What is the AHSGR German Origins Project?
Many people whose German ancestors settled in Russia are seeking their roots in Germany. Some have been successful. Others are frustrated or need help. With the cooperation of AHSGR Village Coordinators, the German Origins (GO) Project will assemble, when possible, all information regarding the German origins of Germans who settled in Russia.
Our index will grow over time and includes four types of names:
- The family name of a researcher who has confirmed a German origin location
- The family name of a German family which settled in Russia for which there is at least a hint of the place of its German origin
- Village names of German villages in Russia
- German state and locality names, at about the time settlers left for Russia
German Origins Project Search Tips:
- Within each category different spellings will be cross-referenced.
- A researcher’s name indicates which localities that researcher has successfully confirmed origins. A confirmed locality is one in which the birth record of a German settler in Russia has been found. Other types of evidence that have been uncovered will be noted as well.
- The entry for a family would indicate all that is known about its German origin and on which Russian village First Settlers’ List it appears. First Settlers’ information is taken from published sources.
- The entry for a Russian village will indicate which families are said by its First Settlers’ List to have come from German origins.
- An entry for a German locality will indicate all Ger-Rus families (showing their Russian village) said or confirmed to have come from that locality.
- Check out the name(s) in which you are interested by clicking on the appropriate alphabetical section. Each section runs from the letter or letters indicated up to the words which begin with the letter or letters of the next section.
A | Ann | Ba | Bea | Ber | Bid | Bok | Bre | C | Da | Den | Do | Ea | Em | Fa | Fo | Ga | Gi | Gn | Gr | Ha | He | Hel | Hi | Ho | I | J | Ka | Ke | Ki | Kn |Kr | Ku | La | Le | Li | Ma | Me | Mi | Na | Ni | O | Pa | Pf | Q | Ra | Re | Ri | Ro | Sa | Scha | Schm | Scho | Se | Si | Sta | Sti | Ta | Ti | U | V | Wa | We | Wh | Wim | XYZ
For best results:
- Look up the family name or village in which you are interested.
- Read the legend at the top of each alpha sequence page.
- Be alert for alternate spellings.
- Look up every word in bold you find in any entry. Those are cross-references that usually contain additional information.
The master German Origins file is maintained offsite and is periodically updated to match the contents of that master file. If you have a question or origin confirmation information and want to share it with us, please do so through the Village Coordinator of the Russian village involved. If there is no Village Coordinator listed on the AHSGR site, please contact us online.
Please share! What follows are a few stellar origins success stories:
- Success Story #1
Harold Wiest corresponded with Dr. Joseph Height who found Russian documents indicating that his ancestor Franz Wiest came from Erlenbach (also see Stumpp, p. 486). Harold used LDS microfiche of church records for places in the Erlenbach area with many hours of reading old German script to no avail. He started telephoning Wiests listed in Southern California telephone books.
One of these told him about a relative, Brian Barr Wiest, who had written a book about the family. He purchased it but could find no mention of his branch in the book. Finally, in the microfiche he found his ancestor’s birth, 30 December 1772 in Erlenbach, but he could find nothing earlier regarding the family. Then he began emailing with five other Wiests who were looking for ancestors. He found he was related to four of the five! Between them, they soon found the parents and grandparents of the man born in 1772 in Erlenbach.
With those names, he was able to find the grandfather and the grandfather’s ancestry in the Wiest book he had purchased. The grandfather of the grandfather had migrated from Switzerland (Kuettingen in the center of the Aargau, 23 miles southeast of Basel) to the Palatinate in 1657, settling in Steinweiler (1 mile west of Erlenbach). The five hired a professional genealogist in Switzerland who traced the family line back to 1598. Harold wrote a book on them: “Rohrbach Wiests: From Kuettigen to the Rheinpfalz to South Russia.”
- Success Story #2
Dr. Ruth Schultz first found her great-great-great-great grandparents Jacob and Anna Maria Weitzel on an early Pleve chart that she purchased from Doug Weitzel. (Ruth later commissioned an update of the Weitzel chart to 1905.) Then she found them in Karl Stumpp’s book on page 163 as being from Calbach.
She searched the Calbach church records, which are combined with the Buedingen records, and found them to be the parents of two babies baptized in Calbach, Buedingen Kreis, which then was in Isenburg-Buedingen County. Not finding their marriage record in the Calbach records, she ultimately found that they had two children together in Calbach and one in Boehnstadt prior to their marriage in Boehnstadt; and they returned to Calbach prior to leaving for Russia.
Early on, they were prevented from marriage because he was Lutheran and she was Reformed, but after three children and their agreement to do penance, they were allowed to marry. Then Ruth found the couple on Brent Mai’s Transport List as immigrants #15 and #16 traveling with Christoph and Gertruta Weitzel, immigrants #17 and #18. The marriage of Christoph and Gertruta is listed in the Buedingen ML (as published by Mai & Marquardt) on 24 May 1766.
Christoph is listed as being from Boehnstadt, which is just west of Calbach, then in the Isenburg-Waechtersbach County, later taken over by Hessen-Darmstadt, now part of the Friedberg Kreis, Hessen. It was then that Ruth decided to check the Boenstadt records. Also on 24 May 1766, Johann Wilhelm Stoerckel and Maria Catharina Juenger were married, both listed in the Buedingen ML as being from Boehnstadt. They too are found in the Norka First Settlers’ List.
With the help of a professional researcher in Salt Lake City, Ruth obtained the marriage and baptismal records of Jacob and Anna Maria and learned that her maiden name was Feuerstein. With that information, Ruth has been able to push her research back to a Weitzell ancestor born about 1630 in Boehnstadt. Unfortunately, her trail ended there because all earlier records were destroyed in the Thirty Years War.
Ruth ordered microfilm FHL #1195346 (which they refer to as Boenstadt (Kr. Friedberg, and as Germany, Hessen, Boenstadt) and began further research on her Weitzel and Feuerstein families, finding the Stoerckel first settler, also in Boehnstadt. While doing this, she also came across the Wigand (Weigandt) family who also went to Norka. Anna Maria’s brother, Johann Georg Feuerstein, was married in Buedingen 12 June 1766 to Agnesa (Anna Elisabeth) Loch and they are listed as immigrants #506 and #507 on the Transport List translated and edited by Brent Mai. Traveling with them were Johann Georg and Anna Maria Feuerstein‘s parents and younger siblings. The parents and a younger brother died en route. A younger sister, Anna Barbara, may have married Georg Just (Jost?) of Norka.
While tracing the Weitzel and Feuerstein families in Boehnstadt, Ruth found the records of other Norka first settlers: Stoerckel was baptized there in March 1744 and his Juenger wife was born and baptized there in October 1744, while Wigand was baptized there in March 1725 with a Stoerckel as godfather. In this process, Ruth proved that the other Weitzell first settler in Norka did not come from Boehnstadt, so Dr. Pleve was correct in saying that the two Weitzel families in Norka were not closely related.