For the first year of its existence, the colony now known as Hoffnungstal in Bessarabia was a colony with no name. It was simply referred to as Number 9.
|Plat map for Number 9, Hoffnungstal, Bessarabia|
Source: Odessa State Archives, Fond 6, Inventory 1, File 5644, pp. 171-172
Map courtesy of Black Sea German Research plat map collection
In 1806, 25 families immigrated to Russia, most from Württemberg, and settled on a manor estate owned by a knight who was employed by the king of Prussia. In 1841, the colonists were driven off the estate. Looking for a new place to live, they went to the nearby colony of Shabo near the Russian city of Akkerman. Russian officials heard of their displacement and offered the colonists "steppe number 9."
|Location of Hoffnungstal, Bessarabia|
In 1843, at the request of the colonists, the village was named Hoffnungstal — Hope Valley. The soil was rich, and there was plenty of water as the colony was situated on a small stream in the Karatay valley. Stones for building could be quarried close by. Russian officials agreed the name was well suited.
By 1847, other colonists from Worms, Glückstal, Bergdorf, Neudorf, Kassel and Alt Hoffnungstal also settled in Hoffnungstal, increasing the number of families to 82 in number.
It was the last Mother colony to be settled in Bessarabia.
- Black Sea German Research website, plat map collection
- The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763 to 1862, Karl Stumpp, p. 523
- Germans from Russia Settlement Locations, Bessarabian Colonies map
- German-Russian Handbook, Ulrich Mertens, p. 397
- Odessa State Archives, Fond 6, Inventory 1, File 5644, pp. 171-172
- Hoffnungstal 1848 Village History, Odessa: A German-Russian Genealogical Library
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