“The Barn”: production of a documentary movie


If it weren’t for Tomasz’s expertise our recent trip to Ukraine would not have been possible. Through incredible hard work, unparalleled knowledge and only a small amount of information with which to begin, Tomasz was able to find what we were certain no longer existed; A barn that had been a hiding spot for 18 Jews during the Holocaust. He was wonderfully helpful during pre-production and once we arrived in Ukraine helped organize scheduling, transport, security and interviews. He is an exceptional guide and a wonderful person to be around. We can’t recommend him highly enough.

Thank you Tomasz!

Alexis Fishman & Phil Berger

New York

Trip with Ruth Ellen Gruber

Ruth Ellen Gruber has posted a full report from our 2-day “reconnaissance” trip in Galicia. Read also her post about new tourist signage in Brody.

Jewish Cemetery in Shchyrets

Jewish Cemetery in Shchyrets – almost unaccessible in summer due to overgrown bushes.

Guiding in Radkekhiv (Radziechów)


On Jewish street in Radekhiv

It was a pleasant experience to be with you on our trip in Galicia, the homeland of our family. We, all the four cousins, have been impressed very much by your kind and nice personality, as well as from your knowledge on the subject of the Jews in the area. We appreciate very much the effort to find a Citizen from the community for helping to locate the house and the farm that was belonged to our Grandfather.

I must mention also the driver that was a good English speaker, kind, and helpful young man.

We were very lucky to have you as our guide, and intend to recommend you to friends and family members.

Thank You very much
From all of us

Ariela Fundaminsky


Bilyi Kamin & Sasiv, Galicia

Tomasz was an excellent guide for the discover your shtetl tour. We visited two villages near Lviv [Bilyi Kamin & Sasiv] that my ancestors left in the early 1900s. He had done research on each town so that when we arrived he had identified specific locations to visit. He was also creative and flexible: when a building in a cemetery was locked, he called and found the caretaker who unlocked it; same with a small local museum. He even found an elderly woman to tell us recollections of the past. I highly recommend Tomasz.

Lee Schaloop

New York, USA


A legend to cadastral maps of Galicia

19-Century cadastral maps of Galicia are wonderful source for genealogists. They may help finding exact localization of ancestral house, show how big it was and how far it was from the synagogue. The extremely detailed maps—full of tiny lines, signs and abbreviations—are hard to interpret without access to the original map legends. Original map legends were published in German separately from the maps.
This is first translation to English of the map legends of the Austro-Hungarian cadastral maps. Below you can find all symbols from Zeichenmuster für die Katastralmappen published in 1849 (found on GesherGalicia) supplemented with a few symbols from later map legend, probably from early 20th century, which I’ve found in the Przemyśl Archives.

For possible issues with house localization see our earlier post on the maps of Drohobych.

GesherGalicia Map Room, szukajwarchiwach.pl, and the Przemyśl Archives provides scans of cadastral maps of numerous Galician towns. Still, there are thousands of more available only in the archives in Lviv, Przemyśl, Rzeszów, and Krakow, covering almost every town and village in Galicia. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in researching them.



Soil and field types

Ornamental garden Ornamental garden
Zier gärten
Orchards Orchards
Obst gärten
 vegetable gardens Vegetable fields
Gemüse Gärten
 vineyards Vineyards
Wein Gärten
 hop fields Hop fields
Hopfen Gärten
 saffron field Saffron field
Saffran Bau.
 citrus field Citrus field
Grapp bau.
 tobacco field Tobacco field
Tobak bau.
 dry meadow Dry meadow
Trokene Wiesen
 wet meadow Wet meadow
Naise Wiesen
 meadows with fruit trees Meadows with fruit trees
Wiesen mit Obstbäumen
 pastures Pastures (W.)
 community pastures Community pastures (G.W.)
Gemeinde Weiden
 marsh Marsh
 marsh with reeds Marsh with reeds
Sümpfe mit Rohrwuchs
agricultural land Agricultural land
land with high iron content Agricultural land with high iron content (Rott)
Rott oder Trisch Äcker
 lands with fruit trees Land with fruit trees
Äcker mit Obstbäumen
 land with olive trees Land with olive trees
Äcker mit Öhlbäumen
 land with grapevines Land with grapevines
Äcker mit Weinreben
rice fields Rice fields
Reis felder
 brushwood Brushwood
 english garden English garden
Englische Anlagen.
 chestnut forest Chestnut woods
Kastanien Wälder
 olive woods Olive woods
Oliven wälder
 sand and gravel pits Sand and gravel pits
Sand und Schotter Gruben
 clay pits Clay pits
Lehm gruben
 bog Bog
 sea salt works Sea salt works
Meer salinen
 quarry Quarry
 desolate land, bare rock Desolate land (Oed.)
ÖdenBare rock (K.G.)
Nackte Felsen.
 groves Groves
 mixed forest Mixed forest
 coniferous forests Coniferous forests
Nadelholz Wälder
J.M. young forest
JungmaisS.H. pole forest
StangenholzM.H. medium forest
MittelholzH.S. high tree plantation
Hochstämmig schlager
hardwood forests Hardwood forests
Laubholz Wälder
lakes, ponds, rivers, streams Lakes, ponds, rivers, streams
Seen, Teiche, Flüsse, und BächeLagoon
LagunenSluice gate
Ablass SchleussenSand bank



 synagogue Synagogue
 church roman-catholic Roman-catholic church (or Greek-catholic)
Röm. kath. u. griech. unierte Kirche
 church greek-catholic Greek-catholic church
Griech. u. unierte Kirche
 church protestant Protestant church
Evangelische Kirche
 public building Public building
Öffentliche gebaude
 stone building Stone building
Steinerne gebaude
 wooden building Wooden building
Wirthschafts [Hölzerne-] Gebaude
stone residential building Stone residential building
Steinerne Wohngebäude
 wooden residential building Wooden residential building
Hölzerne Wohngebäude
 stone outbuilding Stone outbuilding
Steinerne Wirtschaftsgebäude
 wooden outbuiliding Wooden outbuilding
Hölzerne Wirtschaftsgebäude
 post office Post office
 foresters_house Forester’s house
 inn Inn
 ruins Ruins
 stone windmill Stone windmill
Steinerne Windmühle
 wooden windmill Wooden windmill
Hölzerne Windmühle
 watermill Water mill
 sawmill Sawmill


border country County border (of the Empire)
 border state State border (eg. Galicia)
 bezirk border District (Bezirk, powiat)
 border district Community (gemeinde, gmina)


 highway with trench Highway with trench
Chaussée mit Graben
 highway without trench Highway without trench
Chaussée ohne Graben
 road with trench District road with trench
Verbindungswege mit Graben
road without trench District road without trench
Verbindungswege ohne Graben
 dirt route Dirt route
 trail Bridle path
 path Path

Water related objects

 stone pile bridge Stone pile bridge
Steinerne Jochbrücke
 wooden pile bridge Wooden pile bridge
Hölzerne Jochbrücke
 wooden bridge with stone piles Wooden bridge with stone piles
Hölzerne Brücke mit steinernen Jochen
 pontoon bridge Pontoon bridge
 stone dam Stone dam
 embankment dam Embankment dam
 dry trench Dry trench
Trockener Graben
 wet trench Wet trench
Nasser Graben
 stone weir Stone weir
Steinerne Wehre
 wooden weir Wooden weir
Hölzerne Wehre
 cistern Cistern
 stone well Stone well
Steinerner Rohrbrunn
 wooden well Wooden well
Hölzerner Rohrbrunn
 logs on river Logs on river
 log flume Log flume
 wooden flotsam screening Wooden flotsam screening
 water tank Water tank
 canal with sluice Canal with sluice
Canále mit Schleussen
 fascine Fascine
Faschinen Bau
 reaction ferry Reaction ferry
Fliegende Brücke
 stone dike Stone dike
Steinerne Uferversicherung
 wooden dike Wooden dike
Hölzerne Uferversicherung
 river direction River direction
 brick acqueduct Brick aqueduct
Gemauerte Wasserleitung
 wooden acqueduct Wooden aqueduct
Hölzerne Wasserleitung
 anchorage Anchorage


 cemetery with wall Cemetery with wall
Beerdigung Plätze mit Mauer
 cemetery with fence Cemetery with fence
Beerdigung Plätze mit Einplankung
 Jewish cemetery Jewish cemetery
Beerdigung Plätze der Israeliten


 hedgerow Hedgerow
 fence Fence
 fence with stone columns Fence with stone columns
Zaun mit steinernen Pfeilern
 wall Wall

Wayside objects

 column shrine Column shrine
 stone wayside shrine Stone wayside shrine
Steinerne Kapelle
 wooden wayside shrine Wooden wayside shrine
Hölzerne Kapelle
 stone wayside cross Stone wayside cross
Steinernes Kreutz
 wooden wayside cross Wooden wayside cross
Hölzernes Kreutz
 stone distance sign Stone distance sign
Steinerner Milezeiger
 wooden distance sign Wooden distance sign
Hölzerner Milezeiger
 stone signpost Stone signpost
Steinerner Wegweiser
 wooden signpost Wooden signpost
Hölzerner Wegweiser
 border stone Border stone
 border sign and cairn Border sign (cairn)
Grenz Zeichen (Hotter)
 gallows Gallows


 trigonometrical_point Trigonometrical point
Trigonometrischer Punkt
 graphical point Graphical point
Graphischer Punkt

Tour to Bolekhiv & Drohobych

Tomasz paved the way for my trip to eastern Ukraine beginning 6 months ahead. He found family records going back to the mid 19th century and helped decipher the information. His creation of a family tree on MyHeritage.com proved most helpful in understanding the family relationships. He even informed us of relatives in the US that we did not know about! Guiding and interpreting on our van journey to two towns in Galicia will be memorable for the rest of my life. His knowledge of Hebrew and of my family tree resulted in the fortunate serendipity in the Jewish cemetery to know I was standing next to the grave of my great-great grandfather! Lada, his partner, who is a Yiddish expert, assisted in tombstone interpretation.

I heartily recommend this team if you seek your Jewish heritage in this area.

Nina Edelman

Milwaukee, USA

Photos no. 2, 3 & 4 by Bruce Gendelman. Photo no. 1 by Jewish Family Search.

Galician Cadaster partially on-line

Galician Cadaster

One of the maps scanned recently from the Galician Cadaster collection held in the Krakow Archives

True mapping ecstasy. National Archives in Krakow updates their on-line database and makes scans of 1652 cadaster maps publicly available!
This remarkable silent update brings digital copies of all available at the Krakow archives extremely detailed (unstitched) cadaster maps from Bochnia, Brzesko, Chrzanów, Dębica, Jasło, Jaworzno, Kolomyia, Kraków regions. Almost half (856) of the digitalised part of the collection includes from the Krakow region.
Scans from other regions will be uploaded gradually next year.

In the meantime Jewish Family Search is working on the ultimate catalog of the Galician Cadaster, currently distributed between more than 10 archives and other state institutions in Poland and Ukraine. The on-line collection includes only small percentage of the original collection, once held entirely in cadaster archive in Lviv.  If you’d like to learn whether a map or property owner list for your town survived in any Polish or Ukrainian archive and access it, just write  us.

Jews surviving the Holocaust in Rozhniativ (documentary movie)

We did an extensive research for the US crew working on movie depicting story of a Holocaust survivor coming back after years to the place where he was hidden during the war. In a small Galician town at the feet of the Carpathian Mountains, Rozhniativ (Rożniatów, Rozhniatov), we’ve found a tiny cottage with a cellar where he had spent two years of his childhood, 1942–1944.

Here we present our own footage of the site layered with the excerpts from an interview with Adela Shplak, the only one neighbour and eye-witness of the events.

In 2006 a Pole and an Ukrainian, Michał Jagiełłowicz and Ostap Yurechko who helped the Jews to survive, were awarded the title of the Righteous Among the Nation.
We’ll keep you updated about the forthcoming US movie on the story.

Update 2016: the movie is finished. It’s called “The Barn”.

“Our” Finding Your Roots episode on November 4th

Finding Your Roots episode on Galician families

Finding Your Roots website: episode on Galician families

Perhaps you’ve seen the recent news that the JRI-Poland indexes has tremendously contributed to the production of “Our People, Our Traditions” episodoe of Finding Your Roots featuring Alan Dershowitz, Carole King and Tony Kushner.”We were able to provide our guests with information about their 3rd and 4th great-grandparents that would have been virtually impossible to uncover without this resource” — says Josh Gleason, Finding Your Roots producer. As we’ve mentioned previously, the producers of the series has decided that Jewish Family Search should search the original files and contribute even more detailed information to the “Our People, Our Traditions” episode. We have carried out extensive one-week research in the State Archives of Sandomierz, Tarnów and Przemyśl. JRI-Poland indexes has led us to a census of Tarnobrzeg population from 1880. As JRI-Poland database includes only briefly indexed data from the census (just surname, given name, page number page entry, house number, birth year, town born) a deeper investigation in the original file was required (reference no PL/24/525/11). Thus we learned extremely important data on family relations, profession, places of birth and living, education.

Tarnobrzeg 1880 census

The Tarnobrzeg Census from 1880 lists Jewish as well as Christian families. It’s only briefly indexed on JRI-Poland

Jewish civil registry districts in Galicia

A map of all Jewish civil registry districts (żydowski okręg metrykalny) in Galicia existing between 1877 and 1909. If your family lived in small village or town without its own civil registry office, the map can help you to figure out in which nearby town/office they could register their births, marriages and deaths. The map lists 263 centres of the civil registry offices in Galicia from the time when the registration was passed to designated state officials.

For better experience enter the full screen mode by clicking the icon in upper-right corner.

The map is based on the list published in: Michalewicz Jerzy, Żydowskie okręgi metrykalne i żydowskie gminy wyznaniowe w Galicji (Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka, 1995), 105–166.

Soon we plan to publish more maps useful in genealogy and thus to create a whole series of on-line, original maps.