[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Results from a visit to Warsaw

Bronwyn Klimach bronklimach at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 04:19:49 PDT 2010

For now are you able to post more details on the records: a collection name
(maybe in Polish) and a collection no. and a file no. (sygnatura in Polish).
This would probably be of great help for anyone going to the AGAD archives.
Kind regards,

On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 8:56 PM, Paul Rakow <rakow at ifh.de> wrote:

>   Dear All,
>       As you may remember, I asked for advice a few weeks ago,
>  in preparation for a short visit to the main archive (AGAD)
>  in Warsaw.
>      I was exploring a little, to see what I might find. Among
>  other things I found some tax lists, which could be useful for
>  anyone with German ancestors in Congress Poland.
>     Here's a short initial report on what I found, I am thinking
>  of writing a longer article for the Journal, with more details
>  about where to find these records in the Archive's Inventory books.
>     The most useful files I found were reports on the administration
>  of the Protestant parishes in Congress Poland. This includes things
>  like the calling of Pastors, the sacking of misbehaving Pastors,
>  building of churches, detailed inventories of church property,
>  and financial accounts.
>  Protestant Church Tax
>     Between the late 1820s and about 1850 the income side of the
>  accounts was from a Protestant Church "Income Tax" on the members.
>  The tax lists were updated every three years. They give a list
>  of the families contributing to the church, giving occupation and
>  tax class. It gives an idea of how much money your family was making
>  - I was surprised that my Huebner ancestors in Ozorkow were in the
>  second-highest tax band, so they must have been making quite a good
>  living as cloth makers; many clothmakers were in the lowest
>  tax band, class 5. Some congregations also list the poor families
>  who paid no tax, other parishes just miss them out from the list.
>  It looks like these tax lists exist for most Lutheran parishes
>  in Congress Poland.
>  Gross Bruzyca Parish
>     Howard Krushel asked me to keep an eye open for any records
>  from Gross Bruzyca parish, the first Lutheran church in the Lodz area.
>  I found a thick volume (409 pages) of files concerning the Gross Bruzyca
>  parish 1800-1822 (409 pp). This includes a list of all the members of
>  the founding congregation, and the call of the first Pastor, with a list
>  of the congregation members who made their mark on it. Possibly the
>  most interesting find were the early school reports. (Howard's ancestor
>  Gottlieb Krushel was an outstanding pupil, who worked very hard).
>  Protestants living in Lodz
>      Another interesting find were some lists prepared by the Lodz
>  magistrates of the Protestants in Lodz, 1854-1863 (Full lists,
>  1854, 1855, 1856 and 1860 - fragments early 60s.) As well as the
>  town itself, the lists include a few of the nearby villages, in
>  particular Nowasolna/Neu Sulzfeld, Lagiewniki, Chojny, Sikawa, Stoki
>  Lists give the head of the family, and the number of children
>  in each family.
>  Town Taxes
>       The government in Warsaw kept track of the finances of all
>  the larger towns. The first town I looked at, Belchatow, listed
>  all its taxpayers during the 1820s and 1830s; the list gave the
>  occupation and tax class, very like the church taxes we've
>  talked about earlier. However, the next two towns I looked
>  at, Zgierz and Ozorkow, didn't give detailed tax lists, just
>  total figures. So, I'm not sure what fraction of town records
>  will include full lists of individual tax payers.
>   Artisan's tax, Napoleonic times (1810)
>      There are a lot of records of an artisan's tax levied in
>  Napoleonic times, arranged by district (powiat) - the Kreis
>  from German times. This was a tax on people practising a trade,
>  (farmers/peasants were not included).
>  Colonist lists, South Prussia (c 1800)
>     The Prussians took over large parts of Poland after the second and
>  third partitions in 1793 and 1795. They soon lost this again, after
>  Napoleon conquered the area in 1807 and created a Grand Duchy of Warsaw.
>  I looked at colonist lists from this period of Prussian rule around 1800.
>  The people in these colonist lists were Germans from states outside
>  Prussia (for example Wuerrtemberg, Nassau) who were settled in the new
>  Prussian territories. The Colonist lists don't include Germans who were
>  already living in these areas during Polish times, or Prussians who
>  moved into the new lands.
>  ----
>     One general point that it might be good to know in advance:
>     The Archive have introduced an important new rule in April this year,
>  here's what it says on the web-page:
>  http://www.agad.archiwa.gov.pl/eng/index.html
>      "According to the after control recommendation of the Head Office of
>  Polish State Archives in the Reading Room one could only read the archival
>  units with valid pagination.
>     Please note, that due to the fulfillment of this recommendation, from
>  April 2010, the expectation time for the archival unit, which have to be
>  paginated, could last even for two weeks."
>     Do you know what it means?
>     It took me a little while to figure it out. If you order a document,
>  and the pages have already been numbered, you will normally get it the
>  same day, or the next day if you order in the afternoon. But if you
>  order a volume where the pages aren't yet numbered, they can't give it
>  to you until the staff have numbered the pages, which could mean a wait
>  of up to two weeks before the document arrives. Inconvenient if you are
>  just visiting for a few days. You can't tell in advance whether a
>  document has numbered pages or not.
>        This has been a long posting, I hope some of you have found
>  something useful or interesting in it,
>               Paul Rakow
>               rakow at ifh.de
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