Glossary of Terms Used In Selected Entries From The Slownik Geograficzny

denar, abbrev. den.: an ancient monetary unit (from Latin denarius), smaller than a grosz.

gmina: a territorial administrative subdivision in Poland since the 12th century, ruled by a rada [council] and a wójt or mayor; a powiat [county] consisted of a number of gmina's; in English often translated as "rural district" or "township."

grod (adj. grodzki): citadel, fortress, castle, near which towns often developed; in the earlier days of Polish history they were also administrative centers, and courts of law (sady grodzkie) were located there.

grosz, abbrev. gr.: an ancient monetary unit, larger than a denar but smaller than a grzywna.

grzywna, abbrev. grz.: ancient monetary unit used in Poland, Bohemia, and Ruthenia.

Imperial and Royal: in Polish ciesarsko-krolewski (abbreviated c. k.), in German Kaiserlich und Königlich (abbrev. K. u. K.), a title used in reference to institutions of Austria and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

kwarta: a tax for the maintenance of the army, from the Latin word quarta, "quarter"

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; in medieval times it was from 3 to 50 hectares, but in Malopolska the Franconian lan was used, 23-28 hectares.

Magdeburg charter: charter defining terms under which towns were incorporated, modeled on the charter of the east-central German city of Magdeburg (now in the Land of Saxony-Anhalt) formulated in the 13th century; in Poland the term miasto (town, city) is used far more precisely its English equivalents—a miasto has to have been incorporated specifically as such, with a charter defining the terms of the incorporation.

morga, also sometimes morg, a unit of land measurement; according to Gerald Ortell’s book on Polish parish records, in Galicia 1 morg = 1.422 acres.

obwod: a kind of administrative subdivision, literally "circuit," perhaps best translated as "district," except there are several other terms for which "district" is also the closest English equivalent.

Peter’s Pence [swietopietrze], an annual voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics to be sent to Rome and applied toward the expenses of the Holy See.

powiat: an administrative subdivision, below the wojewodztwo [province] and above the gmina, abolished in 1975; it is probably best translated as "county," and that is how it is subsequently rendered in this translation.

sazen: a unit of linear measurement, 1 sazen = 2.1336 meters.

skojec (scotus, skojec, skot): an ancient monetary unit, 1/24 of a grzywna; sort of like a penny.

square kilometers: in the original Polish these are given as mile kwadratowe, "square mila's"; 1 Austrian mila was about 7.6 km., so 1 sq. mila was about 57.8 sq. km., and the calculation of square kilometers is made on that basis.

starosta: a royal official in Poland, 14th-18th centuries, in charge of administering the treasury, the police, and the judiciary in a powiat.

starostwo: the property or office of a starosta, or the area under his jurisdiction.

wojt: in rural areas, chief officer of a group of villages; in a town or city, the mayor.


Sources:  1) Definitions from the CD-ROM, Encyklopedia multimedialna PWN, 1998 edition, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa, 1997.

Ancestral Places of Origin