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Gleesau apud Posen, Polonia Silesia

19 Jul 2015 /  #1
I have a latin marriage record for an ancestor that lists her place of birth in 1867 as "Gleesau apud Posen, Polonia Silesia". Could be, Glusau, but it really looks like 'ee'. I've been trying to figure out where this is. I see no Gleesaus near Posen, and Posen doesn't seem to be in Silesia, if I understand my map. I was just wondering if anyone may have a clue here. Thanks
19 Jul 2015 /  #2
Modern day Głogów, perhaps - which was Glogau in German?

Poznań (modern day Posen) isn't that far from Głogów, too.

Still, interesting question.
19 Jul 2015 /  #3
Yes, Posen (Poznań) is not much connected with Silesia (Śląsk), so it's confusing.
Gleesau apud Posen - from Latin; Gleesau in/at/by/from Poznan (judging from translator)
No idea of such place, surname Gleesau only exist probably.
Maybe you have a good scan of this record? It might help with recognizing some proper names. (you need to register to be able to upload this here)
19 Jul 2015 /  #4
Ok, Here is the Extract.

Husband is: Ignatz Piasecki (Piesetzkie) from Dobrzejewice, Poland, son of Stanislaw Piasecki and Marianna Obst.

Wife is the one with more questions that I've been trying to locate: Elizabeth (Lizzie) Olejnik or Olnicek or Hornicek (plus the info is listed on this record)

19 Jul 2015 /  #5

Might this not be a misspelt version of Gnesen, the German name for Gniezno?
19 Jul 2015 /  #6
Yes, anything may be misspelled here ;) Gniezno is 60km from Poznan so not too far, but no connection with Silesia either.
However like Bobocra said - I also see more the 'Gleesau' name inside the text.
19 Jul 2015 /  #7
Yes, in all the early records that I've found concerning these individuals, there are lots of misspellings, so I assume the same here. I consider the spellings to be more phonetic, so I've been looking for something sounding like Gleesau, like say "Glisow", but I haven't seen anything like that around Posen, Poznan (I'm guessing south of Poznan if it's supposed to be in Silesia.)
19 Jul 2015 /  #8
Is it possible that it isn't a place?

I've just found this - - could it be that it's rather the family Glesau from Posen? There was the Grand Duchy of Posen - so maybe the family was associated with there and yet the paper is from Silesia?
19 Jul 2015 /  #9
I've wondered that, but I still find the link between Poznan and Silesia to be troubling. I suppose it could have something to do with Gleesaus in Poznan, I try to keep an open mind on interpreting this.

Alternatively perhaps "Kliszów" I don't know how you get from a K to a G, though.

Just a note, when you see how Dobrzejewice is spelled, I think it really reinforces the idea that they were writing phonetically.
19 Jul 2015 /  #10
Yes, I noticed that. The


is my bet too, check this:

The hostile monarchs met at Glissau, between Warsaw and Cracow, and the heroic Swede, though with but half the number of troops, defeated the king of Poland. Cracow surrendered, but Charles being wounded by 1702. Battle of Glissau. a fall fx-om his horse, a few weeks were afforded Augustus to rally his supporters.

and this:

The Battle of Klissow took place on July 8 (Julian calendar) / July 9 (Swedish calendar) / July 19, 1702 (Gregorian calendar) near Kliszów, Poland-Lithuania, during the Great Northern War.[4] The numerically superior Polish-Saxon army of August II the Strong, operating from an advantageous defensive position, was defeated by a Swedish army half its size under the command of King Charles XII.
19 Jul 2015 /  #11
Well, you've convinced me that you can swap a K for a G. Well, I'm going to put my money on Kliszow, too for now. Thanks!
20 Jul 2015 /  #12
Well, I'm going to put my money on Kliszow, too for now.

Kliszów is nowhere near either Poznań or Silesia. Not by a long shot.
20 Jul 2015 /  #13
There are three Kliszów in Poland. I'm talking about the one in the Lower Silesian Voivodeshipów
20 Jul 2015 /  #14
I'm talking about the one in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship

Which, at 141 km and on the other side of any significant border throughout history, is nowhere near being "apud Posen" (near Poznań), so that seems quite a bit of a stretch. Add to that that "Klieschau" is a big jump from "Gleesau" and it's even more unlikely.

In fact, that anyone would describe any place as both "apud Posen" and "Silesia" seems pretty weird to me. The closest to Poznań that Silesia ever got was Guhrau (Góra), and I wouldn't call that "apud Posen". The word you are reading as "Silesia" might be something else.
20 Jul 2015 /  #15
This is a very interesting document. The most important question is: where was this document issued? If it was made in Klieschau in Lower Silesia, it is extremely unlikely that the person who did that over there would have misspelt Klieschau for Gleesau. They could if they were writing it on hearing someone pronouncing such a name in Polish (Kliszów or Kleszczów) in the then Prussian province of Wielkopolska (Grand Duchy of Posen / Greater Poland). Here are the names of Kliszów in Lower Silesia as they were recorded in the past:

Kleschau - 1409; Clischau - 1470; Villa Cletsov / Clesow - 1580; Klieschau - since 1787 until 1945.

'G' can be easily interchanged with 'K' - these are the two variants (voiced or voiceless) of the same phoneme. My guess is that the writer was a German writer rather than a Polish one writing the name in the Grand Duchy of Posen (a Polish writer would be more likely to write 'K'). Notice also that the writer had visible difficulty in writing down some other Polish names

The use of 'Polonia' in the document in reference to Silesia is pretty strange. In 1867 there may still, however, have been some tiny Polish-speaking minority in that part of Lower Silesia (former Kreis Wohlau in Niederschlesien). If not, those people in Kliszów could have arrived there as temporary farmer labourers from the Grand Duchy of Posen. The name 'Dobrzeh(n)izza" which you render as 'Dobrzejewice' is assigned to 'Russopolonia' in the document (as it is the village near Toruń, it might well have been situated within the Russian part of Poland, though I did not check that)

In fact, that anyone would describe any place as both "apud Posen" and "Silesia" seems pretty weird to me.

By saying "Posen", the author of the document could mean the Posen province rather than the town of Posen. In that sense the Latin term "apud Posen" in the document could mean "next to Posen province, next to its borders" which is very true for the village of Klieschau in the neighbouring Niederschlesien.
20 Jul 2015 /  #16
The document is from a church in Southwestern Pennsylvania (Greensburg). The village for Ignatz Piasecki is certainly Dobrzejewice, and comes from other sources. All of the US records that I've come across for these individuals have a variety of spelling variations. I've not been able to locate an immigration record for Elizabeth Olejnik (Most later references spell her surname as such), but a 1900 census record says she arrived in 1890, which means at the time of this document she would have been in the US ~1 year, and probably still had a limited English skills and a heavy accent. I don't think it's too far of a stretch to imagine that she said she was born in a town called "Gleesau" by Posen in Silesea. Much as I would say I grew up in Jeannette by Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. It may not be Kliszów, but for now, I still think it's the best guess.

Just to clarify the back story further. These two individuals seem to have arrived independently in the US. Ignatz in 1886, and Elizabeth likely later. Then they were apparently married in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Edit: and the writer was very likely not Polish. A Polish church was established in the area 10-20 yrs later after a big wave of Polish immigration to the area.

"Posen", the author of the document could mean the Posen province rather than the town of Posen

Interesting, I hadn't thought of that possibility.

On a different note: Any guess on her father's name. "Varzze", seems weird and I suspect is another Phonetic word.
20 Jul 2015 /  #17
could Varzze be a Polish person trying to say "father" for the first time ?
20 Jul 2015 /  #18
Yes, indeed. This is strange this 'Varzze'. What comes to my mind is the Christian name "Błażej" as explanation.

What about writing down a transcription of the text of this document. Can you decipher it all in Latin?
20 Jul 2015 /  #19

Maybe Wawrzyn? It's a Slavic name, but relatively rare nowadays in Poland.
20 Jul 2015 /  #20
Wawrzyn made me think, and I realized that I also have this civil registry of the wedding. It provides more colorful phonetic spellings of the people's names. Here the father's name looks to be spelled "Vawcin".

Błażej and Wawrzyn. I'll add them to my notes, thanks.

could Varzze be a Polish person trying to say "father" for the first time

Who knows, but I love the imagery when I think about this scenario.

20 Jul 2015 /  #21

Then another possibility is Marcin - common Polish name.
20 Jul 2015 /  #22
I think Wawrzyn is sufficient given that 'Wawcin' appeared somewhere in the documents. Can you decipher the entire Latin text?
20 Jul 2015 /  #23
By saying "Posen", the author of the document could mean the Posen province rather than the town of Posen.

That's also a humongous stretch, and a very, very bizarre way of referring to the location of that town, which is much more "apud Breslau" than "apud Posen". It's like referring to Katowice "apud Praha". And Kleischau was not "next to the border" of the Province of Posen. It was deep into Silesia.

Sorry, but Kleischau seems an extremely remote possibility to me. If the spelling is that mangled, God knows what it could be; there are hundreds of candidates that are far more likely than Kleischau. Referring to Kleischau as "Polonia" is bizarre to the extreme. I'm not even sure there were any Poles living there at the time, and if there were, they were a very tiny minority in a very tiny village. Even now, it is a very tiny village, with at most 50 residents, judging from the satellite photo, and there is no sign that it was substantially larger in the past.

The document is such a garbled geographical mess that it is just about useless without substantiating documentation. The person writing this down apparently had zero idea about the geography of the region, and depended greatly on his apparently wild imagination more than anything else. Any speculation about the locations of the obviously misspelled place names is just idle speculation.

Best guess: the priest just totally fudged this up because he was unable to interpret what this immigrant who didn't speak English was trying to say, and that what he wrote bears little semblance to the original.
20 Jul 2015 /  #24
And Kleischau was not "next to the border" of the Province of Posen. It was deep into Silesia.

No, it isn't "deep into Silesia". It is fairly close to the border of the Posen province. What you say is as true as what you originally said about Kliszów:

Kliszów is nowhere near either Poznań or Silesia. Not by a long shot.

You said that Kliszów was nowhere near Silesia, whereas Babocra has found it right in Silesia for you. So now you say after her it is "deep in Silesia". How pathetic of you, Dominic! Despite that you spell the name as "Kleischau", while Babocra and I were talking about "Klieschau". There is an important difference in pronounciation in German between the two. So first be careful to what you are writing, Dominic, and then start to promote your misleading views. Besides, Babocra was telling you about a lot of spelling mistakes in the documents to which argument you want to remain as blind as ever.
20 Jul 2015 /  #25
Kliszów is an extremely remote possibility based on making several huge leaps of logic. There are hundreds of places that fit the bill just as well, and actually, nothing fits the bill at all because the document is a garbled mess.

Remember, the burden of proof is on the person who maintains that the town in question is Kliszów, and the proof is dubious to the extreme. The burden is certainly not on me to prove otherwise; that is the default position that is true until satisfactorily proven otherwise, and that is extremely far from the case here. I have thoroughly explained all the reasons for my skepticism, and nobody has presented anything other than very farfetched guess work to counter my objections.
20 Jul 2015 /  #26
Remember that people were not as mobile at that time as they are nowadays. If the husband came from Dobrzejewice near Torun, then there's a good chance that his bride came from a village/town nearby - probably within a radius of 50 km. Gnesen/ Gniezno seems to be the best bet, although the Silesia reference is confusing.
20 Jul 2015 /  #27
There are hundreds of places that fit the bill

I'm open to explore any of these hundreds of possibilities as well. I think everyone agrees that it's odd, how it's written. The only place that satisfies all of these oddities is Kliszów. Looker even found a reference where the city is referred to as "Glissau". I appreciate your skepticism and still remain skeptical myself, but favor this as a "best fit" of the data.

With certainty, this ancestor was Polish-speaking and had reason to leave her native country, so maybe the very tiny population of Poles that may have existed in Kliszów had good reason to leave. Now that you have me thinking about it. In the 1900 census document, and only in this document, which is riddled with typos. Her nationality is listed as German not Polish. I always figured it was one of the many errors, but maybe it wasn't.
20 Jul 2015 /  #28
The only place that satisfies all of these oddities is Kliszów.

Hell, no. Far from it. It doesn't come close orthographically, it can't be reasonably described as in the vicinity of Poznań, it hadn't been in Poland for centuries, it was a minute village with an even more minute Polish population, if any at all, so that the chances of a given Polish person coming from their are astronomically remote. The ONLY thing it matches is "Silesia", if, in fact, that is what the word in question is supposed to read. You're building a house on quicksand and grasping at straws. There are way too many ifs and buts here. If Ifs and buts were candy and nuts, it would be Christmas every day.

No place satisfies all the oddities. Chances are much more likely that the priest just made all of this up out of whole cloth than that Kliszów is the place in question. And quite honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if that's exactly what he did.

If it makes you feel better, I'll give you an E for effort. Nice try, but no cigar.
20 Jul 2015 /  #29
Bobocra, where does the latin marriage record come from? Couples were almost always married in a parish close to or in the bride's hometown.
20 Jul 2015 /  #30
Another weird thing is that the Dobrzejewice near Toruń was not in "Russopolonia". It was in the Prussian partition.

So "Dobrzejewice" might be an incorrect guess, too.

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