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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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15 August 2017

On This Day, 15 August 1767

Two Volga Mother colonies were founded on 15 August in 1767: Hockerberg and Norka. 

Hockerberg, also known as Bohn, was founded by Baron Ferdinand de Canneau de Beauregard, a settlement agent hired by Catherine the Great. Sources state that the colonists, who came from Darmstadt, Württemberg and Lorraine, arrived in 1767 and wintered in other colonies before settling Hockerberg. It was originally located near the Malyy Karaman, but in 1770 it was moved to its current location. Hockerberg was a Lutheran colony and had a church constructed of wood in 1858 that could seat 800 worshipers. It appears that few original German building still stand. You can still see the outlines of the old farmsteads of the colony to the southwest of town where the cemetery is. 



Location of Hockerberg, known today
as Alexandrovka, Saratov, Russia.
The location of Hockerberg on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)



























Norka was was a Crown Colony, founded by the Russian government.  According to the Norka Russia website (a detailed and impeccably maintained history of the colony):

The location of Norka on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
"After more than a year of very difficult travel from their homelands, the colonists arrived in the frontier town of Saratov in early August 1767. During a brief stay in Saratov, each household was provided with rubles, wagons, saddles, horses, cows, timber, and other necessary items. These items were provided in the form of a loan to be repaid to the Russian government after ten years in three equal installments. The government established the Saratov Office for the Guardianship of Foreign Settlers (known as the Kontora) to monitor and assist the colonists as needed.

"From Saratov, the colonists continued under the escort of Russian military officers to the banks of the Norka River. The first transport group arrived at the settlement site on Wednesday, August 15, 1767.* This group comprised the majority of the first settlers including the three original Vorsteher (group elders or leaders): Johann Conrad Weigandt, a stocking maker from Bönstadt, Isenburg, Johann Heinrich Brill a stonemason from Neuenschmidten, and Philipp Peter Roth a farmer from Pfalz. All three of these men arrived together at Oranienbaum aboard the Russian pink "Slon" (the Elephant) on August 9, 1766."

Location of Norka, know today as Nekrasovo, Saratov, Russia.
*Norka's founding date of August 15, 1767 was a Wednesday under the Julian calendar which was used in the Russian Empire during this time period. The date calculation was performed at CalendarHome.com.











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 August 2017

On This Day, 14 August 1764

The Volga colony of Schilling was founded today, 14 August 1764.  Its Russian name given to it in 1768 was Sosnovka (Сосновка), by which it still goes today.  Schilling was a port colony with large commercial cargo and passenger docks. During the famine of 1921, the port of Schilling received shipments of relief supplies distributed to the colonies on the Bergseite. 

The Volga colony of Schilling, courtesy of Wolgadeutsche. Photo by Alexander Baskatov.

Below is a letter published in Die Welt-Post, a German language newspaper read by many Volga German immigrants in the United States and Canada, published between 13 April 1916 to 18 September 1970. The translation is a part of the American Historical Society's village files.

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, September 11, 1924
Headline: Letters from Russia 

The location of Schilling on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
Schilling, 31 July 

To John Roh, 222 Van Wagoner St., Flint, Michigan 

Dear Children Johannes and Maria: 

On 2 July we received your letter of 11 June and we are happy that you are well. I would have written sooner but I had no money for postage and had to wait and see how the harvest turned out. 

From 3 Desjatinen (8 acres) planted in Rye, I harvested 12 Pud (132 lbs). With Wheat it was still much worse. 

For 3 months there was not a drop of rain. Now almost every day there are passing showers so we have hope for the Sunflowers and Potatoes. As for Fodder, we here in Schilling have no problems because we used our Wheat for it, but in other villages they cry out to heaven in distress over the Fodder shortage. 

 The impending shortages have caused so much fear among the people that markets are overflowing with cattle and prices are very cheap, but produce prices are rising daily. The government has acted quickly to put an end to the panic by sending a representative to the villages and reprimanding them, telling them not to sell their property and to trust the government to provide seed, bread and fodder. Also it was published in the newspapers that the harvest failure was not widespread throughout Russia. In Ukraine and the Caucusus and in many other parts of Russia, farm production is such that Russia will not harvest any less on average than it did last year. 

This is easy to believe because thousands of Pud of Rye have arrived for seeding, and thus the government will also provide for others in need. 

I sold my oxen for 170 Rubel and bought a pair of horses for 180 Rubel. Now I will sell Hay and buy a cow. We are in the midst of harvesting hay. 

Now, I ask of you, send a pair of eyeglasses for the 52 year old. We have not been able to set aside anything for them for we would otherwise lose the Hops and Malt because of the high release tax we must pay. 

Goebel's Feede was here recently on a visit. They are in Baku. 

Your parents-in-law are well. We returned home yesterday from mowing grass on the Wiesenseite where we were together with them. 

The Rubel is once again strong and has more value than the inflationary currency. There are perhaps those people who are going mad counting their old money which now has no worth. 

Location of the Volga colony Schilling, still known by its
Russian name given to it in 1768, Sosnovka.
Our family now consists of 7 souls. All will soon be adults and will have to go to work for Faust. Then life will be easier. We would like to send you some photographs but are not able to afford the best packaging. Send us some money for it. 

We do not know when we will next go to the market (words obscured) children forgotten and do help. 

As for you, Johannes, don't be so lazy and write to us more bits of news. Of Strackbeins one can always hear something of interest. 

 With greetings from us, you parents: 

 J and E. Roh










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 August 2017

On This Day, 13 August 1767

On this day, 13 August 1767, two Volga Mother colonies were founded: Schaffhausen by Baron Caneau de Beauregard and Stahl am Tarlyk by Leroy and Pictet. Both were Lutheran colonies.

The location of Schaffhausen on 
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet 
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6).
Schaffhausen was one of the northern most colonies on the Volga. After collectivization was enforced, the colony had a cooperative store, an agricultural kolkhoz founded with loans, a school with grades one through four, a reading room and also a tobacco factory (1926).

















Schaffhausen was home to the first stone Lutheran church build on the Volga in 1832, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity.  Some of the ruins still stand today.

The ruins of the Lutheran church in Schaffhausen.
Photo courtesy of Wolgadeutsche.
Location of the Volga village Schaffhausen, known today as Volkovo, Saratov, Russia.


The location of Stahl am Tarlyk on 
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet 
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6).
Stahl am Tarlyk, noted just as "Stahl" on the Stumpp map, was founded on the banks of the Tarlyk River (hence it's more common name) where it fed into the Volga River. When the Volga Hydroelectric Power Station was constructed (1950-1961) as a post-war industrialization effort, the Volograd Reservoir was created and ended up flooding several Volga German colonies.  The colony relocated just to the east, with the old part still remaining in the floodplain.












Plat map of Stalh am Tarlyk, AHSGR map #59.



After collectivization was enforced, this colony also had a cooperative store, an agricultural kolkhoz founded with loans, a school with grades one through four, along with an orphanage and a hospital (1926).








Location of the Volga colony Stahl am Tarlyk,presently known as Stepnoye, 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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Map Refresh: Galizien Colonies

Eleven new Catholic colonies have been located added to the Galizien map, ten in Ukraine around Lviv and one located in Poland.

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

The locates were done by the Galizien German Descendants based on a map found in Heimat Galizien im Bild. 1983, by Josef Lanz and Rudolf Unterschütz. GGD added grid lines were added to match other maps drawn by Unterschütz, which were used to located the other Galizien colonies. You can view the new map along with more information here, and it's also referenced on the Sources page and for each colony located using that particular map. 

The new colonies are as follows: 
BatiatyczeDublanyKobylnica RuskaNadziejowOleskoSokolowkaStojanowSwirzTurka,
Uhnow and Zulin

As you look at each, click on the Google Maps source at the bottom on the left-hand legend.  You may need to scroll down a bit.  You'll see photos for some of the old churches, cemeteries and the occasional castle.


Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in Zulin. Photo by Igor Bodnar, July 2017. 


Cemetery in Olesko. Photo by Sergey UA, November 2014.


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12 August 2017

On This Day, 12 August 1764

The location of Galka on 
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet 
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6).
The Lutheran colony of Galka (Ust-Kulalinka, Усть-Кулалинка, Jackdaw, Галка), was founded on this day, 12 August 1764 by the Russian Government on the Lower Volga. It was located at the point where the Galka river enters the Volga river on older maps. The waterways around Galka are significantly different today from what Karl Stumpp recorded on his map of the Volga. The Russian name of the village was Ust-Kulalinka, the name of another body of water which also emptied into the Volga at the bend. 
Originally there were 43 households made up 157 colonists, 74 male, 73 female. They came mostly from Hesse and the areas of the upper Rhine.  About one third of the land was suitable for farming and hay making.  Over time, the families who lived there farmed elsewhere. 

Below is from a document titled "Remembrances of Christian Kerbs, Russell, Kansas of Ust-Kulalinka (Galka) on the Volga in Russia," from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia village files, dated 18 May 1990.

"The Kerbs family was a little better off financially than some. When the new colony was founded across the Volga to the East, the Kerbs family bought their land there.  They did very little farming at Galka, as they were allotted so little. During the growing seasons, they would go by boat across the river and stay for a month at a time to do their farming. Usually, the crops were left on the east side until the river froze over and then the crops were brought home with large sleds across the ice. Chris said the town of Alt Galka was situated up in a little mountain like valley. The mills were all down in a deep ravine and when the Volga would get to flood stage, the mills would be inundated." 

Dick Krause wrote in his photo essay, My Visit to Galka, 19 May 2001:

"Galka sits on the banks of the Volga, the views of which are simply breathtaking... The Volga is so dominant, it is almost impossible for me to think of the village without thinking immediately of the river."

The view of Galka when first approached.  Photo courtesy of Dick Krause.
See his full photo essay of his visit to to Galka the spring of 2001 here.

A German-built house in Galka. Photo courtesy of Dick Krause.
See his full photo essay of his visit to to Galka the spring of 2001 here.









Detail of a gate next to a German
house in Galka.
Photo courtesy of Dick Krause.












Learn More: 
American Historical Society of Germans from RussiaVillage Files
Center for Volga German Studies – Galka
Lower Volga ProjectGalka
Galka on the Volga2001 photos
Volga German Institute – Galka
WolgadeutschJackdaw (Galka, Ust-Kulalinka)


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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10 August 2017

On This Day, 10 August 1764 and 1767

On this day, three Volga Mother colonies were founded; Beideck in 1764, and Köhler and Zug in 1767.

Beidek (Bedeck) was a Lutheran colony founded by the Russian Government with 76 families. The colony was named after its first leader. An order dated 26 February 1768* declared all German villages should have Russian names, so Beideck was given the official Russian name of Talovka. After the Germans were deported in 1941, it was renamed Luganskoye, which it still goes by today. 



Left: The location of Beidek (Beideck) on Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet (Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, AHSGR map #6). Right: The current location of Beideck today, known as Lunganskoye, Saratov, Russia.  


Köhler was founded by the Russian Government as a Roman Catholic colony. Its Russian name*, Karaulny Buyerak, was taken from the river nearby. Families began leaving Köhler in the late 1860s. They relocated to daughter colonies in the Volga and to other colonies in the North Caucasus in 1874. By 1877, families started to immigrate to North America and Argentina.  Some even resettled in Siberia (on their own accord?).


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


Köhler no longer exists today, although you can still see outlines of where the streets once were.


Location of the defunct Volga colony, Köhler. 


Zug was founded as a private Roman Catholic colony by Baron Ferdinand de Canneau de Beauregard between 1764 and 1766 with colonists who wintered in other colonies before settling in Zug. Most sources cite this date, 10 August 1767, as the founding date.  The colony was moved to its present location in 1770. There were a number of colonies with Swiss names, seemingly to encourage colonists from those areas to move to Russia. It also was, perhaps more commonly, known as Gattung. After 1915, it was called Yasterbovka, which it still goes by today. 


Left: The location of Gattlung (Zug) on Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet (Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, AHSGR map #6). Right: The current location of Beideck today, known as Yastrebovka, Saratov, Russia. 


*Regarding renaming the German settlements in Russia, neither the original document nor the text of the 26 February 1768 "decree" survived. It was likely destroyed at some point, but references to it permeate early Volga colony histories, leaving little doubt that it did indeed exist. The details remain lost to history.  It was not on the Russian law books for that period, so it was probably simply a directive out of the Saratov of the Guardianship Office of Foreign Settlers. Renaming of villages was pretty constant through World War II, making a list of all such names particularly valuable to researchers.


Learn More: 
WolgadeutscheBeideck, KöhlerZug (Gattung)

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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