FAQ: Posen

Adalbert Goertz

October 2004

Please send any corrections or suggestions to or

Click here for 1882 map of Posen province ---------------------------------------------


Q1: Where is Posen ?
Q2: What was Posen's German history prior to 1920?
Q3: What were the administrative areas of Posen (Poznan)?
Q4: What were the old administrative areas of South Prussia and New East
    Prussia which existed 1793(1795)-1807?
Q5: What were the court districts in Posen before 1900?
Q6: Is there a listserv for Posen family researchers?
Q7: How do I find locations and maps for Posen before 1945?
Q8: What type of land records are available?
Q9: How can I get information on state archives?
Q10: When were civil registers introduced?
Q11: Are there emigration records available?
Q12: What was the population mix in Posen province?
Q13: Are there secular records of interest to family researchers?
Q14: What German literature is available for Posen province (Poznania) ?
Q15: What can I find about emigrants to West Germany?
Q16: What German archives are available for Posen?
Please, consult also FAQs for East and West Prussia which contains
information valid for Posen province and which is omitted here to
avoid repetition.
Q1: Where is Posen (Polish:Poznan)?
A1: Posen (pronounce: POH-zen) was a Prussian province,1815-1919
    with the 2 districts of Posen (Poznan) and Bromberg (Bydgoszcz).
    Its capital was Posen (Poznan).
    Basically, the location of the Province of Posen was within these
    boundaries:  northern boundary 53 degrees N
                 southern boundary 51 deg 30 min N
                 western  boundary slightly West of 16 deg E
                 eastern  boundary about 18 deg E
    In 1920, most of the territory of the Posen province was ceded
    to the newly established Poland under the Versailles Peace Treaty.
    After 1920, several counties of the Posen province remained with
    the German State of Prussia. They were eventually merged with those
    Kreise of the Prussian province of West Prussia, that
    remained with Prussia after 1920, to form the new district of "Grenzmark
    Westpreussen-Posen" (Border Area of West Prussia-Posen)
Q2: What was Posen's German history prior to 1920?
A2: Part of Greater Poland was annexed by King Friedrich II
of Prussia in 1772 and renamend Netze-District during the first
partition of Poland. King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia annexed
the remainder in the second partition of Poland in 1793 and renamed it
South Prussia.
After the Prussian defeat by Napoleon Bonaparte, South Prussia was united
with the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, 1807-1815.
After Napoleon's defeat most of the Posen Departement of South Prussia
reverted to Prussia whereas the Kalisch and Warschau Departements
became part of Russian-Poland (Congress-Poland).
1815-1919 the Prussian province of Posen comprised the two districts
of Posen (Polish: Poznan) and Bromberg (Polish: Bydgoszcz).
After WWI the area became part of the new Poland.
Germany reoccupied the old Posen province 1939-1945, extended it, and
named it Reichsgau Wartheland.
The area was cleansed of its ethnic German population and returned to Poland
in 1945. The Western powers were instrumental in the ethnic cleansing.
Q3: What were the administrative areas of Posen (Poznan)?
A3: In 1890 the province of Posen had the following districts and
Kreise (counties):
Regierungsbezirk (district) of Posen (Poznan) with 28 Kreise (counties):
Regierungsbezirk (district) of Bromberg (Bydgoszcz) with 14 Kreise
Each Kreis was headed by the Landrat who presided over the Landratsamt.
The Landratsamt records (1815-1920) are deposited in Berlin and the
Polish archives at Poznan and Bydgoszcz with published brief inventories.
The Landrat was in charge of passport and emigration matters and reported
to the district Regierung in Posen or Bromberg who in turn gave data
to the provincial Oberpräsidium in Posen.
In 1944 the Reichsgau Wartheland was divided as follows:
District (Regierungsbezirk) Posen containing 18 Kreise:
 Birnbaum, Gostingen, Grätz, Jarotschin, Kolmar, Kosten,
 Krotoschin, Lissa, Obernick, Posen-Land, Posen-Stadt,
 Rawitsch, Samter, Scharnikau, Schrimm, Schroda, Wollstein, Wreschen
District (Regierungsbezirk) Hohensalza containing 15 Kreise:
 Altburgund, Dietfurt, Eichenbrück, Gnesen-Land,
 Gnesen-Stadt, Hermannsbad, Hohensalza-Land, Hohensalza-Stadt,
 Konin, Kutno, Leslau-Land, Leslau-Stadt, Mogilno, Waldrode,
District (Regierungsbezirk) Kalisch/Litzmannstadt containing 11 Kreise:
 Kalisch-Land, Kalisch-Stadt, Kempen, Lask, Lentschütz,
 Litzmannstadt-Land, Litzmannstadt-Stadt, Ostrowo, Schieratz,
 Turek, Welungen
The areas separated from the pre-1918 Prussian province of Posen
 were assigned in 1944 to the following districts in the following
 provinces and districts and Kreise:
Province Brandenburg, district of Frankfurt:
Kreise Meseritz, Schwerin (Warthe), Züllichau-Schwiebus [parts of
 the former Kreis Bomst and Fraustadt]
Province Danzig-Westpreussen, district of Bromberg:
Kreise Bromberg-Land, Bromberg-Stadt, Wirsitz
Province Niederschlesien, district of Liegnitz:
Kreis Fraustadt
Province Pommern, district of Grenzmark Posen-Westpreussen:
 Kreise Flatow [part of former Kreis Kolmar], Netzekreis
 [parts of Kreis Filehne, Czarnikau and Kolmar],

Q4: What were the old administrative areas of South Prussia and New East
    Prussia which existed 1793(1795)-1807?
A4: The 2nd and 3rd partitions of Poland in 1793 and 1795 wiped the Polish
state off the map. Poland was divided between Austria, Prussia and Russia.
Prussia established three new provinces: South Prussia (Südpreussen),
New East Prussia (Neu-Ostpreussen) and Neuschlesien
 In 1806 The province of South Prussia (Südpreussen) 
    had 1,503,508 Einwohner with 3 districts (departements):
   Departement der Kriegs- und Domainen-Kammer zu Posen included the
       Kreise of Posen,Oborniki,Meseritz,Bomst,Fraustadt,Krebe,Schrim,
       Brzesk, Radziejow, Kowal.
   Departement der Kriegs- und Domainen-Kammer zu
       Kalisch included the Kreise of
        (This is the area where a number of Lutheran churches were
        established like Wladislawow since 1776, Babiak since 1793,
        Dabie since 1800, Chodecz since 1801).
   Departement der Kriegs- und Domainen-Kammer zu
       Warschau included the Kreise of
  In 1806  Neu-Ostpreussen  had 914,610 Einwohner:
   Departement der Kriegs- und Domainen-Kammer zu
        Bialystok included the Kreise of
   Departement der Kriegs- und Domainen-Kammer zu Plozk included
       the Kreise of Wyszogrod,Lipno,Mlawa,Przasnik,Pultusk,Ostrolenka.
       the Immediatstädte and royal Domainen-Ämter.
The Kreis was a district of the nobility estates headed by the
Landrat elected by the nobility who wore a uniform.

Prussia introduced new courts and land deed records (Grund- und
Hypotheken-Acta) in 1783 (Prussian Hypotheken-Ordnung of 1783)
which initially applied to crownlands (Domainen) only..
The Prussian General Legal Code (Allgemeines Preussisches Landrecht)
mandated that duplicates of church records be deposited in the courts
since 1794.
I could not determine whether these laws applied also to the new
South and New East Prussia provinces.
The Prussian court at that time was called Domainen-Justiz-Amt (until
1802), Land- and Stadt-Gericht (1802-1806).
The term "Regierung" referred to the judicial (court) system before
 1806 and to the district government after 1815. This is important to
understand, if researchers want to judge the relevance of records in
the Berlin and  Polish archives.
The Prussian General-Direktorium records dealing with the history
and genealogy of the Prussian part of Poland were taken from the
Prussian archives by Napoleon Bonaparte soon after 1806 and
transferred to Warsaw.
This transfer had the effect that they slumbered there up to this day
and have not been used as often as their importance merits.
The LDS camera people apparently made no attempt to examine or film them
which has been a severe loss to the genealogy of that period.
The new Guide to the holdings of the Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych
in Warsaw (AGAD,1992) apparently is the first attempt to give a very
brief listing of the Prussian holdings and hopefully will initiate a
wider interest among resarchers to compile a more detailed inventory:
*  General Ober Finanz-Kriegs-und-Domänen Direktorium
      (briefly known as  General-Direktorium)
   Departement Südpreussen, 1793/1795 - 1807 (AGAD, zesp.169)
Abt.I : Universalia , Nr.4 - 1908; 1698 vols.
Abt.II: Hauptverordnungen - Royal Decrees  (in Berlin)
Abt.III: Dept. Kalisch, Nr.1 - 244; 241 vols.
Abt. IV: Dept. Posen, Nr.1-273; 268 vols.
Abt. V: Dept. Warschau, Nr.1-168; 168 vols.
Abt.VI: Ortschaften - locality matters, Nr.13 - 3890; 2375 vols.
Abt.VII: Ämter, Nr. 2-1973; 1342 vols.

  According to Herbert Poeppel the Berlin Findbuch lists
  the sections and Amt-districts as follows:
  Nr . 2- 78 Generalia
  Nr. 79 - 703:
Kammerdepartment  Kalisch:
- Adelnau    - Boleslawice - Brodnia  - Czarnoczyn - Czenstochau- Gidle
- Grabica    - Iwanowice - Kalisch    - Klonowo - Kolo  - Konin - Koszuty
- Krzepice   - Lecznow  - Meka  - Miarzyce  - Mokrzko    - Olabock
- Opadowek   - Ostrzeszow  - Pajenczno  - Petrikau  - Poczesna   - Ratyn
- Sieradz    - Sokolnik  - Staremiasto- Turek - Uniejow    - Wielun
- Wiwiec     - Wolborze
  Nr. 704 - 1448:
Kammerdepartment  Posen:
Ämter :
Altenhof - Brzesc - Buk - Cionczyn - Dolzig - Dybow -
Fraustadt - Garbatka - Giecz - Gnesen - Klecko- Komornik -
Kosten - Kowal - Kroeben - Krotoschin - Langgoslin - Laziska -
Meseritz - Moszyn - Mrowine - Neudorf - Nieszawa - Obernick -
Orpiszewo - Peisern - Polajewo - Posen - Powidz - Przedecz -
Pudewitz - Paszionzek - Radziejewo - Rogasen - Rokitten -
Rozdraszewo - Ryszewo - Schrimm - Schroda - Skarborzewo -
Skorzenzin - Slabomirz - Szydlowo - Tathay - Trzemesno - Turzna -
Wongrowiec .
  Nr. 1449 - 1973:
Kammerdepartment Warschau:
Ämter :
Balddrzychowo - Bonkow - Borowe-  Brwillno - Brysk -  Chelmno -
Dmosin - Gluchow - Gosczyn - Gostinin - Jeziorka - Kapinos - Klodawa -
Korabiewice -  Kompin - Laznow - Lesznawola - Lenczycz - Lomna -
Lowicz - Lubochnia -Lyskowice - Mazow - Miechowice - Pass - Piaseczno -
Potycz -Sanniki - Skiernewice - Slupie - Tarczyn - Tkaczew - Warka -
Warschau - Zbikow - Zdiechow - Zgierz .

Abt.VIII: Forstakten - forestry matters, Nr. 1-233; 219 vols.
Abt.IX: Militaria, Nr. 1-368; 300 vols.
Abt.X: Geistliche Güter, Kirchen und Schulwesen, Nr.1-285; 159 vols.
    (Catholic estates, churches, schools)
Abt.XI: Kreissachen, (county matters) Nr.5 -155; 80 vols.
Abt.XII: Inspektionen, Nr. 11, 14; 2 vols.
Abt.XIII: Bediensten Sachen, (personel files) Nr. 143, 245, 245a; 2 vols.
Abt.XIV: Personalakten betr.Finanzrat von Klewitz, Nr.38a
Abt.XV: Klassifikationskomission, Detaxaxionskommission, Nr.1-269;631 vols.
Abt.XVä Indaganda oder topographisch-statistische Fragen über
    den Zustand und der Beschaffenheit des Dorfes..., Nr.1-59; 5870 vols.
    (presumably crownlands only)
Abt.XVb: Historische Tabelle vom Zustande und von denen Praestationen des
    adligen Dorfes ..., Nr.1- 83; 3529 vols.
    (presumably nobility lands only)
  The Indaganda-Akten (Abt.XVa) list the population of about 9.000
villages in pre-printed forms completed by the Prussian officials
for the purpose of tax assessment and correspond to the
"Landesaufnahme" known for West Prussia.
  The Historische Tabelle or Praestations-Tabelle (Abt.XVb) has been
copied for Mr.Reuben Drefs (email:  drefs@sbcglobal.net) who will do
lookups for a fee. He has indexed the towns (about 3203) which are
compiled in 83 nos.

 Nobility Land Records of South Prussia 

*  General Oberfinanz-Kriegs-und Domänen Direktorium.
      (briefly known as General-Direktorium)
   Departement Neuostpreussen, 1795-1806  (AGAD, zesp.170)
Abt.I:  Bestallungssachen - personel files , Nr.99,128,130; 3 vols.
Abt.II: ämter, Nr.1 - 1516; 1407 vols.
Abt.III: Städte - city matters, Nr.4 - 1315; 1178 vols.
Abt.IV: Kreise - county matters, Nr.8 - 489; 447 vols.
Abt.V: Forstakten- forestry records, Nr.8 - 489; 447 vols.
Abt.VI: Materien, Nr.3 - 2140; 1449 vols.
*  The Berlin Archives contain records within the I.HA (I.Hauptabteilung)
  under Rep.7A (Neuostpreussen), 1795-1806,    8 meters, 1 Findbuch and
  under Rep.7C (Südpreussen), 1793-1801, 32 meters, 3 Findbücher
In its II.HA (General-Direktorium) the finding aids (Find-Bücher)
also apply to the Warsaw holdings and should be
consulted by any researcher before doing work in Warsaw:
Abt.10 Findbücher (3 vols.:34-36) for Südpreusssen (1782 - 1810)
Abt.11 Findbücher (4 vols.:37-40) for Neu-Ostpreussen (1793 - 1806)
  *  Regional Kammer Records.
In addition to the Generaldirektorium records of the Central
Government in Berlin, the regional government records should be
In Poznan: Südpreussische Kriegs- und Domänenkammer zu
In Plock: Neu-Ostpreussische Kammer zu Plock, 1794-1804.
In Warsaw (AGAD): Süd und Neu-Ostpreussen, 1793-1806 (various
   Internet: http://www.archiwa.gov.pl/agad
      e-mail: archagad@poczta.onet.pl
In Bialystok: Kriegs- und Domänenkammer zu Bialystok, 1795-1810.
During the Prussian period of King Friedrich Wilhelm III (1797-1806), a
large number of German settlers from outside of Prussia were encouraged to
move to South and (less so ) to New-East Prussia. Prussian settlers were
not encouraged in order to prevent a depopulation of the older provinces.
The main groups were known as:
1. Hauländer or Holländer were free German Bauern who were
invited by noble families to settle on nobility lands or Hauland.
2. Kolonisten were free German Bauern who were invited by the Prussian
administration to settle on royal crown land (Domainen-Amts-Dörfer
or Kolonien), the former starostwos and the catholic lands. They had their
own village courts.
Scharwerksbauern on crownland were less free or unfree especially as
far as their right of free movement was concerned.

II.HA Generaldirektorium, Abt. Südpreussen I Nr.955 Kolonisten- und
Ansiedlungsangelegenheiten, 1804-1806 (at AGAD)
I.HA Rep.96A Geheimes Zivilkabinett, ältere Periode Tit.69 Nr.69 A-I,
Kolonisation in Südpreussen, 1797-1805 
(Generaltableau der Preuss.Siedlungen incl.names) (at GStA.PK)

Krug,L.: Topographisch-statistisch-geographisches Wörterbuch
  der sämtlichen preussischen Staaten, 13 Bde, Halle 1796-1803
      (Gazetteer incl. South and Neu East Prussia)
Bussenius, Ingeburg Charlotte
  Die preussische Verwaltung in Sued- und Neuostpreussen : 1793 - 1806 /
   von Ingeburg Charlotte Bussenius. - Heidelberg : Quelle & Meyer, 1960.
   - 340 S.; (dt.) (Studien zur Geschichte Preu_ens ; 6)
Bussenius/Hubatsch: Urkunden und Akten zur Geschichte der
    preussischen Verwaltung in Su:dpreussen und Neuostpreussen.
     1793-1806. Frankfurt a.M./Bonn 1961
    (Records and documents of the history of the  Prussian administration
      in South Prussia and New East Prussia. 1793-1806.)
Holsche (Karl August):
Geographie und Statistik von West-, Süd- und Neuostpreussen
 (Berlin 1804, 3 vols.).
Berghaus, Heinrich: Deutschland seit hundert Jahren - Geschichte der
  Gebiets-Eintheilung, Leipzig 1861, Band 2, p.346-351.
Ramotowska, Franciszkä Archiwum Glowne Akt w Warszawe, Przewodnik
  po zasobie , Tom II - Epoka porozbiorowa
  (Archives of Ancient Records,Guide thru the Collection, vol.II -
   the period after the partition 1793-), Warsszawa 1998, p.7-15
Schiewe, Martin: Die südpreussischen Kolonien 1802-1806
  (The German Colonies in South Prussia, 1802-1806 as listed in
   the Berlin Archives, I.HA, Rep.96A - Zivilkabinet), in:
   Altpreussische Geschlechterkunde, vol.30, 2000, p.293-360
        (Author's email: martin.schiewe@sla-gmbh.de)
Goertz,A.: Evangelische Familiennamen um Wladislawow in Mittelpolen
  zwischen 1776 und 1825, in: Ostdeutsche Familienkunde 1996, p.201-205
  (Lutheran Family Names around Wladislawow in Central Poland,1776-1825)
Goertz,A.: Evangelische Familiennamen um Babiak in Mittelpolen zwischen
  1780 und 1804, in: Ostdeutsche Familienkunde 1998, p.92-93
  (Lutheran Family Names around Babiak in Central Poland, 1780-1804)
Goertz,A.: Mennoniten in Südpreussen 1795-1806, in Ostdeutsche
Familienkunde 1988, p.379-382
  (Mennonites in South Prussia, 1795-1806)
  see http://www.mmhs.org/prussia/oberness.htm
Goertz, A.: Zur Familienkunde in Polen, 1793-1896, in:
  Genealogie 49, 2000, pp. 378-380.

Maas, Walther: Siedlungen zwischen Warthe und Netze. Marburg 1976.
Maas, Walther: Das Gnesener Land. 1963.
Maas, Walther: Zur Siedlungskunde des Warthe-Weichsellandes. Marburg 1961.
Rogal, Joachim: Die Deutschen im Posener Lande und im Mittelpolen.
   München 1993.
Beheim-Schwarzbach, : Der Netzedistrikt in seinem Bestande zur Zeit
   der ersten Teilung Polens. In: Zeitschrift der Historischen
   Gesellschaft für die Provinz Posen 7,1892.
Beheim-Schwarzbach, : Der Netzedistrikt. In: Zeitschrift der hist.
   Gesell. für die Provinz Posen. R.8.1893 und R.7.1892.

Liste der Kolonisten aus dem Netzedistrikt von 1776-1798

Wojahn, Willi:
 Der Netzedistrikt und die sozialökonomischen Verhältnisse
 seiner Bevölkerung um 1773,  Münster/Westf. :
 Nicolaus-Copernicus-Verl., 1996,   205 pp :
 Ill., Kt., graph. Darst. + 3 Kt.-Beil.
 Schriftenreihe: Quellen und Darstellungen zur Geschichte Westpreussens,
   Band 28

Dipl.-Ing. Volker F. Hahn
Kopperpahler Allee 52, D-24119 Kronshagen
email: Hahn.VolkerF@t-online.de
is familiar with the German settlements in Neu-Ostpreussen, 1795-1806
(s. Ostdeutsche Familienkunde, Band XI 1986-88, Seite 325 )
Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau
Palac Kultury i Nauki, XVIIp.
Plac Defilad 1, skr. 33
PL 00-901 Warschau
Tel. 0048/22/656-7191
e-mail: boemelburg@dhi.waw.pl
Internet: http://www.dhi.waw.pl
After 1815 most of the Posen Departement became the Prussian province
of Posen, whereas the Kalisch and Warschau Departementss became part of
Russian-Poland (Congress Poland).
In 1866 the Kalisch District (Russ.Gubernia) included the 8 counties of
Kalisch, Kolo, Konin, Lentschiza, Sjerads, Slupzy, Turek and Wielun.
In 1866 the Warschau District (Russ.Gubernia) included the 14 counties of
Blonje, Gostynin, Grojzy, Kutno, Lowitsch, Neschawa, Nowominsk,
Plonsk, Pultusk, Radimin, Skjerniewize, Sochatschew, Warschau, and
Q5: What were the court districts in Posen province before 1900?
A5: The highest provincial court and for Deutsch-Krone Kreis
    was the Oberlandesgericht in Posen.
The lower courts (Landgerichte) and lowest courts (Amtsgerichte) were
Landgericht Bromberg with (8) Amtsgerichte:
Landgericht Gnesen with (5) Amtsgerichte:
Landgericht Lissa with (8) Amtsgerichte:
Landgericht Meseritz with (9) Amtsgerichte:

Landgericht Ostrowo, with (8) Amtsgerichte:

Landgericht Posen with (9) Amtsgerichte:
Landgericht Schneidemühl with (13) Amtsgerichte:
The whereabouts of the records for the Landgerichte is unknown.
The records of the Amtsgerichte are deposited at the Poznan and Bydgoszcz
archives today, or remained in the regional court archives.
Of special interest are the land deed records (Grund- und Hypotheken-Acta)
with no published survey known.
These records usually start with a land title history (=tituli possessionis)
going back 50 or more years from the beginning of the first deed book (1794).
The court at that time was called Justiz-Amt (until 1806), Land- or
Stadt-Gericht (1815-1849), Kreisgericht (1849-1879), Amtsgericht (after
Last testaments and wills, Erbscheine, orphan records would be
deposited in the local Amtsgericht (in the Hypotheken-Acta, if land
ownership and remarriages were involved).
A remarriage of a widower/widow was always documented in the Amtsgericht
stating in detail the estate rights of surviving children as well as
rights and duties of parents and step parents. This is a source at the
Amtsgericht which is widely unknown and untapped (and unfilmed by the LDS).
If you are looking for records which describe the life and tribulations
of your ancestors, you cannot miss looking at the court records.
NB: Records which are not attached to deeds or mortgages are not likely
to have been preserved since the statute of limitations would not have
protected them from destruction after some 50 years.

For research of estates the estate directories (Gu:teradressbu:cher)
list the owners and economic information (acreage, lifestock etc.):
 Handbuch des Grundbesitzes im Deutschen Reiche.
  I. Das Koönigreich Preußen - Provinz Posen
    1st ed. Berlin 1881
    2nd ed. Berlin 1884
    3rd ed. Berlin 1891
    5th ed. Berlin 1899
    6th ed. Berlin 1902
Niekammers Landwirtschaftliches Güter-Adressbuch  
    Provinz Posen  (Niekammer's estate directory of Posen province)
      1st ed. Stettin 1907
      2nd ed. Leipzig 1913
    Provinz Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen
      3rd ed. Leipzig 1922
Some city directories are available on line at  http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/
Adressbuch der Stadt Gnesen 1903-1904
Adressbuch des Grundbesitzes im Grossherzogthum Posen..
Adressbuch fu:r die Offiziere und Zivilbeamten...
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1884.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1885.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1886.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1887.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1889.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1890.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1889.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1890.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen. 1892.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen nebst der vororte
Bartholdshof, Berdychowo, Jersitz, St. Lazarus, Pietrowo und Wilda. 1896.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen nebst der vororte
Bartholdshof, Berdychowo, Jersitz, St. Lazarus, Pietrowo und Wilda. 1894.
Adress und Geschäfts-Handbuch der Stadt Posen nebst der vororte
Bartholdshof, Berdychowo, Jersitz, St. Lazarus, Pietrowo und Wilda. 1895.
Adress- und Geschäfts- Handbuch der Stadt Posen

Q6: Is there a listserv for Posen family researchers?
A6: There is mailing list for anyone with a
    genealogical interest in Posen for the time period when
    it was under German rule until 1945:
     To subscribe send the word "subscribe" (without the
     quotes) as the only text in the body of a message to
      POSEN-L-request@rootsweb.com (mail mode) or
      POSEN-D-request@rootsweb.com (digest mode).
Websites for German genealogy are

Genealogical Records listing:
Stiftung Martin-Opitz-Bibliothek Herne.
        e-mail: mob@herne.de
Herder-Institut Marburg e.V. Gisonenweg 5 - 7, 35037 Marburg/Lahn
     Phone: 06421/184-0
        e-mail: herder@mailer.uni-marburg.de....
   Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin.
     Archivstrasse 12-14 D-14195 Berlin (Dahlem)
     Ph.: (030) 839 01141 Fax: (030) 839 011 80
          email: gsta.pk@gsta.spk-berlin.de

   Evang. Zentralarchiv Berlin.
       Email:  archiv@ezab.de
    Genealogical information and sources:
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kbak-ae.html Sources A-E
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kbak-fg.html Sources F-G
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kbak-hk.html Sources H-K
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kblz-lo.html Sources L-O
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kblz-ps.html Sources P-S
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kblz-tz.html Sources T-Z
Q7: How do I find locations and maps for Posen before 1920??
A7: An atlas is usually not the best tool to locate small towns or
villages. Maps of scales 1:25,000 (Messtischblatt) or 1:100,000
(Karte des Deutschen Reiches and Kreiskarten) and gazetteers
(Ortsverzeichnis) are much better.
The best German gazetteer is
  Meyers Orts- and Verkehrslexikon des Deutschen Reiches,1912 edition,
   which is available on microfiche in the LDS Family History Centers
   and gives info on parish, Kreis, Standesamt, court, post office
    etc. on all German locations.

Gemeindelexikon für die Provinz Posen, Berlin 1908
    (Municipality gazetteer of Posen province)
Verzeichnis sämtlicher Ortschaften des Regierungs-Bezirks
Posen mit einer kurzen geographisch-statistischen übersicht, Posen
  (List of all localities of the Posen administrative
  district with a short geographical-statistical summary)
Verzeichnis sämtlicher Ortschaften des Bromberger
Regierungs-Bezirks mit einer geographisch-statistischen übersicht,
Bromberg 1833
  (List of all localities of the Bromberg administrative
  district with a short geographical-statistical summary)
Historisches Ortschaftsverzeichnis für ehemals zu Deutschland
gehörige Gebiete (Zeitraum 1914 bis 1945), Band 8 Wartheland,
bearbeitet und herausgegeben vom Institut für  Angewandte
Frankfurt/Main 1994/95.(Historical locality list of former German areas
during 1914 to 1945, volume 8, Wartheland)
There is LDS microfilm #068814 available of
   Karte des Deutschen Reiches, scale 1:100000, 1km = 1cm
   which may be loaned thru the LDS Family History Centers.
   It covers Germany for 1914-1917.
Topographical Maps (Messtischblätter 1:25000) may also be
   purchased from
     Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie
        Richard-Strauss-Allee 11
        60958 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
     E-mail: kart@ifag.de
 For maps for sale in the US see also

see also
For German-Polish place name dictionary, see

Geheimer Baurat David Gilly (1748-1808)
was commissioned to map South Prussia in 1795 which
resulted in the publications of 13 maps:.
Special Karte von Südpreussen mit Allerhöchster Erlaubnis aus
königlichen grossen topographischen Vermessungs-Karte, unter
Mitwirkung des Directors Langner, reducirt und herausgegeben
vom Geheimen Ober Bau-Rath Gilly.
Die Post Course und Hauptstrassen sind gezeichnet vom ersten General Post
Amts Registrator Matthias. 1802 und 1803. In der königlichen
akademischen Landkarten-Handlung der Kaufleute Simon Schropp u. Comp. in
Berlin. 13 Blatt
 size 57.2 x 49.5 cm,  Scale: 1:115,000.
 (Information by Reuben Drefs who has a copy of the maps).
Bussenius, Ingeborg, ed. Hubatsch, Walter, (Athenäum) Frankfurt, Bonn 1961,
   lists the following contemporary maps:
1793/94  "David Gilly und Cronsche Karte"
1796     "Brodowskische Originalaufnahme für Südpreussen"
1802/03  "Spezialkarte für Südpreussen"
1808     "Topographisch-militärische Karte vom vormaligen Neu-Ostpreussen"
          by D.F. Sotzmann.

The most complete gazetteer of Poland is,
Slownik geographiczny krslestwa polskiego i innych krajsw slowianskych
(Geographical Dictionary of the Polish Kingdom and Other Slavic Lands),
and covers most of the villages in Poland in the time period around 1880.
This fifteen-volume work is available on microfiche
through Family History Centers, and some Centers have the microfiche
edition in their permanent collection.

  See  http://www.pgsa.org/slownik_eng.htm for help to use it.

Q8: What type of land records are available?
A8: In addition to the deed and mortgage records deposited at the courts
   (Amtsgerichte) a prime and practically unknown source is the
   Generalkommission für Westpreussen und Posen zu Bromberg
with records deposited at the state archives in Bydgoszcz and
comprising 116118 volumes for the years 1812-1920.
The Generalkommission together with each Regierung was in charge of
deeding out and transferring the land titles to the tenants on
crownlands and nobility lands (Rittergüter) according to the
Stein-Hardenberg land reforms.
This material is very large. There is also a cardfile which is arranged
by village names and should be consulted first.
The documents of this file usually include the lists of owners or tenants
for each village and various economic and statistical data.

To appreciate the types of land records up to 1807,
we have to know that up to 1772, there were
four land sovereigns in Poland who leased out their land holdings
to settlers on hereditary contracts (usually for 30 years)
which generated the main tax revenue to the sovereigns:
1) The cities
2) The royal crown (starostwos)
3) The nobilities
4) The Catholic church.
When Prussia took over the Polish areas during the three partitions, i.e.
  First partition 1772 - 1793,
  Second partition 1793 - 1795,
  Third partition 1795 - 1807,
the starostwo lands of the Polish crown (2) became the "domaines"
of the Prussian crown lands.
The Catholic church estates were secularized (confiscated) and
added to the "domaines" of the Prussian crown, 1773 in the Netzedistrikt
and 1794 in South Prussia, in exchange for the Prussian king
pledging to support the Catholic church buildings, priests, schools,
and charities. The leasing contracts of the settlers were extended
and honored by the Prussian crown.
Q9: How can I get information on state archives?
A9:For information on archives consult the web sites:
   *  Archival Guides and Selected Holdings 
     (Berlin-Dahlem, Bydgoszcz/Bromberg and Poznan/Posen):
Branig, H., Ruth Bliss, Winfried Bliss: Übersicht über die
 des Geheimen Staatsarchivs in Berlin-Dahlem
 (Survey on the Holdings of the Privy State Archives in Berlin),
 Köln-Berlin, Grote: 1966
  p.133-186, (summarizes the Posen holdings of XVI.HA)
Biernata, A., A.Laszuk: Archiwa Panstwowe (AP) w Polsce - Przewodnik po
 Zasobach (The State Archives in Poland - Guide through their holdings),
 Warszawa 1998
 (p.40 - 50: AP Bydgoszcz/Bromberg; p.311 - 329: AP Poznan/Posen).

          Archiwum Panstwowe w Bydgoszczy
          Ul. Dworcowa 65
          85009 Bydgoszcz
          Archiwum Panstwowe w Posznaniu
          Ul. 23 Lutego 41/43
          61967 Poznan
 AP Bydgoszcz  today includes the following collections:
   (email :  dz.info@archiwum.bydgoszcz.pl)
The Netze-District archives under the name of
"Kriegs- und Domänenkammer-Deputation, 1772 - 1806";
  (Netze-District Chamber at Bydgoszcz)
Regierung (district administration) zu Bromberg, 1815 - 1919;
Numerous Landrat and Kreis archives, 1815 - 1918;
The Kontributions-Kataster of the Netze-District, 1772-1773;
 (Reuben Drefs has a copy of this Kontributions-Kataster
  - email: drefs@ix.netcom.com - and will do lookups for s a fee).
Generalkommission zur Regulierung der Gutsherrlichen und Bäuerlichen
  Verhältnisse in Marienwerder und Posen, 1812 - 1920
  (land reform and deeding-out archives for West Prussia and Posen
Numerous court archives (Grund- und Hypotheken-Akten).
 AP Poznan  today includes the following collections:
     e-mail: app53@polbox.pl
     e-mail: archiwumpoznan@a4.pl

"Südpreussische Kriegs- und Domänenkammer zu Posen, 1793-1806";
  (South Prussian Chamber at Poznan);
Regierung (district administration) zu Posen, 1815 - 1918;
Numerous Landrat and Kreis archives, 1815 - 1918;
Oberlandesgericht (provincial court) zu Posen, 1826 - 1919;
Numerous court archives (Grund- und Hypotheken-Akten);
A number of Katasteramt (land tax assessment) archives, 1861 - 1929;
Oberpräsidium (provincial government) zu Posen, 1815 - 1918.
Q10: When were civil registers introduced?
A10: Civil registers of births,marriages,deaths were introduced in October
    1874. The Civil registry office was called Standesamt.
    Before this time, the Lutheran church records (1815-1874) or special
    Dissidenten-Register (1847-1874) served as official registers, and a
    duplicate copy was deposited at the local court (Amtsgericht).
    In some areas the Code Napoleon introduced civil registry in 1808-1814.
Most Standesamt (Polish: Urzed Stanu Cywilnego) records remained in the
old offices and were taken over by the Polish authorities in 1945.
They are listed in the Gazetteer of Polish People's Republic Localities.
published in Warsaw 1968, and on LDS microfilm #844,922.
Q11: Are there emigration records available?
A11: The state archives have many emigration records.
They should be checked in the Regierung and Landrat archives.
For details see:
     Learned, Marion Dexter, 1857-1917:
    Guide to the manuscript materials relating to American history
          in the German state archives, Washington, D.C.,
    Carnegie Institution of Washington. Publication no. 150 , 1912, 352 p.:
                     -also Kraus reprints NY 1965-
    p.157-159:StA Posen.
Q12: What was the population mix in Posen province?
A12: For practical purposes we can state:
Evangelical = German and Catholic = Polish.
The 1895 Prussian census in Posen province counted
542,013 Evangelicals, 1,164,067 Catholics, 44,346 Jews.
According to language, the 1890 Prussian census in Posen province counted:
697,265 spoke German, 1,047,409 spoke Polish as first language.
Above 80% of the Polish population was counted in the Kreise of
Wreschen, Jarotschin, Schroda, Posen-West, Schmiegel, Kosten, Gostyn,
Koschmin, Pleschen, Adelnau, Schildberg, Kempen, Znin and Witkowo.
Less than 20% of the Polish population was counted in the Kreise of
Meseritz, Schwerin, Kolmar, Bromberg-Stadt.
Larger cities had a predominantly German-speaking population.
The 1890 census counted in the
Bromberg District: 254,212 Evangelicals, 354,134 Catholics, 15,915 Jews;
Posen District:    287,801 Evangelicals, 809,933 Catholics, 26,431 Jews.
In the latter decades before 1900 there was a strong migration from Posen
province to the Western Prussian provinces, most notably to Rheinland
and Westfalen where the booming industrial Ruhr area and its coal and
steel companies were the main attraction to the new labor force.
Q13: Are there secular records of interest to family researchers?
A13: There are 3 types of records compiled periodically for the period
   of reign of Friedrich II who ruled 1740-1786:
  1) Prästations-Tabellen (PT) are land tax lists since about 1774 for the
    Netze-District and updated about every 6 years until 1806 and continued
    from 1819 to about 1850.
    They list land tenants on royal domaine lands only, giving names
    and land size in H(ufen), M(orgen) and R(uten).
    The Kgl.(Royal) Domainen-Amt or Domainen-Rent-Amt administered and
    levied the tax (=Prästation). The Domainen-Amt districts were usually
    identical with the court districts (Amts-Gericht). After 1815 the domaine
    lands were sold to the tenants in instalments which was completed by
    about 1850. The new authority who handled the sales (=Ablösung)
    was the General-Kommission (in Bromberg for Posen province, at AP
    Bydgoszcz today). The Ablösung records are very important for
    family information of land owners.
    Prästations-Tabellen (1819-ca.1850) ought to be found in the
    Landratsamt records and the records of Regierung zu Posen (AP Poznan)
    and of Regierung zu Bromberg (AP Bydgoszcz)
    For later years the land records of the local Kataster-Amt (1861-)
    should be consulted.
  2) Mahl-Listen or Mühlen Consignationen list all heads of family by
    name and number of women, sons, daughters, male and female
    servants. They indicate that everyone of age 12-60 was taxed by head
    for eating and milling grain, poor or rich alike. They were abolished
    in 1806 by the Stein-Hardenberg reforms. It is not clear whether or
    not they exist or existed for the Posen province as known for East Prussia.
    Further search in the AP Poznan should give the answer, probably in
    ämtersachen records.
Q14: What German literature is available for Posen province (Poznania) ?
A14: Bibliographies and Literature
     * Bibliographies
 Rister, Herbert: Schrifttum über das Posener Land. 1961-1970.
 (Bibliography of the Posen region), 3 vols., Marburg 1976-79
  vol. 1: Allgemeines, Landeskunde, Bevölkerungs-, Siedlungs-
      und Volkskunde, Geschichte. 1976
     (general, regional studies, population -, settlement and
      folklore, history)
  vol. 2: Wirtschaft, Sozialgeschichte, Gesundheitswesen, Sport,
       Recht, geistiges und kulturelles Leben, kirchliches Leben,
       Sprache und Literatur. 1977
       (economics, social history, health  service, sports, law,
       spritualal and cultural life, church life,
       language and literature)
  vol. 3: Register-Index. Bearbeitet von Albrecht Kannegiesser. 1979
 Rister, Herbert: Verzeichnis des deutschsprachigen
            Schrifttums über das Bromberger Land. Wilhelmshaven 1977
              (German-language bibliography of the Bromberg region)
     * Selected Literature of Posen Province
Bliss, Winfried: Die Plankammer der Regierung Bromberg.
            Spezialinventar 1772 bis 1912. Köln, Wien 1978
            (The "Map collection" of the government district of Bromberg
             deposited in the Privy State Archives of Berlin-Dahlem,
             Special inventory 1772 to 1912)
     (The maps listed frequently include the family names of settlers.)

Deutsches Geschlechterbuch: Posener Bände = 62, 78, 116 und 140.
            Verlag C.A. Starke, Limburg/Lahn.
            (German lineage book: Posen Volumes = 62, 78, 116 and 140)
Verzeichnis der Kirchenbücher im Evangelischen Zentralarchiv
   in Berlin. Teil I: Die östlichen Kirchenprovinzen der
   altpreussischen Union, 3rd ed. Berlin 1992. Verlag:
   Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin
   (List of the church books at the Evangelical
   Central Archive in Berlin. Part I: The eastern church
   provinces of the old-prussian union)
Bestandsverzeichnis der Deutschen Zentralstelle für
   Teil I: Die Kirchenbuchunterlagen der
   östlichen Provinzen Posen, Ost- und Westpreussen, Pommern
   und Schlesien. Neustadt/Aisch 1991, Verlag Degener & Co.
   (Inventory list of the German Central Office for
    Genealogy in Leipzig, part I: The church records of
    the eastern provinces Posen, East- and West-Prussia,
    Pomerania and Silesia)
von Meyer: Die Kirchenbücher im Reg.Bezirk Bromberg, in:
   Jahrbuch der Historischen Gesellschaft des Netzedistrikts, 1898.
Rauschning, Hermann: Die Abwanderung der Deutschen aus Westpreussen und
Posen nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg : ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der
deutsch-polnischen  Beziehungen 1919-1929 ;  die Entdeutschung Westpreussens und Posens /
Hrsg. von Wolfgang Kessler. -  Essen: Hobbing, 1988. - LXIII, 427 S. :
(The German migration out of West Prussia and Poznania after World War I:
A contribution to the history of German-Polish relations, 1919-1929;
de-Germanization of West Prussia and Poznania)
Borgius, Eugen: Aus Posens und Polens kirchlicher Vergangenheit : zum
  350jährigen Jubiläum der sog. poln. Unität und der drei
  ältesten evangelischen Gemeinden der Provinz Posen: der Unitätsgemeinden zu
  Posen (St. Petri), zu Lissa (St. Joh.) und zu Lasswitz /
  Berlin: Wiegandt et al., 1898. - 130 pp.
 (From the past of the church in Posen and Poland : on the 350th anniversary
 of the Polish Unity and of the oldest three evangelical congregations of
 Posen province at Posen, Lissa and Lasswitz).
Altansässige Posensche Geschlechter / Ernst Waetzmann. -
  Posen: Verlag der Historischen Gesellschaft für Posen, 1931.
  in: "Deutsche Wissenschaftl. Zeitschrift f. Polen", Heft 23, pp.37-90
    (Old native Posen families)
Stadt und Kreis Meseritz (Grenzmark Posen-Westpreussen) : ein Heimatbuch /
 hrsg. vom Heimatkreis Meseritz. Bearb. von E. Hoffmann. -
  Wanne-Eickel: Wolf. - vol. 1-2 , 1973-1974.
Kuhn, Walter:  Geschichte der deutschen Ostsiedlung in der Neuzeit,
 (History of the modern German Eastern colonization)
 Köln-Graz: Böhlau.1955-1957 - 3 vols.
 (Ostmitteleuropa in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart)
Meyer, Dr. Christian: Geschichte des Landes Posen.
  484 Seiten, Verlag Joseph Jolowicz, Posen 1881
  Reprint: 1979 Ackerstaff & Kuballe in Osnabrück;
Heike, Otto: Die Provinz Südpreussen - preussische Aufbau- und
  Verwaltungsarbeit im Warthe- und Weichselgebiet 1793 - 1806.
 (The province of South Prussia - Prussian construction and
 administration, 1793 - 1806),   Herder-Institut, Marburg 1953
Rogall, Joachim: Die Deutschen im Posener Land und in Mittelpolen.
 (The Germans in Poznania and Central Poland), Langen Müller,
 München 1993
Wuttke, Städtebuch des Landes Posen (Leipzig, 1864);
Meyer, C.: Geschichte des Landes Posen (Posen, 1887),
Mayer, C.: Geschichte der Provinz Posen (Gotha, 1891);
Bergmann, E. von: Zur Geschichte der Entwickelung deutscher, polnischer
  und jüdischer Bevölkerung in der Provinz Posen seit 1824
   (Tübingen, 1883);

Historisches Ortschaftsverzeichnis für ehemals zu
 Deutschland gehörige Gebiete (Zeitraum 1914 bis 1945), Band
  8 Wartheland, bearbeitet und herausgegeben vom Institut für
  Angewandte Geodäsie, Frankfurt/Main 1994/95.
  [Historical gazetteer of former areas
   belonging to Germany (period 1914 to 1945), volume 8 Wartheland]
   Buch 1.  Historisch-statistisch-topographische Beschreibung von
   Südpreußen und Neu-Ostpreußen : oder der Königlich-Preußischen
   Besitznehmungen von Polen, in den Jahren 1793 und 1795, entworfen
   / Carl J. Hübner. - Leipzig : Dyk, 19XX
   Buch 2.  Historisch-statistisch-topographische Beschreibung von
   Südpreußen und Neu-Ostpreußen / Carl J. Hübner.-1. 1798
   Luft, Edward David [compiler]
   The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835.
   (Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1987).

   Kemlein, Sophia, 1960-
   Die Posener Juden 1815-1848: Entwicklungsprozesse einer polnischen
   Judenheit unter preussischer Herrschaft.
   Hamburg : Dvlling und Galitz, 1997.

Q15: What can I find about emigrants to West Germany?
A15: With the beginning industrialization and mechanization
of farming in the Eastern Prussian provinces, many farm
workers (Tagelöhner, Instleute, Scharwerker, Einlieger) left their
homes to seek better working conditions in the developing Ruhr area
(Rheinland, Westfalen). Genealogical sources for this period
(ca.1850 - 1914) have not been systematically investigated
and include Einwohnermeldekarten in the Einwohnermeldeamt or
Polizeipräsidium of city archives, or Zechenbücher,
Bergbaubücher of the many now defunct coal mines and steel mills.

Q16: What German archives are available for Posen?
A16: The Geh.Staatsarchiv in Berlin-Dahlem has
      HA XVI   Posen
        (selective record listing)
   Rep. 1    Oberpräsident der Provinz Posen
   Rep. 3    Provinzialschulkollegium zu Posen
   Rep. 7    Generalkommission für die Provinzen Westpreussen und
             Posen zu Bromberg
   Rep. 18    Oberzolldirektion zu Posen
   Rep. 30    Regierung zu Bromberg
   Rep. 31    Bezirksausschuss zu Bromberg
   Rep. 32    Regierung zu Posen
   Rep. 65    Gymnasien (Bromberg, Nakel, Tremessen)
   Rep. 66    Schulräte und Inspektionen (Adelnau, Bromberg, Gnesen,
              Jutroschin, Kempen, Koschmin, Krotoschin, Neutomischel,
              Ostrowo, Samter, Schildberg, Storchnest, Wongrowitz, Znin)
   Rep. 102   Amtsgerichte und Kreisgerichte
              (Birnbaum, Bromberg, Fraustadt, Gnesen, Inowrazlaw, Lissa,
              Lobsens, Nakel, Posen, Rawitsch, Schneidemühl, Schönlanke,
              Schrimm, Tremessen, Wreschen)