Research 2012-2015 POST 10 Essen Archives Part II

 This post will explain how three different sources over a five year period provided an amazing breakthrough.

2010: I contacted the Archivum Patriae, in Warsaw. Google Translates interprets Archivum Patriae as “Lovers Association of Historical Documents” Founded in 2001, the society provided extracts of records which were not available through other means. The whereabouts of the original records is undetermined.

Their website is (no www.)

I sent them an e-mail in English inquiring about any records from the Wylkowiszki area that were connected with the name Spurgat.

They sent back extracts of five births and deaths from 1893 to 1897.  I thought that the parents might be an older brother of my grandfather, but with only a birth record and a confirmation record, and no marriage record I could not be sure, and so I put them in an appendix of “Other Spurgats.”

2014: As I wrote in the post:

The most unexpected and exciting bit of research at the Feefhs conference came from Diane Afoumado, PhD, chief of the ITS (International Tracing Service) Research Branch at the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial   Museum in Washington, D, C. …When I met with her,…she was able to locate people with the Spurgat name in Lithuania, especially Wylkowiszki.

We just started with the first names beginning with A and one really caught my attention because of the similarities to the names in my family and the place of birth.

An Adolf Spurgat who was born in September 25, 1894, was the son of Johann Spurgat and  Maria Laurinat of Wylkowiszki. He died in Essen in 1944 of unknown causes. His address and burial information were also given. This was amazing to me for two reasons: First, I have this Adolf Spurgat in my Spurgat book; from extractions from the Archivum Patriae in Warsaw, the birthdates match but the names of the mothers do not.  Maria Matutaitis was the mother’s name along with the names, birthdates, and death of two other siblings. Second, the parallels to my family were astounding: my grandfather was also named Adolf Spurgat; his father was also named Johann Spurgat; they both lived in Wylkowiszki (spelling the German way as Wilkiwischken; and my grandfather Adolf Spurgat lived in Essen from 1900 to 1905! Perhaps this is the Johann Wilhelm who was the older brother of my grandfather Adolf!

When I checked my 2010 book, I found that same birth date so I now had enough information to make this family part of my family.

The matching birthdates showed me that this Adolph Spurgat was the son of the Johann Wilhelm Spurgat (whose birth and confirmation records I had) and was an older brother of my grandfather. It had taken four years to prove it, a trip to Salt Lake, and a conference with Diane to link the families.

Plus it took a blog, a visit to Lithuania, a family history tour guide, a meeting with a pastor, and someone to read a posting on my blog who had done some research in the Essen City Archives to complete the relationship.


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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