This is a complete list of maps with their descriptions that are maintained by and associated with this site. View the Change History page for details about the additions and updates to the data files used to create the maps. A PDF list of the villages is made available with each map refresh, but please note that it contains only a fraction of the information available on the maps themselves.
Germans from Russia Settlement Locations Map
Map of German Settlements by Year Founded
Maps of Colony Groups
Germans from Russia Settlement Locations Map
GRSL: Germans from Russia Settlements Map (all villages)
This map contains the locations of German settlements in the Russian and Austria Empires that occurred beginning in 1763 and continued into the early 20th century. It is inclusive of all German groups who uprooted from their Germanic homelands and heeded the call of Catherine the Great and others to colonize the forests and steppes of Russia and Austria.
Map of German Settlements by Year Founded
German Settlements by Year Founded
Only about 49% of the German villages in the historical Russian and Austrian empires located so far have verified founding dates/years available. Those that are available are plotted out on this map to show how the groups of settlements grew over time.
Maps of Major Areas of German Settlement in Imperial Russia and Austria
Austria German colonies in the Austrian Empire (1772-1917) are represented on this map by the historical areas of Bukovina and Galizien, both in east central Europe. Bukovina is located on the northern slopes of the Carpathian mountains and the adjoining plains, currently straddling Romania and Ukraine. Galizien is straddles southeastern Poland and western Ukraine.
Black Sea Region The earliest Black Sea colonies were established between 1787 and 1793. When Catherine the Great's grandson, Tsar Alexander I, issued a new manifesto in 1804 inviting Germans to colonize the newest acquisition of Russia around the Black Sea, many Germans took the Crown of Russia up on its offer. The Black Sea Colonies are made up of several colony groups from areas around the Black Sea.
Ural (Cis-Ural) Region The Ural region (also known as Cis-ural) is located east and northeast of the original Volga colonies and west of the Ural Mountains. The colonies settled there were all daughter colonies founded between 1890 and 1912. They include the Neu-Samara Mennonite colonies, the Orenburg Mennonite and Protestant 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.
Volga Region 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 group. Colonies in this region also include the Samara colonies to the northeast, settled between 1859 and 1879.
Volhynia Region Volhynia is a historical area in northwest Ukraine bordering Poland and Belarus. German immigrants to Volhynia came not at the invitation of the Russian crown but rather by the invitation of wealthy landowners. Because of this, they received no settlement help and did not have same privileges or regulations that other German immigrants had in the Volga and Black Sea areas. Settlements began between the first and second partitions of Poland with the earliest recorded in 1783 with the heaviest migrations into the area in 1831 with a second wave beginning in 1863.
Maps of Colony Groups
Different sources use different names for enclaves or groups of colonies that refer to a distinct area of settlement that is different ethnically and culturally from its surroundings. Comparing multiple authoritative sources, the following group names (among others to come) are used to reflect the names that researchers and genealogists might encounter. The idea that they are both descriptive and yet still granular.
Beresan Colonies The Beresan river valley was where 600 German immigrant families settled between 1809-1810. The 12 Mother colonies were settled between 1809 and 1819.
Bessarabian Colonies German immigrants who settled in Bessarabia were colonists who had initially immigrated to central Poland between 1796 and 1806. The Napoleonic Wars made life very difficult for the German settlements because they were in the path of the Napoleon's invasion of Russia. When the Russian invitation came to re-settle in Bessarabia, more than 1,500 families made the move between 1814-1815. The 25 Mother colonies were founded between 1814 and 1842.
Bukovina Colonies (Austria) Bukovina 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. Germans settled colonies and also joined many villages that already existed, some of which became more German in character. The earliest colony settled was in 1777 and the last in 1913.
Caucasus Colonies The Caucasus colonies were first established in the south, what is now Georgia and Azerbaijan, by German Pietists. There were 8 Mother colonies established between 1817-1820. Daughter colonies began being established 1842 in both the South and North Caucasus regions. Daughter colonies continued to be crop up as late as 1924.
Chortitza Colonies The first Mennonite colonies in the Black Sea region, the Chortitza colonies, were established in 1789 on the Dnieper River. Mennonite leaders responded to recruiters and negotiated a special agreement with the Russian government. Their numbers grew rapidly, and by 1848, there were 7,217 families. The 18 Mother colonies were all founded between 1789-1824.
Crimean Colonies German immigrants who arrived in the Odessa area in the fall of 1803 had considerable experience with wine making. The Russian authorities settled them in Crimea where the climate and conditions were favorable for the production of wine. The wine they produced was some of the best in Russia. The Mother colonies were founded between 1804 and 1810.
Dobrudscha Colonies The historical area known as Dobruja, which is now Romania and Bulgaria, was an area to which Germans migrated rather than immigrated. In other words, they had already left Germany behind a generation or two prior. They came from South Russia, from the areas of Bessarabia, Kherson, Jekaterinoslav and Taurida, and also from Russian Poland, Volhynia, Galizien, Bukovina and Hungary.
Early Black Sea Colonies The Black Sea Germans are generally known as being the second wave of immigrants who left Germany in the early 1800s, decades after the Volga Germans made their trek. But there were early Black Sea colonies isolated from the rest that would come established as early as the 1780s.
Galizien Colonies (Austria) Galizien (Galicia) is a historical geographic area in east central Europe which now straddles southeastern Poland and western Ukraine. It was formed as a result of the first partition of Poland in 1772 when it became a part of the Austrian Empire. Within the first 30 years, at least 100 ethnic German colonies had been established in the area.
Glückstal Colonies The Glückstal Colonies original settlement was in the town of Grigoripol in 1804-1805. Because of frictions with the Armenians in the area, the government re-settled the Germans in the village of Glinoi (renamed Glückstal) trading places with the Moldavians. The re-settlement occurred in the spring of 1809. Another 293 families arrived in the summer of 1809 and founded three other Mother colonies. The four Mother colonies were founded between 1809-1810.
Hoffnungstal Colonies Württemberg Separatists founded the colony of Hoffnugstal in the winter of 1817. They intended to go to the South Caucasus but were asked to found a colony in the Odessa area. It remained an isolated colony for several years in both geographic location as well as separate from other German Protestants. The five Mother colonies were founded between 1818 and 1831.
Kherson Colonies This map consists of German colonies in the Kherson Governorate that are not otherwise a part of a well known colony group, such as Beresan, Glückstal, Hoffnungstal, Liebental and Kutschurgan colony groups.
Kronau Colonies The Kronau colonies were located to the east of the Ingulez River, across from the Zagradovka colonies. These were daughter colonies of Molotschna residents with a mix of Catholic and Protestant confessions.
Kutschurgan Colonies Beginning in 1808, the Kutschurgan colonies were founded along the Kutschurgan river, a tributary of the Dniester, primarily by Catholic families from Alsace, Baden, Palatinate and Württemberg. By 1820, the six Mother colonies combined had grown to a population of 2,243. By 1859 the area had grown to 7,272, after which Daughter colonies began to be established. These were often established by Kutschurgan sons, but sometimes Catholics from the Liebental or Beresan areas with join in the establishing of new Daughter colonies. The Mother colonies were all founded between 1808-1809.
Liebental Colonies The Liebental group of colonists were recruited from southwest Germany. Most went to Odessa while they waited for land to be assigned to them southwest of the city. Forty families in Lustdorf were artisans and were given half the land as other colonists because they were expected to practice their trades. Daughter colonies would become important to this group due to a large class of landless families that would develop. The 10 Mother colonies were all founded between 1804-1806.
Molotschna Colonies A large tract of land east of the Molotschna River was assigned to create additional Mennonite colonies that the Chortitza area could not accommodate. By the 1860s, the population had grown to 4,000 families, many of whom were landless. Daughter colonies arose and were scattered across the Black Sea region. The 43 Mother colonies were all founded between 1804-1836.
Prischib Colonies The Prischib colonies were founded beginning in 1804 in response to an influx of new German immigrants. The tract of land was west of the Molotschana river, opposite a newly founded Mennonite settlement. The 23 Mother colonies were founded between 1805-1825.
Samara Colonies Northeast of the original Volga colonies and just north of the city of Samara, a number of colonies were settled between 1859 and 1870 by Mennonites from West Prussia and Protestants from Poland and Silesia. The original 10 Mennonite colonies were called the Alexandertal Settlement.
Schwedengebiet Colonies The Schwedengebiet was a tract of land above the Dnieper River east of Berislav, originally given to 200 Swedish families freed from serfdom. Their journey to the area was disastrous. Two-thirds of those died or deserted before arriving. Of the 70 families who arrived, more than half died in the first two years. Since the Swedes were not occupying all of the land available, the Russian government gave the rest to German immigrants, who also failed at their first attempt to settle this area in 1786. The second attempt between 1804-1805 was a bit more successful.
Taurien Colonies This map consists of German colonies in the Taurida Governorate that are not otherwise a part of a well known colony group, such as Molotchna, Prichib, Crimea and parts of the Chortitza colony groups. Taurida included the Crimean peninsula as well as the mainland between the lower Dnieper River and the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Ural (Cis-Ural) The Ural colonies are located east and northeast of the original Volga colonies and west of the Ural Mountains. The colonies settled there were all daughter colonies founded between 1890 and 1912. They include the Neu-Samara Mennonite colonies, the Orenburg Mennonite and Protestant 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.
Volga Colonies 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 group.
Volhynia Colonies Volhynia is a historical area in northwest Ukraine bordering Poland and Belarus. German immigrants to Volhynia came not at the invitation of the Russian crown but rather by the invitation of wealthy landowners. Because of this, they received no settlement help and did not have same privileges or regulations that other German immigrants had in the Volga and Black Sea areas. Settlements began between the first and second partitions of Poland with the earliest recorded in 1783 with the heaviest migrations into the area in 1831 with a second wave beginning in 1863.
Zagradovka Colonies The Zagradovka colonies were to the west of the Ingulez River on 60,000 acres. The land was purchased by Leo V. Kochubey in 1871 for the purpose of establishing daughter colonies for the Molotschna Mennonites. There were 16 colonies settled between 1872 and 1883. Another colony to the north, Nikolaidorf, considered itself a part of the Zagradovka settlement except administratively. It was sold in 1908 to Russians.