The Josephine and Franciscan Surveys Project

Project Coordinator: Andrew Zalewski

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Jewish genealogists seldom tap into early population records from Galicia. Gesher Galicia has made these important sources the subject of a new research initiative. Once completed, the names of the inhabitants will be searchable through the All Galicia Database on the Gesher Galicia website, offering a unique resource for tracing your family roots.

The Josephine survey was ordered by Emperor Joseph II in 1785 (hence, it is sometimes referred to as the Josephine cadastre). Thousands of communities in Galicia — along with those in other provinces of the Habsburg Monarchy — were surveyed, with the names, house numbers, and every plot of land recorded in specially prepared registers. To learn more, click here.

The Franciscan survey — ordered by the imperial edict of Francis I in 1817 (and referred to as the Franciscan cadastre) — recorded Jewish names using given names and surnames. Its first phase was conducted in 1819–1822, with the Jewish landholders found in many communities. Charting cadastral maps was the survey’s new feature but detailed land measurements in Galicia did not finish until 1854. To learn more, click here.

Access the Inventory Table of all Josephine & Franciscan cadastral survey records to see which localities and records have been researched, indexed, and made available, free to all, on the All Galicia Database. To date, we have researched 67 towns, yielding 56,177 records.

Gesher Galicia members can access scans of these records in the Members Portal (look for “Archival Records”), by clicking here.

Additional resources
For more details, please refer to the articles: “Early Galician Population Surveys,” Galitzianer, March 2016 and “Research Project Updates,” Galitzianer, September 2017. Past issues can be found at the Members Portal click here.

For a complete inventory listing of the Josephine and Franciscan surveys held in TsDIAL, Lviv, Ukraine, check the reference (Kiev 1965, in Cyrillic).

If you have questions about the J&F project, contact:

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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: