Polish Language Blog

Where in the World Is Galicia Posted by on Jun 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

I would like to welcome all my new readers and thank you guys for commenting. It’s great to see your feedback! I also want to encourage you to ask me questions and offer suggestion regarding what you want me to write about here. Don’t be shy! Whether it’s grammar, spelling, history, or “my grandma used to make this yummy Polish dish”, I will do my best to answer all your queries.

Ed already started by asking about Galicia in his comment. So today, it’s all Galicia all the time. Ed, enjoy! And let me know if this is the information you were looking for.

The problem with Galicia is that there are actually two of them, one in Poland and one in Spain. And if you’re not quite sure which Galicia region you have in mind, it can be quite confusing –it was even to me when I was in school. Here, of course we’ll talk about Galicia in central Europe.

The name “Galicia” (Galicja in Polish) is a historical term, and as such – is no longer used to describe the area. And the region itself is now divided between Poland and Ukraine. So just where exactly this Galicia used to be? Get a map of Ukraine and look for Lviv (Lwów in Polish), then go a little bit east until you reach Ternopil (Tarnopol in Polish). From there trace a bit south-west to Ivano-Frankovsk. That little triangle is the original Galicia.

“But wait!” you could say, “It’s all Ukraine.”

Yes, it is NOW. Back in those days, Poland stretched pretty far to the east. As a matter of fact, Lvov was a Polish city. Galicia managed to grow quite substantially throughout the years. After the partition of Poland, it became an Austrian province incorporating Cracow (Kraków) to the west, Lublin to the north, and going as far south-east as the present Moldovan border. A pretty big chunk of land, wouldn’t you say?

‘Whither Galicia’ via the Head Wide Open blog

There were additional territorial changes throughout the years. Russia got a bit of Galician land to the north, a lot of stuff was happening on the eastern border, people kept moving back and forth, the usual historical stuff. The big deal happened in 1873, when the province became officially an autonomous part of the Austro- Hungarian Empire. Polish was re-instituted as the official language (along with Ukrainian in the east) and everybody hoped for bigger, better, brighter future.

Sadly, the changes were not forthcoming. Galicia might have been autonomous, but it was also one of the most populous and at the same time the poorest provinces in the Empire. So around the 1880s, the peasants decided they had enough of living in abject poverty and started moving away in droves. First to Germany, and then to the US, Canada and Brazil.

Galicians were never a homogenous breed, they were a typical eastern European mix of a little bit of everything: Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, Germans and what not. And even while emigrating, those different nationalities stuck together. Germans naturally migrated to Germany, Ukrainians – in the beginning to Brazil, and Poles and Jews – to the US and Canada.

After the First World War, when western Galicia became part of the newly restored Republic of Poland, the emigration frenzy slowed down somewhat. The estimates vary, but all in all, anywhere from several hundred thousand to a million people went looking for a better life across the Atlantic.

To help you with you genealogical search, here are some clues regarding major Galician city names:
Lviv – Polish: Lwów, German: Lemberg (currently in Ukraine)
Krosno – German: Krossen (currently in Poland)
Przemyśl – Ukrainian: Peremyshl, German: Prömsel (currently in Poland)
Tarnów – German: Tarnau (currently in Poland)
Rzeszów – German: Reichshof (currently in Poland)
Halych – Polish: Halicz, German: Halitsch (currently in Ukraine)
Sanok – German: Saanig (currently in Poland)

If you have any Galician place names you’re not sure about, just leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can dig up.

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  1. Karen MacNeil:

    Immigration papers and other genealogical papers show that my grandfather was born in 1888. The places listed were: Nova Suntz, Austria and Nowy Sacz Poland and Nowy Sacz Galicia. I tried “googling” these place names with no results. Would you be able to help me find this place? Thank you

  2. Mary:

    Hi. Have you heard of a “Wilepola”, Galicia, Austria-Hungary? My great grandfather’s US declaration shows this as his place of birth. I know back then much was missed during the translations so I’m having a difficult time confirming his origin of birth. He was polish and his last name was Petka. Thanks much!

  3. Jay:

    I need some help.

    My aunt Gert who is 99 finally gets back to me saying my grandmother, her mother was born and raised in a small town called Kolomea in Galicia, Austria.


    Problem is I don’t see Kolomea on list of cities in Austria


    What does this mean and should I care if for all my life I thought my heritage was Austrian not Hungarian.


    • Kaz:

      @Jay The name of that town is KOLOMYJA
      or KOLOMYA

      Do you need more help?

  4. Robert S.:

    Do you have any suggestions of how to look up birth records of someone born in Galicia (~1879)?

  5. Carla:

    Hello was wondering if you might be able to help me, I am looking for information on my Grandfather his name is Harry Kuz but came to Canada as a Girl because apparently they were not letting Boys out of the country with his mother & father. According to the 1916 Canadian Census records it says they immigrated to Canada in 1900 from Galicia and they were Ukrainian. His Father was John and 65 in 1916 so born in 1851 ? and his mother was Mary 43 in 1916 and her maiden name was Sholdra. Would appreciate any help.

  6. Melody S:

    I found some papers my mom was making a family Tree and I read my great grandparents ( mom’s) side were from Galicia – I knew I had a lot polish and some
    Irish. My Grandma and her parents polish
    Tofilia Bryla 1894 they come to US settled in Massachusetts and my grandma was raised and lived there her whole life
    I was reading that there could be a chance my ancestors could be Polish Jews.
    Do you know how I could find out ?
    Trying to discover family heritage and would like to know.

  7. Michelle:

    Do you have any information on Uscie-nad-Prutem?
    Thank you

  8. Todd Stranko:

    I’ve been doing some family research and have hit a wall with the part of my family I wanted to find out the most about because it’s my last name. Stranko. My Great Grandfather arrived here around 1901 but I can’t find much information except they spoke Polish and claimed born in Galicia Polish Austria but I believe Stranko is a Ukranian name… I am trying to trace it back more but I have been unable to find anything including town from or anything on his father though I have his name. I’m not sure if it’s a problem that there is a lack of records left or if maybe it was a different last name and changed when they got to the U.S.??? Any ideas on where I can go from here? Thanks!

  9. Leah Liquornik:

    Can you help me with info about the small town called Uztryski Dolne. I think it is near Lvov. Any info you can throw my way would be helpful since I want to visit.


  10. William Schimeck:

    My mothers family emigrated from a town named Kicharova, Galicia in 1911, according to the ship’s manifest. I cannot locate Kicharova on any maps or references on the internet. Can you help with information? My grandfathers game is Pawel Piatek.

  11. Pat Martin:

    Great-Grandmother’s name was Zofia Freda, from Falkova, Galicia, born around 1874 plus or
    minus a year or 2. Do you know where Falkova was?

  12. Mary Mizgala:

    Would like to know if our family is spelled different, if any desending family left in the area. Grandfather name JOHN MiZGALA born 11/12/1883 in Rychwald Galicia he had a sister Julia born in 1886. Grandfathers parents name JOHN MiZGALA and Mary Koran. My grandfather came to the US 09/06/1901 on ship name Belgravia out of Hamburg. Was Rychwald near Leszcyny or Uscie Gorlickie? Is the last name MiZGALA a polish name? Any information on our family greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  13. dbrehun:

    looking for information about dudinsk, galicia, austria

  14. Josh:

    My great grandfather’s name was Dzidzuk, and I have seen variations of this -Diduk, Didjuk, Didyuk, Didius. I found some postage addressed to Ternopil’s’ka oblast and Chorta; Palashchovka (sic) and Krivoltska. I am unable to find a location for any of these. Also My great mother cam from Ludwi Rowka. I cannot find that either.


    • Lewis Dudchock:

      @Josh Hi Josh-

      My grandfather immigrated to the US in 1900. His name was spelled Kazimirz Dudczek. I have several immigration papers of his that show various spellings of Ducak, Dudchok and Dubczek. He was of Galician ethnicity and lived in Rostokryterska. Ii am not sure where this city is. I’d be grateful for any info that you may uncover. With such similar sounding spellings, we may be cousins! Thanks, Lewis – ldudchock@comcast.net

    • Dzidzuk:

      @Josh Hi. I’ve been looking for that name!! My grandmother Ellis Island she was going to a family by that name in Yonkers . Anything familiar? Thanks

      • Mary kurylak:

        @Dzidzuk Plus who has the same grandmother as I do?

    • Dzidzuk:

      @Josh Her name was Maria Kurylak from Regetow Austria she came in 1909

      • Mary kurylak:

        @Dzidzuk Whoa! Wait a minute. Mary KURYLAK IS MY GRANDMOTHER. SHE CAME in 1909 to stay with aunt/friend Anna Dziubak in Yonkers NY. What connection are you making ? I’ve been looking everywhere and not sure I even got here. I found Anna Dziubak coming over leaving behind Sophie Kurylak , Mary’s mother who I can’t find in any records while she lived in Carnegie pa. Tymko , Mary’s father also came. I’m so excited. I don’t know if Mary had any siblings and I can’t find Sophia ever coming. Can’t wait to hear what you know!! Thanks

        • Ruthie Titus:

          @Mary kurylak Josh. Who are you? Why did you identify the woman as Maria Kurylak from Regetow? Please please please respond

    • Ruthie Titus:

      @Josh So still trying to figure this out. Mary Kurylak was related how to the Dziubaks? Mary married my grandfather Dmytro Talowski here in Pennsylvania in 1914 and had 9 children. But that has to be be her you’re talking about.

  15. Joy:

    Having just come across this website things now make a lot more sense. I am trying to find the origins of my Grandmother. Her name was Rozalia Stadmik. I know that she sailed into Canada in 1906. She was born abt 1889 and ship records say Galicia. The story goes that she came with her married sister but all seems confusion as we have nothing else. Can anybody help?

  16. Donna Yuszkiewicz:

    My family’s records say Bibrka Ukraine or Austria/Ukraine. Born between 1871-1911. I know there are several Bibrka or Bobrkas. How do I go about determining if this is now Bibrka near Lviv? Family names are Yuszkiewicz and Nyczka. Thank you for your help. My dad is 78 and wants to visit.

  17. Lance:

    I think my grandfather came from Galicia/Austria. His last name was Chemelik. Does this name seem to be from that region ?

  18. Cheryl:

    Our great-grandfather, Stephan Yura (b:1/12/1884) states he was Ukrainian however his death cert. states he was born in Galicia Polon. The 1905 census in New York shows him from Poland/Austria, the 1930 New Jersey census shows him from Russia, the 1940 New Jersey census shows him from Poland, and his 1942 military registration card shows him from Galicia Poland.
    He also stated that Yura was not a real last name, they lived in the mountain region and took are of goats.
    This leaves me with little to research to find out why he was stating he was Ukrainian but listing Poland.
    Any help would be appreciated!

  19. Barry Howells:

    My great grandfather was called Isaac Schwalb and he was born about 1870 in a town or village called Zwrawins
    In Galicia.
    I have failed to find his birth place on any map and wondered if you could help

  20. Ann Higley:

    I’m researching my grandma’s side, which is Polish. I see that Kowalczyk and Walczyk on that side both have Galicia listed as birthplace. Where was Rabacoycnia? Any idea? Thanks so much!!

  21. Candace Carlson:

    Hi – I just have found out that my Great, Great Grandfather is from Galicia. His name was Michalem Mitaer Miko. It appears he was born in 1865 (records also show 1861 or 1855). I am trying to find his birth records. Thank you!

  22. A Olden:

    My dad was from Szczawne near Sanok in Galicia
    His name was Iwan Demczur and he was a Ukrainian
    Do you have any info on this area

  23. sandy tully:

    putting my family tree together on Ancestry. My grandmother according to census report born in 1892 came to NY 14 1896.Gram says she came from Germany. Her sister shows born in 1895 and coming from Galicia(Poland) in 1897. both Grandma and sister close mouthed. Had no idea when they came. No record of them having relatives in US. both have in adult lives been close and involved in each others lives.
    Trying to find what agency would have sponsored the.
    Their last name is Goll.

  24. William Stafursky:

    Have doing research on my father’s parents. I know my grandfather and grandmother were from Galicia. My grandfather’s name was Peter Stafursky and my grandmother was M Stafursky both were born in 1874+ or- . Any information or where I might find some.

  25. Ilka Michalichen:

    My Great Grandfather Hilary Michaliszyn left Slawa – Galicia – in 1895 from Hamburg to Brazil. I would like to ask you if you know in which country this territory is now. Thanks a lot for your kind help!

  26. Anna LeBlanc:

    Tracing a man whose obituary (1947) said he was born Wallamecore, Galitzia, Austria Hungary, Dec. 25, 1868. On the transcribed passenger list (1888) his surname is given as Krybsdock. What can you tell me about the location, or current name for, Wallamecore?

  27. Joanne Ely:


    We recently found a Declaration of Intention for my great-grandfather when he emigrated to the U.S. The form states his place of birth was (best I can read it) as Galscicz, Austria – yet cannot find anything on this city/town. His last name was Medvecz – and we were all told he was from Czechoslovakia. Have you ever encountered the name Galscicz?

  28. D Hoffer:

    Hi My Grandfather immigrated in 1910 from Hamburg, Germany. His name was John (Jan) Pulnik. He was born in April 17, 1891 but lists multiple places of birth- Krakow, Dabrawa,Ruda. His fathers name was Frank. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanx

  29. M Ply:

    My Great Grandfather came from Olszanica. His name was Michael Pluhator. Any info would be great!

  30. charlene fedorcio:

    My grandfather came from Posada Felsztynska in the early 1900’s. Where would that be in today’s maps? Also, do you think that any records would still exist from this village. If so, where would I start my search. Thanks for the great education on Galicia. I was also confused with Spain… Thank u!

  31. Charlene Ripa Arruda:

    My grandfather came to the US shortly before WWI. His last name was Dziedzic and his given first name at Ellis Island was Longin (but he told me he had a different Polish first name.) Born 12/10/1893 or 1896, I believe. Came from a village called Galitzia (Galicia??) in Poland. His grandmother was Countess Pauline from there. How can I research more info on his family and exactly where he was from?

  32. Stephanie:


    Any idea where Ewaniwci, West Galicia is? I am trying to find family.

  33. Mitzi:

    I wonder if you know anything about Jewish people changing their names to obscure their origins. My grandfather was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army but later was the manager of a collective farm after World War II. His name is the name of a village near Buchach with the suffix -sky at the end of it. Hardly anyone else has this name and even fewer have ever heard of it.

  34. Carolyn S. Jones:

    Both my grandparents were born in Galicia, Poland in 1886 /1889 under the names of George Kulick and Caroline Biel – I am not sure if they were Jewish? or Christian? Is there a way to make contact with records or a resource person in Galicia?

  35. Mandy Tomkins:

    Hello, I am trying to locate where my great grandfather was born.. all i know is that he was born in Austria Galicia. However i cant find any information of where that would be on a map

  36. Susan Daniel:

    Both of my grandparents emigrated from what I thought was Poland, but never discovered documents from Ellis Island state that my grandfather had last lived in Saszicia, Austria. The records state that my grandmother had last lived in Gorua, Austria before emigrating. I can’ find either town anywhere on the internet. Can you help?

  37. Susan Daniel:

    Above comment should read===new documents not never documents. Both of my grandparents WERE Polish and spoke that language.

  38. Jill:

    My great grandparents came from Galicia to the U.S. In my great grandfather’s WWI draft card it says he came from Sawoluskowoe (the writing is not very legible between the first S and L). I have looked up this town but have found nothing. He was born in 1895.

    • Kaz:

      @Jill Do you still need help?

  39. Deb:

    Documents claim my family is from Lypna Austria Galacia. Can you tell me where Lypna is now?

  40. Ellen Hayes:

    My distant relative Jozef Erdman(n) immigrated to the US in 1867 from Lodoczyn Galicia. Do you know where this might be? Thanks.

  41. Susan Galka:

    My niece was doing a paper for one of her college classes. Trying to get info on my father’s side of the family . Called my Aunt to find out where in Poland my Great Grandparents came from. Supposedly my Great Grandmother came to the US in 1913. She was from Kopeze, Galicia in Poland. Where would that be located now.

  42. Maryellen lotocki jacoby:

    Hi I was told my dad and his parents were born and lived in Galicia in the Ukraine , there name was spelled back then lotoski. Want to find out what we really are ? Ukraine, Polish, etc? Very confused

  43. Jonathan Solish:

    My grandmother told us she came from Skamaraca Start. She said there was also a new told called Skamaraca Norey. I think the general area may have been Stanislas. I have not been able to find the town. Do you know how I could find the town? Thank you. Jon

  44. Ann Madej:

    My grandfather was born in Budy, Rzeszow, Galicia, Austria Poland in 1855. Please tell me where this is in modern Poland. Thank you so much, Ann Madej

  45. Catherine Kissling:

    The papers from my great grandfather — last name Lechowicz — indicate he was from Crukiew or Czukiew, in the district of Sambor of Galicia, Austria. Does this make sense? He was born in 1883 and came to the U.S. in 1906. What is the modern-day name of this town/city/area? I have ‘Googled” the name Czukiew (the birthplace listed on his naturalization papers) and only get hits for articles about Sambor which make no mention of the town. Thanks, in advance, for any/all help! — Catherine Kissling

  46. Mary Lezon:

    My husband,s grandfather Simon Lizon came from Przemysl,he had been in Austrian army,came to Canada.He was born in 1878 emigrated in 1902. Have been checking on www. przemysl ap.gov.pl skany records,How can I find Austrian Army Records. Thanks- Mary

  47. Kate Martin:

    I am trying to locate where Keinparzecz, Galicia is located today. My great grandfather immigrated to the US and he was from this town.

  48. Penelope Drahan Mace:

    My great grandfather (Maxim Glus) came to this country in the mid 1880’s with his wife (Pelagia R. Zemlan Glus)and children from Galicia. My grandmother (Sophie Glus)was born here and as a young child returned to the homeland with her parents and siblings. When she was 18 or 19 (Oct 28, 1913) she came back to the United States. She came through Ellis Island from Skwickel, Austria (she always told us Galicia). I have hit a road block in my research on this side of my family and could sure use some help. Shortly after arriving she met my grandfather (Stephen Drahan—possibly changed from Dragan) who was originally from Okotow, Ukraine (outside Kiev we had been told). Any information might just open a door for me. Thanks. Penelope Drahan Mace

  49. Barbara:


    I’m looking to hire a genealogist who can help me research my family’s history in Galicia (surname Bergman). If you could point me to any experienced researchers who can search for records in Poland and or Ukraine, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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