Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I'm Back

It's been about four months since there have been any updates on this blog... my apologies.  Life sometimes just gets crazy.  I encourage you to check out the six posts below this one.  I've attempted to post any items that are still pertinent and of interest to you.  Just to make it clear, I absolutely appreciate all of you who follow the events of our chapter, as well as those of you who keep me current through emails and entries for me to post.  This is the time of year that we think more of the  people we are grateful for.  I am grateful for you and all the help I have received over the years through resources and your generous sharing.  Here's hoping you have a fabulous holiday season!

2016 National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Check out the link for free access to these session videos and handouts.

You can watch the sessions and download the materials.  You will also find  materials from previous years.

Remember to share what you learned.

Village Coordinators of the Month

Every month we feature two Village Coordinators, to recognize the work they do for AHSGR and give members an opportunity to become more familiar with their Village Coordinators.
August 2017
Dee Hert
Anton,  Alexanderhoh,  Alexanderdorf  (North Caucasus),  Alexanderdorf   (South Caucasus),  Blumenfeld, Emmas, Tiegenhoff,  Tilfis,  Eigenheim,  Nalchik,  Johannesdorf,  Karlsruhe,  Katharinenfeld

Dee Hert has been a village coordinator for several years and continues to find villages of interest for which there is no coordinator.

“These are important areas, so I find myself agreeing to be the village coordinator,” she said. “The Caucasus region has my primary attention at this time; what a fascinating area and I am locating villagers from various regions. As I become aware of Caucasus villages without a village coordinator, I may consider adopting them.”

Dee married into a double-GR family. “My mother-in-law informed me there were very few Herts remaining; I accepted this information at face value,” she said.  “Years later I can disprove that statement as my database contains thousands of Hert/Herdt/etc.”

Dee has advice for people researching their heritage:  

“Gather all appropriate resource materials, join and refer to professional organizations depending on your objective.  Materials from AHSGR, NDGR, societies such as the Germanic Genealogy Society, Montana Historical Society are increasingly valuable,” she said. “I live in Utah and have easy access to the Family History Library (FHL) which is also an incredible resource. Facebook and other social media are constantly improving and should be reviewed frequently. Establish an AHSGR Facebook page or social media of choice and share what you learn.  Genealogy is sharing!”

Another source of information is the annual on-line Village Coordinator reports; one can improve research skills and gain insight into successful practices.

Dee encourages members to consider becoming VCs. “If you are hesitant then offer to assist another VC, mentoring can be very enjoyable.”

“AHSGR has a wonderful link to individual village files.  Read beyond your primary village, read all files as data crosses villages and your ancestors may have lived in numerous locations,” she said. “You would be amazed to learn how many villagers relocated to the Caucasus; slowly I am gathering that data into a separate database.
“I am a Life and Board member of AHSGR, I can honestly say that these folks are amazing.  They possess a positive attitude towards improvement and strive to attain the goals of preserving and promoting the Germans from Russia culture as do many individuals in the field. Working together we can move forward in a positive direction.”

Germans from Russia

Mark your calendars for the 2018 GRHS Convention which will be held in Pierre, SD  at the Ramkota Riverside Hotel, hosted by the Deutsche Glieder Chapter of GRHS.

Membership renewal is due by January 1.  

Check out www.grhs.org

This is a wonderful organization dedicated to the preservation of precious GR information.

Volga German Tours

In 2018, Dr. Mila Koretnikov and Dr. Brent Mai will be leading two tours to visit the former colonies of our Volga German ancestors.  They design these tours to visit the ancestral colonies of those who are on the tour, so each trip is unique!  They will also visit the German Cultural Center and the Volga German Archives in Engels, the State Museum in Saratov, the Gagarin Landing Site, and the Mamayev Kurgan (Motherland Calling Statue) complex and Stalingrad Battle Museum in Volgograd.

Each tour departs from New York City and lasts 9 days.  This year, for the first time, there is an option to add-on another week and visit Moscow and St. Petersburg.

2018 dates & cost per person:

May 18-27 or August 10-19 (colonies only)
$3,800 (double occupancy); $4,250 (single occupancy)

May 18-June 1 or August 10-24 (colonies + Moscow/St. Petersburg):
$5,300 (double occupancy); $6,150 (single occupancy)

For additional information including testimonials from those who participated in the 2016 and 2017 tours, please consult the tour website: VolgaGermanTours.com.

There are still several spaces available (30 maximum), so plan now to join us for the adventure!

Items of Interest

Roots Tech is scheduled for February 28 – March 3. Sign up now for a discount price.
CVGS – Center for Volga German Studies in Portland had to close due to lack of support. We need to support those organizations that are important to us. Resources will still be there and the Oregon Chapter will man it and do research on a limited basis.

2018 Convention in Hayes, Kansas, July 30 – Aug 2

Christmas Party

It has been suggested that we donate to Toys for Tots this year instead of having an ornament exchange. Toys should be unwrapped and will be given to the US Marine Corps for distribution. The Springville Community Presbyterian Church is scheduled for Saturday, December 9, from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Address: 245 S. 200 E.The chapter will provide ham and the rest will be pot luck. Pat and Shirley will email maps out a week before the event. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


It will soon be time for our next chapter meeting, so stock up on children's books, and especially crayonsIt is almost back to school time crayons are usually on sale, and we need dozens

We will take almost anything that entertains sick children, even cash.  If you do not have time to shop we can give the money to the Youth Program members, and they can shop for us.

The next meeting is at 10:00 am on August 12th at the Sandy Library.

Germanic Genealogy Society

 The Germanic Genealogy Society is a valuable source of Germanic information.  I encourage you to investigate this source.

Atlantic Bridge to Germany. 1974-1997, 2003-2005. GGS Library Call Numbers: 929.30943 H14a (v. 1- 10), 929.343 H434p 2005 (Pomerania), 929.30943 At631H 2004 (Baden), 929.30943 At631H 2003 (Alsace-Lorraine). Atlantic Bridge to Germany is a series of volumes containing detailed maps of the German states. The first 10 volumes were written by Charles M. Hall while the most recent 3 volumes (Alsace-Lorraine, Baden, and Pomerania) are expanded and updated versions prepared by Linda M. Herrick and Wendy K. Uncapher. All three of the provinces in the new editions were included in Hall’s series but in less detail. The volumes in the original series each covered 1-3 German states, depending on their size. For each volume, Hall wrote an introduction briefly covering the history of the region. He also included some information on special topics in genealogy for the region such as discussion on patronymics or farm names in the regions where they were common. The bulk of each volume consists of the maps. They are based on the Karte des Deutschen Reiches from 1877-1919 at a scale of 1:100,000 so they include even the smallest hamlets and topographical features. The detailed index lists the place names covered in each volume, along with Kreis, map page, parent parish, and information on the availability and dates of church and civil records. Only three updated volumes have been published to date, covering Alsace-Lorraine, Baden, and Pomerania. These new volumes contain much more extensive introductory material than the original volumes. The opening chapters provides detailed information on the history, governmental histories, lifestyles, religions, and population of each region. The authors also discuss resources for genealogical research such as archives, church and civil records, censuses, and more. The remainder of each volume follows the pattern set in the original series. If your ancestors came from one of these three regions, it is well worth checking out the updated volume. This series is an excellent companion to Hansen’s Map Guide series (detailed review by Donna Turbes available at https://ggsmn.org/upload/files/library/BookOfTheMonth/MapGuideGermanParishRegisters.pdf), which identifies parish boundaries and location of church records for Germany but does not include detailed maps. A note about the Map Guide series: They have completed their volumes on German provinces and have started publishing volumes on major German cities and areas outside of Germany (currently Luxembourg and Switzerland). Original series: v. 1. Baden-Wuerttemberg.--v. 2. Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz (The Palatinate).--v. 3. Bavaria (Bayern).--v. 4. Saarland, Alsace-Lorraine, Switzerland. --v. 5. Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen -- v. 6. Mecklenburg -- v. 7. Nordrhein-Westfalen (Northrhine-Westphalia) -- v. 8. Prussia -- v. 9. Saxony/Sachsen -- v. 10. Hannover.

44th Annual Montana History Conference

September 21-23, 2017, Helena, Montana

Source: Montana Historical Society,  http://mhs.mt.gov/

This is an example of a marvelous sharing opportunity.  Some may have interests in this area, or the subject material may benefit everyone.

Made in Montana”, Business tour, such as sawmills, factories, clay manufacturing, etc.
“Teaching the Progressive Era and World War I”, 
Focus for teachers on issues, ideas, strategies to assist teachers understanding of this era.
Keeping it All in the Family”, Promoting genealogical resources in archival collections. Teaching research techniques, online databases, and much more.
“Show me the Money! How to Secure Grant Money for History Projects"
Practical instructions and tools to succeed at writing grants.

Monday, June 5, 2017

German Proverbs, Continued...

At a round table, every seat is the head place.

Were there no fools, there would be no wise men.

Tis the mind ennobles, not the blood.

A good word costs nothing.

The sundial counts only the bright hours.

Happy is the one who forgets that which cannot be changed.

Mirth is the sugar of life.

A day without laughter is a day lost.

A penny's worth of cheerfulness can dispel a pound of problems.

Those who can be happy today should not wait until tomorrow.

Memorial Day

Having just celebrated Memorial Day, my thoughts are turned to those in my family who have served in the military in some way.  I thought particularly about the ones of German ancestry and perhaps even recent arrivals who may have been caught up in the anti-German sentiments during WWI and WWII.  I know very little about these particular men's experiences, but it made me grateful to them for their service.  I know there were many others of this same heritage who served as well.  If you have a family picture you'd like to share, please send me a copy and I'll be happy to post their pictures.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Faith of Our Families

Several years ago my son attended Law School at KU.  On our travels to visit his family, I often noticed beautiful churches off the interstate and wondered about them.  Finally, I convinced my husband that I needed to check one of them out.  We stopped in Victoria, Kansas.  I was so pleased to find out about its history and its link to the German Russian heritage.  Traveling on a little outside of Victoria, we visited the beautiful church in Pfeifer, Kansas.  I loved seeing it, as I had a personal connection to Pfieifer. When my grandfather first arrived in the states in 1900, he visited relatives there.  I purchased a little booklet at the church in Pfeifer, and learned more about the great faith of those first settlers.  It has been a source of strength for me, just knowing that my ancestors had such a strong faith.  Both of my paternal grandparents came from German colonies along the Volga in Russia.  My grandmother came from a Lutheran colony, and my grandfather from a Catholic colony. Their marriage was an interesting event according to family tradition. With all of this in mind, I was fascinated by an article written by Sherry Pawelko in the AHSGR Winter 2016 Newsletter.  She mentioned that three things were of paramount importance to our ancestors in both Russia and the New World:
1. The importance of the people's faith in God.
2. The importance of their families.
3. The importance of the education of their children.
Wow! I realized that I am so much a result of the beliefs of my ancestors.  While I share neither of their religious affiliations, I absolutely find that the same three things are of greatest importance in my life. Many thanks are in order to this group of people who kept their culture alive, communities cohesive, and families strong.


Anton was known by many names: Antonow, Antonowka, Sadovoye, Sebastinovka, Sebastjanowka, Sebastyanovka, Sewastjanowka, Sevastinovka, Sevastjanovka, Sevastyanovka and Sadovoye.

To locate Anton on a map you need to know the lat long:  51º2' N 45º51' E

In 1764 Anton was founded as a Reformed colony.  Anton was part of the parish in Messer. 
Village surnames, located to date, are available on the AHSGR web, see village files for Anton. I will update these files on an annual basis.
It was not uncommon for villagers to relocate due to land shortage, famine, war, etc.  Anton surnames have been located as far away as the Caucasus. 
Research continues and inquiries are welcomed.  I am interested in gathering family data. 
Watch for updates on the AHSGR website and displays at annual conventions. 
The Center for Volga German Studies lists resources for Anton: Sources:
- Beratz, Gottieb. The German colonies on the Lower Volga, their origin and early development: a memorial for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first German settlers on the Volga, 29 June 1764. Translated by Adam Giesinger (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1991): 348.

- Diesendorf, V.F. Die Deutschen Russlands : Siedlungen und Siedlungsgebiete : Lexicon. Moscow, 2006.

- Orlov, Gregorii. Report of Conditions of Settlements on the Volga to Catherine II, 14 February 1769.

- Pallas, P.S. Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs. Theil 3,2, Reise aus Sibirien zurueck an die Wolga im 1773sten Jahr (St. Petersburg: Kaiserl. Academie der Wissenschaften, 1776): 621.

- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 1 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 1999): 19, 51-69.

- Pleve, Igor R. The German Colonies on the Volga: The Second Half of the Eighteenth Century (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2001): 311, 319.

- Preliminary Results of the Soviet Census of 1926 on the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Pokrovsk, 1927): 28-83.

- "Settlements in the 1897 Census." Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Winter, 1990): 19.
AHSGR store makes the following available:
Census 1775 and 1798, Klemm Chart (Anton, Jost and Kukkus), Paul (Anton), Pauly (Anton).
Census from Dr. Brent Mai: 1834, and 1857.
Thanks to Sharon White for volunteering to assist, and for all the time donated time towards translation projects.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or interest in securing additional records from Russian archives for this village or others.  Due to the mobility of the villages I am researching additional areas.

Dee Hert
VC: Anton, Alexanderdorf(s) and numerous Caucasus areas.
Intermountain Chapter, Membership Chair
Member: AHSGR Life and Board Member