Baltic Linguistic Branches in the 11th Century from Lithuanians in Canada by Pr. Gaida. S. Kairys, J. Kardelis, J Puzinas, A. Rinkūnas, J. Sungaila.

Available at the Family History Library.

The Contents of this 1967 book introduces various topics of Lithuanian settlement in Canada—immigration, religion, education, the arts, communication, social and charitable organizations, politics, sports, professionals, and business and industry.
At first glance it appears as if a researcher would consult this text only if s/he was searching for Lithuanian Canadian families and rightly so, except for two maps, one on page xx and the other on page 2.
The first shows a 1967 scaled “Map of Lithuania and other Baltic States.” The borders of Suwalki Province are clearly marked so one can see the part now in Poland. The rivers are also included.

But the best map is on page 2, part of Chapter 1 “From Lithuanian to Canada” and subtitled “What is a Lithuanian?” The second paragraph introduces a discussion of the “Indo-European linguistic family”, not German, not Slavic, but the Lithuanian language is part of a much longer list of European languages.
It was further divided by how the word “hundred” was used: the centem (Latin) or satem, (Old Indic), Lithuanian falls into the latter group as šimtas is the Lithuanian word for “hundred.” (Google Translates spells it šimtai.)

Even better is the accompanying map “Baltic linguistic branches in the eleventh century.” Different than most other maps, one can easily see the area with tribal limits labelled PRUSSIANS—the northwest corner of what would become Suwalki Province, the exact area of our research! Not only are the tribal limits defined, but the Baltic lands are as well. The rivers are labelled, not always found on other maps.

This is the first map I had seen, not just a map with “Prussians” printed in an unidentified space, but one which showed the exact location in relation to Suwalki Province. I was interested in this map particularly because at one time I had been questioned about what I had written about the origin of the Lithuanian language. In my reply I quoted my source. Now here is another source to clarify the issue.
So the lesson here is one that cannot be said enough in genealogical research: leave no stone unturned.

Image (147)

A researcher can almost always learn something helpful from nearly every resource, even one that at first glance appears to be too specific…or dated.

For a more scholarly discussion of the origins of the Lithuanian language, consult.

For a slightly different online map, see

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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