RESEARCH 2012-2015 POST 20 SPURGATS IN KONIGSBURG ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICT

Konigsberg Administrative District

The northern half of the Kӧnigsberg Administrative District is now Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. The southern half is now in Poland. The Russian-Polish border cuts through the middle of Prussian Eylau and other points east and west.

Kӧnigsberg is about 170 kilometers from Wylkowiszki. The greater distance makes it less likely that people with the Spurgat name from the western part of East Prussia migrated as far east as the Prussian-Russian border, yet the Spurgat name is found in five additional Kreise: the city of Kӧnigsberg, Kreis Fischhausen, Kreis Friedland, Kreis Ortlesberg, and Kreis Prussian Eylau.

Konigsberg

Kӧnigsberg was the home of the Teutonic Knights, the first “German” occupiers of these Prussian lands. As the capital city, it was a strategic seaport from the early 15th century, and the cultural, educational, artistic, and political center of East Prussia. The Baltic Sea is northwest.

One Spurgat was listed in the Kӧnigsberg address book in 1888.

  Kreis Fischhausen

After the reorganization of Prussia after the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Kreis Fischhausen was created on February 1, 1818, in the Kӧnigsberg Administrative District. Kreis Fischhausen existed until 1939.

One man named Spurgat from the village of “Roughened” (most likely translated incorrectly) was wounded in April 1916 and died two months later according to a World War I Casualty List. The name of “Roughened” in the Kaliningrad Oblast was not identified, but a village named Rogehnen, four kilometers from Medenau was identified.

Today Rogehnen is known as Logvino in the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.

Kreis Friedland

After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Kreis Friedland became part of the Kingdom of Prussia on February 1, 1818. It retained that name until 1927 when it was renamed Kreis Bartenstein. In 1945 it became part of the Soviet Union.

Two Spurgats were born in Puschkeiten, one before 1825 and the other in 1845, perhaps a father and a son.

Today Puschkeiten is known as Sosnovka. It is located about five kilometers from Domnau which is known as Domnowo. The Lutheran parish is in Stockheim.

The current border between the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, and Poland cuts through what was Kreis Friedland.

Kreis Ortlelsburg

Kreis Ortlelsburg is southwest of Kreis Goldap. Spurgats were located here in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Prior to 2010 a descendant of a Spurgat family who had lived in the city of Ortlelsburg contacted Mike Spurgat, another Spurgat researcher.  Spurgats were found in both centuries, certainly suggesting a pattern of family relationships.

The only other location, Schwentainen, east of Ortlelsberg, was the home of one Spurgat who was listed on a World War I Casualty List in July 1915.

Today Ortelsberg is known as Szczynto and is located in the Warminsko-Mazurskie region of northeastern Poland just south of Kaliningrad Oblast.

Kreis Prussian Eylau

Kreis Prussian Eylau is located just west of Kreis Friedland, later Kreis Bartenstein.

Spurgats from 1849 to 1874 were located in Abschwangen, today Tilsano/Kastanova, the  Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.

The current border between the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, and Poland cuts through what was Kreis Prussian Eylau.

 

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RESEARCH 2012-2015 POST 19 SPURGATS IN THE 19th and 20th Centuries

Over 70 people with my -at name (and its few variations) in the 19th and 20th centuries have been located in the former East Prussia in the Gumbinnen and Konigsberg Administrative Districts. Someday there may be a connection to the three 19th century families from Wylkowiszki in the Russian Empire who immigrated to the United States between 1905 and 1908.

These sources include what was published in my 2010 book; this information has not been posted on the blog

 Many articles from German language genealogical publications from 1927 to the present time; see https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/german-language-genealogical-periodicals-altpreussische-geschlechterkunde/

The International Genealogical Index (IGI); https://familysearch.org/search/collection/igi

350,000 (mainly East Prussian) name index known as The Quassowski  Index; www.westpreussen.de/vffow/register/quassowski/

A website of ten online German databases; http://meta.genealogy.net/search/index

Books and other printed sources. See various posts https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com

Specific locations in the seven kreise where people with my –at name lived in the Gumbinnen Administrative District are presented in the geographical proximity they were researched— Kreis Stalluponen, Kreis Gumbinnen, Kreis Insterburg, Kreis Darkehmen, Kreis Goldap, Kreis Ragnit, and Kreis Pillkallen.

 http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Ostpreu%C3%9Fen/Genealogische_Quellen/Kirchbuchbest%C3%A4nde_

Kreis_Ebenrode_%28Stallup%C3%B6nen%29.. This series of easy to read maps shows only the locations of the Lutheran church records for the parishes identified on each map and not all the locations in each kreis.

and

https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/east-prussian-gazetteers-part-i/ a description of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers: Kingdom of Prussia—Province of East Prussia III REGIERUNGSBEZIRK GUMBINNEN. They are excellent.

Gumbinnen Administrative District

Kreis Stallupӧnen

Kreis Stallupӧnen is directly west of Wylkowiszki. The area to the east is present day Lithuania. Eydtkuhnen, the first clue I was given as to the possible East Prussian location of the birth of the father of one of the three  -at immigrants, and a location that was also known to her grandfather, is a border crossing.

A Spurga (no final t) was located in Kattenau, but no other people with my –at surname have been found in the following parish registers: Bilderweitschen, Eydtkuhnen, Enzuhnen, Goritten, Mehlkehmen, and Stallupӧnen. The result of this two year search appears to be a family story that cannot be proved with records.

Additionally, research including the maternal names of Ber (Berz), Gudat (Guddat), Henning, Keller, Kuczynska, Raudinat, and  Walat (Wallat) have not resulted in any direct leads.

Kreis Gumbinnen

Spurgats were located in the city of Gumbinnen, today Gusev, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, and two other locations in Kreis Gumbinnen in the 19th century.

In the Gerischkehmen parish two Spurgat names were also located on a marriage index in 1813 and 1815, (FHL INTL Film 1812746, Item 4), but not in the birth or death index. The marriage records were not on the film. Today Gerischkehmen is known as Priozernoe, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.

In the Nemmersdorf parish two Spurgat births in 1806 and 1807 (FHL INTL Film 1812658) and one death in 1806 (FHL INTL Film 1812660, Item 3) were located in Szublacken, today Luzki, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. A marriage in 1837 (FHL INTL Film 1812746, Item 2) was located in Tutteln, today Sycevo, Kaliningrad Oblast,  Russia.

Kreis Insterburg

The Spurgat name was located in the city of Insterburg and two other locations in the Insterburg parish: Kummetschen, today Zelenyj Bor, and Jessen, today Solovevo, both in the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.

In the Pelleninken parish two variations of the Spurgat name have appeared. In Pelleninken, today Zagorskoe, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, a Christoph Spurat (without a “g”) was located. In Neunischken, today Privolnoe, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, a Christup “Spurga” (no “t”) was also located. More research will clarify the pertinence of these surname variations.

See  https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/research-2012-2015-post-17-spurgat-research-in-kreis-insterburg/ for  more information on Spurgats in Kreis Insterburg in the 18th century.

 Research in the Insterburg parish is ongoing.

Kreis Darkehmen

One Spurgat was located in Kreis Darkehmen.

Szilchen, the village associated with the Spurgat name, was not located on any map. (Two other nearby locations with similar spellings–Szallgirren and Szabienen– were determined not to be the correct village.)

Spurgats identified in nearby locations include: Didlacken, Kreis Insterburg, in the northwest and Goldap, Kreis Goldap, in the southeast, both sharing partial borders with Kreis Darkehmen.

Kreis Goldap

Two families of Spurgats were identified in the city of Goldap in the mid 19th century.

A Spurgat was also identified in Regellen. A third possible location of a Spurgat was Schillinen.

Tollmingkehmen and Gawaiten are now in the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. Gross Rominten and Goldap are now in Poland.

Kreis Ragnit

Kreis Ragnit has had many boundary changes: in 1818 the Congress of Vienna established borders from surrounding areas, north and south of the Neman/Nemanus (Memel) River. In 1875 and 1876 three more rural municipalities were added to Kreis Ragnit.

In 1920 after the Treaty of Versailles a Kreis Pogenen was formed from some areas of Kreis Tilsit and Kreis Ragnit. In 1922 areas south of the Neman (Memel) River were organized into Kreis Tilsit-Ragnit. Areas north of the river became part of Lithuania where the villages of Szugken/Zukai, Wischwill/Viesvile and Schmalleningken/Smalininkai are still in what was known as Lithuania Minor.

Spurgats have been located in Szugken and Schmalleningken.

Today areas south of the river are in the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.

 Kreis Pillkallen

The city of Pillkallen and the parish of Kussen are identified locations.

A few Spurgats lived in Kreis Pillkallen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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RESEARCH 2012-2015 SPURGAT RESEARCH EAST PRUSSIA KREIS TILSIT

Kreis Tilsit Tilsit was founded in 1365. Germans had been living there for a very long time. The borders of Tilsit as a city and a kreis changed throughout history. The district of Tilsit existed from 1818 to 1922. The district of Tilsit-Ragnit existed from 1922 to 1945. Tilsit is on the south side of the Memel (now the Nemunas/Neman) River with the  Queen Louise Bridge connecting to Lithuania. There was a Lithuanian Lutheran Church, a German Lutheran Church, and a Reformed church, perhaps suggesting a large number of Scots. The city of Tilsit is now known as Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.   1703 Hans Spurgait  

Altpreussische Geschlechterkunde is a German language genealogical periodical.  The title is variously translated as “Old Prussian Genealogy,” “The Study of Generations,” or simply “Family Research.” The online search engine on their website www.vffow-buchverkauf.de/…/apgfa.php helps the researcher find articles of interest, many of which have lists of names, locations, and dates. Three articles contained the Spurgat name. Most prominent was Von Horst Kenkel, Volume 10, 1977-1978, pages 106 and 111.

The oldest record with the Spurgat name was located in a “List of the young [body of men or troops], who have been found, recorded and enlisted* in the month of July 1703 at the Royal City Tilse.”  The entry of Hans Spurgait is significant because it is the earliest Spurgat entry found to date, the record of a Spurgat born in the 17th century, circa 1684, and perhaps an indication that some people named  Spurgat were of the craftsmen class. The list is broken into groups where the employer is listed first. In Hans Spurgait’s case, his employer was George Hintz, jun. who had two apprentices enlisted.

The entry looks similar to a baptismal or marriage record. The abbreviation S.d. means Sohn des Bleichers Joachim S., son of the bleacher Joachim S.[purgait]; the abbreviation gb. Tilse means geboren Tilse, born in Tilse, i. e. Tilsit; 19 J. means 19 Jahr, that he is 19 years old; Hutmacherjunge means his profession is that of a hatter youth, helper, or apprentice.

Most of the locations included above are easily located on http://www.kartenmeister.com which provides a brief history of the location, the nearest Lutheran parish, the kreis (county), and a link to Google Maps at https://.maps.google/com which shows the current locations in Lithuania, Poland, and the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. See https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/kartenmeister/

The –at Name in the 19th and 20th Centuries The next posts will examine the results of locating the  –at name in the 19th and 20th centuries. These are less likely to be the ancestors of my -at family, but for researchers these locations are clues to collateral lines.

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RESEARCH 2012-2015 Post 17 SPURGAT RESEARCH IN KREIS INSTERBURG

Kreis Insterburg

 1736 Pritzkus Spurgatis

 Peasants and Tenants of Northeast Prussia about 1736 is an indexed publication by Horst Kenkel which lists groups of individuals recorded in June 1736 in the four Hauptamter (Main Offices) in the District Litauen (Lithuanian District) in the Gumbinnen Administrative District of East Prussia.  The original title Amtsbauernund Kӧlmer im nӧrdlichen Ostpreussen um 1736: nach der “Repeuplierung” des Distrikts Litauen. Nach der Generaltabelle und den Repeuplierungstabellen translates as “Peasants [statute farming laborers] and tenants [free landholders] in northern East Prussia for 1736 after the repopulation of the Lithuanian districts from the general table and the repopulation tables.”

The book also included a General Table of those charged [taxed] until the last of June 1736 in the Lithuanian Department on the hides of land [of] the Salzburgers, (The “recognized” Salzburgers in the Prussian-Lithuanian district are listed first.) then the Swiss, the Nassauians [Nassau-ites?], and other Germans as well as Lithuanians by how many were good or bad managers [or house/land keepers or hosts]. The numbers indicate the ownership of land in hides and morgens, e.g., 1.20 = 1 hide and 20 morgens; the “g” means “good host”; the “s” means “bad host.”

A ‘hide’ was the amount of land that could be cultivated by a single plowman and was considered to be the amount of land needed to support a family. It was more or less standardized to be around 120 acres but could vary widely depending on local land conditions. Listed under the General Table of Hauptamter (main offices) in (Kreis) Insterburg in the Amt. (office) of Gaudischkehmen, also known as Didlacken ( 23.6), was Pritzkus Spurgatis. Pritzkus Spurgatis is listed as living in Kraupischkehmen along with nine other men, five of whose last name is written as –atis! He had 15 Morgen and was a poor (or bad) manager of the land.                                                                            

The quality of the land Pritkus Spurgat owned may have been a factor in whether or not it was well-managed.  The description of the land of Pritzkus Spurgatis is given as 0.15, the least amount of land recorded. (Many entries described the amount of land as between 1 and 2.) Of the 93 men listed in the Amt. (office) of Gaudischkehmen (Didlacken 23.6), the surnames of 41 men (a substantial minority of about 40 %) were spelled either –at, -atis, -ait, or -aitis.

An astute observer noted:

Pritzkus is the Lithuanian version of Friedrich and the short variation of “Fritz.” It does not sound German at all. Other entries from the same 1736 Famers and Tenants list included the Spurga name. Because the sources consulted do not list the –a suffix as a Baltic name, those individuals are not included here as a variation of the Spurgat name. Today Didlacken is known as Svoboda, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.  1740 to 1758 “Spurgatis “from Kraupischkehmen FHL microfilm revealed that the “Spurgatis” name (no first name or initial) from  Kraupischkehmen in the Insterburg parish in Kreis Insterburg was listed from 1740 to 1758. A “Spurgatis” from Jessen was listed in 1740, 1741, 1750, and 1754.  A “Spurgatis” from  “stadt” or city was listed in 1745, 1753, and 1758. Because of the lack of overlap of these years, it is not possible to determine if these listings are of the same man whose labors took him to nearby locations. Further research may provide more details. 

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RESEARCH 2012-2015 POST 16 EAST PRUSSIA KREIS GUMBINNEN

KREIS GUMBINNEN:

Between 1708 and 1711 a famine in East Prussia killed 250,000 people; estimates vary from 33% to 41% of the population. In an attempt to repopulate the area, Crown Prince Frederick William I led the rebuilding of East Prussia. Although estimates vary, about 20,000 of the Protestants expelled from the Archbishopric of Salzburg between 1731 and 1738 settled in East Prussia.[i]  In 1732 the arrival of the Salzburgers in East Prussia, particularly in the district of Prussian Lithuania (Gumbinnen) resulted in Lithuanians becoming a minority and having their ethnic identity threatened.[ii]

Kreis Gumbinnen was the home of several families with my –at name in the 18th century—villages and manor farms in the parishes of Gerwischkehmen, the city of Gumbinnen, Nemmersdorf, Niebudszen, and Walterkehmen.

The source of the information about each person with the –at name is given below.

Today the city of Gumbinnen is known as Gusev, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.

1744 Anna Spurgaitis 

The Index Quassowski is a 350,000 entry index compiled by Wolfgang Quassowski from about 1918 until 1945.  It contains handwritten captured data mainly from East Prussia printed on small index cards. Because many of the official and religious sources in WWII were lost, this index was published in Hamburg, Germany, after the death of Quassowski in 1968.  From 1977 to 1993 the Association for Family Research in East Prussia and West Prussia published his work as a 24 volume reference book.

Anna Spurgaitis (The suffix –atis is the Lithuanian spelling of the –at truncated German spelling.) was born May 16, 1744, in Springen, Kreis Gumbinnen, today Tamanskoe, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. Anna Spurgaitis married Enskys Brozaitis on December 28, 1766. Two other Spurgatis names were included in this list, but first names, dates, and locations were not given. (Page 307-308. Band 18, Familienbuch.)

1759 Jurgis Spurgat 

FHL microfilm revealed the family of Regina and Jurgis “Spurgatis” in Norgallen, in the Nemmersdorf parish in southwestern Kreis Gumbinnen. Jurgis Spurgat and Regina geb. Kalwaige were married in 1759, the month and date not recorded, but out of 28 marriages that year, their marriage record was number 24, suggesting a marriage late in the year. Three children were born to them: Louisa (born in Norgallen) was baptized New Year’s Day (Anno novo) in 1761; Cristions, also born in Norgallen, on December 3, 1763, and baptized four days later on December 7; and Regina, born January 27 in Norgallen and baptized four days later on January 31, 1767. A few other Spurgats in the Nemmersdorf parish in the 19th century.

1760 Katrina Spurgat

An entry from the International Genealogical Index, known as the IGI, stated that Katrina Spurgat was born in 1760 in Springen, (Kreis Gumbinnen), East Prussia. Her spouse was Ahsmys Kumutatis, and her child, Kristions Kumutatis, was born October 3, 1782. See https://familysearch.org/search/collection/igi. Springen is in the Niebudszen parish and is known today as Tamanskoe, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.

This entry was only 16 years later than the IGI which had listed Katrina Spurgat in the same village and kreis! Perhaps these two women, born sixteen years apart and both named Spurgat from Springen, Kreis Gumbinnen, East Prussia, were sisters, cousins, or are a generation apart as aunt and niece.

The IGI is a collection of entries from LDS members from 1973 to about 2011, not a primary source, but a finding aid. “International Genealogical Index (IGI),” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/2:1:MBG6-3YN : accessed 2015-04-04), entry for Katrina Spurgat. This entry was submitted on November 18, 2012, by unknown submitter 38379 and was recorded by the author on April 26, 2013.

 1795 Justine Spurgatis

The marriage of Justine Spurgaitis to Jekubs Meinikaites took place on November 6, 1795, in the City of Gumbinnen, Kreis Gumbinnen , asreported on the IGI. See https://familysearch.org/search/collection/igi.

[i] Brandt, Germanic Genealogy, 582.

[ii] Brandt, Genealogical Guide to East and West Prussia, IX-18.

 

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RESEARCH 2012-2015 POST 15 SPURGAT RESEARCH IN EAST PRUSSIA Introduction

My –at name may or may not have been native to Suwalki Province in the Russian Empire as families with the same name have been located in East (and West) Prussia. The unusual name and tracking the locations of people with that surname in Protestant “German” East Prussia were the reasons behind my search.

By 2010 the oldest entry I had found (Justine Spurgatis 1795) stretched back to the late 18th century at the time of the Third Partition of Poland when Prussia acquired New East Prussia. See https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2016/06/ and https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/2012-2015-research-post-6-colonization-methods-of-new-east-prussia/.

My prior research had not resulted in any close connections and had offered no clues to connect my –at family to any of the other many families with the same name in East Prussia. Some were not even geographically close. Above all, it did not answer the question, “If there were so many -at families in East Prussia, how and when did ours (and others) come to live in the Russian Empire?”

As the research continues, the following questions arose: What is the best way of presenting this information for the researcher? A narrative? A table? By source? By geography? By Chronology? Because my purpose is to write for the researcher, I decided that the narrative format explaining the chronology of the research  process was best.

Connections between My –at Family in Suwalki Province and East Prussia

The oldest members of my ancestral –at family identified in 2010 were born in the first two decades of the 19th century: Andrzej Spurgat circa 1818; Henryk Spurgat circa 1800; and Andrzej Spurgat circa 1802 (relationship undetermined). Their birthdates and locations remain unknown. Were they born in Suwalki Province? Maybe. Were they born in East Prussia? Also, maybe.

Searching in Suwalki Province: The Civil Registration records kept by the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mariampole started with births in 1838 and in Wylkowiszki, a sister congregation, with births in 1843. Records in surrounding areas in Suwalki Province (Kybarty and Kalvaria) have also been carefully examined.

Searching in East Prussia: Another approach was to seek a possible connection in East Prussia. Many references to my -at name have been located in East Prussian sources in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, the most promising connections would be to locate Spurgats in East Prussia in the late 18th century or early 19th century. Perhaps a search would result in the birth or marriage records of Andrzej circa 1818, Henryk circa 1800, and Andrzej circa 1802, any of which would give the names of their parents.

The maternal surnames of the wives of Andrzej circa 1818 (Rozalia Kuczynska circa 1819), Henryk circa 1800 (Rozalia Keller circa 1805), and Andrzej circa 1802 (Karolina Walat circa 1812) have also been searched with similar results. The last name  (Walat/Wallat) was located in several located in East Prussia, but not a Karolina Walat.

2011 to 2015

I concentrated efforts to locate people with my –at name in previously unexplored East Prussian sources. The work is presented in several parts: Upcoming posts explore connections in the 18th century in Kreis Gumbinnen; 18th research in Kreis Insterburug;  18th century research in Kreis Tilsit; –at entries in the mid to late 19th century; amd records in a specific locality in the 20th century. See https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/schmalleningkensmalininkai/

During the Napoleonic Wars in 1808 East Prussia was divided into two administrative districts (Regierungsbezirke) — Gumbinnen, the eastern part of the former Duchy of Prussia and Königsberg in the west. Although those with my -at name have been located in both the Gumbinnen and Kӧnigsberg Administrative District, the Gumbinnen Administrative District, closer to the Russian Empire, was the most logical place to look for possible ancestors of my –at family who ended up in the Russian Empire.

Here is an example of the two series of maps in these posts that I published in 2015. The two sources are below. Kreis Stalluponen is on the left and Kreis Gumbinnen is on the right.

http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Ostpreu%C3%9Fen/Genealogische_Quellen/Kirchbuchbest%C3%A4nde_Kreis_Ebenrode_%28Stallup%C3%B6nen%29. Stalloponen: This series of easy to read maps shows only the locations of the Lutheran church records for the parishes identified on each map and not all the locations in each kreis.

and

https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/east-prussian-gazetteers-part-i/ Gumbinnen: a description of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers: Kingdom of Prussia—Province of East Prussia III REGIERUNGSBEZIRK GUMBINNEN. An alphabetized list of each location a parish served accompanies each map.

Gumbinnen Administrative District

In the 1700s three Kreise in the Gumbinnen Administrative District, also known as the Lithuanian Province, in particular were home to the Spurgats—Gumbinnen, Insterburg, and Tilsit.

Again, it is not the intent of this author to use this blog to relay her family history. What follows is a list of locations and resources I have used. Examples are provided to help explain the type of information in each resource.

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Research 2012-2015 Post 14 International Tracing Service

2014: At the Feefhs conference in Salt Lake City I was privileged to spend an hour with Dr. Diane Afoumado, PhD, Chief of the ITS (International Tracing Service) Research Branch at the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D, C. https://www.its-arolsen.org/

See previous posts on this resource:

https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/experiences-at-the-feefhs-conference/

https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/experiences-at-the-feefhs-conference-2/

A description of one record is described in the following post:

https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/experiences-at-the-feefhs-conference/

Dr. Diane had also provided me with several records about an Anna Spurgat/Ona Spurgatiene from Pilviskis, now Pilviskisi, Lithuania. Because the parents of the wife of one the three –at immigrants in the 2010 book lived there and we had visited there in July 2013, I was mildly interested. See

https://suwalkigermans.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/pilviskispilviskiai/

Dr. Diane graciously e-mailed me five records. My curiosity was peaked. Several days later one of her staff members e-mailed me the entire file of 32 documents resulting in 45 pages.

2015: The story of Anna Spurgat/Ona Spurgatiene is complex. By piecing together all the documents that the ITS sent me, I wrote her story from 1941 to 1950.

It begins:

he International Tracing Service (ITS) has designated the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D. C. as the digital repository of its archives in Bad Arolsen,  Germany. ITS provides access to over 50 million reference cards which give information about the fate of 17.5 million people during and following WWII. The Allies established a tracing  service for civilian victims of the war and a Central Name Index. The resulting databases not only  contain information about Holocaust victims, but also follow-up data after 1945. These supplementary records include information about displaced persons and forced laborers.

The ITS defines “victims” in a broad sense, those who perished and those who survived.     “Anyone who was displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against as a result of the racial, religious, ethnic, social, and political policies of the Nazis and their Allies can be        considered a victim.”

Anna Spurgat’s story continues:

…Her relationship to one of the three Spurgat families that immigrated to the United States remains unknown.

Her elaborate Displaced Persons file is the result of the circumstances under which this Spurgat family left Pilviskiai, [Pilviskis] Lithuania, in early 1941. It records events from 1941 to 1950 and shows what happened to one Spurgat family from Lithuania as they found themselves first, under German jurisdiction; second, under the Third U. S. Army; then, under the United Nations   Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA); and finally, the International Refugee  Organization (IRO)… The status of this Spurgat family as Displaced Persons remained undetermined for five years as the following records illustrate.

Most of the records below are part of the Spurgat Family’s Care and Maintenance File which holds documents related to the family’s request for assistance after the war. It includes forms, testimonies, and processing documents. Information was generally given verbally on prescribed forms. It seems likely that a German or Lithuanian translator was present at the time of the recording. A great deal of paperwork followed Displaced Persons from location to location so some information was repetitious and is not re-recorded here. Sometimes additional information was added to original paperwork so more than one date is written on a document which can aid in determining when another undated document was generated. In other cases there was conflicting information about birthdates or movement from one location to another. The author has analyzed these documents carefully to tell the story  correctly. Some records contradict each other….

Information about this Spurgat family is based on the compilation of many records… some type- written documents, some handwritten, most in English, some in German, and others in Lithuanian. In some cases details have been omitted because of illegible   handwriting. Many German words have been translated. …

It will not become clear until her transcript of October 6, 1946, suggests the reason why Anna faced the obstacles that she did. On her March 12, 1948, Application for Assistance, her problem is directly stated.

Because I was had researched my –at family in various locations around Wylkowiszki, I had a hand- written 1997 note from microfilmed records from Wirballen/Virbalis, Lithuania, that I thought was probably the birth date of Albert Spurgat with the name of his parents. Another look at the FHL microfilm in Salt Lake in August 2015 reminded me that it was a confirmation record that contained his names, birth date, and name of parents.

Anna Spurgat’s story is supplemented with some historical data, maps, and brief descriptions of various Displaced Persons camps.

At the Feefhs conference in Salt Lake City in 2015 I was again privileged to spend an hour with Dr.  Afoumado.  https://www.its-arolsen.org/

Because the emphasis of this blog is to assist researchers, Anna Spurgat/One Spurgatiene’s story is not told here, but it could be in the future. It is poignant, disturbing, truthful, and as of this writing unfinished….

Dr. Diane indicated that if I wished to pursue stories of other people named Spurgat in the ITS records, I could do that onsite at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C. with assistance of her staff and volunteers.

I had also written in the October 10, 2015 post:

The additional ITS records of Albert Spurgat and Anna Spurgat/Ona Spurgatiene…will be   the subject of a future post.

Future posts will include additional research experience with the International Tracing Service records at the Holocaust Museum.

 

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