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Labiau and Lyck, East Prussia....Need help...

Labiau and Lyck, East Prussia....Need help...

Daniel Laurent (View posts)
Posted: 1055102421000
Classification: Query
I am trying to locate my great-great grandparents...and their surnames prior to immigrating to the USA are a bit of a mystery....

August Samuel FOLLETZ was born in Labiau, East Prussia in May of 1860, believe that this town is now part of Russia...

His wife Lena SELUGA Folletz was born in Lyck, East Prussia about 1860, believe that this town is now part of Poland

They emigrated from Bremen, Germany in 1896....and arrived in September of 1896 at the port of Baltimore, Maryland USA

I would appreciate any help and info on these two....

I am writing to this room as he stated that he was from Lithuania...?? And would like as much advise as possible...

The SELUGA family I believe was living in Berlin at the time of the unknown....

Thanks....and hope to hear from someone soon...
Dan Laurent

Re: Labiau and Lyck, East Prussia....Need help...

Robert (View posts)
Posted: 1061253363000
Classification: Query
First to the names, both of which, I suppose fortunately for you, are not very common:

In German, the letter "V" is pronounced the same as the letter "F". So my guess is that the spelling of the name in Germany was "Volletz", and when your great-grandfather came to this country he wanted to keep the correct pronunciation, so he changed the "V" to an "F". I say this because as far as telephone listings are concerned, there are no listings in Germany whatsoever for "Folletz", but just one, just one, for "Volletz". This person lives in a small town called Roitzsch near the city of Bitterfeld in the present-day German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

As to Seluga, there are only 23 telephone listings for people named Seluga in all of Germany, and they live in various cities and towns in Germany. The fact that there are telephone listings for people named Seluga indicates to me that "Seluga" was the spelling of your great-grandmother's name in Germany as well.

As I'm sure you're aware, the entire German population (12 million people) of that part of Germany lying east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers was expelled by the Poles, or in the case of the northern half of East Prussia by the Russians, in 1945/46. The Poles then repopulated these territories with Poles, except for the northern half of East Prussia, which the Soviets repopulated with Russians.

LABIAU was a small city of about 6000 people located about 25 miles east of East Prussia's capital, KÖNIGSBERG. Labiau is today called in Russian POLESSK. Königsberg is today called in Russian KALININGRAD.

LYCK was a city of about 16,000 people in the southeastern corner of East Prussia, about 90 miles southeast of Königsberg and about 70 miles east of the city of ALLENSTEIN. Lyck is today called in Polish ELK. Allenstein is today called in Polish OLSZTYN.

In 1919, following World War I, the northernmost part of East Prussia, north of the Memel River and including the city of MEMEL (now called in Lithuanian KLAIPEDA), was awarded to the newly independent Lithuania, although all the people living there were German. But Labiau is not located in this part of East Prussia. Furthermore, in the 19th century, in your great-grandfather's day, nobody ever would have dreamed that part of East Prussia would one day be given to Lithuania. And Lithuania was at that time firmly a part of the Russian Empire, so the thought of an independent Lithuania never would have crossed anyone's mind in your great-grandfather's day either. So it's puzzling that he would have said he was from Lithuania, when, according to what you say, he was actually from Labiau in East Prussia.

Hope this helps!

Re: Labiau and Lyck, East Prussia....Need help...

Belinda (View posts)
Posted: 1065639903000
Classification: Query
Labiau is now called Polessk and is in the Kaliningradskaya Oblast, (Russia) close to the coast of the Kurisches Haff towards the Lithuanian border. Lyck is now called Elk (l with a small line through it - pronounced something like a w) and is in Poland close to the more southern part of the border with Lithuania.
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