The Wielkopolskie region or Wielkopolskie voivodship (in Polish, województwo wielkopolskie) is an administrative region of western-central Poland that was created in January 1999 out of the former Poznan, Kalisz, Konin, Pila and Leszno voivodships. The province's name recalls the region's traditional name of Greater (or Great) Poland (Wielkopolska).
It is second in area and third in population among the country's sixteen voivodships, with 29,826 sq. km. and 3.4 million inhabitants. Its principal cities are Poznan (population 575,000), Kalisz (107,000), Konin (84,000), Pila (77,000), Ostrów Wielkopolski (75,000), Gniezno (72,000) and Leszno (63,000).
Over the years, the geographic area occupied by the present day province of Wielkopolski has been know by a variety of names and with ever changing borders.
Prior to the most recent changes in the number and boundries of administrative districts (provinces) in January 1999, much of this area was known as the province of Poznan, one of 49 Polish administrative districts established in 1975. The original Province of Poznan (Posen in German) was much larger than that 1975 province which carried the same name. It included the 1975 province of Poznan and parts of seven other Polish provinces from the 1975 boundries: Bydgoszcz, Pila, Gorzow, Zielona Gora, Lesno, Kalisz, and Konin. C
The Province of Poznan had its roots in a geographical area of Poland known as Wielkopolska (or Great Poland).
This area dates back to the late 10th century and is known as the cradle of the Polish state. Poznan is the major city in Wielkopolska. As a result of the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, Wielkopolska was taken over by Prussia and underwent intensive Germanization.
From 1815-1848 the Prussian-occupied area of Wielkopolska was officially known as the Grand Duchy of Posen. However, the province was commonly known by the name of its capital city, Poznan. This has lead to some confusion and ambiguity with respect to genealogical research. The name Posen or Poznan (found in various records) can refer to the city, the older/larger Prussian province of Posen, or the current Polish province.
Thank you for your interest and sharing genealogical information with our project. Unfortunately, as Coordinator I am unable to do research requests and/or look-ups You may visit our Message Board and submit the information there. Good Luck with your research and remember that all research starts at your local public library.
Carol Dziedziula Dunn