This is a translation done by William F. Hoffman of a entry from
the 15-volume Polish gazetteer Slownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego
i innych krajów slowianskich (Geographic Dictionary
of the former Kingdom of Poland and other Slavic Lands), published
Polish terms not easily rendered in English are marked with asterisks; explanations
follow the translations.
Tarnobrzeg, a town and county seat in Galicia, on the right bank of the
Wisla [Vistula]; it has a station of the Nadbrzezie-Debica railroad, and
is 71 km. northeast of Debica. A highway runs through the town from Debica
to where the San flows into the Wisla, and continues along the left bank
of the San to Jaroslaw. Tarnobrzeg is 173 meters above sea level, and
towers to some extent over the sandy plain from which it rises. The town’s
northern part, with the beautiful castle of Count Jan Tarnowski, forms
the separate gmina* of Dzików. The town does not have a parish
church (it belongs to the parish in the neighboring village of Miechocin),
only a ominican church and monastery founded in 1676 by Jan Stanisl. Amor
Tarnowski and his wife Zofia Barbara z Dabrowicy née Firlej. In
the church is an image of the Blessed Mother, transferred from the castle
in Dzików and recognized as iraculous by Kraków bishop Trzebicki
in 1675. This picture was transferred in a ceremony on 20 May 1678. Since
then a procession has been held several times a year from the monastery
to the castle.
In early November 1734 the agreement of the Confederation of Tarnogród,
designed to keep Stanislaw Leszczynski on the throne against August III,
was signed in Dzików castle. This beautiful Gothic castle, which
is well maintained, holds many relics of the past, works of art, and a
sizable library, rich in old Polish prints. These collections were assembled
by Stanislaw Jan Feliks Tarnowski (1779, † 1872).
The town itself occupies 124.1 hectares and numbers 2,460 inhabitants:
960 Roman Catholics, 13 Greek Catholics, 2 Protestants, and 2,475 Jews.
It consists primarily of wooden houses. In the town is the office of the
starosta [local administrative official] with a building and tax department,
the county court, a tax office, a postal and telegraph office, and a 4-grade
elementary school. Autonomous authorities are a county council and a district
school board. Two doctors are permanent residents of the town, and there
is a pharmacy, as well as several shops. A loan society works to facilitate
credit; in 1889 its return came to 152,097 Rhenish zlotys. Markets are
held every Wednesday. The gmina administration consists of the mayor,
his assistant, a secretary, and a police inspector.
The history of the town is unknown.
The whole area of this county—covering part of the river-basin of the
right bank of the Wisla and of the San, which flows into it—comprises
a wet lowland covered with the great Sandomierz forest, and was not populated
until quite late. That is why it was primarily large properties that developed
Colonization advances along the banks of the Wisla and the San. Baranów,
on the Wisla, became a town as early as the 14th century, and Radomysl
nad Sanem in 1556. The first parish churches were in Miechocin on the
Wisla in 1326 and Baranów in 1440. We owe the colonization of the
area mainly to several powerful families who are its proprietors by way
of royal grants. In the mid-16th century the main landowners were: the
Mieleckis (Mikolaj, Podolia voivode, and Hieronim), the Tarnowskis Stanislaw,
Radom castellan as of 1578), and Andrzej Leszczynski (in Baranów).
The Pokrzywnica monastery (on the left bank of the Wisla) owns the village
of Nagnajów [Editor: today Pokrzywnica is called Koprzywnica].
Nadbrzezie is a settlement on the outskirts of Sandomierz.
Jakub Siemienski founded Radomysl nad Sanem. According to 1578 tax registers
Stanislaw Tarnowski owned property in Dzików. How long the period
of forest life lasted is attested by registers from 1578 that list as
a separate category of the rural populace “venatores” [Latin, “hunters”].
In Chmielów (not far from Tarnobrzeg) 34 of them were located on
10 lans*, and in other villages each had even more.
The church in Dzików dates from the end of the 17th century. Registers
from 1662 do not mention Tarnobrzeg, which surely was a settlement on
the outskirts of Dzików. The historian Dlugosz (in Liber beneficiorum)
knows and describes the adjacent communities of Dzików and Mokrzyszów,
and also Miechocin, but does not mention Tarnobrzeg. Craftsmen and merchants
settling near the lord’s residence in Dzików gave rise to the settlement
that at the beginning of the current century was still a small marketplace
(a Markt per the Post-Lexikon of Crusius, 1802). Echard’s Slownik and
Plater’s Geografia say nothing of Tarnobrzeg. The name of the settlement
is surely an ancient term for one of the areas around Dzików, and
is related in form to names such as Bialobrzeg [Editor: according to Kazimierz
Rymut’s Nazwy miast Polski, Krakow, 1987, the brzeg part means “(river)
bank,” and Tarno- is from the name of the town’s founder, Count Tarnowski].
Tarnobrzeg county covers 9.2592 sq. miriametrs [1 miriameter = 10 km.]
and numbers 60,078 inhabitants in 70 political gminas and 68 cadastral
gminas. It occupies the northernmost part of Galicia, and borders the
Kingdom of Poland on the northwest and northeast, Mielec county on the
southwest, and Kolbuszowa and Nisko counties on the east. It is low, sandy
country, largely covered with pine forests and watered by the Wisla and
its smaller tributaries, the Trzesn and Leg, as well as by the San, into
the right bank of which the Bukowa and Lukowica flow in this county.
The well-hydrated riverlands are fertile, but the rest has poor, sandy
soil, from beneath which quicksand comes to the surface. Only in recent
years has planting trees in the dunes begun, stablilizing them. According
to Dr. Pilat’s Wiadomosci statystyczne (Lwów 1891), of the whole
area, a total of 166,633 mórgs, major estates, or property entered
in the hypothecary registers, occupies 84,520 mórgs, and minor
estates 81,112. Of these, farmland comprises 55,700 (16,008 major vs.
38,790 minor), meadows 22,318 (11,815 vs. 10,503), gardens 622 (221 vs.
401), pastureland 20,511 (2,176 vs. 18,339), forests 56,380 (51,969 vs.
4,411), bogs and ponds 1,435 (all major), unused 8,615 (748 vs. 7,866),
for buildings 946 (142 vs. 805). Due to the rather large complex of Count
Tarnowski’s estates, only 13.57% of the land in this county is in the
hands of Jews. Of 59 landowners (there are no public and churchowned estates
at all), 45 are Christians and 14 Jews. Of those owning over 200 mórgs,
44 are Christians and 9 are Jews; of those owning fewer than 200 mórgs,
1 was Christian and 5 were Jews. Jews possess a total of 11,617 mórgs
of farmland, meadows, and pastureland, and 4,640 of forests.
There are a total of 156 registered properties; 144 of them are inns,
12 distilleries, 3 breweries, 14 mills, 3 sawmills, and 54 manorial farmsteads.
Industry is undeveloped, and since the soil is not fertile, this county
is one of the poorer ones. The industrial stagnation was caused by the
lack of means of communication and the frequent floods of the Wisla and
the San. Currently, as a result of the construction of the Debica-Nadbrzezie
railway, the county has undertaken the task of building embankments on
the Wisla, controlling the San and Leg, and planting forests to anchor
The political county is divided into two judicial districts, that of Tarnobrzeg
and that of Rozwadów. The former covers 44 gminas, 86 manorial
areas and 37,551 inhabitants; the latter covers 26 gminas, 24 manorial
areas, and 12,294 inhabitants.
(Mac. [Dr. Maurycy Maciszewski] — Volume 12, pp. 183-185.)
Notes on Terms Requiring Explanation
Gmina – administrative subdivision of a powiat, ruled by a council and
a wójt. It usually encompasses several villages, or a combination
of villages and smaller settlements; or it can consist of a single large
estate or a town. In most cases the best way to translate it is “administrative
Lan – a unit of land measurement used in Poland since the 13th century;
it means “field,” and originally was used as a description of a full-sized
farm a peasant received from his lord, in return for work on the lord’s
land. In Malopolska the Franconian lan was used, 23-28 hectares; in Mazovia
and Podlasie the Chelmno lan was 16.8-17.0 hectares; and in the Kingdom
of Poland the New Polish wlóka was about 16.8 hectares.
Mórg – a unit of land measurement, also called jutrzyna; per Gerald
Ortell’s book on Polish parish records, in the Russian partition 1 mórg
= 1.388 acres, in the Prussian 1 mórg = 0.631 acres, and in Galicia
1 mórg = 1.422 acres.
Thank you Polish Genealogy Society of American and Fred Hoffman.