RESEARCH 2012 – 2015 POST 6 Colonization Methods of New East Prussia

Our Grandfather’s Axe, written by two brothers, Adolph and Dieter K. Buse, provided detailed information about one colony in New East Prussia and has the most details that I have found.

See .The general principles of the German colonization plan for this area help explain how my –at family may have come to live a few kilometers east of East Prussia.

When the first partition of Poland took place in 1772, Frederick II had instituted a plan for German colonization in West Prussia which was adopted in New East Prussia in 1795. The system was designed to support the militaristic goals of Prussia. The Prussian State and Finance Minister, Baron Friedrich Leopold von Schroettter, had been influenced by the rational principles of the Enlightenment. He believed that commerce and agriculture should be the colonization policy for New East Prussia. Skilled artisans and craftsmen would set an example of Prussian efficiency. New colonies would also serve as examples of the best agricultural practices. Thirty-two new colonies were thoughtfully planned for New East Prussia.

Regardless of the nationality of the owners of manor farms, Prussian methods would be employed. The Polish nobleman, Leonas Geistaras, who in 1808 purchased the manor farm that became known as Dydwiże, where my grandfather, Adolf Spurgat ,was born in 1870, was probably influenced by Prussian agricultural progress.

Artisans and craftsmen would have been welcomed and employed in the towns, villages, and manor farms to promote small industry and to exemplify Prussian ingenuity. Perhaps my great great grandfather, Johann Hutop, learned carpentry and cabinetmaking from one of them.

By the time the Prussians had lost control of New East Prussia in 1806, thousands of “colonists” had populated their colonies. Craftsmen had opened the doors to new avenues of commerce, and many manor farms were organized according to Prussian ideals.



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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