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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