About the Author - Jay Michael Orbik

I was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1957 and grew up in the south suburb of Calumet City. I have an EdD in Instructional Technology and I am currently the Director of Media Services at Northern Illinois University. I recently transferred to the U.S. Army retired reserves after serving 32 years in the regular army, army national guard and army reserve. I have been doing family research for almost 20 years,

Published and Unpublished Articles


Chasing Down Footnotes From Polish History Books To Find Records in Polish Archives, East European Genealogical Society, Summer 2008.

Coping With Name Changes in "The Old Country", East European Genealogical Society, Spring 2009.

The 1864 Liquidation Tables in the Russian Partition, Rodziny-Polish Genealogical Society of Ameraica, Summer 2009.

Forest Guards in Podlasia and Mazuria,  East European Genealogical Society, Winter, 2010.

Unpublished Articles

Polish Notary Records are a Source for Solving Family Mysteries.

Anna Rostkowska vs. the Villagers of Polkowo: Family History Available from Polish Court Records-Referendaria Koronna.

This is where it all started - with some notes I took from my grandmother in the early 1970s. I had very limited success with early research as it costs money (which I didn't have then), records were scarce, and I did not know how to find them. In the late 1980s I ran across some Chicago census records in the microfilm collection in the NIU library. Somehow I found some streets in South Chicago I recognized and found my great grandfather's family listed there. After that I was hooked. Hopefully soon I write several books about my family branches but I hope this website will continue to help me organize my note as well as provide other family members with resources to trace their roots. Good luck and enjoy? You can reach me at jorbik@aol.com or jorbik@niu.edu.

With Andrzej Orbik from tajno Łanowe on the northern bank of Lake Tajno in 1998 (my first trip to Poland)

Examining parish and census records of Augustów in the Augustów church tower in the spring of 2007.

We were locked in and allowed to work for about 3 hours. It was freezing but we found good stuff.

With Andrzej Orbik in Warszawa in 2007. His family migrated from Tajno to Dudy.

With Jerzy Szocinski and his family in Janowiec Wielkopolska in 2007.

In front of the Suwałki Branch of the State Archives in 2007

With a Sikora cousin in Augustów in 2007.

With Professor Zbigniew Orbik in Kraków in 2007

With Edward Orbik and his wife in Augustów in 2007


Me, my sister Debbie, and Andrzej Orbik's family in Glogów Wielkopolski in 2007.

Me and Leszek Styś in Poznan in 2008. Leszek's great great grandfather was the best man at my great great grandathers wedding in 1875 in Palikówka, near Rzeszów. Leszek is a big businessman in Poland and Germany.

Me and my sister Debbie in front of the parish church of Bargłów Kościelny, nest of the Orbik family - 2008.

Outside the Białystok Archives in 2009.

A great find in the Białystok Archives in 2009.


In the Vilnius State Archives in Lithuania in 2009. This was the biggest book I have ever seen!

A nice map find from the Vilnius State Archives in Lithuania in 2009. This place looked like a prison.

My ID from the Vilnius Archive.


My research guide Iwona Dakiniewicz with a cousin Elżbieta Mitros in Bargłów Dworny in 2007.

With the family of Eugeniusz Orbik in Pruska in 2007.

With a the family of Genowefa Sikora Polkowski in Tajenko in 2007. She is a close cousin and he is a more distant cousin.

In the Suwałki State Archives in 2009.

In the Jaminy Parish rectory in 2009. I was a little tired by the time we took this picture. Can you tell?

In the Krakow State Archives -Wawel Castle Branch in June 2010.

In the Krakow State Archives -Sienna Street Branch in June 2010.

AGAD - National Archives of Ancient Documents September 2010.

AGAD - National Archives of Ancient Documents September 2010.

Goniadz Records from the 1500s. Quote a Book!

Bialystok Diocese Archives September 2010.

Bialystok Diocese Archives September 2010. Dolistowo Parish Records 16-1700s.

Fr. Adam Szot and me, Bialystok Diocese Archives September 2010.

Parish of Dabrowa Bialystok September 2010.

Parish of Dabrowa Bialystok September 2010.

Archives of the parish of Dabrowa Bialystok September 2010.

Fellow Orbik researcher- Zbyszek Mierzejewski with me in Bialystok in September 2010.

Fellows researchers Krzystof Ziecina and Grzegorz Krupinski in Warsaw, September 2010.