here is some stuff my dad came up regarding Baltic German glassmakers: "Glassworks existed as early as 1628 in present day Estonia (at Hüti on Hiiumaa island – which gets its name from the German “Glashütte” for glassworks) See https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%BCti_(Hiiumaa) (In German – but Google will translate it if you want.) Hüti was a Swedish enterprise, but interestingly, the first master at Hüti was Jost Wentzell – a name that should ring bells!
There were also glassworks as early as ca 1630 in present day Latvia (at Renda in Kurland), See “Smilts un Stikls” (“Sand and Glass”) p. 155 (in Latvian – but you will get the gist):
These early glassworks did not have much lasting impact (apparently Hüti went bankrupt). The “modern” period of glass manufacture in the Baltics started with the establishment of the works at Suntaži (Sunzel), in modern day Latvia, in November 1739. See for example (in German) p. 304 of:
Many, if not all, of the glassworker families of this period can be traced back to Suntaži. And many, but not all, of the families came there from Mecklenburg. There is a record (from Ambla) that explicitly states that Hedwig’s grandfather, Jacob Meissner, was from Mecklenburg. But the earliest Meissner records that I have found in Latvia are not from Suntaži, but rather from nearby Jürgensburg (Jaunpils) in Zaube parish. The first one records the attendance at communion on Oculi Sunday (3rd Sunday in Lent) 1743 of “Meissner and wife”. This is about three years after families such as Drewing, Detloff, Seitz, etc make their appearance in Latvia.
Here is a fragment of the famous 1798 Mellin map which shows Jürgensburg/Annenhof, Sunzel, Lemburg/Kaltenbrunn, Altenwoga, Allasch, and Sissegal (and their Latvian equivalents). The area covered is about 20 x 15 miles. All of these glassworks – and several others, including some in modern day Estonia – are associated with Meissners.
Apparently it was not easy for the glassworks entrepreneurs to persuade glassworkers to come to the wilds of Livonia in the first place. To be near supplies of wood for the furnaces glassworks were sometimes in the middle of forests and both winter and summer conditions could be harsh. Consequently, the glassworkers were constantly looking for better conditions. Also, market and resource conditions (such as the exhaustion of nearby forests and the availability of suitable quartz sand, potash, and limestone) sometimes dictated the cessation of operations at a particular glassworks after 10 years or less. Hence glassworker families frequently moved – en masse – from place to place. It can be very tricky to follow them.