Where is a person from Russia-Poland actually from?

+11 votes
I am working on a profile for a man who initially appeared to be from Russia. I just discovered he was actually from Russia-Poland, or in other words, an area of Poland under Russian rule at the time of his birth. What do we list as his birth place in the person's profile? Thanks for clarifying this for me.
WikiTree profile: Max Marcus
in Policy and Style by Julie Mangano G2G6 (7.4k points)
retagged by Maggie N.
I'm having a similar issue. I have siblings- one from Russia-Poland and one that says German-Polish. I only have the German one on here as "Germany" because some census records simply listed Germany, and I added her before I ran across the German-Polish record. That branch one of the areas I'm focused on right now. I'm leaning toward marking them as Poland because I know the family identifies as Polish, not German or Russian.
I could see choosing Russia, due to the fact that it WAS Russia at the time, but I can also see Poland if the family considered themselves Polish, as there were resistances to Russian rule  ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_Uprising in 1863)

My branch has always considered themselves Polish, even though we don't know much ancestry before immigration to the US around 1860-1880, even though there wasn't a Polish state in the 1800's.

I'd be interested in other opinions for how to properly write it. While there can be notes in the description, differing countries may lead to duplicate profiles and missing out on an oppertunity to link to other family.

I would suggest also considering if they were Polish living in Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire which was predominantly Polish and Ukrainian ethnicity.  If you know the name of the village where they are from, this page can help you:.  Wikitree page for Galicia.

8 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer

Probably Congress Poland:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_Poland

Its boundaries included parts of modern Lithuania and Belarus. Hopefully you'll eventually narrow the birthplace down a bit.

Prussia had its own, different, part of Poland.

by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (632k points)
selected by Sharon Flax Waddington
Congress Poland only existed from 1815-1915. Eastern Poland had been part of the Russian Empire since 1795.
The person in the question was born about 1866.
Thanks for the star, Sharon!
+9 votes
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (928k points)
Prussia is not Russia-Poland. Prussia is a historically German state which was absorbed into the Soviet Union after WW2.

Poland was dissolved during the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, and it's territories split between Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Poland officially did not exist for 123 years. I suppose for the birth place of someone born during that period, we might have it as "City Name, Russian Empire"?
There should probably be the equivalent of a county and province in the location name.

The David Rumsey Map Collection might be helpful.
+8 votes
I would note the contemporary Russian location (ie, the Russian place name), and note the modern Polish location (ie, the current Polish place name).
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (390k points)
+12 votes

I have added another layer to the location names in these cases, so that I can properly name the country and also indicate that it was politically part of Russia - example:

     City, County, Poland, Russian Empire

Of course, I would state this in whatever language is most likely to have been in use by the local people at the time - for some it might be Polish and for others it would have been Russian.

For an example, see my great grandfather's profile.

by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (908k points)
+4 votes
Like Gail did, it's important to pay attention to the language columns in the various U.S. census ("mother tongue, native language, "language spoken").

In your particular case of Max Marcus, I would put the Poland or the Polish village for research purposes. You want to zero in on more records in the area for his birthplace (when you find it).
by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (876k points)
+5 votes
By the way, your Max Marcus was naturalized! You will find his place of birth, his actual birthday, marriage data in his petitions for naturalization records as well as the final naturalization records. You would contact the courthouse in his residential county for them. Good luck!
by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (876k points)
+3 votes

Have look at the above link - it covers  a lot of  persons from Russia & surround areas who served with the Australian Forces During WW1



Cheers Ross Geissmann (Australia)
by Ross Geissmann G2G6 Mach 2 (21.5k points)
+2 votes
Great link, Ross. Thanks.
by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (876k points)

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