Polish flag

Rys Genealogy

Polish flag

Introduction 

  Family Tree 

  Surnames 

  Geography 

  Other Rys sites 

  News


Geographic Origin Information

Map of Poland Galicia Toporzysko Spytkowice Jordanow Wysoka Other Cities Tatry Mts.

The area of Poland which is central to my Rys family heritage is the area south of Krakow.  This area is the foothills of the Tatry Mountains, part of the Carpathian Mountains in southern Poland.  The cities which are key to my genealogy are:  Jordanow, Spytkowice, Toporzysko, and Wysoka.


MAP OF POLAND:

Below is a map of Poland with a detailed insert map for the specific area south of Krakow showing the locations of the villages: Jordanow, Spytkowice, Toporzysko and Wysoka.   All my grandparents are from the southern part of Poland, just south of Krakow.  

Map of Poland with an enlargement of the area south of Krakow

Map of Poland with a detail map of the area south of Krakow. 

Note:  Map is from my article "Searching for Rys in Poland" published in Rodziny, Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, Winter 2001 issue, pg 11.

This area is the foot hills to the Carpathian mountain range in southern Poland.

Carpathian Mountains in Poland

Within southern Poland, the Carpathian (Karpaty) Mountains are divided into two ranges.  Beyond the two ranges, the Carpathian foothills (podgorze) extend to the city of Krakow.  The first mountain range, the southern, higher range, is called the Tatra (Tatry) Mountains.  The Tatra Mountains in Poland and Slovakia help to form the border between the two countries.  These high mountains are home to Polandís winter ski resort area and the picturesque mountain village of Zakopane.  The highest peak in the Polish Tatra Mountains and all of Poland is Mount Ryśy (Mountain of the Lynx) at 2,499 meters (8,200 feet).  Promoters in Poland would like to attract the Winter Olympics to Zakopane.

Beskid Mountain Range

 The second range, the lower Carpathians Mountains in Poland are called the Beskid  Mountains (Beskidy, Beskydy).  The Beskids extend from the Czech/Slovakian border through Poland into the Ukraine.  In Poland, they are divided into three major areas.  On the west is Beskid Wysoki (High Beskids), the middle is called Beskid Niski (Low Beskids) and the eastern is called Bieszczady (southeastern tip of Poland).  Within these three large areas there are smaller Beskid sub-ranges.
 

Outlline Map of Poland   NOTE: This website background incorporates the outline of the map of Poland.

 

POLAND's Coat of Arms

Origin/Meaning:  This coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website, with no explanation about it.

 



GALICIA:  

Galicia is the name given to that partition of Poland which was occupied by the Austrian Empire starting in 1775 and ending in 1918.  Galicia is no longer recognized as a county, province, nor region on the administrative maps of Poland.  Polish immigrants often listed "Galicia" or "Austria" as their place of origin because Poland did not exit on the map of Europe for 123 years, between 1795-1918.  For more information visit the PolishRoots website Galicia listed below.  

The cities that are key to my genealogy were in this Province in Poland known as Galicia.  Again, between 1772 and 1795 the Austrian Empire annexed Ruthenia and Malopolska (in English "Little Poland") which was primarily the southern part of Poland including the city of Krakow.  The Austrians invented the name Galicia for this new area. 

To see a 19th century map of Galicia Click Map of Galicia.  Use your back button to return to this website.


TOPORZYSKO

Not available No coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website.

This is the city where Jan Rys, my paternal namesake grandfather, was born in 1857. I visited Toporzysko in September of 2000 and found the original home and birthplace of Jan Rys. Toporzysko is 4 km SSE of Jordanow and 7 km NNE of Spytkowice.  

Toporzysko does not have a village website.

Click here TOPORZYSKO to see an article I published in 2005 about Toporzysko.

 


SPYTKOWICE

Origin/Meaning:  This coat of arms was found on the Spytkowice website, with no explanation about it.

Spytkowice is the village where Ludvika Glowczak, my paternal grandmother was born in 1872.   It is in the Myslenice administrative section and is associated with the larger village called Rabka.  I visited Spytkowice in September of 2000 and found additional genealogy records at the church office there.

The village of Spytkowice has a great website with many photographs, local culture and history.  The text is written in Polish.  

Click Spytkowice    Use your back button to return to this website.

NOTE:  There are two villages in Poland named Spytkowice and they are relatively close to each other.   The Spytkowice which I refer to is associated with the larger village Rabka.  The other village named Spytkowice is more west of Krakow and just east of Auschwitz and is associated with the village Zator.

   


JORDANOW 

Origin/Meaning:  The three horns are a symbol of the Wieliczka family who owned a salt mine in the village.  The horns were used to announce breaks and the end of the day.

Jordanow (pronounced Yoor-DAN-off) is the largest village in this immediate area.  According to the "Community of Jordanow" website listed below, this area was developed in the 14th century.  This territory belonged to the Jordan family who founded various settlements (villages) on the banks of the Skawa and Raba Rivers which wind to the north and are contributories to the Vistula River which finds its way through Krakow, Warsaw and Torun as it flows to the Baltic Sea.

Jordanow and Wysoka are the cities associated with my mother's side of the family. The surnames are Jarosz and Maciaszek.  I visited Jordanow in September of 2000 and found additional genealogy records at the church office there.

Approximately seventy percent (70%) of Jordanow was destroyed in September of 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland.  The church in Jordanow did survive the battle and when we were there we looked at church record books that dated back into the 1600's

Wysoka, a short distance from Jordanow, did not have a church at the time of the late 1800's or early 1900's, so church records, such as, baptismal records were kept in Jordanow.  

The Valvex Custom Forgings Company has a manufacturing facility in Jordanow and they have a website.  For a view of the landscape near Jordanow, Click Jordanow-Valvex for their website.  Use your back button to return to this website.

Click here JORDANOW to see an article I published in 2005 about Jordanow.


WYOSKA

Not available No coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website.

Wysoka did not have a church at the time of the late 1800's or early 1900's, so church records, such as, baptismal records were kept in Jordanow. 

The Nazis took reprisals on Wysoka because of local resistance.  According to the people at the church in Jordanow, the village of Wysoka was completely destroyed in September of 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland.  After 1945 the village was the first place in Poland to be granted the Grunwald Cross Order medal in recognition for its efforts against the Nazis. 

There is more than one village in Poland named Wysoka.  This particular Wysoka is the village between Jordanow and Spytkowice and west of Rabka in south western Poland.

This village of Wysoka does not have a village website.

Click here WYSOKA to see an article I published in 2005 about Wysoka.
 


OTHER CITIES: 

Because of their geographic proximity, the following cities are also associated with this genealogy: Krakow, Nowy Sarcz, Nowy Targ, Rabka and Zakopane.

Krakow Origin/Meaning:  This coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website, with no explanation about it.

Click Krakow here for a website on Krakow (In English).  

Nowy Sarcz Origin/Meaning:  This coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website, with no explanation about it.

Click Nowy Sacz here for a great website on Nowy Sacz including beautiful views of that city and a history of the city (some in English).  

Nowy Targ Origin/Meaning:  This coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website, with no explanation about it.

Click this Nowy Targ for another website.  

Rabka Origin/Meaning:  This coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website, with no explanation about it.

The village of Rabka does have a nice website.  Click RABKA.PL

Zakopane Origin/Meaning:  This coat of arms was found on the International Civic Heraldry website, with no explanation about it.

 Zakopane is one of the competing cities to host the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

 

 


TATRY MOUNTAINS

Many available websites have beautiful photographs of the Tatry mountains.

 


  Return to top 

Care to leave any comments?    YES

     Return to Welcome entry page

or E-Mail john(@at-sign)john.rys.name