One of the things you need to do once you track down the origin of your Polish ancestors, is to search for an entry for the location in the Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich (or Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Countries.)
According to a description of it on the “Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia” website:
This massive collection took over 20 years to publish all 15 volumes. [15 volumes. 1880-1902.] The gazetteer was published when officially there was no Poland in existence. From 1772 to 1918, Poland was dominated by three empires: Austria (later known as Austria-Hungary), Russia and Prussia. The gazetteer contains a great wealth of information on cities, towns, and villages, as well as mountains, rivers, and other geographic points of interest in the lands that were once a part of the old Kingdom of Poland.
The translations are a work-in-progress and are obviously not completely perfect. I am grateful for some help from Al at Al’s Polish-American Genealogy, who has translated many entries himself. I usually mark the words or phrases that I am confident are wrong or are not even translated as I could not find any information on them. The rest, while they may not flow very well, are mostly correct and may just need some small tweaking. Some of the diacritics on the letters did not copy over, I plan to fix those once I have some time. Any errors in the translations are completely my own.
A few terms that may be confusing are:
- morg: a unit of land measurement; in this area 1 morg = 0.631 acres
- wlók: a unit of land measurement used in Poland, was generally about 30 morgs, but this can vary, depending on what part of Poland and what time-frame one is concerned with. Generally 30 morgs was considered a full-sized farm, big enough to support a family.
There are others, though you can find most definitions here if you get confused. Other unique words will be defined in the translation.