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Genealogy Guide: Galicia

Brief History

Galicia is a former province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that resulted when the former kingdom of Poland was divided between Austria, Prussia, and Russia starting in 1772. When the AustroHungarian Empire was dissolved after World War I, Galicia became part of the newly constituted republic of Poland. Today, it is contained within the borders of Poland and Ukraine. The western part of Galicia was largely Polish speaking and the eastern part of the province was largely Ukrainian speaking. The capital of the province was Lemberg, now Lviv in Ukraine. In 1900 about 800,000 Jews, 11% of the total population, lived in Galicia, mostly in the cities and towns where they comprised large fractions of the population.

Jewish family history research information for Galicia can be found in the Poland and Ukraine Research Guides on the Center for Jewish History Genealogy Institute website. An excellent resource for family history research is the Galicia Special Interest Group (SIG) on the Jewish Gen website. The SIG is run by Gesher Galicia. Members of Gesher Galicia receive a quarterly journal (The Galitzianer), the Gesher Galicia Family Finder, and Gesher Galicia sponsors a number of research activities. The website also contains an excellent, detailed history of Jews in Galicia, The Jews of Galicia Under Austrian-Polish Rule, 1867-1918 by Peter Wrobel.

Reference Books in the Genealogy Institute

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia (Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2004).  Genealogy Institute  CS 3010 .Z9 G353 2004

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland (Teaneck, NJ: Avotaynu, 1996).  Genealogy Institute   CS 3010 .B419

Cohen, Chester G. Shtetl finder: Jewish Communities in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries in the Pale of Settlement of Russia and Poland, and in Lithuania, Latvia, Galicia, and Bukovina, with Names of Residents (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1989).  Genealogy Institute   DS 135 .R9 .C58 

Magocsi, Paul Robert. Galicia: A Historical Survey and Bibliographic Guide (Toronto & Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 1983).  Genealogy Institute   DK 511 .G14 M34 1983

Magocsi, Paul Robert. Historical Atlas of East Central Europe (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1993).  YIVO   G 2081 .S1 M3 1993

Magocsi, Paul Robert. Ukraine: A Historical Atlas (Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, reprint with revisions 1987).  Genealogy Institute   G 2151 .S1 M34 1987

Mokotoff, Gary, Sallyann Amdur Sack, and Alexander Sharon. Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust (Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, rev. ed. 2002).  Reading Room   DS 135 E83 M651

Weiner, Miriam. Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories (NY: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Secaucus, NJ: Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation, 1997).  Genealogy Institute   DS 135 .P6 W37 1997

Weiner, Miriam. Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories ( (NY: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Secaucus, NJ: Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation, 1999). Genealogy Institute   DS 135 .U4 W45 1999

Weisgard, Geoffrey M., and Gesher Galicia. Kraków: A Guide to Jewish Genealogy. Great Britain: Geoffrey M. Weisgard,  2011. Genealogy Institute   CS878.K735 W45 2011

Wynne, Suzan F. Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia: A Resource Guide (Teaneck, NJ: Avotaynu, 1998).  Genealogy Institute   CS 878 .G35 W96

Wynne, Suzan F. The Galitzianers: the Jews of Galicia, 1772-1917 (Kensington, MD: Suzan F. Wynne, 2006).  Genealogy Institute   DS 135 .P62 G32