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© Douglas Hykle
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Tluste Households - 1858 / early 1900s

The following is a preliminary compilation and analysis of plots and building locations in Tluste. Among other things, the presentation reveals the high concentration of Jewish households in the centre of town and their limited occurrence elsewhere; the affluence of the local Polish nobleman, at least in terms of his extensive landholdings; the relatively generous treatment accorded the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic clergy, and the rather extensive system of agricultural plots owned primarily by Ukrainians and Poles. The information has been used in the first instance to identify the precise locations of some 135 Jewish households in 1879, to document the names of heads of households at that time, and to point out a number of key features of the town.

Click on the map below to view an enlarged, detailed map of plots and building locations in Tluste, which has been carefully constructed using archival information available from 1858 to the early 1900s. As will be explained below, it is based on a composite of two maps with very similar characteristics, separated in time by about a half century.

  Detailed map of plots and building locations in Tluste in 1858/early 1900s  

Composite map of plots and building locations in Tluste - 1858 / early 1900s

Click to view an enlarged map in new window and click again to zoom



The underlying (base) map is actually a refined version of a very detailed, precise map of plots and building locations in Tluste, estimated to have been produced between about 1900 and 1912, on file at the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv (ref. Fond 186, Opus 14, Sprava 89).

The presumed time frame has been determined by certain features included in the map, namely the right-of-way for the railway, which was completed around 1899, and the outline of the old Greek Catholic church in the centre of town, which was demolished around 1912 to make way for construction of a new edifice.

While the original map (shown here) gives no information whatsoever about house numbers, its precise illustration of individual buildings and associated plots makes it extremely valuable.

Map of Tluste on file at Central State Historical Archives 
                    of Ukraine


The early 20th century base map, described above, excludes most of the western extremity of Tluste, more or less where the railway bisects the town. To compensate for this important omission, a portion of a cadastral map dating from 1858 has been appended to the base map, after some processing to remove extraneous detail. The extra portion makes up about 30 percent of the entire composite map, starting from the left hand side.

That this seamless merging of two maps separated by 50 years in time is possible attests to the fact that for about two centuries the configuration of plots – and, to a lesser extent, the locations of individual buildings – within Tluste has remained fairly constant. While the extent of correspondence has diminished over time, a very high correlation is still evident when one compares the mid-19th century map with aerial photographs of the town taken in the 1940s. Even comparing the earliest known map of Tluste, a partial cadastral map dating from about 1828, to a modern map of the town produced after 2000, one can still discern similar patterns and shapes of plots.

To summarise, a map comprising two merged sections (one part from the early 1900s, the other from 1858) has been used as a foundation on which to add other features which are described below.

Guide to the map contents

The most important annotation made to the composite base map is the indication of building and land parcel numbers, which have been derived from two cadastral maps on file at the State Archives of Ternopil Oblast. The first of these is a beautiful, colour map produced in 1858 during the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the second is a much plainer, updated map which is thought to have been produced in the late 1890s, since it shows a faint outline of where the new railway line would be situated.

  Tluste Cadastral Map - 1858   Tluste Cadastral Map - 1899    
Cadastral Map of Tluste - 1858
Cadastral Map of Tluste - ca. 1899

Like the base map from the early 20th century, both of the earlier 19th century maps show individual buildings and plots; and, most importantly, they also reveal details of the building and plot numbers. Thanks to consistency in the layout of plots and buildings from one period to another, it was possible to transpose the numbers from the earlier maps (i.e. 1858 and ca. 1899) onto the early 20th century base map. These numbers were often difficult to read, however, and a painstaking process of comparison between all three maps was needed to arrive at result that is considered to be highly accurate and about 90 percent complete.

With reference to the large composite map shown above:

Water bodies, shown in light blue, include the unmistakable large reservoir to east of the main north-south thoroughfare that divides Tluste, the narrow Dupa “river” (more like a stream) flowing into and out of the reservoir; as well as various smaller channels flowing in different directions.

Roads are shaded in brown, and the right-of-way for the railway, completed around 1899, is clearly shown as a wide strip in the upper left hand portion of the early 20th century base map. It is interrupted where it meets the adjoining 1858 map, where it is depicted instead by two dashed lines.

Yellow shading is used to indicate buildings associated with each of the three religious faiths represented in Tluste: Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, and Jewish. That is to say, churches, synagogues, and residences and associated buildings of their respective spiritual leaders. Catholic and Jewish cemeteries are highlighted in bright green.

Red is used to indicate the residence and other buildings associated with the Polish nobleman of Tluste who, in 1858, was Fürst (Prince) Kalikst Poninski. Some, but not all of his land holdings, are also denoted with lighter red shading.

Grey shading is used to indicate households which, according to the names appearing in a separate list of heads of households dating from 1879 were in all probability Jewish. The relevant reference is on file at the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv (ref. Fond 186, Opus 1, Sprava 8736). Shading to differentiate between Polish and Ukrainian households has not yet been attempted. While it is virtually certain that the houses shaded in grey were Jewish households, the same cannot be said for the converse (ie. that houses without any shading were non-Jewish). Most of this uncertainty will be removed once the Ukrainian and Polish households have been thoroughly documented.

Individual building numbers, shown in small blue font, are usually placed within the borders of the building with which they are associated. Occasionally, a question mark “?” is used to denote uncertainty about the number or location; square brackets are used to indicate a building that appeared in an earlier map but was no longer present in the early 1900s.

Plot numbers, shown in large grey outline font, are shown only for large parcels of land, which are sometimes subdivided into smaller sections. Very faint shading has been added to help distinguish a parcel comprising multiple sections from an adjacent parcel. Note that while plot numbers are usually sequential, occasionally the sequence is interrupted. Plot numbers also exist for much smaller pieces of land, such as gardens or land completely occupied by a dwelling, but these have not been depicted to avoid cluttering the map.

Short connecting lines (squiggles) on the map are presumed to indicate buildings and pieces of land that are associated (i.e. that belong to the same household).

Key features on the map

For purposes of analysing the contents of the composite map, and the 1879 heads of household list, it may be helpful to divide the main map into smaller areas that have some geographic affinity, as shown in the following multi-coloured representation.

  Zoned map of Tluste


The subdivisions are somewhat arbitrary but they could be indicative, to some extent, of how households in different parts of the town interacted with one another – or did not interact very much – on account of physical or man-made barriers, or cultural/religious differences.

The ten zones shown on the map may be described as follows:


Teal Blue

Town centre, to the west of the main north-south thoroughfare, with the Greek Catholic (Ukrainian) church at its core
CE Blue Town centre, to the east of the main thoroughfare, with two significant loci: the Roman Catholic (Polish) church and the main Jewish synagogue
E Pink Area to the east of the large reservoir and the northern part of the Dupa river
N Purple Area to the north of the town centre, bordering the main road heading in the direction of Chortkov
S Navy Blue Area to the south of the reservoir, and associated with the main road that begins to lead southward, in the direction of Zaleszczyki
SW Jade Area to the southwest of the town centre, bounding the main arterial road leading to Rozanowka
W Copper Area to the west of the town centre, bounded by streams to the north and east, and intersected by a road leading westward towards agricultural plots
W+ Green Continuation of the W area, separated from the rest of town by the railway line
NW Brass Area to the northwest of the town centre, bounded by the Catholic cemetery to the north and a stream to the south
NW+ Orange Continuation of the NW area, separated from the rest of town by the railway line.

Analysis of the household information

We return now to the base map, which highlights a number of buildings and areas known to exist in 1858 – the one exception being railway station completed around 1899, which has also been marked. The legend at the bottom left hand side of the map lists these features, some of which are described in more detail in the text that follows (or elsewhere on this website).

An analysis of the 1879 archival records reveals approximately 275 unique households in Tluste, which may be interpreted as discrete family units. (About 30 individuals who were apparently associated with multiple properties have not been counted more than once.) An examination of first and last names among these heads of household indicates, with a high degree of certainty, that about 50 percent of them (approximately 135) were Jewish.

This seems to be at odds with other demographic data indicating that, from 1880 to 1900, Jews represented about two-thirds of the population of Tluste. In 1880, for example, out of a total population of 3285 individuals, 2225 were recorded as Jewish. No explanation is immediately available to account for the apparent discrepancy in the proportions, which might be attributed to larger Jewish family sizes compared to gentile households (thus making a larger contribution to the total population for the same number of households); or additional Jewish residents who were not accounted for in the 1879 list. For the time being, if the census data are accurate, the only conclusion that one can draw is that Jewish and non-Jewish households averaged about 16.5 and 7.5 individuals per household, suggesting a marked difference in family size and structure.

In any case, one of the most striking features that one observes from the composite map is that, of the 135 Jewish households in Tluste, approximately 70 percent were concentrated in the centre of town, as evidenced by the large number of gray-shaded buildings (i.e. houses and/or shops) in the C and CE zones described above. A smattering of Jews did live in other areas, but they were very much an exception to the rule. About 40 households are found in a half-dozen other areas; but almost no Jews lived in the west, northwest or east of town. Similarly, while a small number of gentiles (Poles and Ukrainians) did live and/or own shops amongst Jewish households in the centre of town, they were a very small minority.

The 1879 household list provides information on the sizes of many dwellings, with fairly comprehensive coverage for the town centre. Pending further investigation, the values given are assumed to be in square meters, however it is not clear whether this represents the full size of the house/shop or only its “footprint” on the ground. It is presumed that a building might have had a second story or an attic that was not differentiated in the figures. The building sizes generally ranged along a uniform continuum from about 20 to 120 square meters, with some small and large outliers beyond each end of this scale. The average house/shop size would have been about 50 square meters. The 1879 list also confirms that some Jews – around 25 percent – did own land apart from that on which their house/shop stood, but the plots were relatively small compared to those owned by Ukrainians and Poles.

A second prominent feature that stands out from the map is the number of buildings and land possessed by the Polish nobleman Poninski, indicated with two shades of red. They include a large estate in the southern part of town (which would later be transformed into a work camp, when Tluste came under German occupation), several large buildings in the central market area, the cinema and at least two flour mills.

The Greek Catholic priest lived on a fairly large property on the main road, just north of the reservoir, which included a large house and barns/sheds for keeping animals and storing feed. His Roman Catholic counterpart lived on an even larger estate, with numerous buildings, located just beyond the southeast corner of the reservoir. The actual property can be seen in a rare sketch estimated to date from the 1880s. The main residence still stands on the exact same location today, albeit after some transformation.

Tluste’s orthodox rabbi is thought to have occupied a large two story building (still standing today) close to the “bridge” that joins the southern part of town with the centre. While it is marked as such on the map, definitive information on its location is missing from the 1879 list of households and associated cadastral map.

It is worth mentioning that several dozen households, perhaps 50 or more, beyond the southern limit of Tluste proper are not shown on the map under review and are not included in any of the statistics presented above. Technically these households – located on the main road leading to Zaleszczyki and the arterial road leading to the nearby village of Holowcynce – were part of the neighbouring community of Tluste Wies. For all intents and purposes, however, these households were no different than any others in Tluste proper and were not geographically separated in any way. Tluste Wies is nonetheless relevant to a discussion of life in Tluste, as many of its residents are thought to have been Jewish and would have added to the totals mentioned above.

Finally, the area designated as SW (southwest) is not as well documented as the others, mainly because the building and plot numbers on copies of both the 1858 and 1899 maps are almost illegible. Review of the original maps might help to discern some of these households, which are thought to be a mixture of Poles, Ukrainians and some Jews.

Alphabetical listing of Jewish households - 1879

Using the 1879 list of households, including building and plot numbers, one can identify all of the Jewish households in Tluste about 130 years ago. It may never been known whether there were other Jewish families living in Tluste at the time who did not appear in the list of households, for whatever reason, but given that most of the individual buildings in the town have been identified, their number is likely to be small.

What can this information tell us (or not tell us)? It is important to note that the 1879 list, which appears to be the latest extant official record of individual Jewish households in Tluste, is not a census. It only provides information on the head of the household, who was usually – but not always – male. No details of other family members occupying the same dwelling are given. In the absence of information passed down from generation to generation, perhaps the most useful contribution of the 1879 list, is that it may reveal previously unknown names of grandfathers or great-grandfathers.

In the interest of facilitating family connections to the past, a complete alphabetical listing of the heads of Jewish households in Tluste in 1879 follows. If you would like to know exactly where a particular household was located, please feel free to contact me using the Feedback page.

NB: names are written as they appear in the 1879 household list, including small variations in spelling which may differ from current usage.

 ABOSZ, Szendel  HORNIG, Leizor  RIENISZ, Leib Szaja
 ASZKINAS, Szymon  HOROWITZ, Aron  RIZEL, Mortko
 BADLER, Antszel  KIMELMAN, Hersz Mortko  SCHACHNER, Mortko
 BADLER, Eisig  KLEIN, Szymon  SCHECHNER, Mojsie
 BADLER, Feige  KLUGER, Szloma  SCHECHNER, Szloma
 BADLER, Jankiel  KLÜGER, Leib  SCHECHNER, Szmul
 BADLER, Reifla  KRAMER, Hersch  SCHECHNER, Yosel
 BADLER, Reise  KUTNER, Mojzesz?  SECHNER, Yankel
 BRAUN, Emanuel  LANG, Hiller  SETTER, Kalman
 BRUCKNER, Abraham  LANG, Leib  SIGAL, Abraham
 BUCHHALTER, Leib Szmil  LANG, Selig  SILBER, Szloma
 BUCHHALTER, Nuta?  LANG, Szlomo  SPITZER, Kopel Leib
 DANTER, Mortko  LANGHOLZ, Chaim  SPITZER, Motio
 EISIG, Chaskel  LANGHOLZ, Gabriel  STERNLEIB, Icyk
 ETLINGER, Leib Mojzen  LANGHOLZ, Szapse  STERNLEIB, Michal
 FIDER, Srul / Szmil  LUBLIN, Chaim  STOLAR, Kalman
 FIDERER, Berl  MAIMAN, Getzel  STUP, Aaron
 FIDERER, Handel  MAJMAN, Lejsor  STUP, Hibel
 FIDERER, Szmil  MAIMAN, Menie  STUP, Model?
 FIDERER, Yosel Chaim  MAJMAN, Mortka  STUP, Srul
 GABA, Abraham  MAJMANN, Götzel  SZENKELBACH, Mendel
 GABA, Majer  MAJMANN, Izak Abraham  SZMELCER, Szmaja
 GERTNER, Aron  MAJMANN, Mortko  SZTENZLER, Szaja Berl
 GERTNER, Manie  MELCER, Kolman Motio  SZWARTZ, Hersch
 GERTNER, Szymon  MELTZER, Motio  TAIWER, Hersch
 GRABSTEIN, Major Icyk  METZGER, Uszer  TAIWER, Icyk
 GRIL, Mendel  MEZGER, Izak  TAIWER, Motel
 HALPERN, Dwora  NADLER, Ello  TEPER, Chaim Leib
 HARTMAN, Szmul  NAGLER, Chaim  TEPPER, Antszel
 HARTMANN, Basia  NEJFELD, Majer  TOIVER?, Chaim
 HELLER, Etie  NEUMANN, Bycia / Benjamin  WEINBERGER, Jakób
 HESSING, Alter  OSIAS, Elenbogen  WEISCHEL, Mojzesc
 HESSING, Leib  PFEFER, Hersch  WOLF, Abraham
 HESSING, Simon  PLACKER, Salamon  YUDA, Ello
 HESSING, Yosel  POPIEL, Simion  
 HORING?, Antszel  PREISMAN, Hersch  
 HORNIG, Jacób Wolf  RAJNISZ?, Hersch  

Obviously, the information from 1879 cannot be used to determine who was living in Tluste at the onset of World War II, some 60 years (or about three generations) later. However, other independent sources of contemporary information can, and sometimes do, reveal links in individual household/plot occupation between 1879 and 1939. For example, the 1879 list indicates that Chaim Langholz occupied building number 261, adjacent to the residence of the Greek Catholic priest; and it is known from independent interviews with Tluste survivors that a Langholz family lived in a house on the very same plot during the war.

It is probably more often the case that Jewish families who lived in Tluste in 1879 and remained there for several generations, moved into other dwellings as their personal situations changed. So, for example, one can find a family name associated with a particular house in 1879 represented at another location in 1939, with a fairly high probability that there is some connection between them. Indeed, dozens of surnames appearing in the 1879 list can be identified among the Jewish victims recorded in the Sefer Tluste memorial volume published in 1961, suggesting that these families had lived in the town for several generations.

The Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine has an even older record of Tluste households dating from 1828 (ref. Fond 186, Opus 1, Sprava 8737). A cursory review of that list reveals several Jewish surnames which were associated with Tluste, virtually without interruption, for over one hundred years until the onset of World War II. They include names such as Fiderer, Gertner, Hertman, Langholz, Nadler, Reinisz, and Stupp.

This preliminary research, focussing primarily on Jewish households in Tluste, has only scratched the surface of what can be done with this and other archival material; and it will be continued in more breadth and depth as time permits.