06 January 2018

Map Refresh: A Living Document

Brand new year.  Brand new map updates.  A lot to cover, so let's jump in...

A Living Document
If you've been following this project for any period of time, you know that it is a work in progress with a steady release of new locations and updates as they're available. But I also wanted to point out that, more importantly, it is a living document. A living document is something that is continuously updated as information changes to keep it current and not to allow it to go stale.

Germans from Russia Settlement Locations is not a "one-and-done-put-it-on-a-shelf-and-dust-it" kind of tool.

Going into this, the awareness that current place names would change was just a given. So that we – meaning we collectively as a research community – won't have to go through this exercise again, updates to current place names will happen continuously.

Decommunization of Place Names in Ukraine
Having said that, work has begun on updating place names in Ukraine as a part of the Law of Ukraine № 317-VIII "On the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) regimes, and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols." Under seven separate articles of this law enacted between 18 February 2016 and 3 June 2016, about three percent of place names in Ukraine have been subject to change across many of the oblasts that are home to former Germans from Russia colonies.  This means that updates will be made and sourced accordingly.  So far, most of the names are showing up in Google Maps, but some are not.  With this update, the villages in the current Odessa oblast and few others are included. (Hint: To bring them all up on the map, search for the word "Toponym" - it appears in the sources of each.)

Beresan: Wolkowo
Bessarabia: Mathildendorf
Chortitza: Friesendorf, Schöndorf
Hoffnungstal: Tichi Kut, Hoffnungsfeld, Werba
Glückstal: Neuhof-Chutor, Seebach
Liebental: Johannesfeld
Kutschurgan: Neu Elsass
Prichib: Jürgental

This effort will go quickly, so the next map update before the end of the month will include a full refresh of all maps.  

And along these same lines...

We Need to Talk About Crimea
Crimea has needed to be updated for sometime. The country to which it belongs has been in dispute since 20 February 2014. The maps have been updated to "Ukraine (de jure), Russia (de facto).  In other words, it is Ukraine according to law and Russia according to unsanctioned fact.  

Removal of Assumptions
A colony's founding year has been used to determine what country it was a part of at the time Germans founded or settled.  It's easy to assume Russia across the board, but it's not really backed up any sources other than the Stumpp maps, which were created after World War II, so they don't even have the original governorates or oblasts on them.  With the numerous occupations and revolutions and other declarations of independence between 1763 and 1939,  it has become clear that the assumptions need to be re-evaluated.  Going forward,  as areas are cleaned up, the assumed country at time of founding will be re-evaluated, sourced if possible, or removed if necessary.  This is an effort to ensure good data and not just fill in the field. 

Dobrudscha Grows
While doing a special request in Dobrudscha before the holidays, it became apparent that the area was not quite complete.  Looking back on the map provided by the AHSGR librarian (thank you, Diane Wilson!), the missing were settlements were noted as having 50 or fewer Germans living in them as of the 1930 census.  The map is from the back cover of Paul Traeger's book, Die Deutschen in der Dobrudscha.  Thirty-one additional colonies have beed added to the online maps and two duplicates removed.  The new colonies are as follows: Arabagi, Babadag, Basarabi, Bogdah, Carabalar, Carmen Sylva, Casian, Cerchezul, Cernavodă, Cotu Văii, Durasi, General Scărişoreanu, Gherzalar, Hasarlac, Ilanlac, Isaccea, Māgura, Malinova, Medgidia, Mereni, Negru Vodă, Nuntaşi, Osmancea, Ovidiu, Poreaz, Rogojina, Saida, Spasova, Tărguşor, Topraisar, Vâlcelele, Viroaga, Zorile.

Galizien Parishes
In Galizien, there are a few parish and/or religion updates for the following colonies: Alzen, Bielitz, Brzezany, Deutsch-Lednica*, Majkowice, Maleniska, Sokolowka, Stare Siolo, Trynitatis, Wilmesau.

*This one is unusual in that it belonged to one parish, but it was closer to another.  People often went there instead for baptisms, etc.

You may have noticed that parishes are beginning to be identified with a letter after them in parenthesis: C, M, P, RC, etc. They stand for Catholic (RC = Roman Catholic in places where Greek and Roman Catholic parishes existed), Mennonite, Protestant, etc. In colonies where there were more than one religion (not as uncommon as one would think), there were parishes for each. This data began to be captured back with Bukovina in May of 2017 and has been included with any data clean up and all new locations since. The largest confession for a colony is noted with an asterisk (*).

The following maps have been updated: