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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.
Skorowidz miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
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.
Most interesting columns are:
1 - name of place
2 - branch
3 - county
4 - woivodeship
last column - parishes
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
Locations are listed alphabetically with Polish text.
Slownik Geograficzny has 15 to 20 thousand entries about regions, cities, and towns of Eastern Europe. The description starts by giving the geographic setting of the village in relation to nearby rivers or larger towns. It also describes local features of importance such as schools, churches, telegraph offices, industries, and fortifications. Other important information sometimes included is population count broken down by religion, and history of warfare in the area.At times this information is given for multiple years in the village, giving a picture of how the village changed over time.
Slownik Geograficzny also often traces the ownership of the village. These villages were usually owned by a Polish or Russian noble family. Sometimes the owners of these villages kept censuses of the residents of their lands. The papers of some of these large landowners have ended up in archival collections. AVOTAYNU ( http://www.avotaynu.com/ a Jewish Genealogy Organization) has a list of where known collections of such papers are located.
Although the Polish in Slownik Geograficzny is over 100 years old and contains some obscure vocabulary and abbreviations, websites of the organizations AVOTAYNU, PolishRoots, and the PGSA have created helper lists for a large number of these terms. Another important note is that the sources Slownik Geograficzny drew upon to create this work were not always accurate.
Localities are listed alphabetically following the normal Polish alphabetical order except that o and ó are alphabetized as one letter. If there are several localities with the same name they are numbered; places in the Kingdom of Poland first, followed by places in Galicia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Prussia and other states. If the locality had a foreign name or alternate spelling it is indicated in italics after teh entry. Some entries will refer you to another entry with the abbreviation ob meaning "see".
Entries usually give the following information: 1. Description of the locality we, wies - village os., osada- settlement fol., folwark- manor dobra-estate mko, miasteczko - town mto, miasto- city jez., jezioro-lake rz., rzeka-river strumien-stream 2. District (pow, powiat)
This is given with a grammatical ending. Refer to A Gazetteer of Polish Adjectival Place-Names (Ref. 943.8 E5sd, also on Film no 1,181531 item 4)
3. Township or Community (gm.gmina) 4. Parish (par., parafia)
This is usually the Roman-Catholic parish (par. rz.kat.) unless otherwise specified: (par.ew.) Evangelical Lutheran., (par.prawos), Orthodox, (par.gr.k.) Greek-Catholic Uniate. If the parish is not specified in the entry then refer to the entry for a locality noted as being nearby.
5. Population figures, agricultural data, number of houses, distance from other localities and other information:
dm., domow-houses mk., mieszkancow-inhabitants w. wiorst-werst (1.7 kilometers) zyd., Zydow-Jews
It was published in Warsaw between 1880 and 1903 in a series of 16 volumes, 14 alphabetical and two additional volumes with supplemental material:
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
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. To find the province that a town is filed under in the Family History Library Catalog, use the “see” references on the catalog’s first locality microfiche of each state. If you have the catalog on compact disc, use the “Locality Browse” search.
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. Regardless of the names a place may have had at various times, all Polish places are listed in the catalog by the name they are listed under in: