Village Coordinator Reports 2001 A-L

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VC Newsletter Editor Carolyn Gorr



Aehrenfeld Web Site ~ with the village of Kratzke

Brent Mai

The Ährenfeld web page has moved. Research ("charts") from Dr. Plehve is currently available for the following surnames: BLÄHM, BOXBERGER, KNAUS, MAI, MICHAELIS, SCHÄFER, and SCHNEIDER. These charts can be purchased for $35 from Brent Mai. Joint efforts continue with the group of researchers working on the Lower Jeruslan colonies project.

ALEXANDERTAL (Neu-Schilling), Saratov, Volga

Richard A. Kraus

This past year has been most eventful!

Last year I was planning a newsletter. As that developed, it changed into a web site which is now in place.

During the year I heard from a few more Alexandertal descendants. They are listed in the web-site, along with whatever research we have been able to do or find. We have started a photo gallery of folks who lived in Alexandertal, and are publishing letters from Alexandertal (beginning in the early part of 1900's) on the site. There are maps, and more!

I also have copies of the 1858 village census for Alexandertal. One or more copies can be ordered through

The big event of the year was a visit to the Volga, including a visit to Alexandertal itself. A full report with pictures is on the first web-site mentioned above.

Looking forward to the new year and hearing from more Alexandertaler!

ALT DANZIG, Kirovograd and NEU DANZIG, Nikolayev

Curt. Renz

As of August 21, 2001:
  • for the mother/daughter villages of ALT DANZIG - by Kirovograd and Neu Danzig - by Nikolayev I have collected 249 obituaries of people who were born there; found 49 letters published in early American German newspapers (23 have been translated.) A hand-drawn map of Neu Danzig has been sent to a cartographer and I am waiting for the final product.

  • for the village of GŸLDENDORF - by Odessa I have collected 472 obituaries of people either born there or from a GŸldendorf family who had moved to another village; found 215 letters published in early American German newspapers (28 have been translated.) A hand- drawn map of GŸldendorf has been sent to a cartographer and I am waiting for the final product. I have just begun to investigate the EWZ records; in the past year I purchased a photocopy of the Guldendorf Church book "Personnalbuch der Gemeinde GŸldendorf" from 1829 - 1850 from the Odessa archive; currently in the process of obtaining birth, marriage and death records from the Odessa archive for GŸldendorf for 1902.

  • for the village of HOFFNUNGSTAL in Bessarabia I have found 235 obituaries for people born there; obtained 138 letters (21 translated) published in early American German newspapers; A newsletter, with Dale Wahl at the helm, is published 3 times a year and we are in our 7th year of publication.

  • From time to time a request for information on a person or family from any of these villages is made and, when possible, I share what I've uncovered with the person who made the request.


Betty Muradian

We are still working on the 1940 map of Anton. The people who lived there at that time have remembered more names for us to add to the map. A young man, a Nazarenus, is living in Germany now, and he is able to contact relatives who were living in Anton at the time they were taken to Siberia.

There has been some interest in some of the Anton daughter villages, and I am in contact with the Village Coordinator of Alexanderdorf, a daughter village.


Wayne Bonner VC

[Data Entry] Dr. Darrell Weber

Research progresses for the Balzer and Moor colonies. Additional families have been added for the 1834, 1850, and 1857 revisions (census). We have also added some new church record abstracts that were ordered by individuals.

Our web page is still online. We hope to expand the information on it in the coming months. The Balzer newsletter is also still active. At present, there are about 35 subscribers. Moor does not have a separate newsletter, but any new Moor information is placed in the Balzer newsletter. Many of our subscribers have ancestry in both colonies.

The biggest break thorough this past year was getting a copy of the First Settlers List for Balzer. From this, and other sources, such as Dr. Stump's book and information from surname charts, we have begun the search of our ancestral roots in Germany by using the LDS Family History Library microfilms. They have been there for several years waiting for us to find the key to connect with our people. The records of every village are not available and many villages were too small to have its own church, but enough information is there to get started.

In my research I found that our ancestors often were previously married in Germany, then through terrible events like wide spread pestilence, many spouses and children died. Some of our ancestors remarried before leaving Germany, others remarried when they arrived in their new homes in Russia. Because of this, we sometimes find out that who we thought were the parents of the first children, may have been stepparents. We also find that older children may have stayed in the German villages. The stories are endless with this new information.

To date the baptisms of nearly one hundred original settlers and twenty or so marriages have been found. Most of these were from the Isenburg region of Hesse. We have found a few Moor marriages as well. A number of people have volunteered to help read and translate the old script. It is often difficult to read, but the results are truly amazing. A gentleman in the Budingden area has contacted us and has supplied us with photographs of the nearby villages including Dudelsheim, Rohrbach, and Diebach.

We look forward to big achievements in the coming year.


Paul Koehler

I have taken on the position of Village Coordinator for Bangert as well as for Stahl am Tarlyk. I am in the process of entering information about our ancestors into a data base. We do not have a newsletter at this time but if there is demand for one it will be pursued at a later time. I also have found a man, Fred Bork, who lives here in my home town of St Joseph, Michigan, who is 100 years of age and still going strong. His father and my grandparents were all born in the village of Bangert. I would appreciate any ancestry information, charts, pictures, etc. regarding people from Bangert.


Glenn & Elizabeth (Sinner) Barker

Beideck Village - Elizabeth (Sinner) Barker has suspended publishing "The Beideck Newsletter" for the time being. She does have a database for this village. The 1850 and 1857 census are semi-complete. In 1999, Mr. Vlad Soshnikov was able to send two Census Appendix which lists some of the families that moved from Beideck to Neu Beideck in the 1857 timeframe.

BERGDORF, Glueckstal, Odessa, Kherson

[See Glueckstal Colonies Research Association]

BORODINO, Bessarabia

Borodino Web Sites: Borodino Genealogy & Borodino History

Judy A. Remmick-Hubert

Still just trying to type up as many names as I've been sent for the village of Borodino. The new list of colonists and descendants [genealogy] can be found at:

Dale Wahl has people working on census that will give us more information

Sent or am sending copy of Borodino Genealogy for those who don't have computers and can see what I have on web site. This changes everyday but this is how it was 12 June 2001.

BRUNNENTAL (Kriwojar), Samara, Volga

Sherrie (Gettman) Stahl

We are busy as always collecting information on the village. I continue to get inquiries weekly from new descendants from the village. I gather their information and add it to our growing Brunnental Data Bank, now over 20,000 names. We currently have two maps of the village (available online from AHSGR -; and we have a homepage for our village.

We have "old newsletters" available for sale (1992-1998) which contain lots of history, pictures and information about the village.


Leroy Nikolaisen

I have answered two inquiries about people that might have been from Dinkel. One was concerning the REBENSDORF name. I had many names for that family and was able to send the info that she needed to satisfy some of her questions. The other query concerned the name of HOPPE. I was not able to find much info in my files as they moved from Warenburg to Dinkel back to Warenburg. I have some information on most of the surnames from the 1798 census of Dinkel.

DOENHOF, Saratov, Volga

Karen Kaiser

Dick and Judy Leffler

As we have only been VC's for about 6 months, our biggest accomplishment in that time was representing Doenhof Village at the Ancestral Village Night during the AHSGR 2001 Convention in Denver. We had a good turnout with over 30 people attending from six different states. We had Ralph Stoll as a speaker who is from Ft. Collins, CO. He visited the Doenhof area in the fall of 2000, and we showed parts of a video that was taken while there. We had some interesting discussions, and most there were willing to share family information. We received extensive information from one of the attendees so far and expect more as we recontact them in the near future. We have 2,086 individuals in our database at this time and encourage anyone to send their family information to us in regard to the Village of Doenhof.


Ardie Herbel and I continue to answer queries and develop our database for Dreispitz. Rachel Smith has been a great help in compiling information on this village. Mary Bartholomew received the census data on Steinle for the years 1816, 1834, 1850, and 1857 for that village, and Rachel and I have it in computer. The census data for the Heinze surname is on order.

We also have the 25 families from Dreispitz who are in the "Immigration to the Volga Region 1764-1767, Vol. 1 A-F" by Igor Pleve and Alfred Eisfeld. This is also referred to as the "Original Settlers List" This book is in both German and Russian, and is available from AHSGR. Laura Ollek translated the Dreispitz pages for us. The Steinle name in this book is listed as Stengle, but their dates match what was received on the other censuses. Oftentimes the records are difficult to read and translate. Spellings of villages of origin are also imaginative at times.

See also Lower Volga Villages.

ENDERS, Samara, Volga

Randi Bolyard

I became VC for Enders in mid-2001. I maintain a list of researchers and the surnames they are researching. So far, I have had inquiries from 9 parties.

I am planning a website within the next year to generate greater interest in the village.

ERLENBACH, Saratov, Volga

Hilda Gillig Weber

This year I have been in correspondence with several people concerning the GILLIG name and Erlenbach. Have exchanged information, but have not been able to make a connection.

Ray and I went to Denver with high hopes of learning and researching. But, from the time I arrived, I was very ill and spent the week in the hotel room or in the hospital and was not able to attend the meetings or do any researching. We made a three-week auto trip to Michigan, but did not find any more information about Erlenbach. I translated letters sent from Siberia to the Weber family - but these did not contain anything about the villages or the family. The letters had been written in the 1970's.

Am continuing the e-mail to Argentina and connections to my mother's family - LOOSE. The same problem - the older members of the family have died or are ill, and the younger families have no information.

We continue to try and interest the younger members of the family in family research, but the language is a problem. They cannot read or speak German and the German relatives cannot understand English.


Fisher Web Site

Roger A. Toepfer

PROEM: The interchange/exchange of data and general assistance for Fischer & Herzog continues to be handled through the Fischer and Herzog web sites and has been a very successful means of assisting our fellow members. (Jerry Braun is Webmeister for the Herzog Web Site). As Webmeister, for the Fischer Home Page, I have included a site for the Village of Katharinenstadt,

[Fischer/Katharinenstadt] (My Mother's side are descendants of Katharinenstadt). With this bond, I have coordinated information of queries regarding Katharinenstadt members. Also, queries for other villages have come in and we attempt to assist them by posting the queries on the "queries page" of our site.

QUERY SUPPORT We have had 5240 visits (and on going) to the Fischer/Katharinenstadt site since January 1, 1999. This is a total of 2878 increase in visits from last year. Last year there were 60 requests for family research. This year that number is just slightly less, but the requests are more extensive in content.


These names, and the queries associated, can be found within the Fischer/ Katharinenstadt, web site, either in the "Sign In Page" or the "Query Page". We provided data of family connections, ancestral data, help on how and where to search for further information.

All of the queries were answered, and most all with positive results! If they are of interest to you, please visit these pages for further brief.

*Note: Pastor Gutsche forwarded a 42 page document, mostly in German, outlining the financial needs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and Congregation in the village of Katharinenstadt. This documentation was sent to Carol J. Nesewich with the impression that she was the VC for Katharinenstadt. Carol contacted me with the same impression that I am VC for Katharinenstadt - I am not (as yet). I set up the Katharinenstadt web site because there was none in existence, and I felt information needed to be posted and coordinated, etc.

If anyone is interested in a copy of this documentation, I can send it out by snail mail, I no longer have it as an attachment to E-mail. It may be possible to scan the doc. and send it to Acrobat, saving it in PDF. I haven't tried that as yet to see if the results are acceptable. However, I am concerned with the German text portions. A straight copy with my HP copier seems the most reasonable.

Those that might be interested in the Pastor Gutsche document can let me know via E-mail:

WEB SITE The Fischer/Katharinenstadt & Herzog Home Sites have been a continued source of information, inspiration and encouragement for people to research their heritage. It has also stemmed encouragement to bring in new members to the AHSGR.

TESTIMONIAL SAMPLES: Herzog: Clay and Julie W. "Received your package today. Thank you so much for your dedication and efforts towards preserving our German from Russia heritage. . . You've brought sunshine into the overcast daylight..."

Katharinenstadt: Nadine W...."I am researching two siblings, John and Dorothy WORMSBACKER, born 1902 & 1906. Came to America with parents in 1912. Family members married into the BIENEMAN family. Any information would be appreciated." (This request is still open).

Fischer: Hein F. from South Africa " . . I visited your web page recently... I would like to link up with American research on the Volga Germans. How do you suggest I do this. . . ." "Looking forward to hearing from you" (Sent him all details for AHSGR membership).

Fischer: Viktor K., Cologne, Germany: . . . "I was very interested for me to see the net-activities of the descendants of Russian- Germans in the USA. I live in Germany and a friend of mine named Heinrich moved his large clan to Germany some years ago from Fischer village. Russia. Now living in Koblenz, Cologne etc. Other relatives, KREIGER, JUSTUS etc. now in Germany. I was realy surprised with the site. Take care" Viktor K., Cologne. (This is a German connection that I am working on now.)

Fischer: Lucille B. (regarding correction to THIERBACH posting on ship list). "I am related to these people. My family always visited the Theirbach family in the area of Boston Harbor and Stevensville MI. back in the 1940's and 1950's. I am still in contact with one lady, Ida Theirbach . . . ." (Another good connection for further data).

Fischer: Janyce S. . . ."Words cannot begin to convey my excitement over the materials I received when becoming a member of AHSGR. . . . I have been glued to the computer now for over an hour, devouring any and all information about Fischer, Russia" Thank you for getting me started on the first leg of my journey!" Janyce S.

These are just a very few of many responses that I have received, and they are an excellent indicator of the effectiveness of the Fischer, Katharinenstadt & Herzog web sites.

The Fischer/Katharinenstadt Web Site at present consists of twenty one pages of; History, Personal Stories, Maps, Surname Lists, Ship Lists, Photo Pages, and much more! The web site contains links to the AHSGR Home Page, the Herzog Home Page, and a link to most all of the other VC Web Sites. If you haven't been there, I urge you to drop on by! (Jerry Braun should make his report regarding the Herzog site.)

VC INFORMATION EXCHANGE I would like to give thanks at this time to Tim Weeder, VC for Paulskoye, who gave me copies of the photos that he took of the village of Fischer while on a trip to the Volga. The photos include: the former Prayer House, the remains of he School Building, and photos of three German style homes, probably built in the early 1900's. The photos also confirmed that Fischer is still occupied as a village, though in poor condition. The village's existence had been a subject of contention until the data and photos from Tim Weeder.

SURNAME SEARCHES The following Web Sites have a very comprehensive listing of 41 surnames and the person that purchased the searches. These listings are posted on: Fischer and Katharinenstat Home Page: Roger Toepfer Herzog Home Page: Jerry Braun Marienthal Home Page: Tony Leiker Obermunjor Home Page: Kevin Rupp Please log on and review the listings. It could save you a good deal of time and money by learning that a list you are about to order has already been researched. We are here to help and coordinate in the search for our Ancestry, History, and Notable Heritage.

The Website addresses can be found by logging on to the AHSGR Home Page at and click on: Favorite Russian/German Websites.

GERMANY CONTACTS So far this year, our contacts in Germany have not yeilded any new information from former Fischer residents. It is necessary for me to go through a second party for connections and this is not always efficient. However, we are always hopeful.

AMERICAN CONTACTS The connection with the Fischer descendants in Wisconsin, Michigan etc. has not yielded new information either. Finding the correct and up to date addresses of former Fischer families in the U.S. is a challenge. I have address and phone listings, but they always seem to be one step behind! I have a stack of returned mail almost as large as what was sent out, and the rest are non-responses. All I need is one solid bite!!!

GALKA, Saratov, Volga

Galka Web Site

Lower Volga Villages

Merrill & Dorothy Kerbs Younkin

Jayne Dye, Galka Research Consultant

The first news is a 90 page Doctoral Dissertation entitled "Galka, a German settlement on the Volga" written in 1910 by a 23 year old student at the University of Leipzig in Germany. It is my hope to have an English translation available through the AHSGR by June 2002. The delay is due to dependence on volunteers - but progress is being made.

There are some interesting passages that give us a look at our village when my father and his family were still there. It was a pivotal time period. The village government (all heads of families) had just voted unanimously to change to private ownership of the land, eliminating the MIR system of communal property, which had been in existence since the founding of the village! This would give every family in the village land ownership and land to sell in order to raise funds for emigration. There are also some paragraphs that strike us as humorous today. There is reference to the use of rubber galoshes as a fashion statement - purchased in the city, worn to church and carefully protected so as not to have a speck of dust or dirt on them. I wonder if my grandmothers and aunts could have been so fortunate? The cost of these decorative elements of 'Sunday best' dress was not given. This is an economic dissertation on conditions in the village. It does not mention names so it is not a gold mine of genealogical information. It is valuable for the as a word painting of the living conditions of that year.

Very few Galka searchers have contacted me and all are encouraged to do so. I became aware, through AHSGR data, of a branch related to my paternal grandmother currently in Australia - having moved there from Canada. After hunting four years for contact with this branch, and failing, I was gratified that the family found me through AHSGR. We are beginning to make information exchanges. This may lead to more Galka information.

My family has received our Surname Chart and documentation (Dec. 2000) on the WUNSCH surname. If there are other Surname Charts from Galka families I would like to know of them. If there are questions about the other surnames that might link to this chart, please contact me.

There are Galka descendents in South America - I would like some leads to these Galkers. There are more in Canada that I do not have a link for. Would the STEINERTS of Russell, Kansas please contact me?

I would like very much to move into collection of information on Neu Galka. Currently I do not have a single name and yet there were families from Galka who helped found Neu Galka so these links will become valuable in uniting all Ger-Rus Galka searchers.

Please contact me through AHSGR's home page with questions, sources of information, and/or suggestions for further areas of search and interest. I will do my best to link searchers.

Glueckstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA)

Glueckstal Colonies Research Association includes colonies: Bergdorf, Glueckstal, Kassel, Neudorf, Grigoriopol, and Hoffnungstal.

Glueckstal Colonies Web Site

Margaret Freeman 

Glueckstal Colonies has embarked on an ambitious project to produce a video and a book to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of this group of colonies in South Russia. Called the Bicentennial Project, the committee is cooperating with the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, and with the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation Foundation ( Committee volunteers include: Allyn Brosz, Harold Ehrman, Barbara Horn, Jim Klein, Penny Raile, Rev. Ross Merkel, Michael Miller, Gwen Pritzkau, Jan & Tom Stangl, Sally Sologuk, and Margaret & Bob Freeman. In addition, staff from Prairie Public Television (producer of two award-winning German-Russian documentaries) will produce the video-documentary, and Ron Vossler of the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and a Wishek, ND native, has been hired to write the script. Homer Rudolf of Richmond, Glückstal Bicentennial Project chairperson, states: "Our goal is to produce a book, a video-documentary and CD-ROM that will include information about the Glückstal mother and daughter colonies, a comprehensive look at the historical, political, cultural and religious life of these German-Russian colonies in South Russia, as well as the 'Glückstal' settlements in the U.S. and Canada. We consider this the last real opportunity to gather much of the information relevant to this people, especially their pictures, diaries, documents, and letters." Plans are to have the projects completed by the bicentennial year of 2004. A target date of 2004 was chosen because in 1804 the first three families settled in the village of Glueckstal, South Russia (today located in the Republic of Moldova and near Odessa, Ukraine). By 1809, a total of 106 German families had arrived, and at that time they were moved from Grigoriopol to the village of Glinoje, which became Glückstal. In addition, by 1810, the villages of Neudorf, Bergdorf, and Kassel were also established with a total of 392 families in the four mother colonies. The proposed book will also focus on the late 1800s and continue to the 20th century, to cover the period when families from the Glückstal District villages migrated to North America and many settled in the central Dakotas and Canada. For additional information contact: Homer Rudolf, Chair, G200 Project Committee, Glückstal Colonies Research Association, 4819 W. Seminary Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227 (E-mail: With this project, GCRA continues its goal of being a sharing organization for those who have ancestry in the Glueckstal Colonies. With our ancestry in a common group of colonies, those of us who have found cousins and near cousins with this endeavor seek to preserve the life of our homeland of the 19th and 20th centuries. As an additional activity, along with preparing for the video, a memorial monument will be placed in the village of Gluecktstal, the former county seat for Bergdorf, Neudorf and Kassel, on May 24. Wording on the monument is to recognize the previous inhabitants of the village. Present will be the Prairie Public Television Crew, Bob Dambach and Dave Geck, Michael M. Miller of North Dakota State University, and GCRA members Gwen Pritzkau, Bernardine Lang Kuhn, Jan and Tom Stangl, Dr. Kenneth and Katharine Vogele, and Bob and Margaret Freeman. Additional travelers with confirmed reservations are Oscar and Helma Eberle of Germany, as Helma lived in a daughter colony of the Glueckstal group, Marienberg, until the March 1944 departure for the West. it will be her first return to her birthplace which she left as a young child. The Eberles attended the California District Council Heritage Fest in the year 2000.


Margaret Freeman F052

Glueckstal Colonies Database & Glueckstal Daughter Colonies see Glueckstal Colonies Research Association

GNADENFELD, (Neu-Moor/Moor) Samara, Volga

Irma A. Waggoner, W098

Besides being the VC for Gnadenfeld, I am working with Wayne Bonner as VC for Moor (Klyuchi). Please read the history of both Gnadenfeld and Moor included in the AHSGR Web Site. If anyone has made trips to either colony, we would appreciate any photos or information for these village files.

Gnadenfeld, also known as Neu Moor / Moor, was a small "daughter colony", on the weisenseite side of the Volga, with many of the families coming from the "mother colony" of Moor, also some from Balzer, Hussenbach, Norka, Donhoff and possibly other colonies. There are no known published lists of families from either Gnadenfeld or Moor. I continue to collect data of families from these two colonies from family charts at AHSGR, ship records, declarations of intent and naturalization records, bible records etc. I also have a copy of the 1775 and 1798 census for Moor, which lists the first families to settle there.

Through email queries I have been able to help several people with their research. I would appreciate copies of any family charts or church and census records, which have been ordered for families from Gnadenfeld or Moor to include in these village files. The KORELL chart has been ordered.

GRIMM, Saratov, Volga

Ken Leffler

It was a good year for the descendants from Grimm since the church records were located and have been restored enough so that data extraction could begin. This data will fill the void left between the 1858 census and the arrival of our ancestors in the North and South America. To date nine charts have been ordered. They are the surnames, FRITZLER, GROH, LEFFLER, SCHAFER, SCHMICK, SCHREINER, WITTMAN, WOLF, and ZULAUF. Hopefully more Grimmers will seize this opportunity and order their charts. If you do, please notify me so that duplicates are not ordered. If you need instructions on how to order contact me.

Attendance at Village night at the AHSGR convention set a new record. Old friends and new acquaintances exchanged information and stories, but the session was much too short. We finally got our own private room, which is a tremendous improvement over the large meeting hall. Since the room allocations are based on pre-enrollment for the convention, let's all do it again in Des Moines in 2002.

Mary Ann Wolf Lyerda has volunteered to be the Grimm data base coordinator, which will certainly help when the surname data starts rolling in. She will start as soon as I find time away from the SOAR project to get her started. We all owe her a big thanks.

The Grimm website has moved to and a Spanish translation is at I hope to get more data on Grimmers in Brazil and Argentina from this translation. Thanks to Elena Mercedes Vega in Argentina for doing the translation.

GULDENDORF, Grossliebental, Odessa, Kherson

Curt. Renz

For the village of GULDENDORF - by Odessa I have collected 472 obituaries of people either born there or from a Guldendorf family who had moved to another village; found 215 letters published in early American German newspapers (28 have been translated.) A hand- drawn map of Guldendorf has been sent to a cartographer and I am waiting for the final product. I have just begun to investigate the EWZ records; in the past year I purchased a photocopy of the Guldendorf Church book "Personnalbuch der Gemeinde Guldendorf" from 1829 - 1850 from the Odessa archive; currently in the process of obtaining birth, marriage and death records from the Odessa archive for Guldendorf for 1902.

HERZOG, Saratov, Volga

Roger A. Toepfer

Jerry Braun

See Fischer

HOFFNUNGSTAL, Akkerman, Bessarabia

Curt Renz R002

For the village of HOFFNUNGSTAL in Bessarabia I have found 235 obituaries for people born there; obtained 138 letters (21 translated) published in early American German newspapers; A newsletter, with Dale Wahl at the helm, is published 3 times a year and we are in our 7th year of publication.

HOLSTEIN, Saratov, Volga

The Holstein database has 13,000 plus names. This year, I heard from a STEINMARK family in Canada. This is interesting because I wasn't aware there were Steinmarks in Holstein. A Jauk, whose ancestors came directly from Germany, is attempting to connect all JAUK/YAUK worldwide and is making good progress. He is discovering the Volga Yauks are the largest branch of that family. There are two branches of the Peil/Piel family doing extensive family research. I was aware that the former Steinfeld sauerkraut and pickle company near Portland, Oregon had its origins with Holstein's Steinfeld family. Because of information on the web pages, I received emails from the Steinfeld family asking about their background because some didn't know they were German-Russian descendants. A Steinfeld living in Colorado plans to start family research in the next couple of years.

A lot of information has been collected and contacts made during the past three years. Since Don and Lorna live in another area of the US, I anticipate exciting discoveries during their tenure as VCs. My thanks to Kathy O'Malley, Janet Flickinger and Rachel Smith for their support and friendship. I will continue to do the web pages for the Lower Volga Village Project.

HUCK (Splaunucha), Saratov, Volga

Dennis Zitterkopf

2001 has been a good year for the Huck village. Our web site, initiated at the end of 2000 with a list of 16 researchers, now includes 32 researchers using e-mail and one person using only snail mail. I sent letters to all the names in CLUES (excluding my list of 16) that had indicated an interest in Huck. The response was not overwhelming but a few new names were added to the Researcher Page as a result. Our researchers are located from the west coast to the east coast of the US, including two in Canada. My web counter stopped working when the original ISP was purchased by another ISP (more about that later), so I do not have an exact count of the number of visits. I do know that it is being used by a variety of persons because I continue to receive new queries, including two from Germany and one recently from Argentina (the Argentina contact is of particular interest to me because it is from a Zitterkopf man!).

Research for Huck continues to be stymied due to the lack of any records from 1857 to 1899. Periodic queries to Russia result in the familiar "no new records are available" response, but we remain hopeful that new information will be located.

The web site contents are being translated into Spanish for posting on a site in Argentina. Several of the researchers are anxiously awaiting the completion of this because of their belief that a portion of their family emigrated from the US (or possibly directly from Huck) to Argentina. We continue to look for a project that will enhance the site, but have not agreed on one yet. One idea we are considering, instead of surname descendent trees, is an alphabetic posting of all the surnames the researchers have in their databases (and an indication of which researcher(s) has information about a particular surname). I welcome suggestions from other coordinators about projects they have had success with.

We have obtained a copy of a video documenting a visit to Huck in 1993. The trip, on the Volga, passes through Saratov and includes some interesting dockside scenes. After passing though several sets of locks, the visit to the village is presented. Our plans are to make the tape available to anyone desiring a copy via the AHSGR headquarters.

Now the ISP story: After Southwind (my original ISP) was purchased by OneMain, OneMain was purchased by EarthLink. I've recently been notified that I must move the home page to a new server with a new address. This would not have been a concern if the instructions about the new location and the move had been more specific-but we've moved.

HUSSENBACH (Linevo Osero), Samara Volga

Hussenbach Website 

Louise Potter P051

2001 has been an exciting year for us. There has been much sharing of material with AHSGR members and non-members alike. We have a few surname charts which have been entered into the database: HILDERMAN, JORDAN, LAIS, MUCK, PROPP, RIEL, SCHATZEL, STENZEL and SUPPES. If there are other Hussenbach charts that have been received and you would like to share them please contact either Paul or Louise. We know of three charts that are on order: FROMM, ROMMEL and ROTHENBERGER and they will be coming to us as soon as received.

One of the highlights of this year was Village Night at the 2001 Convention at Denver. Rose Mary Guenthner from Laurel, Montana gave a program on sugar beet syrup making which she and her family do periodically. A special treat was in store for each of us when she shared some of that precious syrup and rye bread with us. Timothy and Rosalinda Kloberdanz joined us and also enjoyed the treat. A Folklore special!

There is personal satisfaction from time to time when we are able to help connect families, one such time happened when we were able to connect a family with loved ones they had been out of touch with for over 40 years! What joy that was for all of us. Stories such as this justify our many hours of research and correspondence. We also have received inquiries from Argentina and Denmark as well as Canada and the United States, however, it takes each of us to share our information to be able to help others.

We share with you Noble's concluding correspondence with us "Good morning friends. I address this to both of you for I wanted to thank you for the help you provided for my project. My aim was to supply a starting place for some of the younger members of the family and I have handed off to them what I have learned. It has created some excitement among them so now I can sit back and let them explore on their own computers."

Our thanks to Sherrie Stahl who maintains our web page.

HUSSENBACH (Gaschon), Samara, Volga

Hussenbach Website 

Paul Lais VC Hussenbach, Gaschon

See report above.

JOHANNESDORF, Stavropol, North Caucasus, South Russia

Bonnie Anderson

Village Info: No censuses, church or other records from the Russian archives are available at this time. Currently collecting surnames and village information from secondary sources, individuals and other contacts. For additional information, see also "Caucasus Project" (below), or contact VC.

Caucasus Project The Caucasus Germans are an important and largely unexplored segment of the history of Germans from Russian. The Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) - Clearing House launched the Caucasus Project in November, 2000, with Bonnie Anderson, AHSGR/GRHS member, as Overall Coordinator. Arthur Flegel has also volunteered as Co- Coordinator. The history of the German minority in the North and South Caucasus involves ancestors of many AHSGR and GRHS members.

North Caucasus colonies were all daughter colonies, developed primarily in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to changing conditions, crop failures and overpopulation in the older settlement areas. The North Caucasus colonies were generally composed of Volga Germans intermingled with Black Sea Germans and other German newcomers who shared the same religious beliefs. There were more than 150 German colonies sprinkled across the North Caucasus, which extended roughly from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, and from Rostov southward to the foothills of the Caucasus.

The South Caucasus colonies had a different beginning: Colonization which was motivated by the religious zeal of Wuerttemberg separatists who arrived from Germany in 1818 and lived in an isolated area which was separated from the other German settlements of Russia by a major mountain range. These colonies (about 20) existed in areas which are now the independent Republics of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Russian Archives, thus far, have produced very few records for the Caucasus. Efforts to locate and acquire village and church records for North and South Caucasus villages have been initiated.

In order to work around the gap caused by the lack of primary records, Bonnie's Year #1 focus has been collecting any available information and family data for all North/South Caucasus villages, and doing extensive research to locate additional sources. Year #2 plans include further collection, research and acquisition efforts, and compiling collected data for on-line publication.

Arthur Flegel's expertise will be a great addition to the foundation of this new project. He is currently working on a book about three Bessarabian villages.

JOHANNESTAL, Berezan Odessa, Kherson

Ray Heinle

JOSEFSTAL, Saratov, Volga

Edward Gerk

The Josefstal web site is up and running.

Nothing else to report...still slowly getting material from the archives in Volgograd, and some additional Church records from Saratov archives.

KAMENKA & PFEIFER, Saratov Volga


Rosemary Larson

This report is combined for the villages of Kamenka and Pfeifer in the Volga River area.

The two websites have been updated with the addition of a Spanish translation of the Home Page and the History of the village since there are so many émigrés to South America. There are many queries from South America, primarily Argentina; from Canada, Mexico as well as the United States. Some of the requests have been complex but have been answered in good time.

The requests in other than English languages have been placed in the BABELFISH translation website and are clear enough to respond to the request. Most requests are by Email but some are regular mail.

At present I am working on a Church Register of families in Ellis County, Kansas. This entails much time and accuracy. The Register is compiled from birth, marriage, and death records of the church, Federal and State census, and other resources.

This register is similar to the HOLY CROSS PARISH FAMILY REGISTER that I published for Pfeifer, Ellis County, Kansas several years ago. All sales proceeds from this Family Register are given to Holy Cross Catholic Church for its upkeep since it is only open for special occasions now, such as weddings and anniversary celebrations.

It is a pleasure working with Patrice Miller, Webmistress for AHSGR, in updating the Kamenka and Pfeifer websites. Thank you Patrice.

KARLSRUHE, Burlatzki, North Caucasus

Bonnie Anderson

Village Info: Also called Dowsunskoje; part of a small cluster of villages which included Dowsunskoje, Herrmansburg and Wilhelmshoehe. No censuses, church or other records from the Russian archives are available at this time. Currently collecting surnames and village information from secondary sources, individuals and other contacts. For additional information, see also "Caucasus Project" (under Johannesdorf, N. Caucasus) or contact VC.

KATHARINENFELD, Luxemburg, Cuacasus, South Russia

Bonnie Andersont

Village Info: Located 70 km. southwest of Tiflis, Georgia. No censuses, church or other records from the Russian archives are available at this time. Currently collecting surnames and village information from secondary sources, individuals and other contacts. For additional information, see also "Caucasus Project" (under Johannesdorf, N. Caucasus) or contact VC.


Katharinenstadt Web site

Marvin & Raynona Bohrer

Carol Nesewich N087

We have been doing several things for Katharinenstadt. We made contact with a family that still lives there and have sent items to the Lutheran church. We are in contact with the Catholic church also. We are trying to see what civil records are still in the city and what availability there is to get copies. We have made contact with people in Germany and are seeing what information they might have for everybody.

KAUTZ - (Werschinka)

D. Michael Frank

Following the passing of the previous Village Coordinator, Elaine Frank Davison, in late March 2001, I was able, finally, to get confirmed as VC in her place about the middle of July. I did not attend the AHSGR convention.

In April, with the help of Elaine's family, I brought the bulk of Elaine's Kautz records (Unsere Leute von Kautz masters, correspondence, computer files) to Vancouver, where I live, from Walla Walla. I have spent a couple of months sorting them out and getting established. During this "on-hold" time of several months, I worked with Darrell Kautz, Village Coordinator for Merkel in establishing a website for that village. Updates to that website will be performed by me in the future at Darrell's request.

I am answering Kautz queries from all over the world and have made enough connections from these queries to the Kautz database to brighten the days of many people.

Surname charts for 19 Kautz surnames have been examined to verify that all identified individuals have been entered into the Kautz database.

I created a new index, accessible at the Kautz website, which lists surnames, by volume, from all volumes of Unsere Leute von Kautz. Previous indices reflected only individual volumes. There were many changes made to that website to reflect Elaine's passing.

My current project is to take Elaine's 10 volumes of "Unsere Leute von Kautz" (the paper version with substantial hand-notated corrections and additions), compare them to the current database, and recreate the volumes in electronic format. There are a lot of Family Group Sheets, pictures, and text to be taken into consideration. This should take about 2 years to complete, given my schedule. Electronically, changes will be easier to make and people getting new volumes electronically will get the latest information.

KOEHLER, Saratov, Volga

Joseph A (Joe) Gareis

I took over the VC assignment for Koehler this past year, allowing Ted Gerk to concentrate more on the research he is doing as VC for Josefstal. Ted has been very helpful in getting me started, although there is much to learn.

By way of background, both of my parents -- Adam Gareis and Marie (Hasenauer) Gareis -- were born in Koehler and lived there until the 1930s. They were accepted into Germany as citizens during World War II and migrated to the States (suburban Chicago) after the war. Personally, I am more interested in the history of Koehler and of the Volga-Germans in general than in detailed genealogical mapping projects.


  • Waiting to receive a Surname Chart on surname Gareis, ordered jointly with Judy Gareis of Washington State in the summer of 2000.
  • Purchased copies of German government immigration files (EWZ records) on individuals with the surnames Gareis and Hasenauer.
  • Received copies of information on the village from the AHSGR‘s files.
  • (On a more personal note) We finally found a surviving relative from several of my fathers relatives who were evicted from Koehler in the early 1940s and sent to central Asia.

Requests: Responded to 12 requests this past year. About a third of these were related to the EWZ files. Others asked for information on specific common relatives and surnames. Also heard from several people looking for general information on researching Koehler.

Goals for next year:

  • Primary objective is to compile a list of people interested in Koehler (including mailing addresses for individuals not connected to the Web) and survey them about their needs, interests and the resources they have. That should help determine how to proceed, for example, whether a website, list-serv or some other approach would best serve our information sharing needs.
  • Continue personal family research and familiarizing myself with various sources of information on Koehler and on Volga Germans.

KOLB, Saratov, Volga

Thelma J. Sprenger

Pauline Dudek D018, Honorary Village Coordinator, 920 Hill Street #A, Hastings, NE 68901

What have I done this year as VC for Kolb? Pretty much the same as last year. Continue to answer queries to the best of my ability and collect obituaries.

With much encouragement, my husband translated the German minutes for the annual and board meetings for the Ritzville, WA Zion UCC church. These covered the years 1888-1946. It was a long project as they were written in script and had several different, difficult handwritings. We are going to start on the birth, death, and baptism records soon. Many of the members have roots from Kolb.

Gary Jenkins has extractions from the Ellis Island records and has so generously shared the Kolb data with me. I have always found him willing to help out. Many thanks to him for the time and effort.

It feels great when I am able to help someone find a connection. This past June I had the most delightful letter from a student doing a research paper on her Rosenoff family and was able to fill in some of the blanks for her.

A friend found a box of old pictures in the attic of the house she was living in. Turned out there were many that could be identified by several people around town. Names include THIEL, ACHZIGER, KANZLER, STROMBERGER, OESTREICH. These names have Kolb ties. Doris Evans has graciously put all of the pictures on a disc for our records and the pictures themselves will be returned to family members if they can be found and they want them.

I joined AHSGR to help myself find out more about my Ancestors. I have had some good results on my mother's side but am not sure which of the dozens of KOCHs I belong to. I saw this cute cartoon in the paper recently. It is so true. Two cats sitting at a computer. One is telling the other "So far I've discovered I was in a litter of eight and my mother's name was Fluffy!"


Gary Martens

See Schilling.

KRASNOYAR, Samara, Volga

Susie Weber Hess

In the last year I received about 20 queries from people that found my name on the AHSGR web page. The requests for information were evenly distributed between the 2 villages above. For all the requests I received, I worked with the requestor and gave advice how to find information from churches, funeral homes, newspapers and government agencies. If I had information on their family already, I worked with them and tried to put them in contact with others that were researching the same names.

The largest contribution that was made in this last year was for the village of Krasnojar. My cousin George Valko (a Veller relative by my grandmother) has completed and published 2 volumes of THE VOLGA GERMANS Krasnoyar (aka Krasnojar), Chicago, Everywhere. Volume 1: Their stories, their words: A compendium of history and family was completed Oct 2001. Volume 2: Their stories, their words FRANZ / FRANTZ FAMILY was completed January 2002. Volume 3: Their stories, their words VELLER / FELLER FAMILY is expected to be released in the near future. 

Plans for the future are to obtain a Weber chart from the village of Krasnojar. I have been informed  that the information is available. Now the challenge is to obtain financial support from relatives, friends and other interested parties. The Weber family was very well known in the Jefferson Park area of Chicago.

KRATZKE, Saratov, Volga

Ethel Lock L026

Brent Mai

Ethel Lock now has email.  The Kratzke web page has moved.

Research ("charts") from Dr. Plehve are currently available for the following surnames: BENDER, BLÄHM, BOXBERGER, DEINES, DIETZ, FABRIZIUS, KOLEBER, KNAUS, KRUG, MAI, MAIER, MICHAELIS, SCHÄFER, SCHNEIDER, and SCHWIEN. These charts can be purchased for $35 from Brent Mai.

The 1767 and 1798 census records are available as well as part of the 1850 census. Janet Flickinger has been working on a Russell County Kansas database that includes many families with Kratzke origins. Joint research efforts are being explored with the coordinators for the neighboring colonies of Kautz and Dietel.


Betty Muradian

Eleanor Sissell, Kukkus Village Data Base Coordinator

We are still looking for new information on Kukkus, especially from people who have visited the village in recent years or have had their genealogy chart done. The book, Kukkus, a German Village on the Volga, can still be ordered from the AHSGR Central California Chapter Library-Museum. Their e-mail address is:  


Frances Nelson N088

We have been publishing a newsletter since 1997, MEINE HEIMAT II. Earlier, Esther Trekell of Houston, TX published MEINE HEIMAT I. Our subscription list has been about 60 readers. John Butler has had a genealogy page in each issue in which he highlights one family group. Esther Trekell has had accounts of her trips to Russia and to some of the colonies, including Kutter. We have published many photographs both in black and white and in laser color, giving our readers some insight as to the condition of our village today. Several years ago, I visited Büdingen and the Hesse area and included some photographs of that area. We have also published biographies of some of our people and their families. The last issue has a report of the tour led by Gary Reifschneider in the Büdingen and Vogelsberg area. We have published the last issue of our newsletter, unless someone comes forward to take it over. I'm sure there is much more information and many more stories from our village, but circumstances make it necessary for me to give up the newsletter. John and I will still be available to help with genealogy searches and historical data. John has probably the most data one will find anywhere on the genealogy of descendants from Kutter. Back issues of the newsletter will remain available. The Denver Chapter of AHSGR has done a great deal of research on churches, as well as legal documents. They have cataloged all of the Naturalizations of Germans from Russia who obtained them in Colorado giving us another source of data. I received only one query in the past year and was able to supply some missing data from this source. John may have had other queries. We welcome other queries and will do our best to aid in research.


Helen Bernice Madden M363

 Newsletter: Die Lauwe Lampe

I chose to act as VC for Lauwe / Yablonovka because it is my GÖRINGER / GOERINGER ancestral home. My mother's birth village, Shcherbakovka, is in very capable VC hands.

In the past few years, I have been remiss in communicating with the VC chairpersons about my activities as village coordinator for Lauwe. This was due in part to lack of interest (inquiries) from people connected to this village.

It was reported in Die Welt Post that in the year 1939, there were 30 old family names as well as 23 additional names in Lauwe. The focus for research and data in the past has been a narrow one. I have received inquiries from folks connected to only 7 of these names. I must say, however, that the Internet had increased research requests in the year 2001 by 100 percent. Family histories and/or stories input has been in short supply. I would really like to have more of this sort of material to make the village newsletter more interesting. 

Several inquiries have come from folks associated with the village of Laub. The spelling for this village closely parallels one of those used for Lauwe [Laube]. Since there is no VC for Laub, I always respond to these and have made an effort to help whenever I had information that connected to their request. 

The village newsletter, Die Lauwe Lampe is still published once a year.


Thelma Mills

This will be a short report this year, as I have been trying to build a web page for the village of Louis. Louis is the first village that my ancestors settled in before moving to Mariental. And as there was no VC for that village, I volunteered to be the VC, and have been busy gathering information to include in my web page. If any of you have information: diaries, interviews, pictures, stories, etc. or want to share your lineage with me, concerning Louis, Russia, please contact me either by email or at the address posted above.


Dobrinka, Dreispitz, Galka, Holstein, Kraft, Mueller, Schwab, Shcherbakovka, Stephen
See individual villages for contacts.

Lower Volga Villages Project Annual Report
August 2001
By Kathy O'Malley, Project Coordinator

Since 1997, volunteers have been working together on this project to compile and share information on the 9 Villages in the two Parishes of Galka and Stephan. They are Dobrinka, Dreispitz, Galka, Holstein, Schwab, Kraft, Mueller, Shcherbakovka, and Stephan. A summary of this information is on our web site.

It includes:
1.) Articles of interest: Information on the Lower Volga area, and some letters of general interest
An alphabetical Index listing all the surnames in these villages which are in the 1798 Census
2.) A page for each of these 9 villages, some with photos, lists of Surname Charts, and other resources
3.) Map of the lower Volga area
4.) Village and Family History Lists
5.) List of Research from Russia, including Family Trees, received and ordered.
6.) A summary of village newsletters, published twice a year since 1994, & how to order
7.) Obituary summaries, primarily of this area, and listed alphabetically for easy access
8.) Links to other web sites of interest, including daughter colonies and additional resources

Compiling: In the nine years that I have been a Village Coordinator, I have received information from over 500 people, which has been entered in village databases. Much of it is not documented, but it is all useful, because Volga Germans tended to marry within their own group.

They also moved around a great deal within the Volga German area. From the 1798 Censuses of our 9 villages, we learn that in the 10 year period between 1788 and 1798, 246 people left their home villages. Over 60 % of these moved to another village in our two Parish area. Therefore, it is useful to have information on neighboring villages.

Each of our Village Coordinators or Contacts continues to develop a database on his village. These databases range in size from hundreds to thousands of names of residents and descendants. Shcherbakovka now has about 24,000 names and Dreispitz has 9,800. There are some duplicates on these two, as many people from these two villages--as well as from Galka and some other villages--first settled in Marion County, Kansas. Others settled in Russell County, KS.

I also have a resource database of about 8200 names, including all the names from our village 1798 censuses and information on daughter colonies on the Lower Jeruslan River Colonies on the east side of the Volga, which was obtained by Sue Kottwitz and Betty Ashley. It also contains data from some Family Tree Charts and some family histories.

In an effort to improve the accuracy of this information, and link families, our obituary project has been very useful. Rachel Smith, Edith Bottsford, Janet Flickinger, Ethel Lock and others have done yeoman work this year in getting obituary summaries entered in computer and alphabetized so that they are easy to locate. Many people have donated their obit. collections. Many of these are not included in the AHSGR obituary files. If you have obituaries, send them to Rachel Smith.

Sharing In March, I mailed to Doris Evans, a Village Coordinator representative on the AHSGR Board of Directors, the documents which we received with the Family Tree Charts. Copies of the charts were given to her at the Wichita Convention. Doris had sent me a C. D., which she prepared of the charts themselves, and she included a chart copy of the Kaufmanns who moved from Shcherbakovka to Frank. I included print copies of the indices and the lists of documents, which Janet Flickinger and I prepared for the Shcherbakovka Charts. I also sent her gedcoms of my databases, with the notation that these are only working files. It is hoped that these will be passed along to village coordinators in the future, if they are interested in gedcom files.

We have also sent some photos of our villages to Hart Postlethwaite who has compiled them on a C.D. He has presented these at a number of California events.

At our Village Night at the AHSGR Convention in Denver, Ed Hoak presented a report on his second trip to Russia last summer. He took time to visit most of our villages and take photographs. He also talked to local residents, and got names of some of the former village residents. Dick Kraus, Village Coordinator of Alexandertal, was on the same Russian tour as Ed, and he was there to meet with those from the Rosenberg Parish. Teri Helzer, V. C. of Oberdorf, met with that group also. Others who chaired village groups are: Don Schimpf, Kraft; Don Kutchera, Stephan; Janet Flickinger, Shcherbakovka & Mueller; Wilann Sefton, Dobrinka; Rachel Smith, Dreispitz; Jayne Dye, Galka and Schwab; Edith Bottsford, Holstein;

Looking Forward Jayne Dye, one of the Village Coordinators for Galka, is working with a volunteer on a translation of the book on that village by Max Pretorius. We have been trying for some years to get this done, and we are now on the way.

Rolene Kiesling is the new editor for our village newsletter starting next year. She is Village Coordinator for Schwab, and has a wealth of experience in genealogy and the Volga Germans.

Lorna Young is working with Edith Bottsford on Holstein. We always need more data and more volunteers. Thanks to all of those who have contributed this year.

MARIENFELD, Saratov, Volga

Rosemarie Krieg Dinkel

I don't have anything to report on either villages, Rohrbach or Marienfeld. With all the information on the Internet there isn't much for me to work on at this time. At one time, I did get snail mail queries regarding Rohrbach....not even that anymore. I volunteer at the local LDS library, and there are a few people coming in that are Ger-Rus and I help them connect to their villages.

MARIENTAL, Samara, Volga

Thelma Mills

My Mariental web page will have an interesting life story from a cousin of mine living in Germany. I have been requesting her life story for several years, and I did receive it this year. Also there will be photos of Mariental. These will be added as soon as Patrice gets caught up.

I also have in my possession, two different books about Mariental. They are written in the German language, and I am presently trying to get one of them translated. The other is being translated, but I do not have permission to include any of the information from the book in my web page. The book that I purchased, is written by Anton Schneider and is titled: "Aus der Geschichte der Kolonie Mariental an der Volga."

There are many surnames mentioned in it. I found this book through the information I received from Denise Grau and her husband. Many, many, thanks to them.

The other book is entitled: Mariental - Sowjetskoje and It is written by Peter Hermann and Joseph Gossnitz. This book is owned by Elmer Dreher of Hays, and the translation is being done by Connie Leikam, also of Hays. I received information about this book from Gerald Schmidt. Again, many thanks to him for this information. The last I heard, the translation is not quite half done. I am anxious to get the completed transcribed book.

In between these projects, I have also been collecting Obit's from the e-Lists and other resources, and hope to (one of these days) be able to spend some time on researching those. I have received many requests for help from various searchers, and have been able to help some of these. As I continue to collect information, I should be better equipped in the future to handle your requests. I have, during the year, purchased several books for my library that I will be able to use as reference material.

MOOR, Saratov, Volga

Irma A. Waggoner, W098

Wayne Bonner

Research progresses for the Moor and Balzer colonies. Additional families have been added for the 1834, 1850, and 1857 revisions (census). We have also added some new church record abstracts that were ordered by individuals.

Our web page is still online. We hope to expand the information on it in the coming months Moor does not have a newsletter, but any new Moor information is placed in the Balzer newsletter. Many of our subscribers have ancestry in both colonies. (read also: the Balzer site, above)

We have found a few Moor marriages in the Isenburg region of Hesse. A number of people have volunteered to help read and translate the old script. It is often difficult to read, but the results are truly amazing. A gentleman in the Budingen area has contacted us and has supplied us with photographs of the nearby villages including Dudelsheim, Rohrbach, and Diebach.

We look forward to big achievements in the coming year.

NEU-SCHILLING I & II Samara, Volga

Gary Martens M405

See Schilling

NEU-STRAUB, Saratov, Volga

Lillian Larwig

We have the 1857 census of Neu-Straub for the KEIL and HEINTZ names. We have shared this information with several people who have been able to make connections in their research.

There is a Neu-Straub website that Patrice Miller set up. We ask anyone who has connections with Neu-Straub to contact us so we can compare information.

We've found a lady, originally from New York State, who is researching the Keil name. We are related but have not been able to connect that one generation. Have also come to the conclusion, that the HEINTZ name is spelled differently in other areas of the United States but almost have to be the same families as legal papers signed by a minister/preacher for a Heintz document has the same minister/preacher name on another document where the name is spelled Heinitz. Both documents were from Neu-Straub. The Russian to English translation of the marriage certificate we have is spelled Heintz which is the spelling they used in the U.S. after arriving here in 1913. If you Heintz or Heinitz have any comments to add to this theory of spelling, contact me.

NIEDER-MONJOU, Samara, Volga

Carolyn & John Gorr

This year we put to rest the rumor that Nieder-Monjou was used for firewood or is lying deep beneath the lapping waves and currents of the Volga River. Through the GR grapevine, we heard that fellow VC Tim Weeder was headed to the Volga on a John Klein tour. We emailed Tim, who we have traded information with before, and asked if he would please take a photo of Nieder-Monjou while there. Not only did he provide photo proof (10 of them) of the colony's existance but he drew a map of the village while there. Tim deserves an award for going above & beyond.

Database & Photobase
If the people who visit the Volga, yearly, take a leaf from Tim Weeder's book and begin taking photos of villages other than their own-AHSGR and we village coordinators would have a good photo base of what is actually left of the Volga villages. Photo documentation of the location should become part of the quest for information.

Unfortunately, Nieder-Monjou looks a bit run down. These houses, after all, have been standing there for a century or so and basically neglected for the past 60 years-so what can we expect? However, the grass around each house was green this spring and the bushes that bloom were doing what comes naturally. Tim told us that no Germans lived in the village and that not many Russians are still there, either.

The ANSCHUTZ family still awaits their research. The Anschutz family has produced a couple of notables since arriving in Kansas in 1878. One is Wendall Anschutz, KCTV news anchorman (Kansas City) who was named Kansas Broadcaster of the Year in 1972. The other notable is Philip Anschutz who entered the Kansas Business Hall of Fame during 2000. The family is from Russell, KS. Anschutz owns interest in the Union Pacific RR and owns 40 percent of Qwest Communications. His Anschutz Corp. has ownership interest in major soccer teams in Chicago and Denver as well as in the LA Kings and Lakers basketball teams. The Anschutz Foundation recently gave $60 million to the University of Colorado Medical Center. You can read more at

As village coordinator we are continually interested in gathering village records from the Russian Archives. It takes dollars to get records and if anyone reading this report wants to help purchase census records for certain surnames in the village of Nieder-Monjou please contact me. (address at the top of this report).

NORKA, Saratov, Volga

Robert Benson B504

Jerry Krieger K175

Joanne Kreiger K254 [Charts] Norka Database

Krieger's Root Cellar / Jerry Krieger Norka Newsletter is now in it seventh years of publication. John and Marcella Wark began the newsletter and published volumes I (1996) and II (1997). Jerry Krieger then took over the duties and published volumes III (1998) through VI (2001). The first issue of volume VII went in the mail early in March, 2002. Circulation of the newsletter has held steady at about 245 readers. Highlights of recent issues have included profiles of the Albina neighborhood in Portland and the Globeville community in Denver; ship passenger lists from Galveston 1896-1906, and ship passenger lists from Ellis Island 1892-1913. Regular features include the "Root Cellar Chat Room" for correspondence and reader queries; and "Deep Roots" descendancy charts from original Norka settlers to current subscribers.

OBERDORF, Saratov, Volga

Oberdorf Web Site

Teri Helzer

I had approximately 172 email inquiries.  No snail mail inquiries.  I publish all correspondence on a private web site for Oberdorf researchers to peruse and use as a resource.

I perform the following research on a regular basis:

  • Extract Oberdorf data from the internet, obituaries, family group sheets, ship manifests, other village newsletters (Lower Volga Villages in particular) and input that data into the Oberdorf spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet currently holds 197 Surnames and 1253 given names associated with the 197 surnames.  Data includes (if known) date of birth; place of birth; emigration location(s); source(s) of data; contact person or persons researching that surname; and family relationships such as parents, siblings, children. 
  • Maintain the Oberdorf websites.  Additional pages were added to the web site in 2001.
  • Correspond on a regular basis with other lower Volga VC's sharing common surname data.
  • Encourage Oberdorf researchers to send me their Oberdorf ancestor lists.
  • Encourage Oberdorf researchers to explore common surnames with other Oberdorf researchers.
  • Search Ellis Island Records for Oberdorf immigrants and the associated relationships revealed on the manifests.

OBER-MONJOU, Samara, Volga

Kevin Rupp R311

The Ober-Monjou VC continues to collect censuses of families from Russia. Research has been quite exciting. We've gotten many First Settlers lists out of Russia through a friend and hope to have more out by spring. Please check our recently updated web site for Ober-Monjou.

ORLOVSKOYE, Samara, Volga

Carol J. Nesewich

Carol Nesewich continues with the work on this village so ably started and carried forward by Dr. Irma E. Eichhorn. For the village history and maps see the VC Report of 1994 and for a comprehensive review of the work done to date, please see the VC Report of 1999. There are few descendants from Orlovskoe and this past year brought me only one inquiry for information. Therefore there is little new to report except to note that the following Surname Charts have been received: ERFURT and BONACKER. Contact me if you are interested in either one.

PAULSKOYE, Samara, Volga

Timothy C. Weeder W372

This year I once again returned to Russia and spent time in Paulskoye (Pavlovka). One new development since my first visit in 1996 is the existence of a German Cultural Center in town. While modest, it contains several shelves of books about Volga German history, including many books written in the German language. It also has a few old photographs and documents, and handsome wall displays. Ludmilla, the center director, who is also the school principal, encourages Russians and Germans, both children and adults, to learn about the German heritage of the town and the area. Meetings are held for persons with German heritage to improve on language skills, discuss topical issues, and observe holiday celebrations. I was very encouraged by this new development.

While there, Ludmilla took us on a tour of the village where I met with some German Russian families and learned where the church and old schoolhouse had stood until the 1980s; one having burned in an electrical fire and the other having been dismantled for fear it would burn too. Finally, Ludmilla informed me that a GR now living in Germany had recently visited Paulskoye and was collecting information for a book. She said his name is Ivan Herber.

The Paulskoye, Russia Homepage continues to attract researchers with family connections to the village. I have heard from one GR living in Germany inquiring about Schwabecher surname. I have also had several contacts with US descendants concerning the surnames Bisterfeldt, Lenk, Wormsbacher, Erlenbach, Scherer, Gauss, and Merkel, among others. I have also been in contact with my Wede relatives who now live in Germany who have supplied me with names, dates, and allied families, and with two maps of the village, hand-drawn from memory.
As of this time, the only research request that I know of is for: 1) a SCHERER extraction from the 1850 Census, and 2) a WEDE extraction from the new documents that were reportedly found last year for Paulskoye. I am not sure exactly what documents were found, but I will report them when I learn about them, hopefully, by the next report. I should also report that I own an incomplete, although extensive JOST family chart that was completed by RAGAS from a while back. I did not describe it in any previous report.

Other successes I've had this past year include finding a few individuals hailing from Paulskoye in several Sheboygan, WI websites. When entering surnames of persons common to Paulskoye at the Ellis Island website then searching the ship's manifest I was able to find others who sailed with them. I have also picked up people while searching through the Saginaw, MI Public Library Obituary Index.

The village name is sometimes spelled so bizarrely that one must try many different variations to get a hit. Sheboygan and the Thumb Area of Michigan were two popular areas for GR immigrants from Paulskoye and neighboring villages, in addition to the major site of Chicago (Maywood, Bellwood, Jefferson Park, etc.).

Finally, I have been in contact with a few persons from South America about ancestors who came from Stahl am Karaman--the village of my great-grandmother. I have not found any persons from Paulskoye who went there, but I have a least one possible family I am investigating. The 1997 book by Carlos Alberto Schwab titled "Resumo Historico e Genealogia dos Alemaes do Volga" is extremely helpful for anyone who suspects they have or had family in Brazil and Argentina. It contains extensive family trees and family photographs.

PFEIFER, Saratov, Volga

Rosemary Larson

See report for the village of Kamenka

POBOCHNOYE, Saratov, Volga

Laurin Wilhelm

Except for Pobochnoye (Pobotschnoje in German), which was located c. 4l0 miles NW of Saratov, these villages were daughter villages started when the new lands open up c. 1855 and located c. 65 miles SE of Saratov on the Jeruslan River. Schoenfeld and Strassendorf were daughter colonies of Pobochnoye. Schoendorf, Schoental, and Neu Jagodnaya were daughter colonies of Jagodnaya Polyana.

National Convention in Denver. I attended the "Village Coordinators" meeting at the convention and scarcely recognized anything. It was totally unlike previous Village Coordinator meetings that I have attended--going back to the very first Village Coordinator meetings in Milwaukee. This Denver meeting was a "training meeting" in how to lnput information into computers and onto computer disks. I was totally confused by the meeting, as I am sure most "older" members were. No reports from Village Coordinators 'were given; and no annual report or compilation was handed out to the Village Coordinators. In fact, most Village Coordinators were not even there.

Individual Village Reports: 

1) Pobochnoye, founded in 1772: I have received half a dozen inquiries from persons looking for ancestors from Pobochnoye. I was able to connect one lady up with her first cousin Sol (and Betty) Schlagel of Greeley, Colorado. I, along with my wife's computer skills, was able to access the Ellis Island records and learn the name of the ship and the exact date or entry of my grandfather Philip Wagner when he came to USA in 1892 and again in 1909. I have waited 15 months for AHSGR to check the 1834 and 1857 Pobochnoye censuses for the name of Philip Wagner and his father Philip Wagner. They keep promising.

2) Schoenfeld. This daughter colony of Pobochnoye was established in 1856 by c.521 people from Pobochnoye. Roberta Greenway has made some major finds recently at a family reunion in La Crosse, KS. She has copies of her grandmother's passport and travel papers, and obituary. I translated parts of them from Russian, German, and French into English. Now, in late August she is presenting them at another family reunion in Kansas.

I typed the tape recorded "family story" of my Aunt Marie (Wilhelm) Neufer Matthewson. It is a gripping account of living and farming in Schoenfeld, coming through Ellis Island in December 1907, and finally coming to Kansas and starting a new life. Correspondence with family members in Russia in the 1920s and 1930s revealed how poor and starving the people of Schoenfeld were and how some people even had to resort to cannibalism to survive. She died in 1982.

3) Strassendorf: No significant activity here.

4) Schonedorf: I continue to correspond with Otto Felker of Nuremberg, Germany. He was born in Schoendorf in 1926 and was deported to Siberia in 1941. He worked in the coal mines for fifty years in the Chelyabinsk, Siberia before going to Germany c. 1994. His health continues to be good and he writes articles for the Landsmannschaft's "Heimatbuch" and "Volk auf dem Weg'. Otto's 90 year old Aunt Marie came from Kazakhstan to Bremen, German in 2000 and is enjoying it there. Several family members live nearby.

Marguerite Palmquist and her friend sent a box of more than 100 packets of seeds to Otto in Germany in the spring of 2001. Otto sent some of the seeds to Aunt Marie in Bremen. Others he sent to Kazakhstan to help provide garden vegetables to remaining German people there.

Otto's half-brother, Johann Rudy, also in Germany and also from Schoendorf, is in poor health and is receiving good medical care from the German medical system.

5) Schoental was a German village established in 1856 by people from Jagodnaya Polyana and by c. 164 people from Pobochnoye. No significant activity here.

6) Neu Jagodnaya (New Yagodnaya) This village was also a daughter colony of Jagodnaya Polyana and was founded c. 1856 primarily by folks from YP. There have been a couple of queries on the e mail circuit, but no significant activity.

I hope that the computerization of village records, or whatever is going on, does not exclude Village Coordinators who do not know how to access the Internet and whatever else was talked about at the so called Village Coordinators meeting in Denver. If it does, you will soon be the beneficiary of "coordinating my villages"

REINWALD, Samara, Volga

Susie Weber Hess

See Krasnoyar VC report

ROHRBACH, Berezan, Odessa, Kherson

Erwin Ulmer U003

Rosemarie Krieg Dinkel

I don't have a thing to report on either of my villages, Rohrbach or Marienfeld. With all the information on the Internet, there isn't much for me to work on at this time. At one time, I did get snail mail queries regarding Rohrbach .... not even that anymore. I volunteer at a local LDS library and some people have come in. who have Ger-Rus backgrounds, that I have been able to help find ancestral villages.

ROSENBERG (Umet), Saratov, Volga

Dr. Richard McGregor M236

This has been a very quiet year. The web page has had relatively few visitors in the last six months but the latest Newsletter (no 8) online. With few recent contributions it has become more difficult to decide what material might best be in the Newsletter given that much is now downloadable from the rest of the Rosenberg site. Some new contacts have been made but these tend to be isolated families/family names about which there is comparatively little information.

Of the well-known families, particularly MARTIN, ZEIGLER, WEITZEL, KUXHAUS, MAJOR, DAHLINGER, MANNWEILER, there has been only a limited amount of new information, suggesting that either all the emigrant families are known, or that any other branches have not become known to the Society. I have supplied information to individual enquirers but because of the need to retain privacy to later generations, are not published.

Heide Langenbeck made good progress on the databasing of actual Rosenberg resident families and early emigrants but has had to stop for personal reasons. It would be good if there were someone prepared to undertake the rest of this databasing, of which something over a half remains to be done.

It seems worth reminding Rosenberg village researchers that there is a list of village from which the original inhabitants of Rosenberg came to be found on the web page. From this it is possible, through contact with Russia, to get enough genealogical information, when taken with the 1798 census published by the Society, to piece a family chart together, provided the name is not too common. Researchers who have not tried this and who don't mind spending some money on research in Russia can contact me for further information.

The most recent updates of the web page have brought in pictures taken during recent trips to the Volga by Hart Postlethwaite. Marvin Ziegler has sent some material from his visits in the early 1990s and also sent a rough sketch plan of the village which I have reworked a little for display on the web page.

I am always happy to have any new information to add to the file which currently stands at 160 pages of family tree information. Photographs and scans of pictures are also welcome. When sending material it would be helpful to know what can/may be published or displayed on the web page.

ROSENHEIM, Samara, Volga

Randi Bolyard

I became VC for Rosenheim in mid-2001. I have had several inquiries regarding the village, to which I have responded. I maintain a list of all researchers and the surnames they are researching. So far, I have inquiries from 2 parties.
I am planning a website within the next year to generate greater interest in the village.


Judy Klee

This is my last year as village coordinator. I have no news that can be used in this forum.

ROTHAMMEL, Saratov, Volga

Nicholas and Barbara Bretz

This has been an exciting year for Rothammelers. We had 15-20 members attend Village Night at the 2001 AHSGR Convention held in Denver. We were able to share family information and photos. Plan to attend the 2002 Village Night at the AHSGR Convention in Des Moines during the first week of July.

Kathy Jones set up a private ListServ for the village and we now have in excess of sixty members. The list has enabled us to share our family history and help with questions we've had about family connections. To join the list, please contact Kathy.

Joe Gertge has become our database coordinator. He has begun entering family information into the Rothammeler file. Joe spent many hours at the AHSGR Convention extracting data from the AHSGR files. If you haven't submitted your family file to him, please do so.  It will be very interesting when we are able to show how the various Rothammel families are connected.

We are also investigating preservation of Rothammel and family photos.

We have added additional census data secured from Russia. We now have the 1811, 1834, and 1857 census for the following surnames: APPELHANS, BASGAL, BIEBER, DISTEL, FISCHER, FRANK, GERTIE, HARTMAN, KLOBERDANZ, LAUER, LECHMAN, MATZA, MILDENBERGER and WEINGARDT. Orders are pending for BAUER and MAURER.

We also have secured the ARTZER census from Seewald, the HOCHNADEL census from Schuck, and the SCHAMBER census from both Schuck and Degott. These combined with the First Settlers List and the 1798 census have enabled us to trace most of the families from 1767.

We're hopeful this project will be more complete as members receive the following surname charts that have been ordered: APPELHANZ, BASGAL, BIEBER, DISTEL, FRANK, GERTIE, HARTMAN, KAISER, KLOBERDANZ, LAUER, LECHMANN, and WEINGARDT. It has communicated that they will be completed after the first of the year.

SCHILLING, Saratov, Volga

Gary Martens M405

NEGenWeb Lincoln County Coordinator 

The SCHILLING web pages were redesigned about a year ago, and people continue to add names to the list of Researchers listed on the pages.

Emails are received are a fairly constant basis regarding all of the Schilling villages. In the 1850's, there were 5 daughter colonies founded with people from Schilling, and one of the problems encountered is that people who lived in the daughter colonies continued to say they where from Schilling, even though they lived in one of the other villages.

The NEU-SCHILLING village known as ALEXANDERTAL, which was in Saratov Province, is coordinated by Dick Kraus. I have worked with Dick in the past year to exchange a lot of information about Schilling families. Of note for people who may have family who moved to Alexandertal, there was a census done in Alexandertal in 1857, and census extractions done on the July 1850 and November 1857 census usually include information on families that moved to Alexandertal in 1854 or 1855.

In addition to the 1775 and 1798 census records there are 1816, May 1834, July 1850 and November 1857 census records for Schilling. Also, I have been told that there are very good church records for Schilling (Alt-Schilling) up into the early 1900's. The biggest challenge for many people is that they only have family information for Schilling people from about 1880 on. Connections to the 1850's are then nearly impossible, especially for any large family, without church records.

For the two Neu-Schilling villages in the southern part of Samara Province, the primary church for those villages was at Friedenfeld, which is south of Krasny-Kut about 15 kilometers. A German-Russian, with connections to the village, saw the church records in Krasny-Kut in about 1990. Apparently, these records are now in the Engels Archive and at least one Schilling researcher with connections to Neu- Schilling I or Neu-Schilling II in southern Samara Province has ordered a family chart, and has been informed that the records were available.

I encourage anyone with connections to the Schilling villages, including Konstantinovka, to submit what family information they have, to me, so that it can be included in the Schilling database that I maintain. There are about 4500 names in the Schilling database. Submitting family information helps others with Schilling connections to obtain additional information about surnames they are researching. Information is also shared with Dick Kraus for families with Alexandertal connections.

Status of family charts for Schilling families are as follows:
DAMM - chart has been produced, data being added to Schilling database,
DREITH - chart has been produced,
FILBERT - on order,
ROH - available, family data in Schilling database,
SCHMIDT - on order,
SINNER - available, family data in Schilling database,
WORSTER - on order

Census extractions covering the 1816, 1834, 1850 and 1857 census periods have been received and added to the Schilling database for the following surnames: WORSTER, MAUL, KRAUS(E) and SINNER. Census records, particularly the 1850 and 1857 records can be of great value because of movement to daughter colonies during that time period. The surname charts usually do not include information regarding the families that moved to a daughter colony.

I would also ask anyone who is interested in making census record extractions for surnames from Schilling to contact me. I am looking to make some additional joint purchases of census records, especially for the larger families from Schilling.


Laurin Wilhelm

I continue to correspond with Otto Felker of Nuremberg, Germany. He was born in Schoendorf in 1926 and was deported to Siberia in 1941. He worked in the coal mines for fifty years in the Chelyabinsk, Siberia before going to Germany c. 1994. His health continues to be good and he writes articles for the Landsmannschaft's "Heimatbuch" and "Volk auf dem Weg'. Otto's 90 year old Aunt Marie came from Kazakhstan to Bremen, German in 2000 and is enjoying it there. Several family members live nearby.

Marguerite Palmquist and her friend sent a box of more than 100 packets of seeds to Otto in Germany in the spring of 2001. Otto sent some of the seeds to Aunt Marie in Bremen. Others he sent to Kazakhstan to help provide garden vegetables to remaining German people there.

Otto's half-brother, Johann Rudy, also in Germany and also from Schoendorf, is in poor health and is receiving good medical care from the German medical system.

see also:

SCHOENCHEN, (Paninskaya) Samara, Volga

Schoenchen Web Site

Bertha Haas

This has been an incredibly active year for Schoenchen. Requests for assistance have come from all corners of the US and Argentina.

A 'Genealogy of Schoenchen, Russia' will be available soon from Tony Leiker of Texas. He has also published genealogies of the following surnames of the original settlers OF SCHOENCHEN, RUSSIA: GEIST, GOETZ, HAMMERSCHMIDT, KLAUS, MEIER, MILLER/MUELLER, MUNSCH, PAUL, PFEIFER, ROHR, RUDER, SAUER, UNREIN, WASINGER, WERTH, WINDHOLZ, WOLF. These books are available from Gullivers Book store, Hays, KS or directly from the author.

(I might mention also, since there is no Liebental Village Coordinator, that he has also completed "Liebental, Russia, a Genealogy of the Village".)

The highlight of the year came in July, the 125th anniversary celebration of Schoenchen, KS attended by Bishop Joseph Werth, Roman Catholic Bishop of Siberia, whose parents were born in Schoenchen, Russia. The Bishop celebrated Mass with a crowd that overflowed onto the front lawn. His homily was delivered in German. The choir provided music in German, English and Latin. A traditional German dinner was served to 750 guests. The crowd enjoyed a beer tent, polka dancing, games for all ages, and tours of the cemetery, village and parish buildings - all under a 109 degree sun. The celebration was planned and executed by the Sunflower Chapter of AHSGR. (The same Chapter planned and executed celebrations in the other four German villages of Ellis County, Kansas: Liebenthal, Munjor, Pfeifer, and Herzog.)

I plan to go to Germany in November or December to continue tracing my family roots into the German villages from which they originated.

Terri Plans will be taking over as Village Coordinator of Schoenchen. She has many plans for expanding the website and carrying on the village activities.

SCHOENFELD, Samara, Volga

Laurin Wilhelm W022

This daughter colony of Pobochnoye was established in 1856 by c.521 people from Pobochnoye. Roberta Greenway has made some major finds recently at a family reunion in La Crosse, KS. She has copies of her grandmother's passport and travel papers, and obituary. I translated parts of them from Russian, German, and French into English. Now, in late August she is presenting them at another family reunion in Kansas.

SCHOENTAL, Samara, Volga

Laurin Wilhelm W022

Schoental was a German village established in 1856 by people from Jagodnaya Polyana and by c.164 people from Pobochnoye. No significant activity here.

SCHUCK, Saratov, Volga

Roger Mellow

There were no requests for information this past year nor did I receive any information from any descendants of former residents of Schuck.

The best source of information at this time, I believe, is the "1798 Description of the Saratov Colony of Gryaznovatka, also known as Schuck."  This is available from AHSGR for a small fee.

Basically I am hoping that new translations of documents from the Russian will give us more information soon. However, I also wonder how many of you have information on your families when they lived in Schuck which you could share with us?

SCHULZ, Samara, Volga

Fred Zitzer Z043

This is my first report because when not much happened, I did not think to send one in. But, I see others reporting nothing happening. I do have some information for the Schulz village file. The following was received from Vlad Soshnikov as part of an inquiry by me to the RAGAS organization in 1998 on the ZITZER surname, Schulz and Reinwald, Russia:

Archival source; Samara archive, F. 150,S. 1, item #73. Revision list of the colony of Lugovaya Graznukna (Schulz), Saratov province. Compiled on 12 July 1850.

Family # 19 - Martin ZITZER and his sons

Family # 20 - Christian ZITZER, his wife Margaretha and their sons and daughters

Family # 21 - Heinrich ZITZER, his wife Catherina and their sons and daughters

Family # 28 - Johan Heinrich ZITZER, his wife Rosina and their sons with extended    grandchildren.

Family # 42 - Christian ZITZER, his wife Magdalene and their son and extended grandchildren

Family # 3 - (Christian # 42's son-in-law), Gottfried LERCH and his wife Catherina

Family # 55 - Johan Georg ZITZER, his wife Maria and their sons and daughters

Family # 62 - Johan Heinrich ZITZER, his wife Gertrude and their sons and daughters and extended grandchildren

Family # 66 - Georg ZITZER, His wife and their sons

I will be glad to share the details on these families upon written request from the researcher.

Totally there were 72 families (369 men and 362 women) with these names: 

This is all I received on these names. No details.


This is all I received on these names. No details. The spelling I have edited with parenthesis.

In addition to the above, I have been working on my family ancestral home layout with a detailed identification of each area of the home and site. This has been sent to headquarters. As a follow up to the layout I am in the progress of writing a story behind each item as described to me by my Great Aunt Katherine (ZITZER) LERCH. I also have been updating the obituary file, started in 1984, of the Greater Sheboygan Area AHSGR Chapter. Only I do not have them on the AHSGR file card system. However, I will pass along copies for any requests received just as I have been doing since the beginning of the collection. It must have around 2500 entries now. These include many families from Schulz.

I have some detailed folklore on the families of Schulz that corresponds to the village map on file. This material is in rough draft form at the present. In the future I plan to formalize this information. God willing.

SCHWAB, Saratov, Volga

Schwab Web Site

Rolene Eichman Kiesling

Schwab is one of the smaller villages and there has not been more than a small handful of queries within the last year. I answered all of them, even if the answer was negative.

I am still working on the database, which includes the 1798 census, my correspondence file (over 30 years worth) and the data from Lincoln. It has not yet been submitted to Lincoln.

There is a web site, which I did not put on the Internet nor do I maintain it.

Effective this fall, I will be the Editor of the "Lower Volga Villages Sheet", which, to date, has been the work of Kathy O'Malley. Kathy has decided that she would prefer to have more time to work on the various databases. This newsletter covers the villages in the two parishes of Galka and Stephan.

SCHWED, Samara, Volga

Schwed Web Site

Carolyn & John Gorr

Adventures in accumulating information regarding Schwed was concentrated within the USA this year. Non-stop queries generated throughout the year regarding village surnames came from grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original immigrants. The GORR surname picked up several cousins-not only second cousins but also third half-cousins twice removed.

One of our favorite stories this year was the mystery we left hanging in last year's VC report. We finally made a connection with Shirley Gorr Loose of Scottsbluff, NE. We had been conversing via email for about a year while trying to connect her grandfather to our father-in- law. The missing information finally came to light: Fred C. Gorr was actually christened Gottfried. Then Shirley came up with her grandfather's grandmother's maiden name and we had a match with our surname chart for the Gorr surname. You can imagine how excited we were. So much so, that we arranged to meet the family on our way back from the AHSGR Denver convention in June.

We left Denver on Saturday and drove north on US 25 toward Wyoming where we picked up US 80 and headed toward Nebraska. When we got to Kimball, NE we turned north on state highway 71 toward Scottsbluff. As we drove up hwy 71 we wondered if people really lived this far out as it looked like we might be driving on another planet. We spent three days with the Scottsbluff cousins. On Sunday there was a picnic attended by 38 Gorr-related cousins from Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming. That day we were probably the most photographed group of people in Nebraska as everyone seemed to have a camera. On Monday Shirley and her cousin Pat Lind gave us a tour of the beautiful Scottsbluff valley. A family mystery solved and a new family found.

We have a new GORR contact in Florida who originated in Maywood, IL, two more from our Chicago and surrounding suburban area and discovered two female Gorrs. The females were found through a query from Dorothy Hardt Peterson in CA. Finding females is not the easiest if you do not know their married names. Turns out Dorothy's ladies were direct cousins to my father-in-law. A WIEGEL query came from Colorado but no connection as yet with our local Wiegels. We are still waiting on the Wiegel chart and hope it will prove a connection.

Another ongoing project is the photographing of tombstones at St. Luke (formerly St. Lucas) Cemetery in Chicago, IL where many of the Jefferson Park GR are buried. We have more than 300 stones copied.

As village coordinator I am always interested in gathering village records from the Russian Archives. It takes dollars to get records and if anyone reading this report wants to help purchase census records for certain surnames in the village of Schwed please contact me. (address at the top of this report). The Schwed Censuses available are for the years: 1816, 1835, 1850, 1857

SHCHERBAKOVKA (Muehlberg), Saratov, Volga

Shcherbakovka Web Site / Lower Volga Villages

Janet Flickinger

In June of 2000, we (the Lower Volga Village Project) received 7 long- awaited surname charts for the village of Shcherbakovka and the surnames of: BECKER, KRAFT, LAUBHAN, OBLANDER, REISIG, STRICKER and WASENMÜLLER.

Kathy O'Malley and I worked together on extracting the information from each chart and putting the information in separate databases in Family Tree Maker. We assigned coordinates to each of the charts, thus allowing us to give each name a reference number that makes individuals easy to find on the chart. We also assigned coordinates to the EHRLICH chart that was received in 1997 and applied those ref. numbers to the names that Kathy had already entered into a database.

An index was then made up for each chart, giving us a quick reference when corresponding with others to see if their ancestors are included on the chart. We can then recommend that they purchase a copy of the surname chart from us for $35. Those funds are kept in a bank account maintained by Peter and Faye Schantz who are our coordinators for ordering the charts from Russia. We were so encouraged with all the new information from these 7 charts, that we have 4 more on order currently (WINTER, ZWETZIG, HANSHU, and STEINERT) and are considering HAFFNER from Shcherbakovka and NUSS from Dobrinka and MUELLER.

I continue to extract church records in my three areas of interest of the Germans from Russia (Russell and Marion Co., KS and Ellis Co., OK). Those records are then printed on the computer and spiral bound and made available at nominal costs to help other genealogists. Any money received over the cost of printing and mailing also goes into this Lower Volga Village fund for further Russian research.

At this time, I have extracted: St. John Lutheran in Russell (1900- 2000); Trinity Lutheran in Bender Hill, Russell Co. (1883-1980); Milberger's three Lutheran churches in Russell Co. (1883-1969); Trinity Lutheran in Lehigh, Marion Co (1890-1950); and Schoenfeld Reformed in Barton Co, KS (1883-1978). I have also extracted all the Germans from Russia applying for citizenship in Russell and Marion Co. These are also published and available for purchase.

I have extracted all the Germans from Russia on more then 200 ships and have posted that information as well as the Declaration of Intentions in Russell and Marion Co., on my web pages for easy assess. Because of these postings, I get a lot of queries from web surfers as to how to go about finding this information on their ancestors. I have several printed sheets in the template folder on my computer that I forward on to them in hopes of helping them get started.

Now for my REALLY big project for the year ....... I was raised in Russell which is concentrated with a large percentage of Germans from Russia. Currently, the median age is probably 70-75 years of age. I feel "called" that the time is NOW to get the interviewing done and the documents extracted! I started a Russell Co. (KS) Database about a year ago, and decided to dedicate my full time for a year to this project, hoping to have the majority done in time for their Prairesta (which is a once-every-ten-year celebration) in June 2001. I appealed on the Ger-Rus list for others to send me, via gedcom, their families and got only a couple of responses. I added them to what I could pull from my own database and the one I maintain for Shcherbakovka. This totaled about 3-4,000 names. I currently have 31,857 individuals, so at least 27,000 have been entered one at a time involving much time and labor! Most individuals have birth and death dates, siblings and parents. I have entered most of the individuals from my church extractions; a Strecker genealogy book; Ethel Lock in Ulysses, KS has typed hundreds of obits and sent them to me from her large collection; Rachel Smith, Wichita, (who serves as our Obit extractor for the Lower Volga Village Project) has sent me disks of her thousands of obits which I was then able to search through and pull out the Russell Co. ones and cut and paste them into the database on the notes page as well as use info in the obits to connect and add more family members.

I extracted all of the obits that I could find online for as far back as newspaper archives exist for local newspapers, and Vonnie Jones continues to watch the online newspapers of the area for current deaths. She accumulates those and sends them to me once a month to work with as I did Rachel's (cut and paste the obit to “notes page” and use the included info for family data). My next source was finding that a Russell couple had been collecting newspaper clippings from 1936 until the wife's death in 1994. They had 10 scrapbooks filled with clippings. I spent 3-4 weeks reading and typing in all that information.

Vonnie Jones (mentioned above, an Ehrlich descendent also formerly of Russell) and I are in the middle of teaching genealogy classes in Russell this month. We were surprised & encouraged by the enrollment of 30. We are hoping to spark interest in recruiting people to interview the senior citizens and extract the documents as well as documenting their own ancestors on group sheets. I have offered to extract any other churches in the county at no charge and had at least 3-4 interested churches responding to the announcement.

My Russell database includes emigrants and descendents from the Ger- Rus villages of Dietel, Eckheim, Kratzke, Grimm, Blumenfeldt, Hussenbach, Friedenfeld, Schwab, Dreispitz and more, as well as Shcherbakovka. Since there were a lot of Germans from Russia who settled in these counties of KS and OK, I have broadened my research to include more than just the village of Shcherbakovka.

SOLODYRI, Volynsk, Volhynia U

Dr. Richard Benert B160

Once again I have utterly failed to get any Solodyri research done. Next June I intend to go on Don Miller's tour of the area and get acquainted with the archive in Zhitomir. Perhaps then I'll make some contacts that will lead to some knowledge of Germans in Volhynia.

STAHL AM TARLYK, Samara, Volga

Paul Koehler

I have recently taken on the responsibility of Village Coordinator for Stahl am Tarlyk as well as for Bangert. I am in the process of entering information into a data base. I would appreciate any ancestry information, charts, photos, etc. regarding the people from the village of Stahl.

Diana Bell of the Central California Chapter of AHSGR will now edit the newsletter, "der Stahler." It is published semi-annually, May & November, and costs $1.00 per issue. We ask for your contributions of stories, queries, and photos with village connections. Comments, suggestions or questions will be reviewed and answered.


Laurin Wilhelm W022

Strassendorf: No significant activity here.

SUSANNENTAL, (Winkelmann), Samara, Volga

Kerry S. Thompson

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In the second year as coordinator, I would like to thank all those who have been so kind to me in sharing their information and assisting in gathering new information. Our data base keeps growing. We added 1,000 names to our data base this year making a total of 3,356 names of those born before 1960. We received information on three surnames this year for the 1830 census - SCHMIDT, WEGNER and LEHMAN. Three other surnames are on order. From the First Settler List we have been able to begin searching in Germany for the original SCHMIDT settlers and have made connections to church records of early ancestors in Kemel, Germany.

Our newsletter mailing list keeps growing and we have added 20 names of US descendents in 18 states. We hope to add some of our German cousins this year. As we have researched our ancestors, we have come in contact with many "cousins" from the neighboring villages of Kind and Meinhard and have added their information to a new data base. So until they get their own coordinator we are adopting them for now. The web page is not moving along very fast due to the computer illiteracy of the coordinator. I hope to improve it this year.

VOLLMER, Saratov, Volga

David Easterday

The Vollmer Village Coordinator is back on the job after a couple of years tending to health issues.

Please contact David at the email address above with queries or to add to the Vollmer information base.

WALTER, Saratov, Volga

Jean Roth R044

Our Walter web site is still active and Mary Mills continues to add to the Walter Data Base. We currently have about 24,000 entries. She also maintains an extensive obit file of Walter people. We had an excellent turn out for village night at the Denver Convention with about 35-40 Walter people. We had our own room and for the first time we could communicate without shouting. This year we have had some success in the German lineages of some of our families on the original emigration list for Walter. We have been able to add several generations in the lines from German parish records, back into the 1600's


See Susannental

WITTMANN (Soloturn), Samara, Volga 

Kevin Rupp R311

We hope to have a web page up and running for Wittmann by summer.


Kris Ball

Elizabeth Meyer

Database Coordinator:
Patrice Miller

2001 has been a year of discoveries and sharing for the village of Yagodnaya Polyana! We are fortunate to have 4 dedicated people serving the descendants of Yagodnaya Polyana: Kris Ball and Elizabeth Meyer, Village Coordinators, Patrice Miller, our phenomenal database coordinator, and the ever-faithful Bill Scheirman, our newsletter editor.

Kris receives queries from AHSGR and from people who found us on our web site. She is into the third printing of "Yagodnaya Polyana, daughter and granddaughter villages," having sent out over 300 copies. She was able to slip in one day of AHSGR national convention activities, and will be a speaker at the AHSGR Kansas Roundup in October in Hays. At the convention in Denver, she and Bill Scheirman spent some time catching up, and Kris was thrilled to meet Bill's lovely wife, Marian. Bill and Marian are online now: Bill does the talking and Mariam does the typing! Kris' email is .

Elizabeth's activities this past year have involved responding to individual inquiries about family history and information on the colony of Yagodnaya Polyana. She has translated some letters and put some people in Germany and the U.S. in touch with each other. She writes: "Kris Ball's book, compiling history and family data about our village has been a very valuable resource to send to those who have limited knowledge of the history of the Volga Germans. I've corresponded with Yagaders who've immigrated to Germany and hope that a product of those contacts will be a couple of articles for the "Usu Leut" newsletter edited by Bill Scheirman. Unfortunately, I did not get to the convention this year, maybe next year. My husband and I were able to attend the memorial meeting in Portland last month commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the deportation order. It was a worthwhile trip. The presentation by J. Otto Pohl was very informative regarding facts that are now available in the Russian archives. In what has become somewhat of a tradition, I plan to visit Little York (Pine Island), NY this October with my mother to catch up with old-time Yagada friends and attend the annual Sauerkraut Supper at St. Peter's Lutheran Church." Elizabeth's email is

During the year Patrice Miller compiled a ship list index of individuals from Yagodnaya Polyana who came to America (Canada & the USA). This index has over 2,000 individuals included in passenger ship lists. The majority of the people listed came from the German Volga village of Yagodnaya Polyana, Russia or one of its daughter colonies, Schontal (Schoenthal) or Neu-Yagodnaya. A few of the individuals listed came from the nearby colony of Pobochnoye or one of its daughter colonies. The information was compiled from Ellis Island Index, AHSGR Clues, Ship Indexes by Janet Flicklinger, Canadian ship lists at the Odessa Digital Library by George Dorscher and other copies of lists collected over the years. The ship list is available in paper format for purchase for $12 and can be obtained from Patrice Miller.

As the database coordinator for Yagodnaya Polyana, Patrice Miller worked with descendants of the village to help them collect information from Russia, make contact with other researchers and build their family trees. This year, from Russia, 5 electronic descendant trees (1767-1857) were built for the surnames of Benner, Schadt / Schad/ Schat, Kniss / Knis / Kneiss, Kaiser and Machleit / Machlied / Machleid. Electronic (gedcom) or printed copies can be obtained from Patrice Miller with a $10-$20 donation to reimburse the person who ordered the information or to purchased additional census extracts.

A lovely family history book titled "All In the Family of 'Bahma' Heinrich Kromm" was published by Bernice Lambert Krom of Colfax, WA. This 200 page book contains many beautiful photos and costs $25. Contact: Kris or Patrice for Bernice's address if you would like to order a copy.

A query from Germany by Anastasia Ladigan: She was born in Omsk, Siberia, now lives in Germany and her ancestors originated in Yagodnaya Polyana. The information she requested is still somewhat confusing but here is what we know so far. Anastasia is searching for her relatives that came to the USA or Canada around 1917?. Her gr- grandmother was Marie Katherine (Marika) Daubert and it appears that Marie Katherine's aunt (name unknown) came to America. It is not clear if Marie Katherine Daubert came to America or stayed in Russia. Her great-grandfather's name was Johann Dippel and he remained in Russia and died in Omsk Siberia in 1944. The last letters and packages came to Omsk in 1933 from the USA. If someone would like to correspond with Anastasia contact Kris or Patrice for her snail mail address.

We look forward to another fruitful year in 2002!