Volga German/Black Sea Survey - Germans from Russia Settlement Locations

+8 votes

If you have Volga German, Black Sea, Volhynia or surrounding Russian area ancestors with confirmed sources of their birth/village location, immigration year, and areas they resettled, please consider completing a survey(s) to further research on migration patterns. The survey will be used for generational family migration patterns to and around the U.S. More details will be given at AHSGR and GRHS conferences.

This free survey is by Sandy Schilling Payne who created the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations map, and will remain open until the end of 2019. It is VERY important to list the names of the TOWNS and not just the states where they lived. You can list your ancestors WikiTree link on second to last question of survey if you wish as that would point to any family census records.

Thank you! ~Koreen Goodman

in Genealogy Help by Koreen Goodman G2G6 (6.2k points)
retagged by Koreen Goodman
The survey is far too long.  A meta-study would probably yield results that are as valid.
Kathy, You could contact Sandy and share your thoughts. See her website.

4 Answers

+6 votes
How interesting and what a worthwhile project. Thank you, Koreen.
by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (859k points)

Worthwhile to support others who are working so hard to document our ancestors and help others with research. How the colony areas are grouped on her mapping may be something to consider for categorization as the work continues for the WT German Roots subgroups/structure for Volga Germans and Black Sea villages. Dr. Mai's Gazetteer is another valuable structure source: https://vgi.fairfield.edu/gazetteer Thanks Maggie!

+6 votes

I was doing some work on a family recently, that I'm not related to, who are Mennonite. Come to find out they are from Volhynia, originally from Germany (or Switzerland, not sure yet), and migrated to Kansas.

Interestingly, I found out that the Mennonites are a group that keep a lot of genealogical records and heavily intermarry, so you see the same family names over and over again.

Some WikiTree Resources that I found about this:





by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (234k points)

Interesting links, thanks for sharing Eric.

For anyone interested, the Mennonites were among the conscientious objectors or pacifists. I did not even know this history until recently. Buckingham Camp was an area in Northern Colorado. Quite a story:

Volhynian records can be obtained here: https://www.sggee.org/
Overall, most of the German-Russian villages intermarried due to isolation in very remote villages surrounded by marauders who would attack the villages. They did not intermarry with Russian 'blood' interestingly. I wonder if the health issues are about the same level that are found in generations of Ashkenazi German Jews. The genes and DNA are fascinating. With DNA, we may match people many ways due to intermarrying. Makes for tough DNA matching for me.

I also just came across The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (another type of Wiki). They have a good article on Genealogy here:


Plus many other useful articles that I'm now using as references for the family I'm researching.

@Koreen: are you in Colorado? I live in the Denver area (Lakewood).

Nice link showing surnames/heritage. No, but my family is in CO :-)
Remember also that they were German speakers living amongst Russian speakers.  The two languages are different enough that communication would require a concerted effort, esp. considering that they were originally settled in specific communities--like a ghetto comprised of a whole town.

I think you are right that health related genetic studies of descendants would be very interesting.

Yes, from what my relatives taught me they all spoke German (not Russian) and had created Low German (vs. High German spoken in Prussia/Germany) with their inflections. I read once they used the Russian word for watermelon, so I'm sure there were more words added as they tried to communicate. Yet another reason that cultures tend to flock together. My relatives would speak it when they didn't want the kids to know what they were talking about :-)

An example I read:

English-German-Low German:
So we will do it - So machen wir das - so mog wi dat.

There have been genetic studies on Alzheimer's but not full autosomal recessive gene studies to my knowledge. 

Hmmm.... Koreen, my stepdaughter has Volga-German ancestors who lived in Colorado. Before that, Nebraska. Before that, Frank, Russia.
Hi Pip,

Show me the link, I'd love to see the surnames. Most likely all beet laborers which is reason they came to CO and NE.

Admittedly I have a lot of work to do yet, but here’s the couple:



Hi Pip,

I updated his profile and looked up brothers to try to determine the ship manifest which would tell us more. Pulling up AHSGR Soar obits I found the brothers Carl and Peter which told more of the story. Fred may have been born in Frank but believe there was village movement as brother Carl Jr. was born in Katharinenstadt per obit. Left research notes for you on father's profile. Will PM you.



+3 votes
Koreen, Thank you for the information on this survey.  I will fill in family information and I hope that others do too.  This appears to be a valuable project!
by Michelle Enke G2G6 Pilot (267k points)
I'm sure Sandy will appreciate it. Thank you Michelle.
+2 votes
For those interested, here is an update to the responses thus far received from this survey and the work in progress:

by Koreen Goodman G2G6 (6.2k points)

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