[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Holendrach

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca
Fri May 20 09:36:55 PDT 2005

At 09:55 AM 20/05/2005, Mary Heard wrote:
>In some Lutheran Church records for Prazuchy, Congress Poland, 
>(specifically for the time frame 1830 to 1835), I find the word 
>"Holendrach" immediately following the name of the village, for 
>example:  (in Polish) "w Prazuchach Holendrach" and "w Zakrzynohich 
>Holendrach".  These expressions along with "zamieszkaly" immediately 
>follow the name of an individual.
>Are these individuals German settlers living among some Dutch settlers in 
>these villages or in a Dutch area of the village?  Are they perhaps Dutch 
>settlers themselves?
>In later years I no longer see the "holendrach" designation attached to 
>the individuals in the documents concerning these families.
>My thanks to anyone who can shed some lignt on this subject.
>Mary J K Heard

This explanation starts with the suffix "...ach".  This is a contextual 
ending for place names that appear in records and one always has to guess 
with it is substitute for iec, ice, y or any other similar endings.

Holendry describes a form of democratic village government and often 
becomes part of the place name, sometimes to be dropped in later years.  A 
Holendry's leaders are elected by the villagers in contrast to the 
Schulzendorf system where the village Schulz (mayor) is appointed by a 

There is some dispute among historians regarding the origin of the 
term.  Many say that it derives from the introduction of that form of 
government by the Dutch (Holland) Mennonites who settled in West 
Prussia.  Others suggest that the actual spelling was Haulendry and derives 
from the Germans and their word, hauen = to cut down, in reference to the 
fact that these Germans came into the area, cutting down the forests to 
make way for agricultural land.

The term applies regardless of what ethnic group lived in the village - 
Dutch, German, or Polish.  It still appears in various forms in Polish 
place names today.

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca  

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