29 November 2021

Roshdestwenskoje, North Caucasus

Roshdestwenskoje (РОЖДЕСТВЕНСКОЕ) on a 1877 map of the Caucasus.
Source: Retromap

Roshdestwenskoje (Rozhdestvenskoye, Roshdestvenka, Roshdestwenka) in the North Caucasus was a Catholic daughter colony founded on the Kuban River in 1864, although Germans from the Volga colony of Köhler may have arrived as early as 1858. 

A Catholic parish was established in Roshdestwenskoje in 1884. The clergy serving the parish included Konrad Keller (1884-1886), Allois Schönfeld (1898-1903) and Johannes Beilmann (1905-1909).

Karl Stumpp notes this colony was founded in the Soviet period (* = in der Sowjetzeit gegründet). Ulrich Mertens in his German-Russian Handbook states it reappeared (alluding that it disappeared at some point) in the Soviet period with a founding date of 1925. Roshdestwenskoje appears on maps from 1877 through 1990 in the same location with the same name. There is, however, another Rozhdestvenskoye that appears today to the northwest of the one that appears on old maps, but it only appears on the English-language Google Map, not on the Russian version and not on Yandex Maps. Logic dictates the colony location on the older maps, supported by early church records (many thanks to Tim Rohr for providing one), is the location of the former German colony. 

1926 map of the Caucasus. Source: Retromap

1942 German map of the Caucasus. Source: Retromap

1985 Detailed World Map v.1. Source: Retromap

1990s Map of the USSR. Source: Retromap

EWZ indexes indicate that the German colonists living in Roshdestwenskoje had ties to the Volga colonies of Dobrinka, Herzog, Köhler and Semenovka with surnames of Berger, Bessedin, Bonn, Diehl, Haach, Kantner, Lasarenko, Laumann, Merslow, Ringelmann, Rupp, Scholomow and Werbach. The Köhler connection surnames include Schmidtlein, Hartwich and Lambrecht.

Today, Roshdestwenskoje is a suburb of Nevinnomyssk, Stavropol Krai, Russia.

View of the Kuban River and the cast iron bridge circa 1900-1917.
Source: Retro View of Mankind's Habitat

Sources and Further Reading:

  • Die Kirchen und das religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen. Katholik Teil. (The Churches and Religious Life of the Russian Germans. Catholic part.), Joseph Schnurr (1980), p. 300.
  • Einwanderungszentralstelle (EWZ) Film Series: 50, The National Archives and Records Administration, Black Sea German Researchmybirthplace=Roshdestwenskoje
  • German-Russian Handbook, Ulrich Mertens (2010), Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) Publications, https://hdl.handle.net/10365/32028, p. 636.
  • Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Nord und Südkaukasus (Map of the German settlements in the North and South Caucasus). Karl Stumpp, AHSGR, Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland (1960). #F3
  • Maps of Roshdestwenskoje (44.6300, 41.9183) on Retromap: 18771926194219851990s
  • Retro View of Mankind's Habitat, vintage photos of Nevinnomyskaya.
  • Rozhdestvenskoe (Stavropol Territory),Wikipedia (in Russian).