[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Historical questions, and families Gut/Gutt, Hammer/Homer, Wegrzyn

Doug Linder sggee at ario.ch
Mon Mar 31 20:46:50 PST 2003

Hello All,

I have been "lurking" on this list for quite a while, mostly because I
don't get a lot of free time to pursue genealogy.  While my name is
Linder, that is not my family name.  My father changed his name during
WWII, as "Adolph Gutt" was not a good name to have.

I've been doing some genealogical work to add to what my family already
has, although I don't (yet) have specific questions for you all.  I'm more
interested in the history of the Galacia region and where my family
originally came from.  It seems almost certain to me that my
Great-great-grandfather, Johannes Gut, was German and moved into the
Polish area of Galacia.

Very quickly, my great-grandparents were Anna Wegrzyn and Stanislaw Gut,
and my grandparents were Mary Hammer and Joseph Gut.  Naturally, over the
years the spellings have varied a lot: Gut vs. Gutt, Hammer vs. Hamer vs.
Homer, etc.  My grandfather was born in Tomasgow (Lublin) and my
grandmother in Lwow.

I am primarily interested in the paternal side of my family and tracing it
back.  I'm no expert on Polish names, but "Johannes Gut" seems very much
like a German name to me, and what with all the turmoil in that part of
the world at the time, I imagine there was a lot of migration going on.
My grandmother's maiden name, "Hammer", does not sound polish to me,
either - it also sounds German.

I know that when my grandmother was born in Lwow, it was part of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire.  She spoke German as a girl and once told me the
school she attended as as girl (she emigrated to the US in to 1920's) was
taught in German.  So basically, I'm trying to discover if my true
ancestry is not really Polish but German, or perhaps Austrian or even
Swiss.  For the records I've been able to find, it seems that at least the
male side of my family was only in the Polish region for one generation or
so.  I want to know where they came from.

My basic question for you is, what might a German-speaking person be doing
in a Polish area like Galacia around the late 1800's?  What reason might
they have had to be there?  Of course I suppose they might have just
decided to up and move, but it seems unlikely as back then people didn't
tend to just decide to move to another country for no particular reason.

And, of course, if anyone has information or research on a Gut/Gutt or
Hammer, Hamer, or Homer family in that region, I'd be interested to hear
from you.


Doug Linder

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