czwartek, 31 sierpnia 2017

Michael Tolkien was born in... Kreuzburg, East Prussia!

Danziger familiengeschichtliche Beiträge, H. 1, Gesellschaft für Familienforschung, Wappen- und Siegelkunde in Danzig, Danzig 1929. In the text by Johann Zimmer entitled "Die auswärtigen Lehrjungen im Ein- und Ausschreibebuch der Danziger Kürschnerinnung" ("The Foreign Apprentices in the Books of the Gdańsk Furrier Guild") we can find an interesting description of the education of the foreign furrier apprentices in Gdańsk in the 17th-19th centuries. There is also a list of such young people from the Gdańsk documents. 

Among them we can find one interesting young man – Michael Tolken who came to Gdańsk (Danzig) from Krzyżbork (Kreuzburg, East Prussia) in 1724 and who finished his furrier education in 1727. What a discovery!

In the parish books of Kreuzburg from the the 17th and 18th centuries we have both Michael and Christian Tolkien and their family! Yesterday I have found Michael Tolkien's grave in St Katharinen church in Gdańsk and the place where he was probably born. What else we can find? I can tell you: we are very very close to find the link between the first Tolkiens from the 14th-15th century and our Professor Tolkien! My research goes on...

Michael Tolkien in the years 1724-1727
(from Danziger familiengeschichtliche Beiträge, 1929)
Kreuzburg now lies in the Russian Federation (Kaliningrad Oblast), very close to the Polish borders and close to the Baltic Sea. I promise you I will visit it next year (though it seems to be a very poor and demolished place at the moment). I have already written about the Tolkiens from Kreuzburg and Heiligenbeil in the 17th and 18th centuries (see here). Now I will make a detailed research of this branch of the Tolkien family (they are ultimately rooted in the area of today's Bartoszyce where the Tolkien family name emerged).

P.S. Now it seems quite possible that Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien and John Benjamin Tolkien from London were born not in Gdańsk (where I have not found their records) but in Kreuzburg, Heiligenbeil or Koeningsburg. Let me check it.

Kreuzburg in the 17th century

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