One of the first three researchers who contacted me through this blog is Al Hirsch. Born in Lithuania during WWII, his family came to the United States after the war. In the last few years he has amassed an amazing amount of research of his family. He has successfully researched all four of his grandparents (not just Hirsch) and all their related German speaking Lutheran families who were in Lithuania for over 200 years with a resulting family tree of over 700 names.
He has also made several trips to Lithuania in recent years.
We have shared a great deal of information over the two years we have been communicating by e-mail. I have learned so much from him, and he brings knowledge of the German language to his research and stories from his parents of life in Lithuania before WWII.
With his permission this blog links to his website: You will find valuable information about the history of the area, maps, a discussion of Colonists, and Salzburgers on the public part of his website. I made some corrections to my understanding of the area after reading what he has written.