Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Galicia Administrative Divisions again #galicia

Alexander Sharon <a.sharon@...>

Dear Galitzyaners,

This subject has been already extensively discussed during the last summer,
but in view of my recent research work on the town compilation list for
Galicia, I'd like to reopen this discussion as this directly affects Jewish
genealogical research in Galicia.

Town compilation data

I have initiated work on the compilation of all Galicia towns mainly for
JGFF needs, since such complete list is not available on line as in case of
Belarus or Lithuania shtetls.

Primary, this work is based on the detailed information on all Poland's
localities listed in 1929 Poland Business Directory and the localities
alphabetical list issued as Addenda to this Directory.

In addition, various Ukrainian and Polish resources for Western Ukraine,
such as maps, atlases, books, memoirs and private correspondence with
Ukrainian researchers >from the geography and history departments of
Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Ternopil universities have been also utilized.

As a result, complete list of shtetls names in Eastern Galicia for Tarnopol,
Stanislawow and Lwow Provinces is now completed. List also include large
portion of the Western Galicia, since several principal areas, excluding
Krakow were part of Lwow Province before WWII. Listing for Krakow Province
which covers rest of the Western Galicia will be completed shortly.

This list includes data for total 3,839 Eastern Galicia localities
subdivided into:

Tarnopol Province - 1,035 localities
Stanislawow Province - 859 localities, and
Lwow Province - 1,939 localities (including Rzeszow, Przemysl, Lancut and
Kolbuszowa regions of the Western Galicia).

Compilation of towns covers such data as:

locality name,
locality administrative status [parish, shtetl (miasteczko), town],
locality administrative district (powiat),
total number of residents (1921 census), and

Partially completed items:
number of the Jewish residents,
modern (for the Ukrainian parts) locality name, and its
geographical coordinates.

Lists has been also sorted out by Provinces and Districts (Powiats)
to allow researcher a flexibility to search through the administrative

Incomplete information on the number of Jewish residents is due to
the delay on receiving official data >from the Polish sources for 1921
and 1931 censuses for every shtetl.

Incomplete information on the modern Ukrainian names is mostly related
to the verification of changed old names to current Ukrainian (US
BGN/ShtetlSeeker lists mostly Russian town names which have been changed),
and associated with it verification of the geographical coordinates, which
have to be in many instances manually calculated >from the small scale maps.
I received in this matter some assistance >from the Ukrainian correspondents.

In any event, basic data for the towns original names, and its district
affiliations is now completed and available for publication on line in
Gesher Galicia website or Galitzyaner publication. In my opinion, this data
shall be published on the Gesher website in the same searchable format as
Belarussian or Lithuanian SIG's have published their particular shtetls.
I will transfer this data for publication, when it will be requested by
the Gesher webmaster.

Compiled data is not copyrighted, it will be available to anyone. It is
my contribution to the dear Galicia community and dedicated to the memory
of my beloved Father and the entire Kleinberg family >from Boryslaw and
Vicinity, that have perished during haShoah.

Austrian Galicia vs interwar Poland administrations divisions

1875 Austrian division of Galicia into Judicial, Administrative districts
and subdistricts and the additional Jewish [Rabbinical administration] and
Christian (RC) Districts represents without any questions, document of the
great historical value.

Unfortunately the Austrian administration system became archaic as far as
modern genealogical research is concerned.

There is an explanation for it:

When Poland in 1918 became an independent country and took over the
territories previously managed under the diversified Russian, Prussian
and Austrian administrations systems. Poland modernized and unified
its administrative system based on the French administration model.

As a result, previously known Austrian Galicia system of the judicial
and administration of districts and sudristricts has been abolished.
Also obsolete became all religion administrative districts divisions
since the Government Registry offices were now responsible for the vital
records administration.

Modern Poland has divede Galicia into four major Provinces known as
Wojewodstwo and named after their capital cities: Krakow, Lwow, Tarnopol and
Stanislawow. This led to the establishment of the new territorial
subdivisions called Powiats, named after "miasto powiatowe" (district towns)
and rural "gminy' (parishes or communities). Some old Austrian divison
districts have retain same centalized statut in new administration division,
but this is not always the case.

All records were physically transferred to newly assigned towns and shtetls
were Government Registry offices have been established.

Following the end of WWII, agreement or understanding moratorium has been
reached between Poland and Soviet Ukraine governmental authorities regarding
archives transfer.

All records that have been transfered to Poland have been archived in AGAD =
Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych, for documents 100 years and older, and all
documents less than 100 years old were archived in USC Warszawa Srodmiescie,
also known as Archiwum Zabuzanskie. On the annual basis, as document are
reaching age of 100 years, they are transfered >from the Arvchiwum
Zabuzanskie depository to the AGAD archives.

Both Polish archives have their archived strored under the names of those
towns where Registry offices were located during Poland interwar period. One
can verify this information by checking AGAD and Warszawa USC Srodmiescie
lists of the Galicia depository towns.

And it is not surprising that the depository towns lists is corresponding to
the list of the interwar Poland's administrative towns and miasteczki
(shtetls), the Registry Office seats.

It should be noted, that the Jewish life in Galicia has been somehow
reestablish after WWII, when Jewish people that arrived >from the East, have
populated major towns of Eastern Galicia. But this was not a proper Jewish
life without the Jewish education or synagouges. "New" Jews of the Eastern
Galicia have immigrated in masse to Israel and western countries following
fall of USSR.

Last Eastern Galicia Jewry estimated as 530,000 strong at the otbreak of
WWII was physically destroyed during haShoah.


In my opinion, that decision of the Gesher Galicia gathering during last
year Conference in Salt ALke City, that has adopted Austrian administration
division for the genealogical purposes should be reconsidered.

For the genealogical purposes administration division of Galicia that were
established in 1918 shall be utilized for the following reasons

1. Records of the old Galicia Austrian districts were physically transfered
to the Registry offices established in 1918
2. Depositories in Poland and Ukraine arcvive all the records of Galicia
based on the town names that were the seats of The Registry offices during
Poland interwar period.
3. Records of the thousands of Jews that were residents of Galicia in the
interwar period have been initiated during period.

Alexander Sharon
Calgary, Alberta

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