From the archives of The Galitzianer

Published since 1993, The Galitzianer is the quarterly newsletter of Gesher Galicia. A selection of articles from recent issues have been put online, and more pieces will be added to this website in the near future. Articles may also be browsed by issue number or by article type. Members of Gesher Galicia can download full PDF's of past issues, and can opt to receive their subscription to the The Galitzianer in either digital or paper format.

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Table of Contents: Volume 1, Number 3 (Spring, 1994)

Editor’s Corner Holocaust Related Collections Names From Meorei Galicia Searching For Records in Ukraine Travel Plans Travel Report Galician Documents In The 18th & 19th Centuries Maps Video Books Members Exchange Holdings of Jewish National Library, Jerusalem Sample Letter in Polish Corrected List of Towns from Horowitz More On Beth Hatefutsoth Exhibit [level-gesher-galicia-member][/level-gesher-galicia-member] [not-level-gesher-galicia-member][/not-level-gesher-galicia-member]

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Table of Contents: Volume 1, Number 2 (Winter, 1994)

Editor’s Corner Eastern Galician Records In Warsaw: Updated and Revised List Pinkas Hakehillot and Horowitz (Continued) Translation Guides Us State Department Resource Maps Resource from the Bussgangs Resource from Nat Abramowitz Genealogy Research Services Source For Yizkor Books Members’ Exchange More On Travel in Ukraine New Cracow Friendship Society Citizenship Query Kolbuszowa, Nowy Targ, Dobczyce […]

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Table of Contents: Volume 1, Number 1 (Fall, 1993)

Coordinator’s Corner Index To Meorei Galicia Pinkas Hakehillot & Horowitz Translators Researchers Exhibit (Judaica Treasures From Galicia) Book About Ukraine (“Ukraine: A History”) Brzozow, Przemysl, Sanok, Strzyzow (Yizkor Books/Brzozow Surnames) Buchach & Potok Zloty (Yad Vashem Articles, Etc.) Dabrowa Tarnowska (Visit To) Krakow (Help Offered) Radomysl (Two Towns with Same Name) Tarnobrzeg (Booklet About) Historical […]

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How the Son of Ulysses S. Grant Helped a Galitzianer

by Ben Weinstock

Ulysses S. Grant. The name probably triggers memories from your high school history class: Civil War general, later 18th President of the United States. However, if you hear the name “Frederick Dent Grant,” you would probably say, “Who?” Frederick Dent Grant was a son of Ulysses S. Grant and was, for five years, United States Minister to Austria-Hungary. This is the story of how he helped a Jew from Galicia.

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Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States

by Susana Leistner Bloch

The Galitzianer - Polish Friendship Book, #1 of 2

The Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States consist of a collection of 111 manuscript volumes compiled in Poland in 1926 and delivered to President Calvin to honor the 150th anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence. Richly illustrated with original works by prominent Polish graphic artists, the collection includes the greetings and signatures of national, provincial and local government officials, representatives of religious, social, business, academic, and military institutions, and school children. President Coolidge asked that this collection be transferred to the Library of Congress where it remained “forgotten” for some 70 years. In 1996, during the visit of Polish First Lady Jolanta Kwasniewska and other Polish dignitaries, the collection was serendipitously “rediscovered.”

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My Return Home

by Rubin Schmer-Gartenberg

I was born on January 14, 1925 in Drohobych, Poland, a small city in what had been, until the end of the First World War, the Austrian province of Galicia. The population of Drohobych when I was born was about 40,000, of whom about half were Jews. By 1940 I was working in the telegraph office. On June 22, one hour after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, I was called to report to the office. As the German army approached, only one-half day before it occupied Drohobych, our telegraph unit left Drohobych. I never saw my home or family again. I survived; they didn’t.

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Tabula Registers: An Untapped Genealogical Resource in the Lviv Archives

by Alexander Dunai

Tabula Register - Lviv

There is a little-known resource for Galician researchers held in the Lviv State Historical Archive — the “Tabula Krajowa,” or Tabula Registers (Fond 166, 1780-1891). In 1780 the State Registrar Department — established by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II — began documenting the purchase and sale of real estate and land, property leasing, testaments, deeds, money-lending agreements, promissory notes, public sale for debts, etc.. Because Jews were active in commerce — it was one of those areas in which the government allowed them to work — many families had occasion to participate in some kind of business relationship and sign a contract, which often contained names of both the husband and wife represented in the deal as one participant. Other documents, like testaments and public sales for debts, frequently contain information on several generations.

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Spisy Tabuli: Niewykorzystane źródła genealogiczne w lwowskich archiwach

Istnieje mało znane źródło materiałów do badań nad Galicją, przechowywane w Państwowym Archiwum Historycznym we Lwowie — “Tabula Krajowa” lub Spisy Tabuli (Fond 166, 1780-1891). W roku 1780 Państwowy Departament Rejestrów — założony przez cesarza austriackiego Józefa II — zaczął rejestrować umowy kupna i sprzedaży nieruchomości i ziem, dzierżawy własności, testamenty, akty notarialne, umowy pożyczek, skrypty dłużne, publiczne sprzedaże długów itp. Ponieważ Żydzi aktywnie uprawiali handel — była to jedna z gałęzi przemysłu, w której rząd pozwolił im pracować — wiele rodzin miało możliwość uczestniczenia w różnych relacjach biznesowych i podpisywania kontraktów, w których często były zawarte nazwiska zarówno męża, jak i żony, występujących w umowe w roli uczestników transakcji. Pozostałe dokumenty, takie jak testamenty i umowy sprzedaży długów, zawierały często informacje o kilku generacjach.

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The Meisters: Lost and Found

by Joan Meister

My husband, Julius Meister, born in Katowice, Poland in 1935, is a child Holocaust survivor who lost both parents during the war. From time to time Julius would speak of his experiences in a factual manner but minimized the associated feelings. When the Shoah Foundation was collecting survivor stories, he felt emotionally unable to give testimony. While maintaining close ties to surviving family members from his mother’s side, he was always keenly aware that he was missing half of his identity. Relatives told him that all the Meisters had perished and were unable to provide any information about the family. Sadly, Julius has no memory of his father.

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Visiting the Polish State Archives

by Mark Halpern, JRI-Poland

The JRI-Poland database of almost 3 million indices of Jewish vital records derives from two main sources. The first source is the many microfilms of Jewish records of Poland filmed by the LDS Church. The second is the indices created from the Jewish holdings of the Polish State Archives that were not previously microfilmed. Both sources originate from the vital record registers at about 50 branches of the Polish State Archives.

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Three Methods For Capturing Burial Data for the JOWBR

by Ada Green

The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) is a searchable database on JewishGen. The goal of the project is to catalog all existing Jewish cemeteries and burial societies worldwide. It does not accept information on individual burials, but only for complete cemeteries, landsmanshaft or synagogue plots, or other types of burial societies (labor organization, fraternal organizations, occupational plots, etc.). In other words, a burial society doesn’t necessary have to be a landsmanshaft plot—it can be a plot for a synagogue or any other kind of Jewish organization.

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Unusual Resources for Genealogical Research

by Peter Jassem

Most genealogical researchers try to accumulate the largest possible number of civil records such as birth, marriage and deaths certificates, and then use sophisticated software to arrange them in elaborate graphs representing family trees, often the size of giant sequoias of the West Coast. But these trees are often lifeless. This is why it is so important to go beyond these simple dry facts and try to discover the environment, the circumstances, the background, the historical facts of the time, the looks registered on old photographs, the untold stories and the remaining artifacts in ancestral towns. You never know what you may find. You have to be curious and constantly ask the archivists “is there anything else?”

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Rebirth of Jewish Life in Poland

by Peter Jassem

The Galitzianer - Annual Jewish Cultural Festival in Krakow

On September 1, 1939 there were about 3.5 million Jews in Poland, approximately ten percent of the country’s population. Ten percent of this figure lived in the Polish capital of Warsaw, making it the second largest Jewish city in the world after New York. Poland was Europe’s most important center of Jewish religious, cultural and intellectual life with 350 Jewish newspapers, 1700 periodicals, hundreds of synagogues, theatres, sport clubs, political parties, schools of Jewish education, yeshivot and the YIVO Institute, then also in Poland.

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Hiring a Researcher

by Alan Weiser

I was prompted to write this article because I narrowly escaped the possibility of being scammed by an overseas genealogy researcher. To avoid unnecessary expense and disappointment in your search for family roots do not leave the hiring of a genealogy researcher to chance. This article takes you through a four-phase systematic approach (1) defining your requirements, (2) evaluating proposals. (3) contracting with the researcher, and (4) monitoring the researcher’s performance.

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Slownik Geograficzny

The Slownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów slowianskich (Geographical dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other Slavic countries) is a 15-volume gazetteer published between 1880 and 1902. The entries in the Slownik cover regions, towns, villages and other settlements in the Kingdom of Poland, also known as Congress Poland; the Baltic, Western and Southern gubernias of the Russian Empire; Western and Eastern Prussia; parts of Hungary and Bukovina; many other areas in Eastern Europe; and — most important to the readers of The Galitzianer — Galicia. As an example of Slownik entries we are publishing the entry on Galicia itself in this issue.

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Gesher Galicia is a non-profit organization carrying out Jewish genealogical and historical research on Galicia, formerly a province of Austria-Hungary and today divided between southeastern Poland and western Ukraine. The research work includes the indexing of archival vital records and census books, Holocaust-period records, Josephine and Franciscan cadastral surveys, lists of Jewish taxpayers, and records of Galician medical students and doctors - all added to our searchable online database. In addition, we reproduce regional and cadastral maps for our online Map Room. We conduct educational research and publish a quarterly research journal, the Galitzianer. Gesher Galicia is also organized for the purpose of maintaining networking and online discussion groups and to promote and support Jewish heritage preservation work in the areas of the former Galicia.

You can search our free All Galicia Database, Map Room, and archival inventories, and read about member benefits starting at $50 per year. You can also join online.

Our general contact address: info@geshergalicia.org