Sadow Parish 2010

Sadow Parish 2010

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Franz Gralla's Locality in Belmont Belarus

In a few earlier posts, I mentioned that my great-grandfather Franz Gralla, who was a forester  in the Forests of Koszecin and surrounding area, worked for the local prince, whose name was Karl  von Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen.  From interviews with local historians in my past visits of Koszecin, I learned that this prince was a most kind person to the local non-nobility of this region.  The people of Koszecin revered him. Well, as I also wrote earlier, Franz Gralla was a father of 12 children, and therefore had many mouths to feed. ( ) It was probably a near necessity to do what he did, which was to simply poach the wildlife in the prince's revier.  The prince warned him repeatedly, but apparently despite arrests, the records of which I was able to find in the Katowice archives, he continued to feed his family as well as those other hungry people of this area. 

So the Prince, being a kind man, "sentenced" Franz to forestry work in a area which at the time belonged to the Lithuanian area near Vilnius.  They applied for paperwork, an emigration paper

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which I have also posted in a previous post.  At the time of my previous post, I was not able to find the paperwork of my research in trying to locate the correct locality of this forestry place called "Belmont, Belmonty, or Belmonti".  I have found it and record it so that should I need it again in the future, I will easily find it on this blog. 

Belmont is now in Belarus in the corner of 3 countries, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia.  See the map below:
Belmont Belarus
When you click and enlarge this map and look in the yellow-marked location of Belmont, you will see a little dotted lined area on the map showing the touching points of the 3 different countries.

In the upper right corner is an old map showing, marked with a green hi-liter, is Belmont.  The darker area is a lake and all around is forested area.

From the Russian Empire gazetteer in the German language, I found this little excerpt about Belmont.  The Lutheran church was in Demmen.  It doesn't mention the Catholic I still need to find for certain where the Catholics went.  But I think it had its own records.  My Grallas were all Catholics at least back into the 1600's. 
So in the last weeks, I have written to a Lithuanian researcher as to whether the records are in Vilnius.  Although Vilnius is in another  country today, the archives does have the records of the Catholic more recent than 1875. I need a few records in the early 1900's.  I was given an email address in Belarus for the archives.  But it bounces.  So a little more digging.  Haven't given up yet!

1 comment:

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