Village Coordinators

Morris Knorr

Regional Interest Group:


Kleinwerder, Jekaterinoslaw

  • Region: Black Sea
  • Area:  Jekaterinoslaw
  • District: Kreis Alexandrowsk
  • Rayon: Mariupol
  • Founded: 1832
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Location: 3 miles north of Grosswerder, 1 mile south of Rosenberg (Rosivka)
  • Longitute and Latitude:
  • Plat Map:
  • Parish:
  • German Name: Kleinwerder
  • Russian Name: Jekatrinopol
  • Ukrainian Name: Pervomayskoye


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 Kleinwerder in Tschernigov.

The district government and main parish for the Lutheran villages was located in Grunau. The main parish for the Catholic villages was located in Gross-Werder.


  • 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)


  • Die Planerkolonien am Asowsches Meer by Josef Malinowsky
  • From Catherine To Krushev, by Adam Giesinger, pgs. 125-128.
  • German Catholic Courage: The Life and Times of Adam Knorr 1870-1952 by Morris Knorr (available at GRHS library in Bismarck, ND)
  • Grosswerder Ukraine, Gone But Not Forgotten by Morris Knorr (available at GRHS library in Bismarck, ND)
  • The Bergtal Colony by William Schroeder (Bergtal was Mennonite colony five miles away from Grosswerder and gives an excellent description of village life in the area.)
  • The Emigration of Germans to Russia in the Years 1763-1862, by Karl Stumpp (pages 833-839)
  • The German Colonies in South Russia, Volume I by Conrad Keller

Village History - 1848 None taken

Census Records

  • None available

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.


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.

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

Village History - 1848 Village History

War Records

  • 1942 Village Report (Dorfkarten) by Johannes Knorr (see pages 30 & 31 of Grosswerder Ukraine, Gone But Not Forgotten by Morris Knorr)
  • DAI Film 606 frame 5396864 - German population of villages in Kleinwerder area 1935-1941 (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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