Monday, December 3, 2018

Chapter News

Plans are underway for the chapter to gather for the annual Christmas Party. Saturday Dec. 8, early arrivals 10:00, eat around 12:00.
It will be held at the Springvillle Community Presbyterian Church.

A ham will be provided, along with rolls. 

We are gathering toys for the Toy for Tots program.  Do not wrap you donation, you may donate wrapping paper if  you wish.

Next chapter meeting will be at the Sandy Library Feb. 2, 10:00.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Germanic Genealogy Journal, Vol. 20, No.3 Fall 2017

“There Once Was a Town,” by Roger P. Minert, PhD., A.G.
There simply must be something left – a foundation, broken bricks, cobblestone, something.  The search for his friend’s family (Fred Froehlich of Logan, Utah) in the Bavarian village of Silberhof was challenging. Records were not available.   Extensive searching of various maps indicated where the village had once existed.
The German government had ordered evacuations of the 40 square mile area so the U.S. Army could establish a training area in 1938. The Wildflecken Training Range was occupied by the Army as part of their South German occupation zone and used as a gunnery range until 1994.
The Wildflecken Training Area is located directly north of Bad Bruckenau and immediately west of Wildflecken. It is 30 miles east-northeast of Frankfurt/Main, 25 miles north of Wurzburg, and 14 miles south-southeast of Fulda. The area measurers 7.08 miles north-south and 6.92 miles east-west at the widest points. The official location of Silberhof is 9 degrees, 52 minutes East longitude and 50 degrees, 22 minutes North latitude.
Towns within the Widflecken Training Area include; Altglashutten, Borrenberg, Ebertshof, Kippelbach, Neuglashutten, Reussendorf, Rotherain, Schmelzhof, Silberhof, and Werberg.
Apparently the phenomenon of disappearing villas was common. Fortunately in most cases the records of parish churches or civil registrars in those towns still exist and the work of compiling family histories can continue.
A list is being compiled of towns, villages, and settlements in the Federal Republic that have been removed from the maps – literally destroyed without a trace
Dr. Minert details his consultation with experts at the FHL, libraries around the U.S. and Germany and numerous publications.

Germanic Genealogy Society, PO Box 16312, St. Paul, MN  551116-0312
Thanks for the support.
Dee Hert
Membership Chair


For information on RootsTech, check out this website.


Alexanderhöh, Alexandrhöh, Alexanderdorf, Alexander-Hey, Alexandrovka, Uralsk

46°51' E 51°16' N

      Alexanderhöh was a daughter colony that originally consisted of two colonies--one named Alexanderdorf and the other named Höh. The two colonies were located next to one another on opposite sides of the Nachoi River (Nachoistrom), a tributary that branched off the Greater Karaman River (Großer Karaman Fluß) east of Mariental. Alexanderdorf was founded in 1848 by 19 families from the mother colonies of SchwedSchäferUrbachStahl am Karaman, and others.
      Höh was founded later (evidently 1860) by colonists from the mother colonies of Schwed
Stahl am KaramanRosenheimFischerEnders, and others. About the same time (i.e., in the first half of 1860), the names of the two colonies were combined into Alexander-Höh, which from then on became the name of the combined daughter colony.
      According to the 9th Revision for 
Stahl am Karaman, the following families moved to Alexanderdorf: Michael Stahl (b. 1794), Konrad Stahl (b. 1797), Johannes Zitzer (b. 1773), Friedrich Zitzer (b. 1801), Heinrich Seibel (b. 1793), Friedrich Elberg (Ölberg?, b. 1810), and Christian Elberg (Ölberg?, b. 1814).
      In 1877-1878, 10 families departed for America.
      The Lutheran church in Alexanderhöh was built of wood in 1888 in the Kontor Style. It reportedly seated 800 parishners.
      The congregation in Alexanderhöh is part of the Lutheran parish headquartered in 
Weizenfeld where there was a resident pastor.

Caucasian Line

NAMES:  Caucasian Line (North Caucasus)

HISTORY:  The Caucasian Line describes one of the fortified frontiers established in Russia to guard and expand the borders of the empire. The Caucasian Line began in 1735 with the construction of a fortress at Kizlyar, near the Caspian Sea. In response to the 1739 treaty between Russia and Turkey, a series of fortresses were then constructed from Kizlyar eastward along the front range of the Caucasian Mountains eventually reaching the mouth of the Kuban River as it enters the Sea of Azov.
As a result of the Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774), the Russians began expansion into the North Caucasus region. Count Pavel Potemkin, cousin of Grigori Potemkin who was a favorite of Catherine the Great, was named viceroy over the Caucasus and arranged for the expansion of the Caucasian Line. According to Dietz, by a decree of 27 October 1778, a number of colonists were relocated to the Caucasus in settlements that were being established along the Caucasian Line. There are many families in the 1798 Census of the Volga colonies that are noted to either be or have been "on the Caucasian Line."
In 1809, a group of colonists from Sarepta and Anton settled in the colony of Karras near Pyatigorsk. Dietz continues to report that a number of colonists had moved to the Caucasus without authorization in 1850. They reported that 593 families had declared their desire to relocate to the northeastern shore of the Black Sea. Although the Kontora forbid this movement, the colony of Alexandrovskaya was founded there near the Nalchik fortress. By 1840, there were five German colonies in this area. The colony of Michaelsdorf was founded near Vladikavkaz in 1861. According to Dietz, 736 male and 567 female souls moved from the Volga colonies to the Causasus between 1838 and 1871.
In the second half of the 19th century, a wave of migration from the German colonies in the Black Sea region occurred and by the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917 there were more than 100 German colonies in the North Caucasus.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

What Is Your Family Story

Author Karen Schutte, a second generation Volga German, shares her family's stories of immigration in a four volume set of historical novels.

Village Discussions

I have to say that the village meeting I attended was well worth the time.  I so appreciate the effort and resources that Nick and Barb Bretz shared with us.  I felt  my trip was worth it because of the connections I made in that meeting.  A third cousin that I'd never met before was extremely helpful and generous, giving me three family pictures and sharing a story I'd never heard. 

The Immigrant Woman

Norma Pipkin gave an outstanding presentation at the convention. She portrayed her great great grandmother, reenacting a time when Germans from Russia left to come to an unknown country to secure a better life.

Convention Cooking Classes

New Potatoes in Butter Cream Sauce


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Finding Your Ancestor's German Origins

Maggie Hein has a wealth of knowledge and gave many helpful hints for finding your ancestor's German origins.

The Storm

Welcome to the AHSGR Convention in Hays, Kansas.

Volga German Haus

This is a replica of the size and type of  home early Volga German settlers built. When the first immigrants arrived to establish their villages, they quickly constructed small dug-out sod shelters.The sod shelters were used until a more permanent house of native limestone rock could be built. The interior contains two rooms: a small room containing the  mud stove and the cooking utensils, and a large room that served as the living, dining, and sleeping area.

Kansas Artist

This guy is amazing!  He has studied the Volga villages that he paints and truly catches their spirit.  I enjoyed visiting with him, such an interesting character.  Thanks, Michael Boss, for your beautiful art.

Hays, Kansas

I was so thrilled to be in Hays for the AHSGR Conference.  We took some time to drive around the city and check out some of the sights.  What a wonderful place!  I especially enjoyed a look at the churches.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Message from Dee Hert

Let's work as a group towards our research.  Many chapter members have suggested we conduct joint research, so this is not an original idea.  It's just the start of what I hope will be momentum towards a positive direction.

Lets work together towards our common goals.

This is what I propose:

1.  Think about your research needs, what do you want to accomplish?

2. Take notes, make comprehensive lists.

3. To prepare in advance contact me with your lists, such as a need to search a specific village, surname chart, etc.  I am aware of several previous requests to locate German origins. Add skills you would like to learn/perfect.

4. Need Skype?  We can make that available upon request.

5. A list of needed research resources will be composed, in the hope that eventually we can make necessary purchases.  Knowing this might influence purchase decisions.  Individuals are "considering" a generous donation towards record acquisition; their interest may be similar to our interests. 

6. Grants and similar programs wait to hear from us.

7. Caucasus.  Remember my request to share what you have regarding the Caucasus as I am developing a database of this information.

From this material I will determine if my library contains the necessary material, and if not I will contact members who agree to look-ups..  Also, another most valuable location of genealogical real estate is the Family History Library.  As stated before, I try to get to the library at least once a week, for myself and numerous other GR's who do not live in Utah.  My numerous requests for assistance to help other GR's stands, the stack of requests grows rather than diminishes.

I realize many of us do not live minutes from each other, thus I/we will be flexible to accommodate your schedule and needs.   I am finally retired after 30 years, and am willing and able to devote time as an on-going project.

Hopefully this is a long-term project and as we transition to new ideas, we will embrace one another's talents and abilities and leadership.

Family Search

Hey folks, just wanted to remind you to check out Family Search frequently.  It seems like there is  always a fun and new feature coming out, not to mention many new records for your research every day.  My new favorite is the Ancestor Photo Game, where you identify photos of your ancestors.  Of course I got them all right because I seem to spend as much time with the dead as the living!  I love the updates I receive on my pioneer ancestors and any connected stories.  The infographic they have created is fascinating.  It shows the average age your ancestors married, the countries of their birth, most common birth month, least common names, the percentage of ancestors who immigrated to another country, etc.  Also fun, the notifications that tell you that it's an ancestors birthday or anniversary, and includes their relationship to you.  Don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Intermountain Chapter Cookbooks

Let Dee Hert know if you need to purchase Chapter Cookbooks. We have many to sell.  The books make great birthday gifts, hostess gifts, etc.  Keep a few on hand for those unexpected events when you need a gift for someone special.

Interesting Information

Excerpt from “Materialien zur Geschichte und Statistik des Kircheb-und Schulwesens der Ev. Luth. Geneinden in Russland “ by E.S. Busch 1862; translated by Bill Pickelhaupt

My husband, Darrell Hert, has Germans from Russia heritage from both sides of his parents.  So when his DNA test revealed he had Turkish and Greek heritage we were surprised.  I have heard numerous times that Germans from Russia “never” intermarried outside their faith or culture.  So much for “never”.
I am a very curious person and could not rest until I solved this puzzle, so I started to re-read my resource materials.
The sited material stated, “Colonists from the adjacent German villages repeatedly married women from Estonian villages and don’t consider this a “misalliance” even though the Estonians don’t have the privileges of the colonists, but rather only the rights of the crown farmers. For worship and communion the Estonians go to the church in Weizenfeld.
Now I need to locate records pertaining to the Greek Orthodox faith, perhaps at the Family History Library.  The Community FamilySearch site may also be a source as individuals post research questions and challenges.  Responses are always helpful.
The village of Alexanderdorf may have been home to our ancestors, and this information pertains to the Volga area.
Previous researchers and translators deserve much appreciation.

Contributed by Dee Hert

Happy Genealogy

Happy Genealogy
1 cup good ancestors
1 cup interested relatives
1 cup time
2 cups good record keeping
2 cups letter writing
3 cups patience
Mix thoroughly letters of found ancestors, unsuccessful
 replies, uninterested people.  Fold in 4 cups faith.
Blend into daily life.  Bake well with warmth of
 human kindness and serve with a smile anytime.
From CCC newsletter June 1992

REMINDER: AHSGR Storytelling Contest

The entry form for the 2018 AHSGR Storytelling Contest is now posted on the AHSGR website. To find it on the website, go to the dropdown menu under About, then to Storytelling. There you'll also find last year's Storytelling Contest winners.

The entry deadline is May 15. Stories must be no longer than 1,500 words, and video entries (for youth under 14) no longer than 10 minutes. If you have questions, please email Dan Moser, AHSGR editorial and publications coordinator, at

Happy storytelling!

Hotels for Convention, July 29- August 2, Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas

 Here are the rates for three hotels in Hays, and they’re a bargain:
  • Baymont Inn and Suites, 3801 N. Vine St.; 785-625-8103; $69 plus tax
  • Days Inn, 3205 Vine Interstate 70, 785-628-8261; $74.69 plus tax
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites, 4650 Roth Ave., 785-625-8000; $129 plus tax
Get those hotel reservations made and stand by for full registration information. Early-bird registration will be due June 15.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

January 2018, Village Coordinator of the Month

Francis Eickbush
Neuburg, Neu-Arzis

Entertainment, continued...

Next Chapter Meetings

The next two Intermountain Chapter Meetings will be on February 3, 2018, and April 14, 2018, in the Sandy Library at 10:00 a.m. in the Small Meeting Room. 

International Society for British Genealogy and Family Search

Members who have British, Irish, Welsh, and Scot heritage will be interested in the upcoming International Society for British Genealogy.

Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, SLC  15-19 October 2018

Reading the information I see they provide a quarterly journal, "British Connections" and a "Surname Interest" database.

Registration opens 15 March 2017.

Membership costs:  $25 per person, $30 family and $35 library or society

Watch for other educational opportunities and share what you learn.

More Dancers

Storytelling Contest

Among Germans from Russia, storytelling is an important oral and written tradition that ensures the continuation and enhancement of GR history and heritage among future generations of Germans from Russia.

The annual AHSGR Storytelling Contest invites both adults and youth to participate in this GR tradition by submitting stories related to Germans from Russia. They can be either fiction or non-fiction. Winning stories are presented at the Folklore Symposium at the annual convention and prize money is awarded.

This year, we’re trying something new: For youth (under 14), a video contest. Video stories can be anything from interviews to more produced stories; again, fiction or nonfiction, and up to 10 minutes in length.

Consider entering the 2018 AHSGR Storytelling Contest. The entry form will be available on our website next week; we’ll let you know when it’s there. But in the meantime, start thinking and creating – and pass the word along to others, AHSGR members and nonmembers alike.

If you have any questions, email Dan Moser at

Good luck and happy storytelling!