Wiśnicze, pow. Gliwice, woj. śląskie

This parish is significant because some of its residents emigrated to the United States in the 1850s and established the first Polish settlement in the US (in Texas).

The parish records were written in German. It helps that the parish registers follow a format so you know where to look for information even if you can't read the German. This index is based on a database by Sonia Hoeke-Nishimoto who was with the LDS library. She included spelling variations, village, and father's occupation as well as the date of baptism/birth. The prominent date in most of the records was the date of baptism and many records probably never gave the date of birth. Poles tended to have their children baptized shortly after birth so the birth date is probably not that far off from the date of baptism. It appeared that if a date of birth was given in the record, it was included in the date field. The user will need to determine if the date is that of birth or of baptism.

Notably missing from Sonia's index were fields for enumeration number, page number, and image number. In fairness, her original index was probably prepared from microfilm before images were ever digitized-- so no image number.

So what did I do? Since I am tracing Polish people, I gave the given names and most of the surnames a Polish spelling. I added the enumeration number, page number, and image number so that you can locate the record very easily. While I checked the child and parent names for accuracy, I did not check nor change the village field-- using it as is. It appears in a different color below the father's name. I added new records for persons not already in the database. Most notably, records for the Wiśnicze division from 1821 to 1832 had not been indexed. So over 770 baptisms were added to what Sonia already had.

Like many parishes, this parish served multiple villages. There was a division between records for the Świbie and Wiśnicze areas. For a period of time, there were different registry books for each division. For other periods of time, the records of one division followed the records of the other division.

In item 4 (film number 2125909), there is no page 22 as though it was skipped in filming or digitizing (page 21 at image 430 is fine as is page 23 at image 431). Sonia must have had access to it when she prepared her database. I have included her data in this new index but understand that the link will take you to page 21 instead because there's no image for page 22. I did not assign an enumeration number to those records because I don't know the sequence of records on that page. We know that page 22 should only have six records. There was an "extra" record for 1815 that falls a bit beyond the February/March time one expects but maybe is a seventh record.

Records for 1851 continue in another digital folder (microfilm) and continue to 1901. These records were indexed by the LDS and therefore I will not repeat (or check) their work. I do not believe they used Sonia's database. I ran across an example of Jalik in the index that was really Jaxik (Jaksik) on the image. Sonia had indexed it correctly. This illustrates a problem with many LDS indexing endeavors-- the person doing the data entry is perhaps working on only one random page and has no interest in the names they think they see. That's very different from the long term comprehensive approach Sonia or I took by looking at every page and seeing how the names repeat. Clearly written specimens of a name help to read the same name that is not as clearly written-- leading to better index accuracy.

Where known, I give the current Polish locale names. Otherwise the German name remains. So Błażejowice was Blaschowitz, Diana was Dianenberg, Dąbrówka was Dombrowka, Gajowice was Giegowitz, Kieleczka was Kieleschka, Napłatki was Naplatken, Świbie was Schwieben, Wiśnicze was Wischnitz, and Wojska was Woiska. In comparing an old German map and modern map, it appears that Colonie Raduń is now just Raduń and what was Raduń is now Radonia. This link takes you to a gazetteer entry for Wiśnicze. If you then click on Map, you will see Wischnitz and surrounding locales.

Here's some issues with given names:
Anna is sometimes short for Joanna (this is worth keeping in mind even for other parishes). Georg is Jerzy, Grzes is Grzegorz, Jas is Jan (one might think Jas is short for James -> Jakob but was seen to refer to Jan), Jurek is Jerzy, Sobek is Sebastian, Staś is Stanislaw, Suska is Suzanna, Ulka is Julia (though one source says it should be Urszula), Walek is Walenty, Wenzel/Wencel is Wacław (Wenceslaus), and Lise might be Ludwika (too few specimens to feel confident with this assignment).

Let's look at some surname spelling variants. This is not a comprehensive listing of surnames but examples that allow some conclusions to be drawn. Bartoschek is Bartoszek, Blasczyk is Blaszczyk, Brisch is Bryś, Drobig/Drabig is Drabik, Gawel/Gawol/Gawlik (seem to be related names), Janoschka is Janoszka, Kosub is Kozub, Koym is Koim, Krawietz is Krawiec, Macioschek is Macioszek, Mańka is Mainka (because it was the most common spelling), Niemtsch is Niemcz, Nowok is Nowak, Polloczek is Poloczek, Schnura is Sznura, Schwiezy is Świeży, Sczepanik/Sczeponik is Szczepanik, Swierzy is Świeży, Zagórski/Zagórnik/Zagórny (seem to be related names).

We can see that the German versions often used scz for szcz, sch for sz, g for k, and doubling consonants when only one needed. In most cases the pronunciation is not altered. Generally speaking, the more Polish spelling was used in the index but I was not always consistent.

DGS number 4688943 (or film number 2125909)
item 2, includes both Świbie and Wiśnicze divisions 1801-1812
item 3, Świbie division 1813-1831
item 4, Wiśnicze division 1813-1831
item 5, for a given year, one division's records comes after the other division's 1831-1851