.
Some entries appear both on the GreifX and the PTG searches. While there is some overlap, for the time being, it is my best suggestion to use both databases for your research in tandem. Search results do not always come up the same depending on the search word and if the phonetic search is enabled.
However, for more exhaustive search applications, one may need to get creative with how names are entered–especially for uncommon and often-misspelled surnames. Wildcard searching is enabled on the GreifX, and it is highly recommended that it is fully utilized. First name searches tend to be exact to the spelling. For a person named Caroline, one might search for %arolin%. This would cover Caroline, Carolina, Karoline, and Karolina all within one search.
One more advantage for the Pomeranian researcher is that parishes and civil registries are labeled by their German names, not the current Polish spellings. While the PTG lists all of the resources in Polish, for those more familiar with German villages in Pommern, less time will be wasted on additional searches to understand what the modern-day spelling equates to from the older German maps.
For more specific directions on how the database can be used, please read the Pommerscher Greif’s “Information to the Search Engine” which can be translated into any language through the Google Translate widget in the sidebar.
Most helpfully, the Pommerscher Greif has also included an overview of its indexed resources and a map to where each is located in present-day Poland (Germany for anything west of the Oder River). These are organized by Kreis. This page needs no translation, and for the beginner:
- Geburten = births
- Heiraten = marriages
- Sterbe = deaths
To stay up-to-date with the latest additions to the database, please see check back with the “Letzte Aktualisierungen GreifX.”
On a final note, not all registry offices are included. One may volunteer their time to help index other parishes and registry offices for the Pommerscher Greif. The database is free to access, which will hopefully one day supersede the capabilities provided by Ancestry as a combined search for those interested in their family’s Pomeranian heritage.
For more reading on this subject, please see Danilo Beiersdorf’s official release statement on the Pommerscher Greif’s website.