25 May 2017

New Map: Bukovina

We're very pleased to announce the release of a new map of the Bukovina that, along with Galizien, was a part of the Austrian Empire, western neighbors to the Russian Empire.

Bukovina, whose name in all languages (Romanian: Bucovina; German: Buchenland; Polish: Bukowina; Ukrainian: Буковина) means land of beech trees, is a historical geographic area in east central Europe located on the northern slopes of the Carpathian mountains and the adjoining plains, currently straddling Romania and Ukraine. Formerly a part of Moldavia, in 1775, it became a part of the Austrian Empire.

The area is very rich and diverse in terms of ethnicity and religion. Three major German groups –Swabians from southwestern Germany, Bohemians from the Bohemian Forest and Zipsters from upper Hungary – settled colonies in the area and also joined many villages that already existed, some of which became more German in character as a result.  Some spent time in Galizien before moving to Bukovina.

One interesting thing you may notice when looking at these locations is that there is rarely only one religion noted for a colony.  Austria and the Habsburg Monarchy were officially Roman Catholic, but one particular source,  Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Läander (Gazetteer of the Crown Lands and Territories Represented in the Imperial Council), enumerated separately both Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic residents along with Jewish and "other."  The "other," it turns out, was anything of the Protestant faith, Lutheran and/or Reformed. Evangelische parishes were found for some colonies and are noted on the map with a (P) after the parish name.

If this is your area of research or if you're interested in learning more about it, I urge you to check out the sources below that were used to populate the map.  The history and chronology by Sophie A. Welisch are in English and excellent places to start.

The following maps are now available and updated: 
All of the maps associated with this site along with their descriptions can be found on the Maps page.

Bukovina Sources:




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On This day: 25 May 1767

On this day, 25 May 1767, the Volga Mother colony of Göbel was founded. It was a Roman Catholic colony and was named for the first leader of the colony.  By decree on 26 February 1768, it was given the Russian name of Ust-Gryaznukha for the river by which it was located.  

For more information about Göbel, visit the following sites: 
Center for Volga German Studies - Göbel
Volga German Institute - Göbel
Find A Grave - Goebel Virtual Cemetery of Immigrants (Burials of Göbel immigrants in the U.S. and Mexico.)

Göbel, still known by the Russian name it was given in 1768, Ust'-Gryaznukha, Volgograd, Russia.




2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.






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24 May 2017

Map Refresh: Galizien Colonies

The village data for Galizien has been updated and posted.  Changes include updates to a few coordinates and current village names as well as some on-going validation of source links to all villages.  The villages with location updates include the following:
Alt-Huziejow, Alt-Oleksice, Hirschbach, Brody, Brunndorf, Burgau, Burgthal, Demnia-wyzna, Deutsch-Dabrowka, Engelsbrunn, Ernstdorf, Flehberg, Gassendorf, Gillershoff, Hartfeld, Hohenbach, Hundstal, Kaltwasser, Kalusz, Karlsdorf, Kleindorf, Knihinin, Kolpiec, Konstantówka, Korost, Sitauerówka, Slawitz and Sporysz.
Much gratitude goes to Dave Gorz and John Kaminski of the Galizien German Descendants society for their continued work on this area and for being my second and third set of eyes.  

The following online maps are now available: 

All of the maps available with their descriptions can be found on the menu to the right and on the Maps page.

You may notice that on the main GRSL map, Galizien has been moved into a layer named "Austrian Empire." There will be another group of villages joining it very shortly: Bukovina.

Galizien and even earlier, Dobrudscha, altered the scope of the project from being ethnic German villages in the Russian Empire only.  The project started out as a handful of Black Sea colonies with emphasis on Bessarabia and with perhaps the restrictive name of "Germans from Russia" settlement locations, but it grew into something more inclusive, and, I think, more useful for researchers whose families may have moved between those border regions. Nonetheless, I wanted to be clear that the Austrian empire was represented in the larger map for less experienced researchers.

And for now, the project name stands as it is.  When we're "done" (whatever that means), the map as a permanent source may undergo a name change that is more reflective of whatever we end up with. Until then, it remains the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project.

Enjoy!



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20 May 2017

On This Day: 20 May 1767

On this day, 20 May 1767, the Volga Mother colony of Kautz was founded and named for its first mayor, George Jacob Kautz.  The colony received it's official Russian name of Vershinka on 26 February 1768, 

Today, the village no longer exists.

For more information about Kautz, visit the following sites: 
Center for Volga German Studies - Kautz
Volga German Institute - Kautz
Find A Grave - Kautz (Werschinka) (very nice job on recording this cemetery!)

Kautz. This village no longer exists.






2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.





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16 May 2017

On This Day: 16 May 1767

On this day, 16 May 1767, the Volga Mother colonies of Frank and Hussenbach were founded 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) apart on the east side of the Medveditsa River, a tributary of the Don River. Medveditsa means she-bear, and according to legend (and Wikipedia), there were large populations of bears in the area.

Frank, now known as Medveditsa, Volgograd, Russia.

Hussenbach, now known as Linjowo, Volograd, Russia.



2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.




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14 May 2017

On This Day: 14 May 1767

On this day, 14 May 1767, two Catholic Volga colonies were founded: Hildmann and Leichtling. They were located about 6.4 km (approximately 4 miles) apart with Hildmann in the north and Leichtling to the south.

Hildmann, now known as Panovka, Volgograd, Russia.

Leichtling, now known as Ilovlinka, Volgograd, Russia.



2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.



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13 May 2017

On This Day: 13 May 1767

On this day, 13 May 1767, the Volga Mother colony of Kolb was founded.  Not long after, on 26 February 1768,  by decree the colony was renamed Peskovatka for the name of the river by which it was settled. That name remains today.





2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.



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12 May 2017

On This Day: 12 May 1767

On this day, 12 May 1767, six of the 104 Mother colonies in the Volga were founded.  Of these, three continue to exist today.  


Dinkel. Now known as Tarlykovka, Saratov, Russia.

Keller. This village no longer exists.

Letsinger. This village no longer exists.

Preuss.  This village no longer exists.

Straub, now known as Skatovka, Saratov, Russia

Warrenburg, now known as Privolnoye, Saratov, Russia



























2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.



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11 May 2017

AHSGR 2017 International Convention

Note: Updated 16 May 2017 with dates and times.




The Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project will be presented at the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia convention in Milwaukee, WI in August. There will be a session held on August 30 from 1:15 -2:15 p.m. and a repeat performance on August 31 from 2-3 p.m. Hope to see you there! For more about the convention, see AHSGR's website.

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20 April 2017

Sorting Through Volga: New and Refreshed Maps

Did I mention this is a work in progress?

There has been a lot of re-checking of maps and editing data going on behind the scenes lately that will continue for months to come. Dennis has gone through the village data against the paper maps, and I've been following behind validating, editing and making notes before updating the online maps. And in doing so, I discovered we had some information that was incorrectly categorized.  

The Volga map had more villages that were actually in the official Volga region as defined by the governorate, so those have been pulled out into two new maps: the Samara Colonies and the Ural Colonies.  

Samara was indeed the Volga region, so it remains there on the full GRSL map and the Volga Region map, but those who settled the colonies came much later and from different places than the original Volga colonists. They deserve their own colony group.  The Ural colonies are east and northeast of the Volga colonies and west of the Ural Mountains.  They include the Neu-Samara Mennonites, the Orenburg Mennonite and Protestants colonies, the Ufa colonies (Catholic, Mennonite, Protestant), the Aktyubinsk colonies founded on privately bought land by Black Sea and Volga colonists and the Arkadak Mennonite settlement. 

The following online maps are now available: 

Volga Colonies (data refresh)
Samara Colonies (new)
Volga Region (new)
Ural Colonies (new)
GRSL (Germans from Russia Settlement Locations) map (data refresh)

For the Volga region (Volga and Samara), the following paper maps were used for village locations: 

  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet (Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region). Karl Stumpp, AHSGR, Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland, 1954. WorldCat link.
  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Raum Alt-Samara, Ufa-Dawlekanowo, Orenburg, Neu-Samara und Aktjubinsk (Map of German settlements in the area of Alt-Samara, Ufa-Dawlekanowo, Orenburg, New Samara and Aktjubinsk). Karl Stumpp and AHSGR, 1964. WorldCat link.
  • Carte des colonies Allemandes etables sur le Volga dans le territoire de Saratov (Map of the German colonies on the Volga in the territory of Saratov). Pierre François Tardieu, 1788.
And for the Ural colonies, the Map of German settlements in the area of Alt-Samara, Ufa-Dawlekanowo, Orenburg, New Samara and Aktjubinsk was also used.

The paper maps used to find the villages are available for purchase from the American Heritage Society of Germans from Russia.  Copyright prevents sharing them in full here.  If you want a copy of a map for your family archive, note the map used in the Sources for your village. There are also many other maps of the Volga out on the internet.  Finally, the OCLC WorldCat link is provided so you can find the nearest library with a copy of the two Stumpp maps, if you'd just like to look at them.


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18 April 2017

Layout of German Dorfs in Russia Part II

While editing the latest batch of colony data, I ran across a couple of really nice examples of how farmsteads must've looked back when our ancestors lived in Russia...because they still look like it today.

For a refresher of how German colonies were laid out, see a previous post from November last year on the Layout of German Dorfs in Russia.  Take a look at the drawings for the farmyards and then take a look at of the photos below.

These are Mennonite colonies the Orenburg oblast (map coming soon).

Kuterija, Orenberg, Russia


Jugowka, Orenberg, Russia

Klinok, Orenburg, Russia

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05 April 2017

Number of Villages by Current Country - No Map

This evening while contemplating a new map laying out the villages by their current countries, I jotted down the count per country so far. 


Current CountryNumber of Villages
Azerbaijan 9
Bulgaria 5
Georgia 20
Kazakhstan 2
Moldova 76
Poland 120
Romania 39
Russia 523
Ukraine 2,346


That last number – Ukraine, 2,346 – exceeds the 2000 limit of pins that can be put into a group on a Google map.  So....I guess I won't be creating a new map, but I thought I'd share the numbers anyway. 

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04 April 2017

Map Refresh: Crimea, Galizien, Kherson, Kronau, Schwedengebiet, Taurien, Volga, Zagradovka

With spring arriving (northern hemisphere), there has been a lot of reviewing of maps and data clean up and standardization going on the past couple months.

For those who were aware of this project a year ago, you might recall a document with a list of changes that kept track of the progress of village locates. That has been started up again to keep track of all the moving parts and for those who are interested in the details of what additions and updates occur with the data used to create the maps. You can access the change history file off the Maps page.

This week there are several colony group map refreshes:


The Black Sea Area map has been updated with the changes for Crimea, Kherson, Kronau, Schwedengebiet, Taurien and Zagradovka. And the full Germans from Russia Settlement Locations map has been updated with all the changes. 

Current total village count: 3140



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12 March 2017

Map Refresh: Galizien and Volga Regions

The maps for the Galizien and Volga areas have been refreshed with the latest data.

The Galizien colonies now have links to the Rudolf Unterschütz Map of the German Settlements in Galicia, which the Galizien German Descendants society has obtained permission to use and allowed us to link to from their website.

The Volga map has 46 additional colonies, bringing the total in that area now to 376. The naming standard for current names of defunct villages is rolling out in Volga along with additional sources and links to Google maps of current locations, which often include photos of the village and sometimes other information researchers may find useful, especially in larger towns.

The full Germans from Russia Settlement Locations map has been updated as well.  And as always, you can find all the maps on the menu on the right and on the Maps and Data page.


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10 March 2017

Finding Yarmi

Location of Bischofsfeld, Kutshurgan, Odessa (AKA Yarmi)
Cynthia Goetz Stone began her long search for her maternal German-Russian great-grandma Amelia's birthplace in 1999. 

Amelia Heier Hartman's death card very clearly stated she was born in Yarmi, Russia.  

The problem was no one had ever heard of Yarmi.  

The village was not mentioned in any of the research materials available at the time. For years she searched until she came across a reference to a village that sounded like it, Yereme, and learned the full Russian name of Yereme, the village her great-grandmother knew as Yarmi, was Jeremejewka.  

Later she learned the German name of the village was Bischofsfeld.

Bischofsfeld was was a Catholic daughter colony in the Kutschurgan district founded in 1887. Today Yarmi is called Yeremiivka (Єреміївка), located in the Odes'ka Oblast in Ukraine.

You can read Cynthia's touching story about her search for her great-grandma's beloved Yarmi in the latest edition (March 2017) of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society's journal Heritage Review.








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03 March 2017

Benkendorf, Akkerman, Bessarabia

Plat map of Benkendorf
Source: 1963 Heimutbuch Benkendorf
Map courtesy of the Black Sea German Research plat map collection
Benkendorf was founded in 1863.

Today Benkendorf is a part of Velykomar'yanivka (Великомар'янівка) in the Odessa oblast, Ukraine.  Its population in 2001 was 774. 






Location of Benkendorf







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Sources: 

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Mischeny, Cahul, Bessarabia

Mischeny was founded in 1912 on land bought from a Bulgarian community.  The population in 1939 was 83.  Today it's known as Meşeni and is situated in Moldova. 

Plat map of Mischeny
Source: Deutsches Auslands-Institute (DAI) microfilm T81, 8374, Allen Konrad
Map courtesy of the Black Sea German Research plat map collection


Location of Mischeny

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Sources: 

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23 February 2017

Parapara, Ismail, Bessarabia

Parapara was founded in 1916 by settlers from Basyrjamka, Hoffnungsfeld, Gnadental, Neu Arzis and Neu Elft. It was a part of the Arzis Protestant parish.

In 1939, the population was 160.  Today the village is defunct. 


Plat map of Parapara
Source: 1986 Heimatkalender der Bessarabiendeutschen
Map courtesy of the Black Sea German Research plat map collection

Location of Parapara

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Sources: 


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Neu-Alexandrowka, Akkerman, Bessarabia

Neu-Alexandrowka, a Protestant daughter colony in Bessarabia, was founded in 1913.

Today, Neu-Alexndrowka is defunct.

Plat map of Neu-Alexandrowka
Source: 1986 Heimatkalender der Bessarabiendeutschen
Map courtesy of the Black Sea German Research plat map collection

Location of Neu-Alexandrowka


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Sources: 

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Ebenfeld, Cahul, Bessarabia

Ebenfeld was founded in 1914 by settlers from Neu Sarata.  The 1923 census recorded 25 households with 99 inhabitants.  The population grew to 157 over the next 10 years, and by 1939, there were 255 in habitants.  On 23 August 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed.  The German villagers, numbering 180, were repatriated to Germany, forced to leave their homes, workshops and land. After their exodus, the name of the village was changed to Cîmpul Drept.  It is now in Moldova, and the 2004 census recorded a population of 410, none of whom declared German ethnicity.

Plat map of Ebenfeld
Source: National Archives and Records Administration & Dale Wahl Collection
Map courtesy of the Black Sea German Research plat map collection
Location of Ebenfeld

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Sources: 


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