By 1923 the Poles and the Jews were increasing to the degree that they comprised nine tenths of the Kingdom while the Germans and the Lithuanians were decreasing. In all the governments except the northern half of Suwalki the Poles exceeded 75% of the population in 1897, and they were “assuredly over 80% in 1923.” By 1910 after many Germans had left the country, the Kingdom contained the following people:
Peoples of the Kingdom of Poland by 1910
Poles 10 million 82%
Jews 1,100,000 13%
Germans 200,000 2%
Lithuanians 300,000 3%
Ruthenians 20,000 0%
In the Government of Suwalki the population also showed a decrease of Protestants. 1
Protestants in Suwalki in 1910
% Protestants in 1893
% Protestants in 1909
The exodus of Russian officials and German colonists, an eight percent increase in Polish population, and the highest birthrate in Europe, helped the Poles recapture their proper status in the world.
The above information was compiled from the Polish perspective as one of the most specific records about the people who populated the Government of Suwalki during the time the -at families lived there. They were a very small German Lutheran minority in an otherwise predominantly Polish Roman Catholic country. Their government required them to keep their records in Polish and later in Russian. Some personal information was recorded in German as evidenced through confirmation records in church books and in marriage records kept by the family members.
When these –at families arrived in what became known as the Government of Suwalki remains unknown. Most of the widely scattered German colonies were “of recent date.” The data from the Polish Encyclopaedia of 1923 suggests that they were probably “colonists” from East Prussia.