Settlement of emigrants from Bamberg in villages near Poznan started in 1719 and continued until the 1860s. The colonists became the permanent feature of the cultural landscape of Poznan and its outskirts. They have contributed new elements and have strengthened those, which have been dominant here for a long time - diligence, frugality, and religiousness. The similarity of Bamberg colonists to the local population (mostly Catholic farmers) was significant in the Polonization process, which was completed very quickly. In later centuries the descendants of the emigrants frequently proved their dedication to Poland; however, they never forgot their roots. The article describes the situation of the first generations of the settlers from Bamberg. Its reconstruction was possible thanks to the documents available in the State Archives in Poznan: rent payer records, applications to settle controversies over property and inheritance, accusations of fisticuffs, forensic examination, registers of farms, registers of village administrators and lay judges, property taxes, inheritance documents, wills, purchase-sale agreements, and marriage settlements. The archives provide an insight into the economic situation of the settlers, ethnic relations, adaptation process and directions of their subsequent migrations. The documents provided a lot of information, which was not available to date. It turned out, for example, that the emigrants did not constitute one group. For a number of years there were many more conflicts between the Bamberg colonists themselves than between the Bamberg colonists and the Polish inhabitants. The documents helped to trace how the farmers, descendants of the emigrant families, became rich and how they were promoted socially. They also provided a lot of information about their everyday life, and the problems that the colonists had to cope with.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.