I am trying to trace any information about August Kozirok, who emigrated about 1865 and settled in Chicago. His death certificate says his birthplace was Grosendorf, and I have found a town of that name in Schleswig-Holstein, but am not sure that it the correct place. Wherever August was from was an area that evidently passed back and forth between Prussia and Poland. In various census records August refers to his birthplace as Prussia (1880), Poland (1900, 1930), and Germany (1910, 1920) and his native language (and that of his parents)usually as Polish. However, his son, in all census records from 1900 - 1930 lists Germany and German as August's native country and language, and the Polish connection seems to have been forgotten.
Knowing that borders and place names in that region were constantly changing, is there any record of a Grosendorf closer to what is now Poland? I found a reference to a Grosendorf fortress near Gdynia in an article from 1939 about the German invasion, but can find no other mention, of a fortification in that area that might have had a more Polish name. Or, is it likely that a Polish speaking family would have been living in Schleswig-Holstein in the 1840's? It seems rather far to the west, but how much mobility was there in the regions encompassed by Prussia?