JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Town/City in Lomza Province #general

Alexander Sharon

"Stan Goodman" wrote
Alexander Sharon) opined:

Would it be possible to scan the handwritten image of the elusive "Kolnapin"
to verify it's name?
There are several possibilities, personally I believe that this is village
Kobylin but it can be only verified after image examination.

It would be also helpful if you will provide your grandfather surname.

Lomza Guberniya (Russian administrative division equal to province) was part
of the Russian Empire till 1918.
There is always confusion in translating names of political divisions from
one language to another. For example, every list relating to this area in
the JRI-PL indices puts Lomza Gubernia in either Warsaw Province of
Bialystok Province.
Please refer to the map of Polish Guberniyas within the Russian Empire:

The Bug River located just north of Warsaw Guberniya was the historicala nd
natural border dividing Podlasie - Mazowsze regions and Warsaw and Lomza

Ia m not aware that the shtetls of ex Russian Lomza Guberniya suppose to be
located in Warsaw Guberniya.

After WWI, all ex Lomza territory was incorporated within the Bialystok Province.
Please compare maps of Lomza Guberniya (till 1918) with Poland interwar
period Provinces divisions

All preWWI major Lomza Guberniya towns: Wysokie Mazowieckie, Kolno, Zambrow
and even the the southernmost town Ciechanowiec have been incorporated
within the Bialystok Province in the independent interwar Poland.

Town Bialystok, that used to be part of Russian Grodno Guberniya, became the
seat of the expanded Bialystok Province that have incorporated all of preWWI
Lomza Guberniya and large part of Grodno Guberniya.

If one says "gubernia" is "equivalent to province", then
there are provinces within provinces, which ain't so. Granted that my
Polish-English dictionary (Langenscheidt) translates "wojewodztwo" (which is
the Polish equivalent of Russian "gubernia") as "province"; but it
translates English "province" by three other Polish words, none of which is
"wojewodztwo". It is well to keep "gubernia" and "province" distinct.
I believe that the historical references are there in order.
Initially, Guberniyas were established in 1708 by Peter the Great, and in
1719 Guberniyas were further subdivided into 'provinces' (provincya in

But in 1775 and again in 1796 the new administration reforms have abolished
term 'provinces' and replaced them with the "Uyezds" (districts in English),
which were subdivided into smaller units called volosts, and this system
existed with some modification till 1929, when Guberniyas were replaced with
Oblast's, Okrugs and Rayons.

Thus, even in 18th century Russia existed sedition into 'provinces' it has
no significant relevance to the Jewish Genealogy, since our records do not
go so far, as they have been established only in the 19th century.

Poland has adopted in its administrative divisions historical term
Wojewodztwo (Voyevodship or Province in English) subdivided into powiats.

As to Guberniya and Wojewodztwo to be named as a "Province"

I believe that >from the beginning JRI-Poland and various SIG involved with
the records of the old Russian Empire have adopted original administrative
terms as Guberniya, Uyezd and Volost to follow up with the original records
expressing the strong Russification process of the Russian Poland provinces.

But if you turn to the Austrian Poland records within the JewishGen and
Gesher Galicia, you will notice that all four Galicia Provinces: Krakow,
Lwow, Stanislawow and Tarnopol are called Provinces or Wojewodztwa, where in
reality they were known as Austrian' Kreise, and the smaller units, known as
districts (or powiats) should be called as Bezirkshauptmannsschft or
Kreisdistricten if one follows the original records.

I have noticed similar occurence in some Prussian records.

Pre WWI and the interwar records for one of "my" towns- Bytom (Beuthen,
Beutten) in Upper Silesia are identified within the Prussia/Katowice
Province, but in reality Beuthen became part of Poland only in 1945.

To conclude. There is no tragic mistake to identify Guberniya, Wojewodztwo
or Kreise as the "Province" since this is what became as the acceptable term
in English.

Alexander Sharon

Calgary, Ab.

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