GENEALOGIST'S PRAYER: "God grant me the serenity to accept the ancestors I cannot find, the courage to find the ones I can, and the wisdom to document thoroughly."
If you could see your Ancestors all standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them or not - or don't you really know?
Some strange discoveries are made in climbing family trees
And some of them, you know, do not particularly please.
If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row,
There might be some of them perhaps you wouldn't care to know.
But here's another question which requires a different view:
If you could meet your Ancestors, would they be proud of you?
FACT: One in five Americans (20%) are of German ancestry.
Some WWI German/Russian History:
In 1914 (beginning of WWI) the Russians "visited"
East Prussia (northeast of Germany) but suffered a heavy defeat at
Tannenberg. The "hero" of that Battle was the German General of the Army,
Paul von Hindenburg, who became the most popular German Army commander,
and later the second President of the first German Republic, the "Weimar
Republic". In 1933, Hindenburg was forced to appoint Hitler as Reichskanzler, German Chancellor, and hoped that Hitler could be stalled in a cabinet that other conservative democratic politicians belonged to.
Harold Ehrman's Web Page reviews a book entitled "Odessa Martyrology" The book has 752 pages and was printed 1997 (ISBN 966-571-065-9). It is in Russian language with some portions in Ukrainian language. The main part of the book contains a listing of 26,019 people arrested in the Odessa Oblast (Province) between 1919 and 1984. Of these, 8691 were executed. The alphabetical list includes the full name, father's name, year of birth and the arrestee's sentence.
Michael Miller wrote on May 7th, 2001: "Today, the largest concentration of German-Russians in the United States is located in North Dakota with around 30 percent of the 640,000 people primarily of Bessarabian, Black Sea, Crimean, Dobrudscha, and Volhynian heritage.
A 1920 census survey estimated that about 116,000 German-Russians were
settled in the United States, with the greatest density of 70,000
immigrants living in North Dakota. Today the sons and daughters of these
Dakota pioneers have relocated throughout the USA, especially in western
Large populations of Black Sea German descendants still live yet in North
America, particularly in the states of California, Idaho, Montana, North
Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington of the United States, as well
as the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
of Canada. Persons of Volga German heritage live primarily in Colorado,
Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and western United States, as well as the
western prairie provinces of Canada.
An estimated one million German-Russian descendants are living in North
America. Many of these people have kept alive their unique German
dialects, as they were spoken in their ancestral villages of the Russian
Empire more than 200 year ago. They continue the same food traditions and
recipes, which their grandparents prepared in South Russia. Today in North Dakota, one can identify the names of towns with the same names of ancestral villages near Odessa and further back in Germany and France.
In the early 1970s, two Germans from Russia societies were founded: the
American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR), Lincoln,
Nebraska, and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS), Bismarck,
North Dakota. In 1978, the North Dakota State University Libraries in
Fargo, North Dakota, established the Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection (GRHC). These North American groups house some of the most
comprehensive compendiums of books and other archival materials which
document the heritage and culture of the Germans from Russia. Cooperative
projects continue to develop between AHSGR, GRHS and GRHC, as well as the
heritage societies located in Stuttgart (Landsmannschaft der
Bessarabiendeutschen and the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland).
During the 1990s, electronic discussion groups or listserves, mail lists
and websites have flourished and grown dramatically in North America. North Dakota State University is the home of five Germans from
Russia listserves with more than 3,000 subscribers."
UPDATE (Nov 2000) ON THE GERMAN-RUSSIANS IN GERMANY:
Michael Miller wrote, "There are many challenges for the Germans from Russia community in Germany today especially in social and economic conditions for those who have immigrated from the former Soviet Union since the 1980s and 1990s.
The primary organization is the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus
Russland. Much of their focus is social welfare and the political
situation for the ethnic Russian-Germans in Germany and those still in
Russia and other places of the CIS.
The Landsmannschaft has no website nor do they have email. (They have a large meeting about every 2 to 3 years in Stuttgart, Germany.) Their focus at this point is much different relating to family and genealogy research.
GRHC has prepared a website in English for the Landsmannschaft and the
Bessarabian Heimatmuseum located at the "General Information" section."
RUSSIA RELEASES GERMAN RECORDS:
FRANKFURT, Germany (January 31, 1999) - Russia's secret service has given the German Red Cross files on 30,000 Germans missing since the end of World War II, a newspaper said Sunday. Up to 300,000 German civilians disappeared in central and eastern Europe as Soviet troops advanced on Berlin in the spring of 1945, Welt am Sonntag said, quoting the German Red Cross.
The men and women were arrested, many "the victim of sheer caprice," and sent without trial to Soviet camps or tortured and died during interrogation, the newspaper said. Stalin's Red Army believed many belonged to the Nazi party, while others were minor government officials, town mayors and even German communists, the report said.
After talks between Germany's former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the mid-1990s, Russia's Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, agreed to release the data, which had been kept for 54 years on card files in the KGB's archives. The information arrived at German Red Cross headquarters in Munich last week.
To back its report, the newspaper published details of four people, omitting their last names for privacy reasons. Two pictures from one of the files was also published. Each listed the person's name, date of birth, reason for arrest, and burial place. On the back of each was stamped SMERT - dead - in Russian.
The German Red Cross is working to match the names with 1.2 million missing persons in its records, the report said. In a separate discovery, the Red Cross said it found in Russia 50,000 thick folders containing letters written home by German soldiers during World War II, the newspaper reported. The letters, found in an Interior Ministry archive at Podolsk, outside Moscow, were taken from captured Germans or from downed transport planes, it said.
The German church books (both in Germany and in the colonies) routinely mention if a child is born "illegitimately." The father is usually listed (if he is known), and often what it means is that they weren't yet legally married, just engaged. Often you'll find that there are later baptismal entries recorded, with the same parents listed, and those births are no longer recorded as illegitimate. In the churchbook for Landau, South Russia there are a couple illegitimate births recorded, and I think the fathers were named -- no dashing Cossacks or Kirghiz tribesmen with thin Erol Flynn mustaches, judging from their names just a couple seed-chewin' farm boys with gleams in their eyes.
-- Roland --.
In Württemberg, Germany villages, a guardian was appointed to defend a
child's interests and to look after his or her inheritance rights
whenever at least one parent died. Although it seems to have been
more usual to refer to a child as an 'orphan' (Waisenkind) when the
father was dead, whether or not the mother was still living, insti-
tutionally there appears to have been little difference. A guardian
(Pfleger) was appointed.
- PRIEST EXTERMINATIONS:
Roman Dzwonkowski. "Losy duchowienstwa katolockiego w ZSSR 1917-1939. MARTYROLOGIUM".Lublin 1998. Towarzystwo Naukowe Katolickiego Uniwersitetu Lubelskiego. TNKUL/(Poland)
FALKENSTEIN, JOHANNES (1886 - 1912 - ?) Belonged to the Tiraspol diocese and was a graduate of the seminary in Saratov. In 1913 was named administrator of the parish of Marienburg in the Samara province. In 1928 assumed the post of administrator of the parish of Josephstal. Arrested in 1932 (?), sentenced under article 58-10 of the Complete Codex of the RSFSR to 5 years in the camps and exiled to Novosibirsk (?). Fate unknown. ; ; .
KAPPES, ALOIS, secular name Nicolas (1886 - 1910 -1937. Belonged to the Tiraspol diocese and was a graduate of the seminary in Saratov. In 1910-1914 was priest of the parish of Marienberg on the Volga in the Samara province; deanery in Rovnoye [Seelman], and later (1914-1922)priest of the parish of Marienfeld (Novaya Avilova). At the beginning of 1924 assumed the post of administrator of the parish in Josephstal on the Volga, and chief priest (1928) in Kamyshin, Saratov deanery. Arrested on 14.07.1930, was taken to Butyrki in Moscow, and was tried with various other German priests from the Volga in connection with events there in 1917 by the KZN. Was accused [convicted] of the following crimes:
a. was in a counter-revolutionary cell organized for activity in the USSR which maintained special contacts with the papacy and nationalistic-religious German organizations "Caritas" and "Fursorge. In that connection went twice to Rome and Germany, where he received special directives from the Pope and directions for those organizations; received money for the conduct of ounter-revolutionary activity in the USSR.
b. Directed, together with Baumtrog, and created counter-revolutionary organizations of priests, given them practical information on the conduct of counter-revolutionary and espionage activities; participated illegally in consultations of priests, convoked together with Baumtrog.
c. Conducted special spy activity collecting information of economic, political, and military significance and passed on this information through contacts of Metzger, the German ambassador.
d. Took special part in the activity of political bands operating in the Volga region in 1917 - 1920, took active part in preparatory activities and preparations for counter-revolutionary massive uprisings of the German colonists on the Volga at the end of 1929 and the beginning of 1930.
e. Hid from the Soviet authorities with the goal of flight abroad, with forged documents with another name.
Convicted of the crimes listed above on the basis of articles 58-2, 58-4, 58-6 and 72 of the Legal Codes of the RSFSR. Under severe interrogation, Kappes confessed to these crimes [262 CAFSBRFNP]. Was twice investigated, in 1922 and 1924, for passage abroad and illegal visits to Germans in America, where he collected money for starving German people in Russia, and visited the Vatican. Was also convicted of intent of illegal crossing the border to Poland. on 20.04.1931, on the basis of articles 58-2, 58-4, 58-6, and article 72 of the Complete Codes of the RSFSR, was sentenced to death, and to ten years in the camps, based on the date of 14.07.1930. Arrested at the camp in Solovki on 10.10.1937, and executed by firing squad on 1.11.1937. Ref: [7:syg. 2ER]; 15:1917-1919]; ;[88:1931, nr. 24, s. 303]: [262 CAFSBRFNP].
OKKS, ALOYS, secular name Joseph (1871 - 1894 - ?) Born in the area of Mariental, Odessa region. Was a graduate of the seminary in Saratov and belonged to the Tiraspol diocese. In 1894 - 1901 preached in the parish of Krasna, Bessarabia. From 1910 - 1914 was administrator, then chief priest of the parish of Marienfeld, Saratov province, German Soviet Autonomous Republic. Was also priest of the parish of Josephstal (Schwaben Khutor). Later was priest in Leichtling and Herzog (1928) on the Volga. On that basis was arrested on 3.05.1930. On 6.06.1931 was tried under articles 58-4, 58-6, and 58-10 of the Complete Codex of the RSFSR, and sentenced to three years in the camps, changed to exile to Siberia (according to the biography by Fr. Georg S. Baier). Was exiled to Novosibirsk. Further fate unknown. Ref: [7: syg.2ER]; [15:1917], ; .
RAUH (RAU), FRANZ, secular name Peter (1888 - 1911 - 1937). Born in the place of Pamyatnoye, belonged to the Tiraspol diocese. Completed the Seminary in Saratov. In 1911 - 1913 was catechetical (assistant priest?) of Nikolaevka, from 1913 - 1918 was administrator of the Marienfeld parish in Saratov province, and Saratov deanery. From 1918 - 1923 was priest in Josefstahl. In 1923 was administrator of the Pamyatnoye parish in the ASSRNP. In 1928 was chaplain of the H"lzel parish. Arrested on 8.04.1930. Sent to Butyrki in Moscow, and was tried with other German priests. Convicted in Moscow together with other Catholic priests for participating in the activities of KZN, while residing in the Volga region in 1917. On 20.04.1931, in the presence of the committee of the OGPU, was sentenced to death, with ten years in the camp, on the basis of policies stated in articles 58-2, 58-4, 58-6, and 58-10 of the Complete Codes of the RSFSR (similar formulations were for Fr. Georg Baier and Fr. Augustyn Baumtrog. In mid 1931 he was sent to Butyrky in Moscow. He was exiled to the camps in Solovki. He was arrested there, and on 14.10.1937 was tried by a tribunal of the NKVD, Leningrad department, and sentenced to death. On 3.11.1937 he was executed by firing squad in Solovki prison. Reference: [7: syg. 2ER 112]; [14: 1931 - 1932]: [15: 1917]: ; [80: 1931, nr. 24, s. 303]: [262 CAFSBRFNP].
-- Rick/Ted --
"God is at home.
We are in the far country." - old Black Sea German saying -
- "The man who has nothing to boast of but his illustrious ancestry is like the potato - the best part under ground." - Thomas Overbury
"It's not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled - or where the do'er of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives, who spends himself in a worthy cause." - Theodore Roosevelt - (Theodore was a proud owner of a ranch in Medora, ND)
- "Life is half facts and half faith. Facts are easy." - author unknown -
- "Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards" - Soren Kierkegaard -
- "A man finds room in the few square inches of the face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants." - Ralph Waldo Emerson -
Love and Friendship: Nobody is perfect until you fall in love with them. Love starts with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a tear. Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget. Everything is okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end.
There is a Russian saying: "To go through fire, water and brass pipes", which means to endure severe trials, to acquire vast life experience, to gain many impressions and steel one’s will.
- Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.
- FASCINATING FACTS OF GENEALOGY:
You have a 1 in 4 chance of having a grand parent's surname (25%)
You have a 1 in 8 chance of having a great grandparents surname (12%)
You have a 1 in 16 chance of having a great-great grandparents surname (6%)
You have a 1 in 32 chance of having a great-great-great grandparents surname (3%)
- THE ORIGIN OF 'SAYINGS'
England is old and so small that they started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and re-use the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence the terms "graveyard shift", "saved by the bell" and he was a "dead ringer".
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake" and the origin of "making enough noise to wake the dead".
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June, although they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o.
Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually loose someone in it. Hence the saying, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water".
Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets... dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "it's raining cats and dogs.".... With nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed, so they found if they made beds with big posts and hang a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor". The wealthy had slate floors which in the winter they would get slippery when wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "threshold".
One-liners for Genealogists:
1. My family coat of arms ties at the back... is that normal?
2. My ancestors must be in a witness protection program!
3. Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
4. My hobby is genealogy; I raise dust bunnies as pets.
5. How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE?
6. I looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap.
7. I'm not stuck, I'm ancestrally challenged.
8. I'm searching for myself; have you seen me?
9. If only people came with pull-down menus and on-line help...
10. Isn't genealogy fun? The answer to 1 problem leads to 2 more!
11. Never mind the children, do you know where your 2nd Great Grandparents are tonight?
12. A family reunion is an effective form of birth control.
13. After 30 days, unclaimed ancestors will be adopted.
14. Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts, and a few bad apples.
15. Ever find an ancestor HANGING from the family tree?
16. FLOOR: The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
17. Gene-Allergy: It's a contagious disease, but we love it.
18. Genealogists are time unravelers.
19. Genealogy is like playing hide and seek: They hide... we seek!
20. Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people.
21. "Crazy" is a relative term in my family.
22. A pack rat is hard to live with, but makes a fine ancestor.
23. I think my ancestors had several "Bad heir" days.
24. I'm always late. My relatives arrived in America on the JUNE flower.
25. Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards as progress.
26. Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!
27. It's an unusual family that hath neither a lady of the evening or a thief.
28. Many a family tree needs pruning.
29. Shh! Be very, very quiet.... I'm hunting forebears.
30. Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors!
31. That's strange: half my ancestors are WOMEN!
32. I'm not sick, I've just got fading genes.
33. Genealogists live in the past lane.
34. Cousins marrying cousins: Very tangled roots!
35. Cousins marrying cousins: A non-branching family tree.
36. All right! Everybody out of the gene pool!
37. Always willing to share my ignorance...
38. Documentation... The hardest part of genealogy.
39. Genealogy: Chasing your own tale!
40. Genealogy... will I ever find time to mow the lawn again?
41. That's the problem with the gene pool: NO Lifeguards.
42. I researched my family tree... and apparently I don't exist!
by Ernest Bullimore
- In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.
- On the grave of Ezekiel Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia: Here lies
- In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767
- In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery:
The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.
- Playing with names in a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
For not rising.
- A lawyer's epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange
Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.
- Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont:
I was somebody.
Who, is no business
- Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880's. He's buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:
Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les No More.
- In a Georgia cemetery:
'I told you I was sick!'
- The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania is almost a consumer tip:
Who was fatally burned
March 21, 1870
by the explosion of a lamp
filled with 'R.E. Danforth's
- Oops! Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903--Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if
the car was on the way down. It was.
- In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so shall you be,
Remember this and follow me.
YOU MUST BE FROM NORTH DAKOTA IF.......
- you define summer as three months of bad sledding
- your definition of a small town is one that only has one bar "down south" means Aberdeen
- you have no problem spelling "Wahpeton"
- you have an ICBM in your back yard
- you have as many Canadian coins in your pocket as American ones
- your kids' baseball or softball game has ever been snowed out people "borrow" things to you
- you expect to be excused from school for deer hunting season and combining
- you like to send liberal Democrats to Congress and rock-ribbed Republicans to the State house
- you refer to the blessed union of an ELCA Lutheran and a Missouri Synod Lutheran as a "mixed marriage"
- your soup du jour at your hometown cafe is always beer cheese or knoephla
- you think of something other than the bible when you hear the words "great flood"
- you drive to town during a blizzard just to see if the weatherman knows what he is talking about
- you know four seasons-winter, still winter, not winter, and almost winter
- you design your Halloween costumes to fit over snowmobile suits
- your husband thinks sexy lingerie is a flannel nightgown with only eight buttons
- the forecast is for 60 mph winds, 3 feet of snow, 60 below wind chill, and the highway is full of people from small towns going to any big city, just to shop or for the absolutely necessary reason of attending a basketball tournament
- you lie awake thinking of uses for leafy spurge
- you assume everyone has seen Northern lights and sundogs
- your favorite hors d'oeuvres is little weenies and BBQ sauce in a crockpot
- you have attended a formal affair in your best dress, wearing your best jewelry, and your snow boots
- you cry when a tree is cut down but complain when a new one is planted because it "blocks the view"
- you think "cold weather gear" is a bottle of schnapps
- after you discuss the weather, conversation declines
- you understand that "yah y'betch yah" means either "I agree" or "You're full of it" and you know the difference