The Year Was 1808

Following up on the challenge from Lisa of 100 Years in America, Donna of What’s Past is Prologue has issued a challenge to describe where our ancestors were 200 years ago.

This will be a bit difficult for me, since I don’t know who all my ancestors were 200 years ago. Even so, the places where my ancestors were living were limited to three general areas: the Przemyśl Powiat of Galicia, the Warsaw Departament of the Duchy of Warsaw, and the Vilna Guberniya of the Russian Empire.

My paternal ancestors were all living in and around the parishes of Dubiecko and Dylągowa in the Przemyśl Powiat of Galicia. This area had been occupied by Austria since 05 Aug 1772 and, while they were ethnically Polish, they lived as citizens of Austria.

  • My 3rd great grandparents, Wojciech Dańko and Marianna Jedlińska were living in Nienadowa, Galicia. My 2nd great grandfather, Paweł Dańko, was 9 years old and living with his parents in Nienadowa.
  • My 3rd great grandparents Andrzej Szymański and his wife Anna were also living in Nienadowa, Galicia. My 2nd great grandmother Zofia Szymańska was born in about 1808 in Nienadowa.
  • My 3rd great grandparents Wojciech Sowa and Katarzyna Zalew were also living in Nienadowa, Galicia.
  • My 3rd great grandparents Wojciech Jach and Jadwiga Markowa were also living in Nienadowa, Galicia.
  • My 2nd great grandfather Stanisław Dziura was not yet born. His parents, whose identities I have still not discovered, were probably living in Sielnica, Galicia.
  • My 2nd great grandmother Katarzyna Martowiczowa was not yet born. Her parents, whose identities I have still not discovered, were probably living in Sielnica, Galicia.
  • My 2nd great grandfather Andrzej Jara was not yet born. His parents, whose identities I have still not discovered, were probably living in Nienadowa, Galicia.
  • My 3rd great grandfather Michał Matwij was probably living in Nienadowa, Galicia. I don’t know who his wife was, but she, too, was probably living in Nienadowa.

My maternal grandfather’s ancestors were all living in and around the parish of Krasne in the Warsaw Departament of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1807, Napoleon had annexed this part of Poland, freeing it from occupation by Prussian Empire but making it dependent on France. These ancestors witnessed dramatic changes in their homeland as it passed from an independent Poland to Prussian control in 1795, then to French control in 1807, and finally to Russian control in 1815.

  • My 3rd great grandparents Tomasz Niedziałkowski and Cecylia Chotkowska were living in Mosaki-Godacze, Duchy of Warsaw.
  • My 3rd great grandparents Wojciech Milewski and Anna Malonka were living in Rukle, Duchy of Warsaw. My 2nd great grandmother Karolina Milewska was born in 1808 in Rukle.
  • My 2nd great grandfather Wojciech Gutowski was not yet born. His parents, whose names I don’t know, were probably living in the Duchy of Warsaw.
  • My 2nd great grandmother Anna Jabłonowska was not yet born. Her parents, whose names I don’t know, were probably living in the Duchy of Warsaw.
  • The ancestors of my great grandmother Ksawera Zygmuntowicz were probably living in the Duchy of Warsaw. I don’t know the names of any of her ancestors, but it is likely that her grandparents were living at the time.

I have been able to trace my maternal grandmother’s ancestors to what is now Lithuania. In 1808, the area was part of the Vilna Guberniya of the Russian Empire, having been occupied by Russia during the first partition of Poland in 1772. These ancestors were ethnically Polish.

  • The ancestors of my great grandparents Wincenty Chmielewski and Anastasia Wojnowska may have been living in the Wilna Guberniya of the Russian Empire. Or maybe not. I have not been able to identify any of their ancestors or trace their migrations. At some point, these ancestors lived in Poland and moved to Lithuania.

In looking over what I’ve written, I’ve discovered that two of my ancestors were born in 1808, and at least four of my ancestors living in 1808 were named Wojciech.

Copyright © 2008 by Stephen J. Danko

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2 Responses to The Year Was 1808

  1. Great job Steve! I was going to break out my families by paternal and maternal lines but I realized that I have some database cleanup to do this long weekend and it would be much easier to find living people in 1808 after that task.

    Question: you mention “Galicia” quite a bit. I take it this is a region in Poland. Is there any relation to the Galicia region in Spain? I know that there is somethwat of an Irish connection to the Galicia in Spain (as in Gaelic) and due to their proximity across the sea, some anthropologists and linguists have even traced commonality between some of the peoples there.

    What is the name origin of your Galicia? Curiosity has got me . . .

  2. Hi Thomas

    The area of Galicia in which my paternal ancestors lived is a region now in southern Poland and western Ukraine.

    There are, indeed, other places in Europe called Galicia, including the region in Spain with Irish connections. One of my favorite NPR programs, “Thistle and Shamrock”, plays music from from Spanish Galicia from time to time. I once mentioned to a friend from Spain that I had been listening to Galician music and he asked “Which Galicia?”

    The origin of the name Galicia in Poland and Ukraine is not entirely certain, although most agree the name is derived from the name of the city of Halych on the Dniester River. The coat of arms of Halych shows a jackdaw (halka), and it is the jackdaw that many think is the origin of the name Galicia.

    Steve

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