Following the subjugation of the indigenous Prusi people by the Teutonic Order during the 13th century, the region known as eastern Prussia emerged as a kind of haven for Christian settlement. During the 1860s, however, numerous East Prussians migrated to the Ukraine and the Russian province of Vohlynia in search of more abundant land. The promise of a better life in Russia proved to be short-lived, however, owing to the abolition of serfdom, universal military conscription, and Russian ethnocentrism. As a result, by the 1890s, large numbers of East Prussians from Russia began to emigrate to the United States, with many, like the author’s parents, settling in Wisconsin.
This is the account of that historic pilgrimage, and it devotes ample space to both the European heritage of these Prussian-Americans and the Wisconsin settlements that ensued. Based upon years of research, East Prussians from Russia identifies some 240 Prussian families that re-settled in Marinette and Oconto counties, Wisconsin. Mr. Anuta furnishes the family member’s year of birth, date entered the U.S., country of origin, port of entry, and date of death, as well as the name of his spouse, and her dates of birth and death. Also very useful are a number of plat maps showing the distribution of land in the aforementioned counties among East Prussian settlers around the turn of this century. Profusely illustrated, East Prussians from Russia also includes maps, facsimiles of source records, photographs of homes, schools, churches and other evidence of settlement in Germany, Russia, and Wisconsin.