Iwona's Sources - Alternative Source for Genelogical Searches
Gubernia Official Journals as an Alternative Source for Genelogical Searches
Official journals are associated more
with legal communiques thick with statute
numbers and codices than with sources for
genealogical searchers. True, the journals
contained notices of that sort. No less than
70% of their contents, however, related to
personal announcements of ordinary citizens.
The journals were published from 1817 under the name of "voivodeship journals," and from 1838 on as "gubemiajournals." Obviously, this deals only with the territories of the Russian partition as it existed then. Familiarity with the geographical and administrative divisions at the time has a practical application here.
And so, in 1817, there were eight voivodeships, with capitals in Augustow, Kalisz, Krakow, Lublin, Mazowsze, Plock, Podlasie, and Sandomierz. In 1837, these were the gubemie: Augustow, Kalisz, Krakow, Lublin, Mazowsze, Plock, Podlasie, and Sandomierz. During the period 1845-1867, the number decreased to five: Augustow, Lublin, Plock, Radom, and Warszawa. In 1867, their number returned to eight: Kalisz, Kielce, Lublin, Lornza, Piotrkow, Plock, Radom, Siedlce, Suwalki, and Warszawa. In 1893, Plock and Lomza gubernie vanished, and in 1912, Chelm gubernia appeared (formed from parts of Siedlce and Lublin gubernie) and Siedlce departed.
These first publications were quite modest, two-three pages. Over the course of time, they grew in size, and eventually, supplements were printed for some issues. The structure of the notices was based on administrative hierarchy: from gubernia dec larations and resolutions by announcement of local units, starostwa, town halls, and gminy. We find communiques from various departments: police, military, treasury, land registry, to affairs of religion, estates, and forests. They are all loaded with personal information, and sometimes contain descriptions of whole families. The content of the information depends on the context of the notice and the zeal of the former officials; sometimes they are concise, but sometimes they provide a surprising wealth of knowledge unattainable in any parish registersfor example, detailed descriptions of physical stature, face, any disabilities, clothing worn. They also specify social status, property owned, potential conflict with the law, and even disposition of character. A true gold mine of knowledge about our ancestors!
The question remains, how to use a key to seek out information on our ancestors among the tens of thousands of journals published. Geographical location by guber nia would seem to be a valid clue; but there are no guarantees, because a great many of the notices came from the administrative units in whose territory the events took place, and not those from which the person described came. Estimating the time of the notice becomes rather difficult; but if we seek information on estates or inheritances, then it is best to focus on yearbooks closest to the ancestor's date of death. One must, however, note that many inheritance cases took place at much later dates. Age of military conscription may be a key term, because desertion was not rare then.
A great many of the notices do not fall under any sort of searching logic; the ef fectiveness of the search depends more on a lucky break, and on the determination of the researcher. These hard-to-pin-down notices usually deal with prisoners of war, fallen soldiers, victims of accidents, foreigners, travelers, all sorts of swindlers, and deserters.
The messages did not deal only with individual cases. At times, the journals printed lists of persons: those lost, those fallen in battle, heirs, recipients of honors, or names from arrest warrants.
The official journals of the former Kingdom of Poland are a non-standard source for genealogical research for those who are not content with family trees strewn with dates like dry leaves. There are more and more genealogists compiling family histories in a complex way, on a historical basis. They hunt for all sorts of "morsels" to deepen the biographies of their ancestors and bring their figures to life.
To give a more complete image of the genealogical significance of these journals, I have chosen a selection of examples.
Official Journal of Augustow Voivodeship, 1822, No. 50.
The administrative head of Augustow powiat is searching for: Walerian Uszynski, registered [for conscription], urban status, Catholic, apprentice rope maker, bachelor, born 1800 in Rawa, regular nose, height five feet, 8 inches, oval face, dark eyes, dark hair, can read and write, in case of capture is to be brought to the capital city of Warsaw.
Official Journal of Radom Gubernia, 1846, No. 18.
The Jedrzejow town hall is searching for: the successors of Mikol a] Podgorski, indebted owner of a house in the town of Jedrzejow, number 14, his widow Sabina nee Dlugosz. The house is located facing the town marketplace from the front, twostory, and adjoins the marketplace to the south, the cross street called Klasztorna to the north, Kielecka street to the east, the house of Ignacy Podgorski to the west. The house is of wood with a separate entrance, and includes a cow bam and two stables. The house itself has five guest rooms on the ground floor-two lacking floors-a kitchen, a bar, with four rooms and antechamber on the second floor, and two cellars beneath the house. The house and building are over 20 ells wide and 116 long.
Official Journal of Warsaw Gubemia, 1845, No. 99.
The Department of General Services announces: due to his death, the late Wincenty Podstawski, assistant clerk of the Court of the Peace of .Jedrzejow Powiat, did not have time to pay the costs for a volume of the Journal of Law in the sum of 30 kopecks, and left no funds. The head of the office instructs the local administration to conduct an investigation and submit a report within 40 days.
The police department gives the following information on escapees from prison and arrests: Karol Sznapka, age 52, good height, oval face, dark gray eyes, graying hair, escaped from transport along with guard Jan Kowalski, age 40 (description) somewhere between Kielce and Suchedniow, Jadwiga Kowalska, age 19, average height, pockmarked oval face, dark hair, gray eyes, accused of abandoning a child, from the gmina of Nieznanowice, has escaped.
Leon Grzegorczyk, age 16, from Chaumow, powiat Opatow.
Jan Kuzara, age 20, from Borowki. Urys Majerowicz Rozencwajc, from the town of Sokolow, Rozalia Trzaskowska, age 40, escaped from prison in Pultusk.
Tomasz Slawinski, age 52, from the town of Czerwinsk.
A list of 30 persons from the gmina of Zyrowek who left their permanent residences without the required permits: ... among others, "Benedykt Karowski, age 18, short, stocky, with an oval, fat, ruddy face, medium nose, low forehead, dark gray eyes, dark hair, dressed in a solid fur jacket, cloth vest, cloth pants, good shoes with long soles, in service as a groom in the colony of Antoniow, sent to Warsaw, where he abandoned the cart and horses and ran away."
Others sought: Katarzyna Skzrypek, age 29; Urszula Gawronska, 37; Stanislaw Wisniewski, 12; Justyna Siedlecka, 25; Monika Grilowicz, 49; Andrzej Zdunowski, 14; Antoni Zdunowski, II ...
The Military Department published a list of deceased soldiers in the Russian Imperial Army but coming from the Kingdom of Poland, and called for their heirs to receive money remaining, within a month at most. In most cases, I have omitted the sums mentioned; the amounts varied greatly.
1. Walenty or Wincenty Burzynski, son of Wojciech, from gmina Goslub, powiat Leczyca, left behind one ruble, 72 kopecks to be given to his family.
2. Daniel Klukas, son of Bogumil, from Piaskowice gmina, powiat Leczyca.
3. Walenty Powierz, son of Jozef, from gmina Jadow.
4. Tomasz Wojtychow, son of Wojciech,
from powiat Kujawy, wife Jadwiga.
5. Pawel Siankowski, son of Jan, from powiat Kujawy.
6. Franciszek Fiaszczynski, barber. Pawel Tarasinski, son of Jan, in the village of Bialy, powiat Warsaw
7. Wojciech Olesinski, son of Mateusz. Jozef Berger, son of Szymon, from powiat Rawa.
8. Lukasz Baranowski, son of Piotr, from powiat Olkusz.
9. Jan Mizenski, son of Franciszek, from the town of Miechow.
10. Ignacy Wenszkowski vel Bienkowski, son of Jakub, from powiat Sandomierz.
11. Franciszek Mozelewski from gmina Marszkow, powiat Miechow.
12. Feliks Zak, son of Jan from the vil lage of Pawl ow, powiat Opoczno.
13. Tadeusz Jadryszak, from gmina Klobuck, powiat Wielun.
14. Piotr Majda, from gmina Berkuzylsk [?], powiat Wielun.
15. Leon Zbikowski, son of Stanislaw, from Sochaczew.
16. Filip Kolosinski, son ofWalenty, from powiat Leczyca.
17. Ignacy Skoczylas, son of Jakub, from gmina Zaluski.
18. Maciej Marciniak, son of Jan, from gmina Sokolniki, powiat Leczyca.
19. Jakub Urbanczyk, son of Jakub, from Brzesc Kujawski.
20. Kacper Bielawski, son of Mikolaj, from the town of Dabie, powiat Leczyca.
21. Jan Chojecki, son of Franciszek, from the town of Dober, powiat Stanislawow.
22. Filip Mirowski, son of Szczepan, from gmina Gidle, powiat Piotrkow (wife Magdalena).
23. Andrzej Sadlowski, son of Antoni, from gmina Unislawice, powiat Kujawy (wife Marianna Korzeniewska).
24. Piotr Malicki, son of Franciszek, from powiat Piotrkow,
25. Jakub Dworzynski, son of Jan, from the village of Guty Dolne.
26. Samuel Janert, son of Andrzej, from the city of Lodz.
27. Bogumil Kaczmarek, son of Tomasz, from gmina Chelmno, powiat Leczyca.
28. Michal Gostomski, from powiat Wielun.
29. Jozef Chumlinski, son of Jozef, from Wloclawek.
30. Jan Mienkowski, son of Marcyan, wife Jozefa Mazurkiewicz.
31. Michal Bonik, son of Jan, from gmina Chodecz.
32. Marcin Bartnik, son of Dominik, from gmina Gidle, wife Konstancja Bednarz.
33. Andrzej Witczak, son of Jozef, from gmina Strzelce, powiat Gostyn, wife Agnieszka Mikolajczyk.
34. Tomasz Kowalski, son of Florian, from gmina Dobrow, wife Franciszka Wyrwinska.
35. Franciszek Zywalski, son of Jan, from gmina Ostroleka, wife Marianna Oziminska.
36. Marcin Prokopczyk, son of Wojciech, from gmina Falencin.
37. Mikolaj Kieszynski, son of Tomasz, from the village of Szyszki, powiat Gostyn.
38. Jakub Jablonski, son of Walenty, from gmina Majkow, powiat Kalisz.
39. Marcin Supniewski, son of Jan, from gmina Zamlynie, powiat Sieradz, wife Justyna Karpinska.
40. Antoni Kurkowski, son ofWincenty, from gmina Brus, powiat Sieradz.
41. Andrzej Plonczyk, son ofWojciech, from gmina Brzoza, powiat Piotrkow. 44. Tadeusz Muszynski, son of Michal, from the town of Warta.
The same department published a list of runaway soldiers:
1. Kazimierz Metler, son of Franciszek, 1845 recruit from powiat Piotrkow, infantry regiment.
2. Marcin Rusiniak, son of Tomasz, from Piaseczno, 1845 recruit.
3. Jan Kotowicz, son of Mateusz, from Hrubieszow, Volhynian Uhlan Regiment.
4. Michal Mausz, from the village of Okecie, powiat Warsaw, field hospital attendant.
5. Jan Stelcer, son of Michal, cannoneer from the 11th Artillery Brigade.
6. Lukasz Piekarski, son of Jozef, recruit from the Field Marshal Count Wellington Infantry Regiment.
7. Wincenty Dryjski, son of Stanislaw, recruit from the Siewski Infantry Regiment.
8. Andrzej Zalewski, son of Felicjan, soldier.
9. Walenty Glogowski, son of Andrzej, soldier.
10. Wawrzyniec Szczesniak, son of Tomasz, soldier.
11. Jan Guziak, son of Walenty, soldier - Numbers 8-11 from the Mochilew Infantry Regiment.
12. Walenty Daszkowski, son of Tomasz, recruit from the Yelets Infantry Regiment.
13. Kazimierz Modkowski, son of Fran ciszek, recruit from the Field Marshal General Count Paskevich, Count of Erivan, Riflemen's Regiment.
14. Antoni Enoch, solider of the 5th Artillery Division.
15. Wojciech Niewiadomski, soldier, and Jakub Zezawa, soldier, both from the Alexopol Riflemen's Regiment.
17. Antoni Baranowski, son of Jan, from Inowlodz, powiat Rawa Mazowiecka, bombardier from the Dynaburg garrison.
18. Chardej Babienko, soldier from the 1st Sappers' Battalion.
19. Jan Cislin Liworziew, from the Mochilev Infantry Regiment.
20. Tomasz Ufuiarski, son of Wojciech, from gmina Nieporet, interior battalion of the garrison.
2l. Afansiej Miesnikow, son of lwan, from Military Company 9.
22. Gabriel Zacharow, from the Kharkov garrison.
23. Bartlomiej Ludwiczak, son of Piotr, from powiat Rawa, cannoneer of the 3rd Mounted Artillery, did not return from leave.
24. Osip Akimow, from the 17th Artillery Brigade.
The Police Section provided information on passports issued:
Jakub Frejad, two-month passport to Lublin, Radom, and Warsaw gubernie.
Emanuel Salisz, merchant, and his servant, Antoni Szmidt, for two months.
Krystian Lejsyt, three-month passport to Warsaw and Lublin gubernie.
The Lodz Town Hall announces that Jan Gotlieb Ulrich, barber, hitherto residing in Lodz, intends to relocate permanently with his family to the town ofWroclaw in the Kingdom of Prussia. Therefore, anyone who has any claims against him is to report to the office of the town hall over the next four weeks.
Announcements regarding inheritances from deceased families:
1. Antonina nee Urbanowska, from her first husband, Pawel Byszewski, and her second husband, Edward Boninski, owner of one-third of the estate Kamionna in powiat Kalisz.
2. Koleta Kazimiera Byszewska, one third of the estate Kamionna.
3. Marianna Pstrokonska, nee Zycinska, owner of the estate Strumiany and Wielga in Sieradz district.
4. Zuzanna Wieckowska, nee Rogolinska, owner of an estate in a district of gmina Szadek.
5. Kazimierz Moraczewski, died 29 May 1830 in Strykow, no descendants.
6. Katarzyna Pstrokonska, nee Hulewicz, a widow from Wilczkow,
7. Wincenty Walewski, co-owner of Makolno, Laziska, Lipiny, Smolniki, Holendry, and Siedliska.
There are many copies of official journals available online at, among other places, the web sites of the Swietokrzyska Biblioteka Cyfrowa [Digital Library], the Radom Biblioteka Cyfrowa, the Podlaska Biblioteka Cyfrowa, and so on. A search for the term "dziennik urzedowy" will usually produce results, some of which are official journals of other sorts; or you can refine the search by specifying "dziennik urzedowy gubernii." ~
Iwona Dakiniewicz, Lodz, Poland <email@example.com>
[with translation assistance from William F. Hoffman]
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Last Updated on October 30, 2016