Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Historical Geography
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"Swedish Pomerania (Swedish: Svenska Pommern; German: Schwedisch-Pommern) was a Dominion under the Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815, situated on what is now the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish War and the Thirty Years' War, Sweden held extensive control over the lands on the southern Baltic coast, including Pomerania and parts of Livonia and Prussia (dominium maris baltici).
Sweden, present in Pomerania with a garrison at Stralsund since 1628, had gained effective control of the Duchy of Pomerania with the Treaty of Stettin in 1630. At the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and the Treaty of Stettin in 1653, Sweden received Western Pomerania, or Vorpommern with the islands of Rügen, Usedom, and Wolin, and a strip of Eastern Pomerania, or Hinterpommern. The peace treaties were negotiated while the Swedish queen Christina was a minor, and the Swedish Empire was governed by members of the high aristocracy. As a consequence, Pomerania was not annexed to Sweden like the French war gains, which would have meant abolition of serfdom which since the Pomeranian peasant laws of 1616 was practiced there in its most severe form. Instead, it remained part of the Holy Roman Empire, making the Swedish rulers Reichsfürsten (imperial princes) and leaving the nobility in full charge of the rural areas and its inhabitants. While the Swedish Pomeranian nobles were subjected to reduction when the late 17th century kings regained political power, the provisions of the peace of Westphalia continued to prevent the pursuit of the uniformity policy in Pomerania until the Holy Roman empire was dissolved in 1806.
In 1679, Sweden lost most of her Pomeranian possessions east of the Oder river in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and in 1720, Sweden lost her possessions south of the Peene and east of the Peenestrom rivers in the Treaty of Stockholm. These areas were ceded to Brandenburg-Prussia and were integrated into Brandenburgian Pomerania. Also in 1720, Sweden regained the remainder of her dominion in the Treaty of Frederiksborg, which had been lost to Denmark in 1715. In 1814, as a result of the Napoleonic Wars Swedish Pomerania was ceded to Denmark in exchange for Norway in the Treaty of Kiel, and in 1815, as a result of the Congress of Vienna, transferred to Prussia." Read the whole article here
Swedish Sources[edit | edit source]
Riksarkivet - Stedingkska arkivet
This is a collection of documents and family histories for the Stedning family in Sweden and Swedish-Pomerania.
Church Books[edit | edit source]
G-Gruppen - List of what is available in the Vorpommern (Swedish Pomeranian) Area. On the bar in the left side of the page, choose "Pommern," in section #3 of the article that shows up, look for the link that says, "Beståndsöversikten över kyrkböcker." This is a list of parishes, and the dates that each parish covers.
Maps[edit | edit source]
Riksarkivet - Swedish Maps of Swedish-Pomerania
Webportal zur Landes- und Regionalgeschichte - Historical maps of Mecklenburg and Vorpommern
GeoGreif - Swedish cadastral maps
Land Records[edit | edit source]
After the Thirty Years War Sweden took possession of what is known today as “Vorpommern” with the islands Rügen and Usedom as well as other parts of Pomerania. In order to financially secure its power politics, the Swedes had a very effective and centralized tax system. The basis for this system was the knowledge of the land. Beginning in 1628, Gustav Adolf II had established a central cadastral office, the lantmäterrikontor which started to make detailed maps of farms, villages, towns, harbors etc.
After considerable difficulties to launch the same system in Swedish Pomerania, the surveying of the crown lands finally got underway in 1691. The initial survey lasted 7 years, but soon after needed revisions because waste lands became fertile and also needed to be surveyed.
The surveyors established so called “Urkarten” which were cleaned up by a second set of workers involved with these cadastral maps. Altogether 1,455 detailed maps of Swedish Pomerania were created. They contain details about a village or a manor with its political and ecclesiastical affiliation. Often former property owners are listed and particulars given when an estate was affected by natural disasters, wars or military occupation. These facts vary because not all surveyors were equally nosy and the population informative.
The surveys also reveal information about adjacent lands and all male population usually not the servants. They are listed in annotations under “Services”. Women are only named if they lead their own household, independent of house ownership or not.
In addition to the above the cadastral maps give information about acreage, topography, what is being planted, harvest yield, is there enough grass to feed the cattle, how about wood for building and kindling. Listed are also orchards, vegetable gardens and their quality. Streets, ponds and lakes with the amount of fish and reeds are all recorded.
The cadastral maps are a treasure trove for those who want details about local history. The maps are deposited in the Landesarchiv Greifswald. They have been scanned and are available online at GeoGrief. The menu on the left will open up the maps.
Online Resources[edit | edit source]
Gunthard Stübs, Hinterpommern - Great research of family history research on Pomerania. Including information about the churches that have archives, and what their collections are like.
Pommerndatenbank - here you can search for surnames, places, parishes, and street names in Pomerania.
FHL Collection[edit | edit source]
Vorpommern Marriage Register 1751-1791 - 943.81 K28s