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East Prussia [Prusy Wschodnia]

This is a translation of excerpts from the article on East Prussia printed in the late-19th century Polish gazetteer Slownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego. Remember that these articles contain information "current" when they were written, sometime after 1885 and before 1902.


East Prussia is a country, duchy and province... The habitat of the long-dead Prussian tribe comprises today's province called East Prussia, which forms the northeastern part of the Kingdom of Prussia.  It lies between 53°8'30" and 55°53'40" North latitude and 36°59'6" and 40°33'12" East longitude (Ferro) . [Translator's Note-This article uses an archaic meridian system based on Ferro (Hierro) of the Canary Islands, long the westernmost point known to Europeans. Ferro lies at about 18°W by the system now accepted as standard, so to arrive at approximately the correct longitude subtract 18 from the figures given in this article. As best I can tell, the latitude figures are correct as given.]  To the north it borders on the Baltic, to the east on Kowno and Augustów gubernias, to the south on Augustów and Płock gubernias, and to the west on West Prussia.  It includes: so-called Old Prussia, the lands that belonged to the Duchy of Prussia created by duke Albert after the dissolution of the Teutonic Knights; Warmia, i. e. the powiaty of Olsztyn, Brunsberg, Licbark and Reszel; Sambia, i. e., the area surrounded by the Dejma and Pregola rivers, the Baltic Sea, Kuryjska and Fryska Bays; the northern part of Lithuania; and Masuria, i. e., southern Gabin district.  Although these names are not recognized officially, they still persist and are generally used more than the official ones.


Surface Formation. East Prussia lies on the great German-Slavic plain... The Baltic-Ural Heights, here called Eastern Prussian, run along the highest points at Kernsdorf, 317 m., 15 km. south of Ostróda, and in the Szeski hills, running along the border of Olecko and Goldap powiaty and reaching a height of 313 m.  There are other significant elevations northwest of Ilawka, such as the so-called Stablack (216 m.) between the Pasarya and Lyna rivers, and the Sambia heights, in places falling abruptly 60m., with the peaks of Galtgarben (110m.) and Rombinus (75 m.), between Tilsit and Ragneta on the right bank of the Niemen.  Of the lowlands the most important ones are the fertile plains on the Niemen, with numerous meadows, and the Tilsit lowlands between the Rusa and Gilia rivers.  Both are sheltered from floods and ice by strong dikes and are crossed by numerous canals in which excess water runs off. Lowlands also extend above the Pregola river.  Especially noteworthy are the so-called mierzeje [sandbars] which, like natural, sandy dikes, separate Kuryjska and Fryska Bays from the sea.  Kuryjska Bay [also called Kurskiy Zaliv or Courland Lagoon], 98 km. long and averaging 2 km. wide, belongs entirely to East Prussia, except for a few insignificant spots, and is a single, sandy dune; Fryska Bay, of which only the eastern part belongs to East Prussia, is not much different from Kuryjska Bay; it extends to the Pilawa Straits, dividing it from the Sambian peninsula.


Soil and produce. East Prussia has a variety of soils: frumentaceous on the Niemen, Pregola and Warmia, sandy on the seashores and sandbars and in the powiaty of Niborsk, Szczytno and Jansbork; and there are large marshes in Labiawa and Pilkally powiaty.  Of the whole surface of the province 73.5% consists of fields, gardens, meadows and pastures... The main crops sown here are rye, wheat, oats, and barley, and potatoes are planted; wheat grows mainly in the regency district of Królewiec and near Gabin; the best clover and grass grows on the Niemen's plains.  Linen is cultivated in Warmia and near Tilsit.


The province has sizable wooded areas, of which 353,788 hectares belong to the government and 330,598 to gminas and private owners, for a total of about 18.7% of the whole surface.  The largest forests are in Jansborg powiat, the so-called puszcza jansborska, 98 km. long and 45 km. wide....


The province does not have ores or mineral coal; lignite is found on the sea, but in insignificant quantities.  East Prussia does, however, possess large deposits of peat, mainly in the marshes on Kuryjska Bay and on the northern flank of the East Prussian heights. A specialty of the province is amber, which is gathered on the sea shore, or in the sea, where it floats in chunks on the surface, or is brought up from the bottom of the bay by boats built specifically for that purpose.  Amber is also dug up along the Sambian shore. 1,350 quintals of amber were collected in 1875, at a value of 1,145,000 marks.  It is processed for the most part on the spot; but sizable shipments are sent abroad in raw form, mainly to Vienna.


Climate. East Prussia exhibits the features of a northern maritime climate, frequent variability and an abundance of precipitation.  It often begins to freeze in October, and in November snow falls; the winter, with its sudden temperature changes, lasts till April, and nightly frosts sometimes occur till May.  Spring is short, usually cool and wet; in summer rain falls often and fog covers the seashores... The growing season lasts on average 4½ to 5 months.


Occupations, industry, trade.  The largest number of the populace is employed in agriculture, conducted sensibly; 40.5% of the whole fell into that category in recent years.  16.1% work in mining, metallurgy, industry and construction; 5.6% live by trade; and 37.8% by other professions, including laborers, (9%).  Besides farming the inhabitants extract peat, which is used almost everywhere, especially by the poor.


Fishing is important for the province's inhabitants.  Those who live by the seashore are employed in fishing, catching primarily the best varieties of fish, such as salmon, cod, and flounder.  No less developed is fishing in both bays, where they catch the famous Kuryjski eels, as well as on the Niemen and the lakes of Masuria.  They deliver a sizable portion to large cities; smoked and pickled eels go primarily to Russia and the western German provinces.  Crabs from the lakes of Masuria are in demand as far away as France.


There are numerous distilleries, and some of the aqua vitae is consumed locally, some sent to Szczecin and Berlin.  No less numerous are breweries, brickyards, mills and sawmills; the most significant ones are on the Lyna river in Welawa and Frydlad powiaty, on the Pregola, in Wystruc powiat, and on the Niemen in Ragneta powiat, as well as along the banks of the Niemen and on the lakes of Masuria.


Paper mills and tar-paper factories produce very good products and send sizable shipments of them abroad, especially to England. The province has a lot of foundries and machinery factories, even in the smaller localities, and the agricultural machinery, gear, etc. they produce go almost exclusively to satisfy the province's needs and are not in demand in foreign markets. The foundries and factories in Królewiec and Tilsit enjoy the greatest popularity, delivering steam engines, locomotives and ships to faraway places. The numerous tanneries, dye-works, printers, wood-distillers' works, workshops for ship construction, and factories for candles, soap, tobacco, carts and musical instruments satisfy the local inhabitants' needs.


Trade in East Prussia, significant even in the most ancient times, developed by the Hanseatic League and the Teutonic Knights, is still sizable; but as Królewiec merchants' reports for recent years indicate, their heyday has passed; even Królewiec, which was supposed to become a powerful business center and take over the role of Gdansk, has lost its hopes for a splendid future.  In addition to Królewiec, there is considerable trade in these cities: Klajpeda, Tilsit, Wystruc and Brunsberg.  Among the items traded are: mineral coal, salt, lime, cement, gypsum, lumber, iron, naphtha, produce, linen, hemp, cotton, tea, coffee, rice, tobacco, sugar, syrup, [cooking] oil, wool, hides, furs, cod-liver oil, soap, china, glass, butter, cheese, herring, cloth, etc.   Shipping provides employment mainly in Królewiec and Klajpeda. 726 steamships and 1,698 sailing ships arrived at Pilawa (Królewiec) in 1875; 731 steamships and 1,585 sailing ships departed... Numerous boats cruise the rivers and lakes; on the Pregola alone 11,000 were counted, and 3,767 landed at Klajpeda....


Population.  Poles, Lithuanians and Germans live in East Prussia.  In 1875 Poles were 18.39%, Lithuanians 8.11%, and Germans 73.48%.  German is spoken up to a line drawn from Ostróda to Lec, although Poles live in some places there; below that line Polish is spoken.  According to German statistics, 80-90% of the population in the villages is Polish, whereas the German element is more numerous in the cities. The Masurian towns of Wilebark and Pasymin are an exception-they are pure Polish.  As for religion, the inhabitants of almost the entire regency district of Gabin are Protestant; Protestants predominate in Królewiec district, but almost nothing but Catholics live in Warmia, and they are quite numerous in the powiaty of Niborsk, Ostróda, Szczytno, also in Królewiec and Klajpeda.


History ... The Great Elector Frederick William took advantage of Poland's critical situation during the war with Sweden [1655-1660] to free himself of his allegiance by the treaty of Wehlau, confirmed in Oliva in 1660.  His successor, Frederick, with the Emperor's consent, declared the Duchy of Prussia a kingdom, and was crowned in Królewiec in 1701.  From that point on agitation began against the Polish element.  In his order dated 2 March 1724 the king prohibited Poles from settling in Prussian Lithuania, and in an order dated 24 March he forbade using Samogitians, Jews and Poles for colonization.  The greatest defeat for the Polish population of Ducal Prussia was the division of Poland, by which Frederick II regained all the territories formerly ceded in the Peace of Torun [1466], except for the bishopric of Warmia, and Gdansk and Torun; he acquired those two cities in the second division.  From these regions, with the exception of Warmia, West Prussia was created, and East Prussia was created from Warmia and all the other territories of Prussia.  From the land acquired in the third partition, South Prussia or New East Prussia was created; but in 1807 by the Peace of Tilsit that area had to be ceded to France, which created a free city of Gdansk district, and the other territory was incorporated in the Duchy of Warsaw.  After Napoleon's fall Prussia seized Chelmno and Michalowo districts.  In 1824 East and West Prussia were united as one province, but on 1 April 1878 they were once again divided into East and West.


After the collapse of the Commonwealth the germanization of the nobility and Polish settlements became only a matter of time, especially because Prussian policy toward Poles took a distinctly hostile direction.  Slowly the Polish language disappeared from offices, courts, and schools.  To speed up germanization, the Polish intelligentsia, i. e., the nobility, was removed; toward this end Schoen, the chief administrator of Prussia province, expropriated Polish citizenship in arrears after the French wars with interest on loans taken out in the Królewiec landszafta [land credit society].   He gave credit advances to Germans brought from other provinces to buy Polish property up for sale.  Thus the nobility disappeared in Prussia.  The people, deprived of their leaders, either became germanized or, even if they preserved their language, lost a sense of connection to their motherland....


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, pp. 88-94]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the August 1996 issue of "Rodziny: The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".

Pacewicze [now Patsevichi, Hrodna, Belarus]

1) an administrative village on the Berezina River in the 4th police district of Oszmiana province, part of the Bakszty gmina rural district and (Tsarist) treasury estate, lying 48 miles from Oszmiana and 38 miles to Dziewiniszki. It contains 26 homes with 256 Orthodox inhabitants.


2) village in Oszmiana powiat ...

3) ... in Oszmiana powiat ...

4) a village in Volkowysk powiat ...


Editor's Note: All Slownik 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: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1886, vol. 7, p. 807]


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


in 16th-century documents Panigrocz, a village in Wągrowiec county, 7 km. southwest of Kcynia and the same distance northeast of Gołańcz; there is a parish in the village, the post office is in Kcynia, the railway station is 18 km. away in Osiek; there are 45 houses, 563 residents (546 Catholic and 17 Protestant). The major estate (of Maks Bertram) covers 180 hectares, with net income from the land of 2,148 marks; the presbytery covers 154 hectares, with a land income of 168 marks. Whether Zbilut, the Kujavian voivode (circa 1018) came from Panigródz has not been sufficiently proved.  In 1153 another Zbilut, founding a monastery in  Łekno, endowed it with the village of Panigródz.  His descendants signed their names as "z Panigrodza" (see Paprocki's Armorial).  In 1233 Władysław Odonicz conferred German law on the village; in 1248 Boguchwał and his brothers claimed rights to Panigródz.  In 1283 Przemysław II conferred the right to free fairs and renewed permission for its settling on the basis of German law.  Panigródz was the property of the  Łekno (Wągrowiec) monks up to recent times.  In Great Poland legal documents various confirmations of this ownership can be found.  The local church, under the patronage of St. John the Baptist, was a parish church before 1523.  A new church was erected on the site of the old one in 1765 by Wojciech Kraszewski, the village landlord, but it burned down in 1808; the present church, made of fired brick, was standing by 1830.

Panigródz parish, in Łekno deanery [Ed. Note-it was in  Łekno deanery when this was written, but now it's in Kcynia deanery], consists of: Chawłodno, Kernerowo (Koernershöhe),  Łegniszewo, Panigródz, Rozpętek, Stołęźyn, Szubianki and Wilkonice.   In 1873 the parish included 1,260 souls.  Near Panigródz are the so-called "Swedish trenches"; an iron arrow was found here, 45 cm. long, 6.5 cm. long in the middle, somewhat bent at the tip. In ancient times various urns with bronze objects were supposedly dug up.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1886, vol. 7, p. 839]


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


Peplin, 1) also called Pelplin, in documents Marienberg, Mons sanctae Mariae, Neu-Doberan, Novum Dubran, Polplin, Polpnin, Poplin, Samboria, Sambursh, Peplyn, Poelplinum, formerly a village, since 1886 a marketplace in Starogard powiat. [Translator's Note: The official name today is Pelplin], At one time famed for its Cistercian monastery, today it is the seat of the Chelmno bishopric. It lies in a picturesque region on the Wierzyca river, in a valley between hills; it has a station for the eastern railway between Bydgoszcz and Tczew (20 km. away), and a 2nd-class post office. It is connected with Walichnowy on the Wisla river [Vistula] by telephone [sic]. Highways branch out from there to Starogard, to Tczew and the Peplin forestry inspectorate, and to Morzeszczyn. Besides the bishop there is a chapter there consisting of 10 canons. There is a seminary with four courses, which is closed at present; an episcopal secondary school with 12 teachers (10 clergymen and 2 lay) and about 230 pupils; a convent; elementary school; pharmacy, two doctors; sugar-mill; a water-mill belonging to the chapter; and a Polish bookshop and printing establishment, which publish Pielgrzym and a Sunday supplement, Krzyz.

In 1868 Peplin had 1,684 Catholics (mainly Poles), 134 Protestants, 9 Jews, 104 houses; in 1879 it had 118 houses, 352 hearths, and 1,904 inhabitants. In 1885 there were 2,117 inhabitants. Included in the village are Pólko, the seminary farmstead, and Maciejewo, owned by the chapter; this whole area covers 4,210.16 mórgs. The nearest Protestant church is in Rudno. During the 1885-1886 campaign the local sugar-mill processed 422,620 quintals of sugar-beets, which are cultivated on an area of 2,850 Prussian m6rgs; the net profit came to 100,204 Marks, 82 Pfennigs.

The local populace calls the settlement Peplin, or often Paplin, but never Pelplin. Thus Ketrzynski states correctly in Nazwy miejscowe (page 13) that the name Pelplin is German, and Peplin is Polish. It appears in the latter form in all Polish sources from the 16th and 17th centuries; and Bishop Rozdrazewski of Kujawy, who stayed at the monastery in 1583, wrote letters with a letterhead saying Peplinii. In his inspection report from that year we see Peplin (page 54). In any case, in Chojnice powiat and in East Prussia there are localities called Peplin; additionally, in vicinities on the upper Wierzyca and Czarna Woda the surname Peplinski is often encountered. The spelling in the documents is not consistent. In the 13th century it was written as Polplyn and Polplin, in the 14th and 15th centuries Polpelyn and Poelplyn; later German documents often have Poelplin. Borck (Echo sepulchralis, Vol. II, page 370) derives this name from papla, a local term for the poplar. In Pomerania plo means "swamp." The Pomeranians liked to found villages in inaccessible places, especially marshy ones.

Peplin is one of the oldest settlements in Pomerania. In Swiecki's Starozytna Polska we read that Matawa near Nowe was formerly called "Pepla" (page 318). This village, in Tyrnawa district, existed before the founding of the monastery and belonged originally to count Waysil or Wojslaw, who had a rich estate in the vicinity of Tczew; from 1273 to 1276 he was governor of Swiecie, then of Tczew, and finally of Gdansk. When Pogódki-to which the Cistercians came from Doberan in Mecklenburg at the summons of Duke Sambor of Pomerania in 1258-turned out to be inopportune, Wojslaw ceded Peplin to Duke Mestwin II of Pomerania, as was customary at the time requesting that he give the village to the monks. This was done, and the duke issued a separate document to this effect in Swiecie on 2 January 1274 (see P. U. B. v. Perlbach, page 211, and Rev. Kujota's Opactwo peplinskie, page 56).

But it was not until 1276, on the feast of St. Simon and Jude, 28 October, that the monks moved to their new location, under the leadership of Werner, their third abbot in Pogódki and their first in Peplin. Even after that the generous Mestwin added new donations, and Przemyslaw, Wladyslaw Lokietek, and the Pomeranian nobility followed his example. The monastery acquired other properties by purchase. Before the abolition of clergy-owned property, the following villages and estates belonged to the monastery:

a) The Peplin estate in Starogard powiat, to wit, the villages of. Nowacerkiew, Rzezecin, Morzeszczyn, Kulice, Królówlas, Gentomie, Rozental and Ropuchy.

b) the Pogódki estate in Koscierzyna powiat, to wit: Kleszczewo, Jezierze, Waldowo and Waldówko, Wieckowy, Glodowo, Jaroszewy, Kobylów, Junkrowy, Kozmin, Kowalikowo, Czernichowo, and the wastelands of Malarki or Malar, Brzeczek, Ryle and Deka.

c) Farming settlements on the Vistula: Spegawy and Dobkowo, Narkowy, Wielkie Slonce, Hoppenbruch or Chmielniki, formerly Górka.

d) Estates or manorial farmsteads in Peplin estate belonging to the monastery: Borkowo, Bielawki, Smolag Klasztorny, Rombarg, Wolsze, Peplin, Wola, Nowydwór; as well as, in the Pogódki estate: Pogódki; Maly Garc, Czatkowy, Speiswinkel, Pomyje, Kaldeling; several properties in the Gdansk area; several mills, to wit, in Peplin, in Królówlas, in Borkowo and in Pogódki; and finally many lakes, such as: the eastern part of Lake Wdzidzkie, Bobanczyn, Sitno, Sobacz, Slonce, the lake in Getomie, lake Lag, Dubelno, Krag, Rokitowe, and several ponds.

Thus the Peplin monastery was a sort of independent principality. The ducal judiciary ceased to operate here from the time of Mestwin's donation; he even relinquished the collection of taxes and tributes in 1274, keeping for himself only labor service, which was limited to building and strengthening defensive citadels.

In 1309 began the rule of the Teutonic Knights, which was a time of adversity for the monastery. Under various pretexts they restricted the monks' grants and turned a blind eye to those who looted and attacked the monastery's estates, to the extent that in 1320 Pope John XXII had to come to the monks' defense in response to their complaints. An even greater nuisance to the monastery were Hussite soldiers in 1433. They seized anything of value that they found, and after destroying their reserves they burned down some of the monastery buildings. They stayed there over five weeks. The beautiful monastery church served as their stable (Długosz, Book XI, page 504).

The monastery was also looted several times during the Thirteen Years' War (1454-1466). Not until the government by Polish kings, beginning in 1466, was peace restored for Peplin and the whole region of Prussia. The monastery's death register mentions Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk among its benefactors, with a contribution of a thousand grzywnas. Aleksander, who was in Gdansk in 1504, confirmed all the monastery's grants and privileges. Zygmunt I did the same.

During the first war with Sweden, Peplin again experienced misfortunes... [Omitted: a long section about King Gustav's visit to the monastery in 1626]. During the second war with Sweden (1655-1660) Peplin again suffered greatly. The Swedes came there in 1655, but the monastery bought them off with a ransom of 9,000 zl. They returned the next year on January 3rd and imposed a new charge of 9,000 zl. on the monastery. When the attacks did not cease, the monks fled to Gdansk. At this time news of Stefan Czarniecki's successes was spreading. In October 1656 a Polish unit under Jakub Wejher, and Karol Grudzienski was near Peplin. In 1657 skirmishes broke out near Peplin, which forced the monks to stay on in Gdansk and to pawn almost all the church's furniture for 9,000 zl. to cover expenditures. Despite this, toward the end of 1659 the Swedes gave the Peplin abbot, then staying in Starogard, a demand to pay a "pillage tax" (Brandschoss). When the abbot delayed paying, due to lack of money, they burned the Peplin manorial farmstead. In mid-March the king's son-Adolf went around to Rudno, Lignowy, and Garc, and from there came to Peplin, where he tore from the inhabitants almost all that was left of their property. During this time the monastery suffered more than at any other, for pillagers forced all the doors open and smashed the furnaces. Not until the Treaty of Oliwa did peace return. [Omitted: a long section on the visit of Queen Eleanora in 1675 and of Jan Sobieski in 1677.]

In 1772 the whole property of the monastery came under government administration. In 1810, on the 80th [sic] of October, King Friedrich Wilhelm III issued an order to seize monastery properties to pay for the French contribution. Finally the monastery was abolished by a decree dated 14 March 1823. There were at that time 16 monks; formerly there had been about 50. Since the monks first came there from Pogódki, 565 years had passed.

By virtue of the bull De salute animarum, dated 16 June 1821, Peplin became the seat of the Chelmno bishopric, and the monastery became the cathedral church. The first Chelmno bishop to have his residence in Peplin was Ignacy Batthy, 1824-1832; the second was Anastazy Sedlag, 18341856; the third Jan Nepomucen Marwicz, 1857-1886; and the fourth Leon Redner. [Omitted: a list of the 42 abbots who ran the monastery from 1276-1814, and an exceedingly detailed description of the church].

The library contains beautiful manuscripts from the 12th and 13th centuries with ornamental initial letters. A great many original copies of charters and grants have also been preserved. Since 1674 a tower with a tin roof has arisen over the library, designed just for the clock.

North of the cathedral stands the small parish church, all of brick; it has been in existence since 1417. The Cistercians built it for the use of the faithful of Peplin and the surrounding villages. At first the church depended on the monastery. In the 17th century it was generally administered by the pastors of nearby churches. Later priests stayed there who had been appointed by the monastery as its patron and served as administrators. Today the administrator is always one of the Tum vicars. The bishop is entitled to the patronage. At this church, called Corpus Christi, exists a Confraternity of Guardian Angels and of Sobriety. Belonging to the parish are: Peplin, Maciejewo, Pólko, and Wola. In 1867 there were 1,654 souls; in 1885 there were 1,968. The main gateway still exists, and has been remodeled today for the choir director. The monastery brewery was not dismantled until 1842. At the west end of the village stands the new Sisters of Mercy convent, built in 1862 due to the efforts of suffragan Rev. Jeschke. The Chapel of St. Joseph, adjoining the convent, was consecrated in 1870. The image on the left side of the altar was a gift from Queen Augusta.

Sources: 1) Opactwo pelplinskie, by Rev. Kujota, Pelplin, 1875. 2) Szkice z ziemi i historii Prus Królewskich, by Lubinski, Gdansk, 1886. 3) Klasztory zenskie, by Rev. Fankidejski, Peplin, 1883. 4) Z Prus Królewskich, by St. Tarnowski. 5) Borck, Echo sepulchralis, pages 370-414. 6) Die Bau-und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Stargard, 1885; an illustrated work with a number of drawings representing the most valuable relics of the church.

2. Peplin, a treasury-owned forestry inspectorate, 2.5 km. west of the village of the same name, situated on a hill over the highway from Tczew to Starogard, in Starogard powiat, served by the post office in Peplin, the Catholic parish there, and the Protestant church in Rudno. The inspectorate consists of the following forestries: Bielawkerweide (German), Borkowo, Brody, Kochankenberg, Sturmberg, and Samlin. The whole area covers 3,203.87 hectares: 113.29 of farmland and gardens, 58.7 of meadows, 2,925.09 of coniferous and foliaceous forests, 101.7 unused, 5.07 of waters; net income from the land comes to 8,225 marks. 


3. Peplin, a Chelmno estate, Chojnice county, served by the post office and Catholic parish in Lesno, about 10 km. away, and the Protestant church in Suminy in Bytów county, with a school in Wyndorp, 3,449.72 mórgs of area. In 1868 there were 15 buildings, 5 houses, 59 Catholic inhabitants. Lipinski was the owner in 1856. Peplin lies in the northeastern part of the county, on Lake Peplinskie, and as empty land formerly belonged to the Tuchola starosta's office. In 1693 Wojciech Peplinski complained to the Tuchola leaseholder, Erazm Janowski, that the people of Ledy and Skoszewo were driving cattle into his bypass, although the castle office forbade that so that his fields would not be plowed up. The office allowed him to hunt at Miectok and fish in the river; the meadow by the forest is his (see the Notes of Rev. Kujota in Peplin). - Rev. Fr[ydrychowitcz]


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1886, vol. 7, pp. 944-949]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the Summer 1999 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".


1) peasant village, Sierpecki district, commune of Rosciszewo, parish of Łukome, in distance of 10 versts from Sierpce, has 9 houses, 54 inhabitants, 164 morgs.


P. - 2) village and manor farm, Ciechanowski district, commune of Gołymin, parish of Pałuki. Manor farm had 240 morgs; village of 8 peasant morgs. In 1781 there were 48 inhabitants. The latest official records do not take account of this village.


P. - 3) village on the Narew River, Kolneński district, commune of Gawrychy, parish of Nowogród; has 44 settlements, area of 719 morgs. In 1827 there were 22 houses, 139 inhabitants. Part of government estate, later part of entailed estate of Nowogród. Br. Ch.


Pianki, German Pianken, or Wolffsdorf, Pyanicken, village located in north Prussian part of Mazury (Masuria), Jansborski district, in the vicinity of woodland abundant with lakes, about 4 kilometers from a post office of Orzecz. Village long since Polish. In 1452 Wofgang v. Sauer, major of Rastenborg, gives 66 vlokas to Dopieka so as to establish a village of Dan (Dannicka village) based on the Chełmińskie law, village to be named Wolffsdorf. Dopieka, as a village administrator, gets 6 vlokas. Henryk Reuss from Pławno, Prussian Deputy and Commander of Morąg gives to Marcin Zaleski 60 vlokas in a village of Wolffsdorf near Orzysz and Mikosze, based on the Magdeburg law, ad utrumque sexum, and judicial power, and allows placing a mill. Village of Dan in Vettelsburg, on a day of sending apostles in 1468, Faustyn from Weiblingen, Deputy of Ryn announces, that he took away the estate in Pianki, belonging to Aleks Jurski, due to the negligence of his duties during war, and also that Maciej Karbowski gave up to him 15 vlokas there, with which he plans to establish a new village of Dan. Village of Dan in Ryn, 1523. Pianki in 1539, there is Polish population only (see: Kętrzyński, with Polish population, 473-4). Ad. N.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, p. 42]


This translation, by Magdalena Pelko, is used by permission.

Piłsudy [now in Lithuania]

1) a village in Rossienie [now Raseiniai] county, parish of Gierdyszki [Girdiske].


2) a manor and village, Rossienie [now Raseiniai] county, parish of Skawdwile [Skaudvile], property of the Wojdyllos.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, p. 157]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, is used by permission.


Płocicz, in the Kodeks Wielkopolski mentioned as Ploczyce, in 1357 Plocyce, 1597 Pletz, 1673 Plociez, German Ploetzig. a village in Zlotów powiat, served by the postal station and Catholic parish in Kamien, and by the Protestant congregation in Sepólno; it has its own school. It covers an area of 8,047.81 Magdeburg-measure mórgs. In 1868 there were 306 buildings, 125 houses, and 842 inhabitants, 673 of them Catholic, 169 Protestant. Płocicz lies on the highway leading from Chojnice to Naklo, about 4 km. south of Kamien. In 1597 a village Stare-Lolowo existed next to Płocicz. A green meadow near a forest separates both from Kamien. In 1859 a jug with silver coins, buckles, and earrings, as well as ingots and sheets of silver, dating from the 10th and 11th centuries, were found in Płocicz (see Der Kreis Flatow by Schmitt, p. 268, and Preuss. Prov., Bl. 1851, XI, p. 318). Płocicz was mentioned in a 1357 charter of King Kazimierz as belonging to the Gniezno archbishops (see Kodeks dyplomatyczny Wielkopolski, III, No. 1354). See also Kamien, Vol. 3, p. 739. Rev. Frydrychowitcz


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, p. 284]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the Fall 1997 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".


1.) German Polzin, in a 1717 document Połczyno, a Chelmno village and estate, or a free solectwo in Kaszuby, Wejherowo county, with a post office; served by the Catholic and Evangelical Protestant parishes in Puck, 3.5 km. to the east, railway station in Wejherowo, 12 km. southwest, Catholic school in Połczyn. It contains 12 peasant properties and 8 zagrodas, covering an area of 115 wlokas and 28 morgs. In 1869 there were 470 inhabitants (403 Catholic, 67 Evangelical Protestant), 46 houses. The free solectwo by itself is 311.9 hectares, with net profit of 3,216 marks from the land; cattle are raised there. In 1858 it was owned by Hannemann. Połczyn lies on the Gdansk highway, 3.7 km. from the Bay of Puck; it has fertile soil.


On March 1, 1378 Walpot von Bessenheim, the Teutonic Knights commander for the region of Gdansk, granted the village of "Poltzin" to Konrad Wysen on terms of Chelmno law, with 59½ wlokas and 4 morgs. Of these 6 belonged to the free solectwo, and the rest paid 1 grzywna and 2 hens each, with 2 days of compulsory labor service. The bishop and pastor were to collect the usual tithes. Around 1400 there were 52½ settled wlokas, and there was a tavern in the village. The village provided 5 armed men ("Wepner") for military expeditions. In 1656 King Kazimierz gave two serfs in Połczyn to the Puck townsman Tomasz Ranke for the rest of his life, as a reward for his loyal services. In 1657 when Połczyn, as a manorial farmstead, belonged to the castle of Puck, there were sown there 1 last and 24 bushels of rye, 31 bushels of barley, 3 lasts and 16 bushels of oats, and 2½ bushels of peas. This farmstead produced 15 florins, 10 grosz, 5 achtels of butter, 14 hens, and 660 eggs. In 1650 the livestock inventory was as follows: 10 milk cows (at 13 florins), 13 other cows (at 15 florins), 7 two-year-olds, 3 one-year-olds, 1 stud, 3 swine, 9 hogs, 8 piglets, 8 geese, 15 hens, and 7 heifers (see Prutz, Geschichte des Kreises Neustadt, p. 238).


A 1678 inspection report reads as follows:

Village Połczyno and folwark. According to its charter it is supposed to have 58½ wlokas and 4 morgs. Folwark: (a description of the buildings and gear follows, which we have omitted). The local official, a widower with a daughter and a son, also has a farmhand and a girl servant. The toll house and pension are as in the Pieleszewo folwark. Livestock and odds and ends: 16 cows, 1 stud, four 2-year old heifers, two 2-year-old bullocks, three year-old heifers, 1 bullock, 4 calves, 3 old swine, 1 stud, 2 hogs, 5 piglets, geese and hens as in all folwarks. First sowings: 1 last and 56 bushels of rye were sown for winter. The local official stated that the following amounts of vegetables can be sown: 50 bushels of barley, 2 lasts of oats, 6 bushels of peas. There is one orchard by the folwark and a second empty one, and when the crop is good, there is income for the castle from it.


The village settlement: soltys Piotr Parchem and his wife have four children, and live on 3 w1okas; per custom he sends horse and cart to the castle when they order it, and supplies it with 5 bushels of oats. A second soltys, Szymon Lesnau and his wife, have two children and live on 3 wlokas. Like the first soltys, he provides cart and horses and oats. At one time there were 19 peasant properties in this village; now there are 13, and the 14th, vacant, is held by the leaseholder. Of these peasants, 8 do maintenance work on the road leading to the castle. The 9th belongs to His Excellency the dean of Puck per grant of privilege as seen below. The 10th and 11th are subject to Tomasz Ranken, mayor of Puck, by grant of privilege and ordinance as seen below. The 12th and 13th peasant properties belong to the patricians of Gdansk and are leased from them by various persons from time to time for up to a year.


Pawel Hanman, a serf, has a wife and one child, lives on 1½ wlokas, and does road maintenance work like the others; he pays a rent of 3 fl., 26 grosz, 2 szelags, and provides 10 bushels of oats, 6 hens, and 6 eggs. The widow of Jakub Busz, a serf, has an adult son, a bachelor, who runs her farm; he does road maintenance work like the others, and provides 11 bushels of oats and hens and eggs like the others. Jakub Bolda, a serf, has a wife and two children, does road maintenance work, pays rent, and provides oats, hens, and eggs like all the others. Jan Szauenberg, a serf, has a wife and one child; he does road maintenance work, pays rent, and provides oats, hens, and eggs like all the others. Jerzy Detlof, a serf, has a wife and two children, etc. Jan Kleba, a serf, has a wife and four children, etc. Tomasz Dytlof, a serf, has a wife and two children, etc. Michal Kornik, a serf, has a wife, one child, and does the same as the others, additionally providing 10 bushels of oats. Jerzy Top, a serf, has a wife and 8 children; this peasant is subject to the honest Swietosz Brychelka, a townsman of Puck, according to a contract with the patricians of Gdansk for up to a year, until the feast-day of St. Ursula, and at the same time paid the lords of Gdansk an advance tribute of 70 florins a year; in addition this peasant pays rent and provides the castle with oats, hens, and eggs like the others. Michal Halman, a serf, has a wife, and is subject to Lord Jan Ross [sic], mayor of Puck, according to a contract from the Lords of Gdansk, for up to a year, until the feast-day of St. Ursula. He also paid the lords of Gdansk in advance for annual road maintenance work; he pays rent and provides the castle with oats, hens, and eggs. Michal Parchem, a serf, has a wife and two children; he leases 1 1/2 wlokas, paying a rent of 30 florins, and helps with the harvest like the others. Jakub Bosch, a serf, has a wife and a dwelling and some land, for which he pays 12 florins. Andrys Buszch, son of Matys Buszch, a serf, has a wife and four children; he is subject to the dean of Puck, Rev. Jerzy Rydelius, by virtue of a cession by Her Excellency Mrs. Zawadzka, wife of the Puck starosta, by a grant of privilege from His Majesty King Jan Kazimierz dated 4 August 1661. We found him mentioned as possessor of a life-long grant of privilege in an inspection report from 1669, to which he produced a confirmation by the present King, His Majesty, Jan III, dated 25 October 1677, with all rights remitted to His Majesty. Tomasz Hanman, heir of the late Tomasz Busch, is a serf, and Jerzy Kornik, successor to Jedrzej Detlef, is another. They are subject to Lord Tomasz Lucki of Ranki, Puck mayor, and his wife Katarzyna, who shares his right to them; he produced a grant of privilege from His Majesty, King Jan Kazimierz, dated 2 December 1656, giving him life-long right to these serfs, and so forth. Pawel Rewa, a serf, has a wife and three children; he is the owner of a garden-sized plot... The lord's beer in this village is served in turn by peasants, each for a year (pp. 316-33a).


In conclusion, we should add that between 1862 and 1865 a decorated urn was recovered here on the village's northwest side, 50 steps to left of the highway leading to the village of Zdrady.  It was filled with bones and covered with a flat stone (see Objasn. do mapy archeol. Prus Zach., by Ossowski, p. 91).


2.) Połczyn, German name Polzin, a knightly estate, in the same place, 250 hectares; property of Simon. [Rev. Frydrychowitcz]


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1880, vol. 8, pp. 711-712]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the August 2000 issue of "Rodziny, The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".

Poluńce [now in Podlaskie pow., Poland

Poluńce, a peasant village, Lida powiat, in the 4th political district, belonging to the Radun gmina and rural district and treasury-owned estate of Kiwance, one km. from the gmina, 39 inhabitants.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, p. 703]


This translation, by Barbara Proko, first appeared in the Summer 1998 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".


A village on the River Sonia, located in the district of Ciechanow, Opinogora township, parish of Ciechanow, 6.4 km from the City of Ciechanow. It has 22 houses, 220 inhabitants, and 890 acres of land.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, pg. 753]


This translation, by Steve Kamm and Krzysztof Nowakowski, is used by permission.


Porąbka, a village in Limanowa powiat, Roman Catholic parish in Dobra, lies in a hilly region, on the highway from the old Sub-Carpathian railway station in Dobra to Lapanów and Gdów. The elevation of the village is 611 meters; to the west the Snieznica rises to a height of 1,006 meters, to the east the elevation is 650 meters. The village is on the bank of the Lososina. Spruce forests stretch to the west and south. It borders to the south on Dobra, to the north on Stróza Struskiewicze, to the east on Zawadka, and has 443 inhabitants, 438 Roman Catholic and 5 Jewish. On the grounds of the major estate, owned by the Cistercian Fathers' monastery in Szczyrzyc, there are 2 houses, 21 Roman Catholic inhabitants. Of its 936 mórgs, the major estate has 164 (i.e., 40 of farmland, 15 of meadows, 15 of pastures and 194 of woods); the minor estates has 872 (i.e., 415 farmland, 113 of meadows, 171 of pastures and 173 of woods). The soil is for oats and rocky. The gmina has a loan society with a capital of 186 Rhenish zl. Długosz mentions this village (in Liber beneficiorum, II, 265) as the property of Spytek "de domo Streparum" ["of the house of Strepa"?]; at that time the peasants rendered a tithe to the Bishop of Kraków, and the pastor in Dobra also collected a tithe from the lan belonging to the nobility (praedium). In 1581 this village was divided into two parts: the property of the Szczyrzyc monastery had 9 peasant half-lan sections and a croft [zagroda] with farmland, and Sebastyan Sikorski's part had 1 peasant's lan and 7 crofts with land (Pawinski, Malopolska, 53).


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, pp. 813-814]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the Winter 1999 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".


Posady, a peasant village on the Radunka, Lida powiat, in the 4th political district, gmina and treasury-owned estate of Kiwance, 2 km. from the gmina, 32 km. from Lida and 40 km. from Wasiliszki [Vasiliski, Belarus], has 9 houses, 92 Catholic inhabitants (42 souls in the year 1864, per the rewizja).


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, p. 842]


This translation, by Barbara Proko, first appeared in the Summer 1998 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".

Posiele [now Posol'ye, Hrodna, Belarus]

- a peasant village within the 4th police district of Oszmiana province, part of the Bakszty gmina and the Dewergi rural district. It lies 4 miles distant from the Bakszty gmina center (with 31 taxable inhabitants from the census) belonging to the treasury estate at Bakszty.


Editor's Note: All Slownik 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: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, p. 843]


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


1) in German Pottlitz. In 1479 known as Pothulycz. It is a village in the district of Zlotow. Post Office, Telegraph and Railway in Lipka. Catholic parish is in Zakrzewo, ¾ mile away. Lutheran church is in Jastrzeba. The village has a Catholic school. It has an area of 1462.61 morg.


2) POTULICE royal farms (folwark) belonging usually to the oldest bother of each Prussian King. It has 4601.75 Magdaburg morgs. The village and manorial farm together numbered in 1868, 100 buildings, 29 homes, 295 inhabitants, of which 75 were Catholic and 220 were Lutheran. To this estate also belongs 3) Potulice – the brickworks also in 1868 numbering 4 buildings, 1 home,11 inhabitants, of which 5 were Catholic and 6 were Lutheran. 4) Potulice – the forest district with an area of 5415.9 Magdenberg morgs, 6 buildings, 1 home and 13 Lutheran inhabitants.


4) Potulice Nowe (New Potulice) a colony belonging to Potulice. In 1868 it had 46 buildings, 20 homes, 262 inhabitants of which 142 were Catholic and 121 were Lutheran. Potulice was the former seat of the Potulicki Family of the Coat of Arms of Grzymala, who settled here with manors in Złotow, Sepolno and Wiecbork. The most heralded of this line are: Piotr Castellan of Przemet, and Governor of Płock, Brzesc and Kalisz. He was a Protestant. In 1577 he was Ambassador Plenipotentiary of the king to the State of Prussia. His wife was nee Ostrorog, a Catholic. Their son, Jan was educated in Padua and authored the work entitled “THEOREMATA PHILOSPHIAE NATURALIS (THEORIES OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY). Jan Jakub Potulicki was Mayor of Borzechow and authored in 1701 the work, “HISTORYA REWOLUCJA KROLESTWA SWEDZKIEGO I DUNSKIEGO” (THE REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF SWEDEN AND DENMARK). In the middle of the XVIth century it belonged along with Chodziez to him. It was then divided into two lines: the Chodziez line and the Zlotow line. Zofia Potulicka nee Zbaska of the Coat of Arms Nalecz, endowed at the beginning of the XVII th century the Benedictine Monastary in Sierpc. Maria Teresa Potulicka, whereas, of the Tarlow branch, widow of the Governor of Czernichow, Jozef Potulicki, favored the Protestants. Joseph died in 1734,,,,. Aleksander Hilary Potulicki, Mayor of Borzechow died in 1780, Michal Potulicki, his son died in 1806. Kasper Potulicki was not of age at his father’s death, therefore, all of the estates were received by his mother, Elzbieta Potulicka, nee Wodzicka. Later he took over from her the estates of Wiecbork and Zlotow, giving over to the Royal Bank of Prussia the assets of several estates on a mortgage for a certain amount. The Potulicki were related to the Grudzinski, Tarlow, Wodzicki, Dzialynski, Szoldrski, Dabski, Przebendowski, and Weyhera Families.(From “Gesch des Kr. Flatow” von Schmitt pp 96-98). Still at the beginning of the last century, there existed in Potulice a church under the patronage of St. Stanislaus, built of wood having a belfry, vestry and porch. It was added as a branch of the Zakrzewo Parish. Inside it had three altars. For the pastors there was granted a wolka of fields consisting of meadows and gardens. Religious services were conducted on every second Sunday of each month. The main indulgence occurred on the Feast of St. Stanislaus. The next day after the Feast, there was a funeral Mass for the soul of Pawel Dzialynski, with a procession and stations of the Cross. The annual services for the Feast of Corpus Christi occurred on the Monday during the octave. In addition to Potulice, the residents of the village of Laki joined these services. At the beginning of the last century, the church was stripped of protection, and declined. At the end of 1827, ownership was transferred to the secular and it was taken down. In the time of Bishop Matha it was one of his goals to rebuild. (from “Utracone Koscioly” (Church Loses) by Fr. Fankidejski p. 299). Ks{iadz} Fr.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1887, vol. 8, pp. 874-875]


This translation, by Jerry S. Kucharski, FIC, FICF, is used by permission.


Przecław, in 1556 mentioned as Przeczslaw, a small town in Mielec powiat, on a sandy plain, 204 meters above sea level, on the left bank of the Wisloka,* by the highway from Debica to Mielec. On the other side of the river, the track of the Debica-Baranów railway (a branch of the Karl Ludwig line) passes through the grounds of the village of Tuszyma. The town is made of wood, poorly constructed, and has a brick parish church, a 2-class people's school, a post office, and a gmina loan society with 963 zl. in capital. On the grounds of the major estate stands the manor, transformed from a defensive castle, on a precipice washed by water, as well as a still and two windmills. To the south lies the suburb called Podzamcze, to the north Wenecya, and farther south on the highway to Debica is the village Podole, west of which is Wólka Podolska and the settlement Podzamcze, and west of the town is Wylów. To the north it borders on the village of Kielków. To the east this settlement is shaded by a pine forest, called Przecławski bór.


There are markets in Przecław every Thursday. The settlement has 158 houses and 1,026 inhabitants (490 men, 536 women), 718 Roman Catholic, 9 Greek Catholic, and 299 Jewish. On the grounds of the major estate (property of Count Mieczyslaw Rej) are 6 houses and 135 Roman Catholic inhabitants; it has 834 mórgs of farmland, 76 of meadows and gardens, 82 of pastures, and 1,566 of woods (see Dobrynin). The minor estate has 672 mórgs of farmland, 77 of meadows and gardens, 150 of pastures, and 14 of woods. The soil of the river basin is fertile clay, but farther west it is sandy.


Przecław Ligeza is supposed to have founded this settlement in the 13th century and settled it with German colonists. In the tax register of Sandomierz province for 1566 (quoted in Pawinski, Malopolska, 500) we read: "Przeczslaw, the small town of the noble Mikolaj Ligenza, heir to Bobrek and Przecław. There are 40 houses in this town, of which several are abandoned; they do not have farmland, only several gardens, on which houses and gardens they pay rent in various ways. The total of this rent comes to 12 grzywnas and 4 groszy. There are no other rents. The baths pay 1½ grzywnas, the mills 2, one is held by the heir, the other is on the Wisloka, the third, near the castle, is of little worth; navigation on the Wisloka brings 1½ grzywnas. The soltys has 2 lans and every 7th grosz from the rents. The castle and grounds of the nobility (praedium) are good, there are three small ponds, meadows, etc. There are 45 peasants who live outside the town, 5 on full lans pay a grzywna apiece, three on ¾ lans pay 3 fertons each, 22 on half lans pay one-half grzywna each, 7 on quarter lans pay 1 ferton each. Others have small bits of farmland on which they pay according to their size. The total of these rents comes to 33½ grzywnas. Two half-lan sections are abandoned. In addition the peasants give 70 measures (cherotos) of oats, 296 eggs, 57 capons, and 53 cheeses."


In 1581 the settlement on the outskirts of town belonged to the castellan of Ropczyce (ibid., p. 248) and at that time it had 33 peasants on 11¼ lans, 5 tenants with cattle, 4 without cattle, and the town itself (ibid., p. 269) paid 8 zl. in a double municipal tax. There were 19 craftsmen in it, 7 settlers (inquilini), 4 distilleries (ollae cremati), as well as 1 vendor, 1 barber, 1 pauper, and 2 lans of town farmland.


The parish church, date of erection unknown, was originally of wood and called "The Assumption of the Blessed Mother" (Długosz, Liber beneficiorum, II, 295). Till 1454 there were two pastors (rectores) there, from which a great many disputes arose. Thus on 25 May 1454, after the death of pastor Grzegorz, the Bishop and Cardinal Zbigniew Olegnicki, at the request of Stanislaw Ligeza, Malogoszcz castellan and patron of this church, and Adam, the one pastor, decided that thenceforth there would be one pastor there and three mansioners, who would sing devotions of the Blessed Mother daily. In this document, given in Liber Beneficiorum (II, 297) there is an interesting point regarding the collection of all bequests, gifts, and incomes from burials in a special box in the sacristy under lock and key of the squire and the pastor. The administration of the fund was to remain under the control of the squire. Długosz says that the tithe from the town was appraised at 5 grzywnas and every mansioner had his own house to live in. Stanislaw Ligeza was to administer this troubled fund, because from the deposit made by the late pastor Grzegorz "he had usurped and appropriated no small sum."


In the 17th century Przecław produced Jan Przecławczyk (Preklaides), theologian and philosopher of the University of Kraków around 1630. After the Ligezas, the Kropka-Przecławskis owned Przecław, and then the Wielopolskis. Parish registers from 1601 are preserved in the parish office. The parish belongs to Tarnów diocese, Radomysl deanery, and includes: Blonie, Podole, Korzeniów, Tuszyma, Bialybór, Wylów, Kadziolki, Laczki, Meciszów, Bobrowa, and Ruda. - Mac.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, pg. 129]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the Winter 1999 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".


Przeczyca, in documents Przeczicza and Przedczicza, a village in Pilzno powiat (county), on the left bank of the river Wisłoka, in a hilly and wooded region, on the road from Jodlowa to Brzostek (4 kilometers). It has a Roman-Catholic parish church, a post office, a gmina [district] loan-society with capital of 717 zlotys, 89 houses and 519 inhabitants. On the grounds of the major estate are 4 houses and 53 inhabitants. By religion there are 527 Roman Catholics, 19 Jews. The area of the major estate (owned by J. Spott) has 268 mórgs [about 381 acres] of farmland, 9 mórgs [about 13 acres]of meadows, 32 mórgs [about 46 acres]of pastures and 370 mórgs [about 526 acres]of forest; the minor estate totals 401 mórgs [about 570 acres] of arable land, 22 mórgs [about 31 acres]of meadows, 22 mórgs [about 31 acres] of pastures and 2 mórgs [about 3 acres] of forest. There are forests are north of the village, in the area between the river Wisloka and the stream Jodlowski. The Village belonged to the Tyniec monastery originally, and a wooden church was built then. A document dated 7 July 1374, in which Bodzanta Szeliga, the bishop of Kraków, founded the parish (kept in parish archive) is a forgery, as Bodzanta from Janków was the bishop of Kraków from 1348 to 1366, and after him Florian Mokrski, 1366-1378. The current church [as of ca. 1888] is made of wood and was built in 1730. Bishop Muskata took the village away from the abbot of Tyniec monastery and attached it to his episcopal estate. In those days, according to Długosz (Liber Beneficiorum, II, 245), it had 6 peasant lans1, 6 farms with land, an inn with farmland, and land beloning to the bishop and parish priest. To the parish belonged: Kaweczyn, Deboszyn and Zagórze. Such was the composition in 1536 as well (Pawinski, Malopolska, 529). At this time, there were in the village 11 peasants, an inn paying 1.5 grzywny2, and in addition two farms distributed for services rendered. Three ponds and small meadows were here also. The village was assessed for 300 grzywny. Later Tomicki, the Bishop of Kraków, made a deal with the abbot of the Tyniec monastery to exchange Przeczyca for part of the village Rudka. According to the regency tax-collector from the year 1581 (Pawinski, ibid, 244) it was the Tyniec abbots' property and it had 30 peasants on 19 half lans, 5 farms with arable land, 4 garden farmers with no farmland, 15 farm workers with cattle, 8 farm workers without cattle, 3 craftsmen, and an inn with an eighth part of a lan. The soltys [village headman], Adlabert Warziczki, had 3-1/2 lans. After the monastery at Tyniec was abolished, the Austrian government joined this village to a religious fund and then sold it. The Parish belongs to Przemysl diocese, Brzostek deanery, and it includes: Deboszyn, Jaworze, Górne, part of Skurowa, Dolna Kamienica and Zagórze. Przeczyca borders Skurowa on the south, Jodlowa on the west, and Deboszyn on the north. The Wisłoka river flows by it on the east. [Mac.]


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego, Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, p. 132]


This translation, by Mark Kaszniak, Edited by William F. Hoffman, is used by permission.


village and manor farm on the river Narwia, district of Makowski, community of Smrock, parish of Zambski.  In the village lives a nobleman and peasants. In 1827 there were 16 houses, 128 residents. In 1867 the manor farm in Przeradowo had an open area of 916 mórgs: Arable grounds and gardens, 362 mórgs; meadows, 120 mórgs; pastures, 100 mórgs; forests, 210 mórgs; scrubs-brushwood, 44 mórgs; barren land, 80 mórgs.  The village settlement of Przeradowo had 29 mórgs, with gardens, 349 mórgs.  The village settlement of Wygoda had 6 mórgs, with gardens 45 mórgs.    


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, p. 175]


This translation, by Anthony Paddock, is used by permission.


in Łańcut district, once a stronghold and industrial town, today wooden and poor. It stands on a hill, 203m above sea level, on the river Mleczka, a tributary of the Wisłoka. To the north of the town (approx. 2 km) stands the column of archbishop Karol Ludwik (195m high). It is 195 km from Krakow and 150 km from Lwów and covers an area of 180 hectares. It is built on an elongated ridge, at the west end of which, stands the parish church surrounded by the remains of the battlements. The ancient Bernadine monastery flanks the east end. Narrow streets weave between the two buildings. The market place and former location of St. Katarzyna Church are to be found here, too. The market place is rectangular and surrounded by wooden, one-storied buildings with high shingle roofs. The storied, brick-built town hall is old and has a wooden turret. Behind it you can see the large brick-built synagogue. The following roads lead out of the town: to the north of Sieniawa with a secondary road leading to the rail station; to the west, the Vienna to Łancut road; to the south-east, the one to Jaroław and to the south, one to Kańczugi. At the point where these roads intercept there stands the beautiful palace and park belonging to the Princes Lubomirski. In the direction of the access road there are the manor buildings, brewery and steam mill. Przeworsk is surrounded by suburbs: to the east, Budy Przeworskie, behind the Bernadine monastery and the Jarosław suburbs; to the south, Kanczuc and Mokra Strona. To the west, wet pastureland stretches alongside the Mleczka and to the north there are meadows by the river, which breaks up into a number of arms. Three churches adorn the village. The parish one has a pointed arch and three naves. The presbytery has a flat arch- pointed vault painted in golden stars. On the walls hang ancient portraits of popes, Miechowit priors and members of the Lubomirski family. On the main altar (Tuscany Renaissance) hangs a crucifix with Christ and above it the Miechowit family emblem. In all, there are 11 altars. To the right of the main altar there is a portrait of Our Lady with a Gothic inscription around it. It is in memory of Rafal to Jarosław and Przeworsk, Tarnowski (died 1409). It is an interesting piece of ancient art as is the bronze baptismal font in the shape of a cup, with a Gothic inscription and date of casting, 1400. In the first half of the XVII century, the chapel of Christ’s Tomb was added on to the church. Its measurements are similar to those of the Jerusalem chapel. The bell tower and ave-bell originate from the same time. The bell itself dates back to 1627. The church tower above the huge doors is 8-sided and has been reduced in size, twice. A covered gallery supported by arcades leads from the sacristy to the storied house, formerly the Miechowits monastery. Closed-in stairs lead from the church and chapel to the crypt containing Prince Lubomirski’s tomb. Remains of the fortress walls can also be found in the Jewish street. The Bernadine monastery is a storeyed, quadrilateral building surrounded by walls with towers. The inner courtyard contains a flower garden surrounded by roofed corridors. It is known as the “frying pan.” A wicket gate with a Gothic inscription opens onto the monastery. The well-kept, Roman-style church is spacious and has an unplastered 8-sided tower. The founder of the monastery here, one of the oldest in Poland, was Rafal Tarnowski or his brother, Spytka. According to Niesiecki (quoting Wading’s Annal. Min. and the inscription in the inscription in the church), it was built in 1476 on the site of the wooden church founded by St. Jan Kapistran (before 1453).presently, there are 3 monks and 2 laymen in the monastery. In the first half of the present century, the monastery was used as a prison for the clergy. The third church belonging to the Sisters of Mercy is on the Sieniawska road. It is a modest building dating back to the XVIII century and is connected to the storied building, which serves as a convent and hospital. It was founded by Prince Antoni Lubomirski, the Kraków castellan, in 1781 or 1785 and is probably situated on the ruins of the Church of St. Michael behind the Cracow Gates. It also had an adjacent hospital supported by Rafal to Jarosław and Tarnow, Tarnowski. Elzbieta of Czartoryska and Lubomirska increased this remuneration. Normally 7 nuns live here, nursing 30 sick orphans and raising 10. On the same road but a little lower-lying than the town is the Lubomirski storied palace, amid a park. It is built in the Italian style, has a family chapel, library, and gunroom, beautiful, spacious, orangery and hothouse. In 1880 Przeworsk had 333 houses and 2926 people (1477 male and 1449 female). 1593 Roman Catholic, 107 Greek Catholic, 2 Protestant and 1224 Jewish. 2819 Poles, 90 Ruthenians and 4 Germans. The town has a district court, post and telegraph office, notary, public school: 4-class male, 2-class female, doctor, chemist, a few herbal and cloth shops and 172 soldiers are permanently stationed here. The active value is 68,000 zlotys and the passive 1195 zl and the annual income is 12,566 zł. The lending society has 8784 zl. in funds. The Jews are mainly involved in running small businesses and the Christians in trades such as shoemaking, tanning, pottery and farming. Apart from the 26 morgs, mainly parks and buildings, belonging to the Lubomirski family, there are 118 m – agriculture, 79 m – meadows and orchards, 30 m –pastureland. The soil is fertile clay. Doing away with the Jarosław moderating commission, for which many weavers worked, partially led to the decline of the town as did the competition from the Silesian factories. In the first half of the present century as Siarczynski assures us (Rps. Bibl. Ossol., nr. 1826), there were 900 weavers in Przeworsk who took their wares to Hungary and Woloszczyzna. Zofia Lubomirska, nee Krasinska, did much for the expansion of weaving by bringing in craftsmen weavers and dyers from abroad (Kuropatnicki, Geography of Galicia published 1876). Kuropatnicki describes the town as lively and mentions that not only was denim manufactured here but also cotton, upholstery, silks, ornate table linen and other cloths. Steczynski was told (Galicia Surrounds, 1847) that prior to 1830 it was not unusual for a weaver to give his daughter 1000 ducats in a dowry. Today, as far as is known, nobody in the town works in this field. The impoverished town comes to life on market days (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and fair days (2 January, 19 March, 1 May, 25 July, 4 October and 19 November). According to Tatomir, the town apparently already existed in 1281 but this information is not substantiated. Up until 1349, Przeworsk was a Ruthenian village on the borders of the Sandomierz lands, given to Jan from Melsztyn, Leliwit by Kazimierz Wielki. Nakielski writes (Miechovia, 344) that in 1393 Jan, the Lubuskie bishop, established a parish in Przeworsk permitted by the privilege granted in Fuerstenwald on 28 April of that same year. The bishop also took Jan from Tarnow’s request for the same into consideration. Even before Kazimierz Wielki’s reign, the Lubuskie bishops had been entrusted, by the popes, with jurisdiction over the Ruthenia Catholics. They continued this practice for some time after Gregory XI’s decree of 1375. The following year, 1394, Maciej, Przemysl bishop, affirmed the foundation act and gave the parish to the Miechowites. At that time, St. Katarzyna was the parish church and it stood till 1744 when it was visited by Bishop Waclaw Sierakowski. It burned in 1634 together with the town and later had a wooden dome. It is unknown when it was dismantled. It was upkept by the court princes. In 1428, Spytek from Tarnow increased the payments and in 1430 the Miechowites began building the present day church. Work was completed in 1473 (Miechovia, 441 and 553). It was built by the priests, Dominik and Mikolaj. The latter increased the income by purchasing the village Ujezna in 1450 from Rafal Tarnowski. At the same time work began on the building of the Bernadine church and monastery. The monks were brought in by Rafal Tarnowski, president of the Polish Sejm, around 1470. He may have just erected the buildings if Spytek was the founder as they were brothers. In 1470, they incorporated Przeworsk into the Jarosław estate allowed by Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk’s charter but revoked by Zygmunt I in 1519. At this time Przeworsk enjoyed prosperity, soon to end. In 1498, Stefan, voivode Woloski and the Tartars attacked and destroyed the town. Underground corridors and caves holding valuable goods supposedly stretched from the Bernadine church to the church in Gniewczyno. The town recovered quickly because Spytek and Jarosław were granted a privilege allowing the inhabitants to collect toll on the bridges over the rivers Mlecz and Wislok. A laden wagon paid 6 dinars and 1 grosz for horse or ox. In 1512, after a renewed attack by the Tartars, Jan Tarnowski began to build a fortress around the town. At this time, the Bernadine monks received a bulla from Klemens VII giving those involved in fortifying the monastery plenary indulgences, allowing the collection of alms to help buy arms and gunpowder and permitting the priest to give absolution to those monks who, while building the monastery, killed the enemy. In 1525, Tomicki, the Bishop of Krakow, confirmed the authenticity of the bulla from 31 December 1523. In the acts of the XVI century there is mention of a fourth church (chapel?) of Our Lady behind the Krakow Gate. By 1527, the town was completely fortified and Zygmunt I, convinced that the people had effectively fortified it and were making continuous efforts to defend it (munitione opportune cinxisse) reduced the customs duty by 10 grzywien from 40. Jan Tarnowski had also pleaded for this. In 1550 the people were relieved of all duties except the border ones. At this time, Przeworsk changed hands. It went to Prince Konstanty Ostrogski as part of Zofia’s dowry (Jan Amor Tarnowski’s daughter). Her brother, Krzysztof Wojnicki castellan, disagreed with this decision, went to court and won. However, after his death the widow married Jan from Stemberk Kostek, Sandomierz voivode. She died in Gorliczyn in 1580 leaving behind two daughters: Anna Ostrogska wife of Wolyn voivode, Katarzyna, fourth wife of Prokop Sieniawski, heir of Brzezan and a third daughter, Małgorzata who died while she was still alive and is buried in Przeworsk. Mikołaj Sep Szarzynski was a guest at her court. Anna inherited Przeworsk. After the town was burned down in 1613, Anna obtained permission for markets to take place on the following days: St. Zofia, Elevation of the Holy Cross and St. Walenty. Soon afterwards, in 1624, the Tartars destroyed Przeworsk and in 1634 it was destroyed by fire. In 1648, the town was occupied by the Tartars and Cossacks. In 1625, Zofia, daughter of Anna Ostrogska nee Kostka, brought the Przeworsk lands as a dowry on marrying Stanislaw Lubomirski, Ruthenia voivode and from then on they remain in the family’s possession. They include: Przeworsk, Przedmiescie, 2 wojt lands, the manors: Nowiny, Grodzisko, Gniewczyna, Grzeska, Gorliczyna, Rozborze, Kielnia, Grodzisko Wola, Tryncza, Mirocin, Mokra Strona, Wola Polanska, Bialobrzegi, Nowosieleo and Wolka Brzozowa. The town was destroyed two more times. In 1656, the Swedes plundered it and the remainder was taken by Rakoczy’s army, which entered in 1657. Cellarius (Amsterdam 1659) describes Przeworsk as “oppidulum.” The Sejm of 1677, on seeing “the ruination of the town by the enemy invasions” introduced a new fair on St. Jakub Ap., day, giving it the privileges of the Jarosław fairs, established a wine storehouse and confirmed earlier privileges. The town began to recover thanks to the efforts of its heirs and in particular Elzbieta Lubomirska nee Czartoryska and Zofia Lubomirska nee Krasinska. After the death of Zofia Lubomirska, the Przeworsk estate covering 8586 morgs was reinstated with Emperor Franciszek I’s permission. The Miechowites ran the parish until 1846 when the last superior, Kasper Mizerski, died and the government turned the parish into a lay one. Przeworsk belongs to the Przemysl diocese, Przeworsk deanery and includes: Budy Przeworskie, Burdasz, Chałupki, Dębów, Gorliczyna, Grzęska, Mackowka, Mirocin, Mokra Strona, Rozbórz, Sludzian, Świątniowa, Ujezna and Żurawiczki. Based on the act of 1567, landed court hearings took place in Przeworsk four times a year, always three weeks after the Przemysl ones. According to the Dykc. Echard there were factories here producing tablecloths, belts, upholstery, cloth and sailcloth in the middle of the XVIII century. Szaraniewicz’s description (Rys statystyczny monar. Austr-Hung., publication III) of the magnificent castle, cotton and weaving mills belongs to the past. A certain Jan, the collector or author and translator of Polish religious songs hailed from Przeworsk and his hand-written collection titled “Cantionale labore et ingenio honesti Joannis olim Ludi magistri in Przeworsk, 1434 “ were in the possession of Prince Hieronim Juszynski. The famous Krakow preacher, Jan from Przeworsk, was born in Przeworsk around 1593 as was Grzegórz Przeworczyk, the Krakow printer, who died in 1546. Józef Lubomirski, Czernichow voivode, died here on 12 June 1732. Mac.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, p.183-186]


This translation, by Jolanta Siestrzewitowska, is used by permission.


PRZYŁĘK, village, county of Mielec, in a sandy and forested plain, at the highway from Mielec to Kolbuszowa (13 kilometers), at an elevation of 214 meters above sea level.  It is divided into two large estates (those of Jadwiga Ciesielska and Wanda Dolańska) and has a six cottage group: Przyłęk(115 houses, 639 inhabitants), Podlesie (35 houses, 206 inhabitants) with Staszówka (16 houses, 84 inhabitants), Poręby (14 houses, 72 inhabitants) and Żabiniec (11 houses, 63 inhabitants).  There are a total of 219 houses and 1,226 inhabitants; 1,176 Roman Catholics and 50 Jews. In the two major estates there are 12 houses, 94 inhabitants; 29 Roman Catholics and 65 Jews.  The larger estate has 583 farms, 94 meadows, 145 pastures and 3,607 mórgs of forests; the smaller estate has 688 farms, 100 meadows, 21 pastures and 15 mórgs of forests. A Roman Catholic parish in Ostrowy Tuszowskie. In the 15th century the peasants gave tithes to the Turebska church office in Sandomierz, the manor farm and rector in Charzewice (Długosz, L.B., I, 350, II, 356). At this time Piotr and Świder Nieczuj were also owners of two manorial farms. In 1851 (Pawiński, Małopolska, 199), the larger estate belonged to Barbara Strzałkowska, Jakub and Tomasz Świder and Faliszowski.  There is an elementary school and a loan office with capital of 636 złoty of Rhineland money. The village itself occupies an oblong clearing, whereas, the hamlets are situated to the south of it in the midst of forests. Its border to north is Ostrowy Tuszowskie and Toporów, to the south with Niwiska and to the east with Kossów and Siedlanka.          


PRZYŁĘK  ZGÓRSKI, county of Mielic, a free settlement of Cyranka, in the midst of coniferous woods, by a large pond, to the west of the aforementioned, consisting of several cottages. Dr. Maurycy Maciszewski  


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, p. 216-217]


This translation, by Anthony Paddock, is used by permission.


Przysiersk, 1) German Heinrichsdorf, a village owned by the church, in Swiecie powiat, on the highway from Tuchola to Terespol; post office and railway station in Terespol, 4 km. away, Protestant parish in Bukowiec. it has a 2-class non-denominational school (with 199 children in 1887); it has an area of 4,025.97 mórgs, with average soil. In 1868 it had 141 buildings, 90 houses, 713 inhabitants, 454 of them Catholic, 243 Protestant. The brick church of St. Wawrzyniec [Lawrence], under government patronage, dates from the beginning of the present century. it has had a society of the Rosary since 1732, and a temperance society since 1851; there is also a shelter for 2 paupers. The parish consists of. Przysiersk, Drozdowo, Konopat, Niemiecki, Bukowiec, Zajac, Bramka, Kawieczyn, Budyn, Jarzebieniec, Biechowo, Biechówko, Wyrwa, Pniewno, Konopat Polski, Terespol, Julianowo, and Papiernia. As of 1867 the parish, in Swiecie deanery, numbered 1,363 souls and 838 communicants, whereas in 1886 it had 1,774 souls.


Przysiersk is an old settlement on the ancient Swiecie-Tuchola road; located in the middle of the jurisdiction of the Swiecie regional Commander of the Teutonic Knights, it served as a meeting place for the nobility. In 1351 the Knights gave Jan Klukow and his heirs the village of Przysiersk ("Heinrichsdorf") under terms of Chelmno law. Settlers there received every tenth wlóka free; the soltys also got the third part of court fines levied on German subjects ("driten pfenig von allem duczem wichbildesgrichte"); vassals who were Polish subjects were exempt. Even then the population was mixed; the Knights commander, or aldermen under his leadership, settled the Polish populace there under terms of Polish law [i.e., as opposed to German]. In 1415 the village had 59 wlókas, of which the church pastor owned 4 free, and the soltys the same number; on the rest the settlers paid half a grzywna and two hens each. instead of a tithe they each gave 5 skojec per wlóka; only 9 wlókas were settled. The innkeeper paid a rent of 5 wiarduneks (see Geschichte des Kreises Schwetz, von Wagner, p. 433.


As of 1565 the village had 60 wlókas of sandy soil. The soltys owned four; the two belonging to the pastor were worked by peasants, in return for every fourth sheaf. The German Wilda possessed 5 vassal wlókas, but he paid nothing, although he could not produce the charter granting him this land; 17 peasants owned 48 wlókas, on which each paid 1 grzywna and 2 hens. The two inns, which owned no land, paid 2 grzywny and 4 hens, and the soltys collected 1 grzywna annually from a third. Two peasants who owned garden-sized plots of land were obligated to perform labor duty at their farmstead upon demand, and they paid a rent of 1 grzywna, 4 groszy. Three persons living on the peasant properties worked for the peasants at their farms, but only for wages. There were no meadows, and the peasants gathered wood from their own thickets or else purchased it. Chelminski built the paper-mill [papiernia] outside the village for Wilda, who neglected it and the farmland around it. The vassals were obligated to do labor duty at the manorial farmstead in Gródek at any time, as well as to convey wood to the castle in winter, as many times as that might be demanded. The total rents paid to the castle came to 53 grzywny, 4 groszy, and 104 hens.


In 1683 Dulski was the lessor here. In 1676 there were 88 inhabitants. The older church was made of wood, but had a tile roof., As of 1649 the parish priest owned two wlókas, in 1749 he owned 3½, as well as another half that was disputed, of what had earlier been 4. According to the rate schedule for the sympla [ordinary tax] Przysiersk paid 3 zlotys, 22 groszy. The school already existed as of 1583. In 1773 Przysiersk belonged to the estate of General Czapski's wife. According to the 1648 tax schedule, by which a double tax and a triple excise tax were adopted, Niewiescinski paid 1 florin. The pastors were: in 1583 Mikolaj ze Slebowa, in 1749 Andrzej Herstowski, in 1711 Piotr Piechowski, in 1848 Robert Oldenburg, and in 1867 Boryszkowski. In 1711 the village had 60 wlókas, on each of which the pastor was supposed to collect half a bushel of rye and the same amount of oats, but for several years nothing had been paid on the 10 wlókas of lord Niewiescinski (see Zeitschrift des Westpreußischen Geschictlichen Vereins, XVIII, p. 211).


2) Przysiersk, folwark, in the same place. In 1868 there were 8 buildings, 3 houses, 50 Catholics, 13 Protestants. Formerly this was a folwark belonging to the treasury. In 1676 it belonged to Maciej Kossowski, assessor of the Swiecie district court, and had 50 inhabitants; the sympla tax came to 8 groszy. In 1773 it was a Chelmno folwark with 10 peasant wlókas, 4 hearths, and 27 Catholic inhabitants, among whom were 4 peasant lessors owning harnessed teams. (Zeitschrift des Westpreußischen Geschictlichen Vereins, XVIII, 213). [Rev. Frydrychowitcz]


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, pg. 228]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the Spring 1999 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".


Przytuły ... 3., a manorial farmstead, colony, village, and government-owned entailed estate in Kolno powiat, gmina of Kubra, parish of Przytuły, 23 km. from Kolno, on the road from Kolno to Radzilów, between Stawiski and Radzilów.  It has a wooden parish church, a gmina office, and an elementary school. The church and parish were founded here in 1436 by the Mazovian duke Wladyslaw. It belonged to the deanery in Wizna. Przytuły was formerly a ducal village, and later a royal one. In 1664 it belonged to the Knyszyn or Lesnica starostwo, in Biala district, which was pledged as collateral to the Orsettis. The current church was erected in 1770. In 1838 the Przytuły estate was split off from the government-owned estate of Wizna, and was bestowed as an entailed estate on the state councilor Teodor Hilferding.

It consists of the manorial farmsteads of Przytuły and Zaby, and the villages Przytuły, Zaby and Okrasin. The manorial farm stead covered an area of 1,615 mórgs. The village of Przytuły had 30 settlements with 394 m6rgs of land; the village of Zaby had 26 settlements with 738 mórgs of land; the village of Okrasin had 42 settlements with 2,054 mórgs. In 1884 the manorial farmstead of Przytuły, letter C, had 194 mórgs: 154 of farmland and gardens, 37 of meadows, 3 unused; it had 4 buildings made of wood. The parish of Przytuły, of Kolno deanery, included 3,040 souls. [Br(onislaw) Ch(Iebowski)


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, p. 240]


[Additional information in the supplemental volume 15]: Przytuły, a village in Kolno powiat. It is mentioned in documents from 1437 (see Barwiki). In 1506 a convention was held there of dignitaries of Wizna district to pass resolutions regarding beehives on noble estates (Kod. masz., 325). In 1557 Przytuły was a property of the crown. Piotr Grajewski, the Wizna starosta, paid taxes on 11½ lans there.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1902, vol. 15b, p.525]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the Spring 1999 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".


called Peck in Kaszubian, Putzig in German, formerly Pauzigk and Pautzke (in a 1277 document Putzc, 1277 Pusecz, 1288 Puczse and Putsk, 1289 Pucz). Since 1887 the seat of a county, as it was during the days of Polish rule, it is the ancient capital of the region where the Belok dialect of Kaszubian predominates, but is today mostly Germanized. It lies on the Bay of Puck (in German Putziger-Wiek), not far from the mouth of the Plutnica, on the so-called Puck Kepa [elevated moraine], 15 km. north of Reda, the nearest railroad station, and 20 km. northeast of Wejherowo. Three highways lead from there; one through Reda to Gdansk, the second through Werblin and Krokowo to Pomerania, and the third through Swarzewo to Lebcz. Communication with Gdansk is facilitated by the steamship Puck, which goes there twice a week. Not long ago sea baths were built there; up to now, however, they still have not attracted many guests.


There is a 3rd-class post office, a district court, a Catholic church and a Protestant one (1780), a synagogue, a three grade Catholic school, a two-grade Protestant school, a tax office, several distilleries and brickyards, a windmill, a steam mill, and several breweries. Puck beer was once famous, as Borck attests, referring to Rzaczynski. Belonging to the municipal gmina are the farmstead Heinrichshof, the forestry station Kepino, the Prangenthal brickyard, the Seefeld steam mill, and the farmstead Tannenberg. In 1773 there were 103 houses and 778 inhabitants; in 1827 there were 1,818 inhabitants and 140 houses; in 1869 there were 2,357 inhabitants (1,589 Catholics, 664 Protestants, 102 Jews, and 2 dissidents); in 1880 there were 2,019 inhabitants; in 1885 there were 1,880 inhabitants and 163 houses.


The climate is harsh, marine, and healthy; the soil is unusually fertile, so that the vicinity of Puck comprises an oasis amid the sandy soil of Kaszuby. The inhabitants are employed mainly in fishing and retail trade. There are four fairs yearly, two with booths and two for cattle. The town's coat of arms features a lion atop a silver salmon.


The old castle, fortified walls, and ramparts have disappeared, with traces remaining only of the ancient town moat. A legend has survived of underground passageways of some sort. In the middle of the town there is a spacious marketplace, into which the streets lead at right angles.


The town's sole ornament and monument to the past is a magnificent brick Catholic parish church. Its oldest part (from the 13th century) is a heavy square tower up to the frieze, and an arched wall separating a long middle nave from the presbytery. The church originally had a single nave; in the 14th century two lateral naves were added, each with a separate roof topped with a tower. After the Thirteen Years' War these three roofs were replaced with a single one, due to which the tops had to be raised significantly. The length of the sanctuary, without the tower, is 37.6 meters, and the width 19.8. It has four chapels, but only two are in use: the chapel of the official Judycki, in which the body of St. German was kept, according to Szembek's inspection report, and the chapel of the Malbork palatine Jakub Wejher, in which are located portraits of its patron Wejher and his wife (from 1597); the tombstone was erected in 1599. The church's inner ornament is the eastern gable and the gable of the Judycki chapel. Art objects of value include the carved altar in the Wejher chapel, and its the image painted on wood; the wrought iron doors to the chapel; several large bronze candlesticks; and three chandeliers, of which the largest dates from 1664. Of the church's valuables, the silver and gilded Gothic cross or pacyfikal stands out, as well as a beautiful monstrance and chalice. The largest bell, dating from 1605, was the work of Krzysztof Oldendorf of Gdansk; the oldest striker of the hours on the clock is decorated with the inscription "Ave Maria" in Gothic letters (see Die Bau- and Kunstdenkmäler der Prowinz Westpreussen, Book I, pp. 53-60, illustrated).


The pastors were: 1291 Lambert; 1360 Jan; 1488 Jerzy Witte; 1583 Maciej Lulowski; 1595 Marcin Culcius; § 1735 Piotr Gniazdowski, Wloclawek canon; 1735 Piotr Sikorski; 1740 Tomasz Szczepanski, later canon of Warmia; 1750 Loga; ca. 1755 Adam Goldmann (see Borck, page 487); and 1848 Franciszek Anlauf.


Formerly there were up to 7 priests at the local church. In addition to the parish church, Puck possessed a provostry of St. George and a chapel at the castle. The provostry was located beyond the city and was connected with a hospital and cemetery; the Swedes destroyed it (see Rev. Fankidejski's Utracone kosc., p. 211).


The parish belongs to the Puck deanery, which encompasses 9 parishes: Jastarnia, Mechowo, Wejherowo, Oksywie, Puck, Rumia, Swarzewo, Strzelin, and Zarnowiec. The Puck church of Sts. Peter and Paul is of government patronage. The St. George Hospice has room for 10 paupers. At the church are a confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, since 1660, and a sobriety confraternity, since 1856. Included in the parish are: Puck, Polchowo, Mrzezin, Smolno, Oslanin, Beka, Rzucewo, Slawutowo and Slawutowko, Brudziewo, Celbowo, Zelistrzewo, Bladzikowo and Polczyn. In 1867 it numbered 2,996 communicants and 4,944 souls, and 4,540 souls in 1886.


Puck is an old Slavic settlement, as proved by urns dug up there and a bronze wedge mentioned by Ossowski (Objasn. do mapy archeol. Prus. Zach., p. 107). In 1853 33 silver Kufic coins were found near the city (dating from AD 898-965), 30 of which are in the numismatic collection in Królewiec [now Kaliningrad, Russia]. Nesselmann described them in detail (Preuss. Prov. Bl., 1853, 11, pp. 421-429).


A charter of Mestwin from 1289 speaks of a place " juxta viam regiam, currentem de Gdancz in Pucz" [close by the king's road running from Gdansk to Puck] (see von Perlbach, Pommeralisches Urkundenbuch, Gdansk, 1887, p. 412). For this reason in ancient times Puck had no small significance, both in the days of the Pomeranian princes and during the rule of the Teutonic Knights and the Poles; the settlement's importance has diminished due to changes in the political borders. The chronicler Schuetz claims (page 11) that Puck was founded in 1150 by the Pomeranian prince Boguslaw, father of Subislaw, founder of the Oliwa monastery. Originally Puck was only a village, which Sambor I gave to the Cistercians in Oliwa, but later he took it back, giving them Starzyn in return (see v. Perlbach, op. cit., page 17). Puck was turned into a marketing center, in which market gatherings and courts were held.


Not long after that Puck was the seat of a castellany. The Puck castellany was bordered on the north and east by the Baltic, on the west by Zarnowiec and nearby lake Piasnica, and the village of Gowino; on the south it extended to Oksywie on the sea and to Miloszewo and Bedargowo (see Toeppen, Histororisch-Comparative Geographie von Preussen, 1858, page 44). The Puck castellany is mentioned for the first time in a document of Mestwin from 1277 ("castellatura de Putzc"; see von Perlbach, op. cit., page 245). The following castellans are known: 1277 Ziborius, alias Cyborius; Albertus, 1296; and Wojslaus, 1304 (ibid., page 692). The church is mentioned in a 1283 charter (ibid., page 328).


During the days of the Teutonic Knights Puck belonged to the Gdansk commander's jurisdiction, but with the surrounding area formed a separate wójtostwo (Fischamt) and one of 6 tax districts of that jurisdiction. In residence there were the wójt and half a monastery, that is, 3 priests of an order and 6 knights (see Borck, Echo sepulchralis, page 486). The Knights' courts of law were held here. In 1348 the Grand Master Heinrich Tusmer granted the town and nearby village a charter under Chelmno law, designating 4 free wlókas for the pastor (see Odpisy Dregera w Pelplinie, page 86). One section of the land granted the town lay in the swampy meadows called Puck ("in der Bruche Putzk, " from which the town surely took its name).


During the Thirteen Years' War Puck played a significant role, because of its location on the sea as well as its fortifications. Puck was on the Polish side, which sought aid from the wealthy townsmen of Gdansk, who supported the king with sizable loans. In 1454 King Kazimierz gave them Puck and all of Puck district as collateral. In 1457 a rare guest came to Puck, the Swedish king Charles, who had been ousted from his throne and was seeking aid from the Polish king. From there he set out for Gdansk with a retinue of 200 armed men. He repaid the townsmen of Gdansk for his reception by borrowing 15,000 grywnas, giving Puck and the surrounding lands as collateral. From then on the king resided in Puck, with a Swedish guard.


In 1460 the Teutonic Knights attacked the town unexpectedly and captured it, forcing the guards at the castle to surrender. For the Gdansk townsmen, Puck in the hands of the Teutonic Knights was like salt in their eyes. But Fritz v. Raveneck with 700 men guarded the stronghold well.


After Piotr Dunin's victory at Swiecin (and not at Puck, as we usually say) on 17 September 1462, they gathered their forces in earnest to besiege the town, and in 1464 did so, by land and sea, for over 5 months. Finally the town's guard had to surrender, and was granted free exit, with weapons.


After the second Treaty of Torun Puck became a county seat in which local diets and district courts of law were held; the castle became the seat of a starostwo not affiliated with a gród. Both Puck county and starostwo belonged to the province of Pomorze [Pomerania]. King Charles of Sweden, who had returned to the throne by that time, began to demand the return of Puck. When his envoy returned empty-handed, he even threatened war; but his death in 1470 brought an end to those plans. In 1491 King Kazimierz once again gave Puck to the townsmen of Gdansk as collateral, and they held it till 1545.


In 1520 during the war with Albrecht the Teutonic Knights took the town for a short time. But a few days later, having looted it, they left it "ob defectum victualium et pecuniarum" [due to lack of provisions and money], as Borck writes (Echo sepulchralis, page 472). In 1586 Swedish royal counselor Nicholas Gueldenstern appeared in Gdansk and in the name of king John II demanded that Puck be handed over to him. Naturally this was refused, as it was again in 1692 and 1698; from that point on the matter was not brought up again.


In 1594 Zygmunt II landed there, having come with 44 ships from Stockholm, and went from there to Gdansk (see Adler hold, Preussen, page 737). In 1626 Puck was taken by Gustav Adolf, but by April 8th of the next year Stanislaw Koniecpolski had forced the Swedes to yield this fortress (Borck, op. cit., page 498).


In 1632 the elective Sejm resolved to fortify Puck and create a port there for its naval fleet. Wladyslaw IV undertook this task with enthusiasm; he fortified Puck, established a naval arsenal there, and circa 1636 ordered the creation of a more convenient harbor there for the fleet, which consisted of twelve rather small ships, and designated this port as its station. For the defense of Puck he built two forts on the bay: Wladyslawów and Kazimierzów. According to Starozytnosci polskie, the former lay at the end of the Puck Kepa [elevated moraine]. To this day traces of walls can be found at the foot of Wielka Wies (Grossendorf), on a mild incline that connects the village with the peninsula that begins nearby. The local folk say these are the remnants of the town, and after its destruction Wielka Wies developed. Kazimierzów, on the other hand, did not lie near Kussfeld, as some say, but in Chalupy or Cejnowa, because in that village as well stone foundations of rather large buildings can be found. It should be noted that as late as the 17th century, according to contemporary maps, the waves of the sea had free access to the bay by Wielka Wie§, before here, too, narrow shoals formed, from which the current narrow strip of sandy land developed. (See Okrezne, Poznan 1885, page 15).


The king designated income from the Puck starostwo for maintaining these facilities; the Prussian government was opposed. Puck, however, covered itself in glory during the second Swedish war, opposing the mighty fleet of King Charles X Gustav, which the latter send under Wrangel's command from Wolgast to Gdansk and Puck. There Father Gregory, a Franciscan priest from Wejherowo, made a name for himself by describing in detail the whole course of the siege in a chronicle still kept today in the rectory in Wejherowo. Based on it is the drama in three acts entitled Ojciec Grzegórz czyli obrona Pucka r. 1655/56 [Father Gregory, or the Defense of Puck, 1655-1656] (Pielgrzym., 1881, No. 114 and thereafter).


King Jan Kazimierz showed his gratitude to the townsmen by giving them the starosta's forest and 30 wlókas of land out side the town. In 1678, when the starostwo was taken from the Gdansk townsmen, a royal commission on the state of the town submitted the following report: "They produced a charter of the Teutonic Knights of the town's location in 1348; there are to be 100 lots of land in the town, each 7 rods in width and length. Each year they pay 12 florins, 25 pence to the castle on those lots, except for the soltys's single one. If more plots were to be listed in the town, except for the outskirts of town, the income is to be divided down the middle between the town and castle. From this charter they have 18 w1ókas on terms of Chelmno law, of which 14, minus 10 mórgs, are in the marsh by Puck; the other 4 are in the marsh by Gniezdowo and in the forest called Kepino; in which forest they have also 15 wlókas. In addition there are 60 wlókas attached to the village, of which 4 belong to the parish church, and of these wlókas 30 were taken away from them; then, the law allowing, by a new charter of His Majesty Jan Kazimierz in 1657 they, the property of the Puck starostwo, are returned to them in perpetuity for their loyalty during the war with Sweden. They pay 300 florins a year on these wlókas to the castle.


"The townsmen of Puck complain piteously to us that they have been utterly ruined by having to pay the intolerable hyberna, so that they cannot bear it and wish to leave their homes. Which we, along with all the subjects of the starostwo who complain of and are wholly impoverished by that tax and by the soldiers' passage here, relay what we have seen to His Majesty. They complain particularly of the regiment of Lord Chelmski, to whom the village called Karwanskie Blota had to hand over 21,000 zlotys, and thus were ruined" (page 9).


The year 1700 began with new war. Beginning 16 June 1703 Puck was guarded by a Polish detachment of 200 men. They were forced to retreat, and from December 1703 to May 1704 a Swedish battalion was there, which levied on the townsmen a contribution amounting to 400 zl. Before the war had ended, in 1710 and 1711, plague struck the town. In 1772 Puck came under Prussian rule.


[Omitted: a very long section on the Puck starostwo, which summarizes property inventories from 1565, 1658, and 1678 (naming virtually no individuals). The information might be valuable for a study of economics of that period, but contains very little of genealogical interest.]


Belonging to the Puck starostwo are the following manorial farmsteads: PoIczyn, Rekowo, Pieleszewo, Lepcz, Mieruszyno, and Brzezno ... The following are the known starostas of Puck: 1) Stanislaw Kostka, castellan and later palatine of Chelmno and starosta of Puck, Koscierzyn, and Tczew (t 1555). 2) Jan Kostka, Gdansk castellan, Sandomierz palatine, starosta of Puck, Malbork, and Tczew (t 1581). 3) Ernest Weiher (t ca. 1600). 4) Jan Weiher, Chelmno palatine (t 1626). 5) Jan Dzialynski, Chelmno palatine (t 1648). 6) Jerzy z Teczyna Ossolinski, royal chancellor, resigned that same year (t 1650). 7) Kazimierz Zawadzki, 1669 and ca. 1676. In Echo sepulchralis Borck writes that Zawadzki was a learned man, of whom the following works exist in print:


1) Gloria Orbi Sarmatico consensu monstrata a Deo data. [Glory to the Sarmatian world, shown by agreement, granted by God], 1670 in quarto.


2) Historia arcana siva diaria actorum publicorum sub rege Michaele [Secret history, or journal of public deeds under King Michal], a posthumous work, 1699 in quarto.


3) Tractatus super advertentiam defectuum in capitibus imperii sarmatici [A treatise on the awareness of failings in the heads of the Sarmatian empire], 1678 in quarto (t 15 April 1691).


8) Piotr Przebendowski, Malbork palatine, starosta of Puck and Mirachowo (t 1756). 9) N. Przebendowski.


The new county of Puck is to be created from the northern part of Wejherowo county. The following will belong to it: Puck, the wójt districts of Rzucewo, Celbowo, Darzlubie, Krokowo, Karwienskie Bloto, Starzyn, Lepcz (Lebcz), Swarzewo, Zarnowiec, Hel, Oksywie, Dębowa Góra, and from the district of Rybnin, the gmina districts of Tylowo and Lubocin, and from the district of Reda the gmina Polchowo and the district belonging to the Rekowo estate. (Rev. Fr{ydrychowicz}].


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, pp. 267-272]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, originally appeared in Rodziny 
(Vol. XXV, No. 2, Spring 2002), the journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America.


Pustków, also called Pustkowie, along with Meciszów and Wola Pustkowska and the settlements of Rudki, Krownica, Zastawie, and Budy, a village, Ropczyce powiat, Roman Catholic parish in Brzeznica. It lies on a sandy plain, on the right bank of the Wislok [sic, should be Wisloka]. Its grounds stretch between the tributaries of the Wislok[a], the Ocieka on the north and the Wielopolka on the south. The whole area is bisected by the track of the Karl Ludwig railway (Debica-Nadbrzezie) and there is a station in Pustków itself. Settlements [wólki] were constructed on the Ocieka amid the woods that surround the village on the east. Through the village runs the highway from Debica to Mielec. Pustkowska Wola has 39 houses and 188 inhabitants, Pustków 164 houses and 899 inhabitants, Meciszów 87 houses and 476 inhabitants. The total is 200 houses and 1,563 inhabitants, of whom 1,531 are Roman Catholic and 32 Jews. On the grounds of the major estate (owned by Count K. Bobrowski) are 11 houses, 86 inhabitants, of whom 75 are Roman Catholics and 11 Jews. The grounds of the major estate consist of 537 mórgs of farmland, 77 of meadows and gardens, 139 of pastures, and 1,115 of forests; the minor estate has 905 mórgs of farmland, 290 of meadows and gardens, 91 of pastures, and 61 of forests. The soil consists of silt with sand. There is a distillery on the major estate's grounds.


In 1423 there was already a settlement here, for Klemens signed his name as "na Pobiedniu i Pustkowie" [at Pobiednie and Pustków]. (Climaschko, A. G. Z., XI). In 1508 Mikolaj Ligeza of Bobrek inherited it (Pawinski, Malopolska, p. 468), and in 1581 there were 8 peasants on 7 half-lans, 3 crofts [zagroda], 2 tenants with livestock, 2 without, and 2 inns (each with a quarter-lan). Pustków borders to the north on Tuszyma and Bialybór, to the east on Ocieka and Ostrów, and to the south on Parszcyzna and Brzeznica. - Mac.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, pg. 310]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the Winter 1999 issue of "Bulletin of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".

West Prussia [Prusy Zachodnia]

This is a translation of excerpts from the article on West Prussia printed in the late-19th century Polish gazetteer Slownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego. Remember that these articles contain information "current" when they were written, sometime after 1885 and before 1902. by Rev. Frydrychowicz


West Prussia, formerly Royal Prussia, part of Pomerania, currently one of 12 provinces of the Kingdom of Prussia, has already been partially discussed in the articles on Gdansk and Kwidzyn, and from an ecclesiastical viewpoint in the article on Chelmno.   Here we will give only complementary details..../p>


Surface formation. West Prussia occupies part of the Sarmatian plain.  Its distinctive trait is the Baltic Heights, called the Pojezierze [German Seenplatte, English "lake district"] due to the numerous lakes scattered across them.   These Heights, stretching from the east to northwest, divide the Wisla [Vistula] into two parts.  The eastern part extends to the Drweca river, the western to the valleys of the Notec river. In Kartuzy powiat the Heights reach their greatest elevation in the peak Spiczasta góra [German Thurmberg or Spitzberg] in the band of the Szymbark hills near Kartuzy, elevation 1,020 feet above sea level.   Toward the Wisla and the Baltic the highlands fall sharply to the extent that lower-situated regions on the water have to be secured with dikes... Across the whole lake district are scattered numerous erratic boulders, pushed across from Sweden by the glaciers....


The most fertile lowlands are those located along the Wisla, especially the so-called Zulawy by its outlet.  On the other hand Tuchola Forest [Tuchler Heide], between the Czarna Woda and Brda rivers, is not at all fertile and is largely covered with pine forests....


Climate. West Prussia's is a sea climate and therefore damp, variable, and harsh.   Western winds are most frequent, southern and northern winds fairly frequent, and eastern winds are the rarest.  Summer lasts a short time, the hot season gets on average to 86°F, on occasion 95°F; winter is long and quite cold.  On the shore winter begins later but lasts longer.  Spring usually begins no earlier than the end of April.  Northern winds and night frosts lasting to the beginning of May delay plant development.  In mid-May the temperature suddenly drops again 6-12 degrees... Storms and lightning are frequent in June.  Fall is sunnier than in northern Germany.   According to 20 years of observations, the mean temperature on Hel Peninsula is 45.5°F, in Gdansk (9 m. above sea level) 45.99°F, in Szymbark in Kartuzy powiat (250 m. above sea level) 42.24°F in Chojnice (155 m.) 44.04°F.  Next to Orzysz in East Prussia, Chojnice is the coldest point in the whole province.  Yearly rainfall in Gdansk is 475 mlm., in Chojnice 487 mlm.  The growing season lasts 4½ to 5 months.


History, area, and division ... [As of 1773] Warmia was incorporated into East Prussia, and Gdansk and Torun still belonged to Poland, whereas the East Prussian cities of Kwidzyn, Prabuty, Susz and Ilawa and their districts were made part of West Prussia, as was the Notec region [Netze-distrikt] in 1775...  As a result of the second partition in 1793 Gdansk and Torun were incorporated into West Prussia, and from then to 1807 there was no change in the province's territory.  The Peace of Tilsit in 1807 created the Duchy of Warsaw and took away from West Prussia the greater part of the Notec region, namely the entire powiaty of Inowroclaw and Bydgoszcz with the greater part of Kamien and Walcz powiaty, as well as the ancient province of Chelmno, i. e., the newly created powiaty of Chelmno and Michalowo, except for Grudziadz and three villages between the fortress and the outlet of the Osa river, and finally Gdansk and its district... When in 1815 the Duchy of Warsaw was dissolved by the treaty of Vienna, Chelmno province and Gdansk were re-incorporated into West Prussia.  In addition to the districts of Lebork and Bytów, which were split off in 1803, the province of West Prussia was divided into two regency districts, Gdansk and Kwidzyn, and the border that had existed up to that point was established so that West Prussia occupied all of Royal Prussia, except for the Duchy of Warmia and four powiaty: Zlotów and Walcz, seized from Great Poland, and Kwidzyn and Susz, previously part of Ducal Prussia.  In 1824 West and East Prussia were made a single province, but in 1878 they were divided again....


West Prussia lies between 52°50'24" and 54°50'8" north latitude and 33°38'1" and 37°38'55" longitude (Ferro), and borders to the north on the Baltic, to the east on East Prussia, to the south on the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Poznan, and to the west on Brandenburg and Pomerania.  Its area covers 25,584 sq. km. Gdansk regency district was formerly divided into 9 powiaty, and Kwidzyn contained 14.  In 1827, to strengthen the German element, a new powiat, Wabrzezno, was created in Kwidzyn district; Gdansk district was split into upper and lower powiaty, and new powiaty of Tczew and Puck were created.


Population: According to official statistics in 1867 West Prussia had 1,282,842 inhabitants; 1,343,057 in 1875; 1,405,898 in 1880; 1,408,229 in 1885; so in those last five years the population grew by only 2, 331, or 0.15%, while in the Kingdom of Prussia as a whole it grew by 3.79%. The rural population has diminished even in the last five years, caused by emigration to America - 13,749 left West Prussia for America in 1883; by the search for work in Westphalia and Saxony; and finally by expulsion of Poles not possessing Prussian naturalization- official lists give their number as 28,965 by 1 January 1887....


As for religion, in 1784 West Prussia had 203,721 Catholics and 122,201 Protestants.   In 1817 according to official statistics there were 31,463 more Protestants than Catholics.  In 1864 the Protestants outnumbered the Catholics by 25,553.  But in 1880 the ratio changed; there were 693,719 Catholics, and only 682,735 Protestants... In 1880 there were 26,000 Jews.  Mennonites, who in 1875 numbered 12,300, were included with the Protestants.  The 1 December 1885 census showed that of the total of 1,408,229 inhabitants, 701,842 were Catholic, 667,255 Protestant, 24,654 Jewish, and about 1,000 of other faiths.


As for ethnic origin, according to official statistics in 1885 there were 137,000 Poles in Gdansk regency, in Kwidzyn 280,000, for a total of 417,000-but that figure is too low, we can boldly state that the Polish population exceeded half a million.


West Prussia has 55 towns, among them 7 with more than 10,000 inhabitants.  As of 1880 the population of Gdansk was 108,551; Elblag 35,842; Torun 20,617; Grudziadz 17,321; Tczew 10,939; Malbork 9,559; Chojnice 9,096; Chelmno 9,937; Kwidzyn 8,238; Walcz 6,568; Starogard 6,253; Orunia ws 5,513; Brodnica 5,801; Wejherowo 4,715; Jastrowie 5,456; Lubawa 4,857; Nowe 4,947; Lubawa 4,857; Gniew 4,715; Wabrzezno 4,498; Koscierzyna 4,283 ....


Industry. Agricultural industry employs 30.7% of the population of West Prussia, manufacturing 17.7%, trade 6.7%, and 44.9% work in other fields.  The area devoted to agriculture, gardens, meadows and pasture is 71.5% of the whole territory.   Poultry farming is highly developed, as is the dairy industry... [Other occupations discussed at some length: beekeeping, fishing, milling, the sugar industry]... In Gdansk and Elblag locomotives and ships are built.  Only Gdansk has a foundry for bells, but relatively numerous are factories for tobacco, vinegar, soap, and wood-distilling.  Other flourishing trades are: tanning, dyeing, printing, distilling, brewing, metallurgy, and pottery... At Nierzeja Swieza amber is found; some of the raw material is sent to Vienna and Constantinople, some is used for various ornamental items, especially buttons, cigarette-holders, and necklaces.


Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1888, vol. 9, p. 94-101]


This translation, by William F. Hoffman, first appeared in the August 1996 issue of "Rodziny Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America".