Locating records for Germans in Russia 1870-1905?

+5 votes

The profile of Phillip Schield has been created for the Wild Wild West project based on limited information. Living descendants believe he was born 1871 in Germany (perhaps his parents were born Germany?) but lived in Gabel, Russia prior to coming to United States 1905/06. Could they mean Gabel’bayevo or could this refer to another location?

I'm not well-versed in the history of Germans living in Russia this time period. Is there any possibility of finding sources or documentation and where would the search begin? I've found nothing that appears useful at Family Search, etc.

All pointers welcome!

Edit: after posting, this g2g thread showed which has helpful info. Can anyone help me identify the village which has come down as "Gabel"? It seems the first step would be identification of the village. That village name nor a Phillip Schield (or variation thereof) appear in the online records of AHSGR (assuming that is where I should be looking).

WikiTree profile: Phillip Schield
in Genealogy Help by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (268k points)
retagged by T Stanton

6 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer

The village is probably Goebel/Göebel which would sound like Gabel.  This was one of the Volga colonies (https://vgi.fairfield.edu/colonies/g%C3%B6bel).

There's a FindAGrave Virtual Cemetery for immigrants from Goebel:  https://www.findagrave.com/virtual-cemetery/433616?page=1#sr-113856153.  There are many Monheisers but not Schields.  However, there are many people named Schiel.

Using that info, I found him in the 1910 census:

"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2ZF-TLZ : accessed 14 September 2019), Phillipp Schiel, Topeka Ward 1, Shawnee, Kansas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 142, sheet 8A, family 151, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 457; FHL microfilm 1,374,470.

And then I found his immigration record from 1905 in Baltimore:





You might contact the AHSGR Village Coordinator for Goebel to see if any records exist for the time period he lived there.  https://www.ahsgr.org/page/VCs#Goebel

by Kerry Larson G2G6 Pilot (200k points)
selected by Per-Olav Hildebrand
Thanks, Kerry. Based on the images at the links it does appear his point of origin is listed as Gobel which in all probability is Göebel. Somehow missed the immigration record in searches -- probably spelling variant issue -- super appreciative for your looking and finding. Will contact the AHSGR contact for that town.
Circumstantial evidence shows that Göebel is correct. The Shield family was associated with the Schaffer family, cousins, from the same place of origin who had come to America at least a year earlier (one of the Schaffer's is listed as Phillip's contact on his immigration record). The families moved together at least twice and lived in close proximity. The Schaffers in the same cemetery as the Schield family are attached to the families known to be from Göebel. I think AHSGR can probably help confirm and perhaps document this.

Here's the location on the interactive Germans in Russia map.

+5 votes
T., I suggest checking his obituary.  He died in 1931, so I don't have online access to it.  Contact the nearby Meade Kansas public library to see if they have the local newspapers on microfilm.  There appears to be two newspapers for May 1931:  Fowler News of Fowler, Kansas (KSHS reel F440) and the Meade Globe-News (KSHS reel M784).  

There are two other places to look for town information.  Check the passenger list for when the family came from Russia.  It may list the town they came from.  On the 1930 census, it states Philip has filed his first papers.  Check the filing to see if a town is mentioned.  You will need the name of the town to find information on the family when they lived in Russia.
by Michelle Enke G2G6 Pilot (343k points)
The Meade County (Kansas) News is available online through Newspapers.com and Chronicling America for the years 1900 through 1918.  The family may be mentioned in a newspaper article once they moved there in 1917.  Otherwise, check the newspapers for the other places they lived in Kansas.
Thanks, Michelle. I checked Plains Journal (merged into Meade County News some years ago) for the years newspapers.com has and found nothing. I'll check microfilm (or paper copies) for year the obituary would have run. And, a little more digging showed the Shields farmstead (4 miles from me) is in fact the one that became that of my great aunt and uncle and now cousin -- maybe someone in my own family has some clues.
+7 votes

I once bookmarked a pdf with a huge list of German settlements in Russia and their current names and GPS where they were or are located. I found Göbel there.

by Jelena Eckstädt G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

Did find that. The website is here for anyone else seeking it. Super helpful site.

+6 votes

Perhaps contacting the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ostdeutscher Familienforscher - Forschungsstelle Russlanddeutsche has some resources.

by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (555k points)
+5 votes

Although it looks like others have set you in the right direction, since one never knows who else might stumble across this thread, I'll suggest some additional info:

I would recommend checking out the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project's collection of maps. The locations are all plotted on Google Maps. It's worth noting that some village names are not unique, so don't stop at the first match you find!

In the possibility that he's related to a Black Sea German family, I would check the GEDCOM database at http://www.blackseagr.org/, and search just his surname to see what villages pop up, then consult the maps to see if there are any adjacent villages with similar names. 

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
+5 votes

Great work Kerry! AHSGR census records (1798 census) may not list the family since it was late 1800s but the VC may have a database and possible church records with more detail.

Would add that son Gottlieb's obit lists Gabel (Göbel) and other possible spelling of mother's surname is Munhausen.

AHSGR SOAR Obit project DB: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2367299?collectionNameFilter=true


"United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9JH-297Y-5?cc=2367299&wc=H2VR-HZ9%3A1547769401 : 15 January 2019), 100415110 > image 2576 of 8999; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska.

This is a great way to look at surnames most likely tied to census records (Dr. Brent Mai's work). 


Also would suggest you tag this Volga_German as well. I will add some categories/stickers to the profile.

by Koreen Goodman G2G6 (8.5k points)
I have since discovered that Ann Marie's sister (possibly cousin but I believe sister) was married to another person in the community near Plains, Kansas and the spelling of Monhaiser in that case is yet again different. Three Volga German families are so far identified in the Plains community including https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Eakes-90 and https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Roth-4431 in addition to the Schield family. Once more documentary evidence is assembled the different profiles can have their Volga Russian connections discussed as well as the relationships after arriving the United States. One of the families first went to Buenos Aires before the USA.

I'm waiting to hear back from the AHSGR specialist for the town of Göbel. AHSGR has a listing of contacts for most of the individual towns and villages.

Yes, you'll find the AHSGR VCs most helpful. Many families settled in same areas. You'll see Dr. Mai lists your Eakes and Roth families. My guess is the Schaffer BIL on manifest was also from Göbel. The VC can give you what they can. 


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