Mapywig is the website for the Map Archive for the Military Geographical Institute of Poland (WIG), 1919 – 1939. It encompasses many maps beyond the WIG (Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny) in German, Polish, Russian and includes maps of other central Europe countries and even beyond. For an introduction in English, go to

More information in English is available at

Personal Experience:

This website was most helpful to me in completing a very important map in my book. After I had all the Spurgat records translated by my professional translator, I finally had the correct spelling of all the locations from birth, marriage and death records. Finding every one of these locations with matching spelling on a printed map was enormously satisfying after many years.

The map I used is the second one listed under the three active indexes, WIG 1:100,000. The index or map grid will take you to the Wilkowiszki area, P30 S36. I used the 1932 600 dpi, but it appears the 1932 300 dpi works as well.

I was able to identify 15 Spurgat locations around Wilkowiszki on my 11”x17” two page map and state the name of the individuals and the events which happened in each location. For example,

Wilkowiszki: Marriages were recorded here: Mathäus Spurgat and Minna Keller in 1861, Johann Spurgat and Anna Ber in 1865, and Johann Spurgat and Karolina Raudonat in 1874. The daughter of Mathäus Spurgat and Minna Keller, Karolina, was born here in 1874 as was Amalge Kratz (Spurgat) in 1882. (See Chapter 4 and Appendices C and G.)

Two other portions of the same map were included in other parts of the book and provided locations for two women who married into the family.

Using a 1932 map to identify these locations tells the researcher that the village or manor was still there in 1932 when Lithuania was an independent country.

The one location we did not visit on our July 2013 Family History Tour, Poszyle, (see March 30, 2014 post) is easily visible on this map, so that single piece of information let me know that this location was in existence for at least a generation after my family departed.

Using this map also helped me decide what spelling I should use for the title of the book. Even though my ancestors were German, and there are German maps of this border area, I decided to use the Wylkowiszki/Wilkowiszki spelling so I did not confuse the reader with too many spellings of modern day Vilkaviskis. This map uses Wilkowiszki and I stayed with that.

I hope you find the mapywig website useful in your research.

Background information about mapywig can be found at

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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