01 May 2018

April Update

Although my lack of posts in April may outwardly indicate that I've taken a month off, behind the scenes there has been a lot happening.  Here's a quick rundown of what's in progress.


Three known German settlements in the Astrakhan province have been added to the map: Sarepta and Tsaritsyn along the lower Volga river and Astrakhan at the Volga delta. Germans moved into these areas as early as 1763 making them among the very first Germans to arrive in Russia, almost immediately after Catherine the Great's invitation.

Clean up

There is ongoing clean up and standardization of data.  Bessarabia's data has been cleaned up a bit: a few misspellings, additions of names from the 1938 Volkskalendar and parish/religious designations and is ready to be posted.  Some of the data had shifted in the Kronau colonies, and that's been corrected.  A couple minor updates an additions to Volhynia, too.

Russian Cities

Investigation into Russian cities with German populations has been started.  There have been a few inquiries about this over the past months, enough to look into the subject a little deeper and address it.

Full List of Colonies

Another request has been to provide a full list of colonies.  I get it.  Sometimes a German just needs a list.  The prototype is looking good but will look better once more the data has been cleaned up. It will be linked to the live data that creates the maps, so the information will always be in synch.  No more keeping track of multiple versions of PDF files.  Bonus: once this is set up, it will be no extra work for me. Better to do all the work on the front end than do it over and over and over again.


The German genealogy organization Verein für Computergenealogie has within its information dense site a historical gazetteer called GOV. Otto Riehl of Germany has been working on creating entries for Bessarabia in GOV using location data from the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project.  Just enter a village name, and you'll be presented with a list of places with that name that span the globe in some cases.  As you drill down, you'll find local government information about the place.  We're happy to be a small part of such a huge undertaking and thank Otto for his work on the project.

Maps from the Captured German Documents

After some effort, I located a online copy of the microfilms of the village files that were created by Karl Stumpp for the German SS between 1942 and early 1943 under the direction of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories.  Within these files are maps of villages and sketches of the areas he and his command visited during World War II.  These were the early versions and notes that became the maps we know as the Stumpp maps of German colonies in Russia.  Obviously, this was of great interest to me, so I've been indexing the films from a location perspective and stitching together the maps, many of which were photographed/microfilmed in several pieces.  All the maps will be made available with links to the original source and the current location.  So far, I have 59 maps and am about a third of the way through.

So...that's what's been keeping me busy as of late.  I've been nose down in data recently, but I promise I will come up for air and get back to posting more this month.