Gesher Galicia - Jewish DNA Project - Goals

  1. Encourage the use of Genetic Genealogy as an additional tool for Jewish genealogical research in Galicia.
  2. Study the similarity or diversity of the ancestry of our Jewish ancestors from the former Austrian province of Galicia.
  3. Prove or disprove common ancestry between families with the same surnames, when traditional genealogy research has not yet produced a paper trail connecting the families.
  4. Confirm the validity of a paper trail that shows common ancestry between two families with the same surname.
  5. Discover common ancestry between families of different surnames. Many of our Eastern European ancestors adopted modern-day surnames only in the recent past (~200 years ago), so it's to be expected that our ancestors adopted different surnames than their distant relatives did. There were also purposeful surname changes in the more recent years, such as to avoid conscription into the military or, most commonly in Galicia, due to children legally having the mother's maiden name instead of their father's surname.
Brief History of Galicia (from Gesher Galicia website http://www.jewishgen.org/galicia/) Originally called Galicia-Lodomeria by the Austrians when they took that territory from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the First Partition of Poland in 1772, its borders varied slightly over the years, especially during the Napoleonic Wars, following which Krakow and surrounding lands were eventually added to the province. The largest province of the Austrian Empire, Galicia bordered Moravia to the west, the Russian Empire to the north and east, and Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (Moldavia) to the south. Returned to Poland when that state was reestablished after the First World War. Divided between Ukraine and Poland after the Second World War. Today, the eastern half of Galicia is part of Ukraine, and the western half is part of Poland. The term "Galicia" no longer describes an administrative or political region in either country. In Poland, Galicia is often called “Malopolska”, or Lesser Poland. Bukowina, acquired by the Austrian Empire from the Ottoman Empire in 1775, merged with Galicia in 1787, became a separate province of the Austrian Empire after 1849, and shares with Romania a history of Turkish and Romanian administration that was not experienced by Galicia. Bukowina is not included in the focus of Gesher Galicia. Contact the Romanian Special Interest Group, Rom-SIG. Pronunciation of "Galicia" The pronunciation of the word "Galicia" is quite varied among researchers. The local pronunciation, if written phonetically by a native speaker of American English, would be something like [gal-EE-tsya]. The Polish spelling of the name is "Galicja." The German spelling is "Galizien."