[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Polish parishes and Polish place names

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca
Sat Oct 10 06:56:44 PDT 2009

The issue of governing districts in Poland is very complicated due to 
many changes over the past 200 years.  Even the LDS files their 
microfilms by a district convention in place after WW II that has no 
relevance to today nor to pre WW II boundaries.  You can imagine with a 
database of over 450,000 names, that we get numerous variations on how 
that information is reported to us.  One of our volunteers in Germany 
recently completed a gazetteer of all known villages where Germans lived 
in Russian Poland.  He standardized the system of location to the modern 
boundaries along with other detailed info.  Data entered into our 
databases will be based on that so that we have a standard format.  This 
gazetteer, which also includes parish names, will be made available on 
line later this year.

Unfortunately, I now have to complicate your personal research a little 
more.  On Albert Breyer's map of German villages, he shows Chwalborzyce 
Holendry a few km SE of Domanin (south of Dabie).  On a modern map at 
1:200,000 scale, this is shown as the village of Chwalborzyce.  On 
another map at 1:50,000 scale, I found not only the village of 
Chwalborzyce in this location but another village north of Domanin, 
towards Dabie, called Holendry Chwalborzyce.  So, the question becomes - 
was Breyer's name wrong, was the location wrong, is the 1:50,000 map 
wrong, or did the name change over time?  And, did Germans live in both 
places or only the Holendry?

Similarly, Oskar Kossmann provides a map of German villages which shows 
the village of Gadowskie Holendry.  A modern map shows the village of 
Gadowskie in this location AND the village of Gadowskie Holendry another 
5 km or so to the north.  So which of these two villages is the one that 
really held German residents or did they both?

In another posting, Joe gave you some hints about narrowing the search 
for places like Gorki.  In addition, you may find place names replicated 
more than once within a parish or district.  To narrow that down even 
further, you will have to look at the village names for witnesses in the 
document.  You may find a cluster of villages that will help you to 
narrow down the correct one that has choices. 

Jerry Frank
Calgary, AB

Dave Proper wrote:
> All,
> I had never worked with Polish place names until recently when Rose Ingram
> sent me a treasure trove of information about my Plotzke relations. I am
> entering the data into TMG and was struck by the variety of Polish place
> names and the seemingly various ways of recording them. I looked into the
> modern Polish place name conventions - gimas, powiat, voivdeship and
> country. Armed with that, I have a place named "Dabie, Kolo, Poznan,
> Poland". That seems to make sense, like municipality, county, province,
> county. But then I find place names recorded in family group sheets such as
> "Gorki, (Dabie Parish), Kolo, Poznan, Poland". I understand that Gorki is
> obviously in the Dabie Parish and provides another level of information.
> Which do people prefer and why? 
> Another question: are there maps that delineate what the parish boundaries
> might have been during various time frames? For example, the birth place of
> Friedrich Wilhelm Plotzke on 25 Apr 1849 was Chwalborczyce Holendry. The
> record was in the Dabie Parish books but when I found the village
> (Chwalborczyce) using ShtelSeeker it was about 5 km southeast of the town of
> Dabie and just across the provincial border in Lodz. So now would this be
> "Chwalborczyce, (Dabie Parish), ?county-unknown?, Lodz, Poland"?  Which
> leads to a further question is there a definitive way to determine which
> powiat would be the correct name to use here? The convention seems to be
> that they are named after the largest city in the region but that is not
> easy to ascertain.
> OK, last question, where is the village of Gorki mentioned above - "Gorki,
> (Dabie Parish), Kolo, Poznan, Poland"? Enter that in ShtelSeeker and you get
> 93 potential places in Poland! Is there way to focus ShtelSeeker to a
> smaller region than just Poland as a whole?
> Thanks for your assistance and patience!
> Dave Proper
> dproper at charter.net
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