Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ukrainian Christmas Borshch

In Ukraine, this soup is served when the consumption of meat is prohibited during Christmastime.

Simmer 1 oz. dried mushrooms in 3 c. water for 1 hour.  Strain through cloth, saving stock.  Rinse mushrooms thoroughly and save.  Saute 1 chopped onion in 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil until golden.  Add 2 medium-size beets, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, all chopped.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add 6 c. boiling water, 1 whole onion, 1 bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, 2 Tbsp. tomato paste, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Add 1 c. chopped cabbage.  Simmer 20 minutes.  Remove the whole onion, peppercorns, and bay leaf and discard.  Add mushroom stock and salt to taste.  Cool to let flavors "marry." Serve cold or reheat.  Add mushrooms and 1 tsp. sour cream to each serving.  Serves 8 to 10.

Sie Unser Gast
North Star Chapter of Minnesota

For My AHSGR Family

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless each of you and your families during this holiday season and throughout the coming New Year.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Don't Forget

December 8th, Intermountain Chapter Christmas Party
The next meeting will be our Christmas Party on December 8, 2012. It will be held at the Golden Corral at 665 E. 7200 S., Midvale, Utah, in the private meeting room. It will be held from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. We will collect food for the Utah Food Bank and items for the Road Home homeless shelter. Hope to see everyone there!

Einlauf Chicken Soup

2 eggs
1/2 c. water
1 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3 qt. chicken broth

Beat eggs slightly.  Add water, flour, and salt.  Beat until smooth.  Drip slowly into chicken broth, stirring continuously.  The Einlauf take the place of noodles.

Sie Unser Gast
North Star Chapter of Minnesota

Today I tried this soup, and was pleasantly surprised. I admit to having not skimmed the fat off of the broth, so that extra fat probably made it extra flavorful. I have been reading this cookbook like a regular book, and have loved learning new things about my heritage.  As you know, if you've followed this blog, I've really been getting into learning how to cook some of the Germans from Russia recipes. Taking some cooking classes in Portland this summer was definitely a plus for me.  If you don't have this recipe book and are interested, I highly recommend it.

Germans from Russia, Table Prayers

"Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest and bless all  that You through Your grace have bestowed on us. Amen"

"Praise and thanks to God for this food, and thanks for all good things He has bestowed on us. Amen."

(Translated from German.)


I've really enjoyed my Thanksgiving holiday this year.  I have had a little time to reflect on my many blessings.  First and foremost is family.  I come from a large family on both sides, and have a huge posterity of my own. What a blessing it is to have them near me.  But it goes even deeper than that.  I am extremely grateful for my ancestors as well.  I realize that if it weren't for their courage to make changes and travel to America, my life would have been much different.  I owe a lot to my grandparents who came to America from Russia.

Then, there is my AHSGR family.  I appreciate the support I receive in my research, and the friendships that form from having common goals and heritage.  Living out of the city makes it difficult for me to attend meetings, but I always feel a part of the good things that are happening.

More recently, I feel that I've made some new connections with other AHSGR members across the U.S.  I've had a very interesting and fulfilling experience helping Don Soeken  write a grant for the AHSGR Foundation.  Everyone that I've contacted for information has been so friendly, helpful, and genuine.  As odd as it seems, I feel like they are family too.  It confirms how proud I am of my heritage and the many good things that members all across the country are doing.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Looking Ahead

2013 RootsTech Conference
March 21- 23
Salt Palace Convention Center
Salt Lake City, Utah

Big savings for those who register early!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

FHL Genealogy Classes

The Family History Library has 3 German genealogy classes on Saturday, November 24.
1.  Researching German Ancestors Online:  20 Useful websites for German Research, 9:00 A. M., Lab.
2.  Researching German Ancestors Online:  Town Genealogies and Indexes, 10:00 A. M., Lab
3.  Researching German Ancestors Online:  Using German Digital Archives, 11:00 A. M., Lab.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Next Meeting

There will not be a November meeting for the Intermountain Chapter.  The next meeting will be our Christmas Party on December 8, 2012.

New Intermountain Chapter President

During the October meeting, Sharon White took over as president of the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR. Sharon has been serving as secretary of the chapter up to this time.  She has been active in many capacities since the chapter was organized in 2009, and has been a great asset.  Along with that, she is a Village Coordinator. We know she will do a great job for us!

Many, many thanks to Bill Dellos who has been president for the past two years.  His great leadership helped our chapter to put on the very successful AHSGR Conference in Salt Lake City in 2011. He is currently serving as an AHSGR Board Member.  His wife Karen has also contributed greatly.  We are grateful for all they have done.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Notice: Posting Comments

If you have given up  on making a comment in the past because you can't read the ridiculous print and words that you need to type in, that is gone.  We may get a little spam, but it will make it less bothersome for you to post a comment.  Please... try out a comment and you'll see it is much easier now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 20th

Our next Chapter Meeting will be held on October 20th at 12:00 noon. It will be at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless:
10001 Hook Drive
South Jordan, Utah 

Bring food to share. Mike Beier will talk about his trip to Russia. The meeting might be upstairs, and Shawnette needs to know who is coming so we will have enough chairs. Please R. S. V. P. to Shawnette:

We decided not to have the raffle baskets anymore to raise money for the chapter. We will pass an envelope instead for donations to the chapter.
We are also going to start collecting items for The Road Home Shelter or Food Bank at this meeting. The Road Home Shelter needs just about everything. You can go to their website at:
Most needed items are: larger size diapers, baby wipes, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors, deodorant, warm clothing, gloves, socks, hats. No food in glass for the Food Bank.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

German Naming Practices

I recently had a huge breakthrough with my Kisner line from Pfeifer, Russia.  Part of my problem was just not being able to see the whole "picture".  One night I couldn't sleep; I had the nagging feeling that I was on the verge of putting the pieces together.  In a scene reminiscent of the show Numbers, I flipped over my giant National Geographic map and grabbed a Sharpie.  I began writing everything that I knew about my family names and started connecting the people with lines and relationships.  Then the  magic happened!  I was able to see which line was mine and make the needed connections.  Part of my problem was the names, so redundant... I have since found this article, thanks to the Edmonton Chapter.  Maybe it will help you in figuring it all out.

It was a common practice in some German families to name the
-1st son after the child's paternal grandfather
-2nd son after the maternal grandfather
-3rd son after the father
-4th son after the father's father's father
-5th son after the mother's father's father
-6th son after the father's mother's father
-7th son after the mother's mother's father

-1st daughter after the maternal grandmother
-2nd daughter after the paternal grandmother
-3rd daughter after the mother
-4th daughter after the father's father's mother
-5th daughter after the mother's father's mother
-6th daughter after the father's mother's mother
-7th daughter after the mother's mother's mother

In the OLD GERMAN...

The first name of each daughter was usually the first name of the mother.  The first name of the son was usually the first name of the father.  Often the middle name of each child was the name of the baby's baptismal sponsor, and they were usually called by his/her middle name; or in some cases, a totally different nickname, because there were too many people with the same first and last name. (I've found evidence of this in even more recent generations of some of my lines.)

Hope this will help you!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vernal Meeting of the Intermountain Chapter

On Saturday, Brett Reynolds hosted the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR. Many traveled  from the Wasatch Front and Price areas.  He fed everyone well with his famous sausages, delicious french fries, and amazing mushrooms. Then he demonstrated how to cure meat, make sausages, and smoke them.  He's extremely talented, and we really appreciate him giving up his Saturday for us.  Thanks as well to those who traveled so this could be a success.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Don't Forget!

Don't forget that this coming weekend, Saturday, September 29th, is our big even at 1:00 P.M.  The work is in progress, and we're looking forward to hosting our Intermountain Chapter AHSGR meeting in Vernal.  We'll be having a sausage making demonstration, fabulous food, and excellent company.  All you need to bring is yourself and family, and maybe a jacket just in case.  The weather is suppose to be nice.  We're looking forward to seeing you! RSVP would be appreciated, but not mandatory.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Arthur E. and Cleora Flegal Living Legacy

You are invited to contribute to the Arthur E. and Cleora Flegal Living Legacy.  Arthur Flegal has selected and helped develop a Living Legacy that includes a matching grant. He has contributed $25,000 in unrestrictive funds to begin this Living Legacy.  We now have an opportunity to recognize Arthur and Cleora Flegal and preserve our German Russian heritage by contributing to the Living Legacy Fund.  Once $25,000 has been contributed, Art will add another $25,000 to be matched so that the Legacy Fund will have $1000,000 to continue the mission of AHSGR.

Maybe you are like me, and don't currently have the ability to make a large contribution, but please contribute what you can.  Even a small donation is doubled when it is given to the Arthur E. and Cleora Flegal Living Legacy.  It's exciting when $50 becomes $100, or $200 becomes $400! I definitely want to be part of this.

For more information on Arthur E. and Cleora Flegal and their contributions to AHSGR, read the article in the Summer 2012 AHSGR Newsletter by Don Soeken.  They are amazing people.

Take Note

In case you haven't noticed, this blog has a new feature.  I'm hoping that it will prove to be useful for those of you who use this site.  At the top of the posts is an area that says Home, then lists three village names.  If you click on those names, it will take you to a page that holds posts concerning that particular village.  Just continue to scroll down to read all of the posts on that village.  I noticed that we had quite a few posts on Warenburg and Pfeifer, probably because chapter members and myself have those ancestral villages.  Please feel free to send me info to add.  If you have material on other ancestral villages, I can also start a page for other villages.  Currently I'll keep these posts on the regular page as well, as I work out a few bugs concerning the new feature. I can open those pages using Explorer, but not other browsers. So I'll try and get that figured out.  I will be receiving new information on Dietel soon, so I set up a link for it in anticipation.  Currently it is empty. I am not the Village Coordinator for any villages, so they are still your best avenue for information, but I'm excited to have things organized in a fashion that will make things easier for those who visit this blog.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Village of Dietel

I will be posting both old and new information about the village of Dietel on this blog, so if you are interested in that village let Annette know. 
Don Soeken, co-coordinator of Dietel village

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FEEFHS Conference

I was able to attend the first day of the FEEFHS Conference in Salt Lake City, and it was well worth my time.  I went to two sessions.  The first was an overview of the New Family Search and how to best use it for our area of research; I received many helpful tips.  The second session was on Germans from Russia.  While  much of the information was familiar to me, I came away with a renewed energy to keep going.  The best part for me was the consult with Dave Obee on my personal research problems.  It was very encouraging, and I'm moving forward. I definitely recommend the consult for next year.

I was also fortunate to have about eight hours in the Family History Library to work on a current research project.  I am compiling EWZ records on all of the Burghardt names from Pfeifer, Russia. I still have more films to go through, but I'm delighted with the progress I made. I was surprised with the number of people I found. Of course it will take some time to translate and compile the information, but then I will have it available to share.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mark These Dates on Your Calendar

July 12-14, 2012
Plaza Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Eastern European Research Workshop will be presented by the Federation of East European Family History Societies.  There are classes on German and Russian Research and specialty classes on the Germans from Russia. Here is a link to the website that should tell you more on cost and give details about the classes.
Our next chapter meeting will be July 28, 2012, at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will meet at noon and eat during the meeting.  Everyone will bring food to share.  Six of our chapter members went to the Portland Convention and will tell about the convention.  Bill Dellos has the final report about our 2011 SLC convention.  If time permits, Sharon White will tell about finding more Laub ancestors, thanks to Konstantin Petrunin's research.  

Thanks For the Great Meals!

The local AHSGR chapter in Portland fed the convention attendees well.  Just so you can have an idea of how hard they worked, I've included a few pictures. The menu included such items as rolladen (beef rolls), spaetzle (Bavarian pasta), rotkohl (traditional red cabbage), salat (salad), schweinebraten (pork roast), sauerkraut, gulash, nudeln (pasta), gemuese (vegetables), bratwurst, kartoffelsalat (German-style potato salad), and karrotten (carrots).  Thanks!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Opening General Session of AHSGR Convention

 St. Michael's Sanctuary, Portland, Oregon
 This bowl came with Russian immigrants  to America, lovingly protected in a strong box for the trip.
The opening general session to the 2012 Convention was held at St. Michael's Sanctuary in Portland.  Dr. Richard Scheuerman was the keynote speaker. He spoke about the first Volga German immigrants to the Pacific Northwest who came from Kansas to Portland via steamship from San Francisco in 1881.  They were joined by another group that arrived via wagon train from Nebraska.

Catherine the Great

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Catherine the Great's invitation to the people of Central Europe to settle on the bleak Russian steppe. And, that's how our ancestors ended up in Russia. How nice of her to show up at this year's AHSGR Convention!

Cooking at the Portland AHSGR Convention

 I think I've found a new hobby.  I've taken three different classes on German cooking.  Take a look at the results of these ancestral dishes from our Germans from Russia roots- noodles, grebbel, and butterballs.  I've been totally impressed with all of the people teaching these classes.  What a treat!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 2012 Meeting

Just a reminder to let you know that our next Intermountain Chapter meeting will be May 19th, at noon at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan.  Everyone will bring food to share at the meeting.  Darrell Weber will give a presentation about Catherine the Great. Konstantin Petrunin will be at this meeting.  Konstantin and his father do research at the Engels and Saratov archives in Russia.  This will be a great chance to meet Konstantin.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What could you discover in a death certificate?

•Names: You might find the name of the deceased, his or her spouse, parents, children and sometimes other relatives. You can even find maiden names. •Cause of death: This may indicate a family medical history. If the death was suspicious, look for a coroner’s report, newspaper articles and court records that can tell you more. •Place of birth: This can lead to a birth record or another trail to follow. Details on a death certificate can help support theories or suggest next steps in your research, though they aren’t always easy to come by. If you can’t find the death certificate you’re looking for, search local newspapers for an obituary or try tombstones, church documents or funeral home records. (

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March Meeting

Just a reminder to let you know that our next AHSGR Intermountain Chapter meeting will be March 17, 2012, at noon at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. Everyone will bring food to share and we will eat during the meeting. Everyone should also bring something (preferably from Utah) to put into the basket our chapter will provide for the Silent Auction at the Portland convention.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The "WHY" of the Story

This has been my mantra for several years...filling in the story so that you can understand the "WHY". I borrowed these helpful tips from I hope they will be of help to you as well. It’s easier to understand why when you see a person’s actions against the backdrop of history. And the best way to do that in your own family tree is to plot your discoveries on a timeline. Step 1: Start with the facts. Create a simple timeline with pen and paper or a word-processing document. Add basic information you know about a relative and his or her immediate family. Jot down names, dates, places and key events in chronological order. Add details from census records, family stories and any records you find at home. Step 2: Add history and supporting records. Give your timeline context by adding historical events. Include big ones that may have affected your ancestors and smaller ones specific to your family. Use these events to help you find additional records like draft cards, newspaper articles, yearbooks, obituaries or city directories. Step 3. Analyze. Look at your timeline. Does everything add up? Gaps and inconsistencies can show where and when to look for records. For example, a widow with a six-year-old child in 1910 is an invitation to look for the husband’s death certificate between 1904 and 1910.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Military Records

Military records are wonderful sources that provide unique facts and insights into the lives of men and women who have served in the armed forces. They may include dates of birth and death, residence, names and addresses of family members, military rank and affiliation, among other details. The types of records you’ll find in this category include draft records, service records, pension records, bounty land records, claim records, and military histories.( While most of us are researching immigrant ancestors, there is much more to the story than many of us know. I was able to find one of my uncles who had immigrated to the U.S. from Russia in time to serve in WWI. It was such a delightful discovery. While his description on the records was rather sketchy, it was still fun to read that he had blue eyes and was tall. Anything that helps them come alive is well worth the search.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Searching the Census

Once you get your family line into America there is so much information available. Remember that there is much more to the story than just names and dates. The following blurb from is a great reminder of that. "Historical records contain a wealth of fascinating information and clues that can lead you to many more discoveries. Census records are incredibly helpful because they can provide a snapshot of your family at a moment in history when the census taker came to the door. These records list names, birth dates and places, occupations and more. Some census records even tell you if the family owned a radio."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lutheran Pietist Document Found

I recently located the following article, posted by the Mennonite Historian, Volume XIII, Number 1, March 1987. My primary focus for Alexanderdorf is the families of Hert/Hert and Stark/Stark; I will attempt to locate this document and report any interesting findings. Recently the Centre for MB Studies was given a document of unusual historical interest. Not a Mennonite document as such, it is a report, written in 1827, by a Lutheran Minister by the name of Saltet, to his home congregation in Wuerttemburg, Germany. This 33-page document describes one of the events of the Russo-Persian War, which this Lutheran Pietist community, in the area of Tiflis, Georgia, South Caucasus endured. Villages in this community were Alexanderdorf, Langenfeld, Elisabehtal, Helenendorf, Katharienfeld, Marienfeld, Petersdorf, and (Neu)-Tiflis. They were founded in 1818. In 1827 some 1,000 Kurds and Tartars attacked the village of Katharienfeld. During the raid some 35 villagers were killed and women and children were taken captive. The captives were either sold into slavery or harems. Written in gothic script this unique document is available to researchers interested in this period and in Lutheran Pietists. The document was donated to the center by Mrs. Anna D. H. Unrau of Birds Hill, Manitoba.

 Dee Hert, VC Alexanderdorf

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gen Fair

March 3, 2012, the annual Gen Fair is being held in Bountiful, UT. Numerous classes are being offered, with several German sessions by Baerbel Johnson. Access and registration information at A syllabus is provided and contains information on all classes which is very informative. Remember to wear your Germans from Russia shirt.

What’s Next on Who Do You Think You Are?

Award-winning actor and activist Martin Sheen embarks on an epic journey into both sides of his family history. It takes him to Dublin, Ireland and Madrid, Spain where he discovers that a commitment to social justice runs deep in his roots. On February 10, Marisa Tomei travels to Italy to reveal the truth about her great-grandfather’s murder. Tune in throughout the rest of the season to watch Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis, and Paula Deen.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Many Thanks

I managed to forget my camera when I went to the January meeting, but Shawnette did a fantastic job decorating for it. The Valentine's theme was very festive. Shawnette always goes all out, so a giant THANK YOU to her for being such a welcoming and hospitable hostess!

Fan Pedigree

For those of you who attended our January chapter is the site to create your own nine generation fan pedigree: It will pull the names right out of family search for you. Even if you need to create a link or two, it goes very quickly. They are absolutely fantastic, and can be printed in several different sizes.

The Ultimate Family History Journey is giving several lucky winners the chance to uncover their stories through The Ultimate Family History Journey™ Sweepstakes. Three Grand Prize winners win the trip of a lifetime to visit their home countries. If you're a winner, the trip will give you the opportunity to learn more about your ancestors and, as a result, more about yourself. In addition to the Grand Prize recipients, 20 First Prize winners will get an World Explorer membership, which provides access to billions of historical records from all over the world, plus millions of family trees, a helpful community of members and lots of timesaving tools. Go to to enter today. Log in daily through May 18, 2012 for even more chances to win.

Put It on Your Calendar

There will be no February chapter meeting. The next chapter meeting will be March 17, at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan, at noon.

RootsTech 2012

The RootsTech 2012 genealogy conference will be held at the Salt Palace on February 2 to 4. There are some free classes sent by live streaming on the computer of the sessions held in room 155. To find out more about the genealogy conference, you can go to: If you attend the classes, there is a charge. You can check out the vendors for free.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Story Confirmed

When I was growing up, my dad had lots of stories that I've spent years confirming. So you'll understand how thrilled I was with my latest find. He was the son of German Russian immigrants. His mother died when he was only two years old, and he spent his early years as a ward of St. Clara's Orphanage in Denver. He ran away from the orphanage at age 12, and one night dug into a farmer's haystack to keep warm. The next morning the farmer came out in the early morning to feed his animals and nearly ran him through with a pitchfork. It scared the farmer so badly that he took my dad in, and my dad lived with the farmer's family for some time. When I was going through the 1930's census I found my dad at age 14, listed as Edward Burkhardt, a lodger with a Hayer family. The name my father had given me was Hayes. Looking at the original record more carefully, I realized that whoever indexed the entry must have had trouble distinguishing that last letter, thus the Hayer instead of Hayes. The Hayes family lived in North Bijou, Colorado, but were originally from Missouri. The family consisted of Thomas Hayes, his wife Rose, son Thomas- age 18, and daughter Mary- age 10. So... another story confirmed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Next Chapter Meeting

Saturday, January 28th, is our Intermountain Chapter meeting. There will be another great basket raffle this month, so don't miss your chance to win! Hope to see you there at 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will start the meeting at 12:00 noon.

Cemetery in Dinkel, Russia





(These are more of Sharon White's wonderful photos.)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 2, 2012

A View of Warenburg, Russia









I love these pictures shared by Sharon White. Just seeing some of the buildings gives me a feel for the village of my ancestors.
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Some Interesting Stats

For members of the Intermountain Chapter, here is a little info that might be of interest to you. We have now reached almost 5,000 hits on our chapter blog. We have had visits from the United States, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, Latvia, and Ukraine. The posts that are of most interest seem to be those on particular villages in Russia and the ones that have been submitted by you concerning particular ancestors. So, what does this all mean? Well... people are looking and you just might have some success linking up with other people researching your line. If you haven't gone back in to check for comments on old posts that you have contributed, it would be worth your time. It's a new year, and it is certainly my goal to get more genealogical research done. I hope to make new contacts and hope you will too. Please, keep sending in items of interest about genealogy and your family research. This just might be the year it all pays off!

German Research Learning Opportunities under free courses has a German Online Learning library with episodes 5-60 minutes long and are very good on handwritting information. The Salt Lake Family History Library offers the following from January through March, 2012: "Handwritting in German Documents" Tues, February 7th, 10-11 A.M. (B1 floor); " Great Resource for German Reseach" Mon, Feb. 27, 9-10a.m. (B1); "European Emigration:The Hamburg Passenger Lists" Tues, March 6th, 11-12 (B1); " GERMAN RESEARCH WORKSHOP" Saturday, January 28, 9am until noon. ***Must register for this one ..either 801-240-4950 or via email ahead of time. No cost. This class would be held right before our January meeting. Harold B. Lee Library, 2nd and 4th Sunday presentations. Course outline can be found at floor of library) 2250 hbll. OTHER SITE: Library open from 10am-7pm those Sundays. Sun., JAN 8, 1-4PM ; or Sun., JAN 22, 1-4PM; or Sun., FEB 12, 1-4PM; or Sun., FEB 26TH, 1-4PM; or Sun., MAR 11, 1-4PM; or Sun., MARCH 25, 1-4PM. BOTTOM FLOOR...PARKING NEARBY. WOLLENZIEN & DEMONJA WILL ASSIST WITH ANY GERMAN RESEARCH PROBLEM AND TRY TO HELP LOCATE RECORDS. Bring your pedigrees and the information you have available for resources.