Re: Seeking help to locate Prussia ancestor’s family town 1830s #poland #germany


David Levine
 

Hi
This might help:
  • "Germany" as in the country (Deutsches Reich) was not created until the unification in 1871, after the Franco-Prussian war
  • Before 1871, and after 1814, "Germany" referred to the area of independent countries in that geographical space
  • Before 1814, "Germany" referred to the lands of the Holy Roman Empire including what was the territories that later were the "Austrian" part of the Austro-Hungarian empire (as opposed to the Hungarian part)
  • In the 19th century, Prussia was the largest German state by far. Almost all of northern "Germany" from France in the West to Russia in the east was part of the Kingdom of Prussia
  • Between the 1770s and 1793, Prussia also took a part of Poland in the partition
  • See: https://www.britannica.com/place/Prussia for a map
So:
1860 PreuBen   -> He came from Prussia the country
1863-65 Germany  --> here they used the geographical term
1870 Prussia -->  Still state of Prussia
1880 Poland  -> This is either a mistake (because he was Jewish and the enumerator assumed; or, this is valuable information in that your ancestor is saying he came from the part of Prussia taken from Poland in the partition
1900-1915 Germany  ---> The correct post-1871 unification term for Germany is used here

Best
David Levine
davidelevine@...
San Francisco, CA, USA

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