POST R3 Research Strategy: Simultaneous Use of Secondary and Primary Sources

Without a specific location, parish, or kreis to search in, one must use secondary sources. I used them to prepare myself for East Prussian research, especially in the Gumbinnen Administrative District, and most especially in certain kreise in the northeastern most part.

So, we are left to look for clues in other places, DNA analysis, or other needleless haystacks.

A Y-DNA test was discussed in a previous blog.

A future post will explain the results of one reader of this blog connecting with another after a DNA test!

Each of these led to parishes in certain kreise in the Gumbinnen Administrative District of East Prussia, but no matching records at this point. A list of parish records to examine from these two DNA sources is a future research project.

A Review of Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary Records are recorded as close to the event as possible. In East Prussia these include parish records and in Suwalki Province Civil Registration records.

Secondary Sources are those recorded farther away from the primary event. These include print and online Maps and Gazetteers, genealogical articles, books, and indices.

Many of the following resources have been the subjects of previous posts: they are presented here under the umbrella “Personal Experience of East Prussian Print and Online Resources.”

Lutheran records in Russian Poland have been online through SGGEE with links to FHL microfilms/digitized microfilms and AGAD records in Warsaw.

The following post includes another researcher’s experience with using SGGEE to access FHL microfilm and now digitized records and the ADAD website.

SGGEE: Lutheran Records in Russian Poland

In January 2019 another researcher and follower of this blog started indexing digitized birth, confirmation, marriage, and death records from AGAD, SGGEE, and Family Search from Kalwaria, Kybarti, Wirballen (Virbalis), Wilkowischken, and Wischtiten (Vistytis). This is a remarkable, ongoing effort. Be sure to check back as the project continues with the Marijampole records.


Germans from Kreis Wilkowischken/Vilkaviškis Lithuania

The FamilySearch Research Wiki provides information on a variety of topics about East Prussia.

FHL Digitized Records

Some contractual agreements result in only viewing these records at a local Family History Center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, i. e. most Vilkaviskis records.  However, the Marijampole records are digitized and available for home viewing. Those not yet digitized are available on microfilm at the FHL, but no longer can be ordered at your local FHC.

EWZ Records

See the 8 posts in 2018 which discussed these records. Future posts will also discuss additional findings in these records.


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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