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Regional Research > Lithuania > Karkelbeck

Regional Research > Historic territory > Germany 1871-1918 > Kingdom Prussia > East Prussia > County Memel > Karkelbeck

Fisherwomen from Karkelbeck on sandy tracks to the beach
of the Baltic Sea to collect the fish
Karkelbeck on the map of the County Memel



Aus dem Memeler Dampfboot ,a newspaper
This is how the centre of Karkelbeck looks like today, Foto 2008

The fisher village Karkelbeck, County Memel, East Prussia, was the longest municipality of the Memelland. It stretched almost 15 km from the seaside resort Försterei to Nimmersatt along the seafront.
The picture postcard (right) shows some typical subjects:

  • the inn of Franz Gattow,
  • the church, consecrated in 1911,
  • the rescue centre at the mouth of the Regge- or Reckestream,
  • and the beach of the Baltic Sea.
Today, (1982), Karkelbeck is a Soviet military zone.
The church is a ruin. [1]


Other Names and Spellings

Meaning of the Name

The name refers to willows and seafaring. Near Kerkelbeck the Rikupp runs into the Baltic Sea,

  • Old-Prussian „karklas, karkls, karklis“ = willow
  • Nehrungs-Curonian and Latvian "kārkls" = willowtree
  • "begt" = to sail, to go by ship
  • Prussian-Lithuanian "gale" = a piece of a field

General Information

  • Farming and fishing village with amber "panning", own parish, Erbdorf i.e. farmers with hereditary rights to their property, country village and "cölmisches" village, 11 km North of Memel, founded before 1554, famous seaside resort with wonderful dunes and sandy beach[2]
  • Here the Tydiko (river) runs into the Baltic Sea.

Political Structure

Without including other places, Karkelbeck itself is an accumulation of farms and estates 15 km along the coast below Nimmersatt.

  • In 1647 Hoppen Michel is founded (see inhabitants)
  • In 1736 the farms Frischgesell Hanß, Wirschk Hanß und Hoppe Michel are mentioned [3]
  • After 1917 Karkelbeck was enlarged by Kuckelbrod .
  • After 1940 Karkelbeck becomes a municipality and a village.[5]

Church Structure

Evangelical Church

Initially belonging in part to the parish of Deutsch Crottingen and in part to the parish of County Memel, Karkelbeck became a pastoral district in 1899 (with Pastor Eduard Drückler after taking up his post 01/07/1899) and on the 15/05/1904 a parish.

"In 1906 the site was bought, in 1908 the vicarage was ready, on the 19/7/1909 the laying of the foundation stone, on the 08/06/1911 the church was consecrated (the church was ready in 1910). The total costs were 97000 Mk."[6]

Adjacent Places

The forest near Karkelbeck

In 1912 the following places belonged to the parish Karkelbeck :

Darguszen, Grabben, Graudusz Bartel, Hohenflur, Karkelbeck, Köken Jakob, Kunken Görge, Nimmersatt, Paul Narmund, Rund Görge, Scheipen Thoms, Szodeiken Jonell, Uszaneiten.


The church books of Karkelbeck are missing.
see: Church books of county Memel


In 1907 Karkelbeck belonged to the catholic parish of Memel.

Civil Registration

In 1888 Karkelbeck belonged to the civil registration district of Plücken Martin, in 1907 to Kollaten. The affiliation changed in 1898. From 1913 Karkelbeck was its own civil registration district.

Adjacent places

In 1913 the following places belonged to the civil registration district of Karkelbeck :

Karkelbeck, Nimmersatt, Uszaneiten, Kunken Görge, Grabben, Rund Görge, Szodeiken Jonell, Scheipen Thoms, Darguszen, "Abbau" Karkelbeck, Graudusz Bartel

(lt. Auszug Standesamtsregister Karkelbeck; " Abbau" means : farms etc. outside the community but inside the municipal boundaries )


Since the church books of Karkelbeck are missing, the copies of the civil registers are invaluable. You can find them in Standesamt I in Berlin- Civil Registration I in Berlin. The "Mormonen" have films, too.

  • Births 1913-1916, 1919, 1921-1938.
  • Marriages 1913-1916, 1918-1938.
  • Deaths 1913-1916, 1918-1935, 1937-1938.


Martin Moors from Karkelbeck

Family names and individuals were found in several documents and taxlists. They are listed on the following additional page:

Development of Population

Karkelbeck is mentioned very early in a 1540 census (Türkensteuer) and the population increased in spite of some major problems (see history).

The diagram shows the development of the population 1540-1939. Below you can find more detailed information.

Development of Population Karkelbeck

  • in 1540 Karkelbeck has 330 inhabitants
  • in 1758 Karkelbeck has 44 hearths [7]
  • in 1819 Karkelbeck is a village with a beach with 44 houses and the biggest amber-panning operation in former Lithuania. [8]
  • in 1821 318 "souls"= people living in the community: Hoppen Michel with 16 inhabitants, the "Erbdorf" Karkelbeck with 100 souls and the country village Karkelbeck with 202 souls[9]
  • in 1848, 549 evangelical and 10 catholic inhabitants live in Karkelbeck, making 559 inhabitants[10]
  • in 1864, 629 inhabitants live in Karkelbeck[11]
  • in 1926, 841 inhabitants live there
  • in 1939, according to the census, 810 people live there.

After the war, in the 1950's, Karkelbeck was a military area, the houses around lake Plazis were destroyed. Only the Southern part of the" Holländischen Spitze"- Dutch peak remained. The " Gemeindeseelenliste"- a list of inhabitants, compiled by Christoph Patra , gives some information about the population after 1945.

Today Karkelbeck consists of Naujo-Karkle (


Karkelbeck had one big and three small cemeteries. Today you can only visit the big one near the " Holländischen Mütze". The smaller ones probably disappeared because they are inside the National Park.

The cemetery near the crossing North of Karkelbeck and Szeipen Toms (today Saipiai) cannot be found today although it is on the map from the 1930s.

You can easily reach the cemetery by foot. Coming from Memel you drive to Naujo Karkle and turn left into it. Look for an inn with a wooden path on the left - you should park here because the street is closed. You follow the street, go past the " Tausend-Mützen-Baum" and the sports field, turn left to the sea and you can see the cemetery on the right. A few more steps and you reach the sea on a wooden path.

It is well-kept and used today.

Cemetery of Karkelbeck



Karkelbeck in der Memellandkarte
See left near the Haff on Schroetter map from 1802, scale 1: 160000
Karkelbeck on Schroetterkarte No. 1, (1796-1802) 1:50 000
© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Karckelbeck on Preußischen Urmesstischblatt No. 1, 1832
© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Karckelbeck on Preußischen Urmesstischblatt No. 1, 1860
© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Coelmisch Karckelbeck on Preußischen Urmesstischblatt No. 1, 1832
© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Cölmisch Karckelbeck on Preußischen Urmesstischblatt No. 1, 1860
© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Karckelbeck on Preußischen Urmesstischblatt No. 4, 1860
© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Karkelbeck on Messtischblatt 0192 Nimmersatt (1912)and 0292 Memel (1910-1940) with the municipal boundaries of 1938
© Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie

Chance Discoveries

Often people, who were not born locally in the area, are found mentioned in church books or other archive source material of a place. These findings are chance discoveries. Such findings are sometimes the only opportunity to break through the Brick Wall in research. On the following page you can add chance discoveries related to this place or even find one for yourself.

Private Sources of Information and Offers of Help with Research

On the following page, private (noncommercial !) genealogists conducting research on this place, and/or those willing to share genealogical information, perform searches or provide scans/copies etc. regarding this place, can add their contact details. All inquiries should be made directly to the listed researcher!

Data from the Genealogical Place Database (GOV)

  • Karkelbeck Source Wohnplatz 21.75 (deu)
  • Karklininkai (1923) Source page 1086 (lit)
  • settlement (1863-01-19 -)
  • 66132
external id
  • geonames:598409
  • nima:-2615333

TK25: 0192

Superordinate objects

Memel (Hlste. Dreifaltigkeit), Klaipėda, Memel (1907) ( parish ) Source S.156/157

Karkelbeck, Karklininkai (1863-01-19 -) ( rural municipality municipality ) Source

Karkelbeck (1907) ( parish ) Source S.156/157

Subordinate objects
name type GOV-Id Timespan
Karkelbeck church object_169364


  1. Aus dem Memeler Dampfboot - from the MD, a newspaper
  2. Dietrich Lange: Geographisches Ortsregister Ostpreußen einschließlich des Memelgebietes, des Soldauer Gebietes und des Reg.-Bez. Westpreußen (1919-1939)- a geographical register of places
  3. Amtsbauern und Cölmer im nördlichen Ostpreußen um 1736, Horst Kenkel, Hamburg 2. Auflage 1995-Farmers in Northern East Prussia around 1736
  4. Kabinettsbeschluss vom 19.01.1863, in: Johannes Sembritzki, Geschichte des Kreis Memel, Memel 1918- History of the County Memel
  5. Kurschat, Heinrich A.: Das Buch vom Memelland: Heimatkunde eines deutschen Grenzlandes, Oldenburg (Oldb.) 1968, A local history of the Memelland
  6. Johannes Sembritzki, Geschichte des Kreis Memel, Memel 1918
  7. Slawen in Deutschland, Dr. Franz Tetzner, Braunschweig 1902-Slavs in Germany
  8. Erdbeschreibung der Preußischen Monarchie, Dr. G. Hassel, Weimar Verlag des Geographischen Instituts, 1819- Geographical description of the Prussian monarchy
  9. Wörterbuch des Preussischen Staats, Dr. Leopold Krug, 2. Band, 1821 Halle bei Karl August Kümmel- Dictionary of the Prussian state
  10. Slawen in Deutschland, Dr. Franz Tetzner, 1902 Braunschweig
  11. Die Ergebnisse der Grund- und Gebäudesteuerveranlagung im Regierungsbezirk Königsberg; Herausgeber: Königliches Finanzministerium, Berlin 1866- local property tax
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