The -at Name in Russian

The -at Name in Russian

 The area where Spurgats lived was at various times subjected to German, Polish (under a Russian protectorate), and Lithuanian domination. Each government affected the lives of its people and the way the vital records of their lives were kept. Up until the Polish Insurrection of 1863-64, the records were written in Polish; after the adoption of the “Russification” policy a short time later, all records were written in Russian, including first names.

The various records of one immigrant, William Gustave Spurgat, provide examples of the spellings of the Spurgat name in Russian; they lived in a Protectorate of the Russian Empire during the time period that records document their lives. His records fall into two categories: civil (birth, marriage, and death) records and visa and military records. These two categories are examined below to illustrate the differences.

 The civil registers were kept by the local clergy acting as civil employees. The name was often written in the record with the German spelling as Spurgat. The following example illustrates how the name appears on the marriage record of William Gustave Spurgat and Wilhelmina Kaptain in 1899.

Spelling of Spurgat in a Civil Record[1]

The illustration above is a transliteration (translated letter by letter). The Russian letter Ш translates into “Sh” creating an unusual spelling. The extra character at the end of the name, which according to a document about the Russian alphabet, is no longer used. The significance of the mark (which looks like a quotation mark) remains undetermined.

 Spelling of Spurgat in Visa (Cursive) and Military (Printed) Records[2]

Spurgat Names in Russian

Notes: (1) At the end of the third line, the translator intended to write“at the end.” (2) The “-aitis” on the end of the English translation indicates the Lithuanian influence in the name.

[1] Mike Spurgat

[2] Mike Spurgat

About suwalkigermans

I started family research in 1993. My first two books focused on my maternal grandparents. Both families came from Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia, to Big Rapids, Michigan. I left the Spurgats from Wylkowiszki in the Russian Empire as the third book because of the difficult and challenging research it required. After I published the book in 2010, I wondered what to do next. I thought I might try to share some of my research with others and maybe at the same time, by going digital, someone would find me. When you read the comments, you will see that happened. The best part of all this is helping others.
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