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
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
Johann Bechtold Humbert
Jakob Gibel with his young ones
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
Georg Mansfield with his stepson Johann Strunk
Joachim Reitter with his young son Johann La Von (?)
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
Paul Schmaus from Nürenberg former business apprentice
Mathess Wagner from Königsberg
Hans Giess from Riga
Peter Croon with Nikolaus Richter
Grocers and Spice Merchants:
Michael Buchner with his young one Konrad Burchard
Simon Katurla and his mother in law Barbara Horneiss
Valenin – Falter Bister with his mother in law Balzer Boydals widow
Post 3 will continue the list of 17th century Germans in Kovno and Wilna.