Project: Volga German

Categories: Volga German Project | Europa (de)

Herzlich Willkommen!
Welcome to the Volga German Project!



Project Objective

The objective of the Volga German Project, a sub-project of the Germany Project, is to use the collaborative powers of WikiTree to collect, organize, and trace the information of those families into one, easily referenced, location. Our dream is to trace families alive today beyond their Mid-Western present, through their colonial days in Russia, and back to the regions in Germany where they originated. We realize that this will take much work and diligence on the part of the Project Members. But we are willing and able to carry it out!

If you'd like to know more about the Volga Germans, see The History of the Volga Germans.

German: Wolgadeutsche or Russlanddeutsche

Russian: Povolzhskie nemtsy






How to Participate volga_german.gif

If you would like to be involved in the Volga German Project, please do the following:

  1. Add volga_german to your list of followed tags. That way you'll see all our discussions in your G2G Feed.
  2. Ask Maggie N. to award you the Volga German Project Member badge.
  3. Add your name to the list below, along with a note about what you're working on in this project right now (please also include which colony villages your family is from, if you know). Reach out to Volga German project coordinator Russ Gunther.



  • For historically significant Volga German ancestors who settled or were born in the Volga German colony villages of Russia::
    • Final ID locked, marking the profile as project protected (must be done by one of the Project_Leaders), if the profile meets those requirements
    • German Roots project account is set as a manager of the profile.
    • {{German Roots}} template at the top of the page. Please coordinate with Germany Project
  • For all other profiles associated with the Volga German project, those ancestors who settled or were born in the Volga German colony villages of Russia but are not "historically significant" or in need of project protection:
    • Insert the {{Volga German}}template somewhere beneath the ==Biography== heading in the profile. This will display the Volga German sticker in the biography section.
Resulting sticker:
Volga German
... ... ... is a Volga German.

See example on profile for Rosa Walters.

Please note that Category:Volga German Project is to be affixed to living WikiTreers who are project members, and not to every profile associated with the project. Please use the sticker and the proper colony category until further notice.

Project Goals

  1. Apply German Roots template {{German Roots}} to all profiles that need project management and/or project protection.
  2. All profiles are well-sourced and have a well-written biography according to WikiTree's Style Guide.


Project Members

This is what our members are working on right now:

  • Russ Gunther (Volga German project coordinator) -Working on: adding all the 106 colony village names and free-space page for each so that all your VG ancestors can have their colony village interactively linked on their profile! (Dechant & Leiker of Obermonjou, Wasinger of Schönchen, Bach of Graf, Koenig & Liepfried of Wittmann, others of Schaffhausen, & Rohleder ...immigration to Ellis County, Kansas)
  • Lana H (Volga German project assistant) -Working on: ___
  • Sharon A. -Working on: ___ (Hopp family from Frank ...immigration to Odessa, Washington)
  • Carole L. -Working on: Toepfer's in Wisconsin-"Conquering the Wind"
  • DeenaKay -Working on: volga_germans from Ellis County, Kansas
  • Koreen (Printz) Goodman - Working on: Adding VG villages/categories to update VG project; DNA matches, census records, specifically Walter
  • Jerry B. - Working on the Volga Germans from the Catholic Colonies along the Volga that settled in Ellis County, Kansas. (Katharinenstadt, Herzog, Graf, Rohleder)
  • Sarah Mason -Working on Dietrich family from Balzer to Lancaster County, Nebraska. Also, working on Kelln family from Holstein (untangling a GEDcom upload from 2012).
  • Evelina Staub -Working on Schiller family from Mariental (including Hansen, Staub, Kelbler and other branches), I can also translate German and Russian documents into English.
  • R. Neff -Working on Neff family from Dinkel, also my grandmother's side is German-from-Russia from Crimea
  • Mary Ewer -Working on family line of Kohler/Kahler/Koehler, Glanz, Brill, Schleuning, Alt, Scheidemann, Repp, and Bäker of Norka
  • Craig Green -Working on family lines Grun/Green of Balzer, Wagner of Pobochnoye, (and Fischer/Fisher of Yacata?)
  • Karen Wagner - working on family lines of Sturtz and Meier, emigrated to Canada
  • Pip Sheppard - working on Village of Frank, ancestors of my daughter
  • P Kreutzer - working on family lines of Kreutzer, Younger/Junker, Dreher, Wasinger, Werth, Gerber, and many others, hoping to make profiles with sources and good bios.
  • Caleb Marshall - working on maternal grandfather's family lines Urban, Distel, Roth, Meier, Reeb, and Berg of Kamenka
  • Terry Poole - working on maternal grandfather’s family Giesick of Walter,. Maternal grandmother’s family is more difficult from Hoffental. Both families immigrated to Greeley CO area.
  • Adam Kester -working on paternal grandfathers male line, Kister of Walter. After that, goal is to look into my paternal great grandmothers family, Arnst. The Kisters emigrated to Walla Walla, Washington and the to near Ritzville, WA.
  • Kelly Popp -working on the Popp family of village Schönfeld, and the Ehrlich family of _.


German History and how it relates to Understanding and Researching your German Family History

  • (coming soon!) Feb 21, 2019: When is "Soon"? and who is working in this significant assortment of German Histories and Cultures???

This site is a supersite for those who are researching their German roots. Even if this part of the German world doesn't apply to you, it is a very educative site about the possibilities in German roots research! PLEASE DON'T IGNORE IT, BUT EXPLORE!

Volga German Colony Villages

  • We have a fantastic table of the Colony villages with links to their free-space information & resource pages

Map plats and satelite images Germans from Russia Settlement Locations [1]

Helpful Links

  • Google translator - translate words, or cut and paste a sentence, or translate an entire webpage
  • Volga German Origins[2]
  • - I realize most of our cemeteries in the Volga colony villages are no longer marked, but this is a great resource especially for researching descendants and memorializing our family members...and often I am able to locate and contact living cousins who leave virtual flowers on memorials!


Litzenberger, Olga: History of German settlement on the Volga: Part 3 Catholics. This work is the third volume reference book, giving a historical characteristic of the Volga German settlements. 45 Catholic colonies. Data registers of births for each of the German colonies and other archival sources, numerous illustrations. [3]

Obholz, Albert: Die Kolonie Mariental an der Wolga. This book summarizes the way of life in the colony Mariental from 1766 until 1941 based on memories of survivors and their descendants. It contains photographies as well as name registers and is available in German and Russian.[4]

Toepfer, Amy Brungardt. Conquering the Wind. A saga of the Volga Germans who settled in Western Kansas in the mid 1870s. This book was banned for a while because it was considered uncomplimentary to the Volga Germans.

Facebook Groups

  • Volga German Colony Village Groups or Pages:
[ Frank-Kolb Russia Database
Graf, Volga (60 members)
Obermonjou, Volga Germans (239 members)

  • Volga German descendants Groups:
Unsere Leute of Ellis County Kansas (386 members)
Germans from Russia in Arizona (97 members)

Facebook Volga German Pages:
Germanic Genealogy Society
Wolgadeutsche unbekannte Wörter und mehr
[ American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR)
[ Germans from Russia Heritage Society
Germans from Russia Foodways and Traditions

Articles about Volga Germans

YouTube videos about Volga Germans

  3. Documentary
  4. Returnees to Germany
  5. Why some stayed in Russia
  6. polka

Notable Volga German descendants

  • Romanus "Monty" Basgall (1922-2005) Major league baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers and previously the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Petrowitsch "Peter" Bissing (1871-1961) Violinist
  • Virgil C. Dechant (born 1930) 12th Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, vice president of the Vatican Bank, a Gentiluomo di Sua Santità (a Gentleman of His Holiness, the Pope), a Councillor on the State Council for Vatican City, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Pius IX, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, and a Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Henry John Deutschendorf Jr (professional name John Denver) (1943-1997) American musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, activist, actor, and humanitarian
  • Remigius Oswalt "Remi" Gassmann (1908-1982) American avant garde composer, pianist, educator, critic, and pioneer of electronic sound and music
  • Lioba C. "Bo Peep" Karlin (1910-1969) American actress and movie star, wife of Gaston J. Glass
  • Anna Maria (Roth) "Annie" Rose (1917-2002) wife of billionaire Tom Rose
  • Willard Raymond Schmidt (1928-2007) Major league baseball player, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds and previously St. Louis Cardinals
  • Lawrence Welk (1903-1992) American musician, band leader, and television show host (actually Odessa German heritage)


Volga German memorials & monuments

American Volga Relief Society (1921-1938)

  • American Volga Relief Society (1921-1938) material relates to the starvation of the Volga German colonists in Russia, and the efforts of the AVRS to supply food and other aid to the region (the bulk of the materials are dated 1921-1925, the most intensive years of the Russian famine). (AHSGR Anerican Historical Society of Germans from Russia)

This page was last modified 03:46, 2 July 2020. This page has been accessed 11,246 times.