History of the Protestant German Settlement in Lithuania Post 2

Bilder aus der Geschichte des evangelischen Deutschtums in Litauen by Hermann Jaekel


The second and third posts have been translated for their historical intent. This rare information indicates that Germans had settled in Lithuania’s two largest cities, Kovno and Wilna, in the 17th century. Each city has a distinct history.
Kauen (Kaunas, Lithuania) is at the northeast edge of Suwalki Province. Today one can visit “Prussian Kaunas” on the west side of the Memel/Neman/Nemanus River.
Kaunas, Lithuania, formerly Kovno

Bridge between Kaunas and Prussian Kovno



Prussian Kovno



Wilna (Vilnius, Lithuania) has a different history. Wilna was also part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but never part of New East Prussia. Wilna became Russified and Polonized when it was part of the Russian Empire from 1795 to 1914. It came under German control from 1915 to 1918. Before Lithuania became independent after WWI, Vilnius came under the control of Poland, the Bolsheviks, and Lithuania. In 1922 Vilnius became the capital of Lithuania.

Vilnius University Observatory Tower



A view of Vilnius from Vilnius University Observatory Tower



Translation of Spuren litauendeutscher Vergangagenheit

Keeping Track of the Lithuanian of the Past

Notes: (1) The first few words in bold indicate paragraphs in the original document. (2) Although the following paragraph indicates both “Wilna and Kauen citizen lists” it appears that most names are associated with Wilna. (3) The translation has been typed as exactly as possible from a hand-written document.

This was a document written in 1656—currently (i. e. 1964) in State Archive in Königsberg. It is a wonderful tribute and keepsake of the history of both cities—Wilna and Kauen citizen lists. They are the oldest and first list of names, when there was a great influx of merchants, artisans….
Of the German merchants in Wilna in the year 1655:
Conrad Frisius and his son Johannes
Christof Georgi with his two young ones (could be apprentices)
Wendel Mausskopf of Riga
Friedrich von Retzen of Insterburg
Georg Redinger
Johann Bechtold Humbert
Jakob Gibel with his young ones
Michael Schipke
Zachareas Weiss
Jakob Destaus with his mother-in-law
Susanne con Sichten and both sons
Jakob von Petten and Wilm von Sichten and a servant Wilm Fester
David Graffe
Georg Mansfield with his stepson Johann Strunk
Joachim Reitter with his young son Johann La Von (?)
Hans Hückemann
Andress Reymann
Barthel Kotzer
Adam Palczewski
Johann Defauss
Thomas Hötzens
Widow Helena and Wilnaer Ratsherr, royal secretary and councilman of the Zolhuesens in Grand Duchy Lithuania Heinrich Mones
The merchant Friedrich Pokoy from Mohrungen
Merchant journeyman and business servant/learner:
Abraham von Lichtenstein
Michael Hempel
Paul Schmaus from Nürenberg former business apprentice
Michael Schwarz
Mathess Wagner from Königsberg
Hans Giess from Riga
Abel Unsledt
Peter Croon with Nikolaus Richter
Grocers and Spice Merchants:
Michael Buchner with his young one Konrad Burchard
Wilhelm Moiler
Simon Katurla and his mother in law Barbara Horneiss
Friedrich Heldt
Valenin – Falter Bister with his mother in law Balzer Boydals widow
Georg Goltz

Post 3 will continue the list of 17th century Germans in Kovno and Wilna.

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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