Though several great Polish cities have served as capitals (Krakow, Warsaw), Poznan still holds the official name "Stoleczne Miasto Poznan" ("The Capital City of Poznan"), though it's only used on special occasions. References to the city date back to as far as 970 AD, in the chronicles of a man named Thietmar. The name of the city is most likely a derivative of the surname "Poznan" or "Poznany," which comes from the verb "poznac," or "to get to know." We strongly believe you should get to know Poznan well, including its long and fascinating history!
Above: One of the earliest maps of Poznan, from the 17th century
Poznan is one of Poland's oldest cities, and was its capital during the middle of the 10th century. As such, several important early Polish rulers are buried in its Archicathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul (the oldest cathedral in Poland), including Duke Mieszko I and King Boleslaus the Brave.
Though the area of Greater Poland has been inhabited since the Stone Age, the settlement that would become Poznan began at the end of the 8th century AD, when the first stronghold was built on the island of Ostrow Tumski, between the Warta and Cybina rivers. The 10th century was the start of Poland as a kingdom, and Poznan and Gniezno (its first capital) were the main centres of the developing Polish state. Thus, when the first Polish monarch Mieszko I died, he was buried in Poznan's cathedral.
In 999, the Diocese of Poznan was founded under the jurisdiction of the archbishopric of Gniezno. However, both cities were destroyed during the Bohemian Czech invasion of Bretislaus I in 1038, and the capital was moved to Cracow under Casimir I the Restorer. Luckily, King Boleslaus II the Generous rebuilt Poznan, but the capital status would remain lost forever.
Poznan was to remain a capital of sorts though, and it became the capital of the division (today the voivodship) of Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) from 1138 on, when Poland was divided into feudal districts. The 12th century saw the city develop quickly, becoming a centre of trade and crafts. Due to Poznan's location in western Polish territory, it would grow to have a significant German population, with Teutonic settlements popping up in the area as early as the 13th century, and many German settlers moving to the city. The 13th century was also when King Przemysl II built a castle in Poznan and surrounded the city with a wall.
When a unified Poland soon emerged, Poznan became a major political, economic, cultural, and academic centre, much of it thanks to its location on a major trade route between Germany and Bohemia in the west and Ruthenia and Lithuania in the east. In 1519 Lubranski Academy was founded in Poznan, becoming the second oldest higher academic institution in Poland after Krakow's Jagiellonian University; in 1573 a Jesuit college opened in Poznan as well.
With the large German population of Poznan ("Posen" in German), the Protestant Church developed alongside the Polish Catholic Church, and also had its own academic institutions. All of these new developments in trade, culture, religion, and education brought about the "Golden Age" of Poznan, generally agreed to be the 16th century. With a population of about 20,000, it was one of the largest cities in Poland, and it was steadily growing and flourishing until disaster struck in 1655: the Swedish armies invaded, starting a series of wars, epidemics, and catastrophes, which killed many and significantly slowed the economic and cultural development of the city.
Luckily, Poznan sprung back at the end of the 18th century, and settlers from German and Dutch lands came to the city and enriched its cultural development even more. When Poland was partitioned in 1793, Poznan fell to the Kingdom of Prussia, and became the capital of South Prussia. While it tasted a brief bout of independence during the Napoleonic Wars, Poznan would remain under Prussian control until all of Poland regained its independence after the First World War.
At the brink of war, the population of Poznan was roughly half Polish and half German, and the city had rapidly industrialized and developed culturally and economically, and was also made into a major military post by the German army. When war broke out, Poznan was heavily militarized, but as it was nearing its end and Germany was in retreat, the Great Poland Uprising of 1918-1919 and the subsequent treaty of Versailles returned most of the province of Posen to the newly established Polish nation, and Poznan became once again a Polish city and the capital of the Poznan Voivodship. Most of the German population moved to Germany, leaving about 10% of the city German.
Now part of a growing and prospering Second Polish Republic, Poznan opened Poznan University in 1919, and in 1925 the Poznan International Trade Fairs became a major event of culture and commerce in the area. Even as a second war loomed near, Poznan continued to grow and prosper, until Nazi invasion in 1939 made Poznan a German city again, and the German authorities started a programme of the "re-Germanization of Poznan," expelling some 100,000 Polish citizens to central Poland bringing German settlers into the city.
Poznan's Jewish population suffered especially during the occupation, as in all of Poland, though large numbers of non-Jewish Poles were murdered as well in notorious executions by the SS. But the Poles who remained refused to surrender, many joining guerilla units of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) and fighting alongside the Soviet army which liberated the city in January-February 1945. In the process much of Poznan was destroyed, including over 90% of the Old Town.
After the Soviet "liberation" of Poland, the country was incorporated into the Soviet Bloc, though Poznan became once again a Polish city and its German population was expelled, and largely replaced by the expelled Polish population from Lviv and Vilnius and Poland's former eastern territories. The Sovietization of Poland brought hard times, but it also saw the rebuilding of Poznan and the rest of Poland's badly damaged cities.
During communist times, Poznan suffered shortages and censorship and the climate of fear with the rest of Poland, though worsening economic conditions led to the first anti-communist protests in the city in June 1956. After a strike workers from the largest factory in Poland in Poznan took to the streets, ransacking the Communist Party Headquarters until secret police began firing into the crowd, killing between 53 and 76 people, injuring hundreds, and arresting 700. Nevertheless, the riots lasted two days until the army came in with tanks, armoured cars, and field guns, quelling the present riot but failing to control anti-communist sentiment that would last until the fall of communism.
At the beginning of the 1980s, the communist machine was starting to fall apart throughout Poland and later the rest of the Eastern Bloc. In 1981, a monument to the June 1956 uprising was erected, and in 1983 Pope John Paul II visited Poznan for the first time. Finally, when communism ended for good in Poland in 1990, the first free elections were held for local government in the city, and Poznan was made the capital of the Greater Poland Voivodship in 1999.
Today, with Poland in the European Union and NATO (whose first Polish base was located in Poznan), the city is facing the rebirth of economic prosperity, free artistic expression and cultural renewal, and inevitable tourism boom that being a free nation in the EU brings. We can only hope that the hard times are behind us, and that the city will only continue to grow and remain an important centre of cultural and economic exchange for western Poland.
Trying to find information on Wilhelm Geisbrecht,he came to the USA in 1890 and claimed he came from Posen and was German,he then settled in Johstown,Pennsylvania. I'm not sure it the last name was just wrote down like it sounded,the census papers looked like it was spelled with a J,I'm really poking,not sure of alot about his life but claimed to be a coal miner. I'd love to find out if there are Geisbrechts in the Pozen area or any names close to the sound,Jisbrackt Gisbreht or was it spelled right,we go by Geisbrecht,but wonder if that was truely right,but he left a wife Mary and a son Gustov behind until later,but if I could,I'd love to know what was going on in the late 1880s that would have caused him to leave and why,but I dont have money to do much research,but I'm dieing to find out more about my family history in Posen,or now Poznan,I would appreciate any helpReply
I am researching Andrzejewski family tree and would appreciate any info of family members from western Poland from Poznań to Łódź and WielunReply
I love Poznan. Poland such a beautiful country.Reply
Love My City and its History,,,Thanks, So Much, Poznan-Be Strong And Beautiful,,, You, Allways Be in my Heart,,,Reply
Great to learn the history of Poznan, thanks very much! I stayed here for a couple of weeks in 2006 with relatives of my friend. Lovely place. Friendly people. Great beer and food.Reply
I found lots of helpful information.Reply
Forgive my spelling errors the Town of Posen not twn 83 % Polish no t 83 ha ha. Darn cheap cell phone.Reply
Their is a small town in the the state of Michigan USA called POSEN ad all of it's founders were immigrants from POSEN Germany in the late 1860's and the racial make up of the twn is about 15 ,% German although i suspect it's a little higher and 8e % Polish with a few Jews who immigrated their with them. It is literally like a piece of Prussia in MI USA only they speak english. Some of the elderly folks speak olish or German though. I'd recommend a visitReply
Looking for information about Manthey or RadtkeReply
Looking for information about my great grand-father Oscar Robert Hennig, son of Christoph Albert Hennig and Wilhelmine Ottilie Lambert, He was born on 1825,June, 16th ( batism Evangelisch, Krotoschin, Posen on 1825, July, 7th. ). On 1851 he migrate to Brazil.Reply
I am looking for family who left Posen in 1886 for New York. The family name was Mittlestadt. The wife's maiden name was Heger. I would love to piece together a more complete family history! KLSenigaglia@gmail.comReply
I'm looking for information on my great-grandparents, John Strycharski and Natalge (Gestalter) Strycharski, from Poznan. He was born about 1854; they were married and emigrated to Wisconsin about 1872/3, but I don't know if they married before or after emigrating.Reply
Might this be them from Posen Project Marriage Records? Protestant community Strzelno [Strelno] entry 12 / 1872 Johann Stricharek (24 years old) 88% father: Michael Stricharek Nathalie Gestalter (20 years old) 100% father: Johann GestalterReply
We are visiting in May 2018. Looking for family of my Grandfather Frank Matczak from Poznan.Reply
Looking for info on my gradfather's family by the name of Orpel(Stephen) born in 1881 in Poznan. His nephew came to USA in 1949 his name was Kasmir KazmarikReply
Searching for Hellwig family, who settled in Buchwerder (Straduhn).Reply
Searching my great grandparents. John Zolinski Katherine GrzmyrneskaReply
I have great and great great grandparents from Poznan. Siatkowski Borkowicz Winiecki Would appreciate any information or links to other family there. Anxious to make a trip someday!Reply
Hello, my grandfather is German and Grandmother Polish. Grandfather's last name is Mielke, Grandmother's maiden name is Grabowski. I think one of the two went to PA coal mines, then on to Saginaw Michigan area.Reply
My grandfather Carl Julius Wilhelm Gratzinger born in Posen/Marinfeld (1850) Need information about family.Where can one write to learn more. Also a lady named Caroline M Broeske born in Fordan (Prussia) in 1866 (August 23 ?) Her father was August Broeske. Any information will be helpful.Reply
My Great Grandfather William Walter Linke was born in Posen... I believe 1859, comes to U.S. in 1882 with wife Agnes (Mistarski). They brought a baby daughter Wonda one year old.Reply
Could this be them? from the Posen Project website Civil registry Murowana Goślina [Murowana Goslin] entry 17 / 1882 Ladislaus Linke (23 years old) 100% father: Gustav Linke , mother: Anna Mendlik Agnes Misterska (20 years old) 91% father: Thomas Misterski , mother: Antonie OlejniczakReply
Thank you! From my own research (in which names match some of your information) William Walter Linke's father is Gustav Linke, Gustav's father is Ladislaus Linke....correct? Agnes (Misterska) Linke's father is Thomas Misterski and her mother is Antonie Olejniczak...correct?Reply
My great great grandfather John Lembicz was born in Poland, He moved first to Washington then to Alberta Canada, To the best of my knowledge he went back to Poznan Poland in 1943.. My family lost contact with him after that. I would be so grateful for any info on the Lembicz family in that part of the world between 1800 and now.Reply
Hello, I seen your message online while I was killing some time. My brother and I had been doing some family tree investigating over the years, and are piecing some things together. I know some of our relatives came to Canada from the United States originally, maybe we are related some how some way. My father Theodore (Ted) Lembicz had a brother whose name was John?Reply
Jestem wnuczką Józefa Lembicz z Poznania.Wiem,że John wrócił i zamieszkał w Ostroróg koło Poznania.Do dziś rodzina Lembicz mieszka w Poznaniu.Pozdrawiam .Reply
My father, Wladyslaw Konieczny was born April 18 1918, lived in Poznan, family also in Gniezno. He left Poland to join the RAF not long after Germany invaded. After the war, he emigrated to Brooklyn, NY where he raised a family and died at 87 in 2005.Reply
looking for any Bielerts in that part of the worldReply
To: Markus Musielak- my great grandmother's name is Kataysna Musielak married to Joseph Musielak. Kataysna emigrated from Pozan about 1900 ending up in Bay City, Michigan.Reply
Looking for any info on an Anton Musielak born in Lissa. Posen in or around 1880-1890, apparently he had two brothers one who we believed was called Joseph/Josef who may have possibly emigrated (to America). Anton moved to Germany (Dortmund). Married a Slanislawa Kojewzkowki (? Not certain about the spelling of surname though). They Married in Dortmund in 1911. Any one have any similar links... Michael Ciesielski - couldn't find your email addressReply
Scotland. My grandfather Jan Zok came over to Scotland during ww2. Unsure is my surname has been shortened or not?Reply
Hi. My great grandfather, Andrzej Nowak was born in Oborniki, Poznan Poland and his first wife, Katzrzyna Kuehn born 1840) was also from there. I believe they moved to Michigan at some point. They had several children, one of whom was my grandmother, Stella Nowak. Stella married Frank Walczykowski in Michigan. Does anyone have any further information on any of the above?Reply
Hello I am also looking for members of the Nowak family. I am looking for Marian Nowak's Family he married Antonina Slufik they were forced off their farm to a work camp in Germany near or in Bad Falling Bostel Germany then on to Mecheen , Belgium to work in mines then immegrated to Canada in 1955. Marion had 2 brothers and one sister named Natalia. Marian was born in 1921.Reply
Looking for information on my step-fathers family. Research to this point has them from Pozen/Prussia/Germany. The family name is Urbanowski. The family settled in the Saginaw area of Michigan.Reply
looking for information on my great grandfather Wilhelm Gisbrecht or Geisbrecht. From what I know , he was born in 1867 in (unknown) but immigration records state he lived in Posen or Prussia. he migrated to America on the S S. Scandia from Hamburg to new York in 1890.His wife Mary A. came later in 1897. I believe he was protestant faith and German, Russian or Polish. would like to know for sure. any info would be helpful. I'd really like to find out more about my family in Europe.thank youReply
Ancestor Felix Smidowicz (1800s) married Maryanna Szatkowska. Looking for information. Thank you.Reply
I am descended from Felix and Maryanna. Their son Constanty came to the UK and married Ann Dixon.Reply
I am also decended from felix too my grandad is the 2nd leo smidowicz. Is there any information on the parents of felix smidowicz?Reply
Me too. My grandad is leo smidowicz the 2nd. I can't go beyond Felix though.Reply
Looking for information on grt grt grandmother and grt grt grandfather who came to USA in 1882 from Posen. Their names were Pauline Augusta (Wilhelm) Hilgendorf, born 1857 and August J Hilgendorf b 1856.Reply
What a beautiful city. I would love to visit. My great, great grandfather and his wife were from Poznan -- Thomas Fredrick Tomczak, Sr. (03/05/1842 - 04/17/1925; Mary Errsala (12/20/1849 - 12/22/1928). They were married in 1868. Would love to find anything on their family history.Reply
We hope to get over that way, since we have two Polish ancestors originally from there. Also want to visit some other smaller towns, too.Reply
Having visited Poznan a few times (my wife is from Poznan) I have decided to retire in the future to the city. It is thriving and upcoming in the cultural aspect. Modernisation without destroying the magnificent architectural views is so well balanced. Well worth a visit.Reply
I am searching for information on Victoria Jozwiak who married Casmir Gnatiak who settled in Detroit from Poznan in the early 1900's. Her children were Wanda and Leo.Reply
My great great grandfather Valentine Nowak was born in Poznan and his wife, Mary Kowalski was born in Warsaw. When they married they lived in Poznan until they came to the United States about 1890. They lived in Pennsylvania and from there they moved to Bay City Michigan. In Poland they had two children, Walter and Mary, and two more children in Bay City Michigan. Where would I start and how would I search for Polish records concerning these two people? I am currently writing a book on the family to include psychological profiles on my ancestors. They are all from Poland and have last names such as Ciesielski, Ciesiolka, Musielak, Piechowiak, and Bronczyoriak. If you have any ideas please contact me at my email address. Thankyou.Reply
I am searching for the families of Jakubiak, Abendroth, Abentrod and Steinke. My GG Grand Father John Abentrod (Abendroth) married Josepha Steinke (Onminski) in 1856? Her Daughter's maiden names were listed as Cybulski/Cybulska. Also Andrew Jakubiak who married Nephomoea Kensa? any help with these families would be great. I believe John Abentrod might have married in Wyrzysk ( Wirsitz) in the Catholic Parish there. Thank youReply
Hallo mine surname is Wandelt, I was born in Poland Poznan up to eight years then we moved to Sweden. My fathers surname is Wandelt please if anyone know more about that family contact me. (My grandfathers name was Marian.) email@example.comReply
my grandmother's sister elvina lange was born in posnan area in 1861. other family name prill or BrillReply
My mothers maiden name is Nogowski. I've done some research on the family which I found out mostly came from Poznan, Poland. I'm having a hard time finding anything more than that. Is there anybody that is familiar with that surname?Reply
Looking for information on a big apartment fire in Poznan on April 13, 1990.Reply
Looking for Felix Fialkowski (Fijlkowski}. Left Poznan about 1920. Went to Cleveland OH. Also his wife Maximila Bielski also from Poznan.Reply
My father was from poznan Frank anton Konieczny ..I would like to visit somedayReply
Hi Steve, My Great Aunt married a Joseph Konieczny in Michigan, from the Alpena area. CathyReply
Looking for Bedju Binik, or Kinga Binik from Poznan Poland any information would be appreciatedReply
Good article on history of Poznan. My great grandfather's first cousin, Heinrich Bielert and wife, Hulda Zutz Bielert emmigrated to the USA in 1912, His parents were Ludwig and Elizabeth Bielert. Looking for info on them or other Bielerts in the area. Thank you.Reply
Linda, My Great Great Grandparents are Heinrich Bielert and Hulda Zutz....I would love any information you have.Reply
Looking for Emil Czarnecki's township. b. 1861 Poznan, d. 1929 USAReply
Moj ojciec byl direktor Zaklady Nasienne-Poznan w czasie 2 wojna i po wojnie,kiedys w latach 70 jechalem pociagiem do Poznan -jeden mezczyzna w pociagu wpatrywal sie namnie i w koncu domnie mowi po imieniu-Janusz-bylem zaskoczony skad ten Pan zna moje imie no i zaczyna mnie opowiadac niesamowita historia-moje rodzice Wanda Malicka z domu-Wojczewska mieli polaczenie z rodzina w niemcy nazwisko;Betz -przetrwali wojne a ten Pan w pociagu sie przedstawil jako Pan Kaczmarek zamieszkaly kolo Poznan-byl to czlowiek dlamnie z radosc w sercu no bo wychwalal mojego ojca ze byl on dobry czlowiek ktory podczas 2 wojny trzymali go w ukryciu w bonkier pod Zaklady Nassienne w Poznan-wychodzil tylko w nocy a w dzien byl ukrywany w bunkier i karmiony-przetrwal wojne i to pieknosc szkoda ze tego Pana i jego rodzina niepoznalem wiecej i zaluje.W roku 1954 moj ojciec zginol i wyladowalismy ja,brat-Wiesiek i sistra -Danka-wyladowalismy w domu dziecka,Kalisz Skarszewska 3-to pamietam. W roku 1973 wyjechalem do Anglia i dotej pory tu mieszkam-chcialbym sie dowiedziec- odnalezc tego Pan-Kaczmarek zamieszkaly kolo Poznan,co sie stalo z Zaklady Nasienne-Kopanina-jak sie niemyle-mama mnie powiedziala ze pod bunkier tych zakladow-Poznan jest ukryty wielki majatek-zloto czy to ktos znalazl? Pamietam jak bylem dziecko-miedzy 5 do siedmiu lat bylismy nad morzem-Gdynia-Gdansk czy Sopot niewiem ale dokladnie pamietam ze sie bawilem w piasku no i cos mnie zaczelo pieknie swiecic-zlote monety i to duzo-moj tato szybko doskoczyl i wszystko wykopal zabral no i kupil sobie Szwedzki woz Volvo-niestety w latach 1950 po wojnie odmowil nieprzystapil do komonistycznej partia i 1954-zmarl rzekomo zostal powieszony a inni mowia co innego-mama moja pracowala w Cegielski-laboratorium Poznan,ale po smierci naszego ojca byla przesladowana-uzywano na nia gas przez drzwi do klucza i inne sposoby-dlaczego tak sie dzialo?przez zloto co ja znalazlem w piasku czy przez inny powod? do dazisiaj niewiem ale moj brat Wieslaw Malicki wie wiecej i pamieta. W latach 1960-70-mojej narzyczonej;Grazyna Reke jej brat zostal zamordowany-Janusz Reke-Wagrowiec kolo-Poznan-czyste morederstwo ktore sam dochodzilem z rodzina-Reke-Wagrowiec-zatuszowali wszystko ale do dzisiaj niewiem czy Sprawiedliwosc-wyszla na jaw czy do dzisiaj nic?-czy ktos zna ta rodzina--Reke? mieszkali w centrum rynek-Wagrowiec.Moj tel;Anglia;0044-01209842813-komorkowy +447411372922. Na koniec chcialbym odnalezc historia o mojej Rodzinie Poznan-moj pra-pra dziadek byl Majorem miasto Poznan pamietam jak moja mama pokazala mnie jego stary pomnik na cementarzu-Poznan? Dziekuje z gory za pomoc.Janusz Marian Malicki-urodzony 28.03.1947.Reply
My great grandfather came from Posen Province in 1871. I have been trying to find any trace of his family name in Poland. His name was Rudolph Roscovius (Roskovius) sometimes (Rossorius)Reply
My father was a prisoner of war in world war 11 in Posen - I would like to know more about the Prison Camps thereReply
My Grandparents came from Samarzewo, Poznan Thomas Smidowicz was a apprentice baker. He and my Grandmother Pearl Mary (Padlewski)were married in a Catholic church there in 1902 and came to America in 1903. Thomas Smidowicz born Decl.6 1878 and Pearl Mary Padlewski born July 4, 1978 Information?Reply
Looking for Mielke, born in Posen Germany, and Grabowski's born in Posen Poland (Germany). I think Julius Mielke is who I am looking for and Paul Grabowski. Thank you for any helpReply
looking into surname razalia Zuchelkowska 1859-1945 married august milke 1856-1916 born in poland @koslin does this ring true with names??/Reply
Linda Drake, my grandfather was Benjamin Keen, his great grandparents were Peter and Anna (Szymanski) Kokoshinski from Poznan. I think we are related!Reply
Linda Drake, my grandfather was Benjamin Keen, his great grandparents were Peter and Anna (Szymanski) Kokoshinski from Poznan. I think we are related!Reply
Any info on last name of Bic (squiggly line under the c)...also listed as Bikowski in US.Reply
Great info from others. Very helpful. Anyone ever heard of Polish last name of Bic, Bick or Bikowski? I've seen all three on marriage/death certificates for one person. The Bic version had a squiggly line under the c and I was told it would have been pronounced Bish.Reply
i was born in poznan poland and was adopted into the states. i was trying to find out where my mom ola kuberka or my dad adrewj nowakowski was born or buried at.Reply
The only one grave of Ola (Aleksandra) Kuberka is at Poznan big cemetery Junikowo (field 37, quarter 3, family-grave). Andrzej Nowakowski is a popular name in Poznan and I found more graves. Do you know the birthdate of your father? Greetings from Poznan.Reply
Aleksandra Kuberka was born 1958-03-09, burried at the Junikowo-Cemetery 1990-02-16. Is it your mother? Are you sure - your father is dead? GreetingsReply
Could it possibly been Nogowski?Reply
I am desperately looking for my mothers birth certificate. 21 July 1944 she was German (not Jewish) and lived in Posen Kreis Jarotchin. Any information or lead will be appreciated. Thank youReply
Searching for my 2nd great grandfather's relatives by the name of MATYBA from Poznan. Mschnorf@bresnan.netReply
My grandmother's family Posnanki-Schreiber were from Poznan.Reply
My ancestors are from Poznan. They were named Posnanki-schreiber. Since a few weeks i heard about our jewish name although i knew they were jewish and have become really interested in their history.Reply
Then u are related to me.Reply
I am trying to find family members and history of my grandmother's family. Last names are Mach and Luczak, Does anyone know if these are common names in Poland?Reply
my father was from poznan he was born 1915 his name was frank anton konieczny just wanted to know if i have any relatives??Reply
On my Bucket List is finding out all I can about my father Wladislaw Wojciechowski born on 25 of August 1023 in Posen, Poland. He is my father that I never knew and need to learn all I can. My grandfather names is Adolf Huck and my Grandmother was Maria Walat Huck. Does anybody know where to go to find records? Thanks wolfgangReply
looking forward to visiting Poznan in 2012. First visit to country of ancestry. Family names born in Poznan include Swendra, Bujarski, Novak, Mazur. They all arrived in U.S. in 1800s. Any information or family connections would be appreciated.Reply
Researching my ancestry and also have the surnames Bjuarski, Novak, and Mazur. Also Ceske and Rekowski. Would love to know if we have any overlaps.Reply
"Smikowski" ... Researching this sur-name with great difficulty. Is this a Polish last name? This family records itself as being of German Ancestry with their Mother Language as being Polish. They record that they were born in 1882-83 in Posen, Germany. They immigrated to the USA in 1892. I was told that they changed their name from Schmidt to Smikowski. This was for economic reasons--due to the moving of their butcher shop/business into a Polish community. Does this even sound realistic? Could Smikowski be a made up sur-name? Or, should I look for this name under another spelling? Any insight is appreciated. Thank you. Thank you for bringing Poznan's history to life for me! Reading it made me very happy. It was very well written.Reply
I found 2 towns with the name of Smikowski in Poland. Originally, I was told that an immigrant family from Germany, named Schmidt, changed their German last name to the name of the Polish town where they settled in Poland. The town of Smikowski was where they relocated and opened their butcher shop. It was there and then that they changed their name to Smikowski. A son from this family named August Smikowski immigrated from there to Chicago then moved to Milwaukee back in the early 1900's. More about the 2 towns. I found no cemeteries or churches in either of these locations. I have found a nearby church in one of the towns I will look more into locating church records. It would be amazing to visit these areas of Poland someday!Reply
I forgot to mention that I will look for the 2 towns and the proper spelling of those 2 towns. I will post links to the towns from the Polish Wiki webpages. It might take me a few days. Maybe this is a possible llink to where your Smikowski's came from. Just because I heard the same story - I do not know if it is correct. The family I am speaking of might have had different last name other than that of Schmidt. We will keep on looking. All the best.Reply
A lot of Polish names were first germanized (I Prussia Polish sounding names were illegal, as was speaking in Polish); and then anglicized, making them difficult for descendants to trace. With no disrespect to the ancestors - most of them were illiterate and their names would be recorded from phonetically estimated sounds as understood by non-Polish speaking Officials. I've suggested few Polish versions - hopefully it may help some to trace your ancestry - throw me an email if you have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org: Agnes Koslowska - Agnieszka Kozlowska (Traditional Polish - especially north-east Poland - from noun "koziol", as in /goat/); Augusta koslowsky - Augustyna Kozlowska; Andrzejewski (Traditional Polish surname - from name "Andrzej" - /Andrew/); Stefan Kolek - (Traditional Polish surname - from noun "kolek" /stump/) Thomas W (Tomzcak)- Tomasz Tomczak - (Traditional Polish surname from name "Tomasz" - /Thomas/); Mary V. Errsala - Possibly phonetic interpretation of surname by an Official??? Not German, not Polish, other than "sala" is Polish for "hall" - could be occupation, e.g. "ladies' maid" would be "salowa"; Julianne(Tabbert) Milbradt - Not Polish, Not German - possibly Dutch; Frank Domineske &Stella Domineske - try looking for Franciszek Dominicki and Stanislawa (or Stasia) Dominicka - (Polish from name "Dominik" - Typical stuffup of translating Polish surnames into German/English when dealing with males and females. That is, if "Dominicki" is man's surname, then his wife will be "Dominicka" - German/English surnames being gender indiscriminate result in a confusion, such as "Dominecke" applied to both sexes. Ditto Kozlowski (man/boy) and Kozlowska (woman/girl); Paprocki, Kokoshinski, Moch,Keen - Try Paprocki (literally "one of the fern") - Kokoszynski "could be gentry from twonship of "Kokosze/Kokoszki" - "kokoszka" is a south-eastern Polish slang for "egg laying hen"); Bouza - Not German, possibly confused Polish - sounds like Burza, which is Polish word for "storm"; Stanislaw Bak - 100% Polish. Bak ("a" with the thingy at the bottom makes an "on" sound) - "bak" polish for "horsefly"; Lawerence Anthony Pizkocy - Not German, try Laurenjusz Antoni Pizkosz or Piskosz - possibly Polish Jew; Maryann Victoria Orcheck - Marianna Viktoria Orczek - also possibly Polish Jew; Novak - Nowak - Polish spin on polish word for "new" as applied to a feminine object/noun - e.g. "Nowa Polska" (New Poland). Masculine would be "nowy", e.g. "Nowy Swiat" (New World); Stephanic - try Stefanik or Stefaniec(from name "Stefan"); siemienieski or staskiewicz - definitely Polish. Also try Siemieniecki; Happy hunting. ChrisReply
You seem to be very knowledgeable and I appreciated your post. Wondering if you have ever heard of the last name Oledowsky? My great-grandmother, Victoria (8) and her brother, Adam (19) immigrated to the US via Hamburg in June is 1897. The passenger list says they are from Pussany Prussia. We were told that was Poznan.Reply
I found the article very informative. I am also researching Agnes Koslowska who married Friedrich Wilhelm Wandelt (both from Posnan). They immigrated to the United States in the 1800s. It looks like they were married in the "Protestant Parish" in Poznan in 1850. I'd like to find more information about this couple if possible.Reply
Married 1850 in Poznan evangel. Petrikirche (annotation 9/1850). They both have been in the age of 32 at the day of the wedding. The church exists no more. Today is a Plac Wiosny Ludów and the place is empty, but it will have a new building in the next few months. GreetingsReply
My grandmother Augusta koslowsky was born in The Province of Posan in 1879,she left for the United States when she was about 20 years old thru Holland any suggestions where I can find the rest of the family?Reply
My father was born in Poznan (Andrzejewski) and most of his family did not survive the SS forced expulsions. Am presently tracing my family history and wonder if anyone is familiar with the name or opportunities to trace the pastReply
My father was from this area and his name was Stefan Kolek and may still have family around here he was in the 2nd world war and ended up in EnglandReply
I am looking for any information on Thomas W (Tomzcak)(1842-1925)and Mary V. Errsala (1850-1928) both born in Poznan and married in Poznan Poland in 1868. They are my great-grandparents. To USA sometime between 1868-1872 name changed from Tomzcak to Tomjack at that time. Need their parents names and any siblings. Thanks Kathy Tomjack FisherReply
Hi Kathy. I'm sure we are related. My great, great grandfather is Thomas Fredrick Tomczak, Sr. He was married to Mary Errsala. I've been trying to obtain more information on them. In fact, I think I have some paperwork that you created years ago. It included information about his passing and had a picture of him holding his violin. I recently found a very old picture of him and had it enhanced. He was a very handsome young man.Reply
Julianne(Tabbert) Milbradt left from Hamburg, Germany 1882 with 3 of her children Ida, Oscar and Hugo.Reply
My grandfather was a prisoner of war in Poznan Stalag XXID Fort Rauch during the 2nd World War. I am hoping to find out more about his experiences.Reply
Born in Paznan, Frank Domineske in 1860 & Stella Domineske in 1867. Do not know when the come to the USA and settled around Antrim Pa. Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.Reply