Tips & Tricks to Tracking Your German Russian Ancestors...Tip # 6 WITHOUT GEOGRAPHY, YOU’RE NOWHERE
Descendant of Germans from Russia are scattered around the world...North and South America, Australia, Europe, Russia and many more locations. And, there are many maps which can help you locate these settlements, and possibly locate your relatives.
Many of the books, organizations and other sources I mentioned in earlier tips have plenty of maps which are excellent resources. The book shown above, Emigration from Germany to Russia in Years, 1763-1862/With Maps by Karl Stumpp contains classic maps to introduce you to the movement of our ancestors.
Mitch Roll's Volga German map, while not drawn to scale, is helpful to see the layout of the villages. Alan Wambaugh's map of the same area adds a frame worth map to your collection. And, be sure to check out the map of Entre Rios, Argentina, just in case you travel there.
I have used all of these maps over the years, and recently there has been a big upgrade in our online map community. Sandy Schilling Payne, who joined the group when I presented these tips and tricks at the SW Gilbert Regional Library in January, has created with a team the most efficient and thorough site for finding your ancestral village in Russia. (Be sure to check the latest edition of the Heritage Review and read Sandy's article on page 11 where she describes the value of community while she was there)
The Germans from Russia Settlement Location takes the deep dive into identifying by using Google Earth. To quote the site:
This is the home of the Google maps of the locations of German settlements in the Russian and Austrian empires that occurred from 1763 into the early 20th century. The locations are based on numerous historical maps, including those by Karl Stumpp, Rudolf Unterschütz, Pierre François Tardieu and others. This unique resource is detailed and vast in scope, inclusive of all German groups who uprooted from their Germanic homelands and heeded the call of Catherine the Great, her successors and others to colonize the forests and steppes of Russia and Austria.
This is a work in progress and a living document.
|The Facebook site for German Russia Settlement Locations|
Here's an example of my grandfather's village, Rosenfeld am Nachoi. Not only do you see the land through Google Earth and all of its perspectives, you also get all of the names the village had, the current name, latitude and longitude and more. There is a tutorial I highly recommend viewing.
Plan to spend a few quality hours at a minimum on this site. It's an extraordinary site and I would be interested in your feedback. What was your favorite features on these maps? What did you discover about your villages that you didn't know before? Please leave your comments here or on facebook.
Coming up next, a few tricks to beware of when you are on your genealogical journey.