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forest109



Joined: 03 Feb 2017
Replies: 14
Location: Virginia, USA

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:58 pm      Post subject: Have parish boundaries changed over time?
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I've been researching old parish records available on the Geneteka Genealodzy website, which is a fantastic resource. Since a thorough translation of each entry is not really an option for me, I am, so far anyway (*see below for a comment on that), limited pretty much to the basic information extracted by Geneteka's volunteers. This typically consists of the date (or year) and the village/town and parish in which the event took place. I always enter the event information based on the time in it occurred, and then enter a note in that Family Treemaker source entry indicating the present day location of that place, and it's distance and direction from 2 or 3 other cities and towns in order to make it easier to locate in today's world.

My question is, have parish boundaries in Poland remained constant over the years, as administrative boundaries and designations have changed numerous times, or have they also changed to conform to, say, the boundaries of the gmina in which the parish is located? My gut feeling is that they remain fairly constant, in order to serve their parishioners, and only change to reflect, say, the formation of a new parish within portions of existing parishes. Is that correct? Or, did boundaries change to reflect administrative boundary changes over the years (reorganization of voivodeships, powiats, and gmina), since the parish records doubled as civil/state records as well?

I have been looking for old maps that are detailed enough to show boundaries as least to the county/powiat level, but with limited success so far. Maps that show parish boundaries (and the villages within them) do not seem to exist. Gazetteers may prove more useful, and I'm hoping to create a database that tracks the administrative "location" (gmina & powiat) of each town in the area within Voivodeship Mazowieckie (old Warszawa) that all of my Polish ancestors appear to be from, for each administrative change (Duchy of Warsaw, and Congress Poland 1816-1837, 1837-1844, 1844-1866, and 1867-1918, etc.).

Any help would be much appreciated!

* I've seen a couple of posts regarding translation services for parish records, offered by Geneteka volunteers, which would be great, but I have hundreds of entries to deal with. I don't mind developing my (crude) translation skills a bit, but I would hate to lean on these generous folks, whom I am sure have their own lives to lead, any more than absolutely necessary.
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Magroski49
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Joined: 10 Nov 2008
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:37 pm      Post subject: Re: Have parish boundaries changed over time?
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forest109 wrote:
I've been researching old parish records available on the Geneteka Genealodzy website, which is a fantastic resource. Since a thorough translation of each entry is not really an option for me, I am, so far anyway (*see below for a comment on that), limited pretty much to the basic information extracted by Geneteka's volunteers. This typically consists of the date (or year) and the village/town and parish in which the event took place. I always enter the event information based on the time in it occurred, and then enter a note in that Family Treemaker source entry indicating the present day location of that place, and it's distance and direction from 2 or 3 other cities and towns in order to make it easier to locate in today's world.

My question is, have parish boundaries in Poland remained constant over the years, as administrative boundaries and designations have changed numerous times, or have they also changed to conform to, say, the boundaries of the gmina in which the parish is located? My gut feeling is that they remain fairly constant, in order to serve their parishioners, and only change to reflect, say, the formation of a new parish within portions of existing parishes. Is that correct? Or, did boundaries change to reflect administrative boundary changes over the years (reorganization of voivodeships, powiats, and gmina), since the parish records doubled as civil/state records as well?

I have been looking for old maps that are detailed enough to show boundaries as least to the county/powiat level, but with limited success so far. Maps that show parish boundaries (and the villages within them) do not seem to exist. Gazetteers may prove more useful, and I'm hoping to create a database that tracks the administrative "location" (gmina & powiat) of each town in the area within Voivodeship Mazowieckie (old Warszawa) that all of my Polish ancestors appear to be from, for each administrative change (Duchy of Warsaw, and Congress Poland 1816-1837, 1837-1844, 1844-1866, and 1867-1918, etc.).

Any help would be much appreciated!

* I've seen a couple of posts regarding translation services for parish records, offered by Geneteka volunteers, which would be great, but I have hundreds of entries to deal with. I don't mind developing my (crude) translation skills a bit, but I would hate to lean on these generous folks, whom I am sure have their own lives to lead, any more than absolutely necessary.


Not sure if this will help you. Map of diocesis and dekanats, present day.
http://www.parafie.genealodzy.pl/index.php?op=dc

Gilberto
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forest109



Joined: 03 Feb 2017
Replies: 14
Location: Virginia, USA

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:36 am      Post subject:
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Thanks, Gilberto. It doesn't help so much as far as my question goes, but it does have all current contact information, which does help. An English translation button would help even more, but I can work around that.
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Tina Ellis



Joined: 02 Nov 2008
Replies: 23

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:15 pm      Post subject:
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I use the Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich to learn what the parishes were for specific villages and cities: Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich. You have to have the correct spelling, which mean you have to know the diactrical marks for the letters which require them. Also I have found some that did not use them and some that did that don't today. There are also misspellings so searching manually will also help.

Often you will find that the gmina will be where the parish is located, if not I search for the largest town using a Polish Road Atlas. You can purchase them online. I find the places near the villages that have crosses, indicating a church is located there.

After finding those, I use this side to see when the parish was established: http://parafie.genealodzy.pl/. This site will give you the old province, which existed from 1975 through 1998 and the new one from beginning in 1999.

I think if you were to also write to the current parish, someone there may be able to tell you where the parish was for some of the places. Using the http://parafie.genealodzy.pl/ site would be helpful for that because current addresses for the parished are located at this site. When writing, write in Polish. I recommend not using complicated sentences.

Hope this information can be of some benefit for you.

Tina Ellis
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forest109



Joined: 03 Feb 2017
Replies: 14
Location: Virginia, USA

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:02 pm      Post subject:
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Thanks Tina. I'm trying to correlate the towns/villages that were within a particular parish in earlier time periods prior to 1918. That's why I was wondering if parish boundaries changed as other administrative boundaries changed, particularly from 1793 to 1918. The original parish records available on Geneteka Genealodzy almost always give the name of the village, so then it's just a matter of finding it on a present day map, which isn't too difficult (unless the name of the village has changed or no longer exists). Then I use Wikipedia and Google Maps to locate and provide details of the town/village. If you enter, for example, "gmina kampinos poland" in the Google Maps search bar, the entire area of that gmina is highlighted, making it easy to identify all of the towns/villages within it. However, if you search for "parish kampinos poland", it does not seem to recognize those boundaries, hence my question. And, all places and boundaries are present day, of course.

Unfortunately, I can't read Polish (although I can make out some words and phrases), and would need another lifetime to learn it adequately, so it looks like the geographical dictionary link you provided may not be of much help in my case, but I checked it and it looks like a great resource. I will refer to it if I get stuck with a place name. Someone else suggested the parafie.genealodzy link to me, and it will certainly help when I need to contact a particular parish directly. As far as not using complicated sentences goes, in my case that's a given!
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Tina Ellis



Joined: 02 Nov 2008
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:25 pm      Post subject:
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When you find the profile of the village in the Slownik, all you need to know are a few Polish words to learn the location of a place. I type words from the Slownik to translate.google.com. Knowing a gmina is not always going to give you parish name, but in many cases it does. Using the Slownik is helpful in that way.

Pow. is powiat.
Woj. is province
Gub. is province
Par. is parish.

In the NE part of Poland, I noticed changes in parishes in the late 1700's because of new parishes being built jut a few miles from the older parishes. Most changes after that came in the 1990's.

Checking this site is good because they give us the year the new churches were established: http://parafie.genealodzy.pl/. That's a clue that there was a place that serviced them before the new church was built.

This site gives you a Polish Genealogical Word List, which is very helpful: https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Polish_Word_List. It also has the Polish alphabet spelled out for us using the diactrical marks you will find in the Slownik and other sites. It's work, but the more you use them the more proficient you will become with recognizing Polish words.

Happy Hunting to you.

Tina
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