Thanks to Marla Raucher Osborn, who shared a photo of a book about Kańczuga with me on Facebook. That book, Kańczuga. Miasto i gmina. Dziedzictwo kulturowe, is about the cultural history of the town, and includes a section on the Jewish cemetery in Siedleczka. When trying to track down this book, I found that the publisher, Podkarpacki Instytut Książki i Marketingu, has actually published four books about Kańczuga, although all are out of print. Those books are:
Kańczuga. Miasto i gmina. Dziedzictwo kulturowe(Kańczuga. Town and Municipality. Cultural Heritage.)
Kańczuga. Miasto i Gmina (Kańczuga. Town and Municipality.)
Kańczuga i okolice. Przewodnik (Kańczuga and its surroundings. A Guide.)
Historia Miasteczka Kańczugi pisana 1889 r. (History of the town of Kańczuga. Written 1889.)
The first three seem to essentially be guidebooks. The last one is perhaps more interesting, as it is a re-print of a book written in 1889 about the history of Kańczuga. It was written by a priest, and apparently was based on many documents he found in the church there, so I have no idea how much, if any, deals with the Jewish community, but being as it was written when the Jewish community was still a major portion of the town, it would be interesting to read.
Of course, all of these books are written in Polish, and hard to find on top of that since they’re all out of print. If I knew we had someone willing to translate the important parts of these books, I would try getting copies of them. If you can read and translate Polish, and want to help out, let me know.
The two entries at the end of the above list are the resident books. Links in the table will take you to the page on the State Archives site for that document, which shows a summary of information on the document. Click on the tab at the top that says ‘Digital copies’ to see the thumbnails of the scans for the document, and click on the thumbnails to load a larger version of each image.
As the user interface for navigating and viewing the larger images is a bit difficult, I’ve created PDFs of each book, which can be downloaded from this site. The pages are not as big as the original, and are compressed more than the original, in order to be possible to download (as it is the files are each over 60mb – but if I had just combined the original files they would be over 200mb each).
If you want to get the higher-resolution images, follow the links to the books above (the last two rows of the table), and download the original image(s) that you need.
I haven’t yet had a chance to go through the books and see which names can be extracted yet, and I don’t even know how they’re organized and what years are covered (only the 1931-1944 range given), so if you do go through them and want to help other by commenting below what you’ve found, that would be great.
Thanks also to Marla Raucher Osborn, who spotted Logan’s post before me and posted about it on Facebook.
Thanks to Marla Raucher Osborn who pointed out on Gesher Galicia’s Facebook page that the Austrian National Library recently posted scans of historical newspapers from Austria, including Galicia, to their web site. The site is in German, but I recommend loading it in Google Chrome, and using the automatic translation capabilities of Chrome to navigate the site. Unfortunately, besides being in German, much of the newspapers are printed in Gothic script. There is a relatively good search interface.
Some of the results includes news from the town, some are casualty reports from WWI, and some I have no idea. It would certainly be welcome if someone with German skills, including the ability to read Gothic script, could take a look at the search results and see if they could determine which references to Kańczuga and the surrounding villages here are relevant.
Three cadastral maps from the Kańczuga Nearby Villages Project have been found, scanned, and are now available in the Gesher Galicia Map Room. We are very grateful to the team at Gesher Galicia, both in the US and in Poland, that have made it possible to find these and make them available to researchers everywhere.
We don’t yet know of associated house indexes for these maps (like there is for the Kańczuga map), but if we find them we will be sure to transcribe them and make them available. If you have family from these towns, it would be great if you could share information on your family, when they lived in the town, etc. in the comments below.
After several years of effort in the Polish archives, funded by donors from the Kańczuga mailing list, I’m happy to announce that we now have a cadastral map of Kańczuga. The map is from 1849 and corresponds directly to a database of house and land owners that is also now indexed and online in on the Gesher Galicia web site.
If you want, you can scroll down on the left side, and under ‘Record Sources’ you select:
Kańczuga Homeowners List (1849)
That will show you the 255 records in that database, with 40 records shown at a time. Otherwise you can search in the full database, then select the above source to filter it so only the results from that database is shown (there is no way to directly search just that database).
The database includes the house numbers, and correspond to the house numbers on the map. The original data source, a ledger, has land plot numbers as well, but is not in the database online (yet). Donors to the Kańczuga research project can receive the original scans of the ledger. If you’re a donor and want the original scans, or want to donate to the project, please send me a message via the contact page.
Genealogyindexer.org, the web site created by Logan Kleinwaks, is an incredible resource for Jewish genealogy research. If you’re not familiar with it, I suggest checking it out. The site offers a search engine of over 300,000 pages of books that have been scanned and placed online, including business and phone directories, yizkor books, school records, military records, etc. You can follow which new documents are added to the site by following the @gindexer twitter account.
There are hundreds of records that mention Kańczuga, and I recommend doing your own search, but I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention a new document added recently, which is an undated Galicia Business Directory, probably published between 1907 and 1913. Here’s the page that includes the entry on Kańczuga:
The job titles are in German. You can use Google Translate to translate them. As Markus Thurm is in my family tree, I looked up what a Lotteriekollekteur was – it’s a lottery agent.
Also worth nothing is the line with a few words and the little graphics at the top of the entry. These are explained on page 7 of the full document, and it means that Kanczuga was a market town and community of 2338 people, uses the court in Przeworsk, with both a post office and a telegraph station. If you look at the other entries on the page, you’ll see that it points to which towns the people went to for postal mail and for telegraph service. So even from this single page we can see that Kanczuga was the central market town for the surrounding communities, and was where many of them went for mail and telegraph service.
If you find your relative on the page, post in the comments below.
The cemetery used by the Jewish community of Kańczuga was located in nearby Siedleczka. In 1942, the Nazis rounded up some 1000 plus Jews left in Kańczuga, took them to this cemetery and murdered them, dropping their bodies into a mass grave there. Since that time the cemetery was largely neglected, until 2008 when a group of Kańczuga descendants, including Michael Freund and Howard Nightingale, organized a renovation of the cemetery. The renovation included cleaning up the grounds and re-building a wall around the cemetery.
While the cemetery restoration was completed in May 2008, it seems that in March 2008 videos were posted to Youtube that show the cemetery prior to the restoration work. The second video shows the nearby memorial over the mass grave of those Jews murdered in 1942.
Video walkthrough of the Siedleczka-Kańczuga cemetery:
Video of the memorial to the 1000+ Jews murdered in 1942:
If you visit the cemetery in Siedleczka, consider videotaping your visit and posting an updated video of the current appearance of the cemetery and let us know (we’ll be happy to post it for you if you’d like).
I am happy to announce that our project to retrieve documents from archives related to Kańczuga is beginning to bear its first fruits.
We’ve identified several important records in the L’viv archives, including landowner records from 1819/1820, 1833 and 1850. The records from 1833 and 1850 were not known to exist for Kańczuga before, so this is really great news. Now we need to organize the indexing of these records.
There are also some documents connected to the Jewish community of Kańczuga, such as a community charter from 1889. These kinds of documents do not have as many names as property owner lists, but do provide us with very interesting information on what the community was like in those days, and how it was organized.
There are some additional documents we believe exist, but we have not yet been able to locate. This can happen when a document is listed in the local inventory, but is not where it is supposed to be. It’s possible a mistake was made and the document doesn’t actually exist, or it’s possible they were just misplaced. In either case we may never locate them, but we will continue to try to find what we can.
We are currently working to make these documents viewable even before we index them, to those people who donated to the project. The index, when ready, will be freely available, but we don’t know when that will be finished. We expect to have the images viewable by donors online in the coming weeks. Donors will be contacted directly with instructions on how to access the files. If you are interested in viewing these documents and have not donated to the project, we of course welcome you to contribute now (minimum of $50) and we will send you the image access instructions as well (when the images are ready). If you are contributing to this project, please make sure to write in the donor note that it is for the Kańczuga Archival Records project.
We will be moving next on to the Przemysl archives to discover what records exist there for Kanczuga. We already know of the Birth, Marriage and Death records there that have been indexed by JRI-Poland (for which we are very grateful to JRI-Poland), but we will be checking to make sure no other documents exist there that may be of interest.
Welcome to Kanczuga.org. This site is set up to consolidate research into the Jewish community of Kańczuga. Up until WWII, Kańczuga, although a small town, had a very large percentage of Jewish residents. Kańczuga also served as the center point of the Jewish community of a number of surrounding towns and villages. All of this was destroyed during WWII, when the Nazis either deported or shot all the remaining Jewish residents of Kańczuga and all the nearby towns by 1942.
This site has several goals:
It is intended that anyone looking for information on the Jews of Kańczuga will be able to either find the information here, or be directed to the right place to find what you need. Consult the Existing Resources page, and the Organizations and Web Sites sub-pages for this information.
New research into the Jewish community of Kańczuga is being initiated through this site. There are currently four different original research projects in process or planned, and we will add more as ideas for original research are submitted. To see the big picture, see the Research page. Current projects include:
Landsmanshaft Cemeteries project, where we have already photographed hundreds of gravestones from sections of cemeteries purchased by Kańczuga Landsmanshft organizations, and will be fully indexing those gravestones in the future.
Archival Records project, where we are creating an inventory of Kańczuga records that exist in the archives in Przemysl (Poland) and L’viv (Ukraine), and will then copy and index records that are not already available through other sites.
Nearby Villages project, where we will be creating an inventory of records in the Przemysl (Poland) and L’viv (Ukraine) archives for 21 different towns and villages which surround Kańczuga.
CAHJP Project, where we will be copying and translating documents held by the Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) connected to Kańczuga.
Collecting photographs and stories related to the town of Kańczuga, and the Jewish community that existed there. In addition to creating whole albums of photographs from contributors, we will also seek to have photo essays written, stories contributed as articles on the site, and we will allow visitors to upload images directly to our Public Album.
Building a complete family tree of the Jewish community of Kańczuga before WWII back through the beginning of the 19th century. This will be achieved through collecting sections of people’s trees that intersection Kańczuga and combining them all into a merged family tree.
The site welcomes suggestions for new research, new site features, content, etc. If you want to make suggestions for the site, or volunteer to work on research projects or on the site itself, please Contact Us. If you can help fund any of our research projects, or just want to donate to our general operating fund, please Donate.