I am trying to find out anything I can about my father's family. My grandfather Carl Baumann was born in Wystiten on October 28, 1857, according to his family Bible. He had at least one brother, possibly named Hart.
According to family history, the family called themselves German. One night several Prussian soldiers came into the house and went to the boys' beds. They declared that part of the house was in Prussian territory and took the boys to serve in the Prussian Army. Carl determined to go to the USA during his time in the army.
He sailed from Hamburg on the Wieland on February 3, 1884 with several other people who listed their home as Suwalken, Russland. He was listed as an arbeiter (laborer).
Reading the history of the area, I now understand why he spoke 8 languages when he came to the US and served as a court interpreter. He also had several businesses in the immigrant community, including a bicycle shop and a shoemaker. The census figures also tell me he watched what was happening in his homeland because he listed his birthplace by what the current situation was there.
Any ideas of where to look for the information would be greatly appreciated.