A land called Kociewie that is in West Prussia. It occupies more or less the whole district (powiat) of Starogard and part of the neighboring district of Kwidzyn, positioned at the left bank of the Wisła. Its northern border is at Żuława where Powiat Gdańsk begins, its western border is Powiat Kościerzyna where Kaszubia is located, and its southern border is Świecie. From the east, the Wisła River constitutes as its boundary. The length of the land from north to south is 6 mila long and its core width is 4 mila. The name Kowiecie probably comes from the numerous basins (i.e, the swamps and marshes surrounding the mountains), in which the most hilly areas are facing the mountains and surrounded by meadows and lowlands in ice. To this day it is called “Kociełkami”.
Nearly the center by itself, stretches from the west to east band of the Baltic-Ural hills (Uralisch-baltischer Landsrucken). The most prominent river, besides the Wisła, is the Wierzyca, which flows into the Węgiermuca, the Jonek stream, the Milcicha (now the Liszki), and the Bacha. Lakes are also present, like: Lake Czarne near Skórcz, Lake Czarnoleskie, the Great Lakes of Osieckie, Lake Borzechowskie, Lake Sumińskie, Lake Spęgawskie, Lake Pienążkowskie, Lake Płochocińskie, and others. Kociewie has adequate supplies of fuel. Up to now, the beginning portions of the Great Tuchoła Forest belong to Kociewie. Moreover, the lesser forests stretch for a long, narrow, strip near Borkowo, Pelplin, Klonówki, and Spęgawsk. Then more separately by Gniew and Opalenie. Peat bogs are quite numerous here in the meadows and marshes, particularly in Grabowo, Grabwiec, Brzeźno, Smoląg, etc. The soil, for the most part, is fertile, and it yields all sorts of types of grains, such as: wheat, rye, barley, peas, oats, turnips, etc.
There are atleast 3 cities in Kociewie: Nowe, Gniew, and Starogard Gdański; besides those, there are 2 markets: Skórcz and Pelplin (which is also the Bishopric of Chłemno). The population for the most part is Polish, particularly within the villages (see Kociewiacy). Churches that you encounter are relatively numerous and well to do in this area. The following Catholic Parishes, in addition to the cities, belong to Kociewie: Bobow, Dąbrówka, Klonówka, Lubichowo, Barłożno, Skórcz, Kóscielna Jania, Lalkowy, Pieniążkowo, Grabowo, Dzierzążno, Pelplin, Walichnowy, Nowa Cerkiew, Garc, Królów Las, Piaseczno, Opalenie al. Misterwałd, Pączewo, Czarny Las, Tymawa, Subkowy, Lignowy, Rajkowy, Jabłowo, Komorsk, Płochocin, and others. The following Lutheran Parishes, in addition to the cities, belong to Kociewie: Budnie, Skórcz, Borzechowo, and Osie.
Railways in both directions pass through Kociewie: the following stations are from the north-south Tczew-Bydgoszcz railway line: Tczew, Subkowy, Pelplin, Czerwińsk, and Warlubie. The north-west end of the second and new Tczew-Piła railway line, cuts through the following stations: Swarożyn, Starogard Gdański, and Zblewo. Well travelled roads are relatively quite numerous: 1) the Gdańsk-Bydgoszcz Road is near Subkowy, Rudno, Pelplin, Gniew, Nowe, and Warlubie; 2) Kwidzyń-Czerwińsk; 3) Czerwińsk-Skórcz-Starogard Gdański; 4) Jabłowo-Pelplin; 5) Chojnice-Starogard Gdański-Tczew. In addition there is a planned road from Gniew to Morzeszczyna, where there will be a new Tczew-Bydgoszcz railway station continuing sideways to Skórcz. Kś. F.
Słownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Poliskiego – Warsaw [1895, vol. 04, p.230]. Retrieved from http://www.mimuw.edu.pl/polszczyzna/SGKP/SG04.djvu?djvuopts&page=230
Taken from original post called: Kociewie – Slownik Geograficzny Translations
A distinct Polish-Pomeranian tribe in West Prussia, inhabiting the area called Kociewie (see entry for Kociewie). This area is located between the cities of Starogard Gdański, Tczew, Gniew, and Nowe. The easiest way to recognize a Kociewiacy is by speaking with one. As they do not speak proper Polish, because the 3rd person past tense plural ends differently with an “eli”. They say, “that during the rye and wheat harvest they would take a job with both hands, and after they raked the barn clean. The merchants would come to buy corn, among other things” (this sentence was structure with all 3rd person past tense endings with “eli” instead of “li”, to point out the Kociewiacy’s incorrect Polish). Not only in Powiat Starogard, and in Powiat Kwidzyn, lying on the left side of the Wisła, will you encounter these linguistic characteristics, but also along the right side of the Wisła River in the lowlands of Powiat’s of Malbork and Sztum. We can also recognize the Kociewiacy women by their dress, but only the married and the old, which is usually a long silk scarf wrapped around the head with two artificially interwoven knots protruding toward the face. A rough number of Kociewiacy probably could be found in their church records. So, in 1867, the number of Catholic souls were counted in the districts of Kociewie. The totals were as follows: the Gniew Deanery had 24,000, the Starogard Deanery had 16,000, the Nowe Deanery had 20,000, the Tczew Deanery had 15,000, and the sum approximately totaled 75,000. However, given the number of souls in these deaneries, from 1867, have grown considerably and will join with the people from the adjacent area (powiat’s Malbork and Sztum). Independently speaking, there are at least 100,000 Kociewiacy.
Among the population are three layers: workers, peasants, and nobility (to specify most farm owners were here in this layer), because there are so many affluent farm owners densely settled in the Kociewie area of West Prussia. Because the land of Kociewie is the property of the densely settled West Prussian farm owners, there are so many of them here that are prosperous. They’ve never settled under a lease, only their grandparents and great-grandparents had leased land from the starosta’s wife or the monastery. The nobleman and other villagers did not meet (interact), possibly a few lived together to help out the gardeners. They possess places of 1, 2, or 4 włok of land, sometimes you’ll find extensive holdings something like the large lordly Chłemno folwarks, worth from 50 to 100,000 talar. Few of the farm owners are in the villages, most of this arrogant separation happened after they built homes on their own lands. The old houses and buildings were built with wood, now it is preferred to build with brick. There were nice times in the past. There was no separation between the noblemen and the workers. Sometimes fairly wealthy farm owners ate and worked together with the workers, almost since childhood. But they also respected the servants. The workers would never say “he” or “she”, only “Sir Father” otherwise to his wife “Madam Mother”. Also, the children called the old Noblemen “parents” in old Polish. Now farm owners are a bit richer, since they’ve succeeded they avoid service that is to great to bear and almost perform no manual work. The workers at the table do not sit together. Only the Nobleman’s servants’ quarters are located separately at the house and he demands that they call him by his title. The Noblemen had arranged and built a new kind of manor house in the city, adorned with tapestry and mahogany furniture. To church or to the city, the nobles traveled by coachman driven vehicles. When in the past, the nobles would normally ride by the free trolley service. It is no wonder then that more and more debts are increasing and many farms are declining. Although this is not a rare case, that a farm owner saves himself not 10, but 30 to 50,000 on his farm.
Around parts they moved carefully in a progressive manner with the lands, where and how they could improve. Some of the richer farm owner villages are: Barłożno, Bobowo, Brzeźno, Brzuszcz, Dąbrówka, Dzierzążno, Garc, Gogolewo, Gąsiorki, Gętomie, Gorzędziej, Grabowo, Jaźwiska, Komorsk, Kursztyn, Królów Las, Kulice, Liguowy (the existing farm owning gentry have been Germanized), Lubiszewo, Nowa Cerkiew, Pieniążkowo, Piaseczno, Półwieś, Pomyje, Rajkowy, Rakowiec, Rudno (the existing farm owning gentry have been Germanized), Rzeżęcin, Rywałd, Rątarg, Skurcz, Subkowy, Wielbrandowo, Włosienica, Walichnowy and others. Relatively less Noble estates can be found and even less are in the hands of the Polish: they can be counted with fingers.The Jackowski’s hold the Jabłowo estate, Kalkstein’s – the Klonowken estate, Grąbczewski’s – the Barchnowy estate, Bardzik’s – the Wysoka estate, and Praneccy – the sandy Grabowiec estate. The largest part of the estates, after those of Count’s Dąbski, Czapski, Tuchołka and others, passed into the German hands of the Prussian Government. Such as: Kopytkowo, Janie, Kornatki, Kozielec, Luchowo, Milewo, Ostrowite, Rynkówko, Smętowo, Smarzewo, Spęgawsk, Sumin, Owiidz, Bielsk, Janisaewo, Jeleń, and more.
The Kociewiacy’s purely dry Polish speech has been preserved to this day. Certain traces probably originate from the times of the German Teutonic Knights. For example: dycht = dobze, doskonale (well, well); ruma (is not) = miejsca (place); fertych = gotowy, zrobiony (ready made); apen = otwarty (open); sztyf = zawsze (always); and many others. Provincial notables: zamanąwszy = często (often); besztefrant, na besztefrant co mówić = mówić co przekręcając, udając. The Kociewiacy pronounce the syllables (en, em, ę), and sometimes (im, in) fully lipped as (an, am) in old Polish (similar to en and em in French). For example: świanty = święty, gans = gęś, lan = len, wszystkami sposobami = wszystkimi, and others.
Faith and devotion were shared with all the Polish people. Numerous people from Łak to Gietrzwałd attend the religious carnival at the Calvary of Wejherowska. For it and Piaseczno (where the famous and miraculous image of Our lady is located), is where they all gather in Kociewie. There is a second picture of the Blessed Mother that is found in Nowy Cierkwi, near Pelplin. Some customs were preserved from the old times. For example: whistles, visiting the Advent stars, celebrating Christmas with a star lit nativity scene, smagust (restraint from excesses) for Easter, and others. Quite frequently, particularly the elders, tell fantastic tales, stories, and songs from around the world (frantówek) that they know.
Almost exclusively the Kociewiacy are employed in agriculture. Also, in more recent times, industry has made gains: three sugar factories are in Tczew, Pelplin, and Gniew; a cheese factory in Czerwińsk; ordinary alcohol production is in the larger estates; distilleries and breweries are in the cities; and others. There are four banks or loan companies: Starogard (Gdański), Gniew, Bobowo, and Nowe. Significant progress in farming is owed to quite a few agricultural companies existing in Piaseczno, Bobowo, formerly in Skórcz, and now other villages. Concerning the national temperament, it is experienced and religious.
Among other things, the Kociewiacy provide religious and political rallies. Particularly in recent critical times, they were arranged in Skórcz, Nowe Cerkwi, Gniew, Pelplin, and others. They witnessed their favorites at the amateur theater presented in the villages of Kociewie (Pelplin, Bobowo, Piasecznao, Skórcz, Barłożno, Lubichowo, Starogard Gdański, and others…), however, not at all deftly. With each year, there are more and more young educated people, farmers, civil servants, and doctors thanks to the superior local school, which in general the Kociewiacy urgently use. And so it is in Pelplin, under clerical care of the pro-school bishops (Colleg. Marianum) and all the schools in Starogard Gdański and Tczew. Preparatory schools for teachers exist in the villages of Gniew, Starogard Gdański, Pelplin, and Skórcz. Until recently, there was a boarding school for girls (the Sisters of ercy) in Pelplin, currently it is still in Kościerzyna. Newspapers are eagerly read by the Kociewiacy, namely the outgoing “Pilgrim” in Pelplin; “The Cross” a religious journal (formerly the “Farmer” for farm owners); the “Friend” from Toruń; the “Friend of the People” from Poznań (formerly from Chłemno); the “Great Poland (Wielkopolskie) Messenger” and the “Advocate” from Poznań, and others. Also, many parishes and manors diligently made use of furnished reading rooms.
Słownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Poliskiego – Warsaw [1895, vol. 04, pp.228-230]. Retrieved from http://www.mimuw.edu.pl/polszczyzna/SGKP/SG04.djvu?djvuopts&page=228
Taken from original post called: Kociewiacy – Slownik Geograficzny Translations
Kociewie Parish Map
Młynarski, G. Kociewie_08_ok_1d. (2012). Retrieved from http://img.naszemiasto.pl/misc/upload/91/c8/kociewie_08_ok_1d.jpg
Note 1: The link where this map was originally taken from is now broken. I’ve done a search online for this map and have yet to find another website that has it posted. Once I have more information, I will update the reference above.
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