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Witamy, Guest
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What/where was Glowgie Government. And Rätslavik? "Russian Poland"


Spokesrider 2 | 2    
12 Jun 2018  #1

Maybe this is more of a history or geography question than a genealogy question, but it comes from trying to learn more about my family tree.

My German-speaking great-grandfather first came to the United States in 1886; then in 1892 went back to "Russian Poland" about the time his mother died. He applied for a passport because he planned to come back to the United States in a couple of years, and on the application listed his birthplace as "Russian Poland" and more specifically as "Glowgie Government Plock." I know where Płock is and hope to visit it later this summer. But what could "Glowgie" be? I've been able to figure out the Polish names of several places that my German-speaking ancestors recorded, but not this one.

My great-grandfather ended up staying in Russian Poland longer than two years. He got married there, had a couple of children (including my grandmother) and then brought his children to the U.S. after his young wife died. While she was still living Grandma described where she had lived on the Vistula River, and I have the impression that it was near Płock, but on the other side of the river. But I don't know that for sure, and don't know exactly where. If I could figure it out, I'd like to visit the place. She gave her village name as Grossdorf and the nearest town as Ratslavik (my father in one place spelled it as Rätslavik) but I haven't figured out where that was.

I've figured out where my grandmother's grandfather died (Dobiegniewo, a small village downstream from Płock) and where one of her uncles lived, but not these places.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

gumishu 11 | 4,846    
12 Jun 2018  #2

Glowgie Government Plock.

in my opinion Glowgie is a place name probably misspelled - Government Plock was a Russian administrative region around Plock (gubernia płocka in Polish)

the most similar town name to Raetslavik is probably Włocławek which was indeed in the Plock government and lies on Vistula
after looking at the map there is a Wielgie village in the vicinity of Włocławek (the name Wielgie can be translated as Grossdorf into German) but it doesn't lie directly on Vistula
OP Spokesrider 2 | 2    
12 Jun 2018  #3

That is helpful. Thank you.
OP Spokesrider 2 | 2    
13 Jun 2018  #4

Thanks to your clues I may have a better idea where my grandmother came from. I'm pretty sure her village was close to the river; she told that her father would go down to islands in the river to get willow branches to use in making baskets. (I have in my office a sewing basket that we think came with her when she immigrated to the United States, which I suppose could have been made by her father.) Her brother's naturalization papers say they lived in Dembe before coming to the U.S. I take that to be Dąb in Polish. On google maps I had found a Dąb Wielke and Dąb Mały southeast of Warsaw, so figured they must have moved there after their mother died. It had seemed from what she told us that the place where they farmed reverted to her mother's family when her mother died, though she never said that explicitly. (She was 13 when she came to the U.S.) But even if that happened to the property, it would make more sense for them to have stayed in this region between Włocławek and Płock, where others of her father's family lived.

And now that you gave me more to think about, I see from old maps from the 1920s that there is a Dąb Wielke and Dąb Mały right in this region, near the river. I wonder if by saying Grossdorf she could have meant the "big" Dąb in a manner of speaking, to distinguish it from the little one. I suppose we'll never know for sure, but I now hope to go there several weeks from now to see the places.

By the way, on some of those old maps from the 1920s there are also places labeled Niemiecka. If the Polish word for Germans was anything like the Russian word, I figured it was identifying places having to do with the German communities. But that's just guesswork on my part, and in any case none of them seemed likely places where my grandmother had lived. (Some of those old maps also have some Russian place names in Cyrillic letters, but it seems that it didn't take many years for those Russian names to disappear from the maps.) My grandmother told us that when she and a friend walked home from school, that there were two Russian girls who walked with them a ways, but the German girls and the Russian girls didn't talk to each other, and the Russian girls went on further to a home in the big woods. It seems that much of that region is now a big forest preserve.

I can read and understand a bit of Russian, but not very much. And in preparation for a visit to Poland I've been working through the Pimsleur course in Polish. I recognize a lot of words that are similar to Russian words, which sometimes helps more than it confuses me. It will be interesting to find out if anyone can understand anything I try to say, but I don't think we dare try to get along without finding people who speak English.
gumishu 11 | 4,846    
13 Jun 2018  #5

I wonder if by saying Grossdorf she could have meant the "big" Dąb

it is possible yes - and yes Dąb Wielki is right beside Dobiegniewo and on Vistula - it is doubtful they moved east of Warsaw in my opinion

good luck with your trip - I have never been to Plock myself to be honest and I don't know much about it appart from the fact that there is the biggest Polish oil refinery there
Ziemowit 10 | 2,875    
13 Jun 2018  #6

But what could "Glowgie" be?

There is a village called GLEWO situated on the opposite side of the Vistula river east of Włocławek.
There is avillage called WIELGIE north-east of Glewo. This one suits your Glowgie better, in my view.

I see from old maps from the 1920s that there is a Dąb Wielke and Dąb Mały right in this region

There are three of them now: Dąb Wielki, Dąb Mały and Dąb Polski.

Her brother's naturalization papers say they lived in Dembe before coming to the U.S

The Polish spelling for that would be DĘBE. This spelling "Dembe" is important as it preserves the change of the letter a into the letter ę in some Polish declinations, like in dąb --> dębowy. A person who lived in the village of Dąb would say: "Mieszkałem w Dąbiu" rather than "Mieszkałem w Dębem".

I wonder if by saying Grossdorf she could have meant the "big" Dąb in a manner of speaking

She could have well meant "Wielgie" as well since "Wielgie" is a variation of "Wielkie" in standard Polish which means "gross" in German.
Ziemowit 10 | 2,875    
13 Jun 2018  #7

A person who lived in the village of Dąb would say: "Mieszkałem w Dąbiu" rather than "Mieszkałem w Dębem".

Sorry, on the second thought, I think they would say: "Mieszkałem w Dębie" which could corespond to "Dembe".



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