20 November 2017

Malcoci, Dobrudscha

Malcoci was originally called Malkotsch.  It was the first Catholic German colony in Dobrudscha, founded in 1843.

German migrants from Russia came through Tulcea, where some families stayed.  But 20-25 families went on southeast 5.5 miles (8.8 km) to found Malcoci.  According to Paul Traeger's Die Deutschen in der Dobrudscha (published in 1922 and translated in 2017 by Allen E. Konrad), the route to their new home was not a straightforward one.  

According to Traeger, land was becoming scarce in Kherson where the Kutschurgan and Beresan colonies were, so residents from 10 different villages including Josephsthal, Mannheim, Elsaß, Landau and Katharinenthal, among others, left Kherson and went through Bessarabia to the city of Focșani.  From there they went to and area called Wallachia, a historical and geographical area in modern-day northern Romania, and then on to the city of Călărași.  In this area, they lived in a village called Dschuroi (unable to find this location) for a year and a half.  They moved again and arrived in Dobrudscha by way of Galatz (Galați), which was just north of the colony of Jakobsonsthal.  

The path Germans from Russia took from their colonies in Kutschurgan and Beresan to Dobrudscha.  

The German origins of these settlers trace back to Alsace, Baden and the Palatinate.  The first church register was set up on 1 November 1847, and the first list of residents was recorded.  Interestingly, the French form of names were used: Georges instead of Georg, Charles Louis instead of Karl Ludwig, etc.  I've only seen the English translations of the Russian censuses for the colonies they came from in Russia from the Germans from Russia Heritage Society. The French versions of names were not used in those translated documents.  What was recorded in the originals, I do not know.  Interesting that they chose to use the French name form in their new colony in the Ottoman Empire, perhaps different than what they used in their former home in the Russian Empire.  

The Catholic church was built sometime between 1882 and 1890.  The ruins still stand today along with a memorial stone commemorating those first settlers. 

Drawing of the school and Catholic church in Malcoci circa 1922.
Source: Die Deutschen in der Dobrudscha, courtesy of Black Sea German Research.

Catholic church in Malcoci. Date unknown.
Copyright ©Cristian Mititelu.  Source: Descopera Delta Dunarii

Plat map of Malcoci (Malkotsch), courtesy of the Black Sea German Research plat map collection.  
Source: Heimatbuch der Dobrudscha-Deutschen 1840-1940

Malcoci, Romania today.

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Die Deutschen in der Dobrudscha, Paul Traeger.  See English translation courtesy of BSGR.