Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] not everyone came from Württemberg

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at
Sun Apr 29 11:47:28 PDT 2012

Just one comment to make 
regarding the Breyer map of Germanic origins.  This is useful for 
sociological purposes but don't hold it as gospel truth for precise 
origins of your ancestors.  It states where the dominant migrants came 
from but in most areas there was a mix of origins for the Germans who 
lived there.

(Responding from Kiev, Ukraine.)


----- Original Message -----
From: Albert Muth <albertmuth734 at>
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:30 pm
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] not everyone came from Württemberg
To: Ger-Poland-Volhynia <ger-poland-volhynia at>

> It seems to come up often enough that someone's remote family origin,
> the one where ancestors lived before migrating to Russian Poland
> or Volhynia, was Württemberg.  Well, some settlers did come 
> from there.
> I have seen this origin often for settlers in Ozorków, Gostynin, 
> Gąbin,Wyszogród and sporadically elsewhere.  Sometimes,
> people have successfully traced families back to before 1600 in
> Württemberg.
> Me, I am very jealous of people who can trace that kind of
> ancestry in Germany.  I cannot.  My Muth line "beamed down"
> into Poland about 1794, which is when they appear in the
> South Prussian land records. No clue there about origin.
> The family tradition says we came from Elsaß, the
> surname was originally Demuth. Both surnames, Muth
> and Demuth existed in Elsaß.
> My Abraham line appears to be in the area South of
> Czarnikau (Posen region) going back into the 1600's,
> well, well before the time frame of the Partitions.
> To get a sense of where people came from before they
> came to a specific region of Poland, you need
> to become familiar with the Breyer map, from a
> 1935 article by researcher Albert Breyer
> called "Deutsche Gaue in Polen" published in the
> *Ostdeutsche Heimathefte*
> SGGEE has the original of the map at
> an updated polychromatic version at
> If we use the area covered by the respective Lutheran parishes 
> as a
> geographical unit, the settlement history is quite 
> different.  The
> source for much of this history continues to be a 1972 book in
> German (untranslated) by Eduard Kneifel, *Die evangelisch-
> augsburgischen *
> *Gemeinden in Polen 1555-1939 : Eine Parochialgeschichte in
> Einzeldarstellungen*
> available on microfiche from LDS.  SGGEE had at one time a 
> project (in
> English!),
> seen at
> but it seems to have died on the vine for lack of 
> interest.  Huh?
> As my dad would have said, "I just don't versteh".  No interest?
> C'mon, SGGEE needs more volunteers.
> As least for Volhynia, there are some serious historians out there,
> including our own Dick Benert who always brings things to our
> attention.  They seldom have anything to do with Russian Poland.
> I cannot name any historians at all for Russian Poland, who are
> likely to mention German settlers.  Nothing in English, 
> unless it's
> a few items on wikipedia.
> My personal area of interest is the area of the Evangelical parish
> of Babiak, particularly to the North and Northeast.  I have
> relatives in Bycz and Tymień who were there from say 1780.
> Before the Partitions.  This was not Prussia at all.
> The area where they had come from, say, west of Gnesen,
> was not yet Prussia either. In 1772 (date of the first Partition),
> this was Poland, Poland.  See
> The map is at
> Lithuanian_Commonwealth_in_1772.PNGThese people were ethnically 
> German, but were living in Poland and
> probably had been for two centuries or more.  And they kept
> moving east to get away from the nasty Prussians and obligatory
> military service.
> Notice map of what Prussia had acquired via the 2nd Partition in 1793.
> See
> The third partition (1795) ended the existence of Poland as a country
> The map of Prussia in 1806 is very important to understand
>  It shows
> the area considered to be Prussia.  When people moved into this
> area in the 1790's and early 1800's, they understood they were
> going to be living in Prussia. Maybe it was just another region 
> of their own
> country.  Maybe the government provided incentives for new 
> settlersto go in and populate the area, bringing their special 
> talents.
> Even the Prussian state of Posen received many, many new
> settlers at the time of the partitions.  If you have 
> someone of
> German heritage born there, say, in 1850, you cannot know
> whether the family had only been there 75 years or more than 200 
> years.You have to trace the family tree to know for sure.
> To understand how our ancestors moved into the area later to be
> known as Russian Poland, it may help you if I bring in an 
> analogy from
> American History.  In 1889, for example, a two million acre
> part of Oklahoma (about 3000 square miles or about 7700 square
> kilometers, the entire state of Oklahoma is almost 70000 square miles
> or over 181000 square kilometers) was opened up for settlement. Under
> the provisions of the Homestead Act of 1862, a legal settler could
> claim 160 acres of public land.  Then, if he lived on and 
> improvedthe claim for five years, he could receive title.  
> That is, the land
> would be his.
> I do not doubt that the specifics of acquiring the land were
> quite different for us in Russian Poland, but I think the mentality
> of "yee-haw" is not far off the mark.  For the American history,
> read and
> Anyway, just some thoughts about my own area.
> Here are some statistics based on the origins of grooms and
> brides in 100 marriage records from the parish of Rożyszcze
> in Volhynia in 1876 (film #2380026).  So, there will be 200 
> people.
> 11 marriages fell through, did not get performed. I will ignore 
> these 22
> people
> 19 people were born in Volhynia
> 44 were born in the gubernia of Petrikau/Piotrków (see map at
> 28 in the gubernia of Warschau/Warszawa
> 26 in the gubernia of Kalisch/Kalisz
> 9 in the gubernia of Radom
> From other Russian areas, 1 from Kurland, 1 from Podolia, 2 from 
> Galicia.
> From Prussia:
> 12 from Posen
> 10 from Pommern
> 10 from Westpreussen/Ostpreussen
> from other German-speaking areas
> 1 from Baden
> 1 from Mecklenburg
> So, now, how many people were there getting married in Volhynia 
> in 1876 who
> were
> from Württemberg?  None.  Zero.  Zippo.  Zilch.
> And those from Volhynia itself?  Barely 10%  Everyone
> else is a johnny-come-lately or parvenu.
> Al Muth
> P.S.  By the way, for our non-native English speakers, the 
> verbs "beam
> up/down"
> are associated with the late 1960's television program "Star Trek".
> Another way of saying "I do not know where my ancestor came 
> from" is
> saying that he "participated in the Federal Witness Protection 
> Program".See 
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