2014 VC Report

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Alexandertal 2014 Village Report
During 2014 I received and responded to 6 e-mails regarding people who had lived in Alexandertal. This seems to be the average traffic at the present time. There also were at least two inquiries from folks whose ancestors came from a different place of the same or similar name but who did not realize that there were several such places in Russia have was able to point them in a different but correct direction. In addition, I continue to respond to questions regarding ordering family charts from the Pleves but during the year no new charts have been received and about 150 orders remain unfilled, some were placed as many as a dozen years ago and all of them more than 3 years ago. In addition I have expanded and improved the German Origins project as hosted by AHSGR. The latest upload, which included much new data as well as much more confired data, to the AHSGR web site took place in January 2015.

Dick Kraus, 15 March 2015, Leverett, Massachusetts.

Alt-Swedendorf 2014 Village Report: This has been another quiet year for these villages. I have received no inquiries.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Wright VC, Black Sea Villages

Balzer Village Report 2014

2014 was a slow year for Balzer research. This was largely due to the lack of new information coming out of Russia. No newsletters were issued this year. I was not able to attend the convention.

Although there appears to be significant Balzer church records at the various archives in Russia, the cost of obtaining copies is too prohibitive. The Balzer group does not have a research fund. The records include a copy of the 1897 Balzer census, which has been proven to exist. Family Lists are also available for 1834-1845, 1846-1860, 1876-1890, and 1906.

I was able to give a presentation in January at the local chapter meeting about the basics of genealogical research, but had to turn down a request to give a presentation at the annual CDC conference due to a scheduling conflict.

A few new ancestral German villages were uncovered. To date, we have at least partial information on nearly seventy percent of the Balzer original founding families. Research has demonstrated that some of our “German” ancestors were in fact Huguenot refugees from France and Switzerland, and Walloon citizens from Belgium.

Work on issuing a new volume of German Origins is still in the making. My thanks to Herb Femling for helping on this mega task. We always welcome new recruits to this effort and stress the importance of sharing information with Dick Kraus and his German Origins project and Brent Mai on his Volga Origins website.

Inquiries were received from researchers in the United States, Germany, and Russia, and I was able to fulfill many of their requests. The lack of information post 1857 still poses a research problem for most researchers.

With my forthcoming retirement from work and no planned surgeries, I am looking forward to amazing progress in 2015 with new German origins, a new German origin volume, and hopefully renewal of the newsletter.

The group looks forward to the honoring the 250th anniversary of the founding of Balzer next year.

Wayne H. Bonner

Balzer Co-VC

Bauer 2014 Village Report:  Activities for the village of Bauer involved researching several lineages of the Wagner and Schlundt families through the 1798, 1836 and 1857 census records. We answered several inquiries including one from Argentina regarding her Bauer ancestor. Currently we are working on putting together a village Ged.Com beginning with the First Settler’s list with the goal of connecting to any known living descendants.

Michael Buck

VC – Bauer Village

Beideck 2014 Annual VC Report: I have been getting some action from people who have found my name in ancestry, AHSGR, and others. I have been able to help some but not all.   For Beideck, I have all the census data up to 1857 and some specific data done by Dr Pleve. Most people are trying to connect people in this country with the Volga and so if the info they need falls into this dead period (now to 1857) I cannot always help. I have asked Brent Mai and he had said that he does not know of any general data for this period. If you have suggestions on what else I could do, I would be happy to get it.

John Lauck

Borodino 2014 Annual Report: Borodino / Bessarabia is always gaining new information. I continued to work on the “original villages” of the early colonists. The German states are listed as are many of the districts with location and a little history if I found any. Plenty of maps. Lots of photos. The additional data on various families continue to grow and can be found at: http://www.remmick.org/Borodino.Bess.Genealogy/index.html. Take a look at:

History: http://www.remmick.org/Borodino.Bess.History/PageMigrRoutes.html

Genealogy:  http://www.remmick.org/Borodino.Bess.Genealogy/index.html, or


I took part of the year to add to my personal family history by using ancestry.com. I’ve met a lot of nice people and caught up on some of my American cousins who then added to our family who lived in Russia.

If you’ve written me and I’ve failed to continue our conversation, please contact me again. It you’ve written me and have failed to let me know your updated e-mail, please let’s update them so those who are looking for you can find you.

As always, I’d like to give a special thanks to Ingrid Reule, who is the VC for Kloestitz / Bess.  I haven’t found all my broken links so let me know if you’ve found one. Due to the changes in AOL and other internet changes, I am unaware of some of the link changes. I apologize for any trouble this may have caused.

Judy A. Remmick-Hubert

Borodino / Bess, VC

Dietel 2014 Annual Report: I attended the ‘250th Anniversary of the Founding of Dobrinka’ in Portland in June where I met more descendants of Dietel and learned more of the history of our Volga Germans.

With assistance from Brent Mai and Michael Frank I have started a Dietel database using Legacy (genealogical software program). Brent obtained “Dietel Parish Records Deaths 1870-1916” from Saratov, Russia [Volograd Archives] and Michael translated them into an Excel spreadsheet. I have been diligently inputting these records into the database. Completed years:

1870-76; 1884-86. There are 2,484 individuals entered so far; once I start to add in marriage records and census information I will be able to combine any duplicate individuals. I also entered the Dietel First Settler’s List and will continue to add sourced documentation as I receive them.

The Dietel Facebook page now has 105 members and growing!

Surname requests I worked with this year were Benzel, Fuchs (Foos), Mill (Muhl), Je(a)rger (Yerger), Jung, Kern, Kindsvater, Schneider, Schreiner, Uffelmann, Wamboldt.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Bouton

Dinkel 2014 Village Report: It was a slow year again. I helped people seeking info onthe following people. Rebensdorf, Nieman, Dinkel, Nikol, Damsen, and Peterson. The people seeking answers were all from the states.They were not all one time answers. I attended the convention in Lincoln, but did not have any customers.

Leroy Nikolaisen

Dobrinka VC Report for 2014: This year was the 250th anniversary of the founding of the village of Dobrinka, which occurred on 29 June 1764 by 353 Lutherans from several countries. Dobrinka was the very first village founded in the Volga region. The original settlers included 80 families, 10 single men and 2 single women. There was 1 family and 1 single man from Sweden, and 1 family of Finland. The rest of the first-settlers were from Germany.

The addition of the Family List 1877-1891 in 2013 continues to be an asset in verifying family information previously compiled from the birth records for Dobrinka which cover 1852-1867 and 1882-1894.

I had over 30 enquires from people interested in their ancestors from Dobrinka, and I continue to do extensive research for people, tracing the history of their ancestors back to the first settlers in the Volga region, no matter which village they originally settled or lived in. The primary means of communication for things related to Dobrinka is through the Dobrinka website: http://www.dobrinka.org/ .

There is also a Dobrinka Facebook  page, and the Dobrinka mailing list with instructions at:


There is a private mailing list for people who have contributed towards the purchase of the church records.  I continue to receive inquiries from people in Germany, Russia and Argentina who find me almost exclusively through the Dobrinka website.

Gary Martens

Doenhof 2014 Village Report:  I have had several inquiries this year and was able to help most of them.  Some of the questions from Doenhof descendants were for the years after the 1857 census and though I have a few records from that time period, I was not able to help a couple of researchers that needed information from around 1880-1900. AHSGR has recently obtained a CD from the Russian archives that contain years of birth, marriage and death records for Doenhof from 1863 through the early 1900’s for birth and marriage records and deaths from 1862-1884 and 1898-1912. There are over 1300 pages of records and we are excitedly looking forward to these records being translated so that many of the missing links can be filled in for many Doenhof descendants. Many thanks to Delores Schwartz and Lee Ann Schlager for their help in obtaining donations for the translating of the records as well as collecting donations that can be used to order more Doenhof records.

I continue to add to my database and am hoping the newly obtained records will complete family lines from the first settlers to the early 1900’s in some cases. I am also working on making more information available online for Doenhof and hope to have that accomplished in 2015.

And as always, my husband and I continue to work on the 1906 German-Russian Lutheran church that we moved to our property several years ago. I am working on a history of the church along with a membership list of early families that attended as we have visitors and descendants of the original church members that come to see the church from time to time.  We want to have a written history available so that visitors can read information about the church and the original church families.

Karen Kaiser

Doenhof Village Coordinator

Dreispitz 2014 Village Report:

Over the last year I have had only a handful of inquiries which I have assisted with. All requests were from within the United States. It’s been another very slow year.

Efforts are still being made to obtain some Dreispitz Metrical Books.

In addition I remain hopeful that we will be able to obtain other village records from the archives in Russia with the generous bequeath by Timothy Montania.

This year I was able to attend the annual convention which was held in Lincoln, Nebraska.  While there I met lots of people and attended some great presentations.

I also still maintain the AHSGR Store website and if you have not been there lately then check it out.

We have added a large number of items within the last year.  https://store.ahsgr.org

Mark Wills

Village Coordinator for Dreispitz

Enders VC Report 2014: Enders has seen a lot of activity this year thanks to Facebook connections. I was able to help several people trace their family. For some, we were able to come very close to completing the thread, but there is often one elusive generation. The roadblock for Enders is the gap between 1874 and the most recent known ancestor

It’s always fun to correspond with village descendants, but frustrating to be unable to bridge the gap in available records.

Beth Davenport

Enders Village Coordinator

Frank 2014 Village Coordinator Report Submitted by Maggie Hein and Doris Evans

We responded to requests from around 60 people this year. I also had many follow up requests from people who I have had contact with in previous years. Facebook continues to be the largest source for new contacts. Clarence Kissler maintains a web site for the Village of Frank, and he receives research requests, which he forwards on to me. I receive many forwarded requests from other village coordinators. DNA testing has also led me to a number of new contacts. People contact Doris and I directly because they have found our e-mail addresses on the AHSGR web site. Surprisingly, new AHSGR membership has not been a large source of new contacts. Diane Wilson forwards contact information for new AHSGR members to us. Many of the Frank descendants who join AHSGR are people I have already corresponded with. If the new AHSGR member is someone I haven’t already had contact with, and they provided an e-mail address, I e-mail them. Of the dozen or so new members that I e-mailed, only one responded.

We have a wonderful new group of people running the AHSGR office in Lincoln. I had a chance to talk to the new staff members when I was in Lincoln for the convention and learn about what they have been doing to improve headquarters operations. For example, the AHSGR office has gone through and sorted the Die Welt Post translations that Hugh Lichtenwald prepared and posted on the GER_VOLGA list. They have been organized by village, and copies printed out and filed in the notebooks that appear on the Village Tables during the Convention.

The convention had a considerably smaller turnout of Frank Canton people this year, compared to 2013. We were a bit overwhelmed with the numbers in 2013. The numbers in 2014 were more manageable. I met several people who I had previously corresponded with via e-mail, and was able to spend a lot of time with several individuals, working on specific genealogy questions. The Frank Canton VCs are already planning for the 2015 Convention in Billings.

Our Frank-Kolb Facebook page currently has more than 700 members. After the United States, our largest number of members is in Argentina, followed by Germany, Canada, Russia, and Brazil. The page is a way for us to distribute photos of the villages that have been taken by a variety of photographers, provide people with links to web pages about Volga German research and history, and to update people about scheduled events such as the AHSGR Convention and CVGS Conferences.

Thanks to Barry Heimbigner we have a considerable number of the available Frank church records translated into English. Approximately 14,500 birth records for 1839-1886, 3,300 marriage records for 1839-1891, and 6,500 death records for 1839-1868 and 1877-1885 have now been translated from German. The records are not yet indexed, but having them translated and input into Excel spreadsheets makes it considerably easier to locate a record.   Doris

is now inputting the translated records into the database. The records switch to Russian in 1892. We have around 20 years of births and marriages and 10 years of deaths in Russian that are not translated yet.

The most interesting new find this year was the discovery that a considerable number of people from Frank, Walter, and other Volga Villages were living in the Don Cossacks region, near Taganrog. I stumbled into this quite by accident. Someone that I was helping research a family from Frank pointed out to me that there were numerous Frank families recorded in the

1879-1885 church records for the Taganrog-Jeisk parish. Those records are part of the St. Petersburg Lutheran Consistory records that were filmed by the LDS about 20 years ago.    Those records have been quite valuable for people researching Black Sea and Bessarabian families, but I don’t think it ever occurred to anyone that Volga families might have migrated into the areas covered by these records. Barry Heimbigner went over 1879-1885 records of extracted the information on all of the people who appeared to come from the villages of

Frank and Walter. There are records for the Taganrog area going back to the 1830s on LDS microfilms which I have yet to even look at.

DNA testing has become an interesting new source of contacts. I had testing done at FTDNA four years ago, and 23&Me last year. I occasionally had Volga German matches from those two companies, but really not many. I did AncestryDNA earlier this year and I have been quite surprised at the number of people with Volga ancestry showing up in my matches there, especially people from my paternal grandmother’s village of Kolb. Over the last year, I have gradually gained an understanding of the pros and cons of each of the testing services, and how to best use the tools that each offers. I have also learned how to use several third party tools for analyzing DNA results. DNA testing for genealogy purposes has become more affordable, and AncestryDNA seems to have succeeded in marketing their DNA product to a wide audience.

We had been looking forward to the rollout of the German Kirchenbuch Portal this year. The Kirchenbuch Portal is a web site established by some of the Lutheran Churches in Germany as a way to distribute their digitized church records. The web site had been scheduled to be available in the summer of 2014, but is still in testing at this point.  Hopefully when it does finally become available, it will give us access to some of the church records that have never been filmed by LDS.

Friedenberg 2014 Village Report: It has been a quiet year for research on Friedenberg.  I have had no inquiries

Brenda Silvey

Village Coordinator for Friedenberg, Russia, AHSGR

Galka 2014 VC Report:This year is the 250th anniversary of the founding of Galka. Galka was founded on 12 August 1764, two weeks after the first village in the Volga region, Dobrinka. Over the next 3 years, 240 Lutherans from Germany settled in Galka. The 240 people consisted of 58 families made up of 124 male and 116 female settlers.

The Lutheran congregation and church was established in 1767, and Galka was the parish, or central church for the villages of Galka, Dobrinka, Driespitz and Holstein. This meant that marriages from people in those villages may have occurred in the church in Galka, and the Lutheran pastor in Galka baptized children in the other villages when the pastor from that village was absent.

Church records available for Galka are at the Russian Archive in Volgograd.

Those records were purchased 6 years ago, with contributions from people interested in their ancestors from Galka. Births records cover 1863-1884, and 1901-1902, and most if those records have been translated, and added to the Galka database. A very few records have not been translated because they are from hard to read records. People interested in information from those records are required to make a contribution towards the purchase of the records. I continue to add information for Galka residents and descendants who immigrated to the US, Canada and Argentina.

During 2013, I had over 30 requests for information from people interested in people from Galka, and their descendants. The primary means of communication for things related to Galka are through a Facebook page, the Galka website: http://www.galkagr.org/, the Galka mailing list with instructions at:


There is a private mailing list for people who have contributed towards the purchase of the church records. Most requests from the US and Canada, and usually Germany contain sufficient information to enable tracing ancestors back to the first settlers. I attempt to trace all families back to their origins in the Volga region, regardless of the village where the first people settled. I also had a request from Germany, regarding an estate, tracing descendants of people born in the 1880’s who were married in about 1905 in Galka.

Gary Martens

Village Coordinator for Galka

Glueckstal 2014 Village Report: Once again I have had no inquires from the Glueckstal colonies, and since I am no longer the coordinator for the Glueckstal Colonies Research Assoc for health reasons, it s appropriate that i resign as AHSGR village Coordinator for the Glueckstal Colonies.I am sending a copy to the new individuals in charge, so they can take appropriate action.

best regards,

Homer Rudolf

1717 Bellevue Ave — #A528-a

Richmond,  VA 23227


Göbel 2014 Village Coordinator Report: Map 6, coordinates B7, Goebel A.K.A. Gebel, Goebel, Göbel, Ust-Gräsnucha, Ust-Grjasnucha, Ust-Grjaznucha, Ust-Gryaznukha, Ust-Grasnukha, or Ust-Graesnucha:  A Russian Catholic German village situated on the western side of the Volga.

I continue, as time allows, to add to the village chart of names, births and marriages known regarding the village of Goebel. I am currently using Family Tree Maker. I received AHSGR information, files, links, databases and materials in addition to the 1798, 1816/1834 and 1850/1857 census reports I had already obtained from AHSGR, Rosemary Larson and Brent Mai respectively.

I also have a copy of Pleve’s Vol II with the FSL for Goebel. I also have Göbel birth records (1894-1900) acquired from the Volgograd archive, with the help of Kevin Rupp.

I received a handful of requests this year, along with a couple of reference question emails for other VCs.

Ben Markel

Goebel Village Coordinator

Huck 2014 Village report from the Co- Coordinators: Being asked by Dennis for the last 5 years to take over the village of Huck as coordinator, this year I finally told him I would co-coordinate with. And it seems strange to be the doing the VC report because for so many years I was the one asking the VC’s to turn in their reports.

It didn’t take long for me to get my feet wet.  In fact I jumped in with both feet. It started in Feb with a request for the Brotzmann/Bohl line and as it happened I had been working on the Casper Bohl line trying to find my great maternal grandmother, Elisabeth Bohl, so I was able to easily help.

Also in Feb came a request for the Frick and Schaff lineage with this family it ties into the Barth’s. Sept. again I had questions with the Bohl lineage and was able to meet and help this person with their search at headquarters which is one of the benefits of living in Lincoln.  Dec brought a strange request on finding the lineage of Craig Bohl who happens to be the football coach at North Dakota State. As it turns out he is an alumni of Lincoln East High and his parents still live here but I couldn’t find that his ancestors were from Huck. There also, have been several requests from South American.

Pam Wurst


Huck 2014 Village report from the Co- Coordinators: 2014 has been a unique year for my support of village Huck for several reasons. After a long period of refusal, I finally opened a FaceBook account! Marlene Michael, another Huck researcher, had initiated a Village Of Huck, Russia FaceBook page and that was my initiation. Since then I’ve also been following Hucker-Leute and those two have resulted in correspondence with several additional Huck researchers because of their postings on those sites. That is the good part of the story; the not so good part is because of the lack of available Huck records for the period 1858-1888 making it very difficult to answer questions from those researchers about how to complete their ancestral research from the late 19th century to the origin of the village.

I thought there was hope for Huck records in the 1858-1888 period when I read an Index of the Engels Archives  (after a tip by Tim Weeder) that information from the Huck 1864 and 1892-1911 Huck marriage lists and also the 1879 Huck Posemeyny (family?) list existed in the Archives. With the help of Mila Koretnikov I learned neither the 1864 nor the 1879 lists could be found in Engels. I did obtain some (for only two surnames) marriage and bann lists from the 1878-1911 periods that were useful but expensive.

Considering the number of years of material examined by Archive personnel, preparation of the reports, copy and processing and researcher fees the amount was perhaps not unreasonable, but I was not prepared for the sticker shock. The material was a typed transcription (prepared by Engels in Russian) with no original copies of the information.

Pam’s agreement to become a Co-coordinator for village Huck was another bright spot this year, for the village and for me. She is a superb researcher and has increased what we know about the village and the descendants of the original settlers. We share information we receive from correspondents and what we individually learn meaning this is another village whose coordinator records will not be lost.

Dennis Zitterkopf

Huck village Co-coordinator

Hussenbach 2014 Village Report:  I continue to receive requests for information from the Hussenbach web page at: Hussenbach (Linevo Osero), the Facebook page at:  Hussenbach (Linevo Osero) and Neu-Hussenbach (Gashon) Russia Descendants, and email. I receive inquiries off of the webpage, my Facebook page for Hussenbach now has 183 members. Facebook posts generate many postings generating multiple comments. Connections have been made with people from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Germany. There is also a Suppes Hussenbach Facebook group page for people that descend from that name maintained by another person.

As many people know, a First Settler’s List for Hussenbach has not been found. The village was one of 17 that were not included in Dr. Igor Pleve’s Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767 series. I have attempted to reconstruct a list of people who were probably the First Settlers of Hussenbach. I used Pleve’s: Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports to Ivan Kulberg;” Dr. Brent A. Mai’s: 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga: Economy, Population, and Agriculture, Volumes 1 and 2; Transport of the Volga Germans from Oranienbaum to the Colonies on the Volga 1766-1767; Mai and Marquardt’s: German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764-1767): Origins and Destinations; Combined Surname Index to All Volumes of Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767 by Igor Pleve compiled by Brent Alan Mai, and Femling’s website: “Budingen Marriages 1766.”

I first ran a report on my Hussenbach database searching for all residents with birth dates prior to 1800. I came up with a list of 158 surnames that were born before 1800. From the appendix in Beratz I knew I was looking for 118 families. Starting with the 1798 Census I was able to determined some of the families that had moved out of or into the village. I was also able to determine if the couple may have arrived as married or were married after they arrived by using the date of birth or an approximation. If the date of birth was unknown I used the approximation of 18 years prior to the birth of the first child for a male and 16 years for a female. Yes, I understand there were exceptions to this but I could estimate that they were born at least before or near this date. Then I compared this list to the Combined Surname Index and I was able to eliminate more families as I compared them to the entries in other villages in Einwanderung.  Then I searched through the Lists of Colonists to Russia for matches to my list of names and then cross referenced them to the actual entry in the book. I began to see patterns emerge, many of the Hussenbachers travelled together, they were concentrated on only a few of the ship’s lists. When the entry was similar, for example Johann and wife Anna from Darmstadt, I would usually pick the one on the same ships list with other Hussenbachers, especially from the lists with Vorsteher Hussenbach and Vorsteher Kreutzer. It was mainly a process of elimination, if they were found on a First Settlers List and had a matching Kulberg entry they couldn’t be on my list. Using the above resources I was able to come up with 116 probable families. The list has more entries because I listed the females separately when the maiden name was known, even though they may have arrived as a married couple. This will facilitate the next step of discovering their origins in the German Nations of 1766, Poland and other countries. Questions, corrections or comments are Welcome. This report is available to download on the Hussenbach Facebook page under the “Files” heading.

I obtained a copy of the 1897 Census for the Hussenbach village. I am awaiting a translation of this census.

I attended the Convention at Lincoln, Nebraska and was able to meet with several Hussenbach villagers on a one on one basis. We held a Frank Canton meeting meeting in the early evening and each Village Coordinator in attendance gave a brief summation of their work and then we broke up into individual villages. Maggie Hein, Mary Jane Bolton and I were able to give some one on one assistance to people. I was also available at various times in the AHSGR Library and met with villagers there.

New Information of interest in the Hussenbach Village file:  “Family List of Hussenbach (Linewo-Osero),” in the Kamishin district of the Samara province in Russia, 1 Jan 1908, manuscript, AHSGR Library, Pflug, Waldemar, Bayreuth, Germany. This can only be viewed at AHSGR headquarters library and cannot be copied.

Translation of the Volgograd records is an ongoing process. So far 11,301 individual records have been translated. David Nelson and Viktor Zinn translated the records past 1896 that were in Russian. Viktor has continued to work on some of the German records which has been a tremendous help. I thank both of them for their generous donation of their time. I have been working on the remainder and inputting them into the Hussenbach database.

Hussenbach Records found in the Volgograd Archives:

For Linevo Osero:
1818-1838, 1839-1853; 1861 translated by Viktor Zinn, 1896-1904, 1906-1909, translated by David Nelson; 1854-1860 need to be translated. Records are missing for part of 1904, all of 1905, and part of 1906.
Marriages:  1818-1838, 1902-1908, translated by David Nelson.
Deaths:  1818-1838; 1900-1908 translated by David Nelson.  1839-1858, 1862-1881, 1891-1895, still have to be translated.
For Gashon:
1862-1895, translated by Viktor Zinn.
Marriages:  1878-1902, translated by Viktor Zinn.
Deaths:  1882-1890, 1896-1899, still need to be translated.

The Gashon records have been given to Shirley Ainsley, the Village Coordinator for Neu-Hussenbach (Gashon).

The Hussenbach database continues to grow. I now have 37,992 names in the database. I appreciate all of the information fellow Hussenbachers have shared with me.  I have found numerous times that the information from one person combined with another’s can be the connection that links that family back to the German immigrant ancestor. Please send me anything you have on your family that you wish to share.

An Excel page showing which Family names are found in different sources, including: Kuhlberg lists, Volga transport list, 1798, 1816, 1834, 1850, 1857 censuses, Volgograd records to 1845, and the Hussenbach database can be download the file from my Hussenbach web page: http://hussenbach.weebly.com/names-found-in-records.html.  It is 16 pages, and includes some of the names found in the daughter colonies of Ährenfeld, Langenfeld, Neu-Bauer and Neu-Hussenbach and their original colony if known.

Susan Hopp Nakaji

Hussenbach Village Coordinator


Josefstal 2014 VC Report: Not much to report for 2014.

I had 0 inquiries. I have been getting some Church records from Dr. Pleve…as he has access to scans of all the Catholic Church records.

This next year I will be working on compiling some family booklets, and publishing them online at: http://josefstal.wordpress.com/  and Facebook:


My plan is to scan all of my Josefstal files from Russia and also place them online.

Edward (Ted) Gerk

Johannestal 2014 VC Annual Report:  I have only answered three queries on Johannestal this year. I was able to help two of those folks. Although the other party submitted a known village surname, I could not find that individual in the census or my data base. I did update the Johannestal village website with a recent photo of the restored Johannestal church.

Ray Heinle

Gilbert, Arizona, USA

Kamenka 2014 Village Coordinator Report: There have been a number of requests for genealogical information this year.

This year my website was removed from the Internet along with other webbitt.com sites.  Thanks to Jorge Bohn from Argentina we are now able to revisit my website in the Wayback Machine:


The compiling of families from Kamenka continues using these websites:



From an aunt I heard that my Wiesner ancestors are from Switzerland so I belong to a Swiss site that has proven to be very interesting about the migration of Swiss north into Alsace following the 30 years war. As of now, I have been unable to find the ancestor that emigrated to Russia.

Rosemary Larson

Kautz Annual Report for 2014

Research continues.  I processed 29 obituaries received from contributors, mainly Henry Schmick, which matched against my Kautz database. Unfortunately, many were for people I knew while growing up in Walla Walla or those with whom I’ve corresponded over the years regarding Kautz genealogy. As of today, the database now contains 30,458 individuals and 9,716 marriages.The software I use is Family Treemaker for Windows – 2006.

I correspond with many people from the United States who have Kautz ties and I am normally able to provide substantive information to them from their initial query. In many cases, I’m able to get additional information on their families from the requestors which then update my database.

On October 9, 2013, Mila received funds for my acquisition of Kautz parish records from the Volgograd Archives, births 1902-1918, and marriages 1903-1918. Kautz births for 1852-1898 have been misplaced and should hopefully turn up sometime in the future. Those records would complete the links of Kautz individuals to Kautz families. The translation and posting of Kautz records has kept me busy.

Some of my time in 2014 was spent transcribing church records for the village of Dietel, a sister village of Kautz where permanent unions were made among families of the two villages. For the period of 1870-1916, I have translated all death records written in German. Of these, there are about 16 years (most of 1893-1910) in which the records are written in Russian only. For these, the translation of death and burial dates and the computation of birthdates has been completed. I am having some difficulty with the names of individuals in these records because of both the Cyrillic language and the poor handwriting of some of the pastors. There were over 5,300 death records written from 1870 to1916. I have created a visual database of handwritten Dietel surnames and first and middle names to match against the actual Russian records which have helped tremendously.

My transcriptions of Dietel death records have been forwarded to Karen Bouton, Dietel village coordinator, for inclusion into the new Dietel database which she has created. She is well into the incorporation of these death records into that database. I’ve started translating Dietel marriages (1836-1904). Dietel births 1891-1896 and 1903-1911 will be translated last.

Of the Kautz and Dietel records I current have, all have been scanned and indexed.  It is so much easier to deal with the electronic copies than copies of the originals on paper.

The Kautz group in Facebook continues to attract members. I posted a lot of Kautz material to that group in 2014.  It’s located at:


My activities have also involved membership on the Board of Directors for the AHSGR Oregon Chapter and publication of the Oregon Chapter Newsletter which comes out every two months. I have accepted the job of 2nd Vice President for the chapter, beginning January 2015.

In June, 2014, for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the first Volga-German villages along the Volga, including Dobrinka, I gave a couple of presentations on satellite imagery of the villages. Those included a discussion of the two mileage charts for Volga-German villages, which I completed…one for villages west of the Volga, and one for those east of the river.

Michael Frank

Village Coordinator for Kautz (Werschinka)

Klosterdorf 2014 Village Report: This has been another quiet year for these villages.  I have received no inquiries.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Wright VC, Black Sea Villages

Konstantinovka 2014 Village Report:  Konstantinovka was founded in 1859 and there was a nearby daughter colony called Schilling, founded at about the same time.  These two villages were within 1-2 miles of each other, and eventually became known as one village called Konstantinovka. Konstantinovka was located about 80 miles southeast of Saratov.

During 2014, I had 3 emails from people concerning ancestors from Konstantinovka, and their descendants, although frequently people looking for ancestors who think they were from Schilling were actually from one of the daughter colonies.  The primary means of communication for things related to Konstantinovka are through the Schilling website:


Gary Martens

Village Coordinator for Konstantinovka, Neu-Schilling I & Neu-Schilling II

Kraft 2014 Village Report:  Something a little new, at least for us. We decided to participate in the Ancestry DNA Program. I mention this here, not because I’m pushing Ancestry, but because of the potential impact this is having on Kraft family research.

Ancestry is quite accurate when it comes to identifying DNA matches with 4th cousins, or closer. Still fairly accurate in identifying  5th to 8th cousins. My wife is a Schwindt from Kraft, on her father’s side, and a Rath from the Black Sea Region on her mother’s. Both her father’s ancestors, and her mother’s ancestors immigrated to Russia from Hesse.

The results are interesting. Fourth cousins and closer, having our family names are pretty easy. We’re also getting matches from people with Kraft names, but without names normally associated with the Schwindt family. I’m guessing that these matches are Schwindt associated ladies marrying into other families, but without our having a record of their maiden names. Like most of the spouses listed in the various censuses.

We’re also getting 5th to 8th cousin matches from people whose ancestors did not immigrate to Russia, but did immigrate to America from Hesse.

As I said, we’re new at this and so we’re still trying to figure out how to make the best use of all this. I do think that the more Kraft descendants that participate in the program, the more useful the eventual results will be. I would think that other villages might also find this program to be useful.

Ron Burkett

Kraft Village Coordinator

Krasnoyar 2014 village report:  There have been very few inquiries for this village.  The 1834 census recently became available and hopefully that will help to eliminate gaps of information between 1798 and 1850.

Sue Hess

VC for Krasnoyar

Kukkus 2014 Village Report:  There have been a few more people requesting information about the village of Kukkus this year.  The most difficult information to find is for births after the 1850-1857 census. There are some records available for around

1900 on the Familysearch.org website. You do a search catalog search for Samara Church records. These records are written in the Russian language so you need to use google translate to read them. I found the name Krum is listed as Kpym.

Alton and I are serving a full time Church Mission in the Salt Lake City Family History Library. We arrived here in October and are serving for one year. We serve on the international floor, B1. The first day we were on the floor helping guests, a lady came in looking for information about the village of Kukkus. As it turned out, she was looking for the Krum name. I was able to help her find the information she was looking for. Since then, other persons have been searching for other villages. I find what information I can on line for them, then refer them to the AHSGR website to look for village coordinators and village censuses.

I have asked Rick Felsing to be my assistant while I am here. He has a Kukkus Families website. His e-mail address is rfelsing@kukkus.com. He would be happy to answer queries about Kukkus while I am away from home. So far I have been able to answer some e-mails.

Any GRs visiting the Salt Lake City Family History Library please stop in to see us there. We would love to see you and help you with your research.

Sincerest best wishes to all, Eleanor Sissell, Kukkus Village Coordinator.

Laub, Tarlyk, Russia, 2014 Annual Report:  We have had a very busy year withmore than 20 requests for family information. However, unlike previous years, most of our requests came from withinthe United State with only a few from Germany.

Some of the family names beingresearched are Merk, Dellos, Busch, Kohl, Becker, Jacobi/Jacoby, Daniel, Bretzer, Hermann, Deis, Stürk, Leikam, Walter, Wierderkehr, Vorrath, Prester, Tripple, Sommer, Lieder, Franz, Fazius and Flach. We have been able to assist many of our researchers with extensive information but the lack of information available after 1857 continues to be problem.

Earlier in the year we were able to procure a donation to purchase records for the Kukkus Kanton and we are currently in the process of purchasing one of the family lists from the late1800’s. Once that project is completed we will purchase birth, marriage and death records for selected years for villages within the Kanton. This information will be a tremendous help to our researchers and will break through many brick walls.

Dodie Rotherham has translated birth records purchased in Russia for Laub, Jost, Straub and Lauwe for the years1794-1811. Records are only partial lists from each village. The majority of the information is for Jost and Laub. These records have been available for purchase from AHSGR for several years but some information was missing as the original translator was not given all the purchased records. The missing information has been incorporated with the initial translation. The completed translation will be sent to AHSGR.

I have compiled a detailed table of the first families of Laub, which contains the wife’s maiden name and the village of origin of each first settler.

In addition, during the past year I was able to do extensive research for seven individuals which resulted in more than 75 pages of facts, photos and maps.

The Facebook page, Laub, Tarlyk, Russia[1]  continues to bring in new Laub descendants as does the Facebook Group,  German – Russia Connections[2] . Both pages are used to promote not only Laub, but all GR villages as well as AHSGR, and AHSGR chapters.

Dodie Rotherham – Patricia Gayol Windecker – Laub Village Coordinator

Lauwe 2014 Village Coordinator Report:  My largest effort was in translating the 1886 Lauwe “Family List” from typed Russian to English.  Being typed, it was relatively easy for me to do word-for-word replacements.  All I was unable to do with accuracy was read and translate some of the information in the comment fields.  However, having the list has been a boon to me as VC.  I was able to help most everyone who asked using information from the Family list.  I had seven queries over the course of 2014.

Ray Heinle

Gilbert, Arizona, USA

Leichtling 2014 village report: We have only had 4 in inquiries this year. I was able to connect 2 of them with other members looking for the same families.

We added several families to our database (on line) and continue to see if we can locate the 1857 and 1887 census that are “supposed” to exist.

We have moved 2 family names from Leichtling to towns in Germany (and know there parishes in Germany)..

Darryl Boyd, VC for Leichtling, Russia

Messer / Neu-Messer 2014 Village Coordinator Report: During 2014, I was able to help several people with their research and continued to expand the Messer / Neu Messer distribution list.  There are now 47 people on the email list as well as 6 individuals without email addresses that I communicate with via the US Postal Service.

Messer / Neu Messer Newsletters were sent out in April and November. They included articles on: Comparison of Kulberg Lists and Messer First Settlers List, Messer Settlers Included in Wayne Bonner’s Volga German Settlers Identified in Isenburg and Other German Church Records, AHSGR Technology Updates, Weber Family Story contributed by Don Beavers, Sources for researching a family’s “Village of Origin” in Germany contributed by Neil Nuss,

Questions from Messer descendants, Messer Immigrants to Argentina, Messer Colonists found in “German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764–1767)”, Index of “Letters from Hell”, sent from Messer, Stories of Life in Neu Messer   contributed by Fred Betz

During the Lincoln Convention, I hosted a Messer / Neu Messer Dinner that was attended by 13 Messer descendants.

As a fairly new Village Coordinator I am covering ground many of the other Village Coordinators covered years ago.  I continue to work to expand my Messer / Neu Messer data base so that I am better positioned to help others with their research requests.  In the future, I would like to acquire additional Russian records to fill in the blanks after the1857 Messer Census.

Moor Village Report 2014:  2014 was a slower year for Moor research.  This was partially due to the lack of new information coming out of Russia. No newsletters were issued this year.

Although there appears to be some Moor church records at the various archives in Russia, the cost of obtaining copies is too prohibitive.  The Moor group does not have a research fund.

On a more positive note, I was able to give a presentation at the local Southern California chapter in January.

A few new ancestral German villages were uncovered. To date, we have at least partial information on approximately 25 percent of the Moor original founding families. Research has demonstrated that some of our “German” ancestors were in fact Huguenot refugees from France and Switzerland, and Walloon citizens from Belgium. An example of this is the Peter Schierat family.  There is no such family listed on the Kulberg list, but there is a Pierre Girard family listed that appears to match the family names and ages of the Schierat family on the Moor FSL.  Finding them in Nassau, Germany determined that indeed the name Girard can be pronounced as Schierat.

Work on issuing a new volume of German Origins is still in the making. My thanks go out to Herb Femling for helping on this mega task. We always welcome new recruits to this effort and stress the importance of sharing information with Dick Kraus and his German Origins project and Brent Mai on his Volga Origins website.

Inquiries were received from researchers in the United States, Germany, and Russia, and I was able to fulfill many of their requests.  The lack of information post 1857 still poses a research problem for most researchers.

With my forthcoming retirement from work and no planned surgeries, I am looking forward to amazing progress in 2015 with new German origins, a new German origin volume, and hopefully renewal of the newsletter.

Wayne H. Bonner

Moor Co-VC

Mühlhausendorf 2014 Village Report:  This has been another quiet year for these villages.  I have received no inquiries.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Wright VC, Black Sea Villages

Neu-Balzer 2014 VC Report (Marv Heckman): I became the Village Coordinator for Neu-Balzer during the 2014 summer and have been working on a database for the village.  Neu-Balzer had not been mentioned among the villages and therefore not much interest has been developed.

We now have about 250 people listed as living in Neu-Balzer between 1890 and 1915.  I am not able to put the families groups together but will continue to attempt that feat.  We have on hand the 1904 baptism records from the Church in Neu-Balzer, which contain the name of the child, parents, and sponsors.  We also have received the 1904 list of all that died in Neu-Balzer for that year.  We also have obituaries of 35 individuals who were born in Neu-Balzer.

The goal for 2015 is to start compiling the names of the families that left Balzer and move to Neu-Balzer after its settlement in 1863.  This is a lofty goal but with help from all of you, I hope to make progress on the project.  I have been in contact or had inquiries with 7 individuals needing information about Neu-Balzer since I started as VC.  The family names that are the data base are:  Barthuly, Bender, Bernhart, Eurich, Gallawa, Grasmick, Grim, Heckman, Heil, Huber, Kaiser, Kahm, Kemple, Keller or Kohler, Kling, Lutz, Messer, Neubauer, Pfeiff, Pfeifer, Popp, Robertus, Rockel, Schneider, Siebert, Stoehr, Stumpf, Stiers, Weber, Weissheim, Yakel or Jackel. and Zier.

Neu-Messer 2014 Village Coordinator Report: During 2014, I was able to help several people with their research and continued to expand the Messer / Neu Messer distribution list.  There are now 47 people on the email list as well as 6 individuals without email addresses that I communicate with via the US Postal Service.

Messer / Neu Messer Newsletters were sent out in April and November. They included articles on: Comparison of Kulberg Lists and Messer First Settlers List, Messer Settlers Included in Wayne Bonner’s Volga German Settlers Identified in Isenburg and Other German Church Records, AHSGR Technology Updates, Weber Family Story contributed by Don Beavers, Sources for researching a family’s “Village of Origin” in Germany contributed by Neil Nuss,

Questions from Messer descendants, Messer Immigrants to Argentina, Messer Colonists found in “German Migration to the Russian Volga (1764 – 1767)”, Index of “Letters from Hell”, sent from Messer, Stories of Life in Neu Messer contributed by Fred Betz

During theLincoln Convention, I hosted a Messer / Neu Messer Dinner that was attended by 13 Messer descendants.

As a fairly newVillage Coordinator I am covering ground many of the other VillageCoordinators covered years ago.  I continue to work to expand myMesser / Neu Messer data base so that I am better positioned to helpothers with their research requests.  In the future, I would like toacquire additional Russian records to fill in the blanks after the1857 Messer Census.

Neu-Schilling I & Neu-Schilling II 2014 Village Report:  Neu-Schilling I was located about 95 miles southeast of Saratov and Neu-Schilling II was located about 5 miles southeast of Neu-Schilling I.

During 2014, I had 3 emails from people concerning ancestors from Konstantinovka, and their descendants, although frequently people looking for ancestors who think they were from Schilling were actually from one of the daughter colonies.  The primary means of communication for things related to Konstantinovka are through the Schilling website:


Gary Martens

Village Coordinator for Konstantinovka, Neu-Schilling I & Neu-Schilling II

Neu-Straub 2014 Village Report:  I had only one inquiry this year and it was a personal request on my family name. I sent her all I had to help her in her quest to further her research.

Lillian Larwig, coordinator of Neu-Straub

Neu-Weimar 2014 VC Report:  Neu-Weimar was founded in 1861 by people from Galka, Stephan, Schwab and Dobrinka.

During 2014, I received several requests for family information involving Neu-Weimar.  Making connections back to the mother colonies typically involves how far back a researcher has information, and how many people with the particular surname(s) originally moved to Neu-Weimar.

Gary Martens

Neu-Weimar VC

Nieder-Monjou 2014 Village Report: This year was very slow for genealogical requests. We received queries from three individuals regarding the following Nieder-Monjou surnames: ANSCHUTZ, BISTERFELDT, ECKERT, FUNK, HERBER, MUELLER/MILLER, REIMER, and SCHAEFER/SCHAEFFER.

Mike attended the 2014 AHSGR Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nieder-Monjou AHSGR Village Coordinators Michael Grau and Steven Grau

Norka, Saratov Province, Russia 2014 Report to the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) respectfully submitted by: Steve Schreiber, Norka Village Coordinator for AHSGR and Norka Webmaster – steven.schreiber@gmail.com – Judy Curtis, Norka Database Coordinator – norka.judy.curtis@gmail.com, Jerry Krieger, Norka Newsletter Editor and Publisher – norkanews@gmail.com, Louis Schleuger, Norka Census Records Coordinator – ohashi70@gmail.com

Our primary goals are to document the history of Norka and assist those who are researching their families from this colony. In 2014, the Norka team completed a significant amount of work and this report highlights some of the key accomplishments.

Norka Outreach: A Norka Facebook page was established late in 2011. The purpose of this page is to serve as a social media forum for people researching their ancestors from Norka, Russia and to serve as a repository for genealogy, stories, history and photographs related to this German colony in Russia. Currently there are 609 people following the page from the USA, Canada, Germany, Russia and South America. This is an increase of 202 people from December of 2013.  http://www.facebook.com/norka.russia

The Center for Volga German Studies hosted the second Norka Founders’ Day on August 16th. The first colonists arrived in Norka on August 15, 1767. Thereafter, August 15th was celebrated in the colony each year as “Herrkommstag” or Founders’ Day. The 2015 Norka Founders’ Day event is planned for August 15th in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada. http://cvgs.cu-portland.edu/exhibits_events.cfm

Many new pages were added to the Norka website this year. There are currently 302 pages of information and 454 images on the site. The Volga Germans in Portland website also continues to expand and contains a great deal of information about families from Norka that settled in this area. A new Norka website is in the development stage and is expected to be online in 2015. http://www.volgagermans.net/norka/ and http://www.volgagermans.net/portland/

Norka Database Project: The Norka Database Project continues to grow as more Norka descendants contact us and request our assistance in finding their ancestors.  We had 48 requests during 2014.

Norka Project items are stored on a CD that is updated annually to coincide with the annual AHSGR convention.  The Norka CD is not freely distributed or available to purchase; it is only available at AHSGR headquarters in Lincoln, NE and at the several AHSGR chapters (Portland, OR; Denver, CO and Fresno, CA) large enough to have computers available for researchers to use.  If you are unable to travel to one of these AHSGR chapter libraries, you can request information regarding your Norka ancestral family members by contacting Judy Curtis (email: norka.judy.curtis@gmail.com) or Louis Schleuger (e-mail: ohashi70@gmail.com) for look-ups in the Norka database and in Norka census records.

The Norka Database contains over 32,717 individuals and is a merged collection of Norka Pleve surname charts, some Norka census records and “connecting link” genealogy information provided by many Norka descendants on the generations of their Norka ancestors who extend forward from where both the Norka census records and Norka Pleve surname charts end.

The Norka 2013 Convention Handouts (listed below) are available by sending an e-mail request to Judy Curtis.

• Norka Village Inventory File @ the AHSGR Library (Lincoln, NE)

• Norka 2013  – Surname Charts on the AHSGR Website

• Norka 2013 – Surnames with Preferred Spelling and Variations

• Norka 2013 – What’s Available for Researchers

• Norka 2013 – Guidelines for Researching Individuals & Families (from the Norka Website

• Norka 2013 – Listing of Folders, Articles & Databases on the Norka CD

If anyone has items to add to our Norka CD, please send copies (you keep the originals) either electronically as an attachment to an email to Judy Curtis at norka.judy.curtis@gmail.com or by snail mail to Judy Curtis, P. O. Box 995, Snowflake, AZ 85937.  Remember, this is a way to share with others as well as to preserve what you have.

Norka Newsletter:  The late John and Marcella Wark began the Norka Newsletter in 1996. Since 1997 the newsletter has been published by Krieger’s Root Cellar and edited by Jerry Krieger. The newsletter is published four times a year. Subscriptions are $11 for four issues, $17 Canadian. We welcome questions, information about families and ancestors, interesting stories, and help our readers with their Norka ancestors. A sample issue will be sent on request to norkanews@gmail.com.

Norka Census Records:  Preliminary work is underway to cross reference the Norka colonists listed in the 1767 Census published by Igor Pleve in his book “Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet 1764-1767, Band 3” and the “Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766 – Reports of Ivan Kuhlberg” also published by Igor Pleve.  We expect to complete this project in 2015.

In our continuing efforts of comparing Norka’s censuses information and the various family surname charts researched by Dr. Igor Pleve listed in the Norka database, additional errors were noted on Dr. Pleve’s charts and within the censuses which resulted in more corrections and linkages of family members and updated notes were made to Norka’s censuses databases.

The 1857 Census of Neu-Norka was entered into a Personal Ancestral File (PAF) database with notes which include a cross reference of the corresponding Household in the 1857 Census of Norka.  Based on the 1857 Censuses of Norka and Neu-Norka a spreadsheet was generated that cross-references those families that moved from Norka to Neu-Norka.

The cross referencing all of the families listed in Norka’s 1767-1857 Censuses is progressing slowly, but well.  In this cross-referencing effort errors were noted on Dr. Pleve’s charts listed in the Norka Database and within the censuses concerning family members’ marriages, number of children and their linkages with other families.  Part of the linkage effort, includes the linage of females when they married since Dr. Pleve did not include that linage on his charts.  The research by many other Norka descendants is being included in this effort, which results in a much more complete family chart from 1767 to the current year.  The Hinkel (1,433 people), Urbach (3,263 people) and Schleuger (3,780 people) databases are still work in progress.

Oberdorf 2014 Village Coordinator Report:  Last year Vladimir Kakorin took a lot of beautiful photographs of Oberdorf including its cemetery.This year Juana Eckerdt Graf traveled from Argentina to Oberdorf and we provided many pictures of her visit and a detailed account of her interview with the mayor of Oberdorf who received kindly and had lunch together. Had access to the files of Volgograd and soon will have available the material she has compiled regarding Oberdorf.In 2013, Patricia Gayol Windecker and I finished the task that started Teri regarding 1857 Census of Oberdorf. We have turned the material and donated our translation work to AHSGR but so far we do not know what fate will give this material. We are still waiting for information.I received inquiries from families: Felker, Graff, Jauck,  Kaltemberger, Lorenz, Nutz, Schimpf, Schneider, Seibert and Stehle.

Elena Vega Stehle AHSGR Oberdorf Village Coordinator

https://www.facebook.com/groups/183076058528244/emvega2003@yahoo.com.ar Buenos Aires –Argentina

Obermunjou 2014 Report:  This year I had received about 100 requests for information dealing with my various villages, about 1/2 of these were for Obermunjou.  Some were people from Germany, some from Russia, but the majority was people having questions about their families who settled in this area of Ellis County, Kansas.

I did contact Mila Koretnikov to get a list of what is available from the archives.  Items included from these Russian Archives:

Engels: Church books on births:1821-1835, 1849-1866; Marriages & Deaths: 1821-1826; Deaths 1849-1856

Saratov: Church books 1802-1921; Communion Records 1853, 1855, 1856, 1858-1861, and Census 1834

Samara: Births 1875, 1880, 1881, 1889, 1897, 1806, 1909; Marriages 1875, 1880, 1889, 1893, 1914; Deaths 1908, 1914; and Census records for the years 1850 & 1857.

Volgograd: Has no records for Obermunjou

No Family lists books are available on Obermunjou

History of Obermunjou – I was able to hire Olga Litzenbeger to write the History of Obermunjou.  It is about 18 pages long and covers:

      1.  Geographic Location

      2.  Brief Settlement History

      3.  Schools and Instruction

      4.  Denominational Faith of the Community and its Main Aspects

      5.  The Parish

      6.  Church Construction Dates and Architectural Characteristics

      7.  Population Numbers

      8.  From the History of the Church Community and the Parish

      9.  Clergy of the Katharinenstadt Parish who Served in Obermunjou

      10.  Partial List of Clergy of the Parish of Obermunjou

      11.  The Village Today

      12.  Archival Sources

      13.  An Interesting Archival Document

      14.  Obermunjou in the Press

I have given AHSGR to reprint this in the upcoming Journal hopefully in the Spring or Summer issue.  Olga also sent me photos that I hope will be used with the article.  I would like to also use this as a Chapter presentation.

Database: My database at this time contain about 102,755 names.  Not all these are from Obermunjou, many are from the other villages that I work as Village Coordinator, and all these names connect to Ellis County, Kansas one way or another.

Obituary Files & Memorial Cards: I maintain at this time about three filing cabinets containing obituaries, mostly group by family names.  I have many memorial cards, some going back to the original settlers that came from Russian to Ellis County, Kansas.  Many of these are in the old German.

Records On Hand: Listed below are the church records and census’ that I have on hand:

             1.  Dr. Igor Pleve Books

             2.  1834 Census – Collected by families, not complete

             3.  1850 Census

             4.  1857 Census

             5.  Births: 1821 – 1834 (Not Complete); 1855-1866 (Not Complete) 1871-1911 (Not Complete); 1875 Complete; 1880 Complete; 1881 Complete; 1889 Complete; 1894-1918 (Not Complete)

             6.  Marriages: 1839 (Complete); 1840 (Complete); 1850-1858 (Complete); 1860-1864; 1874(Not Complete); 1875 (Complete); 1876-1911 (No Complete).

             7.  Deaths: 1850-1855 (Not Complete); 1856-1876 (Not Complete) 1892-1907 (Not Complete); 1907-1918 (Not Complete)


I maintain a website, www.volgagerman.net .  Here I list all the villages that I am currently working as VC and some extra villages that I have developed for friends who have no websites.  I plan to redo the website this year.

I continue to look for books that might be of some use for research on the Volga Germans.  The most recent additions are:

1.  Auswanderungen aus dem Odenwaldkreis, Vol. 1, 3, 4, and 5. By Ella Gieg.  This is a five volume set the covers the South of Hesse in Germany.  It consists of those people who left that area to go to American and Russian.  Each volume covers a certain district in that area. The web address for those who might be interested is: http://gendi.biz/shop/index.php?language=en

2.  “Gedenkbuch Kasachstan”, by Michael Wanner, published in 2015.  This book contains many lists of people who were deported to Kasachstan

3.  Volk Auf Dem Weg

I was able to attend the convention in Lincoln and lead my are Village Workshop.  We have about 8 people attend.  I will not be able to attend this year’s convention.


        1.  To compile a book containing the History of Obermunjou along with the census records all in one volume and donate to AHSGR.

        2.  Revamp my webpage

        3. Try to acquire a many new documents from Obermunjou as possible.

        4. Reach out to help as many people as I can with their questions and try to promote AHSGR.

Submitted by Kevin Rupp, AHSGR VC

Pfeifer 2014 Village Report:  There have been some requests for genealogical information this year.  This year my website was removed from the Internet along with other webbitt.com sites.  Thanks to Jorge Bohn from Argentina we are now able to revisit my website in the Wayback Machine.


The compiling of families from Pfeifer continues using these websites:



Respectfully submitted,

Rosemary Larson

Paulskoye 2014 Village Coordinator Report:  This year has been personally gratifying and proves it is never too late to find “lost” family. My great grandfather came to the US in 1912 while some of his brothers remained in Russia. Now 100 years later I have found a daughter of one of those brothers who now lives in Germany. Her name is Frieda (nee Wede) Oelscheidt and she is 89 years old. She knew about an uncle having emigrated to America. Each of us had old family photos which were sent back and forth in the 1910s and 1920s. A lot of mysteries around the identities of those family members in the photos was finally solved. Frieda also provided a history of the family from 1912 until removal in 1941 and beyond. We also matched our family beiname “Alut” which I had struggled for years as an aid in trying to find my branch of the Wede family.  According to Frieda it started when her grandfather (my great great grandfather) as a small child routinely mispronounced “kaput” as “alut”. I know of no better explanation so that is the story I’m sticking with! The discovery of each other’s existence prompted me to visit Frieda and her family in Germany back in October. It was a wonderful reunion for both of us!

I traversed Germany with German Russian relatives Irma Merkel (parents from Paulskoye and Fischer), and Tamara (nee Justus) Lupahn (parents from Stahl am Karaman) along with her 16 year old granddaughter Liana who thank goodness speaks English, Russian and German. We spent time in Wuppertal, Cologne, Albstadt-Ebingen, Hannversch Munden, and Dessau-Rosslau in Sachsen Anhalt to visit many surrounding dorfs that contributed colonists to Russia in 1766. It was really a great experience to come full circle and be at the place my ancestors lived before Russia. On this trip I met many warmly hospitable distant cousins and persons with whom I had corresponded over the years, as well as made new friends.

Here on the American front I have had contact with several researchers with family from Paulskoye concerning surnames Felsing, Grune, Merkel, and Scherer. The Scherer research this year was particularly rewarding because I helped connect an American branch of a family to their German Russian cousins now living in Germany. The family genealogies contributed to me by German Russian researchers this year have mainly concerned the families Jost, Merkel, Scherer and Wede.

Tim Weeder

Reinhardt 2014 Village Report: I received 3 inquiries for Reinhard Village this year.  Was not able to help much as there is not much I have in resources for this village.

Brenna Stokes
Reinhardt and Schafer Village Coordinator

Reinwald 2014 Village Report:  There have been a few inquiries for Reinwald.  I have contacted the few new members to AHSGR and offered any help that I could provide.  The face book page has seen a lot of activity and there has been some interesting items shared there.

Sue Hess

VC for Reinwald

Rosenberg 2014 Village Annual Report:  This has been an exceedingly quiet year for enquiries about Rosenberg village (Umet) on the Volga. There have been just six enquiries and, surprisingly of these, 3 were urelated queries regarding the family Stricker (which also includes Adams and Hoffman), and 3 were unrelated enquiries about the Weitzel family (which includes Strackbein).  No new information or photographs have been received this year and the responses which I have been able to make have been based almost entirely on material which has been deposited in the AHSGR library over the last 25 years.  It is surprising how often enquiries focus on a relatively small number of families who lived in Rosenberg while others produce no enquiries at at all. The latest information on Rosenberg from official sources is the census of 1858 taken just 5/6 years after the foundation of this daughter colony. It is clear that some families who appear in that census did not remain for any length of time in the village. Apparently there are some baptism, marriage and death entries for a few years in the last decade of the 19th and first decade of the 20th centuries but I do not have copies of these. Attempts to find information on my own family who lived in Rosenberg from 1852 until 1900 have not produced any new material from Russia.  The index to the 1858 census lists family names and village of origin (the number indicates place in the list), as I do receive enquiries about names which have never been associated with the village and may relate to a village with the same name in the Crimea. The census transcript can be obtained from Brent Mai.

Schafer 2014 Village report: I have had no inquiries for Schaefer Village
Brenna Stokes
Reinhardt and Schafer Village Coordinator

Schaffhausen 2014 VC Report:  Another quiet year with no enquiries regarding village matters. However, I have had some academic liaison concerning a possible paper on matters mentioned in my paper delivered at the 2012 AHSGR Annual Convention- “An Eastern Sojourn: Volga Germans and the White Russian Diaspora in China”.

The lack of enquiries regarding Schaffhausen stands in marked contrast to those villages hosting web /Facebook pages. This confirms the value of online media in publicizing the German Russian villages and attracting enquires. I would welcome any assistance in constructing a web page for Schaffhausen and a firm AHSGR policy to guide village coordinators in using social media.

I regularly use Google Earth to scan the Volga region and have noticed that updated satellite images suggest the continued deterioration of old German Russian structures, particular churches. Of note, it appears that the remnants of Schaffhausen’s original church, the “Holy Trinity” and reportedly the first stone Lutheran church built in the region in 1832, and adjacent church school buildings have virtually totally destroyed. This is a shame given the historical value of these buildings.

However, Google Earth street view also shows a new building on the highway next to Volkovo (Schaffhausen). This is a small hotel and garage complex which may be of use to anyone contemplating exploring the northern Wiesenseite Volga villages. Regarding the latter, I suggest the AHSGR consider organising a guided tour of the Volga villages which would not only be popular but enable descendants to visit what remains of the old German villages before they vanish from the landscape.

Jim Parsonage

Schaffhausen VC


Schilling (Alt-Schilling) 2014 Village Report:  2014 was the 250th anniversary of the founding of the village of Schilling.  Schilling was founded on 14 August 1764, about two weeks after the founding of the first village in the Volga, Dobrinka.  The village was eventually settled by 429 Lutherans from various areas in present day Germany and other European nations. Sixty carpenters from the Russian village of Novye Burasy were hired to construct homes in the colony of Schilling in 1764, and complete settlement of Schilling probably did not occur until 1767, or later.

During 2014, I had about 15 emails from people concerning ancestors from Schilling, and their descendants. The primary means of communication for things related to Schilling are through a Facebook page, the Schilling website: <http://www.schillinggr.org/http://www.schillinggr.org/ , and the Schilling mailing list with instructions at: http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/intl/RUS/RUS-SARATOV-SCHILLING.html

I continue to receive inquiries from people in Germany and Russia who find me almost exclusively through the Schilling website. Unfortunately, most people from these countries only have family information for people born in 1910 or later, making it impossible to connect to people 50 years before that time.

There is no first settlers list for Schilling, but several first settlers have been found The Kulberg Lists and an additional 30 families are found in the book “The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766”.

Gary Martens

Village Coordinator for Schilling

Schlangendorf 2014 Village Report: This has been another quiet year for these villages.  I have received no inquiries.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Wright VC, Black Sea Villages

Shcherbakovka 2014 VC Report:  Only a couple of contacts from those with an interest in Shcherbakovka (aka Tscherbakowka) during the past year.  Hopefully the Montania bequest will jog loose some new information to “stoke the fire” and get us off of dead center.

Janet Laubhan Flickinger

V.C. for Shcherbakovka in the Lower Volga

Schönchen, Samara, Volga 2014 Village Report: Web site: _www.schoenchen.org <http://www.schoenchen.org/>_

The most exciting news this year is that AHSGR obtained the Schoenchen

1920 family list. Otherwise, it’s been a quiet year with few queries.

I attended the AHSGR convention in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Entry into the Schoenchen database continues for census, church records, naturalization records, and from other sources collected throughout the year.

Denise Grau, Co-Village Coordinator, Schoenchen

Schwab 2014 Village Report:  This has been one of the quieter years, with only a couple of requests.  I have been busy trying to get the ALL the Schwab census data into the database for the village; My other objective this year is to review data posted on Find A Grave and at least, when known to me, to delete the term “Russian Federation” from the description and enter more correct data.

In May I was able to visit w/Brent Mai at Concordia University in Portland; subsequent to that visit, between Janet Flickinger and myself we are able to complete his collection of the Lower Volga Villages Newsletters.

Rolene Eichman Kiesling, VC Schwab


Stahl am Tarlyk 2014 Village Report:  This past year I had 8 inquiries and was able to help 2 people in their search for their family tree.  My data base continues to be a valued tool for this kind of research.

Paul Koehler, Village Coordinator for Stahl am Tarlyk, the village of both my parents birth place.



Straub 2014 VC Report:  I have had inquiries on these Straub families this year: Fazius, Karle, Schmidt, Gleim, Will, Winter (2).

I was able to obtain the Karle Pleve chart information from the Fresno AHSGR chapter library.  This added many Karle names and clarified the information I had on the Karle family. I also obtained two stories about life in Straub from the Fresno AHSGR chapter library. These stories were about the Schwabenland and Bopp families from Straub.

I have found some Straub people on nearby village census records.  The FHL in SLC has added many more census records to their library and I am checking all of these records for Straub village last names.

The 1834 Straub census is at the Volgograd archive.  I am hoping to get this record but it is a great distance from Saratov and Engels. The two researchers I have used live in Saratov and the distance to Volgograd may make getting this record difficult.

I paid someone who lives in Saratov to drive to Straub to take more pictures of the village.  I am hoping to also get the death records for Straub for 1865 to 1884 soon.  These records are at the Engels archive.

AHSGR recently received a grant to get records from the Russian archives.  AHSGR will get records from the Kukkus canton which includes Straub and many nearby villages.  Hopefully we will get more Straub records in 2015.

I have found some women from Staub on the 1874 and 1885 Family Lists that I have received for Warenburg.  Unfortunately the Family Lists are not available for Straub.

Sharon White, Straub VC.


Volhynia 2014 Village Report:

During the year I received two inquiries, one about the location of Kora, Volhynia and another looking for a private researcher in Zhitomyr.  The office in Lincoln notified me of two new members and I continue to look for new listings in the AHSGR newsletters.  I was unable to attend the Lincoln convention but Leona Janke was able to.  Only a few Volhynian researchers were there.  In August 2014 I attended the SGGEE convention in Calgary.  The convention brought in first time Volhynian researchers.  The topics and speakers provided good information to the well attended convention.  Extracting, indexing, translation and editing of records continues.  AHSGR Calgary chapter displayed some of their Volhynian books from their library plus Volga resources which proved useful to researchers.  The SGGEE library is in storage in Calgary.  There has been ongoing discussion about having the Calgary chapter and SGGEE libraries housed together.  No solution has been found.  Volhynian researchers suffered a great loss with the passing of Jerry Frank in October and the retirement of Howard Krushel researcher and librarian.  In October 2015 a conference on the history of Germans in Volhynia will take place in Lutsk, Ukraine under the direction of Mykhaylo Kostiuk who has just published a book of documents in German, English and Russian.

Mabel Kiessling

Village Coordinator for Volhynia

Walter and Walter Khutor 2014 VC Report from VC’s Jean Roth, Mary Mills, and Michael Fyler.  This has been a busy year for the VC’s for Walter and Walter-Khutor on the Bergseite – west of Saratov. VC Mary Mills answered approximately 20 queries. The Walter Data Base continues to expand with almost 55,800 entries.

The Walter VC’s are still at work on translating the Walter Records, VC Mike Fyler now has two more people helping him proof read. One of them descends from Mollie Hill Dell (from Lincoln, NE). Olga Schössler-Müller and her cousin Lidia Schemler are working together and double checking each other’s work. The exciting news is they live in Germany and read Russia and the old German script. Olga and VC Mary Mills are distantly related. Mary’s great grandfather Wendell and her, however many great Heinrich Hill, are brothers. We found each other through My Heritage Hill, Family site.

Appearing in the later Walter records are mentions of “Chutor Pavfilov? It’s showing up quite often. Does anyone recognize this?

VC Jean Roth has continued to work in both 2013 and 2014 on the First Settlers’ List and German Villages of origin. In June 2013 – Jean spent two weeks working in German Church records in Salt Lake City and then in the Fall of 2013 – she spent two months in Germany visiting Walter Villages of origin. Then it was on to Russia where a day was spent in Walter. Michel traveled with Frank VC Maggie Hein and Tanja Schell to Walter, Frank and Walter Khutor. With their own car and Tanja’s fluency in Russian – they were able to spend quality time studying the area. We had long wondered about the nearby village of Klein Walter which they were able to locate. Though nothing remains but foundations – they were able to get some photographs.

Jean’s project has been to identifying additional information on the first three generations of Walter settlers- especially in the missing period between the First Settlers List of 1767 and the 1798 census. She continues to periodically visit the Library at the Center for Volga Studies at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. Their extensive collection of Plehve Charts of Walter families has been especially valuable..

Jean is working on putting together the Roth Family of Walter with Calvin Wright and the Wagner family of Walter with Byron Wagner. A link from Ancestry has identified a researcher working on the Miller family and its shared Hill family ancestor.

The Walter website disappeared and we are trying to recover information to add to the very active Walter Facebook face maintained by Michael. Our Walter History CD is still available for $50 donation with all funds going to the Walter Records project and Doris Evans – VC for Frank. We presented $500 to Doris in September 2014.

Both Mary and Jean have serious on-going health issues and are trying to get as much work done as possible. We should consider adding on one or two more Walter VC’s to help Michael and continue the research. Cooperation with all the VC’s of the Canton of Frank is excellent and there was much more movement between the villages.

Submitted by Jean Roth

Warenburg 2014 VC Report: Sharon White, Warenburg VC.  I have had the following inquiries for Warenburg families this year: Nickel, Klamm, Bier (2), Constanz (2), Kinzel, Eisner, Schiffman, Kisling and Lehman.

I paid someone form Saratov to drive to Warenburg to take more pictures of the village.

There are now Warenburg birth records in the Warenburg Village file for the years 1858 and 1860.  These can only be viewed in Lincoln.

I have asked a researcher from Saratov to obtain Warenburg marriage records at the Engels archivestarting in 1799.  This will help with maiden names.  I have heard nothing on this yet.  The researcher can only view one church book three times every six months.

AHSGR has received a grant to get records from the Russian archives for the Kukkus canton (this includes Warenburg and other nearby villages). AHSGR is going to get more 1874 Family Lists. The 1874 Family Lists continue the information after the 1857 Census and continue until 1885. The Family Lists contain birth dates, death dates, marriage years and other information, usually when men were drafted and when some villagers went to other villages.

I have received these 1874 and 1885 Family Lists for Warenburg this year: 1874–Trippel (16 pages), Valentin (5 pages), Vogt (3 pages), Kramer (5 pages), Klamm (6 pages), Gammel (2 pages) and Kaiser (5 pages), 1885–Werner (8 pages), Kinzel (13 pages), Lehman (11 pages), Vogt (3 pages) and Kramer (9 pages).

I have Family Lists now for 19 Warenburg families.  These 1874 Family Lists were received in previous years:  Bier, Leisle (also 1885), Schiffman, Boos, Funkner, Eisner, Constanz, Stumpf, Kinzel, and Yost.

I appreciate the help I have received to help pay to get these records from the archive.  My cousin, Jake Leisle, has helped with the translation on these records from the Russian.

Wiesenmueller 2014 VC Report:  I took over as VC of the daughter colony Wiesenmueller in 2012, and have continued cleaning up the Wiesenmueller database.  This included updating or deleting essentially blank records inserted into the database from imported Gedcom files.  A lot of time was spend adding information on ancestors of the settlers who came from Franzosen, Moor, Grimm, Galka, Shcherbakovka, Stephan, Mueller, Schwab and Holstein.

Church records for the Lutheran church in Wiesenmueller are located in three Russian Archives as follows:  Engels (Family list: 1895, 1914), Volgograd

(Births: 1914, Marriages: 1894, 1895), and Saratov which has an unknown amount of records.

During 2014 I have received five inquires requesting information about. I have setup a Rootsweb mailing list for Wiesenmueller with subscriber information here:


Gary Martens

Wiesenmueller Village Coordinator

Yagodnaya Polyana, Saratov, Volga

This year has been steady in terms of the number of requests for assistance. Some of them I was able to help instantly but others will require further digging and obtaining new records.  The database for YP is growing steadily.

AHSGR was able to purchase a partial 1897 census for YP however with the politics records are being maintained at headquarters and as village coordinator I will be unable to access them unless I visit Lincoln.  We are waiting for the 1859 census records to be translated but I am sure the same politics will surface.

The newsletter continues to receive positive comments and the interest in the YP Facebook page is growing, continuing to be a good way to communicate information quickly.

Marlene Michel
Village Coordinator for Yagodnaya Polyana

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