19 October 2017

Moving East: German Colonies in Siberia and Central Asia

I recall someone recently describing Siberia as not a "place" that Germans moved to but rather a "direction" in which they moved.  And that direction was east. The map of the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations has elongated significantly with these additional 183 colonies.

The first draft of the German colonies located in Siberia (white pins) and Central Asia (black pins) has been published on the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations map.  The separate colony maps will be released at the end of the location effort for these areas.  We're roughly half way done.

Locations are going slow on this map. Some of the measurements are spot on while others are simply not.  Because many of the villages don't exist any longer, it takes a while to find them based on nearby known villages, historical names and satellite imagery.  Some can't be found.  I'll have a report of those that couldn't be found in the coming weeks.

The colonies found so far were settled between 1882 and 1918, with one outlier in 1927 in far east Russia.  It was more of a resettlement effort by Germans from other colonies in Russia and not by Germans from Germany.  Existing Mother and daughter colonies were getting overpopulated.  The agrarian land reforms put in place by Pyotr Stolypin in 1901 allowed resettlement benefits and for greater access to land, and the Trans-Siberian Railroad made it easier to get there.  Both western Siberia and Russian Turkestan had settlements during this time, although German settlements in Turkestan seem to have stopped around 1903.

Many followers of this project have been waiting for Siberia to find out where their families were deported to in September 1941, but the maps we're working on now does not include those.  That will be another map.

Volga and Black Sea colonists both took part in this resettlement.  In the notes, we indicate which groups settled a village. If there is no indication, that means that it is a village that Karl Stumpp was uncertain about.  He gave an approximate location, which we duplicated, but he had no information about the colonists' origin or religious confession.  Again, at the end of this location effort, I'll have a report on which colonies were settled by which groups.

One final note, the current names of some of the villages this deep into Russia do not appear on Google Maps.  They have been verified and do show up on other maps, but not Google Maps.  You can't even successfully search for the name.  I believe it has to do with the sources that are used for names, so it could change in the future as Google's sources change.  There's a note next to each one that is affected by this unexplained feature.

And this, folks, is why the coordinates are so valuable!  

Make sure you record the coordinates in your research and family trees in addition to the names.


Thank you.  :)