In my June 4, first anniversary posting, I listed a series of events that culminated in a July 2013 family history tour of 23 ancestral villages of my –at German Lutheran Suwalki Province ancestors.
The tour was divided in to two parts: Day 1½ was devoted to:
Visiting the homestead of a well to do Suwalki farmer and the setting of “Poor Suwalki” in the Rumsekis Open Air Museum would acquaint me with the kind of home that my –at ancestors may have lived in.
Meeting with Dr. Darius Petkunas in Palanga was a recommendation from a fellow researcher, BE.
Visiting a few villages in the former East Prussia, now Lithuania, in which people with my same –at last name lived. I had used online research tools to locate villages in Lithuania, Russia, and Poland, the land of the former East Prussia in which people with my same –at last name lived. I also used online sources to add additional villages and names in East Prussia from German language genealogical periodicals and. Three villages turned out to be in Lithuania, most in Kalinigrand Oblast, Russia, and even some in Poland. Time permitting, I wanted to see the area in which these Spurgats lived and we could do this between Palanga and Marijampole, Lithuania.
Overnight in country-tourism house in Smalininkai
Meeting in Zukai with a local guide at the Zukai Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Meeting in Smalininkai with a local guide.
The second part of the tour, the next 2 ½ days, were spent in Suwalki Province in the exact area where I had identified 23 villages of my paternal and maternal grandparents and another –at family.
Two maps were indispensible in locating these villages. The first was used in The Three Spurgat Families from Wilkowiszki. Called the 1932 Polish map, it is located at <http://english.mapywig.org/news.php.> The second map was referred by Vilius Vasekis, our Family History Tour Guide after I sent him a list of locations I had identified from the records. In an e-mail to him in January 2013, he replied, “All those locations of interest exist. I should recommend <www.maps.lt/map/> using the English version and the modern Lithuanian names of locations. Happy navigation!”
A description of the experience will be presented in a series of weekly future posts. The current plan is to present each stop on the tour in a separate post. Some will be longer; some will be short. Each will have a picture or pictures.