Helpful Hint: Many maps on the Internet can be viewed at two levels. The first makes detailed review impossible due to the small size. The enlarged view is so detailed that navigating is difficult. Right click the small image and download it to your computer. Then use your favorite picture viewer to open the image and enlarge it to a convenient size. Some downloads can take a long time due to large file sizes.
Maps in the first section are on this site. All other maps are linked to other websites.
1. SGGEE Location Guidelines and Gazetteers
The possibility of finding an ancestral village on a map has many advantages and enriches your family research. Members of SGGEE have therefore created a guideline for locations and have assembled six village gazetteers in order to help with the search of villages of your ancestors especially in Eastern Europe. This will also serve to standardize the location naming and thus make the merging of your data with the Master Pedigree Database easier. We especially appreciate the efforts of Dr. Frank Stewner in Germany who was the primary contributor to this project. The gazetteers are copyrighted by Dr. Frank Stewner and are used by SGGEE with permission.
The standards below will help you to find your village and understand the governmental districts and boundary changes that have taken place over the past two centuries. The gazetteers will help you to find the villages and include actual map coordinates to take you to a precise location. They will also help you to correctly enter village locations in Legacy or other genealogy software. We will eventually make these gazetteers searchable with the ability to click the coordinate to go directly to a map for viewing.
- Standards for the locations in family data for the Master Pedigree Database (MPD) - Guideline. We simplified these Standards mainly concerning the name of the country. We are no longer mentioning the Empire to which the village belonged between 1815 and 1918/1945. Thus, for example, German Empire (Poland) becomes Poland. The October 2013 version states more precisely the naming of Lithuanian villages that were in Congress-Poland.
- Appendix to the Standards for the locations in family data for the Master Pedigree Database (MPD) - Appendix. In the appendix we describe how to find villages and we list the transcription tables for the Russian and Ukraine Cyrillic letters.
Note: The simplification of the guideline means that we no longer name the Austrian-, German- or Russian Empires ruling between 1815 and 1918 or 1945 in East-Europe. That shortens the location name but does not give any clue in which gazetteer a Polish location could be found. How can you distinguish locations? When a Polish location starts with a Polish name then it was in Congress-Poland and when it starts with a German Name and a Polish name in brackets then it was in the German Empire or in the Austrian Empire. Another clue is found in the names of the Polish provinces: the Województwo Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Pomorskie, Zachodniopomorskie, Lubuskie, Dolnośląskie, Opolskie, and Śląskie were in Prussia (German Empire) and those of Małopolskie and Podkarpackie in Galicia (Austrian Empire). The Województwo Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Wielkopolskie were mainly in Prussia but also in Congress-Poland. The Województwo Podlaskie was in Congress-Poland and Belorussia. In summary Polish locations are difficult, not only because of the diacryts. For more details, please consult the guideline
Gazetteers in general: all gazetteers can be downloaded as pdf files which can be searched using the Adobe Reader "Find" feature. The Gazetteers are updated regularly. Present versions are from July 2015 (all locations changed or added since October 2014 are colored yellow). We standardized the transcription of Cyrillic letters with the help of “Verein für Computergenealogie” - GOV.
The first three Gazetteers include all known villages inhabited at one time by Germans. The last three Gazetteers contain only a few villages as examples based mainly on locations mentioned in the MPD.
A note about latitude and longitude given in the gazetteers: These are given in degrees-minutes-seconds [ddmmss]. Because of the curvature of the earth, the distance of one second varies with the degree of latitude. At 50° it is approximately 30 metres or 100 feet. Therefore the location shown is very precise and your actual village size will extend well beyond that specific location. To use these numbers in GOOGLE Earth, you will have to change the format to [dd mm ss N dd mm ss E].
- Volhynia Location Gazetteer. This Gazetteer is based on all villages seen on the maps by Jerry Frank (we include the map coordinates in the fourth column for all villages with German inhabitant at some time, not only those shown on the maps). We used many other sources including the villages named with “Kol.” on the polish maps of 1930, on the Hungarian-Austrian maps of 1900 and in the Gazetteer “Skorowidz miejscowości” by T. Bystrzycki from 1930. We considered the German Colonies that were marked as Кол. seen on old Russian maps of about 1867. We made three important additions: first we separated the colony for the nearby village (thus you will see Toptscha and Toptscha Kol.), second we show all locations in Volhynia and third we included the addition Kol. whenever it was shown on any source. (5,545 locations, thereof 4,189 locations shown with Ukrainian name are existing today)
- Russian (Congress) Poland Gazetteer This gazetteer contains villages in that part of present-day Poland, which was part of the Russian Empire (Congress-Poland) during the 19th century. A separate column shows some of the village names used during the German occupation 1939-1945 and another column shows the villages as written in Poland with diacritics. The Gazetteer is mainly based on the Jerry Frank Index and on many other sources. (6,173 villages)
- Galician Gazetteer This gazetteer includes all places with German inhabitants found in the internet, mainly in the “Index to the Villages found on the map of Galicia as drawn by Rudolf Unterschuetz” by David W. Gorz and villages found on the Galizien-Online homepage based on the work of Brian J. Lenius. (578 villages)
- Russian Empire Gazetteer (not including the villages of the first two gazetteers). This gazetteer is not comprehensive but includes mainly places found in our MPD. We added two columns with old Russian village names and the names as they are written today. These columns are yet unfinished. (1,294 villages).
- German Empire Gazetteer. This gazetteer is not comprehensive but contains mainly villages found in the MPD. About 1935 many village names were “Germanized” in East-Prussia. We added the new name after a slash. The Polish, Russian Cyrillic and Lithuanian equivalents are shown in a separate column. (3,941 villages).
- Austro-Hungarian Empire Gazetteer. (not including the villages of Galician gazetteer) This gazetteer is not comprehensive but contains mainly villages found in the MPD. Most of the villages are found today in the Czech Republic. (211 villages).
2. SGGEE Scanned Maps Page
SGGEE has scanned a number of maps and converted them in a variety of formats.
3. Searchable Index to the SGGEE Scanned Maps
Search an index of the maps scanned by SGGEE. Gives the location by map name and grid coordinate.
4. Jerry Frank's Map of German Settlements of the 19th Century in Eastern Europe
5. Jerry Frank’s Maps of Russian Poland (PDF format)
Orientation map • Searchable Index for Poland maps available to members only
6. Jerry Frank’s Maps of Volhynia (PDF format)
Orientation map • Searchable Index for Volhynia maps available to members only
7. If you have ever wondered which district a village was located in within the province of Volhynia, then take a look at this map, created by Jerry Frank, that shows the district boundaries in Volhynia as they existed in 1899. The orange-brown lines are the boundaries. The same map by others in Russian.
The following are all off-site links.
1. Good Polish Road Map
When the web page opens, type in the name of the town under the red banner at the right and then click on "Pokaz". The map will display circles of all towns with that name and, in the bottom right, it will display additional info about the town. Double click anywhere on the map to bring up a road map of that area. A similar site is Mapa-Polska. The search engine here is more user friendly, not requiring diacritics and also reporting the province, which can help to narrow the selection.
2. National Geoportal Polish Road Map
After you enter the first few letters of a village name, you can either select one of the villages offered and select Search, or just select Search with the letters entered. You will then see a list of possible villages and other features offered. The hits that come up in blue or green are geographic features like rivers and swamps. The villages are listed with as tan icons with lines in the icon. The names that contain wsi or wies are villages, and the miasto are cities. Hover over the icon to see where in Poland that place is located.
3. Quick overview of Poland with maps showing all of Poland and its relationship to Prussia, Silesia, and Galicia.
4. Maps of the area around Lublin, Poland on Trevor and Ania Butcher's web site.
Another Map of Lubelskie province of Poland (this includes Lublin) as well as some data on the region.
5. Map of the provinces of Poland, today, and before 1998 This site is of use in knowing what juridsdiction a village was in prior to 1998. This is also useful when looking at gazeteers and maps, as they mostly predate 1998.
6. POSEN-L Polish place names (this is for Posen province in Prussia, also known as Poznan) German names are given for many of the Polish towns. Included are related Catholic and Lutheran parishes as well as civil registration offices.
7. A map of Piotrkow Trybunalski This interactive map shows the streets and the buildings in this City south of Lodz. See also a history of Piotrkow (click the British flag top right for English version) and other information.
8. Uwe Kerntopf's Dobriner Land web site which has a listing of places in the Lipno and Rypin areas of Poland. The list includes the Polish name and the equivalent German name, and also the district and county. See the side bar at this site under "Ortschaften "
9. A series of maps showing the governing districts in Russian Poland in 1907 (Prussia is a separate country at this point, so these maps do not show that area of present-day Poland). There is a key map and then individual maps of each district. Not really detailed, but shows many of the larger towns, and gives a good idea of the district boundaries.
10. Central Vistula River Area For a good look at villages and pictures of villages in the general area of Plock, including some maps.
1. A good set of maps covering all of Ukraine is available on the Vlasenko site. Using these maps requires that you contend with Cyrillic and that you know an approximate region for the village. They are not indexed. Click on the grid for the region where you think your village is. There is unfortunately no good way to guess exactly where that will be. Experience with finding the village on older maps will help to pinpoint the region.
These maps do not have a convenient grid system to identify the right maps to use so Dave Obee has graciously provided us with one for both western and eastern Volhynia. Though Dave has provided the grid, the actual maps are not stored on his site.
2. Karlswalde, Volhynia maps follow the link to maps
3. The Archiwum Map site referenced below also has detailed maps of Volhynia but the indexing system is not easy to follow. You can find a grid map at the Polish language Strony O Wolyniu site. Use the link and click on "Mapy Sztabowe" to get to it. While there, browse other material on the site, all of interest but in the Polish language. Note that not all the eastern portions of Volhynia are available on the Archiwum Map site.
1. Archiwum Map Wojskowego Instytutu Geograficznego is a site that is collecting and posting a variety of very detailed topographic maps of Europe including Poland and Volhynia and ranging from 1:25,000 scale to 1:300,000. There is no index so you have to know the general location of your village before you can use them. The very detailed scale makes them an excellent resource. The page is available in English. The collection is continuing to add new material. While there are gaps, go back regularly to see if they have been filled.
For even easier searching, try the Mapster site which indexes the above maps in a graphical interface that makes it very easy to use. The graphic map changes with the map series that you choose to use in the drop-down box. There is also a search function which will not find the average small village but will find your parishes. For example, a search for Gostynin will provide results for 18 different maps in a variety of scales, time frames and sources. A small box beside each result shows the relative location of that place on the map so you can find it easily.
2. Jewish Shtetl Seeker
Index for most villages in Europe with links to maps showing the locations. This index is especially useful because of its sounds-like search that allows you to find places even if your input is misspelled.
3. Polish Maps
From the Polish Genealogical Society
4. FEEFHS Map Room
A variety of old maps covering eastern Europe.
6. The "Slownik" series is a 15 volume geographical dictionary / gazetteer of Poland published 1880-1902 and previously only readily available on microfilm. It can now be viewed on line but it is recormmended that you use some English resources to help with your research. You will require the DjVu software to view the material. Two sites that provide the detail you need are the Halgal (East Galicia) website with a direct link to the source material and the PolishRoots site which provides some helpful guides to using the material.
7. Eksploracja provides maps especially covering regions of Gdansk and Pomerania in Prussia. The site is only in Polish but one can find their way around to some extent without knowing the language. Some downloads may take a long time, even on a high speed connection.
8. Map of Pomerania - pre WWII with high detail.
9. World War II maps and aerial photos are available at this site. Excellent selection of maps but unfortunately not indexed so it is not easy to find those applicable to your specific region.
1. East Prussia maps (circa 1939)
This site is in German only. Use GOOGLE Translator to translate the page.
A key map is available where you can click on a specific area and it will bring up an enlarged section for it. To access, click on Ostpreussenkarten in the left menu. For an index of place names which will lead you to parish and other information along with the correct map number, use Ortsverzeichnisse in the left menu.
Once you have the village detail, note the map number. Go back to the key map and run your cursor over it. Look down to the lower left of your browser and watch the numbers change as you move your cursor. When you see your required number, click, and the correct detail map will open.
2. Kartenmeister is village locator for old Germany. The limits of the part of Germany covered are based on the borders of the eastern provinces of Germany in Spring 1918. Included in this database are the following provinces: Eastprussia, including Memel; Westprussia; Brandenburg; Posen; Pommerania; and Silesia. Includes some detail maps as well, some of which cover the Suwalki region of Russian Poland.
3. Meyers Orts Leksicon is a German language town and village gazetteer, especially relevant to Prussian regions. This link is to an "Ancestry" page which will require that you sign up as a "member" but there is, at this time, no cost or fees.