East Prussia / Ostpreussen

The Teutonic Knights were asked to come to this area by Poland to conquer the pagan tribes that were harassing Poland. The knights kept the land they conquered and cut off Poland from the sea. The knights lost the Battle of Tannenberg in 1410 but kept their land. Unable to pay their mercenaries, the knights gave them the fortress at Marienburg and transferred their command to Koenigsberg in 1457. The mercenaries turned around and sold the fortress to Poland. At the second Treaty of Thorn/Torun in 1466 the knights were now subservient to Poland. East Prussia became part of Prussia in 1618 but only independent from Poland in 1657. East Prussia was connected to Germany after the first partitioning of Poland in 1772, and cut off again after WWI, and reunited briefly during WWII. After WWII the southern half was given to Poland, and the northern half including Koenigsberg was claimed by the Soviet Union

More about the history visit the following:
(Groß Kleeberg, Kreis Allenstein)
http://www.heimat-bote.net (Kreis Samland, formerly west of Königsberg)
http://www.jomendorf.de (Jomendorf by Allenstein)
http://www.progenealogists.com/germany/ewpruss/index.html  An East/West Prussian Gazeteer

Border Changes

E-Mail Lists
A genealogy e-mail list is group of people who are researching the same area. The expertise is quite impressive and the beginner and intermediate can frequently find knowledgeable help and answers to their posted questions.
KREIS-NEIDENBURG  A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical, historical, or cultural interest in Kreis Neidenburg, a former German state of East Prussia. To subscribe send "subscribe" to

kreis-neidenburg-l-request@rootsweb.com (Mail Mode)
kreis-neidenburg-d-request@rootsweb.com  (Digest Mode)

A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in Brandenburg, Hannover (or Hanover), Ostpreussen (East Prussia), Pommern (Pomerania), Posen, Provinz Sachsen (Province of Saxony - northern Saxony), Schleswig-Holstein, Schlesien (Silesia), Westpreussen (West Prussia), Lubeck, Hamburg, and Bremen. To subscribe send "subscribe" to prussia-roots-l-request@rootsweb.com(Mail Mode)
prussia-roots-d-request@rootsweb.com (Digest Mode)

Devoted to the study of Konigsberg. This is a town located on the coast between Present day Germany and Lithuania. Now part of a Russian territory known as Kaliningrad. Once capitol of East Prussia.
OW-PREUSSEN-L. A mailing list for those interested in sharing and exchanging information on genealogy and history which has a connection to the former East and West Prussia. This is an English-German multi-lingual list. To subscribe send to the following address: ow-preussen-l-request@genealogy.net with "subscribe" in the subject line.

Websites for East Prussia

Hoefer Verlag (Publishing) makes a map with German and Polish town names, as well as current roads. Scale 1:200,000
These maps are useful for traveling into Poland and can tell you at a glance if your village still exists.

Archives and Records
Archives for East Prussia exist at Berlin, Regensburg, and Lübeck. For addresses see:

East Prussian Group
The Association of expellees from East Prussia


The GGS collection of Germanic Genealogy Books at Minnesota Genealogy Center Mendota Heights, MN, has 22 books specifically on East Prussia genealogy, 7 of those books are in English. Check the Library for more information.
They include books by Ed Brandt who has written an authoritative and extensive book on East and West Prussia. Rautenberg has a spectacular book of 1440 old photos of East Prussia. The title is: Ostpreussen in 1440 Bildern. This book is available on the internet.


East Prussia flag