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Poland Gazetteers

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Definition[edit | edit source]

A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or index. Depending on the gazetteer, It may contain information about locations:

  • their jurisdictions (voivoideship, powiat, county, province, etc.)
  • location of civil registration offices (for birth, marriage, and death certificates)
  • parish churches or synagogues
  • population numbers
  • postal facilities
  • communication facilities (telephone, telegraph, and so on)
  • local commerce, agriculture, manufacturing works, canals, docks, and railroad stations
  • schools, colleges, and universities
Poland 1815-1918.png

Gazetteers are produced to cover a country generally, and cover the locations as of the date they are published. Poland's boundaries frequently changed as different parts of Poland came under the control of various countries, usually Prussia, Russia, and Austria. Names of towns can change to the language of the controlling country. This map shows arguably the longest lasting partition of Poland--from the end of the Napoleonic wars to the World Wars (1815-1918/1945). The gazetteers shown in this article are organized by these regions, and then by post-World War, and modern times.

Prussian Poland[edit | edit source]

These gazetteers deal with the parts of modern Poland that were under the Prussia before World War I: Brandenburg, East Prussia (Ostpreussen), Posen, Pomerania (Pommern), Silesia (Schlesien), and West Prussia (Westpreussen).

Germany partition.jpg

Meyers Gazetteer[edit | edit source]

Meyer’s 1871 Gazetteer: Prussian areas as they existed in 1871. Clickable to the 1871 German Empire map. "How to" Guides: Instruction, Activity, Answer Key. Abbreviations: Instruction, Activity, Answer Key.'

Advantages: Available online; provides Catholic parish, Lutheran parish, and civil registration office as of 1900; old map overlaid on Google maps; used for jurisdictions in FamilySearch Catalog.
Disadvantages: Must know name of the location in German; does not provide Jewish synagogue information. MeyersGaz.png

Kartenmeister[edit | edit source]

Kartenmeister: Prussian Poland as it existed in 1905. It gives German and Polish names, Catholic and Lutheran parish names, and civil registration office. Clickable to Google Maps. "How to" Guide: Instruction, Activity, Answer Key.

Advantages: Available online; searchable by German and Polish name; provides Catholic parish, Lutheran parish, and civil registration office as of 1900; approximate location on Google maps.
Disadvantages: The website has stability issues and is sometimes down. Kartenmeister entry.png

1905 Prussian Gazetteer[edit | edit source]

1905 Prussian Gazetteer (Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen): Gives Catholic, Lutheran, and other religious parishes, and Standesamt (civil registrar). "How to" Guide: Instruction, Activity, Answer Key.

Advantages: Available online; shows population of location according to language and religion; provides Catholic parish, Lutheran parish, and civil registration office as of 1900.
Disadvantages: Online but browsable only; only searchable by name of the location in German.

Prussia gazetteer.png

  • Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen. Königlichen Statistischen Landesamts. Ostpreussen, Westpreussen, Brandenburg, Posen, Schlesien, Pommern. (6 volumes) (1907).
    FHL book 943 E5kp
    This set of gazetteers has volumes for each of the Prussian provinces arranged by Kreis (district) with an index at the end.
  • Alphabetisches Ortsnamenverzeichnis der Deutschen Ostgebiete unter fremder Verwaltung, Band 11. V. 1. 1955]

Other areas[edit | edit source]

Posen / Poznań[edit | edit source]

1902 gazetteer for the Grand Duchy of Posen (Greater Poland) showing Catholic and Lutheran parishes: Księga adresowa wszystkich miejscowości w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskiem:

Śląsk /Silesia / Schlesien[edit | edit source]

Whole Schlesien:
1845 - Alphabetisch-statistisch- topographische Uebersicht der Dörfer, Flecken, Städte und andern Orte der Königl. Preuss. Provinz Schlesien
1876 - Handbuch für die Provinz Schlesien
1885 - Gemeindelexikon für die Provinz Schlesien
1901 - Schlesisches Ortschafts-Verzeichniß
1941 - Schlesisches Ortschaftsverzeichniss

Opole / Oppeln area:
1860 - Ortschafts- und Entfernungs-Tabelle des Regierungsbezirks Oppeln
1886 - Ortschafts- und Entfernungs-Tabelle des Regierungsbezirks Oppeln

Russian Poland[edit | edit source]

Several gazetteers can help with the Kingdom of Poland or Russian Poland. See the FamilySearch Wiki page for Russia gazetteers for more information.

Russia partition.jpg

1877 gazetteer, Kingdom of Poland[edit | edit source]

1877 gazetteer for the Kingdom of Poland. The Kingdom of Poland is also known as Congress Poland and was part of Russian Poland.

Advantages: Available online; provides Catholic parish as of 1877 (which also functioned as civil registration jurisdiction).
Disadvantages: Browsable images only; does not provide Orthodox parish or Jewish synagogue information.

Spiski Gazetteer[edit | edit source]

The Spiski gazetteer does not cover the Kingdom of Poland, but does cover most other areas of the Russian Empire. You must know the province or guberniya for your location to use the Spiski gazetteer. To find links to your guberniya, see the FamilySearch Wiki article [gazetteers].

Spiski Gazetteer: Compiled during the Russian Empire time, organized geographically rather than alphabetically, in Russian. "How to" Guide: Instruction, Activity, Answer Key

Advantages: Some gubernias available online; organized geographically along roads; shows location of Catholic or Orthodox parishes and Jewish synagogues.
Disadvantages: In Cyrillic; some gubernias not available online; browsable images only.

RGN: Russisches Geographisches Namenbuch[edit | edit source]

The best comprehensive gazetteer of all localities in Imperial Russia is by Vasmer, Max. Russisches Geographisches Namenbuch [Russian Geographical Namebook]. Wiesbaden: Harassowitz, 1964-1981. Nachtrag (Supplement), 1988. 11 vols. (FHL INTL Book 947 E5r). Spiski naselennykh Mest Rossiiski Imperii were the primary source for much of the data. This set of books is referred to as the RGN and includes eleven volumes plus the Kartenband (maps).

Localities are listed in the Cyrillic alphabet but the gazetteer is still usable to non-Russian readers because the descriptions are in German. The pre-1917 administrative units of guberniya (G.) and uyezd (Kr.) are given. The German word for uyezd is Kreis. If there are several localities in the same guberniya, the guberniya is indicated only after the first locality in the guberniya. It is not repeated for each subsequent locality listed.

RGN (Russisches Geographisches Namenbuch): Compiled after World War II, based on the Spiski Gazetteer below. written in Russian, German, and Polish. "How to" Guide: Instruction, Activity, Answer Key

Advantages: Most comprehensive gazetteer of locations in Russian Empire; provides gubernia jurisdiction.
Disadvantages: Only available in book form; some entries Cyrillic or German.

Austrian Poland[edit | edit source]

The Austrian partition was called Galizien in German and Galicia in English.

Austria partition.jpg

Gesher Galicia - Town Locator[edit | edit source]

Though focused on Jewish records, this gazetteer should include all towns in Galicia, including Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic parish information: Gesher Galicia -- Galician Town Locator (1900)

Advantages: Available online; organized alphabetically; shows location of Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic parishes and Jewish synagogues; used for jurisdictions in FamilySearch Catalog.
Disadvantages: May not include all locations; does not show Lutheran parish.

Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia[edit | edit source]

  • Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia: includes the location of the Catholic parish andGreek Catholic, Lutheran, and Jewish congregations. Written in Polish, German, and Ukrainian.

Advantages: Includes section on alternate spellings of locations (Ukrainian, etc.); includes location of Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Lutheran parishes as well as Jewish synagogue; in English.
Disadvantages: Not available online.

Austrian gazetteer: Galicia[edit | edit source]

Gemeindelexikon – Galizien (volume 12): Contains information about population, including breakdown by religion.

Advantages: Available online; shows population of a location by religion.
Disadvantages: Browsable images only; in German language.

Other gazetteers[edit | edit source]

  • RGN (Russisches Geographisches Namenbuch): Compiled after World War II, based on the Spiski Gazetteer above. written in Russian, German, and Polish. Instruction, Activity, Answer Key
  • Gemeindelexikon Der Im Reichsrate Vertretenen Königreiche and Länder. V. 12 (1900)
    FHL book 943.6 E5g. based on the 1900 census of Austria-Hungary; arranged by district with an index of both German and non-German versions of place-names. Between the main text and the index is an appendix which indicates the location of the church vital records office.

Republic of Poland (1918-1939)[edit | edit source]

Poland 1918.jpg

Skorowidz Gazetteer (1930s)[edit | edit source]

The Skorowidz Miejsowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej is a gazetteer of the early republic of Poland as it existed from 1918 until 1939. Poland at that time extended far into the east, including areas, which after World War II, were ceded to the Soviet Republics of Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine. The gazetteer is arranged with all localities in alphabetical order. Please note that the Polish alphabet has several letters with diacritical marks: ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź, and ż. These are distinct letters of the Polish alphabet and are alphabetized after the unmarked version of the letter. Information about each locality is given in columns as shown below with translations.

Lists type of location (city, town, village, settlement, etc.), jurisdictions, and church parishes. "How to" Guide: Instruction, Activity, Answer Key

Advantages: Available online; contains information about locations in interwar Poland (greatest extent eastward); contains information about Catholic, Orthodox, and Lutheran parishes, Jewish synagogue, and civil registration office; jurisdictions in the FamilySearch Catalog for places not in modern Poland.
Disadvantages: Browsable images only; does not cover all of modern Poland; in Polish.

Skorowidz gazetteer.png

This gazetteer uses the Voivodeships (Provinces) in place in the Administrative division of the Polish People's Republic, under the section "Poland's voivodeships 1975-98 (49 voivodeships". You will need to use the map in that article to compare it to the more modern maps and determine the current and 1967 voivodeship.

Słownik Gazetteer (1880-1895)[edit | edit source]

Lists detailed physical descriptions, population, jurisdictions, and location of parishes. The gazetteer can be accessed online in many places, including the following:

For help in interpreting the entry, look through the Glossary..
Look here for some examples of entries translated into English.

Clickable link to the gazetteer:

Volume FHL Film FHL book scan ICM online
1: Aa-Dereneczna 920957 part 1, part 2 volume I
2: Derenek-Gżack 920958 part 1, part 2 volume II
3: Haag-Kępy 920959 part 1 volume III
4: Kęs-Kutno 920960 part 1, part 2 volume IV
5: Kutowa Wola-Malczyce 920961 part 1, part 2 volume V
6: Malczyce-Netreba 920962 part 1, part 2 volume VI
7: Netrebka-Perepiat 920963 part 1, part 2 volume VII
8: Perepiatychna-Pożajście 920964 part 1, part 2 volume VIII
9: Pożajście-Ruksze 920965 part 1, part 2 volume IX
10: Rokszenice-Sochaczew 920966 part 1, part 2 volume X
11: Sochachew powiat-Szlubowska Wola 920967 part 1, part 2 volume XI
12: Szlurpiszki-Warłynka 920968 part 1, part 2 volume XII
13: Warmbrun-Worowo 920969 part 1, part 2 volume XIII
14: Worowo-Żyżyn 920970 part 1, part 2 volume XIV
15A: Addenda, Abablewo-Januszowo 920971 part 1 volume XV, part 1
15B: Addenda, Januszpol-Sniatyn 920972 part 1, part 2 volume XV, part 2

Advantages: Available online; shows very detailed information about Polish locations regardless of which partition they were in (includes locations in Germany, Austria, Kingdom of Poland, and Russian empire).
Disadvantages: Browsable images only; in Polish; uses a lot of abbreviations.

1929 Polish Business Directory - Town Index ,An index to more than 34,000 locations in inter-war Poland, with links to directory pages for each city, town and village.

Modern Poland[edit | edit source]

Spis Gazetteer (1968)[edit | edit source]

Lists jurisdictions. location of civil registration offices. Spis Gazetteer of Poland Wiki Article, gives abbreviations.

Translated Headings for Spis Gazetteer
Nazwa i rodzaj miejscowości Gromada (osiedle-osied.) (miasto-m.) Siedziba PRN Województwo Poczta Stacja, przystanek kolejowy Urząd stanu cywilnego
Name and type of locality Next larger admini-strative unit County Seat Province Post Office Railroad Station Civil Registration Office

Advantages: Available online; shows location of civil registration office; used for jurisdictions in FamilySearch Catalog.
Disadvantages: Browsable images only; in Polish; does not list church parish.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Mapa Szukacz[edit | edit source]

Mapa.Szukacz--in addition to the map, this infobox appears.