Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Re: Podwoloczyska/Slownik Geograficzny #galicia

Brian J. Lenius <brian@...>

For those unfamiliar with this work, the "Slownik Geographiczny Krolestwa
Polskiego" is a series of 14 volumes and 2 supplemental volumes that provide
a write-up (some many pages, while most were a paragraph or two) for
virtually all places that were part of the pre-partition Kingdom of Poland.
Most of the volumes have 960 pages and the set all totaled has 14,785 pages.
It was published in Warsaw between 1880 and 1902 and the various entries
were written by a large number of authors, many of whom were the most
renowned Polish scholars of that time.

Entries include the jurisdictions that the village, town or city belonged to
and some information about the geographic location and history of the place
including its origins. As well, population statistics are given and even
the elevation (asl). Extensive use of abbreviations make the interpretation
of an entry difficult, but also mean that there is a large amount of data
for each place in even a small entry. By and large, the information in the
"Slownik" is accurate, although I have found some glaring errors for some
villages. This only emphasizes the need to use caution with this source (as
should be done with all others) in corroborating information with other

To address the specific question posed by Pamela, the sources used for
entries in this dictionary are far too many to list and one could say they
were exhaustive. The source for each fact in an entry was not specifically
cited, therefore it is impossible to tell where any given set of statistics
for a given village may have been obtained. Having said that, all of the
kinds of information mentioned by Pamela including specifically the "exact
figure for the number of families residing on the grounds of the landowner's
estate (dwor), as opposed to having their own residence/house in the village
proper" can be found in the "Gemeindelexikon" which I referred to in an
earlier posting to this list (Subject: Military service/Kolomea). This
obviously was not a specific source used for the Slownik because the
Gemeindelexikon was not published until 1907 (based on the 1900 Austrian
census) while the Slownik was already completely published well before that
date. However, statistical compilations similar to the Gemeindelexikon
based on censuses prior to 1900 may have been used. Other sources such as
Catholic Diocesan guides also give population breakdown for the various
religions (including the number of Jews) within the boundaries of each
Catholic parish.

Copies of the "Slownik Geographiczny" are relatively rare but it is
available in some libraries including the LDS (Mormon) Library in Salt Lake
City. The Polish Genealogical Society of America has a copy in its library
in Chicago and also has it available for sale on CD.

Brian J. Lenius
Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada

Pamela Weisberger wrote:

Thank you to Brian Lenius for the enlightening explanation on determining
the accuracy of the Jewish population in Podwoloczyska at the turn of the

This brought to mind another question:

I was wondering how the population statistics, by religious parish, cited in
the "Slownik Geograficzny" - The Geographic Dictionary of the Former
Kingdom of Poland--the gazetteer published between 1880 to 1902--were

Were they based on census figures Brian has referred to, Cadastral maps, or
town-to-town surveys? In the translations I've read for some of my ancestral
towns, the population statistics are quite precise--not only in the number
of Jews, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox parishioners residing in each
village, but also in detailing an exact figure for the number of families
residing on the grounds of the landowner's estate (dwor), as opposed to
having their own residence/house in the village proper.

How were these facts and figures obtained at the time the gazetteer was