I would love to be able to tell you that I located some ancestors in selected villages in East Prussia. I examined indices, confirmation records, birth records, and marriage, and death records for the several locations: Some searches concentrated on all the names of maternal great and 2nd great grandparents; some were just Spurgats. In one single moment something told me to keep scrolling the microfilm and within a few minutes I had found the Spurgat name in a new parish that was not in my table of Spurgats I had located in print and online sources. So with more tauf, heirten, and tote index work, the next day, I had located records of two more Spurgat families in the Nemmersdorf parish, Kreis Gumbinnen. These were not my direct ancestors, not the ones I wanted, but locations where people with the Spurgat name had lived that could appear on the ever-promised google map.
I am glad that I took the time to organize research for all my great and great great grandparents and for the Spurgat families. The index work for the Gumbinnen Administrative District is pretty much completed for the Spurgat name and the prospective research for another trip to Salt Lake is organized.
There are two locations for Kraupschkehmen: Kreis Insterburg and Kreis Ragnit: Kraupschkehmen and Augsgirren Kirchspiel Kraupschkehnen. The indices for the one in Kreis Ragnit were very appealing as they covered births, marriages, and deaths from 1800 to 1830, a perfect time. However, so many of the pages were so dark they could not be read, so it was a very disappointing afternoon.
But I had other sources to check. I was able to copy articles from three most recent issues of Landsmen, the journal of The Suwalk-Lomza Interest Group for Jewish Genealogists for this blog.
I was able to locate, skim, and copy several more articles with lists of names from Altpreussische Geschlechterkunde.
An LDS missionary attended my presentation of Expectations and Results of a Family History Tour. Her family were evangelische in Suwalki, now in Poland, and we have exchanged e-mails. It was exhilarating to speak at the conference and to spend time with other serious eastern European family researchers.
From one of the international references librarians I was given the name and e-mail of a Lithuanian volunteer who has helped me earlier this year about my research on the origin of the Prussian/Lithuanian –at names.
I am well-organized to make another research trip and still hunt for Spurgats et al in northern East Prussia from 1810 to 1840. Of course, it is still possible that these people were in Suwalki Province by that time, and the records for Wylkowiszki were destroyed in “wars and fires” and that the connecting links will not be found.
However, I did stumble upon a name I have not yet discussed in this blog but is forthcoming as I have indicated several time this year. That research has occupied my time daily for over a year now and deserves further forthcoming explanation.
A family historian’s work is never done.