Litz Family History:
From Russia to Winnipeg


I recently had my DNA tested at  SURPRISE!! below is my inherited Ancestry Composition from my Litz side on Standard view. 

50.0%  From Father
49.8% European
Northern European
1.5% French and German
0.8% Finnish
0.2% British and Irish
14.8%  Nonspecific Northern European
9.3% Eastern European
3.4% Ashkenazi
Southern European
0.1% Iberian
0.1% Nonspecific Southern European
19.5% Nonspecific European
0.2% Unassigned
Below is the Speculative view:
50.0% From Father
50.0% European
Northern European  
8.8% French and German
4.2% Scandinavian
1.0% Finnish
0.7% British and Irish
12.4% Nonspecific Northern European
13.1% Eastern European
4.3% Ashkenazi
Southern European
0.2% Iberian
0.2% Nonspecific Southern European
5.1% Nonspecific European
Using other DNA 3rd party tools on Gedmatch Admix, the following are Ancestry Composition for phased data showing only my Litz/Kroening  side;

EUtest V2 K15 and Oracle My phased data
Population Percent     Population Percent
North_Sea 23.66%     German 59.40%
Atlantic 22.68%     Belorussian 11.36%
Baltic 14.76%     Erzya 6.50%
Eastern_Euro 11.54%     Sudanese 5.94%
West_Med 6.63%     French_Basque 4.41%
West_Asian 4.08%     Pima 3.40%
East_Med 4.07%     Yemenite_Jewish 3.40%
Red_Sea 1.23%     North_Kannadi 3.40%
South_Asian 2.06%     Papuan 1.10%
Southeast_Asian 0.17%     Kargopol_Russian 1.08%
Siberian 0.82%        
Amerindian 2.10%        
Oceanian 1.12%        
Northeast_African 2.58%        



My phased data                         Sister's phased data
Population Percent Population  
EAST_EURO 18.96% EAST_EURO 20.68%
WEST_MED 8.54% WEST_MED 10.29%
EAST_MED 4.13% EAST_MED 1.04%

So we can easily see that siblings get very different DNA from each of their parents and tests differ in what results are produced.


So this brings up a whole new set of questions; the primary one being where exactly do we come from...well, lots of places by the looks of it.

One must also think a bit of history when we talk about origins.  The following map will explain a lot as it shows the border changes through history. 




I guess the safest bet is to say we are "a European Blend" You may also notice the Ashkenazi reference.  Well, as long suspected by many, yes we have Jewish Ancestry.  Now having an Uncles DNA, we have his paternal Y Haplogroup J1e (new names J1c3 and J P58).  This would indicate that our Jewish Ancestry is Robert's father and his paternal line.  Hopefully further Y chromosome study will be able to identify a family line.

Of the DNA tested by 23andMe, it shows that I have over 1200 DNA relatives ranging in relationship from 3rd to distant cousin.  (Boy would that have made some family reunion!!).  This means that these 3rd cousins and I share a common Great great grandparent. (that would be our grandparent's grandparent).  Add another grand for each number of distant cousin and goes quite far back

The only way to further narrow things down is to have more of us tested at 23andMe, compare our results and see what the past has in store.

 Should any of you want to participate in the ongoing search, give me a shout, there is still much to learn.

Enjoy the ride!


Our Litz Story 



We’ll begin with what I have been told about the family background by relatives, the family lore, so to speak. Many of the details passed down have proven to be false, or diluted.  Others will remain a mystery.  Here's the legend:


  Once upon a time, in a land far away....


(I couldn’t resist…sorry, Below is the "story" told, not proven, and as following pages will show, much of it is dis-proven).

Robert Litz’s family was German and originally from the Berlin area.  He had 4 siblings, August, Rudolph, Albert and Elizabeth.  His father and he traveled when he was young.  His father was a salesman of firefighting equipment and was killed in the Warsaw area in an accident demonstrating this equipment when a wall fell on him.  His mother remarried and moved to “Gaboritz”(1).  After his fathers death, he went out on his own and worked in a lumber camp, sharpening axes and saw blades.  The wood from the camp was shipped to England for ship building..

To make extra cash, he made Schnapps which was verboten.  He was found out by authorities, and escaped arrest after being warned by an acquaintance who had overheard a conversation at an authorized drinking establishment about Robert and an upcoming arrest. 

 Robert’s escape brought him to the Zhitomir area, Ukraine. Here he met Hulda Kroening, working at a guest house.  They married and escaped Russia with her brother Ferdinand.  They were aided in their escape to Austria/Galicia by a Rabbi who had bribed a guard to let them across the Austrian border(2).  The guard told them after getting his money that they had 2 minutes (or some other time frame) and then he was going to start yelling and shooting his rifle.   They obviously made it to cover. 

 They crossed Austria/Poland/Galicia and into Germany stopping in Shierstein, possibly near Wiesbaden, until they had earned enough money for the fare for their Trans Atlantic journey. Hulda gave birth to a son, Rudolph who died at sea. 

When they arrived in Winnipeg, they moved into a CPR hotel/rooming house at 642 Logan Ave. He bought a wheelbarrow (3) and went looking for work.  At Main and Higgins, they were digging an underpass for the railway.  He got a job as a casual labourer digging dirt.  He saw a foreman strike another worker and thought that was unwarranted. He went to the bosses and told them that he would contract the job.  I think they probably laughed but thought they’d let the poor immigrant make a fool of himself so they said OK.   Robert then fired the foreman hired his digging mates and a couple of horses and wagons that were sitting at the side of the street to haul away dirt.   They worked and dug the underpass and the family company Litz Contractors was born.(4)

So that’s the story as I was told.  Follow the links and see what I have found out from Poland, Russia (Ukraine) England, Canada and the United States records and archives; some of it jives with family “lore”, some of it doesn’t.


 1,2,3,and 4 all told to me by uncle Albert 


Other Litz's, Migrations, other families and stats over the years(are we all related?)

Our name Litz is not a common one, but there is a smattering of Litz's on this continent (North America) who do not appear to be related at this point in my research.  The earliest immigrant to the New World was a Johan Wilhelm Litz who came to Pennsylvania in 1751.  Many of his line are still in the USA.  Other Litz's  migrated in the late 1800's to the Dakota's and Nebraska regions. 

We know by the records of our Litz family that our family's journey across the Atlantic to Canada was in 1904.  

Between the years of  1892 and 1924 there were 92 Litz arrivals at Ellis Island, in New York from various European countries.

Between the years 1851 and 1891 there were 150 Litz's that arrived at Castle Garden, New York.

In the 1940 US Census there were 1662 Litz's living in the USA. Hmmmm!

In the 1911 Canadian Census there were 25 Litz's living in Canada.

In the 1916 Canadian Census there were 16 Litz's living in Canada. (9 of which were our family! Where did the other 9 go to from 1911)

The above information just makes me want to ask "who are you and is our little family really bigger than we know?"


The oldest records in Europe I have found for the surname Litz are in Sweden and Finland from the 1600's.  This information was located on the IGI (International Genealogy Index) putting in the surname and country. The name LItz in Scandinavia is basically as War Name, or Soldier Name to distinguish all the ?son's caused by patronymic naming patterns common in Scandinavia. 

There are also records in Bessarabia from the 1800's and records from the 1700's in the western Prussia land register.  In fact you can search almost any category on the Odessa Search and there are Litz's  and Kroenings there.  It is interesting to note that many Litz's from Bessarabia ended up in the Dakota's or Nebraska.

There are records on line that show the name Litz in Ukraine, Poland and Russia after our known ancestors left for Canada

If you look at lines 79 and 90 on the following link you will see Litz as it is spelled today and also Lik which is a possible metric alternative although Lic is more acceptable.


Litz is also a name seen in the present Ashkenazi community.


and then there are all the Litz's  in the USA that are shown here

Name Popularity

Litz listings in the USA: 2433


Litz and Social Media

For those of you on Facebook, if you type in Litz, there are many, in countries all over the world.  I often scan them and look at their profile pictures trying to see if they look like any of us....well some do, some don't.  I have tried to contact some, but alas, no one has responded or reached out as a long lost cousins.

Litz in Poland Today


Today there are Litz's that still live in Poland.  Very few in fact, and mostly in the Elblag area.  If you look at a map, it's fairly close to Lomza, or try the link below to see the distribution of our name in Poland, Germany, and Switzerland.

The spelling of the last name, Litz in Polish is Lic  (C having the sound of TZ).  We also cannot discount the spellings of Litzski or Litzska as these are indicative of Polish names meaning son of (ski) or daughter of (ska).  Then we have the popular Lietz, Leitz...well lets just say at this stage until we know more, we really cannot rule them out, but I have not done much with them other than note some in my private files for possible further investigation...Like I haven't enough to do.... 

Below is my letter to the Polish Government followed by my attempt at a Polish translation followed by 2 replies that I received from Polish Litz's.


September 6, 2003

Centraline Biuro Andresowe

ul Kazimierzowska 60

02-543 Warsaw


To Whom It May Concern:

Subject: 2002 PESEL   Litz 7, GdSg: M. 3, F. 2, OlmEl: M. 1, F. 1

I am researching my family and have found the above persons whom I believe may be related.  I would be interested in communicating with them if they are willing to provide their addresses

My grandfather Robert Litz was born in the Lomza area October 9, 1879.  He immigrated to Canada in 1904, after working in a lumber camp in Russia.  He left behind 4 siblings, Rudolf, August, Albert and Elizabeth.  I do not know the parents names, however it is believed his father was killed in a fire accident in Warsaw in the 1880’s or 1890’s. 

I am hoping that these seven (7) Litz’s may be descendants of his brothers.  There were 11 in the 1998 records, an am hoping with all sincerity that it was marriage and not death that reduced this number however as I see my own family aging, it only intensifies my desire to make contact with lost family in Poland.

Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. 



Komu To Może Dotyczyć:


Powód (przedmiot): 2002 *PESEL* *Litz* 7, *GdSg*: *M*. 3, *F*. 2, *OlmEl*: *M*. 1, *F*. 1


Badam mój rodzina (rodzinny) i znalazł wyżej ludzi kogo uważam może (maj; majowy) jest związany. JA zainteresowany w komunikacie (łączność) z & (oni) jeżeli one są skłonni zaopatrywać ich adresy


Mój wielki ojciec *Robert* *Litz* był urodzony w *Lomza* przestrzeń Październik (październikowy) 9, 1879. On wyimigrował do Kanady w 1904, po pracy jak (ponieważ) *bushman* w Rosji. On opuszczał za (w tyle) 4 rodzeństwem, *Rudolf*, *Augustus*, *Albert* i *Elizabeth*. nie poznaję nazwy (imiona) rodziców, jednak to jest jego ojciec był zabijany w nieszczęśliwym wypadku ognia (pożar) w Warszawie w 1880 ’*s* albo 1890 ’*s*.


JA mam nadzieję co (żeby; który) te (te) siedem (7 ) *Litz*’*s* może (maj; majowy) jest *descendants* jego braci. Tu były 11 w 1998 archiwach, mam nadzieję z całą szczerością co to było małżeństwo i nie śmierć (pośmiertny) co (żeby; który) zmniejszał tę liczbę (ilość) jednak jak (ponieważ) widzę mój własny rodzina (rodzinny) starzejący się (starzenie się), to tylko wzmacnia moje żądanie nawiązywać kontakt z zagubioną (zgubiony) rodziną w Polsce.


Wszelka informacja wy możecie zaopatrywać bardzo będzie doceniany.


So, that being done, this is the response I got and a bill before they would deliver the info from the Consulates office...




W odpowiedzi na Pani pismo z dnia 6.09.203 roku w sprawie odszukania osÓb spokrewnionych z Pani dziadkiem, uprzejmie informujemy, iŻ Centralne Biuro Adresowe posiada wyłącznie adresy osÓb żyjacych I zmeldowanych na terenie Polski, nie posiada natomiast żadnych dokumentÓw archiwalnych oraz nie posiada informacji na temat powiązań rodzinnych osÓb znajdujących się

 w naszej ewidencji.


Jednocześnie informujemy, iż Biuro nasze zwrÓciło się

do kilku osÓb o nazwisku rodowym Litz, z prośbą o potwierdzenie ewentualnego pokregwieństwa I wyrażenie zgody na przekazanie Pani swojego adresu zgodnie z art. Rrh ustawy z dnia 10 kwietnia 1974 r. o ewidencji ludności i dowodach osobistych/tekst jednolity Dz.U. z 2001 r. Nr 87 poz. 960/. Poniżej podajemy adresy osÓb, ktÓre wyraziły  zgodę



On you letters in (to) answer from day regarding seeking person you grandfathers 6.09.203 year spokrewnionych, we inform kindly, that central address office owns addresses of persons exclusively żyjacych and in the area of poland zmeldowanych, however, it lacks no archival documents and it lacks information about family coherence of persons in our record finding (be placed). We inform simultaneously, that office our has been returned for several persons about patronymic Litz, with request about confirmation possible pokregwieństwa and formulation of agreement you on transfer according to from day about census address article 10 april 1974 act Rrh and homogeneous /text personal proofs Dz.U. With (from) 2001 number 87 poz. 960 /. We serve addresses of persons below, which (who) have expressed agreement




I have been in contact with two of them, Andrejz Litz.  He has sent me some pictures of his family, and I have to say that his father would fit right in with a picture of the "boys" in 1940's.  This in itself proves nothing, but we are both still working on a connection.  Unfortunately, my correspondence with Andrejz ended after one letter from him and 2 from me.  I have only just recently found his wife on Facebook and she advised that Andrejz died shortly after our initial contact.






I have also been in touch with another Litz member, but she was not able to provide much evidence to relationship validation either but I am including our correspondence here as well, because you just never know.