Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pfeifer, Russia


Posted by Picasa

Pfeifer is located in the Saratov gubernia, on the hilly side of the Volga River, along the Ilavlya River and Gnilushka Creek. It was originally inhabited entirely by those of the Roman Catholic faith. Small children were taught reading, writing, and religion by a schoolmaster under the supervision of a priest in a special building. The land of Pfeifer is sand, clay, and saline. Because of that, in even the most fruitful years, there were no harvests of any sort of grain. As a result, they farmed on state owned steppe lands adjacent to the colony. The hay lands were in abandoned wasteland. They pastured livestock on their own lands. There were no forests, so they used mostly dung for fuel. Because of inadequate hay for livestock, they sometimes purchased it. All of the colonists engaged in farming and were favorably disposed toward work. The buildings for the most part were old, but repaired. Their yards were fenced with wattle, and their kitchen gardens were close to the banks of the Ilavlya River. They had no orchards or aviaries, but they did have two flour mills. Their harvests were only mediocre, and every year a large quantity of the harvest was consumed by gophers. The only means they had for destroying the gophers was by flooding. Pfeifer was founded in 1767 by 328 persons. The Russian name for the colony is Gnilushka, meaning "dead tree stump."

The house shown on the top was my Grandpa Burghardt's family home.

Warenburg, Russia

These pictures were taken by my son while he lived in Russia, about ten years ago. He was able to visit our ancestral villages. In the top photo he is visiting with Leongadnya Peterson from the village of Warenburg, who knew the Constanz and Miller families (two of my family names.) She has Bier and Lehman ancestors on her mother's side. Her father came from Riga, Latvia. He came to help build the church and stayed. Because of her father's nationality, her family was not deported with the others. She had written the date of their exile to Kazakstan in her bible, September 17, 1941. She corresponded with them for a long time after they were shipped off. The next picture is a view of Warenburg with her house in the front of the picture. In the bottom picture my son is standing along the shore of the Volga River.

If you would like to spotlight your ancestral villages, please send me the information, and I will add it to the blog.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February Meeting

Saturday, February 20th, was the monthly meeting for the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR. Both the conversation and food were great! Plans continue for the AHSGR Convention to be held in Salt Lake City in 2011. Gwen Oryall gave the "Bits 'n Pieces" on the tradition of bread and salt, and showed a beautiful cross stitched bread linen from the Ukraine. Other valuable and interesting information was shared by members. Three new positions were filled by appointment:

Corresponding Secretary- Shawnette Malan
Publicity and Membership- Dee Hert
Chaplain- Darrell Weber

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Grandfather


I need your help. I have been able to go back many generations on my grandmother's German Russian line, but I am stuck on my grandfather's line. I feel confident that if I could get back a couple more generations on his line, that I could easily link into several more generations. If anyone that visits this blog comes across anything on him, I'd greatly appreciate any clues you might have for me. The information that I have on him is as follows:

Joseph George Burghardt
Born: 17 May 1876, in Pfeifer, Saratov, Russia
I believe his parents to be George Burghardt and Mary Kisner, but have no other information on them. He had brothers and sisters, one who immigrated to Argentina. My grandfather came to the United States in October of 1900, and had relatives in Pfeifer, Kansas. My grandmother was Catharina Elisabeth Klamm (aka Mary.)

If you have any information for me, please comment on this blog so I can give you contact information.
Posted by Picasa


Just a reminder of the next AHSGR Intermountain Chapter meeting. It will be Saturday, February 20--weather permitting. It will be at the home of Carol Harless and Shawnette Malan--10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. The officers will meet at 12:00 noon and the general meeting will start at 1:00 P.M.
Food assignments:

We have added $78 to the Chapter treasury thanks to the November, December and January raffle drawings. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
Gwen Oryall won the raffle in January and will bring the February raffle surprise.

If you are visiting this blog but have never attended one of our meetings, please come and join us!