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Gazetteers are dictionaries of place-names. They describe towns, villages, counties, provinces, and population sizes; parishes; and rivers, mountains, and other geographical features. They usually include only places that existed at the time of publication.
The place-names are generally listed in alphabetical order.
Gazetteers may also provide the following information about towns:
- Local religious denominations and parishes
- Postal facilities and other communication facilities (telephone, telegraph, and so on)
- Local commerce, agriculture, manufacturing works, canals, docks, and railroad stations
- Schools, colleges, and universities
You can use gazetteers to locate places where your family lived and determine the civil and church jurisdictions over those places. For example, Sarnów in Gliwice County is a small village that belongs to the Catholic parish of Toszek.
Because many places in Poland have the same or similar names, you will need to use a gazetteer to identify the specific town your ancestor lived in, the civil district it was in, and the jurisdictions where records about your ancestor were kept.
Gazetteers can also help you determine the county jurisdictions used in the Family History Library Catalog.
How to use online books for genealogy
Many great sources are available online in digital libraries. Below you can find some links to Polish gazetters. Before you will be able to view that publications, you need to have one of following programs: DjVu browser or Java Virtual Machine, There are two different ways to view those publications.
If you wish to know how to install those programs, click HERE
Skorowidz miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
FHL book 943.8 E5sm; film 11343868
Index of locallities of the Polish Republic printed in 1930s. This gazetteer is arranged alphabetically in Polish. Jurisdictional information is given in columns. The parishes are listed in the last column. It does not include towns in western Poland that were part of Prussia in 1934
Most interesting columns are:
1 - name of place
2 - branch
3 - county
4 - woivodeship
last column - parishes (synagogues not included)
e - Evangelical
g - Greek Catholic
p - Orthodox
r - Roman Catholic
loco - in the locality
Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich
Geographical dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other Slavic lands
15 vols. Warsaw: Sulimierski i Walewski, 1880–1902.
FHL book 943.8 E5c; film 920957–72
LINK - search tool available
Vol. 1 Aa-Dereneczna
Vol. 2 Derenek-Gzack
Vol. 3 Haag-Kepy
Vol. 4 Kes-Kutno
Vol. 5 Kutowa-Malczyce
Vol. 6 Malczyce-Netreba
Vol. 7 Netrebka-Perepiat
Vol. 8 Perepiatycha-Pozajscie
Vol. 9 Pozajscie-Ruksze
Vol. 10 Rukszenice-Sochaczew
Vol. 11 Sochaczew-Szlurbowska
Vol. 12 Szlurpkiszki-Warlynka
Vol. 13 Warmbrunn-Worowo
Vol. 14 Worowo-Zyzyn
Vol. 15 Ababi-Janus addendum
Vol. 15 II Januszpol-Wola addendum
Śląsk /Silesia / Schesien
1845 - Alphabetisch-statistisch- topographische Uebersicht der Dörfer, Flecken, Städte und andern Orte der Königl. Preuss. Provinz Schlesien
1876 - Handbuch für die Provinz Schlesien
1885 - Gemeindelexikon für die Provinz Schlesien
1901 - Schlesisches Ortschafts-Verzeichniß
1941 - Schlesisches Ortschaftsverzeichniss
Opole / Oppeln area:
1860 - Ortschafts- und Entfernungs-Tabelle des Regierungsbezirks Oppeln
1886 - Ortschafts- und Entfernungs-Tabelle des Regierungsbezirks Oppeln
Wielkopolska / Great Poland
Księga adresowa wszystkich miejscowości w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskiem - 1902, all places from Great Poland sorted alphabetically in counties. Numbers in columns relates to folowing:
(5) - civil registry office
(7) - catholic parish
(8) - evangelical parish
Description of each number is to be found on the begining of each chapter.
Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preussen... Provinz Posen - 1908, sortet alphabeticallby by counties.
Most interesting columns:
25 - evangelical parish
26 - catholic parish
27 - civil registry office
Family History Library Catalog
The Family History Library Catalog lists place-names under county (województwo) jurisdictions used in the 1960s and 70s. Names are also listed under the German-Prussian province (Provinz) as of 1871–1914 or the Austrian province (Provinz) as of 1850–1915.
Each town is listed in the catalog with its district (powiat or Kreis) jurisdiction to distinquish it from other places of the same name.
Because of the many changes in place-names, the Family History Library uses one gazetteer as the standard guide for listing places in the Family History Library Catalog.
Uning maps online to locate a place
Maps are great tools, that can be used for locating places.
Mapa.szukacz.pl - online map with search tool. Provide name of place in field "Miejscowości" and then click "Pokaż" button. There is no need to use Polish diactric letters. In result you will get a map of Poland with all searched places marked with pink circles.
MIlitary maps from ca. 1910 - if you don't know exact spelling of Polish place, but you know only area where your ancestors lived, you can use this map to find correct name.
Other usefull online tools
Kartenmeister only covers those parts of Poland formerly ruled by Prussia. It is especially useful because it is based on the Germanic place names that existed in that era. It does not have a soundex system but will allow searches with starting letters, or combinations of middle and ending letters. It provides current equivalent Polish place names where known.
ShtetlSeeker is a major search resource for place names throughout eastern Europe. The biggest advantage of this search is that it uses a specialized soundex system to find places. This can be very helpful if your spelling is not quite accurate. Keep in mind that not all the results will be of value. A soundex result is not intended to provide sounds-like results. You have to be judicious in selecting the correct place from the display page.
Books available in Family History Library in SLC
Spis miejscowości Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej, Warszawa, Wydawnictwa Komunikacji I Łaczności, 1967.
FHL book 943.8E5s; film 0844922
Gazetteer of the Polish People’s Republic lists locality names as they existed from the 1950s to the 1980s. Locality names are listed alphabetically:
Column 1 Name of town
Column 2 Name of next larger administrative unit
Column 3 County or district seat (powiat)
Column 4 Province (woj.)
Column 7 Vital records office
A list of common abbreviations:
dziel., dz. - Dzielnica Miasta - quarter or section of the city
kol. - Kolonia - Colony
m. - miasto - city
os. - osada - a smaller settlement
osied. - osiedle - town, large village
przys. - przysiółek - hamlet
p. - przystanek kolejowy - railroad stop
Gemeindelexikon Der Im Reichsrate Vertretenen Königreiche and Länder. V. 12 (1900)
FHL book 943.6 E5g
This gazetteer was based on the 1900 census of Austria-Hungary; arranged by district with an index of both German and non-German versions of place-names. Population and other figures are given in columns with headings in German. Between the main text and the index is an appendix which indicates the location of the church vital records office.
Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia. Lenius, Brian, Anola, Manitoba, Canada (1999).
FHL book 943.65 E5L
A gazetteer with localities in Galicia which are now either in Poland or Ukraine.
Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen. Königlichen Statistischen Landesamts. Ostpreussen, Westpreussen, Brandenburg, Posen, Schlesien, Pommern. (6 volumes) (1907).
FHL book 943 E5kp
This set of gazetteers has volumes for each of the Prussian provinces arranged by Kreis (district) with an index at the end. The index gives the Kreis number and the number of the locality as it appears in alphabetical order within the Kreis. (line number) The gazetteer is in German with Gothic style print. Information is given in columns and includes population figures as well as civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The parish is given in column 25 (Evangelical) and column 26 (Catholic).
Wykaz urzędowych nazw miejscowści w Polsce. V. 1. (FHL book 943.8 E5wu.)
Słownik nazw geograficznych Polski zachódniej i pólnocnej. Place name change dictionary of places taken from Germany after WW II and that were incorporated into Poland and Russia. V. 1.
FHL book 943.8 E5sn; film 847874
Roman Catholic parishes in the Polish People's Republic in 1984. Lidia Müllerowa, Chicago, Illinois. 1995.
FHL book 943.8 K24m
Alphabetisches Ortsnamenverzeichnis der Deutschen Ostgebiete unter fremder Verwaltung, Band 11. V. 1. 1955
FHL book 943.8 E5b
Jewish Roots in Poland. Miriam Weiner, Secaucus, New Jersey. 1997.
FHL book 943.8 F2wm
A listing of Jewish archival holdings.
Oficjalny Spis Pocztowych Numerów Adresowych, Warszawa 1993.
FHL book 943.8 E80
Polish Postal Guide.