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The history of “The List of awarded the Greater Poland Uprising Cross" project

WTG "Gniazdo" members working in The Archive of the President of the Republic of Poland
One of the main objectives of all the actions of the Greater Poland Genealogical Society GNIAZDO is to promote and popularize the historical knowledge in the society. We are interested not only in the history of our families, but also we place them in a specific realities and historical contexts. Our ancestors witnessed great historical events and participated in them directly, also in the Greater Poland Uprising. This extraordinary spurt of independence lived to see many studies, social initiatives and works of art, the Greater Poland Uprising Museum came into being in Poznan and the General Joseph Dowbor Muśnicki Museum of the Greater Poland Insurgents was established in Lusowo.

We should still remember about the only successful uprising in the polish history. This year we celebrate the 95th anniversary of this great event and we decided to make our own contribution in keeping the memory of the heroes.

In 2009, while we were visiting the Museum in Lusowo, we started to wonder how we can help to strengthen the knowledge of the Greater Poland Uprising in our society. On our forum we were exchanging our knowledge, photographs of insurgents’ gravestones, information about the battles in different regions of Greater Poland and biographies of our ancestors - Insurgents. This subject was current and it was being undertaken.

WTG "Gniazdo" members working in The Archive of the President of the Republic of Poland
And finally in October 2013 as a result of all the discussions it was proposed to create a list of insurgents participating in the uprising and in the end we decided to create a list of awarded the Greater Poland Uprising Cross, which had to be endorsed by relevant documents from the archives. The discussion was very enthusiastic but also full of questions and doubts. Now it was time for us to start. As a result of arrangements and discussions carried by Wojciech Jędraszewski and Mark Szymanski with the Director of The Archive of the President of the Republic of Poland, in January 2014 we received a permission to digitize all the acts and applications for the award. We filed to the City Hall in Poznan for a subsidy and received funds for stage I of the Project. We also asked local authorities of provinces where the insurgents’ actions took place, for supporting our operations. In April, after completing all the formalities and meeting a group of volunteers we began to digitize documents related to the Greater Poland Uprising Cross award. At the same time indexation was being continued. As a result of our work there is more than 50, 000 photographs, which are being systematically developed, indexed and placed on the project website.

On June 27th 2014, the website www.powstancy-wielkopolscy.pl was launched and the results were published there. This is the first stage of our work. This stage includes a list of names of awarded insurgents prepared on the basis of the resolutions of the Council of State and the provisions of the President of the Polish People's Republic (1989-1990) and the Presidents of Republic of Poland (1990-1999).

In the second stage, starting in the middle of July 2014, the list was supplemented with data obtained by digitizing and indexing applications for the awards, which means personal data (names of parents, place and date of birth) along with the description of the participation in the Greater Poland Uprising. We are currently checking and correcting all the data and the whole project will be officially launched on December 29th 2014.

As a result of our work there was created a database with great genealogical and historical meaning. Genealogical, because in many cases we managed to get additional information about the participants of the Uprising (such as date and place of birth, names and surnames of parents), and historical, because the description of the participation of individuals in the Greater Poland Uprising, contained in the applications for the awards, helps expand and complement the knowledge about its course.

The project allows you to search people by: name of the person awarded the Greater Poland Uprising Cross, place of birth of the awarded, name of the commander of the division, place where the battles were fought. The browser constructed in such way is user friendly and gives you the possibility to search the database from different angles.

The project is constantly supplemented with materials and photos submitted by the families of the insurgents, regionalists and the Insurgents Societies. In September 2014. we also started to add photos of the insurgents and their graves.

Supplementation of information and copies of applications

Project Organisers kindly ask to send photos of awarded insurgents, as well as their burial places. This will enrich our project. By submitting a photo, you agree to its free and perpetual use on the project’s website.

Detailed contact information can be found in the Contact section.

The license and third-party data terms of use

All data are available under the CC-BY 3.0 PL license which means that it is permitted to:

  • Copy and distribute portions of the list in any medium and format
  • Adapt and develop the list

It is important to provide a link to a website www.powstancy-wielkopolscy.pl and indicate the Greater Poland Genealogical Society "GNIAZDO" as the author of the project.

The project is attended by:

  • Implementation and project owner - The Greater Poland Genealogical Society “GNIAZDO”
  • Project initiator: Marek Szymanski
  • Project coordinator: Wojciech Jedraszewski
  • Administration: Jacek Piętka
  • Awards and uniforms consultant: Tadeusz Jeziorowski
  • People involved in the project (Digitization, indexation, proofreading, organisational matter): Magda Bartkowska, Barbara Cywińska, Wojciech Derwich, Mariusz Formanowicz, Maciej Głowiak, Marek Hałas, Marzena Jasińska, Elżbieta Jędraszewska, Wojciech Jędraszewski, Ewa Kabat, Leokadia Kaczmarek, Helena Krajewska, Katarzyna Krüger, Sławomir Łubiński, Liliana Molenda, Marek Moder, Liliana Molenda, Katarzyna Otto, Michał Pawełczyk, Jacek Piętka, Danuta Połomska, Marian Przybylski, Ewa Rembikowska, Kazimierz Robaszkiewicz, Andrzej Siwiński, Piotr Skałecki, Marek Szymański, Jolanta Wodzik, Jakub Wojtczak
  • Technical support (indexing software, web page): Piotr Skałecki, Maciej Głowiak

Abbreviations used in the descriptions

In the data contained in the applications for the Greater Poland Uprising Cross, the following abbreviations were used:

  • 1 pal (p.a.l.) - 1 pułk artylerii lekkiej [The 1st Light Artillery Regiment]
  • 2 pac (p.a.c.) - 2 pułk artylerii ciężkiej [The 2nd Heavy Artillery Regiment]
  • 1 pap (p.a.p.) - 1 pułk artylerii polowej [The 1st Field Artillery Regiment]
  • 55 pp (p.p.) - 55 pułk piechoty [The 55th Infantry Regiment]
  • 1 p. Strz. Wlkp. - 1 pułk Strzelców Wielkopolskich [The 1st Greater Poland Rifle Regiment]
  • 15 p.u. - 15 pułk ułanów [The 15th Poznan Uhlans Regiment]
  • AP Poznań - Archiwum Państwowe w Poznaniu [The State Archives in Poznan]
  • CAW (C.A.W.) - Centralne Archiwum Wojskowe [The Central Military Archives]
  • DOK VII - Dowództwo Okręgu Korpus VII [Corps District Command number VII]
  • GG - Generalne Gubernatorstwo [The General Governorate]
  • PGRN - Prezydium Gminnej Rady Narodowej [The Presidium of the Municipal National Council]
  • PKU - Powiatowa Komisja Uzupełnień [Provincial Draft Office]
  • POW - Polska Organizacja Wojskowa [The Polish Military Organisation]
  • RKU - Rejonowa Komisja Uzupełnień [Regional Draft Office]
  • RH - Referat Historyczny [The Historical Department]
  • WP - Wojsko Polskie [The Polish Army]
  • ZSRR - Związek Socjalistycznych Republik Radzieckich [The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics]
  • Kpt. – kapitan [captain]
  • Mjr – major [major]
  • Płk – pułkownik [colonel]
  • Ppłk – podpułkownik [lieutenant colonel]
  • Por. – porucznik [lieutenant]
  • Ppor. – podporucznik [secon lieutenant]