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Poland Around 1883

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Kent   Mar 30, 2008, 10:23am /  #
My grandfather immigrated to America in 1883 as a young man of 24. The ship manifest lists country as West Prussia. I am pretty sure he came from somewhere around Posen or Inowroclaw.

I am interested in what was going on in Poland around this time that might have caused him to leave. Any insights are greatly appreciated.

Thank You

Grzegorz_   Mar 30, 2008, 10:31am /  #
Kent wrote:


Kent   Mar 30, 2008, 12:22pm /  #
Thanks for the correction...my apologies.

ShaneConrad Edited by: ShaneConrad    Mar 30, 2008, 12:53pm /  #
Kent wrote:
I am interested in what was going on in Poland around this time that might have caused him to leave.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia: "Partitions of Poland
Main article: History of Poland (1795-1918)
Poles would resent their fate and would several times rebel against the partitioners, particularly in the nineteenth century. In 1807 Napoleon recreated a Polish state, the Duchy of Warsaw, but after the Napoleonic wars, Poland was again divided in 1815 by the victorious Allies at the Congress of Vienna. The eastern portion was ruled by the Russian Czar as a Congress Kingdom, and possessed a liberal constitution. However, the Czars soon reduced Polish freedoms and Russia eventually de facto annexed the country. Later in the nineteenth century, Austrian-ruled Galicia, particularly the Free City of Kraków, became a centre of Polish cultural life."
As you can see Poland was partitioned during this time. Poznań and Inowroc³aw were under Prussian rule (this is probably why you refer to Poznań by its German name of Posen). A lot of Poles left Poland due to foreign rule over the country. Here is another excerpt from the wikipedia: "The Province of Posen (German: Provinz Posen, Polish: Prowincja Poznańska) was a province of Prussia from 1848-1918 and as such part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918; the whole area is now part of Poland. Its capital was Poznań (German: Posen). The province replaced the Grand Duchy of Posen." You may want to start your reading right there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Posen

z_darius   Mar 30, 2008, 01:25pm /  #
Kent wrote:
I am interested in what was going on in Poland around this time that might have caused him to leave.

Poles were only a small fraction of immigrants to America in that period. While individual reasons for leaving their home countries may vary, most were looking for those streets paved with gold.

polishcanuck   Mar 30, 2008, 01:26pm /  #
Oh wikipedia, what would we have done without thee?

ShaneConrad   Mar 30, 2008, 01:36pm /  #
polishcanuck wrote:
Oh wikipedia, what would we have done without thee?

I think it is a good start... Whatever source, the content is never fully objective and complete. Our job is to reach to multiple sources and form our own opinions. Can you offer some additional sources? :)

cazza   Mar 30, 2008, 02:11pm /  #
in 1871 Prussia united with many smaller states to become Germany so West Prussia would have been part of the german Empire at this time

Kowalski   Mar 30, 2008, 03:37pm /  #
Kulturkampf is what comes to my mind see.....Wikipedia

isthatu   Mar 30, 2008, 06:27pm /  #
Kent wrote:
Thanks for the correction...my apologies.

nope,hes wrong,it was Posen at that time......

Kowalski   Mar 30, 2008, 07:06pm /  #
For Poles it was Poznan, Inowroclaw for Germans was Hohensalza.

isthatu   Mar 30, 2008, 07:08pm /  #
Tomato tomayto mate. Fact is,it was at that time the german city of Posen. A frenchman in London may call it Londres but its still London.

Kowalski   Mar 30, 2008, 08:06pm /  #
I expected that from you.

Ozi Dan   Mar 30, 2008, 08:49pm /  #
Perhaps try Baedekers travel books. I think they were around then?

z_darius   Mar 30, 2008, 09:40pm /  #
isthatu wrote:
Fact is,it was at that time the german city of Posen.

That's debatable. Why not Polish city inder German administration. In fact, Poznan is one of the earliest Polish cities and Poles were always a majority, except for about a decade long period in the middle 0f the 19th century. Even during German occupation, Poles living referred t the city by their original and present name.

isthatu wrote:
A frenchman in London may call it Londres but its still London.

There is a significant difference. A Frenchman in London is a visitor/newcomer. Poles living in Poznan had been living there for generations.

isthatu   Mar 31, 2008, 06:13am /  #
z_darius wrote:
That's debatable. Why not Polish city inder German administration.

In other words a GERMAN city......it will not apear on any records out side ickle wee Polish ones as Posen so why lead the guy up the wrong path just because some of your nationalistic pride has been pricked?

Kowalski   Mar 31, 2008, 06:29am /  #
Yes. Remember that it was not Warszawa but Warschau 1939-45. You isthatu do paste some more Lord Nelson stories so we can remember when Britain was significant last time.

isthatu Edited by: isthatu    Mar 31, 2008, 06:42am /  #
Oh kowalski kowalski,why the chip on your shoulder boy? I dont think there will have been any where outside nasty germany that refered to warsaw as warschua...really,get a grip on yourself and see how silly you look.
The guy came on here hoping to carry out some historical research,in which case it will help him to know exactly what the place he is looking into was called back then.......not what you would like it to have been called,afraid if you cant see this and think this is some sort of national pride contest you just display a real imaturity and a poor grasp of history.
As for posting stuff about nelson,me thinks you have me mixed up with someone else fella.....but,well,your crying and bleating sorta shows that you dont let facts get in the way of a post do you....
Analogy,he comes on here looking into Zimbabwe in the 1950s...he isnt going to find it,it was Rhodesia,some zim' nutter insists its called Zimbabwe and hey presto ,the guys gonna have a hard time in the research files isnt he?

Kowalski   Mar 31, 2008, 07:08am /  #
Hey dude "national pride contest" is also your input into this thread. Reading about Kulturkampf may help you find out why for Poles it's been Poznan - that is all.
I think you're gay.

isthatu   Mar 31, 2008, 07:31am /  #
lol,you are a big baby arnt you ,ah well,blah blah blah,"for Poles it will always be Poznan" how very rational you are....
OOh,you think Im gay? Ouch,that really hurts,please stop,I may cry.......

Lukasz Edited by: Lukasz    Mar 31, 2008, 07:45am /  #
Istahu you are not expert.

Poznan is town where Polish country has been borned.

Frist Polish capital (some histricians callm that first was Gniezno town vely close to Poznan)


Look on map with names of Western Slavic tribes in 10th century. Where are Polans = Poles.

Later Polans had union with Vistulians (Krakow) and it was begining of Polish country ... Czechs and Slovaks went their way ...

in 14th century capital was moved to Krakow ... Later to Warszawa (because of Geographical reasons)

isthatu Edited by: isthatu    Mar 31, 2008, 07:48am /  #
Lukasz,NO ONE is disputing that Poles call it Poznan,no one. What Im simply pointing out is that in any contempory refernce to the town in 1883 it will be listed as Posen,thats all,no nasty motive ,just fact. Mr Smith seems blinded by nationalism ,dont join his club lukasz.

Kowalski   Mar 31, 2008, 08:01am /  #
Gay as "having or inducing high spirits" hehehe

Kent   Apr 7, 2008, 02:43pm /  #
Wow, sorry for creating such a fire storm. I was actually looking at a map on-line of Poland/Prussia in the 1880's and that's where I got the "Posen" spelling from.

But now, that the can of worms is opened... I am wondering about the renaming of Polish cities and towns buy the Germans during that period. I have come across a few locations on immigration records that I can not find on a current map of Poland. It may be because they no longer exist or they may be the German version.

Does anyone know of a good cross reference?

Thanks for all your help.

plk123 Photos: 2    Apr 7, 2008, 02:48pm /  #
Kent wrote:


actualy at that time it was Posen as it was Prussia not PL.

Mr Ednik   Oct 22, 2009, 03:20pm /  #
1883 Polish men had to register for the Russian draft calling men over 20, most likely for 20 years. Germans has same in Prussia. My grandfather left at 17 in 1883 from Marianki
for this reason. Failure to register was punishable.
The Drewca river area had influenza most people moving heading toward Berlin for work etc. 1883 was a big year for movement

Sokrates   Oct 22, 2009, 07:20pm /  #
it will be listed as Posen,

I daresay that the name the cities primary inhabitants and true owners call it is more important then what the occupying force used to name it?

Softsong Photos: 1    Oct 22, 2009, 07:40pm /  #
Yes, it is more important what the natives call it. No one is denying it was Poznan and is Poznan again. But if you want to do historical research you have to go by the name that it was called during the time period you are interested in.

The example above about Zimbawe vs. Rhodesia is a good point.

If we did insist upon calling Posen in the 1880's Poznan, than we should also ignore the partitions and go on calling the country, Poland instead of Prussia.

My great-grandparents who were Polish...Josef Lewandowski and Elzbieta Bubacz also emmigrated in the 1880's, probably due to the Kulturkampf. And probably because they were poor and looking to better their lives.

All their papers say they were from Prussia. Sad, but that is what it was then. So, the original poster is just attempting to figure out where the places his historical documents tell him his family originated. He does need a cross reference as it is very confusing at times. Any one know of a good one?

TheOther Edited by: TheOther    Oct 22, 2009, 07:58pm /  #
But if you want to do historical research you have to go by the name that it was called during the time period you are interested in.

This is exactly what I'm trying to preach here all the time - often without success. There seems to be a widespread tendency in Poland to ignore historical facts when it comes to the era of the partitions.

He does need a cross reference as it is very confusing at times. Any one know of a good one?


Sokrates   Oct 22, 2009, 08:58pm /  #
Softsong Today, 19:40

You've got a point.

Better way is to call the archidiecezja in Poznań and check the birth records that would match his grandfathers birth and name and roll from there.

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