Black Sea Germans

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Surnames/tags: black_sea_germans German Germany
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This page is part of the Germany Project

Team Leader: Carrie Lippincott Please message me with any suggestions or concerns. I'd love to grow our presence on Wikitree and your help would be appreciated!

Please see our Black Sea Germans Working Page . This is where I'll share the latest news with the team.


Welcome to the Black Sea Germans Team Page

The goal of this project is to expand our knowledge of Black Sea Germans, to explore their lives and to look at their origins. This project is intended to be a sub-project of the Germany Project.

Black Sea Germans

The Black Sea German Colonies can be broken down into five main geographic areas:
  • Bessarabia
  • Caucasus
  • Crimea/Taurida
  • Dobrudscha
  • Ekaterinoslav (also spelled Jekaterinoslaw)
  • Kherson Province
"There were over 6,000 German villages in Russia before 1941, when the Soviet authorities issued a decree resulting in a forced evacuation of the villages and resettlement of villagers to Siberia and the Asiatic Republics (Kazakhstan). Some villages and regions have more focused research than others, the result of the interest and activity of people working to learn about "their" village or region."[1][2]


Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.
  • Add appropriate region categories to the profiles of all Black Sea Germans. See those categories HERE.
  • Add a Black Sea Germans sticker to all profiles that belong in the project:
    {{Black Sea Germans}}
    Black Sea Germans
    ... ... ... was a Black Sea German.
  • Create One Place Studies of individual villages of our ancestors to help develop our collective knowledge base.
  • Flesh out biographies, add sources, map pins, current location names.
  • Help members learn how to research their German ancestors who lived in Russia and add the information to profiles on WikiTree.
  • Please make additions to this page, as you find additional resources for us to use or to learn from.
  • Please add Black_Sea_Germans to your list of followed tags.


To join, use please first join the Germany Project. We are a subject project of this larger project.
Then, please add your name to the list here, along with your villages/surnames of interest:
  • Kelly Dazet Maternal ancestors from Neuburg, Freudental, Surnames of Dietrich, Huels, Schneider and Schmidt.
  • Koreen Goodman Maternal ancestors from Neusatz, Peterstal, Helenental, Franzfeld, Freudental, still in process of WikiTree entry of Hetterle, Heer, Becker, Schell, Feller, etc.
  • Spencer Kaul Paternal and maternal ancestors from various regions, Asperg being the main paternal line I've identified. Surnames of interest: Kaul, Maisch, Schnabel, Ketterling, Gehringer
  • Carrie Lippincott Team Leader Paternal and Maternal Ancestors living in: Paris, Leipzig, Kulm, Alt Arcis, Odessa District, Neu Danzig, Neu Freudental Surnames: are Hensel, Wiege, Bucchulz, Redinger, Bader, Ulrich, Benz, Dietrich, Issler
  • Gavin Myers My paternal grandmother is fully Russian German. Her ancestors came from all the Kutschurgan villages, minus Mannheim, and some family members came from Josefstal. Surnames of interest: Moser, Jakob, Ott, Black, Weigel, Burckhard, Haman, Voeller, and Volz.
  • Caroline Vernon Husbands paternal ancestors from at least Bessarabia. Surnames: Verworn, Heinle, Nicklaus, Metzger and beyond. Don't know a whole lot, but working (when I can) to put tree branches together, etc etc.


If you would be happy to mentor individuals new to this area of genealogy research
Please list your name here: Please reach out to us, we would be happy to help!

Resource Sharing

Are you willing to look up and share information from your resources? Please add your resources [Books, census listings, magazines] to the following page.

WikiTree Categories

Please let me know if I can help you by making a category for your ancestor's village. Working with categories makes it much easier to find and connect people/families. I love them! Carrie
Black Sea Colonies (NOTE: this is a top-level category, please do not add profiles to ths category)
Bessarabia (Province)
Bessarabian Colonies - All contained in the Bessarabian Province.
Ekaterinoslav (Province)
Chortitza Colonies
Mariupol Colonies
Yekaterinoslav Colonies
Kherson (Province),
Note - The Welfare Committee referred the Colonies in Kherson, as the Odessa Colonies, so this province is commonly referred to as Odessa instead of Kherson in records.
Beresan Colonies
Glückstal Colonies
Grossliebental Colonies or the Liebental Colonies
Hoffnungstal Colonies
Jewish Agricultural Colonies
Kherson Colonies
Kutschurgan Colonies
Kronau Colonies
Schwedengebiet Colonies
Zagradovka Colonies
Taurida (Province), or the Crimea
Crimean Colonies
Molotschnia Colonies
Prischib Colonies
Taurien Colonies
Also to be added:
Caucasus Colonies
Dobrudscha Colonies

Resources for Research/Learning

"Germans From Russia
Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie was the story of the agricultural pioneers whose quest for land and peace led them across several continents and shaped them into a distinctive and enduring ethnic group. This documentary was a finalist in the U Siebe International Film Festival, the only American documentary to be invited to participate in the juried competition. It also received a platinum Best of Show Telly Award, and was awarded a Bronze Plaque Award at the Columbus Film and Television Festival."

Odessa Digital Library

This is a wonderful starting point in research. The St. Petersburg Archives and the Bessarabian Collection are particularily helpful in finding records for Germans from the Black Sea Area.

Black Sea German Research

Bessarabia, Caucasus, Crimea/Taurida, Dobrudscha, Jekaterinoslaw, Odessa/Kherson, Outside Black Sea Area, North America, Personal Websites

Family Search

Find a Grave

Many Black Sea Germans now have memorials created at Find a Grave. Please be aware that the city names used at Find a Grave are their current names. On Wikitree, historical place names are used to reflect the time in which people lived.
Please also be sure to validate the information from this source, as many memorials do not provide sources and are prone to errors.

Finding Your Village

We would like to extend our gratitude to Dennis Bender and Otto Riehl for all of their work in compiling the above two lists and freely sharing them.
"State Councilor E. von Hahn held the position of president of the Welfare Committee of German settlers in South Russia ...The Gemeindeberichte were submitted to the Welfare Committee in accordance with a circular letter dated 8 January 1848 sent out by Councilor E. von Hahn to all of the mayors and school teachers enjoining them to undertake the writing of an historical account of the founding and development of the existing colonies. Giesinger reports that in 1848, there were 203 villages in the Black Sea Region."[3] About we can account for about 173 of the original 203 villages histories are accounted for. These accounts are wonderful for providing first hand accounts of what the settlers encountered in their villages. Additional village histories may be available through the Germans From Russia Historical Society.

One Place Studies at Wikitree

Chortitza Colony

These are oldest German colonies in the Black Sea Region. They were founded between 1789 and 1824.

Black Sea German Architecture

Black Sea Architecture University of Nebraska


  1. American Historical Society of Germans From Russia Society. Villages
  2. D.G. Bender Germans From Russia Settlement Locations and Current Name(s)
  3. Dale Wahl. Introduction to the Village History Project

This is an active Germany Project page with up-to-date information.
Reviewed: Thiessen-117 5 Aug 2021
Last updated by Traci Thiessen 5 Aug 2021

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Hi again BSG Team, Good news! Your sticker was finally approved. The new Black Sea Germans sticker reads "____ was a Black Sea German". The template info page reads: This sticker can be placed on the profiles of people who were born in or lived in the Black Sea German Colonies.
Black Sea Germans
... ... ... was a Black Sea German.

I also added coding for a "Descendant of a Black Sea German" sticker.
BSG image
Descendant of a Black Sea German

Both of these stickers can be seen HERE. Let me know if you have any changes, questions, comments, etc. Thx, Traci

posted by Traci Thiessen
edited by Traci Thiessen
Hi Team,

I reorganized this page a little and added some headings for resources and categories so they will be easier for members to find on the page. I did not check the links and some of the resources may be under the wrong headings, so if somene could check them, that would be great.

I also added the team members to the trusted list for this page so you will get notifications when someone posts to this profile.

Thanks, Traci

posted by Traci Thiessen
edited by Traci Thiessen
Hi, I just heard about the Black Sea Germans for the first time today. Amazing my ignorance. So I came here to see what it is all about. Guess what, another big mistake on Wikitree and how these things are set up. The answer to this question may be buried someplace here, but it certainly is not up front.

So off to wikipedia for the answer: This is not even listed as a source. The Black Sea Germans (German: Schwarzmeerdeutsche; Russian: черноморские немцы; Ukrainian: чорноморські німці) are ethnic Germans who left their homelands starting in the late 18th century, but principally in the early 19th century at the behest of Emperor Alexander I of Russia, and settled in territories off the north coast of the Black Sea, mostly in the territories of the southern Russian Empire (including modern-day Ukraine).[1][2][3]

Black Sea Germans are distinct from similar groups of German settlers (the Bessarabia Germans, Crimea Germans, Dobrujan Germans, Russian Mennonites, Volga Germans, and Volhynian Germans), who are separate chronologically, geographically and culturally.

Please forgive me, as I believe in keeping things simple. Why say something in thousands of words when you came be more concise and to the point. "Make it simple stupid", if you wish for someone to take the time to read what you write.

posted by Michael Schindler
edited by Michael Schindler
WikiTree is a genealogy site, not an encyclopedia. This page serves it purpose well as it simply offers resources for people to research the genealogy of Black Sea Germans in their families.
posted by Traci Thiessen
My apologies to all. I Guess German history has been complicated all the way back to Louis the Pious and Karl the Fat it has been complicated.
posted by Michael Schindler
I know, German history is crazy complicated!!!! Then, the Germans went and moved all over the world and made it even more complicated.

I have been struggling to get things figured out since I accepted the Team Leader position, I'm by no means an expert, I'm just willing to learn.

I appreciated your comments. they made me dig a little deeper and get the 5 geographical areas of the Black Sea Germans figured out and posted to this page. :-) Thank you for the challenge Michael!!

Good luck, Your task is a big one. The entire German project is so vast it is not for the weak of heart to navigate. There was a good genealogist, and an even better friend of mine that went digging through all the wiki German project files last year. I'm still waiting for him to find his way back to the Kingdom of Hanover so I can buy him a pint or two!
posted by Michael Schindler
The Wikipedia article you quote from is flagged with the words, "This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. (May 2020)" Their statement, "Black Sea Germans are distinct from similar groups of German settlers (the Bessarabia Germans, Crimea Germans, Dobrujan Germans, Russian Mennonites, Volga Germans, and Volhynian Germans), who are separate chronologically, geographically and culturally." is not true. I have German Mennonite ancestors [Löffelbein family] who married my German Lutheran ancestors.

The Dobrujan German were settlements around the western side of the Black Sea. They were largely from Bessarabia, when more territory was needed to establishment additional farms/villages for their children. Wikipedia for this colony says, "The Dobrujan Germans (German: Dobrudschadeutsche) were an ethnic German group, within the larger category of Black Sea Germans, for over one hundred years. German-speaking colonists entered the approximately 23,000 km2 area of Dobruja around 1840 and left during the relocation of 1940. Dobruja is a historic territory on the west coast of the Black Sea."

If you look at Black Sea German Research they list the following areas:





Odessa area

These individuals have been researching this heritage for years and they have done a lot of beautiful work to benefit all of us.

Family Search on the page, Black Sea Research shares the following, "The Black Sea German colonies can be broken down into five main geographic areas: Bessarabia, Crimea/Taurida, Dobrudscha, Ekaterinoslav (also spelled Jekaterinoslaw), and Odessa."

Take statements on Wikipedia with a grain of salt, it can be wrong.

posted by Carrie (Hensel) Lippincott
edited by Carrie (Hensel) Lippincott
Hi Michael! Have you checked into the Germans from Russia Heritage Center in Bismark, N.D.? It's part of the the University of N.D. and has an extensive archive and active online presence. You might find some of the information you're looking for there.
posted by [deleted]
The easiest way to join the German Project is to post an answer in the G2G [Genealogist to Genealogist] Section. Here is the link to the invitation to join: Would you like to join the German Project?

To join the Black Sea German Team, simply add your name to the list posted above. along with the villages/areas you are interested in by editing this page. Welcome to the Black Sea Germans Project a part of the German Project.

We are all happy to have you join us. Please let me know if you have any questions I can help with or if I can make any village categories for you!

How do we join your group? I tried to join the Germany Project but could not see how to do it nor do i see a way to do that here.
posted by Jim Slaughter
Hi Jim, you need to have made 100 contributions to wikitree first. So keep adding information to your profiles already added on wikitree. Then join the Germany project by answering our G2G welcome post, which you can do by following this link and in the answer say that you would like to join the Black Sea Germans team. And you will be all set.
posted by Kylie Haese
Add me as profile manager ASAP! Thank you!!

Can you please add me as profile manager for this page urgently! You can do that by going to the "privacy" tab at the top of this page. Regards, Kylie Haese - Germany Project Leader

posted by Kylie Haese
Hi everybody,

I would like to join the project and have added my name above. My maternal ancestors are all from Bessarabia (mainly Leipzig and Kulm) and I have found the names of all ancestors up to the first colonists generation. I have several german books on the Bessarabia Germans

posted by Gerald Neubauer
Hi Evelina,

Thank you for starting a profile for Dr. Stump! We are a fledgling group on Wikitree, with a lot we can do to improve our presence. Having the freedom to develop areas of interest is one of my favorite things I enjoy about Wikitree. I appreciate that you helped us a a group move forward! Now I know where to post information when I find it about him.


Hello everyone,

I was a little bit surprised that no one had created a page for Dr. Karl Stumpp, who is pretty well-known when it comes to the research of Germans from Russia. He was a Black Sea German himself, so I created a profile for him: Karl Stumpp. It is nowhere near finished, but I didn't realize how much time it would take me to compile sources. If anyone wants to help, please don't hesitate to do so. I don't mind adding more profile managers. I also think it's important to point out his work for the nazi regime as I see many people using his work for their research without looking at it critically enough. Perhaps this page will help with that.


posted by Evelina Staub
As Imperial Russia expanded, a great need developed for capable and industrious workers, especially farmers, to settle the new and often unsafe lands. The area, around the Kutschurgan River, is where hundreds of German families settled during the 1800s after the Russian government extended an invitation to them to farm the land. The Russians were very selective about their recruiting methods, only suitable families were allowed to make the journey. Many Germans, eager to improve their position in life, responded to the invitation from Russia and emigrated to the new lands. Between 1808 and 1811 about 449 families left their homes in the Rhine area and travelled to the newly opened region in the Kutschurgan valley near Odessa, South Russia. It was about a four-month trip by wagons drawn by oxen and about 1700 miles of extreme difficulty. The trip was exhausting and many were to die en-route from accident and disease. They travelled along the Danube River then overland to the Kutschurgan region. In the valley they found a virtually untouched land which looked like a paradise. But this vast grassland would require many years of backbreaking toil for it to yield a comfortable living. With the financial assistance of the Russian government, the settlers established six farming villages: Strassburg, Elsass, Maneheim, Selz, Baden and Kandel, the names reflecting those of the area they had left. Then the work turned to improving the land and planting crops. The Russian winter is bitterly cold even in the Black Sea region so the settlers had to harvest sufficient crops to carry them through the winter. The first few years were difficult in the extreme but gradually the life of the settlers improved.

By 1859 the German population of the Kutschurgan region was more than 7,300 and expanding into new villages in the Black Sea area. As the population of the region continued to expand, the Kutschurganers looked for new horizons. By the later 19th century, they were emigrating to Siberia and the Americas. The major emigration took place at the turn of the century with significant numbers going to Canada and the United States. Others pushed on to South America while many headed east from the Black Sea to parts of Siberia. Those Kutschurganers that remained after 1919 endured serious hardship from drought, famine, and political repression. In 1928, German farms and property were confiscated by the communist state and the Germans were forced onto collective farms. During the Second World War, the Germans in Russia were persecuted and many were moved to Siberia and the central Asian republics. The German population of the Black Sea region was ethnically cleaned from the area in 1945. Many of the Kutschurgan descendants who had remained in Russia have found their way back to parts of Germany where they have started new lives. Many others are still living productive lives in the far reaches of Siberia. The historical work of the German colonists in South Russia has been destroyed. The villages they had created in the course of 140 years are extinguished, their very names obliterated. No memorial, no tombstone is standing in tribute to the former inhabitants, living or dead. No Russian book even mentions their existence. But the memory and the records of their achievements still remain and are worthy of being preserved for posterity. Today, the Ukrainian government runs the area which was formerly run by the Soviets. The unemployment rate is high and the economy is very poor. Residents farm co-operatively and raise corn, wheat, sunflowers, barley, grapes and rye. They live in the villages and towns and work for the government with little incentive to better their lives. The transportation system is mainly buses and relatively few cars. The roads are paved and in good condition. The houses are well kept and are constructed of brick and limestone and have a similar appearance to each other. The few houses remaining that were built by the Germans more than one hundred years ago are lived in by the present day inhabitants.

posted by David Brandle
Kieran, I'd like to join the project. My greatgrandmother's family is from the Planer colonies close to Mariupol and luckily she and her sister are still alive.
posted by Evelina Staub
Hi, I have no knowledge of the Black Sea Germans, it would be great if you could you could add a bit of information about the history and what exactly black sea germans means, to this page. It might help you to also get some people to join.
posted by Kylie Haese