Make your own free website on

Home ] A - K Village Summaries ] K - Z Village Summaries ] Customs_Events ] Emigrants ] Kreis Map ] Kreis Web Sites ] Pommern Songs ] Occupations ] Polish_Words ] Pommern_Christmas ] Old Pommern Recipes ] Queries ] Surname Search ] [ Pommern Timeline ] Prussian Timeline ] Villages of Greifenberg ]

Kreis Greifenberg- A Kreis of the Duchy of Pommern


Pommern History


Earliest known history:  The Goths, a Germanic tribe, were living in what was to be Pomerania during the time of Christ. 

5th & 6th Century The Slavic tribes of Pomerani and Kasubi moved westward on the shores of the Baltic Sea and took over the area.  They called it Pomorze.
Teutonic Knights invited by Poland to conquer and Christianize the Prusi tribes.
1231-1287   Teutonic Knights conquered all of East Prussia and built a fortress.
1348-1365   Bubonic plague (black death) spread over Europe, killing over 25 million Europeans.
1410  Teutonic Knights were defeated by the Poles.
1450     About the time the Bible was printed in Latin.  180 printed, 48 survive.
1517    Martin Luther (1483-1546) wrote 95 theses which challenged the pope's  authority, start of  Protestant Reformation.
1541   Calvinist religion (Reformed) founded by John Calvin (1509-1564) in Geneva,  Switzerland.
1555       Peace of Augsburg allowed individual princes to dictate religion of his realm.
1563  Catholic priests are ordered to start recording baptism and marriage records.
1563    Counter-Reformation, Catholic attempt to regain lost members, land and church property.
1583    Catholic areas switch to Gregorian calendar, Prussia in 1612, last Protestant areas in 1700.
1618     Brandenburg received land along Baltic (Duchy of Prussia) later named East Prussia.
1618-1648   Thirty Years' War, a war between Catholics and Lutherans, ended as a war between Protestant princes against Holy Roman Empire.
1648   Peace of Westphalia to end Thirty Years' War.  Alsace became part of France.  Sweden received West Pomerania and parts of northwestern Germany.  Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist religions were allowed.
1700-1721 Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia over control of the Baltic Sea.  Denmark, Poland and Saxony were involved in the fighting.
1701  Ruler of Brandenburg became first "King in Prussia" in Königsberg.
1714  The ruler of Hanover became King of England.
1720  Landgrave of Hess became King of Sweden through marriage.  Stettin and the Oder River estuary returned to Prussia from Sweden.
1740-1748 Prussia seized Silesia from Austria during War of the Austrian Succession.
1756-1763    Seven Years' War, with Prussia against the alliance of Austria, France and Russia with Prussia as the victor.  Austria wanted the return of Silesia.  
1764-1767  Many Germans migrated to the Volga River region of Russia.
1772  First division of Poland by Prussia, Russia and Austria.  West Prussia (excluding Danzig and Thorn) and the Ermland are taken by Russia.         
1793     Second division of Poland by Prussia and Russia.  Posen, Danzig and Thorn was taken by Prussia.
1795  Third division of Poland by Prussia, Russia and Austria. Territory around Warsaw and as far as the Niemen passed to Prussia.  Poland ceased to exist now.
1804   Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) took over leadership of France as emperor after being counsel since 1799 
1806        The Holy Roman Empire of German Nation is dissolved along with all church properties.
1807  Prussia lost all land west of Elbe River and all land acquired in second and third partition of Poland after being defeated by the French army.  The Duchy of Warsaw was formed from Prussia's share of the second and third partition of Poland.
1808-1812  Jews ordered to take surnames.
1813 French troops invaded Russia.  Prussia, Austria, Russia and Great Britain united to defeat Napoleon.
1814    Sweden lost the last of German lands by trading Swedish Pomerania to Denmark in exchange for Norway.
1815            Denmark gave up Swedish Pomerania, which they just received, in exchange for Lauenburg.
1815     Congress of Vienna took Napoleon's gains in Germany and divided them among Austria, Prussia and Russia.
1815    German Confederation was formed with 39 states instead of some 300 independent territories as before.
1817    The Lutheran and Calvinist churches were united.
1833  Zollverein (Customs Union) created, allowing free trade among union members.
1838-1854    "Old Lutheran" emigration to the United States, Australia and some to Canada.
1840s  Railroad construction spread in Germany.
1848     Revolution caused by mass unemployment, poverty, famine, and years of bad crops.  The educated class, businessmen, students and professors had hoped for a unified government.
1850  Hamburg Passenger Lists begun for direct routes, 1855 for indirect routes.
1862     Otto von Bismarck became prime minister of Prussia and developed plans for a unified Germany.
1864  Prussian and Austrian armies took Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark, Prussia ruled Schleswig and Austria ruled Holstein until 1866.        
1866  Prussia defeated Austria in Seven Weeks' War.  Austria Permanently separated from Germany.
1870   During the Franco-Prussian War France was defeated which united all German territory.  Plans were drawn for the German Empire.  The King of Prussia became the German Emperor..
1871      The Second German Empire (Reich) was official unification of Germany.  Berlin became the capital.
1871  Alsace-Lorraine became part of German Empire as imperial land owned by the Empire.
1871   Bismarck became chancellor.
1874   Prussia started civil registration.
1885-1890   Castle Gardens opened in New York to receive immigrants.
1890   Bismarck dismissed as chancellor of German Empire.
1892     Ellis Island opened in New York Harbor.
1914-1918  World War I
1918   Alsace-Lorraine returned to France, and northern Schleswig returned to Denmark.  Most of Posen and most of 
 West Prussia went to newly formed Poland.  The Grenzmark Posen-Westpreussen formed as a buffer between
  new Poland and Germany.  Northern tip of East Prussia (Memel) to Lithuania, Eupen, Malmedy and Moresnet
  ceded to Belgium.
1919-1933   Weimar Republic was formed dissolving all monarchies in Germany and replacing them with free states.
1933-1945     The Third German Empire (Reich) headed by Adolf Hitler as Chancellor.
1939     German troops invaded Poland which led to World War II (1939-1945).
1945-1949      Germany occupied by allied troops in four zones (Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and the United States).
1947     The state of Prussia was dissolved.
1949       Germany split into German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and Federal Republic of Germany (West 
   Germany).  Bonn became the temporary capital of West Germany.
1961        Berlin Wall was constructed.
1990      Germany reunited as Federal Republic of Germany with 13 states and 3 city-states.

     Top of Page

         Home Page