In 1877, the Austrian government assigned to 73 Administrative Districts (ADs) the Galician towns where Jews were known to have lived at the time of the 1870 census. The government designated some towns as Jewish Administrative Centers, which were the administrative seats where Jewish metrical (birth, death, marriage) records were to be kept. The Jewish community of each town was assigned to one Jewish Administrative Center, all the towns and their administrative center together constituting a “Jewish District”. An AD usually took its name from, and its headquarters was located in, the most important town in the AD. Jewish administrative centers, too, were usually named after, and their headquarters were located in, important towns. Jewish districts registered births, deaths, and marriages, and sent a copy of each record to the main office at the AD headquarters.
At the same time, ADs were divided into judicial sub-districts that usually, although not always, corresponded to Jewish districts. This fact can make locating Galician Jewish records a bit tricky. Consult Suzan Wynne’s book The Galitzianers: The Jews of Galicia, 1772-1918 (2006), for a list of towns and their Jewish Administrative Centers.
The following 1877 Galicia Administrative Districts are listed under the country where they are found today (post WWII):
Poland (Western Galicia)
District names in Polish
Ukraine (Eastern Galicia)
District Names in Polish [Russian]
Grodek Jagiellonski [Gorodok]
Kamionka Strumilowa [Kamianka Strumylova] (see notes)
Lwow (Lemberg) [Lviv]
Rawa (Rawa Ruska) [Rava Russkaya]
Sambor (Altstadt) [Sambor]
Stanislawow [Ivano-Frankivsk] (see notes)
Zolkiew [Zhovkva] (see notes)
At its July 9, 2000 meeting in Salt Lake City, in an effort to clarify the question of Galicia administrative districts, the Gesher Galicia Steering Committee selected the 1877 Austrian Administrative District as the standard that Gesher Galicia will use for its research groups, in its publications, and on its web site.
Notes (thanks to Matthew Bielawa):
In 1877, Kamionka in Polish was really Kamionka Strumilowa (in Ukrainian Kamianka Strumylova, in Russian Kamenka Strumilovskaya) (But Russian wouldn’t really be used since in 1877 this was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; there were no Russians there.). Since 1944, the name changed to Kamionka Buzk (in Ukrainian Kamianka Buz’k, in Russian Kamenka Bugskaya).
Stanislawow in Polish, Stanislaviv in Ukrainian was the name in 1877. In the 1950’s the name was changed to (in Ukrainian and Russian) Ivano-Frankivsk. This name is still used today. (Named after the writer/poet Ivan Franko.)
The Ukrainian for Zolkiew would be Zhovkva, the Russian Zholkva. During the Soviet years the name was in Russian Nesterov and in Ukrainian Nesteriv. Today it is back to Zhovkva in Ukrainian.
See Matthew Bielawa’s web page that lists the counties of Eastern Galicia found in the three most southeast provinces of Poland during the inter-war years. (The same place names for 1877 are also found on the page in both Cyrillic Ukrainian and transliterated Ukrainian.)