I have a few various names of villages/towns that my family came from in Poland/Russia. They came to America before WWI around 1914 and much of Poland was Russia at the time. Many town names have changed since then, and it is so confusing.

These are the listed town/villages they list.

Zytger, Stare Brzozowo, Brzozowo, Prashnysh, Rowne (maybe Rowno?),

Perhaps someone here knows of an area that all of these names coincide with. I look up Brzozowo today and it relates to I think maybe 15 different places.

  • 2
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    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


OpenStreetMap and its search function is your friend here. You'd also want to tell us from which doccument you got those names, so we can help interpret what they mean, and maybe know how they are written in Cyrillic alphabet (if they are part of today's western Ukraine or Belarus - which were part of russian Poland back then)

  • Zytger - No place is named like that, and this name doesn't sound very polish to me, and I cannot find an obvious way to alter its spelling to create a polish name.
  • Stare Brzozowo exists in Mazovia. "Stare" means "old" in polish language. The new Brzozowo is just a neighbouring village, probably built after the old one obviously.
  • Three other villages, all three in Poldaskie, could be candidates : First, second third, but they do not seem have a specific "old" part, so it's less likely to be them. The other places named "Brzozowo" in modern day Poland weren't part of Congress Poland before WW1, and are thus ruled out. Without any more information, it is impossible for us to know which Brzozowo is yours
  • Prashnysh - Cannot possibly be a polish word with such a spelling, but a small town of Przasnysz exists in mazovia, likely what you were looking for.
  • Równe is a major city in modern western Ukraine, which was polish before World War II, very likely what you were looking for. (Although minor villages elsewhere also have this name)

In all cases, small villages might be missing completely from OSM, and some Ukrainian or Bielarussian villages might be missing their polish name, so this search is not complete, just a preview of the possibilities.

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    Please also bear in mind that 100 years is enough for small villages to completely disappear, making the search even more difficult.
    – skolima
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:51

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