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Thread: "Prussian" ancestry

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    "Prussian" ancestry

    Hello everybody. I am trying to understand Prussian ancestry and what it exactly consists of. My dad always said that his dad was fully German, and his mother was fully Yugoslavian. He was right for his dad, but I guess he never knew his mother's mom. So her mom ended up being practically fully eastern european, but only 25% was Yugoslavian. Upon making a tree and researching, I noticed many German surnames and Polish surnames. Most of these people wrote on their naturalization records that they were German and spoke German. But my dads results show 56% German, 39% Eastern European. Rest being Greek and Balkan and broadly European which does indicate at least 7% German came from his mom. But anyways researching these "Prussian" ancestors, most seem to be from Danzig, and I have also found some from Posen. When looking at others trees they either write Prussia or Danzig as their birthplace. I also notice that people that put these people in their tree refer to them as "their Kashubian ancestors." On ancestry dna, my dad scores roughly half German, half Eastern European and gets Pomerania as a location. When I looked up who the Kashubians were, they were from the places I have traced my Prussian ancestors too. But I am confused because they seem to have spoke German and had mostly German names, and most people say the Prussian were just east Germans. But I don't think even Eastern Germans would score that much east euro. Is it possible that we have some Slavic ancestry from this side too as we get many Polish regions and fully Pish matches?

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    Here' my understanding. Firstly, the term "Prussian" can be misleading. It originally referred to a Baltic tribe that lived to the east of the Vistula river. Later, the name was incorporated into a German duchy that covered what was once the original Prussia and then some. The Kingdom of Prussia in the late 18th century assimilated parts of Poland into their territory, the area you mention like Posen and Pomerania - where Kashubia resides. Prussia then became part of the German empire in 1871. So, when many of our ancestors migrated, they came from Germany and were listed as such on travel manifests. My ancestors who came from that area listed the birthplace of their father and mother as "Poland, Germany," then "Germany" and finally "Poland," all in 3 consecutive U.S. census reports from 1900-1920. In the 1900 and 1910 census they listed the native tongue of their parents as German. Then, in 1920 they listed their native tongue as Polish. The 1920 census coincides with the re-creation of Poland, which may have something to do with the change. In part, this may have been because many who migrated from this area came to places in the U.S. where there were German communities, since many were bi-lingual. Additionally, some names Germanized back in Europe, or changed upon arrival. And, in some cases, I am sure that people had German and Polish or Kashubian ancestry, as there were a large number of Germans who settled in this part of what is now Poland, although it seems as if religion segregating people form marrying. This is my take from what I have read and in regard to my own ancestors.
    Last edited by leonardo; 05-24-2021 at 06:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leonardo View Post
    Here' my understanding. Firstly, the term "Prussian" can be misleading. It originally referred to a Baltic tribe that lived to the east of the Vistula river. Later, the name was incorporated into a German duchy that covered what was once the original Prussia and then some. The Kingdom of Prussia in the late 18th century assimilated parts of Poland into their territory, the area you mention like Posen and Pomerania - where Kashubia resides. Prussia then became part of the German empire in 1871. So, when many of our ancestors migrated, they came from Germany and were listed as such on travel manifests. My ancestors who came from that area listed the birthplace of their father and mother as "Poland, Germany," then "Germany" and finally "Poland," all in 3 consecutive U.S. census reports from 1900-1920. In the 1900 and 1910 census they listed the native tongue of their parents as German. Then, in 1920 they listed their native tongue as Polish. The 1920 census coincides with the re-creation of Poland, which may have something to do with the change. In part, this may have been because many who migrated from this area came to places in the U.S. where there were German communities, since many were bi-lingual. Additionally, some names Germanized back in Europe, or changed upon arrival. And, in some cases, I am sure that people had German and Polish or Kashubian ancestry, as there were a large number of Germans who settled in this part of what is now Poland, although it seems as if religion segregating people form marrying. This is my take from what I have read and in regard to my own ancestors.
    You have a similar story to mine. Though I have only found one that ever listed their native tongue was Polish. Having researched this area, and knowing the amount of Germans living in Eastern Europe, what would you say the majority of their dna would be like? More Germanic, or more Slavic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy View Post
    Hello everybody. I am trying to understand Prussian ancestry and what it exactly consists of. My dad always said that his dad was fully German, and his mother was fully Yugoslavian. He was right for his dad, but I guess he never knew his mother's mom. So her mom ended up being practically fully eastern european, but only 25% was Yugoslavian. Upon making a tree and researching, I noticed many German surnames and Polish surnames. Most of these people wrote on their naturalization records that they were German and spoke German. But my dads results show 56% German, 39% Eastern European. Rest being Greek and Balkan and broadly European which does indicate at least 7% German came from his mom. But anyways researching these "Prussian" ancestors, most seem to be from Danzig, and I have also found some from Posen. When looking at others trees they either write Prussia or Danzig as their birthplace. I also notice that people that put these people in their tree refer to them as "their Kashubian ancestors." On ancestry dna, my dad scores roughly half German, half Eastern European and gets Pomerania as a location. When I looked up who the Kashubians were, they were from the places I have traced my Prussian ancestors too. But I am confused because they seem to have spoke German and had mostly German names, and most people say the Prussian were just east Germans. But I don't think even Eastern Germans would score that much east euro. Is it possible that we have some Slavic ancestry from this side too as we get many Polish regions and fully Pish matches?
    Original old Prussians where west-baltic people ( prusi ).............in the 13th century a crusade involving Saxons and Thuringians took 60 years to conquer these people ...........for many centuries after these old -prussi became germanic .......the Polish monarchy eventually conquered these "new " German Prussians.

    the only part which remained Germanic was then renamed as East-Prussia ..................this sort of still exists today but has been under Russian control since the end of WW2
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaliningrad
    There has been a push to give these people independence in the last 8 years and reinstate east-prussia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaliningrad_question

    The pope ( 13th century ) ordered these Old prusi to be attacked as they practised a pagan religion

    Old Prussians, Baltic Prussians or simply Prussians (Old Prussian: prūsai; German: Pruzzen or Prußen; Latin: Pruteni; Latvian: prūši; Lithuanian: prūsai; Polish: Prusowie; Kashubian: Prësowié) were an indigenous tribe among the Baltic peoples that inhabited the region of Prussia, at the south-eastern shore of the Baltic Sea between the Vistula Lagoon to the west and the Curonian Lagoon to the east. The Old Prussians, who spoke an Indo-European language now known as Old Prussian and worshipped pagan deities,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Crusade

    IMO.....you will find it difficult to connect the surname as they seemed to be changed between german and polish back and forth
    Last edited by vettor; 05-24-2021 at 09:10 PM.


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    delete: double post
    Last edited by leonardo; 05-24-2021 at 09:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy View Post
    You have a similar story to mine. Though I have only found one that ever listed their native tongue was Polish. Having researched this area, and knowing the amount of Germans living in Eastern Europe, what would you say the majority of their dna would be like? More Germanic, or more Slavic?
    It's really not possible to generalize. Have you taken a y or mt dna test? Those are uniparental - just one line within your tree - but it can be telling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy View Post
    You have a similar story to mine. Though I have only found one that ever listed their native tongue was Polish. Having researched this area, and knowing the amount of Germans living in Eastern Europe, what would you say the majority of their dna would be like? More Germanic, or more Slavic?
    If they were Kashubians, their DNA was more Slavic - and similar to Poles.

    If we go back to early 1800s, Kashubians inhabited the following counties:

    In West Prussia:

    Wejherowo-Puck (Weyersfrey-Putzig) - ca. 82% of the local population
    Kartuzy (Karthaus) - ca. 85% of the local population
    Kościerzyna (Berent) - ca. 72% of the local population
    Chojnice (Konitz) - ca. 68% of the local population
    Gdańsk Highlands (Danziger Höhe) - ca. 35% of the local population
    Człuchów (Schlochau) - ca. 25% of the local population

    In Pommern:

    Bytów-Lębork (Bütow-Lauenburg) - ca. 55% of the local population
    Słupsk (Stolp) - ca. 25% of the local population

    =====

    As well as small numbers of Kashubians in other counties.

    =====

    See the map below (with county borders):



    BTW it is possible for Kashubians to have German-sounding names.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 07-04-2021 at 07:53 PM.

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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    (...)

    If we go back to early 1800s, Kashubians inhabited the following counties:

    (...)

    In Pommern:

    Bytów-Lębork (Bütow-Lauenburg) - ca. 55% of the local population
    Słupsk (Stolp) - ca. 25% of the local population

    (...)
    And a relevant map:


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    Interesting map made in 1849, in which the name Kashubia (Kaszuby) is applied to the region located between Rummelsburg-Treblin-Stolp-Baltic Sea and the western border of Royal Prussia. Actually, this is only Western Kashubia, while Eastern Kashubia is located within the borders of Royal Prussia (and West Prussia later):

    http://starenowemapy.pl/2014/03/03/m...a-w-roku-1772/


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    I am currently wondering just how much eastern european is in Germany and just how eastern european some of the "german" settlers of the early U.S. were.

    According to my family tree as researched by myself and half a dozen other people, my DNA should break up to something similar to this. I don't expect to see the small stuff show up on any admixture result because I know their limits, and that's assuming I even inherited those small chunks at all. I'm using the FTdna approximation rounding as there's little point in higher precision:

    British 81 ( mixed, there's no way to tell genealogically or genetically as my ancestors are all old stock colonists with the exception of two irish that came over in 1860 )
    German 13
    Dutch <2
    Spanish <2
    Swiss 1
    Italian <1
    French <1
    Czech <1

    I expect to see some small amount of some jewish population, because both my father and uncle had those as results. I wish I could have tested my grandfather.

    In contrast, here are my actual results.

    MyHeritage:
    Myheritage ethnicity results.PNG

    This makes a lot of sense. Actually, it's almost perfect in some regards. But what the hell happened to my German ancestry? I see Germany as a region in the "east european" section but the names in my tree are not eastern european at all. More anglo-german if anything. I know of one woman possibly from Bohemia but that was at 128 ancestors back. I have seen a heavy amount of eastern europe show up in my dads mother and him and his brother as well, and I cannot understand it. I would assume some bad research or some hidden family history, but most strangely of all we closely match the supposed descendants of her "german" ancestors.

    FTdna:
    FTdna myorigins results.PNG

    Well, that's just silly. 95% British isles? My dad also got finnish but I just cannot see how, I have never seen an ancestor who looked even slightly finnish. Neat to see the jewish showed up though.

    LivingDNA:
    livingDNA ancestry results.PNG

    Most bizarre of all, and nothing what I would expect. Did I break the calculator? Or is it just that these admixture results are really so bad they can only confirm that your majority ancestry is roughly accurate to the family tree and possibly some niche regions?
    Last edited by Milton1997; 07-15-2021 at 03:22 AM. Reason: Missed main point, oops

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