The following is a letter to Marilee Relf from a Stabbert family living in Germany today.
Great information about our roots!

Dear Mrs. Relf,

It has taken me a long time to help you with the Stabbert ancestry. My sons Gerd and Richard are just as interested in this as you are. My cousin Kathe Hoppe, whose mother was a Stabbert, sent me all of the records and that made a lot of work for me.

During the time of Hitler, all school children were required to make a pedigree chart, and this is now very helpful to us today. I understand that in America today, there are 85 million people that are searching out their ancestors. I myself have all my records back to my Great-Great grandfather.

So, where do the Stabbberts come from? As far as I know, they came from the Salzburg area in 1732 and were driven out because of their Christian beliefs. The region they came from was between the Bavarian and Austrian North Alps. The first Salzburg immigrants spread throughout Southern Germany. No one was willing to accept them. The Protestant King Friedrich Wilhelm the 1st of Prussia allowed the people of Salzburg into Prussia. Some 20,000 of them came. He gave them land, work, and freedom of religion. At that time they lived with the "old Pruettzen", the Prussians and the Lithuanians that were in the region. Later, young men and women immigrated to the United States. Last week, my son found the names of some Stabberts from the USA on the Internet, which I have included.

Her [Kathe Hoppe's] Grandmother comes from Labiau or Wehlau, which were small cities. My great-great grandfather, Johan Stabbert, who was born around the end of the 1700's, comes from the Insterburger region. Her and my ancestors lived very close together so that a relationship could develop. So that you have an idea of the area, I have included a map of the East part of East Prussia where you can find Insterburg, Wehlau, and Labiau. My great-grandfather Wihelm Stabbert went to Staldschen. On the map, it is spelled Schakuhnen. This is where my great-grandfather and father were born. I was also baptized and blessed in the church at Schakuhnen in 1920 as were my three brothers, Hans, Siegfried, and Gerhard. So, we are the last Salzburgers from East Prussia. The first Salzburgers came to East Prussia in 1732. The last ones, to which I belong, were driven out by the Russians. There is no longer an East Prussia.

In 1945 the Allies gave the East portion, which you can see on the map, to the Russians and the west portion to Poland. I was in my old homeland in 1993. This now belongs to Russia. I stood with my feet on our own ground! Our farmhouse isn't there anymore. The whole village was destroyed, as were most of the other villages. Around the church cemetery where my father and grandparents and great-grandparents are buried, one now finds virgin forest, bushes, and vines. Near the graves there are deep holes in the earth where the Russians dug up the dead bodies and took the jewelry and the gold from their teeth. The Polish people did the same thing. The place is really desolate. You feel sorry for the Russians who live there now. They are poor and don't have much food.