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

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. Lisa:

    Hi, I’ve always heard that family ws Galician Jewish. On records, great grandfather resided in “Fonbel. ”

    Do you know where this might be?

    Thanks so much.

  2. Carol:

    Do you know where Karlsdorf was in Galicia? I have been told it is now Poland and may no longer exist as it was destroyed by the Russians after the war.

  3. Katie Armstrong:

    Hi there,

    I was recently given the story of where my great grandparents were born (and great great grandparents)

    My Grandmothers mother Varvara was born in Rybna Galicia.
    Do you know where that might be now?

  4. David Pflueger:

    maybe you can help, Maybe not? My grandmother came from Galicia near Austria border her name was Anna sushinsky. My Grandfather came from Austria,near the Galicia border was in Franz Joseph army his Name was Troffin Mustitch. there parents arranged there marriage. circa 1900. Can you give me a good guess as to what village one of them came from? can you give me ideas as to how I can find families in this region? I appreciate anything you can do and understand if you can’t do anything. thanks David Pflueger 104 maryann lane, Coatesville,PA

  5. Edith Horen-Amster:


    I was wondering if you could help me find the actual name and location of my grandfather’s home town:
    All we know is that his name was Kadysz Horen, born in June 11, 08 in Korytmia, Galitzia. He emigrated to Argentina in the 1930’s.
    Will appreciate any information.

    • Andrea Watralik Earp:

      @Edith Horen-Amster Hi there, its so exited to see that because my grandfather was coming from Galitzia and he went to Argentina in the 30′ , where I am from. 🙂 he was living in Buenos Aires, had my dad and in 1972 I was born in Argentina, in 2003 I moved to USA where I reside now. could be possible that they know each others 🙂

  6. debbie:

    My grandmother came from Russian/Poland in 1904, the manifest looks like from Hotel or Chotel. Her father came over a few years before and the contact person was Maci, I found a Marceli with the same last name Szathowski that was from Galicia. I was wondering if Chotel or Hotel was in Galicia. I would love to find were she was from in Poland. Her mother’s name on her stone is Hedwig, but the manifest says Jadwiga. It’s the same name on in German, and the other in Polish. I do a lot of genealogy, but this is one mystery I can’t seem to answer. If you can give any assistance, I was be greatly appreciative. Thank you.

    • Linda Anne:

      @debbie Hi Debbie,
      My aunt was born with the name Jadwiga and also some of her documents say Hedwig. When she came to the US, her name was Harriet. I believe it’s a variation on the same name.

  7. Kmick:

    Ive been doing some genealogy trying to figure out the original spelling of my familys last name so that maybe i can find family back in Ukraine. When my great grandarents came to NY the people there said the original name was to hard to say so they changed it to Kmick, then I guess the building that had those records burnt down. My dad said that the original name sounded like “Kimyetch” He asked my grandpa how to spell it but he didnt know how. Any ideas on how to spell that sound in Ukrainian? Also i was wondering about how on the the cences papers it says my great grandparents is from Galicia or Austria but they spoke Ukrainian and there buried in a Ukrainian cemetry. Where about would that be in Ukraine today? Also ive heard from family that my great grandpa fought in the Austrian army. What where they fighting about back then? Was there a big war going on? My great grandpa was born in 1870 if that helps on time frame.

  8. Janis Ladanyi:

    My grandmother was Mary Sypek born in Vienna Austria, from Galicia married Alfred Hammer German. Would like to know if we are Jewish

    • Olivia:

      @Janis Ladanyi Klimiec, Klymets—- that’s Karlsdorf, it’s in Modern Ukraine. My second great grandparents were born and raised there.

    • Daniel:

      @Janis Ladanyi If the men in the family were Jewish then they were circumcised, maybe you can find out discretely?

  9. Sharon Barry:

    I just learned that my grandmother was born in this area? was on a death certificate. Could you please tell me where this may me located? Lone Bia Rary Galicuja.

    TKU am trying to do the Ancestry of my fathers side of his family which I understand they were near Sombir, Sombor, Starry Sambor, Austria.

    • bva:

      @Sharon Barry Sombor: Vojvodina northern Serbia, then in Austrian-Hungarian empire.
      Stari means “old”. So probably the old centre of town.
      Visiting Sombor recommended nice town and region.

  10. Laura:

    I obtained some information for my dads side of family…they immigrated from Galacia in 1907…last names vary from Kaptij to kaptey and now currently Kapty….would love to see if I could obtain more information about them

  11. Judith Singer:

    This is a good summary of the complex and confusing issue of “Where is Galicia?” The best place to look for town names, whether or not you are Jewish, is http://www.JewishGen.org, which has two databases, the Jewish communities database and the gazetteer, that will help you figure out the location based upon “sounds like” spelling, tell you the name in several applicable languages, and tell you what country it was in before World War I, between the Wars, and after 1950.

  12. Tony:

    My grandmother’s name was Julia Tempowska. Her marriage license indicates that she came from Galicia, Austria and arrived in the USA around 1919. Can you provide me with any additional information about her background? Thank you.

  13. 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.


  14. Robert S.:

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

  15. 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!

  16. 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.


  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. dbrehun:

    looking for information about dudinsk, galicia, austria

  20. 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.


    • Dzidzuk:

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

    • 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.

  21. 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.

  22. Lance:

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

  23. 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!

  24. 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!!

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  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. 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

  34. 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?

  35. Susan Daniel:

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

  36. 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.

  37. Deb:

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

  38. 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.

  39. 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

  40. 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

  41. 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

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