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Słownik Geograficzny Translations


Dziewieniszki- (Russ. Dewieniszki) is a small government town in Oszmiana province on the Gawia River, which is navigable up to Dziewieniszki. The town lies 20 miles southwest of Oszmiana, 42 mi from Wilno and 8 mi. to the Subotniki post office, being located at 54° 12'N and 25° 17'E . It belongs to the 4th peace court from Lipniszki in the 2nd Lida District and is both a province [ed--. 3rd police district of Oszmiana] and gmina administrative district town. The town has a rural school and a wooden structure Catholic church affiliated with Gieranony. The affiliate parish has 4,023 parishioners. Dziewieniszki was once the possession of the famous Gasztold family, on the strength of rights and privileges granted by the Lithuanian Grand Duke Zygmunt Mejstut in 1433. There is still an estate based on this grant. In 1500 a member of the family became the Voivod of Wilno and founded the Catholic Church there.


Upon the death of Stanislaus, the last Gasztold, Dziewieniszki was donated to King Sigismund in 1542 and Dziewieniszki became a sheriff's domain. By 1712 it counted 49 homes, and in 1782 came into the possession of Jodki, Marshal of Lida, who paid the army tax of 1,184 zlotys. The greater part of this grant constituting the sheriff's domain consisted of assigned peasants called "ordinary inhabitants", while the remainder consisted of about 270 acres of arable land, reserved for [ed.- **Nazaretski** untranslated, possibly Nazarene(?)] government officials. The 843 peasants of Dziewieniszki predominantly speak Lithuanian and are known for their carpentry in addition to agricultural work. The town is in the hands of the Jews, a Dominion people, who from time immemorial have provided commerce and taverns at a decent profit. Biannually, they put on great market fairs at the houses of St. Jerzy and Sts Michael. The Dziewieniszki peasant gmina consists of 9 rural districts containing 90 villages, 602 homes, and 5,796 inhabitants within their limits.


Editor's Note: All Słownik longitudes in this article have been converted to modern coordinates which is based on the Greenwich zero meridian. All Polish measurement units (land areas, distances, height above sea level, etc.) were converted to American-English equivalents.  Monetary units, where identified, were left in zlotys/zl. or rubles/rs.


Source: Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1881, vol. 2, pp. 290-291]


This translation, by Mike Gansecki, is used by Permission.

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