[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] German Clothmaker Villages in Poland (Ozorkow)

William Remus remus at hawaii.edu
Wed Nov 24 17:46:30 PST 2004

Here is some detail on German Clothmaker Villages in Poland (and 
Volhynia) as discussed yesterday on our list....

After Napoleon was defeated around 1814, Poland still remained 
partition among Prussia (Germany), Austria, and Russia. At that time 
cloth making was done well by Germans who lived in villages (it was 
truly a cottage industry). They produced and processed the flax for 
linen and then made yarn. The yarn was either sold or further worked 
into cloth to sell. Areas like Kolmar north of Poznan were famous for 
their lace.

Germans in Prussia sold a lot of cloth to Russia but about this time 
Russia used tariffs to keep this cloth out of Russia and Russian 
Poland (also known as Congress Poland). This led to opportunities for 
the German cloth makers to migrate to Congress Poland and start 
producing cloth there (since this was inside Russian Poland there were 
no tariff barriers). (and there was lots of sandy soil there good for 
growing flax).

So many Germans migrated including the Deutschlander family that is 
part of my family tree (as well as that of George Maser). This family 
went to a village designed for cloth production, Ozorkow north of 
Lodz. You can see pictures of this modern village and a map of the 
1820 village layout at:


Interestingly, if your family moved to Volhynia around 1833 they also 
may have moved for the same reason. The industrialists in Lodz in 
Russian Poland were beginning to automate the cloth making process so 
the cottage industry there was collapsing. But in Volhynia, the Polish 
nobility wanted to establish a cloth making industry so invited 
Germans to move to Volhynia. So my Spitzers, Lehmanns, Hoffmanns, 
Reisers, Hahns, and others migrated at that time to make cloth. For 
more on clothing in Volhynia (with some details on how it was done) go 


Regards Bill Remus

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