[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] The German Empire; Was Re: Powiat maps of Russian Poland

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca
Wed Mar 17 12:27:18 PST 2004

The question of whether the Germany name should apply before 1871 is
certainly not an easy one to deal with.   You can get more detail on this at:


There are numerous cross links at this site which are very useful for
learning more about the issue.

Until the invasion of Napoleon in 1806, we have reference to association of
these Germanic states as the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nations"
(Heiliges Rvmisches Reich deutscher Nation).  Voltaire later described it
as "neither holy, Roman, nor an Empire."

Between 1815 and 1871, they became known as the "German Confederation"
(Deutscher Bund ).

One of the problems in both of these scenarios (in referring to these
earlier entities as "Germany") is that Austria was included in the Holy
Roman Empire and in the German Confederation.  It was not included in the
unification of 1871 and, as we know, today it is a separate country.

This topic is important to our genealogical efforts as we are constantly
faced, not only with the politically correct way to refer to a location,
but with how others do it.  As Al Muth pointed out to me in a private
message, we have the LDS cataloguing this reference, "Rogasen, Obornik,
Posen as "Rogasen, Posen, Preussen, Germany" ".

In any case, whether you refer to it as I do, as Richard does, or as the
LDS would have it, be aware of the various possibilities.

At 11:40 AM 17/03/2004 -0500, Richard Benert wrote:
>Peter wrote:
>  Also, I understand that Germany didn't exist until 1871 and any reference
> > it prior to that time is incorrect.  Whereas, it should be listed as
> Prussia.
>Jerry correctly points out that Prussia was only a part of "Germany" before
>1871.  But I would like to relieve you of any hesitancy you may have
>to avoid speaking of the German lands before 1870 as "Germany".  Of course
>was no POLITICAL entity called "Germany" before that date, but people had
>centuries been referring to the area as Germany, Germania, Deutschland,
>Allemagne, etc (pick your language) without batting an eye.  Somehow the
>incorrectness of referring to a political Germany before 1870 has expanded
>a blanket taboo against referring to the AREA as "Germany".  But if folks in
>1700 could do it, why can't we?  We only have to be careful how we use the
>It would not be wrong, for example, for Jerry to say his Hemminger ancestors
>came from Germany.  It just wouldn't be nearly as accurate or as helpful as
>saying they were from The Kingdom of Wuerttemburg.
>At least that's how I see it!
>Dick Benert

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca

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