Information on West Prussian Property Records Found in Various Sources

By Glenn H. Penner (

Most of those who look through the immigration lists found on pages 287 to 304 and 336 to 390 of Benjamin H. Unruh’s classic book Die niederländisch-niederdeutschen Hintergründe der Mennonitischen Ostwanderung im 16. 18. und 19. Jahrhundert ignore the informative notations given in square brackets. Many of these refer to property and inheritance records (Hypotheken Beilage Akten) from back in West Prussia.

Aside from numerous references to these records in Unruh there are additional pieces of information found in the original immigration records that did not find their way into Unruh’s book.

The property records were used extensively by a small number of West Prussian Mennonite researchers before the War and references to the records are found in articles published by those researchers.

A project dedicated to copying the surviving early West Prussian Mennonite property and inheritance records, which are found in Polish archives, was started in 2012. The results of this project can be found at:

The following file lists references I’ve been able to find in Unruh’s book and other sources to these records.

Organized according to family name.

Organized according to West Prussian village.

Full references to the sources:

Benjamin H. Unruh. Die niederländisch-niederdeutschen Hintergründe der Mennonitischen Ostwanderung im 16. 18. und 19. Jahrhundert. Karlsruhe, 1955.

Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Germany. File: I HA Rep7B Nr. 4176.

LDS refers to the microfilm number in the collection of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Kurt Kauenhowen, ed. Mitteilungen des Sippenverbandes der Danziger MennonitenFamilien Epp-Kauenhowen-Zimmermann. Göttingen, 1935-40, continued as Mitteilungen des Sippenverbandes Danziger Mennoniten-Familien (Göttingen, 1941-43), again continued as Nachrichtenblatt des Sippenverbandes Danziger Mennoniten-Familien (Göttingen, 1943-44).

In these and other records Bl. refers to Blatt (literally the page in the property register book). Each property had a Blatt number in the Grundbuch for the village.

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