16 March 2018

Map Refresh: Galizien Religions and Parishes

This map refresh focuses on Galizien, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that is located in east central Europe straddling modern-day southeastern Poland and western Ukraine.  It was a neighbor to Bukovina and also the Russian areas of Volhynia and the northwestern tip of Bessarabia.

Much appreciation goes to Dave Gorz and John Kaminski of the Galizien German Descendants (GGD) for their continued work on this area and for allowing their work to be included in this project. Dave's work on village listings and parishes has been going on for years, with added focus in the last 14 months.  John's work this time around included doing comparisons of data from multiple sources (see the list below), checking spelling and diacritics, and doing some map overlays of the parish and district boundary maps onto Google Earth and the Austrian military maps from on Mapire to visualize and verify what districts were in what parish.

The religion and parish fields were updated and now follow the map standard of noting the religion next to the parish. See the Data page for descriptions of each of the fields.  Also larger towns and cities that were not originally German settlements but did have small percentage of Germans living in them were called out.  The population for the year 1900 is included in the notes for these locations. 

Sources used for this update include the following: 
  • Die deutschen Siedlungen in Galizien (Map of the German Settlements in Galicia), Rudolf Unterschütz, circa 1939.
  • Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Länder (Gazetteer of the Crown Lands and Territories Represented in the Imperial Council), XII, Galizien (Galicia). Vienna, 1907.
  • Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia.  Author Brian J. Lenius.  3rd edition, 3rd printing, June 2010.  WorldCat
  • Gesher Galicia town locator
  • Google Earth
  • Historical Maps of the Habsburg Empire, Austrian Third Military Survey (1869-1887). Mapire.
  • Übersicht über deutsche Siedlungen (Kolonien) und Einsiedlungen in ukrainische und polnische Dörfer : sowie Orte mit einer nicht bedeutenden deutschen Minderheit in Galizien von 1782 bis 1939 bzw. 1945 (Overview of German settlements/colonies and settlements in Ukrainian and Polish villages: as well as places with a non-significant German minority in Galicia from 1782 to 1939 and 1945). Author Ernst Hexel. 1977. WorldCat

Maps updated:


05 March 2018

Weather Report for Obermonjou: -9° C

The Weather Channel

Some sources day that on this day, 5 March 1767, the Volga Mother colony of Obermonjou was founded.

The location of Obermanshu on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German Settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
I'm not suggesting it was impossible that this colony was founded in winter in Russia in 1767. Germans are a hardy lot.  But perhaps it was more likely, as other sources indicate, that it was founded along with five other Mother colonies in the area on 7 June 1767.

Either way, the June colonies, like Obermonjou, were founded with the assistance of recruiter Baron Caneau de Beauregard.  In the first year, there were 82 households with 299 residents, most of whom were from areas in Hessen.

Obermonjou, or Obermanshu, as Stumpp spelled it on his Map of the German Settlements in the Volga Region (AHSGR map #6), was a Roman Catholic colony, but later there were both Catholic and Lutheran colonists, each belonging to their respective parishes in near-by Katharinenstadt. 

It was situated between Orlowskoje (founded 7 June 1767) and Katharinenstadt (founded 26 June 1766).  You can see from the map above, there were eventually lots of neighbors up and down the Volga.

Today, Obermonjou listed in the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's GeoNames database as an "abandoned populated place," with its ancestral name, Obermonzhu, still attached to it after 251 years.

GeoNames database notes "Obermonzhu" as a variant name to the abandoned colony.
Location of the defunct colony of Obermanshu (Obermonjou),
most recently known as Krivovskoye.

Learn More:


01 March 2018

German Settlements by Founding Year

Now that this project has crossed a big milestone in terms of number of colonies mapped and geographical area covered, it's time to take another look at the German settlements by founding year.  I created this map and posted it about it over a year ago.  It was updated last August, so it's time to revisit.

This has always been one of my favorite maps because it uses the data to tell the story through a visualization of the growth of colonies across the Russian Empire and parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  And the story didn't end with the Russian Revolution.  It slowed considerably, but it didn't end.

The map has been updated and sectioned into three groups.  The first two were voluntary settlement or re-settlement.  The third was forced re-settlement – deportation.
  1. Settlements during the time of Imperial Russia from Catherine the Great up to the Russian Revolution (1763-1917).  
  2. Settlements after the Russian Revolution until deportations began (1917 - approximately 1935).  
  3. Deportation location areas.  
Currently there is only one under the third category, an accidental find to be honest, but I'm gathering information about deportation locations.  I'd be happy to hear about any sources that will help me get these places on the map.

This is one of those maps that I find fun to zoom in and wander around in while clicking on pins.  Note that not all of the colonies have founding/settlement dates, so not all are on the map.  After adding another 1000+ colonies over the course of the year, still only 50% of them have settlement dates.

The lightest green pins were the earliest colonies in the empires with later colonies becoming progressively darker green.

The purple pins are those established after the Revolutions and roughly divided into before and right as collectivization began to be enforced.