Indexation of enfranchisement receses
from the areas of Greater Poland and part of Kuyavia (formerly the Grand Duchy of Posen) from 1823-1910

The project is implemented by the Genealogical Society of Greater Poland “Gniazdo” and aims to index the preserved enfranchisement records from the areas of Greater Poland and parts of Kuyavia under the Prussian partition. The project is implemented in cooperation with the State Archives in Bydgoszcz.

Subject matter of the project

The first activities related to the enfranchisement of peasants in the lands of the former Prussian partition began in 1799 and consisted of the transformation from serfdom to tenancy system in royal domain. In 1807, the serfdom was abolished, and in 1811 the peasants were allowed to buy land. The enfranchisement reform began in 1823. All ownership transformations were recorded in separate documents called enfranchisement records. The enfranchisement process coincided with the creation of the cadastre, regulation of land boundaries and the establishment of separate land registers for individual plots and properties.

The enfranchisement process lasted for years; it often took several dozen years from the preparation of the enfranchisement record to its implementation. The disputable matters (such as the abolition of joint ownership of meadows, pastures, etc.) were regulated by separate enfranchisement records; it was often necessary to determine the exact plot boundaries. The large number of enfranchisement records (even a few for each village) means that it is very difficult to find the surnames of the enfranchised peasant – our ancestors. Hence the idea to index the available enfranchisement records.


In 2019, a group of volunteers started to photograph and index the preserved enfranchisement records made available courtesy of the State Archives in Bydgoszcz. Over time, we hope to extend this cooperation to other archives in the region. The process is very time-consuming - from cataloguing the enfranchisement records, taking photos and editing them, listing the names of enfranchised peasants, through processing such data and inserting it into a search engine.

So please, do not ask when the next county and other towns will appear. Photographing and indexing take many weeks of our work and as soon as new, developed indexes appear, we immediately make them available in the database. It depends on the number of people involved in the project.

Currently, we index the towns of the following counties: Gniezno, Gostyń, Koźmin, Krotoszyn, Leszno, Ostrów and Witkowo (see the full database), so there is still a lot of work ahead of us. If you want to support the indexing, please contact us.

Searching the database

There is a search engine that can be used to search by last names. In the future, when more information is available, we will add additional search criteria.

After entering the surname, a list of results appears - the surnames with a reference to the contents of the record. Surnames are not indexed down to a specific page, so you will need to review the entire contents of enfranchisement record - if a surname appears multiple times, it means that the person was mentioned in several enfranchisement records.


All questions and suggestions should be posted on WTG Forum in the “Enfranchisement Records” subject or sent to the following email:

Project authors/creators

The project is implemented by the Genealogical Society of Greater Poland "Gniazdo". Thanks to the hundreds of hours of work of the members and supporters of this Society, it became possible to develop the enfranchisement records.

The following persons were or still are involved in the project: Mariola Bała, Magdalena Bartkowska, Barbara Cywińska, Joanna Cywińska, Katarzyna Czepulis-Rastenis, Wojciech Derwich, Eugeniusz Forma, Bogdan Jarosz, Wojciech Jędraszewski, Danuta Kot, Beata Kroszka, Janina Król, Katarzyna Krüger, Adam Lewandowicz, Mariusz Maćkowiak, Mirosława Marciniak, Joanna Raczkowska, Kazimierz Robaszkiewicz, Andrzej Siwiński, Dariusz Stolarski, Genowefa Szulc and Danuta Wojcięgowska. The person responsible for IT matters is Maciej Głowiak.

Financial support

The project implementation was possible thanks to the support of the Marshal Office of Greater Poland Voivodship in public task "Enfranchisement receses of Greater Poland in the years 1823-1910" co-financed by the regional government of the Greater Poland Voivodship.

Technology support (server)

The project website, like other projects of the Genealogical Society of Greater Poland "Gniazdo", operates thanks to the servers made available by thePoznan Supercomputing and Networking Center.


We would like to express special thanks to the Management and Employees of the State Archives in Bydgoszcz.

Genealogical Society

Genealogical Society of Greater Poland "Gniazdo" (WTG "Gniazdo") is Polish non-profit and public benefit organisation which supports people discovering their family stories and promotes genealogy in its broadest sense. It also carries out many interesting genealogical and historical projects. You can read more about the details on our website.