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Posts Tagged ‘Slupsk’

When I was growing up, I was given a vague idea that my maternal grandmother’s mother wasn’t Dutch like the rest of my mother’s family, but German. Once I began to search my family history, I quickly saw that the records were Prussian, not German. That still sounded German to me. (Before you tell me there didn’t used to be any such thing as “Germany,” but rather German states, I know that, but they were “German,” to my mind).

My Prussians were quickly my worst brick wall, and although I picked at the threads of the mystery a bit over the years, I didn’t accomplish too much until a couple of years ago. That’s when I found some records for the births of my great-grandmother’s siblings. This was a short-lived accomplishment because my great-greats may have moved around for work, so I still had no idea which province of Prussia they were from.  Without that knowledge it is impossible to find their birth and marriage records. To find their parents and grandparents.

Very recently I began to piece together enough information and knowledge to theorize that my relatives were actually from Pomerania, which was the part of Prussia which bordered the Baltic and is now in Poland. I even wondered if they were from northern Pomerania, right near the sea, and even more, from Slupsk or that vicinity. The place names on documents are garbled and there are versions of each place in several languages, but a doc seemed to indicate Świecichowo (Polish) or Schwetzkow (German). This town is in Slupsk County. I explain this doc here. I felt  confident enough to present this theory on this blog, but I’ve been busy so I didn’t write that blog post.

Then something else happened. I went onto my Ancestry DNA “headquarters,” and looked up the new and more thorough ethnicity info–specifically for my mother since her maternal grandmother was the Prussian. And guess what? I don’t have to theorize any longer. Ancestry has done that for me. According to Ancestry, my mother’s Prussian Ancestry is precisely NORTHERN POMERANIAN and NORTHWESTERN POMERANIAN–and if you look at the map, most likely the Slupsk region. Furthermore, the reason Ancestry can fine tune to this region is that Mom’s ancestors lived in that area for many years.

I had to look up Slupsk, of course. From Wikipedia:

Słupsk (Stolp, in German) had its origins as a Pomeranian settlement in the early Middle Ages. In 1265 it was given town rights. By the 14th century, the town had become a centre of local administration and trade and a Hanseatic League associate. Between 1368 and 1478 it was a residence of the Dukes of Pomerania, until 1474 vassals of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1648, according to the peace treaty of Osnabrück, the town became part of Brandenburg-Prussia [and was under Swedish military control (Swedish dominion)]. In 1815 it was incorporated into the newly formed Prussian Province of Pomerania. After World War II, the city again became part of Poland, as it fell within the new borders determined by the Potsdam Conference.

In a nutshell, the area was Slavic tribes, then Polish, then Swedish, then Prussian, and after WWII Polish again. This is with little blips of time as German and Danish.

It’s very satisfying to feel this close to finding Gottfried and Alwine (Noffke) Waldeck’s origins. Maybe before too long I will find their birth and marriage records.

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