Village Coordinators

Morris Knorr

Regional Interest Group:


Grosswerder, Jekaterinoslaw

  • Region: Jekaterinoslaw Government
  • Area:  
  • District: Kreis Alexandrowsk
  • Rayon: Mariupol
  • Founded: 1832
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Location: West side Kammenaya Mogila Heritage site
  • Longitute and Latitude:
  • Plat Map:
  • Parish:
  • German Name: Grosswerder
  • Russian Name: Marinowka
  • Ukrainian Name: Marinowka


In 1766, six colonies were formed near Tschernigov, Russia. These six villages were formed by 147 families; Belowesch (E), Gorodock (E), Grosswerder (K), Kaltschinowka (E), Kleinwerder (K), and Rundewiese (E). Land quickly became scarce in the area and daughter colonies were formed in other districts. In the fall of 1831, a group of 122 families migrated to the Mariupol district.  They lived through the first winter with the West Prussian colonists who had already settled there and in the spring of 1832 five new villages were formed: Belowesch (E) by 26 families, Kaltschinowka (E) by 26 families, Grosswerder (K) by 28 families, Kleinwerder (K) by 16 families, Rundewiese (E) by 26 families. Also see Grosswerder in Tschernigov.

Legend of Grosswerder


  • Villages in which our Forefathers Lived: Early Daughter Colonies Near Mariupol,  by Adam Giesinger, AHSGR Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1(Spring 1979)
  • The Planer Colonies, by A. Prinz (translation by J.L. Ritchie), Heritage Review, Vol 23: 1, 1993.
  • Our Life In Belowesch Over The Course Of Its Festivals,  by Frieda Schlau Neander (translation by J.M. Richey), Heritage Review Vol. 22: 3, 1992.
  • Villages in which our Forefathers Lived: German Pioneers in the Ukrainian Province of Chernigov,  by Adam Giesinger, AHSGR Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Winter 1979)


  • From Catherine To Krushev, by Adam Giesinger, pgs. 13, 60, 92.
  • Grosswerder Ukraine, Gone But Not Forgotten by Morris Knorr (available at GRHS library in Bismarck, ND)
  • The Emigration of Germans to Russia in the Years 1763-1862 by Karl Stumpp (Gorodok pages 828-832; Grosswerder pages 833-839; Kleinwerder pages 842-844.)

Church Records
Stored at Grunau Lutheran Parish. Even though the main Catholic Parish was at Grosswerder, it only had a prayer house. A real church was built in Grosswerder in 1898 and the records were moved. They have been missing since the closure of the church in 1930.


  • Area map - Grosswerder Ukraine, Gone But Not Forgotten by Morris Knorr (page 5) and available at the GRHS library in Bismarck, ND.
  • 1936 Plat map - Grosswerder Ukraine, Gone But Not Forgotten by Morris Knorr (pages 22/23) and German Catholic Courage: The Life and Times of Adam Knorr 1870-1952 by Morris Knorr (pages 95/96) both available at the GRHS library in Bismarck, ND.

Photo Album

Pioneer settler names: Below is a listing of the known first setters. Included here are names from both Grosswerder and Kleinwerder because members of the same family could have gone to each. These villages were almost interchangeable with both being Catholic and just 3 miles apart. Grosswerder was the larger of the two.

  • Grosswerder: Knorr, Scheck, Wolf, Sperling, Eichwald, Ulrich, Massold, Wagner, etc.
  • Kleinwerder - Knorr, Sauerwald, Trinz, Wotschel, Hepting, Rummel, Betke, Heer, etc.
  • Other names include: Baer, Schreiber, Oborowski, Ollenburger, Zering, Rempel, Kohn, Ratzel, and Wenzel.

Village History - 1848 Village History

War Records

  • 1942 Village Report (Dorfkarten) by George Massold (see pages 28 & 29 of Grosswerder Ukraine, Gone But Not Forgotten by Morris Knorr
  • DAI Film 606 frame 5396864 - German population of villages in Grosswerder area 1936-1941 (German language in GRHS Archive and English translation in Grosswerder Ukraine, Gone But Not Forgotten by Morris Knorr page 32.
  • EWZ Films - search the Odessa Digital Library and select War Documents. The following names are available on EWZ films for Grosswerder in Tschernigov and Jekatarinoslaw and Kleinwerder in both Tschernigov and Jekatarinoslaw: (number of EWZs for each surname)
Arndt (2) Baer (2) Bittner (3) Bormann (3)
Brunner (31) Dietrich (1) Franz (5) Hepting (41)
Herr (1) Imgrund (8) Knorr/Knorri (45) Kunkel (13)
Marksteder (3) Markstetter (4) Massold (57) Ollenberger (2)
Ollenberg (1) Obowrowski (6) Reit (4) Roehrich (2)
Remmel (3) Rohn (9) Sauerwald (65) Scheck (54)
Schreiber (54) Sperling (33) Trinz (8) Ulrich/Ullrich (19)
Wagner (36) Weber (33) Wenzel (32) Wotschel/Wotschall (23)
Zering (6)      


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