Kartenmeister was on my lists of posts for this third year and as I contemplated how to introduce readers of this blog to its usefulness, I came across the following website: http://www.sassyjanegenealogy.com/kartenmeister-com/
Jane has done exactly what I would do so rather than repeat what has already been done, I will describe three different purposes for which I have used Kartenmeister http://www.kartenmeister.com
As I was preparing for the July 2013 Family History Tour in Lithuania and my interest in locations where people with the Spurgat name had lived in East Prussia grew, I wanted to learn today’s names for them.
Kartenmeister was the place to begin. With the help of fellow researcher BE, I entered the name of one of the places where I had found people with the Spurgat name, Springen, East Prussia. The name did not come up but when I entered it as just Springen, I learned it was in County/Kreis Gumbinnen. One more click took me to the descriptive page for Springen and all the information Jane shows on her website. By clicking on the Google map, I could see exactly where it was. The Soviet map is helpful if you know Russian.
Especially helpful is the location of the nearest Lutheran parish and date. From there I could easily go to the Family Search catalogue https://familysearch.org/search (formerly the Family History Library Catalogue) to see what films were available.
While using Kartenmeister to search for all the “Spurgat” villages, I discovered some locations in Lithuania! This eventually led to our visit during the Family History Tour to three locations in the former East Prussia that is now part of Lithuania. (See post on Zukai/Szugen September 29, 2013, and Smalininkai/Schmalleningken October 1, 2013. Spurgats were also located in Viesville/Wischwill.)
My purpose in using Kartenmeister became twofold: I would continue to use it to locate “Spurgat” villages as I discovered them in my research AND to use the location of Lutheran parish to find records in the Family Search Catalogue as a way to organize my search for Spurgats in East Prussia during my next research trip to Salt Lake, whenever that might be.
When I started to prepare for my research in Salt Lake in August 2014, my preparation was already well under way thanks to Kartenmeister and the Family Search Catalogue. I updated a few locations and prioritized the films to search.
This familiarity with Kartenmeister and Family Search catalogue helped me enormously the last day of research. After I found Pritzkus Spurgaitis in 1736 in Kreis Insterburg (see the post My Research, October 3, 2014), I quickly used Kartenmeister and the Family Search Catalogue very early my last morning before leaving for the library. At first I had no luck with Kollathischcken, the location associated with Pritzkus Spurgat. Then I tried Gaudischkehnen, a larger location in the 1736 list but the hit was in Kreis Gumbinnen. The 1736 list including Pritzkus Spurgaitis was clearly in Kreis Insterburg. Gaudischkehnen had an alternate name (Didlacken) and when I put Didlacken in Kartenmeister, the location in Kreis Insterburg came up! Then I matched it to the Family Search catalogue, found the films and began my search. My Spurgats were not there, but this research strategy saved me a great deal of precious time in the Family History Library.
As I contemplate another research trip to Salt Lake, I have already organized my research with the information from Kartenmeister and the Family Search Catalogue.
A future post will detail a third website for prioritizing my research in the Gumbinnen Administrative District.