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We have not yet compiled more detailed data on the history of the manors in the Land of Suiti. This topic has practically not been studied so far. What is clear is that many former manor centers are very old settlements that have seen a lot in their long lives. The number and boundaries of manors, as well as the locations of manor centers, have sometimes changed over the centuries. Information about the origins of various geographical places in Courland has been collected in the book Die Kurenfrage published in Helsinki in 1939 by Valentin Kiparsky. A retelling of the information can be found in Edgar Dunsdorf’s 1984 book Courland War Maps published in Melbourne, Australia. According to this publication, the following settlements (manors) have been mentioned for the first time in these years (in order of age):

Alšvanga (Aliswanges) – 1230
Adze (Adze) – 1253
Basi (Bassen) – 1338
Almāle (Almalen) – 1355-62
Deksne (Dexen) – 1355-62
Gudenieki (Gudden) – 1386
Grāveri (Grawen) – 1419
Birži (Byrszen) – 1505

In parentheses, the transcription of the first mention of the name is given.

Edgar Dunsdorf’s book also contains information from the lists of land owners from 1704, which shows the name of the manor, its owner (also possible tenant) and the number of ploughs (unit of land area) in the manor:

Grāveri – Brabender – together with Pilsberģe 25 ploughs.
Dūre (Duhren) – Goβ –2.5 ploughs.
Ozolmuiža (Eckhoff) – Frau Teyder – 5 ploughs.
Gudenieki – Oberstin von Schlippenbach – together with Jaunā muiža 20 ploughs.
Adze – Grole – 7.5 ploughs.
Jaunā muiža (Neuhoff) – Oberstin von Schlippenbach – together with Gudenieki 20 ploughs.
Feliksberga (Feliksbergh) – Brabender – together with Grāveri 25 ploughs.
Alšvanga – Oberst Schwerin – 20 ploughs.
Reģi – Oberst Schlippenbach – together with Almāle 10 ploughs.
Būcmaņu muiža – Frau von Sacken – together with Deksne 5 ploughs.
Deksne (Dexen) – Frau von Sacken – together with Sarkanmuiža 5 ploughs.
Almāle – Oberst Schlippenbach – together with Reģi 10 ploughs.
Birži (Birsen) – Major Buchholtz – 5 plows together with Ērkuļi.
Erkuļi – Major Buchholtz – together with Birži 5 plows.
Basi – Blomberg – 15 ploughs.

A plough is an ancient land measurement unit, which has not been constant over the centuries. It was supposed to reflect how much one plowing man with one horse can plow in one day when working normally.

Blintene, Balande and Stirnu manors do not appear in the lists of land owners from 1704. The audit acts of the Blintene manor can be found in the State Historical Archive starting from 1741, when it was already the property of the Biron family. Today not much remains of the Dūre manor. A cemetery still bears its name. Buttmanshoff is connected to the current Būcmaņciems, which is were the old center of the manor was. The manor itself, both in Būcmaņi and Deksne, disappeared in the middle of the 18th century. The old site of the Deksne manor is located on the site of the collapsed houses of the Kalna and Lejas Muižarāji of the Alsunga municipal parish. The name of Ērkuļi manor seems to have survived in our days only in the name of Ērkuļi lake.

After the later Duke of Courland Ernest Johann von Biron purchased Alšvanga from Vladislav Georg von Schwerin in 1738, a number of other surrounding manors also became the property of the Birons. In 1795, when the Duchy of Courland was annexed by Russia, these manors became the property of the Russian state crown and were managed by renting them to people of the noble class. Crown manors until the establishment of the Republic of Latvia were: Alšvanga, Adzes, Basi, Blintene, Grāveri, Gudenieki, Jaunā muiža, Feliksberga (Jūrkalne), Balande and Ozolmuiža. The private manors were Birži, Almāle and Reģi. There was still the Alšvanga pastorate, or the Priest’s Manor and Stirnu muiža, which was part of the state forest management structure of the crown, similar to forestry.

The work of learning the history of the manors of the Land of Suitti is still ahead of us.