Gazeteers, Maps, and Morgs

I know my grandfather, Michael Danko, lived in Nienadowa, Galicia, Austria-Poland, and I know that the church maintained the vital records.  How do I find out where the church was?  The answer is to consult a gazetteer, such as the Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowianskich (The Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other slavonic countries).  The Słownik is a massive reference work, consisting of 16 volumes (copies on CD are available for $25 from the Polish Genealogical Society of America).  It was written between 1880-1902, which just happens to be the time period when my grandparents were living in the old country.  The Słownik provides descriptions of the villages, regions, mountains, and rivers in the area and provides rich geographical and historical information about the areas my ancestors lived, at the time they lived there.  It also tells where the parish was for each village.

Take a look at the Słownik entry for Nienadowa.  Unfortunately, everything is in Polish!  Because most people reading this blog can’t read Polish, I’ve provided the translations below.  There are actually two entries for Nienadowa, one for the mountain near the village, and one for the village itself.

Nienadowa, mountain top under a village of the same name, Przemyśl county, see Nienadowa village.

Nienadowa, Ruthenian Nenadowa, village, Przemyśl county, 28 kilometers northwest of the county court in Przemyśl, 3 kilometers east of the post office in Dubiecko.  To the east lie Babice, Skopów, Kramarzówka (in Jarosław county), to the northwest Hucisko Nienadowskie, to the west Śliwnica, Dubiecko, and Ruska Wieś (in Brzozów county), to the south Iskań (in Dobromil county).  Along the southwest and south borders the San River flows from the northwest to the southeast; first it turns to the southwest and finally to the east.  From the left shore it flows into the San within the limits of the village:  then Kamieniec, flowing from the north in Hucisko Nienadowskie, carrying off numerous streams from both banks then Świnka, flowing from the north to the southwest.  Country buildings lie in the Kamieńca valley (306 meters to the north, 284 meters to the south).  A forest “The Jodłowski Section” occupies the northern part (378 meters), and the forest “Słoniec” occupies the southeast corner.  Between the lower course of the Kamieńca and Świnki it rises to the left bank of the San “The Hill of Świnki”;  in the western part on the boundary of Dubiecko “ Gabiński Hill” (361 meters), and in the northeastern part at the Kramarzówski border “Nienadowa” (up to 443 meters;  triangulation mark).  Through the southern part of the village goes the leading track in Przemyśl, by way of the picturesque valley of the San River through Dubiecko to Dynów.  The greater property has 675 morgs (1 morg = 1.422 acres) of arable land, 72 morgs of meadows and gardens, 49 morgs of pastures, 818 morgs of forests; the lesser property has 1452 morgs of arable land, 153 morgs of meadows and gardens, 312 morgs of pastures, 184 morgs of forests.  In 1880 there were 1823 inhabitants in the community, 109 manorial landowners (among them, 1625 on the banks are Roman Catholic).  The Roman and Greek Catholic parishes are in Dubiecko.  In the village there is a full-time, one-room school, a manor, a farm, a distillery, a mill, and a ranger’s house.  About old landowners, several details serve the village Siarczyński (Rkp. Ossol., № 1826).  In 1588, Stanisław Stadnicki ceded Nienadowa in exchange for Łańcut to Anna Pilecka from Sienna, she passed the result of her claim on to Sieniński;  afterwards the Derszniaks, the Krasiecs, and the Dembińskis held the town.

Source: Chlebowski, Bronisław, Władysław Walewski, and Filip Sulimierski, 1886, Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego, Warsaw, Volume 7, page 101

One term that may be unfamiliar is morg.  A mórg is a measure of area – theoretically the amount of land one man could plow in a single day.  The actual size of a morg varied between the partitions: 1 morg in the Russian Partition was 1.388 acres, in the Prussian Partition a morg was 0.631 acres, and in the Austrian Partition a morg was 1.422 acres.  If a morg was the amount of land one man could plow in a day, I suppose this means that the farmers in the Prussian Partition were less industrious than those in the other partitions!  To round out today’s discussion, Take a look at a 1910 Military Map of the area.  A whole set of these 1910 military maps of central Europe is available.

You’ll notice how close Nienadowa is to the parish church in Dubiecko, and you’ll notice how close Nienadowa is to Babice.  You may recall from a previous post that my grandfather stayed with Isaac Flichtenfeld, the umbrella maker, when he first came to America, and you may also recall that I discovered that most Flichtenfeld immigrants in the Ellis Island records were from Przemyśl (Nienadowa is in Przemyśl county) and one was from Babice, the next village down the road.

Hmmm… things are starting to connect!

Copyright © 2006 by Stephen J. Danko

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