Compiled and posted by R. Reuben Drefs February 2004
Permission to make only one copy for personal use and not for resale
This database provides 83 volumes of information from the 1793-1794 South Prussia Land Registration Records. These land records provide the head of household names of nobility villages. They do not include towns and villages owned by the state which are sometimes called crown lands, in German Amtsdoerfer.
The researcher should be warned to look at alternate spelling of the desired surname. The 1793-1794 records were hand written so the variance of writers and style of writing were most difficult. At times a particular letter was only written once on the surname page and comparison letters were not available. This made difficult writing problematic as to their interpretation. Of particular concern are certain letters which in the old German script could easily pass for a different letter: e.g. the letter "s" old style looked like an "h". Thus the name Zosek could also be Zohek, Bress could be Bresh, Kissmann could be Kishmann, Kessler could be Keshler. The diagonal on the "L" which was difficult to interpret whether the writer meant to write a "t" or an "l". Polish diacritical vowel marks were generally ignored. However, the diacritical marks made letters appear like a different letter. Other letters can also be confused as in the general case with old style German script. Other letter combinations that researchers should particularly investigate are the following in their capital cases: L or C; J or F; R or B; P or G; E or C; D or S; J or Z, B or M and R or St. Letters that can be confused within a name are "o" or "e" and "e" or "c".
Also many times the writer spelled the names as he thought and probably did not ask for the correct spelling so I wrote the names as they appeared on the document.
Generally the name of the town was written as it appeared in the record. This may be different from the modern form of spelling for that town. With some records a second spelling of the town appeared on the second page on which the surnames were listed. Sometimes this second spelling agreed with the spelling on the title page and sometimes it did not. A choice was made as to which was the clearest form of spelling on the town and most clearly written and that spelling was used.
Many records were a combination record of towns including the Dorf(smalltown), the Hollanderei(dairy farm) and the Vorwerk(suburb).These were not listed separately in all cases. Thus the actual number of towns(over 3,300) may actually be larger than the final tabulated database number. The immense nature of this project caused me to want to get it on the internet for use without going back through eighty-three volumes to correct the database in cases in which a separate listing may have been missed of the Dorf and Vw(Vorwerk. However, usually the Hollanerei was listed on the title page. Thus, usually only the Dorf and the Vorwerk were both listed within the same surname page but were not always listed as a separate listing on the database for both the Dorf and Vorwerk.
These Land Registration records of this data base contain the head of household records which are augmented by that particular head of household's family and farm statistics. The records also list the deanary****(division of the diocese or archdiocese which contains one or more parishes within it) and parish for each town. In many cases the county is given and in most cases the Kammer (a subprovince or department) of South Prussia is listed (Posen, Kalisch, Warsaw, Plock or Petrikau). Thus one can usually determine in which area of South Prussia the town is located through the method of looking at the deanary, parish and county listed along with the town. In some cases, usually restricted to small villages, all of these categories are not provided.
Beside the town location information, this data base of 1793 Land Registration Records contains only the section of "Heads of Household" names, who are identified by a surname and usually also by a given name.
Thus for genealogical research the most useful information that can be gained from the 1793 land records is the name of the head of household, whether the head of household was married and the number of children. The research information gained from land record information would then need to be supported with documentation from other records such as church records which can provide more precise family name information, date of birth etc. These land records can also provide clues for the precise town in which a particular surname ancestor lived in 1793 or 1794.
Be patient with the downloads as the files are quite large. The FIRST SET of links are Excel spreadsheets and will load if you have Microsoft Office/MicrosoftExcel installed on your computer. If you get a message saying you have to choose an application to open the file, then pick Excel or whatever application you have on your computer to open an Excel spreadsheet.
If you do not have MS Excel or some other application that can handle Excel files, then you can go to Microsoft free download page and for free download an Excel file viewer. Here is one: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4EB83149-91DA-4110-8595-4A960D3E1C7C&displaylang=en
The SECOND SET of data surnames are in text format.
If you are still having problems downloading these files then email us.
Also if you see the first name as "witwe" that means widow and that first name was not given
Download are a bit slow so be patient. If you are unable to download the information and need a different format then please contact me
Contact email information:
firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions and payment information.
**** This is an email used by permission from Joseph Martin of Romeoville,IL explaining what Is a Deanery? "Perhaps a short explanation to clarify the concept of a deanery. Each Catholic diocese is headed by a Bishop. But the geographic area and the number of Catholics are probably more than one person can oversee. Thus, a Bishop will select a local pastor in a certain geographic area as a Dean who will oversee the parishes in his area - thus the Deanery. The Dean reports regularly to the Bishop on circumstances and concerns in his deanery. In 1888 there was the Archdiocese of Gniezno/Poznan. It was only one Archdiocese, but it had two major cities, thus the twin names were assigned. The Archbishop had divided the Gniezno area into 16 deaneries and the Poznan area into 24 deaneries. Each deanery had different numbers of Catholic parishes. But all the Deans reported to the Archbishop. The value of the database under discussion here is that it was constructed directly from the Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of Gniezno/Poznan for 1888. Under each deanery was listed all the Catholic parishes. Then with each parish, all the small towns that were part of the parish were listed. So when a researcher is able to locate the name of a town in the Posen area for an ancestor, the next challenge is to locate the Catholic Church where the records might be located. This database matches the small towns with their local churches. Thus, it should be a valuable guide to helping researchers locate their family records. By using a good map and some other finding aids, researchers can also identify other towns nearby in case their family does not show up in the first church registers. Then this database would help locate the next nearest church for further research. I hope this will help with the understanding of the deanery and the database."