Village Coordinator Reports 2000

Villages A-L

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Villages M-Z

| M | N | O | P | R | S | Y |



ALEXANDERTAL (Neu-Schilling), Saratov, Volga

Richard A. Kraus

In the upcoming year, we will make biennial reports on what we know about Alexandertal, its people and their descendants available via email to all interested parties. Tables we have already begun for these reports include one each on:

  • the 1858 Alexandertal census,
  • German locations from which the families came and migration of the families within Russia,
  • immigration to the US, and
  • location of descendants in the US.
The first reports are planned for January and July 2001. Anyone wishing to receive them should email me. Names of families known to have been in Alexandertal are: Beisel, Daniel, Graff, Haas, Helzer, Hoffmann, Keller, Koch, Kraus, Krel, Lekei/Loeppke, Maul, Meier/Meyer, Reil, Sattler, Schmidt, Schreiber, Schultz, Sinner, Strackbein, Steher, Vorster, and Weinberg. Romig / Romich may have been there. The earliest familes (1853) moved there from Schilling, the mutter kolonie, but Alexandertal families also had been in Beideck, Grimm, Norka, Stahl-am-Karaman, Doenhof, Kutter, and Messer among others. Also in the upcoming year, we hope to help start a file, to be stored in Lincoln, full of advice and help precise locales of Volga families origins in Germany. The advisability of such a file was demonstrated when I went this month to Germany to visit Kraus ancestral lands.

ALT DANZIG, Kirovograd and NEU DANZIG, Nikolayev

Curt. Renz

Not much has transpired this year with new discoveries. A few documents have come to light via new archival listings from Odessa but no attempt has been made to obtain them.

Currently there are 223 obituaries in the Alt and Neu Danzig file along with about 30 letters from the villagers sent to America that were published in German newspapers. These are currently being translated into English. I continue to look for additions in these areas.

A hand-drawn map of Neu Danzig was sent to me several years ago and a professional cartographer is in the process to converting the drawing into a map of the village.


Betty Muradian

The year 2000 has turned out to be very exciting as far as gathering information on Anton. This past year a young man, who now lives in Germany and whose family was from Anton, sent an email to ask about the village of Anton and his family name, NAZARENUS. After several emails back and forth, we decided we would try to make up a map with the Luftwaffe aerial reconnaissance photo acquired from the US National Archives, and the knowledge that his uncles had of Kukkus. The map will have the names of the villagers from 1940, the year they were removed from Anton by the Russian Government. I sent them a large working map of Anton that I had drawn from a slide which was projected on paper on the wall. This slide was made from the photo of the 1942 Luftwaffe flyover of Anton. The Nazarenus family returned the map (to me) with most of the house occupants identified, as remembered from 1941. Now, the map has to be refined and printed. If anyone has a question on villager's names from that time I will try to answer it. We hope to have the map printed in the future, after his uncles conclude they have surnames rather than nicknames used by them.

Also on my agenda is adding the Anton story to the internet. Anyone with questions or information on Anton may contact me either by mail, fax or email.

ATMAGEA / Atmadscha, Dobruja, Romania

LaVerne Graf 

We've not been active this past year. When I attend the San Jose 1998 AHSGR convention I participate in Village Night and handed out packets of info. I also wrote a description of Atmagea for my husband Al Graf's and my visit to Atmagea in 1972. I also translated an article about Atmagea from German to English from the Heimatbuch der Dobrudscha. I submitted both to Lincoln for VC archives.


Balzer Web Site

Wayne Bonner

The Balzer Newsletter is alive and well. The issues were behind at the beginning of the year, but have now caught up. We are still compiling the 1857 census. To date about 65 percent has been obtained piece meal from Russia. Our web site is also maintained and has a lot of information.

The highlight of the year was Darrell Weber's trip to Balzer, providing us with a most interesting commentary of life along the Volga River, along with fascinating photographs. He visited a German Russian museum in Balzer. This is the first mention we have ever heard of such a facility. Darrell also mentioned that the local authorities have an index file on former German Russian residents.

Publication of the First settlers list was a welcome source of new information.

Darrell account of the trip to Balzer: This summer in July, we (my wife, son and I) had a chance to visit Balzer. We were impressed with the countryside. There were large grain fields, sunflower fields and potato fields. The area was green and it reminded us of the midwest. We did learn that the name Balzer does not apply to the town because it has its own Russian name, Krasnoarmeysk.

When we arrived in the town, we could see that Balzer is no village but rather a town of over 10,000 people. We did find the area where the old village of Balzer was located. The wooden houses are still there. However, one also has to convert the old German names on the map of Balzer to the present Russian street names. This turned out to be no small task but eventually someone was found that could convert several of the street names.

The old German houses, normally, had interesting shutters. There was a small museum that had a display on the Volga Germans. We drove about 10 miles to see the Volga River. It was quite wide and that was probably because of the dams down river. There were more villages and towns on the East side of the river as compared to the West side (Balzer side). On the way to see the Volga, we passed through Anton which is located in a valley with rolling hills around it. Anton was still a small village. We also visited the village of Moor and it was also small and probably hasn't changed much in the last 100 years. Balzer has a number of industrial companies and is in a more vigorous economic area.

In the computer database for Balzer, we are comparing the data from the two recent books (Pleve and Mai). It would be great if we could obtain the lost Balzer census for early 1800.

BERGDORF, Glueckstal, Odessa, Kherson

[See Glueckstal Colonies Research Association]

BORODINO / Bessarabia

Borodino Web Sites:  Borodino Genealogy & Borodino History

Judy A. Remmick-Hubert

The Borodino web site is going strong and keeping me very busy. The collection of Borodino families is huge and with all these families are Included photographs. The regular mail delivers fewer and fewer inquiries since so many people are researching on the internet. I'm too busy to create a newsletter, however, I try to make up for it by placing everything I can on my site. Within the year, however, I do plan on making a booklet which holds all this data for those who visit our various organizations and NDU can see all of the site on paper.

There is more than just names, there are, also, stories, letters and list of emails by those who have written requests, sent me information and sources for families and historical notes on history.

Often times the pages load slowly but I think the larger photographs are worth people's time.

Again, I'd like to thank everyone who has helped make my site to be better and better with each click of the computer keys /and, or the pen.


Brunnental Web Site

Sherrie (Gettman) Stahl

This past year we have continued to add family information to our database of over 24,000 names. We have had more inquiries of descendants from Brunnental who are now living in Germany, so having a website has helped gather more information.

We still have "old newsletters" for sale ($2.50 each), and copies of the "Re-Settlement List for Brunnental", which is $10.00. This includes families moving from Kolb, Walter and Norka to Brunnental. We do not yet have records showing the families from Frank to Brunnental.


Dobrinka Web Site

Rolene (Eichman) Kiesling

Researching, entering data and reading films to connect LOWER VOLGA families. Reading Canada Crossing Soundex Films and others to find families and working with researchers.
Dobrinka needs more family researcher input to find more relatives.


Karen Kaiser

One of my goals is to collect family histories from the Donhof area. I have been trying to compile a file of histories from people who have contacted me throughout the year. I am also collecting charts from Donhof descendants and adding to my file every year. I have also tried to answer letters and emails from Donhof researchers and currently have both to answer from the last few weeks.

In addition to family charts, I have a file of obituaries from many of those born in Donhof. Ed Ring of Greeley, CO, in particular, has been very helpful in sending obituaries for those in the Greeley, Ft. Collins, Windsor, and Loveland areas of Colorado. Windsor, CO was a particularly large settlement area for immigrants from Donhof in the early part of the 1900's. I also have some church records from the Windsor, Ft. Collins, and Greeley areas that have birth, death, and marriage records for Donhof descendants. I have visited the Windsor area this past summer and did some personal interviews on families from Donhof. I would appreciate any information that other Donhof researchers would be willing to share.


See Lower Volga Villages


Fischer Web Site

Roger A. Toepfer

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.

We have had 2,362 visits to the Fischer/Katharinenstadt site since January 1, 1999. Of these visits, there were 60 requests for family research. These queries ranged from surname connection of individuals within the Fischer/Herzog/Katharinenstadt census reports, to gaining additional information to be added to our homes page.

The Home Site has been a source of inspiration to many of our visitors, such as: a couple who are "travel writers" for International Travel News, visited Saratov on a cruise, and first heard of the Volga Germans. After visiting the Fischer/Katharinenstadt site, they are now hoping to return for another visit to the Volga in order to do additional research for inclusion in a subsequent article.

We have also been in contact with families now located in Germany:
THIEBACH (Germany); UBERT (in the Netherlands); WERNER (Germany); and Klaus SCHAEFER (Fritzlar, Germany).

In addition, a cousin, (a new contact of my lineage, living in Wisconsin), found my website and has been providing me with information of former Fischer residents that now live in Wisconsin. Wisconsin seems to be the preferred location of a group of former Fischer residents that left Russia in the 1890's - early 1900's. It includes TOEPFER, GAUS(S), THIERBACH, SCHAEFER, DORR, LANG, FRIEBUS, etc. My relative also provided me with a data base for Milwaukee, WI. of a Marriage Index pre-1907 from which I have downloaded 20 TOEPFER marriages from 1800 to 1897.

The names that came up for Katharinenstadt that were looking for connections were; WERNER (from Germany), WELTZ, RUPP, SCHMIDT, PFEIFER, SUSDORF, BEIDEK, JEAGER, KARLIN, etc.

Names connected to Herzog queries: DREILING, JEAKEL, etc.

The data requests and general exchanges are answered through my email services "and/or snail mail".

The Web Site at present consists of twenty-one pages of; History, Personal Stories, Maps, Surname Lists, Ship Lists, etc. 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.

I have procured the following surname searches from Russian researchers: BRAUN, GAUS, KARLIN, TOEPFER, WELTZ. There many additional surname searches that have been procured by other VCs, or AHSGR members, and a very comprehensive list of over 31 surnames and the persons that purchased the searches are posted on: the Fischer/Katharinenstadt Home Page: Roger Toepfer
the Obermonjou, Webmeister: Kevin Rupp,
the Herzog Home Page, Webmeister Jerry Braun.

The website addresses can be found by logging onto the Fischer/Katharinenstadt Home Page or the AHSGR Home Page. Contact me or the other VC's by email for arrangements of acquisition.

There may be a possible outdated web page address on my home page as I have procured a new computer and have not transferred all of my files to it, as a consequence, I cannot edit my web pages and update my website. Log onto the AHSGR Home page if you have a problem from my listing. The only one that I am aware of as being incorrect at present is for Paulskoye. (There is no "dot" between index and paulskoye.) The following is correct.


Glueckstal Web Site

Margaret Freeman, F052

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

The Glueckstal Colonies Research Association is pleased to report that its fifth book is now available: "Marienberg, Destiny of a Village." This book joins the acclaimed Glückstal Colonies Births and Marriages, 1833-1900, Glückstal Colonies Deaths, 1833-1900, and the 1858 Census of Glueckstal. (All are available from the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at NDSU.) Published in both German and English, the Marienberg book contains the EWZ records of the Marienbergers who arrived in Poland in 1944, and numerous letters, some of which have never been published, and others from the "Eureka Rundschau" written by Marienbergers and their relatives in the famine years of the twenties and thirties. Many names are mentioned, and many villages in the Dakotas as well as in Russia. The book gives an excellent picture of the concerns on both sides of the Atlantic during that period of time. Several reviews and the purchasing procedure is available at the NDSU web site.

Our energetic Glueckstallers have embarked on a program to celebrate the 200th founding of the Glueckstal Colonies with a combined book/video. Plans were laid at the GRHS Convention this summer, and various committees are established under the direction of Homer Rudolf. The guiding committee includes Gwen Pritzkau, Tom and Jan Stangl, Jim Klein, Michael M. Miller and Harold Ehrman who will once again edit the volume. Connie Dahlke, Mike Rempfer, and Rev. Ross Merkel also have major responsibilities. Fundraising is in charge of Barbara Horn and Penny Raile, so that additional filming can be included, of the villages in Ukraine and Moldova as well as in the Dakotas.

Publishing the "GCRA Newsletter" continues. In 1999, 64 pages of data was presented to members and selected archives. The group continues to purchase information from the Odessa archives as it is offered, and continues to publish this in their newsletter. Much is in the cue waiting to be published.


Grimm Web Site

Ken Leffler

The past year, was, again, rather slow on the research front due to lack of new data out of the archives in Russia. That is until it was reported by Dr. Eisfeld at the annual convention in Lincoln that some church records had been released from a 70 year political hold to the archive in Saratov. These records are in bad condition and in need of restoration prior to any data extraction. The Grimm group took up a collection on Ancestry village night for the restoration of the Grimm church records which Dr. Eisfeld said were among the released documents... We are in contact with Russian researchers to do that effort.

Village Ancestry night in Lincoln was, as usual, fairly small but we did have a new attendee. The old faithful were there and as enthusiastic as ever, possibly more so by the Eisfeld announcement. A Russian researcher has responded affirmatively to a request for a family surname chart on Schmick which he returned the deposit for in the past, due to lack of data. I, personally, have ordered the Leffler and Zulauf charts recently but have no response to date. I believe the Schaefer chart will also be ordered in the near future.

I have made a renewed effort to enter what data I have in the data base and it is now over 13,000 entries.. I have been in contact and exchanging data with Gerhard Lang in Magdeburg Germany who has been able to get some census related data out of the archive in Engles. In order to improve communications among the Grimmers, especially those with e-mail, I set up a Rootsweb mail list and we are now able to communicate with the entire group very quickly and easily. I would recommend that each VC consider doing this IF enough of their members have e-mail.

All of my members have been very helpful in submitting what they do have and we will keep on plugging away.


Gnadenfeld Web Site

Irma A. Waggoner, W098

This is my first year as a Village Coordinator. Besides being the VC for Gnadenfeld, I am working with Wayne Bonner as VC for Moor (Klyuchi). I researched the history of both Gnadenfeld and Moor and they have been 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 Balzar, Hussenbach, Norka, Donhoff and possibly other colonies. There are no known published lists of families from either Gnadenfeld or Moor. I have been collecting 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 and contacts made at the AHSGR village night, 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. At present I am trying to obtain the 1855 settlement list for Gnadenfeld.


Curt. Renz

Most of my efforts in recent years has been working with this village. Through AHSGR, I was able to purchase birth and death records from 1851. Births go through 1889 and deaths through 1891. These include missing years in the St. Petersburg films plus additional years beyond the current scope of the St. Petersburg films.

I have been able to purchase, with the assistance of several other interested parties, the church book for the village from 1829 through 1849. This document provides an incredible wealth of added data, heretofore unknown and acts as a credible springboard back into Germany.

The 1858 census for the village has been translated and published.

Currently there are 410 obituaries in the file for this village and more than 125 letters from villagers that were published in German newspapers are currently being translated.

Of the 110+ original founding families, and not including the 7 who came from Prussia and 1 from Hungary, I have been able to verify 76 families German points of origin, along with LDS film numbers as an assist to the researcher.


Roger A. Toepfer

Jerry Braun

See Fischer


Holstein Web site

The Holstein database now has about 11,000 names, thanks to the Holstein descendents who have shared their family information. Many from Holstein immigrated to Canada and many Canadian communities published histories of their communities. I've obtained two of the history books and will try to identify and obtain histories from areas with large Volga German-Russian populations.

I'm webmaster for the Lower Volga Village Project which centers on the parishes of Galka and Stephan. People who have toured their ancestral villages in recent years have shared their village pictures for the web pages. Presently, there are pictures and descriptions of Dreispitz, Holstein, Dobovka and Kraft. Pictures of what is left of Mueller will be on the web pages before long.

HUCK (Splaunucha)

Huck Web Site

Dennis Zitterkopf

I agreed in November to assume the VC role previously performed by Delores Schwartz. Since then, we've established a web site that includes a history of the village, a listing of researchers using e-mail (I hope to expand this to include persons that only use the postal service, but I must first contact them by snail mail), an archive of the Die Huckere newsletter published by Delores in 1997 and 1998, a special topics page and identification of surname charts for the village.

We now have 16 persons listed on our researcher page working on 39 surnames. We are also discussing projects that we may begin in 2001. Compared to some of the other village web sites, we barely exist - but for us it is a start and we look forward to continued success as new records are discovered.


Curt Renz

Dale Wahl continues to publish a newsletter and has begun a photo file to accompany documents already secured.

The current obituary file contains 225 for Hoffnungstal. Letters formerly published in German newspapers are currently being translated in English.

HUSSENBACH (Linevo Osero)

Louise Potter P051

Even though the Hussenbach Review is no longer in publication, this year has been busy for both Paul Lais and Louise Potter. Every few days there are queries to be answered about the villages and are responded to as quickly as possible.

Back issues of the Hussenbach Review are available for $2.50 each as well as the Table of Contents for the entire five year period, also for $2.50. Order from Louise Potter.

Paul remains the village coordinator for Hussenbach, Gaschon, which is on the east side of the Volga in the Province of Samara and Louise is the village coordinator for Hussenbach, Linevo Osero on the west side of the Volga in the Province of Saratov. Louise also maintains the databank for both villages of which there are several thousands of names.

Eight village charts, which were ordered, are included in the databank: JORDAN, LAIS, MUCK, PROPP, RIEL, STENZEL, SCHATZEL, SUPPES. These charts are also available from AHSGR for $25.00 members, $62.50 non members. Several charts have been ordered and not yet received, Fromm, Rommel, Rothenberger that are known. If other charts have been ordered that pertain to either Hussenbach it would be appreciated if you would let Paul or Louise know.

Also, if other village information has been ordered, i.e., church records, census records, etc. from Russia please let the coordinators know. At the present time we have the 1798 census for Linevo and the 1857 census for Gaschon.

A list of pastors for Linevo Osero has been entered on the Hussenbach web page. Our thanks to Sherry Stahl who does an excellent job of maintaining our web page!

Thanks also to Brent Mai for the 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga, it has been so very helpful.

The coordinators are always looking for new information about the villages and welcome any and all queries.


Hussenbach Web Site

Paul Lais

See Linevo Osero report above.


Edward Gerk

Currently negotiations are continuing for material from the archives in Volgograd, where the complete village files are held.

Captured war documents now available in the National Archives have produced some additional family information. A family database is now being established for the village, based on material collected in the last 15 years, including the original settler list as recorded in the 1857 census. The task continues...slow and methodical.


Kamenka Web Site

Rosemary Larson

The address for the website was changed during the year. Thanks to Patrice Miller for taking over the technical production of the KAMENKA Home Page.

The inquiries about Kamenka are responded to in a timely manner.

The information has been updated periodically.

KAUTZ - (Werschinka)

Kautz Web Site

D. Michael Frank

 My accomplishment this past year was to obtain more family genealogy charts, but they are not all in the database as yet. On 12 Mar 1999, the last seven genealogies we had ordered were received. These include: NEUBAUER/NEIBAUER, SCHUHMAN/SCHUMAN/SCHUMANN, WEBER, KLEIN, STAHLIE, HERMONY AND MICHEL/MICHAEL, families from Kautz. I now have 18 surname charts, which include FRANK, SCHREINER, REITER/REUTER, GRADWOHL/GRATWOHL, POPP, NEIBAUER/NEUBAUER, SCHUMANN, WEBER, KLEIN, STAHLIE, HERMONY AND MICHEL/MICHAEL families from Kautz (Werschinka).

I still have two more genealogies on order, which are the FRANK family from Hussenbach (continuation of the Frank family from Kautz), and the FUCHS family from Hussenbach, on order for Rose Mary Guenthner of Laurel, MT. Hopefully they will both be coming within the next few months.

Donations have dropped considerably to help me pay for these charts, so I am now making exact copies of these valuable surname charts available @ $35.00 each. When I have received enough money to reimburse me for all of my expenses in purchasing these charts, they will then all be donated to AHSGR.


Thelma J. Sprenger

What has been accomplished for Kolb research this year?

  1. I continue to get requests for help on family research for Kolb and also some other villages. Most inquiries I have been able to help, others are directed to someone else who may be able to help.
  2. Continue to collect obituaries.
  3. Received a surname chart for my maternal line of PHENNING. This line came to Kolb from Norka. Was very happy to get this.
  4. Attended convention. Village night is always interesting. We have a small but dedicated group who share their finds every year.
  5. Acquired a Standard Atlas of Adams County Washington. Compiled and published by Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Publishers & Engravers, Chicago 1912. This atlas includes a plat book of the Village, Cities & Townships of the County. A real treasure!
  6. Added some books to our collection. Sam Sinner-The Open Wound, and the 2 volume 1798 Census of the German Colonies Along the Volga.
We now have in our town a historical repository started by the descendants of the 1882 wagon train settlers. Some of those 18 families were from Kolb. The 1882 group and our local AHSGR often share ideas and some of us belong to both organizations.

I enjoy the VC duties and look forward to this next year.


Don Schimpf 
See also: Lower Volga Villages website

Since volunteering for the position of village coordinator for Kraft this spring, I have been assembling a list of known, (or potential), researchers and their address(es) looking for surnames with ties to the Lower Volga Area. This data is tabulated, giving the names and addresses of the researchers, then their surnames of interest. We have concentrated on the village of Kraft, but do not limit our sharing of information to that one village. We currently have 79 folks on this mailing list. We are able to correspond with more than half of these by email. We try to update the list and send a copy to those on it, monthly. Special attention is given to those who have data to share.

We also maintain a list of charts with surname ties to Kraft - those charts on hand as well as those in the process of being prepared by him, (to prevent duplication of effort). I try to answer questions about Kraft names, or route the query to someone who might be able to help. We constantly seek to broaden our data base, based on the theory that the more information we have to share, the better off we will all be.

I can't report any great breakthroughs-at least none of which I know.


Susie Weber Hess

Most of the year has been spent scanning all my paper files, (pictures, letters, maps, documents and whatever else) onto disk so they can be stored in less space. Several letters in my possession dated back several years and the letter writers are now deceased. Some of the descendants of these people have now expressed interest and have become involved with AHSGR. A lot of the letters shared unique information and stories. They have been forwarded to the appropriate family members, who gratefully appreciated receiving the letters. Numerous hours have been spent loading about 1000 obituaries from the Chicago area. I have spent hours providing information to my cousin George Valko who continually receives letters from Germany and Russia. The letter writers are Volga Germans that have now resettled in Germany or are living in Russia and have broken the lines of non-communication that has existed for too many long years. I have spent many hours working with new contacts collecting information and encouraging them to become an active part of AHSGR.

Projects for this next year include working more with others and computerizing the data from Fred Zitzer's extractions of the 1910 census of Germans from Russia that settled in Sheboygan Wisconsin.


Betty Muradian

Plans are being made to make a Kukkus web page to be included on the AHSGR web site. A book, Kukkus, a German Village on the Volga, can still be purchased from the Central California AHSGR Museum in Fresno, CA. People who have visited the Kukkus area in recent years are asked to please share their thoughts on the area and also send in recent pictures of Kukkus. This will be added to the Kukkus collection. A database on Kukkus with many names is done by Eleanor Sissell.


Eleanor Sissell, Kukkus Village Data Base Coordinator

This past year, there were inquiries that were answered as soon as they arrived. The Kukkus book, "Kukkus, a German Village on the Volga," is still being printed and sold by the Central California AHSGR Museum in Fresno, CA.

In the last year, a concerted effort was made to acquire photos of Kukkus from people who had made the trip to Kukkus to visit the village of their ancestors' homes. These photos are being added to the photo bank for Kukkus.

A Kukkus web page is under construction and will be available on the internet soon. Several people have been very generous in sharing the photos of their trips to Kukkus. These photos will be used in the Kukkus website. The photos give a poignant view of what is left of the village of our ancestors.

Anyone with information or questions on Kukkus may send them to me either by direct mail, fax or email.


Thelma Mills

See report for Mariental


Lower Volga Villages Web Site

Webmaster: Edith Bottsford

Research Coordinator: Gary Schulz

Publications and Web Resources: Janet Laubhan Flickinger
Web site:

Treasurer & Russian Research Contact: Peter & Faye Schantz

Obituary Project: Rachel Smith

September 2000
Do you have ancestors who lived in one of these colonies in the two Lutheran Parishes of Galka or Stephan?

1. Dobrinka  
2. Dreispitz  
3. Galka  
4. Holstein
5. Kraft
6. Mueller
7. Schwab
8. Shcherbakovka
9. Stephan

If so, check for your surnames at our web site. Alphabetical lists of all residents from these villages that are in the 1798 Russian census are listed there. Also see the hundreds of obituary summaries, and links to Janet's Resources where you will find thousands of extractions from Passenger Manifests of Germans from Russia who immigrated to this country. They are listed by the port and date of arrival, and the name of the ship.

There are pages for each of the nine individual colonies, and a Village Coordinator or Contact is listed for each colony. Some sites include reports of trips to Russia, and photos of the villages. Others show photos of early residents, reports by descendants, and letters from former residents who have moved to Germany or Siberia. The Kraft site has an aerial view of that village, showing its neighbor Catholic village of Goebel. The Dobrinka and Galka sites have links to additional research done by their volunteers.

Because there was a great deal of movement from village to village, you may want to view several sites. During the 1860's a large number of daughter colonies were started. Many people from our mother colonies moved to colonies in the Rosenberg Parish southwest of our area, and to the Lower Jeruslan River Villages on the east side of the Volga. There are links to these sites.

This year a number of additional Family Tree Charts were received. They include HOHWEILER from Stephan, HILDERMANN from Holstein; and BECKER, LAUBHAN, KRAFT, OBLANDER, REISIG, STRICKER, and WASENMULLER from Shcherbakovka. NEB and SCHULZ charts from Kraft were donated. They are also available for purchase for $35. A DALINGER Chart from Galka and Tscherbakowka/ Shcherbakovka and Rosenberg is available from Dick Kraus, Village Coordinator of Alexandertal. A FRITZLER Chart from Grimm was received from John Groh. A number of Ancestrasl Charts have also been donated, including one for SCHMIDT and STEINERT from Kutter and Shcherbakovka.

The charts for BECKER and WASENMULLER also include a supplement of those moving to the daughter colony of Eckheim. Some of the information on these two, comes up to 1924. Information on the mother colonies only comes up to 1865 in most cases. These charts vary a great deal in size going from about 70 to over 500 names. Costs range from $350 to over $800, depending on the time required to prepare the chart. The cost of a chart does not necessarily relate to its size. Tracking an individual surname may involve researching numerous villages if the people moved. If there is limited information available on the village where they relocated, the track can be lost.

All the information from these charts has been entered into our village databases, which now include over 50,000 names. Links are made with information, which we have, but the success of this depends on how much research has been done on a given surname.

We are cooperating with Doris Evans on her project to register these charts, and we work with other village coordinators in sharing information on common surnames whenever possible.

Jayne Dye has ordered a WUNSCH chart from Galka. Edith Bottsford has ordered KELLN from Holstein. Ed Hoak has ordered GRITZFELDT from Holstein. Additional charts can be ordered when the $250 deposit fee is advanced. It may take three years or longer to receive some charts.

There was a good representation of our group at the AHSGR Convention in Lincoln in June. A table in the Genealogy Room was set up displaying books for sale, research resources, Village Newsletters, and the Family Tree Charts. We staffed this table during much of the Convention.

Hart Postlewaite of the Golden Gate CA Chapter set up a Computer Room, that was most helpful. Since his trip to Russia last year, he has collected photographs of villages and people who were born in the villages. He has put these on Compact Disks and donated copies to AHSGR and to all Chapters and Village Coordinators who are interested. A computer was set up where these photos could be viewed village by village. Edith Bottsford has used some of these photos, as well as others she has collected, on our WEB pages.

Our group was able to meet in a separate room for Village Night! A one-page description of the Lower Volga Villages project, a Village Night Survey form, and a blank Ancestral Chart and Family Group Chart were distributed. Janet Flickinger distributed a 5-page hand out on her research. Copies of books available for purchase, some Family Tree Charts, and sample village newsletters were available.
There were about 60 who attended part of the evening, including some from the Rosenberg Parish who dropped by. We had short talks by Ed Hoak who has been to Stephan and wants to go again.
John Klein who has conducted 14 tours to Russia.
Mary & Charles Hockenbarger who visit with a descendant of Dreispitz who now lives in Canada.
Janet Flickinger who told a little about her research.
Rachel Smith, obituary project chairman
Edith Bottsford who maintains our WEB pages.
Other Village Coordinators and volunteers who were there were introduced:
Jayne Dye who led the Galka and Schwab group
Don Kutchera met with those interested in Stephan
Wilann Sefton met with the Dobrinka group

We broke into village groups. Some of us were there until 11:30, and some people left by 8 or 9. Of the approximately 60 Village Survey Forms that were distributed, only 8 were returned! Some promised to mail them later. Another year, we need to have a sign up sheet at each door or table, so we get a list of those attending.

The opportunity to visit AHSGR Headquarters and the Library was very much appreciated. I was disappointed that the Periodicals files are years behind in cataloguing our Village Newsletters, which I have sent them for the last seven years. Some family histories that were donated two years ago are not yet catalogued. I hoped to update these files, but was not allowed to do so.

Village Files in the Genealogy Room were checked. There is no established system where files can be cross-referenced. There was a note in the Dreispitz file referring to the Glenn Mueller file. The Shcherbakovka file had one copy of a recent village newsletter. The Kraft file did not include the 1998 report by the Kraft Contact.

I left some additional material for the Kraft Village File with Tracy Wright. Janet Flickinger left copies with Ann Trouten of the resource materials which she has developed. Rachel Smith left her Steinle family history from Dreispitz. I left with Tracy Wright, a brief family history written by Emma Born.

By working together with this cluster of nine villages and sharing material, we have been able to obtain a significant amount of additional information. We wish to thank all of those who have volunteered and made this a successful year.



Rosemarie Krieg Dinkel

Church Records are not available for this village. Hopefully, someday we will find these important records, to help us know more about Marienfeld. As you know, it is difficult to be VC for a village that we can't get information on. There aren't too many descendants of this village that I know of. Hopefully, more people will get in touch with me, and I can better serve this village.


Mariental Web Site

Thelma Mills

It seems that I never have too much to write about, but I have been busy working with my files, and trying to publish a web page. The web page has been published, but I have much more to add to it. Patrice Miller is helping me with the web page and I have sent her more information. 

I also have requested to be the Village Coordinator for the village of Louis, as that village is where my people first settled, then moved to Mariental (where my Dad was born). I will eventually have a web page for Louis, also.

I have received interesting information from Gerald Schmidt, and also Frank Jacobs concerning Mariental. They have been a great help and much appreciated by me. Their information will eventually be on my web page also.

I will be going to Arizona again this winter, but I will be taking a laptop along with me, so I will be able to work on my two Villages. It is so exciting to me (fairly new at this yet and still get excited about finding information on the people of my Village), and hopefully I will be able to help more families find their ancestors.

I did attend three days of the National at Lincoln, NE this year, had a great time and found more information. I received two family books concerning some of the surnames I am interested in. I am hoping to get family books for the surnames of Mariental and Louis, if written and available.

I have all of the surnames cataloged along with emails received asking for information concerning certain surnames. I had them all on the computer, but when it crashed, I lost a lot of my information, so now I also keep paper files. I don't feel like trusting the computer at the moment.

Now I will be working on new ideas and gathering more research material as I run across it. I have purchased both Volumes of the "1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga" by Brent Mai. They are a great reference.

I also am still trying to get a chart on the Mariental KINDERKNECHT's from Russia, but am having a delay at the present time.

I have enjoyed this year as Village Coordinator for Mariental.


Darrell W. Kautz

I have assembled two books regarding Merkel, with the kind courtesy of many descendants, several professional researchers, and an extensive bibliography of source material. These two volumes represent several years of research and contain several hundred photographs maps and documents, each. I even had several German and Russia archives and libraries, searched for photographs, etc..., a very expensive, and, mostly fruitless, endeavor. The appendix of these books contain information we know on Merkel born kinsman, including data from six or seven surname charts. I have not, personally kept a data base, per se, though I have collected information for such an endeavor, and would appreciate anyone interested in taking on such a task. I have an extensive collection of family materials in my archives.

IN THE SHADOW OF A BELL TOWER: A Social History of the Volga Germans from the Former Colony of Merkel, Russia: A comprehensive Story in Pictures, Maps and Documents. 1999, (316 pages) $34.90 plus $3.40 shipping and handling.

BEYOND THE GATES: A Tribute to those Uprooted Emigrants from Merkel, Russia and neighboring colonies Whose Insight Sought Freedom in Foreign Lands. A Memorial to Those Who Stayed Behind. 2000, (425 pages) $37.90 plus $3.40 shipping and handling.

I hope to have a web page within a year, and am currently gathering material for three related books, if resources to print these should become available. I have already located at least thirty pages of specific information for a third volume on Merkel. I am currently assembling a book of translated material from "Die Welt Post" newspaper. This is very specific resource material pertaining to numerous villages in the region, based, mostly, on the articles of Merkel born journalist, Alexander Bauer, (who also wrote for "Dakota Freie Presse").

Samuel D. Sinner informed me of the existence of Mr. Bauer's Neuigkeitsquelle (News Source) series that ran from December 1924 to December, 1929, ending abruptly at that time. These articles were to keep North and South American kin abreast of situations in their homeland. Very specific family information was included, not only what these individuals were doing in their home villages, but, also, who their kin were in American, and, what was going on in the social and political scene in the Volga region.

Villages covered, to some degree, include: Merkel, Krazke, Kautz, Dietel, Norka, Messer, Kutter, Beideck, Balzer, Degott, Neu-Balzer, Neu Doenhof, Doenhof, Hussenback, Frank, Kolb, Rothammel, Seewald, etc...., as well as Kamenka and Saratov. To date, thanks to a Siberian born, Merkel kinsman, we have about one fifth of these articles translated. I have written some histories of what was going on at the time.

I intend to include several famine letters from about 1917 to 1934, pertaining to various villages, mostly, of the Dietel Parish, because these are the villages I have researched. I also have some 1920s Confirmation records for the Dietel Parish, and hope to acquire a few of Bauer's "Dakota Freie Presse" articles. Samuel Sinner is helping me to locate similar material. I am attempting to find out what happened to Mr. Bauer through the Engels and/or Saratov archives. Thirdly, I am still working on a Kautz Family book, which, due to extensive size, vast expense of publication, and limited market, may never get produced.

I do work full time, have two young children, and have many other interests, and hobbies. Although willing to give my time, I can not afford to put any more of my own money into this project, having already sunk thousands of dollars, that I will never recover, into these projects. I owe it to my family to stop this nonsense. From here on, I will only do what outside resources allow me to do. I will accept donations of time and expertise, as much as I would accept monetary supplement (I have only collected a little over $200 in donations since I started, but, am thankful for anything I receive). However, I am grateful for the translation services of Eugen Wittmann, and, for material collected, organized, and shared, by any of several dedicated researchers.


Bob Weigand

Greetings to all other village coordinators from MESSER (UST-ZOLIKHA). I have been the VC for Messer since the Seattle Convention in 1992. This has been a slow year. The data base has 1,735 names and 637 marriages. I have updated the village history from new data received this year. This village was established on July 7, 1766 with 397 residents and in 1926 the town population consisted of 3,575 residents. The farm land allocated to this village wasn't good for farming, so this village was known for its industry. At one time there were more than 600 sarpinna (a type of cloth similar to gingham) weavers.

I have a mailing list of forty eight names for Messer of which eight do not belong to AHSGR but have submitted data for the data base. At the 2000 convention in Lincoln, we had eleven people in attendance at the village night program from Messer and Moor. I have updated a comparison of the Messer 1775 and 1798 census records in alphabetical order.

This year, I have had 2 inquiries about Messer, both by email. This was down from 11 last year. The families that were being researched were; LEHR, NAGEL, REISPICH and ROTH. I have answered all inquiries but to the people who are not members of AHSGR. I send a surname list of my data base and the Messer village history and I tell them about AHSGR and if they join I will send them the details of my data base. I never hear from them again.


Moor Web Site

Irma A. Waggoner, W098

Wayne Bonner

Many contacts have been made this past year with Moor researchers via the Internet and snail mail. Darrell Weber visited Moor on his trip to the Volga region, providing us with photographs of the town as it is today.

A few more church and census abstracts were received from Russia. There is still not enough information to establish a separate newsletter for Moor so for now all new information will be published in the Balzer newsletter.

See also GNADENFELD report


Mueller Web Site

Bill Wiest

I now am happy to report that Brian Ebel, to whom I had given what information I had about getting to the site of the former village of Mueller, has returned with an excellent report. He found the place, took lots of excellent photos, and made careful observations, all of which I understand he is submitting to AHSGR and to Kathy O'Malley, editor of a village newsletter that includes Mueller.

The last query I received was from Brian Ebel of Ottawa, Ontario. I supplied some maps (three different ones) to help Mr. Ebel make his way to Mueller when he visits the Saratov area villages in September. He promised to take photos and maybe there'll finally be some to share with AHSGR. I myself, having traveled to Saratov area 4 times, have never been to Mueller (Müller) in spite of valiant attempts to get there. Always we were rained out, making the roads too muddy to drive on. Our travel agent, Mr. Douglas Grimes of MIR Corporation in Seattle had visited there once in advance of our trip in 1995. He said the former village had been completely abandoned, that what was left of past structures (including what was probably a cemetery) was sloughing off the cliff and falling into the Volga River (now a lake, with water levels much higher than was historically the case for the river).


Neu-Straub Web Site

Lillian Larwig

As village coordinator for the village of Neu-Straub (Skatowka), I have been in touch with several who also have connections with Neu-Straub. One found her relative on my Russian census. The census I have is from 1857 on the HEINTZ and KEIL name only from Neu-Straub I am willing to share information in this census.

With family charts I received from a friend, I was able to connect a NUSS family researcher with a member of his family and fill in the blank area of his family chart. The Nuss name is not from my village.

I would ask anyone who is researching names from the village of Neu-Straub to contact me so I would have that information available and hopefully make connections with other families.

Using the Family Tree Maker, I have compiled a KEIL-HEINTZ-DICK history book. At a summer family reunion of persons from these three families, I talked about the information I already had and asked if anyone was interested in a book if I had it printed. Fifty people asked for a book.

That was thrilling but what was even more interesting, it was the third and fourth generation of the original German-Russians who showed the most interest. I had five extra copies printed and they were sold before I got the books back from the printer. The book has 193 pages with the German-Russian history dating back to Catherine the Great - why our families left Russia and why they came to Oklahoma - history of the church these original homesteaders became charter members of - photo's of these first families - stories from family members of 'what grandma told me' and some photo's of the following generations.

Neu-Straub researchers, keep in touch as we strive to help each other.


See Schoendorf


Nieder-Monjou Web Site

Carolyn & John Gorr

The most exciting news regarding Nieder-Monjou research, during this past year, is the photo of the village church and surrounding houses received from Steven Grau of TX who is doing ANSCHUTZ/ANSCHUETZ family research. This photo was hanging on the wall of David E. ANSCHUTZ' house in Kansas. David immigrated in 1923. The photo comes to us courtesy of Mike Grau. Steven Grau (brother to Mike) has on order the ANSCHUTZ family genealogy.

No real break through in information gathering regarding the village during the year 2000. However, we did get an email query from a man in South Africa whose ancestors went there in the 1880s. He told me there are Ger-Rus in South Africa but not in large consentrated areas that he knows about. Also received a query from Australia searching the STEINPREIS surname. The person making the query said his Steinpreis is the only one in the Australian phone books. Without email and the Internet we would probably not get these queries from overseas.

UK query re GEBAUER surname. Nieder-Monjou homepage is now linked to a site that lists all GEBAUERs in the world.

No one from Nieder-Monjou showed up at Village Night during AHSGR Convention 2000 at Lincoln. The 2001 convention will be in Denver, CO - let's see some of you Nieder-Monjou folks from KS & CO at the 2001 convention, please.


Oberdorf Web Site

Teri Helzer

The following delineates the achievements of Oberdorf in the past year:

  1. Obtained 1857-58 Census data for the following Oberdorf families: DAUBERT, GRAUBERGER, MEIER, SCHIMPF, SCHMER, ASMUS, FRITZLER, STEHLE, SHAFER, and SCHNEIDER
  2. Expanded the Oberdorf web presence by translating the Oberdorf site to Spanish with the assistance of Elena Mercedes Vega and her husband, Jorge.
  3. Enhanced the Oberdorf web site with additional pages: 1857-58 Census, Migration, Ships, Surname Contacts, Gedlist Data, and Reminiscences.
  4. Added approximately 20 additional names to the Oberdorf research email list.
  5. In collaboration with Richard McGregor, VC Rosenberg, initiated the Rosenberg Parish database. Heide Langenbeck is performing input.
  6. Established a Village File for Oberdorf at AHSGR headquarters.
  7. Published all Oberdorf correspondence on a private web site, and provided confirmed Oberdorf researchers access to the correspondence.
My goals for Oberdorf are:

- Continue to collect Oberdorf data and make that data available to Oberdorf researchers. The Rosenberg Parish database will be a key element in this endeavor, since there was much movement of the families in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Since the parish records have not been located, it is necessary to use all the family data collected by the village coordinators to link the families and hopefully create that final link back to the 1857-58 Census.

- Attract and encourage new Oberdorf researchers to share their data.


Ober-Monjou Web Site

Kevin Rupp

I continue to receive census information from the different Volga German colonies from Russia, but I am trying to center mostly on the colony of Ober-monjou. During the past year I have added the family names of SP…TTER, STECKLEIN, DOERFLER, UNREIN, as well as some marriage and birth confirmations. There is a group of us working together so that we do not duplicate our research from Russia which helps in cutting down on expenses. The most exciting news recently, is my contact with an older couple from Russia who were originally from Obermonjou and sent to Siberia. I have received a photo of the catholic church from them which was destroyed in the 30's. A friend of mine did a tape interview of this couple. My hope is to translate these tapes and possibly have an article in the journal. This may be a small step but this couple mentions the names of EXNER, LEIKER, KLAUS and DECHANT all common family names here in Hays, Kansas.

I really must say that this area is really blessed with people who are willing to share what they have found on their families.


Paulskoye Web Site

Timothy C. Weeder W372

I received only one inquiry from within the United States this past year, but several inquiries from abroad from individuals who now reside in Germany. I continue to collect as much historical and genealogical information that I can about Paulskoye and her former inhabitants.

I would like to report that AHSGR possesses the 1834 Village Census (8th Revision) which is not listed anywhere for purchase. This census has not been translated from Russian into English, but for a fee AHSGR will translate specific surnames.

I would like to also document that I have a RAGAS chart for the surname JOST (YOST). Interested persons can contact me for specific inquiries.

The Paulskoye website continues to provide a basic orientation to visitors and attracts viewers from around the world. Incidentally, the web site was updated this past year.

Finally, next year I am planning a second visit to Russia, including the former village of Paulskoye (known as Pavlovka today).


Pfeifer Web Site

Rosemary Larson

Thanks to Patrice Miller a homepage was accomplished during the year for the village of PFEIFER.

Photos were made of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and interesting items are detailed.

The 1798 census surnames are shown; emigres to the State of Kansas and South America and a history of the village has been posted. Inquiries are responded to in a timely manner.


See Schoendorf


Susie Weber Hess

Most of the year has been spent scanning all my paper files, (pictures, letters, maps, documents and whatever else) onto disk so they can be stored in less space. Several letters in my possession dated back several years and the letter writers are now deceased. Some of the descendants of these people have now expressed interest and have become involved with AHSGR. A lot of the letters shared unique information and stories. They have been forwarded to the appropriate family members, who gratefully appreciated receiving the letters. Numerous hours have been spent loading about 1000 obituaries from the Chicago area. I have spent hours providing information to my cousin George Valko who continually receives letters from Germany and Russia. The letter writers are Volga Germans that have now resettled in Germany or are living in Russia and have broken the lines of non-communication that has existed for too many long years. I have spent many hours working with new contacts collecting information and encouraging them to become an active part of AHSGR.

Projects for this next year include working more with others and computerizing the data from Fred Zitzers extractions of the 1910 census of Germans from Russia that settled in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.


Rosemarie Krieg Dinkel

In Denver we have a Black Sea Interest Group, that meets once a month. Half of us are from the Rohrbach/Worms area. As Village Coordinator for Rohrbach, I try to take any new material that is available to these meeting. With so much information on the Internet, there isn't as much snail mail going on regarding the descendants of this village. At one time, I would receive three to four inquiries a month. Of course those were the days I was the only VC for Rohrbach.


Rosenberg Web Site

Richard McGregor

This has been a quiet year again although with the wonderful help of Teri Helzer the website for the village is now up and running. It can be accessed from the AHSGR site through the Volga Villages link, or directly on the URL listed above.

The website contains history, photos and data - quite a bit of material is available there. Family data is not on the site but there is a message board and an email connection through which Rosenberg descendants can contact me for information.

One Newsletter has been sent out during this period, and another is in progress - mainly collections of emails and letters from folk with Rosenberg connections. I am hoping that the next Newsletter will be accessible from the website. Also in progress is a database of those born in Rosenberg which is being compiled by Heide Langenbeck along the lines of the one already completed by Teri Helzer for Oberdorf.

As always I would be delighted to hear from anyone with connections to the village.


Judy Klee

Rosental VC Newsletter 2000
Rosental Greetings,
A first year volunteer here, with an original settlement of sixty-one families, according to Karl Stumpp's census. The group had set out for Hungary, five families from Wurttenburg and fifty-six from Baden, all Catholics, who instead went to Rosental, Crimea. Question: Was Rosental named after one of the settlers or was it named after the wild roses in the area?

Glad I went to Heritage Fest-2000 May 5 & 6 in Los Angeles. The work of the Village Coordinators who spoke was inspiring. Detailed histories, years of research and many surname data bases of 20,000+ names, (the Rosental Village surname data base consisted of one surname before the Klee contribution of 50 additional, but some of those were from surrounding villages). I enjoyed meeting Ken Leffler, who has given this "newbie" online help learning the ropes.

Later on that same month Aubrey Marttheller generously offered to share his Rosental files. It was then I realized I NEEDED a new computer, for I was lacking a genealogy program and every down or up load I made had to be directed to my daughter in Arizona, then sent to me by snail mail. So the purchase was made, with the addition of a genealogy application.

Shared success this year: Note first that the following excerpt is from a letter shared by Charles Klee. He is the son of the letter's author Michael Klee (now 96) who was born in the village of Less, Crimea. Michael is the second son of Joseph Klee born 1875 in Rosental, Crimea and his wife Sophia Schroeder (b. 1877 in Krontal, Crimea).

An excerpt from the 1971 letter,
"Sept. 27, 1910 Joseph KLEE and Sophia SCHROEDER (and family) started the long journey to America, the first ride was on a wagon from a small village called Ivermbei, to Simpheropol. There we stayed over night, early next morning We all got on a train, for the first time. This train took us to the Baltic Sea, about a 3 day train ride. We landed at some seaport, there and again we had to stay there for a few days, till a ship could take us on our journey. We got on a small Russian ship and this took us to Hull, England. Then we had a train ride that took us to Liverpool, England. We stayed there for 9 days till another ship picked us up and then we were on our way to the good U.S.A. It took 9 days to see land again (ship's manifest records show they left Liverpool, England 29 Oct 1910 on the SS. Megantic and arrived 6 Nov 1910 in Quebec, Canada). We got on a train in Chicago and a few days later we got to Hebron, North Dakota Nov. 9, 1910. Next morning Uncle Mike Schroeder (Sophia Schroeder's brother) picked us up with a wagon & took us to his home, there we stayed till March 14, 1911. By that time Joseph Klee, had taken up a Homestead, Pat. No 650679, and had built a 14'x16' shanty on it, for the family of 7 to live in."

Shared ideas: Web site, Ships of your immigrant ancestors and links to the ships' histories. .
And to all, Good Hunting.


Nicholas and Barbara Bretz

We have just become the new Rothammel Village Coordinators due to the resignation of Bernice Williams. We aren’t as knowledgeable about the village as Bernie but will do our best to learn and help others in their research. We wish to thank Bernie for having served us for so many years. Her dedication in collecting information and passing it on to us is certainly appreciated.

One of our goals is to enter all the Rothammel information into a database so that we have that information readily available. It will be interesting to discover how the many families are intertwined through marriage. We would appreciate receiving each member’s Rothammel data to complete this project.

Rosi and Tim Kloberdanz have offered to begin a Rothammel Web Page, and Kathy Jones has offered to set up a Rothammel LISTSERV. We will be working on those items within the next few months.

While at headquarters recently, we noticed that census information for some later years had been placed in the village file. They were donated by Shirley Arendt and Kathy Jones. Included are the Applehanz, Lauer, and Kloberdanz surnames.

The following Surname Charts have been ordered by members: APPELHANS, BASGAL, BIEBER, FRANK, GERTIE, KAISER, LECHMAN, and MATZA. The last communication from Russia stated that they would begin working on the village of Rothammel in November of 2000.


Strassendorf Web Site

Laurin Wilhlem

2000 Village Coordinator Report

  1. Research and correspondence is down for these villages, all once located some 65 miles SE of Saratov. Older descendents are less able to correspond; many have died. Younger descendents seem not very interested in researching their family history.
  2. I have corresponded with GerRus descendents in Argentina and Brazil this year, with minimum success. Few people there speak English or German; my Spanish is limited. I found one lady in Entre Rios Province, Argentina, who claimed to be a descendent of Schoenfeld folks.
  3. In June 1999 we brought from Nuremberg, Germany to San Antonio, TX, Otto Felker to visit his aunt (dad's sister) and uncle George and Elizabeth (Felker) Popp in Hoisington, KS. They came to Kansas in 1913. We also visited his first cousin in Denver. We visited an elderly lady in Albuquerque. Her parents were born in Schoendorf and Strassendorf. Otto was born in Schoendorf in 1926 and deported to Kazakhstan in 1941. He was forced to work in the coal mines near Chelyabinsk, Siberia for 50 years. He got to Nuremberg c. 1995. Otto has helped to locate some other Germans from Russia, now living in Germany.
  4. Research in Saratov: Since some of the church books "had been found", including Pobochnoye, a request was made in March to get copies of those pages listing the births of three of my Wagner uncles and an aunt, born in 1886, 1888, 1890 and 1892, but nothing has sent yet-(in five months).
  5. Research in Lincoln: A request to look up my great grandfather (George) Philipp Wagner in the Pobochnoye 1834 and 1857 censuses was made in early July. No research information yet.
  6. We are looking forward to the 2001 Convention in Denver. We hope to renew old acquaintances and make new ones. We hope to advance in our family research and grow in the knowledge of our heritage.


Schoenchen Web Site

Bertha Haas

There will be no report for Schoenchen this year, except that Schoenchen, KS will be celebrating its 125th anniversary July 22, 2001. If all goes as planned, Bishop Werth of Siberia, whose parents resided in Schoenchen, Russia, will attend.


Schwab Web Site

Rolene Eichman Kiesling

This is one of the smaller villages with less activity or interest than most. It is included in the Lower Volga Villages Sheet published by Kathy O'Malley. I also have ancestry from Shcherbakovka; Kathy and I are in frequent contact.

I am still working on a database which consists of material received from Lincoln, the 1798 census and data from my own personal correspondence file. It has not yet been submitted to Lincoln, as I am in the process of "polishing" it so that it meets their specifications.

I have answered all queries, some of which, by necessity I have referred to others. Many people send queries, when they do not know the village. For example, they think that since their surname is Schwab, that they might be from the village of Schwab, which of course, is not always true.

I am the contact person and a source of information for the web site listed above. I did not create it nor do I maintain it.

SCHWED [Zvonarevka]

Schwed Web Site

Carolyn & John Gorr

Lots of activity with the Schweders this past year. My Schweder email list numbers 35 and we've been operating for about two year. Although we are diverse in the surnames we research, most of our members have ALTERGOTT connections. We thought the arrival of the ALTERGOTT surname search by Russian researchers would clear up many mysteries. Well, it did clear up many mysteries but, it has managed to provide many new mysteries to solve.

Schwed surname charts on order: HOPPE and WIEGEL.

This year we received two queries from USA folks who are related to the GORR surname. One from NE the other from KS. The KS query turned out to be a direct relation to an Aussiedler cousin that we correspond with so we put them in touch with one another. Our Aussiedler GORR said, never in his wildest dreams did he ever think his father's half sister would be found after 65 years. He did not know Sophia GORRs married name and neither did I until Curt Hanneman of Olathe, KS saw our Schwed/GORR website and made his query. These are the stories that bring joy to a village coordinator's heart.

The Nebraska query is still hanging as we cannot find a link to our GORR surname chart even though we know that our GORR had a cousin Fred in Scottsbluff, NE. More research is needed here.

Elder stories . . .
We received a taped interview of Dora CHRIST GERLINGER (1895-1990) from her daughter, Lila. In the interview Dora talks about the Schwed in which she grew up as a child. She gives nice details of everyday life in the village at the turn of the century. Dora emigrated to Chicago at age 17 where she joined her married sister. We also rediscovered the story of Henry HOPPE (1897-1977) which was translated by Ann Kraus Smith in June of 1983. His memories include the spring thaws that raised the Bolshoi-Karaman River washing out the footbridge to neighboring Stahl each year and the bareback horse racing enjoyed by the young men of the village.

We published and delivered the information we have collected during 1998-1999 to AHSGR HQ, June 2000. It is a spiral bound book (about an inch thick) and is in the Village File cabinet at Lincoln for easy access to interested researchers of Schwed.

We had about 20 people at our table on Village Night at the AHSGR Convention 2000 in Lincoln. Good information was shared within this group.


Janet Flickinger

See Lower Volga Villages


Richard Benertt

Once again, as usual, I have been doing virtually nothing about my village of Solodyri in the past year. Sorry. Other projects have taken precedence.


Susannental Web Site

Kerry S. Thompson

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I have just completed my 1st year as village coordinator. During this year I have:
  1. Published 2 newsletters
  2. Entered the names of 2,341 individuals born before 1960 into our genealogical data base.
  3. Collected names and addresses of 50 people who are descendents of the village in the states of Michigan, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Oregon, New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Washington.
  4. Contacted Russian researchers as to records available for the village - 1st settlers list, 1798 Census, 1835 Census are available.
  5. Purchased the 1798 Census.
  6. Put together a data base of ship lists which includes 38 families who immigrated from Susannental.
  7. Located a village map listing heads of households for the village in the early 1900s.
  8. Organized a data base for research of the Russian Germans in: a) Big Horn County, Wyoming, b) Stillwater & Yellowstone Counties in Montana and Sanilac
  9. Began a resource file of documents relating to our immigrant ancestors containing copies of a) naturalization papers; b) ship lists; c) birth records; d) death records; d) death certificates and obituaries; e) bible records; f) life stories; g) pictures.
  10. Developed a web site and the beginnings of it online.
  11. Requested a listserve to allow residents to communicate with each other.
It has been a great year and I have received wonderful help and information from so many of Susannental's descendants!



Yagodnaya Polyana Web Site

Kris Ball & Elizabeth Meyer

Database Coordinator:
Patrice Miller

Kris Ball attended the convention and we had about 15 YP descendants at our table. Kris & Patrice worked this year to collect YP obits from Fresno and Lincoln and estimate we have most of those obits copied. We hope to create a cross-index for those names. One of our YP people, Kenny Stuckart, went back to Yagodnaya this year.  He has put some new pictures on the site and recalls the adventure he had. He made contact with a relative, Victor Stuckart, who lives in Saratov. The 2 of them went back to YP together and visited the grave of Victor's mother, one of the few German graves which is marked. Victor's family was deported to Kazakhstan and returned to YP. Victor works at the German Consulate in Saratov, located on the third floor of the Volga Hotel. Through Kenny's selfless efforts, money was raised to provide a computer to the Engels archive. Victor delivered it and Mrs. Yerina was thrilled! We are proud of our YP generous descendants!

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, three electronic descendant trees were built for the surnames of FUCHS, LAUTENSCHLAGER and YUNGMAN /JUNGMANN (1767-1857). Also the 1857 census was acquired for VOELKER / VOLKER / FELKER and KONSCHU / KONSCHUH. Electronic or printed copies can be obtained from Patrice with a $10-$20 donation to purchased additional census extracts.

It was also discovered during the year that the 1880 Neu-Yagodnaya (a daughter colony of Yagodnaya Polyana) census extracts are available. The following surnames, followed by the number of households (which often have multiple generations) were in that census: Arndt, Appel-6, Asmus-2, Bart-2, Baum, Befus-6, Benner-5, Blok-2, Diesing, Dippel, Fischer-3, Fuchs-3, Gagwald, Gerlitz-2, Gler-2, Gorr, Goetz-2, Gross, Hartmann-4, Herdt, Hergert-12, Holstein-7, Jungmann / Yungman-2, Kaiser-3, Kleweno-6, Koch-11, Konschu, Koppel, Kromm-2, Lauterschleger-3, Leinweber, Lesser, Litzenberger-3, Luft-3, Machleid-4, Morasch-2, Mosebach, Meiber, Mueller-2, Neubert-3, Okel, Ott, Pfafenroth, Repp-3, Rudy, Ruhl, Rupp, Schaad-2, Schaefer, Scheuermann-6, Schneider-6, Schneidmueller, Schreiner-3, Schuchart-7, Schweizer, Spanenberger, Staitz, Stang-3, Stanius, Streier, Voelker / Felker-7, Weibert-2, Weigant, Weitz, Wuertz, Zentner, Ziergibel-3.

Samuel Litzenberger also published "The Family Story of Adam Litzenberger and Marie Elizabeth Gorr." Copies of this lovely book can be purchased from Marsha Williams, PO Box 63, Lyons, CO 80540 email: for $37.95 postpaid.

During the year, the LUST surname was thoroughly researched as well as PFAFFENROTH/POFFENROTH of Calgary and some descendants of both surnames can be traced back to the original immigrants to YP. A portion of a church book for Yagodnaya Polyana was found which included only births from 1904-1912. The information includes the full name of both parents, full name of the child and birth date. Extracts of these church record has been done for MORASCH, HELM and HAHNEMANN. We have repeatedly asked if other church books have been found for the village, but so far nothing else has been located so there is still no information between 1857-1904. Apparently hundreds of Volga church books have been returned to the Engels archives and we are still hopeful that other church records for Yagodnaya Polyana will be found someday.

William Schierman, long-time editor of "Usu Leut," the newsletter of the YP people, delivered yet another issue in 2000. He has been slowed down by health concerns, but has recovered nicely and a second issue will likely be delivered later this year. Bill and Marian's email address in Fort Collins, CO is Bill & Marian will be at the AHSGR Convention in Denver next year.

Elizabeth was unable to attend the convention in Lincoln this year because of other commitments. She has spent some time responding to individual requests for information and translating documents. She's located a LEINWEBER relative for an elderly pensioner from Yagodnaya Polyana who now lives in Germany. All of her relatives were lost and she is delighted to have made this contact. Elizabeth has spoken at a couple of events explaining the general history of the Volga Germans and the response her remarks has always been: "We had no idea..." She's supporting Professor Eugene Miller's efforts to document in film the current status of the Germans who remain in Russia and she knows his work will bear fruit. She hopes to get to the convention next year and meanwhile, will continue research. Elizabeth can be reached at