Elaine Morrison, and Dale Wahl
The following information is collected both for the beginning
and for the advanced Black Sea German-Russian researcher.
Your comments and/or questions are invited.
In the 1970s, in the United States and Canada, the two organizations known today as "German-Russian organizations"(1) were formed. Even in those early years some serious scholarly works were being published.
There are 6 basic books we will use as central to this discussion of the history of the Black Sea German-Russian people. These six books are available today at our GRHS bookstore:
Prior to discussing the history of the Black Sea German people, it is helpful to glimpse these great books via each table of contents as follows:
|2||New Homes on the Volga||9|
|3||Russian Expansion Westward and Southward||23|
|4||Germans to New Russia||29|
|5||Colonists, Not Peasants||45|
|7||The Empire They Built||81|
|8||German Servants of the Tsars||139|
|9||The Protestant Majority||155|
|10||The Mennonite Commonwealth||183|
|11||The Diocese of Tiraspol||201|
|12||Broken Promises Spark Emigration||223|
|13||Before the Storm||235|
|14||War and Revolution||247|
|16||Liquidation of the Colonies||299|
|17||Survivors in Russia||315|
|1||History and Causes of Emigration||15|
|2||Family and Ancestral Research||40|
|3||List of Places of Emigration||48|
|4||List of Mother Colonies||66|
|5||Emigration to Hungary and on to South Russia||102|
|6||Emigration to Poland, Prussia, Mecklenburg, Silesia and on to|
South Russia, Especially to Bessarabia
|7||Alphabetical Index of the Emigrants From Germany to Russia||117|
|C.||List of the Mother Colonies||1015|
|1||The Call of New Russia||1|
|2||The Franconian Migration||13|
|3||The Swabian Expedition of 1817||24|
|4||Diaries of the Danube Journey||40|
|5||Impressions of the Pioneers||49|
|6||Homesteading on the Steppe||59|
|7||The Identity of the Pioneer Settlers||77|
|8||Pioneer Personalities and Events||97|
|9||A Visit to the Colonies in 1838||117|
|10||Adventure in Agriculture||133|
|11||The Community Chronicles of 1848||148|
|12||The Glückstal Chronicles of 1848||186|
|13||The Beresan Chronicles of 1848||207|
|14||The Administration of the Colonies||227|
|15||The German Dorf on the Steppe||234|
|16||The Church in the Colonies||245|
|17||The Village School||253|
|18||Mother Tongue and Mother Wit||267|
|19||The Tradition of the Folk Song||280|
|20||Folk Festivals and Customs||297|
|21||The Growth of the Daughter Colonies||313|
|22||The Quest of New Land||321|
|23||The Flourishing of Liebental||330|
|24||Glückstal's Golden Years||347|
|25||The Beresan Blossoming||355|
|26||Hoffnungstal in Flower||361|
|27||The Blight of Bolshevism||368|
|28||Under the Tyranny of Power||376|
|29||Victims and Witnesses||392|
|30||The Fateful Flight to Freedom||403|
|31||Pioneers in the Dispersion||419|
|1||The Call of Novija Russija||1|
|2||Exodus from Elsaß||23|
|3||The Trek to the Black Sea||37|
|4||The Kutschurgan Settlement||53|
|5||The Beresan Settlement||71|
|6||Adventure in Agriculture||86|
|7||The Administration of the Colonies||101|
|8||Episodes in the Pioneer Era||106|
|9||The Look and Life of the Steppe Village||119|
|10||Aspects of Colonist Character||132|
|11||Mother Tongue and Mother Wit||148|
|12||The Tradition of the Folk Song||160|
|13||The Round of Folk Festivals||175|
|14||Customs of Christmas and Easter||186|
|15||The Colonist Wedding||197|
|16||The Ways of the Village School||209|
|17||The Church in the Colonies||219|
|18||The New Landseekers||237|
|19||The Flourishing of Liebental||247|
|20||The Kutschurgan Climax||263|
|21||The Beresan Blossoming||291|
|22||The Blight of Bolshevism||322|
|23||Under Soviet Serfdom||333|
|24||Victims, Victors, and Witnesses||349|
|25||The Trek of Tribulation||370|
|26||Pioneers of the Diaspora||391|
|1||The Participation of the German Groups in Russia in the |
Russian-German Settlements of America
|2||The Evangelical Black Sea Germans||21|
|3||The Catholic Black Sea Germans||35|
|4||The Evangelical Volga Germans||42|
|5||The Catholic Volga Germans||58|
|6||Emigration and Immigration. The Dates of the First Settlements.|
|7||Colonizers, Customs and Life||79|
|8||Churches, Newspapers, Politics, Clubs||89|
|9||World War. Years of Distress in the Old Homeland||100|
|1||The Origin of the Black Sea Germans||1|
|2||Short Cultural Review||22|
|3||Emigration of the Odessa Group||30|
|4||The Real Emigration Begins||52|
|5||Enroute to the Dakotas||67|
|6||Settlements in the Southern Part of South Dakota||86|
|7||Settlements in the Central Part of South Dakota||101|
|8||Settlements in Northern South Dakota||104|
|9||Settlements in Western South Dakota||126|
|10||The Economic Situation||133|
|11||The Work of the Lutheran Churches in South Dakota||141|
|12||The Work of the Reformed Church,|
The Work of the United Church of Christ
|13||The Work of the United Methodist Church||193|
|1||Conditions and Settlements in Eastern North Dakota||203|
|4||Conditions and Settlements in Western North Dakota||247|
|6||The Work of the Lutheran Churches in North Dakota||273|
|7||The Work of the Reformed Church||287|
|8||The Work of the United Methodist Church||296|
|9||The Work of the Catholic Church Among the Black Sea Germans in North Dakota||309|
|1||Denominations, Pietism, Changes, Administration, School, Colleges||321|
|2||Publications of Germans from Russia and Germany in South and North Dakota||333|
|3||Religious Literature of American Denominations Read by Black Sea Germans||347|
|4||Fate of the Black Sea Germans During the First World War||350|
In the earlier decades, before the major waves of German emigration from the German states to the Volga region and the Black Sea area, there was some German presence around two of the major cities of Russia.
The first notable emigration of Germans to Russia occurred during the rule of Ivan the Terrible between 1533 and 1584. These were German military officers, technicians and craftsman, merchants and scholars who were invited to help build the early city of Moscow itself. Thus a German colony was formed outside the city walls of Moscow, and a German suburb did indeed exist there until World War I.(2)
During the rule of Peter the Great between 1672 and 1725, a large number of German families arrived in the city of Petersburg.(3)
Then, in the 1763 to 1764 time frame, yet another major wave of Germans answered the call of Czarina Catherine II.(4) The settlement of the Volga area occurred during this early chapter of the German-Russian history.(5)
A few years after the settling of the Volga Germans, Jekaterinoslaw and some scattered colonies in the northern part of the Black Sea area were founded. Some, but not all, that were founded prior to 1804 are represented here.
When Czar Alexander I, the grandson of Catherine II, assumed the imperial throne in 1801, he also found the need his grandmother had experienced, i.e. the need to develop new territory, this time in three provinces in the south of Russia: Cherson, Nikolajew and Taruida.
Alexander I of Russia was the nephew of King Frederick I of Germany who highly favored Russian emigration. Because of royal intermarriages, this imperial linkage between the German and Russian kingdoms was favorable to recruiting in Germany, much as Catherine II had done before him.(6)
Successful recruiting to bring Germans from southwest Germany began during the summer of 1803.
As his grandmother had done forty years earlier, Alexander I published a manifesto in February of 1804 in which he invited foreigners, in particular Germans, to come and settle the virgin steppes of the "New Russia."
as translated by Elli Wise 1996
(German data provided via Ralph Ruff)
Alexander I desired and pursued a practiced policy which required that only those who were capable agriculturists and artisans would be admitted in order that he could use them as models. One circular can be found on page 3 of Height's Homesteaders and Paradise books.(7)(8)
The czar sweetened up the offer of his grandmother's manifesto by promising each family 30-60 hectares of land, considerably more than Catherine II had offered earlier.(9)
The three prime points of these manifestos provided: (10)
We now see that these enticements did not always occur as earlier promised. The first remained in place, more or less, until the era of the communist controls. The freedom from taxes turned out to be, more or less, a no-interest loan that was expected to be paid back after a certain time had elapsed. And the third one was changed by laws that were adapted in the 1860s and 1870s.
On page 36 of Giesinger's book,(11) we note that 400 families arrived in South Russia during 1803; more than 800 families in 1804; 250 families in 1805; a lull of only 60 families in 1806 and 130 families in 1807.
During the years of 1808 to 1810, about 2,000 families arrived in South Russia.
Although some of the villages were settled earlier, the Berislaw group, a small cluster of Swedish and German villages, was settled around 1805-1806. These colonies suffered greatly during the first years of their existence because of great drought, locusts and various epidemics. Their numbers during this period were reduced greatly, taking many years to recover from these effects.(12)
Sorting out the history of Krim, Crimea, Taurida and Taurien is very difficult as it becomes hard to understand how, over time, they all fit together geographically speaking.(13) We can see on pages 95 and 98 of the Stumpp book (14) that the early villages are listed, and we can study the map, but it does not clear up that history.
When Alexander I decided to settle the Crimea with farmers and develop it economically, the decisions stirred up those people already living there. Many of the Tartars left who were not willing to live under a "Christian" ruler, and they emigrated to Turkey.
A "must read" for anyone interested in Crimea and Taurien, is on pages 9 through 12 of the Rath book.(15)
Jekaterinoslaw, also known as Ekaterinoslaw and Dnjepropetrowsk, is to the far north of the Black Sea but was considered part of the Black Sea German settlement.(16) We can see the many earlier villages of the Jekaterinoslaw listed with notes on pages 93 and 94 of the Stumpp book.(17)
We should note that of the Jekaterinoslaw, there were two groups of villages that are worthy to study: the Chortitza(18) and the Planer or Mariupol(19) both of which date back to the very early years of the Black Sea German history.
In the Stumpp book,(20) on pages 88 through 99, we can see many early villages founded during these early years by our German-Russian ancestors. The following list is representative, but not complete, of these earlier settlements:
We should take a moment here to focus on a few thoughts relative to the names of villages and their founding dates. The precise dates or years that refer to the founding of some of these villages can easily become confusing.
Historical notes have sometimes reflected different dates for some of these villages. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of the intent of this paper, but we need to be aware that this might occur, and not be surprised when it does.
Let us consider one example, however: what if the new village was approved by the government in the early winter of 1818, but it was spring before the new families could actually start the building and organizing of their village? What date would you record as the founding date if you were the first village historian?
In a few instances, over the years, the village name may have been used for more than one village in one geographic area.
We also know that there were a few villages that disappeared during the early years because of water problems and similar situations, only to be rebuilt a few years later in a different location. Waterloo in Odessa is one such example. In some instances, when a village disappeared for some reason, it was not re-founded somewhere else.
These occurrences, along with changing of village names over a period of time and the renaming of some villages, is something that a new or seasoned researcher must expect to encounter. There will appear many instances where the village names are confusing, and it will not always be easy to sort out the history concerning a particular village. One such instance is in the Odessa area where the village of Berlin and Neu Berlin were one and the same.
So, when researching the names and founding dates of these villages, we must take good notes and keep an open mind.
Now back to the weaving together of the early history for our German villages in the Black Sea area, also known as "South Russia."
The early villages of the Odessa area are worthy of special consideration as we have a significant portion of our GRHS membership with interest in these ancestral villages.
As defined by Stumpp (21) starting on page 88, we can see the "Gebiets" (Districts) of Odessa as follows, with the early villages in these districts grouped as follows:
(The villages of Güldendorf, Helenental, Hoffnungstal, and Neu Freudental are perhaps out of place on Stumpp's lists)
The villages listed above for the Districts of Grossliebental(22) and Beresan(23) were a mixture of Evangelical Lutheran and Roman Catholic faiths. The Kutschurgan villages(24) were of the Roman Catholic faith while the Glückstal colonies(25) were essentially of the Lutheran faith. We should note that in later years Reformed churches were established in Worms, Neudorf and the city of Odessa.
We should discuss another aspect of religion in the villages. While a village may have been thought of as adhering to a particular faith, not every family or person in the village was of that faith. For example, a small village in Bessarabia that was considered to be Lutheran had some Mennonite, some Catholic and some Separatist folks, but the majority and the village church were Lutheran.
In some instances, where the village may have been more like a small city with stores and government or parish administrative offices, there may have been residents of other faiths, including Jewish and Russian and/or Ukrainian Orthodox.
We have been told over the years that the people of different faiths did not mix nor marry. However, if one takes the time to study the old "Welfare Records" or the church records that are available, we must conclude that this was not the full truth of the matter. A good exercise for anyone who might doubt this would be to review the St. Petersburg annual Evangelical Lutheran parish reports for the period after the Crimean war. There we can note the various religions of those being married. Again, as we research our German-Russian history, we must keep an open mind.
This brings us to subjects that we must consider: the terms of "mother colony" and "daughter colonies," and an understanding of the relationship of the village to the parish and government.
A mother colony is normally one of the earlier original colonies such as those listed above as having been founded between 1804 and 1810.
With time, and the growing population of a village, it became desirable for the families of a village to help spread the village roots to new land. In some districts of the Odessa area, that extra land was not always available within the district itself, so the new daughter colony would have been started in another district (government). This then resulted in the founding families of some daughter colonies being in a new district as well as a new parish. We see some of the daughter colonies of the Grossliebental District actually being in the Beresan District. Examples are the villages of Neu Freudental and Helenental.
At the end of the 1850s and early 1860s, the sons who could not expect to gain a portion of the land within their own community left their villages and founded these daughter colonies. Often the fathers would provide a couple of horses and a cow, as well as a wagon and plow, and a start of seed grain and basic implements. These new, young farmers who ventured forth often joined forces and thus were able to lease land or, in some cases, purchase land outright. This spreading and quest of the new lands is very important to understanding our ancestors' history in the Black Sea and it is highly recommended that further reading on this subject be pursued.(26)
Güldendorf is a good example of a village that over time was changed from one parish to another. Many of the original families of Güldendorf were of the first Waterloo, and as time moved forward, the village was in parishes of the Beresan District and the parish of the city of Odessa.
Again, as we study all of this we must keep an open mind as the facts can be very confusing if we allow them to be.
Then on to the next years of the founding of German villages and subsequent emigration to the New World:
The years of 1814 to 1816 saw the coming into existence of the first German villages of Bessarabia. (27) In November of 1813, Alexander I published another invitation similar to that of 1804 as was discussed above.(28) This invitation contained 21 points. The most significant of these were:
The invitation to settle in Bessarabia was heard in Germany and Poland, and they came by three primary routes:(29)
We can note that these first Bessarabian villages were mostly of the Evangelical Lutheran faith. However, in about 1821 or 1822, the village of Krasna became a Roman Catholic village, and the Lutherans from that village were transferred to Katzbach.
The emigration from Poland(30) has made it very difficult to follow the trails of many of our Bessarabian ancestors because many (probably the majority) of the records only reflect "Poland", "Prussia", "Lemberg" or "Posen" or other similar general information. The members of GRHS continue to spend great energy into building data so these trails can better be defined, as many of those who came from Poland and Prussia were earlier families of Germany.
By 1818, the number of the German colonies in South Russia had grown in number to more than one hundred scattered across the Black Sea region.(31)
In 1818, the government created a special organization called the "Board of Social Welfare." Today we normally refer to it as the "Welfare Committee."
The Welfare Committee was to administer over the colonists according to the separate colonial laws. They were to look after their interests, and also to their obligations towards the host government.
We can find throughout the many historical works of our German Russian ancestors that the Welfare Committee was deeply involved in our peoples lives, much more than many of us realized for many years. A student of this history must read Rath (32) and Giesinger(33) to gain basic insight into the work of the Welfare Committee.
The Welfare Committee of the Black Sea area was designed for the colonists of Bessarabia, Kherson, Jekaterinoslaw, and Taurien. This included not only the German people, but also the Jewish and Bulgarian people. In the 1850s, of the 217 colonies administered by the Welfare Committee, 205 of them were German. The duration of the Welfare Committee in the Black Sea area was from 1818 to 1871.
The documentation of the administration of these colonies during this period is found in the State Archives, City of Odessa, in Fond 6 and Fond 252.(34)
By 1824, there were 209 German villages in the Black Sea area; the number of families are estimated as being a little over 9,000 with a population of about 50,000.(35)
A milestone worthy of our note occurred in 1828: it was the founding of the first Black Sea German daughter colony. Less than two and a half decades after the original settlement, forty-three landless families from Freudental founded a new settlement seventy-five versts north of the city of Odessa.(36) (37) The village was first called "Klein Freudental" but later was known as "Neu Freudental."
Some of these histories were published over the next few years in a German Odessa newspaper, Unterhaltungsblatt für deutsche Ansiedler im südlichen Russland. It is thought that this was Hahn's original intent. However, in 1854, with the majority still unpublished, the newspaper stopped carrying them. They then lay forgotten in the archives of the former Supervisory Office in Odessa for about five decades.
Konrad Keller,(44) a Catholic priest, is credited for discovering this valuable historical material early in the twentieth century. Keller used these histories in his two volumes , with Volume 1 being published in 1905 and Volume 2 in 1914. We should take special note that Keller's work does not contain these histories verbatim as written in 1848, but they are included with material obtained from other sources as part of his work.
In 1904, Pastor Jakob Stach used these histories in his book, The German Colonies in South Russia, and later edited a large number of these Gemeindeberichte for publication in German newspapers in the Black Sea Region.
In 1926 and 1927, Dr. Georg Leibbrandt and a Catholic Priest, Dr. Josef A. Malinowsky, published fifty-nine of these Gemeindeberichte in Germany.
In 1941, Margarete Woltner published 114 of the Gemeindeberichte. Eight of these were previously unpublished while the other 106 were reprinted from Russian German periodicals, many of which had been edited by Stach.
With the work of Leibbrandt, Malinowsky and Woltner, we can account for about 173 of the original 203 villages histories. When we also consider the reports of seventeen other colonies that Keller used in his work, we can account for about 190 of the 203 village histories.
Some of these histories contained in Leibbrandt's work have been published in English. On page 149 of Homesteaders on the Steppe, Height(45) reports that all nineteen of those in Odessa were Lutheran, and that he included all of them in the book, although only sixteen of the nineteen appear.
Some English-translated Gemeindeberichte have been filmed by the LDS, and some have been re-translated and published in the GRHS Heritage Review. We knew of only one other report that had been translated into English when we started the GRHS Clearing House project (to eventually share these histories in our Odessa Digital Library). A goal of this project has been to search out copies of those Gemeindeberichte that have been translated into English, and also to go forward with volunteers to translate as many more as possible.
During these efforts it has become obvious that the original work was written in different styles and with different intents. To translate these works can be difficult because of some of the authors' methods of reporting the history. Some are nearly impossible for an American-thinking German-fluent person to translate. Searching for other 1848 histories and translating them is an ongoing project of the GRHS Clearing House.
A major crop failure occurred in 1848.(46)
It appears to be in agreement that at least a portion of them first settled on Kelley's Island on Lake Erie, near Sandusky, where they engaged themselves as wine growers.
I, at the end undersigned citizen of Reval, Andreas Adam Hellberg, and proxy of her Highness, the Princess Kotschubei, born Countess Benkendorf, as filed in the ______ district court on 27 June 1860 sub No. 75 confirm the contract with the colonists of the Akkerman District:
From the Colony Teplitz: Friedrich Bender, Konrad Weidenbach, Gottlieb Krämer, Andreas
Krämer, Gottlieb Schuh, Johannes Fälchle, Georg Schmauder, Leopolt Stäub and Simon Kurz.
From the colony Dennewitz: Michael Freitag, Martin Jörke
From the colony Beresina: Andreas Fregin with colleagues to have this contract finalized under the following conditions:
In the east this land borders a furrow passing through the Budak Plantation, beginning at the dam to the orchard, then to the woods and to the estate of owner Mosarowitsch. On the other side, beginning with the farm of the Budak Economy, to the land parcels of the Princess Kotschubei, which she leases to the inhabitants of the Budak villages Kleinbalabanka, Kajabei and Adamowka.
Princess Kotschubei keeps three hundred dessiatines during the first years of the existence of this contract until 23 October 1869, namely the land between the new koscharen [sheep pens], the land of the Budak proprietor and the land in the Budak valley. The therein located new koscharen [sheep pens] and trees are available to them for herding cattle, horses and sheep. It is established under No. 2 in this contract with the conditions and a lease payment in the amount of 600 rubles and a fee of 15 rubles.
The rooms with the appropriate floors are to be furnished nicely and the colonists are committed to keep them clean. During the summertime, when the people visit the beaches at the liman and at the ocean, the bathing rooms are to be leased to such persons under a special agreement between them and the colonists.
During the last four years of this contract, the above mentioned colonists do not have the right to use more than 1250 dessiatines of land for seeding. The rest of the land has to be returned to the estate owner as four-year fallow (land). If they farmed more land, they are obligated to pay 4 rubles for each dessiatine to Princess Kotschubei.
In authority as proxy for Princess Sophia Alexandrowana Kotschubei to this contract have the following affirmation:
Citizen of Reval, Andreas Adam Hellberg.
With permission of the colony authorities, the colonists of Colony Teplitz: Friedrich Bender, Konrad Weidenbach, Gottlieb Krämer, Andreas Krämer, Gottlieb Schuh, Johannes Fälchle, Georg Schmauder, Leopolt Stäub and Simon Kurz.
Colony Dennewitz: Michael Freitag, Martin Jörke.
Colony Beresina: Andreas Fregin.
Russian Translation of these names: Peisach Lewit.
At request, to sign for Gottlieb Krämer from Colony Teplitz and Martin Jörke from Dennewitz, who cannot write: Akkermann citizen, David Kersner.
To verify that this contract is undersigned in German by the mentioned colonists and translated into Russian, signed for the illiterate colonist Gottlieb Krämer and Martin Jörke by Akkerman citizen David Kersner, the Akkerman City Police Administration applied signature and seal on 30 August 1868. The original is undersigned by City Registrar Krischanowsky and Secretary Fadulow.(MN)
City of Akkermann on 1 September 1868 acknowledges that this contract has been duly reported and is logged in the Journal under No. 168. The same is duly undersigned by the above mentioned thirteen persons and that for the two illiterate colonists Gottlieb Krämer and Martin Jörke was signed on their behalf by David Kersner. Also that it was duly undersigned by Reval citizen Andreas Adam Hellberg as proxy and that I received 264 rubles, 60 kopecks for the city fund. Certified as Akkermann broker and notary: K. Dykobuw. (MN)
To certify that this copy of the contract and the contents therein are true and are entered in the journal under No. 168, word for word matching the original and undersigned personally by both parties, I hereby undersign and apply the seal. Akkermann, September 1, 1868, Akkermann broker and notary: K. Dukowitsch. (SG)
I verify that I received the security deposit of 400 rubles on 31 Aug 1868 as delegate of Princess Kotschubei: Andreas Adam Hellberg.
Between 1869 and 1873, the Kronau-Orloff (53) group of villages came into existence. This group was concentrated along the Inguletz River west of Nikopol and 115 miles north of Cherson. These were Evangelical and Catholic villages (daughter colonies from the Prischib) as well as Mennonite (daughter colonies of the Molotschna). There were seventeen Mennonite and eleven Lutheran and Catholic villages here during the early period.
Around 1879, there was a major exodus of the younger families of the Kronau-Orloff villages to the North Caucasus. Again, about 1907-1908, some of the younger Mennonite families went to Siberia to settle in the district of Barnaul. The history of the brutal treatment of these families who went to Siberia is one of the sad chapters of our German Russian history.(54)
In 1872, the first German colonists (56) migrated to USA and in 1873, fifty five families from Rohrbach and Worms emigrated to the Sutton, Nebraska area.(57) (58)
A group who had first migrated to Canada near Winnipeg, from the Rumanian Dobrudscha villages, relocated in March of 1884 to the area of Melville and then on to Carrington, and finally settled on homesteads near Cathay in present day Wells County.(75)
Families from Hoffnungstal (Odessa) arrived at Hays Center, Nebraska and Ashley and Wishek, Dakota Territory.(76)
In 1885, we see significant numbers of Catholic families moving into the area around Ipswich, Dakota Territory. Many of these settlers came from Klein Liebental. (79) (80)
In the summer, families from Selz came to the vicinity of present-day Hague, ND.(81)
Also in the spring of 1885, four unmarried sons of Speier left their homeland to avoid military service under the new laws. They first went to Menno where they bought their provisions and then traveled to the Hebron area with seven Johannestal families before settling at Glen Ullin, Dakota Territory.(82) (83)
That year found a large wave of folks arriving in the USA: from Bergtal and Glückstal to Leola, Dakota Territory; from Rohrbach and Worms to Greenway and Artas, Dakota Territory; from the Glückstal colonies to Ashley and Wishek, Dakota Territory; from Hoffnungstal (Odessa) and Neudorf to St. Frances, Kansas and to McCook, Nebraska and from Kassel and Glückstal to Zeeland, Dakota Territory.(84)
Families from Selz and Elsaß went to Hague, Dakota Territory in 1885. (85)
The first families from the Crimea, mostly from Friedenstal and Kronental, settled in Mercer County, Dakota Territory.(87) A small number of settlers from Leipzig, Bessarabia homesteaded south of Glen Ullin, Dakota Territory.(88)
During the years of 1886 to 1888, several families from Klein Liebental, Mariental, Josefstal and Franzfeld settled at Wathena, Kansas, just across the river from St. Joseph, Missouri.(89) (90) Families from Elsaß came to Hague, Dakota Territory, and to the Placidus community.(91)
In 1886, families from Josefstal and Mariental came to settle in Balgonie, Saskatchewan.(92)
In 1888 and 1889, the first families from Speier were settling northeast of Mott, Dakota Territory. They founded the Parish of St. Plazidus there.(99) Then, more Speier families arrived to settle northwest of Mott and Mandan, Dakota Territory.(100)
Black Sea Germans settled in the vicinity of Linton, ND while families from Neu Freudental settled west of there.(101) (102)
Families from Speier settled at Mandan.(103) Families from Hoffnungstal [Odessa] arrived at Elgin, ND and in Burlington (at the "Settlement") near Bethune, CO.(104)
Families from Grossliebental arrived at St. Frances, KS (105) and families from Straßburg came to settle in Strasburg, ND (106)
Families from Rohrbach arrived at Onaka and Dallas, SD and Odessa and Ritzville, WA.(110) Families from Worms arrived at Wichita Falls, TX and from Neudorf and Rohrbach at St Frances, KS.(111)
Emigrants from Klein Liebental and Mariental came to Corpus Christi, TX. At the same time, families from Franzfeld and Blumenfeld were settling at Brenham, TX, and two years later resettled at Plantersville, TX.(114) (115)
Families from Kassel arrived in Streeter, ND, and those from Worms went to Eugene, OR.(116)
Kutschurgan families arrived at Vibank, Saskatchewan. (117)
Families from Neudorf arrived at Reliance, SD(122) and families from Franzfeld and Blumenfeld arrived at Plantersville, TX.(123)
Beresan Catholic families arrived in Saskatchewan at Maryland and Odessa.(130) Franzfeld families arrived at Holdfast, Claybank and Allan, Saskatchewan.(131)
If almost 75 years ago, there were over 303,000 persons in this country with this heritage, and if we consider a generation as being every 20 years, we can see that there are in excess of three generations who greatly magnified the German-Russian numbers in this country.(138)
It should be noted that Schock felt that Sallet's numbers for 1920 were conservative.(139)
Before the 2nd World War, the land holdings of the Black Sea Germans were more than 11 million acres.(140)
During World War II, the Bessarabian Germans were trekked out and resettled in Germany, along with some of the Germans who lived in the western part of present Ukraine. Those east of the Dnieper River were driven out of their villages and were dispersed to the winds (many to Siberia and Central Asia).(141) A must read for this period is Giesinger's book.(142)
Before and during World War II, the Germans had organized into many entities, with often overlapping functions and authority. While we will not be able to get into this organizational understanding, we will share a little insight and also understand a few of the key people who were involved in creating the German-Russian history and records.
We have a film collection at the GRHS library in Bismarck, ND. One set of films with which the Bessarabian and Dobrudscha researcher must become familiar is the "Koblenz" series of questionnaires. These are being indexed and the files are being shared in the Odessa Digital Library.
In the BDC (Berlin Document Center) files, maintained by the United States Government at the National Archives, there are various films that are referred to as "DAI" and "EWZ" files. The explanation of these records is beyond the scope of our focus here, but anyone interested needs to understand that we have major indexing efforts underway for both of these types of records. These indexed files are also shared in the Odessa Digital Library.