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Polish and West Prussian History

One cannot overstate the effect of the sweep of history on the Mathia - Matthia family.

In 1795 Poland was wiped off the political map of Europe only to be resurrected after the First World War, 123 years later. Yet, from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century it was one of the dominating forces of central and eastern Europe and the scene of a remarkable experiment in consensual, constitutional politics, in an area embracing much of what is not only present-day Poland, but also Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus.

"As late as the 1850s, one in five marriages in the city of Poznan (or, as it was known to its then Prussian rulers, Posen) were between Poles and Germans. Across wide stretches of territory, for much of their history, the degree of intermarriage between Poles and Lithuanians/ Ukrainians/Byelorussians was at least as high. It remains reflected today in the frequent incidence in the Polish population of surnames of diverse linguistic-ethnic origins (a comparable diversity can, of course be found among Poland’s neighbours)."

From the Concise History of Poland
Jerzy Lukowski and Hubert Zawadzki

circle17_blue.gifThe Measles Epidemic of 1848-1849
Not only wars change history! Between December 1848 and May 1849 eleven Mathia children died from measles.

circle17_blue.gifLetter from Günter Mathia
A letter from Günter Mathia dated October 10, 1999 giving a short historical background of Westpreußen to the 1700s (includes some personal family history).

circle17_blue.gifFamilies of the Koschnaewjerdörfer (German, partially translated to English)
These seven German towns in West Prussia have an identity of their own and a unique story to tell. The Mathia - Matthia family lived in and around these towns for over 300 years.

circle17_blue.gifThe History of West Prussia (offsite, in English)l_flag_germany_1.gif
As told by the Germans. Look for the history under 'General Information.' A link is provided to a German translation of the page that includes more detail and information by district and city.

circle17_blue.gifThe History of West Prussia (offsite, in English)l_flag_poland.gif
As told by the Poles. Translated from late-19th century Polish gazetteer Slownik geograficzny Kr—lestwa Polskiego. Found  at the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) site.

circle17_blue.gifA Brief History of Poland in the Last 200 Years (offsite, in English)l_flag_poland.gif
A whirlwind tour! Includes nice maps and a link to a German translation.

circle17_blue.gifThe History of Poland (offsite, in English)l_flag_poland.gif
An excellent, longer, illustrated history of Poland as told by the Poles. This link points to the Introduction. Use the dropdown links at the top to navigate the chapters.

circle17_blue.gifHistory of Germany (offsite, in English)l_flag_germany_1.gif
This article by John Holwell originally appeared in the September 1997 issue of the Journal of Online Genealogy.