Historical maps of Poland are easier and easier to come by on the web.
Euratlas.com provides a series of maps of Europe through the past 2000 years, allowing the viewer to see how the map of Europe changed with time.
While these maps provide a good overview of Europe, most Polish genealogists will also want to see higher resolution maps.
Two of the best, high-resolution historical maps of Poland available on the web are the Illustrated Geographic Atlas from 1907 (on the website of the Polish Genealogical Society of America) and the Miltary Maps of the Austrian Empire from about 1900-1910. The Military Maps of the Austrian Empire cover much of central and eastern Europe, not just Poland.
The Polish village of Pyrzowice is included on both maps but, in the Illustrated Geographic Atlas, the name of the village is spelled Pyżowice. In Polish, the letters “rz” and “ż” are pronounced identically, so the spelling difference is not unexpected.
Map of the Village of Pyrzowice and Vicinity
SOURCE: 3rd Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary, Sheet 37-50, Oswiecim. Online http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/200e/37-50.jpg; downloaded 27 Jul 2007.
Click on the map above to see a larger and more deailed image.
Not only is Pyrzowice shown on the Military Map of the Austrian Empire, but the parish of Sączów is also shown. Sączów is the place where the records for the village of Pyrzowice were maintained. Unfortunately, the Family History Library Catalog does not yet appear to have records from Sączów on microfilm.
I remember that, at a conference of the United Polish Genealogical Societies, a representative of the Family History Library showed the locations in Poland where the Library was planning to film records, and western Poland was on their schedule. With luck, Sączów may be one of the parishes to be filmed in the near future.
Tomorrow: How using gazetteers and maps together can help answer genealogical questions.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko