About Us

Jonathan D. Shea

Jonathan D. Shea

Jonathan D. Shea is a native of New Britain, Connecticut. He has over two decades of experience teaching languages at the college level and serves on the faculty of Central Connecticut State University. He also taught at Tunxis Community College, Trinity College and Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was previously employed by the New Britain School System in the Office of Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language.

His academic preparation in the field of languages and linguistics has been enriched by living experience in Europe and study at the Universidad de Madrid in Spain, St Petersburg State University in Russia and the Uniwersytet Jagiellonski in Poland.

In addition to being a foreign language educator, Prof. Shea is a trained archivist and professional genealogist with specialization in Eastern Europe and Ireland and frequently lectures and presents workshops internationally on the topics of document translation and other linguistic issues, immigration history and European archival resources.

His and co-author William F. Hoffman’s recent publications include the two volume series In Their Words: A Genealogist’s Translation Guide, Volume 1 Polish, Volume 2 Russian, Volume 3 Latin and Volume 4 German. In addition to the languages he teaches, Spanish, Polish and Russian, Prof. Shea also speaks Italian and French and has reading knowledge of Portuguese, Belarusian and Ukrainian. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed work on Polish Genealogy research “Going Home: A Guide to Polish-American Family History”.

The founding President of the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast, Inc., he now serves as its Reference Archivist and translator, and as the long-time editor of its journal, Pathways & Passages. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of genealogical research, researching his own family (with roots in the former provinces of Lomza and Grodno, Poland, and Counties Offaly and Mayo, Ireland) and others.

Jonathan D SheaThe Family History Library in Salt Lake City has recognized him as an Accredited Genealogist in the field of Polish research; he has on-site personal research experience in archives in the U.S., Canada, Poland, Lithuania, Ireland, Wales, England and is involved in cemetery projects and transcription of geographical data from Polish-American parish registers

As the photo above shows, however, he does not exactly fit the stereotype of the absent-minded professor.

He also offer numerous research services, the details of which can be found on the Services page.

William F. "Fred" Hoffman

William F. "Fred" Hoffman

William F. “Fred” Hoffman is an author, editor, translator and publisher, currently living in the Houston Texas area.

He has served since 1992 as editor of Rodziny, the Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America; has edited the free monthly e-zine Gen Dobry! since 2000; and is the current chief editor of East European Genealogist, and Publication Chair for the EEGS.

For 20+ years, he has done typesetting and layout for Pathways & Passages, the journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast.

He is the author of Polish Surnames: Origins & Meanings, and co-author, with Professor Jonathan Shea, of the In Their Words series of translation guides for genealogists.

He spends much of his free time researching and analyzing the origins of eastern European names.

He deals primarily with languages, history, and genealogy of people living in central and eastern Europe, with particular emphasis on Poles.

He also enjoys recording and mixing original music.

His personal website is www.fredhoff.com

William F Hoffman