Landsmen 1996- 1997

Vol. 6 – Nos. 2 – 3 Double Issue (1996) The First Suwalkers In New York: From the Suwalki & Vicinity Yizkor book.

Suwalkers, as they were called, were in the US as early as the 1860s.
One explanation for the large immigration from Suwalki Province is the fact that at the beginning of the 20th century there was an outbreak of scarlet fever in Suwalki.
The Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 Russian Revolution also led many immigrants to America.

Immigrants formed benevolent societies for mutual aid. Two from Suwalki still existed at the time this article was written in 1996.

The appendix lists Suwalker burials in Queens, NY.

Vol. 8 – No. 1 (1997) Russian Military Conscription Lists for Suwalk Gubernia

In Part II of this project, the Head Archivist of the Vilnius Archives provides extracts of data on Jewish conscripts and their families (1897-1916) from Kalwarja, Lozdzieje, Lubowow, Metele, Olita, Simno, Urdomin, and a small number of others from the districts of Wolkowyszk and Augustow [Landsmen Foreign Research Project].

Information on this topic is of great personal interest as the military papers of Adolph Spurgat were lost by a family member after his death so any information about his service in the Russian military is highly desirable.

Information on the Suwalki Central Government and the Seven Districts that were a part of it is carefully explained.

The historical background of Suwalki Gubernia Province in 1866 from the former Augustow District of 1837 is also explained. Gubernias were divided into district or powiats. Powiats were divided into sub districts or gminas. In the rural districts, gminas were composed of villages, manorial farms, and colonies.

The content of some of the files of the seven Suwalki administrative districts includes military conscription papers as well as Books of Residents for permanent inhabitants and external passport files. Additional specific topics, some non-genealogical, are also listed.

The Wolkowyszki district administration, fond 1034, has 203 individual holdings for 1870 to 1918.

The first phase of this research focused on external passports of Jewish residents. The second phase centered on 400 conscripts from two districts: Sejny and Suwalki.

Information on military conscription papers for Wylkowiszki was not discussed in this phase of the research.

In 2009 when I asked a professional researcher in Vilnius to look for information on military conscription for Adolph Spurgat, the researcher reported that there was very limited information, recommended that I not pursue this, and doubted that anything would be found.

Further research of these fonds will be carefully analyzed for the Suwalki-Lomza Interest Group.

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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