19 October 2017

Moving East: German Colonies in Siberia and Central Asia


I recall someone recently describing Siberia as not a "place" that Germans moved to but rather a "direction" in which they moved.  And that direction was east. The map of the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations has elongated significantly with these additional 183 colonies.

The first draft of the German colonies located in Siberia (white pins) and Central Asia (black pins) has been published on the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations map.  The separate colony maps will be released at the end of the location effort for these areas.  We're roughly half way done.

Locations are going slow on this map. Some of the measurements are spot on while others are simply not.  Because many of the villages don't exist any longer, it takes a while to find them based on nearby known villages, historical names and satellite imagery.  Some can't be found.  I'll have a report of those that couldn't be found in the coming weeks.

The colonies found so far were settled between 1882 and 1918, with one outlier in 1927 in far east Russia.  It was more of a resettlement effort by Germans from other colonies in Russia and not by Germans from Germany.  Existing Mother and daughter colonies were getting overpopulated.  The agrarian land reforms put in place by Pyotr Stolypin in 1901 allowed resettlement benefits and for greater access to land, and the Trans-Siberian Railroad made it easier to get there.  Both western Siberia and Russian Turkestan had settlements during this time, although German settlements in Turkestan seem to have stopped around 1903.

Many followers of this project have been waiting for Siberia to find out where their families were deported to in September 1941, but the maps we're working on now does not include those.  That will be another map.

Volga and Black Sea colonists both took part in this resettlement.  In the notes, we indicate which groups settled a village. If there is no indication, that means that it is a village that Karl Stumpp was uncertain about.  He gave an approximate location, which we duplicated, but he had no information about the colonists' origin or religious confession.  Again, at the end of this location effort, I'll have a report on which colonies were settled by which groups.

One final note, the current names of some of the villages this deep into Russia do not appear on Google Maps.  They have been verified and do show up on other maps, but not Google Maps.  You can't even successfully search for the name.  I believe it has to do with the sources that are used for names, so it could change in the future as Google's sources change.  There's a note next to each one that is affected by this unexplained feature.

And this, folks, is why the coordinates are so valuable!  

Make sure you record the coordinates in your research and family trees in addition to the names.

Please.

Thank you.  :)




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11 October 2017

Toto, I have the feeling we're not in Glückstal anymore.




When I was at the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia's convention in August, someone asked me, "How far east are you going to go?"  My answer was, "As far as the maps will take us."

We play no favorites on this project.  Long ago, Dennis and I both got what we needed for our own personal family research, and since then, it's been all about helping others find their ancestral villages by following one map at a time, one colony at a time.

And the maps, it turns out, are taking us to the Far East.  There is an insert on one that shows clusters of Mennonite colonies established around 1927 in the Amur-Ussrui region in far east Russia bordering northeast China.

From page 671 of the 2010 edition of Ulrich Mertens' German-Russian Handbook: A Reference for Russian Germand and German Russian History and Culture with Place Name Listings of Former German Settlement Areas
"Shumanovka, Amur, Blagoveshchensk. Approximately 70 km south of Blagoveshchensk on the Chinese border. Possibly founded in 1927/1928. Mennonite. On 15 December 1930 or possibly 1929, all villagers fled to China and via Charbin to Paraguay, where they founded the colony of Fernheim."
There is also a colony called Shumanovka near Slavgorod area of the former Akmolinsk Oblast, current day Altayskiy Kray, on this same map founded in 1911 by Black Sea Germans, possibly from the North Caucasus or Molotschna areas. Given our ancestors' penchant for naming new colonies after old colonies, it's probable there is a colonist connection between the two Shumanovkas. 

Germanic States --> Black Sea --> Siberia --> Far East Russia --> China --> Paraguay

Didn't I tell you Siberia was going to be an interesting area?

I'll try to get a first draft of the Google map posted this weekend.


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03 October 2017

In Progress: Map of German Settlements in Siberia and Central Asia




There are two maps with what we estimate to be about 400 colonies on them.  Dennis has got 96 so far and pointed out that Stumpp marked some of them with an estimated location as the colonies were long gone by the time Stumpp mapped them.  Those are marked differently on the map than the others.  Religions and the origin of the colonists who settled them (Black Sea or Volga) are indicated on the map.  Stay tuned! This is going to be an interesting area.

Karte der deutschen Siedlungen bzw. Siedlungsgebiete im asiatischen Teil der Sowjetunion: Nord-(Siberien) u. Mittelasien 
Map of German settlements and settlements in the Asian part of the Soviet Union: North (Siberia) Central Asia

Karte der deutschen Siedlungen in den Gebieten Omsk, Slawgorod (Kulunda- Steppe), Zelinograd (Atmolinsk)
Map of German settlements in the areas of Omsk, Slavgorod (Kulunda-Steppe), Zelinograd (Atmolinsk)



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29 September 2017

Valley of Good Fortune: Glückstal, Odessa, Russia

When Russian Tsar Alexander I issued his manifesto of 20 February 1804, German families wasted no time immigrating to Süd Rußland, South Russia.

Location of Glückstal on Karl Stumpp's
Karte der deutschen Siedlungenim Gebiet Odessa, AHSGR map #2
The first Glückstal colonists – three German families – arrived between 1804 and 1805, just after Russian Tsar Alexander I published his Manifesto opening up the Black Sea for colonization by experienced farmers.  They were settled into the Armenian village of Grigoripol on the Dnister River. In 1805, another 67 families from Württemberg and settled in Grigoripol, too.  In 1806, another nine more families from Warsaw settled there, and in 1807, another 24 German families from Hungary arrived.

The district of Glückstal wasn't officially established until 1808, and the Glückstal colony, a Lutheran colony, wasn't founded until the spring of 1809, when 106 families were resettled from Grigoripol to the Moldavian village of Glinnoi due to conflicts with the Armenians in the village.  And additional 19 families arrived that same year.


View of Glückstal from one of the Neuer Haus- und Landwirtschaftskalender für deutsche Ansiedler im südlichen Russland und Kalender at the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen in Stuttgart. Photo courtesy of Gerhard Walter's photo gallery.


Upon resettlement, the story goes, Councilor von Rosenkampf, the president of the Colonists' Welfare Committee Association exclaimed, "Das ist euer Glück!"  This is your fortune!  They renamed the colony Glückstal – the Valley of Good Fortune.

The colonists in Glückstal were experienced farmers and craftsmen, per the requirements for immigration of Alexander's manifesto.  In 1825, the list of craftsmen included the following: 5 millers, 4 cobblers, 4 tailors, 4 blacksmiths, 1 weaver, 1 baker, 2 oil pressers, 2 coopers, 2 masons, 1 shepherd, 2 cabinet makers, 1 butcher, 1 harness maker, 1 glove maker, 1 locksmith and 1 doctor.

As for crops, the colonists grew very little rye and more summer wheat than winter wheat, along with oats, barley, corn and potatoes.  They also had extensive beekeeping operations.  The Russian government strongly advocated planting trees, and although the soil was rich, it was too dry. There were willows and acacia trees, but attempts to grow oak trees to maturity failed.  In the orchards, there were apples, plums, pears, cherries, peaches, apricots, mulberries, and according to the 1848 report, that year there were about 519 acres of vineyards with 465,400 vines.

According to a memoir by Mathilda (Schöll) Dollinger from The Glückstalers in New Russia and North America, A Bicentennial Collection of History, Genealogy & Folklore, the grapes grown in Glückstal were plentiful and so sweet that no additional sugar was needed to ferment them into wine. And often so much wine was made that they ran out of room to store it once the barrels in the cellar were full. The rest was stored in the well.

Martin Schilling (b. 1767) of Steinsfurt, Baden – my 4th great-grandfather – and his family was one of the families that arrived in Glückstal in1809. They left from Frankfurt in March and arrived in Glückstal in July, losing a young son, Phillip, along the way or at least before the first Revisionliste in 1816.

Below are photos of pages from Evangelisch Zeugnis der Wahrheit, known as the "Lutheran preacher's book" or "Lutheran prayerbook" in my family.  Martin Schilling bought this book with him from Germany when he immigrated to Glückstal in 1809. He was 14 years old the year the book was published, 1781, making it possibly a confirmation gift.  It was passed from father to eldest son to eldest son, and so on. His great-grandson, Johann Schilling (my great-grandfather, b. 1872 in Glückstal), brought it to the United States with him when he immigrated in 1898.  From there it went to Jacob Schilling (my grandfather, b. 1901 on the the Schilling homestead near Wishek, North Dakota), then to Cornelius Schilling (my father, b. 1928 on the Schilling farm, nine miles north, 2 miles west of Bowdle, South Dakota).  

At that point, I intercepted the next handoff for the sake of preservation.  

The front page of Evangelisch Zeugnis der Wahrheit published 1781.  Martin Schilling bought this book with him from Steinsfurt, Baden, Germany when he immigrated to Glückstal in 1809.  Photo courtesy of Sandy Schilling Payne.

The inside page of the book has signatures. The name at the top is Friderich Schilling.  It's not certain which Friderich Schilling this was, but it's possible it was Martin Schilling's father (my 5th great-grandfather, b. 1726 in Daudenzell, Baden).  Wilhelm Schilling (b. 1841 in Glückstal) in the center was Johann's father, Martin's grandson.  And the smaller Wilhelm below the date could've been Wilhelm Sr.'s youngest son, also Wilhelm (b. 1883 in Glückstal), practicing his signature. 

The inside page of the book is written "Glückstal 1893."   Signatures of Friderich Schilling, Wilhelm Schilling and another Wilhelm Schilling (probably the elder Wilhelm's youngest son). Photo courtesy of Sandy Schilling Payne.

This cross stitch bookmark was made by Rosina (Keszler) Schilling (my great-grandmother, b. 1873 in Glückstal or Neu-Glückstal) for her husband, Johann Schilling, sometime after they married in November 1895.  It says "Aus Libe Vergiß Mein nicht" – For Love Forget Me Not, signed with her initials, RS.

It was kept tucked in the Lutheran prayerbook for close to 120 years. 

A cross stitch bookmark made by Rosina (Keszler) Schilling.
Photo courtesy of Sandy Schilling Payne.


Location of Glückstal, known today as Hilinaia, Transnistria, Moldova. 

Learn More: 
Black Sea German ResearchHistory of Glückstal
Germans from Russia Settlement LocationsGlückstal Colonies Google map
Glückstal Colonies Research Association
The Glückstalers in New Russia and North America, A Bicentennial Collection of History, Genealogy & Folklore, Glückstal Colonies Research Association, 2004.
Odessa3 – A German-Russian Genealogical Library


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22 September 2017

New Map: Saint Petersburg and Nowgorod Colonies





The German colonies in the Saint Petersburg and Nowgorod areas have been updated. There were a few on the big map already, done based on historical names, but Dennis has now completed measuring the coordinates of these colonies from Karl Stumpp's Karte der deutschen Siedlungen in den Gouv. St. Petersburg (Leningrad) u. Nowgorod.

Like Volga and Belowesch, the Mother colonies in this area are very old. Three were founded in 1765 and another three in 1767. In total, sixty-five locations were found. Six were not: Samsonowka, Schirokoje, Iwanowka, Kleine Kolonie, Salominka, Schäferkolonie. Those not located were in the southern part of St. Petersburg. If anyone has any information about location specifics those those six colonies, please let us know.

The maps are getting more difficult to find at this point in the project. This was not an easy map to get our hands on, so much thanks goes to Rachel Schmidt at the Germans from Russia Heritage Society for locating and sending a copy from the GRHS Library.

One new thing I'm doing with these colonies is adding photos to the colonies on the maps. Right now, you can click on the Google Map link in the sources to see the town or city as it is now. But by adding colony-specific photos (cemeteries, churches, houses, etc.), you will see German Russian specific photos (current and historic) and maps of the colony. In addition to adding to the "one stop shopping" for German villages, this will be helpful in at least a couple of ways: 

  • For further documenting defunct colonies that have no current photos, attaching historical photos or plat maps will hopefully show how alive the colony once was.
  • For those colonies that grew into much larger populations, photos will document the old structures of the colony separate from the rest of the newer areas. 

I love automation, and without it, the maps as you know them would not exist. The data refresh to hundreds or thousands of colonies at a time happens in a matter of minutes. However, there is no way to automate adding photos to custom Google maps. It's one photo at a time to one colony at a time. It's a labor of love, and a long term commitment. There are a few done, and over the next few days, more will be added, and I'll send out an update then. Have a look at Owcino to see where I'm going with this. You'll see a photo at the top, and if you scroll down, you'll see more. Just click on any of the photos to see more of them.


A multitude of thanks goes to Irina Kibina for allowing me to link to the photos she has on her website, Deutsche Kolonien bei Sankt-Petersburg und Nowgorod 1765-1941. If you have family from this area, you should check out her site. There is a lot of information, including family names, revision lists and more photos.


The following maps have been updated:
Saint Petersburg/Nowgorod
GRSL (Germans from Russia Settlement Locations) map




The colonies that were found, including alternate names/spelling, are (for the sake of Google indexing):

22nd Kolonie, Achtundzwanziger, Aleksandrovskaya, Alexander-Kolonie, Alexander-Kolonie, Alexander-Kolonie, Alexander-Kolonie, Alexandrovka, Alexandrovka, Besborodkino, Bichky, Colony at the Porcelain Factory, Cronstadt, Detskoye Selo, Deutch-Shuvalovo, Deutsch Lewaschowa, Deutsch Lewaschowa, Deutsch Lewaschowa, Etiup, Etuep, Etuep, Etüp, Etyup, Farforovoy, Farforowka, Farforowka, Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Friedental, Friedental, Fröhliche Kolonie, Fröhliche Kolonie, Gorelovo, Grashdanka, Grashdanka, Grenz-Kolonie, Grenz-Kolonie, Ishora, Isvar, Iswar, Iswar, Jamburg, Jamburg, Janino, Janino, Kamenka, Kamenka, Kiepen, Kingisepp, Kipen, Kipen, Kirchdorf, Klyuchinsky, Kolonie bei Kovalevo, Kolonie bei Kowalewo, Kolonie bei Kowalewo, Kolonie bei Murino, Kolonie bei Murino, Kolonie bei Rutschij, Kolonie bei Rutschij, Kolonie near Murino, Kolpino, Kolpino, Kolpino, Kolpino, Krasnenka, Kronshtadt, Kronstad, Kronstad, Kronstadt, Kronštádt, Kronstädter-Kolonie, Kronstädter-Kolonie, Ksenofontova, Ksenofontowa, Ksenofontowa, Lagekolonie, Lagekolonie, Laugaz, Levashova, Ligovo, Ligowo, Ligowo, Luck, Luga, Luga, Luisen, Luisino, Luisino, Luts'k, Luzk, Luzk, Lyssino, Marienburg, Marienburg, Marino, Marino, Moskovskoe Pole, Moskovskoye Polye, Moskowskoje Polje, Moskowskoje Polje, Nebe, Nebe, Neu-Alexandrovsky, Neu-Alexandrowski, Neu-Alexandrowski, Neu-Luck, Neu-Pargola, Neu-Pargolowo, Neu-Pargolowo, Neu-Porkhov, Neu-Saratovka, Neu-Saratowka, Neu-Saratowka, Neudorf, Neue Siedlung, Neue Siedlung, Neuhausen, Nikolai-Kolonie, Nikolai-Kolonie, Nikolayevskaya, Nyemetskaya Kolonya, Oranienbaum, Oranienbaum, Oranienbaumer-Kolonie, Oranienbaumer-Kolonie, Oserki, Oserki, Ovchino, Ovcino, Ovtsino, Ovtsyno, Owcino, Owcino, Owzino, Panovo, Panowo, Panowo, Patkanovo, Peterhof, Peterhof, Peterhof-Stadt, Peterhofer-Kolonie, Peterhofer-Kolonie, Pisskarevka, Pisskarewka, Pisskarewka, Porchowo, Porchowo, Porkhovo, Porokhva, Prijutino, Prijutino, Pryutino, Pushkin, Pushkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Rote Ansiedlung, Rote Ansiedlung, Ruchy, Samson, Samson, Samsonovka, Sceglovo, Sceglovo, Schlüsselburger Kolonie, Schöndorf, Schöndorf, Schtscheglowo, Sechziger Kolonie, Shcheglovo, Simson, Slutsk, Smoljnaja Kolonie, Smoljnaja Kolonie, Smolny, Smolynaya Kolonie, Snamenski-Kolonie, Snamenski-Kolonie, Srednaya-Ragata, Srednaya-Ragata, Srednnjaja Rogatka, Srednyaya Rogatka, Strel'na, Strelna, Strelna, Strelna-Kolonie, Strelna-Kolonie, Sulzk, Sulzk, Tarasikha, Tarassicha, Tarassicha, Tarassikha, Tsarskoe Selo, Uritsk, Urizk, Urizk, Utkino Sawod, Utkino Zavod, Utkino Zavod, Veiten, Veiten, Vessiolyy Oselok, Visherka, Volkovo, Vorony Ostrov, Wischerka, Wischerka, Wolkowo, Wolkowo, Woronij Ostrow, Woronij Ostrow, Xenofontovka, Yamburg, Yanina, Yanino, Znamenka, Znamensky-Kolonie, Zweiundzwanziger Kolonie.


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16 September 2017

On This Day, 16 September 1767

Dreispitz and Yagodnaya Polyana were the last two Volga Mother colonies, both Lutheran, founded on 16 September 1767.

The German name Dreispitz means "three points." The colony was named this because of the shape of its land between two streams.  It went by its Russian name Verkhnaya Dobrinka (Верхняя Добринк), which means upstream from Nizhnaya Dobrinka, or Dobrinka, the first colony founded downstream on 29 June 1764.

According to the first colony statistical report in 1769, Dreispitz had a population of 124 with 26 houses, 17 granaries and 13 stables.  The livestock included 65 horses, 22 oxen, 112 cows and calves and 19 swine.

The location of Dreispitz or Verkhnaya Dobrinka.
The location of Dreispitz on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet

(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)




The road to Dreispitz. Courtesy of Ina Weber via Panoramio. Uploaded 23 August 2007.


The location of Yagodnaya Polyana on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet

(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)



Yagodnaya Polyana (Ягодная Поляна, translates to "berry field") is at the very northern part of historic Volga, at the edge of the Stumpp map. This was the original name of the colony, and today, it still goes by the same name.  It is also fondly referred to by descendants and other Volga researchers as Yagda, or just YP.

Below is the original survey for Yagodnaya Polyana from the "Plan for the General Survey of the Counties and Gubernias of the Russian Empire." According to the Yagodnaya Polyana website, the survey, in addition to the plat map below which outlines the exact boundaries of the colony, also included information about possessions and occupations of the colonists.  Note how much is still looks the same in the Google maps photo.



Original survey/plat map of Yagodnaya Polyana. Courtesy of Yagodnaya Polyana website.


Location of Yagodnava Polyana, 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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13 September 2017

New Map: Belowesch Colonies

It's very exciting to locate very old German colonies in Russia, and these are among the oldest.

There has been a lot of interest recently about the Belowesch colonies among both Volga and Black Sea German researchers.  This group of colonies was founded at the same time the early Volga colonies were founded.  Unlike other areas, they remained quite isolated.  The interest from Volga researchers centers around the colonists who founded these villages travelled from the same locations in Germany and at the same time as colonists headed to the Volga.  The long list of village names from Dale Wahl on Odessa3 even notes Volga villages with the same names as the Mother colonies in Belowesch. And the Black Sea researchers are interested because Belowesch daughter colonies of the same names were established up in Mariupol beginning in the 1830s.

I asked Dennis to have a look, and, as usual, he turned them around in record time.  He loves special requests. Special thanks goes to Maggie Hein and Carolyn Schott for providing enough info to find them quickly, including a small map by Karl Stumpp included in an article about the colonies in the 1955 Heimatbuch der Ostumsiedler. It was good enough to get the job done! I've added a link to our  Sources  page, and there's also a link below.

So we have a new map of the Belowesch Colonies. There are six Mother colonies founded in 1766, although Stumpp had varied years for them.  Most sources agree the Mother colonies were all founded in the same year; perhaps another case of "settled" before "founded" applies here.  Four of the colonies were Lutheran and two were Catholic, and nearly all of the 147 families were from Upper Hesse. Stumpp reported that 25 of these families were craftsmen, including shoemakers, tailors, locksmiths, carpenters, masons, saddlers, cloth weavers, millers and bakers.  The first daughter colony, Kreschtschatik, was established in the same area in 1802, 42.4 miles east (68.2 km) east of of Belowesch. In addition to the daughter colonies in Mariupol, there would eventually also be daughter colonies in the areas of Crimea, North Caucasus and Orenburg (Ural).... and possibly Volga if the long list is correct.

Today, only three of the colonies still exist, and two of them, Groß-Werder and Klein-Werder, have grown together into current day Zelenivka, Chernihivs'ka, Ukraine.  

Just a note when looking at files you may find regarding these colonies. Because Mother and daughters have the same names, make sure you take note of the area mentioned in the documents. The original Mother colonies will be in the Chernigov or Tschernigov area (although when it was founded it was a part of the Kiev Viceroyalty), while the daughter colonies will be in Mariupol or in one of the other areas mentioned above. They are lumped together on some sites, so you'll need to pay attention to the area.

The following maps have been updated with the new colonies: 
All of the maps associated with this site along with their descriptions can be found on the Maps page and a list of sources used on the Sources page.

Learn More:
Belowesch Colonies in Chernigov
The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763 to 1862, p. 91 and 823-851



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11 September 2017

Map Refresh: 54 New Galizien Colonies

Fifty-four new Galizien colonies have been located added to the Galizien map, 46 in Ukraine and 8 in Poland.

The locates were done by the Galizien German Descendants based on Galizien Village Family Books, which are collections of families known to have resided in a particular village. These books were created by the Genealogischen Forschungsstelle der Galiziendeutschen (Genealogical Research Centre of the Galician Germans) organization in Germany, who transcribed original church records into family groups and then combined the family groups from a village into a single village book. These villages are not included on the map of Galizien by Rudolf Unterschütz but were located, verified, and indicate where on the Unterschütz map they should be and a link to the family books. Once again, some excellent and creative location work by Galizien German Descendants. Many thanks to them for their continuing work.

The following maps have been updated:
Galizien Colonies
German Colonies in the Austrian Empire (1722-1917)
GRSL (Germans from Russia Settlement Locations) map

The new villages are as follows (so Google will index them), including alternate village names:
Baligrod, Baligród, Brodki, Brodky, Brzezany, Cholojów, Chołojów, Cholojow, Uzlovoye, Dobrzany, Dobrzany, Dolholuka, Dołhołuka, Dzieduszyce Wielkie, Gerynia, Horodenka, Hostow, Gostev, Hostów, Hoszow, Goshev, Hoszów, Hołobutów, Hołobutów, Holobutow, Kawsko, Krzywe, Kubajowka, Kubajówka Huta, Kuty, Lisiatycze, Lubiana, Lubien Wielkie, Lukawica Nizna, Lyubyana, Majdan Sredni, Medenice, Mikolajow, Mikolajów, Mostki, Oblaznica, Obłażnica, Oleszyce, Ottynia, Peratyn, Pietnice, Podciemno, Podhajczyki, Rogózno, Rogózno, Rogóżno, Rogozno, Rozdól, Salamanowa Górka, Sanok, Sknilów, Skniłów, Skrudzina, Smolin, Stare Siolo, Staresioło, Stojanow, Stojanów, Stradcz, Suchowola, Tengoborza, Tetewczyce, Torki, Tuczapy, Tęgoborze, Wiewiorka, Wiewiórka, Wolka Suszanska, Wólka Suszańska, Zagródki, Zalubincze, Zawada, Załubińcze, Zboiska, Zimna Wodka and Zimna Wódka.


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08 September 2017

On This Day, 8 September 1766

The location of Schulz on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
The Lutheran colony of Schulz (Russian name Lugovaya Gryaznukha or Луговая Грязнуха) was founded on this day, 8 September 1766, as a Crown colony. Its closest neighboring colonies were Reinwald and Reinhardt.

Emigration from the colony began in 1780 to the Caucasus, in 1859 to Neu-Urbach and in 1870 to America with larger groups going to America in 1905.

In 1926, the population was 1,093, and Schulz was a Soviet seat.  There was a cooperative store, an agricultural kolkhoz founded with loans, a school with grades one to four and a traveling library. 

Plat map of Schulz, 1919. This was originally drawn as remembered by Heinrich Richter in 1922 after his arrival in Sheboygan, Wisconsin with streets, lots, the location of the church, mills, granary and blacksmith.  This is among the village files maintained by AHSGR. In 1984, Mrs. Katherine (Zitzer) Lerch provided family names, the location of the store, cemetery and the land description as she remembered them in 1919, and the plat map was redrawn by Frederick Zitzer.
This is the updated version from 1991, map #61 from AHSGR.


The location of the Volga colony Schulz,
now known as Lugovskoye, Saratov, Russia. 
Very little remains of Schulz today. The area that comprises the locality is much larger than the actual population there. Note the red line outlining the village boundaries on the left.  Perhaps those are the boundaries of the original colony, still in place after all this time.  

The photos below of Schulz are courtesy of Tyulin Denis via Panoramio, posted/taken in August 2011.


The road to Schulz (Lugovaya).
A house in Schulz (Lugovaya).

A house and garden in Schulz (Lugovaya).

View of hills and cows in Schulz (Lugovaya).

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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07 September 2017

On This Day, 7 September 1764

The location of Anton on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
The Reformed Lutheran colony of Anton was founded on this day, 7 September 1764. It was a Crown colony originally made up of 63 families, natives of Isenburg, Palatinate, Hessen and Denmark. It was one of the first five Volga Mother colonies founded in 1764 along with Dobrinka (29 June), Beideck (10 August), Galka (12 August) and Schilling (14 August)

The road to Anton, July 2017.
Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin. View his full gallery of Anton for more beautiful photos

Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin.
According to The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present, "Sugar beets were raised to meet domestic needs. The settlers processed them into a syrup that served as a sweetener for many cooking purposes. A sugar-beet factory was established in Anton on the Bergseite, reportedly as early as 1815, which operated on a commercial scale for sixty years before beet-production problems closed down the venture."  The author, Fred C. Koch, goes on to state that in 1889, beet growing had begun in Nebraska by Volga immigrants.

House and garden in Anton.
Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin. 
At least two sources attribute Anton's sugar beet factory's existence to twin German artists, Karl and Gerhardt Kügelgen. However, I've not been able to verify it through biographies of either men, neither of which lived in or seem to have ties to Russia outside the art world.  The surname does appear in Anton village data around the time of the establishment of the beet factory.  If anyone can provide verification or additional information, I'll gladly update this post.

The photos of Anton in this post are courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin.  Check out his full photo gallery of Anton from July 2017. 

The former church in Anton.  Photo courtesy of Vladimir Kakorin.


Location of the Volga colony Anton, known today as Sadovoye, Saratov, Russia.




Learn More: 
The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present.  Fred C. Koch. 1977.  The Pennsylvania State University Press. P. 57 and 214.
Photos of Anton by Vladimir Kakorin
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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18 August 2017

On This Day, 18 August 1767

The location of Kraft on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
Kraft was a Volga Mother colony founded on 18 August 1767 by the Russian government. This Crown Colony was a Lutheran colony and a part of the Stephan parish established in 1771. By 1862, there would be a Roman Catholic church in the colony.

The chairman of the community, and the man for whom the village was named, was Johann Kraft.

According to the Lower Volga Project, Kraft was settled about 11 miles west of the Volga river in the Bergseite (hilly side), along the Gryaznukha River.  The settlers of Kraft were for the most part farmers.  In addition, a number had specialized skills such as metal working, weaving, milling and pottery.


German houses in Kraft.  Note the two-story building.
Photo courtesy of Volga German Institute. No date or source were given for the photo. 

From the "History and Geography Dictionary of Saratov Province," by A.H. Minkh (translated by Dr. Mila Koretnikov):

The colony of Kraft, July 2012.
Photo by Sergey1224 via Panoramino, courtesy of Google Maps.


"According to the list of settlements of the Central Statistics Committee, published in 1862, the German colony of Verkhnyaya Gryaznukha [Kraft] was shown on the Gryaznukha River, 50 verstas from the uyezd city Kamyshin. In 1862, there were in it: 173 households, 1,275 males and 1,256 females, total: 2,531 persons of both sexes; 1 Roman-Catholic church, 1 school 6 factories, 2 mills. Emigration to America started in 1876, 2 families (3 males and 1 female) left the community in 1876. Also in 1876 2 families (4 males and 2 females) left for Kansas. In 1879-1880 about 100 families left for Kuban region because of bad harvest years and settled in Orlov and Mikhailov volosts. They tilled the soil there on leased land. After 1881 about 20 families came back as there were several bad harvest years there and here harvests got better."


The location of Kraft, known today as Verkhnyaya Gryaznukha, 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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16 August 2017

Map Refresh: 40 New Colonies in Ukraine

This week we added 40 new colonies along with lots of sources. Total colonies found: 3,557.

Dennis has been doing a second pass at Stumpp maps, AHSGR #21-25, to catch any missed colonies and rule out any duplicates.  He's doing a terrific job on these, as always.  We're getting closer and closer to standardizing all the data on the Google maps. Stumpp map #23 is still in review, so more updates will be coming from that one. The full map names are at the bottom of this post for those keeping track, and Dennis' PDF list – the list that started it all – is also updated on the Maps page.

Several colony group maps were updated, and one new map was added for scattered colonies in the Yekaterinoslav area (modern-day Dnipro). Some of these colonies may move into other groups, but like for Kherson and Taurida, we have now have a scattered colony group for Yekaterinoslav.

The following maps have been updated:
Beresan Colonies
Dobrudscha Colonies
Don Cossacks Colonies
Early Black Sea Colonies
Kherson Colonies
Kronau Colonies
Taurien Colonies
Yekaterinoslav Colonies (new)
Black Sea Area


Maps used for updates
  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Gebiet Saporoshje, ehm. die Gebiete Taurien u.d. südl Teil v. Jekaterinoslaw Dnjepropetrowsk (Map of German settlements in the Zaporozhye region, ehm. The Taurien u.d. South part of Ekaterinoslav Dnepropetrovsk, AHSGR map #21). Authors Karl Stumpp, AHSGR, Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland. 1956. WorldCat
  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Gebiet (oblast) Dnjepropetrowsk (ehem. Nördl. Teil des Gouv. Jekaterinoslaw) einschl. der deutschen Dörfer im westlichen Teil des Gebiets Charkow (Map of the German settlements in the Dnepropetrovsk region, former part of the Gouv Ekaterinoslav, including the German villages in the western part of the Kharkov region, AHSGR map #22).  Authors Karl Stumpp, AHSGR, Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland. 1957. WorldCat
  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Gebiet (Oblast) Nikolajew (ehem. Gouv. Cherson), einschließlich der wenigen deutschedn Dörfer im Gebiet Kirowograd (Map of the German settlements in the area Nikolaev Oblast, former Gouv Kherson, including the few German villages in the area of Kirovograd, AHSGR map #23). Authors Karl Stumpp, AHSGR, Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland. 1957. WorldCat
  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Gebiet (Oblast) Stalino (ehem. östl. Teil com Gouvern. Jekaterinoslaw u. westl. Teil com Dongebiet) einschl. der deutschen Dörfer im östl. Teil des Gebiets Charkow (Map of the German settlements in the Stalino region, formerly the eastern part of the governorate of Jekaterinoslav and west part of the Don region, including the German villages in the eastern part of the Kharkov region, AHSGR map #24). Authors Karl Stumpp, AHSGR, Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland. 1958. WorldCat
  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Gebiet (Oblast) Rostow (ehem. Dongebiet) einschl. der deutschen Kolonien im Gebiet Woroschilowograd (Map of German settlements in Rostov region, former Don region, including the German colonies in Voroshilovograd region, AHSGR map #25). Authors Karl Stumpp, AHSGR, Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland.1958. WorldCat


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On This Day, 16 August 1767

Müller was founded on this day, 16 August 1767, as a Crown Colony by the Russian government on the lower Volga.  It was a Lutheran colony, and in 1798 all the villagers except one were farmers.

According to an account from the Lower Volga Project, the soil in Müller was too poor to grow oats. There were no orchards or mills, and most of the grain was kept for the colonists' own use.

The location of Müller on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)




The last population record for Müller was around 1926.  It no longer exists.

In the late summer of 2000, Brian Ebel of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, set out upon a journey with a compass (the U.S. law that would lead to widespread commercial use of GPS had just been signed earlier that year) to find Müller, the birthplace of his grandfather. His full travelogue, with directions, is among the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia's village files.  Below are excerpts of his trip and of his findings. Another excellent piece on Müller is available on Wolgadeutsche by author Lyubov Kapustina from which the photographs below come.






Trip to Müller on the Volga
August 31, 2000
By Brian Ebel

"A Russian driver and myself departed Saratov on the morning of August 21, 2000. Equipped with maps (old and new), and a compass, and fortunate to have many days of dry weather, we headed south along the P228. After 125 km, we turned east, toward the village of Verkh-Gryaznukha, then proceeded to Vodnobuyerachnoye (formerly Stephan), where we sought directions from local residents. With their guidance, we reached the Volga bank, where we expected to find the site of the old village of Müller (also known as Mueller, Miller and Krestovok Buyerak), birthplace of my grandfather Alexander Ebel.

"After some initial wandering, we succeeded in locating only a grinding stone. Convinced that we had travelled too far north, I set off on foot to the south, parallel to the Volga bank, expecting to find Müller just over the next hill. Many hills later, the village of Shcherbakovka came into view. Realizing my mistake, I headed back towards my starting point.  When I had almost completely retraced my steps, from the top of the hill, I caught sight of some old walls, a few hundred meters from the Volga bank. Müller had been found..."


View of the former colony of Müller. Photo by Lyubov Kapustina, courtesy of Wolgadeutsche.  


Description of the Müller Site
"Located on the edge of the river, the cemetery is overgrown with grass and weeds and grave sites are not immediately evident. Individual burial sites appear to have imploded, with headstones falling into the resulting depression.  We did not attempt a thorough survey of the site, and writings or markings were not evident on the few headstones we looked at.

"Where the cemetery meets the river, there is a steep cliff. According to the local residents, bones from the cemetery may sometimes be seen eroding out of the cliff and falling into the river below.

"To the south of the cemetery, the ground slopes gently to the water. Local residents use this area for fishing or relaxing.


Müller on the Volga.  Photo by Lyubov Kapustina, courtesy of Wolgadeutsche. 


"Behind the cemetery, further from the water, is evidence of old buildings. All of these appear to have been constructed from layers of sandstone bound together with a mixture of mud and grass. Suche materials seem vulnerable to erosion; mostly there were numerous overgrown piles of mud and rock. However, I found four walls standing from a single building (no roof) as well as a few other wall remnants from other structures.

"A few old grinding stones were also found on the site.

"There were also some wooden electrical posts which remain vertical, but appear to have sunk into the ground. Near them was the roof of and old truck. It was not clear to me whether these items dated back to the final days of Müller's habitation, or whether they were more recent artifacts. Electrification would have obviously been undertaken only for an inhabited area. However, from visual inspection, I assumed the posts and truck roof were probably just a few decades old...

"The Russian name for Müller, Krestovok Buyerak, means crossed gully. The wall remnants I discovered were located between two intersecting gullies thick with vegetation, making movement between the town site and the river difficult...."


Topography
"The area around Müller is hilly and traversed by many gullies leading to the Volga. There are stands of trees in the area. The gullies themselves are generally filled with dense vegetation, making them difficult to cross on foot.

"There is an abundance of sandstone in the area. From a distance, the sandstone outcroppings can sometimes be mistaken for walls or other human constructions.

"Rural roads are in poor condition and difficult to navigate even when completely dry, due to large bumps, deep ruts and steep slopes.


Map of Müller showing the island referred to by
Ebel that is submerged today.
Map courtesy of Volga German Institute.
"Hydroelectric dams downstream have raised the river's water level, which has the effect of widening the Volga banks. Consequent erosion has led to the formation of steep cliffs along most of the bank. However, there are places where the ground slopes gradually into the water. The Müller cemetery is near such a location, although the cemetery itself is on higher ground.


"Old maps of the area show that Müller once faced the northern tip of an island in the middle of the Volga. That island is now completely submerged."



Location of the former Volga colony of Müller. 








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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